I was re-reading the results of some of the old surveys CCP has run in the past (they are all on Evelopedia, and a good read as I'm sure there will be some you missed), and came across some nuggets that I'm sure are common knowledge to all:
The main reason people don't go to lowsec/0.0 is due to the perception of risk compared to highsec.
People who have lived, or do live in 0.0/lowsec don't perceive it to be as risky as those who have not.
The more "risky" someone's eve career is, the less frightened they will be of 0.0 and lowsec.
The received wisdom conclusion from all of this is that the way to get carebears into 0.0 and lowsec is to make the risk (or at least theperceived risk) lower. I will argue that this is wrong, and fundamentally misinterprets what keeps people out of low and 0.0 sec.
People avoid lowsec and 0.0 not because they are riskier per se, but because of the massive risk differential at the boundary between 0.5 and 0.4, and between 0.1 and 0.0 space. This is supported by another finding:
People who live in lowsec avoid going into 0.0 due to perceived risks.
After some thought you should realise this is ludicrous - lowsec has far more gatecamps, pirates etc than 0.0, which is largely empty at the gates (due to bridges / cynos) unless you are unlucky and meet a roaming fleet out of its territory.
What we need is not a change of the average risk of lowsec or 0.0 at all, but rather more granularity in risk spread over the different sec statuses. This also deals with a longheld bug-bear of mine, that due to the "escaping concord = exploiting" rule, 0.5 === 1.0.
The way it would work is as follows:
- The hard distinction between the concepts of lowsec and highsec would be abolished for the purposes of all mechanics.
- There would be a concord response, of sorts, in all sec status from 1.0 to 0.2 (Wait, hear me out!).
- The rules on escaping concord would change - escaping concord would now be not an exploit. The exploit rule was introduced when powerful new remote repping tactics allowed large groups to tank concord until the aggression timer had run out and then redock or jump. This is no longer needed as concord can now be given neuts, jammers etc and break such gangs.
- Concord response would be scaled from 1.0 to 0.3. In a 1.0 you should expect to see 6+ concord BSs, with excellent alpha as well as 2 - 3 neut and jam cruisers and 4+ tackling frigates PER criminal. If a large gang went GCC at the same time, Concord carriers launching fighters might turn up. In a 0.6 by contrast you might see a couple of BS, a neut cruiser and a couple of frigs. In a 0.3, you would see a cruiser (no ewar) and a frig. In a 0.2 it would be sentries only, and in 0.1 it would just be sentries on stations (not gates).
The main idea would be a bit more risk in 0.5 - 0.9, a bit less risk in 0.4 - 0.3, a bit more in 0.2 and the same everywhere else. Essentially, a lot finer granularity than at present.
I genuinely believe this would eventually lead to carebears getting more comfortable with risk rather than the reverse.