Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Entertaining the Thought

As Eve Radio trolls tweet fleet to create a 'thought' exercise about removing Concord from .5 during tomorrow's live event, I decided to bite since the topic excited me enough to be hopeful. Normally I hate manipulative attempts to reach people. I have to admit that it worked, hence my biting.

After the first reaction of, "really?" the second is, "It won't happen because Jita." High Sec is connected in many places by .5 systems. Dumping them into low sec would shatter high sec from itself and create four, separate empires, something some players have wanted for quite a long time.

I find it amusing that we often ask CCP to be bold and daring and give us new things and change the game for once, but when the chance comes the brakes are activated full speed. "Wooooaaahhhh, CCP," we say. "Let us sit down and think about this reckless action you are undertaking. What will happen to high sec? How will we get to Jita? Not everyone has jump freighters. You will affect the entire game with this. Have you thought this through? People will just be stuck."

And I wonder, what do we want from the game? Often I hear, "content" and "new stuff" and "changes." At Fanfest Hong and I had a discussion over the fact that no matter what you do, empire never changes. That it is a static state and as long as it stays static it will not move CCP's own world story forward.  Last night, Wex was assisting his fans in Faction War and I asked him, "Why is everyone worked up about this? What changes? What does any of this actually do?" and an answer was, "it gives people an excuse to fight."

Further back, yesterday, I was commenting that CCP has to restrain the playerbase to a certain extent. Vov and I often discuss making the game less safe. Vov would like it to be much less safer than it is. He feels that it is to safe for the ISK people can make in it and wants that changed. My response was that people need somewhere to huddle and play just to play. We have a huge chunk of the player base that does that. They too are players and we cannot subject them to the carnage that we'd like to without chasing them from the game and thus destroying the game that we want to play at the same time.

If we released people to do what they wanted how many people would go and run to the first new player system they could and sloughter new players until they were glutted upon their brand new rookie ships? I don't even say it to be amusing. The first thing a lot of people would do is find the most helpless people they could and kill them just because they can. I've sat in the rookie systems and watched the baiters and people who move to the level 2 systems where the rookies get the bulk of their missions at and try to entice them into dying. I've never understood the pleasure that people experience at that but it cannot be refuted that they will kill new players when given the chance and enjoy it greatly.

How do we balance the new and the old? The bitter and the freshly spawned? It is the same reason I fight so many proposals that sound glorious (to steal Kaeda's word) when said but would be terrible for new players. To amuse bitter, bitter players do we destroy the experience for new players? I'd believe the answer is of course no. However, look at how many ideas and suggestions fall back onto that. It is easy to forget when we were new and squishy.

Because people will be stuck. Many experience leaving high sec as a jump and a quick explosion. The gates would be ruthlessly camped by players who enjoy that play style. I'd love to say that something else might happen but it would not be true unless...

As Druur said, to entertain the thought... If Faction Police still spawned and attacked, would that help create a buffer zone? It would cause .5 space not to be low sec, yet not high sec as well. It might create just enough to stop the stable camps. It wouldn't deter the gank fleets that would no longer have the inevitable immediateness of Concord to deal with. As a freighter pilot I know I'd not take that chance, ever, in my freighter. And high sec would become four islands with a handful of goods moved across jump freighters that would skirt the edges of low to move from hub to hub.

And to entertain the voice of, "But Jita!" would CCP have to give us new gates to let us go around these new zones? It could all be written away in the Lore quite easily.

But do we want what we ask for? Do we really want Eve shaken up at its true core of High Sec? Or do we just want to skimmed away in small slices and trimmed back some vs the shock treatment we may ask for. Moments like this the fragility of the game and the ease in which our entire core concept of the world could shatter, becomes remarkably plain.

It is a good thought exercise, I will give it that. I've never listed to Eve Radio and as my first introduction to them I have an eyebrow raised. Fortunately my approval does not matter. I don't listen to anything so they are not losing anything by me not listening when I already did not.

14 comments:

  1. The problem with the idea of "make less high sec" is that it does not achieve anything for anyone. Most of the people for the idea are gankers. People that see the high sec "bears" and want to kill them. So you shrink high sec, and the bears move inwards. The gankers continue to complain.
    So you shrink it some more. Eventually you run out of high sec, but do the bears pick up their blasters and fight? No, they quit. They don't want a game where there is forced PvP constantly, they want the freedom to choose, and by remaining in high sec they have made their choice.
    Now the gankers only have PvP players to fight, so they quit. To them, what's the point in fighting if you stand a chance of losing?

