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Fixing Wars

Published 05.11.2015, updated 05.11.2015

Some people argue that corp jumping is unbalanced and it is too easy for defender to avoid wars, etc. I couldn't disagree more, as the actual motivations driving these arguments are very selfish ones, and if CCP catered to them, they would in essence be sacrificing peaceful playstyles to satisfy hostile playstyles, something that is not very economical at all.

The current wardec system basically enables 3 categories of things:

  1. Shooting structures in highsec.
  2. Consensual pvp similar to what RvB has been doing.
  3. Non-consensual pvp like wardeccing groups are known for.
Nobody is really complaining about the two first categories, but there are tons of arguing about the third one. And my strong feeling is that wars shouldn't really focus on enabling non-consensual pvp at all, because there is already a complex and engaging mechanic called suicide ganking that enables this much better. Now, let me compare the two:
  • A wardec often makes peaceful players quit logging in for a week (I did this myself years ago), while I can't say for sure that I have ever seen gank victims behave remotely similar (including myself). And that is after losing a ship to gankers, while the wardeccers might not even see defenders undock at all. There are tons of finished wars with no ships killed whatsoever.
  • A wardec basically turns highsec into nullsec for defenders, actually removing "highsec" as a meaningful choise of space to stay in. Suicide ganking however enables some very peculiar playstyles and counter-playstyles that makes highsec more unique and interesting compared to lowsec and nullsec.
  • There are really no meaningful choises for countering non-consensual wars: Changing prefered playstyle, staying docked, feed them kills, offer isk to surrender, staying in NPC corp or jump corp like Astral Sanctuary do. Suicide ganking has lots of meaningful counters: fit better, use dscan, watch local, protect each other with EWAR/Logi, etc, all of which help prepare people for lowsec/nullsec.
  • I like to consider myself a peaceful player with no intention of killing ships. I have been on the receiving end of over 90 wardecs and they only taught me anything about pvp during that brief time I actually stopped being peaceful and set up a trap trying to kill ships. Suicide ganking however started teaching me about pvp even before I got ganked myself, without me having any intention of killing ships at all, and continues to teach me tons and tons over years, all while keeping my prefered peaceful playstyle intact. Suicide ganking has actually taught me so much about pvp that I have gotten ideas for how to even face wardeccers on grid in a peaceful way.
  • Opening up yourself to suicide ganking happens every time you undock in highsec, which is easy to communicate and understand. Opening up yourself to wars happens when you join a player corp, a crucial mechanic to support communities in this great MMO, with social features such as corp mail, synchronized standings, corp hangars and a certain tag next to your name, enabling a great sense of belonging to a group. This is confusing compared to staying in NPC corps, and it really makes no sense at all that these features should only be meant for those willing to fight for the right to have them.
There are obvious reasons for why such wardeccers prefer wars over suicide ganking, as the latter has built-in consequenses for treating others badly, like losing your ship and security status. They would much prefer to treat others badly without such consequenses, and naturally defends their imagined right to wardec peacefuls furiously. Some of them would even love to be able to wardec individual characters, not considering at all what this would mean to people with peaceful playstyles. Catering to such selfish players would be bad for the game on many levels, including CCP's economy.

It is quite clear to me that the main reason we haven't really seen huge organized peaceful corps/alliances yet, is because they end up as fooder for wardeccers as soon as they reach any notable size. If this is changed, I can imagine peaceful groups in highsec reaching similar size and level of organization as nullsec groups. This would be fantastic for the game as a whole and provide some balance to nullsec powerblocks. I can even imagine player corps taking over the role of NPC corps - I think it could be practical in many ways if new players could somehow automatically ended up in EVE University for instance.

My very simple suggestion to fix wars for good

Add another toggle to corp/alliance attributes similar to friendly fire: Turning it on enables you to anchor structures for corp as well as wardeccing others and have others wardec you. Turning it off makes it impossible to be involved in any wars. Very easy to communicate and understand, probably easy to implement as well.

This would effectively remove wars enabling non-consensual pvp, plain and simple. While the word 'war' sounds very non-consensual, this doesn't mean we should build game mechanics around it. Some argue that you consent to pvp the second you undock, but that is a poor choise of words, as what you are consenting to is the risk of being suicide ganked, not being a war target.

There are a few wardeccing addicts that would be completely appalled by this change, and my message to you is that you have sadly become hooked on something that should never have been in the game in the first place. You will experience some withdrawal symptoms, but I'm sure there are plenty of gankers that would love to teach you their ways.