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Monday, May 14, 2012

Inferno really isn't but it could be.

To be sure, there are lots of interesting changes coming with Inferno. I'll spare you the details. If you'd like a list, here is the site:

To be honest, I'm not certain the expansion is living up to its name. Google gives this definition for inferno.


  1. A large fire that is dangerously out of control.
  2. Hell (with reference to Dante's Divine Comedy).
Synonyms:underworld - pandemonium - abyss

Nothing in the so far announced features strikes me as "dangerously out of control" or "hell." So, of course, that got me thinking. What would be dangerously out of control and hellish? (Warning, I am about to make a very uncharacteristically non-carebear sort of proposal. Brace yourself!)

Certainly nothing players can do could possibly be out of control or hellish. We are confined by the parameters of the program. Burn Jita was not hellish. Hulkageddon is not hellish. There are far too few capusleers affected by either to properly fit into that definition. The game parameters have to change and only CCP can do that.

So I had to think about what I would consider hellish. Here's a list, in popping-into-my-brain order:
  • Market Collapse
  • Total lack of safety
  • An ability to fight back by myself
  • Loss of assets en masse
  • Loss of "home" be that station or high-sec POS
  • No way to escape
And at that point the idea hit me. We all know the Caldari and Gallente don't like each other much. We all know the Amarr and Minmatar share a similar dislike for each other. We all know Concord was created to help keep the peace.

What if Concord failed? What if the Caldari launch an assault to retake their original home world? What if the Amarr try to convert the Minmatar forcibly? What if the great empires of New Eden, the ones we carebears take so much for granted, started to war again?

Fleets of Caldari ships would cyno into Gallente systems, conquering space stations and destroying all non-Caldari forces. All Gallente everywhere would immediately become negative ten standing to the State - a move the Gallente would quickly reciprocate. A Gallente anywhere in Caldari space on that day would learn the meaning of hell I think. Flying a Drake in Gallente space would become an act of treason. This would affect huge numbers of players. The NPC production of T1 ships for both races could be diverted to the war effort. The same would happen with T1 BPOs. They would essentially disappear from the market for the duration. Trade routes would be interdicted. "Cavalry" raids could extend for many systems beyond the "front lines." It would really, really hurt.

So how does this happen from a game mechanic point of view? Well, sort of like Incursions but longer. In the case of a Caldari attempt to retake their original home world, I'd say it should last weeks and directly affect at least Luminaire, Mies, Oursulaert, Algogille, Couster and Synchelle (2 jumps.) Raids could extend much further into Essence. There might not be detrimental effects like Sansha produce, but Caldari fleets could hot-drop anywhere in those systems at any time. Belt rats would become Caldari patrols and they'd be professional and Sleeper tough. Special sites would replace regular sites - all professional-Caldari tough. Stations could switch sides as corporations tried to pick the victor. If a station flips, you loose access to your assets until the war is over. Agents could bug out. Life would become, well, hell.

This would be manna to Factional Warfare. No longer would faction warfare be limited to specific systems. I would go so far as to say the fates of the invaded systems should depend completely on the response of the militias. The empire fleets would be equally matched. Concord would side with the defending race to even out the odds. Only capsuleers could swing the balance one way or another. Apply the new FW sovereignty mechanics to those six systems. Give out copious LPs for victories. If the Caldari keep sovereignty for six (?) weeks, the Gallente sue for peace and the Caldari expand their empire. If the Gallente retake all six systems and keep them for just a day, the invasion fails and life returns to normal for awhile.

These are just suggestions. I'm certain many of you have better ideas. It's too late to get this into Inferno but every blockbuster gets a sequel. How can Inferno 2 live up to it's name?

Fly careful.


  1. Something like this happened in the book "The Empyrean Age."

  2. But all that "The Empyrean Age" led to in-game was Faction Wars, which ultimately has been fighting over some sort of victory points in lowsec that makes no difference to folks not involved in FW. The Inferno changes will make system sovreignty a little bit more meaningful, as FW participants won't be able to dock in systems controlled by their faction enemy. But, still, people not involved in FW can more or less completely ignore it.

    Mabrick: let me propose another way that would make EVE into Inferno in the Dante sense. It wouldn't be as immediate as what you propose, but it's more likely something CCP would do as it would only enhance the sandbox. Provide a mechanic for player alliances to take sov over from empire systems. That would allow them to turn lowsec into nullsec and eventually highsec into nullsec. If it were possible for player alliances to attack highsec systems and set themselves up as the lords of it, you'd better believe that the Goons would get to work on that-- and they'd use their OTEC (and other) connections to make sure that they weren't bothered too much while they were doing it. Over time, all of EVE would be converted to nullsec... which would be hell for many players.

    1. EVE Online would become Goonswarm Online.

  3. Another thought: allow player alliances to take sov over from empire systems, but ALSO provide the option for those player alliances to opt into the CONCORD pact. That would make for a more dynamic EVE. There would still be highsec-- those systems that opted into a CONCORD pact. But what was highsec, lowsec, and nullsec would slowly change over time.

    It would be interesting to see which alliances would opt for CONCORD protection. There are some out there (e.g. the NRDS coalition) that we can be pretty sure would, but they tend to be a lot smaller than the power-hungry nullsec monsters. However, it might also provide a motivating force for the carebears of the world to unite, and perhaps to start thinking about to whom they were willing to sell. (Then again, everybody would just make an alt to buy whatever they needed.)

  4. I really like the idea of the empires at war. That said I don't think outlawing ships is a good idea, rather players should have to choose sides and go from there, and while I would think that it would make sense for there to be a neutrality option, I'm not sure what the conditions would be so it doesn't become just a way to dodge conflict. Maybe high standing with all empires and an increased tax rate? would that even be effective?

  5. Love this idea, but I have a feeling it would create incredible amounts of rage...

  6. I originally had this idea:

    I think that could be expanded easily into what you're talking about, especially if one faction manages to disable Concord. I think players having more influence is always a good thing, but I don't know how far I would take it. Since we're dreaming anyway, I'm gonna agree with all the comments thus far.

    Inferno could be awesome and dangerous. I think for factional warfare it will be.

  7. I'm glad you linked this post, and +1 it x50. FW is a joke as it is, and it's not about LP or VP or the "sov upgrades" thing -- it's the simple fact that outside of the set "battleground" systems, FW doesn't really mean shit. FW players can't even take "non-FW lowsec" systems, and have absolutely NO effect whatsoever on hisec, excepting crashing the markets for LP store items when the coordinated "tier-5 push" takes place almost like clockwork.
    Really as far as I'm concerned, FW doesn't really bring anything to the table except the potential for lots of ISK (already abused by everybody and their brother to a laughable degree), and still of course has the "free wardec" that's devoid of the "super-uber-l33tness" of null warfare...

    Really, my #1 issue, at the very heart of the matter with the game? It's TOO obviously a "game". There's ZERO sense of immersion, the game universe is obviously hackneyed and cobbled together, and what lore there is is written to cover for the arbitrary mechanics, instead of the mechanics being used to express the lore and story of the game.
    In short, EVE is ass-backwards -- a shining skyscraper built with NO foundation, which's why CCP often finds itself in the "Emperor's New Clothes" scenario.


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