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Fixing Highsec Wardec Player Retention Issues

Author
Renee Frost
Sarah's Covenant
#1 - 2017-03-07 14:37:33 UTC
Let me state upfront that I believe suicide ganking and highsec wardecs are an important part of EVE Online. The element of danger, even in "safe" highsec space, gives weight and meaning to resources.

I started playing 2.5 months ago, and stuck to high sec until moving to low sec recently. Even during my time in highsec, the exhilaration of hauling 200+ million ISK through ganker systems, and evading gate camps during a war dec was what drove me to upgrade from Alpha to Omega. IMHO "even highsec is not safe" is a vital aspect of EVE that should never be changed. That being said, I believe that high sec wardecs might have an impact on player retention, based on personal experience and other threads on this forum.

I have an alt in an alliance that gets wardecced semi-frequently by alliances that are larger, have much higher skillpoints and much more expensive ships. So there is no easy way to fight back. And when we try to fight back, the wardec often gets renewed as PvP action is what they are looking for. That being said, I'm a seasoned gamer and so had no problem staying alive through the war. Likewise for many of my alliance mates, especially those in my corp, which often operates in low sec.

The people who suffers the most are the new players in our alliance, especially those in non-PvP corps (mining, industry etc). I have seen some these corps fall apart, and new players leave because wardecs are essentially turning high sec into low/null sec. This appears to be a common trend in threads complaining about high sec wardecs.

I believe that being in a corp, socializing and getting guidance from other players plays a big factor in getting players to stay/subscribe. These non-PvP corps in my alliance are contributing a lot by putting in the time and effort to recruit and guide new players. It feels like a huge missed opportunity when they fall apart due to wardecs.

CCP's official stance is to stay in NPC corps to avoid war decs: https://support.eveonline.com/hc/en-us/articles/204873262-Known-Declared-Exploits. Unfortunately, staying in an NPC corp means that new players will not be able to take part in the social aspects of EVE. This does not feel like a good way to retain players. It feels like there is a step missing between NPC corps and wardec vulnerable player corps.

I'll leave it to the professional game developers at CCP to figure out if this is an issue and how to fix it. But off the top of my head (not fully thought out at all), a possible way to do this might be to allow players that are less than X months old or have less than X skillpoints to join a corp as a "probationary" member that is not a valid war target but has severely restricted privileges to prevent abuse. Or even allow a corp type, that are highly restricted, between NPC and full blown player corps. These will give new players access to social tools without needing to take part in the wardec system, and at the same time not allow them to enjoy the benefits of a corp without risk.
mkint
#2 - 2017-03-07 14:54:10 UTC
Did social groups ever get added to the game? I was away from the game for a long time, but I've heard them mentioned again fairly recently, I'm not sure if they ever became a thing, or are just one of those ideas that keep resurfacing. The idea there is like what you're talking about, a corp-lite that is basically a bundle of channels and mailing lists without the full blown corp mechanics. I'd imagine they'd be risky to develop because there'd be less incentive to join a real corp, and it's already a known metric that joining a corp gets people to subscribe.

Maxim 6. If violence wasn’t your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it.

Renee Frost
Sarah's Covenant
#3 - 2017-03-07 15:15:49 UTC
mkint wrote:
Did social groups ever get added to the game? I was away from the game for a long time, but I've heard them mentioned again fairly recently, I'm not sure if they ever became a thing, or are just one of those ideas that keep resurfacing. The idea there is like what you're talking about, a corp-lite that is basically a bundle of channels and mailing lists without the full blown corp mechanics. I'd imagine they'd be risky to develop because there'd be less incentive to join a real corp, and it's already a known metric that joining a corp gets people to subscribe.


Nope, social groups are not in the game. Yup, I think I read somewhere that joining a corp gets people to subscribe. It certainly got me to subscribe. :p

Perhaps corp-lite could do the same and get people to subscribe too?

Really feels like a wasted opportunity when I see new players quit or non-PvP corps disband due to wardecs. We are not only wasting those potential subscribers but also people who are motivated enough to run corps and recruit newbies.
Jonah Gravenstein
Machiavellian Space Bastards
#4 - 2017-03-07 15:23:28 UTC
mkint wrote:
Did social groups ever get added to the game? I was away from the game for a long time, but I've heard them mentioned again fairly recently, I'm not sure if they ever became a thing, or are just one of those ideas that keep resurfacing. The idea there is like what you're talking about, a corp-lite that is basically a bundle of channels and mailing lists without the full blown corp mechanics. I'd imagine they'd be risky to develop because there'd be less incentive to join a real corp, and it's already a known metric that joining a corp gets people to subscribe.
Not officially, but there are certainly player driven ones both in and out of the NPC corps.

