“Commandment 10, let’s all have fun and play together!” -Tet, God of Games
Preface: This isn’t about how the game is, or what you should do, its about a reimagining of that the game could be, any assertions of how things are in Eve is based on my subjective opinion. Inspired by How To Avoid Le Gank And Why Ganking Isn’t A Problem
Fun facts about ganking:
1 99% of the gank experience is not the actual combat
2 the majority of ganks last under 5sec
3 nearly all gankers have plans for suicide, and die to NPCs during PvP (Stop self-harm! link them to the broadcast for reps channel)
How to get ganked: Undock
Why ganking is a problem: its bad at pretending to be PvP, NPCs always kill one team, and everyone dies in less than 5sec, if only we could explode more slowly to appreciate the view together, then everything would be fine.
If getting ganked was a good experience, even if you lose your shiny/loot filled ship, nobody would be asking for balance changes. Another way to say it is if we can improve the high sec combat experience, then its just as good as any detailed balance patches.
1 Flying Safe is a lifestyle choice, but not everyone knows how to live to the fullest. This takes educating our youth, so that they can help us build a better future! And other inspirational slogans!
While the combat might be over a couple sec after the catalyst land, and the frustration of feeling like you couldn’t do anything subsides, you start planning and reconsider your defense, your revenge, or your… choice to keep playing eve. The effect of ganking new bros needs data to be released for any meaningful discourse, but from my experience of trying to get people in rookie chat that announce they got ganked and are quitting to fill out a customer service ticket to give feedback, they just ask why bother since they are quitting. When i ask them why it comes down to 1 of 2 things, either they feel people are stopping them from playing the game by breaking the rules without getting punished (remember this is from a newbro perspective), or they try to get revenge on the ganker but realize the attempt is meaningless outside personal revenge, or the hunt, then quit when they can’t do either of those to the ganker.
With that said, whether you agree with what i said so far or not, we could introduce newbros to ganking and the meta surrounding it earlier on, and give them a taste of the lifestyle choice that is Flying Safe before they get ganked. Don’t read, before they get ganked, as push for people to get ganked less, what I mean is that meta around it, the time spent in the fitting window, and the danger sense you practice when seeing neutrals near a gate, and watching local for pirates, that 99% of the ganking experience that people who quit eve from getting ganked don’t give themselves the chance to experience. The people i have heard from that say they werent driven off because of ganking, was because they got to experience some of the meta surrounding it beforehand, or had help chat coach them, to make them feel more ready for next time (sense of progression through personal skill, and knowledge of the game in the face of defeat <3 )
Introduce newbros to the wonders/dangers of space (not knowing about part of a game means you can’t really play with it intentionally, it just happens to you, and you either role with the punches or get K.O.ed) to give people more of the game to play, you can just give them an idea to theory craft around, this is limited by FOO strategies (First Order Optimal) where a problem can be simply solved, and u just ask help chat for the answer.
For now i think a 30 day, can’t get attacked by players unless suspect timer, (after the 3rd sus timer, or pirate activities 30 day safety goes off), is a fair chance for newbros to learn the Fly Safe lifestyle (not per character but per account). As the new player experience continues to improve the 30 day safety can be removed once we can see the tutorial aspects accurately present a “survive various ganking situations” tutorial. The combat mechanics tutorial doesn’t really tell people how to hunt/how they will be hunted, or a lot of the edge cases where high-sec PvPers take advantage of, or plan for to disregard, the rules of high-sec.
