Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Death Knell of Awoxing

Before I go any further, I want to make plain that I am 100% behind the CEO of a corp having the ability to kick someone from their corp immediately, even if they are in space. If immediate is not possible, then "queuing" someone for a kick the moment they dock, or when downtime hits should be made available. I'm all for a good awoxing, but I don't think an awoxer terrorizing a corp for days on end just because they never dock, go offline, and can get back on within seconds of downtime ending is a good idea.

By now people have had a chance to read the recently released CSM minutes, and the cat is out of the bag that the AWOXer community is about to get tossed out the airlock. Judging from the fact that I seem to have been about the only person in that meeting (I think Ali may have had a few words to say against it as well, but I can't recall) that was against the corp aggression change, it's a safe bet that this will get pushed through, possibly as soon as the next release after Pheobe.

For some of you, the 150+ pages of the minutes may have been a TLDR snore fest, so I'll break this one down for you simply: CCP has proposed that aggression against corpmates will now trigger a Concord response in highsec. It is also likely, that with this tied into crime watch, those same aggressive actions taken against corpmates in FW will trigger the requisite factional standings losses and security status hits that come along with shooting a fellow member of militia that is not already a suspect or criminal.

The reasons given for this change vary a bit. If I had my Game Dev Buzzword Bingo card handy, I could check off the "unintuitive gameplay" box for sure. Despite the mechanic being in place for the entirety of Eve's existence, somehow people still have a hard time wrapping their heads around why people within a corporation can shoot at each other. The reality of it is probably some limitation within the old crime watch system made it easier to allow corp members to shoot at one another than the alternative. I doubt anyone is left at the company that was involved in this particular bit of programming that could explain the "why" of it. It has just always been.

It's a "confusing mechanic" for new players gets tossed around a lot as well. The protection of newbies in Eve is a very popular call lately. It's right up there with protecting baby seals and saving whales, which sounds really altruistic and good on the surface, but we also have to remember that this is Eve, and very few veteran players are REALLY interested in saving newbies. When a high ranking member of Goonswarm for example touts that line, I'm always given pause. I have lots of nice things to say about goons. I've been fans of them since their noob days bowling around nullsec in velator blobs. One nice thing I have never been able to say about high ranking members of Goonswarm (until now) is that they are benevolent protectors of anyone that flies outside of their circle of trust we call the CFC.

I don't mean to pick on Goons specifically here, but my point is that the people being protected the most by this change are not new players. New players typically don't fly ships worth Awoxing. I've never heard a soundcloud of a 3 month old player losing his shit after getting his thorax blown up by a corp mate. I HAVE heard some great ones of people losing multi billion ISK missioning bling boats.

Noob Mercs is a corporation that I have been involved with in one capacity or another since it's inception in 2008. It is a training corp for players new to Eve, and also for carebears looking to learn a thing or two about PVP. Noob Mercs has an open recruitment policy. There are no API checks, or background inquiries before pilots are allowed to join. This is, of course, "counter intuitive" to how most corporations handle recruitment. Quite literally anyone can get accepted, and join and leave as they like. I made some inquiries to see how much of an epidemic Awoxing has been for these guys, and in 6 years of operation there has been exactly one incident of Awoxing where one pilot lost a 40 million ISK Comet. Other situations have arisen where people needed to be forcefully ejected from the corporation due to various forms of ass hattery, but of Awoxing, it was just that one time.

Let's break this down:

  • Years of Operation: 6
  • Members: 300+
  • Recruitment: Completely Open. No API or Background Checks
  • Times free form corp agression has been used for training purposes: Too many to count.
  • Awox Incidents: 1
So what gives? Part of the reason for the lack of Awoxing has to due with the PVP focus of the corp. These are not the kind of new players that get too upset about losing a ship, and tear potential is minimal. The other part of the reason is that Awoxers aren't looking to kill newbies in t1 frigs and cruisers. Anyone that takes the profession seriously is out looking for the big score, a blinged out mission ship, a freighter full of loot fairy gold. It takes time and effort to get a suitable mark, infiltrate his corp, and set up the Awox. Sometimes there are great successes, and sometimes there are failures.

CCP has stated that people being able to shoot at each other inside a corporation prevents people from joining corps. A big part of player retention is getting people involved with other players, and playing together, making connections so you pay your sub so you can keep playing with your new friends. It is true that making friends in a game like Eve certainly does keep people around longer. However, since true new players don't know they can be shot by a corp mate until someone tells them, it's unlikely the threat of Awoxing is keeping them from joining a player corporation. The threat of Awoxing MAY keep a veteran player from allowing people to join his corporation for fear of losing his 5 billion ISK missioning raven to a 3 week old awoxer in an atron, those guys are scary as fuck.

We can tell ourselves that these risk averse players will actively seek out newbies to take under their wings now that those newbies won't be able to kill their multi-billion ISK battleships with impunity in their frigates. I think the reality of the situation is that this won't change much. The threat of awoxing is about as real as an afk cloaker in nullsec. Yeah, there's a chance that guy might be hunting you, but by and large, it's your own paranoia at work, while the guy behind that character is actually off at his job, or watching TV, or playing on his main. Annoying? Sure. But 9 times out of 10, it's the threat of what MIGHT happen, not what actually will.

