This post is a reply to the Blog Banter #32.
This month’s Blog Banter comes from Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships. He has foolishly chosen to poke the hornets’ nest that is the non-consensual PvP debate. Whilst you read his question, I’ll be finding a safe place to hide.
“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?
EVE Online is a game that tries to model the reality, at least when it comes to people interaction. In real life there is no security status, is there? Innocent people get hurt sometimes and offenders go to jail. This is life. Why should a game world be different? Other games let you choose if you want to interact with other players or not, but this is from my point of view completely flawed. Why? Massive multiplayer games are about being massive and multiplayer, right? Then why should people be given the ability to play completely solo? This is against my idea of a multiplayer game.
EVE Online developers decided it is a PVP game in as many aspects as possible. PVP is not just pure combat: undercutting market prices by traders is a form of PVP, because the one with the best prices will get his goods sold, and will make ISK, while the one with higher prices will not make a dime. PVP is present in industry, where players try to minimize their operating cost, so they can compete with other industrialists. Alliances fight alliances over space and a place to have other activities. As you can see from the examples above, PVP is basically another term for competition, about someone being better at the game and someone being not as good. Players with better intel, better ships, bigger numbers, or better business plan WIN.
By starting EVE Online account you agree to the game rules.
By signing up you have agreed that EVE is a PVP game, and that PVP exists everywhere in the game, even in high sec. If you decide to fly a paper thin ship that mines Ice, it is your decision in the first place. You know that someone might come in and destroy it, no matter the security status of the system. If you jump to low sec or null sec, you know there will be others who might want to destroy your ship. You have to accept this fact, embrace it. Treat this ship as already lost, calculate it into your costs. If ships weren’t lost, the precious EVE economy would be ruined and irrevocably lost. One of the things that make EVE “real” would be gone. Isn’t that why you play EVE and not, say, World of Warcraft?
As soon as opting out of PVP is introduced to EVE, I will
ragequit over it think how this affects me and act accordingly.
Miners don’t stand a chance
I agree that both Mining Barges and their tech 2 counterparts are paper-thin, which makes them ideal targets for suicide attacks. Miners have everything against them: big signature, low EHP, low speed, low agility, the element of surprise and even the NPCs. Most gankers fit their ships to alpha their targets – kill them with the first volley. I agree that there is no real counter against it, but preventing gank by the game rules is not the way to solve the problem.
If miners want to combat gankers, they should be given a tool for that – better tank, some weapons, or just different ship. For mining ore the best solution to avoid being ganked is mining with a battleship: a Rokh can sport more than 85k of EHP, while easily outmining a Retriever. Unfortunately it will not work for mining Ice, as mining barges are the only ships which can do it.
Orca pilots can easily hull tank their expensive Command Ships. An Orca with DC II, Reinforced Bulkheads II and 3 active shield hardeners in meds has about 194k EHP, compared to 51,7k EHP when fitted with cargo expanders and cargo rigs. Remember: modules (and rigs) used for increasing the capacity of your cargohold reduce hull (and armor) HP!
So here is my solution:
- Make new ice cubes which will be 10 times smaller and contain 1/10 of the isotopes,
- Introduce a new Ice Miner I (and II) turret, which will mine 1 new ice cube per cycle,
- Current “Strip” Ice Harvester modules will mine 10 new ice cubes per cycle,
This will give ice miners the tool they need really: a choice to mine more ice in a weaker ship, or mine less, but in a less vulnerable one.
EDIT: One more idea.
After reading what other Blog Banter participants have to say (both pro and against the “opt out of PVP” button), one more idea came up to me. It’s similar approach to Kirith’s, but a bit different. The Isolation Matrix is a ship setting, I would see it as a module instead.
I think there are other ways to improve safety of miners and mission runners, like specific “siege type” module that would be increasing your resists to 99% for example (let’s call it an Invulnerability Core for the moment), but disallowing you to target, warp, move or dock and makes your drone bandwidth 0 mbit. Or instead of resists, make you untargetable (this one would be called Signature Scrambling Core). It could only be fitted on mining barges (+exhumers and orcas obviously) and would only work in 0.5 and above. What do you think about such solution?