February 19, 2015

Imagine there's no CONCORD...

So for post 100 (whoohoo!) I'll go for something that Kirith recently said would make a CSM candidate get labelled as a crank candidate: eliminating CONCORD.  No wait, don't leave!  Hear me out... and prepare for lots of question marks.

The Background and Lore (TL;DR version)

CONCORD is formed by the joint efforts of the four factions plus the Jove.  Notably, the Jove supply the super-ship/super-weapons that allow the CONCORD ships to incapacitate a capsuleer ship and destroy it handily while being invulnerable themselves.  Once upon a time it was possible to tank CONCORD, but that was far before my time.

Now we are led to believe that the Jove may be gone, though we have Sleepers and Others and Drifters oh my.  So can CONCORD employees manufacture this super-Jove equipment?  Can they do routine maintenance on it?  If they can do either of those things then shouldn't we expect this tech to be leaking out from CONCORD into the general population?  Or are we on a track where gradually CONCORD will start to lose capability?

If we have a Drifter / Sleeper threat that has CONCORD at high alert, shouldn't we expect these super-weapon ships out there hunting down Drifters?  Is Angry CONCORD guy really going to be more relaxed if capsuleers get involved with this new alien tech?

And on the meta-level CCP has signaled that they are looking to reduce the role of the empires over time, so what if...

CONCORD and Faction Police

Game News: CONCORD announces a "wider cooperation with local law enforcement" which includes a more active role for faction police, particularly in mid-security space (0.5 thru 0.7).  Leaks suggest that problems in maintenance of Jove equipment has led to a smaller number of effective CONCORD vessels.

Game MechanicsFaction forces become responsive to Crimewatch activities.  The actual impact for offending vessels remains generally the same for now (since only one CONCORD ship is needed to shut them down) but the damage dealing is from a mixture faction and CONCORD ships.  This becomes more pronounced the lower the security rating of the system.  Actions which cause a CONCORD Security Status increase or decrease also cause a corresponding (but not necessarily equal) change in status with the faction within whose borders the action occurred.  This makes it harder for gankers in that they become unwelcome within empire space if they keep committing crimes there, but over time (i.e. 6 week releases) the mixture of CONCORD begins to slip meaning that gankers see a longer response time until the first CONCORD ship with super-ECM arrives.  The gank-response experience doesn't quite become "tankable" yet, but CCP gets to feel out what that might be like in the modern New Eden.

CONCORD and Null

Game News: CONCORD announces that it is "refocusing its mission" in service to the founding factions.  Bounties will no longer be paid out for pirate ships in null-security space, since that is beyond the boundaries of the factions, and that responsibility is handed over to the sov-holders.  Leaks suggest that budgetary disagreements between CONCORD and the factions is a part of this decision.

Game Mechanics: This obviously takes away a big ISK faucet and income source in null, and would be done in combination with the fundamental change to a "farms and fields" economic model. For instance, if the local industrial capacity of null became feasible then manufacturing, mining, and PI then can become the income for players right in their own homes.  What if all of these are taxable to the corp or alliance level, but can be threatened by both NPC and player pirates?  Can I use orbital bombardment to blow up your PI system?  What if the bounty-payment mechanism was handed over to the sov holders, so that there could be a cycle whereby the taxes of the producers could be used to pay the ratters that keep the producers safe to produce?  This could be a part of the "needing to live in your space" that people have been asking for.  It also makes a lot more game-immersion sense in that keeping the pirates down is aligned with wanting to keep your space safer, rather than "I wish we had more pirates in our space to make money from."  Secondarily, this could play well with the idea of players aligning with pirates such like the can align with the factions today.

So these are just some ideas to play with on what it might mean to give the players greater agency and move away from the "unstoppable NPC" as a immersion-breaking means to put solid structures within the sandbox.  I'd like to see more thinking like this around the Eve Community and within CCP.


  1. Nope. Sorry. It turns highsec into null (or at least low) and removes the ability of players other than industrialists to live. There's plenty of people who don't wan t to do indy or PI to earn isk but will rat. If they lose ratting income, then what?

    Points for thinking outside the box.

    1. I can't see how "turns highsec into null" follows - can you elaborate? Do you think that having the faction police NPC enforcing Crimewatch would mean that people couldn't run missions? If so, why? Did you really mean "ratting income" or did you mean missioning?

  2. I expected you to suggest players could use concord ships/drifter superweapon but guns can only activate against criminal status capsuleers.

    Without bounties, what isk faucet would provide income? Mining/manufacturing and PI do not generate isk.

    1. You're right that without the nullsec bounty there would need to be a counter-balance on the sink side or another faucet. Perhaps bounties on Drifters since they are a threat to the factions?

    2. So your suggestion is to replace rats with rare superpowered rats? :)
      I think you can see the flaw there.

      Well insurance would remain as isk faucet. CCP could improve NPC buy orders perhaps. I have no idea how much isk faucets you actually need to prevent deflation.

    3. I should have put a smiley in there on the Drifter, as I was meaning to be a bit silly there.

      If I was making a serious proposal (i.e. F&I thread or somesuch) I'd definitely have to do my research on sinks/faucets. In the real world we only need new money printed to replace old, or to intentionally inflate the money supply (i.e. QE), but in a game world the "replace old" doesn't mean worn out bills but unsubbed accounts.