A Newbie's Tale

The fact is, if you're a newbie in Eve looking for social interaction, it's fairly easy to find. If you're a regular reader of the blog, you might recall I made a new account off the humble bundle a few months ago. It took me a bit of time, but I wanted to find a corp full of guys that did high sec industry and weren't completely lame. I spent some time going through the in-game recruitment ads, and settled on 3 or 4 corps. I put the recruiters on watchlist, sent out some mails, and sat back. Some of those guys never seemed to log in during the times they said they were active, but I finally managed to talk with one fellow.

Was he cautious about the potential for Awoxing? You bet he was! I did not get directly invited to the corp. Instead I was given a destination and a bit of help getting set up halfway across highsec. They hooked me up with a new venture and a couple of frigs to try missioning with, gave me some advice on how to fit my ships, and told me to stay out of lowsec because people out there are mean (I had a nice chuckle about that bit). I was invited into a couple mining fleets, got social with the fellas, and after a few days they told me, "You know what? You're pretty cool and we'd like you to join." I can't honestly say that being in the corp was all that different than being out of it, except that we joined a newly formed alliance and were promtply wardecced by The Marmite Collective. The alliance leader told everyone to dock up for a week to deny Marmite any kills. I got bored, and let my account lapse.

A Story About Trust

Elijah Ghost, Doc Nielsen, LarkinAlpha, Zeratha, Charlie Firpol, Pawiie, Bajran Bali, and a few others I've met over the years, have all flown with me at various times, often in the same corp. We met in some way, had a chat, flew together, flew together more, got in corps together, shot people together, and had some good times together. Every one of those guys has had the chance to absolutely fuck me over in Eve. I've taken the chance and turned my back, and the knife never landed. If we'd met playing a game like WoW, they'd never have even had the chance to screw me in even a remotely meaningful way.

I have played a LOT of other MMO's. I do not have 1/10th the connection with anyone in any guild or group I've played with in any other game than I have with my Eve bros. I consider these guys as much friends as anyone I know or actually come face to face with on a regular basis. Why is that? Why do I have that connection with these guys where I couldn't even tell you the first names of 3 people I've played other MMO's with?

I'll tell you why. Because Eve, much like real life, doesn't have a lot of artificial barriers in place to prevent people from using and abusing you. When you land in a tight spot in Eve, you learn real quick who your friends are. The guys that come bail you out of a jam, the guys that swoop in to save your ass or die trying. The guys that when you're in a slump and the corp is falling apart around you, they don't steal everything not nailed down and make a run for it, but help you pick up the pieces and get things going again. The guys that had multiple chances to fuck you over, but never took any of them. When you interact with people under these conditions, the bonds of friendship are a lot stronger than they are when those elements are not present.

And now, back to the Meat and Potatoes

If CCP's real intent is to get players more socially involved in the game, with the realization that many new players probably never make it out of highsec, it might be a good idea to start looking at tools and content that encourage group play in highsec for newbies. Safety in numbers is a huge part of success in most other parts of the game. Sure there are some amazing solo artists in low, and null space, but to see success on a grand scale, you need some friends. On the other hand, almost every PVE activity in highsec is designed for a solo player, and there is no tangible benefit to bringing friends with you.

You might complete missions faster with a group, but then you're splitting the rewards... there's no net gain for your time put in, plus when solo you have no need to hold off for a few minutes while your buddy refills his beer, or runs off to take a shit.

Mining is more efficient with a group to be sure, but while we're on the subject of "unintuitive gameplay bingo" I'm not even sure I can call mining in Eve "gameplay". CCP may want to look into that particular aspect of Eve after 11 years, especially since anyone I've ever heard talk about how mining might be changed at CCP now works for Riot.

There is no room for cooperative group play in market PVP. Being a space trucker arguably works better solo than with a group, since less people know what you're carrying and where you're going. High sec exploration doesn't pay well enough to invite your friends along to share. I will say that high sec scamming DOES work better if you have some help... but I think we're aware that CCP isn't looking to buff that particular form of gameplay, since they chip away at it on a fairly steady basis.

That leaves us with incursions. I think here is where we find the meat of our issue, and who this change is supposed to help. Incursions are the only high sec PVE opportunities that both require group play and are worth doing in a group. Running them in a player corporation is risky right now because who wants to risk a multi billion isk incursion ship to awoxing? Not many of us. Of course, newbies don't do incursions, because it takes time to get the skills and the isk together to get in that pirate battleship, or even to fly a t2 logi ship properly. If we remove the threat of Awoxing, people running incursion groups will be much more free with the invites right? Sure!

Of course there's that second gorilla in the room that's keeping those guys out of player corps as well, and that would be wardecs. Not much point in making that player corp to run incursions with your friends you don't trust to not awox you, only to have some other group of players who love scoring big kills (or just ruining your day) wardeccing you, forcing you to keep those pretty ships docked up and not making you incursion money for a week or more. It's still much easier to stay in an NPC corp.

