CSM 13 - High Sec Issues/Suggestions/Ideas


(Ima Wreckyou) #364

What is unbalanced exactly? The will to fight? How are you going to fix that?

Well I’m not, because the “fix later” is CCP speak for “forget about it and never touch it in the next 5 years”. Do you really want a highsec without the possibility to remove Citadels, remove POCOs, RvB because some players don’t want to play the game when it gets a little bit challenging or because their CEO tells them to logoff for a week?

(Tipa Riot) #365

Just pick that instead of Brisc. IMO there is an “easy” fix, I have outlined multiple times in the forums. You never will be able to force a war victim you choose to fight.

But instead make it possible to form a “coalition of the willing” by opening up defending wars to everybody regardless of corp affiliation and committed as simple as shooting a suspect.

Easy third partying on highsec wars can be the solution.

(Ima Wreckyou) #366

Well that is actually an interesting idea and I would gladly see that implemented. What I think is missing is the tooling around wardecs. CCP removed watchlists which where an important part for both sides to see if they have to be on the lookout for enemies. There should be intel tools available to both sides to get a proper hide and seek mechanic again.

I also think there should be some tools to incentivice more conflict in Highsec with actual meaning. Here was my proposal I did a while ago: What we need is more tools not a wardec mini-game. A proposal for the expansion of the contract system

In general all I see from CCP and CSM right now is an attempt at limiting the game play even more, removing parts of it or the whole thing all together. That just makes things more boring and if they think more boring and less stuff to play = better retention then they haven’t learned a thing yet from past changes or even some common sense.

I don’t rely on wardecs to play EVE, they are completely useless to me in the current form except for the occasional war where I fight with my solo corp against multiple other players who are territorial and don’t just run 30 jumps away on the first sign of trouble. i’m not interested in killing structures and if they are tied to that even the last reason to use them for small groups you could actually defend against is gone and then it’s all just organized big fleets which tear citadels apart without any chance for an unorganized defender.

(Tipa Riot) #367

Looks like CCP does not have the resources anymore to do bigger changes to core game play in reasonable time. The wardecs are a perfect example. They know it’s broken and likely bad for their bottom line for years, and still ignored it because of know how issues … in the best case. In the worst case they just follow the nullsec-first agenda.

(Black Pedro) #368

I posted a version of this in the Wardec discord (invite) but let me work on these ideas a little more here:

The main problem I have with this top-level discussion as reported in those minutes is that it doesn’t really address what problem they are trying to solve, and even seems confused to what are the real problems with wars. Is it their impact on new players? New groups? The “funness” or balance of the the wars themselves? I mean practically everyone acknowledges there are issues, but at least from that discussion no one seems to be on the same page, or starting from first principles and deciding what wars should be accomplishing. I think CCP Fozzie tried to get some comments on that, but how productive that effort was isn’t well reflected in the minutes.

But what can we say from reading that? Well first, I am pretty sure that both CCP’s previous statements on how new players are affected by wars, the existing stats on how players die, and the comments in these latest minutes agree that new players are not affected by wars to a large extent. As was remarked, new players don’t have anything of value, and even the edge case brought up by CCP Lebowski of new players joining a nullsec group and losing their stuff I bet statistically is insignificant. It also makes little sense as if a new player joins a nullsec group, puts everything into a hauler and heads off to nullsec to join their new group, they are as likely to lose their hauler to lowsec pirates as to wardeccers.

So new players aren’t grossly affected by wars. Veterans carebears also aren’t affected by wars either, or at least they have found easy ways around them by exploiting corp hopping and the NPC corp. That pretty much leaves larger and/or upcoming highsec groups who suffer most under the current war mechanics.

In these groups, I think the discussed social corp serves both general classes of corp well - the carebear/social/casuals who just want to fly spaceships together and not fight other groups, and the nascent competitive corp trying to grow and compete with the rest of New Eden. The first are protected from wars and can do their thing as a group (with appropriate restrictions similar what they can do now in a NPC corp and shared chat channel) and the second can use it as a temporary regrouping place if endless wars get too much. They can retreat to the protections of the social corp if the monotony of endless wars gets too much for them.