The one that springs to mind NPC corp wise is CAS, they have quite the social network and a presence in all areas of the game, most of it is done through chat and mailing lists.

@ the OP, if your newbies are dropping to NPC corps for the duration it might be worth putting some social structure in place to keep them engaged with the corp/alliance, a default chat room with a password for use in time of wardec, TS or Mumble for voice etc.

Alternatively depending on your numbers, and whether or not you have an aspiring or decent FC, you could encourage them to engage the enemy but on your own terms; if they fly expensive stuff and you manage to catch it solo, blob the crap out of it with frigates and destroyers, it won't cost you much and an expensive loss hurts morale.

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

New Player FAQ

Feyd's Survival Pack

Dark Lord Trump
Pandemic Horde Inc.
Pandemic Horde
#5 - 2017-03-07 15:28:38 UTC
I would support a corporation or wardec rule that allows you to make wardec-proof corporations, but also prevents them from anchoring structures, and perhaps adds an additional NPC tax to their activities. Allow people to group up without fear that [insert wardec group] will just stomp on them. The current system seems to incentivize staying in an NPC corp

I'm going to build a big wall that will keep the Gallente out, and they're going to pay for it!

Old Pervert
Perkone
Caldari State
#6 - 2017-03-07 15:50:11 UTC
I'm more of the opinion that there's a better solution.

Consider this.

The high sec deccers declare on some high sec corp. High sec corp hires mercs.

High sec corp then flies a brick tanked something through a known gate camp, waits for things to engage, then calls for a dozen of their merc friends to come from a jump out and wipe the floor with them.

Do that enough, and they'll probably move on to greener pastures.

Deccers get content, mercs get content, high sec corp gets content, and the industrialists get to sell more ships!
Black Pedro
Mine.
#7 - 2017-03-07 16:03:39 UTC
Dark Lord Trump wrote:
I would support a corporation or wardec rule that allows you to make wardec-proof corporations, but also prevents them from anchoring structures, and perhaps adds an additional NPC tax to their activities. Allow people to group up without fear that [insert wardec group] will just stomp on them. The current system seems to incentivize staying in an NPC corp
Sounds good to me.

Players can and already do this using NPC corps and chat channels, so why not add a social level corp that is nothing more than a name, logo and chat channel? Nothing really would change.

I am not married to this particular idea, but some secondary social group, social corp or other mechanism so player groups can opt-out of wars by forgoing all corporation benefits seems like a good idea to promote social interaction while respecting the basic ideas of risk vs. reward central to the game.

+1
Renee Frost
Sarah's Covenant
#8 - 2017-03-07 16:09:28 UTC
Black Pedro wrote:
Dark Lord Trump wrote:
I would support a corporation or wardec rule that allows you to make wardec-proof corporations, but also prevents them from anchoring structures, and perhaps adds an additional NPC tax to their activities. Allow people to group up without fear that [insert wardec group] will just stomp on them. The current system seems to incentivize staying in an NPC corp
Sounds good to me.

Players can and already do this using NPC corps and chat channels, so why not add a social level corp that is nothing more than a name, logo and chat channel? Nothing really would change.

I am not married to this particular idea, but some secondary social group, social corp or other mechanism so player groups can opt-out of wars by forgoing all corporation benefits seems like a good idea to promote social interaction while respecting the basic ideas of risk vs. reward central to the game.

+1


Yup these are fabulous points. Definitely fair to charge say 10% NPC corp tax too.

One thing to add is that I read threads talking about player run chat channels etc and a common theme seems to be that they fade over time. Social level corp will definitely help with that.
Renee Frost
Sarah's Covenant
#9 - 2017-03-07 16:20:56 UTC
Jonah Gravenstein wrote:
[quote=mkint]
@ the OP, if your newbies are dropping to NPC corps for the duration it might be worth putting some social structure in place to keep them engaged with the corp/alliance, a default chat room with a password for use in time of wardec, TS or Mumble for voice etc.


Yes, we maintain a non-corp/alliance chat room, even outside of wardecs. I still see some of those who left in the chat room.

However, this does not seem to work for many of them. Some of the new players that drops out of corps disappears from EVE. Some non-PvP corp leaders that used to be really active got tired and left.

