The War Decs, They Are A-Changin’

Macky Avelli 2019-03-01

CCP is in an ongoing effort to make wars in EVE something that actually engages players instead of annoying them. They’d like to encourage wars that “provide entertaining conflicts,” while reducing bullshit forever-wars that potentially discourage some new players from joining corporations.

TL;DR

This dev blog has many words (and even some graphs), so let’s take a quick look at the big points:

December 2018 – War Eligibility

Corps with at least one structure in space are eligible for non-mutual war declarations (a.k.a war decs), both to attack and defend. This change was met with what CCP describes as “cautious positivity.” With this, they decided to proceed with their changes to the war dec system. Details of this were released in December.

March 2019 – Fixing loopholes and bugs

March’s changes will allow war decs to continue without a warmup timer. This removes citadel/war dec cooldown exploit, which allowed corps to game the system to essentially defend onlining Upwell structures while wars were pending.

CCP plans to remove the ability for defending corps to flip a war on an attacker through trickery. Basically, a corp would play musical chairs with an alliance, and wind up as the attacker in a war against the corp who attacked in the first place. As the dev blog puts it: “…we are preventing corporations that are defenders in an active war from joining an alliance that is the attacker in another active war against the same group attacking the applicant corporation.” If that didn’t at all clear up the confusion, take a look at the dev blog.

There are also plans to fix a server bug that would cause corps to become immune to war decs until downtime. It wasn’t something that could be regularly exploited, but had occurred on occasion.

April 2019 – Removal of Highsec neutral assistance

Rather than simply getting a suspect flag for targeted assistance to neutral (out-of-corp, not involved in a war, without PVP timer) characters in high sec, pilots will receive a criminal flag, and be CONCORDed from their ship. Will this be an advantage, or disadvantage for high sec gankers/anti-gankers? Or will it simply cause some funny situations from time to time? In addition to the targeted assistance changes, command bursts will no longer affect neutral characters.

May 2019 – The Big Changes

War Headquarters will be a thing for non-mutual wars. Attackers will have to choose a War HQ from their various Upwell structures, which will serve as a target for the defenders. Destroying/removing this War HQ by any means will put the war in a cooldown period, which CCP goes into greater detail in the dev blog. They do hope that this gives a more defined goal to defenders in non-mutual wars instead of simply having to defend assets.

CCP intends to implement a war cost simplification which will change the cost of any war of any size to 100 million ISK per week. Compared to the old system, this means that declaring war on smaller corps/alliances will be more expensive. Meanwhile, declaring war on bigger corps/alliances will be cheaper.

Mutual wars are also being improved, in that they will now have their own UI altogether. Somewhat like a duel or corp invite, when one corp offers a mutual war, the other is given a choice to accept or decline. The mutual wars will forego some of the rules of non-mutual wars (ISK costs, war eligibility, War HQs). Mutual wars end whenever one side retracts the war, or if there haven’t been PVP kills on either side in 90 days.

Other various UI improvements will also be made to the various elements of the war dec and war system overall.

What does this mean for you, the reader?

If wars are something that interests you, this dev blog may be worth taking a look at. If you don’t find yourself worried about wars, then you can probably move right along.

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Comments

  • Wpq 0

    The way this war eligibility system will work will encourage this- 1. Miner corp, where most miners in the corp are, has no structures so they are never legally targetable. 2. structures corp, which is one person who holds structure assets for miners to use. 3- War corp, the corps which if war is declared on their structures corp or they have some sort of contract to defend a corp, they join the war to fight off structure attackers.

    March 1, 2019 at 1:12 PM
    • Nick Ashley Wpq 0

      It’s clear that CCP wants to phase out the current implementation of highsec war and replace it with a different concept. They want smaller organizations fighting over actual structures like 0.5 athanors on moons etc. The days of marmites etc are over.

      March 1, 2019 at 1:23 PM
      • Guilford Australis Nick Ashley

        Yes, between the new eligibility and HQ mechanics, Marmite, PIRAT, and VMG are done. Structure-based eligibility will deny them the ability to kick over the weakest highsec corporations, while being forced to choose a war HQ will make them easy pushovers for the big nullsec alliances they love to target with their forever wars. CCP has effectively taken away their bread and butter. I have no sympathy.

        If these high-SP killboard warriors want to fight all day, they need to get the hell out of highsec. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to fight in lowsec, nullsec, and J-Space. Of course, they’ll have to accept the risk that comes along with real combat. They won’t be able to hide behind station games in nullsec or J-Space where there are no NPC stations. From what I’ve seen of these groups, I suspect they’re more likely to disband than to embrace real PVP.

        March 1, 2019 at 2:49 PM
        • No, they’re not. In fact, if you look at the feedback threads in December and now, Tora Bushido, head of Marmite, loves these changes.

          Structure-based eligibility means they can focus on intimidating structure-owners. ie: run a protection racket where they look for structures owned by small groups, and then RF it to get the owners to pay up. Since those changes went in, they’ve been able to focus in like that, and are making more money than ever, because they’re not wasting some on wars that don’t pay off.

