Sunday, February 17, 2013
A Bucket List - Private Bounties
The idea, that you can set who can collect a bounty you place on a character/corporation/alliance. Who can collect? A specific character/corporation/alliance.
It's a perfect next step to building out the bounty system.
RvB is going to war with EVE University? Some benefactor could set two 500M ISK bounties on E-Uni, one collectible by Red Federation and other collectible by Blue Republic. While the war is going on, it allows members of those two corporations to collect a "salary" on their EVE University kills.
Fweddit could place Fweddit-only bounties on some of their more common Minmatar enemies -- Late Night Alliance, the Rifterlings, Swift Angels, etc.
A private bounty could work as a merc contract. You want Noir to engage Pandemic Legion? Maybe their fee is 2B ISK in upfront cash, and another 3B ISK as a private bounty on Pandemic Legion payable only to the members of Noir. If Noir wants to collect on that 3B ISK, they're going to have to blow up more than a few Pandemic Legionnaires. A private bounty is a result-driven fee.
With bounties as merc contracts, it might also be worthwhile implementing time-based bounties. Bounties that can only be collected within a specified period of time. At the end of that time period, any remaining unpaid bounty is returned to the person who placed the bounty.
Salaries. Merc contracts. Those are just two possible uses. I'm sure players will come up with other creative and emergent uses of their own.
How do bounties currently work? Well, at the moment a bounty is a 1:1 relationship with the character/corporation/alliance that it is placed on. A single bounty bucket, so to speak. To implement private bounties, the system has to move to a 1:N relationship, each character/corporation/alliance will require potentially multiple buckets. There will be the default bucket, where every non-assigned bounty is placed, and then extra buckets that are keyed to who they're paid out too.
For each person that is involved in the destruction of a ship, the system checks if there are any buckets assigned to either that character, the corporation of that character, and/or the alliance of that character. If there are such assigned buckets, then you pull first from the character's bucket, then that character's corporation's bucket, and then the alliance bucket. If no such character/corporation/alliance buckets exist, then the bounty is pulled from the default bucket.
This idea of a bounty buckets system is reasonably simple. While the current system works as a 1:1 relationship, I would imagine that they built it to support 1:N relationships, with a view to extensibility. If CCP did not, then there's going to be a bit of work supporting a 1:N relationship, both in code and in the database.
On the UI side of things, it might be worthwhile having a new bounty tab for the character/corporation/alliance show info windows, so that people can view the available bounty buckets.
There's no time for Retribution 1.1, obviously. But maybe for Retribution 1.2 (if there is going to be one), or perhaps even the Summer expansion.