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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hi-sec warfare becoming a ganker's paradise?

I just read CCP SoniClover's dev blog on the planned changes to hi-sec war declarations for Inferno. There is much that is good for the meta game in these changes.
  • Unlimited war for a price
  • No war avoidance
  • No avoiding the cost of war
  • Mercenary contracts
  • War reports (the kill mail just looks awesome)
Then there are the parts that worry me. For instance, I'm a lone sheep industrialist. I'll never get filthy rich this way, but I also do not have to rely on anyone else. I have thin margins, but there is no interpersonal drama. I don't have to be pleasant all the time. I don't have to listen to whining. I can sit around in my underwear if I like without garnering an HR complaint. That fits my introverted personality just fine. I deal with people all day long. Why the hell would I want to do it for "fun?"

Unfortunately CCP doesn't seem to see it that way. Single player corporations like Mabrick Mining and Manufacturing [MABMM] may not survive the Inferno. The cost of declaring war against us will be inconsequential now that we can no longer avoid the war. The lulz from watching us burn in space will be worth it to the average ganker corp. Hell, Poetic Discourse was just saying that griefing EvE University would be worth a few hundred miskies (million ISK) and might have been worth 3 biskies had the mechanics worked out. What'll the new mechanic do to a lone sheep corp? Once warred upon, we either:
  • pay up - hand our profits over to the griefers so why bother to be an industrialist
  • put up - watch our profits evaporate as our investments explode around us so ditto
  • hide out - so much for playing EvE and ditto again
  • get out - go back to an NPC corp
Even if I decide to get out, I have to do it BEFORE someone war-decs MABMM. I might not be able to change corps while in a war. See the question about corp hopping if you don't think they're thinking about it. That leaves me open to the worst sort of ransom - the one I can't avoid. The very mechanics of this change would leave me vulnerable to a never ending war-dec. The dev blog even says so:
Q: How long will wars last?
A: As long as the aggressor pays every week and no one surrenders (or no surrender offer is accepted), then a war can last forever.
I guarantee the price of surrender will offset the cost incurred by the aggressor and continue to rise as time goes on. There is no reason for the aggressor to call an end to it. They will get their ISK back or reap all the tears in the universe forever - or at least a very long time. And if I do pay, that sets an extremely dangerous precedent doesn't it? After the enforced peace period the griefers might be right back for some more easy ISK. Now there's a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't situation.

So let's say I capitulate. I give up on MABMM and go back to the Center for Advanced Studies. How does that fit in with the rest of CCP's "vision." Well, here are two parts of that "vision" and how they change in this scenario. One is new (discussed at the recently concluded Fanfest) and one is as old as EvE itself.
Vision: all players can own a POS.
Reality: not if they're a lone sheep forced into an NPC corp (please correct me if I am wrong.)
Vision: EvE is a sandbox.
Reality: you can't partake in the sandbox alone so it really isn't a sandbox.
That last makes this scenarios about as un-EvE as anything can get. PvPers are so worried about losing the Everyone-versus-Everyone fantasy that they'll gladly sacrifice the sandbox? That would be a sad day indeed.

Now, this blog post is certainly a worst case scenario. And I am also certain Team Super Friends is smart enough not to eliminate the sandbox for even one EvE subscriber. Unfortunately, by closing the door on some of the people who currently game the war-dec system, they are opening the door for others. The situation will change with Inferno, but it will get no better for me and may even get a lot worse for lone sheep industrialists.

Fly careful.


  1. Well, no game can be truly a perfect sandbox, since the underlying universe is simulated in finite code on finite machines. In EVE's case, the sandbox is biased towards cooperation; ie. multi-person corporations, hiring Mercs, or joining alliances.

    Not that I dismiss your concerns as irrelevant, but there may not be a solution to wardecs which pleases everyone.

    1. I can find no better solution to the one CCP is pursuing. It may suck for me, but as I point out, the meta game will be better for it. I may just have to face reality. Life is change. Still, it's a challenge being a one man corp. Making money is "easy" in WH and null I've been told. A pilot just HAS to have friends nearby in case reds come around. However, in hi-sec, margins are thin and balancing the books more difficult. That in itself is a challenge. I'll miss it if it becomes an untenable EvE lifestyle.

  2. Of course you can partake alone, it's just sub-optimal.

    If you want to do it alone you'll need to hire mercs (made better in inferno) to defend you as the price for not wanting to play with others in an MMO.

  3. I can't say I dunt feel for ya on the wardec thing. We had our first Alliance dec'ed to deth back when... an Alliance and some of the decs were by one man griefer corps. Problem was they were basically back to back, continuous and better PvP players than us, or we wouldn't have imploded.

    I am still not (personally) a 'big' corp guy. I miss HBHI, our 3 man corp of equals and family. I, and Strigon and AI, have all said we still want to get back in the hole one day, soon I hope.

    I realize you are a one man op and we are not seeking recruits, but if/when we go back to a C3, you might consider setting up a separate POS inside w/ us. Run mining and industry from inside the hole... and have a supporting corp nearby, mebbe even start (or join) a W-space Alliance so we can share resources...

    Remember, in the hole, there is no War...

    1. There is no war but there is a cloaky Loki behind every K162. *wink* However, your offer is gracious and the thought has crossed my mind. I do have friends in New Eden. Several are in a WH corp. One is in null. Of the two, WH appeals to me more. Oddly enough, it's the not-knowing-whose-there aspect of it. I've trained strategic cruiser just in case.

  4. Oh and Khanh... if he dint want to play with others, he wouldn't be in EVE.

    EVE IS a sandbox and while it does 'favor' cooperative group play to a large degree, it does NOT (yet) make solo play untenable or impossible... but we may be headed that way.

    If so, it will be a great loss to this fine game and a sad, sad day for CCP and all of us.

  5. I saw you have my blog followed...
    1. TY I am flattered and,
    2. Then you know some of my feelings and experiences in the hole... and how badly I want to go back. We had another mining OMC (one man corp) join us for a while. He put an Alt in our corp and and kep the rest in his home corp. It worked well up to some unlucky losses were experienced... (not just in the hole).

    I will, of course, sound the trumpet call the day we decide to return to the space we love the best... We'll talk then.

    Please let me know ingame if there is anything I can ever do for ya... I still have Apprentice Lt's in hisec. =]

  6. I, also, am a "lone sheep industrialist". My plan if I get wardecced is:
    1) Take down my POS (before the war goes active)
    2) Clone-jump down to NPC null-sec, where I've arranged some ships/equipment
    3) Shoot rats and hide from enemies until the wardec wears off.
    I won't be undocking _in_highsec_ but that doesn't mean I don't get to play.


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