One of the many questions that has been repeatedly asked of CCP is who is going to own the War Barge, and who will control it? The first question is quite easy to answer. It will be owned by corporations, in the same way as a POS or a station is. And since EVE corporations and DUST corporations are the same thing, it will just become a general corporation asset.
As for who controls it? I would say that falls primarily to DUST players. Why DUST players? DUST players are going to be the ones that actually use the War Barge. To EVE players, it’s just a means to an end; the extent of their involvement is protecting, destroying or helping to move them around. That’s not to say that EVE players never will be able to pilot War Barges. It’s just much more likely that DUST players will be the only ones able to control them initially, and in the long run, will primarily be the ones in control.
Another commonly asked question is how will the War Barge move around? This is a particularly sticky question, as the War Barge is at least Capital sized, meaning it is too big to use Stargates to travel around. Normally in EVE, Capital ships move from system to system by using their jump drives. However, you cannot simply just jump into any system. Instead, you need another player to go there first, and light a Cynosural Field (usually called a cyno). So if the War Barge uses a jump drive to get around, this presents a problem as DUST players are unable to light cynos due to them not having other spaceships of their own.
An obvious solution here is to just get an EVE player to light the cyno for you. This is a good solution, except for one thing. Remember how I said earlier that DUST needs to work without EVE? Requiring an EVE player to light a cyno for War Barges creates an absolute dependency on EVE for DUST to work. And that’s a bad thing. That’s not to say that EVE players shouldn’t be able to light cynos for War Barges to jump to. In fact, I believe that it should be encouraged as one of the better, if not the best way of getting around space.
On an unrelated note: If you’re reading this and you work at CCP and get to decide who gets to go to EVE Vegas this year, you should pick CCP Konflikt. Now back to the article.
New Eden is a massive world, full of countless worlds. It’s a big place and there’s a lot of work to be done. However, getting from point A to point B is never a simple matter when such vast distances are involved. Capsuleers have the benefit of being able to fly themselves around space. However, DUST mercenaries don’t have ability to pilot spaceships. So how do they get around?
Enter the War Barge. The War Barge is a massive vessel, rivalling even the massive capital vessels used by capsuleers. Within its hull, it carries the necessary materiel used by mercenaries everywhere to wage war upon the ground below. Without its vast quantities of supplies, war on any scale is nearly impossible.
However, CCP have been very tight lipped about how War Barges will actually work within DUST and EVE. And to be honest, it’s likely for good reason. Deciding exactly how they will operate across the two games is a major challenge. On one hand, DUST players need to be able to work independently of capsuleers if they so wish. But on the other hand, there needs to be deep levels of interaction with EVE. So let me lay out some of the challenges, and some possible solutions.
Let me highlight right now that everything from here onwards is fuelled by pure speculation, and should not be taken as any sort of confirmation of features or implementation thereof. Remember, I am not CCP, and they may (and likely will) go in a completely different direction. Even more so, any values given here are for the most part estimates and can easily be varied in either direction.