The ideas just keep rolling here on Eveoganda! Today, with one bold stroke, we shall re-invigorate one of the long ignored areas of play within the Eve universe. Faction Warfare.
Within New Eden we have four types of space - Hi-Sec (Empire), Low-Sec, Null and WH. (NPC Null and a few variants, but those are really the big four.) I am suggesting the addition of a new type of space - Contested Space.
If you've been following along with the 2012 Series (and why wouldn't you, they are friggin' brilliant!) then you know I've been talking about the Jovian race. Now this could be any race, even a brand spanking newly made up one, but the Jovians just happen to be a great example. Mostly because they already have an entire region of space to themselves. So I'm going to continue using them as an EXAMPLE. Get with the program people.
So, what is Contested Space?
Imagine for a moment that at some point next year reports start to emerge from Empire of ships that entered a WH only to emerge deep within Jovian space... and return? Suddenly these reports are confirmed as intrepid players themselves chance upon these newly opened pathways. At first the WH's are the only way in to this vast new region of space. It isn't Null space (since the normal Sov mechanics don't seem to work there, huh.) and it isn't Empire space - no CONCORD. So what is it?
Well at first no one knows. But then a few strange things start to become obvious. Newly discovered BPOs from those that brave the Jovian rats reveal something unexpected. Apparently you might just be able to build Faction Controlled Gates (FCG), the key ingredient of which is a newly discovered mineral that only appears in certain Asteroid belts and PI processes within Jovian space and no where else. In addition, there appears to be a new type of Probe that can be built - the Explorer Probe.
This new region of space is vast, rich and extremely hard to get to. But all of the Empires want it to themselves, certainly possession could tip the balance of power significantly to one side or the other and settle centuries long conflicts. It isn't long before players realize that by using the Explorer Probes (with the right skills) one can determine the exact location where their Faction should build a Gate. Now these Jovian gates are special in that they can be manned, they can be built with special defenses that normal gates do not have, and they can be contested. Just because you build one, doesn't mean you get to keep it.
But once these gates start connecting to Empire space, the flood is on. And this opens up another new game aspect - The Treaty. Treaties have been talked about for ages, but now we have the perfect situation to implement them. Let's say you have an Industrial Corporation that would like to move into Amarr Contested Space within the new Jovian region. In order to be protected and gain access thru the FCG, you'll need to sign a treaty with the Amarr Empire. The terms of that treaty will be negotiated and agreed upon by their representatives the Amarr Faction. But most likely will include monthly fees and percentages from your operations. In return you gain access to new materials, belts, rats, the whole ball of wax. Including new BPOs to build those new Jovian ships the new Jovian players want to fly.
And yes, Pirates are a problem. And yes, other factions will be able to not only attack, but gain control of systems by controlling the gates into those systems. Let's say XYZ system's gate leads directly to Gal space, but the Minnie Faction takes over the gate... well now that gate leads directly to Minnie space.
Suddenly FW has a purpose and directly and POWERFULLY impacts the entire universe of New Eden... something that it truly needs and has never had. And the new Jovian region becomes an interesting, vital, important new arena for a brand new type of combat in Eve.
There are literally hundreds of other ideas inherent in the above, what about the Jovian's themselves, what about Stations, missions, and every other aspect of game-play?
I'm no expert at Faction Warfare, it is the one play style that I haven't tried. So I'll leave the details to those that know and the ideas on how this new system could grow, evolve and adapt will remain to be seen. But I do know that something needs to be done and within the confines of the other ideas I've already outlined in the 2012 Series - the new playable race, the Sanctuary Training Program and the others - that Contested Space is just another piece of the puzzle that would make for a very exciting 2012.
And, more importantly, keep Eve a growing vital game.
What are your thoughts about Contested Space?