Bounty Hunting Overhaul


I have been playing the game off and on over the last 12ish years and have always been disappointing in the bounty hunting system it has either been full of exploits or just not very immersive. Below are some of the changes I suggest that may make this a viable profession for those that share the same passion for bounty hunting:

  • Any bounty placed on a pilot would place that bounty into a pool controlled by an NPC agent.
  • Bounties would have a minimum value of 10m ISK and increase in 10m ISK equivalents. This would stop people from getting a bounty worth next to nothing and a waste of time.
  • Like every other profession in eve they require skills so why not do the same for Bounty hunting.
    • Make it so that they have special locator agents that help track your target through space as a live update on the in game map. These agents will tell you if they are in a station, what system they are in and what target they are warping too. They will not show you if they are in a safe spot but will let you know that they are at a safe spot by saying something like your target is warping to an unknown location or something. Also these agents would have a cost associated with them and the cost could be increased depending on how long they are used. You could either pay for a set time for the agent or set it to a live payment where every 15m or hour or whatever time has passed money is taken from your wallet. If you do not have enough ISK then the agent drops the special tracking.

    • Another skill could be to increase the maximum amount of bounties you can hold at a time (with a max of say 9 (1 as a default and 2 per lvl increase on the skill),

    • You could be to increase the number of contracts you could live track at the same time. So lvl 1 you could live track 1 bounty from your contract list and 1 additional live tracking per skill level,

    • Another skill could increase the total time you have to hunt your target. This is important as it stops people from holding onto the contract forever and really abusing the system.

      • Finally perhaps another skill to decrease the time to turn down contracts for a new one. Similar to how you can decline missions from agents.

Also for me bounty hunting is a solo profession kind of like Jango Fett from star wars so you should not be allowed to be in a fleet when tracking your targets and if anybody else interferes by helping you kill the target then the contract is voided and no bounty will be given. If in highsec and somebody decides to help then only the person without the contract will be Concorded. Obviously while owning a contract no part of space is off limits to complete your contract and Concord will not interfere in HS.

So with all that in place here is how it would work. A player goes to a mission agent and gets a random contract from the pool of bounties. They can either decline or accept however many contracts they want (based on the skills they have invested in). The random part is important since it stops people from cherry picking specific targets. Once you have the bounty or bounties you have a set amount of time to complete the contract (based on skill level) and the ability to activate the special locator agent … the time to complete is also important as it stops people from tracking you down and holding your contract forever. If the contract fails then it goes back into the pool of available contracts for somebody else to randomly get.

I know its not a perfect system and some of it may seem OP or need some balancing but I really do believe this would be a good starting point to making this a more interesting and immersive path for the bounty hunting profession.

there is talks of doing away with the bounty system.

I’m struggling to understand how this works.

What is ‘holding’ a bounty?

So from this I’m guessing only one person can hunt a particular bounty at a time? And they have a time limit?

I’m guessing because your op explains none of this…


Can you explain the idea without the skills? Or leave them till last?

Sorry dude, neat idea but I don’t think agents are the way to go. Perhaps a tracker device can be set on a station ie Jita so if the specified person enters or exits you get a notification. Agents aren’t the way to go, it would be so fickle and awkward to program, especially since thousands of players have bounties on their heads. Tracking those players would be a nightmare.

Thats why they are talking about just doing away with the bounty system. bogging down resources that could be devoted elsewhere.

Yeah they should, and just return all the isk to the people who put the bounties on them, that would probably fix a lot of slowness issues that are bogging the server

For 10M ISK you get a free killright on anyone? If that was the case, your suggestion is

  1. not only terrible, but
  2. totally redundant because it has been suggested multiple times before, see and learn to use the search before you post, and
  3. I would totally abuse that to put you into that pool just for posting this kind or abusable rubbish.

Another idea spoiled by alts online workarounds. You can track infinite players with infinite alts.

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Without a way to prevent targets from farming their own bounty with alts any change is pointless.


Besides, how could the care bears feel “Wanted” with this system?

Won’t bother me either way to see them do away with the bounty system if it will make the game overall better.

I don’t think anyone mentioned this, but the reason why any of the hundreds of bounty overhaul ideas don’t work. Basically, if we got half decent payouts then we would just let our alt murder our pods, claim that sweet bounty then transfer it over. So in essence, people with bounties get free isk and bounty hunters still get nothing.

Edit: seems like someone already mentioned this

Seems to me the best kind of bounty system would be for you yourself to become infamous. Then people would want to hire you to hunt a mark. If you want to be some glorious bounty hunter like Jango/Boba Fett your gonna have to work for it by your own skill, -not some cheap in-game payout where everyone wishes for the “Great Hunt” to be given to them.

I like the idea, with only a few changes.

