Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Skewed perspective

I apologize in advance: this post might seem a little bit disjointed.  It's really an attachment to a longer post that will be published later today.  Both continue my thinking about the war-dec system in EVE, and wars in EVE in general.  The longer post is my first swing on this blog at the n+1 problem in EVE, better known as the blob problem.  My take on that is not likely to be what you think.

But this post approaches these issues from a different direction.

In the post from CCP Soundwave that I referenced yesterday, he revealed an interesting perspective with regards to wars in EVE.  In short, CCP regards the ability to shoot people as a privilege.  He says (edited slightly):
War dec prices are determined by the value you get from them.  If you want to go to war with someone, a higher number of potential targets should be more expensive.  If you're a smaller alliance, this makes you a less attractive target...
These three sentences almost only make sense in backward-land, where everything is the reverse of reality.  But the thing to keep in mind is that this system is being designed by a lot of guys that don't really play this game, so their perspective on it is skewed.  EVE is not reality, because small countries don't declare war against big ones.  I haven't seen Iceland declare war on Russia lately because of the value conferred by being able to shoot a higher number of potential targets.

But of course in EVE, a smaller alliance can potentially be a powerful one.  If a small PvP-focused alliance declares war on a much larger care-bear alliance, then making that cost more makes perfect sense from this skewed perspective.  The "real world" version of this is an alternate universe where the Russians have no Navy, and Iceland's four or five coast guard cutters can raid Russia's merchant fleet with relative impunity.  There are certainly EVE alliances like that, and from the skewed perspective, the war-dec system and its cost model makes perfect sense.

But as far as I can tell, this type of war-dec are the only perspective for which it makes sense.

This is the same skewed perspective where:
  • The Mittani making a drunken bad joke about harassing an EVE player into a RL rash action during the Fanfest Alliance Panel is bad, but...
  • the very same Mittani causing Goonswarm to war-dec Issler Dainze's corp for the rest of her natural life is -- as Soundwave puts it in the same post -- a "social repercussion you've created" and is perfectly OK.
In this same skewed perspective, that also means that Goonswarm can declare war on as many small alliances as they care to at a ridiculously low cost.  But because of the way costs scale, it seems extremely unlikely to me that an EVE alliance of a thousand or more members is going to declare war on another one of equal size.  War-dec costs quickly become unsustainable.

Want to avoid most griefer war-decs?  Create or join a super-alliance of hundreds of high-sec corps with thousands of total members. Will griefers see the "value" in declaring war on such a super-alliance?  They might... in the skewed perspective of backward-land.  But I suspect they're just as likely to go looking for someone smaller, less risky, and cheaper.

Meanwhile, in this same skewed perspective, if you want to fight Goonswarm to get "value" out of a "higher number of potential targets", you can either:
  • declare war on the Goons at a cost of 500 million ISK...
  • or you can just wait until they declare war on someone, then ask to be the target's first or second ally for either free or ten million ISK.
And in that way, you get the very same "value" of "a higher number of potential targets"... for 2% of the cost.  But even if you're not the target's first or second ally, it's still cheaper to be the target's 7th ally then to actually declare war on Goons yourself.


I hate to put it in such stark terms, but the more I think about the new war-dec system, the less sense it makes to me.  It really is the product of a skewed perspective from backward-land.  And CCP's attempts to fix it are only making it worse.  The tools and UI around war declarations seem fine, but I think the process behind the tools needs to be scrapped and started again.


  1. I think we (the eve community) really need to take a look at the idea of war decs themselves.

    What do they bring to the sandbox, vs what would happen if they did not exist?

    They have their uses for POS removal, but that is the one benefit they have vs not existing. If you really want to punish someone in high sec, you can do it without a war. Just buy a bunch of destroyers and gank them whenever they undock. Its probably cheaper than the wardec, and targets specific individuals instead of corps.

    I'd suggest a system where only entities that have sov space or POS can be war deced.

    1. It's not us that need to review the purpose of wardecs, it's CCP.

      Everyone should be wardec-able. It is just the nature of the decs that needs to be reviewed. Wars should have objectives with penalties for failure. Blow up a POS, cause economic harm, interdict operations in a constellation. Not just free-for-all griefing. Make it a game that the defenders can participate in rather than simply logging out for two weeks.

