"How will you save the world, Sugar?"
"One thing at a time."
It may be that I won't save the world. I'm not in the mood to deny myself the opportunity. War Decs are a topic that come up over and over again. The forums, the blogs, my campaign, my candidacy, in chats, in mails, war decs are a never ending topic.
"War decs are broken, Sugar."
I think war itself is broken, at least by the terms of civilized society. I've pondered in the past that the very term war has a deep, visceral meaning for us. To declare war on another group is more than saying, "Gonna come fight you!" No. You've planted your flag and said that this is war. This thing is war. This is the time when we come to end these things.
I don't think war can be something that isn't broken in the end. It is formed of so many things and then you swirl a game with no ending and no beginning into it.
"We need to fix them, Sugar."
Maybe we just need to fix our approach. Every discussion about fixing war decs starts to impose rules upon them. Once we start imposing rules we are creating a complex situation. It seems to make sense but trying to force people into a mode of game play tends not to work. What does work is encouraging people to follow a particular path.
"But you said there is no carrot nor enough stick to make people do what they don't want to do."
I don't think that trying to force people into behaviors is workable. It is appealing. It seems sensible. But I don't think we will get results. I don't think that means we cannot look to do or create things that change or modify behaviors.
I started the conversation with an idea stolen from Epi at the Eve Meet last Saturday. The question was, "What is an individual player can enter into a war dec as an ally without taking their corporation?" And I liked this. I liked this idea because I could see someone in an environment such as my own breaking off to go and occupy themselves by white knighting. I felt that the weight of the corporation having to enter into the dec as an ally is a hindrance. I do not think that leaving your corporation should be the solution. Our corporation anchors so much of what we do in this game. But, to be able to do more things as an individual would be amazing but not as an individual aggressor. I don't care for the idea of being able to wardec an individual.
But, I don't think that single players will solve everything. I do think allowing people to white knight easier would be very interesting.
But I want a real mercenary system. I think that having one would improve the war dec system and change the bulk (but not all for nothing will ever change all) of high sec war.
"But Sugar, there are mercenaries now."
Yes there is. There are mercenary groups now. There are mercenary groups that are good at being mercenary groups. They are but a handful. And you have to know how to contact them. You have to know how to use outside of the game resources to find these groups, vet these groups, and decide on these groups. It involves a reasonable amount of research and then trust.
It should be a successful player made mechanic. Eve thirsts for war. But, I think that the hurdles that a mercenary corp has to overcome are to large. They need tools for their clients to find them. For them to start small and grow. The people who don't work outside of the client are often the people who need them the most. We need to do more to give those tools to the players who do not know how to look for those tools.
"Oh well. They should engage."
It is funny. We so often talk about freedom of choice while demanding others do what we want them to do. It is no different with this. I can believe whatever I want to about how people should engage, should embrace the greater social concept of Eve, should, should, should, should, should ! But I can should till the end of time. People are not engaging in something that they should be. This is needless complexity.
It means that there is something missing. A piece needed for the rest of the connection to grow. It is no insult to the handful of successful mercenary groups out there, but they are only a handful of successful groups. They should be atop an entire field as the cream of the crop. But instead, they are the only options.
I left a single lined concept on Mike's blog the other day. I said that the expansion and flexibility of the system should happen instead of a rework. This is that idea spurred by my chat. I think that yes, something is broken. But it may not simply be 'war decs' themselves.
Let those who will not or do not wish to do violence pay another to do it. Let those who seek reason for war find it. And let those two things happen, easily and clearly.