Sunday, June 2, 2013

But it Doesn't Matter!

I wound up in the most interesting debate about security status the other day. We were going around and around in a circle about the entire concept.

My question and puzzlement was this, "positive security status does not matter, so why are people so frantically attached to it? It doesn't mean that you are good. It means that you shot at NPCs."

I do not mean attachment for technical reasons. I know plenty of people who think of their security status as a flexible area of use. The higher it is the longer they can go before they have to adjust it back up to stop themselves from being barred from high security space. At one point, it was also a way to avoid having a bounty placed upon you but that restriction was removed. But i started to realize at some point that people were proud of their high security status and wore it as a badge of honor. I could not understand why and most of the answers that I did see revolved around concepts of good and evil in relations to standing.

You are not affected in the space you can enter until you drop below -2.0. I can fully understand someone wanting to avoid dropping below -2.0 and having to deal with faction police. After -2.0 you slowly start to lose your ability to enter space. I will replicate the chart that can be found on the Evelopedia.
  • Players with -2.0 or worse will be attacked in 1.0 systems
  • Players with -2.5 or worse will be attacked in 0.9 systems
  • Players with -3.0 or worse will be attacked in 0.8 systems
  • Players with -3.5 or worse will be attacked in 0.7 systems
  • Players with -4.0 or worse will be attacked in 0.6 systems
  • Players with -4.5 or worse will be attacked in 0.5 systems
For those that do not PvP, what is the attachment to their high security status? People cling to it like a badge of honor and it confuses me. We gain security status from killing NPCs. I also gain security status for killing NPCS. That is why, as I write this, my security status is -9.7. I kill NPCs as part of my daily ISK making tasks. This causes me a constant increase that stops me from reaching -10 due to my PvP activities.

Security status is also on a nice (overly) complex scale where the higher or lower it is the slower or faster the gains. So, if I am -9.7 my positive increases will be greater and my negative decreases smaller. If I am 5.0 my positive increases as so tiny that they do not matter and my negative decreases are enormous and will rip huge swaths of my security status away.

In fact, the size of the hit when someone of a high security status does an unlawful act is so large that I wonder if there was something planned that never happened for positive security status  You are punished for negative security status and not rewarded for positive.

Negative security status brings with it the loss of easy access in high security space. Once the security status hits -5 it is labeled as 'outlaw' and brings a new host of side effects along with the title. The loss of CONCORD protection in high security space. The loss of CONCORD protection in low security space in the forms of gate guns and station guns coming to your aid. Other players will receive no security status penalty for attacking you.

High security status brings you a buffer between a kill and low security status. That is about it. It does not seem to benefit the player in any other way outside of their own personal enjoyment. While personal enjoyment is the reason for many things that we do in Eve and a valid measure to use, I still feel that it is falling short considering the various ways actions affect security status.

People cling to their security status. I'm not in love with being an outlaw. It doesn't define me. I would rather deal with being at a disadvantage then to grind the sheer number of NPCs that need to be destroyed for my security status to keep up with my PvP. If my security status was 4.0 or -4.0 I would still be the same person. In fact, it has the oddest negatives  It is hard to get new players to trust a thing I say in help chats sometimes because I am a 'bad' person with a 'bad' security status. I've even been reported in Eve Uni help chat for having a negative security status. It is amusing. Many people adore their -10 level. It is a sign of their PvP and their disregard for high security space, the law, and whatever else occurs to them. Also, your name highlights in the overview.

On the opposite end, beyond being a buffer for PvP - a buffer many will never need - having a positive security status means nothing unless one role plays or defines themselves by it. It, mechanically, doesn't do anything for the player. It is not like faction standings which provide positives and negatives as they go up and down. What does a high security status offer a player? 

It seems that it offers nothing then bragging rights for accomplishing what any player who shoots red crosses will eventually accomplish if they do not engage in criminal activity defined PvP.  Even worse, for some, it offers up a lie. They believe that a person with a high positive security status is in some way good because they do not realize that that status can be gained from NPCs in null security space while violence will not leave any security trace behind.

And that was my question to the chatroom. What does having a positive security status mean? Why do people cling to it? Why do they care about it?

I've even been told it is a bragging right like -10 is a bragging right. Neither are. Both are things any player can accomplish.  And if security status is so meaningless for those of positive security status, should it mean something? And if it does mean something, should security status then be limited to empire space for gains as well as losses?


  1. Sec status gains/losses are already limited to empire space with the exception of nullsec ratting (which is already better than lowsec ratting for sec status/bounty due to the higher chance if getting a battleship spawn).

    That said I'm in favour of a solution that was proposed a while back: no sec status/gains from nullsec rats, empire space aggression would only take you to -1.9 and the only way to go lower would be to pod people.

  2. There is a primal urge to optimize any number that is being actively measured, even if it makes no sense on a larger level. Huge corporations get mismanaged by executives indulging this urge ("each division should run its own books" -> "all divisions should be maximally profitable!").

    While a 5.0 security status doesn't *prove* that the capsuleer has been a completely upstanding citizen in CONCORD's eyes, that is the most obvious path to a 5.0, and that's good enough for the people who covet it. Going the other way, -10 is important enough to some people that they named their whole alliance after it.

    If they just get rid of security status, I'd cheer the decision. It's really worthless.

  3. You're right, Sugar. A positive sec status should have effects just like having a negative sec status does. It does almost seem as if there was supposed to be something else planned that CCP just hasn't been able to get around to/has forgotten/

    We need to have some bonuses to having positive sec status. Increased Concord response time, lower station fees, higher sec status loss from illegal actions perpetuated against high sec-status owners.

    Everything revolves around what sec status represents. Given EvE's dystopian nature, what it really represents is a measurement of how much a pilot can be trusted to be orderly with regard to how he relates to Empire society. Is he running around murdering everyone he sees or is he a law-abiding (i.e. not causing headaches for the governments) capsuleer? The factions should be rewarding the higher status folks; after all, it's what Concord gets paid for. At the same time, those who illegally interfere with those upstanding citizens/valued customers should suffer a greater hit than if they shot someone with a negative status. It's once thing for the scum and villains to shoot each other, but once upstanding, clean-cut/bills-paid-on-time citizens start getting bothered, it's time to send in the shock troops :)

  4. Security status is as much about what you do as what you don't do. Ostensibly, what security status measures is the proportion of time of shooting NPC to "illegally" attacking other players. I think that the former is supposed to be a proxy for time active, because if you counted time logged in it would be skewed towards people who idle in stations and so on. That would be why sec status gains are time gated.

    Which means positive, especially high positive, security status says "in at least the span of time it takes to gain this much security status I have not illegally attacked anyone". As pirate-PvP focused as you appear to be it might not be obvious why someone would be proud of that, but many people are.

  5. Enter sytem, one neut there.
    Positive sec status? Just another ratter, probably docked up the second he saw me enter, ignore and move on.
    Negative sec status? That person wants to kill me, better be careful.

  6. It'd be nice if positive sec status were more than a badge of honor; but considering how tedious it is to get a +5 status while staying in hi-sec only, I can understand why some people are proud of it.

    For me, positive sec status is a resource, to be used and refilled as needed. And negative sec status has story possibilities.