After all these words and ponderings, I'm still left with the question of how removing Awoxing from the game is really going to help achieve the goals CCP has set out. I've looked at the publicly available PCU graphs, and Eve is in a slow and steady decline, and has been since Incarna. This change won't do anything to stem that tide.

There are many player identities in eve: "miner," "mission runner," "wormholer," "pirate," and "awoxer" to name a few. That last one is about to get struck from the list. A tool for content creation is being struck from a game that hasn't seen any significant content added to it since the Incursion expansion of 2010. 4 years is a long as time to put your game in maintenance mode and expect people to stick around. As more people get to the point where they've done everything they want to do, and have no place left they'd like to go, they will leave. For those players that have settled on Awoxing and infiltration as the thing that keeps them playing, they'll now have to either find something else to do, or find something else to play. I doubt the retention of new players from their departure will do much, if anything to stem the decline we've been seeing.

When it comes right down to it, what keeps Eve interesting isn't its PVE content, how many ships we can fly, or even the gorgeous art. It's player interaction, and that ever present danger just out of the corner of your eye we call risk, which comes from the less than optimal player interactions we might face. The level of risk in Eve is what keeps it apart from other MMO's that pander to the lowest common denominator and make things like loss and death hurt as little as possible. Many of us that have played Eve for a long time can't play those other games for any significant period of time without getting bored out of our pants. No real challenge, no risk of loss, no lasting interest.

Any element of Eve that creates risk also creates content. Eve is a niche game. It will not get to the numbers of players that are seen in larger MMO's, no matter how many baby steps it takes in their direction to minimize chances of loss and risk in the "safer" parts of space. The removal of Awoxing isn't the first step in this direction, it is just the next step in this direction, and with each step that's been taken, there comes another that seems like it is in the way of retaining players and is confusing to newbies that needs a nerf.

And this isn't a slippery slope argument, warning of this being the first step towards some unknown, out of this world, destination. We're already a good way down the mountain of continually making non-consensual PVP more difficult to engage in, while adding structured ways for players to engage in "fair fights" with duel mechanics and dojos. Wardecs have been nerfed to hell with more likely to come in the future, we've changed loot can mechanics from limited engagements to global suspect to discourage stealing from others, added a safety feature to prevent people from accidentally getting concordokkened, contracts have been restructured and color coded so people don't have to look at them nearly as hard to realize they're getting scammed (hint: all contracts in Jita are scams), mining ships have been given battleship level tanks to make afk mining easier and more risk free than it's ever been, and the list goes on!

The more structured and rigid Eve becomes, the less sand in the sandbox.

I'm of the opinion that the only way to truly make highsec safe for "new players" (read: risk averse veterans with shiny toys they don't want to lose) would be to remove all non-consensual PVP from highsec entirely. Get rid of wardecs, and force green safety on all ships once they jump into their first highsec system.

Of course, CCP would never skull fuck the sandbox that badly, but this is becoming a question of how close to that line they're willing to go. Some players, maybe even a lot of players, might think that a safer highsec is a great idea, and at first it would seem so. But after a while, when you get bored of saving the damsel for the thousandth time with no need to make plans against someone trying to ninja salvage your loot, or realize you don't need to have a strip miner running in the background while you watch your favorite porn flicks (or episodes of My Little Pony if you're from Failheap) you're going to be looking for something that's more engaging to do. If you're one of those risk averse people, that something will likely not be out in lowsec, nullsec or WH space, but something outside Eve entirely.

In the end, this is how Eve dies. Not this year, next year, or even 5 years from now. Not in a flaming ball of player rage quits and broken monuments, but slowly, as candles snuffed out one by one, with no fucks left to fan the flames of passion for a game that has seen nothing but minor fixes and tweaks since 2011. In a couple of months it's likely a good portion of Awoxers will be docking up their pods for the last time, their part of the sandbox closed off permanently. Unfortunately, if the trends continue, they won't be alone since that steady PCU decline has been... well, steady.

I have faith that someday CCP will realize the steady decline we are seeing has more to do with a lack of actual new content (and no, a few new ships and mission types don't qualify) than new players getting awoxed, or risk averse veterans crying on the forums. Someday they might figure out that making high sec safer will not necessarily lead to more meaningful player socialization. Hopefully we'll get to see what's on the other side of that star gate we were shown at fanfest before the downward trend forces another round of layoffs. If not, I don't think there's a fiction department left to write the apology.


  1. "Eve, much like real life, doesn't have a lot of artificial barriers in place to prevent people from using and abusing you."

