To preface what I hope to not be a wall of text (it probably will be) I’ll note that I’ve been playing Eve Online since 2012 on and off. I have experience in most areas of space doing things such as:
- Suspect baiting
- Solo, small group, & large group wardecs
- Ganking, freighter bumping, & freighter dueling
- “Solo” & group BLOPS in Lowsec and Nullsec
- High class wormholes (PVE & PVP)
So I’m the kind of player that loves game play where I use / abuse mechanics to tip the scales in my favor. I love hunting, stalking, and striking at the best possible time. I’m very much a risk averse player not because I’m scared or embarrassed of losses, but because I like to do whatever I can in order to gain an upper hand and get the kill or win the objective. I enjoy theory crafting and finding ways to break CCP’s game, so Dev blog releases are always super fun for my friends and I as we discuss loopholes and ways to accomplish what we want to do. It’s a double-edged sword as I’ve found myself subject to CCP’s BANHAMMER for 15 days after I found and used a method to hyperdunk after CCP thought they patched it out of the game.
I am eager to see changes to the game in Highsec, namely the risk / reward balance and Wardecs. I want it to be a place where new players can learn the game without getting frustrated at every turn, but I also want our established citizens to have something worth fighting for. Isn’t it ideal that conflict, success, defeat, and the relationships we forge in-game be something of substance? Should we treat the game like a farming simulator, or should we actively push for CCP to enable players to interact with each other? Lets talk about what CCP is planning to do with Wardecs.
I am fine with what CCP is doing with neutral logi. People will “adapt or die” and I have my own personal conflicts with how this changes some suspect baiting where people rely on reps, but I believe those players can adapt. Overall the change won’t shakeup wardecs much contrary to the moral victory being had by people that rally against it. The biggest benefit to neutral logi is the fact that you can scout with it, so instead we’ll just move them in-house and use another neutral character for scouting. Overuse of logi will still be something that is bellyached about because we’ll still have it.
100M Flat War Cost
I personally like this change because I’m in Pirat and we like to maintain lots of wars, most of the time against the largest groups in the game. I also have seen in the past how raising the cost of wars has a negative reaction that feeds directly into what a lot of people are vocal about - players consolidating into larger groups to save on war costs. It’s an issue in Highsec because it’s effectively the same thing as a “Blue Donut” with less players that can be potential opponents and competitors in the Highsec pvp ecosystem.
War HQ (structure based content)
I get that wars need to be revamped and that a change needed to happen. I can agree that with no win condition and no tangible thing to actually fight over that there lies an issue where corps find themselves at war with an aggressor that is hard to catch and takes advantage of varying degrees of risk management. There’s loopholes, wonky mechanics, and all sorts of niche things that create gameplay centered around guerrilla warfare and it’s exactly the kind of gameplay a lot of us love.
I’ll be blunt in that I believe that these exact changes were presented by CCP because the loudest group groaning about wardecs are those from Nullsec while pushing the “think of the children theme”. I mean it makes sense because if you look at Pirat’s killboard you’ll see that the majority of players we kill are from Nullsec. It is parroted that these changes where the aggressor has “skin in the game” will create content where Highsec residents have a point in which the aggressors are vulnerable and the defenders will maybe band together to take them down or go at it by themselves. If you’ve spent any time in Highsec and are honest, I believe you’ll know this is likely not going to pan out this way. The only thing this does is enable the large Nullsec groups to form their N+1 fleets and show up to some timers. I love the thought that there is the potential for proper fleet fights, and I’m not complaining that we’re inevitably going to lose some structures but that’s all this change really does is further enable large Nullsec entities by bringing their N+1 features to Highsec.
I was recently on the Open Comms show where I discussed these War Dec changes. The general consensus from everyone else was that since Nullsec has to deal with structures, then Highsec should too. I fundamentally disagree with this because what works or is desirable in Nullsec may not work in Highsec. I believe that CCP can do better to provide actual potential content that isn’t going to just result in N+1 behavior.
What would I do differently?
First I’ll say that I acknowledge that many of you fundamentally HATE wars. You hate any mechanic that would force you to be defensive or to do something you don’t want to do despite being war eligible. I think wars and conflict have a place in Eve Online, and find that the narratives that can come out of them to be incredible. Take a look at the old forums and read Cannibal Kane’s stuff and you’ll see a player that’s inspired so many to play this game. Hell, in the past I posted a good number of stories and experiences to my own blog that showcased just how personal and intimate wars CAN be. The landscape of Highsec pvp and Mercenary groups has changed drastically over the years, even since 2012 when I started playing. There are few actual mercenaries that still take ISK to perform services, but there are still players lingering about that are “mercenary hunters” that use the same or similar guerrilla warfare tactics to trap, trick, and kill mercs. I believe that it is primarily this kind of guerrilla warfare that is typically required to kill us Highsec PVP’ers that most other players find unfavorable. It can be time consuming, frustrating, and definitely requires more effort than just trying to roll up in your 30-man fleet expecting us to undock. Luckily I have a solution for this.
