Daily Archives: January 14, 2010

Lessons from Hulkageddon II?

The week long Hulkageddon II event is over.

If you look at the statistics on the kill board, you will see that over a twelve hundred exhumers were destroyed along with over 300 mining barges.

Along with that, over 200 of the pilots were also pod killed as part of the action.

They even managed to knock off a dozen Orcas and, according to the kill board, one carrier.  I’m not sure how that last one fit in.  Was somebody drone mining with it, or was that just a target of opportunity?

And what does all this mean?

Certainly the people who participated in the event voluntarily had a good time.  Achievements were made, prizes were won, videos were shared.

And they will point out how many macro miners… automated mining bots… they knocked off.  And, certainly, messing with the botters is a cherished tradition in MMOs.  When you zap a bot and you see his pod continue to fly back and forth to the belt for hours after the kill, it is hard not to feel a sense of accomplishment.

But not everybody who lost a ship was a bot.  Some of them were just regular players.  Those in mining barges especially, which are lightly tanked and thus easily killed, were likely to be newer players.  People like that got screwed.  Somebody’s fun became their misery.

And you can take the cliche attitudes that people throw around in EVE.  Don’t fly what you cannot afford to lose.  Don’t ever assume you are safe outside of a station.  Don’t AFK.  EVE is about PvP.  Sandbox, landmines, blah blah blah.

But all that amounts to is throwing a teaspoon of kitty litter over the steaming cow turd that is the loophole in the way things work in EVE Online.

Because you cannot deny that a loophole exists when a group of people can slaughter hundreds of mining ships in high security space and face little or no sanction.  They slip past CONCORD, head to a belt, blast somebody, get their own minimally equipped ship blown up, collect the insurance payout, grab another ship and do it again.

CONCORD doing its usual bang up job

Don’t like the security standing hit?  Just make an alt and finance it with your main.  A few skills and you’re ready to go.

And I am not anti-pirate.  That is a legitimate play style in the game and part of what makes EVE what it is.  I am not even anti-ganking per se.  If you’re willing to pay the price, you ought to be able to do what you want.  But the price does not seem to be high enough at the moment.  An event like this shows that there is something out of balance in the game.

How do you fix it, or do you even try?

A few possible changes come to my mind.

  • Don’t offer insurance to people below a certain security level
  • Don’t pay insurance claims if CONCORD kills you
  • Make the attacker pay for the insurance outlay for the victims ship if CONCORD gets involved
  • Make CONCORD more responsive
  • Have CONCORD pursue low security players when they enter high sec
  • Give mining ships better default tanks
  • Give mining ships a huge shield booster bonus
  • Remove insurance from the game

I am not sure any of them are actually good ideas.  They all change the flavor of the game to some extent as well as leading to other avenues to be exploited.

Somebody attacks a freighter full of donuts though, and suddenly...

So what do you do?

How do you close, or at least tighten up, this loophole without killing off that which makes EVE the game it is?

Does EVE need big changes?  Little changes?  Or do should we just leave it alone?

What lessons do you think come out of Hulkageddon?