Why Low Sec is Eve's Conflict Engine


I love all of Eve Online but I happen to be an advocate for one specific part of the game - Low Security space. It is where I fell in love with Eve and where I've decided to hang my hat for the last eight years. I run the largest and most successful group of Space Pirates in Low Security space (Stay Frosty) and while other groups come and go, we've been doing this for over six years now. This is all known, but what might not be appreciated is just how important Low Sec is to Eve Online and why it is currently suffering so much negligence.

Low Security space exists between the relative safety of High Security and the relative safety of Null Sec. It is the conflict engine for Eve. And while Null Sec gets all the glory in the press and in the minds of most players, the real truth is that Low Sec drives most of the actual conflict in New Eden. Often this can be painfully obvious, as in the case of the World War Bee/Casino War a few years back. (And in case you forget, that war was started because a certain Null Sec Alliance thought they could dictate to Low Sec. We didn't appreciate that sort of thing.) But more often than not it is more subtle than that. Which causes it to be ignored, or under-appreciated.

Let me start simply and build from a basic understanding. Every single day I see players taking their first steps into danger by flying into Low. A decade ago, my first experience with conflict in Eve came from jumping into Mara on the edge of Piekura and getting blapped by Pirates on the Gate. I wanted to know how and why I had been killed so easily. That incident, and others like it, are being replayed hundreds and hundreds of times throughout Low every single day. I see it personally all the time. In Stay Frosty we will often try to talk to those we explode after a fight, to give advice, offer help, and generally try to infuse some measure of confidence to the player. Often we hear that this experience was the first time they tried something like that. Just a few weeks ago I tackled a Myrmidon entering Low and exploded him. The pilot had lived in High Sec for six years and this was the first time he had entered Low Sec looking for a fight. He wanted to try it out.

Sure, some new players will make the jump to Null Sec immediately. It happens. I was six weeks into my Eve career when I made my way down to Providence. But the vast majority of Eve players, especially younger players, will stay in High Sec for longer than that. More often than not, jumping into Low is their first "dangerous" activity. The first taste of conflict beyond hiding in station during a HS War. (And probably not logging in that week.)

In the old days the new Alliance engine was NPC Null, places like Syndicate. Newly formed Alliances would live in those regions during expansion and growth because they were easier to maintain than other Null regions. This hasn't been the case for a very long time. Syndicate is empty. The Super Cap proliferation has made such places nearly impossible for baby Alliances. That engine has moved into Low Sec. And while the Super Cap problem has impacted Low as well, the avoidance of that issues is much easier now with yet another proliferation - the Citadels. Low Sec is now the engine for future Alliance growth across New Eden.

Low Sec is also the training ground for PvP in Eve. And not just for young players, but for veterans as well. The vast majority of Eve's best PvP players have at least a background of time spent in Low Sec and many of those players will return to Low time and time again to keep their skills sharp. If they aren't using their mains, they are certainly coming on Alts. This has always been this way. And it will continue. LowSec is the engine of individual PvP players in Eve. Often it is where a player gets his or her first taste of being an FC as well.

And then we come to Faction Warfare. A sad and long-ignored engine that languishes in the dust of former glory. Which is sad because, if all of the above is true, then FW should be the glue that binds all of this together. FW is Null Sec Lite. A training ground for control, organization, fleet composition, engagement, and all of the other forces and experience a player might need later on if they choose to go into Null space. Or they choose to stay. It should be a vibrant and engaging option for players of all kinds. But sadly it needs serious help these days. It is not fulfilling this role currently. (Shout out to all my FW friends who are sincerely trying to get CCP to pay attention to them! Keep the courage.)

Say what you want about the big fleet battles and ego-driven posturing of Null Sec - but the truth is that Low Security space is where players fight players every single day. It is the danger zone. The place you go to prove yourself. To learn. To gain experience. To dip your toe into combat. Low Sec is the conflict engine of New Eden.

And that is why Low Sec is important.

Plus we have Pirates.




2 comments:

  1. Despite living in wormholes, I do miss my early low-sec days. It' where I grew up. What do you think would be core changes to make low better?

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    Replies
    1. If you are really interested you should join the FW Discord, those people are really dedicated and committed to proposing changes to CCP.

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