Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Resistance is futile, no, is

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?

Hell no.

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.


  1. I couldn't agree with this more; it never made sense to me that the faction police would attack people in hisec and I, as an upstanding empire citizen (hah! Maybe once upon a time), couldn't assist. Having a negative sec status (actual thresholds to be argued about) should make you a target in empire space in my opinion.

  2. "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."

    Won't work. Why? You're falling into the "Jester Trap". You're failing, as Jester famously does, to grasp the underlying psychosocial factors of the issue.

    True Bears have no interest in "the options to fight back". None. To them "fighting back" is mean, evil, hurtful, etc, and "makes [them] just as bad as the bully."
    They are brought up in a system where personal power is abdicated almost completely to The System, The Man, whatever, however you care to label it. Most modern schools, and apparently not just in Murrica anymore, as we know have a "ZERO TOLERANCE" policy toward fighting.
    Of course, this "ZERO TOLERANCE" policy, in the name of "FAIRNESS" is equally applicable to both aggressor and defender, even if the child attacked doesn't lift a finger to defend themselves. God forbid a child be attacked from behind and whirl around to deliver a haymaker to knock the bully flat on his ass, or round up a bunch of other kids to ambush the bully to get their collective lunch monies back... at that point the "abused" child becomes a near-terrorist in the eyes of the school system.

    I am 33 and grew up under the very beginnings of this system, of course those younger than me have had it rammed down their throats and up their asses their entire childhoods.

    Even our justice system is set up on the predicate nowadays that there is no "right to self-defense" -- even those using only sufficient force to end whatever threat arises, are often charged as stiffly as the aggressor, under the doctrine of "mutual combat".

    We live in a society where one is supposed to "run and tell" someone in authority, and wait for that someone to take action, rather than dealing with the issue directly.
    Is it ANY surprise that people behave the same way in-game?

    I addressed this whole thing to a degree in a couple of my older entries:

    Perhaps I should write one specifically geared toward psychological and social phenomena that cause "Bear raeg!" and why just "giving them more tools to fight back", won't really change anything. :-/

    1. Well, that's a nice long comment reply you have there. Sure, a lot of the things you say about people are true, but I've gotta tell you the more I read what you wrote the more I disagree.

      Sure, Jester is a wanker. Sure, a lot of carebears don't particularly want to fight back. But for one thing, you're underestimating them: A lot of bears come at the problem fists first at the beginning, only then realizing that their efforts are futile and relapsing into passivity. And for another thing... what the hell kind of excuse is that?

      How can you just say "oh, well a lot of them don't want to fight back and defend themselves in a video game, THEREFORE WE SHOULD NOT BOTHER GIVING THEM A WAY TO DO SO" ? Where do you get off dismissing the entire issue out of hand, as if nothing can possibly change it? Would you advocate the complete legal removal of the right to self defence just because people are afraid to use it today?

      No, it's not surprising that people are incapable and/or unwilling to defend themselves in EVE. HELL NO that does not mean that they should have a way to do it. If a game is made correctly, any issues with your inability to succeed lie with YOU and with YOUR OWN FAILURES, not with the game's lack of provision. This is the entire basis the majority of EVE is built upon, and everything else flows naturally from there.

      Your entire post smacks of whininess and self-defeat. Pinky is right, your attitude sucks. Please get better immediately.

    2. lol Wow. Raeg much?

      I'm talking about psychosocial factors IRL that influence in-game behavior. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough on that point, and the comment did ramble and take a tangent, but oh well.

      Note that I never said we shouldn't give them means to fight back. Happen to think the wardec system as it is is fucked.
      However, I don't think "moar arbitrary mechanics are arbitrary" is the answer.

      CCP needs to figure out just exactly what "Wars" should be, in terms of the CONCORD/Capsuleer/Empire relationship, and design game mechanics to express that idea. I think that'd work a hell of a lot better than just "hey here's a :goodidea: for fixing things."

      Since you're being "personal", very overtly, I suggest for future reference that before launching into ad hominem tirades, you at least attempt to understand the hominid you're launching the attacks at, rather than creating a straw man out of thin air and proceeding to tear it apart like a pit bull with a fresh chew toy.

      Your post sounds like the sort of raeg a first-time customer to lowsec puts in local after their first ganking experience. Therefore I'll ask you, sir, to revisit your statement about attitudes and getting better.
      Also for the record, Pinky has never said that about me, we actually get along quite well and see eye-to-eye on a variety of different points.

    3. Hi there. I'm not sure if you have any clue who I am or what I do, but wow. I barely even know how to respond to that. I'm sorry that you feel so defensive about this.

      I tore apart your post because, as it was written, you rage on about how EVE is exactly like our school systems and everyone is indoctrinated not to fight back. I pointed out that this is a terrible way to approach the problem.

      I'm not getting personal, I'm criticizing your (apparent) implications and approach that you made in your comment. If you didn't actually mean to say that all this stuff was actually related and just went off on a tangent, then -just say so.- Don't go off on some kind of guns-blazing counterattack against some perceived personal insult. (I didn't even say that Pinky claimed your attitude was bad; if it was unclear -- my bad -- I was saying that Pinky knows what he's talking about in this post, and -additionally- your attitude is bad.)

      I agree, CCP needs to be a lot more clear and consistent about their vision for wars. You just have to realize, there are some things that should be considered and some things that shouldn't. One thing to consider is the ability of younger and poorer players to respond to their aggressors; one thing you should NOT consider is their unwillingness to do so if given the opportunity.

    4. Also, if you have anything more to say, feel free to stop by:

    5. I like the idea to be able to effectively fight back in high sec on the can flippers, mission loot stealers/salvagers, and so on.

      Currently there isn't much u can do about it.
      They are getting flagged for doing so, but if u try to retaliate u'll getting flagged for combat too, and the advantage is on the aggressor's side every time, except if u are going out prepared. Wich means u loose effectiveness on ur activity. And there are no guarantee that the aggressor will be there to harass u. So it is a loss/loss situation for u. And i doubt that u'll have friends around to help u all the time if something like this happens.

      After the first try to retaliate the aggression u'll learn the hard way that it is useless. Even if u want to fight back, there is a 99% chance u'll be out of ur ship in no time.

      One of the best examples that i have right now for this is when u are salvageing ur mission site in a noctis. A guy in a Vigil comes in and starts to salavage and loot the cans. Now what options u have to stop the guy? Call in frineds? Do they have time? Fit ECM to prohibit the guy to target any containers? Whatever u do u'll get flagged too, and he can switch to a pvp fit ship and come back, or bring in his friends. U're dead, or u loose the mission loot and salvage.

      It is just annoying. U can't really do much. Hire Mercs? U'll pay a lot of money, they can temporarly chase the guy out of system, or make him afk dock at station. It is boring for both of them. And u just wasted money on it, and had no real solution out of it. The guy can come back anytime he wants and continue after ur contract with the mercs ran out, or the mercs gets bored and fly away.
      Same applies for wardecing the guy's corp. Or u can't do that either, becouse he is in a NPC corp...
      U also give up dealing with it. U just go back and dock in when u see him in ur mission again.

      There are too many davantages on the aggressors side, that prevents u from even thinking to try to retaliate his actions.
      That is bad desgin imho too.