Greedy Goblin

Monday, October 15, 2012

To end all PVE exploits in EVE

After the Goon exploit of FW people were not satisfied. Some felt that even if the Goons went extreme, they simply used features created by devs. One player asked "If we do not manipulate prices but do research to take advantage of existing market values, is this still exploiting? Your blog seems to hint that it is." The dev answered "I'm going to pass this point around internally. I'm not really comfortable answering this Maverick-Style." Another asked: "Along those same lines, what about people who didn't actively manipulate the value of items, but benefited from these manipulations?" Good point regardless the answer. Also, there was a dev blog about another exploit: parking drone battleships to complexes that grind rats AFK.

The problem is real: players shouldn't contemplate over which features are intended and which are not. This can lead to a gameplay where you get ahead not by being good in EVE but in being good guessing what the devs wished.

I wrote how the game could be re-designed to prevent exploits, but that's huge work and would seriously change the gameplay. I figured out a much-much simpler solution. The one that is used with Concording. It is told that "if you attack a non-war target in highsec, Concord will destroy your ship. Any action to prevent this action and save your ship is an exploit and will be punished". While tricks come up time to time, they aren't abused like the LP-print. Why? Because it's not the code, but the clear written "law" that guides the players. One knows that if he'd create an unkillable Tornado to grief players in highsec, he will lose his account fast.

To prevent all forms of money prints CCP has nothing else to do than make a declaration:

EVE is a PvP game. If you want to score big, you must score on other players: defeat and loot their ship, sell them high and buy from them low, scam them, ransom them, tax them! PvE activities are meant to have limited income, they are here to allow new players to start and to let those who were defeated to re-start. They aren't meant to provide income that is competitive to successfully defeating/tricking other players.

For these reasons mining, ratting, missioning, anomalies, signatures, Sleepers, plexing, incursions or any other farmable activities where NPCs or environmental objects give you wealth shall not provide more than X/hour/account in long time average, neither in ISK, LP, ore, loot nor any other form or combination. If you figure out a way to reliably create more than X/hour/account without taking it from other players, you found an exploit and you shall contact a GM who will reward you for your find and undo the extra income. Failing to report, and keeping or using the income will result in GM action against your account after the exploit is found.

X is:
30M in highsec, solo
40M in lowsec, solo
50M in null/WH, solo
+10% for every extra pilot needed, up to +100% (so a highsec incursion needing lot of people can net 60M/hour/account).

Also EVE PvE is meant to demand active play. After going AFK your ship finishes the asteroids or NPCs you actively started, but that's it. If you figure out any way to start earning any income on a new object (rock, NPC, agent) while AKF, you found an exploit and you shall contact a GM who will reward you for your find and undo the extra income. Failing to report, and keeping or using the income will result in GM action against your account after the exploit is found.

For EVE trade and industrial discussions join Goblinworks channel.
If you want to get into nullsec, go to the official forum recruitment thread and type the name of the alliance you seek into the search and start reading. I'm in TEST by the way.
Saturday morning report: 162.1B (5.5 spent on main accounts, 5.8 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.2 on Ragnarok, 2.7 on Rorqual, 2.4 on Nyx, 2.8 on Dread, 37.4 sent as gift)
Sunday morning report: 162.4B (5.5 spent on main accounts, 5.8+0.7 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.2 on Ragnarok, 2.7 on Rorqual, 2.4 on Nyx, 2.8 on Dread, 37.4 sent as gift)
Monday morning report: 165.0B Another FW cashout caught with low buy orders. (5.5 spent on main accounts, 5.8+0.7 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.2 on Ragnarok, 2.7 on Rorqual, 2.4+0.4 on Nyx, 2.8 on Dread, 37.4 sent as gift)


Anonymous said...

You can't classify supernormal income as an exploit in itself. Mining income is entirely dependant on the market prices of metals, missioning is somewhat dependant on the prices of loot and salvage. You can either set the prices of metals centrally, or ban all miners the day tritanium hits 12.

A much more efficient solution is to let everyone do as they will and close loopholes as they appear. The current FW lunacy is obviously an exploit, everyone has been given explicit permission to exploit it, that permission is the main problem here. Not AFK dominixes.

mxatone said...

For this type of problems, whitelisting is an obvious solution. You are allowed to do X, Y, Z and everything else is banned. If I understood well, you describe a form of whitelisting.

It does fit the concept of sandbox and wouldn't work on EvE for that exact reason. As the previous comment said, you cannot even define the exact return of some activities as they are market dependent.

Anonymous said...

Still on your Crusade against FW?

You wrote "...If you figure out a way to reliably create more than X/hour/account without taking it from other players, you found an exploit..."
But FW is not injecting money into the game, its taking money OUT of the system.
For every 1000 LP you spent, you need 1M ISK. A +5% Implant costs ~20.000 LP and ~20m ISK at T5. Every ISK a FW Farmer makes on his cash-out, is from Traders like you, trying to get richer.

If you wanne know how money (and how much) gets into the game, please watch this Fanfest Video "State of the Economy":

On another note: Your numbers are way off, even a 8 month old Character would reach your money cap. If you would've ever tried yourself at making money through other means than trading, you would realize that.

So your income ceiling isn't that practical.
On the other hand, i would really like to hear your suggestions for isk sinks, to balance out the eve economy. I'm sure a good idea would fall on open CCP ears.

Sugar Kyle said...

Eve is a game about a universe that happens to move and shake with war. Industry is a valid path for someone to take. For a player to walk down the path of an industrialist they will put as much time and energy into themselves as someone learning guns.

You are asking CCP to announce that many career paths in Eve are invalid as ways to make ISK.

The problem is not that non combatants make ISK. That has never been the problem. What people often complain about is that combatants have a hard time making isk when they have taken on a riskier career path that is also approved by the game.

