Revising the local system channel

7th November 2009 – 3.32 pm

As I am reminded recently, w-space feels more threatening because of the lack of intelligence offered from the local system channel. Unless the capsuleers bravely or accidentally announce their presence, the local channel remains completely devoid of information in w-space. In known-space, the local channel displays full information about every capsuleer present in the system, updating whenever someone enters or exits.

I remember reading some capsuleers calling for similar local channel functionality as in w-space to be implemented in null-sec known-space and, after having recently popped in to a null-sec system and felt quite secure because of the local channel, I must add my voice to the call. There may be some concerns about increasing the gap between secure space and null-sec, but I think it could merely be a matter of gradations.

The null-sec local channel can work like w-space, giving no information that is not directly communicated in the channel. Low-sec space can default to show the number of capsuleers in a system only, with no information about who they are, so it can be seen how populated a system is, but not if those present are friend or foe. For that, you need supplemental intelligence channels. The high-sec local channel remains unchanged, offering full information about capsuleers in the system. As the security status of a system decreases, the less information becomes available from open channels, keeping low-sec more dangerous than high-sec whilst keeping it distinct from null-sec.

It may not be entirely desirable to remove all intelligence from the null-sec local system channel, though. Judging from independent reports, there are many battles in null-sec that involve hundreds of ships, which could lead to problems when relying on the directional scanner. Being able to tell when a further hundred ships jump in to a system when five hundred already show in the scanner is not a straightforward matter, particuarly when those five hundred are in the heat of battle. However, revamping the directional scanner to show counts of objects could alleviate this concern and make relying on the d-scanner less stressful, particularly as it can already be configured only to display objects based on the current overview settings. Seeing a hundred more hostile ships enter the system can be achieved by relying on a modified d-scanner.

Some interesting new features and mechanics have been introduced with w-space, some of which have the potential to benefit the game if brought back to k-space.

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