Roundtables

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Earlier today there was a discussion on Twitter regarding the need for a change to wardec mechanics that eventually led to some criticisms regarding the wardec roundtable. I promised to write a response to these points so here it goes…

She’s not wrong.

To start off, unlike past roundtables actually conducted by the CSM, this roundtable was something I set up because it was a subject I am passionate about and had been requested by several friends in the mercenary community. I did this for them, and my intention was to give wardeccers the opportunity to present their problems and present possible suggestions to alleviate them. I also invited a handful of non-wardeccers who I highly respect and who I could expect to respond critically in discussions rather than just emotionally. As someone who lurks the ‘Ideas and Suggestions’ and ‘Crime and Punishment’ sections of the forums I already have a good grasp of the regular back and forth between the two sides and didn’t want to have the roundtable descend into that. So initially, the majority of those invited were wardeccers.

As I mentioned in a previous post this all kind of went out the window because I didn’t inform Ashterothi and he publicly advertised the roundtable as he was streaming it. In the end I was pleased that it worked out (especially because about half the people who said they were coming didn’t show up in the end, some because of a mercenary war between Archetype and Vendetta Mercenary Group) and we ended up having a mostly civil discussion to help educate the CSM. Personally, I reflect back on this roundtable as a bit of a trial run for future discussions. I know that the previous Ganking and Anti-Ganking roundtables were held separately, and I’m curious to know how they fared in comparison not being able to have much of a back and forth like we had at times. But it’s all good progress in communication between the community in the CSM in my opinion.

Discussions will continue. I’m pleased with the roundtable overall, but it was just a start – I’d love to see more players of all backgrounds getting involved in the next step of the Wardec Project and I’m going to start pressing it on people just to be a huge jerk. I’m going to give you the tools you need to contribute to the discussion, all you have to do is hop in. Our Discord is now here.

Make it fun.

Toxic.

 

 

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Make Corporations Great

Over the last couple of years of playing EVE Online, I’ve developed distaste for the way corporations are used in Highsec. Coming from a background of Highsec wardeccing, I’ve seen dozens of corporations dodge wars – folding their corporation and creating a new one to avoid conflict. I don’t think that players should be forced into conflicts that they have no interests in, but I would love to see more corporations that are invested in their own identity and development, and more willing to fight for what they have built. So this is my proposal to make corporations great [again].

I have seen tons of fledgling, private, or one man corporations that more or less exist because corporations provide the social structure that guilds, clans, and clubs offer in other MMORPGs. Corporations are easy to setup and offer all the tools that the aforementioned social structures provide in other games, but these tools will sometimes be underutilized by those who don’t plan to or understand how to use them.  As an alternative for those who are not interested in building up their space, such as taking sovereignty or setting up structures, I think that the introduction of social corporations, or ‘societies’ as I tend to call them, would better suit their interests. Societies could offer all of the social benefits of a regular corporation, such as private channel, member list, titles, etc. Unlike corporations they wouldn’t have the ability to alter the rate of taxation, anchor large structures, take sovereignty, or engage in wars. Allowing players to be able to join multiple societies could give rise to more community based groups established in game, rather than outside of it. I know that this idea has been pitched before, but for players who are just getting started, don’t plan on having citadels or taking sovereignty, or are trying to avoid the risks that come with being in a corporation, creating a society could become the optimal choice over a corporation.

With the introduction of Citadels, and future structural releases on the horizon such as Industrial Arrays, the benefits of being in a player-run corporation rather than a NPC corporation far outweigh the risks that come with it. Rather than just tacking on additional benefits, I think a good way to encourage players to stick with and improve on their corporations would be with the implementation of corporate specializations. When you start a new corporation you could be presented with a variety of options to develop your corporations benefits – so for example, you could give industrial corporations choices like slightly higher mining yields, improved industrial build times/material efficiency, faster producing/better yields on planetary interaction, etc. Increased rewards of loyalty points and isk could be handed out to those who specialize in Empire protection operations such as missions, incursions, faction warfare, and general ratting. There could even be nomadic and empire building based specializations that grant bonuses to structures, reductions to jump fatigue, or bonus rewards for running data/relic sites.

Rather than just choosing which benefits your corporation would receive, the best way to recieve these benefits would come from the members banding together to work toward their specialization. As the most simple example, an industrial corporations interested in specializing in mining could have to mine a large quantity of ore to gain the proficiency needed for an increased mining bonus. Completing faction warfare plexes and killing pilots of the opposing faction could lead to better payouts for your corporation. With multiple levels of proficiency goals corporations could either attempt to maximize their specialization in a small scope of skills or provide a more balanced approach across different bonuses.

There are some glaring issues though – for a player or group establishing several corporations with different specializations would theoretically provide them with easy access to a multitude of bonuses that they could hop between. To that end I would want to see specialization bonuses applied to members that have been with the corporation for extended periods of time – for example a new player would only have access to a base level bonus upon joining the corporation and over time of being in the corporation would learn the practices of the corporation that led them to be so good in their field of specialty. With this, corporation members are encouraged to stick with their corporation and invest both time and effort to access these bonuses. I also worry about the impact this might have on player freedom – players may feel obligated to play into their corporation’s specialization because that might be where the greatest benefits lie. Finally, while I originally liked the idea of giving players more reason to fight for their corporations in Highsec, this might just further solidify the strategy of not playing during active wardecs to avoid conflict as players wouldn’t want to risk losing their bonuses.

