Fixing High-Security Wars

Fellow blogger Jester wrote a post over on his blog (which I recommend) regarding high-security wars and the recent decision by CCP to allow corp or alliance hopping and other “tricks” to avoid high-security wars.

While I enjoy Jester’s blog and admire his writing skills, I disagree with him almost entirely on this topic.

What lingers for me today about this incident was the inherent unfairness of it. All of us that were fighting were sub-5m SP characters, trying to defend our right to mine veldspar in a 1.0 system. The aggressors were much older characters with tens of millions of SP and ships and income streams that we couldn’t dream of. They could keep the war-decs going cheaply for weeks, and we had no defense against them.

Some of you are no doubt bristling at my use of the word “unfair”. EVE is a dark, cold, risky universe where you can get killed at any moment, blah blah blah. Fine. I accept that. Wouldn’t still be playing this game if I didn’t.

Guys, I sympathize with high-sec PvPers and mercs. I really do. But in this, I have to look at the Big Picture, and the Big Picture says that such high-sec war-decs are often bad for the health of the game.

I’m all for teaching new EVE players that New Eden is dangerous. But I also feel like the true newbies — the ones that are still trying to learn how this game works — should be protected more than they are today. That’s why I say the current high-sec war-dec mechanics are badly broken.

This attitude is wrong because “true newbies” are immune to wardecs; they are already in NPC corporations. New characters start in an NPC corp for this very reason – they have to learn the game mechanics before they get exposed to the issues of warfare. Even non-new characters get a chance to avoid wardecs, at the cost of an 11% tax, the lack of corporate wallets, hangars, etc. and the inability to deploy and use POS towers.

Another fallacy is the “health of the game” argument. The assumption underlying this is that we want new players to keep playing the game. The fallacy behind this assumption is that not all players are equal. I do not want the EVE player base to increase with players who lack the resilience or determination to keep playing when the odds are against them. If you stop playing after your shiny new Hulk is killed by suicide gankers, then this is GOOD for the game.

EVE *is* unfair. That’s why many of us like it. That shouldn’t change.

This said, here are my own suggestions for fixing the current high-security warfare problems:

  1. The corporation or alliance declaring the war must produce a certain number of ship kills, pod kills, or ISK value destroyed in order for the war to continue for another week. The formula for this is determined by the game, not by the group declaring war, and is based on the number of players in the target corporation or alliance.
  2. The war can be ended early if the target corporation agrees to pay a certain ISK value to end the war. This is a fixed value based on the number of players in the target corporation or alliance.
  3. When a war has ended either due to surrender or due to the group declaring war not meeting their goals, or from voluntarily ending the war, the target can not have war re-declared on them from the same aggressors for the same length of time as the war took place. If war lasted six weeks, the target is immune to wars from same aggressors for six weeks.
  4. No member may leave a corporation while the corporation is at war. Members who are forcefully removed from the corporation may not re-join the corporation for one full week.
  5. No corporation at war can join an alliance. No corporation in an alliance at war may leave the alliance. Corporations in an alliance which are forcefully removed may not re-join the alliance for two full weeks.
  6. Warp scrambling of any sort prevents a ship from docking or using a gate.

I’d go into greater detail about the suggested changes, but the ideas should be clear if you think through the implications. I also have to be awake at 0500 local time and need my fucking sleep.

Leave a comment.

32 Responses to “Fixing High-Security Wars”

  1. justthisguy Says:

    Sounds good, although I’m not sure what the point of number 4 is (you’d fuck up Eve University, for one thing). We had a similar discussion recently – other alternatives would be requiring the agressors to put down a sov-like structure in a nearby system, which would end the war if it exploded, or for the fixed value in 2) to be a blind auction instead.

    • #4 is to prevent members from dropping to NPC/alt corp as soon as war is declared. If you’re in a player corporation, you accept the risk that you might have war declared on you, and avoiding wars and being in a player corporation should be disallowed.

      If you want wardec immunity, go back to an NPC corporation.

