Realistic Bounty System

The goal of this new system is to replace the bonus and pointless incorrectly named bounty system we currently have with a more realistic, job/role oriented purpose.

What won’t be covered (yet) in this initial post are (1) what to do with current bounties on players and (2) how to implement this new system. These topics might/will be covered later if warranted.

For ease of discussion, there are four key actors in this topic; Concorde, the victim, the bounty hunter and target. I will only use these terms when talking about the four rolls. To be clear, the “victim” is the victim of a crime and “target” is the criminal.

As mentioned please assume for sake of argument that the slate was wiped clean and this new system is well under way.

The Crimes
All criminal acts will still operate as per the current system.
These two examples of crimes will be used later.
Example 1: a 6M hauler with 50M of cargo is ganked in HS by a single pilot.
Example 2: a 130M BC is attacked in LS by 5 pilots.

Concord’s Response
When a ship is lost due to an illegal action, Concord will automatically create/add to the target’s bounty. The increase is determined by the destroyed ship’s fitted value divided by the number of targets. Cargo is not covered.

So in example 1, the target would incur a bounty increase of 6M and in example2, each pilot would incur a 26M bounty increase (130/5).

A target would still incur a bounty even if his ship was lost in the attack. Bounties are only issued if the victim’s ship is destroyed.

The victim would be immediately asked if they wanted to “sweeten the pot” by adding to the bounty up to 100% of the original Concord bounty. So that hauler in example one could add up to6M to the bounty if so desired.

Bounties would be displayed for all to see as per the current system.

Bounties and security status remain separate entity.

Enter the Bounty Hunter
If a bounty hunter wanted to try his hand at collecting a bounty, they would find a Concord agent and request a bounty. Bounties would be divided into levels just like current missions with level 1 being the easiest and level 5 being hardest.

As a ruff guess, the levels would be set-up something like this (not written in stone of course):
Level 1: 0 – 5M ISK
Level 2: 5M-25M ISK
Level 3: 25M-150M ISK
Level 4: 150M-1B ISK
Level 5: 1B+ ISK

The bounty hunter would select the level of bounty he’d like to go after. There is a non-refundable administrative fee that must be paid up front by the bounty hunter. This fee is based on (apx) 25% of the target’s bounty.

In example 1, the target would be a level 2 bounty and need a (6m25%) 1.5M fee. A target from example 2 would be a level 3 bounty and require a (26M25%) 6.25M fee.

Players would be presented with the last known region of the target. Names, history, location, etc would not be disclosed.

Most likely, levels would also determine how far away a target is. Level 1 would be same region where as Level 5 would be anywhere.

The bounty hunter would then either agree to the contract or not (and be locked-out for 4 hours before being given the option of another bounty). If agreed, the fee is paid and kill rights granted on the target for 7 days. The only info the bounty hunter would then be given is the target ID which would look something like B67832 for example.

The Deed
After agreeing to the contract, a bounty hunter’s first stop would be a locator agent. Here, they would enter the target’s ID (as they have no name) and be directed to the last know location or close to it at least. The same process would occur as we have now and you would need good skills/relations for this to be efficient.

If the bounty hunter fails to kill the target down within 7 days, the kill rights are revoked.

If the bounty hunter kills the target, they are awarded the bounty.

Once a bounty is claimed, the target would not have that on his record any longer.

Anti-Farming Mechanics
The lack of information about the target is the key as until the bounty hunter makes the kill, they will not know who they are hunting. In local, the target’s name is replaced with the ID from the bounty hunter’s perspective only. If there are 15 other pilots in the system where the target is, the bounty hunter will see 14 names and one B67832 as per the example. The bounty hunter could ask local who the missing name is but by doing that, would alert the target.

Of course, the bounty hunter could call out to the target in local that he would split the bounty with him but (1) any other pilot with a bounty might answer too as no target knows who/when/if they are being hunted.