However, the social corp doesn’t solve the balance/meaning problems of wars themselves which, as many people have commented and I agree, largely stem from a lack of purpose for corps and a lack of objectives to control and fight over. As long as the reasons for wars are so ethereal some groups are going to decide they don’t want to fight this one and turtle up, like everywhere in New Eden. To rehabilitate wars, there needs to more reasons to fight in general engineered into highsec, but that isn’t a simple fix.

Social corps seem easy to implement and require little game design time as their equivalent - the NPC corp - is already in the game. Of course, I’d love it if the devs get the go-ahead from the higher ups and could spend the time to reimagine the whole thing and come up with a more dynamic and balanced system that puts players fighting over real, organic sandbox objectives. I just estimate the chance of that at near zero.

But reading this discussion, I am not sure I learned anything new about wars. New players don’t die often in wars - knew that. Wars are especially harsh on smaller highsec groups that reach a certain critical mass and get noticed - knew that too. Player activity (read krabbing) drops during a war - easily predictable give how the two preferred strategies to deal with wars are not undocking and using alts or staying logged off, or corp rolling/hopping. Plus, reducing player activity/income is often the main point of wars. I expect a similar drop in the level of activity of bad nullsec corps that rely on local as their only defence when an AFK cloaker shows up, just as we see for the many highsec corps rely on CONCORD as their only defence.

In fact, I would argue that some drop in “activity”, or at least some kinds of activity is desirable in your competitive game, as if players were completely unaffected by another group actively trying to kill them, the game would clearly be broken.

Well, if anything, this discussion convinced me more that a social corp giving groups the ability to opt-out of wars much like the NPC corp does for individual players is the only practical improvement possible. I see no other solution that doesn’t involve a sweeping revamp of highsec and CrimeWatch mechanics, which I deem there not to be enough resources for. But I am under no illusion that if CCP executes a social corp perfectly, the complaining will stop. There will always be players that feel entitled to free NPC-protection and all the perks of a competitive corp are who will still be upset another group has the ability to turn that off and make them actively defend themselves, even if you point them directly to the new social corp and tell them to live there if they don’t want to deal with wars. There will also be constant background whining that it is unfair the competitive corps get toys like structures, and moaning from the corps that do take the step to becoming a “full corp” and who get beat in a war and fail, just like people complain about how things are unbalanced and favour the bigger, stronger side everywhere else in the game.

That’s Eve for you. Wars are a manifestation of the core idea of the game and are often going to result in one side declining to participate because they are outmatched or unwilling to risk anything, or being smashed into oblivion by a steamrolling opponent. I hope next time wars are discussed CCP has had some more time to think about what they want wars to do and what they want highsec to be, and is willing to share that with the CSM and the players. I think it would be a more productive use of everyone’s time, even if I do appreciate the fact that the CSM pushed to have this session at all.

Baby steps I guess.

(commander aze) #369

CCP Larrikin pulls up activity data for players of corporations that have wars declared against them and it shows considerable activity drops in all activities during the war. They also show that the low activity continues after the war ends. Brisc Rubal noted that the numbers here were so stark, it would justify immediately removing war decs as a mechanic and promising a fix after the fact. The CSM in general were surprised at how stark the numbers were and noted it was clear this mechanic was having a significant impact on player recruitment and retention.

CSM 2018 “Winter” Summit MINUTES

can we release this info so we can see how bad the problem really is? might be a reality check for a lot of people. doesnt need to be much but a short dev blog about it would go a long way

(Black Pedro) #370

A long way to what? Isn’t it enough for CCP to say via the minutes that activity metrics drop significantly during a war? These numbers aren’t surprising or controversial. Ratters also dock up in nullsec when an name appears in local, or at the opposite end of the scale, stop mining, ratting (and sometimes fail to show up to defend their Keepstars :wink:) when a superior supercap force shows up. It what players often do when they are at risk and think they can’t win (or even have nothing to gain) - they turtle up and wait for the risk to blow over. If there is any problem worse for highsec groups than anyone else is that that increased risk can go on for weeks sometimes keeping the timid turtled up for a very extended stretch of time.

I think everyone agrees highsc wars need attention: CCP, the CSM, and the players, even the ones prosecuting wars actively. Hopefully this session gets wardec reform really onto the roadmap in the near future.