The major change i want to see is optional self-identification as a pirate, and linking options for involuntary PvP (undocking has nothing to do with consent in this scenario, or real life. Even if she undocks without wearing any tank underneath, it’s not consent, even tho you could leave her a wreck if you really wanted in real life too, especially don’t do this to the young ones, give them a chance to grow up first… into proper piolets). The mechanisms to incentivize or reward this kind of thing will be dependent on other changes, but increasing player interaction should be the goal, not teaching people how to avoid others like the plague. Setting someone as bad standing is like them gaining notoriety, fame, infamy, and can affect other people’s decisions just from showing up in system with a pirate colors (standings color). People that identify as pirates should be able to act like they have been, since they are adding content just by having an imposing presence (bad standings + understanding gankers = anticipation of gameplay, which can light up our brain even more effectively than the actual experience, which might be underwhelming). Pirates that don’t self-identify have the same limitations as if they decloacked, so that if they want to take someone by surprise, the interaction isn’t about reflexes or server tick/lag, but the target being unprepared yet fully capable (not that feeling of helplessness, but that you had the tools and were neglectful). The anonymity in high-sec amongst the real neutrals is like having local cloaking, similar to wormholes not showing local, but better because you can still interact with the character profile instead of just not seeing anything to interact with till they want to be seen or heard.
Self-Identification as a pirate should come with gameplay changes involving how/when concord responds, limitations or abilities based on your identifier, and interaction with the market and location.
Make being able to get around the safty systems in highsec require Piracy skill level 1, with level 4 granting Pirate bdages, and lvl 5 Piracy grants T2 badges to specialize and get pirat like abilities. After Piracy 5, pirate specializations become available.
Thief: this badge lets your ship fit mining modules, that rip off a random module of enemy, once they are into hull, so you can take everything in the ship, if you can hold them for long enough, without the wory of loot ninja, then you can sell them the offer to let them go, since exploding the empty hull isnt profit
Saboteur: the non-Identified looking pirate, dont how up in local as a pirate for x seconds depending on skill level, Saboteur-faction version makes you show up in local as blue/purple for x sec
Hijacker: Entosis module an enemy ship to force them out and you in their ship, but they get into a pod right by your ship that keeps the hijacker badge and ship jacking module, Lvl 5 for this badge lits the hijacking piolet fly any ship foor a limited amount of time to deliver the goods, but if he doesn’t have natural skills to fly it, the tank/wep gets turned off
Dreadpirate: IDK but it sounds cool, and we need more stuff like this more than the fancy mechanics changes
Doing the self identification should be on a per ship basis, that needs to be done at any pirate structure, similar to getting insurance, but pirates get a pirate badge, these badges can be bought/sold.
The structure for the badges can be NPC pirate outside high-sec, or a player owned station, so the player station is a resource for all pirats in the area and worth defending, but have the last resort of NPC pirate stations outside highsec (where the real pvp is lol, will “Pirats” be able to make it back to highsec or get hunted and be content XD ).
Pirates that use the self ID system pay to add badges to their ships, and their ships add a part of that value to what they drop, increasing the value in fighting, and making
Above is a reason and a way to fight highsec piracy, not to stop piracy but to make a framework around the emergent gameplay so that there is more to play with, so intentional PvP becomes ideal, rather than avoidance and profit change vs loss mitigation to concord.
2 This part is about how the combat lasts till concord comes at best, shortening concord time is bad, extending the time we get to see pew pew is good, even if the results stay the same, show us more PEW PEW. How? IDK, but small balance tweaks won’t be enough, we need a new mechanic added in with broad implications that also interacts with the market forces.
This section about combat is proportional to the actual combat during the Ganking experience, relative to the rest of this post. At this point everyone explodes, concord makes you keep scrolling, and you pretend like you aren’t annoyed at bad jokes.
3 What is getting concorded for again? it doesn’t stop high-sec PvP.
Does that basicaly just apply to people who want to use expensive things?
Concord=only poor fit can be aggressors cost effectively?
Anyway, it would be great if the NPCs would let me kill some pirates too. The only time i can shoot back without getting concorded is if they aggress, I’m tranky enough not to die instantly and, can lock fast enough, only under thos conditions can it be PvP, otherwise it’s just someone shooting at a passerby, and thats ok, its an open world game where people can basically grief each other with only slap on the wrist. But NPCs butting in and taking away agency from the players… theres gotta be a better way.
See link at top for where to post about how to stay alive in highsec.
For comments about current gank related isues there is a mega thread where someone has already said that.
Please comment what you want the future to be like.