Time to take security off the NPC market
Note: Not all criminals are alike; this is not an all-criminals-are-lame blog, it’s a consequences-and-more-PvP-for-everyone blog.
Criminality in EVE is a strange thing. Criminals (I’ll not pretty them up by calling them pirates) are pilots who have engaged in hostilities against another pilot who is not a criminal. And, they have done so repeatedly until their security status has reached a -5.0. And, they have not bothered to stop in-between and kill a few pirate faction NPCs.
“Wait,” you say, “so, a miscreant can perform any number of criminal acts as long as he or she stops for a while to shoot NPC pirates?” Yep. The one down-side to shooting other pilots in low-security space can be counteracted by an activity that will simultaneously make money for the criminal. Doesn’t that seem backward?
The whole concept of EVE is that it is a sandbox. In the sandbox actions have reactions; choices have consequences. So, what are the consequences faced by criminals in EVE? The sole consequence is a negative security status — easily mitigated by an activity that has other benefits (making money). If you see a pilot with a negative security status he is probably going to try to blow you up and steal what you’ve got — but the pilot with a positive security status is just as likely to try to blow you up and, again, steal what you’ve got because he’s just a criminal who worked off his negative security status. That doesn’t seem very sandboxy.
Exploratory Thought 4: Consequences even for criminals; strange thoughts indeed.
Now, some criminals wear their negative security status as a badge of honor; they parade around with a negative ten security status (the lowest possible value, also the name of an alliance). You can find them in low-security systems like Amamake, Rancer, Aeschee and Ostingele. Why don’t more criminals do this?
Low security status makes it difficult to travel; that makes it difficult to purchase new ships and modules when luck turns bad. Enter the alt — a second playable character who can travel freely, go shopping, and run missions in high-security space (don’t tell me you don’t run high-security missions with your alts, I read your blogs).
Exploratory Thought 5: There is nothing wrong with alts, but why encourage their use?
I propose that we remove the need for alts. Let pilots of any security status enter any area of space without being immediately attacked by faction navies; move security from the purview of non-player entities and place it squarely on our shoulders. The responsibility for market goods has been gradually moved from NPC market orders to player manufacturers; it’s time for security to go the same way. Let us camp high-security space entry points like they camp low-security space entry points — turn about is fair play.
Note that I’m not suggesting we remove CONCORD; punishment still has a place, just remove the travel restrictions.
This move would allow criminals the same amount of security in our space as we have in theirs (I actually live in low-security space most of the time, I’m using the figurative ‘our’). It eliminates one of the motivations for keeping security status high and for using an alt (not that there aren’t others).
As part of the consequence, though, make it much more difficult to regain security status. Or, make it necessary to make some form of restitution (read pay fines to CONCORD for past violations) in order to begin regaining security status.
So the new world view looks a little like this: criminals can freely enter high-security space; they can be freely engaged by players there (and subsequently return fire), but are still not free to begin an engagement (or CONCORD rears its ugly, indestructible head). Criminals are not chased by faction navy spawns or fired upon by gate guns (until they perform a criminal action, as usual). It’s the exact reverse of low-security space — the criminals are afraid of being engaged and the upstanding citizens are free to engage them at leisure.
Exploratory Thoughts 6: More PvP is always a good thing.
What do we get from this? Several benefits outlined already, but I’ll summarize: more PvP for everyone, fewer losses to faction navy spawns, less need for an alt (for the criminals), and most importantly these changes would give security status a real meaning.
Final note: I’m also for increasing the size of low-security space, making high-security space less secure in general (therefore making the play pool for the criminals much bigger and less concentrated) with roving faction navies to clear out gate camps made up of criminals with an active global criminal countdown, and generally mixing things up.