Today was really slow so I spent quite a bit of time browsing the forums and came to a conclusion regarding the biggest issue people have with getting pewed in highsec. Regardless of what they may say or people may think, the issue isn't the fact that they felt violated, the issue is that they really can't do anything to retaliate back.
I remember when my utility alt got smartbombed and podded when I went AFK one night by a -10.0 pilot who apparently does nothing but that. As a highsec wardeccer, i'm pretty familiar with highsec war dec mechanics. Whenever my alt's corp gets decced, I absolutely welcome it because its a free chance to kick some wannabe highsec pvpers in the teeth. While most people would be upset about this, I welcome it. Why? Because in that situation I know how to fight back. I know all the tricks they'll use against me and probably more.
Except against the negative ten guy, I felt slightly violated. Why? Because I knew there was nothing I could do to hit him back. He would just stay docked until he was ready, warp to an Orca, grab a ship, and go GCC on another poor soul. The best I could do would be to whore onto his KM, but he was losing the ship anyways so why should he care?
CCP recently nerfed this so you can't swap ships in space if you're GCC. I don't like this change at all because what it does is create a "safer" EVE. EVE should never be safe. Period. What CCP needs to do instead of dumbing down highsec and make it safer is give the players more options to fight back against griefers.
I was most recently reading a post on CnP where a victim made an open call for people to kill some people who can flipped him. He pretty much got the usual treatment, open flaming, yadda yadda, but it made me think. There really isn't much he or anyone can do in that situation other than attempt to bait the can flipper in another mission with a neutral character, except this once again works in favor of the flipper because you can't do anything until you get flipped. From a time perspective and patience perspective, this means you have to act like you're missioning until he comes into your mission, which could easily be anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Its unrealistic to expect the mission runner to fight back, because lets face it, a lot of times they don't even have the skills needed to put together a decent PVP fit, let alone fly one.
So what do they do? Hire mercs? Get scammed by someone who says they'll kill them? Place a bounty on their head? LOL, freakin please.
None of those options are even remotely constructive or feasible. They really have absolutely NO options. Killrights are one thing, but most bears shoot back so they don't get these. A buff to the merc profession would be fantastic, so that they could offer cheaper contracts, and become more feasible, but instead in their attempt to nerf the "griefers" they've effectively taken mercs out of the picture as well and eliminated another aspect of EVE's beautiful sandbox.
A useful bounty system or way to make bounty hunting feasible would be awesome. Hell, I would even support an anti-griefer system, so that a group of players willing to camp or put in the time to keep griefers from doing what they do could do something. But arbitrarily making players safer from their own stupidity is not the answer. For example suicide gankers, theres nothing you can do to directly combat them because they're protected by game mechanics that favor the aggressor and by the time you can act, its already happened. Am I saying that game mechanics need to be changed to protect the victim?
I'm saying that "victims" need to be given a means to bring PVP back to the griefer, instead of removing the PVP factor all together. How happy and important would shitty groups of new players feel if sitting a crappy "defense fleet" in a belt while the rest of their corp mined around them actually afforded the miners some sort of protection against suicide gankers. It would keep the miners safe and give the new players a feeling of importance, while also adding challenge to the suicide gankers.
Suicide gankers and "griefers" don't do what they do because they don't want to go against people that can't fight back. They do it because the hoops you have to jump through to find PVP in EVE (2 hr roam with no targets, waiting an hour for a fleet to form up, blue NAPfests, etc.) are just plain ridiculous. Giving carebears a way to fight back in a meaningful way, will lead to a more meaningful EVE experience for ALL sides.
Its ultimately tragic, because highsec has the potential to be the breeding ground for great player driven conflict based story line without all the problems of the blob or supercapital proliferation.
tl;dr Highsec could be a great place for corporations and alliances to taste a piece of the nullsec drama-pie, without needing a supercap fleet, without needing massive numbers, and without needing political connections.
Instead, CCP is turning it into a risk-free area of boring and vanilla gameplay.