    There's a reason why we don't often see trusting real life organizations being chronically sabotaged from within for shits and giggles. True, the real world lacks artificial barriers that prevent people from abusing you, but it also lacks artificial barriers that prevent communities from massive retaliation against chronic abusers. EVE's mechanics of anonymous alt creation, infinite toon respawning, and automated CONCORD enforcement are in effect artificial barriers that prevent highsec communities from levying, on their own terms, the equivalents of jail, exile, punitive fines, or permanent death as punishments against those who would violate prevailing communal norms. A true sandbox would allow players to implement meaningful punishments against awoxers and griefers, but because EVE is nowhere near a true sandbox, we're stuck with a psychopathy simulator that's perpetually left CCP with a minuscule market share. From a business perspective this is bad for EVE overall, and for those who would support it, you are not only ruining my game, you are ruining THE game.

    Right now arbitrary gameplay mechanics stack the deck completely in the awoxer's favor so that for those who know what they're doing, the worst that can happen is losing a dirt poor ship or needing to make another clean disposable alt for a few days training. Until we have a truly open sandbox environment where awoxers have to calculate their actions against actual risks, it makes sense that neither abuser nor mark gets to have their cake and eat it too.

    In the spirit of EVE, I say learn to adapt and HTFU.

    1. So you can't shoot an Awoxer back? Keep in mind we're typically talking about one guy here, not a group, and we're talking about a corporation, usually with several people in it. There's no getting hell camped here, there's the chance of getting probed down in a mission or attacked in a mining belt and one would think you'd have the advantage of numbers on your side at least, and if the character in question is a new one, he probably doesn't have the skills to fly the big scary ships.

      To suggest an Awoxer is able to act with impunity is ridiculous. The only tool lacking at this point is a reliable way to "fire" the guy if he never docks and is able to stay logged in pretty much the entire time the server is up. I'm fully in support of a tool that will allow a CEO to queue someone up to be dismissed from corp the moment they either dock or they or the server goes offline.

      In the spirit of Eve, take some risks and HTFU.

    2. Awoxers aren't known for hanging around long enough to be shot back at. HTFU and take all the risks you want, but easily discarded awox alts who can be docked indefinitely or recycled won't be retaliated against, unless it's on the awoxers' own terms.

    3. Even now they can be kicked once they dock. They have to stay online and in space to not get kicked. And so we're clear, we're talking about recycling 1-2 month old characters, and the need for concord protection from them.

    4. Awoxers can be shot back, but you can't force an awoxer to throw down anything costly to be shot at in the first place when cheap ships and quick skillplans are already plenty effective enough for awoxing. I'm referring exactly to those anonymous 1-2 month alts that you seem to dismiss so out of hand. Why would awoxers use them if at all if they're really as harmless as you're trying to suggest they are?

      The best case scenario for an awoxer is a killmail in the hundreds of millions or even billions and a bag full of loot, but the worst case scenario for a smart awoxer is maybe a 20m loss and eventually a burnt alt that can be replaced by a spotless doppelganger in a very short time, manufacturable in parallel through multiple rotating 51 day buddy referrals from the awoxer's main accounts. No amount of risk mitigation strategies from the target corp can change this fundamentally unbalanced risk vs reward scenario against potential attack. Hence the proliferation of these types of attacks in the first place, the extreme anti-social defensive strategies in recruitment that have become a running joke among MMOs, and subsequently the driving away of newbies who potentially could have become so much more, if only this game wasn't plagued with so many artificial barriers against social cooperative play.

  2. "The threat of awoxing is about as real as an afk cloaker in nullsec. Yeah, there's a chance that guy might be hunting you, but by and large, it's your own paranoia at work, while the guy behind that character is actually off at his job, or watching TV, or playing on his main. Annoying? Sure. But 9 times out of 10, it's the threat of what MIGHT happen, not what actually will."
    The way I see it, this is the exact problem with corp aggression for newbies. It's not that newbies getting ganked is bad, it's that the fear of any newbie being an awoxer and wrecking a corp puts the vast majority of corps in a state when they will not recruit newer players. Things like thefts and spies can be prevented using good information security and corp permissions, but a newbie and a fresh awox alt are indistinguishable, meaning the only way to safeguard against awoxers is to not recruit from the noobie pool.

    Like AFK cloaking, sure, the vast majority of the issue is with people's perception, but that doesnt mean that an AFK cloaker has no impact. Many people will not put themselves at risk if an AFK cloaker is present, even though like you say 9 times out of 10 they are harmless.

    And while people can talk for the story where they overcame the new player experience or found a good group to join, I wonder how many people leave without their story being told because they were always rejected from corps and couldn't find a good way to interact with other players.

    1. I used that as an example of paranoia, and this really isn't about comparing this to AFK cloakers. The fact is, there are quite a few corps that do recruit, and certainly quite a few that don't. That's why there's a "new player friendly" box to check on the in game recruitment tool, and I can tell you the list is quite full when you check that box.

      Unfortunately, aside from someone to talk to, there isn't a NEED for a new player to group up with others unless they are seeking social interaction. There's no content where help from others is required. Even if someone won't let you in their corp right away, I've seen several examples where they will invite a new player to come fly with them and show them how to do stuff, and once trust is established, there's often a place in that corporation. You can read my own example above. Awoxing is not a social barrier in Eve. The barrier is actually being social.

