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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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The ship always goes down with the Captain

OK!  I've had some time to read and to think about today's Crimewatch dev-blog.

First, I have to say how impressed I was with this dev-blog.  Including what I'm sure are charts right out of the game design document is an excellent move.  In addition, the dev-blog itself is as detailed and well-written as any we've ever seen out of a CCP dev, so kudos to CCP Masterplan and the rest of Team Five-0.  Excellent work!  If you haven't read it, do.  It's worth your time.

The content of the dev-blog is also damned good.  I'm almost universally pleased with what I read here.  Let's get one thing straight first, though: this is not a new feature in EVE Online.  At best, maybe the little graphical elements in the upper left are a new feature.  But it seems clear that the first plan of Team Five-0 here was to recreate most of the existing system (which they call CW1 for brevity; I'll emulate that).  It also seems clear that changes to CW1 that we're going to see in Retribution are mostly in places where they either couldn't decide how to implement the existing system or didn't want to.

There aren't very many in the way of "changes", as such, in CW2.  Still, there are a few, and a couple of them are pretty major.  As far as I can tell, here are the major changes between CW1 and CW2.  They also have the virtue of being easy to explain:
  • We'll get distinct, obvious aggression timers in the upper left corner of the screen where we can track them.  This is a big one.  I use a Logitech G15 keyboard with the Stopwatch display app to track what will be called the Weapon flag.  I can stop using it.  That'll be nice.
  • Logistics repping an attacking ship will no longer be able to dock or jump for 60 seconds after their most recent rep.  This one is huge.  It does not stop all neutral repping in high-sec wars (more on that in a few), but it does cut the abuse rate by about 50%.  It's also going to require logis to rethink their tactics.  No longer can you sit on a gate when you're aggressed, take 50% shield or armor damage (depending), and then just jump to safety unless your reppers are OFF for at least a minute before you do.  No longer can PL carriers undock from a station, rep an PL aggressed super and then just redock when they get primaried as they do it.  Like I said, it's huge.
  • Dictors will again(!) no longer be able to defensively bubble a gate, then jump through it.  That's aggravating for the reasons I discussed last year at this time the first time this was done.  I again renew my call for this mechanic to be removed.  The only thing it does is force small-gang FCs to comp two dictors/hictors instead of one.  Do not create n+1 problems if you don't have to, CCP!

There are three moderate size changes.  The first is the entire "Limited Engagement" mechanic.  This part of the dev-blog is clearly still under construction, though, so I'll mostly leave it alone.  Except to note one thing of interest:
  • Player A is Suspect ("S" flag, hereafter).  Player B attacks Player A.  Player A shoots back at B.
  • This invokes the Limited Engagement.  Anyone can shoot at A.  Only A can shoot at B.
  • Player C in a logi reps player B.  This gives player C the "S" flag.
  • Player D (or anyone else in New Eden) can come along and completely ignore players A and B and just kill helpless logi pilot Player C whose only crime was to help someone shoot a Suspect.  Neither Player A nor Player B can shoot Player D.
That seems kinda goofy to me.  But I'm not quite sure I have a suggestion to fix it right now.  I'll think on it.  The thing that immediately occurs to me right now, though, is to add both Players C and D to the Limited Engagement and let Players A and B shoot at them.

The second moderate size change:
  • If you shoot at a pod in low-sec, even if you don't kill it, you incur a Criminal flag ("C" flag hereafter) and sentry guns throughout low-sec will shoot at you until the "C" flag clears.  The logis that rep you also get "C" flags when they rep you after you do this.
This is going to create a goofy situation in low-sec where you're going to encounter fleets where only three or four ships are "C"-flagged: two or three logis and the one guy that shot a pod.  That also seems silly to me but I'm not sure I have a suggestion for this one at this time. 

The impact that it's going to have, though?  We're going to see a lot less podding in low-sec.  Ironically, the fleets that don't pod people in low-sec will have a tremendous advantage over fleets that do.  The reason: the fleet that includes a low-sec podder will have all its logi "C"-flagged and taking gate guns while the rest of the fleet will probably be safe from them.  The logis in the fleet that has no low-sec podders won't take continuous gate-gun fire.  In addition, low-sec roaming frigates (more on them in a second) will probably try to avoid podding people so they can avoid "C" flags and continue their low-sec roam without waiting 15 minutes for the "C" flag to clear.  This is going to make Rixx Javix and the rest of The Tuskers very happy.

