GCC Reform Now!

The Global Criminal Countdown system currently in operation in Eve is broken and it needs to be reformed now.

As it stands today, if you engage in "criminal" aggression in a low-security system you receive a 15 minute timer or GCC. This initial timer is written in red across the top left corner of your screen and starts counting down. Once it has reached zero it switches to a yellow 15 minute timer, much like the one you get for shooting rats. That is, if you do nothing for that 30 minutes, the way you "wait-out" GCC.

I've made the argument before that this is bad for Eve and bad for the players, that GCC needs to be reformed and rethought into a system more understanding of the way people really play the game. In fact, if CCP is truly interested in the player experience, this needs to happen as soon as possible.

Let us assume I have one hour to play Eve. Not a hard assumption to make given that I often only have an hour to play Eve. It is possible that I can spend that ENTIRE hour under GCC penalty! In fact, I often do. The thing is however, that entire hour can sometimes be from one incident.

I'm undocking in my Broadsword. (I often use that ship to determine if the station is camped, or the situation in system.) A transport ship undocks behind me. Being a Pirate I shoot and destroy the transport and pod the poor sod flying it. 15 minutes of GCC for me. The station starts shooting me, I loot the wreck and 1) warp to a safe spot to wait out the timer, or 2) dock up to wait out the timer, or 3) ignore the timer and fly off (I can do that because I'm in a well-tanked Broadsword).  Since my aggression happened on the station I have to remember that particular station has it in for me, if I dock in that station and undock again before GCC is over, I risk getting a new round of yellow timer with that station!  Confused yet?!?!  One day last week this went 45 minutes from one exploded ship.

So, problem one. GCC is needlessly complicated.

How to fix that? Make it simple. I understand the need to protect people from people like me, fine. Call me a pirate, a criminal, a hunter, whatever you want, I've made the decision to fight for my play time in-game. I blow up your ship and I deserve to pay a price. Sec Status loss is already a huge penalty, I can't go into hi-sec unless I'm in my pod (even then it is complicated by Concord owned systems, etc.) We need a simple system that protects everyone.

I propose that GCC be simplified to ONE FIVE Minute Timer. No red or yellow, just one simple timer that comes in two flavors - Aggression and Criminal.  An aggression timer is for hi-sec, ratters, missioners and other forms of light aggression that need to be monitored and dealt with.  Such as can flipping.  Criminal timer is for people like me that just blew up your transport ship in low-sec.

Five minutes is fair and would allow all parties the chance to cool down, escape to safety and otherwise do whatever it is they need to do. In five minutes you can be safely back in hi-sec or five or six jumps away from trouble.

Problem two. GCC as it exists now forces pilots into bigger ships and gangs.

Oh yeah it does. We'd all like to fly around in our frigates and cruisers and have plenty of good fights, and many of us do. But the system isn't set up for us. In that story above, why do I undock in a Broadsword? Why not a small fast ship? Because the Broadsword can tank the station guns, or the Gate guns of course. Tanking the guns is a huge determining factor in choosing the types of ships and gangs low-sec groups fly. GCC Guns determine bigger tanks and Logistic support must be a part of any sizable excursion.

I'm not advocating the removal of GCC guns from stations and gates. (Although that would be awesome, it would also ruin Eve!) What I am suggesting however, is that a simple 5 minute timer would be easy enough to bear, allowing those that wish to fly smaller ships, the actual opportunity to do so. Without worrying about the gate guns popping them in one shot. While still allowing for that possibility if the offender ignores the timer.

I know this issue is more complicated than a single post can address. I appreciate that. And I believe that is why someone in Iceland probably gets paid to figure this stuff out, while I do not. At the very least, simplify the GCC system, even if you leave it at 15 minutes and ruin my hour of play time.

What are your thoughts gentle readers?