          Also, VMG merged into PIRAT last year.

          The new changes just mean they’ll put their logi in-corp, as said by multiple members of PIRAT and Tora, in the various feedback threads. The ‘War HQ’ mechanic won’t mean a damned thing to them, because they can afford to use a Fortizar (and will probably start aiming to put down their own Keepstar soon), which the small groups they prey on can’t contest—and, the lack of carve-out on the logi issue for people in fleet and at war against the same opponents means that if Marmite dec 100 10-man corps, and all 1000 pilots turn up to attack them… they still can’t rep one another. CONCORD’ll kill them.

          It’s a lot easier to kill 1000 guys in 100 small groups with 2 logi each than to kill even a single 250-man fleet where all 50 logi can help each guy who gets shot.

          At the same time, it’s getting *cheaper* for them to run their ‘let’s perma-dec the big groups’ campaigns for camping station routes.

          March 1, 2019 at 3:52 PM
          • Guilford Australis Arrendis

            CCP introduced these changes specifically in response to its observations that (1) 50% of all war declarations are initiated by five groups in EVE, including, most prominently, the groups we’re discussing, and (2) attrition among highsec corporations who are targeted by the various methods utilized by these groups (including the ‘protection racket’ scheme described by you and apparently promoted by Tora) is too high for CCP to allow it to continue. I have a very hard time believing CCP will not continue to make changes to the war declaration system if the current mechanics simply lead to other ways for Marmite et. al. to accomplish the same outcomes, given CCP’s stated rationale. Marmite and PIRAT might enjoy a smorgasbord in the short term, but they’re in opposition to CCP’s stated goals for highsec on the matter of war declarations.

            The HQ mechanic *is* significant in that it allows massive nullsec alliances including Goonswarm and TEST (which, coincidentally, both have long-term highsec deployments) to target these groups and even end the interminable war declarations initiated by them. Last I checked, Goonswarm has been at war with PIRAT (or perhaps it was Marmite – I’m not logged in at the moment) continually since June 2018. You don’t think there might be some incentive for Goonswarm to end that annoyance in a way that would be satisfying for members and humiliating for PIRAT?

            March 1, 2019 at 4:07 PM
          • Yes, that is why CCP introduced these changes. CCP also promised that every single activity in nullsec would factor into ADMs, and the intentions behind Fozziesov were to break up the fighting and force people to spread their fleets out so there’d be a lot of smaller pitched battles on ‘front lines’ instead of massive set-piece fights.

            How well did that work? How well did they keep iterating on the ADMs?

            CCP has a history of getting things to a point, and then finding out ‘that’s hard‘ and stopping. They’ve said, for example, in the feedback thread that actually trying to get it set up so that war allies can rep one another is too difficult. Fozzie’s already presented a list of things ‘too hard’ to get right about HS wars. So… no, I’m not optimistic about them iterating on this. They’ll just say ‘well, then don’t put a structure down, and you’re safe!’

            As for the HQ mechanic… yeah, it’ll let us end the dec’s against us, but that’s not gonna help the little guys. Do you really think we’ll go hunting their structures beyond the specific ‘war HQ’ for our war? We could be doing that now. We aren’t.

            And really, how ‘humiliating’ is it for PIRAT to lose an astrahus? ‘Oh no, the guys with 60 times our numbers were able to blow up our structure’ is about as ‘humiliating’ as ‘dammit, gravity, stop making me fall’. It’s a given. If we want a HS structure dead, we’ll kill it, no problem.

            You want humiliating? Wardec a FW group that does a lot of their money-making in highsec. Put your War HQ in the other side’s HS, where they can’t go. Then they have to hire mercenaries. A dedicated PvP group, that likes to shoot things will have to hire someone else to fight their war for them.

            March 1, 2019 at 4:27 PM
          • Guilford Australis Arrendis

            It’s true that we don’t know how CCP may respond if the current changes turn out to be ineffectual. What we know is that the groups CCP has expressed dissatisfaction with are adapting to the developer’s attempts to curb highsec attrition in ways that may actually worsen it. I’d point to the two waves of wardec changes (in December and this week) as evidence that CCP may be committed to realizing an outcome on this issue, while you give FozzieSov as an example of CCP’s tendency to leave things half-finished, which leads you to conclude they’ll abandon wardecs once unintended consequences become evident. We’re both in the territory of pure speculation at this point.

            I imagine you don’t really think I’m suggesting losing an Astrahus would be humiliating for PIRAT or Marmite. It would be humiliating for groups that have boasted of their impunity in highsec for many years to find themselves unable to maintain their forever wars against the major nullsec alliances that previously ignored them but may now have reason to crap on them as often as possible. Sure, those alliances would target only the HQ – because that would accomplish something for them. I never suggested Goonswarm will suddenly mobilize to eradicate PIRAT from highsec, merely that they now have a mechanism to veto perma-decs.

            I see your point about smaller corporations and alliances having it worse under the current system. I can think of many scenarios that may be better or worse for various groups, and I can also think of ways CCP may respond to those scenarios – or not. Again, we’re speculating because it’s too soon to tell.

