Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Regional Local

This week during Eve Vegas, CCP expressed their long-held displeasure with local as an intel tool, but that they weren’t ready to launch a comprehensive change to the mechanics.

At the core of the problem is a need to communicate with people in the same system that doesn’t also announce the presence of new pilots entering that system. Some players simply advocate wormhole local, in which players don’t show up until they speak, but CCP has been resistant to this in the past for all areas of space, and I tend to think this would take something special away from wormhole space.

At the same time, CCP expressed a general dissatisfaction with the ease of null ratting isk generation and the speed of level 5 mission blitzing. In both cases, a new pilot entering local is a cause for concern, albeit much more so for null ratting. I don’t think the payouts are the problem as much as the early warning detection local provides; when you feel incredibly safe, it’s very easy to earn isk in null, perhaps too easy.

So, let’s kill two birds with one stone: Regional Local.

Regional local would work this way: rather than the local channel we all know and love, in null-sec, “local” would actually be the regional channel (which already exists in game). Players can communicate in this channel, and while new players will enter and leave as they travel through the region, individual system intel won’t be provided by the game.

This system would have a number of big advantages. First, it’d provide a means of communicating with an entire region, something never utilized now. Market visibility is already limited to regions, and accepting public contracts requires you to be in that region; it seems fair to make the basic chat channel regional as well. It’d certain create some emergent “Help me!” gameplay happen, as a pilot cries out in local across several systems to draw attention from unallied players in a last, desperate gasp for help. That’s just a recipe for fun.

But it’ll also allow two big areas of communication that will help the game. For regions split among multiple groups, seeing the activity in a region will help make space feel a little bit more connected, and make you feel a little more familiar with the pilots around you. That gives plenty of opportunity for tension and rubbing people the wrong way, too. Right now, most of our enemies are just Dotlan or killboard statistics; let’s add some real flavor to them.

During trench warfare, armies would shout across no man’s land to each other all the time; it became a real problem a times, and once even resulted in both sides getting together to celebrate Christmas without orders from their superiors. Except for immediately before fleet battles in the same system, that doesn’t happen in Eve, only on Reddit. I’d love to see the long-term effects of two sides contesting a region constantly chattering and smacktalking with each other in regional. I think it’d make for a powerful propaganda and morale-sapping tool in an alliance’s arsenal.

Could you imagine, for instance, being in the same region as Test? The sperging in regional alone would be enough to drive a war. You want content drivers? This would be a content driver. It’d even give a reason to go after the alliances basing out of NPC-null to harass sov holders; purge them to shut them the hell up!

Most importantly, though, regional local would preserve the important communication tool Eve needs while rendering it far less useful as an intel tool. That’d be a great benefit to the game, I think, making ratting that much harder and requiring more attention, while giving a boost to roaming fleets. You’d still see them coming, but you wouldn’t know exactly where or when they’ll strike.

An elegant, simple solution is often the best.


  1. Another very important benefit of such regional local is countering botting operations.

    I believe most bots rely on an empty local, and as soon as someone enters local the bot detects the change of color in the local window and triggers an automated warp to POS. Then the same bot can identify when local is empty once again, and macro actions accordingly.

    Such regional local would be mostly impossible to use as a botting trigger tool.

    I do believe though that if this is ever done, we will also need some filters to local list, like filters based on standings, corps, alliances, friends, etc...

  2. What about being forced to deal with the hisec chatter of a trade hub? What about if you want to get away from an annoying spam of local? Are you saying I have to leave to a completely other region to get some peace and quiet?

    What if you're hunting someone specific during a war? It's hard enough as is to pinpoint someone's location (for example you're trying to hunt code).

    I don't think that's very nice to, really... anyone.

    I can understand why you feel this is a good idea, but I personally feel that local as is is an important Intel gathering tool that should be left as is.

    It only gives people the illusion of safety tbqh. If you're patient enough, you can circumnavigate the issue of people running away. Reaction time is a part of skill, and taking that away from people is not a good idea. This solution heavily places Intel in the hands of big alliances, and strongly changes the power dynamic (which is already hard enough as is to deal with).

    People who want to try and move assets and use scouts to move through space and cynos will be significantly hampered. Etc. While this may not break the game, not everyone can handle the wormhole lifestyle. Making people deal with essentially psuedo-wormholes seems a bit extreme to me. That's just my personal opinion, but I feel this is something that isn't broken that shouldn't be fixed.

