To be sure, there are lots of interesting changes coming with Inferno. I’ll spare you the details. If you’d like a list, here is the site: http://www.eveonline.com/inferno.
To be honest, I’m not certain the expansion is living up to its name. Google gives this definition for inferno.
- A large fire that is dangerously out of control.
- Hell (with reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy).
||underworld – pandemonium – abyss
Nothing in the so far announced features strikes me as “dangerously out of control” or “hell.” So, of course, that got me thinking. What would be dangerously out of control and hellish? (Warning, I am about to make a very uncharacteristically non-carebear sort of proposal. Brace yourself!)
Certainly nothing players can do could possibly be out of control or hellish. We are confined by the parameters of the program. Burn Jita was not hellish. Hulkageddon is not hellish. There are far too few capusleers affected by either to properly fit into that definition. The game parameters have to change and only CCP can do that.
So I had to think about what I would consider hellish. Here’s a list, in popping-into-my-brain order:
- Market Collapse
- Total lack of safety
- An ability to fight back by myself
- Loss of assets en masse
- Loss of “home” be that station or high-sec POS
- No way to escape
And at that point the idea hit me. We all know the Caldari and Gallente don’t like each other much. We all know the Amarr and Minmatar share a similar dislike for each other. We all know Concord was created to help keep the peace.
What if Concord failed? What if the Caldari launch an assault to retake their original home world? What if the Amarr try to convert the Minmatar forcibly? What if the great empires of New Eden, the ones we carebears take so much for granted, started to war again?
Fleets of Caldari ships would cyno into Gallente systems, conquering space stations and destroying all non-Caldari forces. All Gallente everywhere would immediately become negative ten standing to the State – a move the Gallente would quickly reciprocate. A Gallente anywhere in Caldari space on that day would learn the meaning of hell I think. Flying a Drake in Gallente space would become an act of treason. This would affect huge numbers of players. The NPC production of T1 ships for both races could be diverted to the war effort. The same would happen with T1 BPOs. They would essentially disappear from the market for the duration. Trade routes would be interdicted. “Cavalry” raids could extend for many systems beyond the “front lines.” It would really, really hurt.
So how does this happen from a game mechanic point of view? Well, sort of like Incursions but longer. In the case of a Caldari attempt to retake their original home world, I’d say it should last weeks and directly affect at least Luminaire, Mies, Oursulaert, Algogille, Couster and Synchelle (2 jumps.) Raids could extend much further into Essence. There might not be detrimental effects like Sansha produce, but Caldari fleets could hot-drop anywhere in those systems at any time. Belt rats would become Caldari patrols and they’d be professional and Sleeper tough. Special sites would replace regular sites – all professional-Caldari tough. Stations could switch sides as corporations tried to pick the victor. If a station flips, you loose access to your assets until the war is over. Agents could bug out. Life would become, well, hell.
This would be manna to Factional Warfare. No longer would faction warfare be limited to specific systems. I would go so far as to say the fates of the invaded systems should depend completely on the response of the militias. The empire fleets would be equally matched. Concord would side with the defending race to even out the odds. Only capsuleers could swing the balance one way or another. Apply the new FW sovereignty mechanics to those six systems. Give out copious LPs for victories. If the Caldari keep sovereignty for six (?) weeks, the Gallente sue for peace and the Caldari expand their empire. If the Gallente retake all six systems and keep them for just a day, the invasion fails and life returns to normal for awhile.
These are just suggestions. I’m certain many of you have better ideas. It’s too late to get this into Inferno but every blockbuster gets a sequel. How can Inferno 2 live up to it’s name?