#ThugLife: Rethinking Negative Security Status


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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Tags: crime watch, gorski, security status

About the author

Gorski Car

Gorski Car was a CSM 9 member whose theorycrafting and knowledge of mechanics has had a key role in helping CCP adjust how we play EVE. He is an avid small gang PvPer with a background in lowsec, but flies in all areas of space, depending on his fancy.

  • Dirk MacGirk

    “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.”

    But wait, aren’t you a pirate? Isn’t that a consequence of your actions as a yarrboi? That you kind of get yourself ostracized from regular society and have to stick to roaming the ghetto? I don’t recall the tale of Blackbeard driving into London harbor to buy himself some skill books and ammo.

    There sounds like a bit of wanting your cake and eating it too going on here, sans having to count calories and getting fat. So what exactly is the actual consequence for being a bad boy in this equation?

    • Capri Sun KraftFoods

      His point is that besides the roleplay boner, what actual tangible positive gameplay impact does that have?

      • Dirk MacGirk

        uhm, getting to be a pirate, the roleplay boner, is one of the benefits is it not? The thrill of the kill and knowing you have a beard and a peg leg or a hook hand?

        I don’t take issue with the idea of providing some extra bennies on the side as he described, I’m just not sure the hit to sec status needs to be reduced along with it. It’s lowsec, not nosec. There is a place for killing without regard to sec status. The option exists in both sov-holding and non-sov-holding varieties.

  • Agreed, Gorski. There should be a benefit for having negative security status. Perhaps certain LP stores, with unique pirate modules, would only allow pirate-status players to buy from them. Or for PvE fans, some missions that are only available to pirate-status players? If you want to invent a new mechanic, with whatever lore magic is needed, ships that can only be flown by pirates?

  • Anthony Falk

    Offer ‘rewards’ for living up to your low status — Cool! Lessening the impact of sec. status or its loss, I’d have to say absolutely not. Honestly, I’d prefer sec status be dynamic:: shrug :: both for individuals and for regions.

    • Bryan Frye

      Ya more dynamic gameplay. Removing sec drops, all you would see, I think, would be smartbombing BS to take w/o caring if they could even kill it. But instead they would probably have their indy alts and main join in to make it a fleet of smartbombing BS.

  • asdf

    gateguns are gay. when you’re one outlaw encountering a neutral, fine, he shoots you first or you take gateguns, I’m happy with that. but when you’re a gang of outlaws encountering a gang of neutrals, it doesn’t scale. your entire gang except the first guy has to take gateguns. this is fine if you’re in a huge logistics blob, but if you’re only a handful of guys, or in frigates or whatever it’s really bad.
    super easy for one guy who knows the mechanics in a fast locking thrasher or whatever to completely fuck your gang up, knowing you can’t really do anything in your T1 frigs as he tackled one of your bantams.

    also I see loads of people with not-quite-outlaw sec who basically are just pirates, but they keep it just above -5 so people can’t attack them. it’s troublesome. nearly all of us in lowsec are just out to fuck shit up, dumb that a bunch of us get gategun protection and a bunch don’t.

    give me those skins though.

  • Thisisabadjokerigt?

    Im totally against it.
    I play in lowsec as an fw-player and those “neutrals” there are disturbing as fu**.
    There should be more defizit for being a pirat. Gateguns… well yeah…. and?

    Guys we´re ina war with 2 sides.
    Here comes the neutral and shoots both, still can dock in both habors and after like 15 min noone cares about what happend…. this is dumb.

    There should be more punishment, if they want more targets to hit and be the bad beared 1 leg guys. Okay……. I wanted to fight caldari/amarr and not some peski neutrals and still i also need to deal with stupid sec-los.
    At the moment as “pirat” you get to much benefit while disrupting fw as a neutral with like 0 defizits. They still can dock evrywhere and for highsec…. who cares evryone has an alt to buy stuff and such. So does Sec-status need, is more punishment for neutrals/rats in fw-space.

  • Carter Hood

    I think there is a lot of true in what Gorski wrote. I live in lowsec and I was taking a lot of care not to loose my sec status too much. It resulted in stupid situations, when a neutral (for me as a FW player) guy slid into my plex, and I was waiting him to agress not to loose status. And usually I died. Now i piss on my sec status (it’s -3.7 atm) but some evolution on this issue could be done. Evolution, not revolution. My 3 propositions are as follows:
    1. Every “neutral” sliding into plex should automatically become “suspect”.
    2. Suspect timers should be longer – if you engage a neutral person in lowsec, you become suspect till next downtime, so other people engaging you don’t loose their SS.
    3. Decreasing sec status should be slower comparing to “re-gain” possibility. Example – for killing neutral in LowSec my SS drops on average by 0,85%. For killing a clone soldier (which is rare), I gain back only 0,4%.

  • In general I like the idea. There was a post from Ripard Teg many moons ago after the pirate “noob” ships came out expressing hope that new players could join a pirate faction much like they can join an empire faction. I think that’s still a good idea, and that would draw the distinction (RP-wise) between being an independent pirate who just blows anyone up and being aligned with those groups. I toyed with that a bit in a blog post of mine once upon a time, tied to a mechanic for giving players the ability to change the sec status of systems. If you’re aligned to pirates perhaps you can get LP for skins/ships/etc by killing people not in your faction’s side (either unaligned or empire aligned). Not going to be game breaking ISK without the equivalent of FW missions, but could be nice.

  • Niko Lorenzio

    The feeling of being badass pirate should come from the community’s reaction to your actions, not some RP game mechanic that can easily be gamed. Eve is about the player interactions, not an RP game.

  • Leo2014

    I like the idea of having more incentive for the pirate lifestyle. The penalties are fine though some aspects of suspect flagging and group engagements could be improved.

    I think it would also be cool if there were pirate storongholds (NPC stations) that required a negative security status to dock. Have one, faction appropriate, stronghold per constellation so they would not be common or too hard to implement. There could be mission agents, and LP stores, etc…

    These might quickly become pirate gathering and resupplying hubs and help alleviate some of the need/want to go to highsec.