What Does Sovereignty Mean?
Eve Online corporations need to worry about the sovereignty of the star systems that they control. One of the most infamous Eve Online wars involved a conflict between the corporations Goon Squad and Band of Brothers. The now defunct Band of Brothers found that the vast area it once held in the Eve Online universe had its sovereignty reduced to zero. A player who is new to the world of Eve or who is unfamiliar with how the player-run corporations work probably wants to know exactly what sovereignty does.
Sovereignty defines the level of control a corporation has over a given star system or constellation.. An alliance who controls an area has sovereignty over the area. The initial claim is made when a corporation or player alliance places a star base above an unclaimed planet. The corporation must hold the system for seven days before the system sovereignty level changes from 0 to 1.
If the alliance manages to hold the planet for an extended period of time, they can gain up to sovereignty level 3. Before getting the higher levels, they must claim other planets in nearby regions of space in the Eve Online universe.
System Versus Constellation Sovereignty
System sovereignty is determined on a planet by planet basis. If one system in the area reaches level three, the alliance making the claim can also claim constellation sovereignty. Constellation sovereignty does not have multiple levels, but it does further decrease the fuel consumption for star bases in the area. Constellation sovereignty allows the alliance to declare one system in its space as its capital. Capital systems receive benefits that other planets in the territory do not.
System Sovereignty Levels 1 and 2
An unclaimed sector of space in Eve Online starts out with Sovereignty Zero. No one can do anything to an unclaimed planet except place a star base there. No corporation patrols the space.
Level One: Reaching the first level allows the alliance to place an outpost in the system under its control. Star bases in zones with sovereignty level one will use 25% less fuel than those in systems placed where the level is zero.
Level 2: If an alliance or corporation can hold the system for fourteen days, the sovereignty reaches level 2. This does not reduce the fuel costs, but it allows for scanners and Cynosural Field Generator Arrays. If someone placed an outpost, it allows the alliance to upgrade the outpost to Tier 1. The alliance controlling the system must install any needed upgrades and pay the appropriate costs.
System Sovereignty Levels 3 and 4
Level 3: If an alliance can maintain control of a level 2 system for fourteen days, it upgrades the level to 3. Unless the star base becomes a capital, this is the highest level of control an alliance can have for most systems. One base under the alliance control must be this level 3 before constellation sovereignty can be claimed. The owner can now anchor twinned jump bridges, cynosural field array generators and scanners.
Level 4: Only one system in a constellation under an alliance control can reach level 4. A member of the corporation with the right permissions simply has to declare the system as its capital. If the owner can hold level 3 for thirty days, he achieves level 4, provided he has claimed constellation sovereignty. Outposts in the capital system can now be upgraded to tier 3. Starbases, stations and outposts in the capital cannot be attacked until the level returns to number three.
Constellation sovereignty may be claimed when a number of systems under the control of the alliance are at level 1 or higher. One area must be level 3. Claiming control of a constellation provides the star bases with a further fuel reduction to 30 percent. Unclaimed areas have their period of time to gain control reduced to one day.
Claiming and Reclaiming Systems
If the star bases and the other structures are destroyed in a level 3 or lower system, the system sovereignty drops back to zero Any player or corporation can make a claim on the system. Constellation sovereignty works differently. The overall control of a region of space can only be lost if the alliance claiming the territory loses its sovereignty, but this does not happen immediately. If the original corporation reconquers the lost systems or conquers a number of new systems, it does not lose constellation sovereignty.
Sovereignty gives competing alliances territory to fight over and thus increases the chances for player versus player combat in this space combat mmorpg.