    That being said, I wouldn't be against having the regional local tab(which yes, does exist) being fixed to be as updated as system local, and a mandatory channel you can't delete (but you CAN turn blink off). I would be ok with that as a nice compromise.

    1. So let's move trade hubs to their own separate local.
      If you don't want to deal with the chatter, tab off to another chat channel.

      Keep in mind that CCP - and many groups of players - have bemoaned the use of local as an intel tool.

    2. Indeed. Things have become far, far too safe over the years and the free intel of local is a major contributor to the problem. The ability to flee to the 100% safety of a station or POS when a stranger enters system makes evasion, one of the most boring strategies for both sides, preferred.

      That said, there will need to be some compensatory changes to go along with this proposal or others that remove local. Players do need to be find each other witout dscanning every system in a region if content is to be generated. Stumbling around a region looking for your target would be tedious. I can see why CCP is moving slow on implementing this change and might need to offset it with some new locating or tracking tools, tools that are needed more than ever now that the watchlist is gone.

  3. I feel there are two issues and both of them don't necessarily mean the solution needs to be the same. You feel ratting income in null is too high? Nerf it. They did it in the past, why can't they iterate it again? Relying on the presence of enemy roamers to affect that metric is ludicrous.

    As for local giving too much intel, I feel this is again a complaint from "the few" and that for some reason we have to 360 degree the universe to make the entry barrier of killing ratters lower. Good pvp'ers can kill ratters today. By making it more unsafe to rat/mine, two things will happen;
    - The solo guy will choose another income source (risk not worth the reward).
    - People will bunch up together in huge gangs that solo/small roaming parties will be unable to kill anyway.

    So then not only did nullsec folks not gain anything but the crowd that is advocating the change also nets a neutral or worse result...

    Your idea (or any other drastically different) is similar to Entosis. Make it easier for smaller entities to screw around in nullsec (the "few"). In return, the majority of folks are now stuck with a mechanic that makes their lives a major pain.

  4. I think maybe constellation chat over regional chat, that already exists too and can you imagine being in domain, that region is massive. I think constellation chat would give the desired effect without so much going on in terms of rubbish chat.

    Or stick with local but have it delayed so new entrants to the system do not show for x amount of time.

  5. I love the idea of Regional Local. For people crying about ratters not having any defense without local, I would recommend putting all anoms in a deadspace pocket. This way you would be quite safe from initial warp-in gank, no risk of blackops drops. ALl that while ganker still maintains element of surprised, but will need additional luck not to decloak on beacon, have a tanky ship to hold target until the fleet can arrive. Do not forget that roamers will not see local either and will have no idea how big backup can one expect without checking every station in the system.

  6. This is an interesting topic, and I think valuable to future development of the game. I would point out that the cases described here are all lowsec and nullsec focused. I don't believe that changes are needed or desired in hisec (preponderance of the characters in the game...). I think that the local chat function should cascade as you go from hisec to lowsec to nullsec to wormhole.
    Hisec - local as it exists today
    Lowsec - constellation "local"
    nullsec - regional "local"
    wormhole space - think that works as it should now
    - Zgeik

  7. If you don't like local, move into a wormhole. There are enough ratters that die every day in null that I don't see local as a problem. Stupid is stupid no matter what. This is not a mechanic that's broken, nor is it nearly the most pressing item it the game that needs fixing. CCP should focus elsewhere

    1. CCP would disagree. Devs have stated (most recently during Eve Vegas this year, not a week ago) that "we're not happy with local as an intel tool." They want to change it, and change it specifically to limit/eliminate the instant entry/exit notifications, so I'm floating one proposal for doing so that shouldn't require too many resources.

  8. I would rather just have a delay on local in null. (only in null) So you jump into the system and get a free 10 or 15 seconds to do whatever before you appear in local. To make it fair ensure when you jump in you also can't see anyone else in local for that same time period. This way both hunter and hunted are at the same disadvantage.

  9. Sovereign local... every system in a alliances territory has the same local. Larger alliances have to have comprehensive Intel and smaller entities (like mine which has 2systems) have better system intel to counter have fewer defense options. Honestly if ccp changes local im going to be really irritated. Not everyone's space is as safe as most. I live in a pipe near hed

  10. 10-15 seconds? Good hunter needs around 2 seconds.... It will be easy mode after this.