High Sec War: Iteration Needed?

 

A few weeks ago I wrote several pieces about warfare in high sec.  Since then I have been asked in my CSM 9 Jita Park thread for more thoughts on high sec warfare, improvements I may like to see, and specifically if I have ideas on changes to make he merc profession a more realistic proposition.

“War. War never changes.”

Over the past few years the war declaration system has changed, however at its very it is still much the same as it ever was: you pay a fee to Concord and in return you get a week of no holds barred aggression against your target.

Now some say that as a consequence of the Inferno changes and the subsequent iteration made as part of Retribution, the fee levied by Concord is too high. However as I have discussed previously, I think that such people are wrong. A small group declaring war against a large group gets access to a potentially massive target pool, a pool that will rarely provide an organised response. So for an initial outlay of 300 million isk or more, and following some research, they can with impunity kill haulers, missioners, newbies, anything they want. Easily recouping that outlay in drops, in ISK to kill ratios, lack of losses and general PvP content. This is also the case for a large entity deccing another, for example RvB declaring war against EUNI costs in the region of 800m isk per week, which is a cost we are willing to meet given the opportunities for PvP that present themselves.

Now while I am okay with the cost of war, I do feel that Concord could offer wars with specific criteria, that may be even have different cost ratios. I have come up with a couple of examples:

  • Limited damage wars: Place a bond with Concord for baseline war cost (50m isk) + X amount – which represents your target for damage done or received. When the total is reached on kills or losses the war is declared null and void with your bond returned minus the war cost.

  • Property only wars: Concord, for a fee, will let you shoot the structures of another group, but not let you shoot their ships, or vice versa. If the defender wishes to stop you, they must pay a fee that opens up the war.  A property only war would have a cost that is less than current costs, however for the defender to make it a “proper” war, they would pay the cost of a “proper” war and within say 4 hours the war changes. This could be a boon to groups that just want to target structures like offline POS or POCOs, and still give alert defenders an opportunity to prevent aggressors hitting their infrastructure or even to hire mercs to join the war and fight on their behalf.

These could make warfare a more attractive proposition to more groups in high sec and in my opinion give mercenary groups more of a way to influence and become more involved in high sec warfare than just camping mission hubs and trade routes.

And speaking of mercs, CCP did mention back in 2012 that they wanted – as part of the Ally system – to give mercs a method to advertise their services and what not.

There are several improvements for the ally marketplace that we want to look into. Most notably, giving defenders the ability to enter more information when looking for allies, such as by allowing them to enter location, price range, etc. In a similar vein, allowing mercenaries to advertise their services is something we’re looking into, where they could filter by preferred area of operation, their strength, etc

CCP Soniclover – 2012.

As is obvious though, this never really came to pass beyond adding in the ally system which in ideal world allows defenders to hire on mercenaries in their wars.

Now I am no merc, but I have over the years spoken to many of them and a merc marketplace is usually the first item any of them raise if you ask them about changes and additions to EVE.  What do I mean by marketplace?  An ingame means to advertise their services or for clients to post jobs for them to pick and choose from is meant.

a-team

How I would envision such a system is certainly more client based, like so:

Basically Corp A posts a contract in which they list a target B, objectives / target surrender conditions, their offered fee and time contract is valid for, merc corp C likes what they offer and accepts. A week later, war is over, conditions were met, fee is paid to C, and Corp A can leave a rating of some sort for the merc corp. A rating which is public alongside the war report of the contract they undertook. Think of it like the Eve version of ebay seller ratings.

One major difference to the current cost system is how the cost for sanction would be calculated. The fee offered by A would have war costs automatically included in it by the interface, based not on the difference in size between B & C, but between A & B. This alone could have huge implications on high sec warfare. Smaller PvP averse entities COULD utilise mercs to take on larger groups without the perceived prohibitive costs.  The rating system would see the cream rise, promoting competition amongst active merc corps and so on.

This system isn’t perfect by any means – it is very gameable, and opens up a whole can of worms in relation to some chancers using the system to get cheaper wars against a target of theirs. It is however certainly worth considering given the dearth of other options.

And there you have it, my own personal thoughts on a couple of aspects of high sec warfare and how I think they can be improved for the benefit of all those fighting in high sec, or who want to fight.

Tags: highsec, mangala, merc, pvp

About the author

Mangala Solaris

Mangala Solaris has been playing EVE since 2006. In his time in EVE, he have been a missioner, a miner, a scammer, a trader & even a null bear, however over the past 4 years or so Mangala has been heavily involved in Red Versus Blue, and more recently has become one the key figures in the NPSI communities of EVE. Somehow in addition to all of this, he finds time to represent the players as a member of CSM 9.


  • Foobles

    So in a property war a large organization could declare a reduced fee war against a small corporation (e.g. 30 million isk?) then the small corporation would have to pay 500 million isk to be allowed to defend their assets…

    It sounds like a very good way to change mechanics to force the consolidation of POCOs from small groups to large groups. Or just for large groups to grief small groups.

  • Alekseyev Karrde

    The “structure-only war” as you present is a pretty awful idea. Better version would be just a “micro” war that gives a short (24h maybe, maybe less) window to attack the structure and only lasts a very short (12h, maybe 6h) period of time after the structure comes out of reinforced. With some kind of penalty if the structure is not reinforced at all.

    Having a Yelp for mercs would be extremely useful though, provided there were some balance checks for scuzzy employers

    • Psianh Auvyander

      Having mercenaries rate employers is a start

    • W-Spacer

      I agree – it would just become a means to have defenders paying the war cost. Attackers wouldn’t need to risk anything at all in a war and the idea of a risk-free war is really a massive step backwards.

      I’m certainly up for a space for mercs to advertise and receive ratings from customers etc 🙂

  • Psianh Auvyander

    I’ve been interviewing a lot of mercs over the last few weeks and all of them are in favor of a robust mercenary marketplace. It’s something I’d definitely like CCP to pursue, as a merc myself.

  • Saint

    Well, this should work both ways.

    Why shouldn’t the target Corp be able to nullify the war by paying more money than the declaring corp?

    Also should Corporations be able to declare “Concord Protection” for a week by paying a large fee, thus making them immune to war declarations for a week …or in systems with security over 0.8 (perhaps at double the cost of declaring a wardec against that corp)?

    If you want to extend and shakeup the war dec system (which is fine), it needs to have elements of protection rather than just opportunities for PvP – CCP wants money sinks and my suggestions also cover defensive money sinks that could work in a simple fashion.

  • Alexis Nightwish

    Found my way here while reading about CSM9 so I’m a little bit late to reply, but the property only war is an extremely bad idea.

    It would be the large scale equivalent of the MTU. With the MTU, a mission runner can take it up the ass as he watches the CONCORD-sanctioned destruction of his property, or fight back and take in the face *as well* as he watches the CONCORD-sanctioned destruction of his ship.

    With a property war, swap MTU with POCO/POS, and if the defending corp wants to fight back they have to *pay for the right to do so* (seriously?) and the whole corp takes it in the face.

    I do support iteration, and I liked the ideas on a merc marketplace, however.