(Brisc Rubal) #371

The entire thing. A handful of groups are responsible for a huge percentage of total war decs. The number of ships killed in wars is low, but almost totally lopsided in favor of the attacker. Defenders almost never fight back, and the clear meta is to just log off for the week, and the stats show that players who do that don’t bother logging in again.

You fix it by creating victory conditions that provide a meaningful way for defenders to win, limiting how many wars groups can start at a time or over a period of time, tying the ability to dec a group to structures in space, and creating an incentive for defenders to win - say, they get the fees if they win the war.

Obviously we can’t get rid of war decs without coming up with a solution to high sec citadel spam. My comment about yanking them out and dealing with it in six months was hyperbole based on how nuts the metrics are.

But this needs to get fixed ASAP because it’s bleeding new players from the game and we need to stop that.

Wardec Nerf incoming
Change is coming
The CSM 13 Winter Summit Minutes are out
(Brisc Rubal) #372

I think this comes down to a definition of new players.

We’re not talking about literal new players who just started the game yesterday and just finished the NPE. We are talking about players that have been around for a couple of weeks, who are just starting to feel competent about the game and have a general feel for it, who want to break out of the NPC corps and do something social with a group of friends.

That transition is a vulnerable one. You leave the safety of the newb corp, you strike out on your own and start getting involved in other aspects of the game. Getting people hooked means they need to be wiling to log in and do things they find fun.

If they get hit with a war dec at that point, they probably don’t have much of an idea of what to do, and the statistics show that most of them just choose to log off for the duration of the war, and then they never or rarely log in. The numbers for activity before the war, during the war, and after the war are just nuts. That’s what prompted my comment in the minutes about just tearing the thing out.

So the war dec system needs to change so that it doesn’t have a disproportional impact on players who are least likely to be able to deal with a war dec effectively beyond simply logging out for a week.

Wardec Nerf incoming
(Ima Wreckyou) #373

This I find very puzzling. At that very same meeting it was also said that new players are not the ones affected by this except for the nullsec feeder corps where I doubt that effect you are talking about is actually visible. So why are you still talking like this is about new players. Old habits die hard?

So can we please please at least among the people who are actually interested to talk about the mechanic and not just use whatever excuse to get rid of them at least agree that the actual problem are big or middle sized already established corps? Because it may help to understand the actual issue.

I also wonder if this is a new phenomenon. Wardecs are in this game for 15 years. Was this a problem from the very start or is this just a recent issue and can it be traced back to a change in mechanics, economics or player behaviour?

That would be a nice addition but I highly doubt it would get rid of the actual problem that people don’t want to fight.

This is why I propose the expansion to the contract system. This way it would give both sides more ways to interact with the situation in a way that can emerge from the sandbox and us not just a taged on minigame designed by CCP which will be gamed with some stupid tactic they did not account fir after two weeks.

(Winston Onzo) #374

There’s also the issue of war deccers just trying to recoup money they lost from another war, on smaller corps.

(Black Pedro) #375

No doubt the transition is a vulnerable one and I fully believe starting a new corp as a newer player is one of the most difficult things one can try to undertake in Eve. Probably bordering on impossible to do by yourself without allies, assets or experience. But we need to be clear here on what is, or is not, a problem.

I mean, there is a bit philosophical issue here that jockeying for resources and power is a key idea, maybe the key idea of the game. Some players are naturally going to hit the point where they start to go after bigger goals, and the game puts them at risk (and in competition) to the other players as it properly should in a single-sharded, competitive PvP sandbox game. And some of them are going to fail at what they try and not like the feeling and quit. These players are not looking for competitive game where they can actually lose, and whether they fail here, or fail two months down the road at something else, they are not going to stay with the game long-term no matter what you do.

I do think there are things that can be done to minimize the attrition rate and help new groups get a foothold, and making wars more fun for everyone would go along way towards that. Multi-week wars where no one undocks isn’t really fun for either side. However, just like when people say “make PvE more fun”, it is easier said than done to make wars more balanced and engaging, especially in the context of a persistent universe and economy and in an open-world PvP game where everything is suppose to be destructible.

