Solving the WarDec ‘problem’

I’ve made no effort to hide the fact that I think that WarDecs need work. That they’re inherently lopsided. That said, I don’t want to get rid of them. That would make highsec far too safe. People could anchor things with pretty much no chance of losing them. I’ve been kicking round a few ideas on how this could be ‘dealt’ with. That’s what I’m going to share here. I’ve mentioned it to CCP, but I don’t expect anything to happen soon, if it ever happened. They’ve got their hands full with some really large systems.

The core of the idea is simple:

Anchor a structure to declare a war. If that structure explodes, the war ends.

Not complicated, is it? Now a defender has a reason to undock and fight. If they win, the war is over. Maybe add an invulnerability to wardecs from that corp/alliance for a period (Week? Two weeks? Not long) Allies now have a concrete goal (Blow up the structure).

The key is it’s counterplay to the declaration itself. And there’s a degree of limiting for how many wardecs you run. Because every group you Dec can attack the structures which are running the wars for the other groups. Off time zones can be handled by Allies, if the Attacker tries to make it harder to attack, by setting it when no-one involved is on.

Yes, small groups will still be stomped by large groups. That’s always going to happen. But now there’s action they can take, rather than having to deal with an attacker that always fades if they manage to get a small fleet together.

There are a bunch of twiddly bits to set, of course.

  • How vulnerable are the structures? (I’d say at least one hour a day. Maybe a few extra hours which can be scattered around).
  • What do the structures cost? (Cheap)
  • What fuel do they structures take (This is the replacement for the isk cost to concord. Maybe some LP based things from pirate lp stores/drops, in addition to other fuel)
  • Where can it be anchored? (I’d suggest highsec, in the same constellation as the defenders head office)
  • When does the war end (I’d suggest the following downtime)
  • Edit: How is fuel burnt. (To keep some risk for the attacker, you put in fuel for 7 days. It’s all burnt to online it.)

 

And if you want a lore reason for the change?

Concord finally noticed a corrupt department taking bribes to turn off protection for people. They canned them. Now you have to hire hackers to do it for you. They have specialist equipment which requires microgravity, and can’t have a warp core in the same structure.

Solving the WarDec ‘problem’ by Fuzzwork Enterprises is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  • M. Rohner

    I’d like to see a little more risk in it for the aggressor. With this idea they pay the cost of a war as usual (it’s just in a different form) and the “victims” can out early if they x up. The only way this can cost the aggressor more is by accelerating the schedule on which they spend money to declare war. I’d like to see a non-monetary penalty for losing your declared war.

    How about: when you lose one of these structures, 3 days are added to your “cannot anchor this structure type again until” counter. So if you lose two in one day you wait 6 days to anchor the next one. if two of your victims kill structures 2 days apart you’d wait 4 days from the second structure loss, etc. And no anchoring them while any one of them are vulnerable so they can’t be rage-spammed when it becomes clear you’re losing one.

    • Tori Hamblin

      honestly just let the costs of them being popped(and losing 7 days of fuel) balance it. If the corp pays mercs who specialize in popping these the “market” in wars will eventually balance out and Lulz wars will become an expensive pastime for players who can’t take living in actually dangerious space.

    • A Merc

      – A surrender clause in the war dec window would be interesting. i.e. Pay 200 million and the war dec is invalidated with a re-war dec cool down. Its the equivalent of two corporations sue’ing each other.

      – Structure spamming to keep a war dec active should be prohibited. Once the structure, (personally prefer a service slot in a new citadel.) is destroyed there is a online period of the new replacement service. Combined with a cool down on a war decs its not locking out content for the aggressor but stops repetitive war decs against a target, aka griefing.

      • Tora Bushido

        Then economic wars would be dead. So bad idea.

        • A Merc

          To clarify its an option, i.e. if you want to extort iskies.

          If you are contracted to kill them you don’t have to give them the option.

  • DarkMalfunction

    As much as this is a good idea, there is something comical about bribing CONCORD.

    • Tori Hamblin

      I find the notion of Concord cleaning up and War-Decs requiring expensive hacking teams more amusing.

      I would also add ganker and anti-ganker structures over time. (more advanced hacking systems).

      Let there be a “kill rights fabrication” structure that is quite weak, and has a constellation or so range(possibly whole region). Allowing pilot level targeting. Make them cheap and disposable(since there are so may ways to get around them)

      A “Concord Rescue Beacon” where you bribe concord to respond as though it was 0.1 security higher for a particular grid. Allow the opposite with a “Concord Scan Disrupter”. That would blur the security borders in hopefully interesting ways.