Net result: it will be advantageous to both gangs and solo-roamers not to pod in low-sec, so we're going to see a lot less of it.

Third moderate size change is kind of interesting.  Sentry guns will remain, but they're being uncoupled from the "S" flag.  As far as I can tell, sentries will only shoot you under two conditions:
  • if you have a "C" flag; and,
  • if you incur a security status penalty right in front of them.
This is going to create a couple of interesting low-sec fighting scenarios.  First one is that if two low-sec roaming gangs meet and have a fight right on a gate, things work pretty much exactly as they do today.  One side starts taking sec-status hits by aggressing, they get the gate guns.  That's unchanged from today.  But if you're taking gate gun fire and warp off, then warp back... gate guns stop shooting at you as long as you don't have the "C" flag.  Only if you reduce your sec-status again will the gate guns go after you during a gate fight.

And once that gate fight is over, loot is scooped, and the fleet moves on, as long as nobody has incurred a "C" flag, the gate guns will ignore that fleet.

Second case is if two low-sec roaming gangs meet and have a fight away from a gate in low-sec, gate guns are never involved.  Sure, one fleet or the other will take sec-status hits, incur "S" flags, and so forth.  But when that fleet warps to its first gate, the sentries will ignore that fleet.  That means that frigates will be able to tackle targets in low-sec all day long and as long as they didn't do it right in front of a gate or a station, they'd never get attacked by sentry guns.  And even if they did do it in front of a sentry gun, they could warp off and warp right back and the guns would then ignore them.

Despite CCP's goal that the intent is not to make any part of space more or less safe than it is today, this change is definitely going to make low-sec less safe.  Gangs that currently camp low-sec entry gates by hanging out next to a nearby planet, POS, or POCO are going to sit right on the entry gate instead.  Their tankiest frigates will tackle people attempting to enter low-sec, get the initial point, then warp off once the tackle is taken over by something heavier.  The tanky frig will warp off, the fleet will kill the target, and then warp to the nearest planet.

And then the entire fleet, including the tackle frigate, will warp right back to gate and resume their gate-camp, free of sentry aggro.  Low-sec gate camps will no longer be so reliant on BCs and other ships that can continuously tank sentries.  The ability to tank sentries for five or ten seconds will be sufficient to participate in all activities of a low-sec gate-camp.  A lot of inties and AFs can do that.

So yeah, expect to be podded less in low-sec.  But expect to be attacked and successfully tackled more.  Low-sec is going to become more dangerous with this change.

And there are some minor changes:
  • logis will no longer carry the newest GCC in the fleet, which to date has virtually guaranteed that any logi that reps a GCC-flagged player carries the GCC for the entire rest of the roam;
  • you won't be able to eject from your T3 (or anything else), or store your ship in an Orca or carrier within 60 seconds of firing weapons (getting a "W" flag);
  • you get kill-rights on someone if they shoot at you in high-sec even if they don't kill you;
  • any can-flipping will result in you being a legal target for all of New Eden; and,
  • if you shoot at a pod in low-sec, you're going to be CONCORDed if you jump into high-sec within 15 minutes of doing it even if the pod doesn't die, and the pod's pilot appears to get kill-rights on you, too.
EDIT (8/Oct/2012): I initially misstated the conditions under which you'd be able to eject from your ship or store it.  Those conditions have now been fixed.  I regret the error.

That first one makes me kind of sad.  No more free ships from people ejecting to save their pods.  That was practically a thing.  The second one is also kind of amusing.  Undock from Jita 4-4 with a PLEX in cargo and a highly over-tanked ship.  Wait for someone to cargo scan you and shoot once.  Quickly redock before they can kill you.  Gain high-sec kill-right.  Profit.

Finally, there's one thing that isn't changing that much, and one thing that's been missed entirely.

