Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nerf low/null PvE ganking: remove local channel!

While I'm not Jester yet, I have another post for today, a more to think about than this technical suggestion.

Also, since this post about aggression nerf, there is a related post on that is roughly says the same as my most attacked post: low and null PvP is just for PR, the goal is to make a WoW-like themepark in highsec full of subscribers. What the poster missed is that it mostly complete. You already can't practically gank someone in highsec who is not stupid. The remaining nerfs are just there to protect the utterly stupid like an AFK miner.I know, it should be a comment there but there is no commenting section (I can understand that, moderating comments is a huge job and they have 10x more visitors than me, I don't want to imagine their troll amount).

"Watch local" is the No1 advice for anyone doing PvE in low/null. "PvP-ers" who specialized in killing ships that can't shoot back (like this mining barge) whine because local channel allows the targets to run away. They want to nerf local so they can be the unseen menace decimating miners, ratters and missioners. I think the brave warriors of New Eden who every day face the horror of fighting exhumers and Tengus already in armor due to rats deserve every support!

Let's start with experimental data, found by Sugar:
Strange: the kill:population ratio is about 3x bigger in null than in WH despite of similar mechanics. The main differences are the lack of local channel and having to make an effort to find the entrance. It seems it's safer to be in WH than null.

Let's continue with what I've seen in my null visits: if local is empty or only 1-2 guy in it, I can casually warp gate to gate. If there are more, it's a chance to be a PvP gang, so I MWD-align before warping and I first warp to a celestial. If there are 5-6, I jump to dscan range first or simply burn back to the gate. Local channel is very helpful to me. The problem is that I'm the "invader" here. It should help the locals, not me.

Without local channel the roaming ganker couldn't know who is in the system. Most of the systems are empty. Now the ganker can see that on local and jump to the next. Without that, he'd have to stop in every system and scan to determine who's at home and where. That's awful lot of scanning that slows the roam down painfully with two effects: at first he can cover much smaller area in the same time, therefore having much less chance to be in the same system as a target. Secondly, if he is spotted (for example by a cloaky at the gate), his low speed makes it very easy for the homeowners to organize a fleet to catch him.

OK, he is still alive and after hours spent scanning empty systems, he found someone at a belt. Currently local channel can confirm that there is one guy in the system, the miner. Without local he has to continue scanning to make sure that there is no one else in the system and even that wouldn't help against a cloaked gang waiting next to the miner. So without local channel he would have to do something that most "PvP-er" don't want: attack without being 100% sure that there is no one who can shoot back.

I'm sure that local channel - just like insurance - is a welfare feature to support bad PvP-ers. And the spoiled punks can't even appreciate it and blame it for their failures! Let them eat what they cook, grant them their wish, get rid of local channel! Don't just change it delayed, that would allow them to AFK-cloak 10 mins for intel, destroy the useless crap completely! Send watch list after it please!


Steel H. said...

There is a comment section on (the nerfdom post is 60 comments long)- it's just handled via Check your browser settings and make sure you have scripts and access enabled. On Firefox+adblock I had to "allow all this page " in order to load it.

If you do comment there, you should use spellcheck and get a native English speaker or a very skilled student/professor to proof read your grammar. Mittens & co. have a thing for proper posting.

Alkarasu said...

I think, that while your point is valid for null, the reason of WH being safer is not that much in lack of the local, but the severe logistic problems. WH-settlement is a nearly self-sustaining fortress, practically invincible to any sane number of subcaps, and populated by by far the most jumpy people in all of New Eden - mostly any operation have a pilot, who's main concern is watching D-scan and warning the rest if something appears nearby. Those people also tend to be heavily armed, tanked and organized (as most sleeper hunts in C5-6 are done with the capships), and (if the operation is actually a sleeper hunt) well protected by the aggro mechanics of sleepers themselves. That's as unfriendly for a ganker, as it can be, so most gankers do not even bother to look WH way. Local channel won't change the fact, that if you want to gather a proper attack force in WH, you will need to spend weeks on preparations, like smuggling capship fleet in WH-owner off-hours, collapsing the entrance several times in process and seeking a new one. WH is not the place for a quick "gf" fun, so it recieves as much PvP, as neccesary for people, who live there, and not more.

