Monday, May 25, 2009

Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?

Well, this is my first posting as part of CrazyKinux's Eve Blog Banter. The question this month is:

What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums.

Now, granted, I am new to the game and have not seen all the various mechanics already in the game, so it is hard for me to write about something truly new since it might not be new at all, but just something I haven't seen yet. So instead, I'm going to focus on a game mechanic that I think needs to be changed, and give my reasons why and suggestions for how it should be different. You can certainly disagree with me and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

My suggestion is that there needs to be a way for truly neutral corporations to avoid frivilous war declarations. As I wrote previously, I am a member of Eve University, a truly valuable resource for the Eve universe as a whole. I don't see how anyone could have an issue with the university in a true political sense in that they really stay neutral. Their entire goal is to train new Eve players through the generosity of the more senior members of the corporation. Eve U. is a valuable resource and should be supported by other companies who benefit from being able to recruit pilots trained by Eve University for their own corporations.

Unfortunately, Eve University has been regularly wardec'd on a nearly continuous basis for the past several months, with no end in sight. If we assume the best possible intentions from the aggressors, they wardec the Uni because there are lots of noob pilots to target for a week. However, Eve University rules require all pilots to stay in base until the hostilities end, so while there is the ocassional target of opportunity that didn't follow the rules, for the most part a wardec on Eve U. brings nothing but the Uniblob of 30+ noob pilots with nothing to lose attacking single targets until the war is over. Why would someone pay 50 million ISK for that?

This leads to what I think is actual reason to wardec the Uni: simple griefing. There is no good reason for this sort of activity, other than giving people trouble and making their lives miserable. It seems like there is someone or some group out there that does not want the University to exist in its current form, and the constant stream of wardecs is a way to kill it. Why would someone join a corp if you have to spend 95% of your time doing nothing?

Therefore, I would like there to be changes to the game to prevent these sorts of grief wardecs from being declared, while still staying true to the fact that the Eve universe is a dangerous place. Here are some suggestions I'd like to submit:

  1. Make wardeccing MUCH more expensive. From my understanding, the cost for a wardec has been 50 million ISK since the game began. It seems like this is a pretty paltry figure, given that it is easy to make this much money in a day. Change the cost to something more reasonable, like 500 million or a billion and we could get a feel for just how important this war really is to declaring corp.
  2. Allow a corporation to pay protection money to CONCORD. Obviously, the wardec payment to CONCORD is a bribe to get them to look the other way while you illegally attack another corp. Therefore, the target company should be able to pay a bribe to either keep a wardec from being made in the first place, or a bribe to end the wardec early.
  3. Allow a neutral status. CONCORD is the currupt cop in the neighborhood that is happy to take a bribe. But it's one thing for a cop to turn the other way when one gang is beating up on another gang, whereas it's another thing to let that gang rob defenseless old women. I think that the same principle should apply in Eve. It should be easy for one corp to declare war on another if the second corp declares war on others or is in an alliance that is regularly involved in aggression. If, on the other hand, the target corp does not declare war on others and is not in any alliance, it should be significantly harder (i.e., more expensive) to declare war on that corporation.
  4. Allow a corporation to buy/get protection from another corp. It should be possible to create an agreement between corporations such that a smaller, weaker corporation can obtain protection from a larger, stronger corporation. This formal agreement would give the stronger corporation the ability to attack and kill members of any corporation that wardecs the smaller corp. The smaller corp would not be embroiled in any conflicts of the stronger corp.
Personally, I think the fourth option would open up lots of new play styles and conflicts in the game:

  • Strong corps with lots of firepower could fight over the right to "own" turf, and be able to collect the protection money from the weak corporations in a certain part of the galaxy.
  • Weak corps could choose to move to new neighborhoods if they don't like the "terms" being offered by the neighborhood tough guy.
  • Strong corps could threaten the weak corporations if they don't pay the protection money.
Let me know what you think about these suggestions. I'd love to hear from you! And thanks to CrazyKinux for setting up blog banter. Please make sure to visit his blog for more discussion at CrazyKinux's Musing.

Other Blog Banters:
  1. CrazyKinux's Musing, EVE Blog Banter #8: Care for a little game of SecWars?
  2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Wow, that new thing is so shiny!!!
  3. I am Keith Nielson, EVE Blog Banter #8 - Return of the Top Gun
  4. Once More from the Beginning, 8th EVE Blog Banter May 2009 Edition
  5. A merry life and a short one, EVE Blog Banter #8: In the Year of Our Awesome
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Planets
  7. Helicity Boson, Bantering the blog
  8. Achernar, Unique adventures
  9. Ecliptic Rift, OOC: EVE Blog Banter 8: Standings and secondary factions
  10. The New Edener, EVE Blog Banter #8
  11. Journey to New Eden, Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?
  12. Life, The Universe and Everything, Blog banter 8: mentorship
  13. EVE Guru, EBB 8: Yarr! Prepare to be boarded!
  14. The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works
  15. Rifter Drifter, Blog Banter 8: Strategic Gunnery
  16. More to come...


  1. I like a combination of your third and fourth options the best...though I wonder what sort of effect this would have had on our history. It was a mercenary wardec against Cryogenesis Mining Syndicate, after all, that prompted Lexx and me to break away from Chilled Solutions and form the Ralpha Dogs. Would we have done this if it had been harder for the mercenary corp to wardec Cryogenesis, or if Cryogenesis had been able to get "protection" from elsewhere? Food for thought...

    - Erbo Evans, Abbot, Rho Alpha Delta

  2. The fourth option basically exists in game already. Many pirates run protection rackets and many mercenary corporations will offer counter declarations. Getting war-decced is one of the risks that the University takes and is a part of empire life once you graduate. Sure people wardec the Uni for idiotic reasons but there is absolutely no reason why the Uni should be immune to this mechanism.

  3. I can see the benefits of making much harder to wardec a corporation like EVE-Uni. A special charter could agreed upon by both EVE-Uni and Concord (CCP) to allow the price cost of declaring war with them much higher; 500 million seems reasonable.