If there is only one pilot with a bounty in the system, they would deduce that they are being hunted. They could entertain the offer of splitting the bounty BUT as in everything else in EVE, there is no guarantee the bounty hunter would split the bounty after being destroyed.

There is no way to claim a buddy’s bounty or just use an alt to claim your own bounty as Concord assigns them randomly.

I suspect that a new skill called Bounty Hunting would be needed. This skill would both reduce the fee and also maybe increase the duration that the contract is good for.

The number of open contracts you could be working would also b governed by this skill.

CCP’s Roll
Of course, the GMs would have to code a bit for this to make things “fair”. For example, if a criminal hasn’t logged in for a while then no contract would be issued for them. Or the time left on a contract only reduces when the criminal is logged-in. Either way, to be far to all, we can’t have bounty hunters chasing ghosts.

CCP would also need to upgrade their locator agents. Just telling people the system a target is in is not enough and an “active” status might be also needed…no point in stalking somebody who’s not even currently in game. Possibly a whole new agent would be needed for bounty hunters.

This system would give people a chance to be paid to be the hunter rather than the non-system we currently have now.

I’ll be happy to clarify or answer any questions…

To be clear, this is a tough job, as you have many things going against you…but that’s why you shoot first.

Who can be bountied?

Only people that have committed a crime as per Concord’s rules. A victim of a crime (lost a ship) can add onto Concord’s bounty up to 100%.

The current ability to just randomly give people bounties for lolz would disappear…

So I could bump someone in my Mach until the end of time and they couldn’t put a bounty on me. Ok, I’m sold…

How does putting a bounty on you now change that? Do you really worry when somebody adds bounty to you now? Nope!

A crime needs to be committed…bumping is not a crime…

I agree, though there are several thousand carebears that would disagree with you…

ya well they can suck it so…most people learn pretty quick that placing a bounty on somebody now is totally pointless other than to be alerted when the target is exploded.

Yeah I put 500 mill on some poor bastage and he pops up in my bounty kill feed every other day, lol…

Some good ideas here. There seems to be a problem though in combining activation cost to a specific bounty target that is not within sight. A bounty hunter would get an ID, does a locate, and makes 20 jumps, only for the target to just happen to log off for the day. Or what if the hunter and bounty have different or inconsistent play schedules? Or the bounty decides to take a break from Eve for awhile?

The hunter would be out isk, through no fault of their own. Once or twice of this happening, maybe could be absorbed, but too much of that, and it could discourage bounty hunting once again. Even taking away the 7 day limit likely won’t fix this.

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This is part of the pitfalls of the bounty hunter life. The hunt is not always going to be successful or easy.

I suspect that the fee of 25% might be too high and should be more like 10-15% but this can’t be known until down the road. The fee can’t be prohibitive but bounty hunting must also financial risk just for taking a contact.

Two things to remember is that bounty hunting should be an elite occupation…you really need to know what you are doing, be able to fly quality ships and also how to navigate most of NE. The other is that the level system should help with range to target…it could also help with hours of play but I’m mot sure that would work.

This occupation is not for the faint of heart…as it should be…

Thanks for the further thoughts though…I need to think about how CCP could help with the timing issues…

There is good potential in your ideas. If the devs ever do update the bounty hunting system, hopefully it’s something that would promote cool stories of “cat and mouse”, bait and counter-bait, and just plain add more fun content.

Thanks again…

After a quick walk around the old space station, I would clarify/expand on a few points:

  • The connections skill could be used to reduce the fee
  • a new “bounty hunter” skill could be added which would govern how many bounties you could have open at any one time
  • I don’t think CCP could help with time of day issues…that would just be part of the risk. that being said, CCP could show the bounty hunter a time profile of the targets last few kills to within the nearest hour
  • refusing a contract should only incur a small wait time, not the 4 hours I initially mentioned

Tomorrow I will rewrite the initial post with updates and a better format.