I have limited experience with the non-PvP and/or non-seasoned gamer crowd/mindset, but I think having a social level corp or "corp-lite" option would help with keeping them around until they're ready experience wardecs, low/null sec etc.
Cade Windstalker
#10 - 2017-03-07 17:15:17 UTC
I think it'd be pretty reasonable to have basically NPC-corp-lite where your corp is under an NPC alliance, pays NPC corp tax, and basically doesn't have any of the privileges of a normal player corp, but it at least gets you out of NPC corp chat and off in your own group.
Daichi Yamato
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#11 - 2017-03-07 18:18:13 UTC
Having members exempt from the dec whilst some still are is an inconsistent rule and potentially open to abuse.

The social corp/corp lite is something i feel strongly about that we should have. In the mean time you can use chat channels whilst in an npc corp to get the social side.

Keep in mind that players that don't get into pvp are unlikely to become long term players. I would encourage your noobs to stick around for the dec to practice basic survival and pvp tactics.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

Maldiro Selkurk
Radiation Sickness
#12 - 2017-03-08 01:04:38 UTC
Old Pervert wrote:
I'm more of the opinion that there's a better solution.

Consider this.

The high sec deccers declare on some high sec corp. High sec corp hires mercs.

High sec corp then flies a brick tanked something through a known gate camp, waits for things to engage, then calls for a dozen of their merc friends to come from a jump out and wipe the floor with them.

Do that enough, and they'll probably move on to greener pastures.

Deccers get content, mercs get content, high sec corp gets content, and the industrialists get to sell more ships!


What in fact happens is hiring a merc corp (or maintaining a combat arm to your corp) doesnt work at all and we get the situation we have now where highsec corps usually remain small because economics dictates that it be that way.

Yawn,  I'm right as usual. The predictability kinda gets boring really.

Black Pedro
Mine.
#13 - 2017-03-08 06:44:38 UTC  |  Edited by: Black Pedro
Maldiro Selkurk wrote:
Old Pervert wrote:
I'm more of the opinion that there's a better solution.

Consider this.

The high sec deccers declare on some high sec corp. High sec corp hires mercs.

High sec corp then flies a brick tanked something through a known gate camp, waits for things to engage, then calls for a dozen of their merc friends to come from a jump out and wipe the floor with them.

Do that enough, and they'll probably move on to greener pastures.

Deccers get content, mercs get content, high sec corp gets content, and the industrialists get to sell more ships!


What in fact happens is hiring a merc corp (or maintaining a combat arm to your corp) doesnt work at all and we get the situation we have now where highsec corps usually remain small because economics dictates that it be that way.

Thankfully CCP seems to be working to change things. Once POSes go away and the new structures are fully implemented and balanced, there should be clear pressure for highsec industrialists to form corps or other organizations for mutual efficiencies and defense. Structure-based objectives will also make hiring mercenaries during a war more useful as there will be a time and place when a fight might happen.

That appears at least to be CCPs vision for wars. Let's see if they can get there.
Reaver Glitterstim
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#14 - 2017-03-08 08:43:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Reaver Glitterstim
If I wasn't so lazy I might log in from time to time and fleet up with newfolks in starter mining corps. If they're having trouble with war targets, I can help explain the details and how to protect themselves. I think the best thing we can do is just make sure every newbie has a veteran to reach out to.


Renee Frost wrote:
CCP's official stance is to stay in NPC corps to avoid war decs: https://support.eveonline.com/hc/en-us/articles/204873262-Known-Declared-Exploits. Unfortunately, staying in an NPC corp means that new players will not be able to take part in the social aspects of EVE. This does not feel like a good way to retain players. It feels like there is a step missing between NPC corps and wardec vulnerable player corps.

I agree. I feel highsec should be a safe place where you can relax and play the game in peace and safety, but where you can't make much income. I would limit it to level 3 missions, scout incursion sites, and I'd take the jaspet back out of highsec.

But then I'd shrink highsec and make a middle-sec which has moderate safety but encourages people to get their feet wet and has way better income than highsec but not nearly as good as low, null, or wormhole space.

FT Diomedes: "Reaver, sometimes I wonder what you are thinking when you sit down to post."

Frostys Virpio: "We have to give it to him that he does put more effort than the vast majority in his idea but damn does it sometime come out of nowhere."

Agondray
Avenger Mercenaries
VOID Intergalactic Forces
#15 - 2017-03-08 10:51:24 UTC
Old Pervert wrote:
I'm more of the opinion that there's a better solution.

Consider this.

The high sec deccers declare on some high sec corp. High sec corp hires mercs.

High sec corp then flies a brick tanked something through a known gate camp, waits for things to engage, then calls for a dozen of their merc friends to come from a jump out and wipe the floor with them.