    The next group are the PvPers, they want high sec safety reduced to create more PvP content, but again, the high seccers don't want PvP, so they don;t stick around. Now you have a game where it's your small gang PvPers vs your null blobs, but the null blobs control the market, since they are the one that can safely run industry.

    See where this all goes? It's not a good place, and all for what? So a bunch of people not interested in and not capable of PvP can be forced to fight? Pointless!
    Make PvP throughout null, WH, and low more profitable and more fun, and reduce the profitability of high sec. This pushes high sec as much as it needs to be pushed and generates content for the ones demanding it.

    At the end of the day, EVE won't evolve by taking sand out of the sandbox, so hitting either the pure PVP or the pure PVE side would generally be a bad idea. CCP need to encourage people to WANT to do something else, not force them into it. I had such high hopes for Odyssey, with new exploration, I thought "finally something to encourage people to roam out of their safezones!", and look at the rubbish we got instead.

    Side note:
    Probably the most amusing part of the whole high sec/other sec debate is the pirates always saying how high sec bears need to come out of high sec, and the moment they peek out for the first time, they stamp on them, screaming maniacally. Then they wonder why people don't come back.

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    1. Really my ideas are along the lines of massively nuke down rewards in hisec (remove hisec incursions, heavily nerf mission rewards and such in hisec) while at the same time rebalancing mission lp so that it actually scales more to the benefit of newer players. Possibly reduce concord response time to 30 secs in all hisec systems and just be a bit more on top of whats going on in starting systems.

      This way non fw lowsec would actually be a clear step up from hisec income wise, fw lowsec still needs to be nerfed but thats more to do with base lp for missions under the higher tier multiplier which should be rebalanced. Nullsec would largely stay the same as it is. End result is that low/null/wh are clearly and undisputably better than hisec and people who are still pvp averse can remain under concord protection but cant really make more than 40-50m an hour.

      Before you freak out at 600m per plex thats still only 12 hours of pve a month in hisec, or less than 30 minutes a day. People who dont want to go outside of hisec shouldnt be forced to, but they shouldnt be making the 100+m an hour you can currently get in hisec, and any income in hisec shouldnt be so easily comparable to low/null/wh because hisec carries considerably less risk.

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    2. The one true problem with these numbers of 40-50m ISK/hr (or 100m ISK/hr) is that there's nothing to back it up. Show us the data that proves most highsec folks make that kind of money on a consistent basis, and maybe there'd be some basis for the argument to radically nerf highsec income.

      Make highsec unattractive to the folks that live there, and it'a likely the vast majority will leave the game in droves. There's all sorts of reasons people in highsec don't want to go outside highsec, and it's not only because they're afraid of PVP. I know quite a few players who, burned out on the null sec BS, but still wanting to play EVE, or fed up with FW, or w-space, etc, but still wanting to play the game because, well, someday they may get that itch to go back to those previous pursuits, would simply stop playing if highsec were nerfed the way the null/low crowd seems to constantly want it to be.

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    3. Not everyone does, but everyone can. It's not some skill based thing, you just grab a list that details the missions to accept and the ones to drop, then you just grind them. or you just run mining alts, since you can run them side by side. I can easily plex 8 accounts from mining while working, so barely paying attention.

      Nobody is saying make high sec undesirable, but risk and reward have to go hand in hand. High sec makes as much if not more than null/low for the easily soloable activities, yet has considerably less risk. Why would people want to move out of it?
      Adding more risk to high sec makes no sense as it just forces it to be lowsec, so reduce the reward instead to balance it.

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    4. Frankly the security index of -1.0 to 1.0 is an artefact and little more.
      All it really affects these days is the payout of PvE mission content and the likeliness of spawning certain exploration content.

      In my perfect world we'd do away with the variations in Empire (both lowsec and high sec) since they're not conflict drivers there at all. Simply replace them with policed (CONCORD) and un-policed (non-FW lowsec) and un-policed warfare space (FW lowsec) and then seriously boost the rewards in the un-policed (non FW) space.

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    5. @Lucas Kell: "mining while working"

      Lucky you.

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  2. If it happened it'd be Bye Bye Hek Trade Hub.

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    1. And hello Hek PVP battleground. It'd become like a more heavily populated freeport.

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  3. I think that a middle sec where NPC's *might* show up in force would add. Say 0.5 and 0.4, where initially faction forces turn up, followed by a random timer where concord eventually pays attention.

