Assumption of Risk
Posted by Corelin
For years EvE online prided itself with being a rough and tumble, hard, unforgiving game. The road to enjoyment for many was paved with the bones and bodies of people who couldn’t HTFU. For plenty of the veterans this has been a drawing point, something that makes the game what it is. The main criticism of this approach is that it chases a lot of new, and younger, less hardened players out of the game.
Recently CCP has begun reversing this stance. The first crack that I noticed in the edifice that was CCPs monument to HTFU was way back in August of 2010. Paul Clavet of My Loot Your Tears called attention to CCP reimbursing ships for people who had undocked, ignored a “You are in Combat” Warning, and been killed by himself or others due to the aggro-extension mechanic. Then pilots lost the ability to quick swap to a ship in an Orca when they were aggressed. This slowed down mission gankers even more. For a while things got quiet, but recently events have picked up speed. And fast.
First major changes were made to wardec avoidance. Where before joining an alliance and then dropping it to slough off unwanted wardecs was an exploit (dating back to 2008) now it is perfectly fine. As GM Karidor said
In the past, there have been some policies in place within Customer Support that imposed additional rules onto the war mechanics available in game, such as the so called “Alliance Hopping” or the more recent “Dec Shield”.
The decision has been made to lift those restrictions that affect war declarations, thereby opening up ways for corporations to avoid unwanted wars via methods that were previously considered exploits of game mechanics.
In other words:
If you can leave or declare a war, raise the costs for other entities to declare one to you or do any other war related things within current normal game mechanics, you may do so without having to keep other rules in mind.
So that means that anyone who wants to avoid a wardec can and should.
Now people have noticed on SiSi that when CONCORD kills you, you no longer get an insurance payout. Frankly this change is appreciated and long overdue as it just makes sense, but in this context it looks far more sinister. It wont stop me from ganking on occasion, but it re-balances the suicide ganking mechanic to favor less PvP. Next we find out that a recent mechanic has been changed, The Skunkworks has gone on a tear killing shiny incursion ships by creating aggression using a ship with an aggression timer, and getting it repped or energy transferred by someone else, to give the aggression holders permission to shoot the helper. As you can see from their killboard it was pretty effective. NO MORE said mighty Hilmar.
Now people (goons) are being told not to scam the recruitment channel. Again making the game easier for new players, while tearing down the monument to HTFU that used to be EvE.
Finally I come across this tidbit on Jester’s Trek:
A couple of months ago, a GM scolded a player for killing a newbie in low-sec.
What… The… Fuck… It’s Lowsec. He had to click through warnings to get there, and even if it really WAS a newbie, how was the killer to know that? It could be a noob alt scout, it could be damn near anything. No GM should ever criticize a player for a legitimate and entirely correct action.
I am not saying the “Old Ways” were entirely better. There does need to be a “break-in” period to protect new players from their own mistakes. However what we see happening right now is coddling new players (To use Ripard’s term) to make them happy, while doing nothing to prepare them for the day the blinders come off and they realize that OMFG they are playing in one of the harshest game environments imaginable.
In fact, a lot of these changes seem like something a former CSM rep would push for. In fact if you read the article on EvE-Tribune (from when it was relevant)
This leads me to one obvious conclusion. Mittens is really Eva “Ankhesentapemkah” Jobse, pulling the biggest scam of her/his career by convincing all of EvE that Mittens is a male, american lawyer, and not a female, european game designer. Well played Eva, well played.
More seriously, CCP is not operating like a well-balanced machine, but like a runaway train careening blindly, going from one extreme to the other very, very fast, and it might throw them entirely off the track. I hope they can find a center path, a way to operate that lets them draw in new players and keep them, without ruining the monument they have created.
For me, this has created changes. Fancy Hats no longer does wardecs. There is simply no point, we are getting more active in Incursions, as they are a great way of making money and getting safer by the day, and we are being VERY careful of anything anyone might consider an exploit. PvPers built this game, and I’m worried the game might turn on the ones who are pushing the edge.