Monday, March 4, 2013

Hunter and Hunted: An Endless Story

Twitter Links for the above conversation:  As always in twitter the conversation fragments.  This discussion is longer and gets into cloaking and nerfing warp core stablizers.  I'm focusing on what made me decide to write a response a bit to long for twitter.

I read Rixx Javix's blog.  I enjoy most of what he writes.  Our viewpoints hold base similarities but they are also different. He plays to pirate and spends most of his day seeking out people to hunt.  We are both low sec denizens and pirates but I consider us on separate ends of the scale of 'what is a pirate'.  He is aggressive and focused on killing things. I don't have the confidence for solo and gain my greatest satisfaction in fleeting.  Its different ways of playing the game, one of the beauties of Eve.

Rixx is frustrated. He is frustrated as a hunter and he is frustrated as a player.  His frustrations are because people are more interested in running away then fighting.  They are doing whatever they can to help ensure their escape from a situation instead of doing everything they can to try to win a fight if one crops up.  Rixx is a hunter hunting prey instead of hunting other hunters.  Prey wishes to escape and live another day.  They do not want to fight. They do not want to hunt.  They want to do whatever their task is and escape from negative situations.

And that leaves him frustrated.  Frustrated enough to write eloquent discussions in a tongue and cheek manner.  But this time he fustrated. Rixx wants fights. He is not asking to win every fight. He is just asking to have them.

The problem is, no one wants to stay around and fight.  Rhavas' suggestion causes my distaste for bubble mechanics to well up to the surface.  I stay out of wormholes and null.  One of the biggest reason is the bubble mechanics.  I loathe them.  I don't try to change them. I try not to complain about them. I simply do not enter the game where they come into play (most of the time).  There is a lot I don't like about null and wormhole space from a game mechanic perspective.  I just don't play in them.  I know that others adore these exact same mechanics.  Introducing even HIC bubbles just makes me fall into full rabid froth.

But, before I was blinded by my own personal issues, I did see one thing.  What Rhavas suggested would eliminate people's choice to escape.  Rixx would have his fights and the person he managed to pounce upon would have to turn and fight to handle the situation.

It made me ask, "Should we remove people's ability to run away?"

If we do, the prey will stop coming to the feeding ground.

As they have been tweaking Faction Warfare they are doing it with carrots.  The loyalty points are carrots.  They sprinkle them across space.  They are really, really tasty carrots as well.  They sweeten them with plex mechanics and low sec space.  Slowly, prey started to gather around these sweet carrots to feed.  They learned to band together to fight off some opponents.  However, their nature is often still that of prey.

They do not want to fight.  If the faction warfare loyalty point carrot was not there, nor would be the prey. So, if the prey knew that they would no longer be afforded even the possibility of leaving, would they still come?  Is it not the nature of prey to attempt to survive?

I don't think that they would.  I wonder if Rixx is falling across the very people that CCP has been trying to lure into low sec.  Those that will accept a bit more risk for reward but are not motivated by PvP.  They will do it if they must.  They will recover from it if they lose.  But they do not come for it or get enjoyment for it.

Mitigating your probable loss is natural.  It may not be preferable but it is what people will do. People 'travel fit' their ships for a reason.  I fly Jaguar's instead of Cynabals to learn in.  It is a loss mitigation even if it is me being 'risk averse' to some.  Because people lose people will try not to lose.  I do not mean lose as in 'win the fit lose the fight' but I mean lose as in 'my stuff is gone'.

Now, in Rixx's proposal he makes a point about limiting Warp Core Stabilizers to one per ship.  I don't have a personal opinion about this.  On one side it strikes me as Rixx not being unreasonable with 'nerf Warp Core Stabs'.  On the other hand the question has to be asked of, "1? 2? Should they start to fail when stacked? Should there be a provability thrown in there?"  Thankfully those are all balance questions.  I only list them because I want to make it clear that solutions and reasonable solutions are being pondered and proposed.  And because he can and has proposed something that has thought and balance to it, I describe him as frustrated today.

Now, the question becomes things like gunless ships and how could you put a a cloak on a pirate faction ship.  To me, that says not what it says in actually letters turned into words turned into a sentence and used for communication.  It says that Eve is lacking something in its ship line.

Eve has no in between.  There are combat ships and there are noncombat ships.  There are a few utility ships that can be rigged to some type of perverted version of combat.  What the people that are avoiding Rixx with cloaks and a full low slot of warp core stabilizers are creating as another class a ship.  A utility class of ship that has the means to do things and the means to get out of a situation but not the means to fight.  They are not set up to fight and the crew does not want to fight.  Beyond a basics ability to defend themselves they are instead out trying to avoid the hunters in the water.

Not everyone is a predator.  They won't have the inclinations for it.  Yet, as I argued that we need more acceptance and structure in neutrality, we also need to support this subset of people.  They may be the pioneers and adventurers that we want to come into low sec.


