The Great POS Lie
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
– Inigo Montoya The Princess Bride
So for years we’ve been calling them POS towers. Player Owned Stations. The problem is they aren’t really owned by any given player. They belong to corporations. The CEO can access anything in them. So can Directors. This presents a massive problem for people trying to use them. Granularity to allow Players to own and operate their own towers simply doesn’t exist. Recently I put a Archon in to research. Well. I didn’t. I only have access to the hangars available to everyone. So I have to trust it to one of the higher ups to put it in. Which means that only 4 or 5 people can access it at any time and potentially rip me off. Do I think any of them would do it? Of course not. Well. No more than anyone else in EvE would.
The real core of the problem is that I can’t have my OWN station. I can’t build my own facility belonging to Corelin, unless I go back to Fancy Hats and start stripping roles. It’s a trade off that doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose. I think CCP needs to once again call a spade a spade and admit that it’s a Corporation Owned Station (COS) and follow up by re-introducing the POS as a small structure that can fill some portion of the functions served by a modern Corporation Owned Station, CCP can offer players the opportunity to do their own research, their own light industry, maybe even their own reactions, CCP offers a stepping stone even the lone miner can use to find something he likes more, and maybe a stepping stone to the more powerful functions of a full-up Corporation Owned Station.
I would make the core module of the new POS a fairly cheap component. Modules would also be fairly inexpensive, except for reactor and computing modules. Those would allow you to use more reactors, labs, what have you, and would cost exponentially more for the utility. Each player and only anchor one, and they have to be anchored near something warpable in the system. Could be a planet. Could be a moon. Could be an asteroid belt. Might allow more than one at certain beacons. Planets might allow as many as a dozen. Defenses would cripple the utility of even a fully upgraded POS, with enough guns to disturb even a small battlecruiser gang rendering the POS nearly useless to anyone else. It can only have two ships docked at it at a time (bonus points for them to show up mated to docking collars rather than hidden in a hangar) and the bubble would be tiny. Forget hiding your Titan in one, your Mach is gonna be showing it’s ass outside the bubble.
The goal here is not to completely replace the current COS system. They serve a purpose, and should be kept in some form. Certainly alliances wouldn’t want to be utterly dependent on one person being around to keep up its cynojammers, its bridges, let alone the wealth of its moon miners. POS structures will allow players their own base for a secure, safe operation divorced from the godawful Corporate Interface. It reduces the strain on the corporate interface by making POS towers less of a necessity for the individual. This won’t actually make players too much more independent though. Readers of my blog already know I hate people who try to never interact with their fellows. Instead I suggest having no more than a 24 hour timer for reinforcement. Notifications will be sent to the entire corp letting them know that they have a friend in need.
This system creates a new choice. Do I accept a penalty to research time and cost to secure my own resources, or do I put them at risk in a communal structure in order to save time and resources. It creates opportunities. It allows players to dabble in something they might not have access to otherwise, and provides new conflict drivers. Imagine finding your rival running a POS in a lowsec cull-de-sac. Think you wouldn’t be drooling over the chance to set a trap for him? As a conflict driver they offer a real target for small gangs. I think a decent BC gang, or even Tier 1 Cruiser gang should be able to smash up a cluster of these things to drive fights without the horrible monotony of a 2 hour POS bash.
Finally I don’t want them in highsec. I want them in null. I want them in Wormholes, and I really want them in lowsec. The thought of hundreds of alts in NPC corps clogging up highsec beacons with stations is horrendous. NPC Corp? No POS. Highsec system? No POS. These are conflict drivers. These are enablers for individuals. These are not traffic obstructions. The last thing we need is more clutter at the Jita 4-4 undock.