Game Change Ideas 001 – Making Local less Reliable

One of the ideas bantered around since I started EVE has been the removal of Local.  I hated the idea as basically it is designed to make it easier for people to Gank others.  If I want to avoid PVP, I shouldn’t have to spam the scan button every 5 seconds I am out of Empire.

I have and will regularly comment here that if you want more small scale player interaction in Null Sec, then you need to encourage a large population of solo and small groups to live there.  Losing Local will not do that.

I have been thinking of an alternative to this – making Local less reliable in 0.0, and boosting the value and concept of Black Ops and Wormhole travel.

The idea is that the Local list is maintained by the Infrastructure within the Null Sec system – and is only updated when the Infrastructure knows you are there.  So when you:

. Are docked, dock or undock at a Station
. You enter or leave a system via a gate
. You enter or leave a system via a normal Cyno
. You spend any time uncloaked within – let’s say 1 AU of a Gate, Station or Customs office
. You speak in local
. You log in or out

This leaves two important times when you are not automatically added to the Local list:

. When you enter a system via a Wormhole
. When you enter a system via a Covert Cyno

To my mind it makes logical sense, and adds another interesting dynamic to the game.  You can no longer trust local.

To expand on this, you could look at new ship modules, ship class, or System Infrastructure updates:

. A Ship module (should reduce the utility of the ship, so maybe requires the use of a high slot) that gives you a chance to scramble or hack or confuse the System Infrastructure into not registering when you Jump through a gate.  That means you have a chance not to be flagged in Local when moving around via Gates.  The base chance might be 5 to 15%, based on the module quality, with an extra 4% chance per rank in a relating skill.  (So a T2 module with rank V would give you a 35% chance of not being registered each time you jump into Local.)

. A new ship class designed to move through gates without being registered – with a Ship bonus of (example) 4% per rank to this chance.  (So at Rank V in both the ship and module skill, with a T2 module, you might have a 55% chance of jumping into a system without being registered in Local.  Obviously the balance of that would need to be played around with.

. Alliances can spend to upgrade the Gates in a system to make it more difficult for this Stealth jumping to work, and separately to increase the range it works to register uncloaked pilots.

There are some obvious questions:

. Do you register when you leave a system via a Cyno Jump Bridge or Wormhole?  By the logic used to come up with this idea, the answer would be no.  That might leave you flagged in Local even though you have gone, until you are picked up by the infrastructure in some other system / log off etc.  I don’t mind that concept.

. Do Alliance Jump bridges also automatically register people’s coming and goings?  For ease of implementation I would say yes.

. Is there a chance this adds too much complexity or a source of possible lag?

. Will this be loved by Macro/Bot Hunters?

While this does make life a little more difficult in 0.0, it increases the career path options for those who like to move around in small groups, and in recons and black ops.  It can be used by both attackers and defenders to mask their numbers and presence, and while I suspect might be a little complicated to implement, seems to add to the sandpit dynamic of the game and have a “cool” factor about it.