Come November, New Eden will be potentially thrown into chaos. I suspect this because the upcoming sovereignty changes will drastically overhaul how territory is held in EVE Online and will make 0.0 much more accessible to the myriad lowsec corporations and alliances with designs on greatness.
I, for one, welcome the change, assuming CCP don’t fuck it up and break everything. While it will not eliminate the phenomenon of New Eden’s power blocs holding vast swathes of space:
it will do something to counteract the tendency for 0.0 to be occupied solely by established alliances and lower the barriers to entry somewhat.
See, for instance, the amount of space Atlas or AAA hold. Atlas hold about 3 odd regions. AAA – about the same. The amount space each alliance has compared to the number of members in that alliance is huge. If you travel to 0.0, you will notice that most of 0.0 space is utterly empty with activity concentrated in a few select systems which either have good truesec or a good number of belts/ice that can be mined for profit, fuel or minerals for production and the like.
The lack of people in space is one of the things that CCP is attempting to correct with their upcoming Dominion patch. The idea of having per-system “sov beacons” and the benefits of having extended periods of sovereignty threatened by gangs of people living in your space appeals to me greatly. It does so mainly because of my small-gang FC roots. In my time in GS as a fleet commander, I never enjoyed running POS shooting ops and large-scale fleet battles as they were slideshow lag-fests. Small-gang combat was much more fun.
The change will hopefully encourage people from alliances in lowsec who have their eyes on 0.0 holdings to run smaller gangs into hostile space and soften it up for invasion. I’ve always believed that 0.0 needs to be made more profitable AND more accessible to the average player, and this is a good step in the right direction by CCP. The next logical step would be to remove some of the mystery and fear that surrounds 0.0. A lot of players will shy away from a number that is below 0.5 because they believe the spiel that 0.0 is a lawless (well, it is, but still) space where you will die as soon as you enter. This is entirely untrue – as was said earlier, 0.0 is mainly empty!
It will also bring an era of fun and happiness to goonswarm as roaming *~wulfpax~ *will come to our space, kill our ratters and give our homeland defence squad something to do other than idly fondle their distended scrotums while contemplating having a shower. It will also enable us to have Blackops, our covert enemy harassment squad, to sit in enemy systems and make life horrible for them.
On the other hand, CCP look like they’re going to break moon mineral prices by overhauling the t2 production requirements, which is likely to send high-end moon mineral prices crashing. This part of the change I’m more sceptical about as CCP have a history of acting upon badly-considered decisions using massively biased data gathered from Empire-based reporters whose idea of 0.0 is a brief venture into Great Wildlands. See more here and here