This entry is written from an ‘out of character’ perspective.
Blog Banter 32: Non-Consensual Combat Restrictions
A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons’ Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships, there were calls for an “opt out of PvP” option.
Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?
I think I’m going to start this off by quoting my own last blog post commenting on ‘The CSM’s’ attitude shown in the CSM summit minutes and how it may or may not be representative of the player base at large:
A second example of this is in the NPE discussion where CCP/CSM discuss why people play EVE. The CSM are broadly quoted as saying that EVE’s unique attraction is that “You can grief people” and that “its not a game for wusses”.
The EVE community’s evil streak is well known, and the game allows for skulduggery, true. But I don’t think that is what the majority of the player base genuinely set out to do when they log in. EVE’s unique attraction is that sense of exploration and possibility, of empire building not just empire destruction. EVE has become inundated with vocal ‘bittervets’ in recent times, but they are not the whole story.
It would be nice to see our CSM remembering that more often. EVE is about friendship with the people you fly with as much as it is about sinking daggers into the backs of those you fly against. Just thought I’d share the thought while I’m already ostracising myself by supporting Incarna…
My point is this; although griefing is definitely a part of EVE, EVE is not all about griefing. EVE needs a place where newbies can feel relatively safe and able to learn the game without being driven into the dirt every five minutes by a bored bittervet’s high sec ganking alt.
So no, I’m not necessarily in support of reducing high sec protection radically. It is needed to keep new players, and even the more casual types, in the game and feeling able to progress.
EVE is a game about risk and adversity. If you have found a lucrative niche in the game then someone else should be able to find a means of competing with you and taking action against you. There should not be any place of perfect safety within New Eden. If someone is determined enough, then there should be a means for them to attack you, even if it requires considerable expense on their own part.
I am not in favour of the ‘war dec shield’ mechanic (formerly exploit) where a corp can engineer war decs against themselves in order to make themselves practically invulnerable to a war dec by making it prohibitively expensive. The system needs to be overhauled to get away from this.
Suicide ganking is typically looked upon as the most contentious and ‘unfair’ issue of non-consensual PVP. Although I’m not a huge fan of it generally, I do think it is a valid aspect of the game. The recent goons Ice interdiction was in all honesty brilliantly done and was less about the people mining Ice as it was about widespread market manipulation to turn a huge profit; and that is most definitely part of EVE.
Playing devil’s advocate a moment, if suicide ganking was deemed to be an undesirable game element (it isn’t) then I think the way to deal with it would be as part of a reworking of the war dec system. And part of that reworking should be for players to be somehow ‘forced’ out of NPC corps into player run corps (perhaps through harsh taxes imposed on earning and market transactions).
And those player corps should always be vulnerable to a war dec. You will never be suicide ganked again. But you would have to take the risk that someone might decide to war dec you. At least you get a fighting chance to defend yourself, right?
While I’m on the topic of changing the war dec system here are a few other ideas for changes;
* Prevent characters from leaving a a corp with an active war dec during the first week (reduces war dodging).
* Prevent corps from quitting war decced alliances within the first week (reduces war dodging).
* If a war dec is dropped, it cannot be re-issued for another 2 weeks (you commit to sustained warring and can’t cycle the war decs rapidly to keep costs down).
* Maybe allow the target to have some means of ‘counter-bribing’ CONCORD to drop or raise the cost of renewing a war dec.
* Some sort of option to bring mercenaries in quickly/cheaply for industrial corps to gather defence (could turn griefing war decs into PVP for real men).
* Add an ability for a target to prevent an aggressor from dropping a war too quickly (should the aggressor realise the ‘bears’ actually have teeth).
Why not make ‘non-consensual PVP’ less about simple griefing and more about actual PVP?