Corporation and Alliance tool overhaul (CSM)


Contents

Stats

  • Raised by: Dierdra Vaal
  • Submission Date: 2009/06/21
  • Issue ID: TBA

Preface

As massive multiplayer game, communities form the heart of Eve. In New Eden, these communities are most commonly based around corporations, with the corporations sometimes organised into alliances. Large corporations often involve quite a lot of management effort, giving rise to the comment that "being a director is like having a second job that you have to pay for".

However, the current tools available to manage corporates are severely lacking, and are especially detrimental to corporate management. Certain settings force corporate management to make a choice between allowing security vulnerabilities or forcing a lot of extra effort on a select few individuals.

This proposal suggest a lot of extra features and changes to existing settings that should allow for better corporate management and make it be less error prone.

Problems and suggestions

More granular roles and permissions

A roles are big part of allowing members to function within a corp. These roles are often bundled in 'Titles' for clarity (shows on a player's info) and ease of use. For example, the 'POS Monkey' title may come with the roles 'Starbase Fuel Technician', 'Starbase Defense Operator' and 'Config Starbase Equipment'. While titles make roles a bit easier to manage, it is still far from perfect.

For example, while roles can be granted by anyone with 'Grantable roles', titles can only be granted by a director. In large corporations, you may want your Logistics Manager be able to grant the 'POS Monkey' title to his underlings without making him a full director (with all the wallet, hangar and corporate access that comes with that). Additionally, having a role to grant others titles is not enough, as you'd want to specify which titles a person can grant. It is not desireable that the Logistics Manager (who gives people the 'POS Monkey' title) can also hand out 'Hangar Manager' titles (which come with a different set of roles and access rights).

A role that is missing is one that allows a player to set corp/alliance to corp/alliance standings (diplomacy). Currently only directors can do this, meaning the directors have to spend time setting standings or a corporation's diplomatic staff have to have director level access. It is desired that there is a role to allow players to set diplomatic standings without requiring director level access.

Another part that requires a lot of refining is POS access rights. These are currently too generalized and as such pose a serious security risk. For example, in order for a pilot to use Rent Factory/Research Slot, they also need to have the role Factory Manager. Factory Manager allows them to cancel or deliver jobs that are not their own. Instead, it is desired that pilots can be individually assigned roles to allow them to install, cancel and deliver only their own jobs - without given them any access to other jobs. This gets further complicated (or even impossible) when examining pilots from different corps within the same alliance trying to use labs on a POS.

In the same vein, it is desireable that per-person (or per-group) access can be specified on a per-structure or per-starbase basis. This could perhaps be an expansion of the existing system where you can set access for 'Headquarters' and 'Based at'.

Wallet access can be specified per wallet division, but it is impossible to grant seperate 'take from' and 'give to' rights per person, per wallet division. This compromises security when pilots wish to sell items on behalf of the corp, as it requires them to have 'take' access from the wallet as well. It is suggested that the Trader role should allow a corporate trader to use specific wallet division funds for corporate trade orders, but not allow direct access to the wallet.

While definitely a complicated problem, the current way roles and titles are handled is not sufficient for large corporations and alliances. Additionally, many roles are not granular enough to allow for a secure division of labour, power and responsibility.

Evemail as corporate logging facility

Currently Evemail is used to log corporate events such as players applying, players leaving, POSes under attack, POSes out of fuel, corporate votes, etc. This causes the evemail inboxes of directors of large corporations to overflow with these (often irrelevant) notifications. This also prevents directors - people for whom communication is extremely important - from using their evemail for its intended purpose.

It is recommended that the logging of corporate events is done in a different fashion, one which does not flood evemail inboxes.

Two solutions have been suggested:

  1. Log to a seperate user interface component (most likely part of the corporation interface). This would be combined with adjustable access roles for members regarding this interface component. Most likely the most versatile solution as it should allow for sorting and filtering and keep historic logs.
  2. Instead of having player application/player leaving mails, station bills, corporate vote notifications, etc all come from the the player or corporation in question, group mails from the same category under a common sender, similar to DED sending POS related mails and CONCORD sending mails regardings wars and delete characters. For example, all mails regarding people applying or leaving could be sent by My Corp's HR Department. This solution is not as versatile as solution 1 but may be a lot easier to implement. It would signifcantly reduce inbox clutter and make it easier to mass delete irrelevant evemails.

