Blog Banter #32: Your Ship is out of Control

"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option. 

Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"

Over the past two years I have written extensively regarding PvP in Eve, the challenges that new players face, the perils of Null, Low and Hi sec space, and offered solutions from both sides of the fence. A few months ago I even wrote the entire opening Chapter on what could potentially become a paradigm shift in the new player experience - The Sanctuary Training Program. ( Essentially Newb systems would become Sanctuary systems, plus other incredibly intelligent stuff )

I've even spent a good portion of time debating a way to make consensual PvP actually work within the framework of Eve with The Thunderdome concepts, HERE and HERE and even HERE.

Despite all of those attempts and more, the truth remains the truth. Player Versus Player combat remains the cornerstone of the Eve experience. And it should remain the cornerstone of the Eve experience for all of eternity, in my mind it is sacrosanct. Almost Holy.

Having said that, let's move on to the real issue at hand. Fundamental changes are needed to the underpinnings of that experience. In order to make the universal experience of Player Versus Player combat more fair, more even and more predictable for all of our players.

True Sec status needs to be implemented universally across the board in all systems. 

That Sec Status, per individual system, needs to be used to generate Global Criminal Countdowns. Aggression timers need to be eliminated, as they serve little purpose other than confusion. GCC needs to be based on the True Sec status of the system in which it was initiated. Period. The lower the Sec Status the lower the GCC timer. Predictable, fair and even-handed.

As a consequence of this system of True Sec based GCC, True Hi-Sec becomes virtually impossible to engage in ganking. War Decs would continue, and they really are a side issue like Faction Warfare. But "ganking", while not 100% eliminated, would become very, very rare. And here's why. Anyone with a negative sec status that enters a Hi-Sec system with a high enough True Sec rating - would be destroyed at the gate. Boom. Anything other than a Pod gets blowed up real good. 

This does not eliminate ganking in Hi-Sec. In fact it would keep it the same in systems with TS status hovering above low-sec for example. It would only make it increasingly difficult the further up the TS rating you went. And virtually impossible in say .9 systems. I'm certainly not against ganking, heck I've done it myself more than a few times.

It makes perfect sense. Why does CONCORD tolerate criminals in Hi-Sec anyway? They say they don't, god knows I get enough warnings, but they never do anything about it. They should. 

In order to "gank" someone in Hi-Sec the attacking party would have to manage their Sec Status, pick systems on the borderline of True Sec Hi Sec, and hunt only when those two things matched up. Conversely, the rewards for those mining, missioning, or otherwise using those systems would go up correspondingly based on lower True Sec ratings. Higher risk means higher rewards for everyone - both hunter and hunted.

This doesn't change anything about Eve that we all love, it works within the already established frameworks, and ensures an almost safe haven for anyone willing to spend their lives in highly rated Hi Sec systems. The reward for living a life like that would be small, to encourage them to move along, but for new players especially it would give them a fighting chance to get started off on the right foot. Not 100% safe, but very close.

I don't think we need special mods, special ships, or special anything to achieve what we all want to achieve. A viable, vibrant, dangerous universe with a few places that are safer than others.

So let's do this. Like next week, k?

For more opinions on this exciting topic, visit FREEBOOTED!