Why Not Nullsec?


During the last CZ episode Jadecougar asked why people live in nullsec. As I listened to the answers from our podcasters I remembered how I started playing EVE. For years I played in a Mechwarrior 4 league called Netbattletech. As the game got older and older more people started to look for new games that they somehow could apply the basic rules of Battletech to. My friends started to play this little game called EVE, where fittings could be changed, you could spy on other groups and do a lot of sneaky guerilla stuff – something that my Mechwarrior clan was specialized in. We would drop far into hostile territory, fight against a small defense force and steal assets. Than we would move on to neighbouring planets and harass the local defense forces again – always one step ahead.


I did a few trials before the game finally clicked and I finally got payment sorted (as this way a real issue back in the day in Germany). As I started about a year later than my clan mates due to several reasons, I listened to their advice, made a male Deteis (Caldari) character and moved over from nearby Jita to the lowsec Derelik, where my first corp lived. In 2007 it mattered which race and heritage you chose for your character as your attributes would depend on your choice. I trained the learning skills and did some level 1 and 2 missions nearby. When not deployed my corp ran missions together in Dysa, a system which had three level 4 / quality 20 agents in the same station. I could not take part in their deployments as I could not fly the required ships but I would still talk to them every day on comms. In the meantime, I tried to minimize the gap between my skillpoints and those needed for the bombers and recons my corp used for PvP. For nearly a year I ran missions in that lowsec system, fighting local pirates and generating terrible lossmails from time to time.


Basically I was playing EVE solo, with a group of friendly advisers available to me every day. I was close to quitting EVE a few times but the group encouraged me to keep playing. I caught up with my corpmates skillwise. My PvP activity went through the roof, even if my personal risk was higher than it is now in the space communist alliances of today. I as enjoying EVE finally and the natural step was going into nullsec with a group that I know, that I could rely on with many good pilots. And I never left null again.

This is what nearly all long time players experienced – a good solid corp right at the beginning of their EVE career. Thanks to CCP’s public data we know that normal EVE players live in highsec, are playing solo and quit after seven months – they miss the most important part of playing EVE: the community. In nullsec you have to have a working corp/alliance to survive the harsh 0.0 reality – you need other people to help you and you will help others as well.


In the last year CCP has been accused of dumbing down EVE and making highsec more secure; for example, more tank for haulers, suspect flags for looters, easier probing and rearranging of requirements for ships. With the upcoming summer expansion CCP now starts to remove privileges from highsec. The proposed changes will nerf highsec industry slightly while boosting the equivalent in 0.0. We still have to wait for the remaining four devblogs, so a full preview of how the industry and the market will develop is not possible, but one thing is certain – if industrialists want to be on top after the summer patch, they need a group behind them and not a small army of alts that log in every few days in a safe highsec stations to start a new job. You need eyes and contacts in different regions and you must choose your station carefully. You need to be able to move your goods further than you used to, and you need protection while doing so. They can increase their profits with going further out of the main trade hubs, but also they increase their risk.

Currently most of the producers are small one or two man corps in highsec. Soon, they are required to be social, interact with other players and find their niche. I can see no downside of being social in a MassiveMultiplayerOnline game like EVE – it might keep a newbro playing for more than seven months.

Tags: forlorn, nullsec

About the author

Forlorn Wongraven

PL pilot, 2013 alliance tournament winner and Eve financier extraordinaire, what Forlorn doesn't know about Eve probably isn't worth knowing

  • Fupa Chalupa

    “I can see no downside of being social in a MassiveMultiplayerOnline game like EVE”

    Have you met the people that play this game? We are not nice people. Our sole purpose is to make players quit, and when they quit, we spout overused and tired ‘jokes’ about how we “won EVE” and how “tears sustain us”. An EVE player’s greatest joy is to ruin the gaming experience for as many people as possible.

    So yeah, lets force players to be social. There’s no way this could possibly backfire.

    • Saint

      Bollocks. You’re interacting with lots of mates, you’re flying in fleets, you’re helping out with shared objectives, you’re talking on comms. Just because you’ll screw over someone out of corp, or run scams doesn’t make you a “bad person”, its just part of the game. Eve is full of some of the most loyal, generous and giving people I’ve ever come across – It’s all about context. For example take The Mittani, many people’s love to hate personality; He’s genuinely helped make the game better by exposing poor game mechanics, he’s built a hugely complex organisation staffed by a huge number of people who are glad to give of their time and expertise, he creates (indirectly) huge layers of content and his organisation keeps thousands of players entertained – He’s a good guy, but context makes him a bad guy if you’re on the wrong side.

      Eve is full of good guys playing shady characters; Its what gives the game is richness and enjoyability. There are always going to be a couple of people that are assholes, because the world is like that but to think the minority represents the Eve player base as a whole is just plain and flat out wrong.