Anonymous said...

'delayed' local is what WH's have. it means "you wont show up in local unless you talk".

Also WH and nul mechanics are vastly different - delayed local is one difference but there are important differences about the gate mechanics (WHs drop you off within jump back range when you arrive on the other side so if you don't like what you see you can just "jump back" for one. There is no gate agro so you can shoot things then jump. Mass restrictions severely limit what an attacking force can bring to bare both in terms of numbers and types of ships. Lack of super capital and titan support. And system wide effects in some wormholes which render 'traditional' doctrines and tactics null and void).

I think you are over simplifying - delayed local in nul/low would have a vastly different effect to what it has on wormholes. Its not an individual mechanic, its how all of the mechanics roll up together.

Anonymous said...

Right now if I find a miner on Dscan, I still don't necessarily know he's the single guy that's in system. Very frequently you find unmanned ships parked at POSes, and if the POS is at another planet there's no way to isolate it from all the belts at that planet

Anonymous said...

" Strange: the kill:population ratio is about 3x bigger in null than in WH despite of similar mechanics. The main differences are the lack of local channel and having to make an effort to find the entrance. It seems it's safer to be in WH than null."

Firstly the mechanics are not similiar. Secondly, the figures are massively skewed by all those massive fights at the edges of null. Deep sov null is safer than WH space - unless someone from a WH happens to drop in on you, and even then you POS up.

recollector said...

Do you understand that the number of kills will spike if locl chat is removed?

Apparently, you do not.

Once local chat is removed, null and low sec pvpers will HAVE TO CAMP the gates.

Which in returns will mean, duh, MORE kills.

Maybe you hope that the M&S will suddendly become smarter...which will lead to LESS kills.

Now one can travel 20-30 jumps thru low sec and null sec without any major issue.If the local chat is removed, there will be gate camps AT LEAST on every gate to low sec and null sec entrances.

Just imagine Rancer or Amamake multiplied 20 times.

Less kills? No way man, MORE kills.

Gevlon said...

@recollector: what stops the same PvP-ers to camp gates? Why do they roam? If camps provide more kills, they'd camp.

No. They roam only because camps can only catch lost highsec bears. Roams can catch nullsec PvE-ers. They don't have to travel trough Rancer because they never go highsec. They live in null.

Hivemind said...

The fact an article on agrees with you doesn't make your interpretation or theirs official CCP policy. You might also want to check the background for that article; James 315, the author, also claims to be "the saviour of hisec" and to have sovereignty over several Caldari hisec systems. He has compared AFK mining to (IRL) murder, and within his “domain” he requires miners pay him 10 million ISK or be bumped out of mining range by a heavily tanked stabber; this is pretty much the pinnacle of risk-averse PvP. Those who do pay are required to abide by ridiculous rules including thanking any gankers who do show up and being at keyboard constantly while mining; no breaks for doorbells, phonecalls or anything else. In other words, he's a massive troll. Considering that in the opening of this post he falsely claims support in the comments of his last argument (specifically he claims a commenter referred to CCP's reasons for mining barge changes as straw man arguments - in fact they were referring to his own claims) I'm inclined to think his articles on are just more trolling.

As for your own post, it's a blatant mistake to say Null and WH have "similar mechanics" just because both allow unrestricted PvP. Null is the home of the huge fleet battle and its accompanying addition to the kills:residents ratio, whereas it's impossible to get a similar sized force through a single WH. WHs also require significantly more investment from a roam; it's a lot harder for members to back out early because they have to sleep or work and members have to either bring their own probes (and have probe skills and sacrifice a hislot for a probe launcher) or rely on a dedicated prober, in which case the fleet is in a lot of trouble if the prober is killed. While there are solo players and small groups that do roam WHs looking for ganks, there are a lot less gankers in WHs than in null because of these difficulties.

