Marc Scaurus has begun a quest to get as many CSM 7 candidates as possible to answer a survey he sent out that focuses on answering questions about lowsec. I took some time yesterday to respond and here are my answers. As always, if there's something specific you want me to address, head over to my big Q&A Thread on the official forums:
What single part of the game do you feel requires the most work in terms of iteration by CCP?
I want to see the null-sec sov system finished. I spent the better part of my last year at CCP working to have Dominion start to break the mold and open the doors by providing more conflict divers and eliminating much of the grind-y bullshit. Obviously ~management~ deemed us game designers crazy and systematically road-blocked and nuked Dominion down to exactly what it was not intended to be, and there it has sat for two long years.
The term ‘bitter vet’ is tossed around a lot, but imagine it from the side of someone that actually worked on it and then saw months of effort wrecked in a matter of weeks due to mismanagement, misunderstanding and just plain short-sightedness. This was the same idiocy that gave us invulnerable starbases in Sov 4 and AoE Doomsday Titan weapons.
It is a cause of near daily frustration and I never waste an opportunity to preach about it to the other CSM members or the player base at large. It’s a big part of what drove me to run for CSM 6 and has me running for CSM 7. FINALLY CCP is working toward un-fucking all of this and I want to make damn sure I’m in a position to help keep them focused.
Do you feel that lowsec is ‘broken’? If not, explain why. If so, explain what you want to see done to fix it.
Lowsec is only ‘broken’ in that it has a lot of untapped potential. I think that a big part of the problem is how little interaction is possible with the NPC factions in EVE and that leads directly to boredom and stagnation. If it were possible to become directly involved with a lowsec faction’s politics or desires (this obviously ties into FW a bit), I think it would open a lot of doors. I dislike how completely DEVOID of actual game play the NPC elements of EVE are. I know some people prefer them to remain in the background and just ignore all the capsuleers buzzing about their space, but I think that’s silly.
I would like to see improved interaction with all NPC entities. If such a feature can be pushed for as part of a null-sec or lowsec overhaul, that’s the angle we should be pushing for. I don’t like how things are now where you have no options for real interaction at all. I haven’t liked them since 2005 when, during a Mordu’s Legion event, some dipshit Mordus Admiral smacktalked me in local. I still want to burn his station to the ground and take his stuff.Do you have any plans to push CCP, if elected, to iterate on lowsec in general?
Absolutely. I think this is a no-brainer and a win-win opportunity to develop game mechanics that could be of benefit to all styles of players.In your opinion, where should lowsec rank in terms of priority for iteration by CCP?
Lowsec should be right under null-sec, but only because null-sec is considered by many to be ‘broken’ whereas lowsec is just undeveloped. I believe, however, than any major iteration of either system will affect the other in some way so it’s doubtful that we will see JUST a null-sec iteration that has no effect on lowsec and vice versa.Lowsec is home to around 8% of the playerbase. What, in your opinion, are the main factors that make it more attractive to its current residents than other areas of space?
No dictor bubbles, less of a chance to get blapped by 800 Maelstroms or 100 supercaps, etc… You don’t have to deal with full scale sov mechanics and ‘piracy’ is actually something you can still do semi-successfully. Lowsec also allows you to play out the ‘lone wolf in a sandbox’ metaphor if you so desire, whereas null-sec pretty much requires that you be blue with SOMEONE.What are your thoughts regarding Faction Warfare, particularly the idea that FW is the key to revitalizing lowsec?
Any proper iteration on FW is going to require a fundamental re-work of how players interact with NPC factions. This is one of the reasons I am banging on this particular drum so hard – it’s not all about NPC stations in 0.0, it’s also something that could heavily affect and improve how FW works. I want to see FW become a fully supported and much more dynamic feature.Would you support using Faction Warfare as a test bed for future Nullsec Sovereignty Mechanics?
I think that FW and null-sec sov could, and probably should, have some commonalities with regard to capture mechanics but I don’t really see any ‘testing’ going on in a practical way. The ‘test bed’ metaphor is being overused IMO and has turned into one of those ZOMG SCARY WORD type of things. It implies that CCP is going to use FW as some sort of lab rat and I don’t see it happening like that. The systems will likely evolve in parallel anyway simply to make the most efficient use of CCP’s resources.What is your thinking regarding piracy in lowsec – is it good, bad, or ugly? Would you like to preserve it in the face of upcoming tweaks and possible expansion to Faction Warfare, or would you like to see lowsec go in a different direction?
I’d love to see piracy expanded and supported fully. It should become something more than just the random killing of people that jump through gates or ‘ransom & release’. I would like to see corps like VETO able to fulfill their wildest dreams. Empires and NPC factions at war (declared or otherwise) should be handing out the equivalent of ‘Letters of Marque’ and rewarding pilots for their service. There are dozens of ways like this that you could promote exciting game play if the incentives existed.What are your thoughts on the notion that increased protection for PVE players in lowsec will result in a better lowsec?
Mother of God, no! When you make that jump and you get the little pop up that says, “Hey, it’s dangerous here!” then you’ve been properly ‘protected’. Everything beyond that is at your own risk.What are your thoughts regarding the introduction of a PVE activity or item (minerals, manufacturing certain items, etc) that would be lowsec-exclusive?
Fine by me. Finite puddles of moon goo, ultra dense minerals to mine, random sightings of the Dread Pirate Robert!! The reward should match the risk.What is your opinion on the Jack Dant proposal (link below) and the general belief in some sectors that improvements to lowsec should focus on entry-level, casual PVP?
Jack Dant LINKAGEIf elected to CSM7 and subsequently informed by CCP that lowsec was the ‘hot topic’ for iteration in the coming year, what input and advice would you have for them?
I love the basic concepts. I’ve been in contact with Jack and already forwarded this to the CCP dudes whose current work this might be relevant and pointed them at Jack’s thread. I also linked it up on the CSM forums and pointed the others at it as well. Thus far it’s gotten a pretty positive response. This is one of those ~ideas~ that makes a fire that’s already burning even hotter. I can’t really say much more than it’s been properly passed on and will not be stillborn on the forums. Hopefully some good will come of it.
Lowsec should be dangerous, but it should be fun. It should offer opportunities for new players to get their feet wet or null sec veterans to take a break from blob wars. There should be opportunities available that if you never want to go back to high-sec or move to null-sec, you don’t have to feel like you are compromising your game play in any way. Most of all it should be UNIQUE and not just a stepping stone to another type of game play.What lengths are you willing to go to in order to make pirates flashy red on overview by default again?
I will talk to my best bro CCP Punkturis and type in ALL CAPS to try to get this done. I am pretty sure that she will agree all evil people have a right to flash red!!