    2. I'm sure you have seen several examples of that type of corp, and I'm sure you've seen very few example otherwise, but that's generally because if you are being put off of the game because it's unfriendly to newbies, you aren't around long enough for people to notice. Just because there are some corps that are friendly, certainly doesn't mean there's no problem.

      The thing is, most serious corp would be crazy to just accept newbies into their group, even if they sent them off mining in a venture for a week first. There's simply no way to determine what is a legitimate new player vs a fresh awox alt. With newbies supposedly in decline and awox alts not, the problem only grows worse.

      And sure, tick that newbie friendly box, and you get plenty of corps, most of which are run by newbies themselves, are set up to collect tax from unaware newbies, are to specifically bait newbies or just plain not serious.

      Personally, I don't see the problem with losing a pretty dumb mechanic which is pretty much used solely to avoid concord while ganking, if even just a handful of newbies benefit from it. I trust CCP to use the stats they have available to make the game more friendly to newbies without losing sight of the aim of the game.

    3. So the question remains: You get rid of Awoxing. Is the problem solved? Will these guys suddenly open their doors to swathes of newbros or will there be something else in the way?

      Will we look back at this change in 6 months or a year after its implemented and see a slow in the PCU decline and say, "thank goodness we got rid of awoxing," or will we see no noticeable change? I'm going to say the trend will continue until something much more meaningful is done in Eve's development.

      Either way, this change is coming. This is what CCP wants, it's what the rest of the CSM wants, it's what a majority of the players want. We're going to find out how just how awesome this is going to make Eve.

      If I haven't taken a break from Eve due to boredom in another year, we'll revisit this and see how this change has affected the game along with whatever else comes out.

    4. I sincerely hope it does. One thing I know for sure is that there's not going to be waves of people quitting over such a tiny change, so if even just a handful of newbies get brought into the rest of the game from it, it's worth it. If they were talking about making a critical game breaking change to save newbies you can be damn sure I'd be against it, but something like this, which seems like a common sense change anyway, it's worth a shot.

    5. Motoko Nishizawa03 November, 2014 15:09

      I would like to point out that I have an awox alt I used for a while, wasn't a new char was about 6 months old when I started awoxing with her up until then she was just a salvage alt, had zero kills for her first awox, 4 corps and 12 awoxes later I was still getting into corps for more awoxes, I even had a medal from one corp visible to the public that was called 'awoxer'

    6. Quote: The way I see it, this is the exact problem with corp aggression for newbies. It's not that newbies getting ganked is bad, it's that the fear of any newbie being an awoxer and wrecking a corp puts the vast majority of corps in a state when they will not recruit newer players.

      This - thats one biggy in my book as well. HTFU is all great but it should also happen in some kind of educational process and not randomly for the sake of giggles and drama. If awoxers would be a help as people like to make others believe why dont take up the official job and educate your buddies properly? Corporations are after all meant to be gathering places for like-minded beings and not as extension of more hostility. Every system needs a balance to work - so having at least a small 'safe' heaven is particularly important to not constantly lose players. A player being in the need of hostility can find many ways to kill and shoot things inside the universe - but reverting to destructive gameplay all over every single aspect is not the spirit of Eve and never was. Yes its supposed to be hard but its not supposed to be unsocial in every aspect of its mechanics. There has to be room for retreat into a group without constantly looking over your shoulder.

  3. Completely disagree that newbies are safe from awoxing because their ships are less valuable. It's not like the awoxer needs to worry about concord, they are free to kill anything they can catch. I'm sure there are guys that do corp infiltration and keep a mostly clean record because they're hunting blinged ships or the like. But far more common are chain awoxers that join a corp and look for the first juicy thing they can get (orcas are prized) then go for any and all targets. A frigate is only going to be spared if there's something better to point.

    An awoxer isn't going to even _attempt_ to join a pvp corp so your lack of experience with them doesn't mean very much.

    1. If a corp's just lost an Orca and multiple Exhumers, they can damn well refund a distraught newbie his Ventures and Slashers.

    2. Oh sure, if you have an awoxer on safari he's gonna get what he can, but he didn't join the corp to kill frigs. This is one of the reasons CEO's need to be able to queue people for kicking.

    3. Darwinism. Corps who adapt to an awoxer threat will survive while those who don't will become extinct/irrelevant.

      If the leaders of a corp cannot do their research on a player or limit the damage that a player does to their corp, do not deserve to be leaders anymore. There are ways of countering an awoxer, sure they should be able to be kicked from a corp while they are in space but that's the only change CCP should make.

  4. Wouldn't it make more sense to nerf neutral logistics than to do away with awoxing entirely? A lot of highsec corps could probably face down a lone awoxer. But asking them to face down the additional repping power of multiple Guardians that they're not allowed to shoot is pretty silly.

    1. In this you'll find complete agreement with me. Nuetral RR in highsec is crap in general. Between that and docking games are the main reasons we left highsec and went to low in the first place.

    2. And if you remove neutral RR, then you just wiped out Incursions completely.

      What I am more concerned about is when I used to have my Rapier char web my freighter char, that were in the same fleet and corp. Is that also dead with this change?

