CCP Introduces Dynamic Bounties


Art by Cryo Huren

CCP has released a string of developer news recently teasing at new directions for some long ignored mechanics. The latest such announcement is the Dynamic Bounty System (DBS), which will redistribute ratting bounties on the fly in accordance with player activity. The system is live now on the test server, and is due to be deployed to Tranquility in November.

So what does the system do exactly? 

It reconfigures bounty payouts in response to player action, increasing and decreasing a per-system multiplier depending on how many players are feeding on the rats. Ratting bounties will decrease in heavily ratted areas, stabilize in lightly ratted areas, and increase in areas with large amounts of player combat. CCP insists the system will not cause bounties to swing wildly back and forth, but rather, the bounties will slowly blend from high to low over the course of days or weeks. As players rat in an area under the firm control of a player alliance, ratting bounties will decrease, while more dangerous, less controlled areas will see a bounty increase. Finally, CCP will also be reworking the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS), though they will be discussing those changes separately next week.

The goal of this system is to put further strain on the resources of large player alliances that hold sovereign territory. CCP’s desire is to see ratters who live under the protection of defense umbrellas venturing out into less utilized space to hunt down higher paydays. CCP believes that the necessity to stray further from home will increase player death and improve dynamism and engagement with the game. Further, CCP thinks this dynamic environment will make it easier to detect botting activities by making suspicious actions more obvious.

A secondary goal is to level the playing field between large and small groups by providing opportunities for small operations to potentially enjoy much higher reward-to-effort ratios compared to their highly centralized counterparts. These kinds of dynamic environmental systems seem to be a theme with CCP lately, and the Dev Blog implies that more dynamic systems will be introduced in the future in order to keep EVE healthy into its third decade.

Whether this particular change will have the desired result remains to be seen. Citadel mechanics can provide a level of player safety that simply wasn’t present back in the “good ole days” when people used to rat in asteroid belts. Whether the increased rewards that come from ratting in dangerous territory will be worth the risk is going to be the single biggest factor. If the math on these numbers is too low, it will see players continue their current behavior and simply accept a lower pay out. If the rewards are too high, intrepid players will no doubt game the system to create temporary ratting meccas for greatly increased payouts.

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  • Monasucks

    So have a few aplhas and make the system look like pvp active? Next botting meta?

    October 24, 2020 at 10:31 AM
    • Winston Archer Monasucks

      It’s really easy to spot a scheme as you suggest, just look at the systems zkillboard stats and spot the alphas killing each other. Here’s an idea, just put down your pacifier take some clean diapers and go to the area where bounties pay higher? Hmmm …

      October 24, 2020 at 11:12 AM
      • So, bot hunters will effectively increase the bounties in the systems where they think bots are?

        October 25, 2020 at 7:53 AM
        • Nate Hunter Rhivre

          Probably not, CCP probably would try to limit the additional bounty % available to some value less than what was destroyed so that there’s not incentive to game the system. For the pvp boost Its not like CCP can automatically detect when an active cloaky camping group moves in to a region (litterally the most dangerous scenario for a ratter) and causes the npc kills to drop like a rock. Overall its a nerf, i’ve heard values ranging from 120-50% so 85% is the median of the range, 75% is the practical median.

          October 26, 2020 at 5:27 PM
          • Garreth Vlox Nate Hunter

            “CCP probably would try to limit the additional bounty % available to some value less than what was destroyed so that there’s not incentive to game the system.”

            Remember how a just a few weeks ago they dropped content they’ve been working on for months if not years in the form of the new triglavian systems and somehow during all that dev time they never realized the existing rogue drone structures would give you standings with the trigs? You’re are giving CCP way to much credit when it comes to thinking through the results of their changes before they happen.

            October 26, 2020 at 8:28 PM
  • Rammel Kas

    I’m not that convinced this is a good one yet. But lets wait and see how it shakes out.

    As an aside note: given the amount of action Delve sees even in peacetime (or should I say Wartime… given how little difference there seems to be with people always roaming down), I’m pretty sure who’s going to win out this one. And not for lack of trying either.

    October 24, 2020 at 11:20 AM
  • Simon Chui

    Couldn’t you do a sort of crop rotation arrangement? Given the inertia of the bounty changes, even if you rat at maximum intensity, it’ll still take days for the bounty to drop. So rotate around a few systems, spending a few days at a time in each.

    October 24, 2020 at 12:47 PM
    • Moomin Amatin Simon Chui

      I have little doubt that a “solution” will be found quite quickly.

      October 24, 2020 at 9:25 PM
    • Sounds like this will the the arrangement for most normal ratting. I guess it sounds as though systems with lots of PvP kills will end up with positive % changes, which I guess means if you’re some kind of role-player you could theoretically travel around hunting the dankest bounties– although I’m not sure who would ever do this as the ship tradeoffs and constant interruptions caused by operating in hostile space wouldn’t come anywhere near offsetting the bonus bounty unless CCP lets those numbers float up to like +500%.

      October 26, 2020 at 7:52 PM
    • phuzz Simon Chui

      I think ‘hunter-gathering’ is a better metaphor than crop-rotation. Migrating around to areas with the best huting.

      October 27, 2020 at 12:17 PM