One of the better articles I have seen on the issues of war deccing:
Easily seen that hi-sec war decs are not a black and white ‘good for the game’/‘terrible for player retention’ issue. They are obviously useful for some situations that are part of the EVE experience, and obviously abusable by the ‘bad’ pvpers who simply use them to grief newer/smaller/less capable players/corps.
If you are going to actually resolve an issue like war decs, you need to step back and look at the actual game design, and support it with data (or failing that, by talking with experienced players who know EVE game ‘play’ far better than CCP does - because they do it every day for years).
- What is the overall purpose of war decs/high sec PVP?
- In what ways does EVE/CCP benefit or lose out from current (abusable) mechanics?
- Under what scenarios does War dec PVP play out well for players and CCP?
- Under what scenarios does War dec PVP cost EVE/players/CCP potential benefit?
- What numbers/$$ are involved on either side of the equation? (Who uses wardec PVP, who avoids it)
Answering design questions will work far better to reach a viable compromise solution than simply poking at the code and seeing what kind of changes are easy to make, then making those changes and waiting for the backlash.
My own observations from over a decade of playing EVE off and on (more off than on, really):
- Hi sec wardecs aren’t a huge issue in the overall numbers of EVE, but they are an issue that often strikes new players just at the stage where they are getting more involved in the game.
- Wardec abusers aren’t raging all over the place, and aren’t always the big obvious ones (eg. the ‘top 5’ and other well-known wardec corps). They tend to be the smaller/mid-size corps that can’t really throw down with the big boys and so they need some easy targets to pick off.
- They rarely result in a ‘good fight’ as war deccers won’t generally declare against someone of their own ability range, weak targets have no reason at all to attempt a fight, and griefers are only looking for easy kills and tears. It’s an inherently unbalanced system.
- The current war dec system is uninteresting to the typical player and even the typical PVPer; hence why it attracts the griefers (who will abuse any mechanic to find easy targets) and has the ‘just don’t log on til its over’ response from targets. There’s nothing in it for them.
- The current system is a blunt instrument - it doesn’t create much content overall, it doesn’t provide a development path for new corps, it doesn’t encourage participation, it isn’t very flexible.
On the other hand, we can’t envision a big, full-blown re-write of war decs/high sec PVP, or some totally new system to replace it - CCP is obviously working with limited resources in coding game changes and any ‘war dec solution’ will have to be a moderate change to systems already in place.
To keep this post from getting even more ‘wall of text’-y, I’ll describe an example War Dec approach in the next couple messages (or after the first reply, if it merges consecutive posts).