    3. didn't say remove it. making it less crap would be helpful.

    4. What might be a decent compromise though Funky is that during the corp roles/tools update is for them to make it a flag that the corp itself can set. Default for a new corp is "no inner-corp fighting - concord response", can be reset by ceo or appropriate roll assigned director to "allow corp fighting - no concord interference" . Come up with some RP reasons and terminology.

    5. Aegea, I had proposed that in the summit meeting. That suggestion was shot down by CCP because it would allow for "reverse awoxing". It's in the minutes.

    6. ah, i hadn't had time to read them yet. RL responsibilities have kept me the last week.

    7. You must duel your freighter to web him to warp after this. Not an issue. And the duel is extended every time you web so one duel invitation will work for the entire trip.

  5. This opinion, while very articulate, is also very short sighted. There are many people that, having passed the newbie stage, leave Eve after their 1st awoxing. Awoxing does nothing but please the somewhat deranged minds of people that can't take actual pvp, and the losses that come with it, themselves. And to condone or even promote these type of activities does nothing for the game. Of & btw I'm above 1700 kills myself (nothing to brag about, but no high sec carebear either....)

    1. This. Plus that "threat" of awoxing is not what brings players closer together - examples from your own life don't mean jack-shit in an argument....

  6. "For those players that have settled on Awoxing and infiltration as the thing that keeps them playing, they'll now have to either find something else to do, or find something else to play."

    Let's be honest here, we're talking about hisec awoxing, not awoxing in general. Because even if PVP were banned in hisec, awoxing could and would still occur in low and null. Why wouldn't those awox careerists just move their area of operation to low and null? God knows they would find basically find the same set of easy targets they look for now. Maybe a bit less bling, but oh well.

    My issue with the "hisec loophole" is that it is a loophole. I'm not some lore guy and I'm not trying to roleplague one here today, but laws supposedly govern hisec. Now these laws won't protect you from being killed if the attacker plans it correctly, but there will be retaliation and sanction from the authorities. Instead, and only in hisec, no sanction at all (other than gate guns lawl). Why is it wrong for anyone outside your corp to shoot you in hisec, but someone inside is free to blap blap with absolutely zero sanction? While I do understand the mechanic, it simply doesn't make sense outside of an artificial construct to circumvent the crimewatch mechanics in order to allow for workplace violence. See what I did there? CCP now has to monitor workplace violence (which isn't the same as terrorism - shhh).

    One thing I would lobby for in conjunction with the removal of the hisec loophole is making the tax on NPC corps 50%. I'd say get rid of NPC corps altogether, but I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen. At least that way the wardec mechanic can come into play. However, wardecs themselves are another artificial construct in that one group can "bribe" Concord while the other side is forced to fight back, dock up or so whatever it is they do when they get decced. But shouldn't bribes work both ways? Well if they did then the majority of wardec would fall to pieces because we all know that a large number of them targeting hisec corps, probably a majority, aren't for any legit PVP purpose or even to accomplish a larger strategic goal. In this regard, hisec awoxing and wardecs are very similar. Both generally target those players not seeking to be involved with the PVP aspects of EVE. However, these are players we should want, if for no other reason than they help keep the lights on for the rest of us out in areas where conflict is actually supposed to occur because little-to-no law exists.

    So in the end, I don't mind a low-risk hisec so long as the reward side of the equation gets nerfed to hell as well. But let's stop arguing that these artificial, even in terms of a video game, constructs are somehow in keeping with the environment they are taking place in. A coworker or a family member has no more right to shoot you than a hitman or a street thug.

    If bold awoxers want to kill unsuspecting mongs then let them go where combat is supposed to occur. Otherwise they should reap the same sanctions as any other pilot in hisec. It just doesn't make sense otherwise. Unless we just want it to be so because there really is no good argument against "because I want it".

  7. HTFU, definitely. Crybaby.... If you can't handle not being able to shoot at targets that can't shoot back, you don't belong in Eve clearly.

    I hear you can shoot pigs with arrows in Minecraft, you should try it.

  8. Awoxers are sociopaths that can't get their joy in a normal way.

    So far they were using Eve as their "fix", well I don't care if that goes away.
    Good riddance.

    For those that stay: Man up & find targets that want to shoot back...

  9. You're right, risk adverse people have a hard time in EVE, they want to be safe. but you know what, I would think the most risk adverse people out there are the military first line combat troops. We be risk adverse to the extreme, because there is no second chance in our jobs. Yet the amount of military people both active and reserve I've run into in the last 9 years of playing EVE is staggering. We know the risks and do it anyway. You don't like awoxers, fine I don't like suicide bombers either, you know what, they don't care, they'll blow you up anyway, learn to deal with it or die.

  10. If Brave Newbie Inc can deal with not giving a crap about awoxers (and in fact converts many to joining them for real) I'm sure other groups can too. Dealing with awoxers is about culture and attitude more than mechanics.

  11. "Wardecs have been nerfed to hell with more likely to come in the future."

