Recently, on the EVE forums someone brought up an idea of small player owned habitats. I have often put the above-mentioned idea forth myself, however, until now it met with a rather limited success. In any event, after some prolonged discussion I have had a chance to actually point one of the developers toward the thread. To my great satisfaction the idea has been picked up by the developers of EVE, and it is currently on the “Drawing Board.” This made me very happy indeed.
Bellow I am publishing a summary of the discussion, and I shall be coming back to this subject, time permitting, when I have more news and ideas to add.
- Habitat/Structure can be anchored anywhere in space, in any sovereignty, with one exception, Empire. In Empire, they cannot be anchored in .9-1.0 systems. Others suggested that they should be placed in Dead Space Pockets Only. I personally lean toward restricting them in High Security Empire systems. Thus, allowing people in 0.0 through 0.8 own a structure.
- Habitats should have High/Med/Low slot layout, like a ship, thus utilising internal PG/CPU to control the devices like guns, missile batteries and cloaking devices, etc. In other words they will be a single, self-sustained unit, there will be no need to anchor additional devices, at least not in the beginning.
- Perhaps the Habitat constructs can be upgraded, by using finite and mineable materials. Perhaps even incorporate T2 components into it, or some sort of POS producible, to further support the expanding POS markets. Perhaps allow for PG/CPU upgrades.
- Habitat units should not be invulnerable to an attack. They should be susceptible to a conventional warfare tactics, not unlike like battleships, cruisers and frigates.
They should be a legitimate war-target, if the owner is in a corporation at war. They should be able to defend themselves, but cannot go into a “reinforced” mode or anything like that. Others argue that they should be able to go into reinforced mode & require Calthrates to sustain.
- They have to be locatable via scan-probing and so forth. But should not show up as a warpable object in the scanner. Unless, the cloaking device is malfunctioning – then the habitat can become a “subspace phenomena” and can be warped to.
- They should also have some sort of functionality other than a “home in space”. Perhaps with adequate upgrades (see #3) they can have small refining and reprocessing and even repair facility. They could become permanent, but then they would be susceptible to attacks by other players if in 0.0 or low security areas, as well as war target in Empire. However, in Alliance controlled territories they as good as indestructible, since they are, theoretically, under the protection of the alliance force.
- Habitat should have a limited amount of storage Space. Some people suggested a 5,000m/3 for a small one, and up to 50,000m/3 for a large unit. Thus, they should vary by size and accommodate appropriate vessels accordingly. However, upon further discussion it seems that the above numbers are rather limited and should be looked at. After scanning through some threads it would appear that most people prefer 1 Mill/m3 for a Small one, and up to 5-7 Mill/m3 for a "Large" Habitat.
- Habitats can be “designed” to accommodate appropriate uses, or uses according to wishes of their designer. They can vary in appearance, fairly easy to pull off with the game like EVE, and thus have unique qualities accorded to them by a designer: Hollowed out Asteroids, Discarded Spaceship hulks, things used in construction of it like depleted station batteries and what not. Basically make them look like Minmatar ships (my apologies to Minmatar, I couldn’t help myself). Some suggested that the construction of the can be done in stages, where special ship-type, perhaps, can be used, and a modable BPO can be released and "tweaked" by those who desire to improve on the "standard" design.
At some point it would be possible to develop a profession out of it: A habitat designer/builder. Perhaps all corporations that choose to specialise in such endeavours, can come to a point where they can actually patent their design via blueprint copies. We all know that most efficient design vs. use info will spread quickly. Perhaps create special Habitat Construction Modules for POS owners who can then build them and sell them to the rest of us. At the same time it might create a market for a faction owned POS that can be rented for the design/build purposes by those who do not have access to a POS
- One should be able to secure the habitat from entry by other players. Perhaps with specifically set password one can dock, as can his friends. At the same time, and I just thought of it, when Habitats are destroyed by an adversary they should drop some portion of the loot currently held within them. Just like when the ship is destroyed it drops a can with stuff. Also a great new field for legitimate corporate spies and thieves to foray their strengths.
