Monday, February 22, 2016

I think, therefore I am online

The number one complaint I see regarding Watch Lists is that it's game breaking and all too easily accessible intelligence. If you read my last post you'll know I disagree, but I was brief in my explanation as I was writing with an element of vitriolic anger at the time. I've had some time and space to gather my thoughts since then and form what I hope is a convincing argument of my position.

Let's start with the claim that it's even intelligence. In a non-online gaming environment, be it sport, war or just your competitive spirit, it's no secret that your adversary is always present. Real life doesn't lend itself to logging off temporarily, at this stage it's still a permanent one time only offer. So you know what you're up against. That adversary maybe their gun goal kicker, the army over the hill or the sales executive you just need to sell more than this month. You know they're there, what you don't know is if he's fully fit and in form, the composition of their armoured divisions or what leads he has the ability to close at short notice. That information would be intelligence. That information can be garnered in a variety of ways. You could spy on training sessions and review past matches, send aerial recon over the hill to get a visual on the enemy column or raid your competitors diary to see what appointments he has today. Such intelligence requires guile, cunning and will. Armed with that intelligence you can form a strategy. One thing is certain however, your adversary is ever present.

EVE Online doesn't provide the same guarantee, however. The ability to log off for whatever reason changes the scope of every engagement from possibly happening to not happening at all. For a game that's supposed to be all about the contest, the arm wrestle for resources, changing the ability to see if your opponent is even online, prepared or not, is content reducing by its very nature.

Now, I spend the lion's share of my time in W-Space, so I know my perspective is biased. That said, I understand the K-Space argument, too. Many Alliances will have well maintained watch lists of Titan and Super Carrier pilots expressly for the purpose of avoiding a fight that escalates beyond their control, or trapping a pilot in transit. Such lists can go on for many months, even years before bearing any fruit but when they pay off, they generally pay off in a big way. In that instance, I agree watch lists are misused. Trinkets offered a unique solution yesterday, one that would largely eliminate the K-Space abuse of watch lists but also appease occupants of W-Space.

Set a time limit. As such, when you add someone to your watch list, after a brief period of one to two weeks, mutual consent will be required. In the intervening period however, the watch list maintains the full functionality that it currently has. Under such a system, Null Sec entities would have to constantly update their databases to the extent of making it untenable, HiSec Corporations under a War Declaration could track their targets and aggressors for a brief period and W-Space occupants could still track potential targets or aggressors in their region. Everyone wins.

Can anyone tell me why this wouldn't be an effective compromise to the existing plan?


  1. I have four accounts currently subscribed. Let's just say your watchlist falloff lasts a week. That's twelve weeks of free information per each of your characters. Keeping in mind that often, especially in W-Space, a person has more than one character that they regularly log on with. I have twelve weeks times however many characters you have.

    The truth is, watchlists do not offer any counter play. The argument stating, "They can do it to" is like saying, "We've made it so anyone can use the golden gun". At best it's a boring match of who does what first. At worst it's abusing the newbies who haven't got a clue the golden gun exists and that they should be using it. It doesn't make for an interesting game. I use and abuse watchlists to no end but I'd still vote in favor of getting rid of them.

    1. Then you are making use of the tools at your disposal. I mean... you've got 12 pilots... the other guy's got maybe 3. But that's OK? Doesn't that seem more unfair to you? I think you're getting bogged down in the nuance tbh. If people are willing to make the sort of effort you're suggesting, they've earned it. They've got to PLEX all those accounts, after all. It's not like having four active subscriptions is the norm.

      Moreover, I never made the "they can do it too" argument and it's a very long way from being a golden gun. It's an indicator of someone having their computer turned on. Where they are, what they're flying and what their intentions may be are still totally unknown to you.

  2. A system like that could be gamed by larger groups, as rotating watch lists between members could keep a player under log watch forever. It would require organization, but it would benefit the larger groups which is not good. Furthermore, it could also leads to rotating alts for that purpose. I always have been annoyed by the more significant issue of knowing when one logs in and logs off, an insight into personal life that I always found borderline. last but not least those that have a computer able to run Eve all day long have an advantge with the watch list, as they can lessen the impact of the watch listing by remaining logged all day long, until downtime. So even limited to a temporary duration, watch list is a tool that has multiple issues, outside of free and Universe wide it provides.

    WH peeps have used watch list as a way to assess potential threats in the absence of local, and they are certainly those that will be most affected. But this goes both ways: in some ways, the inhabitants of a WH are those most likely to be watch listed by hostile invaders, and as such will gain more from being invisible until they chose to reveal themselves, where those coming in have to go through the choke points of WH entrances, unable to know if they have been detected or not unless they use the rare case of a WH thay just spawned.

    Overall, it is a good thing to see the watch list not being an intel gathering tool anymore. Locator agents will become more valuable, and some upcoming post citadels structures may create new possibilities that, without replacing the free intel of watch lists, could provide system-specific intel that could help recoup some of the watch list usage in W-space formthe benefit of the defenders.

    1. If larger groups are willing to make that effort, frankly, they've earned it. It would be no small task to refresh that list every week.

      Regarding W-Space peeps, it actually goes just one way. Camping douche nozzles can linger in a bear hole for eternity and there's sweet fuck all anyone can do about it. It's just making life super easy for those guys and super awkward for everyone else. This change will de-populate W-Space to a significant degree and that's something we can ill afford.

      Finally, at the danger of repeating myself, it's not intel. It's an on/off button at best. What happens after that is intel. Moreover, again at the risk of repeating myself, locator agents have virtually no use to W-Space pilots unless you're fortunate enough to run it at the exact moment someone pops into K-Space to check a connection.

  3. Yes.. As a wormhole living wormbear(?) It pleases me greatly to know that stalkers are kept in the dark and wasting their time. At long last there will be peace and prosperity in the wh when there is no content other than shooting sleepers!


Keep it civil!