I am about to say something that most nullsec Eve players would variously describe as stupid, foolish, selfish or otherwise mad, bad and dangerous to think.
Sovereignty should be harder to take.
More specifically, sovereignty should be harder to take from an active defender.
There. I said it. But why?
Eve at the moment is a very sick game. Nullsec is the poster-boy for the game. Nullsec keeps giving CCP injections of new subscribers every time we accidentally have a massive fight that ends up in the New York Times. Nullsec is also static, dull, lifeless and, most importantly, Nullsec continues to decline.
The CFC owns slightly less than half the map. N3PL owns slightly more than half the map. Nobody else has a chance of holding anything that either of our blocs want.
The CFC and PL have formal agreements that carve up the galaxy. Don’t look for another Great Eve War like that which ran from 2006 to 2009: it’s not allowed under our treaties. Don’t look for “VFK for August”, because it won’t happen (and we don’t live there any more!)
People rightly blame the sovereignty system introduced in the Dominion patch for this state of affairs. Dominion was probably the most pernicious and harmful patch ever released for Eve, and it has gradually choked the life out of a game that was thriving before its introduction. But most people will tell you the harm was caused by Dominion making sovereignty too hard to take. They are wrong.
The problem is that sovereignty is too easy to take. If the CFC or N3PL want to take a system from anyone but each other, they will do it without even having to achieve decent turnout. If we feel cocky and trust the treaties, we can take a whole region from any third party in less than half a dozen operations featuring at most 200 of our tens of thousands of members.
And here is the key. Dominion sovereignty is laughably easy to take: all you do is turn up and shoot hit points. The only counter is to have more people than your enemy, so that he dare not use his supercapitals. So people huddle together. The CFC grew ever larger to defend ourselves from the dreaded PL supercapital blob. Then we grew large enough to be a threat and N3PL coalesced and grew in order to defend themselves from us. Anyone not in either is dead meat on a hook, so they join or align with one or the other.
If you want people to stand alone as five hundred or a thousand people, you have to make it far harder for a twelve thousand man alliance like mine to take their space. As soon as you do that, the centrifugal forces existing in vast blocs will no longer be balanced by the centripetal force of fear. Who wants thirty thousand allies when you could have thirty thousand targets? Only someone who knows that they will lose everything without them.
So make it easy for an active, small group to hold their five systems against a larger force. Make trying to take a constellation from a two-hundred member alliance who are committed to its defence so hard that it is simply not worthwhile except as a source of fights. And the grand blocs will melt away like snow off a roof in April.