- Some people want them to use fuel to power up the components or keep the battery charged or something. Others want the habitats not use any fuel – unless they are engaged in combat. Fuel involved, or rather according to posts, the desired fuel ranges from POS standard isotopes and Caltrates, to regular maintenance of the Habitat with Consumer Products and common minerals. This is a pretty wide-ranging debate.
Further info on Ownership and Transfer Logistics:
Everyone far agreed that limiting number of habitats per system could be another great thing to do. It will ferment discontent and wars, since people would want a nice spot. It will also support real Estate trade, where you can actually sell a Habitat to another player. Legitimate Real Estate trading can be performed via easily implemented voucher system. Lets say upon building a habitat you will have an ownership voucher, like a deed, something that would look very similar to Pirate Ship Logs. There will be information regarding the Habitat, all its stats, location, security level of the system, etc.
At the same time, if the voucher is lost, if the owner carried the voucher in his cargohold and was blown up, there are two consequences:
1) If voucher is destroyed, the habitat automatically self-destructs
2) If the voucher is picked up by a new player/or the aggressor/whoever finds the can, he automatically becomes an owner of the habitat.
In second case, the Habitat retains its password/security until a “new owner arrives”. Upon his attempt to dock, he must have the voucher in cargohold; he will be given an opportunity to change the password. Also, even though previous security measure were still in effect, including password, the former owner is still locked out of the habitat. It will prevent disgruntled victims from docking with their former property and cleaning it out or self-destructing it.
And finally, having a voucher in the cargohold will allow the entrance into the Habitat password free. This could be useful in case of forgotten passwords - and it will expose vouchers to the possibility of being lost if you are attacked on the way.
They could also be placed in the Escrow - where potential buyer can see the habitat information and gauge for himself if he wants to buy it. Thus making vouchers readable, but not useful if they are in Escrow, at least not until they are claimed and ownership is transferred. Again, Voucher in Cargohold=Password free entry will mean that the seller doesn’t have to do anything as far as security is concerned. A fact that the voucher is no longer in his possession automatically revokes his ownership while retaining habitat as secure for a new owner.
In order to prevent Scams on Escrow, where an "Empty" voucher can be sold - in case habitat is no longer there, if it blew up or was destroyed or what not - the voucher would destroy itself as well. Thus two would be linked, if one goes so does the other. No way to scam people with "fake" vouchers.
This will make peeps keep vouchers/deeds/titles as safe as their own BPOs
ADDITIONAL INFO. ON HABITAT PLACEMENT & CONSTRUCTION:
Most everyone agreed that Habitats must be limited in numbers per-system. There is a debate, however, as to a Security Rating of a system where Habitats should be allowed. On a System Security Issue, I would still go with the idea that even carebears in Empire must be allowed to have their rocks! However, I do believe that placing them in above .8 systems will cause undue hardship on the servers.
Regarding the number of Habitats per system, here is a suggestion. Lets take POS as an example. In theory, a POS can be anchored at ALL of the Moons orbiting the star in the system. So, if there are 20 Moons, then 20 POS' can be erected. As a starting premise lets presume that the number of habitats can be, should be, limited to the number of moons in the system. If CCP has created POS system, and allows them to be anchored at moons, we can safely assume that if Habitat number is limited to number of moons in the system - the lag issue should not arise.
Furthermore, the habitats ought to be RESTRICTED from being anchored near moons. That’s correct, I think the restriction is good, it will allow a proper POS development that would be un-hindered by Habitat expansion. The only reason we are talking about moons is to shake down a minimum number of Habitats per system.
Habitats Platforms, once build, will be taken out to the specific location and launched, very similar to how outposts building is designed. Once the Platform is launched, the owner of it shall hit an "Assemble" button or menu, and the process of construction will begin. Details can be worked out later.