Friday, March 23, 2012

Crime Watch - Questions and Concerns

I watched the talk on Crime Watch mechanics (on the FF stream replays) with great interest, being a pirate myself. Overall, both myself and others who were watching with me were pretty excited about some of these new mechanics. I have a couple concerns, as well as a few questions.
Though I don't have a transcript of the talk, overall the gist I got was this:

They are going to create a new aggression counter that's one step lower then being a GCCed criminal--making you a 'suspect' instead. From what I gathered the break up would be:

Suspect (Anyone can aggress a suspect for 15 minutes)

  • Jet Can Thieves
  • General LowSec Ship Combat

GCC (Anyone can aggress a GCC for 15 minutes, plus gate guns in lowsec, and CONCORD in highsec)

  • High Sec Suicide Ganking
  • LowSec Pod Killing

Security Status Changes:

  • Only lose sec until -5 for general lowsec kills, down to -10 for highsec kills and pod killing
  • Killing pirates will gain you sec
  • Ability to turn in tags for sec

In response, I have this to say:

There are two major problems with 'Crime' today for pirates.

  1. There is a huge imbalance between how long it takes to lose your sec vs how long it takes to gain it back. Becoming a -10 pirates becomes a serious decision that would take weeks of grinding to reverse. This greatly hinders the sandbox.
  2. Pirates want more pvp. They hate things that hinder their pvp, and they love things that increase it. It's as simple as that.

As I look at any changes they make to Crime mechanics, I look at them from the perspective of how (or if) they address these issues.

I see two things they will need to work out:

1. Gate Guns on Suspects

Would gate guns shoot suspects? In lowsec, this would mean that being a Suspect isn't much different then being GCC. In fact, it seems no different at all...

However, if you remove it altogether, LowSec would unarguably become the most dangerous place in EVE --as people could camp gates and stations with no gate guns to hinder them at all.

In highsec, this means the jet can thieves would get shot by gate/station guns -- not necessarily bad until you get to point 2...

2. Jet Can Thievery for the Purpose of Mutual PVP

Some people use jet cans as a way to get mutual pvp with another individual. If the station guns were to suddenly shoot them, this doesn't just nerf it, it would basically slaughter this stype of pvp altogether. I don't think that they can put jet can thieves up as Suspects (with station and gate guns) unless there is another mechanic that replaces this aspect of the game play. (One that's not lame and doesn't turn EVE into some sort of spaceship WOW game)

Sec Hits

Also, I have serious questions about the idea of lowsec pvp only bringing someone to -5 sec. First of all, for all the work of implementing this, it would not be widely used or benefited from, and here is why:
The single most important reason people don't go perma-flashy is because then they wouldn't be able to get into highsec. In most cases, the only lowsec pvpers who really care about going flashy are role players. And, in most cases role players won't be engaging neutrals anyway.

You can reach -5 so fast, that even with the counter ability of turning in tags easily between 0 and -5 sec, people who regularly pvp in lowsec would always hover around -5 sec. IE: you still wouldn't be able to go to trade hubs in most  highsec, so....what help would this -5 limit be?

The problem is that there is a huge gap between the time it takes someone to naturally goto -10 (ie not killing pods or smartbombing in Jita) vs how long it takes to get this sec back up. Making it so people only go to -5 in some circumstances sounds overly complicated, and more like a bandaide then a thought-through fix to the current issues.

Overall, some good ideas were presented though they definately have some ironing out to do to make it so these new mechanics don't have some critical consequences to other game play and mechanics.

 I will probably be posting a follow up at some point with some ideas that could be implemented to incorporation both these Crime Watch mechanics with some additional fixes that would make everything less clunky feeling in general. The Crime Watch stuff is a great jumping off point, though.


  1. It was either stated or implied that they're doing away with graduated highsec access based on sec status, so if you're above -5.0, you'll be able to go anywhere in highsec without being shot at by CONCORD or faction navies.

  2. As I understood the talk, you will be able to go EVERYWHERE in highsec as long as you are just -5, you will only be barred from highsec when dipping below that (and then totally, they specifically mentioned that they didn't like the different barriers for different high-sec sec status systems).

  3. A sec-loss cap at -5 (and simpler sec-status repair) could bring more participants of a new group into lo-sec: carebears who would like to police their little pocket of the neighbourhood, in order to mine and industry in peace. Right now the prospect of losing access to the hi-sec tradehubs is one of the larger deterrants.