Watchlist Woes?


Every so often, a change comes around that affects your particular niche as a player more than others. For some, it has been the introduction of Tech 3 destroyers which completely changed the Factional Warfare meta. For others; the changes to titan weaponry which meant they could no longer effectively apply damage to sub-capital ships.

Big changes are nothing new to EVE, they are part of the constant process of balancing necessary to keep the current ‘meta’ from stagnating. This can be irritating as a player, when you’ve just spent six months training your drone skills and then the Ishtar gets nerfed or similar debacles. As you progress throughout your time in New Eden however; you learn to take a step back and appreciate the value these changes bring to the game as it evolves. And then you adapt.

Whilst at #EVE_NT, I had the pleasure of attending an excellent presentation by CCP Masterplan, and CCP Lebowski during which they demonstrated some of the new fighter-squadrons and showed the room the new ‘Pike Class’ Doomsday in action, amongst other things. Along with this, changes to the watchlist were announced – essentially, the function allowing you to see whether another pilot is ‘online’ or not will be removed, unless both parties agree to it. This will be the default, with an optional toggle to allow people to see when someone like Chribba is online (assuming Chribba is cool with it and checks the box of course).

CZ Wyvern supercarrier

As a known super-capital hunter, a lot of questions have been thrown my way since this announcement, and naturally, reddit experienced a minor explosion of “#REKKINGCREW got rekt” posts. So, let’s talk about killing expensive ships and the role the watchlist has played.

Firstly, you need to find someone doing something silly (like using their supercarrier somewhere outside of a POS). Then you work out who all of their alt characters and corps are, and run locator agents on all of them. You add them to your watch list, and this tells you who is active, and who is not. For the characters that are online you’ll send out scouts to find out what they’re doing. The offline ones… well they’re offline, they can’t light cynosural fields if they’re logged off in Dodixie, so you don’t need to worry about sending a scout after them. Essentially, the watchlist means we don’t currently have to waste time tracking someone who isn’t even logged in.

Without the watchlist, you’ll have to scout all of the target’s characters. A minor inconvenience, but nothing that can’t be dealt with. It’s something that up until now capital hunters have taken for granted, but the watchlist is something everyone had, It was an even playing field, you could use it against targets, and targets could use it against you. That’s no longer the case.

The last time people thought capital hunting was dead, it was due to the jump fatigue and range changes that came with the Phoebe expansion. Now, nearly two years later, I can safely say that they were wrong, and that my team was able to adapt.

“…it made things easy, but nobody can deny it was broken.”

I’d be lying if I said I am happy to see the watchlist disappear in its current form, it made things easy, but nobody can deny it was broken. Whilst I don’t agree that this new ‘mutual only’ solution is the right choice; I am excited for the future. For hunters this will be an opportunity to establish a new meta in tracking targets, and it will serve as a much needed shake-up in an otherwise stagnant area of the game.

A couple of people have asked why I didn’t really react at the #EVE_NT presentation when the change was announced. I was content to silently appreciate the irony of the announcement being made in the presence of about 25 #REKKINGCREW members. Since then I think I’ve found a viable alternative, when that too gets nerfed out of existence, I’ll tell you all about it!  

Tags: Rocket X, watch list

About the author

Rocket X

Pandemic Legion FC, supercapital hunter, capital focus group member and casual smug-poster.

  • Dirk MacGirk

    Was waiting for one of the prominent users of the “mechanic” to speak out. That’s a pretty balanced response. There is so much more to hunting big game than simply tagging their status. But I do understand the level of intel the watchlist provided in just notifying the hunters when to be alert. Hopefully this doesn’t REK it altogether and these groups are able to adapt.

    • Freelancer117

      With the scrapping of putting your enemies on the watchlist feature, Capsuleers will adapt and use the in game information tool.
      Locator agents, and soon(tm) citadel observatory arrays.

      Regards, a Freelancer

      ps: these in game tools are isk sinks

  • Dermeisen

    Wow, impressive I expected that to be pretty salty but actually not!

  • AFK

    “lol don’t care, and here’s a whole article about how I don’t care”

    • Rupert

      I’m cool. I’m name dropping. And. I don’t care.

    • [SNIGG] Rocket X

      If you throw me a few bil, i can write you something personally about how secretly mad i am, and even send you selfies featuring my tinfoil hat complete with chin-strap 🙂

      • Fearlesslittletoaster

        So if a few bil gets a personal article about a specific topic, how much for a general article about… say how much you love vanilla pudding?

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  • Fat Elvis

    ‘it made things easy, but nobody can deny it was broken’ (that line is just perfect). Im really looking forward to seeing those super lost mails from idiots with too much isk who now think they are safe.

  • Urziel99

    Of course the downside is that the use of the watch list also served to counter login traps. Some roamer looking for easy targets comes into local and gets watch listed while I pos up. He leaves local, but since I have him watch listed I know he’s logged off at an anom somewhere. 10 minutes later, he logs back in thinking he’s so clever only to see me still in the pos.

    That functionality needs to stay.

    • callduron

      lol nope.

      • Urziel99

        npc dweller detected.

  • Colin Crendraven

    I think this should be limited to alliance. So If I’m in the same alliance as another pilot I should be able to add them to the watchlist and see if they are online. Anyone outside of the alliance would have to get a mutual checkbox. This can still enable the capital hunting meta that exists it will just emphasis more spying and infiltration of the target alliance.

    Edit: This could be further restricted to corp if needed.

  • Tora Bushido

    I think it’s a very bad change for mercenaries and it will cause x 2 more wars. If you cant target specific players anymore, you might as well go full trade hub hugger. So dont nerf them but buff em !

  • Saint Michael’s Soul

    What a rational article. I demand MOAR DR4MA

  • Chaos85

    Well, so much for the easy “oh crap the WTs are online gtfo dock up now” warning.