EVE Online – Dominion’s Sovereignty changes
In the latest Dev Blog from CCP, we find a lot of information about upcoming changes for the Sovereignty System in EVE Online, which will be updated with the new expansion, Dominion.
Of the many changes being introduced in Dominion, there was none more thoroughly subjected to scrutiny than how ownership of star systems will change hands.
While the basic mechanics have remained the same, the actual flow of how conquest works has been under constant revision for weeks. This speaks highly of the solid work done on the Infrastructure system and how it will allow us to continue improving this aspect of the game in future releases.
To arrive at this point we have walked the design past all of our designers and discussed the various aspects at great length. Most importantly, we delayed finalizing this part of the design because we wanted to maximize our interactions with the EVE community. By reading your forum feedback, speaking with the CSM and listening to you at FanFest, it is reasonable to say that this feature of Dominion has had more influence from the players than any other we’ve done.
As I said earlier, there have been numerous iterations on this process. The whole idea is for the null-sec battlefield to be much more dynamic and force both attackers and defenders to make choices. To summarize the design at its most basic level, here are the primary goals we set out to achieve:
- To tie sovereignty to an alliance’s infrastructure.
- To create a combat environment where the defender has more tools than just “sitting and waiting”. At every step of the conflict, the defending force will be able to go on the offensive by taking out the attacker’s structures.
- Ensure that while the process of taking structures is segmented, it does not allow for the steamrolling of star systems (a Russian alliance wakes up to find that Americans have taken it while they slept.)
- To give players multiple goals, so an aggressor can attack for territorial reasons or simply be malicious and disrupt infrastructure.
We have removed starbases from their previous role of being sovereignty structures. The old game of spamming towers and waiting seven days for them to negate another alliance’s territorial claim are gone. In Dominion if you want to take someone else’s land, you are going to have to fight tooth and nail for it.
Before we look at the actual path of conquest, there are a few new structures we need to introduce you to and explain their functionality.
Territorial Claim Units (TCUs)
This is your TCU:
When you enter an unclaimed system, you plant your TCU in order to establish a link with the stargates present and claim the system as your own. Your own alliance logo will be proudly displayed for all to see. Once your TCU is online, you will be responsible for the monetary upkeep of the system and your TCU will become an invalid target in the local data net. TCUs are the symbolic representation of your commitment to a star system in EVE. When your TCU falls, so does your control of the system.
Sovereignty Blockade Units (SBUs)
Depending on your approach to how you live in nul-sec, meet your new best friend / worst enemy. SBU(s) represent an attacker’s intent to take away what is yours. They are the battering rams pounding on your doors… erm, stargates. When a SBU is onlined at a stargate, it disrupts the connection linking your TCU to them. If this is done at 51% of the gates in a system, your sovereignty control is in jeopardy and you’ve got some work to do (killing these things).
Infrastructure Hubs (I-Hubs)
Infrastructure Hubs are what allow you to develop your sovereign space. They are the key to making sure you can do everything from anchor Jump Bridges and Cyno Jammers to improving the spawn rates of certain types of anomalies and even affect the appearance of wormholes. Another blog will go into more detail about the upgrades and how the Hubs work but for now you need to know that the Infrastructure Hub is also one of the key defensive structures of your sovereignty.
New Reinforcement Mechanic
In Dominion, both Outposts and Infrastructure Hubs will have a dual reinforcement timer, one for shields and one for armor. Owners of the structures will be able to set a preferred time that they wish for them to come out of reinforced mode and then a random variable will be applied that determines the exact time they will exit reinforced.
This mechanic serves two purposes in that we do not want to see station ping pong return and we also want to try to mitigate ‘time zone warfare’.