Mercenaries - A good idea?

Updated Post*

For anyone reading this thread for the first time, here’s the lowdown:

A player can hire an NPC mercenary to defend him/her.

Here are the limitations:

  1. A mercenary will only defend (player’s ship must be targeted and attacked first for his mercenary to respond).

  2. There are 5 levels to the mercenary (frigate, destroyer, cruiser, battlecruiser, battleship), both t1 and t2. A t2 Mercenary is EXTREMELY expensive, as the defence they provide will be equivalent to a highly skilled pilot.

  3. Mercenary will only be activated (appear in space) when player’s ship is attacked in a ‘Vulnerable Zone’. This means the mercenary does not travel alongside your ship or enter warp with you. It will only spawn once it is activated by the vulnerability alarm.

  4. Vulnerability Zone = ALL lowsec & highsec

  5. Vulnerability Alarm = activated if your merc is in ‘Defence Mode’. This alarm signals to the mercenary soldier that you have been attacked/are under threat, and need assistance. Once the mercenary has been signalled, his ship will spawn instantly beside yours. An alarm cannot be activated unless your ship has first been attacked/is under threat by another player. This makes abuse of the mercenary system impossible for players who want to use them against others as part of standard pvp engagements. [changes to come here]

  6. Time Limit of mercenary engagement: ALL mercenaries have a maximum time limit of 60 seconds during which they will engage (if activated) the attacking player. The time increases to 80, then 100 seconds on max skilling. When the time runs out the mercenary will de-spawn. The de-spawn takes place whether your ship is destroyed or not.

  7. If your ship is destroyed by an attacking player before the mercenary is destroyed, the mercenary ship will continue the attack until the Time Limit runs out.

  8. CONCORD will NOT respond to player threats involving mercenaries.

  9. Mercenaries will need skill training and isk to use.

  10. Mercenaries will NOT spawn outside of highsec or lowsec. (will not work in null or wormhole space).

  11. Other players will not know whether another player has mercenary protection. They cannot see your mercenary unless it is active.

  12. Mercenaries cannot be activated if you are in a fleet or in a corporation. They are meant for solo players’ defence.

  13. Mercenaries can be used for PvE in Vulnerable Zone (all of highsec and lowsec).

  14. Mercenaries can be used in FW - but their mechanic will be different: Players in faction warfare will have the opportunity to use their mercenaries in ‘Offense Mode’, whereas players outside FW can only use mercenaries in ‘Defence Mode’. FW mercenaries will offer valuable loot if destroyed.

  15. A player who uses a mercenary who is a member of FW must be the aggressor or defender against another FW ship in order for his/their mercs to spawn loot if either are destroyed.

  16. Non-FW mercs do not give loot once destroyed.

  17. Any player using a merc gets his bounty transferred to the merc. If his merc gets destroyed by another player, the bounty gets transferred to that player.

  18. As well as NPC mercs, players can also hire NPC Transporters. The NPC Transporters will provide extra ‘cargo’ space for haulers, miners (ore space to store more rocks). The bonus of the NPC Transporter’s cargo however will not be equal or near the Freighter. The NPC Transporters cargo bonus will be between 5,000m3 and 35,000m3 depending on your skill level. The purpose of this is to help solo players and new players in the mining field and with transporting goods between locations.

  19. Players can also hire NPC miners ~ this is an idea in development, but I may withdraw it if nobody likes it or thinks i’m doing too much.

  20. Alphas cannot use NPS assistance of any kind.

Here’s my Original Post**


I think it’s a wonderful idea and would add a layer of solid fun and satisfaction to the player base (especially newbros) if Mercenaries were made available for hire in New Eden. These could be tiered, and depending on the level of mission hired for / system security status (for transport/escort services) have different fee requirements or even skills attached, and a maximum number of mercenary combat ships.

A similar dimension could be added to the industry element of the game: extra transport could be hired to help players on the mining field or on those long journeys. And before anyone suggests that this would invalidate the courier contracts market - this is already in need of a massive overhaul, and is generally not exciting enough to attract me to even consider using it.

Just a thought.

I apologize if this has already been discussed numerous times. Just imagining ways to make my own gameplay more fun.

I appreciate your feedback.

Players run Mercenary corps

It’s also better for players to interact and get involved with each other rather than NPCs, benefits retention and overall enjoyment of the game.


In that you have an assumption that it’s straightforward and easy for players to get help by interacting with each other rather than with NPCs.

From my entire experience in the game, this is completely untrue.

Allowing players to hire a few private guns will assist the solo-dimension that so many of us players who choose not to be part of the ‘elite few’ groups are forced into maintaining.

