21 January 2013

BB44: Only Fools Remove Local

In the best tradition of what a blog banter should be, the almost defacto blog banter numbered 44 reads:
“The local chat channel provides EVE players with an instant source of intel of who is in the system. With a quick glance you can tell who is in system and what your standings are to them. War targets, hated enemies, friends and corp mates all stand out clearly. Is this right? Should we have access to this intel for free with no work or effort? Should the Local chat channel even exist? Should normal space be more like wormhole space where the Local channel appears empty until someone speaks?”

There has been a few times since I started playing EVE where the topic of removing local has reared its ugly head. Generally the suggestion looks wistfully to wormhole space, sees the different playstyle and how much fun it is, then makes the foolish assumption that the rest of New Eden would be a better place without local. To add weight to their argument these people usually jump on the bandwagon of 'this doesn't make sense in the setting' and then goes on to discuss all the ways life in New Eden would be better without local.

They couldn't be more wrong!!!

Life in New Eden would not become the realistic sci-fi playground that the anti-local-ites would have you believe. Instead EVE would be a barren wasteland with almost nobody exploding anyone else simple because they couldn't find anyone to explode. All combat would need to be prearranged by either two FCs getting in touch and arranging a game of 'chess' (we each bring 40 battlecruisers, 20 battleships and 2 titans and kick each other's knees until we fall down) or provoked exclusively by the exciting pastime of structure bashing. Yawn! Gone would be the ability for people to log in for an hour or two to go roaming for fights or to surprise the unsuspecting miners and PI runners who life safely deep in nullsec.

Funnily enough, it is often exactly these nullbears who are the most supportive of losing local. With no local they could simply mine away happily until a gate scout reported inbound traffic. They could then warp to a safe a short distance from their belt happy in the knowledge that nobody knew they were there Using d-scan would show them but almost nobody would bother scanning out a single mining ship. Anyway, if combat probes were seen the miner would just warp around his network of safe spots until the probes went away and outbound gate activation was seen. The miner would then go back to mining happily and raking in the ISK.

Except they wouldn't be raking in ISK. With no combat there would be no exploding ships and no hurling ammo around. Prices would crash as unpurchased good flooded the market. As prices of manufactured items crashed so to would the price of minerals. Miners would make less ISK and move on to more lucrative activities. Suddenly mission running becomes worthwhile but the quality of the missions in EVE are terrible and people instead leave to play other games. Of course that's just the industrialists. All the PvP players left for Firefall or Planetside 2 already.

These fools who want rid of local forget that EVE Online is a PvP game. Anything that makes life harder for combat pilots is a bad thing. Not that life should be too easy for them, but something like local at least gives a tantalising taste that combat may be in the air. Not everyone who plays EVE wants to work hard for a fight but they are just as important to this game as people who spend ages hunting in wormhole space before using probes at the last second. Possibly even more important as there are more of them. Wormholes only have a fraction of the numbers found in other areas of New Eden. There is a reason for that. Not everyone wants to play EVE in hard mode.

Keep local, screw realism (realism in a sci-fi game - LOL), let things die.

Other Banterers and relevant links

Unbreaking Local - An EVE Intel System Proposal by Rhavas @ Interstellar Privateer
Getting Rid of Local & More Local by Poetic Stanziel @ Poetic Discourse

Found on D-Scan
Local Banter

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