    Meanwhile marmite runs over 100 concurrent wars with impunity and has done so for quite some time. Thanks to Alekseyev Karrde war costs were dropped considerably, losing their stacking penalty and successive week penalties as well as the membership costs capped low. The deccers have been getting nothing but buffs. It should bankrupt GSF to have half as many active wars as Marmite has.

  12. Am I right in that this (no aggression between corp mates) also makes webbing freighters in high sec impossible and significantly more dangerous in low-sec?

    1. You are correct, and that's a point I've missed. Ofc you could still initiate a duel with that person, but it makes it rather a pain in the ass.

    2. Duals are very easy to start tbh... I do it routinely, because who still uses a freighter in high sec outside of npc corps?

  13. Awoxing dead? You mean high sec awoxing is dead. Because players outside of high sec can still be shot just as ever. And players in high sec can still be ganked just as ever.

    Awoxing is not about educating rich players. It is about harvesting tears. And that 5 bilion isk incursion/mission runner is just as tempting a gank target as an awox target. The only difference is that the ganker needs multiple accounts or friends to scoop loot and kill his victim.

    Honestly don't care that much about this change.The only people negatively impacted by this seem to be awoxers.(And the people that like to read their stories, so ok it does impact me slightly)

    1. And you can still join a high sec corp, play nice until you get access to corp roles and then empty out wallets and divisions so no change there.

  14. When I started playing in 2009 I spent exactly two weeks in high-sec, a few of those days were in a noob-friendly PVP corp with way-too-big aspirations. I learned basics about fleets and comms there, and was then recruited into a transitioning null PVP alliance. Inside of two weeks I was webbing a freighter and helping this alliance set up their first station in null. I rose through the ranks and even held in my hands the choice to steal and wreck everything, and didn't. Within the alliance there were a few (probably 4 or 5) major awox incidents in the span of 3 or so years. Not bad for explosive growth and some seriously bad blood between some of our corps. I know that there's been a "lets make everything friendlier" movement within CCP to attract new players, but I never gave it a second thought until I quit the game and started reading more EVE bloggers. It just wasn't a big deal. Ganking and awoxing are a pretty natural part of EVE, trying to alter that is just messing with the formula a bit too much.

  15. This whole post seems like a lot to do about nothing. I didn't even know this (being able to kill corp mates) existed until now. Honestly, it just sounds like CCP fixing a minor broken mechanic that was being exploited. I wont cry tears for the angry awoxers who no longer have this mechanic to abuse. It's not like this would stop someone from awoxing, since, from what I've gathered, they're all about ruining corps, rather than taking cheap shots at bling'd ships. Creating drama/in-fighting remains the quickest way to kill a corp. This is just going to get rid of people looking to exploit a dumb game mechanic to take pot shots at bling'd ships. Since I neither own a bling'd ship nor awox, I don't even have a horse in this race, so to speak.

    As one of those people whose story you never hear because I quit playing about 2 months after I started, I can say that changes like this are not the problem with Eve. Boring PVE content and the retarded ganking is probably doing more to drive away most players.

    For the record, I was never ganked. However, I was always seeing less competent players fall for it. It's one thing to not cater to casual players but to actively abuse them the way Eve does isn't helping you. I have to wonder if any of these players realize they're actively killing off their own entertainment by driving away the more casual types. You can't gank anyone if they all quit, or if CCP folds because it's no longer profitable. There's a reason most other games give casuals the option to completely avoid PVP, if the choose to.

    If I had to give a specific reason for quitting, it's because I hit a point where, after waiting 2 months to learn skills, I got bored of waiting and had done the limit of what I could with my minimal pilot skills.

    Something to keep in mind, Newbros don't necessarily know which aspect of Eve will actually be fun to them and they most likely don't know the most time efficient way to get into it. I put in two months and was utterly bored, in spite of really liking my corp. I realized I was having more fun hanging out in the corp TS server than I was actually playing Eve and that was finalized my decision to quit.

    Why am I here at this blog bothering to post this reply? I don't know but it started with 10 free days that were thrown at me by CCP. I'll probably check out the new content, fill up my "unlimited" skill queue, come back in a year when the queue is empty and maybe re-evaluate whether I want to play Eve. If PVE content doesn't improve drastically, you know what my decision will be.

  16. Canceled my accounts when I heard about this. EVE is a sandbox, not a hugbox. Sadly, CCP seems determined to destroy the last vestiges of what made EVE a unique MMO, and corp assassination contracts, heists, all of that will now be lost to what few generations of EVE players remain.

  17. I think you are wrong. Sion said it best although practically all the devs said the same thing in other ways: "If I am a high sec CEO, my optimum path is to be non social. It is to not invite people to help me run missions."

    This is a problem. Just a few days ago I saw a noob in the Help channel complaining that he'd been rejected from five noob-friendly corps. It is not healthy at the moment.

  18. I didn't vote for you in the past, but this post has earnt you my votes in CSM elections to come. I can see you truly care where EVE is going and in what state it will be when it gets there.