      Roughly Lore-wise they have to be in high security systems because they require modifying the massive always on concord data-streams. The potential for that kind of lore premise for mechanics is huge. Particularly if similar structures can put interesting effects on Grid in null and WH systems.

  • lowrads

    I definitely think wars in secure space should be tied to the future of structures. Structures should be valuable for engaging with the market among other things, and making a declaration on them should be as simple as right click, “contest.” X hours later, the structure can be attacked without concord interference. Whether or not suspect flagging plays a role depends can swing variables a few ways. In any case, offer a limited engagement between the warring parties under relevant conditions. I’d be fine with having all duels or sanctioned conflict between warring parties trigger a suspect flag in the vicinity of stations and gates. Navy priorities aren’t the same as Concord priorities.

    What’s nice about such a system is that it gives a geographic boundary to a conflict. Potentially, rivals can be sent to lick their wounds or regroup somewhere else. If it were made such that only players in corporations could deploy and use structures, then it’s a needed limitation to alt logistics and market participation.

    What if anomalies vanished and could be found one at a time through structures? When stations go, agents will be replaced with them. Perhaps structures could be a path to escalations or allow communication with system host npcs. If there are a lot of mission running mercs competing in one area, the npcs don’t have to pay them as much. This gives some cause for rivalry. War for profit is a lot more interesting to me than war as a tax.

  • Mojo Jojo

    Alt 1 starts corp 1, alt 2 starts corp 2 and puts up his pos. Alt 1 corp decs corp 2. Corp 2 destroys “war structure.” Immune from war decs. Repeat

    • Fuzzysteve

      Hence the ‘from that corp/alliance’

      • Mojo Jojo

        Do I really have to turn it around for you? War dec corp 1 and wardec alt corp 2… etc

  • A Merc

    I had thought of a similar idea when war dec were being re-vamped a number of years ago, it seems a tad gimmicky. However with new structures coming in place you could.
    a) Have a structure M sized and above with a name containing “Command”. This allows you to have an office to file paper with concord for your legal beef with corporation / alliance X. Has to be anchored anywhere in high sec.
    b) Set the cost of the structure to be the equivalent of a deposit / initial outlay. You can give some benefits to war dec costs for the larger structure but the costs scale and there is a diminishing returns.
    c) You still pay for war decs but the defenders have the ability to eliminate your structure which adds a major negative, (500 mill – several billion loss mail.) and end the war dec prematurely.
    d) You could add an additional bonus for the structure, it contains 1x L1 to L4 locator agent, i.e. it would be useful, its location would matter.

    Question would the location of the structure been known to the defenders? i.e. Constellation name included in the war dec announcement?

    • A Merc

      Replying to my own comment.

      Infact I think the ability to “war dec” could be tied to a service module, i.e. the choice of structure to deploy. The service module could be something like “Evidence fabrication” where you actually pay to get your targets in trouble with CCP i.e. third party law enforcement.

      Depending on the structure type you deploy and its size you could offer other services.
      – Reduction in War-dec costs through well organized Concord Admin team.
      – Locator services at various ranges, speed. Effectively you avoid standings grind.
      – Intel network / Shipping record hacking. You get a stat map of stations they have docked / undocked from over the last 48 hours. Do you have to be war-dec’ed to be a target? Doesn’t work outside high-sec and perhaps some range limitations.

  • WannaBeMerc

    So basically make high sec war into boring poco/pos bash/defense in high sec? I mean why make it more fun or interesting when you can turn them into something tedious and boring so that most people will lose will to even try them?

    Or you know you can maybe just maybe, make better system with hiring mercs, add more diplomacy to the game, or even some perks to corporation where you put isk and money into researching them so that there is a reason for them to try to fight and end wars instead of dropping/switching corporations.

    Also I look forward to dealing with additional 10-20 structures each week and setting up times for it just because, instead of logging on and finding people to fleet up against us. Not to mention dealing with bunch of people that are cloaked in stealth bombers for whole day in system waiting for timers to shoot at non moving structure to end war.

    But hey you obviously are CSM and ergo you know a lot about high sec wars, and this is just part 1 of 10 of “Solving the WarDec โ€˜problemโ€™” as you just scratched the surface with this post.

    • A Merc

      Speaking as a Merc that has done a number high-sec war decs, the mechanic for most part is essentially boring. Its boring because you cannot force a fight from the aggressor or the defender unless its a specific POS, (which can be taken down before the war dec activates). For the most part the aggressor is only looking to splat ships off the trade hub undock or gank mission runners for loot, which is fair enough but hardly a “fleet fight”.

