My very occasional "recycling day" posts usually point back to past things that I've written that still have relevance in the present. This time, I want to point back (with permission) to a past post written by someone else, in this case CSM8 and 9 member Mike Azariah. At Fanfest this year, he told me a funny and intriguing story about this post, which described something he called a "peace dec".
Now the purpose to Mike's original post and this somewhat longer post describing and expanding on his idea is not not not to make a proposal regarding EVE Online. It is simply to attempt to get you to look at the game in a new way. That was Mike's idea, and it was a really good one. I'd just like to give this idea wider exposure.
EVE players that describe the game as a "PvP sandbox" are flat wrong, and are wrong in a specific way that betrays a basic lack of understanding of the sandbox mechanic. But this phrase and the belief that goes with it are relatively widespread among the player base. And it's usually the most widespread among players that want to enforce their ideas of "how people should play EVE" on others. So the peace dec turns the perceptions of these players on their head to comic effect. Here's how it works.
In the existing war dec mechanic, one corp may declare war on another. In the vast majority of cases, the war dec mechanic is used so that a PvP-based corp may freely attack the ships of a PvE, manufacturing, mining, or industry corp in high-sec. The peace dec mechanic works the same way, except in reverse: a PvE, manufacturing, mining, or industry corp "declares peace" on a PvP corp or alliance. While the peace dec is in place, the alliance or corp under its influence may not preemptively attack another ship. Those under a peace dec may defend themselves against attackers, but that is all.
Not only are they perpetually under a "green safety", but in high-sec their aggressive mods simply would not operate at all unless they were shooting at a ship that had already attacked them, their corp, or their alliance. Mike refers to this state as an "ultra-green" safety. This restriction would follow peace dec'ed ships into low-sec. Only in null would the peace dec be without effect, just as war decs are also more or less meaningless in null.
Just as a war dec can only be lifted by the surrender or agreement of the corp or alliance on which it is used, a peace dec could only be lifted in the same way. As long as the "peace dec'ing" corp wanted the restriction to remain in place and was willing to pay for it to do so, it would remain in place. Instead of tracking comparative kills between the parties affected, the tool would track missions completed, rats killed, industry jobs completed, and minerals mined. Perhaps if this were a serious proposal -- which I am again quick to say it is not -- if the peace-dec'ed corp or alliance exceeded the PvE totals of the corp or alliance placing the peace dec on them could they again preemptively attack other players.
So that's the gist of the peace dec idea: while under a peace dec, your corp or alliance may not be aggressive toward other EVE players. You may only shoot at players who shoot at you first.
In short, the peace dec forcibly limits how you are "allowed" to play EVE Online to a specific way... a specific way that you yourself might reject, find un-fun or uninteresting, and that might cause you to leave your corp or alliance to escape the effects of, or cause you to log out of the game for days or weeks at a time hoping for it to be over when you return. And the peace dec may be kept on your corp or alliance in perpetuity if the evil bastards that place it on you have enough money or want to grief you hard enough to do it.
We're pretty far down the rabbit hole at this point... but this is how a war dec feels to some EVE Online players. They're not allowed to play a game they find fun with their friends... and they can be prevented from doing so in perpetuity by other EVE players.
Kind of an interesting way to look at war decs, isn't it? Thanks to Mike Azariah for sharing this idea with me!