18 January 2012

Blog Banter 32: Non-Consensual Combat Restrictions

This month's Blog Banter comes from Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships

"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option.

Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"

Although I now live in wormhole space, I had mostly been a carebear during my two years in New Eden. My first experience of non-consensual PvP was two months in. I was jetcan mining in Scolluzer and someone flipped my can. Although I was still pretty green I understood what had just happened and why. Also, being a noob, I went away and fetched my Iteron hoping to loot the jetcan while getting up to warp speed. Needless to say this didn't work and I suffered my first loss. The upshot of this was I went off and learnt how to not be a victim to this again. I have only lost two subsequent ships to what I would call non-consensual PvP. Others will disagree with me as both of those were under wardec. I call them non-consensual because I didn't want to be wardec'd.

This looks like I'm building up to say there should be an opt-out option, but I'm not. Eve Online is a PvP environment - like it or leave it. Almost everything you do in New Eden can affect someone else in a negative manner. PvP exists more than just in space. Anyone who trades on the market and places better buy and sell orders is engaging in activites against other players - aka. PvP.

In order to fully opt out of PvP you need to stop using markets, contracts, running incursions (competing with others to get into fleets or competing with other fleets to clear sites). What is left in the game then? It's pretty damn hard to undock if you can't buy a ship or fittings.

Yes I know, the people whining actually mean getting their ship blown up in hisec. But that is part and parcel with life in New Eden. If someone in hisec chooses to gank you then you are safe in the knowledge that the authorities will deal with them... eventually. If you have high value cargo that you don't want to lose to a gank then make sure your ship can survive long enough for the authorities to turn up. Don't fly around in an untanked Iteron V stuffed full with Sisters Core Scanner Probes. Essentially do what I did - learn how to be safer. This is part of existing in New Eden.

I believe the balance of safety in the game is roughly where it should be. With the exception of random wardecs, it is possible to have a pretty safe time in hisec as long as you don't do anything too stupid. Life in New Eden is all about risk and reward. Without the risk what value does the reward actually have?

1 comment:

  1. I recently got podded whilst autopiloting in highsec - some griefer makes a business of targeting and shooting pods of people. He has 60+ "kills" that way. Sad, sad person. I think the reasons people are so upset is that the resources destroyed in EVE when getting killed are pretty high. Unlike, e.g. WoW where death a short nuisance and PvP servers are quite common, a death in EVE can hurt the wallet quite a bit. Hence the whining about non-consensual PvP. One solution would be to make death in starting zones more common, more acceptable and less costly (in resource). Means, more fights in high sec and fewer tears / death. Maybe a greater insurance premium also based on the value of the cargo carried? Again, only in highsec? Maybe staggered with the security rating of the system? RvB seems very successful in highsec consensual PvP - because the expectations that death is a almost certain outcome are set from the start.