  2. I think you are wrong. Your post sounds very hypocritical to me. You are right that eve is unfair, but if someone refuses to be farmed for killmails, thats suddenly wrong. I don’t see whats wrong about running for the hills if you are faced with superior odds.

    Some mechanics like alliances breaking wars and neutral logistics should be fixed, but I don’t see whats wrong with all the other mechanics. With your wardec you are still breaking up the corporation if they run, and you still get all their towers and whatever. For your killmail farming needs there is still lowsec 0.0 and suicide ganking.

    • Those being aggressed in a war have plenty of options:

      1) Recruit more people to your corporation
      2) Hire a mercenary corporation
      3) Pay to end the war as in item #2
      4) Move to a different region/location in EVE
      5) Dock up until they can’t meet their obligations or get bored

      EVE is not supposed to be “fair”. It is supposed to be mean, and you HTFU and adapt, or you GTFO,

      • War is never fair. While I agree that the whole system needs rethinking I have to say your view is biased toward attacker. What happens if defenders have the attackers on the run? How so the defenders win in your system?

        The needs to be considerations that take into account attackers, defenders, and mutual engagements. I have seen attackers end wars one hour after going live, after seeing the fleet waiting on their doorstep asking if Billy can come out to play. I have also seen cold wars go on for months with few kills on either side.

        The system is broken, but all sides need the same consideration. Not just the attackers or the defenders.

        • Khalia Nestune Says:

          Interesting idea. What would you suggest?

        • In response to the request for my personal suggestions…. here are some ideas I feel are not biased toward attacker or defender.

          1. Double or tripple the aggro timer on deagressing to jump/dock. This should only apply during wars, and would be a reflection of NPCs staying out of the CONCORD sanctioned engagements. Scrams being used instead is silly as neither mechanic uses warp engines. Politics makes plenty of IG sense. If you can survive two or three times as long you deserve to get away.

          2. Why not make war declations end ONLY when one side gets 10 kills on the other side? Time limits are completely removed from the equation and it encourages both sides to destroy the other side. It would also prevent excessive rookie briefing as people would rather wait for 10 hulks then kill ten rookie ships.

          3. Neutrals can not support someone who is under a war declaration with any remote moduals. Fleet boosting would still work as normal. However, this could and should complicate some activities with your friends while a war is live.

          4. If a war is made mutual the ship limits are removed, the deagress timer stays normal, and CONCORD does not care about remote moduals used by neutrals. This is a reflection of a feud, and since CONCORD is not being paid, they are not enforcing rules.

          These are just some quick ideas of things that I feel are not biased toward either side. Should these changes be made, or are they balanced? I really can not say.

        • Thinking about it a bit more a feeds on members joining or leaving EITHER corporation for the duration of the war would also be a good idea. To be fair to all parties ( unwilling members of both attacker and defender corps ) this would only apply once the war goes live. You get 24 hours to GTFO. Have roles? To bad.

      • I dont see how corp hopping is any different from running to a different region or remaining docked. Same with disbanding a corp and creating a new one (This is still possible even with your fixes).

        The alliance issue needs a fix for example because it might make your high sec pos invulnerable.

        • Khalia Nestune Says:

          Corp hopping gives the person hopping total immunity from the wardec. You can drop corp and then fly right by the guys who were shooting you. And when the agressors wardec you again, repeat.

          All of the other options allow the other side to continue fighting. You can dock up and deny them kills, but they also deny you ability to do anything. That’s a legitimate trade-off.

  3. #6 is the best idea in the history of ever. will it work in null, too?

  4. “I do not want the EVE player base to increase with players who lack the resilience or determination to keep playing when the odds are against them”. EXACTLY! You put in to words what I wasn’t able to when replying to Jester on twitter!

    Though I have to disagree with point 4. If I have a falling out with my corp mates, I shouldn’t be stuck with them, I should be free to move on, without being able to easily avoid the risk. Much better to have the war rights follow people who leave the corp (temporarily, or for as long as the war against the corp lasts), but don’t restrict peoples overall choices.