    I worry about the game that I love. I worry that now Eve is CCP's main source of income, CCP are going to try and get more and more subscribers by taking away more and more sand from the sandbox. I am so glad that you as a CSM member can grab the economics guy by the lapels and tell him: "Eve is a niche game. It will not get to the numbers of players that are seen in larger MMO's,
    no matter how many baby steps it takes in their direction to minimize chances of loss and risk in the "safer" parts of space"

    *Your compromise idea of a corporation allowing or disallowing in-corp fighting (by means of roles or w/e) was genius and far better than either blanket banning or blanket allowing unpunished corp member infighting.

    *NPC corps are a riduculous idea (except for allowing the very new player to find their feet). They allow people to shelter from wardecs, to shelter from EVE gameplay itself. If their members aren't going to take part in Eve universe fully then once they are older than a month or so they should suffer restrictions on thier gameplay - their tax rate should be 75% or their ships should be 50% slower than none-NPC corp members or they pay more market tax or earn less bounties or skill slower.. for example. This change, along with the ban on unpunished inter-corp aggression (or at least the making of inter corp agression consensual by means of roles) will do what CCP wants and get people out of the NPC corps and into player corps. But for this to happen, and I am sorry to disagree with your main point here, corp on corp unconsented agression had to stop. Carrot and stick. Trouble is, CCP is only interested in giving the carrot (no more awoxing) without applying the stick (nerf NPC corps to hell).

    Is this because they are afraid of losing subs? and therefore income? Can they afford to piss off all the people living in NPC corps their entire Eve lives? I know CCP have to have a viable business too, otherwise there would be no Eve.

    I apologise if I have covered points that were in the minutes, sadly I do not have the time to sit through them.

    PLEASE don't give up fighting for what you believe is right for EVE. I don't mind paying more for my sub (compared to other games), because the EVE universe is worth it for me. If Eve becomes wow in space then I as well as many others will abandon ship and then I think your prophecised slow steady death will be a terrible reality.

    1. Wait, NPC corps are ridicoulous because they allow you to evade wardecs but awoxing has to go because it's unconsensual pvp?
      Without NPC corps and the ability to evade wars EVE would be a game for pvp-ers and masochists only.
      I don't want to play your game. I want to play my game. And if I was permanently under wardec by some griefer I'd rather quit and go play another game.

  19. That's what the grief crowd doesn't grasp as they cry. I don't pay a sub to amuse you or play on your terms. I pay to play my way, on my terms, and those who don't like it can get fucked.

  20. I think the most important thing for CCP to realise is that the game mechanics around Eve promotes in the main part, solo play with a hefty dose of being able to AFK while doing it.

    If they 'fix' those two aspects of Eve perhaps I'll return.

    The community of established and still playing Eve players while relatively small compared to other MMO's is their generosity when it comes to real life stuff. I've been in alliances that had a fund raiser for a member who as a single dad was being threatened with eviction. What other game has members in the hundreds would do that? I've also noticed those same "awoxers' and pirates will more often than not take the time to help the 'new' player understand their mistakes that led to them losing their ship in the first place, not just a single line "you came in to low sec" either. It does depend on the attitude of the recently attacked though.

    I no longer play Eve because it's dull as dishwater and takes too much time to get to the interesting stuff. Do I miss playing Eve with my fellow corp/alliance/coalition members. Sometimes. Then I remember the boredom of shopping and setting things up and realize my limited time could be better spent playing other games that offer more immediate states of 'Fun'.

  21. I have an awox alt that is 6 months old that still gets into corporations and I just have to say one thing.
    This article although really awesome doesn't go in depth enough. When I am awoxing the veteran players are the ones saying 'block him', threatening me, and generally having tantrums when their shiny things die.

    The newbies on the other hand are having the time of their lives trying to mine in ventures or take me out. They even message me (each time I get at least a few) and ask me if I can teach them how to do it. If anything this content keeps more newbies in the game than turns them away.

    Let the bittervets be bittervets and if they want to play the game learn to play it smart.

    I know at least 3-4 people who are only still playing this game because I introduced them to emergent content. The fact that this game is awesome is based on the fact that you make your own content to keep yourself entertained. Who wants to run the same dungeon 5 times a week in WoW? I would much rather play a game where absolutely anything can happen. I have had a lot of opposition in my awoxing career that has made going after targets successfully a living hell but that is content and cant be scripted.

    Lets also look at the CODE situation. I am not a CODE agent nor an anti ganker but the fact that an entire high sec community prouted up(anti-gank) to combat another community that is terrorizing people... I mean uhhh.... enforcing the code... Is emergent and awesome in and of itself. It has created a great struggle and content that CCP couldn't have dreamed of.

    Many people in my community (myself included) feel that neutral logi is a terrible atrocity and are surprised it is still around. This is due to the fact that EVE online is all about the risk factor and having a god mode reduces the risk factor and the fun for everyone.

    My point here is CCP needs to appreciate the content generation community. Instead of trying to get rid of the risk in highsec more risk should be created for the awoxer or other content generation method. Because without risk we might as well all go play farmville.....

    -Anne G.
    Associate Awoxer
    Farmville Onlined