Monday, November 23, 2015

BB69: It’s Not About Space Magic, it’s About Space Money...

~or “Immersion or PVP? Different Goals…”

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 69th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 69 - Because of Space-Magic.
CCP sometimes get stuck between a veldspar 'roid and a hard place when they try to blend realism with sensible game mechanics in our sci-fi simulator. Sometimes they create a scientific answer such as 4th dimensional drag to explain our 'submarines in space'. Other times, not so much. 

When a null-sec Citadel is destroyed players 'stuffz' is to be magicked to another station. Why should a citadel be different to a titan? Should CCP ensure that 'space magic' always has a plausible explanation or do we need just to say "Well, it’s only a game!" and engage the willing suspension of disbelief? How should it work when a citadel goes boom, how do we balance risk with reward, and how should any "space-magic" be explained?


First off, I hate that term, “Space Magic”, I really do. Wanna know why? Cause I am an aficionado of Science Fiction… not Fantasy. Oh don’t get me wrong, my dad gave me his original copies of the Hobbit and LotR set when I was young, I think around 9 or so and I fell deeply in love with all of it. And for them as dunt know it, J.R.R. wrote the Hobbit as a boys book, not as adult fare and as many do know he wrote all of it as a way to give life, a background, the Lore if you will, to the languages he created. My love for J.R.R.’s stories, their characters and events and places is unbounded, but…

I don’t want to BE an elf. Nor do I want to BE Frodo, or Gandalf or Bildo much less do I want to wander (OK go a Questing) in Middle Earth following some improbable female elf ass in a bikini all around… much less some manly elf guys ass, or any other ass for that matter. I tried and trialed many of the fantasy MMOs through the years and none held the slightest interest for me. This was why I came to EVE as basically an MMO noob in my 50th year. The SciFi MMO’s I tried were all planet based and I had become disenchanted and didn’t try very hard to find any that were space based either. MMO’s in general didn’t interest me, until EVE.

I have no other interest in fantasy except LOTR, outside of those stories alone I am a Science Fiction reader. To me, there is no Magic except in Middle Earth, everywhere else there is only Science. So much so that I firmly believe in Clark’s 3rd Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I mean take an iPhone back 200 years, take a few pix and vids of the locals and see if you don’t get burned at the stake as a Witch and a Stealer of Souls.… go ahead, try it.

The difference between us and them is we understand and accept that there are things in the world we do not understand yet… things that, to us, look like ‘magic’… but KNOW they aren’t... We know that they are a simply as yet undefined phenomenon, that’s all. Just like sunlight and lightning use to be yet to be defined phenomena, phenomena we control and make use of every second of every day today.

“Should CCP ensure that 'space magic' always has a plausible explanation?”

Yes, at least in the Lore I want that detailed TLDR technical explanation of the seeming Magic Trick… not just “Hocus Pocus”+‘Wavy Hands’=Voilà!… I hate hate hate that we land on stations and are ‘magically’ transported inside them, and yet we have to manually undock by flying out of a docking port. If we have transporters capable of transporting a fully loaded Providence INTO a station, then they damn well can transport it OUT. No, just goddamn No.

There is no coding reason, other than the work involved in coding it, why we can’t land at a station, where the docks are aligned to the various Star Gates (or the Nav Beacons set in space so we can maneuver around those pesky planets and moons that we SHOULD NOT BE ABLE to WARP THROUGH…)… anyhoo, so we land facing a dock, burnin until we are INSIDE the dock and then I’ll accept “poof” and you’re in your Hangar Bay (and yes I would personally prefer to FLY into the station and FLY through the station to my Bay… but that’s for another post). Now the converse must also be true, If we set course before we undock, then we fly out of (the station ejects us from) the dock facing that Gate/Nav Beacon… if we don’t set a course, then the station chooses the least crowded dock to punt us out of… simple right?

Yeah… but never gonna happen in EVE. Wanna know why? Cause PVP.

Landing and being transported IN can provide some modicum of safety for those transporting goods around, and goods making it to the station where they will be sold is good for the economy… but, PVP… so undocking takes place at the same spot for every one and very rarely point towards the gate you need to go to, so you are at a far greater PVP risk when starting your journey. PVP balance. Not too much safety which the PVPers would scream bloody murder about and not too much Risk, which the PVEers would scream…. Ya-da ya-da…

This is the thing about “magic” in EVE. PVP. As Drak pointed out, the crux is Risk vs Reward. Much of the ‘magic’ in EVE was decided on not for good gameplay or Immersion in a virtual environment… if you want that, do as I do and fly in Elite Dangerous where immersion and physics take precedence over PVP considerations. But then ED is not a PVP game, it is a PVE game with some open world PVP. As such the Frontier Devs have devoted far more time to the physics of their verse than the CCP Devs have… they have different goals you see?

Drak asks (paraphrased), “How and Why should a citadel be different, or the same as, a Titan?”

