With the approach of FozzieSov, alliances who wish to hold their own space are facing a great challenge, that of the abandonment of a mindset twelve years in the making.
I have written of this before, and it is interesting to see how things are unfolding as the big change approaches, albeit with some delays. CCP have really switched up the heat on alliances by adding the size of the vulnerability window to the list of things influenced by system indices. The window starts at a base time of eighteen hours, something no alliance in their right mind would want for any of their systems. It can be reduced significantly by having indices at a low-level, but requires a total of 12 indices points (e.g. Military 5, Industry 2, Strategic 5) to reduce that window to three hours.
The problem lies in the way space used to be held; conquer it, it’s yours. Unless someone else wants to grind a ludicrous amount of HP to take it off you. This has seen alliances holding vast swathes of empty space, without ever having to be concerned about their members actually using them.
It was very amusing to us, when we moved to our new alliance, to be told a certain system was “Busy” with 8 people in local, six of whom were docked. In a renter corp, that would be a dead system. Busy is 40 people in local, the system buzzing with all sorts of activity. Now, sovereignty holding alliances face a monumental task; installing upgrades. The easiest way to maintain a small vulnerability window is to have military upgraded to 5. Along with the strategic at 5, this yields a 4 hour window; very cosy.
However, to install the upgrades requires that the military level of each system be taken to 5 first, and held there until the next downtime. Any alliance with eyes bigger than their stomach is going to be in trouble. Ratting is required, not just in systems with good true-sec, but in ones with lousy true-sec, too. This requires ratters to take a significant pay-cut to grind those systems up, along with the alliance supplying the upgrades as they are required.
All of a sudden, bums in fleets won’t cut it. Pushing F1 won’t cut it. Competent FC’s are useless. So are people who don’t rat optimally. What is needed is a sense of belonging, a feeling of unity, and a spirit of self-sacrifice. To extract that from line members requires genuine leadership, something many alliance directors and CEOs struggle to comprehend, let alone execute.
Members will need to feel they are accomplishing something important, rather than being derided as a Care-bear, or worse.
What is even more interesting is that while industrial members within an alliance are suddenly to take a significant role in the holding of space, PVP has not been given the chop, either. In fact, PVP players are facing a paradigm shift, from large fleet actions to small gang warfare.
There is another facet to the PVP side of things, though. One has to remember, while the ways to hold sovereignty are changing, the ways to attack sovereignty are changing more. First step in the taking of any system will be the reduction of indices. Unless, of course, the attackers wish to have a significantly harder time in taking a system.
So, how to reduce indices? Well, cloaky camping will become a useful tool, won’t it? Small gangs constantly trafficking a region will be harmful, too. Hot drops will make a significant dent in the morale of the holders of a system, and alliances will need to have ratters willing to face these dangers and get the index up.
Omni-tanking, fitting tackle, having home defense fleets on stand-by, counter dropping, counter camping BLOPs droppers with Arazus, gate camping entry systems, and ratting outside of enemy time zones will all play a part.
Overriding that, however, is the desire of the line member to endure it all. Simply recruiting ex-renter corps will in no way suffice to compensate for the coming changes.
Those who wish to live in sovereignty null-sec after FozzieSov hits will ALL need to change, every last one of them. It is obvious to me that many have not comprehended this. There is reluctance in the ranks to understand that, after the changes, their way of playing is gone.
It’s as simple as that.