Most of the time, when I write these editorial pieces about some part of the game, or analyzing how CCP can improve things, they tend to run a little wordy. Sophia and I had a running bet about who could write the longer articles. I’m not going to say I won, but when someone’s got to cheat and write a frippin’ novella to beat you, well…
This time, though, I’m going to be fairly brief, and straightforward. I’m even gonna limit how much math is involved. So, on to the one-line tl;dr, and then I’ll get to the rest:
CCP Needs To Disable Crimewatch In Heavy Time Dilation
There you go. That’s it.
What Is This Thing, Again?
Crimewatch is a thing that affects lowsec and highsec. Empire. You know, the places where it’s actually possible to commit crimes. You take an action, it generates a criminal timer. There you go. Makes sense, right? Nice and simple, right? Well… no.
You take an action. Ok, we’re simple there. The game asks what the hell that action is, and looks to see if it’s on the list of ‘Criminal’ actions. Still simple. Except, no, not quite. The game asks what the action is… and who or what it’s being done to. THEN it can check the list of ‘Criminal’ actions. Even that’s a simplification, though.
For example: Simple is: ‘I push button, I get a timer’. Less simple is ‘I push button, game says ‘what does that button do? Oh, it activates a module. Is that module on the list of modules that do aggressive things? Yes. Ok. The person you’re doing it to… is that a corpmate? Yes? Is friendly fire allowed? Yes? Ok, it’s all good. If it’s not a corpmate, or friendly fire’s not allowed, is there a limited engagement timer up? (ie: are you duelling?) Is there a wardec?’
So Why Remove It?
Now, we all know computers can do these logical checks quickly. But they add up. Let’s say for the sake of argument that when you do something to someone else, there’s one check involved. Pretty obvious it’s more like three-five, but we’re going with one for the sheer simplicity of it.
So, Bob tackles Joe with a point. One check. It’s all good. Bob and 399 of his friends are in lowsec, all in Machariels. Each Mach’s got one (just one!) smartbomb.They have another 100 logistics cruisers and other support between their two fleets. They’re fighting, say, I dunno, another 400 guys in Typhoons, and those Typhoon fleets have another 100 logistics and support. The Typhoons and support drop a flight of drones each.
The Machariels smartbomb.
400 smartbombs go off. Each smartbomb is checked against every object on the grid that’s owned by a player (except the ship it’s on, but we’re gonna round up to make the math simpler than multiplying by 399). 400 (smartbombs) * (500 (Machariels + support) + 500 (Typhoons + support) + 2500 (Typhoon drones)) = 400 * 3500.
1,400,000 checks. In our obscenely oversimplified model. Before calculating damage. In addition to all of the movement and actions and everything else that’s causing time dilation.
Now add in fighters from a pair of capital/supercapital fleets.
That’s one smartbomb on each Mach. Start adding ECM bursts, MJFGs, and every other aoe effect that still works in lowsec…
I’m not saying get rid of Crimewatch. I’m not saying get rid of it in lowsec. But TiDi already tends to produce environments where modules stop working right, nobody can get anything done in a reasonable amount of time, etc etc. It’s not unreasonable to ask if Time Dilation can maybe turn off that ‘is this something that needs Crimewatch?’ check once it gets down around 20-30%. It’s not going to change the outcome of any fights. It’s just going to make those big battles CCP likes to hype and build their marketing around a little bit better. They’ll be less stressful, less frustrating, and less likely to make people contemplate quitting the game because “holy shit, this is what you sold me? This SUCKS!”
Crimewatch in TiDi. For the love of god, CCP, Just Say No.