Monday, July 20, 2015

Population Density

Back when I attended university I learned that one of the biggest obstacles to mass transit in the United States was population density. Unlike Europe, the U.S. just doesn't have the population density in most of the country to make mass transit profitable, or even just break even. In EVE Online, I believe that residents of some sovereignty-holding alliances are about to learn that population density is not just a problem for urban planners in the United States.

CCP designed the new sovereignty mechanics (a.k.a. FozzieSov) to encourage alliances to live in the space they claim. And by live, I mean ratting and mining in order to increase the defensive modifiers, not just flying through looking for interlopers. Two weeks ago, CCP Fozzie summarized all of the changes to PvE designed to make null sec more livable, including changes designed to allow for an increase in the population density of systems. The more pilots flying in space, the easier an alliance can flash form a defense fleet to drive off nuisance raids. Also, the easier an alliance can raise the defense indexes.

Most systems owned, 19 July 2015
The above graphic from Dotlan shows that most of the large alliances chose not to consolidate their holdings before the implementation of the new sovereignty system. Except for the two Imperium coalition alliances Goonswarm Federation (135.9 pilots/system) and Fidelas Constans (61.8 pilots/system), the rest of the top sov holders have a population density of under 20 pilots/system. In fact, Red Alliance (9.0 pilots/system) and the renter alliance Shadow of xXDEATHXx (8.7 pilots/system) both have a population density of under 10.

Is the population density of the Russian alliances on the list enough? The Goons evidently don't think so, as they announced a new rental program this weekend. The largest alliance with the highest population density is attempting to increase its population density and PvE activity even further. In the meantime, the two largest sovereignty holders are still rental alliances. Are the Russians not concerned because they struck a deal not to attack each other's renters?

Despite the spin coming from certain quarters, I don't think anyone really knows how the next six months will play out. The Imperium, especially Goonswarm Federation, is well positioned, however. If their leadership is correct, then a lot of space will changes hands over the next few months as the Russians pay for overextending themselves. And if The Mittani and crew are wrong? Well, then they will sweep out of the galactic north-west and cause havoc. I hear they miss Delve and want to go back anyway.


  1. Minor comment - the majority of our population and thus activity is in Deklein, which is why that region's average ADM is so high. Pure Blind is a bit neglected though, and that's what the rental program is aimed at.

  2. Depends, a lot. For awhile there were lots of articles written about Serenity, and my take away was always how much of Eve isn't game mechanics, but culture.

  3. I doubt we'll see much large-scale conflict, and we should see further contraction of held-space by the alliances who are stretched a bit thin. The FozzieSov changes specifically reward alliances which hold & develop less space, over alliances which try to hold more undeveloped space. The somewhat OP buffs to PVE will also encourage more hours spent in carebear activity in null, and thus less hours spent in PVP.

    As for rentals? As the contractions continue, there won't be any advantage to pay someone else if you want some null space of your own. Under FozzieSov, it is much more difficult for the renter alliances to project power, and thus protect areas which they are not actively developing for themselves. And, the new invulerability timers make it easier for a small alliance to defend their space - by setting the timers to timezones with lower player activity.

    All in all, I think null sec will get much quieter and, consequently, more boring....

  4. So the CFC expects 20 thousand players in Pure Blind and Deklein. What kind of total are they and CCP expecting for the Null-sec universe as a whole?

    Seems to me that CCP has increased the rewards for the people already there, and not for the people who could want to go there.

    Rob K.