A society of humans is a cumbersome thing. We could liken it to steering a ship. Imagine this for minute:
The inexperienced helmsman turns the wheel of the lumbering bulk carrier. Nothing happens. The ships heading doesn’t change an inch. He frowns, and turns the wheel some more. Still nothing. He turns it yet more, and the ship starts to turn. Good, he thinks to himself, I don’t know what was wrong, but it’s working now. The ship continues to turn, and he soon notices its rate of turn is increasing. Very soon it is past its intended heading and still turning.
Oh crap, he thinks to himself, and spins the wheel the other way. The ship continues to turn in what is now the wrong direction. He spins the wheel harder, and the initial turn slows and then stops. Eventually it swings the other way, but the helmsman doesn’t understand the delay between spinning the wheel and the ship actually turning.
This process continues, with the ship weaving its way up the channel like Auntie Mabel after too much sherry on Christmas eve.
So it is with FozzieSov. CCP turned the wheel, introducing us to the concept of FozzieSov months ahead of deployment. Some initiated changes back then, but many did not. The recalcitrant bitter-vets dug their heels in and pouted. “Shan’t!” they cried, faces red, bottom lip stuck out and arms folded.
FozzieSov was deployed, and in many parts of Eve, the ship still wasn’t turning. Vast swathes of prime real estate lay open for the taking. The tears flowed to flood levels on the forums. Hell, they’re still flowing. No one, it seems, is happy.
The fact is, that isn’t true. In our corp, there are no tears. We have lost no members due to FozzieSov. In fact, we are quite happy. The fact of the matter is, for a corp like 30Plus, FozzieSov is damn near perfect.
We have a large membership, consisting of many long-term Eve players. Some are PVP players who wouldn’t rat at gunpoint. Some are ratters who wouldn’t PVP at gunpoint. By far the majority are neither of those things. In fact, most are like me, they do both.
We are your typical old men. We like to keep the garden tidy, and the hostiles off our petunias. We don’t give people good fights. It’s home defense, so we blob gates, use bait ships, Falcons and tons of webs and neuts.
Needless to say, we don’t get too many strangers round these here parts. However, FozzieSov has a sting in the tail. The old days of just docking up are over. Anyone who wants to force a fight just has to put a 130 million ISK module on a ship, and not warp away from the structure for quite a while, and force us to fight. But, therein lies the problem. So far, nobody has wanted to do that.
Let’s not get too excited, though. It’s early days, and the parts of null-sec closer to low-sec are simmering along nicely. It would be delusional to think we won’t be tried in the near future.
Back to the ship illustration, though. Many are complaining about the parts of the changes that affect them, without considering the sheer size of what CCP is trying to do. To steer something as big and cumbersome as an entire society of people takes an immense amount of patience. These changes are part of a much bigger course change, but CCP know a thing or two about steering ships.
They turned the wheel a bit when they nerfed the jump range of jump-drive capable ships. Then, they waited. Slowly but surely, the game changed. The big organizations changed. Some disappeared, some dropped sovereignty, but all of them at least contracted their holdings. Then CCP turned the wheel some more, by introducing the FozzieSov mechanics. The big organizations once more made changes.
Again, CCP will wait and let the changes shake the structure of things down.
So, what are we seeing? Well, there’s a noticeable lack of deployments, for one. I personally think the days of deployments may well be done. For an alliance to hold space, they must be in it, all of them. If they deploy, and expect the remaining few to keep their space, they may well have no place to come home to.
The really good thing about the new sovereignty mechanics is the ability it gives roaming gangs to force fights. But, there must be a balance. CCP has addressed the issue of every system being able to support enough people to defend it, along with the vulnerability window being tied to indices. This establishes some balance, but there may need to be fine tuning done.
I think those determined to hassle the big organizations will adapt, and we will see the return of cloaky camping, something that virtually disappeared with the rocketing price of PLEXes. The owners of the systems will then change their ways, too. Counter dropping by using their home ground advantage provides fun for more people. A very nice bait Ishtar has been developed, which is guaranteed to reap a nice harvest of tears from any Stratios pilot foolish enough to attack it.
So you see, the course of the game is changing, be it ever so slowly. CCP would be foolish to just heave on the wheel and see what happens.
I see the cumbersome beast slowly turning. Let’s hope CCP keep a steady hand on that wheel.