Monday, August 18, 2014

Crime & Reward…

~or “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...”

First, heed not the doomsaying of others… I am still here, just going through some RL>EVE that has kept me unsubbed is ALL. My CARBON Based Life is not dead nor has it gone dark… just got the shades drawn and the lights low for a spell is ALL… ok? on to the meat…

Risk = Reward is the EVE mantra. In EVE, it is supposed to be that the greater the risk taken, the greater the reward received. But we rarely talk about the Risk & Reward corollary, Crime & Punishment.

In pure PVE the Risk equals the potential loss of the total cost of ship, fit and cargo.
In pure PVE the Reward equals the ISK Payout + bonus and potential High ISK Value drops (this also used to include Loot & Salvage back in the day).

But in nonconsensual PVP the only concession to Risk [potential loss of the total cost of ship(s), fit(s) and cargo(s)] against the Reward [dropped cargo, dropped mods (this also used to include Salvage back in the day)] for committing a crime (awoxing, ganking, etc.) is in actuality only the loss of Security Status. The loss of the ships is easily factored in and due to the current ship balancing, a fleet of low cost T1s is far below the potential Reward for taking down a loaded hauler or freighter.

Then there is the one Reward CCP does not talk about as it is not a part of the code… Tears. The intentional emotional upset caused by one player on another. There are many greifers and scammers and suchlike in EVE who’s primary Reward in the game is just that… to cause other players grief.

They could care less about the Risk vs Reward mechanic as it has NOTHING to do with their personal Risk vs Reward philosophy. So for them the only real ‘cost’ for doing the ‘crime’ is the loss of Sec Stat… and CCP has made that far easier to deal with via the Sec for Tags gambit. A griefer can now simply buy his way back into HighSec and go a ganking again.

IMHO CCP is not thinking clearly on this. In the post, “EVE Unbalanced – The Sandbox is a Lie” over on “Solitary Pilot” (by Sakaane Eionell) Sakaane talks to this point. She makes a very good argument for a much needed change to how the Security Status Mechanic works.

To put is simply:
Lower status players killing Higher status players should LOSE Sec Stat;
Higher status players killing Lower status players should GAIN Sec Stat…

That’s Right, if you gain Sec Stat for killing Guristas or Angels, IE known NPC pirates, then you should also GAIN Sec Stat for killing Lower Sec Stat players, IE known player 'pirates'.

I am going to simply allow Sakaane to speak for this as I am in absolute full agreement with her idea. Go to her post in the link above and read it all, but for the real meat, scroll down to the “CONCORD Needs to Math” section.

Again, quoted here for truth,

“If I want to play the hero then I do want to make a habit of attacking people who habitually go after the people I want to defend. Those are the villains, the pirates, the scum...and I should be rewarded in the eyes of CONCORD for being picky about my targets. I want my sec status to show how badass I am at killing bad guys.”

Her basic scenario is as follows, again quoted as I can’t come up with better…

“If negative sec is the hallmark of the PVP pirate, shouldn’t positive sec be the hallmark of the PVP hero? Why doesn’t CONCORD reward pilots for destroying other pilots who are villains?
In my mind, security status should only take a hit in three scenarios:

·  when a player destroys another player with sec status equal to or higher than their own (for example, -4.8 destroys -2.6);
·  when a player with sec status above zero destroys another player with sec status at or above zero (for example, +3.4 destroys +2.2 or +5.0); and
·  when a player gets caught transporting illegal goods past customs NPCs.

The hit for destroying a player should always be larger than the hit for trying to sneak past the NPCs. The size of the penalty should be proportionate to the difference in sec status between the players, meaning that someone at -5.0 destroying someone who is +5.0 should get a bigger hit than someone at -2.0 destroying someone who is only 0.0. The hit should be largest for players with positive sec destroying other players with positive sec.