Steer clear of Structure Based Content
Timers, N+1, hardly any interest in defense, and the unlimited nature in which how many structures can be put into space are something that most players in Highsec dislike. I don’t believe that there’s a large demographic of the Nullsec player base that just loves timer based structure content… especially one where you may have to alarm clock for AU timers and do it 3 times. I reject any notion that just because that’s the way it is in Nullsec, that it has to be that way in Highsec. I can think of a better and simpler solution:
GUERRILLA WARFARE! Sure it can be demoralizing, but it’s effective on both ends. So many of you complain about the inability to kill some of us that are risk-averse, but you fail to use any amount of effort or imagination. You roll down the pipe with your large fleet basically tooting horns and announcing your presence, and of course when we see a 10-20 man fleet and we only have 3-5 people online a lot may feel like they don’t want to take the fight. Most everyone exhibits this similar behavior in one way or another in all areas of space. There’s nothing wrong with having no interest in “honor brawling”. If you want to fight us, catch us… and that’s where this leads me. There are players and groups in Highsec that are more than capable of fighting on your behalf and participating in this guerrilla warfare if you enable them. What I propose is that we keep the victory conditions, but base them around actual PVP content in conjunction with the war report and not some cumbersome structure that is incorrectly visioned as a catalyst of content.
Alliance “A” declares war on corp “B”. The war goes on for (1) week and the aggressor kills more in ISK than the defender. The war is allowed to continue as long as it’s paid for and the war report will be examined weekly to see if the defender has come back and surpassed the aggressor. If that happens, then see below for a similar conclusion…
Alliance “A” declares war on corp “B”. The war goes on for (1) week and the defender kills more in ISK than the aggressor. The war ends because the defender was victorious and they are immune from a wardec from that specific aggressor for (2) weeks.
What this does is actively encourages gameplay where you’re pursuing combat. It’s not reliant on timers that can be spread over ridiculous periods of time. Sure it can be “effort” to try to catch and kill someone that is using guerrilla warfare tactics himself, but there’s plenty of my Highsec associates that are very skilled in this. So what of the Highsec PVE corp with no teeth to bite with? Well luckily this is a change that can better bolster guns for hire. They have the option to pay another entity to properly hunt and kill these aggressors. Tired of your brainless idiots feeding on their way to a trade hub? Well you can pay for assistance!
Additional Changes… Locators!
Wars have really been in a state where a lot of us are looking back to the glory days of the past. The consolidation of Highsec PVP’ers as well as most of the content being centered around interdicting trade hubs and scouring the pipes is something that even I don’t find ideal. The removal of the watchlist really dealt a deathblow to the many pilots that loved hunting and stalking away from the trade hubs and pipes. Yes, I know that camping trade hubs has always been a thing, and I can’t deny that hunting near a watering hole isn’t something that is a big staple of this. What I’m proposing is that we return to some kind of limited functioning watchlist. If you’ve ever tried to track down and hunt a specific person of interest, you’ll know how cumbersome and defeating it is to run locate after locate only to find that they are offline… after you’ve burned 30 jumps with your scout. I propose the following:
Some kind of Upwell structure that in itself serves as a place to keep and maintain a watchlist.
Could be an Upwell service module that has high cost, something that isn’t disposable. We should have to care about it and want to defend it to maintain the luxury it provides.
Additional Changes… Resource Scarcity!
Conflict is good, especially when it’s attached to something that’s worth fighting for. The potential for unique interactions and experiences tied to resources that pilots are competitive over is really neat in my opinion. The more things we have to fight over, the more chances for potential interaction - and that’s a good thing.
Additional Changes… BOOSHING!
Personally I find the real lack of strategic and skillful options to be lacking. I feel that if we were able to boosh in Highsec that it would open the door for incredibly interesting plays where a smaller group could effectively take on a larger one just by utilizing superior strategy and tools at their disposal. Yeah I can already picture everyone screaming, “but that will be broken!” and “it will be the ultimate griefing tool!”. Well that’s why I suggest we try to enable booshing in Highsec with conditional statements. Something simple like this:
If combat = legal; boosh = yes
If combat = illegal; boosh = no
Imagine you’re on a gate and you have (2) war targets and (3) neutrals clumped up (the neutrals might by trying to ninja loot or may just be watching). You activate your boosh and the game checks to see who you can legally shoot with a green safety (war targets, suspects, criminals, and such) and booshes them off while ignoring pilots that don’t fall into those categories. Think of it how HIC bubbles function differently in Highsec / Lowsec compared to Wormholes and Nullsec… “Banned in Empire Space: TRUE”. So we already have situations where conditional statements are used in the game. It would be really nice to see Command Destroyers opened up to become a useful ship class in Highsec all while raising the skill ceiling of the game here.
I know that there’s a ton of hatred surrounding wars where the general consensus is that most everyone would enjoy nothing more than to see us and our gameplay destroyed. I hope that you’re able to see the points I make and find merit in them. I plan on running for CSM, so if you have specific questions about anything, feel free to drop on by my campaign thread and ask away!
@ISD_Dorrim_Barstorlode if this topic needs to be moved, do so… I was uncertain where this should go.*