      When the tables are turned on the high-sec war dec’ers,(we have war dec’ed them) most do exactly the same thing as any half smart prey, just stay docked and use alt accounts to get around in high sec. Only the newbie corps get caught because they are not aware how to get around the system or don’t have alt accounts.

      Ideally I would prefer a system where hitting high-sec assets, (yes its structures and the like) has some strategic / tactical value in order to force a fight. Null-sec despite people not enjoying the current iteration have at least sovereignty. Low-sec have moon-mining POSes and POCO’s. Technically High-sec has POCO’s as well but the vast majority of corporations / player groups do not for a multitude of reasons.

      So I ask you in return how many of those 10-20 weekly war decs actually result in a realistic fleet fight of more than 5 people a side?

      • WannaBeMerc

        Most boring things are bashing POCO/POS in high sec, not to mention that for proper medium or large POS you would need fleet of 20-30 people just to clean it up in decent amount of time… Unless there caps are allowed in high sec and/or CCP add something like BS with dread guns and huge penalty for tracking it’s just tedious and annoying to deal with. People in null/low and even wh space mostly bash POS with caps + subcap support if needed.

        Adding structures that just end or win war is pointless by it self, as only newbies will die defending them or attacking them, where most other groups won’t care, and probably biggest issue will be stealth bombers camping in fleet of 10-20 or so. Time and time again people complain about boring stuff and fighting over structures is one of them, now with entosis link it just feels like mining in your combat ship….

        I do agree that high sec war dec should be reworked, but adding more pointless bashing is more annoying then anything else, as for the most part you want to fight, not “win the war”, so maybe giving defenders a reason to fight is better approach. So far only thing worth defending is moon mining POS as it makes huge amount of passive income, same goes for POCO in null/wh space. Maybe citadels will change this if they are good and if people have reason to use them in high sec.

        As this is game as any other you will always have lazy people camping pipe or hub on undock and popping people, but at same time you will have people that hunt around, bait and escalate fights where defenders bring additional help.

        From having 10-20 active decs we usually get 1-3 “proper fleet fights” where they have 5 or more people.

        • A Merc

          I agree your sentiment on structure grinding is a ball ache, (we leave low-sec faction towers alone for sub-cap fleets.). What I like about the citadel work in the pipe is.
          a) You have a vulnerability window, ideal at your max strength.
          b) DPS mitigation so you can’t pop the structure in 1 cycle. Find the balance of different numbers of EHP on these things is the trick.

          The advantages of these features means either you fight in that 3-4 hour time slot or you stay at home because you don’t have the strength.

          I also agree that the ninja bomber thing is a problem, however the current design is a to have AOE effect citadels that can be manned by a pilot. Will it be practical to smart bomb incoming torps?

          Where I disagree is making it mandatory for the defenders to fight. If they choose to dock up / evade then ok as they are usually in the weaker position. On the other hand forcing the aggressors to defend a “Fabrication” lab does open up some interesting games.
          a) The defenders opening the war dec to allies allows groups to “white knight” or “Merc” on the behalf of a group. i.e. there is something meaningful that can be accomplished.

          b) Groups of “White Knights” and “Pirates” will form wider coalitions when attacking / defending the “Fabrication” lab. If it get sunk they are out of pocking 500 mill and all war decs are dropped.

  • I like the idea of using structures as a facet of trying to fix Wardecs, but I don’t think this fixes the entire playing field on its own. Good food for thought though.

  • Not worth a name

    Currently my corporations head office is located 35 jumps away from where the corporation is acting. Why? Because we don’t like giving free intel to any aggressor. Moving the ‘headquarter’ to NPC null or some lowsec system deep down Aridia would be another option to prevent aggressors to anchor their structure (assuming it has to be highsec + constellation of head office). But if you allow the aggressor to anchor the structure anywhere in highsec you’ll end up with dozens of those structures in Solitude and other highsec pockets.

