First I have 2 questions:
- How much time and effort does CCP want to put into Highsec (priority?)
- What does CCP want Highsec to look like in terms of the exchanges that take place between the place where new players start, pve players, and Highsec pvpers?
Highsec Wars are largely devoid of any meaningful content.
- The core gameplay shifted towards attacking / defending structures. This wouldn’t be a problem if (1) Structures weren’t so dispensable (2) the majority of the Highsec mercs didn’t combine forces.
- Daily content with war decs almost exclusively consists of interdicting at / around trade hubs. Part of this problem is due to how cumbersome the activity of locating, hunting, stalking, and killing a target is coupled with the massively decreased chance of you finding something or someone worth your time to fight (I will touch on these points in a second).
- Upwell Structure ACL allows too much freedom for a group to dodge a Wardec and not have any downside whatsoever. I don’t think that everyone should be forced to take relentless beatings, but no one ought to be immune to meaningful player interaction.
- The issue with using the ACL and an alt corp wouldn’t be a problem if structures in Highsec had some form of modified asset safety where 100% of a players belongings weren’t 100% safe.
Can We Fix It?
You see a lot of these issues revolve around core gameplay and design philosophy with Highsec. I understand that it’s delicate because new players and all and that’s why it’s important that it’s made clear exactly how CCP wishes wars to function:
Are they fine with the mostly content starved structure removal tool that they are now? Sure lots of kills are to be had around trade hubs but is that all wars should be? They were much more than that in the past…
Locator agents need a revamp:
(1) Locator agents can’t differentiate if someone is in space or in an Upwell structure: I don’t think I need to elaborate why this is an issue.
(2) Locator agents should tell you if said person is online / offline: The unfortunate abuse of the Logserver by certain groups which lead to the removal of the Watchlist severely impacted players willingness and ability to hunt selected targets… shoehorning players even more into the blanket dec / hub camping meta we’ve seen.
As the owner / manager of Athanors there’s very little if any counterplay to people freely ninja mining from you.
(1) The Moon chunk ought to “legally” belong to the Athanor owner / anyone with permissions on the ACL. Harvesting the chunk while not on the list makes you go Suspect OR occur a limited engagement timer with the Structure owner and/OR anyone on the structure’s ACL: This provides a way for structure owners to protect their investment and provides healthy counterplay to thieves that isn’t out of reach nor unreasonable for the average person (I don’t consider having a personal gank fleet capable of killing tanked Orcas not having to have a bump Alt reasonable).
Take a gander at structure losses in Highsec and you’ll see that most (an insanely high %) are killed with no opposition whatsoever. Doesn’t matter if it’s Pirat’s 20-30 man Rattlesnake fleet or a small multiboxers group of 5 alts.
(1) I don’t think this is anything we can fix, but we should discourage laziness, the inability to protect either through direct combat, hired guns, and/or negotiation:
(2) Implement some form of modified asset safety where all items have a % chance to drop (just like ship kills and such). The loot that doesn’t drop goes to the pilots asset safety: This gives better incentive to protect and defend your structures. More at stake, more to lose, more apt to actually try to do something other than shrug off a few billion isk.
That’s not exhaustive nor do I think it completely fixes issue but it’s a damn good start. The number of meaningful fights over structures can probably be counted on a set of hands if not a single hand, and I’m not gonna lie… it gets old being told that the timer board has ops that are 90% likely to result in a fight. I hate getting dressed up and then have the party get cancelled.
Some main points from discussion below: