Member of the EVE Tweet Fleet

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The #tweetfleet takes GCC.

Yesterday saw a flurry of activity amongst the #tweetfleet, debating and discussing a number of specifics surrounding the system CCP refers to as CrimeWatch. CrimeWatch is the system that handles all of the consequences (and rewards) associated with criminal activity. This means every GCC, sec status hit (or gain), killmail, wardec, corp aggression... You get the idea. It's a topic that has been beaten to death by half the blogosphere, at least two CSMs, and it's been mentioned once or twice by CCP. I'm sure I'll make some duplicate points, Rixx Javix and I see pretty much eye to eye on the subject, but I'll at least try to be original in my presentation.

The problem with most of CrimeWatch is that it’s completely unbiased in its execution. Regardless of the WHY, if you shoot first, then you’re the criminal and must take the penalty. It’s that question, “Why?”, that intrigues me the most. I am a member of Electus Matari. This means that, in addition to supporting the Republic against the Amarr, I defend Republic space against the likes of Rixx Javix and other unwashed pirate scum, regardless of any hat-related public services they may provide. This is not as easy as it sounds. We frequently prowl the seedier areas of low security space, hunting down the denizens of society and shooting them in the face whenever we can.

But not all pirates are considered formal outlaws. An outlaw (someone with less than -4.9 security status) can be shot at by anyone, without repercussions. It’s really one of the few bits of the system that makes any sense. But there more than a few “pirates” that work to maintain a reasonable security status. Maybe they like to do their shopping themselves, maybe they like mining on the weekends, who’s to say? The bottom line is, I know they’re a pirate, they’re always running around doing piratey things, but I can’t shoot them first without being labeled a criminal in my own right for 15 minutes.

It’s been suggested (on more than one occasion) that the playerbase should be given the tools to properly police the space lanes ourselves. Among the ideas was sometime of “Sheriff”, where a player could sign up to directly police Empire space. It’s an interesting idea, and one that I could support if it was implemented correctly. That being said, Rixx really has the right stopgap measure, reduce the GCC timer down to 5 or 10 minutes. The entire CrimeWatch system needs a massive overhaul and, if memory serves, CCP agrees. But considering how many things the system touches and interacts with, it’s a massive undertaking. Not only in the coding, but in the QA process. While I encourage CCP to take the plunge and get a team working on Crimewatch, I’d really like to see a GCC reduction in the meantime.

Opponents of a GCC reduction say that such a reduction would put the “bear” population at greater risk and further reduce bear activities in low security space. Sorry, but I’ve got to wave the BS flag on that one. Your average highsec bear already avoids lowsec like the plague because they choose to avoid PvP combat. It wouldn’t matter if GCC was 30 minutes long, because the pirates would STILL hunt down and shoot the bears. So GCC doesn’t actually prevent any violence in lowsec, it just annoys and inconveniences people who choose to engage in PvP. With that in mind, I do not support shortening GCC in high security space. I think the 15 minute punishment for “suicide ganking” in high sec is a reasonable, appropriate response. The big problem with that point of view is, yet again, the CrimeWatch system. If I’m remembering a recent dev blog correctly, the timer length has to be the same regardless of space security, only the punishment changes. Which brings us back to a major overhaul of CrimeWatch… *sigh*

There’s not going to be a single solution that pleases everybody. Most players, even the highsec-only SuperBears, will agree that changes need to be made to the combat systems that apply outside of nullsec space. It’s a major undertaking, and one that would likely require 2 full development cycles to handle properly. CCP needs to make a pretty major directional shift back to the Flying in Space game before they’ll have the resources to pull it off. But I think it’s something that needs to happen. Before I sign off, I’d like to thank Rixx Javix, Garheade, Logan Fyreite, Marc Scaurus, @EVE_Tyen, and the entire #tweetfleet for yesterday’s discussion/back and forth. It was a lot of fun and I honestly look forward to proving you all wrong at some point in the future.

For the Republic.

EDIT: CCP_Fallout has most graciously helped me find the dev blog I was thinking about when I wrote all this. Turns out it never mentions that bit about the GCC timers needing to be the same between lowsec and highsec. So I was talking our of my a$$ right there. Sorry about that. Maybe Mord will let me borrow one of his research assistants...

1 comment:

  1. The republic is weak and corrupt, much like your Blog!

    I kid, I kid (well except about the republic).

    I think the point with GCC is that 15 minutes of "punishment" is not a deterrence, that 30 minutes wouldn't be either, other than for people in smaller ships would be out of the game for even longer.

    I really only got into the conversation when everyone was talking about the morality of criminals, and not so much about GCC. Very nice post though.