    “We”, that is an alt corporation doing industry and logistics. Whenever we receive a wardec our PvP focused main corporation will happily join the war. But we didn’t get a single kill during the last wardecs because the aggressors refused to log in while the war was pending and making the war mutual resulted in them dropping their corporation, creating a new one. That’s where I want to ask: Where is the RISK for any aggressor? Either they get cheap kills or stop playing until the war runs out. They don’t have assets in space worth defending. Why would they defend their 50 million ISK wardec structure if all of sudden their ‘victims’ are able to defeat them? A single lost T3 cruiser is a higher penalty then losing a cheap structure.
    Any invulnerability period will be countered by simply creating/hopping into another corporation.
    As long as serious wardecs are possible there will be ways to have wardecs ‘for teh lulz’.
    Instead of changing game mechanics you would need to change the playerbase. That (hopefully) won’t happen.
    Heads up for wrapping your brain around this topic, but you’ll have to take wardecs out of the game to stop any ‘abuse to the max!’ mentality.
    See: ISBoxer, bounty system, hyperdunking, trollceptors, intercorp aggression, power projection, …

    • A Merc

      Some selective comments.
      – Anchoring 1 structure in high-sec using the new citadel mechanics would stop most of the abusive mechanics. True with solitude however the reverse is also true, i.e. high sec war-decers placing their “Command HQ’s” near low sec pockets would also open them up to attack by low-sec entities who would destroy an unprotected structure. It wouldn’t be difficult to track.

      – In one of my posts I was thinking that the structure for war-decing should be in the 500 mill bracket with weekly costs. Depending on is size, (L4 locator agents / services) pricing would scale and its location would have to be more tactical, using it 35 jumps out means alts there instead of less scouting hubs.

  • Bill Bones

    Since the average wardec targets non-PvP players…

    Question: is the proposal more appealing than dropping corp?
    Answer: No it isn’t, since it involves PvP.

    So what are you fixing here, exactly? People willing to PvP will glady take on wardecs no matter the what. Everybody else will not do it.

    Also, by putting a structure, aggressors could easily set it up as a flycatcher for victims.

    • A Merc

      None consensual PvP is one of the design principles of Eve I don’t see or want it removed anytime soon, besides its such a slippery slope to walk down.

      The problem with High-sec war-decs is you can’t kill it or you can’t persuade them not to war dec. Its extremely hard baiting the High-sec hub dec’ers into a fight, they simply do not engage and keep to softer industrial targets. Adding an element of risk will make them consider who they are going to war dec. i.e. who is likely to respond.

      For the structure / service, limit it to high-sec that way it is there to be killed and for most cases not protected by a gate camp, (yes some high-sec systems are behind low-sec pockets.) If it is rolled into one of the new types of citadels you have a chance of a conflict point similar to moon goo / poco fights.

    • jasperwillem

      People that die in the first week of their EVE career are more likely to become EVE players in the long run.

  • Viince_Snetterton

    Look, most high sec wars are started by griefing groups.

    So make it expensive for them to grief.

    In addition to all current costs, add a 1 billion ISK (or maybe even higher) bond / week to the cost of the aggressor. For every ISK of ship or structure damage they destroy, they will get one ISK back of that bond at the end of the week. So if the war is consensual, or the war-decced group fights back, then that bond will drop possibly to next to nothing.

    But if the war-decced group turtles for the week, that means the aggressor will be out of pocket 1 billion if they get no kills. The asshats in the game will hate this idea, but for groups that are planning a real war with the likelihood of combat, this bond could end up being zero, and a non-issue.

    • A Merc

      I bet the first time anyone is war dec’d they call it griefing straight off the bat.

      Trouble with your idea it would discourage a very high proportion of the war-decs. Some would switch to low-sec / null-sec, others would just going a ganking organization and hit you anyway.

      The purpose of a war dec imho is to.
      a) Settle a score from local smack talk, blow up their ships or force them to dock.

      b) Pirate group looking for rich loot in the form of a loot pinda mission boat. If you couldn’t war dec these guys would just switch to “Ganking” which I would argue is worse than war-decs.

      c) Extortion, protection money.

      As I have said elsewhere non-consensual PvP has been part of the game design since day 1 and I don’t see / want that changing.

      What I want to see in the war-dec mechanism is for people to have the ability to counter the war dec by other means than staying docked, dropping corp or hiring Mercenaries with limit chances of success, (speaking as a Merc we want customers / contracts only if it can be really meaningful.).

  • jasperwillem

    Maybe make an expensive variant of the structure, to dec 1 specific player in an NPC corp ;)… that would shake up the world of EVE ๐Ÿ˜€

    • A Merc

      Hehe, grief that smack talking local out of the game j/k ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Chicken McNuggets

    Sounds simplistic, but bring it up to CCP anyway. Maybe they will bring it up with the CSM or whoever and work from there. It’s a start at least.