Ultimately though, wars reflect the basic idea of the game and will always be around in some form and that is going to turn some players off. The best you can do is help people find a place suitable for their skill level and risk tolerance, and not leave them alone against the rest of New Eden. That might mean somehow keeping them out of, or at least discouraging them from creating a competitive corp, and instead shunting them to some other social group not open to wars. Some people will just not fight another player, ever, and if they are going to stay in New Eden, a competitive corp isn’t compatible with that expectation from the game.

Anyways, I am really excited to see some movement on this issue. I really hope the CSM and CCP can make some headway and break wars out of the rut they have been in for far too long.

(Buoytender Bob) #376

Brisc, could you give us a more refined explanation without violating the NDA in regard to age of pilot, age of wardecked corp, and percentage of pilot attrition from EVE? How bad/shocking is it exactly? Stunned that CCP has done a near 180 on the effect of ship loss/wardeck and pilot retention.

Speaking of CCP, the posted minutes seemed to imply that the CSM were more organized and had concrete issues/goals than CCP. In fact, there were times that it was implied that CCP were either caught completely off guard or had no idea about an issue. Would you agree, within reason, that CCP is undestaffed/overwhelmed/unprepared in GROWING EVE? The wardecking issue has been on the radar for 5+ years with CCP steadily saying, in part, that it didn’t effect pilot retention negatively. Now they think that they may have been in error. Psssst…we have also have been raising issues about missions/sites for even longer; CCP may want to reevaluate their data and conclusions on this issue as well.

(Ima Wreckyou) #377

What they actually said is ship loss has a positive influence on retention and nothing about wardecs in specific. And yes I agree I would really be interested how this fits together.

(Brisc Rubal) #378

I can’t - the actual data is still NDA, and I don’t have access to the slides with the data they showed even if I could tell you.

What I can say is what was noted in the minutes - the data they showed us was stark enough that I see no reason to hesitate to fix this problem immediately. I am not somebody who is given over to hyperbole or hyperventilating, and I’m usually the one calming other folks down.

In this situation, I thought it was so clear it needs to be addressed immediately. That’s all I can tell you.

(Buoytender Bob) #379

Damn, kind of like the difference between a firefighter going door to door to remind people to clear dead brush around their house and check the smoke detector batteries and them driving down the street and announcing over their loudspeakers to “Get out, now!!!” while kicking down doors to hussle people out.

Those numbers have to be REALLY stark…

(Black Pedro) #380

Me too.

I think part of the problem is that if you look at the attrition rate of characters a few weeks or months old, it will look terrible regardless if they are wardecced or not. Wars I am sure increase the pressure and push some people out, but I am highly skeptical actually makes a lick of difference whether someone stays long-term. Eve Online is a competitive game prominently featuring item loss, and that won’t sit well with everyone the first time they experience it.

(Ima Wreckyou) #381

What actually puzzles me about this is that Quants statistics said that the two most important factors where if someone got killed by another player and that they join a corp. This kinda suggests that the retention rate outside of corps that are not wardecable is even higher. Or aren’t they?

(Buoytender Bob) #382

Simple data test/examination to do. Take a relatively large group of new players that are initial Omegas or convert to Omegas over their EVE lifespan and join a player corp. Devide into 3 separate groups:

Group 1 are pilots who are involved in at least 1 wardec (with/without ship loss)
Group 2 are pilots who lost at least 1 ship, but not been wardeced
Group3 are pilots never wardecked or lost a ship.

Percentage of pilots still active after 3, 6,9,and 12 months ffor retention estimate. That should be easily available with all the metrics CCP collects now. Results then would answer the question, in part, of effect of both wardeck and ship loss on new pilot retention…or at least a good point to start discussing fixes to the problem.

(Black Pedro) #383

No idea. I can only assume Quant’s data was looking a new new players, while the wardec data is looking at all players, including the veterans who choose not to not undock.

If someone chooses to not fight and play on an alt and keep paying their subscription I don’t see an issue. The only thing that gives me pause is that Brisc claims the data show a lingering effect on player activity after the war, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect if this was just normal war evasion behaviour.

It’s all rather confusing. Probably this latest “data” should be discounted until CCP presents it in some formal fashion with all appropriate controls. Just pulling “activity metrics” on one class of player without doing the proper diligence and controls is only of limited use. Let’s hope we see some war numbers at Eve Vega$.