These changes don't do enough to stop neutral repping in high-sec wars.
  • Player A is in Corp A.  Player B is in Corp B.  Corp A and Corp B are at war.
  • Player A attacks Player B in high-sec.
  • Player C, a neutral, reps Player B.
  • Player A can attack Player C.  And Player C can't jump or dock.  But Player C isn't "S" flagged.
You only get an "S" flag when you either rep someone in a Limited Engagement or someone who already has an "S" flag.  Neither case applies as far as I can see.  But I might be missing something.  If I'm not, we're still going to see a lot of neutral repping in high-sec wars.  The neutral reppers will just have to be slightly smarter about it, staying away from player A's tackle instead of just sitting on gate.

The thing that's been missed entirely?  Contraband.  Carrying contraband doesn't give you an "S" flag, and there doesn't seem to be any mechanic for players to legally assign "S" flags.  As Garth asked, how are players supposed to police contraband under CW2?  An interesting solution was presented by serpentine logic:
The answer is carrying boosters only ["S" flags] you when someone runs a cargo scan on you.
I like that!  It has the virtue of simplicity.  Run with it, CCP.  ;-)

Whew!  A lot of thought clearly went into these changes and other than the dictor thing, I'm very positive about them!  Well done on this one, CCP!  I look forward to seeing more detail about Limited Engagements.


  1. It also affects "Slowcat" and "Dasboot" fleets. They rely in part on a ship, usually a heavily tanked and boosted Tech 3 ship swapping hulls to avoid damage.

    1. Interesting! Not being involved in sov fights, I wasn't aware that ship-swapping was built right into the doctrine.

    2. Can you explain what you mean by this a little more?

    3. Well, technically speaking, carrier sentry concepts don't require switching hulls, but being able to does reduce losses.

      Basically, if it looks like you're going to lose a subcap that's in the midst of a carrier fleet, board a new ship.

      I believe PL did that with anti-bomber hictors in one battle in Delve back when they were fighting Nulli earlier this year.

    4. For Goons DasBoot fleet, it's just Lazarus Telraven sitting in a Deadspace/Slaved Proteus in the middle of the carrier fleet, TP'ing targets.

      I don't think DotBros have ever succeeded in killing him.

  2. You've made a small mistake: "you get kill-rights on someone if they shoot at you in high-sec even if they don't kill you"

    Criminal flag (high sec/low sec) = kill rights to all involved pilots

    So take all of your pilots to low sec in noob ships and get shot. Then take all your kill rights and hunt freely.

    They've set the stage for the "colonisation" of low sec at long last. When combined with the Bounty Hunting changes, we're about to see a very different low sec.

    1. Getting shot in low-sec applies an "S" flag, not a "C" flag and therefore no kill-rights are given. Only getting illegally shot in high-sec applies a "C" flag.

  3. Here


    Credits go to @HoarrRPSH

    PS: Blaster lovers beware: nonsense incoming.

  4. with regards to the suspect flag ...

    if you are a suspect and you go 'global' to everybody else and then one of them shoots at you, surely you can shoot them all back? you always have the right to defend yourself even if you're the bad guy.


    'This invokes the Limited Engagement. Anyone can shoot at A. Only A can shoot at B.'

    Is not correct or did I read something wrong? Apologies if I did. I don't feel the devblog is 100% clear on some of the mechanics.


    1. Since player A was Suspect to begin with, anyone could shoot at him anyway - this is how player B started the engagement.

      If I understand this right, if now player E comes along to shoot player A, this opens a new LE so that A can now shoot back at E as well as B.

  5. I believe in the first scenario you do, once 'C' starts repping 'B' and becomes 'suspect' flagged 'A' should be able to openly attack 'C' as well since 'C' now has the same flag as 'A' when 'B' started shooting.

  6. I am unable to store my hulk in my orca (two different toons) while the hulk to target locked even today. Maybe my system is bugged but it has been like that for sometime.

  7. i cannot believe anything that ccp mastermind says reflects any understanding of game after he blurted that gem, "If the appropriate bay is full, the module/drone will deactivate as normal, and excess ore is lost."

