War-dec mechanics (CSM)

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Raised by: Dierdra Vaal
Submission Date: 27-05-2008
Issue ID: 0017

Summary

Current war declaration mechanics are very one-sided, they favour the aggressor for two main reasons:

  • The aggressed has no control over how long the war lasts.
  • The aggressor tends to be better prepared for the war.

Since it is highly unlikely a corporation/alliance will declare war knowing/thinking they will be steamrolled, it is fair to assume parties will only war dec when they are prepared and ready to fight, and when they know/think they will be able to handle or beat their opponent. The party being war dec'd does not have this luxury, so on average, you will find that aggressors are better prepared to deal with the war than the aggressed.

In addition to this, empire war is one of the few mechanics in Eve that has no direct consequence associated with it for doing badly. Whether a party is performing excellent during a war, or whether they are being steamrolled, it has no impact on the actual war. This makes war almost meaningless, turning them into little more than a license to kill. Of course, ships will be lost, and excessive losses can get expensive, but ISK is not too hard to make and losses can be sustained for quite lengthy periods of time before they become a real reason to end a war for many players. This and the very low war declaration cost mean that wars can be sustained by the aggressor indefinitely.

Potential Solutions

Meaningful war through victory conditions
I propose the introduction of a Victory Condition. A victory condition could be ISK damage done (calculated by Jita median price of the destroyed ship). The aggressor would specify the exact Victory Condition in their war declaration (for example, 1bil ISK damage done), and the aggressed is notified of this in the CONCORD mail.

If the aggressor makes or surpasses his Victory Condition, and prevents his enemy from doing the same, the aggressor officially 'wins' the war. This gives them the option of continuing the war another week. Should the aggressor fail to meet their Victory Condition, or be unable to prevent the enemy from reaching the Victory Condition, they officially lose the war, and will be unable to redeclare war on that specific target for the duration of the previous - lost - war.

By allowing both parties to meet the Victory Condition, we encourage the use of a fair Victory Condition. After all, if the Victory Condition is very low, it will be easy for an opponent to meet this as well, while a very high Victory Condition will be a difficult mark to reach for the aggressor. A Victory Condition also gives both corporations a real, strategic goal to work towards, giving more meaning to empire war declarations.

Wins and losses should be announced or visible somewhere ingame, whether it is the Wars page in the corporations window, or on CONCORD billboards.

  • Pros
    • Both aggressor and aggressed have equal control over the duration of the war.
    • Wars become goal oriented, giving it more meaning to the players.
    • Performance in the war matters, and encourages involved parties to actively participate.
  • Cons
    • Corporations can stay docked (‘turtle’) for a week, denying the aggressor kills and thereby forcing a loss on the aggressor.


Extension on the victory condition solution
Source: http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=782220&page=1#2

The detail needs a lot of thrashing out there. I think as long as a war is continuing without either side reaching a decisive advantage it should go on as long as the aggressor wants to maintain the payment. I also thing the penalty for losing a war should be significant - maybe a couple of percentage points of tax on the corporation wallet from the defeated to the winner as a victory boon / "reparations".

I also support the principle of 3rd party buy-ins to wars from allies and mercenaries that would impact the overall results and advantage factor in the fighting.

It is a complicated issue though and it’s very important that if we do see an overhaul to the war dec system it maintains the essential principles of Eve - ie that pvp risk and consequence attends the founding of player corps and alliances.

The goal should be to change the war dec system to make for more entertaining and enjoyable wars. Yes the attacker should risk having to pay reparations as a penalty for defeat, but it’s also important that corporations can gain advantage and political leverage by threatening and conducting wars of aggression.

  • Pros
    • Allows mercenaries to factor into war decs more directly, encouraging this style of play.
    • Gives a tangible (ISK) reward for winning, and a tangible penalty for losing a war.
  • Cons
    • Makes it easier for corporations/alliances to wage prolonged campaigns, even if they are losing (by a small margin), as it might be hard for the aggressed to beat the aggressor by a large margin.



Incremental war declaration fee for prolonged wars
Source: http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=782220&page=1#7

Increase the war declaration fee by a certain amount each additional week a war is active. While this does not really give the aggressed more influence, nor give the war more meaning, it is a fairly easy fix that will prevent any prolonged wars.

An example would be to increase the war dec fee by 50% every additional week the war is active. Eventually this will result in a considerable war dec bill, which acts as discouragement to continue a lengthy war.

  • Pros
    • Lengthy wars are discouraged
    • Very easy to implement
  • Cons
    • Corps/Alliances could work around the limitation by letting the war expire for one day, and then redeclare war.
    • It only discourages lengthy war (which may be a con in itself), while it does not give the war more meaning, or give the aggressed more control about the war.

Relevant Forum Threads


Votes

Resolution

CSM-CCP_Meeting_1-1#0017_Empire_War_Dec_Mechanics