Can CCP Improve Low-sec?

Since the start of Eve players have been discussing how they can improve low-sec and encourage high-sec players to join in the fun. Unfortunately there is little that can be done to encourage players to leave the safety of high-sec for the unknown of low-sec.  Here are some of the most commonly discussed ideas to improve player interactions in low-sec and why they don’t all work:

  1. Increase the isk given from bounties and missions. It is feasible to increase the bounties to encourage more players to go and explore sites and run missions, however in order to do so effectively they would have to use an expensive ship. That ship would be very exposed when it is alone in a mission. It would be easy for a combat fleet to scan out the missioner and launch an attack before they have a chance to respond.
  2. Increase the type of ore you can mine in the asteroid fields. The problem here is that mining ships are very easy to kill and even when escorted an incoming pilot can shoot one or two mining vessels before the fleet can respond to him. In reality the ore could be worth billions and very few players would bother risking their mining ship for a chance at some isk.
  3. Remove some or all taxes on Planetary Interaction, station trading, and manufacturing. Again, this is a reasonable idea to make low-sec more useful and see more players but with taxes so low in high-sec many players don’t mind paying an extra 50k in order to make a few shuttles. Even with no P.I tax most players would not be willing to risk a hauler to go and retrieve the goods from the exposed customs offices. I will say that you would likely see more blockade runners should taxes be reduce but I don’t expect it would increase substantially.
  4. Significantly reduce manufacturing and research times, or reduce material requirements. I have to say that this is one idea that really could get players into low-sec. The ability to manufacture items cheaper than anywhere else is very tempting but it would have to be substantial because moving materials into place would be costly. The materials would either need a large escort with several freighters or a Jump freighter and lots of fuel. This would rule most large items out because they would be too costly to move back and forth.

No matter how much isk you put into low-sec you will not see more players there. We all know that low-sec is dangerous and that there are pirates who routinely camp the gates with nothing better to do. Occasionally we might venture in by accident but usually we don’t encounter a problem because on a gate you can just jump back through, or dock at the station. However, in order to make low-sec profitable you would have to add more isk to bounties, missions, or mining and this would require players to get away from the safety of a high-sec gate or station. In theory this means that there is more opportunity to see some pvp in low-sec, but players know this and that will deter them from even attempting to grasp new wealth. As with any venture as wealth increases so does the competition and most players know that. So why would they bother going into low-sec to make twice what they can in high-sec when more than likely there will be a fleet waiting to gank them? They wouldn’t, they would rather play it safe and take the guaranteed money now than risk it all to double their money.

Players are who they are. You cannot make someone who is afraid of sharks swim with them for a twenty dollar bill. I am sure that you can make someone do it for one hundred thousand dollars. However, in this case it would be like adding blood in the water as well because as players flock to new wealth there are just as many pirates waiting for them on the other side and that alone will discourage them from attempting the stunt. Bottom line is there’s no easy fix for low-sec and I don’t know that there needs to be. It serves a purpose and it has a niche of players who love it the way it is. Quite frankly I would be more interested in CCP fixing the problems with null-sec as they would have far greater implications for everyone.


  1. Noizy July 25, 2013 8:54 pm  Reply

    After reading this I’m wondering if this is from experience in low sec or if you are repeating the accepted wisdom. Because CCP has already addressed points 1-3. If your post is the accepted wisdom for high sec players, that definitely explains some things.

    • Golden July 25, 2013 10:56 pm  Reply

      To be honest it is a mix of both, I have lived in low-sec for several months but I would not consider low-sec my permanent home. Is there a better option to attract more players? I honestly don’t know, but even if there was I fear that players would still stick to the safety-net of high-sec.

  2. Chuck August 10, 2013 12:25 pm  Reply

    One of the persistent issues has been the concept that Low Sec is lower risk than Null Sec and should therefore produce less profit. This hold the rewards for low sec in check (although FW has greatly increased rewards in LS).

    Despite original design intentions, the concept is false.

    Most dangerous—>Low Sec –> Wormholes –> High Sec –> Null Sec –> Least Dangerous.

    Null sec is actually safer for PVE’ers than High Sec. When that is understood and possibly addressed, proper incentives can be produced.

    I would personally prefer if Null lived up to it’s name and was more dangerous, rather than relegating it’s rewards to the bottom of the heap.

    My initial suggestion is that cloaky ships conceal their users from the local chat channels in Null Sec only.

    Then we can look at balancing Low Sec. Because right now, you can’t possibly balance the rewards of the most risky areas of space, while holding on to the concept that it should pay less than the safest areas in space.

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