      • Forlorn Wongraven

        Yes. That is pretty much my point. Recently I met one of those newbros from B-R in Catch that wandered off doing hacking plexes. He got stalked by some NCdot guys that camped him in. I started talking to him just because he was nice in local and he told that he came after B-R. I pointed out that he is just 5 jumps away from that system, that I was there and also gave him advise to use a WH next door to highsec or to visit B-R doing the few more jumps. Was a nice lovely chap and I was not an “asshole”.

        • Saint

          There are lots of Eve stories like this and lots of older players really try and point “newbros” in the right direction, including fitting advice, replacing ships they’ve killed and similar; These aren’t the stories that make the press though, because “New Eve player had nice time having game mechanics explained to him by older player” isn’t going to get very many clicks.

      • Fupa Chalupa

        “Just because you’ll screw over someone out of corp, or run scams doesn’t make you a “bad person”, its just part of the game.”

        It absolutely does make you a bad person. You can claim all you want that what you are doing is ‘ just part of the game’ and that you are one of the ‘good guys playing shady characters’, but you are wrong. Nobody who is a good person would kick down other people’s sandcastles solely for their own amusement.

        And that’s why I claim that everyone that plays EVE for longer than a year (myself included) is a piece of shit. We have decided, as a group, that making other people suffer is an acceptable pastime. It is part of our culture and heritage as EVE players.

        • Forlorn Wongraven

          After a cpl of years all hate goes away and the true bittervet still kills people because he likes pvp, no hard feelings against “baddies”.

        • Saint

          Why do you feel that you’re making people suffer? If someone hotdrops you with 20 guys whilst you’re out ratting do you break down in tears and impotent rage or do you give them thumbs up and GFs in local? I hope its the latter and you respect/admire them for getting the drop on you and perhaps resolve counters or ways to avoid it next time. Scamming is a bit different, but its only the greedy that suffer. Many corps ban its members from scamming (and indeed ganking) – Are you saying that these guys are “pieces of shit” for just enjoying a bit of PvP, in a game that is PvP oriented? Sorry, but you’re wrong.

          • Fupa Chalupa

            “Are you saying that these guys are “pieces of shit” for just enjoying a bit of PvP, in a game that is PvP oriented?”

            Can baiting new players is not just “a bit of PvP”. Coming into high sec to destroy ships that took months to save up for and can’t fight back is not just “a bit of PvP”. Actively trying to ruin the fun of others is not just “a bit of PvP”. When half of the EVE community opposes a ban of a known cyberbully (and respected community members speak out on the cyberbully’s behalf), something is terribly wrong.

            As long as we tolerate this behavior as a community, we are all pieces of shit. You can try and sugar coat it and spin it any way you want, but we are all guilty by association here.

          • Saint

            I think you’re assuming that a proportion of the informed vocal minority (Ie. the forum warriors and podcasters) is “half of the Eve community”, which is wrong. I think the huge majority of players supported CCP’s ban of Erotica1, whilst at the same time admitting that it was a difficult decision due to the permissive nature of the game. Sure there are some people that will do the things you’ve described (can flipping, ganking, specifically picking on newer players etc.) but again, they are in the minority. Personally I don’t indulge in these things, because they aren’t challenging and therefore aren’t fun. Did I spend some time in Burn Jita this year? Yep …I was in a cheap snipey ship killing gankers pods. It was excellent fun. I’ve chatted to huge numbers of players who restrict their PvP to low and null sec and help new players – I’m not trying to sugar coat or spin anything, these people are all over Eve.

  • why nullsec?

    “I can see no downside of being social”

    The way human brains work implies that social circles, that are tighter than saying Hi at the watercooler, cannot exceed a few dozen people at most.
    And that is for those that are extrovert and seek comfort in larger groups and crowds. Which by the way is the minority of mankind.

    The fact that quite a few PvP oriented players also would be considered highly anti social by real life standards adds to wish to stay in high sec where others have less chance of inflicting grief to you.

    For how trying to force players to 0.0 the results will equal one of four things: Provi, large coalition, piracy or QQ. The issue here is not that players don’t want to go to nullsec I think, the issue is broken Sov mechanics and power projection of mega coalitions means smaller entities cannot exist in a self sufficient way.
    You cannot play with just your friends in nullsec unless you rent, which leaves a sour aftertaste to some.
    To be honest three things should’ve been done before:

    Lowered Power projection. Overhauled Sov mechanics. And putting a “Space for rent” feature into the game, that is fair for all to use, more transparent and more likely to be seen as a valid option by the broader playerbase.

    Then you could discuss how to dangle nullsec carrots into players faces, because only then they would find fun there … for those that already are in nullsec things are different of course, but I believe the minority of this minority is happy with the status quo of things.

    As a sidenote, the increased fuel cost for supers adds to the issue instead of helping even, CCP still clears the path for massive power blocs even further.