Here’s the thing that you don’t follow, Soldiers, which is damn ironic given your name…
Given the game’s current layout - three races, each with two subfactions, each further subdivided into corporations - the Independent Pilots make a lot of sense. They are mercenaries, dogs of war, and some of us like that. As much as I might enjoy the notion of flying for the Empire, I find it far more enjoyable to simply fly for whoever is going to net me the biggest rewards.
You talk about loyalty to Corporations, and you want to follow the Capitalist model of “the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.” You want your Corp to be able to become so powerful nobody else can topple it. The rest of us don’t want that, because odds are we’re the ones who will have to attempt the toppling.
What I am interested in is the individual. Yes, I am very much against Corporations in standard missions! I believe in fair play, and it annoys the hell out of me to see games where one player has an unfair advantage over his opponent. This is why I despise Killstreak bonuses in Call of Duty, but approve of Uncharted 3’s “power plays” (which make things harder for your team if you pull more than 1-2 kills ahead of your opponents). It’s why I approve of Space Marine’s ability to ‘steal’ a loadout from whoever killed you. I like games where they actively assist the under-dogs and weaker players, rather than rewarding the no-lifers. I’ve been in the “no-lifer” camp on a few games. I remember how insanely good I was on Resistance 2 at my peak, and I sure as hell did not need the game giving me anything to increase my killing power.
I am not, as some people have wrongly stated, against teamwork. I don’t particularly like games where everyone spawns with a pistol and it’s “first to the rocket launcher wins”. I like games with classes, where everyone has a role. Battlefield 1943, having just 3 maps, 3 classes and 3 vehicles to its name, was an awesome example of this. No levelling, no skill tries, no optional loadouts, yet every class felt like they had a reason to be there. Snipers, for example, could stay back with their rifle or get up close and plant demo-charges to cause insane damage to vehicles.
What I am against, to make this clear, is ganging up on random players.
If there are no corporations in a match, I am happy. If there are solo-corps, I am happy. If there are two more or less equally sized corps on either side of a match, I am also happy because they should balance each other out. If the Corporations are playing in a private match where only they are involved, I am happy.
When you have a team of players who are likely in voice communication, working together against players who probably don’t even speak the same language, I draw the line. That I am not happy with. The worst thing you can have happen in a game is to lose before the match has even begun, and when Corporations or Clans or whatever name you give them are involved in one side of the match without an equivalent force on the other, that happens all too often.
If you actually paid attention to my posts, Soldier, you would have noticed something interesting: I have proposed unfair battles! I have made suggestions that are literally “My Corp + everyone I can get vs Your Corp + everyone you can get.” I have suggested games where you could mix tiers freely, where the richest Corp has an advantage, and that encourage you to exploit every advantage you can to achieve victory.
But let’s just look at the simplest of concepts; the goal of every player. This is what ultimately drove me away from Puzzle Pirates, and if we adhered to your idea I am sure Star Conflict would suffer the same problem. The problem is this: You can’t take part in top level play without permission.
What does that mean? Well, imagine the following scenario: A group of friends join Star Conflict, work their way up the tiers, and become really good at the game. They have a lot of money (relatively speaking), some maxed out tier 2 ships, maybe even a paid-for premium ship or two. They decide to form a Corporation and side with the Empire. Time to make inroads on Sector Conflict!
…only they can’t. They can’t because every adjacent sector belongs to Dyn, whose pilots get massive bonuses due to all that territory they won months and months ago, and so this one little Corp with no territory hasn’t got a hope in hell of breaking them.
Those players have just been denied the endgame content of Star Conflict. They aren’t allowed to form a Corp and create an empire. The only way to do that is to join the big Corporations and fly on their behalf… but that’s not the same. That’s building an empire for someone else.
That is why you penalise the big guys. That is why you make it harder and harder for them to grow. If you make it easy for a corporation to turn up and steal territory off the big corporations, they will. Do you know what that would do to the game? It would improve it! Think about it; if DYN pilots and everyone flying on their side suffered penalties for every territory DYN owned over the first two or three, DYN would not hold more than 2-3 territories for long. They would be taken from them by up and coming Corporations, and the same would happen to the other big boys.
So what would you do, Soldier? How would you respond to your precious Corporation being ripped apart? Would you ragequit and join a corporation that looked to be doing well, or would you rally the troops and push out, hell-bent on proving you could build an empire despite the odds being stacked against you?
Think about that. Think also how much more exciting the map would look if the landscape was ever changing; one week a Corporation is on the rise, the next it is erased from history, it’s holdings divided into three up and coming Corps. Next week they might be gone just as quickly, either destroyed by their conquered Corp or by yet more newcomers.
The final, “tl;dr” point to take away is this: strong players don’t need any more help. You shouldn’t reward players for winning by making it easier to win; you should challenge them by making it harder to win. Every single player game we play does this; you start easy, it gets harder, you get better, it gets harder again, you get better again, etc. This is what keeps us playing, and if Sector Conflict could do this, making the “reward” for having a large empire the bragging rights of pulling it off despite the handicaps the game inflicted, I think you’d find a lot of people were willing to test their might.