  5. Jonathan Ferguson Says:

    Blah, blah, blah. Where’s the post about Paul’s carebear logi alt getting popped in an incursion by a griefer?

    On topic, Khalia is mostly right and Jester is mostly an idiot. I STILL have an NPC alt (who is the only alt I’ve run incursions with) and pay my 11% tax. But if I need a war-dec free freighter alt, I have one.

    As for the ‘solutions’ they mostly suck. My solutions:

    1. Neutral reps give aggression + timer. It’s not like flipping someone’s can, it’s like shooting someone. You can’t dock or jump for a minute or whatever.

    2. No switching out ships in an orca if you have aggression (maybe they already fixed this.)

    3. Increase wardec cost by 10x for corps. (I think it’s like 2m, it should be like 20m.)

    That is all.

    • Khalia Nestune Says:

      “Blah, blah, blah. Where’s the post about Paul’s carebear logi alt getting popped in an incursion by a griefer?”

      My logi alt also got popped. Paul and I were impressed by this trick, and applaud the person involved for their cleverness. We also think anyone not running Incursions is an idiot – it is amazingly good ISK for almost no risk. A 150m logi loss can be made up in less than two hours. Paul and I can easily make half a billion a night, per character.

      We decided not to post about the person involved because he was desperate to get onto MLYT – almost begging for a mention – and his own blog was hilariously bad.

    • Khalia Nestune Says:

      Neutral rep aggression was something I should have mentioned; I would add that to my list.

      Orca ship-swapping under aggression was indeed fixed. You can still work around it by ejecting the ship, swapping into it, and scooping the ship with the Orca, but it’s not quite as useful as it was before.

      Increased wardec cost by a flat fee would do little to fix the problem, as ISK isn’t really a problem for any smart corporation (see my comments on Incursions).

  6. Traffic Warden Says:

    I’d personally remove 2, and add further stipulations to 1, i.e. attackers have a target to continue the war, defenders have the same to end it. Gives an incentive for the attacked corp to come out and play as they can now “win” the war. Winning the war as a defender should give some benefit, such as doubling the immunity time in 3 or something similar.

    What I think we need from war decs if for them to have starting/continuation conditions that make them much more rare, along with conditions for once war is declared to ensure something actually takes place. They’re not much fun at the moment simply because they get chucked around with as if they’re of no consequence, and for the most part simply get ignored/avoided by the attacked party. Making things harder to initiate, and then harder to avoid as well as setting clear goals for both parties would make it a decent part of gameplay.

    • Khalia Nestune Says:

      I agree with you. I do want an option for the target to pay to get out of the war, as in provides them a legitimate way out and provides aggressors a way to make ISK from warfare – usually it’s just a loss-loss on both sides.

  7. S1r DigbyChickenCaesar Says:

    Most of it would be fixed if they removed station games.

  8. Marcus janus Says:

    Number 5 is silly, instead change the mechanic, if an alliance allows them in the war dec should extend to the alliance, if they leave they should leave an alliance have the war dec follow them. Making or losing friends should not be governed by a war dec. And if I’m in a fight my new friends should want to play to.

  9. Ash Rossen Says:

    “If you stop playing after your shiny new Hulk is killed by suicide gankers, then this is GOOD for the game.”

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    A minor anecdote: When I first started playing, sometime within the first week, I was able to get my hands on a shiny new T1 Merlin. Thinking I’m all sorts of badass, I started messing around in low-sec space. Third jump in, I have a stasis thrown on me and get my shit wrecked. Painful for a newbie, but knew I had to suck it up and not get cocky next time.

    Moral: Don’t play this fucking game if you can’t handle getting your shit wrecked. Regularly.

  10. CCP Loophole Lawyer Says:

    “I do not want the EVE player base to increase with players who lack the resilience or determination to keep playing when the odds are against them. If you stop playing after your shiny new Hulk is killed by suicide gankers, then this is GOOD for the game.”

