25 May 2009

EVE Blog Banter #8: Charisma Tanking

Welcome to the eighth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux.

This month's topic comes to us from Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of
. He asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums."

Crap, they were catching up. I aligned to the next gate and warped off, just as they came through.

For once I was not flying a frigate or an interceptor. Somehow I had decided to take a Stabber-class cruiser to an important rendezvous and now I was so regretting not having practiced on her for more time. I was being chased, they knew exactly what they were doing while I did not.

And they were slowly catching up. I hit the gate and jumped, with one or my pursuers slowing down from warp at 70 clicks. Oh, slow gate. On the other side I aligned and warped off, just as the tackler uncloaked and started to lock. Deeper into 0.0. I hit the next gate and jumped through with the guy 30 clicks behind me. I could already see the Huzzah Federation logo on his wings... this was going to hurt, soon.

On the other side, I was relieved to see friendly ships. I held my cloak as the gate flashed again for my pursuer, and again and again for two more of their gang - the ones too eager to chase me. We all held cloak while I hailed the Thukker battleship guarding the gate for assistance, hoping that my eight-plus standing with the Tribe would win me some sort of protection.

"The Thukker Tribe does not need enemies," they responded, curtly.

I thought fast, waited until my cloak dropped and then started burning towards the Thukker frigates - only for a few seconds as the Huzzah interceptor webbed me and the rest of his gang started locking on my ship.

"Hostile gang, the Thukker Tribe looks after their friends. You will pay for your mistake!"

Big mistake. Almost as soon as the Malediction was pinned in place by the Thukker frigates, it went poof and vaporized; the hostile Thorax and Rupture started unloading their guns on me as I turned to make a beeline towards the heavier guns of the friendly Tribals. Take that! They would have to either either run the gauntlet or run away.

They ran towards the gate. A Stabber wasn't worth it.

Moments later, salvage crews picked through the remains of the Rupture and the Malediction. Me? I had barely survived, in structure - were it not for the Thukker fleet intervening, I would not have made it.

The Battleship opened a channel.

"Red, you are late. Again."

"Fashionably late, Chief Ovi," I replied. "How nice to see you! Thanks for lending a hand with that rabble..."


That's what I would love, that standings with the pirate factions actually meant something in space.

You know, if you spend time on your networking skills, if you know people who know people, if you can handle hostile agents with tact and diplomacy... in short, if you show up as blue on some agent's desk, then why in the world should you not show up as blue to that faction's guns in space?

Making nice with pirate factions should mean that pirate factions are nice to you:

Pirate faction pilots would be neutral towards blues. They would not shoot you on sight, nor help you.

Pirate factions would react to aggression the same as always, of course. You shoot them or their friends, they shoot back and you lose standing. They'd be friendly but not stupid.

Pirate factions would shoot reds. Just like they do today.

With this, investing in standings or social skills (yah, right) would actually change the way that entire swaths of space look at you and, likewise, how you look at that space. The same way lowsec people invest in security status. The same way CONCORD does not like aggression. The same way Empire navies like friendly or dislike enemy militias.

I think pirate factions should hire a few ex-cops, to learn how it's done. 'Cause everyone but them do it.

Then, you could have dodgy friends in dark places, belts or gates (or, your target could, you never know). It would change the way you fit or the way you fly. The way you mission or the way you rat. Imagine surviving an ambush because... you warped back to a belt with friendly rats! :) Or jumping through a gate knowing there is help on the other side. It would spice up things.

I say that tank is anything that helps you survive. If friendlies will not shoot you to begin with, well... would that not be tank as well? Tank depending on social skills?

Definitely. I would call it Charisma Tanking.

List of participants:

1. CrazyKinux's Musing, EVE Blog Banter #8: Care for a little game of SecWars?
2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Wow, that new thing is so shiny!!!
3. I am Keith Nielson, EVE Blog Banter #8 - Return of the Top Gun
4. Once More from the Beginning, 8th EVE Blog Banter May 2009 Edition
5. A merry life and a short one, EVE Blog Banter #8: In the Year of Our Awesome
6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Planets
7. Helicity Boson, Bantering the blog
8. Achernar, Unique adventures
9. Ecliptic Rift, OOC: EVE Blog Banter 8: Standings and secondary factions
10. The New Edener, EVE Blog Banter #8
11. Journey to New Eden, Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?
12. Life, The Universe and Everything, Blog banter 8: mentorship
13. EVE Guru, EBB 8: Yarr! Prepare to be boarded!
14. The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works
15. Rifter Drifter, Blog Banter 8: Strategic Gunnery
16. A Mule in EVE, Expanding EVE
17. Letrange's EvE Blog, 8th Blog Banter
18. Roc's Ramblings, Blog Banter #8
19. The Nude Nerd, Blog Banter #8
20. Scop's Log, Blog Banter #8: "We're caught in a tractor beam! It's pulling us in!"
21. Speed Fairy, EVE Blog Banter #8: Charisma Tanking
22. Industrialist with Teeth, EVE Blog Banter #8: It's Like Tetris for OCD People
23. Diary of a Pod Pilot, EVE blog banter #8: Killing in the name of
24. Talk Unfraid, Physical Communications
More to come!


  1. Somehow I doubt further incentives of such magnitude to play for the lawless team will materialize in EVE. The drawback to being affiliated with scum is already laughable, and giving extra NPC friends to do the shooting for them (or protection from such NPCs), while it might make RP sense, would be a grossly imbalancing mechanic.

    If such a system were implemented, however, it would make sense that the "rats" in outlaw space would be the lawful factions, just as the rats in lawful space are the bad guys. Of course, it might also be interesting to have random chances of friends and/or enemies roaming the system, which could provide entertainment as spawned NPCs of opposing factions end up fighting each other, as well as shooting at players.

  2. This could be pretty interesting I think, but how would it play out with the Empire factions? Would they attack your enemies as well if you had higher standings and the enemy was negative?

  3. I actually quite like the idea. I have no idea how it would work for balance but it makes sense. Why would the Angel Cartel shoot fellow pirates?

  4. @Norrin - I think it would be about standings rather than territory? (Amarr are already rats in Gallente space) Maybe Angels like you and Sanshas hate you, wherever they find you (0.0, lowsec, missions, etc) The line between rats and empires would blur and everything would be about friends and foes. Shades of grey :)

    @Atsuma - mmm... the simplest I can think is that Empires already behave the right way - they don't shoot you if you are friendly, or shoot you if you are an enemy. Empire navies are way too mean to let loose on one's enemies.

    @Wensley - I do not think it would unbalance things much - how many people you know who are friendly to all pirate factions? Oh, and the Angel Cartel would probably look after Angel friends, but still shoot at their enemies even if they are friends of, say, Serpentis or Guristas.

    I like Myrhial's idea here. Different standings could trigger different things. Playing a bit with it...

    Negative Angel standings: aggress you
    Positive Angel standings: no shooting
    +5 or more: actively aggress your enemies when they shoot you