“cat and mouse”

Just imagine venturing into LS to hunt a elite -10.0 pirate…it would be awesome. Bait with an ALT and then pounce when they bite…

I think the stories would be pretty amazing…especially as this is generally a solo endeavor. Bagging a big bounty would be something worth bragging about especially if it was a tough fight.

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It is an interesting idea.

I might be a bit biased but I would agree :laughing:

As some have mentioned, it would be a tough job though…

While I initially criticised your idea you fleshed it out quite nicely now and I must say this is probably the closest I have seen until now for a proper replacement. There are still some things left that you may have to tweak.

  • The whole fee thing may really end up killing it. Imagine there are like 50 high bounty criminals alts which are not played anymore. Lets say they have 4bil ISK bounty, which you already get ganking 4 Freighters. They would end up becoming something like a permanent trap where you spend 1bil without the chance of ever killing them.
  • Hunting/Waiting will be boring as hell except if you can have multiple targets at any time to compensate for people being offline. Also the locator tools should be improved to make it possible to see if the target is online, otherwise you will just waste your time running around 30+ jumps just to have nothing to do at all, which is just bad gameplay.
  • I’m not really a fan of it being not a free form tool. There are multiple reasons why people should be able to bounty each other. But maybe those things could be replaced with an expansion to the contract system and not be mixed in with bounties.

Great to hear! As I am a big fan of CODE, I’m glad to have you more as a supporter than a hater.

Your first point is totally valid and the reason I didn’t touch on it earlier is that I have zero idea how CCP would interact with their own player/character data. I totally agree that the bounty system shouldn’t be issuing bounties for characters that are no longer playing or not logging in regularly. The one option to fix this is to expand on the duration of the contract so that a level 1 bounty might only be valid for a week where as a level 5 bounty would be open-ended until claimed. Another option is that when thinking about accepting a bounty, the “time in space” info could be included so that you would see just how often a target has been online in the last X period of time.

For the second point, yes, based on the “bounty hunter” skill, you will be able to have more then one contract at any one time. And yes, the locator agent needs to be improved regardless of whether it’s for this system or not…

Bounty’in people now is for the most part pointless other than in some rare niche situations. I might agree with you that people can still randomly bounty people BUT there would have to be a hefty penalty/tax on that. So for example, I loath people that short products on the market for quick sales and normally hit them with a small bounty. In the new system, doing that would cost a lot more than the actual bounty…maybe 200-300% more even based on the target’s security status. So if I wanted to bounty a do-gooder, I might be hit with a 400% tax where as putting a bounty on -10 would be almost on par…

I will think more about this and add it to the rewrite for later today…great points! Thanks again.

For your first point, the system should NOT issue bounties for players that go inactive but when they come back, they would be put back into rotation…switching characters will not be an escape.

I don’t think this would go well with most of the people. Currently bounties have zero consequences, with your system they become essentially killrights. For most risk shy players this will simply mean they will be hesitant to undock their suff.

Imagine I warp to an ice belt and just randomly bounty all the Orcas there with a minimal bounty, no matter if it has a 400% tax. Do you think they will still stay there risking their Ship? They will probably dock and start crying on the forums because this is even worse than a wardec for them.

And even if you make the fee really heavy, competing industrialists with enough money will just be able to shut them down with a bounty. Against wardecers you can defend, hide and it will be all over after maybe a week, from this there will be no hiding, as it will stay until you explode and you don’t know from whom until it is too late.

I don’t think free form bounties is a good idea you can cram in there.

What I meant with replacing it with contracts: instead of bounties, corps can create a free form contract where they can use multiple available metrics, like amount mined, NPC bounties earned, pilots in a region etc, to create goals as a formalized merc contract which goes beyond just blowing up people. But this is a completely separate feature which has to be fleshed out on it’s own.

You’re totally right…toss that one to the scrap bin.

I do like the idea of contracts BUT as you mention, it’s beyond the scope of the bounty system.

Question for you:

As a perma -10 HS evil content creator who in this purposed system would be constantly hunted, how would you see that effect you?