To balance this out, security status should get a boost in three scenarios:

·  when a player destroys another player with sec status below theirs, provided the opponent’s sec status is not at or above zero (for example, +1.8 destroys -3.5);
·  when a player turns in tags for sec; and
·  when a player destroys bona fide pirate NPCs.

Like above, the boost for destroying a player should be larger than the boost for destroying pirate NPCs (or using tags). The size of the boost should be proportionate to the difference in sec status between the players, meaning that someone at +5.0 destroying someone who is -5.0 will get a bigger boost than someone at -2.0 destroying someone at -5.0.”

Kudos for this idea all the way around.

My only note here would be that Anoikis, IE Wormhole Space, remains as it is today as re Sec Stat. You see in W-space there is no CONCORD, no Local, no Gate system... they know not what we do and therefore cannot place either loss or gain on us for any actions taken on the other side of the sky… and thus it is, and thus it always should be.

Another area of difference, she discusses Noobkillers, and I feel her ‘noobs start at +5’ idea is actually too low. IMHO all Noobs should start at +10 and the cost for killing new toons from day one to say, 1 month old (only while in their ORIGINAL NPC corp and in anything other than an agreed Duel) should be prohibitively higher… then scale back down over the 2nd month to game normal levels.

This change would mean that for the first time in EVE, proactively fighting on the side of Defense and yes, Honor, would have REAL merits. 

I have absolutely no problem that EVE IS a dark and harsh ‘verse… but that does not mean it cannot also be a place for players who want to fight what they see as ‘the good fight’, and right now, fighting AGAINST players who gank and play pirate has the exact same cost as being a ganker or pirate… and it should not.

This also could have a very interesting side effect for the ongoing discussion about NPE/NPR (New Player Experience an New Player Retention). This change in the Security Status Mechanic, especially if CCP changes it so that new players are in essence ‘protected’ by a prohibitively high Sec Status, (IE gank a one day old toon and go straight to -10…) means we would not need the 'Noob Safe Zones' that have been talked so much about that even Das Mitten himself himself has jumped on that particular bandwagon.

I find it interesting that he states CCPs reasons for not separating the Vets and Noobs as…  ~reasons~…

And here I thought he was a lawyer and intelligent and all, and yet he resorts to childish repetition instead of a reasoned statement... but, one must needs consider the source. CCPs ~reasons~ are that EVE is NOT WoW nor is it like ANY OTHER MMO out there… and they don’t ever want it to be WoW IN SPACE and they don’t what it to ever be LIKE ANY OTHER MMO… They are trying to do something NEW and DIFFERENT… and that means, to use Mittens own words against him, to do that one has to find and publicly murder a few sacred cows along the way.

I also firmly believe that any “Safe Zone” or “Safe System” will set a very bad expectation in noobs NPE… I vastly prefer the idea of noobs being safe as compared to space being safe. No space, no system, no gate in EVE should be safe… but noobs should be safe from the predations of other players in their first 2 months and most especially in that critical first month. By giving them personal 'safety', by making exploiting and ganking them far far too costly, and yet having them out in the real New Eden with all the rest of us at the same time to acclimate them to the realities of life and death in EVE.

To have them enter the game and play for any length of time in a system devoid of normal player aggression and normal player activity will most likely set them up for a very real shock when they are finally transferred to a regular system.

And I have always felt awoxing (risk free inter-corp PVP) was one of those idea's that works in theory but not in practice. That should have been removed at the same time Duels was instituted.

And lastly and JIC, for all of you who are gonna jump immediately on the “But EVE players are gonna game the fuk outta this!!” soapbox, uh… yea, they are, So? EVE players game the hell outta EVERYTHING CCP does… so what? Mebbe you think CCP should stop working on the game out of fear of its own playerbase??

Well, yea… ok, mebbe that might actually have some merit, I mean, have you met us???…

But I hope they don’t and gamed or not, this change in the Security Status Mechanic has the potential to be a really good change for players who want to play the hero role and for NPE/NPR.

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=