    I disagree.

    I’d rather have many, many more stupid players in spaceships, keeping CCP financially happy and focused on FIS, rather than have CCP looking towards Incarna and the space barbie crowd.

  11. I would modify #4. Let the player leave the corp after paying 10% of the characters net worth to the corp starting the war dec. In addition the character will continue to pay a 10% tax to the corp starting the war dec for as long as the war dec is still active on the corp they left. While the war dec is active the character can not join any other Player Corp, only NPC corps. After the wardec is over the player may join any player corp immediately but the corp they left they must wait the length of the war dec to rejoin or pay another 10% of net worth to the war dec corp to allow immediate access.

    • Any ideas that prevent players from freely leaving or joining corps are never going to work. Here is why. First its not fun and CCP will never let one guy with a wardec button prevent players from playing with each other. Secondly this is still full of horrible exploits and workarounds. Players cant leave the corp themselves? Have the director kick everyone. Prevent director kicking a player? I get an awoxer in your corp and wardec you with an alt. Now you can’t get rid of the awoxer. Prevent players from joining a new corp after they leave, again I wardec your corp, permanently and now you can never join another corp.

      • I am actually against #4 all together being a carebear but I understand Khalia Nestune’s opinion on the matter and was trying to come up with an option that would not be so harsh on somebody not wanting to be involved in a wardec and open pvp but still have some penalty. My suggestion would need to be flushed out to prevent exploits, workarounds, and permanently preventing a player fromm join a corp.

        From a carebear standpoint, I am against high-sec wardecs altogether. But this is Eve and I understand the harsh environment we play in.

  12. FloppieTheBanjoClown Says:

    #1: An arbitrary quota defeats the purpose of many wars. Sometimes it’s about asset or area denial: you need shooting rights in order to prevent them from gaining or holding something. Your goals can be accomplished without the enemy ever being targetted.

    #2: So long as this is a ransom paid to the declaring party and not to Concord, I’d be okay with this. It would have to be substantial AND increase as time goes by.

    #3: I suspect this would mostly result in longer wars where you just maintain the wardec in order to not have weeks or months of forced peace.

    #4/5: Preventing players and corporations from choosing to opt out of (or in to) wars is absurd. Let the rage quits commence when players are told they can’t get away from the griefers chasing them.

    #6: What? Just no. So many possible abuses.

  13. I realize I’m late to the game here, but it’s been a while since I’ve read through MLYT.

    Anyway, I think people forget what it’s like to be a noob in Eve. I think they forget how completely and utterly overwhelming it is when starting out and knowing absolutely nothing about the game. And I don’t think those players should be forced to stay in NPC corps to avoid unwanted PVP. I find that NPC corps are one of two things;

    Completely dead with no one talking to one another.

    Too active with way too many people talking to one another.

    I don’t think that either is particularly conducive to new players wanting to continue to play Eve. It wasn’t until I joined my first corp that I realized that Eve was worth playing and that there were people in Eve worth playing with. Because that is when true camaraderie starts.

    I realize that Eve is supposed to “dark, cold and risky” and that it’s an inherently “unfair” environment, but I think people have the right to play the game the way they want to play it. Whether you or not you think those players are “bad” for the game is completely irrelevant. Who are you to dictate what people should and should no do with their purchased product and free time? And there should not be mechanisms in place just because it’s more fun for you and your style of game play.

    1. Makes some sense and allows both sides to control the war. But it also discourages noobs from fighting as people will blame them for an extension.
    2. Ok, but it’ll just lead to number 3:
    3. They’ll just get re-dec’d by alt corps that the original wardec corp will have set up for this reason alone. Especially if they pay (see number 2).
    4. So a wardec’r gets almost complete control over what a subscription-paying member can or cannot do? Uhhh, no.
    5. So a wardec’r gets complete control over whether an alliance grows or not? Nah.
    6. Now this is an idea I can get on board with.

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