Is Hi-Sec actually broken? Part 2

Part 1 TLDR

Hi Sec is the healthiest area of the game, don’t mess it up.


Unhealthy Attitudes

When it comes to Hi Sec, I think there are two especially unhealthy attitudes.

The first is that it is unfair for other players to be able to impact your gaming there.

I regularly hear people in my corporation lamenting the fact you can be suicide ganked, or Can flipped, or have war declared on you.  You can imagine what the attitude towards Hulkageddon is!  For some, they just don’t understand why people would want to, for others they want to be safe to do whatever they fancy.

I love the fact Hi Sec is not 100% safe.  The three main reasons, in no particular order:

. It fits the EVE backstory.  Life for the vast majority of the populace in EVE is harsh and very unfair.  Have a look at the crew guidelines in the EVE Wiki:

In the first month of playing, I had lost a couple Frigates and a Destroyer.  While I simply warped off in my pod, over 90% of the crew would have died, approximately 8 to 24 in total.  When I messed up in a Low Sec Complex and lost my Drake, around 80% of the crew (somewhere between  40 and 80) died.  I can’t say I gave them a second thought.  The environment is defined as cruel and unforgiving.  An arbitrary safe zone where there is no risk at all just does not fit.

. It is part of what gives value and consequence to your actions in EVE.  I am going to struggle to describe this one well.  When you undock a ship in EVE, you put it at risk.  If you lose it, you suffer a financial set back.  This is part of what puts value around your efforts to generate ISK.  Take away that risk, and you devalue your efforts in game.  The old saying “easy come, easy go” sort of explains my mindset here.  If your life in Hi Sec is 100% safe and easy, the value of your achievements (and the game itself) is diminished.

. It generates game content.  I adjust the way I play EVE to reflect this danger.  I always align to a station when mining, keep an eye on local and DScan when in a mission, I try to balance the value of what I haul to make myself less of a target, I don’t auto pilot if I carry anything of worth, I’ve thought long and hard about what ship types to use for certain cargos, and the balance between tank and capacity on them.  Just read a sampling of the EVE blogs to see how many stories are generated by Hi Sec conflict.  Take that away from the game, and it will be far poorer for it.


The second unhealthy attitude when it comes to Hi Sec is the venomous hatred many players have towards its inhabitance.  From the CSM Chairman down, there are people who detest the notion of people never leaving Hi Sec – or of Hi Sec itself.

For some people, this is because they think EVE should be a hard game, and that people should be forced to play it in its hardest form.  I can accept and understand why some would think that way.  I just don’t think enough people would play EVE to keep it viable if that was the case.  I would stop playing – my real life situation just doesn’t allow for me to play EVE that way.

For others it seems more the old attitude that if people are not playing the game like they are, then they are worthless pieces of shit who are not doing it right.  I am less accepting of this small minded, narcissistic view.  In effect, they want to force people to play the game their way.  Not only does that destroy the sandpit nature of EVE, it would also see the Subscription count free fall as you are arbitrarily forced to change how you play.

For others it seems the attitude comes from wanting more targets to fall under their guns, and if you can just force people out of Hi Sec, it would be PVP nirvana.  But again, how many people would end up playing the game?

Funny enough, even though these attitudes are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, they are basically the same.  “I think everyone should play the game my way”.


Focus on being a Sandpit

EVE is usually described as a sandpit MMO.  Your character options are not just limited to a handful of templates that actually work.  There is no level cap.  You don’t have a pre-defined set of quests and adventure arcs that you have to follow.  The industry and economy is huge, rich and complex.  While the combat system does lean towards cookie cutter fits, the variety of vessels, configuration options, fleet composition, doctrines and counters is huge and ever changing.  There truly are a vast number of different things you can do within the game.  This is what I love about EVE.

When people talk about changing Hi Sec, the very first thing I ask myself is would the changes make EVE more of a Sandpit, or less?  I don’t mind the idea of new narrow focused content being added, but I don’t want narrow mindedness to result in less available options and play styles being available.

A healthy Hi Sec means a healthy base from which EVE can operate.  By all means work on enticing these people out into Low and Null Sec, but do not force them too.


Why do I write so much crap on the topic?

I get a lot of enjoyment and relaxation out of EVE.  It takes my mind off real life issues, gives me some down time, and is a great distraction.  It seems so cringe worthy to admit it – but I care about the game and it is important to me.

There are many aspects of the game however that I just cannot physically be involved in.  My play time is sporadic, often interrupted, and generally doesn’t last longer than an hour at a time.  I’ve been in a SOV based 0.0 alliance before, and I simply couldn’t attend the CTA’s required to support that type of game style.  Even if I did manage to get involved in a CTA fleet, and didn’t have to leave early, or drop out at short notice, I didn’t have enough game time left to grind large amounts of ISK required to cover heavy losses.