      If wardecs required a collateral based on the size of the attacker, which would be awarded to the defender when the objectives are failed, that would make the game interesting for the defenders.

      If wardecs are about encouraging PvP, there needs to be some incentive for the defender.

      Objective: prevent this pilot running more than 10 missions this week. Collateral: 100M ISK.

    2. I agree. Lets face it Hisec isn't really part of the sandbox anyway.

    3. Completely removing Wardecs in that way is a bad idea. Lets assume we have to Mining Corps. Both are Mining the same High-Sec
      constellation, but one is way more effective in it (reasons for that see below) leaving not much to mine for the other corp.
      The other corp is less effective, because they actually train for PvP. They mine less, but have the skills to defend themself.
      Corp 2 has some Options now:
      1. Move to another constellation
      2. Mine the scrabs they gain
      3. Wardec the other Corp and fight for their Belts

      As the other Mining Corp is not able to defend itself, it has other Options.
      1. Move to another constellation
      2. Pay for the right to stay and mine
      3. Stop undocking, hence giving all the belts to the Wardeccer Corp

      With the way of wardecs you propose, there would be no way to defend your "turf". And finally, there is already a way to avoid Wardecs completely. Join an NPC Corp and live with the limitations it brings.
      3. Wardec the other Corp an fight for the

    4. I always imagined that the original purpose behind the concept of high sec war is ensuring that you have an asymmetric answer to industrial competition. I.e. nullsec alliances weren't supposed to be part of the picture at all. (If wardecs predate alliances, my imagination might even be true.) All the other conditions were just a haphazard pile of patches that evolved on the concept to prevent unintended uses. It's hard to tell what exactly are they smoking in Iceland though, might be the volcanoes.

    5. There are PvPers who live in hisec and PvP by deccing Bear corps or alliances then get easy kills putting their PvP xp against the bears' PvE. From personal experience they also tend to play station games and/or use remote rep alts. Arguably wardecs are the only environment they can get that experience in - in lowsec they'd have to contend with gate guns and the like, in nullsec they'd have to contend with intel channels, bubbles etc.

      There are also PvPers who do similar things but rather than doing it for lulz and loot, they effectively ransom the corps/alliances they wardec - "Pay us X amount or you'll never be able to PvE again", basically. The same also applies to Incursion corps since Incursion FCs won't take people who have wars against them.

      Mercs frequently fill either of those roles since historically their main service has essentially been paid griefing, with a sideline in revenge against other griefers.

      All of those roles need wardecs to thrive, and wouldn't function as they do if they could only rely on suicide ganking. The bigger question then has to be "Do you want those roles in your sandbox in the first place?". Personally I do, but I like the idea of having tools to fight back against them, which it seems like CCP is working hard to remove.

    6. They want pvp experience, RvB. Best place in highsec to get it.

  2. The problem I see with CCP approach is they are trying to produce a vibrant merc market. The reality is merc corps have nothing to offer the defender. They can't stop a war as there is no way for a defender to win a war short of convincing the attacker that they aren't going to get kills. A corp is better off dropping corp, hiding in station, hanging in WH/NS or playing world of tanks.

    The only thing the new rules will do is spawn large HS pvp alliances which ally for free, because most HS pvp corps only care about increasing the the number of targets.

  3. I honestly couldn't agree more. I'm debating even bothering to renew my accounts because as the head of a corp for my friends, a wardec could utterly destroy any fun we might get out of Eve. Forcing us to leave corp just to play is stupid and makes it more difficult logistically.

    Why should I be punished because I don't want to join with the big guys? To be sure that makes us weaker, but 1k corps shouldn't be able to just camp us 24/7.

    Hint to CCP: If this happens, you're losing 10+ accounts.

    1. I think it would be a wise move on your part (and your friends) to just unsub now and find something else to play. Eve obviously is not the kind of game you want to play.

