Great idea, and something i've been thinking about for quite some time aswell.
I do think the instanced game engine can be modified in almost any way to keep the game alive if the guys at Cryptic are interested enough.
Just think about WoW and flying mounts before Burning Crusade... People asked for flying mounts and got the answer: Impossible. Doesnt fit with the game engine, people would get access to various areas of the world that they shouldn't get, it would ruin pvp etc etc etc.. What did they do? They added a new "instance" and introduced flying mounts...
The way you have this thought out you make like you would be fighting in Sector Space, which we know isn't possible. But then maybe if each planet in a Sector had a separate PvP map to win, you could win control over a planet that way. But then wait. What about the fact that every time you enter a System you enter an instance? And what about when you leave the instance? What if you zone into a version of the Sector instance that isn't marking your scores, but that of some other players, because the Sector instance you were in is full?
Yeah. Sorry. It's a nice idea but it couldn't work quite the way you envision it.
I could see an Open PvP Sector Block that would have multiple PvP Systems (space and ground maps) and an Open PvP system that allowed you to fly into another player (much like Enemy Contacts do now) and initiate a one on one PvP match. But I just don't see how the actual scoring of a Contested Area Sector Block would work with such an instanced game engine.
You'd have to have it so that the entire sector was just one instance, and each planet only had one sub-instance. Not sure if the servers could be scaled to cope with the numbers.
I do like the generalities of the idea....
Personally, I'd add graded bonuses for the entire faction to encourage people to 'take part inthe war', but that could be a step too far for some people.
I don't know how the instancing works a the moment. Is it on a "need" basis, or are there a fixed number of instances?
In either case, they need to ensure that the numbers of PVPers are matched along the factions - or they need a mechanic to compensate for different numbers of players in an instance, like NPC ships or something like that.
What I could envision is that, at the end of each day (or similar time unit), the servers determine the "average" result over all instances and this determines the new state of the instances in the next game. The trick is to avoid that it's possible that each instance has only guests from one instance, making it a little too easy to dominate in one instance. (Maybe the ratio of players could be a balancing factor for determing the overall outcome.)
NOTE: This thread is not in favor of having the entire game turned over to an Open PvP system. This is just for creating a Sector Block where Open PvP can occur. I am in no way in favor of Full Server Open PvP.
I am in agreement with anything that brings an open-pvp element to the game and can also make it part of the storyline.