A recent comment from a new reader (up to three now) got me to thinking about how to make null sec more appealing to small alliances. Let me state up front that I have no experience in null sec although I'm interested in taking up residence one day. My opinion is from the segment of the population which CCP wants to get moved into null. You may not like the idea of changing null to be more appealing to bears with teeth, but perhaps the idea of having a chunk of high space dwellers (80% of the population) move into null to take up the fight is appealing.
That said I'll briefly break down the problems I see with null sec and the influences which have prompted me to stay away from the promised land.
1. Paying rent: I want to be a homeowner and if I'm going to spend money on a place to stay I want that money to be an investment and not just a monthly expenditure that hopefully keeps the landlord on friendly terms so I don't get evicted when his mistress has a midlife crisis and needs a place to recover from her plastic surgery.
2. Bringing a pen-knife to a gunfight: My hangar full of super awesome BCs and T2 cruisers won't last very long against cap and supercap blobs. Even my uber cool BS squadron is of little to no value when going up against the top of the null sec food chain.
3. Getting lost in the shuffle: I really enjoy the people in my alliance and I like the small town atmosphere of our chat channels. I don't want to join a thousand member strong group and become one more cricket chirping in the background.
4. Fire in the disco: Sudden and rapid seizure of all assets due to overwhelming force with little to no time with which to flee the area.
Those are the main things that put a negative spin on null sec for me. Today I thought of a few possible solutions and wanted to share. These new structures could only be implemented in a designated home system and when an alliance grows large enough to occupy multiple systems they lose the ability to designate a home system.
1. Capital/SuperCap ship inhibitors. This isn't the same thing as a cyno jammer. Instead this is an indestructible structure that prevents all capital or larger combat ships from entering a system. Additionally this could be tailored to just supercaps and allow the use of capitals.
2. Population density isolator. A structure that limits the total number of players in a system. Numbers allowed are based on sovereign alliance total membership. So an alliance with 50 members is allowed to have 75 total friendly (dark or light blue) in system while neutrals and below are limited to 50. The owning alliance can adjust the allowed numbers up or down as they grow or decrease, but there will be a maximum allowed based on membership.
I think those two changes would be enough to make null sec appeal to small alliances and see a large number of systems become occupied almost overnight. Larger groups can still take territory using siege tactics and attrition to wear down the defenders. Defenders would have a home fleet advantage with slightly higher population. Some jump lines would have to be adjusted to remove possible bottlenecks and there might need to be the ability to jump around a fully occupied system. As an alliance expands, whether in population or technology, they would have to reduce the safeguards and thus expose themselves to more dangerous situations.