  4. I assume this war dec system was designed purely to protect Eve University.

    1. Haven't they been a war continuously since the new system was put in place?

  5. What's about small forces such as the older Al Qaida "declaring war" against the United States?

    Or perhaps the VC and NVA in Vietnam, or the Afghan people against the Russians in the 80's?

    Yes, the offensive vs defensive nature (in intent, not execution, ie Afghans "defending" against the Russians with offensive operations), but the dynamic holds true of asymmetrical warfare.

    Israels actions in the middle east (not counting Palestine) during the 60s-80s?

    Either way, the more I think about it, the more I'm in favour of removing war dec costs all together. Let the issue of war deccing simply become one of desire rather than arbitrary cost.

    1. You've just kind of made my point for me, though. Smaller entities don't declare war. They just use asymmetrical warfare and attack without warning or declaration.

    2. Except Al Qaida didn't declare war.
      They suicide-ganked.

  6. It's cheaper for a privateer type corp to wardec goons and you get more target (500mil for lost of target).... and there's not much risk.

    And the cost and risk for Goons to wardec a small carebear alliance is as low as for russia to attack iceland.

  7. Wardecs serve four purposes:

    1) Brutally punishing newbies who do not understand how they work

    2) Forcing larger industrial corporations to undergo routine shuffles of personnel into and out of various corporate shells (wardec dodging).

    3) Enabling the Red vs Blue project

    4) Enabling highsec POSes to be cleared

    Items #1 and #2 do not add much to the game, items #3 and #4 could be handled in another manner.

    The simple fact is that most people expect (relative) security in empire space (the only real advantage of empire), and wardecs force them to do excess corp shuffling to preserve that security.

  8. Jester: word. The whole thing is extremely backassward.

    Re: the value of wardecs, it's so that you can fight in highsec without being CONCORDed and in lowsec without being attacked by gate guns. There's more to punishing people than suicide ganks, and there are going to be people who want to fight in ways other than suicide ganks. So, we need some way of being able to make folks into legitimate targets in the eyes of CONCORD. For example, if only Sov or POS owners could be wardecced, then Red vs. Blue would completely break-- and that would be too bad, because it's a great place for people who want to learn POV in a low-stakes environment.

    Right now, though, as Jester points out, the system is designed to be optimum for resource-rich alliances who wish to grief the little guy. It probably works just fine for things like RvB and other smallish groups who want to fight each other. But, not making the size of the aggressor part of the cost of a wardec makes it a huge gift to larger alliances.

  9. My views on this post can be found here: http://www.skorpiuschronicles.com/?p=735

  10. Another perspective; This is the beginning of the end of the Goons.

    The north is NAPped, the south is NAPped, and they don't really have the stomach or muscle needed to invade each other. Goons just aren't logging on in the numbers as they used to (RZR, which had the invigorating experience of losing and regaining its space, fields as many people in most CFC fleets as an alliance 4 times its size).

    The Mittani can only keep decay in check by finding enemies outside, and in the meantime keep the more energetic members of his alliance as active as possible. This is why it doesn't matter than 'only' a hundred or so goons take part in the high-sec wars, some of them are among the core-actives that he needs to keep in the game, but away from The Game. Hence The Ministry of Love, Burn Jita et al.

    Goonswarm is rotting slowly from the inside out.

  11. Jester, I followed the original threads on the war dec system and the whole "paying for targets" idea did not come up in the original proposals for the war dec system. Hell, it didn't even come from CCP at first. It wasn't even brought up in response to player concerns for weeks. CCP Soniclover first mentioned it in the dev blog "war, modules & super friends" on 5/14, a full 11 days AFTER players started making that argument on the forums (http://eve-search.com/thread/104114-1/page/5)

    It looked like an after the fact justification that players had come up with, that CCP then took over for their official talking point only much latter in response to criticisms about the cost scaling.

  12. If only there was some sort of group that could represent the player base, and they're needs, desires and opinions on various broken/poorly designed game mechanics. Then CCP could ask these said people and use them to solve these problems. If only there was some way...