Do that enough, and they'll probably move on to greener pastures.

Deccers get content, mercs get content, high sec corp gets content, and the industrialists get to sell more ships!


1 thing you miss is a lot of Dec corps have alt corps to offer "assistance" or a warcorp could work with a group of mercs to accomplish the same affect. After a while the war ends, you pay the merci billions, both merc and war corps profit

"Sarcasm is the Recourse of a weak mind." -Dr. Smith

Wolfgang Jannesen
Line Ark Security Service Incorperated
#16 - 2017-03-08 13:38:36 UTC  |  Edited by: Wolfgang Jannesen
I don't think it's a corporation wide issue as much as it is a player-personal issue.

Welcome to EVE, you're going to get shot at. People that spend any time in null or wormhole space know how to avoid getting camped, and basic awareness of local and d-scan, etc. These are all skills CareBears need to learn as well. I don't think it's up to CCP to keep people in your Corp after a war decc, I think you need to recruit people that can take a week off from mining and fight a little.
Toxic Yaken
Slavers Union
BLACKFLAG.
#17 - 2017-03-08 18:26:26 UTC
Wolfgang Jannesen wrote:
I don't think it's a corporation wide issue as much as it is a player-personal issue.

Welcome to EVE, you're going to get shot at. People that spend any time in null or wormhole space know how to avoid getting camped, and basic awareness of local and d-scan, etc. These are all skills CareBears need to learn as well. I don't think it's up to CCP to keep people in your Corp after a war decc, I think you need to recruit people that can take a week off from mining and fight a little.


I agree. EVE is a game of progressive learning which tends to pace out over a pretty long period. I think it's important for players to learn better ways to interact and fight wardeccers and other players in general, but there also needs to be better educational tools from CCP to help them along. I would love to see the implementation of a services marketplace that different groups could use to advertise their services - in this case mercenaries could put themselves out there with price ranges, regions of service, size, etc. so that when a group gets wardecced there would be more visibility of options for the defender on where to turn for help.

Fully support the idea of social corps/groups/societies. +1

Curator of the Wardec Project - Join our Discord to join the discussions about Wardecs

Renee Frost
Sarah's Covenant
#18 - 2017-03-08 19:20:26 UTC
Toxic Yaken wrote:


I agree. EVE is a game of progressive learning which tends to pace out over a pretty long period. I think it's important for players to learn better ways to interact and fight wardeccers and other players in general, but there also needs to be better educational tools from CCP to help them along. I would love to see the implementation of a services marketplace that different groups could use to advertise their services - in this case mercenaries could put themselves out there with price ranges, regions of service, size, etc. so that when a group gets wardecced there would be more visibility of options for the defender on where to turn for help.

Fully support the idea of social corps/groups/societies. +1


Toxic Yaken!! I voted for you in the CSM election, as well as the other two you recommended. Really hope u get in!
Renee Frost
Sarah's Covenant
#19 - 2017-03-08 19:33:50 UTC
Wolfgang Jannesen wrote:
I don't think it's a corporation wide issue as much as it is a player-personal issue.

Welcome to EVE, you're going to get shot at. People that spend any time in null or wormhole space know how to avoid getting camped, and basic awareness of local and d-scan, etc. These are all skills CareBears need to learn as well. I don't think it's up to CCP to keep people in your Corp after a war decc, I think you need to recruit people that can take a week off from mining and fight a little.


I do agree. It is not up to CCP to keep people in my alliance ( my corp does low sec stuff and have no problem handling war decs). And I am not asking them to help keep people in corps/alliances.

What I am suggesting is that CCP have a player retention goal right now (NPE etc) and having a "social corp-lite" might help with that, since it has been suggested many times that joining a corp greatly increases the chance of subscribing.

Different people take different amount of time to get used to PvP in EVE. E.g. I love the PvP elements of EVE but stuck to highsec for 2 months before I feel that I learned enough to move to lowsec.

CCP knows this too, which is why the NPE is protected from PvP. And after the NPE, they are automatically enrolled in NPC corps which are protected from wardecs. Imagine if there is no highsec, everywhere is nullsec open PvP, and if the NPE region + NPC corps are fair game for ganking + wardeccing.

Personally, I would still play EVE lol. But not very good for business. A learning curve is good for getting new subscribers and allowing me to continue to shoot these new subscribers for years to come. :p
Shad Kkep
Dark Venture Corporation
Kitchen Sinkhole
#20 - 2017-04-06 08:14:47 UTC
I believe corps that OP asks about are already in game. They are all small corps, which are not profitable or fun enough to wardec.
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