Another note to make, Starbase Fuel Technicians - when the role is assigned through a title - do not in fact receive any 'POS low on fuel' notifications. Instead, directors do receive it even though they are often not responsible for refueling.

Corporate wallet/hangars divisions

An issue with wallets and hangars that was brought up is that the current hardcoded limit for wallet divisions or hangar divisions is not sufficient for all corporations. Due to the small number of divisions, projects within a corporation often cannot be assigned their own wallet or hangar. It is desired that the amount of wallet and hangar divisions is increased (preferrably to allow an arbitrary number of divisions).

Alliance assets

Currently, corporations in Eve can have a corporate wallet (used to fund a corporations needs) and corporate hangars that can be shared amongst members of that corporation. However, with the introduction of alliances in Eve, alliance hangars and wallets have become desireable. At the moment alliance wallets are sometimes simulated by creating a 'holding corp' as executor corp of the alliance which only has a few members - usually alts of directors of the real corps within the alliance. This can be cumbersome.

Additionally, the lack of alliance hangars can be a problem when trying to share assets between members of different corps within an alliance. A mining op where haulers from corporation A desire to haul ore from an Orca from corporation B is an example where this would be desired.

It is suggested to introduce alliance hangars and an alliance wallet, similar to the current corporate hangar and wallet, with its own set of access rights/roles. The alliance wallet could be used to automatically pay alliance bills if the funds are sufficient.

Corporate chat / Alliance chat MotD

Currently corp and alliance chat do not allow Message of the Day, unlike regular channels. MotDs are extremely useful to convey information to members of a specific channel, and would greatly help communication within corporations or alliances.

Corporation interface

The corporation interface is the main tool to manage a corporation, its roles and titles, its members and diplomacy. However, the user interface itself leaves a lot to be desired:

  • Member list - loads all pilots by default instead of only those online (checkbox unchecked by default). This causes the game to freeze for several seconds for large corporations
  • Applications list - works only on a per-one basis, meaning only one application can be denied/accepted/sent mail to at a time. This makes maintaining the list a lot of work.
    • Automatic evemail replies to applicants on events such as apply, accept and deny would be extremely useful
  • Role management and title management interfaces are cluttered and error prone
  • Sanctionable Actions and Votes subsections of Politics allow you to sort by start and end date, subject, etc, but clicking the column headings doesn't actually sort the columns.
  • Title Management and Role Management pages do not have lateral scroll bars which forces users at times to fiddle with the column widths to fit all roles on their screen.
  • The Find member in Role feature is actually very very powerful and useful. The ability to use that tool to refine a specific set of users, and then perform an action such as applying a title or role to all corp members fulfilling the requirements of the query, would be incredibly awesome but is missing at the moment.

It is suggested these user interface shortcomings receive an upgrade aimed at increasing the usability of the components.

Overview of corporate insured ships

Currently it is not possible to see an overview of corporate insured ships. A list component could be added to the corporate assets page listing all corporate insured ships, their insurance level, start and end dates, location, etc.

POS shield access

The current mechanic allows corporations or alliances to grant their diplomatic friends ('Blues') access to their POSes by means of a POS password. However, this password is not very secure and can easily be leaked to hostile members. Re-securing the password (changing it) can cause friendlies currently inside the POS to be expelled from the safety of this ship - hardly a desireable mechanic when under fire.

It is suggested to add a new feature to the POS interface where you can set the required corporate or alliance standing for other pilots to enter your POS shields. Keep in mind that this should be a per-POS setting.

Assessment

Pros

  • Less burn out through corporate management
  • Less security risks for corporations
  • More efficient corporate management
  • Happy directors everywhere

Cons

  • Less security risks make corporations or alliances less vulnerable to ninja-disbandments, thefts and other internet spy business. This can be considered a bad thing.

Relevant Forum Threads

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