EVE: Changing the influence bar

Jester has two interesting posts up currently; this one is about his experiences with Incursions after their nerf, and today’s post is about a CSM townhall meeting and this quote in particular:

Alekseyev Karrde > Some players have unrealistic expectactions of safety in EVE. My constituants know that and wont miss people that quit because they face the cold dark reality of New Eden

One common theme here is that both posts relate to high-sec activities, be it running Incursions or simply being a high-sec Corp wary of war-decs. A well-known and confirmed fact about EVE is that the majority of the playerbase lives in high-sec (80% or so, I believe). This is important for a few reasons, not the least of which is the suggestion (though not confirmation) that a large number of EVE players are not interested in PvP (at least not direct, ship combat PvP).

Let’s talk Incursions first. As Jester notes, currently without a strong, concentrated effort, Incursions are difficult or inefficient to run due to how influence works. The fewer pilots running sites, the higher the influence bar stays and the harder/slower sites become.

The influence system should be reversed. It should start at 0% (no effect), and as more sites are run in these ideal conditions, the bar increases and sites become harder/slower to run. In order to fully finish an Incursion, and allow everyone to get LP, the final site must be run at 100% effect, representing the greatest PvE challenge in EVE.

This would greatly increase the value of out-of-the-way Incursions, as it would allow smaller groups to fly out and run sites in near-ideal conditions for greater profit. The busier Incursions could still be run, but at a profit level better reflecting their popularity; the more popular the Incursion, the tough/slower it becomes. As the influence bar goes higher and higher, more pilots will be ‘encouraged’ to seek other Incursions to fight off. Depending on how CCP tunes things, perhaps even low-sec Incursions would become a viable option, if say you could run VG sites in BCs instead of 1b ISK shiny faction ships.

Which brings me to the second point; high-sec war-decs. Having personal experience with this, it can be very difficult for a new Corp with new pilots to maintain momentum when suddenly undocking in high-sec becomes impossible. And before you state that new players should not be in new Corps, consider that EVE needs newer players replacing old, and that the best way to get someone hooked on something as initially arcane as EVE is through social hooks. To simply discount the value such Corps bring would be extremely foolish, and I doubt something that CCP themselves would agree on.

I in no way support high-sec being 100% safe, but I also don’t believe you need systems that cater to griefers, and when players talk about the negative effects of high-sec war-decs, they are talking about ‘PvP’ Corps that prey on targets they believe can’t defend themselves.

Compare war-dec greifing with suicide ganking for instance. In both cases the ‘PvPer’ is not looking for a fight, but rather simply to blow someone up. Yet with suicide ganking, they must consider the security hit, the Concord loss, and how they can recover the goods they are after. The victim can also take steps to avoid such attention, and even in the most random “for the lulz” ganking, all a player has lost is one ship. Compare that to an entire Corp of players being unable to undock for a week or more, and it’s not even close for the victim. And the griefer? All he has to pay is a bit of ISK, which again is light compared to the drawbacks of suicide ganking.

I’m not sure how the new war-dec system is going to play out starting today, but I do have some concerns that Corps like my own will be snuffed out before they get even a chance to establish themselves, and if CCP sees this trend, I doubt they will allow it to continue. It will be interesting to see how much the higher ISK cost impacts things going forward.

One root cause overall here is that in many ways, high-sec is too rewarding. What I mean by this is that there is not enough encouragement to move OUT of high-sec, and as a result many players never leave. If all high-sec stations charged higher taxes than low/null-sec, would Jita still be the undisputed market king? If missions in low/null-sec were more profitable and interesting than in high-sec, would most mission runners stay in high-sec? CCP got mining right, but did they go far enough? Is the yield profit difference great enough? Is there currently ANY reason to run low-sec Incursions over high-sec?

My point is that if CCP gave the average EVE player more reasons to leave high-sec, not only would other areas become more interesting, but some of the player-to-player problems in high-sec would be resolved indirectly as well. You would still have some players remain high-sec only, and that is 100% fine, but if done right, it would not be 80%, and a portion of that 80% would branch out and learn other aspects of the game. The more you know, and the more options you have, the more likely you are to stay hooked and playing/paying.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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10 Responses to EVE: Changing the influence bar

  1. Red says:

    I’ve done a decent amount of low sec mining. It’s simply not worth the risk vs rewards compared to high sec. It needs to be 3 to 4 times the value of high sec mining to make it worth while.

  2. Antivyris says:

    As a miner (An actual miner, not some afk-in-a-hulk-to-print-isk alt), I’ve never understood this fascination with trying to add another form of PVP to mining. Case in point, mining is actually three forms of PVP in one. Market PVP, Mining PVP (This one is oddly hard to explain till you see it), and combat PVP. There is enough of the latter without adding more. Low sec mining would have to become more profitable than Null-sec to lure people, since most miners can just join or rent space from a null-sec corp and be a null-bear miner and never get annoyed except from the rare person that gets past your home defense.

    Mining risk vs reward should honestly be tied to how hard it is to get your product to market, so it should go WH > Low > Null > High. Think I’ll expand on this more in a post on my own space, as personally I think they are where they can’t change mining because of the possible repercussions. Just as a point, if they ever changed low-sec to pay out better mining than high or null, gate camps in null would become much, much more common, cutting off null from low.

    • SynCaine says:

      Good stuff. I personally hate when people try to make the actual act of mining ore more ‘interesting’, because I think a huge lure is the very passive nature of the activity. You get your ‘action’ from what you wrote; picking where to mine and getting the ore/minerals to market.

  3. Hong WeiLoh says:

    ” A well-known and confirmed fact about EVE is that the majority of the playerbase lives in high-sec (80% or so, I believe).”

    I love how every time someone writes about how many people are in hisec, that percentage creeps up a lil higher.