    The guy is just so DERP it's not even funny. I don't see any good coming of screwing around with crimewatch...are we going to see a difference between outlaw and GCC? Is the idiotic neutral repping hijinks being eliminated as the exploit it should be seen as? As for ore theft you're just going to see throw away alts used to can flip so the main can do an intercorp jetcan transfer (and such actions taken against n00bs since they're the only ones who jetcan now)

    seriously? i mean, SRSLY? oh wait, it's ccp masterplan. nvm, i'd rather he fuck over a system i care little about than him go 'fix' the corporate structure. *spit*

    1. "If the appropriate bay is full, the module/drone will deactivate as normal, and excess ore is lost."

      I'm not seeing what's wrong with this statement. When a mining laser/ice harvester cycle completes, if the hold is full, the module stops cycling and any ore/ice that would have been mined that won't fit in the hold disappears into the aether. That's the way it always works for me. I can't speak for the drones or the gas harvester tho.

    2. I think MinorFreak needs to put the weed down and re-read the statement and then offer an apology to CCP Masterplan.

    3. nope, mr anonymous. It's not 'lost' and it's certainly not "lost to the aether" to be more precise. Try educating yourself on something other than that stupid popup.

      And thank you for trolling, since it simply emphasizes to the readers how widespread this trust in what the game descriptions say must be true...and how ccp masterplan couldn't pour piss out of a boot even if it had the instructions printed on the heel.

  8. Something else to check:
    What happens with drone repping and drone assignment?
    Can you assign drones to a LE combatant? (for combat or repair)
    Can you repair someone with drones and avoid the flag?
    If you assign logistic drones to someone who is flagged, do you get flagged? (If not, you could assign repair drones to someone already flagged and they could rep someone else who was flagged.)

    I think the pod-eject prohibition is because the EvE economy is based on destruction and CCP wants things destroyed. I'd prefer that ejecting under fire generated a 'surrender mail' that could be posted on the boards like a killmail.

  9. Logistics repping a non-outlaw will only get their timer set to the same duration as their target has remaining. I must be missing something because you are claiming that they always have 60s on module activation. Which part do I need to pay more attention to?

    1. There's a bit of misinformation in the devblog - the tables at the end (if taken at face value) appear to say that if your rep target's timer is longer than your own, you get a new timer. I'm guessing that's where Jester is coming from.

      The text of the blog itself makes it clear that you inherit the same timer that your target has (with the same remaining diration), which is what you're saying here. As far as I'm aware, that's correct.

  10. Maybe I misread, but I'm fairly certain Logistics ships will only inherit the flag with the remaining time of their target. So the Weapons flag will prevent them from jumping/docking for UP TO 60 seconds after repping, depending on how long into their targets countdown they last repped.

  11. Counter to your arguments in the post, I believe we'll see even more podding in all areas of space. Once you defend yourself from an attack, then you acquire an LE flag and become a legal target in all areas of space.


  12. No more ejecting from a T3 cruiser to keep from losing skill points...

  13. I think you missed that can flipping actually just died, if I read that blog correctly.

    "but we are adding one additional rule: If I can legally attack the owner of a container, then I can legally take from the container."

    That means that if you 'steal' ore back from somebody that stole your ore, you will not get any flags at all. As it is a LEGAL action (the flipper has the "S" flag so you can legally shoot him meaning you can also legally 'steal' from him). The way I read that, the flipper won't actually be allowed to shoot someone who stole his ore back as it is no longer considered stealing at all.

    1. That's true, but I can think of at least one way to get around it - scoop the ore with an alt, jettison, and then scoop it again with your main.

      The added bonus here is that only your alt gets Suspect flagged, and they can immediately warp off. Your main gets nothing, and in fact if the victim scoops their ore back *they* will get a suspect flag! You shooting them will trigger a Limited Engagement, since your main is technically the good guy attempting to shoot down a suspect.

    2. Canflipping died the day they gave the mining shups huge ore-holds. CW2 will have very little impact on miners.

    3. except, of course, the n00bies who're the ore thieves only source of griefing now. yay. won't that be fun to see Azual's simulated scenario play out in all the n00b systems of eve. oh joyous rapture. I can just see ccp's new customers flock to the game in droves. *rollseyes*

      if i read correctly the new ore frigates won't have ore holds, amirite?

