I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know
Last Tuesday, I started a conversation about war decs called, "The Incomplete Triangle". I've since renamed it to "War Decs: The Incomplete Triangle" and added a label for ease of research, later. This is a continuation where I am attempting to wrap things up and move forward before we talk ourselves into circles. I feel that I am attacking a topic that is to large for me alone. I'm okay with that. I'd distrust myself if I climbed on the stage and said that I had solved something this intricate with a few days of thought. It may be to large for those that I reach out to. But, I cannot help but feel that serious discussion needs to happen about the war declaration system and what we do with it in Eve. And, it is my job to some extent. War decs are a topic that come to me time and time and time again.
As the posts started to come in I have picked up a general trend. Some suggestions are complete reworkings of the war declaration system. These tend to do two things.
The first thing is to give the entire system a structured path and reason. It is a system within a system. Its own game and activity in a way. It is a mission, a task, something that has walls, corners, a floor and a ceiling. This is often an objective based system.
The fact that the dec must be accepted is a source of annoying to many. The war dec is heavily in favor of the aggressor. The defender is given a twenty four hour notification that Concord will no longer protect them due to another player group paying Concord off.
In here is the question should that be the way things work. Should the other corporation has a chance to counter pay Concord to retain their protection? For this situation mostly exists within high security space. In low security space paying for a war dec turns off gate and station guns. I do not add that in as a clause for the mechanic being good or bad. I add it in for completeness. It is easy to focus on high security space and the activities of war decs without looking at how they interact with other areas of the game.
What I am see is the one sided nature of war decs and the lack of counters to war decs. And in that lays questions of what are war decs? Are they a system for one corporation to evade Concord? Are they there for corporations to battle over corporate goals? As many different reasons, ideas, and responses to war decs as I see all seek to understand what the dec even is.
The idea I dislike the most is where the war dec follows the individual. I believe that someone should be able to move themselves away from a situation. Just as I believe that people have the right to log off if they so wish to log off and do other things. Someone should be able to walk away. Not fighting should always be an option. I'd prefer if people did not want to walk away from the game because you have paid to have open season on them until you get tired of paying for it. There is one type of person that this effects and that person lives in high security space and rarely has much interest in combat.
Some say just get rid of it completely. But, is that type of impunity wanted? High sec may be a safer zone but it has its risks created by players. To just delete war decs would be to allow corporations who currently move large volumes of items through and around high security space to only be at risk to gankers. I am not in love with trade hub campers but they do cause people to but some thought into their asset movement or to lose it.
Some of this comes back to carrots and sticks. We can wave sticks at people to make them fight to our hearts content but what type of lack luster warfare do you get then? Something that involves no passion or reason only forced mechanics. Forcing people into situations causes them to avoid them. And currently, that means logging of. It makes war decs a large stick and the aggressor is often waving the stick an eating the carrot.
When I first wrote the opening paragraph of this blog I wrote that I was tackling a problem. Upon further thought I changed it to a topic. I did so because calling war decs a problem is ignoring all of those that love the current system. There are a lot of them and they feel that the system is fine as it is. Whenever any change is discussed in Eve there lays a large possibility of removing the play style of someone else. Change is a potential that we all face when we play Eve.
As I explore this topic there are two clear paths that come into these discussions. One is to prop up the current system with its mechanics of declaring war simply because you want to with more tools and resources for the defender. The second is to rip out the mechanic, kill the entire concept of war declarations as we currently know it, and restructure it into something based off of objectives and reasons.
The former is a fix. The later is a rebirth that would challenge us to look at what a corporation is and why it would maintain assets or if it simply must do so. All sides have huge, potential flaws. The former leaves many of the current aggressor mechanics in place. The later gives a powerful backdrop for high security activities to those that do not live in high sec. It makes me ask, would that be a reward? I know that objectives are unappealing to me. I dislike others defining my goals and focus. That may also be a me thing and I am very much aware of that.
I'll stop here. Next War Dec post, I'm going to try to look at the two potential paths outlined above and the questions and thoughts related to them..