Warriors are super important and in many times they would be wealthy and at the top of the social ladder. In Eve, one can go forth and do war and be dirt poor because war does not bring in ISK.

However, you speak of the faction warfare changes with such passion and call the people exploiters. If ISK was moved into player induced action exploits would be insane.

And what type of sandbox has you reporting yourself to a GM for making ISK. What type of game would that be? Why would you suggest that for Eve?

Johnicholas Hines said...

Humans feel differently about rules imposed by other humans as opposed to facts about the world. Generally, people are happier about constraints or penalties imposed impersonally by the world than constraints or penalties imposed by a human (a peer).

Game designers attempt to put boundaries on player's behavior by building those boundaries into the world. For example, they want lots of different fits to be competitive. If they didn't have a diminishing returns mechanic, then probably one or a few modules would simply be the best thing to fit, and so everyone would stack that one module. Diminishing returns is a mechanism that tunes the game away from an unapproved strategy (stack lots of the same thing).

This 'judo move' where the game designer redirects the player to see the game mechanic as "just a law of the world" rather than a deliberate rule imposed with some redistributive intent to it is fundamental to the concept of MMOs.

I think CCP might view your suggestion (replace game design with legal system) as likely to cause unhappy players. It is also likely to cause higher per-player administration cost - for example, they might need to pay 1 human GM hour per 1000 player-hours. Game mechanic design has a big upfront cost (programmers are not cheap), but after it's implemented, it scales really nicely (server time is cheap).

That sensation of trying to figure out the best strategy, in a corrugated landscape that may be tough and unforgiving but exists on its own terms and isn't malicious is one of the reasons people play games.

Tego said...

One of the big issues, from a person standpoint, not even a numbers standpoint of what you suggest is that It would require people to watch the amount of ISK they make at their activities very closely.

(I don't play eve right now so the examples below are completely fictitious, but I am sure someone familiar with the game could come up with real examples)

Lets say that you are out playing casually. you happen to find something that is incredibly high ISK/hour income and do it. spending well under an hour, you make some amount of ISK. Since ISK isn't your main goal at that point you move on to some other activity. So in that hour you were under the hourly cap, but if you had continued the activity you would have been well over. When that "exploit" is found and CCP retroactively punishes people that person would get caught too, because they did the activity.

This means that looking for fun could get your account in serious trouble. Its the kind of thing that would keep me from playing in the first place. Space spreadsheets is one thing. space spreadsheets with a stopwatch and big brother is another.

The second problem is the amount of logging CCP would have to do to make it work. They would have to log every interaction between every player and everything else they could interact with. Rocks, rats, everything. They would need this detailed data to be able to go back and retroactively punish the exploiters. Which I guarantee doesn't happen right now. The storage requirements for that kind of logging would be immense unless limited to hours, up to maybe a day or 2. At that point it is more profitable to keep the loot ant hope that it doesn't get reported for a couple days. Then you get your loot home free, while the poor sob who did the same thing 12 hours later might get caught.

The final issue I see is related to the first, and the second. Lets say that you figure out that by highly optimizing your process, flight plan, whatever, you can push past the ISK/hour cap. What in the logs shows that you are exploiting, while someone who is doing the same thing in a less efficient way isnt? Is the person who is half as efficient as you, because of gameplay style guilty as well because they are doing the same actions, just slower? If not how do you apply the retroactive portion of your threat? It takes personal responsibility away from players if you tell them that essentially the activity they are doing could get them in trouble, not because of their actions, but because it might look like the same thing someone does to "farm exploitatively"

The idea could sound good on paper, then again so does communism. The problem is that implementing it would be a nightmare for the players, a nightmare for the GM's and a nightmare for whatever conflict resolution system the company has in place for that type of claim. (you know that people will be challenging any type of this ruling every single time it happens)

As mentioned above, The money prints that your blog talks about usually involve getting something that can be sold for tremendous overall profit to players through orders. At that point they involve another player and couldn't be counted. The Miner making tons of ISK is making it because they can sell the materials on the market to make it. FW exploits make so much ISK because they can sell the result for so much through orders. The big exploits you mention on the blog aren't exploits that could be covered by your above reasoning so why bother?

Anonymous said...

Even in real life the warrior never makes as much money as the industrialist who is supplying the tools for the warrior.

Anonymous said...

Like Sugar Kyle, I see nothing wrong with PvE in EVE. PVP takes many forms, and not all of those stimulate that reward center in each individuals brain. Some of us prefer PVE, or exploring, or trading, or being in industry. Everyone in the game supports the game in some form or fashion, whether it be predator, prey, supplier, or buyer.

Sugar Kyle said...

Also, prices would have to come down. If I sold a battleship I'd bypass my daily isk cap in one transaction. Everything would be cheap and then cheap would be expensive.

I can't see how this plan made sense enough to bring it forward.

Eve is not about capping yourself through your hard work. The arguments are risk vs reward being terrible in some sectors of space doing things that create isk from thin air (missions, incursions, ratting). Things that are player to player affected (markets) are left for the players to decide and work at and blend.

This is why Eve has become a study in economy

Gevlon said...

@Sugar: selling a ship is trade. You don't bring anything new to the player world. The ship and the price were already in the hands of players.

If you rat, you create ISK that wasn't there before. If you mine, ores will appear in the hold that was owned by no other player.

Anonymous said...

Just a sidenote:
"They would have to log every interaction between every player and everything else they could interact with. Rocks, rats, everything."
MMOs already doing this.

Kristophr said...

Ermmm, I can make a half billion in an evening cleaning up a bunch of gas clouds in WH space solo.

If you want to advocate CCP changes in stuff you are currently doing, feel free to do so.

Until you spend some time taking risks in WH space, respectfully ... sod off.