Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Highsec corps: risk versus no reward (and a suggestion to fix it)

There is a significant problem in highsec: being in a player corp instead of NPC corp or 1-man corp brings serious risk to your head: you can be wardecced or awoxed, practically losing CONCORD protection. Why is it a problem? Because there is no reward to compensate for this risk. Joining a player corp provides access to nothing new that the player didn't have in the NPC/1-man corp (NPC tax is small and can-be avoided by a 1-man corp).

Sure, theoretically there are rewards. Only player corps can own Nullsec sov, anchor towers anywhere, own POCOs and many other things. But the corps and players in question aren't planning (or capable) to do any of these. They just want to do missions or mine solo while socializing with "friends". So in rights and obligations the highsec corps are equal to Goonwaffe, Burning Napalm or Sniggerdly, while in practical activity they are equal to the NPC corps.

You can say that such players shouldn't enjoy EVE, but you are wrong. Everyone is entitled to play and enjoy a video game. The difference between "WoW-like" and real games is that not everyone is entitled to win it. These players - unless they step up their play - are not entitled to own space or even structures. They aren't entitled to get rich, nor earn enough to buy a PLEX and play for free. But they are entitled to hang out with their friends while playing EVE.

The solution isn't what highsec "content creators" suggest: making NPC tax much higher and lock players into wardecced corps. It is bad idea because it would make hiding profitable. Don't talk, don't participate, don't create any content or someone might notice you, wardec you and then you can't play for a week. Players should be encouraged to become content creators.

The solution is providing extra incentives to not only join a corp but fight for it. Let me outline a suggestion. At first, one should be able to create a "friendly corp", safe from wardecs and awoxes, paying the NPC tax. The members would be practically equal to NPC corp members, having the same rights and obligations while enjoying the company of their friends.

However safe corps couldn't own structures in space and a new structure would worth owning: "highsec industrial office". It's anchored by the empires first, by a planet. Anyone can warp to it and anyone can shoot it. It has twice the HP of a POCO and the same reinforcement mechanics. If it's damaged to 1 HP, it flips to the ownership of the last hitter corp and can be repped to become operational. Owning a HIO would allow corp (not alliance) members to accept L4 missions and mine asteroids other than veldspar in the system. Anyone else accepting a mission would flag him to suspect (thief) and remains flagged until the mission is removed from his journal. Mining anything but veldspar would trigger a 15 min suspect flag. So only the owners of the system could mine and mission in it. Obviously they need to be in a wardeccable corp.

Please note that you can't tax or rent a HIO, so while RvB could capture lot of HIOs, they wouldn't have any income from it, unless they mission or mine themselves. Those who own no HIO can only mission or mine in unclaimed systems (where the HIO is owned by an Empire). They can also run L1-3 agents, mine veldspar, accept career, storyline, COSMOS and other specialty agents or do exploration.

This system would reward joining a real player corporation that fight highsec wars to protect their system, without creating incentives for creating a blue highsec.

PS: welcome a new contestant for the Branch Bounty!


Orson Brawl said...

I like the concept of having something to fight for in high sec but not sure on your details. I could see bored PvPers roaming around taking offices just to lock people out of content. Same reason most high sec PvP corps seem to exist right now. Currently the main problem with wardeccs is that there isn't really any point to them other than to grief people. As such I would support measures to make high sec operations mean something.

Anonymous said...

bring highsec something to be worth figthing for it! This is since long time one of the better proposals from you! I like this idea!

Leave the hard competition to the people who likes it, leave the fun for the fun people. But create new content for new excitement and more players at all.

Anonymous said...

(1) Highsec social corps which are wardec/awox immune, but can't own POSes, is a good idea. That's a good trade - most highsec players care nothing for POSes, they just want to mission, mine, trade etc with friends while they learn the game. Making such corps pay an additional 11% NPC tax is just silly - most highsec players avoid NPC corps just because of the 11% NPC tax. Charge 11% NPC tax PLUS player-set taxes and nobody will join them. That's way too expensive.
(2) As to the idea of limiting L4 missions to players in awoxable/wardeccable corps... hell no. For much of my early EVE career, I missioned in 1-man corps precisely because of wardeccers/awoxers. If this system had been in place back then, I would have quit EVE long ago! Don't punish the new players who are running L4s to get enough money to buy their first or second battleship. It only further cripples the already terrible new player retention rate of EVE. If people want to just mission or mine or trade in highsec without worrying about wardecs, awoxing, or whatnot, let them. The "content creators" have the entire rest of EVE to create content in. Let the players just trying to get started have their space to get started in. They should not have to worry about being stomped by players who've had years to build up skills, skillpoints, experience and resources, yet insist on picking on the players least able to defend themselves. EVE is said to have a learning cliff, not a learning curve, and this is part of why. It does the game no favors.

Anonymous said...

I am a little confused about why this is a problem and therefore why it needs fixing. Perhaps I am the person you are describing. Highsec based, trader, occasional missioner, dabble with PI and Industry but completely a solo player. I have never directly interacted and don't want to. I don't want the drama of interacting. The reward for interacting is not balanced by the risk or the real time overhead. So forming a corp of my own offers no game value. I provide a bit of content - trades and occasionally get ganked. In the time that I have there is plenty for me to do and it keeps me entertained. So this is the entirety of my Eve life and I am happy to be irrelevant and not win it. For players like me complexity isn't needed. In fact, downloading the 6Gb client for a few hours is complex enough to put some people off. But if I wanted complexity, then it is already there if I choose to take different path in the game. Making highsec harder is just a disincentive for me to play because it is coercing me in a direction I have already chosen not to go. Low calorie Eve suits my life. So why is this problem?

