Next, Sector Conflict battles should be all about kill count. Everything counts toward that kill count, and first to zero lives loses. This is done in a no-holds-barred arena; a massive spacescape where you can have a huge number of ships (60+ ideally) all waging war over a massive region.
Example kill counts might be something like this:
Ships: Tier 1 = 1 kill, Tier 2 = 3 kills, Tier 3 = 5 kills, Tier 4 = 8 kills. This is intended to help balance the fact that a Tier 4 would happily farm lower levels all day long, but it also encourages team play - if four tier 1 ships somehow jump and kill a Tier 4, they’ve made an awesome gain for their team!
Beacons: The more a Beacon gives to the team, the more the team loses when it falls. Example: If a Warp Beacon adds +50 to the number of players in the game for a team, they lose fifty lives if it is captured.
Dreadnoughts: Like Beacons, a Dreadnought should give a lot of lives, but cost a lot when it falls. It may even be a case of “If you have no Dreadnoughts, you lose!” This would present some fun options: in a small (1 Dreadnought) battle you could go all-in and try to slay the Dreadnought for the win. In a larger game you might be better kiting the Dreadnoughts and going for lesser kills to win via attrition.
Making a Sector Conquest a big event means that the battle feels like it matters, and that it is more than just one Corp dominating the map. It means independents and smaller corps feel a part of the victory too, because if a corporation has no supporting corps / mercenaries then it will struggle against the sheer numbers a more popular and supported corporation can bring to the fight.
A final idea on that front is to allow Corporations to create a “Bonus Pool”. This is, quite simply, a pot of cash that is paid to any player who is active during the invasion. The more time you spend, the bigger your share of the pot. This is a very simple way of encouraging players onto your side during a Sector Conflict - if you were going to get 10% more money for flying with one faction over the other, why would you choose to side with the cheap side?
Slightly to do with sector conquest, when Dreadnaughts are implemented, I hope it takes a semi-Realistic path. That is to say, teams from the dreadnaught literally start in the dreadnaught’s hangar and fly out to battle. When the ship is destroyed, a long-wait timer is set on that specific model ship as the dreadnaught rebuilds it [and subtracts material/army size from the team], but while that one is being rebuilt, you can take out one of your other ships. Fighting would go on like this until army size drops to zero or the dreadnaught is destroyed.
Doing it like this, using beacons for +army stuff wouldn’t look right. However, if dreadnaughts are also divided by class, smaller corps can have smaller dreadnaughts and could even warp into an active battle and assist a large corp, or group up with other minor fleets and lay siege to a large corp.
I like the idea of the ship tier worths, but then it reminds me that a t4 fighter could busily rip through every single t1 anything it sees, even outracing them as they try to flee. It would look neat, and it would make sense, but it might not be fun for the t1’s when they have to constantly relaunch because some t4 guy hunts them down.
I do like the cash pot as well. With that in place, it is also possible to join a game in progress [whether you are with a group in a minor dreadnaught or if you belonged to the large corp, you got online, and you were just ‘waking up for your duty shift’]. We’re talking long PvP semi-realistic battles. Come to think of it, this sounds more like a free-roam sector effort [plausably with beacons to capture at any given sector]. It would also kill the other game modes unless you managed to combine the ideas into dreadnaughts [sections that need to be emp’d to drop hardpoint shields, hardpoints to destroy, and hangars to capture].
If I talk like this any longer, this’d have to be moved to the suggestions section. I’m sure Sector Conquest will get better.