  13. The War Dec system as it will stand with Inferno 1.1 will be a pure griefing tool usable to pick on HI SEC inhabitants. CCP Soundwave's DEVs have stacked the cards were peeps will be either forced to quit the game or go to NULL & history has repeated proven again & again you can't force carebears into NULL SEC.
    Get ready for a further drop in mining until the new mining ships are introduced (Soon(TM))
    And with Ring mining pushed back well...

  14. So True. And exactly what I saw another blogger write @ http://eveopportunist.blogspot.com/2012/06/eve-wars-are-backwards.html

  15. So then what IS the mechanic that would work? Taking the community that we have now, from bears to griefers and everyone in between, wouldn't any change be "Broken" in some form? EVE's community routinely evolves to fit the mechanics at hand to the best of its ability, but in doing so, many players find their "niche" weakened, replaced, or in some cases, simply destroyed. While this keeps the game from stagnating, it also torches the idea of "player-driven content" Without getting too involved, I guess my point is that the "right" mechanic is going to be different for every player, because everyone who comes into EVE believes that the mechanics of EVE should service their way of playing it (a consequence of an immersive sandbox with a heavily established community) and because of that, there is no "right" mechanic, unless you want to argue that part of the community is worth more than another. which gets tiresome incredibly quickly.

  16. I agree with your thoughts Jester, and I also agree with the previous poster. I think we need to reanalyze wardecs, if they are serving (at least in a large scale) to allow a large nullsec alliance to grief smaller alliances or corps (in highsec or not), there is a problem --two problems actually.

    The first problem is a simple problem of scale, in what world is a much larger group attacking a small group (without a 'reasonable' means of defending itself) a good thing? I'm not suggesting that the system provide equal results, but it should provide equal potential. The costs associated with the revision of the wardec mechanic will never allow equal potential, especially so when the scale of force is almost always going to be unequal, especially so when the majority who would take advantage of this system do so with the inequality in the scale of force chiefly in mind.

    Secondly, it poses the question, "What is wrong with nullsec if the these nullsec alliances are greifing highsec players?" If Eve is about blowing shit up, and if everyone is so enthused with nullsec, why do they need to enter highsec? It sounds as though nullsec pilots are bored with nullsec. If that is true, it presents a much larger and serious problem.

    TLDR: Wardec's should occur as a consequence of in-game politics and situations, not buthurt megalomaniacs who can't stand criticism for their actions, nor for lulz. War's should happen due to the control and influence of resources, regions, and other 'important' factors, not stupid issues.

  17. CCP Soundwave seems to indicate that we should be paying a great deal for the privilege of being horribly outnumbered.

    Of course, Soundwave thinks Russia, in your example, wouldn't bother to take Iceland out, because they are so small.

    Apparently, CCP is ignoring what, 20,000 years of human history? The strong kill the weak because they can.

    The cost of any war dec should simply be based on the *total* number of folks in the war. small decs small, small fee. large decs small, large fee. small decs large, large fee, large decs large very large fee.

    Goons dec a two-man corp? they're paying CONCORD to ignore the behaviour of a large number of ships, therefore large fee. Small corp needs to get a small corp to help them - small fee to CONCORD + fee to mercs. small corp hires large alliance go help them defend - large fee to CONCORD + fee to the mercs.

    make the fee based on numbers, and it works.

    Oh, and a corp or alliance deccing a corp for no in-game reason is griefing and should be bannable. Sorry, but deciding to take someone out in game for a perceived out of game slight or insult ? Its griefing full stop. Its obvious.

  18. I believe the next option left for high sec dwellers would be to form a super alliance. People in High Sec join an alliance just like different nobles (aka corps) existed and owed allegiance to their king.

    Once said super alliance is formed then numbers alone will prevent any griefing war dec on any member. I guess until CCP gives it another nerfbat. Seriously stop forcing people to go to nullsec and expect that to fuel conflict. Find another mechanic to do that, CCP must understand that different people play this game and each brings a certain personality to it.

  19. I am against the entire idea of open ended wars for no damn reason.

    If you go to war in nullsec its for something. A resource, a system, something. You are trying to actively take something from the other person.

    If you are in faction warfare, you are trying to take systems from the other person.. assuming CCP fixes it since it's currently busted.

