The space commute

This post is part of the EVE Blog Banter, a monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to him. The twenty-fifth topic comes from @Tetraetc - Tetra's EVE Blog, who asks us: "Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? Imagine a Null Sec where anyone could build outposts wherever. Would the reduction of the alliance game mechanic, and the removal of the sovereignty game mechanics (or the modification of it from Alliance level to Corp level for that matter) force more PVP into Null sec, or would giant power blocs like the NC still form themselves?"

Strategic warfare: blobbing
How do you get your fix of player-versus-player adrenaline if you need to travel a long way before locating ships your in-game organization allows you to shoot at? For those who revel in the proverbial "good fight" rather than in-game commute, the game loses value. This can happen in empires: the Northern Coalition and the Clusterfuck Coalition are, for the time being, "best friends forever". You can travel for dozens of jumps and keep within the boundaries of friendly space. Drone Russians and their allies too occupy huge tracts of space and make their best not to interfere with each other's business (some of them, if rumors are to be believed, due to the laws of robotics).
When roaming pvp is time-consuming, fleet battles are incredibly more so, with hours lost waiting for gigantic fleets to move. Logistic bottlenecks (rally point, FC, titan bridge, liquid ozone, cyno ship, etc.) become the main obstacle to reach desired critical numbers on the battlefield. Why the swarms ?
1. Two fishes will eat one fish.
2. Military tactics on a strategic level are designed around lag, which makes and unmakes victories. Lag makes it important to occupy a strategic system before the enemy and for as long as possible.
Blobbing, that is, refusing to engage with nothing less than an obvious advantage and a sun-blotting quantity of ships, thus emitting waves of soul-crushing lag, becomes the rational tactic. (My perception, not necessarily an ubiquitous reality in all of 0.0.)

Are alliances the problem?
As far as I know (I was not a capsuleer back then), functional alliances predate the game mechanism providing an umbrella organization to friendly corporations. It is one of those instances when new features help structure what was essentially the spontaneous evolution of the political system from its corporation-based origin [insert Darwin quote]. One could argue that the geopolitical landscape of 0.0 nowadays is really shaped by the decisions of bloc leaderships; perhaps will we see someday the introduction of a coalition game mechanism (with actual alliance-like mechanisms or through an evolution of "treaties", a proposed game mechanism purportedly designed to help small entities finding their place in the 0.0 geopolitical ecosystem).

As long as strength lies in numbers
Groups of players will keep forming functional alliances at a strategic level as long as it makes sense, as long as they can find an advantage in this situation. The need for protection, the ambition to conquer, the desire to exploit, are all best served by people cooperating on a grand scale.
If both the alliance game mechanism and the current sovereignty system are modified so that corporations become the sovereignty unit in 0.0, large fleet battles will become more difficult to engineer. However, players will find different ways to collaborate and to replicate alliance functionalities. For example, they can establish huge standings list like the one Curatores Veritatis Alliance manages, or they can reuse the high-sec Red vs Blue concept of warring corporations, which ties players not to common territory but to common enemies. Mega-corporations would certainly see a surge, with massive influx of players into a few corporations, thus decreasing the biodiversity of 0.0. Reducing the role of alliances does not sound to me like the easy fix to commuting warfare. Modifying the sovereignty system itself (the way a system is conquered and exploited) might do the trick if, somehow, it becomes overkill or counter-productive to bring a blob to a battle.

Check other Eve Blog Banter articles on the same topic.
  1. CrazyKinux's Musing: EVE Blog Banter #25: And by Alliance you mean.....?
  2. BB25 What sov changes will come? | A Mule In EvE
  3. Confessions of a Closet Carebear: Alliances and Sovereignty
  4. Blog Banter 25: Nerfing Nulsec « OMG! You're a Chick?!
  5. Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? | Nitpickin's
  6. Blog Banter #25: Alliance and Sovereignty Limiting PvP in 0.0? | Sarnel Binora's Blog
  7. Blog Banter #25 - Mad Haberdashers
  8. Alliances and sovereignty | Eve Online Focus
  9. ...Shall we not Revenge?: BB 25: What if the Alliance vanished?
  10. Blog Banter: Alliances and Sov
  11. EVEOGANDA: BB25: Sov 'n Go!
  12. » TBG:EBB#25 – Alliances and Sovereignty To Boldly Go
  13. Freebooted: BB25: Leviathans of the Deep
  14. Wrong Game Tetra ~ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
  15. EVE Blog Banter #25 – Human nature what art thou? | Way of the Gun
  16. Who cares about Sov? - Hands Off, My Loots! ~ well sorta like an entry! :p
  17. The 25th EVE Blog Banter: Alliances and sovereignty - The Phoenix Diaries
  18. Wandering the Void…my EvE musings. – Blog Banter: Alliances and sovereignty
  19. (OOC) CK’s Blog Banter #25: How To Break EvE. « Prano's Journey
  20. Captain Serenity: Blog Banter #25 - Crappy mechanics
  21. Helicity Boson » Blog Banter #25 Nullsec and sov.
  22. BB #25 – “With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?”
  23. Boom! Hull-Shot?: It's the End of the Eve as We Know It
  24. sered's lives: EVE Blog Banter #25 - Size does matter
  25. 25th EVE BB – Medieval Solutions to Spaceship Problems | Inventions of a New Eden Industrialist
  26. Eve Blog Banter #25: “Have Alliances and Sov Limited PvP and RP in 0.0?” « Align Outbound
  27. Banter 25: Sovereignty, Alliances and Power Blocs | TheElitist
  28. Blog Banter 25 – But I just left all that! « A Scientist's Life in Eve
  29. Nobody likes losing « One capsuleer against all
  30. >>>Vigil Ant: Alliances and SOV by Munny's eyes.
  31. Latro's Bunker: Blog Banter 25 -Nullsec and Sov
  32. A "CareBears" Journey » Blog Banner #25: Alliances and Sovereignty, and their affect on PVP and RP
  33. Blog Banter #25 – Unstoppable « Roc's Ramblings
  34. Nobody likes losing « One capsuleer against all
  35. EVE Blog Banter on PVP in Null Sec « Evehermit's Blog
  36. Sleepless in Space: Blog Banter #25: Moar Low Sec!
  37. More to come...

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