This post is a reply to the Blog Banter #44.
Is There Anybody Out There?
“The local chat channel provides EVE players with an instant source of intel of who is in the system. With a quick glance you can tell who is in system and what your standings are to them. War targets, hated enemies, friends and corp mates all stand out clearly. Is this right? Should we have access to this intel for free with no work or effort? Should the Local chat channel even exist? Should normal space be more like wormhole space where the Local channel appears empty until someone speaks?”
Local works just fine.
People wanted EVE with system-wide effects. Players wanted EVE without local. Guess what? CCP listened and gave us 2000+ such systems in Apocrypha. It’s called wormhole space. I’ve heard hundreds of “remove local” voices since I’ve started playing EVE. It’s not going to happen, and here is why.
First off, “me” is me, and “you” is all those people who want to get rid of local. Everyone else read on as if this was a chat log or meeting minutes 😉
EVE is not just a game of shooting spaceships. As long as an average Joe is simply shooting spaceships, that average Joe is flying under an FC. And those FC’s are playing a different game, called EVE RTS (have you ever been playing as FC? You think it’s simply about target calling?). When roaming, FCs need eyes. Not only one system ahead. The more systems around FC has eyes on, the better. Some of that is achieved by creating intel chat channels, where information about spotted neutrals/reds in an area of space (constellation, region) is exchanged, some of that is achieved by having scouts ahead, and some by reading map stats. Now, let’s assume local has been removed (or changed to a delayed mode like in WH space) and either an improved d-scan or new probing mechanism has been introduced. Of course map statistics about number of pilots docked, in space and number of ships recently destroyed is still available. Now, let’s have a look at the effects of this change: Besides creating a new mini-profession (“eyes”), you are only giving players a new burden to bear. The end result will be the same: FCs will have eyes, the more, the merrier. This will not stop gangs from dropping on top of you. This will not stop people from finding fights when they really want to. This will not stop people from sitting cloaked in your system, opening a cyno and calling a fleet in when they spot a target.
The unintended result will be however killing solo roamers. Since they work solo, they don’t have dedicated eyes in every system along the path of their roam. With local removed, finding a fight will be much harder (whereas sometimes it will be even too easy, when solo hunter becomes the hunted). Yes, with all the blob warfare going around in EVE, solo PVPers still exist.
Hence my question, why change something that works just fine?
One of the ideas from other Banterers that I liked somehow was introducing a delayed local in nullsec and adding a system upgrade or anchorable module that grants the owning alliance the ability to see local in immediate mode. This would give players yet another reason to claim and hold space, which is good and can be a potential driver for conflict.
I am against changing local, but not because I am afraid of the new. I see the mechanic of local well balanced and working as intended. In case you don’t like local, do yourself a favour and go to WH space, where it works the way you want.