Zero trust based meta game vs Full trust native game-mechanics based gameplay

TL;DR: “When (or at what scale) a New Eden zero trust meta game (or in general an emergent gameplay style that relies on mutual trust between two or more players not guaranteed by game mechanics) should get a recognition and support from CCP in a the form of new specific built-in EVE Online game mechanics that ensures the trust is kept and ISK flow?”

The kind of support I am thinking of is a new game mechanics that allows for more fluid and structured meta game without the need for any third party tools outside of EVE Online, which allows for monitoring the state of said meta game completely through game client UI with relative ease and clear understanding and little or none worry for the trust being broken. Ex. being 100% sure of being paid for the service or goods exchange.

Compared with previously unstructured meta game, using 3rd party tools outside of game client to track the state of the meta game and none or cumbersome support from game client UI and no way of ensuring the word will be kept. Then seeking vengeance in vain as the alt has been biomassed long time ago now without any trace.

Example of meta game without a full support from game mechanics atm imho:

Mining Permits (MP)

Example of present game mechanics that probably helps conduct MP meta game:

Existing EVE mechanics MP element support
Direct chat offer MP as simple text, remind of renewal/payment
Evemail offer MP as simple text, remind of renewal/payment
Overview automatic tagging of contacts with set standing no special distinction from other contacts and standings
Notepad manual bookkeeping of payments, overdue payments monitoring, marking paid dues etc.
Calendar manual setting to remind of collecting time, incoming payments
Exceladin+ bookkeeping with partial access to EVE data, manual setting to remind of collecting time, incoming payments
Trust level Zero, client has no guaranty the MP Offerer will keep the word and not shoot, the Offerer has no obligations toward the client and no penalties are levied for trust breach

Example of enhancements to built-in game mechanics that could give native support to MP meta game:

Existing EVE mechanics MP element support
Contracts system new type of security contracts, automatic bookkeeping and offer acceptance/rejection tagging
Overview automatic tagging of clients/targets with dedicated standing color/icon
Contacs List automatic proper adding and tagging of clients who accepted/rejected the contract
Direct chat sending of offers to accept the contract with one drag or link copy paste
Evemail sending of offers to accept the contract with one drag or link copy paste, automatically send reminders for renewal
Trust level High, client has guaranty the MP Offerer will keep the word and not shoot, the Offerer has obligations toward the client and penalties are levied for trust breach by the game mechanics regular payments for protection are automatically bookkeeped and ensured

Example of meta game with full support from game mechanics:

Transporting goods for other players (CC)

Example of built-in game mechanics that give native support to CC meta game:

Courier contracts [1]

If you have more examples of existing zero trust meta games without full trust native game-mechanics support and pros for introducing native support, please share your thoughts. Any cons are welcomed as well.

[Edit]
Added “Trust level” entry in mechanics summary tables above


  1. Except for ferrying contraband which stays a zero trust based meta game without native game support ↩︎

I think you’ll need a better example than mining permits. For instance, any “guarantee mechanic” for mining permits is easily gotten around by selling the MP from one entity, and ganking the miner from another entity. There’s precedent for contracts in EVE yes, but no precedent for “your ship can’t get blown up”.

Courier contracts have a mechanic for executing the delivery, guaranteeing payment on safe delivery, and repayment of collateral on failure. That covers all the options really, because a courier contract is a simple event.

Once you’re dealing with a ship being active out in space, the possible interactions and/or exploits balloon, so you’re unlikely to have a simple enforceable mechanic that works.

I’d be happy to see more options in EVE that allow players to conduct interesting in-game activities with more confidence. Dig a little further and see what else you can come up with.

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This MP security contracts could have a built-in but optional colateral mechanics. Any failure by MP Offerer to protect the client would result in obligatory reimbursement to said client if the MP included colateral option.

This could be abused the other way ofc, but this time by the client. :wink:

[Edit]
Let me put things into perspective to show where meta vs native game-mechanics gameplay balance is at the moment.

Imagine EVE Online like this - at complete zero trust meta game players interactions only level:

  1. All space is null sec
  2. Might is right
  3. No contracts
  4. No player market in present form
  5. ISK transfers between players at will, no automatic deductions (maybe NPC taxes)
  6. There is local and direct chat and evemail to discuss the deals/issues between players/corps/alliances in no binding form, completely (zero) trust based
  7. To exchange item you jetcan it in space or give it away in station
  8. Then hope to get ISK in return as settled earlier
  9. Same for player to player services
  10. Or access to player owned structures or space

How do you like it compared to what we have now? In which direction should we move? Toward more zero trust meta game interactions or more full trust native game-mechanics interactions? Where is the ballance here?

86d20084cd1393355153672d8139f045

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It’s a nice dream. Unfortunately, reality will not have it. As long as multiple accounts and alts exist in EVE there can’t be a ready-given trust but only limited trust based on friendship and same corporation affiliation and even then there is no guarantee.

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That’s not quite true. As already pointed out, Courier contracts represent a case of (partial) trust backed by game mechanics. The courier might open your contract and take the goods for themselves, but then they pay the collateral. Or the issuer of the contract might be trying to honey-trap a hauler (various methods), but the contract itself is still enforced by game mechanics.

Rather than a mining permit, you could for instance have various types of “protection” contracts. Protect a Citadel from Date X to Date Y, protect ships in System Z, protect your hauler from Point A to Point B. It would be a bit trickier designing a proper setup for those but could be done.

