Wednesday, January 18

BB 32: Non-Consensual Combat Restrictions

"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option.

Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"

My first ever contribution to a blog banter debate, huzzah! Here it goes!

First things first EVE is a MMORPG and it is a PvP MMORPG and is advertised as such. There really is no way you can come to EVE having done any research on the game at all that you can not be aware of this. CCP's advertisements, reporting in gaming media it all has a central theme; strife. Whenever you hear about EVE it's almost always because somebody in the game did something nasty to somebody (or somebodies) else.

Playing EVE 'because you like space ships' and then complaining there's PvP is like joining the army 'because you like guns' and then complaining when you find you have to serve the interests of your country through violent means. Golly, who could have guessed...?

So then we come to the question what PvP is consensual? To go into this I'll look at some forms of EVE PvP that often generate tears.

Suicide ganking for profit, the practice of scanning ships and the exploding them if you think you can make a profit. Is this consensual? No obviously not, nobody 'wants' to loose their ship full of, or fitted with shiny stuff. But should CCP take steps against this? No ultimately not in my opinion. There's risk for the ganker too here, the gank can fail or the items might not drop or the loot might get 'stolen' before the ganker (alt) grabs it.
Also the victim gets kill rights and since gankers for profit do operate in hisec that actually means something, you can go extract revenge with a little effort. Also an in game friend of mine once had his ship full of wormhole goo exploded I ran the math for him and he spend 3 isk per 1 million of isk he was transporting on the ship he was doing it in... If you don't protect your assets don't be surprised if somebody takes advantage of that.

Suicide ganking to cause grief, blowing up people just because you can! Is this consensual? Again no obviously not. But again there is the eternal risk/reward thing you can fit a Hulk for maximum yield and forgo any tank and you are likely to die to a ganker. You could tank your Hulk (a simple DCU2 makes all the difference) and you loose some mining efficiency but will likely survive most (all but the most determinant) attempts at ganking, especially in really high security systems where gankers only have seconds to do the deed.
Also keeping an eye on suspicious local activity will go a long way, suddenly have five outlaws in system? You better align that Hulk out.

High security space wars, I can be short about this one, you consented the moment you left the NPC corporation to join a player corporation or create your own. There's really no two ways about this, it's just a game mechanic and working 'as intended'. You don't want to get wardecced ever? Stick with a NPC corporation, simple as pie.

Ninja Salvagers/Looters, again this one is simple, you shot first. There's no way for the ninja to shoot you without getting concorded unless you fired first, if opening fire on another player isn't consenting to PvP I don't know what is.

Can flippers, a little more shady then ninja's as shooting isn't always (initially) involved. But when you 'steal' your ore back there is a message explicitly informing you of the risk, if you go ahead with it you ultimately accepted the risk and thus consented with any consequences of that action.

There's a few more advanced methods of 'non-consensual' PvP involving aggression timer mechanics, but since the introduction of Crucible they ALL at some point pop up a warning that what you are about to do, will allow other players to shoot you without Concord intervention. So ultimately they are all on closer examination actually consensual PvP in which both parties willingly accepted a risk.

So my conclusion, with the possible exception of suicide ganking pretty much all other forms of PvP were at some point consented too. And ultimately like I said in my opening statement you consented to PvP when you choose to play EVE that includes getting ganked sometimes. If you want to build stuff without the risk of other people intervening and kicking over your pixelated sand castle because that's how they enjoy to play the game, I'd recommend Terraria or Minecraft.

And I don't think Concord needs to be buffed or altered. The only thing I can think of that CCP could reasonably change is teaching faction police (not concord) to scram before they web, because that is a little silly as it stands!


  1. This 'opt out of pvp' thing is just some idea fabricated for the blog banter discussion, right? People aren't actually seriously calling for this are they? The mind boggles if they are. I think I would rage quit and flip my desk if that ever happened. I don't think it will ever happen though.



  2. Miura, don't panic, it really was just a shameless attempt to solicit some impassioned responses from the blogging community. Or a troll as the kids call it these days. Blame Drackarn at Sand, Cider and Spaceships. He started it. ;)