BB44: Change Local and I'll Quit

"The local chat channel provides EVE players with an instant source of intel of who is in the system. With a quick glance you can tell who is in system and what your standings are to them. War targets, hated enemies, friends and corp mates all stand out clearly. Is this right? Should we have access to this intel for free with no work or effort? Should the Local chat channel even exist? Should normal space be more like wormhole space where the Local channel appears empty until someone speaks?"

There has been a lot of talk lately about changing the way the local channel works in Eve Online. Without being overly dramatic (!) let me be clear right up front - if any of the myriad changes currently on the table are implemented - I will quit playing Eve.

Take a moment to see things from my perspective. 75% of the time I fly in New Eden, I fly alone. I don't have an Alt. I don't use a mysterious T3 Booster, or a prober, or anything else - it is just me in space. Doing it the hard way. In any given hour of precious play-time I may fly thru 30+ systems in a row looking for a good fight. If I find a juicy Tengu running a Mission he is perfectly safe from me, because I have no way of finding him! That, dear reader, is the predominate play-style of which I participate in this universe.

Let me be even more specific. I am -10. I am a Tusker. Often when I pop up in local it isn't unusual to see a system with 10+ people in it EMPTY OUT. They run, they dock, or they otherwise hide somewhere in a safe spot or a POS. But Rixx, wouldn't a delayed local help you with that? If you only think about things for five seconds you might be right. But let's assume for a moment that you take a tad longer to think about things before deciding to bury your opinion in concrete and refuse to change, shall we?

I arrive in a system and have no idea if anyone is there? You know what I do in situations like that? I warp to the next gate and leave! Oh but wait, it turns out that there were people in local after all, and in fact they happen to be camping the Gate I just warped to!! And they have a shit-ton of T3 boosted lock wizards and Alpha Strike Pests!! Well dang, that was fun. Maybe I'll log in again... like never!

There HAS to be something in Eve that works the same FOR ALL PLAYERS. For first day noobs and hardened Vets. We have to have something that is universally the same for every single player. How hard is that to understand? It isn't based on skills, it isn't based on how many accounts you can afford, it isn't based on how many friends you have ( or dont have ), we HAVE to have something that is universally consistent to everyone. And Local, as messed up and lore breaking and common sense bending as it is - is it. Period. Case over.

Slow it down. Make it dependent on skills. Give it some sort of dopey probe based bullshit that doesn't make a hair of sense and I promise you I will not hesitate to stop playing your suddenly dumb game.

And yes I am purposely trying my best to blow this all out of proportion so someone will listen. This isn't hard. Local is the only democratic universally available intel system in the entire game. It isn't arbitrary, it is crucial.

Now Local Chat is another matter. Please feel free to muck about with that feature. I personally don't use it much anyway, other than to offer a "gf" and to goad my enemies from time to time. ( Don't tell the other Tuskers about that, they tend to frown on local chat. Although my efforts often lead to fights, which they do like.)

To those that say that local benefits the aggressor more than the defender... uh, well I have to say I wonder what game you've been playing? Even back when I was a stoopid young player in Null Space watching for local spikes was a constant activity. We used to kill rats in belts back in those days and we'd all run and hide in station when -A- came to kill us. And then we'd jump into other ships and go and try to kill them. It was fun.

Remember that part up there when I said people run away? Or they don't. But at the very least they have that chance. Remove or change local and that chance is gone.

------------------------------- Part Two -----------------------------

I love Wormholes and I totally respect those that live in them.

Back when WHs were first introduced we ( my mates and I at the time ) had a big conversation regarding the lack of local in WH Space. I wish I still had the logs to that chatter, but I can still remember the basics. I mostly remember them because that very same week this topic hit Eve pretty hard and swept thru the forums. It may have even hit the blogs, but back then I didn't even know they existed yet.

The call was basic and predictable. Suddenly everyone was clamoring for local to be removed from Null. Wouldn't that be neat? At the time, as a member of carebear based Providence, we were pretty much sold on the idea. Yes, that might work. During that conversation we were quickly and finally dissuaded from that belief using much the same arguments that I did up above.

But WH life has changed people's perspective. And while I love WH space as much as the next guy, local being missing in there is part of its charm. It is spooky space. Dangerous space. That's cool. But you know what? We never, ever leave the WH entrance without a prober. Which means I never, ever go into a WH alone. Which means 75% of the time I play Eve, I don't go into WHs.

Spread that kind of thinking out to the rest of us? No thanks.

Can Local be better? Maybe. I'm open to ideas. CCP said they are looking at separating Local and Local Chat into different things. I support that. But let's not get carried away here. Calm down and think about it for a few minutes.

Whatever you change local to be it must remain:

1) Skill Independent
2) Universal to all players individually
3) Immediate
4) Accurate
5) Constantly updated

Which is what we have now.

For other people's thoughts and much more reading, go on over to Stan's house and ask him for some books.