    4. Can-flipping in the CCP-designated noob systems is considered griefing and is a violation of the EULA.

    5. freaking sweet! 5k is perfect. thx for answering my question.

      hmmm...that'll take care of ore thieves targeting n00bs come retribution. oh well, time to mothball that cormorant mining vessel

  14. Dev posts later on clarify that you can still eject from your T3 - you just have to stop shooting for 60 seconds first (or not shoot in the first place!)

  15. I'm quite interested in how crimials become flagged as 'open season' to anyone in the system - It sounds like it has great potential but it could go another step further and encourage players to band together and potetnially police high sec systems themselves.

    Imagine that if a criminal gets an 'Suspect' flag in highsec and everyone in the system gets to shoot at the suspect without fear of concord intervention. The problem here is that the 'suspect' can still just 'run and hide' and wait for the GCC to run out which is both boring for the criminal themselves and anyone who wants to take them out as it would either require them to swap out to fit something to scan them down or rely on someone else to do it for them.

    It would be good if instead their location was freely provided to all players who wanted to help police the system. In many ways CONCORD MUST know their location already to provide CONCORDDUKEN so giving it out to the players is just another step towards giving everyone a chance to help them out.

    You could even go a step further and have some sort of 'criminal watch' system which allows players to form 'ad hoc' fleets in order to take criminals down rather than having the 'good samaritan' affect where everyone assumes that 'someone else will start' and results in no one actually going after any criminals.

    For the criminal it would give them the obvious threat of their actions having deadly consequences; even simple things like can flipping can lead to swift ship losses. On the plus side a good criminal gets the thrill of the chase without having to sit around waiting for a clock to run out. It also means that players who want to grief will either have to play smarter or move to quieter high sec systems to do their dirty deeds.

  16. I also think you misread or misunderstoor a few things, Jester. The new system SHOULD be easy to understand and explain; that would be beneficial to everyone. As with most problem solutions, however, the 10% edge-cases will require as much explanation on their own as the other 90% mainline cases. It's like programming where handling exceptions and errors requires at least as much effort as all the other stuff put together.

    I read the devblog. I also read the entire 30 page comment thread on eve-o. Separating what's real from the assumptions surrounding those edge-cases and the dingbats' wishful thinking is not all that simple. Will re-read the devblog tomorrow and hope for some CCP clarification soon.

    A huge measure of gratitude goes out to CCP Masterplan for putting that devblog together. Also to you for trying to make most of it understandable to the unwashed masses (despite the fact that I think about 1/3 of your analysis is incorrect; nobody's perfect).

  17. "Security-status penalties are now ‘front-loaded’, so a criminal/suspect will incur the full penalty when an illegal attack starts, not when (if) the target is destroyed."

    This will make it even harder to get a fight in lowsec, as people will be even more unwilling to agress.
    Also it will cause lowsec PvPers to spend even more time grinding sec status :(

    1. Er, no. Most of us in low sec are already at -10.0 and don't really care about sec status. We raid high sec whenever we like, and the new CW doesn't change this.

      The only "lowsec PvPers" who grind sec status are the deluded high sec carebears, who think they are low sec PvPers.

  18. "Player D (or anyone else in New Eden) can come along and completely ignore players A and B and just kill helpless logi pilot Player C whose only crime was to help someone shoot a Suspect. Neither Player A nor Player B can shoot Player D."

    This is just stupid ... The solution is to make any pilot assisting a LE player incur a LE of their own with Player A rather than forcing a global Suspect tag.

    1. If I read the devblod correctly this will not even occur.

      From Jester:
      - Player A is Suspect ("S" flag, hereafter). Player B attacks Player A. Player A shoots back at B.
      - This invokes the Limited Engagement. Anyone can shoot at A. Only A can shoot at B.
      - Player C in a logi reps player B. This gives player C the "S" flag.

      I read in the devblod repping Player B will not get the 'S'-Flag on Player C. Player C gets all Flags from Player B (From the devblog: -Using assistance modules will pass on all flags to the assistor, possibly preventing them from docking/jumping for the same interval as their assistee) which are (according to the chart) the 'P' and the 'W' Flag because he attacked a legal target in HighSec Space (assumed that Player A with an 'S'-Flag is a legal target). Only repping Player A will get Player C an 'S' Flag and then all of New Eden can kill the poor Logi ;)
      Or did I miss anything?


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