Over the last couple of years of playing EVE Online, I’ve developed distaste for the way corporations are used in Highsec. Coming from a background of Highsec wardeccing, I’ve seen dozens of corporations dodge wars – folding their corporation and creating a new one to avoid conflict. I don’t think that players should be forced into conflicts that they have no interests in, but I would love to see more corporations that are invested in their own identity and development, and more willing to fight for what they have built. So this is my proposal to make corporations great [again].
I have seen tons of fledgling, private, or one man corporations that more or less exist because corporations provide the social structure that guilds, clans, and clubs offer in other MMORPGs. Corporations are easy to setup and offer all the tools that the aforementioned social structures provide in other games, but these tools will sometimes be underutilized by those who don’t plan to or understand how to use them. As an alternative for those who are not interested in building up their space, such as taking sovereignty or setting up structures, I think that the introduction of social corporations, or ‘societies’ as I tend to call them, would better suit their interests. Societies could offer all of the social benefits of a regular corporation, such as private channel, member list, titles, etc. Unlike corporations they wouldn’t have the ability to alter the rate of taxation, anchor large structures, take sovereignty, or engage in wars. Allowing players to be able to join multiple societies could give rise to more community based groups established in game, rather than outside of it. I know that this idea has been pitched before, but for players who are just getting started, don’t plan on having citadels or taking sovereignty, or are trying to avoid the risks that come with being in a corporation, creating a society could become the optimal choice over a corporation.
With the introduction of Citadels, and future structural releases on the horizon such as Industrial Arrays, the benefits of being in a player-run corporation rather than a NPC corporation far outweigh the risks that come with it. Rather than just tacking on additional benefits, I think a good way to encourage players to stick with and improve on their corporations would be with the implementation of corporate specializations. When you start a new corporation you could be presented with a variety of options to develop your corporations benefits – so for example, you could give industrial corporations choices like slightly higher mining yields, improved industrial build times/material efficiency, faster producing/better yields on planetary interaction, etc. Increased rewards of loyalty points and isk could be handed out to those who specialize in Empire protection operations such as missions, incursions, faction warfare, and general ratting. There could even be nomadic and empire building based specializations that grant bonuses to structures, reductions to jump fatigue, or bonus rewards for running data/relic sites.
Rather than just choosing which benefits your corporation would receive, the best way to recieve these benefits would come from the members banding together to work toward their specialization. As the most simple example, an industrial corporations interested in specializing in mining could have to mine a large quantity of ore to gain the proficiency needed for an increased mining bonus. Completing faction warfare plexes and killing pilots of the opposing faction could lead to better payouts for your corporation. With multiple levels of proficiency goals corporations could either attempt to maximize their specialization in a small scope of skills or provide a more balanced approach across different bonuses.
There are some glaring issues though – for a player or group establishing several corporations with different specializations would theoretically provide them with easy access to a multitude of bonuses that they could hop between. To that end I would want to see specialization bonuses applied to members that have been with the corporation for extended periods of time – for example a new player would only have access to a base level bonus upon joining the corporation and over time of being in the corporation would learn the practices of the corporation that led them to be so good in their field of specialty. With this, corporation members are encouraged to stick with their corporation and invest both time and effort to access these bonuses. I also worry about the impact this might have on player freedom – players may feel obligated to play into their corporation’s specialization because that might be where the greatest benefits lie. Finally, while I originally liked the idea of giving players more reason to fight for their corporations in Highsec, this might just further solidify the strategy of not playing during active wardecs to avoid conflict as players wouldn’t want to risk losing their bonuses.
All that said, I still really like the concept of really evolving a corporation and making it yours, much like CCP seems to have planned for structures in space. I would love to hear any feedback, and I realize that my suggestions regarding specialization could have large and potentially negative impacts on the economy, so please help inform me on that kind of stuff.
I’d also like to remind players to check out the Wardec Project, we have a document that includes suggestions and discussions for ways to improve on current wardec mechanics as well as a Discord for more discussion.