I don't really want to write a wall of text, so i'll just say straight, after life playing games, forum researching and so on, how the PVP and the safezones should be addressed.
Assuming that stargates are not just istant teleports to any system in the universe, but that they can just link a system with a "close one", so you can't just reach a safezone by pressing a button:
- Safezones should exist, because you can't protect your assets 24/24 since it's a game, not RL.
- Safezones should be rare, or the PVP will die. And if the PVP dies, economy, building, and the social aspect will follow.
- Safezones should be public. If there's a way to obtain a safezone by playing the game, this would be a feature that only huge and rich corporations would benefit.
- Safezones should have banks to store your items and credits. But with a proper stargate system,where you can't just teleport everywhere anytime, you wouldn't have access to that so easily. Like EVE Online.
- Safezones should not be used for farming. If you want to mine or gather materials, there should be a risk associated with it, or the economy doesn't work. And this damages the PVP too. In a safezone you should be only able to find low level materials. If you want to make money, risk your ship.
- Safezones should let people build, but only ships of a limited size, like 50x50x50. And you will have to rent the land.If you want to rent multiple lands, the price goes up exponentially like Everquest Landmark. If you want to build a huge ship, you would probably have a corporation able to defend your creation, otherwise as a solo player, you shouldn't probably drive that. You should be able to park your ship on the same land you rented, so you can be safe when you logoff. Ofc if you have a huge ship, you'll need a claimed land with "Territory control units", to land it safely.
- Safezones should be social HUB with recruiting, contracts, economy in mind.
Safezones are 100% safe, so there's need to limit the amount of stuff you can hide there, build or farm.
A land you own, as some kind of safety features. Ofc you shouldn't lose all your empire overnight, it doesn't make sense. So there's need for time window where the land is vulnerable, and i would create a system wimilar to the one EVE Online has.
Land claimed can be attacked under certain circumstances, but you can build bigger, farm precious stuff, deposit all the items and ships you want.
That said, there's one last thing:
They cannot attack safezones
They cannot use safezones
They should be able to attack claimed territories easier than "legal" commanders.
They should be able to claim a territory ( for managing purposes inside their group) but they should not have any kind of protection nor time window of vulnerability. they should always be vulnerable.
They should be really low on ships/resources, in a way that they would never want to grief a building for fun, but just open a small hole, and steal what you can.
Automated defenses that a player can build on his territory, should give outlaws a real challenge, so that they would not just grief and destroy everything they see.