Chat Channels are used for player to player assistance, asking for help in local is also something that can work, new player help channels, using the forums to look for help.
There are lots of ways to seek help without relying on NPCs.


then you should play a solo game, not a mmo. Play Mass effect etc and you will have IA-driven allies who will help you.
and assuming that you need to belong to the “elite few” groups to get some people to help you is ridiculous. Just buidl a corp, ask your corpmates to help you, or pay them. You can do abyssal sites or combat ded sites together, one corpmate can haul things for the others etc
This is not a feature of only “elite few” groups. This is common in many corps in eve

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No pets. They will become mandatory for PvP and are essentially drones.

No automated hauling. Hauling is already low pay, lets not take away work from player haulers.

The game is far more interesting and engaging if you interact with other players.


NPC Mercenaries:

-enhanced protection and support for players who do not have the benefit of real player assistance (most of the Eve population).
-no loss of time/immediate hire (dependent on skill level)
-fills an already vacant gap in the Eve Online gameplay experience for solo players or those of us who do not want to rely on others
-cleaner experience with Eve Online that doesn’t turn foul
-evens out the already one-sided pvp arena and over-balanced game mechanics towards exploitation of player-invested time and resources.
-Players develop greater faith in the Eve Online franchise due to having greater freedom.

-Reduces the likelihood of players interacting with eachother
-Mercenaries only add a limited/maximum threshold bonus to combat/transportation ability of solo players. This means that ultimately, the players who rely on other players are awarded the greatest in the long-run, so the game would therefore not change.

Player Mercenaries


  • [in theory] Chance to make friends and interact with other players around the world
  • [in theory] Learn from others’ experience of the game which can be extremely rewarding

-Depending on other real players is a finite resource and reliability is not guaranteed. Human beings are innately self-satisfying.
-Potential for a lot of time to be spent searching for help from other players, with zero guarantee of an outcome.
-Can lead to pressure and/or abuse with disruptive consequences.
-Leads to players leaving after a period of intense and interested gameplay, because the game lacks self-reliance.

Terrible idea, conflicts with many existing player activities.

Learn to play EVE before posting.



Several of your ‘pros’ for npc hirelings are actually cons.

You want players relying on eachother. Thats how strong bonds are formed.

There’s a reason people will tell you the friendships you make in eve are far stronger than that of any other game. They truly have the power to betray you but don’t.

Players that form social bonds in a game stick around longer, and thats not just eve, thats pretty much every game ever. Why would we encourage even more anti-social play?


Not we. Her. Because …

… she’s anti-social and has no friends.

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I don’t believe that anything i’ve suggested will break the game’s space for players forming bonds.

I’m suggesting improvements or enhancements for those players whose time is spent in mostly solo activity and therefore self-reliance.

This becomes far, far worse than you can imagine.
Players will use these NPCs to further widen the gap, if you think being attacked by a small gang is bad think of what will happen if that small gang also has there NPC mercenaries along with them.

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Then i’m just gonna spell it out for you.

Self-reliance = bad.
Social interaction = good.

If you can’t see how providing a bot-like alternative to actually talking to other players wont affect social interaction, you’re ignorant.

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I mean these implementations merely as a solo-player ability threshold multiplier, not as a reduplication of real player ships and numbers.

Not if CCP limit mercenary combat to only be triggered in defence scenarios.

What constitutes a defensive position? If i attack you, clearly you are a defender, but if you attack back you are no longer a defender and are an attacker, do my NPCs now attack you back? If not why I am now having to defend myself?


Some of us already do, manipulating NPC’s to do the dirty work for you is as old as Eve itself.

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Hire a player or find a friend if you don’t want to fly alone. There already are mercenaries in EVE, they are player corps. We don’t need NPCs to fly with us.

But thats what they are.

Why ask a friend for help when i can hire a bot? Why make friends when i can hire bots?

So even if i am a solo PvP player, i have to wait for people to shoot me first?

And i can basically make any ship into a Dominix by virtue of spending isk on NPC’s?

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Ok, so here’s a situation:

Omnathious Deninard, flying an Omen + his level 2 Mercenary (ship class TBD) enters an 0.4 system. You remain cloaked. On the gate are 3 players: 1 stiletto, 1 magnate, 1 gila.

You align to the next gate and try to warp, but the stiletto scrams you and you get webbed in less than 2 seconds.

Since you are not the aggressor the mercenary is activated and begins defending you from one of the attacking ships (specific mechanics TBD).

Because the 3 players on the gate attacked you first, they CANNOT summon mercenaries.