After a week of preparing and taking and timing and effort in our first 'major' effort to take and secure Sov under the new "Fozzie Sov" rules of engagement, I thought it would be worthwhile to express some of my own thoughts about it. First a quick piece of background for those that think of me as a friendly neighborhood pirate haunting the space lanes of Low Security Space. I did spend three years in zero space, fighting in wars, taking and losing a lot of Dominion Space, and spending countless hours firing Torps at objects that didn't move. I've been in Eve long enough to remember setting up a POS so that we had enough of them in System to keep Sov, which was pre-Dominion.
With the introduction of the new rules this Summer, groups like ours could finally start to consider zero space as more than a monthly roaming ground for easy bling kills. Did it make sense to even consider the possibility of taking some ground for ourselves? These were important questions, especially for my Alliance, as our entire Mission Statement revolves around providing every play-style in Eve to our members. So we started dipping our toes in here and there. We quickly took Sov in various places, learned how to Entosis, how the timers worked and didn't work, how to find the Command Nodes, and most of the details regarding the way things work. These were only the testing grounds.
So we started opening up the Diplo channels and waiting for a good opportunity to present itself, which it did rather quickly during the Alliance Tournament. We decided now was the time to up the testing to another level, and instead of just playing around with timers, actually take and hold some space for as long as we could. The idea here is to see what happens, do we have the numbers, the interest, and the capacity to not only take space - but more important - to hold onto it?
In the process we all learned a lot about the new system. And while I can easily attest to the fact that it is far superior in every way to the old system, it is not without its weirdness and oddities. For those of us that are new to the ways of Fozzie, it can be rather complicated and intimidating. Which is not to say that is a problem, Eve is not for the weak of heart. It is a complicated and intimidating game, and taking someone else's space should not be easy. That doesn't mean that some of the most critical features need to be hidden from you either.
Just yesterday I learned that iHubs are for more than warping to and catching FW ships to explode. Those things actually open! Who knew? In that spirit of learning new things, here are a few suggestions, issues and problems that I've noticed over the past week that could really help things in my humble opinion.
• Sov Transfer
There is no functionality for transferring Sov from one entity to the next. Someone has some space they don't want and you have to come in and go thru the entire ritual of Entosising everything, waiting for timers, and the subsequent mess that goes along with it. This seems weird. In Eve I can give just about anyone anything I want, why can't I just give them my Sov? For a price, for free, for whatever I might have negotiated up-front. It seems like yet another opportunity for game-play in the player's hands.
There is a very small window in which you need to set the timers for your newly won system and this function is incredibly important for your defense. So, go ahead, try to find where you do that. Go on. In my humble opinion the functionality of Sov Mangement needs ONE goddamn window, not four or five cleverly hidden windows. It all makes sense eventually, but man is that learning curve rather steep and obtuse. It isn't natural and it can cause some serious grief. It would be rather nice to have a single Sov Management Control Panel.
• Station Management
I wrote an entire post about what happened once we took control of our Capital System and everyone ended up stuck on the docking platform, that was just silly. You shouldn't have to dock and undock over and over again in order to see the button to manage the station. And while that might have been an instance, or lag, it still doesn't make the process of finding that control panel any easier. I had to Google it.
• More Systems
One point of some confusion for us comes from the "next" systems. We are having a difficult time figuring out what benefit taking any additional Sov brings our Alliance. I'd like to point you to a Reddit post from my friend Kaal Kedrum, . I pretty much agree with everything he says in this post. We've expended a sizable chunk of effort and resources on securing our Capital and the returns on that are rather obvious, but what about the other systems? Why take them in the first place? And, even more importantly, why defend them?
Our adventure continues. But all in all I think the new Sov mechanics show tremendous potential, both from a sandbox and play-style perspective. They offer the chance for players that might not have considered zero space previously, a chance to try something new and expand their horizons.
It should only be the beginning.