            Thanks for your thoughts, Arrendis.

            March 1, 2019 at 4:51 PM
          • I’d point to the two waves of wardec changes (in December and this week) as evidence that CCP may be committed to realizing an outcome on this issue, while you give FozzieSov as an example of CCP’s tendency to leave things half-finished, which leads you to conclude they’ll abandon wardecs once unintended consequences become evident. We’re both in the territory of pure speculation at this point.

            I’d love it if you were right, but remember: the December changes were always an interim measure. These changes coming in the next 2 months do not represent any kind of iteration on December, they merely represent what December was always going to transition to.

            And no, even that would not be a humiliating thing for groups like Marmite or PIRAT. Again, it’s like being ‘humiliated’ about not being able to resist a force of nature. We knock the HQ down? They’ll put another one up and re-dec ASAP. It’s all factored into their cost of doing business.

            As for speculation… I’m pretty much just telling you what Fozzie and Lebowski said outright: They are not going to even try to make this better for the groups of small alliances who want to cooperate. Already written off.

            March 1, 2019 at 5:14 PM
          • J Moravia Arrendis

            I would legit volunteer for a SIG whose mission is to fly around high-sec with alts and find the war HQ of whatever merry band of clowns has decced on us lately.

            March 1, 2019 at 5:47 PM
          • Arrendis J Moravia

            But would you volunteer for a SIG whose mission is to fly around high-sec with alts and destroy *all* of the structures of whatever merry band of clowns has decced on us lately?

            Because if you want to actually interfere with their business model, you have to make it impossible for them to dec the little guys, not us. And that’s going to mean hunting down their structures in all of the little out-of-the-way high-sec pockets.

            March 1, 2019 at 6:14 PM
          • DickDastardly Arrendis

            You wouldn’t need to do that though would you

            If a war ends due to the War HQ going away, the former attackers will be unable to declare a new war against the same former defenders for two weeks. This enforced peace is fairly similar to the one that occurs after a war surrender, with the one major difference that it will not prevent the former defenders from declaring a new war against their former attackers.

            So blow up the War HQ and the war-decers can’t declare war on you for 2 weeks. I’m assuming that the War HQ will be mentioned in the original war-dec mail so hiding it in a pocket somewhere is only of limited use.

            March 2, 2019 at 4:25 PM
          • Axhind DickDastardly

            Issue is that it takes a week to kill that HQ so in best case you can be safe from wardec 2/3s of the time. A lot of effort for very little gain with 1DQ market being what it is.
            Still, could be fun to shit on elite PvP like that.

            March 4, 2019 at 8:07 AM
          • DickDastardly Axhind

            Indeed, I was just pointing out, in relation to the high-sec groups who perma-dec the null-sec guys, that there is a way to reduce it and that you’re unlikely to need to hunt every pocket in the game to find their War HQ and to kill it.

            The effort is ‘relatively’ minimal too, It’s not like it’d take many people to do it, 30 people on alts in Leshaks on their 2nd screen should be more than enough to deal with them without interfering too much on normal day to day activities.

            High-sec pockets could be a bad place to ‘hide’ a War HQ in these wars too as they’re actually easier to get to because you can cyno in to the system next door which is easier than having to gate a fleet deep into high-sec.

            March 4, 2019 at 9:40 AM
          • Axhind DickDastardly

            I really can’t see goons doing Leshaks or similar stuff. That’s for the elite PvP crowd so that they can get excited when they gank a lone ship.
            If we go after these it will be with the mallet fleet. It’s cheap, disposable and always ready in high sec.

            March 4, 2019 at 10:07 AM
          • DickDastardly Axhind

            Quite possible but it’s the same sort of thing, A fleet large enough to scare off any potential defence is all that’s needed and that should make short work of the structure.

            Thinking about it a bit more……

            If killing the War HQ kills the war it means the high-sec war-decers will need to use different structures for each null-sec alliance they war-dec which is going to bump the cost up to have a 1 week ‘war’ every three weeks.

            If they don’t do that say PIRAT have all theirs in one structure, Marmite all theirs in a structure, Jita whatever all theirs in a structure. Goons hit the PIRAT one, Test hit the Marmite one, NC. hit the Jita whatever one and…… all the wars are over for 2 weeks.

            Sure they could put a Raitaru up for each war (with a large null-sec alliance) but that then pushes the cost of each war up by 500 mill + it’d be a pain in the ass to have to keep putting Raitarus down.

            March 4, 2019 at 10:16 AM
          • Arrendis DickDastardly

            We wouldn’t need to do that to get out of the war they declared on us, no.

            But why would that be the objective, rather than hurting them by forcing the end of all of their high-sec wars?

            March 5, 2019 at 5:44 AM
          • Axhind J Moravia

            Would be something to do with mallet fleet 😀

            March 4, 2019 at 8:06 AM
        • Not really. Cause now they can’t waste isk declaring war on someone who’s mostly inactive with no structures. A Corp with structures is more likely to be active. So these changes just make it more likely that a Corp they declare war on will result in kills.

          March 4, 2019 at 2:36 PM