What Drak is asking, in effect is, what do you think about “Asset Safety”. At EVE Vegas CCP Nullarbor did the Structures presentation where he discussed everything Structures but... we are talking specifically about Asset Safety. This is the when a null-sec Citadel is destroyed players 'stuffz' is to be magicked to another station thing that kicked off this particular BB. Nullsec players, it seems, are not willing to risk it all… not ‘really.’

Oh I know with a Sov Flip you can get locked out of a station you used to have access to and thereby, “lose” all your stuff that was in that station. That happened to me once. But the truth is, you don’t. All the stuff stays in your personal or corp hangar bays which the new owners have no access to… even though they took control of the station by force of arms or by subversive or traitorous action. But it’s OK… ‘cause you can still make contracts, valid legal contracts transferring ownership of any assets in a flipped Station to whoever you want. Which means you can sell your ‘lost’ goods’ to someone with access to that station, or whatever other arrangement you care to make.

No again, this makes no sense and is all about risk-adversity and stuff-retention and not about Immersion and Risk=Reward… it’s about “But I dunt wanna lose my stuffs!” Anyhoo… so now, with these destructible Outposts and Stations, IE Citadels, CCP needs a way to keep the players stuff safe or they risk losing players to ‘safer’ games. Who’da though you’d ever hear that about Nullseccers? Seems we’re all a bit Risk Adverse under the rhetoric.

So, Asset Safety goes into effect automatically on station destruction OR can be implemented manually whenever. Everything is ejected into space, all Personal and Corp hangars are safely recovered. You then choose where to recover your stuff. Stations in same system, is free and takes 5 days. Nearest NCP Station, cost 10-15% of the value and takes 20 days to be available to you.

Here is the break-down of what drops and what is saved.

But… for me specifically the answer to the BB question, “How and Why should a citadel be different, or the same as, a Titan?” First off, it aint different in Anoikis. This question is space biased… It applies only to Empire. In Anoikis, in wormhole space our POSes, our Citadels, if subjected to a Rapid Unplanned Disassembly, will drop a percentage of everything… just like ships. No Magic Safety Net for us oh no.

As far as I am concerned, if it is this way for us, it should be this way for everyone… we wormholers are being punished for living in holes and this will I fear reduce the number of players willing to live and die in Anoikis. Unfair CCP, unfair. Of course that is exactly why CCP is making this safety net for nullsec… to keep them from fearing to live and play in their space. But fuck Anoikis I guess. Here is the break-down of what drops… everything.

Asset Safety, this magic-save-yer-stuff-net, is not realistic in the game context and it is not in the spirit of EVE. It is however as I said, in the spirit of we-don’t-want-to-alienate-nullseccers… and that’ all it is. It is one more WoWish nerf of EVE’s ‘Loss is Real’ and ‘Risk=Reward’ basis. And the distance from here to where players can’t lose dey stuffs ever is not as long a leap as it used to be, now is it? And it is one I fear CCP will one day make in the interest of financial stability and profits.

And the worst part is, who's to say they are wrong?

Fly wreckless and see you in the Sky... =/|)=

I'm just gonna set this, Loot Fairy Triumphant (Blog Banter #69), by Rhavas, right here for your consideration dear reader...

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  1. As regards to asset safety in WH, it was made that way at the request of WH players. I was at the townhall. Don't gripe about some perceived favoritism when it was your community that took asset safety in WH off the table.

    As to grr, nullsec, we have asset lockout currently. now when we can go complete total war and render all npc low and nullsec destructible, then you can by all means do the same to us.

    1. Urziel, thanx for commenting... I am not disagreeing that Anoikis should be safe... I want ALL of EVE to be unsafe. Yes we asked for this... that is not the point. The point was actually made better by Phavas in his post, Loot Fairy Triumphant (Blog Banter #69)... I sometimes wonder if I should put down my bloggin pen... I am oft not so good at getting my point across...

      As for lockouts... I had stuff locked out in nullsec. I made a few convos and eventually sold on contract everything I had left behind. At a loss of course, but not a tragic one and far better than "0".

      I just fear for our game when CCP starts talking about making stuff safe... this is not the way of EVE.

  2. Safety is for the modern leader or general who leads from the back as his/her tactical/strategic/spiritual lose would be unacceptable to the cause. Your stuff should not be safe outside of CCP in highsec/lowsec or your own alliances ability to power project greater than those who would blow your stuff up. Seems ridiculous that a Citadel as expensive as it will be to build can be destroyed but the stuff inside can be "magic'ed" away to safety. I too have been locked out of null sec stations, it sucked but I eventually got all my stuff out and that "magic" was also unacceptable to the idea to the way things are in EVE. I never understand how someone blowing my stuff up is PVP but when it comes to their stuff it needs to be "magic'ed". In case the thought has been lost or blurred, nothing should be safe, it should all come with the direst of commitment with the understanding that the risk is commiserate with the gain as Nullsec is, next to WH's, the richest safest place in EVE but by GOD if someone comes to blow your stuff up STOP THEM OR DIE TRYING!


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