05 November 2009

For My Fans

It seems I have put more than blogger in a tail spin. It seems the kind of moment that makes one want to coin a new phrase: Yarrbear Whines.

Mind you, I don't like the name calling. I am not a carebear, and it is illogical to suggest that I am simply because I am not a pirate. I am just a PvPer who really enjoys the industry side and doesn't currently have a chance for PvP.

There are those that toss around carebear in a purely derogatory fashion. There are those that think that carebears are substandard players, that have no business playing Eve, and should be removed from the game. These are likely what I would want to call Yarrbears; players that like to call themselves pirates, but who are actually griefers. They give real pirates a bad name. These same Yarry types are likely the ones that cry foul when someone uses warp core stabilizers or when their win button of choice gets nerfed.

Whatever, HTFU, and all that good jazz.

Contrary to public misinterpretation, I have no desire for PvP-free zones. I have no desire to change the engine to make PvP impossible. And yes, I am distancing myself from some comments I've made, but that is because they didn't come across as I intended. I am sorry for that.

I do, however, want to make piracy harder across the board, so that only real pirates will do it. And trust me, I can find some real pirates. They have some fantastic operations going on. It is quite tempting, actually, to become a pirate. But at the end of the day, I like to have something a little bigger to show for it. Besides, low sec warfare is nothing compared to null sec warfare. One day, I'll get back to 0.0.

Why do I want to tweak PvP? I propose an experiment for anyone with the free time to do it (read: not me, since I have no free time).

Build a high sec suicide ship of your choice. If I were doing it, I'd build a battlecruiser. Insure it with the best insurance you can. The reason I say build it yourself is, the Gold and Platinum insurance cover more than the cost to build a battlecruiser. If you have a really good BPO and get your materials cheap enough, even the silver will cover the cost. The battlecruiser now costs the difference between the insurance premium and the return on the insurance. Put on the cheapest high-damage, suicide fit that you can and find your hub of choice, or your 0.5-system-with-good-traffic of choice. I hypothesize that one could nearly strike at random and at least break even. I hypothesize that if one were to sack a good sample rate of suicide ships in this manner, one would find that they aren't losing nearly as much money as one would fear, if in deed they were to lose money at all.

To me, that is what is broken. One should have to think about it. One should have to lay in wait and strike targets carefully, with some thought, and with some great risk. Otherwise, the only ones taking a risk are the haulers. Again, it isn't my goal to make the game easier for non-PvPers, for carebears if you like, but to make the game equally hard for PvPers and non-PvPers alike.

In all of the discussion, someone suggested a rugby match analogy. Analogies are prone for failure, but I'll expand it bit more just for fun. The flaw in the original analogy, to my thinking, is that the pitch is not high sec. The pitch is low sec. Waiting in line at the concession stand is 1.0. One should be able to wait in line at the concession stand without fear of mugging.

Mind you, if one waits in that line with money hanging out of his pockets and more bling than Cadillac pitch at a hip-hop concert, then he should constantly live in fear of mugging. I won't feel bad if he is exploded in line.

But again, see my experiment above. I think one could probably not go broke just popping random people that roll into or out of Jita.

I will admit, I don't know why I really harp on this. I have never been the victim of random violence. So I can't say for sure that it is a rampant problem. It is entirely possible that my hypothesis is wrong. It is also possible that my hypothesis is right, but that it is actually much too boring for anyone to do.

At last, I'd like to close the ninja salvage discussion.

Unlike everyone who responded to me, I have actually found a legitimate reason why salvage is "easy" (doesn't provoke PvP) and looting isn't. By allowing anyone to salvage, there is the possibility that more salvage makes it to market and controls the price of salvage and thus the products built from salvage. I imagine there is a bit more price control in that the ninja salvagers don't have the same bills to pay that the mission runners do, and thus they may be willing to sell for less.

That does make sense. But I think it is the wrong approach to fixing the problem. First off, I don't see why salvage and looting are different. They are the same action. They are both made possible by the same series of actions. Yes, I could understand the idea that both looting and salvaging should be "easy" actions. After all, why should a wreck by owned by anyone?

But, being a gamer, and not merely someone that plays games, I am interested in the mechanics and dynamics and balance behind it. I think provoking PvP gives more opportunities for player interaction. I think it simply makes more sense from a game point of view that one would want to make the harsh game of Eve harsh, not just a free ride for the ninja salvagers.

To make sure that wrecks don't go unsalvaged (after all, there are mission runners, I'm sure, that can't be bothered, are too full, or don't think it is worth their time) I think ownership of a wreck should have a timer. After 30 or 60 minutes, the wreck goes from being yellow to white, and anyone can loot and salvage without provoking PvP.

I think that would be a good compromise to insure that salvage makes it to market and that the game is hard for all parties involved.

Again, I think all spawns should be sleeper-smart, and I think spawns should be balanced such that PvE fittings are much closer to PvP fittings.

Mind you, I don't run kill missions, so I don't have a personal problem with ninja salvagers. I'm not sure why I care to fix it.

Then again, perhaps an objective third party is what is always needed.

Next week, I promise, I'll talk about market PvP (unless we get into low-sec and something interesting happens).