Having to pay what the sneaky hauler sets as the sell price for the charges in alpha is price enough for risk adverseness. However it would be easier to "dip your toe" in the pool as small amounts of risk tolerance would result in stable incomes (even if miner charges are not terribly pricy and don't scale that well). And the comparison of whether you should do your sneaky hauling yourself or buy it from the charge seller should be relevant. I don't want to force for everybody to do their risk-hauling. But I think directly juxtaposing it make people be more nuanced in their risk-for-nic buying. If you had to do mining 3 times longer if you buy overpriced charges vs doing it fast if you do the risk part yourself players would be less stupidly risk-averse. Or should I say it would discriminate better between moderate risk-averseness and absurdly risk-averse play.
While its okay to be an alpha dweller there is an enourmous difference between alpha living and beta living and its very hard and plainful to transition to beta living. And having crossed the threshold I felt at times that beta livers have it relatively easy as they can accomplish in a month what alpha dwellers do in half a year. As alpha dweller it probably doesn't feel like PvP landia livers would make that much more. The downsides are apparent but the upsides are not.
I still don't like gates forming chokes. I would welcome being able to walk on the ocean floor in a long time to be able to approach an island from any direction. That might be a bit radical. But the current setup makes for the initial steps into beta to be very hot.
A long struggled to try make sneaky beta activity work. I probably covered some activities that do not cross the average players mind. Outright sneakiness in going balls out to beta with no preparation to not get noticed is hard indeed. However with preparations it can be made much more traversable. There are basically 4 basic states that a teleport can be in A) no guarding proximity probe C) small number shooters at gate or within visual D) large army ambush.
If B and you shoot the probe the defenders will typically either go A or C. It was somewhat rare for the defender to keep doing B. What I did a lot was have a very basic shoot bot go shoot the probe and then roam around until the defenders pricey moduled fighter would come crush me. This was a mistake and probably a source where beginner players get a lot of bad feelings about PvP. What I did in the future was go shoot the probe and then gtfo there and stay out. This was counterintuitive to do but a lot more effective. The defenders were tasked with busywork going to put up the same probe in the same location. Having 0 NIC losses and killing a somewhat NIC costing probe wasn't really breaking their bank but it makes it feel taxing.
If they start doing C more because they expect to catch probe breakers they will expose that bot to be attacked by a small gang or a special fit against it. If that kind of attack happens a lot they can start go D. But keeping D kind of welcoming party active for long is hard and taxing. Players will not sit behind their keyboards in battleformations more than timespans comparable to 1 hour.
This kind of gameplay is about keeping up a alert network and activating appropriate responce in time. Now a lot of people might not think that PvP should be about popping in a random time. Atleast those PvPers that want to achieve victory on the battlefield can feel cheated (the term is blueballed?). But a lot of time players let island holders have their island monitoring be defended for cheap. There was no influx of alpha players trying to constant pour into beta. It was more like 1-3 entrants a day which often were scared away by visual sight in 5-10 mins. That is with 30 minutes of active gameplay you could easily hold the island for day (and this is before we distribute this 30 min/day amongs multiple corp members).
By doing probe popping I sometimes managed to condition the defenders to not place their probes close enough to trigger on teleport landing but leaving the teleport site. This made it possible to try plot a path that went a longer way but did not trigger alert network. However the unintuitive thing was that if there was a probe you should turn around and not return if you happened to stumble upon a probe. In this way it was possible to carve non-wire-tripping entry to beta but it required a lot of preparation and was shaky and broke easily.
Some of the game mechanics such as outposts being open to stability downing only at a limited window try to remove this "logistical", "indirect" or "cold" aggression element. Also things like using telebeacons to move everywhere made less emphasis for it. I don't really know what could be made to make it more fun but I think its a needed element to make conflict manageable. Proximity probes I think were developed because players would use dummy agents to just sit on gates and have a look and this was silly. In this way proximity probes "formalised" monitoring gameplay achieving the same ends but with tools that are intended for those ends. But it was as if designers didn't really anticipate that need for these things would be there.
It migth be that the game is lacking PvP area long term slow gameplay elements. When there are two armies on the move and a active battfield situation the game plays godo and entertaining. But ninja stabilising outposts or mining without permissions don't seem to be that satisying experiences for the aggressors or the defenders. At one time I flat out paid for the ability to mine out of hostile/third-party outposts. This was enforced by social contracts and people knowing whats up. And I think I was blown out a couple of times by people reflexively thinking on my past that I was a aggressive ninja. There would be an option where making this a game mechanic based thing would make "island policing" a more structured activity. That is therte are the locals "owners", registered slaves or "tenants" and then there are the uninvited explorers "thiefs" and outrigth conquerers. Might get out of scope but it might be needed to have a smaller barrier between alpha and beta. That is if players can finalise an actually binding contract that they can't be shot by a beta owners scouts in alpha landia they might actuallly consider to mine under protection in beta. How things stand now you either have to A) trust in non-binding verbal agreements be member of the owning corporation/alliance.
It would also seem that "muscle covering mining ops just in case" is a very boring job. If the "police" must keep the "wolfes" from shooting "the sheep" it might make this kind of gameplay more viable. Or as a sheep refusing to renew your tenancy because too many thiefs blow you up.
I think the gist is that while the economic relationships between non-shooters works okay in alpha and the economic relationship between allies and enemies works great between shooters in beta but the crossover match of economical relationships between shooters and non-shooters doesn't really work out. That is its mandatory to "pay the iron price" to go beta and entities established in beta have no interest in receiving "the gold price".