    But if you go to war in highsec, it's pretty much for Epeen and nothing else.

    So, add assets. In the wardec you declare what the hell you're actually trying to accomplish. And this is a total example.. just an idea of what could be done so wars aren't simply open ended pissing matches of Epeen.

    "You somehow managed to own this asteroid belt giving you a bonus to mining yield and everyone else a negative, we want it.". The war starts, through some mechanic you gain what you declared war for, and the war ends once that's done. You can then use the rights yourself or auction them off to. Or, the other side through some mechanic defends, and the war ends.

    None of this never ending crap because you feel like it. In a nutshell that is the entire problem with the wardec system to me. There is nothing ventured, nothing gained, and it's only there to rain on someone elses parade. And even if you destroy more isk than the other person, you haven't accomplished anything because the other person had nothing to lose. No matter what CCP does with the wardec system it'll always be a broken mechanic because there is no "Win" condition, or "Lose" condition. Nor are there any consequences for wining or losing.

  20. Wardec fees need to scale based on sum(number_of_us + number_of_them).

    Small group vs small group: remains cheap
    Small vs large: remains expensive because 'target-rich'
    Large vs small: now expensive (up to 500M isk)
    large vs large: remains expensive

  21. Easy, wardecs cost more the larger your group is not the larger the target is. Each member of your corp alliance represents more paper shuffling and blind-eye turning for concord.

  22. Started a simple comment a few hours ago... it ran away with me and became a post... LOL

    Great topic, great insight, great blog. Kudos. =]

  23. CCP's ignoring of the feedback is going to blow up in thier faces before or during the DUST release if they don't put the skids on all these NERFs soon IMHO; but considering the Incursion & UI feedback responce&results its going to get worse before it gets better.
    The bugs are piling up & the delays from UI & V3 probably pushed back Ring Mining & BC skill tree makes one wonder what's next to be labeled as Soon(TM) [ worst case scenerioL POS's ]

  24. Of course a wardec on a big alliance is more profitable.
    Alliances like the orphanage, double tap, etc. live from declaring war on big Sov holding alliances.
    They shoot people in the mission hubs.
    So CCP Soundwave makes perfect sense there. And not in a backward way. Have you never been in a big alliance? You are (or better were) perma-wardecced by those small hisec ganking types.

  25. You should really read my post about the topic, because (despite I'm a carebear) I think the wardec system is right: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.hu/2012/06/wardec-system-iswaswill-be-unfair-to.html

    In short:
    * Wardecs matter in highsec. In highsec there is no goal to gain, the only thing to do is killing targets.
    * Highsec is large and there is no way to force the enemy to fight. So sending a blop is pointless.
    * If a corp only has 3 able PvP-ers and they go on a roam while at war with goons, the chance of bumping into too many enemies at once is very small.
    * The chance that they bump into a Goon who don't want to fight but haul, rat, mission whatever is much larger. The reason is that highsec players can put their alts into neut corps defended by CONCOORD, while nullsec players can't as neuts die fast in null.

    Result: a 3-man corp will have 70-80% ISK ratio on the Goons (assuming they would win 50% 1v1 against PvP-shipped Goons)

    Finally: Issler Dainz could force the Goons to SURRENDER a 100B fee and walk away beaten (or be destroyed) by leaving his current corp, start an Issler's Army corp, wait until wardecced (if the Goons don't wardec, troll them on the forum). Make the war mutual, set 100B fee, open his corp to everyone with the recruitment slogan: "Join Issler's Army and you can kill Goons". Soon he'd have lot of players who place an alt just for occasional PvP fun. After all, farming Goons is much more fun than RvB.

  26. Or you could, you know. Maybe. Head to VFK and fight them there?
    No. Cause going after freighters in :leetpvp:

    @anon "I'd suggest a system where only entities that have sov space or POS can be war deced."

    That might be the single most dumb suggestion i have ever heard.
    It would cause highsec pvp to die. Any option to opt out of pvp and/or wardecs is a bad idea.
    Managing logistics for a nullsec alliance is a huge pain, even without wardecs. Lets just face it, Highsec needs nullsec(alot of ships gets blown up there, if you didnt know. and nullsec needs highsec for its more unhindered ability to manufacture goods.