All that said, I still really like the concept of really evolving a corporation and making it yours, much like CCP seems to have planned for structures in space. I would love to hear any feedback, and I realize that my suggestions regarding specialization could have large and potentially negative impacts on the economy, so please help inform me on that kind of stuff.

I’d also like to remind players to check out the Wardec Project, we have a document that includes suggestions and discussions for ways to improve on current wardec mechanics as well as a Discord for more discussion.

The Wardec Project Redux

With Ascension dropping in a matter of hours, I figured it might be a good time to get over Battlefield and actually get back on track with my plans for the Wardec Project. The project was started just over a year ago to discuss ways to improve wardec mechanics with the goal of building a document for displaying to CCP and the larger EVE community. While the project didn’t gain a huge amount of momentum, I’m hoping the a small reworking and rebooting on my part will kickstart the whole thing.

My main goal is to ensure that the project is open to everyone who wants to express their thoughts, and will maintain some semblance of fair discussion. I want discussions to be easily accessible – so I’ve started up a Discord channel here for those who want to join in. The document itself will go from being openly edited to being operated by a select few, adding points and snippets from the Discord discussions as new ideas and good points are raised. If someone pitches an idea for a rework, it can be posted for discussion as well. While the old document can be found here, I’m planning to do some reworking as soon as everything is sorted.

Until then, let’s talk.

Toxic

The Wardec Project

Back in January when I was first reaching out to other players about their perspectives on Highsec, Tora Bushido showed me the work that he and Jason Quixos had created called the Wardec Project. The Wardec Project was designed to be a forum for discussion with hopes of creating a better wardec system. While there was some initial success in bringing people in and starting up conversation, the project has been laying dormant for most of the year as Jason has picked up other projects. Following the recent wardec roundtable, Jason asked me if I would be interested in taking over custodial duties for the project and get things moving again, to which I happily agreed. So starts another project – I’ll make another post about this later in the week once things move forward, but I’d really like to organize everything and then open the gates a bit more for discsusion.

Until then,

Make it fun.

Toxic

Wardec Roundtable 10/08/2016

My failure to get elected into CSM XI was pretty much expected; being a nobody who wants to represent the ganking and wardeccing communities probably isn’t a winning strategy. But at the very least I wanted to be honest to myself and represent the playstyle and lifestyle that I enjoy in EVE Online. So after a few days of self pity and self reflection following the election, I determined that my best strategy moving forward towards the CSM XII elections would be to improve on my perception of the state of Highsec.

In the weeks leading up to the CSM Fall Summit, the CSM starting hosting roundtables on subjects such as wormholes, PVE, ganking, anti-ganking, and faction warfare to prepare themselves for upcoming discussions with CCP. I was really pleased to see ganking getting attention from the CSM, though I ended up missing out on participating because of work. Though I knew wars wouldn’t be discussed at the summit, I poked a couple of CSM members about them setting up a roundtable for the future. While they agreed, I realized this presented an opportunity for myself to actually do something for a community that I care for and get some experience organizing discussions.

So I set it up myself.

I wanted to make sure that all the legwork would be handled on my end so that any CSM that could come out would simply need to listen. I reached out to get representation from all the Highsec mercenaries as well as a few high-profile Highsec folk, put together discussion points, and setup a time and place for everyone to be there. That said, I could have done a better job doing pretty much all of the above, so this was a good experience for practice. My first mistake was that once I had gotten a bunch of people who wanted to participate, I should have tried to put together a definitive date and time for when this would have been happening. I tried to get everyone to join a slack to discuss when the roundtable should be held, which in retrospect was a ridiculous measure just to find that out. To make matters worse a couple hours before hosting the roundtable I discovered the Teamspeak I was planning to use for the discussion could only host 10 people, so I needed to switch to Discord and re-invite everyone to it. I was lucky to have help from Ashterothi in setting that up, in addition to streaming it.

After a bumbling introduction, I started off the discussion and let it flow. The discussion naturally covered a lot of the points I had prepared, but I definitely should have done more to steer the conversation back on track at times. I know that after a couple of hours Jin’Taan was getting a bit worn out and started to take the reins for me just so he could get to bed. All those issues aside, the roundtable went very well, and the CSM members that came out seemed pleased though tired. For me it felt very much like my first run for CSM, something that I needed to improve upon, but was an enriching experience.

The recording can be found here for anyone who feels like listening for almost three hours.

Toxic

 

 

Starting Again

So this is my third EVE related blog I’ve created – the last two being a personal account of my piratey adventures in Highsec and more recently an interview project to talk to Highsec residents and develop a better comprehension of Highsec opinions for my second run for the Council of Stellar Management. (CSM) Both fell off for different reasons, the former because I felt I wasn’t creating any good content worth writing about, and the latter because of real life stuff that consumed most of my free time. With CSM campaigns starting up again in a few months, I figured it would be a good idea to start spinning up projects on a new platform.

So here we go.

Toxic