A Solution to Asset Safety?


PVP in EVE is not (generally) a game of kill- to loot- to get rich. Oftentimes, new players asking how older players make ISK will be under the impression that a substantial living can be made off of killing people for the loot dropped from their destroyed ships. A quick perusal of killmails generated in lowsec and nullsec space will generally lead one to draw the conclusion that most people that engage in PVP, try to do so at minimal cost to themselves. The old adages, “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose” and “If you undock it, you’ve already lost it” come to mind.

So then why do it? Why do people in EVE kill on such a massive scale, if not for immediate profit? Of course there are pirates that ransome for ISK, and the dreaded suicide gankers in hisec. But the vast majority don’t even intend on picking up the loot of their conquests. And herein lies the key to my argument. At the end of the day, we PVP for the sake of PVP. The actual risk of assets, the understanding that losing a ship is ultimately final, and that killing an enemy’s ship is just as final for that player, resonates with a great number of us. We want to shoot other sentient human beings because when we win, we cause actual and measurable damage to their game. And that is the core of the core; it can be measured. Killmails are the depiction of one pilot’s actual measured loss at the hands of other pilots. Battle reports and war summaries are the measure of one group’s loss at the hands of another. Want to know who won the battle of B-R5RB? Look at the numbers. Want to know who won the battle at the Keepstar in M-0EE8? Looking at the numbers we have available leaves us asking a big question: How much was in the Keepstar when it was destroyed? How much had to be paid to retrieve those assets? The true measure of victory or defeat at that battle is not contained in the battle report, and this, in my opinion, is a severe flaw that overlooks why entities in EVE engage in PVP.

So now that I’ve covered what I feel is the main motivation for engaging in PVP and highlighted why besieging and destroying a citadel generally misses that motivation, here is my solution in a nutshell:

Tell me how much ISK it costs the enemy to retrieve their assets. Right at the bottom where, on a ship’s killmail, it lists the estimated insurance payout and the bounty paid (if any), tell me the total value of assets that were inside when it exploded, and give an estimated cost to retrieve those assets. This gives us a measure of the pain we’ve managed to inflict. A more true killmail.

There is, of course, one problem with this method that I can foresee, which lies within the following mechanic: “After 5 days a player can choose to have the assets delivered to an NPC station, outpost, or Citadel in the same system the assets were originally located, free of charge.” The ease of anchoring citadels en-masse could, in some cases, make my solution untenable. How can you measure the losses of your opponents if they simply juggle the assets around in the same system? The mechanic, of course, would need to be re-worked to ensure that when a citadel is destroyed, the pilots with assets inside pay a price, regardless of whether or not they have other structures available in-system.

At the end of the day, EVE is about building sandcastles for some, and kicking them over for others. The builders like to count how many grains of sand were compiled to complete the castle. The destroyers want to know the same information when they kick it over. Give us that information, and perhaps we can all be satisfied.

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  • Verdis deMosays

    Forgive me for seeming like a wet blanket, but what is the point of this article? It is titled ‘A Solution to Asset Safety,’ yet provides no solution. All I took away from it was that the author wants a metric added into the killmail to show value of assets moved into the security system. With the exception of being epeen Viagra, I fail to see how this solves anything.

    July 13, 2017 at 1:21 PM
    • Daito Endashi Verdis deMosays

      I think the question is rather what you see as the problem with asset safety. The author just sees the problem in the value depicted in killmails

      July 13, 2017 at 2:54 PM
      • Verdis deMosays Daito Endashi

        The problem I see with asset safety is twofold; risk and reward are skewed. If I have my assets in a citadel, there is essentially no risk. It blows up, my belongings end up somewhere else. Might cost me a bit, might be inconvenient, but it’s still safe. And on the flip side, the reward to attackers is almost non-existent. You put together a 10-man gang, go spend three days breaking damage layers, and unless it’s in a wormhole, you come back with almost nothing.

        My solution would be to have every item treated as part of the killmail. 50% drop chance, and what doesn’t drop gets transferred to asset safety. You don’t lose everything, but you could randomly lose a fortune.

        If that doesn’t give incentive to fight, I don’t know what will.

        July 13, 2017 at 3:23 PM
      • The author talks about how pvp crowds are drawn to the finality of pvp in EVE and how the knowledge that ships, and thus horded value, are destroyed is what gives the activity meaning – and then he says he wants to see values depicted on kill mails.
        If one is to assume that the first half of the article is related to the second, then the point or the piece seems to be highlighting the extremely different levels of risk between traditional pvp (high) and citadel pvp (none) – which seems worth mentioning if one believes that risk is what gives pvp merit to begin with.

        July 13, 2017 at 7:57 PM
    • The title seems off mark but there seemed to be three main points delivered here. The reasoning behind engaging in pvp in non-profit (or low profit) settings, a highlight of an uncharacteristically forgiving mechanic and the (obligatory) authors prefered fix to the problem.

      I agree that the safety of items in destroyed player structures seems out of sync with the rest of Eve – and there is obvious grandstanding potential in letting attackers know what they cost their opponents. Given how you are trying to coax players out of the safety of (boring) indestructable npc towers through, some leniency on the drawbacks of player structures is to be expected.

      July 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM
  • hurf

    In my mind this is a solution to a problem that does not really exist. The main problem with citadels is the combination of uninterruptible defense systems(void bomb is the biggest offender), price, damage cap and the 3 reinforcement timers. Find the correct balance for that and watch more people bother to fight over them.

    July 13, 2017 at 3:14 PM
    • Zip Slings hurf

      There are obviously other issues with citadels. Even much bigger problems than this one. And if you have never heard someone bitching about how asset safety is too safe, then this of course send like a problem that doesn’t exist. But if you listen to other people talk about it, this is a “huge” problem.

      July 13, 2017 at 6:34 PM
  • Rolfski

    If you would follow that line of thinking then it would also be nice knowing how much assets you trap by kicking some one out of a system. Deklein must be a lost treasure dome in that regard.

    July 13, 2017 at 5:05 PM
    • Zip Slings Rolfski

      1. There is no killmail for flipping a station, and this will go away soon anyhow when those stations are converted into citadel’s.
      2. That state is not permanent. Assets can be recovered extremely easily unless the station is deadzoned.

      July 13, 2017 at 6:31 PM
  • Gee

    personally i think asset safety in the same system is a little borked, you should pay something at the very least. standard asset recovery base rate with no travel surcharge.

    what i do think is a lil wrong and could be improved is how accurate killmails are. It seems to me to be a clear case of perfect information. I have always thought that was odd (at least in an RP sense) that we can tell what did blow up inside a kill. My thoughts are to revise killmails to take into account ONLY the items that didnt blow up plus the cost of the hull of the ship minus the insurance payout (if it was insured).

    July 14, 2017 at 3:07 AM