Anonymous said...

Why should people be encouraged to stay in highsec?
Highsec has been nerfed and looked down from CCP devs ever.
Although I find Gevlon's proposals worth thinking about, I believe that people should rather get an incentive to move to nulsec once they have played EVE for a while.
People that only mine or only doe Lv4 missions in a Raven do miss out so much in EVE.
Miners should create an alt and leanr how to gank other miners, not to grief them, but to learn for themselves, why their own Retriever fits were crap.
Also I advice joining different EVE communities, either for incursions of NPSI fleets.
If losing ships is a part in EVE, why not store that shiny Raven in the Garage for a little while and go out on a FFA pvp roam in inexpensive ships. Getting used to lose your ships, obeying FC commands and not caring about the losses when outnumbered or outsmarted is the first step of accepting the PVP aspects of EVE.
Soloing missions, mining in an NPC or tax evasion corp is so boring and senseless in an MMO, people could play X-com or Sins of a solar empire in solo mode instead.
Really, the worst part of EVE that CCP fails to reward cooperation.
Their rationale is that EVE is a harsh place and no one should be trusted.
But if "normal" people get permanently slapped in the face by scammers awoxers etc and when even the game itself does not truthfully explain the mechanics in the tutorials, how can we expect to find enough new EVE addicts to sustain a healthy player base?

If imagine so many fights over Osmon, Langisi, Simela....
But that would be sort of bringing sov mechanics to highsec, why should these sov mechanics be stretched over nul to highsec as well? I fear that new highsec powerblocks will arise, form a blue doughnut in highsec and so expand stagnation to everywhere in eve...
Player corps should only be allowed outside of empire space...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I like your articles and I agree with you often.

On this occasion you are completely wrong, EVE is not only a game of risk vs reward. From it's humble beginning to this day mantra is do not undock in what you are not prepared to lose.

War deccing is merely an minor inconvenience. I have been war decced in hi sec number of times, I lost only one retriever 5 years ago during war. System is fine as it is, in fact I would argue it is too easy to avoid any PVP in high sec.

Fix what is broken (null) not what is fine.

Von Keigai said...

You've proposed safe corps before. I liked it then and I still like it. Upon reflection I think that they should pay less tax than NPC corps. People should prefer to be in PC corps pretty much at all times. So, I'd suggest a tax rate of 8%, plus of course whatever the corp ownership sets. The 2% tax reduction is basically a bribe from CCP to go try to make friends.

I am not keen on the CIO concept, although mainly on the aesthetic grounds that they make no sense within the game's fiction. (If I am a newb and I grind hard to get access to a L4 agent, how am I to find out that I cannot run missions for him due to some mechanic that makes no sense?) The general idea -- more private property in highsec -- is sound.

I have proposed a somewhat similar idea, although much less sweeping: player owned taxation hubs, which require payment or criminal flag from anyone on grid with them for more than 2 minutes. Make them be criminal flagged to attack, like current mobile structures. Then watch the craziness in ice belts and missions everywhere.

Anonymous said...

The is an absolute horrid idea. HiSec is owned by the factions, and arguable CONCORD. That they took poco's out of CONCORDS hands and put them in players was a mistake in my opinion.

Having an area of the game where players can play the game instead of playing each other is not a bad thing. New player retention would likely increase if CCP wakes up and realize that new players always start our playing this way and polish off several aspects to make the game itself more imersive without relying on it's player base.

Taking away ISK from the player base Gravin is talking about who have no idea how to generate income otherwise is simple ass hattery and needs to be ignored.

Chris K. said...

Why should people be encouraged to stay in highsec?

Because if you force them to move to low/null, the majority will say screw it and just leave the game altogether. EVE cannot survive on just the subs from the null people.

Anonymous said...

This outcome would cause me to leave. I understand the opportunities in Null. I understand the fun of cooperative play. But it is not what I want to do. It is not why I play Eve. Perhaps I am the wrong sort of player. But CCP still accepts my subs. Subs they wouldn't get if I was forced to play a different way. Subs that subsidize Lowsec and Null.

Anonymous said...

Isn't your suggestion bordering on telling people that their way to play is not correct?

With the missioning L4 guys, if they like doing it, who am I to say that for them, it is not as worthwhile a style of gameplay as flying around pewing other players, mining rocks, making things or sitting in a station playing the market.

If they want to play in a wardec immune corp (as many players do, including yourself), then let them. It is no skin off of my nose.
If they want to shoot red crosses, or red players all day, then more power to them, and it provides a market for me to sell to and buy from.

AnEvenonEntity said...

@ Von:

No, just no. you would be giving people a grief for free card. Extortion rackets already exist (CODE) giving them a module that flags the people as suspect to shoot it gives them 1 free isk, 2 disincentive to be anywhere .

Also the idea of 2 min timer is horrid. I know the thought: don't want to pay, warp out, that might be fine without bumping mechanics. place one of those on a gate, wait for the autopilot freighter to appear and bump it till the timer. Free ganks and isk At least now there is a cost associated with trying to be a dick (sec status, ship cost, kill rights) You have just created a system to take all that away. Go be the monster that makes WH's scary. you are both good at it and enjoy it.

Von Keigai said...

EveOn: your point about gates and freighters is a good one. And same for undocks. So don't allow anchoring of POTHs on such grids. Problem solved. Nobody can homestead the public roads.

As for helping griefers, that's half the idea. I'd love to see CODE out there claiming ice fields for itself. Not only because I want to see the miners cry, although many would, but because I want to see the miners fight. I'd also like to see miners claiming fields, then fighting other miners. Ninjas claiming mission rooms. Lots of interesting possibilities.