EVE Online: Building an EVE Empire, Rule 1
MMORPG.com EVE Online Correspondent Sam Guss writes this first part of a series of tips for running an Empire in EVE Online. This first part is titled, The Rule of the Care Bear.
The Rule of the Care Bear (Rule 1)
The world revolves around money. In EVE, the Universe revolves around ISK. Those who have the most ISK, have more opportunities than those without. This applies to Empires and Empire building as well. In this article, unless noted, the word Empire refers to a coalition of alliances versus Empire space.
The power of the Care Bear industrialist and miner can not be underestimated. The flow of ISK, manufactured modules, ships themselves, inventions, T2 equipment, moon ores, salvaged equipment, minerals, ice, all of this and more is firmly in the hands of Care Bears who make their Eve living and indeed Eve life based around these things. Throw in some PvP traders and even some space truckers and you have an economic powerhouse that an Empire can revolve around.
We're not talking about the ability here to make a few ships and outfit them for a month or so of low or null sec gang fleets, but a true powerhouse. Though it has negative connotations, think back into history and the greatest armies and war machines ever built. Xerxes of Persia as he amassed an army of millions that took over most of the known world at the time. The armies of Alexander the Great, the Roman Legions and others also spring to mind. In EVE terms, these weren't military commanders with a dozen or so ships per pilot, they were commanders with hundreds of ships per pilot and the supply network to make long excursions across the known world.
To make something so big, so powerful, so unstoppable, it takes the Care Bears. It takes the dedicated players gathering the minerals, making the components, doing the research, constructing the ships. This happens every hour, every day in the EVE universe. And yet how effectively are we using these players to give them what they want alongside what we want?
The biggest question and challenge is getting enough of these types of players into null security space, where quick turn around and shorter distances can benefit the Empire. I offer some solutions to these problems and indeed as the rest of the rules unfold; you will see for yourself how it all comes together - including the Care Bear in your plans.
1) Security, Part 1
You need to have a Home Turf section of null space. The more Care Bears you can have and protect, the more systems you will need. No matter what else is going on in your Empire, the "Home Turf" MUST be secured above all else. This is where your industrial machine will do a lot of the preliminary work and exist for as long as you are growing your Empire. Even then you will need to it to keep it.
Home Turf systems should be as removed from possible and existing warfronts as possible; regulated and controlled on who can come and go; have access to several rare Ores; be a sovereign to the controlling Empire (or Alliance therein); have several moons; enough POS's to maintain a regular workflow without holdup; at least one player made station, if not two.
2) Security, Part 2
There must be an ever-present police force within the Home Turf region. This means high security in terms of bubbled gate camps; patrols to assist miners with Rats; Roaming gangs that come within a jump of the Home Turf systems; Recon along possible routes to and from the Home Turf region. Furthermore, this means dedicated security forces should be dispatched when transporting goods to or from the Home Turf regions.
The more secure you can make your Home Turf area the better, as this will give the miners and Care Bears a sense of peace and security while in 0.0. The final ideal is to make them feel as safe as if they were in Empire space.
3) PvP Pilots
Unless on a roaming Op, POS warfare, a major offensive, perhaps even a defensive course; all PvP pilots not on assigned duty as such should make it a priority to protect that Care Bears as much as possible, whether from Rats or from hostile forces. Care Bears HAVE to be protected. They are the industrial economic powerhouse your Empire should be aiming for and it is simply better to have them available closer to you than in NPC Empire space.
4) The Care Bear Fleet
A special corporation-held scrap fleet of ships should be held by the individual Corporations. Start off small with Cruisers, then eventually Battlecruisers and then Battleships. These ships should be held separately than the normal scrap fleet most corporations allow for.
The purpose of this fleet is for use by Care Bears when they are needed to help defend an area (usually Home Turf areas only) and for training exercises. Yes, I said it. Training exercises. Care Bears should realize that the PvP pilots they are getting protection from get a morale boost when they see Care Bears on the occasion come out in PvP boats to assist with various PvP related activities. Whether manning a gate camp or participating in a roaming gang.
This doesn't mean a Care Bear can't take care of themselves! If, at all possible and the Care Bears are willing to do it, they can be responsible for the first response defense network of the Home Turf. In cases where this is not possible or likely to happen, then just the occasional participation by Care Bear pilots will booster the morale of those flying security for them. However, minimize their risk by providing them with their own scrap fleet they can use at no loss to themselves.
In order for the Care Bear to meet their needs, provide a marketplace for them that is in their favor to make ISK. However, set this marketplace in a way that only members of the Empire (alliances and corporations making up your Empire) can benefit. In this way, everything that they make goes into the citizens of the Empire.
It should be encouraged that corporations and alliances pay good ISK for the services and likewise the Care Bears should be willing to cut a small percentage out of their profits to benefit the Empire in question. In this way, goods made by Care Bears in your Empire will not be used against it one day; Care Bears can still make good ISK with little risk thanks to being on Home Turf; other pilots have a continuous marketplace to replace, ships, modules and other services they require at enough savings to keep them local (and thus also provide them motivation to keep Care Bears safe).
Whether you setup specialty corporations that are responsible for security; rotate pilots from other duties; convince your Care Bears to provide their own security (the least desired response in most cases); remember that providing a safe(r) place in null sec should be one of your top priorities.
By bringing your Care Bears out to where you are active at will help ensure your Empire becoming an economic powerhouse. This is a MUST DO step in order to become a true Empire that gains recognition as one of the best.
In my opinion this is what I would look for in a "home turf":
- A series of dead end systems with plenty of asteroid belts and at least a couple of Ice fields. Ideally only one choke point, but two would be acceptable. In the case of only 1 choke point, a series of 4-8 dead end systems would be ideal.
- For every corporation within the Empire that has industrial capability, one POS should be constructed for up to every 20 members that are capable of using a POS. These POS's can be divided amongst the various systems, not necessarily all of them in 1 system.
- The Choke point system should include a player-built station and have all incoming gates bubbled camped as often as can be done. Furthermore, this system should be highly used by pilots of all types. You want the impression of numbers in this system.
- An area 4+ systems beyond this choke point that your Empire controls.
- 1 Player built station every other jump within the dead end. This is more a long term plan, so you could start with every 4 jumps and add as you are able.
- A stand-by roaming gang. They can be beyond home-turf a couple of jumps but must be willing to return to home turf and hunt down anything that has gotten beyond the choke point.
Obviously some of these terms can't be done 23/7 all the time. However you do want to cover as much time as you can. This offers more protection, greater security, peace of mind to your core industrial machine and a safe haven for all pilots within your Empire to relax as much as they can without resorting to NPC Empire space.
Remember if you make the rewards great enough, the risk low enough and the Care Bears WILL come. When that happens, you have the beginnings of creating an economic powerhouse that will lead your Empire into whatever direction you want to go.
Some of the aspects discussed here will be given even more thought in other "rules", and other rules will add even more to this rule. See you next time!