If SOV 0.0 was the only aspect of EVE available to me, I would have had to sadly give it away years ago.  My Corp is basically full of people with exactly the same issues and view.  They want to play EVE, and enjoy doing so, but they can’t do the 0.0 End Game or live the wormhole life.  It is in my self-interest then to want as many options available to casual players as possible.

As I remarked last time, I don’t think Hi Sec is broken.  I think the Goon’s Gallente Ice Interdiction campaign is evidence of that.  I absolutely love the fact it was possible to do that within the game.  The market manipulation and propaganda were brilliant, and it force players to adapt or die.  There were consequences for the participant however.  I expect many will have had their Hi Sec movements hampered by Security Status hits which will require painstaking grinding of NPC’s to reverse.

So the griefing of Hi Sec Bears is entirely acceptable to me – assuming the methods are relatively fair.


Part 2 TLDR?

When thinking about Hi Sec changes, ensure you focus on maintaining the sandpit nature of the game, including allowing for casual play styles.

6 thoughts on “Is Hi-Sec actually broken? Part 2

  1. Pingback: Agreed | Blastrad Tales
  2. Pretty much agree that Highsec is healthy and don’t mess it up. Make it unhealthy and many will leave the game for all kinds of reasons. What many people fail to see is that its in absolutely no one best interest to have people that are currently playing the game and enjoying the game to find fault and leave the game.

    Part of the EVE population thinks some in Highsec is not playing the game their way and what they want is many in Highsec to play the game their way and end up under their gun for shits and giggles. The game is a sandbox and should cater to all styles of play.

    Whats more needed is for all the other areas of the game to improve to make it more viable and fun for those that populate all the other areas of EVE and make those areas just as healthy to occupy and play in.

  3. Pretty much agree although I’d suggest while highsec isn’t particularly broken, far too many of the key mechanics behind it have been left to rot to a point where there’s no longer any clear definition of what highsec is or even should be.

    The idea that ‘When you undock a ship in EVE, you put it at risk’ is oft repeated but isn’t really true in highsec atm. Wardec mechanics are a joke, as is everything surrounding bounties which hampers any sort of aggressive act tactical, grief or otherwise. On the other hand the fact that griefers remain basically untouchable in an NPC corp absolutely contradicts the idea that all actions have consequences as does the acceptance of Dec Shields.

    Whether you’re the initial aggressor or a victim trying to maintain/fight back it’s far too easy for your opponent to get away when the situation turns against them with very little lost. At this point the game is broken from both sides.

    The community has proven unable to move beyond bullshit arguments about Carebear Paradises and Noob PVPers too scared to go to null. CCP need to take the lead and come out with a clear definition of what highsec is and will be.

    Then maybe the debate can get round to how exactly we go about fixing it 🙂

    • I agree that there are mechanisms in Empire which need to be improved or fixed. My post was directed towards the motivations of those who would like to see the concept of Empire changed. You are right that some people mitigate the worst of their risks in EVE – often in the most annoying of ways! You can however do the same if you want (although never leaving the docking range of a station doesn’t sound like much fun.) I would love to see some of the log off aggresion changes be carried over to docking. Imagine the impact if docking isn’t allowed if you are being aggressed by someone else.

  4. OK I gotta chime in here… can someone, anyone, please give me an objective definition of “broke” as regards any system, sector, section or part of EVE? one that and does not start with “I want…” or “I don’t like…”?

    Hi, lo, null and w-space are not Broken. I can log in, I can fly around in em, I can fight and kill or die in em, I can make ISK in em… they WORK. They just may not work the way YOU want which is not anyone’s definition of ‘broken’. Broken is I/we can’t log on, I/we can’t undock, I/we can’t warp…. not I/we don’t like getting attacked… It’s the getting attacked and the very real potential to actually lose ‘stuff’ you ‘care’ about and or worked for that makes EVE not broken… but better than ANY MMO ever seen.

    I have rarely read anything that states this as clearly as Hermit’s current post. Kudos! +1, NEEDS REPEATING.

    EVE is NOT broken. It is never going to be everything for everyone… it is too much like real life in that way and this is exactly what the original devs and game designers wanted. Not to make you unhappy, but to give us all a virtual reality in which to live a life we cannot live in our current reality, one that includes ‘loss’… it’s called RISK.

    EVE works, it sux sometimes but that is WHY is works. When you win here, you win something far moar than just the recycled electrons that generate a picture of a fictional object in a fictional place. A feeling of accomplishment… of having beat ‘them’ at their game… Not having just figured out how to beat an AI or the programming or mechanics of a game… but of having won out against others who are actively seeking to take or destroy what you have created, and can do so.

    I love this game…

    Hermit, I hope you don’t mind man but I am going to be linking this post and sending people to read it for some time to come.

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