#ThugLife: Rethinking Negative Security StatusGorski Car
Hello friends, Gorski Car here from Big Krab Hunters (now recruiting).
In this article I plan on detailing my thoughts on security status and how it could be improved. Security status is an old mechanic and in its current state, much like standings, feels sub-par compared to what it could potentially be.
What is Security status?
Security status is CCP’s roleplay way of making sure criminals feel hunted in highsec. Every criminal act you do in both highsec and lowsec will have a negative effect on your security status. Once it drops below a certain level you will start having problems traveling through highsec systems as the faction police will begin aggressing you.
Once you hit -5 or below, the crimewatch system will automatically flag you Suspect, allowing players to engage you freely without any intervention from CONCORD/Faction Police and sentry guns.
In order to restore your security status back up to higher levels, you have the option of going out and killing pirate rats or bribing your way back using tags dropped by specific NPCs in lowsec. Grinding rats is extremely tedious and using tags costs around 300 million ISK. Not really a big amount for older players, but it can be quite a considerable sum for anyone new.
I think that security status is punishing new players who want to PvP way too much, you are effectively locking yourself out of all highsec if you choose to PvP in lowsec. While it is possible to travel through highsec with a low security status, you will still have huge problems performing any kind of logistics and it makes reshipping a lot harder.
It is however necessary as the system acts as a way to make suicide ganking less effective in highsec. While freighter gankers have adapted to make the security status problem a minor annoyance, the system as it stands is still creating some difficulties, lowering the efficiency and frequency of freighter ganks. Other types of ganking are also really hard with a bad security status and I have no problem keeping the penalties as they are for highsec ganking.
Now I don’t really want to suggest a complete removal of the mechanic and I am sure there are a lot of legacy code problems with changing it but, I live in an ideal world so let’s discuss what we can do with this mechanic.
First off, I would like to reevaluate the fact that normal PvP in lowsec is considered a serious enough crime to warrant a hit on your security status. Podding and PvP in highsec sure, but even there, I would want to see the effects toned down a bit. I feel tags for sec was just a quick solution to the problem with how grindy increasing security status is otherwise.
Now for some good stuff. Right now going negative on your security status only provides penalties and, for newer guys especially, they are quite severe. What I would love to see is additional benefits for actually choosing thug life. Creating a method or incentive to show off that you are this fearsome pirate hunted across the four empires and idolized by the pirate corporations in Eve. For example, for each point of security status below -2 you are awarded with access to pirate skins for your ships. Other things to consider could be medals and titles similar to Factional Warfare and ingame pirate clothes of course.
Now these suggestions are all cosmetic, they have no real gameplay effect – what I’m going to suggest next will have though.
I would love pirates to get access to special agents, providing content with increasing difficulty based on your security status. For example, you drop below -5 security status, causing an agent from the Angel Cartel to contact you, offering a dangerous raid on some Empire police station.
I know there are those of you out there who love being negative ten and roleplay hardcore being this dangerous pirate. I wouldn’t want to take this away from you by totally removing this mechanic from EVE. I don’t really like that approach at all for anything (other than links). I would much rather see iteration and improvement upon the current mechanics.
Security status is this weird thing that kind of punishes people who engage in player versus player activity in lowsec and while the effects aren’t that severe for anyone who can afford a hauling service or even another account for doing logistics, it still hurts for the people who can not afford this.
I know that you can stay at a relative safe security status for quite a while doing PvP in lowsec by refusing to engage first and never podding someone, but this leaves all the initiative with the enemy. If I see someone who I suspect will want to kill me, I would obviously act on this instantly trying to defend myself instead of waiting for him to take the first shot. But after a while you will be forced to go and fix your status if you want to be able to travel in highsec again.
Another thing I haven’t really talked much about is how once you go -5 you are automatically flagged as a pirate and can be shot at freely by anyone everywhere without consequence. This is somewhat of a problem in highsec where people can camp you into stations. This can be worked around by using insta warpout bookmarks and fitting multiple stabs. One of the biggest changes here is how you can engage freely in lowsec without having your attacker fear gate guns. I think this is actually a good thing and it gives a feeling of being hunted by ‘the good guys’ for the pirate. This could also be further iterated on, providing incentives to kill a low security status player. Gate guns are another topic, for another article.
As always, if you have any suggestions/thoughts/hate mail feel free to send it to my character: “Gorski Car” ingame or private message me on reddit: “gorski_car”. Thanks to quality poster Globby for some input.