You're also only looking at the local channel from one side of the equation; yes, it does tell a ganker that potential targets are in the system, but it also tells the PvEers that a potential ganker is in the system. If you'd been in a position to observe it you'd probably have seen your name and maybe your ship type getting bounced around intel channels and seen nullbears warping to safespots or POSes as you come into a system. The visual change of a new name showing in local is a lot easier for players to monitor than hitting DScan constantly and looking through the results for probes or a ship.

I think if you removed local you'd actually be working in the gankers' favour; there are still ways they can tell which systems have targets even without Local - there's a map filter for pilots in space, I believe there's one for NPC kills as well - there's definitely stats for it on dotlan and in the system info. If they want miners, it's not difficult to find the systems that will have the most valuable resources; that's on dotlan too, or it can be figured out from the system's security level. In sov null, the gankers can also look at system upgrade levels for industry (mining) and security (ratting) and choose targets based on those. Certainly these are less precise than local is, but using several of these together (comparing system upgrades with pilots in space, for example) will still give a very solid target for gankers.

In contrast, without the visibility of local to warn when hostiles arrive in system the nullbears will have to hit dscan frequently to come close to safety and they'll probably take more losses to boot; even assuming perfect attention to the dscan, a ship running a cosmic anomaly can still be jumped by anything that can cloak with no warning until the ganker decloaks on top of them.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: the main plus of local to the ganker is to protect him from the residents. He can instantly see that there are many people in the system so it's better to walk away. Unless he flies unscouted into a gatecamp he can't have losses. Without local every miner can be a bail with cloaked gang on grid.

Also, watching local channel needs you at the keyboard which is given for PvP-ers but not for farmers, especially miners. If you aren't looking at it, it's as good for you as none. An AFK (alt-tabbed, TV watching) miner has no local channel. Without local he'd lose a channel he doesn't use anyway but his enemy would lose a channel he used.

Hivemind said...

@ Gevlon:

Except as I already pointed out it's already possible to use map filters to get the same information on the relative "risk" for a ganker of any given system; they can look at the "Pilots docked and active" and "Average pilots in space in the last 30 minutes" statistics to know if there's an unusually large amount of hostiles in the system they're in. Even more, they can get that information before jumping into that system, or even before undocking in the first place. The only way of getting around that would be a logon trap (players logged out in the same location, ready to log back in and drop in on anyone at that spot, which you presumably leave bait at) which works just as well vs Local chat, or staging a fleet outside the system and jumping it in, which works even better vs local (since using map filters will still show a clump of enemy ships in another system).

As for PvEers in Null watching local... Yes, that is what they do. I've never lived in the "deep null" backwaters that people talk about where it apparently really is quiet enough for extended AFKing while PvEing, all my own experience comes from areas that, if not actually hot, were certainly warm enough that being at keyboard was pretty much a requirement. Honestly I think you underestimate how much time at-keyboard is required for decent PvE income, largely due to doing so little of it. Mining doesn't work well completely AFK aside from ice mining (and the margins doing it in Null are only slightly better than in hisec, if that) as rocks get mined out fairly quickly and you need to be there to switch targets. Plexes in Null are wave-based, meaning that setting up a Domi, sentry drones and remote reps then going AFK is a risky business as you could come back to find your drones had spawned 3 waves on top of each other by randomly hitting the triggers and that you are now in a pod. Any plan relying on active weapons rather than drones will obviously require that you be there in person to switch targets.

Hans Jagerblitzen said...

Why in the WORLD would you ever want to nerf lowsec or nullsec kills?

In lowsec especially, the PvP IS the resources that attracts people to live there. Certainly you're aware of the lack of monetary or content reasons to live there (Faction Warfare being the exception) Nerfing pew in lowsec is a great way to kill off that 7% of the population, if that's your intended goal....

Gevlon said...

@Hans Jagerblitzen: it would only nerf gankers who are after miners and missioners. PvP gangs would actually be buffed as the enemy can't see their numbers from a stealthy forward scout