  27. I want to reiterate. People jumping in on a large alliance in a perma-war is a social repercussion.

  28. Its not skewed its hypocritcal, a drunk action in rl had consequences. Double standrds its almost lke they need a course in morailty/ethics.

    Yes its a sandbox, but when ouside commentary regarding real life actions translates into in game harrassment its crossed a line. Stupid ccp geeks with no social skills.

  29. I can't understand why this whole war dec mechanics discussion is being treated solely as "Highsec vs GoonSwarm/Nullsec". Surely war decs exist so that two highsec dwelling entities can shoot each other without the police getting involved?

    If highsec capsuleers want to shoot GSF or any other large nullsec alliance, why aren't they taking small roaming fleets into 0.0 and actually getting to experience nullsec combat (something I'm pretty sure CCP rather hopes they'll do)?

    War decs are there to facilitate combat in high security space - combat that is for the most part between residents of high security space. Trying to balance the mechanics around highsec vs nullsec is not the correct method, and I think CCP know this.

  30. The only sensible solution is to remove the protection that high-sec space offers, thus removing the need for a war-dec mechanic.

    0.0 transitions to Wormhole rules, low-sec moves to 0.0 rules, high-sec to low-sec rules.


    1. You just can't force carebears into null/lo sec. They'll quit first

  31. Why not remove entirely the High sec, and make all the game 0.0 space.

    It seems to me this is the “real problem”, Corps that live in 0.0 what to shoot at everyone no matter where you are.
    If this a Full blown PVP fest why not do this?

    But this way “we”, me included lose the “safety” of High sec, and you have to adapt to survive or quit the game.

    1. Why won't that happen: huge proportion of HI SEC would then quit, subscription would fall, & 1/2 of CCP would be laid off.

  32. The above statement is from a perspective of a new player, me, that only been in this game for a month and never left High sec.

    But since this is the “selling point” of the game, what you do matters, you have to make decisions, if you want to survive in a vast and cruel universe.

    This is what I think the makers of this game and other player want me to believe or am I wrong?

    Adapt to survive or quit?

  33. Quickly becomes unsustainable?

    Is Rote Kapelle that poor Jester? Because the cost of 2 fitted battleships a week really isn't something that 'quickly becomes unsustainable'.

  34. I shall be interested in learning how you, Jester, suggest to fix the process behind the war dec system.

    Indeed, it is not simple to "balance" this mechanic. I appears to me that the balance comes from a corp vs. corp coefficient that is rather hard to quantify : the PvP affinity (if you want to call it such). It is what -- in the eye of an observer and potentially of a contestant -- tilts the favor of war to either side.

    Can the merc market place with negotiated prices quantify this coefficient "organically" ?

  35. I think Soundwave is desperately trying to find some way to create a mercenary market in Eve in preparation for DUST. The tie in with DUST is big on hiring and there's not much of a power block for mercs currently.

    The idea wars shouldn't be fair and pushing the imbalance towards the side of the aggressor show's Soundwave thinks a good way to create a need for mercs is to make the defenders easy to engage and require help to be sought.

    There was an interesting tidbit further on in the threat where Soundwave hinted that a treaty system might be in the works to allow alliances to have a pact before a war starts that allows them to join forces without the ally requirement. Should this prove to be the case then the fee for allies makes much more sense as well as the pricing scale.

    Your close friends could participate in the war for free and then you hire in mercs with quality counting for more than quantity.

    What must happen is to have an actual in game way to browse merc corps, post contracts, history of the corps, define specific objectives for the mercs to reach, and have some form of way to apply a bonus or reduction in pay based on performance.

    While they are at it there needs to be a way to make wars have a meaning by attaching specific objectives to the war and a way for the defender to win. Total war could be an option as well but then there needs to be some kind of time limit to prevent a defender from becoming harassed.

    Give wars meaning, provide a way for mercs to advertise their skills, define the mercs role, and allow for friends to have pre-war mutual defense pacts.

