Sunday, September 30, 2012
Retribution - Bounties
I hold out little hope that CCP is going to be able to solve this problem, where so many others have failed. But I'm interested in seeing them try, nonetheless. I would like to see them succeed. They do seem committed to success.
The current bounty system is made useless because of alt characters. Put a 100M bounty on someone, that someone is going to collect his own bounty with an alt. Blown up and podded in a naked clone flying a rookie ship. Putting a bounty on someone is giving that someone free money.
Every bounty system I've seen is made moot due to alts.
There's little in the way of information yet on CCP's re-implementation of bounties. And nothing yet from the CSM, other than to confirm that this is the team they're working with directly, the stakeholder pilot project. A risky project to hang your hat from, for sure. CSM7 may sink or swim depending on how solid or riddled with holes the new bounty program turns out to be. Being a stakeholder means having had direct influence on the design and development of this new mechanic. So if bounties turn out to be awesome, CSM will deserve some measure of credit along with CCP. If it turns out to be a dud, CSM will deserve ridicule and scorn in equal measure to CCP. (If the new mechanic does turn out to be a failure, I hope that the CSM will not turn on CCP in an attempt to save their own skins, that they'll cowboy-up and accept their portion of responsibility.)
So, the EVE London Meet was this weekend. A few devs attended. And during the drunken festivities a couple tidbits about the new Retribution expansion (the winter expansion) made their way to news sources.
The following concerns bounties: "Redoing bounties: Instead of the current system, put a bounty on anyone, corp or alliance. On ships as well as pods. A percentage calculation is involved."
A tad vague, but just enough, perhaps, to build a bit of a picture on what we should expect bounties to be.
You'll be able to set bounties on characters. You'll be able to set bounties on the members of corporations. Bounties on the members of alliances. You'll be able to set bounties on ship types (maybe even ship classes). You'll be able to set bounties on pods.
Unlike the current system, where if you pod a specific character, you collect the entire bounty, in the new system the bounty is a pool of ISK. When you meet the bounty requirements, you pull an amount of ISK equal to a percentage of the kill. That's how I'm reading this new system. (I could be way off base.)
For instance, you set a 5B ISK bounty on all Hulks. If anyone kills a Hulk, they get some percentage of the kill's value. Let's say that percentage is 50%. So if the Hulk that is killed is worth 250M ISK, the killer would collect 125M ISK. The bounty pool of 5B would be reduced by that 125M ISK.
This seems to solve the alt problem. Someone can use an alt to kill the character with the bounty on its head, but the alt would never collect more than what the kill was worth. There's no longer any profit to be made.
There may still be holes in the mechanic to be found. If there are, certainly Goonswarm will be one of the first organizations to take advantage of them (see faction warfare.)
The new bounty system looks to be promising, at any rate. And if it ends up being what we all hope, a very fine addition to EVE Online will it be.