With the recent announcement regarding a planned future installment of a new region in New Eden, I got thinking about what I would want, from a personal and biased viewpoint, from such a new region.
For the most part what lies on the other side is a mystery. We do however know a few things on the subject. The new stargates that will connect to this New World will have to be built by the players, with hints suggesting that this could take massive amounts of resources and effort from the players. Now, I'm not going to think about that too much as I don't believe I could influence any of the building of the gates in any way shape or form. But those that do take up the task will have to protect their technology from prying eyes and the enemy at the gate.
The new Ghost Sites are the current centre stage with these latest developments. New technology being discovered in the sites making this all one giant jigsaw puzzle in the making. One cool feature is the fact that new implants might be needed to actually navigate the stargates. There may also be new ship modules that link in with accessing these new gates. If you like, making the capsuleer and the ship they are piloting a flying passcode or key to the new lands.
Exciting times ahead.
So what would I like there to be lurking on the other side in this new alien world? What should it be like in there? What are the mechanics?
Let's start with what it should look like visually. I think it should be dark and twisted in there. Lots of deep blue nebulae, swirling black and stars that shine red like evil eyes watching your every move. It should feel hostile and unwelcoming with flashes and cracks of thunder in there every now and then. There should be debris and ship graveyards everywhere. I don't want a few bits of junk on the gate I want wreckage for as far as the eye can see. I want a feeling of shock, with corpses on sticks and bad noises creeping up on you. I want little children on tourist shuttles to cower in fear behind their seats at the sights that greet them.
It should be lawless. This new frontier has no laws. The players will make the laws over time. Basically, it is a null-sec wormhole bastard child.
There should be no local chat, in the same vein as wormholes. To add to the sense of mystery you won't know that there is a fleet waiting for you on your outgate. If you want to take it to the next level, make it so that there is no ability to even type in a local chat window. Out here nobody can hear your screams.
Similarly, different gates should have optional mass limits scaling up from frigate hulls right up to the largest classes. This feature could be linked in with the level of technology and items salvaged from the Ghost Sites. This will determine what class of ship can enter what system. In a class restricted system there will be no ability to light a cyno or any opening for wormholes. These class restricted systems should be situated in dead-end pipes or off of the main track, so as to not restrict general free movement.
There should be multiple entrances to the new region. To avoid the inevitable camps and bottlenecks, make it so there are more than a couple of entry points. Make it so there are 20, 30 or 40 entry points scattered across the map.
Inside the new region there should be a newly discovered hostile alien race. Perhaps one day this new race could be added as a playable faction, but not yet. Perhaps one day they could enter the faction war with a super weapon that breaks cloaks and renders warp core stabilizers useless, perhaps one day but not yet. For now, what I would do is make it so that the technology of this race can be mastered and in turn lead to new items and ships. Not just a handful of ships either. An entire technology tree of new ships and classes, including tech 3 frigates, frigate command ships, and more, should be waiting to be discovered and unleashed onto New Eden. All this will be gathered from shooting the rats, dropped loot and salvage, blueprints from hacking sites, etc. Make it so the rats are somewhere in between regular rats and sleeper rats. Make them sneaky, make them web and scram and neut and even cloak. Make them difficult to kill. Make it so you have to really think about engaging them.
The new gates will have an anti-gatecamp mechanism attached to them. Here is how I would do this. Upon jumping the stargate you are spat out of any one of a number of exit portals. These would be random chance and would visually resemble a pipe system on the gate, think of a sewer pipe of sorts that trickles shit into a river. There could be as few as maybe seven exits or upwards of thirty. This would again be linked into the design and technology when constructing the gates. In effect the exits would spit you out anywhere on grid within 500km of the gate. Making jumping into a hostile camp less of a probability.
The control of the stargates can be won and lost. Perhaps some kind of capture the flag mechanism, fighting over a timer that lasts 12-24 hours or more. Not 100% sure how this would work but if there was a reason for a fight, and the fight could be made fun and not a grind then I see a win-win situation developing.
Make the nodes unbreakable.
The new systems should have similar bonuses to wormholes. Maybe more of a random factor than any kind of actual order. Perhaps a new system could be implemented where bonuses move around the region like a weather front of sorts? A new random bonus every other day.
Going back to the controlling of the gates and a reason to fight. The current 'owner' of the stargate can set a jump tax that all who jump must pay in order to proceed. This should be a novel amount and will have a fixed limit. Perhaps a million ISK at most. Maybe less. This will generate a different type of income. An income that can be defended and also easily lost. A roaming gang can hit a gate and control it for a day or two until it is conquered again by another group.
Any stations that are found in the new systems should be freeports controlled only by the alien race.
The rumour is that the gates will be destroyable. I don't think this is a good idea personally. But if it does become the case then the battles to destroy the gates should be groundbreaking, taking weeks and months to actually blow up, with many, many casualties along the way.
There's so much that could happen with this planned expansion. So much potential to tap into. So many ideas on the table.
What would you like to see?