Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fixing Dominion Part Three: Total Domination

This is part three in a series of nullsec changes I wish CCP would implement. Part One: Use it or Lose it focused on how the sovereignty index is a tiered system based on empire size, sprawl, and individual system use. Part Two covered smaller strategic engagements. Part three covers war, in all it's glory.

One day in the pavilion at Karakorum he [Genghis Kahn] asked an officer of the Mongol guard what, in all the world, could bring the greatest happiness.

"The open steppe, a clear day, and a swift horse under you," responded the officer after a little thought, "and a falcon on your wrist to start up hares."

"Nay," responded the Kahn, "to crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet -- to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women. That is best."

"Genghis Khan: The Emperor of All Men" by Harold Lamb

Total Domination

The endgame in nullsec is to take, hold, and control territory. Total domination of your space, to build your own space empire. Unfortunately, war today is one of timers and structures with millions of hitpoints, with a single victory by the defending party leading to a total reset of the battlefield. War should rage across multiple systems, multiple constellations, with victories on either side affecting the total tide of the battle. Each system taken reduces the Constellation Index, each constellation liberated reducing the empire index, and affecting the systems and constellations around them. In addition a "headshot" at the capital system and constellation can bring the empire index crashing down, affecting the decay rates of all systems in the empire.

Strategic Targets

Currently Dominion has two (or three) strategic objectives in a given solar system: The Infrastructure Hub, the Territorial Claim Unit, and a station. To assault a system you need to have Sovereignty Blockade Units anchored at 50% of the gates in a system, attack the iHub. Attack the Station. Repeat twice more. If successful, attack TCU.

Station Games

The first change to this is to remove the station from the required targets list. Control of a station is not required for control of a system. However, if the TCU and the Station are not owned by the same alliance, the station is vulnerable at anytime, and can be taken by anyone. In addition, if the station is not owned by the controlling alliance, it becomes a freeport (anyone can dock). If the TCU and station are both owned by the controlling alliance, the station is invulnerable (although services are always vulnerable) unless the system itself is vulnerable.

Control Bunkers

Similar to Faction Warfare, when a system becomes vulnerable due to the deployment of SBUs, a series of bunkers are spawned. One bunker is spawned for each Military and Infrastructure iHub upgrade in the system, and is tied to that iHub upgrade. These targets appear on the overview just like FW control bunkers. Bunkers are gated, to prevent capital and supercapital ships from participating directly in the bunker battleground. In addition, sovereign ships will land in proximity to the bunker structures, while any foreign ships will land on grid +/-50km to the structures. The bunker will have variable resists based on the sovereignty index (base of 30%, up to 80% omni resists in a system with a local sovereignty index of 4.5-5). Small bunkers can only be entered by Cruiser or smaller ships. Medium Bunkers are limited to Battlecruiser and below, while Large Bunkers allow Battleships and below.

Once a bunker complex is occupied by an invading force, the SBUs become invulnerable until the bunker is destroyed or vacated.

Bunker Structures

At each bunker are three structures – a remote repair tower, a cloaking dispersion array and the bunker itself. The cloaking dispersion array will deactivate the cloak on any ships inside the complex once every 5 minutes. The remote repair tower will automatically repair all sovereign ships and structures on the same grid as if it were a set of Tech 2 large armor/shield/hull remote repair units. The remote repair tower can be hacked using the Codebreaker, which will disable it for 5 minutes, or destroyed. Destroying the bunker itself completes that objective. When a bunker is destroyed, the activity index for the paired upgrade is lowered by one point (not below 1).

Destroying all bunkers in a system makes the iHub vulnerable (as it is under Dominion), for the shield/armor/hull cycle. At the end of each reinforcement cycle a new series of bunkers deploy in the system. If enough SBUs are destroyed to defend sovereignty, all bunkers will despawn automatically.

This model introduces several battlefields in a system simultaneously. The SBUs at the gates are vulnerable for the defender to attempt to resolve the conflict until the bunkers are occupied. The bunkers provide multiple targets that affect the system as a whole and impact the value of the system if the defenders choose not to actively defend from the first vulnerability cycle. In addition, the gates at the bunkers provide multiple battlefields requiring different ships, while still preserving a space in strategic system control (iHub and Station assaults) for Capital and Supercapital ships.


For the defender, victory is the same terms as today - destroy the SBU(s) to regain control. The difference is, to destroy the SBUs bunkers must be empty of opposing forces. For the attacker, the destruction of all the bunkers is required to make the iHub vulnerable for each cycle, ending with the destruction of the iHub and the vulnerability of the TCU. Occupation/destruction of the station is no longer required in station systems.

Trickle-down impacts

When a system is lost, the constellation and empire sovereignty indices are automatically recalculated, with all the affecting results.

Destructable Outposts

Even in Empire, stations can be destroyed. Player deployed outposts are no different. If an outpost is flipped (shield/armor/hull reinforcement) a new deployable charge "Outpost Demolition Device" can be jettisoned from the cargo hold of a ship outside the station. After a two minute timer, the demolition device will "destroy" the outpost. During the two minute timer, the device can be targeted and shot, or any member of the alliance who deployed it can disable it.

Replacing an Outpost

Destroyed outposts can be reconstructed or replaced by deploying a new Outpost Egg. The new outpost does not have to be the same type as the previous one.

Accessible Assets

All Jump Clones are destroyed. Medical Clones are moved under the same process as a revoked clone. An outpost wreck will contain all assets that were in the outpost, accessible only to the owner of those assets. Based on corporate roles, a player may see the contents of their own hangar or the corp hangars. Items can be removed from the outpost wreck, but not added. Items in a wrecked outpost do not expire. If a new or replacement outpost is deployed in the same location, all items in the wreck are transferred to the new outpost, and the wreck despawns. If an outpost is deployed elsewhere in the system the wreck remains.

Part One: Use it or Lose it
Part Two: Farms and Fields
Part Four: Details and Errata

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