    Unfortunately it seems Soundwave is fixated on making changes now to shake things up and get people focusing mercenaries and their role in Eve instead of getting all his ducks in a row to actually fix the war dec system.

    Hmm, I just had an odd thought. I wonder if a war dec will be required in order to apply orbital bombardments in high sec. I would imagine the average player won't have much interest in that but merc corps would be more then happy to sell their services.

  36. As much as I do not to use real-life scenarios to illustrate game points ...

    You wrote:
    War dec prices are determined by the value you get from them. If you want to go to war with someone, a higher number of potential targets should be more expensive. If you're a smaller alliance, this makes you a less attractive target...

    These three sentences almost only make sense in backward-land, where everything is the reverse of reality.
    [/end quote]

    This really isn't backwards. Consider you want to bribe your local law enforcement to ignore you "doing something" to your neighbor. It might cost you some under-the-table fee. Now consider you want to bribe your law enforcement to ignore you "doing something" to a large group of people. Wouldn't it make sense that it would cost more? (plus, more difficult to actually secure the bribe, but let's ignore that)

  37. Part of the difficulty with the whole Wardec mess is CCP's myopic focus on leveraging the wardec system in order to create a mercenary market. In order to do this they are in essence creating a system in which cyber-bullying is institutionalized, becoming a game mechanic.

  38. This war dec system certainly has its problems.

    One of the things that makes the war dec system "broken" in EVE is the situation where newer players join small corporations. These corporations tend to be groups of new players. Sometimes these corps are setup for the express goal of earning ISK from the PVE of others. These corporations are small, inexperienced, and relatively ineffective. They become easy targets for war dec griefing. This is what is "backwards".

    Now, small corps aren't bad. They are great for experienced members. The "usual suspects" who war dec null sec alliances regularly are small groups of experienced pilots, who have success taking on larger alliances. But for newer members, there is strength in numbers, and there is value in experienced members to help the newer ones climb the "learning cliff".

    Additionally, the war dec system is supposed to be a CONCORD based system. It applies to high sec and (to a degree) low sec. Historically, it has not impacted null sec mechanics as null sec is considered 'lawless space'.

    The latest updates to the war dec system now impact null sec. One of the null sec mechanics is the ability to transfer sov. This is a feature that can occur when an alliance leaves or surrenders, wishing to peacefully transfer their sov to the "winning" entity. The new war dec system impacts that, as part of this process involves a sov transfer corp. From a feature-functionality perspective, this new war dec system yields a net loss for null sec entities (many of which, have no care for empire game mechanics).

  39. Suicide ganking comes with sec status hits. If I want to hurt a high sec corps membership but not end up outlawed then I want a war dec.

    It is not just about pos and ganking the haulers of null sec alliances.

  40. Wardecs play an important role for a range of activities and should be in the game.

    The issue with the current mechanics is that somehow CCP got into their minds they need scalable costs in this equation.

    I agreed with a rise in cost to 50 million but why the exponential rise based on numbers and allies? It is totally useless and arbitrary. And like Jester illustrated can be circumvented with ease.

  41. I don't know about that ...

    Another blogger - forgive me for not recalling at the moment which - suggested an interesting idea I think has merit (and called it to the attention of at least Hans Jagerblitzen, who agreed and will be putting it in front of the CSM) - in short, the cost of the wardec is based on the size of the entity (corp or alliance) that's _launching_ it. Sort of like a gang paying omerta money to the cops to ignore the fact their guys are about to swing into attention. I.E. if you want to throw a war on someone, you pay x amount per member of your corp or alliance.

    I have no doubt there are issues with this. But it would certainly seem to have some potential of settling the issue of a hyper-rich Goonswarm tossing nuisance decs at a whole bunch of people for no good purpose, as has been happening. It'll be interesting to see how this idea moves.

  42. Its the people re-designing the war declaration system that need to be scrapped and replaced. For like two days they created something wonderful, then they quickly destroyed it. Are they incompetent or impotent?

  43. First off I agree that as a pure game mechanic, the current war-dec systems are broken. They favor the strong over the weak.

