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  =/|)=


  1. Bah. After some consideration, noob areas only benefit null-sec alliances. They foster a false feeling of fear about New Eden as a whole, and actively discourages new players exploring different areas of space. And of course, when it comes time to leave the nest, there'll be the oh-so friendly null-sec recruiter, offering you a safe system protected by mighty Titan fleets.

    From cradle to grave, without ever experiencing the real wonders to explore in New Eden.

    (I'll put my tin-foil sombrero away now...)

    I'm in favour of the sec-changes proposed, particularly if it provides more stimulus to the Tags for Sec market. I'd like to have a different role to play other than militia dog or well-meaning but unfortunately a pirate by necessity.

    Nice to see you back Tur. You've been missed :)

    1. LOL 'tin-foil sombrero'... love it. And actually, as far as Goons et al go, as I understand it "REAL" Goons are recruited primarily from the Something Awful forums... others have to be vouched for in-game and the rest are just scammed... not really sure how Noob Safe Zones would actually impact Goons... but they are gonna 'game' the game no matter what so IMHO, Goons meh.

      And agree completely about the cradle to grave missing the POINT of the game... Like Mittens said in this post, and I quote;

      “Rather than learning the basics alone in hisec, on their first day newbie goons podjump to deep nullsec. There, they are surrounded by their fellows, ushered into massive alliance warfleets, mentored by veteran players, and showered with isk and ships.”

      “A community-born player is able to entirely skip the dreaded ‘mining veld in a Bantam’ phase. Instead of a positive kill/death ratio, external communities place a greater value on enthusiasm and a willingness to die for the group.”

      “In practice, this means that Goons, Broskis and Redditors can be outright bastards to everyone else in the EVE - besides their allies, of course - and get away with it. The game’s normal culture of honor doesn’t apply…”

      Did you catch the important part...? He said, "The game’s NORMAL culture of honor doesn’t apply…” Even Mittens understand that for a huge number of rest of us (the majority IHMO)... some form of Honor is important to our gameplay... but NOT to Goons.

      'nuff said.

      OK and I too feel this is a far better balance of how Sec Stat should work AND I cannot see how it could fail to INCREASE PVP... which is, after all, CCPs primary goal in EVE.

      And thanx man... it's nice to feel missed. =]

  2. Nice to see you post =) I agree with you about the NPE. Maybe as a punishment for newb-killing, make it so that all characters that the offending player owns (across all of their accounts) get locked out of high-sec for a month enforced by CONCORD. And no cash transfers from other characters, still get bounties though. Make it a real punishment instead of giving a status symbol, muahaha.

    Baljos Arnjak

    1. Problem with the all toons / all accounts thing is tying them to the RL person and not making mistakes... No, for me it's enough to whack the offending Toon only. I love the PVP all-a-time and the OMG it's-effin-DANGEROUS-out-thar! life we live and die in EVE... I just want it balanced so both the Hero and the Villain have equal footing in the games basic mechanics. Skill and a bit of the old "L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!" should be the winning factors... not mechanics.

      And, well, before Tags for Sec, Sec status WAS a more real punishment... This change would up the ante so to speak... Yes, you can now buy you way back into highsec, but gettin blobbed by a group of do-gooders would force a change in tactics... all healthy and good for the game.

      Thank man... prolly still wont be on for a while, but I'm still here!

  3. "Lower status players killing Higher status players should LOSE Sec Stat;
    Higher status players killing Lower status players should GAIN Sec Stat"

    Nice summary! Sugar read the article the other day

    I'm seriously thinking of nagging her till she brings it up with the CSM. Now get over there and back me up ;)

    1. Yo Noob!! Yea, I prolly shoulda given credit where it was due, It was Sugars post that put me on to it of course. She's my go-to blog nowadays... and one helluva lady! =]

      And yes, please let her know I'm am backing this one too! I wish she had taken a crack at the mechanic instead of the more over-all approach she took... but hey, she writes like you and me... for herself, not for any one person or group, ne? =]

  4. Thanks for linking back to my article! It's nice to see how much support there is for the idea and that so many players are interested in playstyles other than "the villain".

    Since I only play in lowsec (and hisec still, occasionally), my perspective on mechanic changes is really pretty limited to those areas. However, I think you're correct that security status should not be impacted either way in those areas; if they are truly lawless or remote then CONCORD should not be able to watch over anyone's shoulder, as it were.

    Great addition to the conversation. Thanks for taking the time. :)

  5. No prob! This as one of those idea’s that is like a paper clip, something so simple that once you SEE one your first thought is DAMN! how obvious!

    The only area of the game that is not under CONCORDs eye is Wormhole Space (W-space, which the Sleepers called, Anoikis). ALL other spaces (Hi, Low and Null) in the game have the Jump Gate system and either (NPC) Stations or (Player Owned) Outposts. All of the Stations and Outposts are networked together by the Jump Gate system, this is called the NEOCOMM network. The NEOCOMM and all Jump Gates are run by CONCORD.

    As Anoikis (Negative Security Space) has neither jump Gates, Stations or Outposts (POS’s only) CONCORD ‘cannot’ have any idea of what goes on there and as such ‘cannot’ levy either fines or punishments nor give credit when due for any activities in Anoikis good or bad.

    As for the whole rest of New Eden, I feel strongly that your idea of a balanced, both negative and positive, sec stat change for PvP is one of the best idea’s I have heard in a long long time…

    BTW... Your last post was over a year ago... why aren't you bloggin anymore? Seems like you have a lot to offer the community.

  6. That's a brilliant idea, and one I suspect many people have had over the years, just that they weren't bloggers and/or couldn't be bothered to try to convince CSM to convince CCP to implement it. If I was still playing, I'd love to see this type of sec status changes.

    1. Then my friend, please go over to Sugar Kyle's blog, Lowsec Lifestyle, and let her know in no uncertain terms that you back this idea... and, don't you have a blog? I recognize your nom de plume from somewhere... =]

    2. Nope, no blog, Tur :) But I have commented on a few here and there (including this one). Already commented on Sugar's blog. No, I'm just a player who finally had enough with the paranoia and the drama. But, like Jester when he 'quit', one thing I've learned in EvE is never say never :)


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