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The issue is that this entire system is inherently stupid. Stealing creates a suspect flag, which opens you to proactive attack from anyone and everyone. A suspect hauler, therefore, has zero chances of survival. It’s can’t not die; it is a hauler. Such a black-and-white problem therefore needs a similar black-and-white solution, which took the form of shedding the flag via loot transfer.

If, for example, engaging a suspect also made you a suspect, then suspect haulers would have a viable method of counter-play available (having escorts) instead of using an immunity trick like this, or simply dying. It’s not a perfect solution, but at least it’s not utterly ridiculous like the system we have now, which results in complaints like these, and excuses like “well we don’t always have an interceptor available.” Which, to be frank (and while I respect BF.), is an excuse worthy of the world’s smallest violin considering that we’re talking about a group that can put dozens of deadspace-fit faction battleships on the field in high-sec. Like, yeah, I’m sure that some corp of 5 miners losing their Athanor to a 30-man Drekavac gang feels really sorry that they can’t swing an extra pilot in an interceptor to deter a ninja looter.

This is one of the reasons why CrimeWatch was ill-thought, absolutely dogshit garbage. It didn’t create a back-and-forth playing field for players acting as cops and robbers; it just created a system of easily-exploited transactional mechanics that are easy to predict, and mostly only useful for tricking and scamming newer players who don’t know any better.

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So… how would you fix it?

In this specific case?

I would probably split up each type of core into multiple types of cheaper cores, with each one being of a large enough size. For example, 1 Fortizar core would become 8 Fortizar Cores, each being worth 500M ISK and having a 50,000m³ volume. Each one would drop in a separate container. This way, it would be impossible to steal the entire core with just a single ninja looter pilot (well, 2, technically), considering that the station likely wasn’t killed by a single pilot either. That way, some semblance of proportionality of effort is kept. Also this would require both sides to either field many looting ships, or field larger looting ships, creating additional avenues for conflict (imagine the losing side knowing that their station is lost and not interfering in its destruction, but jumping the freighter that inevitably comes to loot the cores knowing that it has inherently lower resilience than combat ships).

Overall?

A comprehensive reworking of all high-sec aggression rules and PvP mechanics, including the creation of a proper bounty-hunting system/interface.

For example, any sort of hostile act against someone or their property (e.g. theft, or destruction of a Mobile Depot) would create an “enforcement directive” against you. These would be posted on a bounty board, which would have a contract-like interface. Only registered bounty hunters would be able to enforce these directives, and to be registered they’d have to maintain a clean(er) record. Maybe security status could be useful for this, or maybe FW could act as some kind of “redemption” mechanism for baddies. CCP could even implement NPC rewards for bounty-hunting, similar to how bounties used to work (payouts that are low enough to prevent self-claim scams, e.g. 20% of destroyed value, but they would still be something on top of whatever reward is offered to the bounty hunters by kill right owners for completion, making the profession more viable).

Stolen goods (e.g. the citadel cores as in the case of this thread) would confer directives against anyone who handles them (terminating at a station market transaction). This would mean that the ninja looter could have bounty hunters snooping for them in space, creating an element of risk that doesn’t exist with the current system.

All criminal acts would become suspect acts when observed by other players only, conferring the same suspect flag that we have today. Getting attacked illegally would require activating a distress beacon to summon CONCORD to confer an actual criminal flag to the perp and destroy them, unless CONCORD is already there and sees the crime in progress, and would respond automatically. Give larger ships some kind of point defense system or resilience mechanic against smaller ships, in exchange for CONCORD no longer being a guaranteed automatic kill trigger, forcing gankers/criminals to use larger ships or risk gambling on RNG effectiveness.

You know, actual gameplay, instead of just cheesing various timers or calculating something’s EHP and how many Catalysts you need to ensure its destruction.

I’m not sure it needs to be fixed.

Is there actually a problem?

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Make the stolen loot hold the suspect timer and if account A takes loot to move it to a fleet memeber cargo container then when the hauler fleet account B moves it to their cargo hold also becomes suspect until the timer runs out.

This would give the Antigankers a chance to retaliate against the freighters (account B) shifting the kill yellow loot that was moved by Account A

Looting and moving the loot would be done by player A, which means that player B can be turned suspect with no action from his side.

While an unintentional suspect flag can be avoided by (1) not fleeting up or (2) keeping your fleet hangar closed or - possibly, if implemented by CCP - (3) making it impossible to get flagged when your safeties are green, I do think it is an unwanted situation if other people can give a person a suspect flag.

Knowing EVE players, such power would be abused.

My suggestion:

  • let it be impossible for a suspect player to put stuff into the fleet hangar of a non-suspect player
  • and any goods a suspect player eject into space will be yellow and give other players suspect flags if taken

As this would maybe be too heavily in favour of the non-suspect players who can freely shoot any looters:

  • let anyone who engages a suspect player turn suspect themselves
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I proposed this as a hypothetical idea to address this specific issue, but be aware that in reality this is a very bad idea, as it will completely destroy the profession of suspect-baiting mission/site-runners and the like.

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eh, good point.

I don’t know all the different ways high sec people cannot attack eachother, here where I live we can shoot anyone and I like it that way.

I think it is just burst ecm and smartbomb outside of setting to criminal for the normal ways.