    (The specific sec levels could be tweaked, or possibly tweakable by in game events)

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    1. I'd go many steps further. The gap between "cosy safe high-sec" & "pirate infested low-sec" is just too big for many. I have this thought of removing the gap and turning it into thousands of tiny gaps by having a granular level of risk/reward that spans all high, low (probably not null though?). It would use true system sec ( see http://eve.grismar.net/ssec/ ) to define most aspects of risk/reward. Sit down for the next bit...

      Concord would be killable. (Don't cry carebear reader, just read on). Create an algorithm that defines the strength of Concord's response depending on true sec of a system. Don't go getting transfixed on the following numbers, it's a concept that can be balanced.

      A system with 0.9879 true sec (1.0 in today's universe) would have instant and devastating Concord.

      A system with 0.6109 true sec would have a Concord response that would NOT insta-neut-jam. They would behave a bit more like PvPers, but would have a "strength" of maybe 10 BCs per attacking player (remember, don't get transfixed on the numbers... think concept). If you somehow manage to kill all of Concord (very unlikely in this case), reinforcements would arrive after a period in which time you could potentially escape.

      A 0.3005 system could (hold your tears back low-sec PvPer people!), still have a Concord response. It could be a lone T1 cruiser that takes quite a while to turn up. They have a point (or maybe not!), no neuts or jams. It's your call if you can kill your target before they turn up (and you scarper off to freedom) or if you can tank/kill them too.

      A 0.0223 system could have a laughable Concord response - a frigate that takes a minute or 2 to turn up, no ewar and is very easy to kill.

      You hopefully get the idea. It's very granular where a change in true sec causes a change in the strength & effectiveness of Concord. Now do the same with reward. Mission agent levels, payouts, LP's, roid numbers/quality, incursion payouts etc. would all be defined by the true sec of the system in a fine granular fashion. Maybe do the same with number & power of gate/station guns. Basically, make a lot of risk & reward as granular as possible and tie it to true system sec.

      The result is no more barrier between high-sec and everywhere else. Each player could define where his or her own barrier exists in terms of risk & reward. The "entry requirements" to the next level are merely a tip toe away, not a giant leap. There would also be no "ohhh those 1.0 systems are so unbalanced for risk/reward" type comments because earning potential would be terrible for them. It would be a fine balancing act, but it's wholly plausible.

      Will it ever happen? lol no. The rivers of tears from all walks of life would wash away the servers...

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    2. I've been a fan of having sec status be dynamic pretty much since I joined Eve (which granted wasn't that long ago). Add sand to the sandbox by letting people increase faction control (i.e. sec status) by doing the bidding of the factions (running missions) and tear down sec status by doing the bidding of the anti-empires forces (pirate missions, perhaps ganking and other "evil-doing"). Use faction warfare mechanics to let people who have chosen a side benefit from their actions to do one or the other. Sure, you can keep highsec pinned around newbie spawning systems and hub-to-hub paths. Giving this idea a try in a region or so could be very informative with going all big-bang for all of Eve.

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  4. Fans? You kill me. You just kill me.

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  5. I wouldn't just blanket change all 0.5 systems to lowsec. I think there should be tenuous links between empires. But they could be a lot more islandy. Change systems that are not between empires to 0.6 and then make the 0.5 systems between empires with increased Navy presence. If I was in charge of an empire I think I would beef up my boarder security.

    I would think between hostile empires, Amarr-Minmatar, Amarr-Gallente, Caldari-Gallente, Caldari-Minmatar. You would set it up so there were 2 adjacent 0.5 ish systems with no concord response but strong navy presence. Between friendly empires you could either have adjoining 0.6 systems or a 0.5 system with both navies present.

    In general I think it would be interesting to just change the map some. Expand highsec out away from other empires. Add more lowsec between empires, make the lowsec routes between empires shorter than going through highsec. Add more Null Sec Further out. Add more unstable wormhole systems where maybe nothing can be deployed you can only transit. If possible make a lot of this dynamic and procedual.

    Then all that’s left is to make planets orbit and rotate realistically. No problem there! Bookmarks would work in relation to closest celestial or the sun to be set by user.

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  6. As I recall, CCP says about 70% of all avatars live in high-sec. If you assume that there's a high-sec alt for every null/low avatar (not player), that's still 40% of the potential player base that lives in and apparently likes high sec. The proposed changes force those players to play a game they don't like, and the easy option is to quit.

    Regardless how much disdain is felt for the care-bears, regardless how much excitement and interest the change creates for the low/high sec, any proposal that suggests CCP will lose revenues by causing the largest population group of players to quit is probably a non-starter.

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