You know, the life of a nullsec pilot isn’t all powerpoint presentations, blobbing the little guy and fighting on forums. Out in the wild wastes, we sometimes have to deal with some of EVE’s boring content. I know – it comes as a shock to everyone that our dearly beloved video game can have some slow moments, but we’ve got to face the facts.
Sovereignty nullsec is a difficult place to live, for a whole host of reasons. There’s a number of little moving parts you need to keep an eye on – line members, unruly neighbours and large scale RMT operations are the core concerns. When not fighting those fires, someone else has broken your ratting agreements or has caused a political scene by breaking a non-aggression pact.
There are other elements of null life which are more time consuming, but when run successfully should never appear obvious.
Keeping your space, as has been demonstrated admirably by N3/PL and many that came before them, isn’t an easy task. Checkboxes must be checked, bills must be paid.
Taking space is a terrible task – we all know that grinding structures is no fun for extended period of time. Conquering systems requires the anchoring of some structures, the most difficult of which is the “optional” infrastructure hub. This structure enables you to upgrade your space for better attributes – more anomalies, better mining and jump bridges to name a few. The ihub is so difficult to move because of it’s sheer size – 750,000m3 means only a freighter can move it.
Outposts are devilishly hard to hatch too – 750,000m3 of station egg plus several freighters of further material once it is in place. They’re a high value target worth tens of billions on a killmail. Of course, there’s the added stress of knowing what to choose and where to anchor them – what combination of moons will give the best instawarps? Where’s the optimum position in the system? What type of outpost is best for my system, constellation and regional goals?
Bouncing these structures to their destination requires detailed planning and total commitment from player organisations. Escort fleets need to be put together, especially during times of war, and more often than not, titans are used to bridge freighters and the support fleet to midpoints and extract them again when anchoring is complete. The cost of a mistake is high, tempers often flare and tension exists.
At least there exists one good thing in sov war: of the big structures, only ihubs need to be anchored repeatedly. Re-stationing a region would probably drive the best pilots insane.
Player Owned Starbases
POSes are everywhere in null. With the sov fuel bonus, there’s no good reason not utilise POSes for a number of reasons – to run reaction farms, to hold strategic assets or even as a muster point for fleets. Out in NPC, those of us who are brave choose to run POS farms too, and of course corps have strategic towers for supers and staging.
POSes need lots of time initially. Setting them up correctly can take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours. You need to plan in advance whether you’re running a dickstar or deathstar configuration, ship in your modules, silos and other attachments and have it all ready to drop as soon as you kill the tower that’s already on that moon.
Continued running of a POS is hard work. As a solo enterprise, you have be prepared with fuel – there are few things more embarrassing than an email to corporate directors saying your POS is running low on fuel. Keeping input materials in reserve is important too – you don’t want to lose out on valuable afk isk from reactions through being unprepared.
Scaling this up to an alliance level, someone has to know what POS has the correct fuel quantity at all times and ensure they’re properly fuelled in a timely fashion to avoid strategic assets being vulnerable. Stock has to be kept and minions dispatched at appropriate times. Silos have to be emptied and materials shifted.
Fuel blocks aren’t the only thing that POSes require – some have Jump Bridges, the vital module behind our custom built regional highways. These make travelling the vast coalition owned areas quick and easy, but every ship that jumps through consumes liquid ozone. Good etiquette would be to carry Liquid Ozone and top up the bridge as you pass, but this is a practise rarely followed. Logistics teams have to be extra vigilant at these POSes – a break in the chain could mean a defense fleet is delayed for an hour and the CSAA is lost after all.
Small and Big Tweaks
Some of the things that needs to be adjusted in POSes roles management and alliance access. These never fail to be regular causes of complaint for those who manage POSes.
Reworking POSes so they can be used as a personal, corporate or alliance asset would be a step in the right direction. The ability to allow from within an alliance to fuel a POS would be a godsend – currently it’s corp only, which is frustrating at times. Being able to quickly clear a line member’s POS from a moon, or transfer it to the alliance at the push of a button would save many sleepless nights too. The number of dead POSes littering moons must be large – if you could steal them or clear them away without a grind, it might make it easier for the ‘little guy’ to get in where other groups have failed.
For most people running moons – as an enterprising individual or as a larger entity – fuel tracking can be a nightmare. CCP have kindly granted us the ability to receive calendar notifications, but if there are a large number of POSes, they get lost in this sytem quickly.
An in-game panel of individual, corp or alliance POSes and their current fuel status would be a tool of great use to many – it’s currently something we need to build out of game using the API endpoint. I don’t accept that as being a valid solution – it can disadvantage smaller groups or those without spreadsheet warriors or skilled programmers. If the industry UI is anything to go by, CCP can do this well and make life easier for all of us. Roles can be tied in nicely – assigning starbase fueller role gets you access to the fuel status panel, the ones you’re assigned or all of them, depending on access level.
Being the guy who fuels POSes and jump bridges, anchors towers and hauls ihubs is a hard, boring and thankless task. People miss fights because they’re busy anchoring towers in the new staging system or on recently stolen moons, selflessly making the game better for others. In the bigger blocs, logistics guys can often have isk, plex or ships thrown at them as a token of gratitude for their hard work. For those in smaller groups, just offering to help spread the load somewhat can go a long way to making your corp a better place.
Tags: hibbie, logistics, nullsec
Hibbie spends his time in Syndicate pretending to be a corp director and part of the group running Space Violence, a Special Interest Group in the CFC - rejecting the trappings of sov for the more exciting life of NPC null.