Monday, November 4, 2013

The Complex in the Complex

The CSM 8 blogger dude, Riperd Teg, mentioned in a recent post about how he thinks certain things in the game could use some simplification.  

Now, whenever anyone talks about simplifying EVE, I think that there’s this fear or indignation of CCP ‘dumbing down’ the game. But, in this case, I tend to agree with Teg.

Having a steep learning curve due to concepts that are involved and complex by their nature, is one thing. Getting frustrated over learning things because they are not intuitive at all, poorly designed, or require massive amounts of memorization is quite another thing altogether.

Beyond modules, which I think desperately need a complete re-balancing in general, I think that the biggest ‘necessarily complicated’ thing that I constantly bump into in the game, are all the mechanics surrounding standings, security status, and etc. I have tried a couple of times to write a guide, particularly from the perspective of someone who is both a low-sec pirate, and in militia. And, it became such an overwhelming task just to explain it all, I quickly gave up.

For example, did you know there are actually three types of NPCs that will shoot you in high-sec for various crimes or situations? You have CONCORD, the Faction Police, and the Faction Navy. Explaining which does what, to someone who is considering a life of piracy within a militia, can be an interesting task.

There is still a huge number of people that firmly believe that if you are a -10.0 pirate, you will be CONCORDED in high sec. People have the concept that as a pirate, you can’t even travel in high-sec without getting instantly blown to smithereens. And, this is probably the number 1 reasons I hear people say they do not want to participate in low-sec game play.

Beyond that, gaining and losing Faction standings, is a complicated, twisted mess. Especially if you are in Faction War. Even as a veteran militia pilot, I still have trouble sorting it all out sometimes. When do I lose my standings, and how much do I lose?

  • If a neutral (non-WT) pilot comes into your plex, you can shoot them and not lose standings unless they are a member of one of the non-militia NPC corporations, in which case you must allow them to shoot you first, otherwise you will lose Faction standings which could affect your ability to stay in militia.
  • If you are roaming in null-sec, and a friendly militia member tries to warp from inside your HIC bubble, you will lose Faction standings, which in turn affects your ability to be in militia. HICs are rarely, or extremely carefully used by militia members due to this. If several members of your militia gang tries to warp, you could lose a significant amount of standings –perhaps lowering your corporation’s average enough to get you kicked out of Faction War.
  • You can do missions and plexes in Faction War and not lose standings unless you shoot the NPCs. Then, you do lose standings. 
  • Some actions will raise/lower your FACTION standings, while other actions will raise/lower your MILITIA standings. (Which are two different things!) Don’t ask me to give you a chart of what does what. 
  • You can raise your faction standings by getting ‘promotions’ for you Faction’s militia. But, only if you have never gotten that promotion before. (And there’s nothing except your memory to tell you if the character you’re using has gotten that promotion before.) Otherwise, the only way to repair your Faction standings is to grind highsec missions. (Which is impossible if you are a pirate, or your Faction standings are low enough that you will get shot by the police in highsec.) 

I could keep going, but you get the picture. Now imagine you are someone who constantly gets asked by people interested in Faction War ‘how do I keep from losing all my Faction standings?’

Anyway, that’s the one major thing that I think CCP could stand to simplify.
Just a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Good write up on the complexity of the standing system! They got a little bit further with it with crimewatch, imo, but that's just the security side of standings.

    On another note, afaik the Concord/Faction police and navy situation goes like this
    Shoot someone unlawfully in HS - concord knocks on your door
    Your sec status is below -5.0 - Faction police tries to kill you
    You are at war or your standings are crap with faction - Faction navy tries to kill you
    At least that is how I've understood it and to me it seems fairly straightforward. But I'm not new to the game/LS either so...