Sunday, 19 April 2009

Of war and other matters

I was going to post on the broken war dec mechanism, following EVE University's recent mass of war dec's and then someone posted a thread on the IVY forums, so I brain-dumped there.

For those of you in EVE Uni, apologies in advance for repeating stuff you've already seen. :)

The thing is, I don't think that the war dec system is massively broken. It is being used in the wrong way at the moment by corporations and individuals wanting to find a large mass of targets.

In part, I think the problem is that there is no alternative for groups or individuals wanting to PvP other than 0.0 and factional warfare. Pirates, for want of a better word, don't have prey in sufficient quantities in low sec because low sec isn't used and gate camps are dull.

So, I posted the following suggestion on the IVY forums.

1: Fix low sec

Get people in and using low sec - this would reduce crowding in high sec and provide more targets for people looking for a fight.

  • remove all sec status hits for aggression other than in gate grids, but keep the podding sec hit
  • add an escalating faction navy response to gate-grid aggression to discourage gate camps (note, at gates only so you can be driven off from preying on travellers, keeping your ship rather than the high sec Concordoken response) and make gate-grid aggression flag you to be attackable in that system with no penalty at the gate
  • move all level 4 agents to low sec (never thought I'd suggest this but it makes sense to me if travel is safer)
  • introduce higher yielding roids in low sec, in particular a +50% (or something) veld roid
  • reduce the yield on high sec ore belts, to encourage miners to move to low sec for better yields

The idea behind all of the above is that I think the security system for low sec ought to be the empire factions saying "We'll keep the roads safe but if you head off the roads, you are on your own". Gate camps are not fun (drinking beer and singing on teamspeak is fun, but the actual camping is dull....very dull) - but without a significant presence in low sec they are the best chance of getting a kill. They also discourage people from going into low sec in the first places.

Under my suggested changes, if you do want to camp a gate then feel free and you will be able to get a few kills before being driven off and players coming through once you have started attacking people on that gate can engage you immediately. In addition, the fixes above are aimed at getting more people in there in the first place, negating the need for a gate camp.

In my mind, security status hits are also a large part of the reason for people not going into low sec. "Pirates" don't mind about their security status (or wear their -10 with pride, yarr) but a lot of other players are discouraged from entering low sec with the knowledge that they cannot fire until fired upon without a sec hit.

Low sec ought to be profitable - it isn't. I think in part high sec is too profitable and in part low sec needs a boost so the rest of the above suggestions are designed around making it worth your while being in low sec.

I'd much prefer to have the situation where it is easy for people able to get into low sec with a low level of risk to get there but a decent need to take precautions while doing stuff there plus an acceptable reward for the level of risk

This would have the effect of increasing the number of potential targets for roving gangs of "ebil pirates". In turn, I think this ought to reduce the need for PvP corporations to declare war on corporations based solely in empire to find targets.

2: Change the war dec system

I think there ought to be two levels of war dec:
  • Low sec wars with the same sort of cost structure as present
  • High sec wars which cost significantly more

In my mind, low sec wars would benefit the people who want to PvP and have noticed a corporation with a significant low sec presence and want to be able to engage at gates, run camps and slaughter them at will in their own back yard. It would also keep the opportunity for 0.0 alliances and entities to declare war on opponents to extend the defence of their borders - although hardly anyone ever does this.

However, I think high sec wars ought to be about ramping up aggression against an economic competitor. They ought to be a way of taking down competing POS networks, restricting trade and supply routes and sqaushing opponent empire mining operations. They ought not be about "getting kills".

I like the idea of restricting large POS towers to low sec only to increase the fragility of a high sec POS network - if the war dec fee is set high enough so attacking and looting high sec POSes is not a profitable activity.

As for the details of the war mechanics:
  • remote boosting a war target ought to flag you for the duration of that war or until killed: kind of a war kill right
  • high sec wars ought to revert to low sec wars if no kill is made for a week. Wars ought to be fought and if noone is fighting then it ought to be squashed. Note that this does not make turtling as easy an option as it sounds because an empire based corporation will still have to take down its POS network to stop their opponents suiciding a frigate against a tower to keep the war going.

Anyways, those are my views. Feel free to comment on them. :)

As for EVE life in general. I am not playing much these days. Real life and work have consipred to keep me away along with a lack of any real goal in the game. Once things calm down, I may go seeking excitement, I guess.

Until then, all the best.