    However that is not the goal of CCP from what I can tell. Thier goal is to make it more storyline/roleplay based. And in that "world" Concord is being bribed to look the other way as you and your rival corp fight it out in places that they should not. In that world, smaller corps go unnoticed and loosing one or two or a dozen won't disrupt an entire nation's economy. However trying to war dec a larger entity can have economic repercussions that Concord may not want to deal with. In that case it costs more to bribe them to look the other way.

  44. "that also means that Goonswarm can declare war on as many small alliances as they care to at a ridiculously low cost."

    Just to point it out, in the previous wardec system it was even cheaper.

  45. ccp should have simply made mutual wardecs truly mutual - that both sides would agree it's 'mutual' ...at least that's the impression i got reading your initial article about constantine's foreverwar on goon.

  46. CCP Soundwave says:"If you're a smaller alliance, this makes you a less attractive target, unless you've made someone angry in which case you're responsible for any social repercussions you've created."

    My initial thoughts were: What about the opposite? Shouldn't a large alliance have to be careful when they dec a small corp? What if the small corp has a lot of friends? What if the big alliance has a lot of enemies? Shouldn't the large alliance be responsible for any social repercussions that have created?

    Just doesn't seem right

  47. The problem is that many wars arent just about having targets, and scaling war price based on that makes little to no sense.


    Just have a flat wardec fee, increasing based on the length of time the war has gone on.

    It should be cheaper to dec:
    Entities with many outgoing wars
    Entities that hold sov
    Entities that have wardeced you in the past
    Entities with low average sec status (not that us pirates particularly care about wardecs)
    Entities with low standing against your militia's patron (for example, minmatar militia corps should be able to pretty much perma dec CVA)

  48. Oh and as for allies, just remove that completely. Allies can pay to wardec the person wardeccing you.

  49. Soundwave's perspective has always been entirely from that of the null-sec super-sized alliances - BoB, the Goons, etc. He loves that part of the game, incl. the metagaming, and is willing to compromise all other aspects, in order to make the game fun from this single perspective. Watch the past AT commentaries, and it becomes rather obvious, even to the most obtuse viewer.

    So, no surprise that he views the wardec system just as something to entertain the null-sec alliance players - allowing them to freely harass smaller high-sec corps, while protecting them from being wardecced, in return, by anyone willing to make their lives miserable.

    SoniClover is just plain clueless and useless. His responses on the forums demonstrate that he has very little understanding of how the game is actually played, nor of the history of how wardec mechanics have been used and abused. The ally system is a perfect example of his naivete. It is also clear from his forum responses that he has no real opinion of his own - he just parrots Soundwave's nonsense.

  50. Commented the below on Eve News 24, but thought better to add at the source!

    "I haven’t seen Iceland declare war on Russia lately because of the value conferred by being able to shoot a higher number of potential targets."

    No, but EVE is a game, and a very important reason for wardeccing isn't so much 'ISK' as it is PvP. If a large corp wardecs a small one, they're going to get very little fun out of it - the member to target ratio will mean very few members are likely to get anything out of the war. If they wardec a larger alliance, they'll have plenty of opportunity to pew pew.

    "In this same skewed perspective, that also means that Goonswarm can declare war on as many small alliances as they care to at a ridiculously low cost. "

    But isn't the cost based on how many active wars the deccer has? Not sure how quickly it rises, but I'd think that would keep the reigns on large alliances from wardeccing lots of smaller ones. Again, no incentive to wardec a small alliance.

    Unless, as Soundwave asserts, you p*ss off the larger alliance. Then they'll wardec you. But I find it highly doubtfull they'll maintain wars on lots of smaller alliances to pew pew.

    That brings us to:

    " if you want to fight Goonswarm to get 'value' out of a 'higher number of potential targets', you can either:

    'declare war on the Goons at a cost of 500 million ISK…

    or you can just wait until they declare war on someone, then ask to be the target’s first or second ally for either free or ten million ISK.'"

    OR simply p*ss them off and get them to wardec you. Very simple and no cost to you. But of course no guarantee. And as I said, I really don't think larger alliances have any incentive to wardec smaller ones.


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