Jade - Is there a point to low sec? Should it be abolished? I mean, is there really a point to it? Is it broken or just kind of a wasteland for dirty stinky pirates and the faction warfare guys to play around in? Just an open question for everybody...My first thought when hearing the question was "is getting rid of low sec even an idea running around?" But then I listened to the answers and heard a lot of what makes low sec attractive to me, although the lack of bots compared to both high and null sec also helps.
Trebor - I don’t know why do have such a big problem with a perfectly good wasteland.
Alekseyev - I think there’s definitely a point to low sec. It’s a good incubation area for groups to go in there. It doesn’t provide the safety of high sec but you can’t be bubble-camped into a station 24/7 by say a Goonswarm. There’s that middle ground where you want to develop your alliance a little but you want to start taking resources. You want to get more into a more constant PvP zone without having to constantly find new people to wardec. You just go out to low sec; there’s faction warfare, there’s pirates, there’s developing low sec alliances that are going in for the moons and stuff. And I think that at this point it’s really getting more people into that ecosystem and giving things, I think, to do out there so pirates have people to hunt and faction warfare people have people to protect.
Two Step - The other thing that I personally think about low sec is that I don’t know if low sec is the right place for it but I think Eve does kind of lack a place for people who are a little bit worried about PvP to start kind of getting eased into it. And low sec can kind of work as that except that in some ways it’s more dangerous than high sec. So I don’t know if the right thing to do is to take the existing low sec which some people like and want to stay mostly the same and change it. But it would be really good if there was a place that was a little bit safer or that at least offered the appearance of a little more safety for people who are kind of hesitant to get into the PvP aspect of Eve.
Hans - There’s a slipperiness to the rules of low sec that make it unique from either high sec or zero-zero and like Greg [Alek] said in zero-zero you have bubbles. You’ve got bombs. You’ve got Titan doomsdays. You’ve got all kinds of really forceful measures that don’t make the sort of PvP as liquid as you find in low sec in the terms of the way people can peel off, reform and regroup and maneuver around each other. And its a lot of two large fleets clashing and one getting wiped out. And I think that form of PvP and the ability to just roam and be free and not have to live under sovereignty -- unless those of us in faction warfare we’ve chosen to live under a sovereignty system now. We take on certain restrictions on where we can dock and what services we can use, but that’s at least a decision we make. And in high sec you’ve got things like CONCORD that really shackle up people from engaging in free-form PvP. So I think low sec is always going to have that unique place in between that doesn’t offer the restrictions that the spaces on either side of it have. And there is always going to be a certain type of player that is going to thrive there.
I think what it is missing is some sort of thematic soul. I think it is sort of the natural resting place for the underworld of the Eve universe and yet there is so little of that type of gameplay that’s fostered there. Things like drug manufacturing and drug trade and black markets, things like slavery even. I can see that being explored in a game mechanic. There’s all kinds of things you can do in this wasteland that I think aren’t done because there isn’t [sic] a lack of unique thematic identity to low sec. I think that is something that may emerge in the coming year; certainly with the new approach that CCP Seagull is taking that there is certainly a huge possibility there.
First, Trebor's off-hand statement of "what's wrong with a wasteland?" My thought is why shouldn't CCP have an area that isn't all that popular? For many, low sec is like walking through a graveyard late at night hoping a zombie doesn't reach up out of the ground and grab your leg. Scary! If New Eden is going to have a home for Mad Max, why not low sec?
Next is both Alek's and Two Step's thoughts on the need for a transition zone are good, although I don't think that low sec needs the danger lessened. I also like that Eve has four distinct areas that have different flavors of combat. For a game that advertises itself as a sandbox, the idea of taking away a play style goes counter to the appeal of the game.
Hans' views on giving low sec a theme is good as long as the theme doesn't try to overturn what the players living there have established. Low sec is known as a lawless place so why shouldn't CCP build on that theme? I'm not exactly sure what CCP should do, but I'm sure many others will come up with ideas.
With the CSM 8 campaign season due to kick off in a few weeks one question I'm looking forward to hearing is what the candidates think about low sec. I didn't really have the issue on my mind before but if a podcaster thinks the question of whether low sec should continue to exist is a valid one to ask to the current CSM then perhaps I shouldn't overlook the question either.
(1) - The segment ran from 33:48 to 37:58 on the copy of the podcast I downloaded. The transcript is not a verbatim transcript as I did edit out some fragments when a speaker doubled back and started over.