I figured it would be fun to go down a controversial route today. Looking forward to your comments of rage.
Concord should be punishing people who commit crimes in hisec by podding them and issuing a fine.
No, this is not an anti-goon rant against Hulkageddon type activities, or the recent trend to gank freighters en route between Amarr and Jita. While that is not my chosen thing to do I am happy with there being people out there who do that. I'm even happy that those people are able to do it. Let's face it, the main difference between hisec and lowsec is only a perceived feeling of safety. So far in 2012 there has been almost the same number of ships killed in hisec as in lowsec, nullsec and wormhole space combined. That's not particularly safe, is it? Yet people feel safe autopiloting around willy-nilly in untanked haulers and Orcas. Something they would never do in 0.4 but are happy to do in 0.5.
If I don't have a problem with the crime why, then, do I have an issue with the current punishment? On TV there is a vast number of Police car chase programs. While the sequence of events that leads up to each chase will vary, the general recipe is the same: police detect criminal in a vehicle; police try to stop criminal; criminal flees; police chase; criminal crashes.
In my mind the above sequence of events isn't too dissimilar to EVE. In New Eden what we find is: Crime happens which Concord instantly know about; Concord arrive at the scene of the crime; Concord blow up criminal. It's at this point things fall down. Once Concord blows up your ship you are free to go. Sure, players can take pot-shots at your pod but the police are happy for you to do whatever you want. Unless you get another ship too soon, that is.
Consider a scenario where the police are chasing a murderer and in order to stop the criminal they ram his car off the road. The car gets written off due to the resulting damage. Imagine the public outrage if the police then let they guy go provided he doesn't get into another car too soon. Said fellow waits out this period of time, gets a new car and goes off to kill someone else. Make sense?
Here's what I think should happen. Once Concord blow up the criminal they should try to catch his pod and explode that too. This is the equivalent to the police not only stopping a criminal but arresting him as well. Finally, that criminal should be fined in the station for criminal activities. From a gankers point of view all this does is increase the 'operating costs' for their illegal activities. Now, as well as replacing ships they need to replace clones and pay fines.
It is worth making life a little more fun for these hisec pirates though. They should have the ability to warp their pod free from the exploding ship if they are quick enough. The understanding here being that ship destruction is a guaranteed punishment but it may be possible to escape with your pod and without being fined. Simply docking or jumping out of system isn't a route to safety, however. Stations will be aware you are a criminal and won't let you dock. Gates will let you leave but if the next system is also hisec then Concord will start chasing you there too. In fact, the only way to avoid being podded and fined is to get to lowsec or nullsec (or jump through a wormhole).
What gains does this give us in game? Well, carebears get the satisfaction of a more robust penalty against the 'bad guys'. Hisec griefing becomes slightly less interesting due to higher costs. The 'professionals' will still do it as they can work the costs into making sure they only gank the best targets. Finally these criminals can choose the excitement of a 'car chase' across the skies seeking safe haven. Seems like a genius idea to me. What say you?