It might also be interesting to set up “Hit” contracts, a step beyond what the new Corp project system has. Kill X ships of type Y from Entity Z, or destroy N million ISK worth of Corp T’s assets. An expansion to some of the contracting systems would add incentive to take various types of in-game activity that simply aren’t worthwhile under the current mechanics.

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I like some of these idealists. I am not sure what games have it however.

see coming back from wow wrath series the best most trustworthy loot system around was gdkp.

the raid is run. all loot to the pile…now we bid on it. You only lost on gear if the bids got too high for your liking. But…at the end all that splits up and you could make money from it. no item, +7K gold richer. I viewed the setup like how some wh crews run. communal wh smashing, cut given out later.

Vice “trusted” for the greater good loot council setups. and there goes the item to the gm’s other half. They could be parsing like utter butt and its a clear skill issue. But they are also the piece of butt out of game so…they win!

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bumped this over to Player Features & Ideas - EVE Online Forums

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I agree with you. I was talking more about trust without the game mechanics to enforce contracts.
And even with contracts some players get ripped off, like the haulers’ stories you didn’t get into.
But I stand by my statement and will reiterate.
Trust isn’t possible in EvE as long as alts exist.

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Yep.

Ones best bet is work off discords, maybe. People tend to care more about that account more than game ones. At least in other games I’ve wandered too.

coming back from wow some things you just should not trust in game worth a damn. Boost/carries/gdkp among them.

that poster can be a throwaway alt. It be in discord for your server you’d find the reliable folk. PLayer x doesn’t need to steal your gold for that one 1 time score.

They build up a name and go for a long game of damn near insta fill raids. They worked out they make more with their organizer cut than the one time run off with say 200K gold (wrath pay levels). Highly vouched for on the discord and clearly not them running 10’s of accounts to fake it.

Isn’t it the same though? How do you know the guy you chat with on discord doesn’t have a hundred alts?

Sorry, I never played WoW. I can’t relate.

Maybe it’s true for WoW but in a game like EvE, where some players have no shame as to blow up their own alts or ships with no weapons fitted, I don’t expect honesty, let alone trust.

I’m sure EVE has players like that, too. Some of the corporations are a decade old so I can’t make blanket statements either.

I don’t know if WoW allows for an infinite number of accounts/alts though. Does it?

Have the pc power have at it. Same rules as eve. Manual control is allowed for multibox. Input broadcasting tech is not allowed.

Also infinite deletes. Unless changed eve will not let you keep biomassing bad sec status chars. You can scam, cheat others, delete as much as you want.

And up to 50 chars per account not just 3 lol.

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See? There is another missing game-mechanics hidden beheind your argument:
“A way to dig up the information on connections between two characters. Their story.”

Something like location service agents but for contacts - a connections service agents? The quality of output could be based on standings, skills, ISK or combination of these.

All it would do is to inform you how well connected your suspect is to other characters on the list returned. It could be an Index value, the higher it is the more likely characters are in close cooperation (evemail, isk transfers, direct chat, fleetups, same corp history etc). It could be a graph with some follow the money links vibe etc. It could go as far as assigning the highest Index value if both chars belong to the same email addres. But maybe it’s indeed too far :wink:

You could then copy the report and add it to that character’s Notes tab for your future reference.

To game that service would be another meta game on the suspected character side. It would require more effort. Like make an account on another email. Never communicate or transfer ISK directly with other characters a lone wolf. But it too could stand up and be a teltale sign of something fishy.

[Edit]
This could be made more complex and would involve Vanguards hacking their way in some terminals on “station maps” to complete contracts issued by Connection service Agent. The more you pay to the Agent the more value will go to the Vanguard contracts to incentivise their efforts.

Maybe first you would need to visit location service agent to find the starting station for Vanguards to dig up something.

The cheaper connection contract would state the name of the suspect. The pricer could have the name conciled from Vanguards but would require them carrying id key with encrypted identity of the suspect to use at hacked terminal.

I don’t know if CCP would agree to all that.

Some players would take “maybe” out of that sentence.

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A question is do majority of players agree with all that?

And this is just an exploration of possibilities, ok? I wanted to discuss the aspects of existing meta games which have no game-mechanics support and what that support might be, ok?

I understand and appreciate your concerns though :slight_smile:

The mining permit zero trust meta game is similar to “mafia insurance mechanics”.

That said the none meta variant would make slightly more sense if there is some space rent for development and protection gameplay available to player corporations.

However that is best left to the null sec.

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Another example of meta game becoming native game-mechanics are Corp Projects. Before them everything had to be conveyed via evemails, corp bulletins or dedicated websites outside of EVE.

Corp Projects allow for very structured and effective direction of members’ efforts toward corp goals with a support from game systems intricately intertwined with them, like:

  • automatically measuring ores mined per member
  • items produced
  • automatic payouts

…and more of course

Thinking of what I write in OP seems a little intangible and hard to grasps. But in reality it is all the tiny manual tasks that are already doable and allows for achieving your goal but feel like a grind and leave you with a little of bad taste in your mouth or a disgust at yourself for allowing to be tricked to do it. And it getting worse when other players get involved and their collateral is their promise only in evemail or chat.

I know the saying: no pain no gain, but sometimes it feels like a taboo or EVE Creed that must be defended at all costs but prevents game-play from improvements making it stale.

EVE became too complex for managing everything manually and based on mutual trust to be viable and prevent players from burning out.

I would like to encourage you to look around you closely and try to identify those small meta games that would benefit from native game-mechanics support without breaking The Sacred Game Balance.

I wish we could hear from some mass industrialists and big alliance/corporations managers of what are their thoughts on this?