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.