The common wisdom in EVE Online is that, beyond the odd high-value moon or Faction Warfare scam, there's little in low sec or NPC null sec to the attract ongoing attention of the big-dogs of null sec, with their large fleets and super cap doctrines. It's assumed that NPC space simply isn't worth the bother of controlling even if one could control it.
Is this about to change?
The shift in industrial inefficiencies from high sec to NPC low sec/null sec has begun, adding value to NPC space outside of high sec. In the recent B0TLRD accords CFC claimed two NPC null sec regions, Branch and Syndicate, as part of the CFC sphere of influence.
What is the future of low sec and NPC null sec as the economic center of gravity shifts from high sec toward null sec?
Also, you can take this banter as a chance to discuss the ramifications of the style of play in low sec and NPC null sec if it does happen that major industry shifts there.
Using the power of horrible analogies let's regard CCP as the king of an empire. He has three sons Higgins, Lann, and Nefandous.
- Higgins is next in line for the throne but is often scolded and treated poorly because of his vision of providing safety and work to those he will be king of.
- Lann is the bastard child who's mother receives payments every now and then to keep quiet.
- Last there is Nefandous, he seeks power and destroys those who get in his way his current target is his dear brother Higgins, who unknowingly provides Nefandous with the tools of his own destruction.
While the above analogy may not be true, it's the image with which I see the development of Eve and how everything is affected. I understand a lot of the industry changes which are coming and they make sense, then there are others where I just ask why.
History states that if there is something valuable which catches the eye of a null sec bloc, they will try to control it. Just because something is NPC controlled doesn't mean it can't be controlled by players. Some prime examples are E-Uni and their main area of operations, or RvB's system. They project power and dominance in their locations even though they are NPC controlled.
I have to say there is almost no reward great enough for someone to take a risk and perform activities in low sec. Low sec has such a mentality of "shoot all the things" there is barely any window of safety. I would hazard a guess that the majority of people choose high sec because of the stronger security which is available. They maybe "could" make more in low but factoring in the amount of effort it requires to stay safe costs way more than the slight boost in profit they would make. Null sec is similar, while still dangerous they have exponentially more security available than low sec.
A lot of PvPers purchase substantial amounts of items at a time because of the logistic work required they don't want to make the same 10 jump trip to the market every time they are blown up. Trying to move a large quantity of stuff through low sec is synonymous with the word suicide. You either use a Jump Freighter which requires a ton of time and ISK, you can haul stuff in small increments and cheaply in a T1 hauler, or the only other viable way is to use a blockade runner which still only does small increments but provides far more safety.
With the upcoming balance changes Transport ships aren't getting a significant raise in cargo space. Even though you can move hundreds of modules with only a few m3 of space. Modules aren't much good unless you can fit them on a ship and the currently packaged size of ships is ridiculous when you need to haul an amount to match all those purchased modules. Stay Frosty recently moved to greener pastures and members with the ability helped others move massive amounts of stuff. I only helped a few people but it took about 10 freighters (800k m3) to move the few I helped. With how slow and expensive freighters are; it gets unnerving bringing the lumbering creature into shark infested waters. It took hours just to move stuff over one system, but then you have to haul it through high sec another sum odd 20 jumps. Even with Concord available your large lumbering creature is still just a wreck which hasn't shown it's true form yet.
So the upcoming changes in reality give null a boost (how big depends on how smart the alliance leaders are), a kick in the shins to high sec players, and low sec getting shanked as CCP looks gently into its eyes whispering, "shhhhhh, it'll be over soon, shhhhhh".
The current development continues in the same manner as I explained in BB#50 The Harbinger Is Coming.
Edit-2014.05.26: Altered formatting for easier readability.