  1. Now, now, you can't put in just my first comment without putting all of them in for context. I followed up with:
    "I agree that a nerf to WCS would be preferable. But the stuff I'm seeing out of FW in terms of gunless WCS ships..."
    "I have no issues with how cloaks work today - I could get behind them not be valid for capturing tho"
    "I do think WCS should have stacking penalties, personally. The stuff I'm seeing is ridiculous."

    Specifically, check out some of the kills on Sand Cider and Spaceships (Drackarn's blog) that have 3 WCS, a cloak and no guns.

    That's not clever, it's just broken. I also am not talking about generalities, and am in agreement with you on Lowsec bubbles - thus my "maybe". I would not want to see DIC bubbles or anchorable bubbles. And really, I'd prefer CCP fix the real problem (which a WCS nerf or a plex fix would do) than use a HIC.

    1. I didn't see the rest of your statements till after I finished writing. I'll add them in at the end however so as not to look as if I am trying to turn you into a villain.

  2. One of the more interesting things I heard that might help here came from (I think) the summit notes. The suggestion was that PVE could become more like PVP. In other words you'd have fewer rats but they'd fight more like capsuleers. More points/web/Ewar and maybe even try to run away (I'm hoping that's what the recent exploration bug came from). If your NPC opponents were more like PVP, then player PVE fits would start to look more like PVP fits. Right now the advice to new players (that I hear) is that your PVE-fit ship is going to be destroyed by a PVP fit attacker. You're set up to sustain a long time of low-ish, predictably typed damage. You're going to have no point and probably no web. But what if that was different?

  3. Great stuff and thanks for taking up the conversation. Which is all any of this really is.

    Just to clear up one minor thing, I hunt everyone without consideration. I make no judgements on those I find in space and attack them all equally.

    And I appreciate your comments and thoughts, I've made many of these arguments myself in the past. I am concerned however, concerned enough to turn the knob on the heat up a bit. I believe talking about these things serves everyone.

    No one is a bigger fan of the sandbox of Eve than I am. I want the entire sandbox to thrive, not just certain parts of it.

  4. If you are fitting more than 1 warp core stabilizer on a ship, the targeting penalty is so great that your range is so close to zero that weapons are useless.

    All these "waah, pvp is dying" type of posts appear to me to be complaints that that the pvpers want easier targets. The post you point to wants it so that people can't run away. My viewpoint as an industrialist is that it takes me 8-10 hours of mining to replace that battlecruiser, which happens every time I get called out for a fleet roam. I work, I go to school, and in what little spare time I have, I play eve. Do I want to go on that roam, knowing that half of my spare time for the rest of the week will be wasted making a replacement ship? No. That's also why I dock up when neuts/reds enter the system - pure survival. I don't get paid to be your target. This is a game, not a job. We've discovered that we can cause those roamers to waste lots of time by having folks go afk inside POS shields. Even the afk-cloakers have quit coming by.

  5. Yeah, I have to agree with tangurena a little bit. I've lived in null, in high, in w-space, and am now in FW. I don't have enough isk to throw ships away just to provide someone else with enjoyment. When I have the isk, or when I know it won't take a lot of effort to replace the ship I'm about to lose, I don't mind.

    Sometimes I take fights I figure I'm going to lose just because my wind is up. Sometimes I run from fights I probably could have won because I do fall victim to assuming that my opponent must be better fit and have better sill than I and getting a replacement ship is more of a pain than running away. Many times I will run from a fight when I'm up against someone I know is far beyond my ability because, well, I'm not there to provide that person with their fun.

    I find it all averages out in the end, but that's only my experience. Others' experience will differ.

    Because EvE has real loss, and because for many (if not most) players, "cheap" doesn't mean the same thing, you're going to see risk aversion. If someone is space poor, why wouldn't they be? No one has the right to tell them they should come out and die when it means they'll be forced to grind isk to make up the loss.

    You want to fix the "problem"? Get rid of real loss, just like Battlestar Galactica Online. It's fun for a while, but gets old really quick. But it does get fights.

    That, however, would be the true end of EvE and I pray CCP doesn't go that way. So until or unless the uber rich are willing to rain isk down on the underclass, the uber rich can go pound sand with their complaints. As for the non-uber-rich but uber competent... please bottle how you do that and tell the rest of us? :)

  6. Ok, hold on a second, get rid of real loss? IS this WOW? I dont think so. Real loss is what makes eve so much better than any other MMO's. With the sense of loss it makes what you do matter. I can understand being pissed over losing stuff and fear of getting gate camped but what fun is it if those emotions are taken out of game? The Shakes in a fight? The ultimate relief excaping a gate camp? All gone cause your worried about isk. As a Industrial pilot I mostly avoid what I have to to make a living but I do go into WH's and Null...its a risk but the rewards are greater.BTW, I'm not really rich either, keep anywhere between 100mil-500mil in my wallet most of the time, paying for plex's sucks, lol.

    Now how to get people to cant force people to stick around and fight. If you want to ensure that targets dont escape use a small gang with two instalock thrashers with 2 points each, solved.If solo, well thems the breaks win some lose some.