Monday, October 15, 2012

Make Me Worth Hunting, Please

The changes to Eve's Bounty system are a welcome one. However, without proper monetary stimulation not even the best bounty system will do much in terms of getting people to hunt down the 'criminal' and 'evil' aspect of Eve.

By the way, Hi, I'm Sugar and I'm wanted with a bounty on my head.

That is what you see when my 'show info' is selected. I have a big WANTED sign plastered across the lower side of my picture. I have a million isk bounty on me. I also have a negative security status. I must be a terrible person. I often have new players go "what did you do?" with a stunned innocence.

My bounty is a joke that someone else did, as have been all of my bounties. But, people do set bounties when they are angry. Many who do not participate actively in PewPew do not realize how broken the system is. The current system has a minimum bounty of 5 thousand isk. This amount is so ridiculousness low that it makes me giggle. The new system will have a minimum of 100k isk. This is a better starting point and will stop people from experimenting and setting bounties on other newbie players on their first day in game.

But, for bounty hunting to be more than a random reward sometimes for shooting someone, the people most prone to placing bounties will need to learn the costs to have violence preformed on their behalf.

Going after a player is not in any way like going after a NPC. There may be a bit of a merger in thought due to the fact that both have bounties on their heads. What is an acceptable payment for killing an NPC pirate is probably not going to motivate a player to seek out and violence another.

My bounty, at the moment, is one million ISK. The NPC that I am shooting at the moment has a 500k ISK bounty on him.

When discussing bounties and those that place them, it was suggested that value was based off of what is made in high security space. "A NPC gives a 500k bounty so a player should maybe get 250k for killing me because he was in a frigate and this was a battleship". I have no idea if this mentality is true but at the same time it would explain the often ridiculousness low bounties that are placed on people, often after a tear filled rage in local.

Why do I call the bounties ridiculously low? It is not what I consider myself worth. It is what someone else considers the trouble of finding and killing me is worth.

The ideas of a lot of ISK change as one advances through the game. In those first weeks, the 5-10 million ISK for the first cruiser is a painful, painful struggle. Later ISK becomes easier and perceptions change. However, hiring a bounty hunter is employing another player to do your task. You may be offering them a contractual end amount but that amount must be high enough for them not to take another job out there (such as running missions).

This is why a 1 million ISK bounty will not work.

Under the new crime watch system, the current default maximum amount gained will be based off of 20% of the ships price. I run around in hurricanes a lot. Fully fit up, my ships are around 70 million. For the sake of numbers let's say my fully fit ship costs 100 million ISK per the games valuator when it is destroyed. That means that the bounty hunter receives 20 million isk for killing me.

That is not a lot of ISK for the work that went into killing me, but it was something. However, that is the maximum amount is is going to get. If a 1 million ISk bounty was placed on my head, one million isk is what the bounty hunter gets for the kill.

The hunter must find his target, track his target, research his target, fit his hip, find his target (remember I live in low sec so that comes with inherent dangers) and then destroy his target. A target such as myself fights back (Maybe not well but I'm gonna try not to die). A target such as myself also expects to be killed by strangers and may have help just a system away.

A bounty hunter must be paid for his time. If one were to present a mercenary contract of five million isk the chances for vast, hysterical laughter are great. He must also be guaranteed a paycheck reasonable enough for him to risk his ship. With the new bounty system he will no longer get the full bounty. His target selection must be thought through. He must decide if the reward is worth his risk + time.

Sure, people will just kill your target for lulz or various reasons. But reaching out and hiring someone is a different story. That persons interest must be gained and it is going to be gained by a reasonable amount of ISK being laid on the table.

The same will go for kill rights. If one is to place their kill rights for sale, placing those kill rights at 100 million isk increase the chances of no one accepting those kill rights. The prices must be appealing to the ones who will do the killing. People want to be paid for their time. They will amuse themselves with or without another person. This is a business contract.


  1. "People want to be paid for their time."

    In general yes. But why do they roam today? Surely not to earn money. Once you have a nice bounty on your head every roam will look twice whether they can catch you or not.
    You living in low sec makes it hard to get your pod but if your target is in 0.0 you can also fry his pot which will yield another fine sum if the imps are worth it.

    Maybe you should be more afraid about the "how" bounty is payed. if they kill you in your cane they get 20m. and they know they can kill you another 4 times... being camped in a station won't be fun for your but your friends will surely fight them off, right?

    You could also upgrade to a more expensive ship if you want to be a more valuable target.
    Very excited about how much bounty will be placed once it is useful. Looking forward to get an brief sum up about you and your friends ;-)

    1. Aye, but many people in null do roam in implantless clones.

      I doubt I'm an overly attractive target, but who knows I may be pissing someone off into a frothing rage. If people want to place bounties then they are more then welcome to do so. Why will always puzzle me. I already live someplace they can come kill me. My target viability is unchanged.

      But, if someone does decide that I need to have my ship violence for offending them, they will need to add appeal to the hunter. While they are trying (lulz clone jumps) to camp me in the station they have to deal with the fact that other people may come sniffing around to see what targets are hanging around the area all of a sudden.

  2. To make a pirate´s bounty attractive, maybe ISK alone it’s not enough, maybe some other kind of incentive must be used, like for instance LP points for some coorp, of a fame system or any similar concept. Maybe even offer some sort of cosmetic effects to the bounty hunters ships like the pirate faction have.