"You should just set your ISK on fire and toss it out of the station undock."
Such was my comment to Naoru after he placed a 20 million ISK bounty on me after we discussed that he kept wasting his ISK on placing bounties on randoms. Not that the ISK has not brought him tears. It has. In fact, as of today his bucket is overflowing enough that hopefully he will produce a blog post about it over at Flak Bait at some point soon. Maybe he can consider my eye rolling to be tears as well.
I rarely pay attention to bounties, my own or anyone else's. Occasionally I have one slapped on me by someone I know. I find the entire event a waste of good ISK. In doing so I did disregard the placement of bounties for other reasons, such as tears. I'm not much into tear extraction and it is rarely a motivation for me.
It made me think. What is the motivation for placing a bounty on someone these days? It makes you feel good? You feel as if you struck back? What particular application do they really have to motivating others to go kill for you?
The difference in the before was that some people... people who did not mind sitting on gates for hours... could make ISK out of popping flashy red pods for their bounties. With the previous mechanics tied to the security status of the player, a bounty was most likely going to sit upon someone with negative security status. Mix that in with the lack of CONCORD action upon outlaw pods in high security space and it had the potential to have plentiful ISK pay offs. People with outlaw security status very often venture all over the map. It enrages many high sec dwellers that NPCs do not pop pods anymore. A reddit thread pointed out when that mechanic was changed in 2003. When bounties were related to pods they were hard to collect outside of wormholes and null sec.
Now, bounty can be placed on anyone. Lots of people have bounties. Many people are still very angry about their bounties and feel that they are unjustified. I am neutral on the entire thing because I refuse to spend ISK putting bounties on people. Yet, bounties have become a subculture and to say, "I think it is silly to do," is how I wind up with my corpmates putting bounties on me.
I understand why it is amusing for someone who is angry about it. Naoru keeps getting eve mails from one person and it has become a back and forth bounty placement that has me shaking my head. But, from his giggles he is having a good time for his ISK. That alone is wroth it.
Yet, is that why most people place bounties?
The placement if bounties is to encourage and reward the killing of other players by players for players. He is the bounties I have acquired in the last month in the course of my PvP efforts.
2013.07.15 02:31:33 Bounty Prize 7,692.31 ISK 2013.07.15 00:35:01 Bounty Prize 12,500.00 ISK 2013.07.15 00:30:02 Bounty Prize 1,496,427.17 ISKI still do not see the ISK motivation. But, I know that people feel that others are motivated to kill people for the bounties. They send you little notes when they place bounties on you. I'm not talking about the people who like to be spammed with bounty notification of payout eve-mails. I'm speaking of the people who truly believe that the bounty system motivates players to attack other players as part of the greater meta game.
2013.07.14 00:32:56 Bounty Prize 460,000.00 ISK
2013.07.13 02:56:28 Bounty Prize 275,000.00 ISK
2013.07.13 01:18:23 Bounty Prize 58,185.37
2013.07.13 01:12:15 Bounty Prize 0.10 ISK 2013.07.12 02:22:29 Bounty Prize 8,577,269.61 ISK
2013.07.12 01:39:43 Bounty Prize 2,362,169.25 ISK
2013.06.30 21:02:40 Bounty Prize 266,095.93 ISK
2013.06.30 20:57:41 Bounty Prize 600,201.80 ISK 2013.06.30 19:23:35 Bounty Prize 1,628,194.89 ISK
2013.06.30 19:18:33 Bounty Prize 261,918.58 ISK
2013.06.30 18:32:40 Bounty Prize 700,482.72 ISK
2013.06.30 18:27:41 Bounty Prize 194,784.06 ISK
2013.06.28 02:16:14 Bounty Prize 895,072.18 ISK
2013.06.18 15:35:17 Bounty Prize 33,333.33 ISK 2013.06.17 04:12:31 Bounty Prize 27,406.30 ISK 2013.06.17 03:11:56 Bounty Prize 25,000.00 ISK 2013.06.16 19:05:36 Bounty Prize 0.03 ISK 2013.06.16 19:00:37 Bounty Prize 154.80 ISK 2013.06.16 06:22:46 Bounty Prize 1,437,607.33 ISK 2013.06.11 22:34:13 Bounty Prize 1.06 ISK
2013.06.11 17:47:18 Bounty Prize 200,000.00 ISK 2013.06.11 03:55:46 Bounty Prize 0.09 ISK
My current bounty is 35 million ISK. I'll lose most of it the next time I lose something that is not a Jaguar. My average Jaguar loss is about 40 million ISK. I doubt that the 35 million ISK on my head is motivating people to chase me down and kill me. But people will continue to put bounties on people and tell them that now people will hunt them down.
In general the Dev's seem to be happy with the bounty system. A lot of ISK goes in and a lot of ISK goes out. It is functioning and people find it worth while to use for whatever reasons they are finding it worth while to use. Such as tears or their own belief that it makes a PvPer more likely to get killed.
But as a motivator? I still don't see it.