  • KN

    I appreciate there are some nice points in this idea, and that some thought has gone into it. However, this idea, and the bunch of related ideas floating around, don’t make sense in of themselves.

    Wardecs are conflict engagements between corps and alliances — corps need to be fixed first, and if done well, wardecs should pretty much just follow on from there. What is the purpose of a corp (in hisec)? Why should people join them and stay in them under the risk of wardecs.

    “Fix” corps, and keep wardecs as nonconsensual declarations of PvP interaction from the aggressor to the defender. Anything consensual, or too artifical (structure bashing/defending mini games), won’t make sense as a “war” or be in the EVE spirit. If corps and structures are done right, artifical wardec structures shouldn’t even be needed.

    As others have said, people who don’t want to PvP won’t anyways. Those guys shound’t be in corps (should be in chat channel social groups or whatever). Corps should be PvP entities, and wardecs open PvP engagements — let the players dictate the metas, not minigames.

  • Tora Bushido

    War fees should be based on the number of active players and the average player age. War with younger players should cost more.

    Structures are a terrible idea. Marmites will never fight huge nullsec fleets (they will become war dec free) and smaller corps war decced by Marmites will never attack the structures (as they will lose even more).

    • A Merc

      I think some modification of war dec fees due to younger characters is a fair point but I see an issue how to calculate it. i.e. what is a younger character?The number of SP’s or the amount of time in a player corp i.e. its a long term trading alt / scout.

      A few posts below I mention some options on structures, (location restrictions to high-sec, services for bonuses etc.). I know structure bashing is a real pain but under citadels having a 3-4 hour window a week were someone could challenge your war dec could make an interesting point of conflict.

      Do you envisage conditions where you would see this as interesting from your corps point of view or would you feel you’d struggle with “White Knighting” blobs?

    • Rob

      Marmites wouldn’t fights nullsec groups? That’s because Marmite are weak. You currently use the wardec system to pick off the weakest targets, and what you are saying here is that if it were changed to a system where your actual strength vs your enemies strength were a factor, you’d fail.

      But it should come down to strength, that’s the whole purpose of battles, to allow fighting between groups. You hide in the immediate vicinity of a station shooting easy to kill ships and run away at the first sign of trouble. Any new wardec system should stop that.

  • Dead Hand of Balder

    The problem with war decs is simple. For defenders with no pocos or pos – they have no incentive to fight. Why be someone’s punching bag, just because they pay isk for the privilege to do so. Worse, if the defender gives fights and loses that just makes them more of a target for other decs. So from the defenders perspective – avoiding the dec, by playing on an alt or staying docked or whatever – is the most logical choice. As for the attacker – if they have no pocos or pos they risk nothing by making a war dec. As a result, wars are entirely consequenceless which is exactly the opposite of what eve is about. IMO the way to fix this is to allow corporations to own more things in highsec – kinda like bringing pieces of sov to hs. I would like to see deployables that allowed corporations to take control of belts for instance, and to have highsec stations nerfed – requiring the services provided by the stations to be provided by players instead. By giving players more things to own and control in highsec, there will be more things to fight over and thus war decs will become more meaningful. And of course, new players can still be protected by preserving 1.0 and .9 systems as they currently are, limiting player control over stations and belts etc to .8 to .5 systems.

  • Alonso Quijano

    Excellent idea. Maybe said structure only allows combat in the constellation it’s deployed, so the defenders have to look for it and probe it down if they want to operate in certain places. This also escalates the cost and makes it all more engaging.

  • Christer Johansson

    They could set a time limit to the whole thing. If declaring, you must destroy the structure with X time. If fail to do so, defenders will win and vice versa. Structures can then be reinforced, but also hacked etc… little things to keep it interesting.

    Your idea is very sound, and if we add a timer to it…I think it might work just fine. As long as there is a incentive to defend and capture, there will be fights.

  • Commissar

    perhaps scale the fuel use with the size of the corp they’re deccing?

  • Seth Jones

    After 10 years of Eve, my problem with wardecs have always been the scaling issue. I believe that there is a huge discrepancy when it comes to the size of corps that get war deced and those that do the deccing. This could be with sheer numbers, SPs, or just resources. However, I do not believe that this should be a reason to say, “Let’s not let people war dec”. We just need to scale the cost/rewards appropriately.
    Like ‘Dead Hand’ mentions below, there is little reason for a corp to fight back if they have no assets in space. We would need to identify a way to motivate them to fight. Maybe create a war chest system that puts a certain percentage of your corps inherent value at risk if you are the one that begins a war dec on a much lower tier corp.