    Let’s face it, I just spent 4 days (not all day each day, but still) roaming thru Cloud Ring, Fountain, Outer Ring, then back thru Cloud Ring to Black Rise — all thru that vast swath of nullsec I saw literally maybe total of 10 individuals, and a small alliance of pretty cool people in a pocket in Outer RIng. By this experience, I guess we can safely say that 0% of the population lives in nullsec, and maybe 5% lives in low judging by my experiences in Placid (which are pretty extensive).

    So let’s just average it all out and say that 99% of the population lives in hisec. That means we _actually_ already have achieved “WoW in Space” or “plain shitty vanilla MMO” status: there’s a central area that’s fairly safe from griefing, most forms of PvP, etc, and “battlegrounds” where people go to “play” at PvP, while actually making their money and building/buying ships from the safety of the “regular” game area, aka hisec. ;-)

  4. Chris K. says:

    The suggestion regarding the influence bar is interesting…

    However what makes me wonder even more, is that when Jester does a PvE post, within the day there are 20+posts in the comment section essentially “hating” on the article.

    And this is Jester we’re talking about, an active 0.0 pvp-er, not a bear grinding isk 23/7 semi afk in L4s, so in all accounts the assault is not directed at him, but on the content itself.

    The hate about incursions, in particular, is astonishing. Anything that draws people into fleets and has them learning about group dynamics is a welcome addition to any mmo, right?

    • SynCaine says:

      I can’t say I understand the hate from EVE players on its PvE either. It’s almost like they expect people to sign up for a trial, get into a frig, and go straight into PvP and never leave.

      • Antivyris says:

        I chalk it up to more of a passion thing. One thing that has been ever-present in EVE that keeps me coming back is how passionate people are in what they do. Only ever really see that in sandboxes. What people usually don’t get is that other players aren’t actually playing the same ‘game’. Heck, line up just 4-5 EVE blogs, and you’ll see they have everything and nothing in common. One group not understanding the other just showcases how entrenched we all become in our own worlds.

      • Rohan says:

        It feels like a “pre-emptive” defense. They don’t want Eve to become a PvE game, so they resist all elements that push in the other direction.

        It’s common in very polarized situation in politics. Even if a small adjustment or compromise would make life better overall, one side will strenuously resist it, because giving up ground to the other side will mean further losses later on.

  5. Killajoules says:

    I don’t even incursion but just from following other’s blogs your (or jester’s [haven’t read it yet]) idea on the influence bar is by far the best I’ve seen. Please post it somewhere in the eve/csm forums and post a link here so we can support it.

  6. Spocky says:

    Hmm when exhumers came out, we didn’t have tier 2 and 3 battlecruisers aswell as tier 3 battleships. Also cruisers and battleships were the most common ships.

    Today, tier 2 and 3 battlecruisers and battleships are most common, followed by t2 cruisers. The problem is, that mineral-costs increased but the means to gather those minerals didn’t. Meaning the hours you spend to mine minerals for the average pvp-ship increased alot.

    On the otherhand mining is the most profitable, legal (means apart from scaming etc.) proficiency in eve, IF you are multiboxing with enough accounts.

    The last point is why so many players want mining changed. To be profitable for people with only one account, and to emphasise group gameplay in form of mining ops. But imho CCP will have to change mining drastically to truely satisfy those people.

    On the second subject of your blog-entry I can only say it really depends on the CEO of your corp. If he knows how to handle a wardec with a small corp of newbies, than you will be fine. If not, than you guys might pull through or fail do adept and your corp dies. Which is just the natural cycle of eve …

    Here a few ideas of advises and help a CEO or “vet” could give to the newbies in high-sec

    – Don’t mine while wardecced
    – Don’t run missions while wartarget is in system
    – If you are in a mission, watch local, if wartarget enters local
    – Help newbies to select skills that will help them in pve and pvp … getting into an retriever or hulk doesn’t come first
    – Don’t use expensive ships in pvp (usually i would say if you run missions with a cruiser, use a frig for pvp, if you run missions in a bc or bs use a cruiser for pvp)
    – Don’t travel unscouted
    – If possible CEO can help with neutral hauler / freighter alt to move cheap pvp-ships for corp-mates so they don-t die while buying / replacing ships
    – Older players should help with ship setups
    – Don’t give your enemies “easy killz” or “mad fightz” only fight when you are sure to win.
    – Camping the main trade routes might lead to some funny hauler / freighterkills but be carefull when doing it.
    – Use bookmarks to insta-undock
    – Spread out! It’s annoying for your enemy if you are spread out all over highsec (travelling sucks. Especially if you make 2 turns through eve, trying to catch newbie-missionrunners and they just dock up once you enter system :/ )
    – If you are to centered and easily camped in, buy a few offices in far away places and show ppl how to podjump.
    – oh and dont forget insta undocking bookmarks for the corp
    etc. etc. etc.

    Tbh this list could go on and on and on from sharing fittings to fc-ing.

    Most importantly have fun. Even if that wardec is annoying try to use it to fight some kind of space-guerilla-war get some first pvp experience.

    Oh and btw my first corp formed 2 weeks before I joined eve, was already wardecced when I joined it after my 14day trial run out and we had a few really fun fights. Couldn’t imagine a better way to get “into the game”. But that was mainly because we had a few really awesome ppl in corp that put a lot of work into getting all the newbies into pvp.

    But honestly, it was one of the most fun times i had in over 6 years of eve.

    Getting wardecced isn’t the problem. But having fun because / while you are wardecced is the real issue here.
    It requires some knowledge of game mechanics and player skill.

    Then again, if you cannot have fun and cannot adapt in a way so that wardecs don’t bother you, and do not accept that you are on the loosing end, why are you playing eve?

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