Firstly, don’t use agents. They’re terrible. @Azar_Zadius mentioned a tracker device. I think something like that could be done with structures. You go to a safe spot, anchor this structure, and any time it picks up a mark you’re tracking, it pings you. Whether it’s system-wide, has a specific range in AU, that can be worked out later. Importantly, people should be able to scan this structure down and blow it up, probably acquiring a suspect timer.

To actually get a bounty to track, use your pool idea; you go to the bounty office and request a bounty, they give you a random bounty to track out of a pool. You can only have a certain number of bounties tracked at a time, that number based upon the skill you mentioned.

As for only being allowed to track a bounty for a certain amount of time, I think that should not be skill-dependent but should be reputation-dependent. When you successfully complete a bounty, you get a certain number of “reputation points” calculated from the size of the bounty and the value of the kill. (You could have a skill kind of like “Negotiation” or the connections skills; it will increase your point gain per bounty by a percentage.) The higher your reputation with the bounty office, the longer you are allowed to track a bounty, the minimum amount of time being say, two weeks. You basically burn these points to track your targets longer, they act as a kind of “fuel”. This means that you could track one target for a very long time if you have a lot of reputation points, or many targets for a shorter time. If you run out of points, you have the minimum time left to get the bounty or you lose it.

Now, this is crucial: Do not make bounties public. When you show info on a player/corp/alliance, it should give NO indication about whether or not they have a bounty on their head. When someone places a bounty on your head, you should not be notified. The only people who should know about the bounty are the person who placed the bounty, and the person who is tracking the bounty. Also, if you’re not tracking the bounty, you don’t get a payout. This keeps people from “bounty pinging”, where in they shoot their friends/alts to check to see if they have bounties.

I think these changes take the skill of bounty hunting out of the hands of agents, who you would have had doing the tracking work for you, and puts it in the hands of players. It also prevents people from getting free isk from the bounty on their head. It also means that people can’t just tie up bounties forever so no one else can hunt them. (You could make it so that multiple people could hunt the same bounty, to make it competitive. The exact number of people that can track a given bounty could be determined by the size of the bounty)

Overall, I am not in favor of doing away with the bounty system yet. I think it deserves one last good overhaul, and if that doesn’t save it then yes, give it the old Banhammer treatment.

  1. Rich people are going to place bounties on freighter pilots in significant numbers since freighter pilots will be easy to find given the choke-points of highsec hauling. Now with a few hundred million ISK a freighter pilot is going to be a gank target while hauling what is usually considered a relatively safe hauling amount, say 800mil in collateral. The hauler though, by your idea, has no idea that some random person has placed a 300million bounty on his head and now he is a good gank target and he has no clue it is coming. Interesting predator / prey relationships should allow both sides to take reasonable efforts to ‘effect or avoid’ combat consequences. Your idea though only benefits the predator and worst of all leaves the prey absolutely clueless that they are a walking gank target despite using best hauling practices.

  2. Even if you let the person hauling know that they have a 300mil bounty on their head they are given no way out of this problem short of sorting through bounties till they find their own and go blow themselves up. Security status is similar here in that with effort the person with a low security status can bring it back up, although it would take much less effort to bring up a security status (predator) than it would be for the freighter pilot (prey).

  3. The net effect of your suggestions would basically ruin highsec hauling.

  4. When i lived in nullsec i made two billion ISK per day on average, which means that as a single individual i could say place a 500mil bounty on some freighter pilot, every day and still be making 1.5 billion ISK per day. Again, im just a single individual and i should not have enough power to adversely effect highsec hauling to that degree just because it makes me laugh. Notable, making two billion ISK per day in nullsec is not considered rich, so there would be a lot of people able to do this and im sure enough of them actually would.

(i was in nullsec 8 months, let’s say of that i actually played 7 months x 30 days, means i could have 500mil bountied 210 freighter pilots all by myself of if i had gone ‘all-in’ on this idea could have bountied at least 650 freighter pilots and still covered my nullsec operating costs.

Your idea is similar to the ECM nerf of 1v1. It gives no hope for the intended target. As mentioned, since it puts strain on the system, get rid of it.

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Okay, so let’s adjust it then. How would you solve that problem?

People have been trying for years to ‘solve’ the problem of the bounty system not working and the general consensus is that the bounty system cannot be made to work.

Im not making the claim it cannot be made to work only that the solution has not been obvious and therefore may not exist.

You’re right, the solution isn’t obvious. But, we have a lot of smart people floating around here and I like to think that at least every once in a while (these days, anyway), CCP gets an idea from the forums. If we come up with a workable solution, and I believe there is always a solution, maybe they’ll implement it. I can hope, damn it. :stuck_out_tongue:

People have already been putting some neat ideas in this thread, so let’s get some more and see what ways we can combine them to make this system better. I don’t consider nixing the system a solution.

Bounty hunting isn’t broken. Fly a smartbomb ship near fleet fights in low sec and sit at at sun at zero, enjoy pirate pod mails with full payout if applicable. Also tracking high value targets can be done y’all just lazy.

You make some good points there… :thinking: