Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to make EVE a bit safer but much more popular?

There are awful lot of zero-sum PvP games where the loser loses ranking, kill:death ratio and other stats. Yet these games are popular. The PvP games where you can farm XP and credits, therefore “progress” like in World of Tanks or League of Legends are even more popular, despite you still have losses in the individual game. I don’t think that the losses make EVE a small niche game.

It’s not even “unfair”, ganking PvP. You have little effect on the outcome of a World of Tanks game or a World of Warcraft battlegrounds. You are just one soldier in the battle. Sometimes the game is lost on loading screen due to matchmaking unbalance, teammate AFK or something like that. Still these games are popular.

The thing that all PvP games have but EVE doesn’t is the ability to trust in your teammates. In these games you fight side by side with other players. They might suck or even go AFK. But griefing is rare, banned and its effect limited to one short battle. Also, by handpicking your team, you can be 100% free of AFK-ers, noobs and griefers.

Not in EVE. In EVE a single hostile getting into your team can destroy a supercapital fleet, drop Sov, steal everything or simply go on an unstoppable awox spree. This is a bad design, not because these actions are “bad”, but because the individual player is completely powerless to do something about it. Only the leadership of his corporation/alliance can keep spies out. The little guy can only hope that they succeed.

You might say “but EVE supposed to be real”, but such spying power is not real. The president of a country cannot disable all infrastructure, grab everything in the treasury and jump it in a minute to a hostile country all by himself. Such act would need a huge conspiracy to bypass the checks and balances.

I do not suggest to ban spying or GMs reverse awoxes. I want built-in tools to limit the effect a spy can do. My suggestions:
  • Remove highsec awoxing. Simply make shooting corpmates a suicide gank. Since there are duels, there is no legitimate need of shooting a corpmate.
  • Make set standings take precedence over corp/alliance membership. If you set a corpmate -10, he still shows up as green and not red. Fix it, so a low/null awoxer can be marked after his first awox and also locked out of services. (I understand that instant-kicking is not possible due to abusing it to avoid war targets in highsec)
  • Create a time lock for every possibly harmful activity. It can be activated selectively and makes actions like offlining a tower, SBU, TCU, cancelling a job, removing stront from the tower, disbanding the alliance, kicking corps or even members impossible. To perform the action, first you have to switch off time lock, wait 24 hours and then perform it. This way the members have 24 hours to respond before the bad thing happens.
  • Daily withdraw limits to hangars and wallets. You can only remove this amount a single day. The limit itself can be time-locked, so the rogue director can’t just remove it.
  • “Equal share” setting. By switching it on, the shares of the corporation are equally distributed between members all the time, allowing them to vote out the CEO. Protectable by time lock too.
  • Automatic reimbursement feature. The replacement of lost combat ships are the largest ISK sinks of an alliance, so automatizing it would remove lot of ISK from the hands of people who could steal it. You just put the ISK to the reimbursement wallet and automatic algorithms send it to players who lost their ship in an eligible way. It would also remove huge administrative workload.
With such improvements, the players could more easily trust in their blues/greens, allowing much more players to participate in group content. And we know that group integration is the best predictor of remaining in the game.

The moron of the day is Bar0n Greenback. After losing his hulk alt with his 720M pod, he swore revenge:
He spent the rest of the day trashing up local and camping my stations in a ship that was specially tailored to catch Catalysts:
If you don't see any kills under his name, it's not a bug. But he surely had lot of fun doing it, because he was around all evenings.

The anti-tear of today:


Sugar Kyle said...

There is a reason that CCP gives the player base tools and lets them play with them instead of a guide book, plans, and a shock collar in case they deviate.

Anonymous said...

Once again an EVE problem is presented, and once again the solution is simple: one character per player.

Spies, AWOXing, etc. are mostly a free ride because of alts. If there were no alts, the AWOXer would better make his AWOX a really good one because his reputation would be ruined forever. No sane corporation would employ him ever again, at least not in any position of power, and there could be a lot of personal animosity towards him as well.

One character per player would also fix a shitload of other things in EVE: it would fix the bounty system, it would make it harder to earn ISK and force players to play the game to do it(instead of, for example, just training an alt on another account and then selling him), it would drastically reduce the amount of supercaps, etc. almost every major problem with game mechanics EVE could be fixed or at least partially adressed if only CCP enforced one character per player.

What's most bizarre about this is that EVE is probably the only MMORPG in existence that DOES NOT NEED more than one character. In WoW, you might want to try a different class - so you need more than one character. Even in UO, there was a total skill point limit. But in EVE there is no "max level", there is no "skill point limit", there isn't even a skill point gain nerf at "higher level" - a character with 10 million SP in combat skills will learn mining skills as fast as a freshly made one.

But of course CCP does the exact opposite - not only doesn't prevent, but actually encourages alts, because money. And this is why EVE is fundamentally broken and always be fundamentally broken, and any attempt at solving the core game issues will be nothing but band-aid on a broken arm.

Anonymous said...

Equal Shares - wonderful, wonderful thing.
There is a forum thread on "truly democratic corps" as well.

Add that as an option, and the sandbox has more sand in it.

Anonymous said...

another good solution would be a great improvement and a better visibility in the corp right management, because for the moment... What a Fucking Mess.

And there is so much limit such as the limit off 7 wallet/ 7 hangar that doesnt allow you to correctly separate small project Inside your corpo.

Same thing for POS management where it is almost "all or nothing"

maxim said...

There is a difference between a game and adequate simulation of reality.

Adequate simulations tend to be quite boring after they have served their initial purpose.

I'm not sure i even agree with "no AWOX in highsec" rule.

Nielas said...

EVE is simply not designed to be a 'civilized' game world. Civilized society functions based on an enforced level of trust and cooperation. People who break that trust are punished by society and if they aren't you start getting major societal backlash.

In RL we have created a massive assortment of tools to enforce that trust and punish any violators. EVE lacks many of these tools and the consequences of breaking trust are trivial for most players.

This was one of the primary reasons why I quit EVE back in 2004. Someone was stealing from our corp hanger and there was no way for us to find out who was the thief. We had some very ambitious cooperative projects planned but we were not willing to put all that time and effort into it just so some parasite could steal what we produced.

Not being able to trust people made for a very solitary playing experience. I was very disappointed that the EVE community adapted that as a desirable game quality rather than insisting that CCP fix it.

Samus said...

Successful PvP games like League of Legends and World of Tanks are not popular "in spite of" their problems, they are popular because of those problems. They aren't problems, they are built in excuses for losing!

One of our teammates was AFK. One of our teammates was terrible. I was forced to play a position I'm not good at. I was trying out a new champion I'm not good with. Why do I always get the bad teams!?

A social does not see that over time, all these things happen just as often to the other team. He counts all of his wins as skill, and discounts most of his losses as luck.

Any PvP game, by necessity, must average a 50% win/loss rate for all players. Fortunately, a social does not actually care about winning, he cares about feeling like he is "better" than the other players. These games are made so he can feel like he was better than most of the players around him most of the time. And the other players in the game can all think the same thing!

artyclaw said...

While I am all for awoxing, I have to admit that the mechanic of shooting corpmates in hisec makes no sense, however you spin it. So yes, shooting a corpmate should invoke Concord.

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