Though much maligned and, in fairness, with a tendency toward poor table manners and an excess of hair, the barbarian horde serves an important function in ebb and flow of human history. Think of them as a forge in which civilizations, both established and emerging, are periodically tested by hammer and fire. Thus tested, a civilization may emerge stronger; refined and purged of the flaws that must accrue to any human endeavor over time. Or it may crack or break altogether under the stress, and be cast back into history's smelter to be incorporated into something new.
Without the Mongol horde, China's Xia and Jin dynasties are not united. Without Vandals, Goths, Visigoths and Huns, the Western Roman empire does not fall, thereby setting the table for modern Europe. Without the Golden Horde, Moscow does not lay the kingdom of Tver low and come to dominate northern and eastern Rus. The courts of Charlemagne, Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror, all born of barbarian invasions (Franks, Saxons and Vikings, respectively) and refined in the fires of subsequent barbarian invasions, never rise at all.
Supercapitals have made EVE's nullsec barbarian-proof.
As I wrote last week:
At present, only those with vast fleets of supercapitals can take and hold nullsec, and only those who hold nullsec have the means to produce or afford vast fleets of supercapitals.With an unassailable advantage in supercapitals, the lords of nullsec can rest easy on their starry beds, knowing they cannot be dispossessed of their holdings by barbarians coming out of high or lowsec. The proliferation and consolidation of supercapitals into the hands of a few, a phenomenon unanticipated by CCP when they introduced this class of ship, has locked up nullsec's sov mechanics and led to the current ossification of nullsec space and nullsec politics.
Nullsec, long the public face of EVE Online, is broken. Upon a time nullsec was about the clash of interstellar kingdoms, and the trial of wills. But it has become about risk avoidance, wallet bloat and planned PvP combat. It has been turned into NullsecDisney®; the very theme park version of EVE that the present lords of nullsec railed against in the not too distant past.
I guess the current nullsec landlords find that EVE as theme park isn't such a bad idea if you're the ones selling tickets and collecting rents. Many of the nullsec rank and file may think otherwise, but the message from management has been clear: If you don't like riding the teacups, you can go join the barbarians in the outer darkness.
Happily,nullsec can be saved. And the solutions is a fairly simple one that does not require major surgery.
1) Eliminate supercapitals - Remove them entirely. This class of ship, more than any other, is responsible for nullsec's current state. Without supercapital drops and bridges the area over which a nullsec alliance or coalition can project force will be significantly reduced as will the the speed with which they can react to threats. This will shrink the amount of space a nullsec entity can reasonably control.
2) Significantly reduce Sov infrastructure hit points so that a large subcapital fleet of barbarians with modest capital ship support can reduce it in a reasonable about of time. This will eliminate the need to have Titan-class firepower behind any play for a piece of nullsec.
Of course, those heavily invested in supercapitals will be displeased with this approach, and I expect the implementation of these changes will be met with much umbrage and many alligator tears. Individual pilots should, of course, receive some remuneration for their pains; perhaps a combination of conventional capital ships and ISK or AUR. However, those most affected by this change are the authors of nullsec's current dysfunction. Thus my sympathy for them goes only so far and I will not lose sleep over their discomfort. Some small pain of their part is inevitable if nullsec is to be saved.
These simple changes will revitalize nullsec, breaking up the current coalition blocks, reducing the span of control an alliance can reasonably exercise, and injecting nullsec with a much needed dose of risk. Best of all, it will open nullsec to outsiders not already possessed of vast fleets of supercapitals or endowed with trillions upon trillions of ISK.
They will be the EVE's barbarian hordes; pressing the current nullsec powers that be, and claiming space for building new kingdoms where the old ones prove wanting.