As I remarked in my last post, the Goons have announced that they will continue indefinitely the bounty system on Exhumer kills that they introduced for Hulkageddon. In a comment, Ardent Defender (http://ardentdefense.wordpress.com) asked me what I thought CCP would do about it.
It seemed a simple question – but I managed to spend an inordinate amount of time writing up a complicated answer. In the end I had to turn it into a blog post.
To be frank – I am not a fan of suicide ganking someone in Empire just for the reward of tears. I can’t fathom how people get so excited and proud of themselves over what is a relatively unskilled act that generally costs them more wealth than they gain. Equally, I have just as much distain for those who humiliate themselves with the most cringe worthy rants of despair or anger after losing their Mining Barge.
While I might dislike the sociological deficiencies exhibited by some of the perpetrators and victims, the actual underlying act is not against the rules. If you undock in an Exhumer in Empire, you are fair game.
Do the Goons promoting this killing for an open ended period change things?
It is interesting to ponder what the underlying purpose is. Is this an attempt to manipulate the Mineral, Exhumer, Moon Goo markets or the like? Is it a protest against CCP’s changes to insurance and aggression rules, which made Empire a little safer? Is it a megalomaniac alliance leader taunting CCP with his in game power and wealth? Is it a genuine attempt to make Empire miners quit the game? Is there no other purpose beyond “because they can”?
Some of those are more palatable than others. I assume deliberately trying to harm the game or CCP is against the EULA, so I can’t imagine the Goon’s ever admitting to that. Anything else however seems like it would also fall within the rules.
As such, even if it might not be the way you would play the game, you would not expect CCP to intervene. In fact, they seem to delight in this sort of player driven game content.
I don’t know what physical impact this will have in game. I suspect the increased risk of being ganked while Mining will probably end up being relatively minor. Behind the scenes I also imagine a small group of people is probably profiting from it greatly.
The psychological impact however will likely be much greater.
There are a surprising number of people whose main enjoyment in EVE is to mine in Empire. I was that way for the first 6 months in game. We have some in our Corp. When we have War Dec’s, they don’t undock, and generally stop playing until it is over. When Hulkageddon ran, they again stayed in station and logged in much less. When they caught news of the continuation of the Goon’s bounty, I could sense their shoulder’s slumping in their Chat and Forum posts.
I have no idea about the numbers, but I would assume more people quit EVE over being suicide ganked in their Mining Ship, than join to be involved in doing it. Events like this would plausibly cost CCP more subscriptions than they would gain. That isn’t itself a problem CCP has to react too. It adds to the mystique of the game, and the notion of it being hard core.
So where’s the problem?
There is little the average miner can do about it.
Yes – they can relocate to a quieter area. They can continually hit d-scan and run whenever they see a destroyer hull. They can tank their exhumer (to limited effect). If they have multiple accounts, they can use a logistic ship. That can certainly reduce the risk, although they are still vulnerable, especially when moving between systems.
But I am not talking about those sorts of mechanics. The Mittani mocks their style of game play, and sets about trying to ruin it for them. There is no plausible way for them to retaliate. The wealth and numbers of the Goons are in effect insurmountable for the solo and small groups of miners. The Exhumers are easily enough killed by cheap fit solo destroyers.
The Goons can grief Empire Miners with relative impunity and minimum cost indefinitely.
That to my mind – in the long run, might not be healthy for the game. Will CCP do anything about that? I have no idea.