I stated at the time that a good measuring stick for the success of the new system would be EVE University. That there was some happy medium between zero wars and permanent war that would denote the success of the system. I wrote, back on May 15 2012, that:
It's my thinking that a 2000 member entity should spend approximately 16-20 weeks per year under non-mutual war declaration.That has not been the case. Since Inferno, EVE University has been under a permanent state of war declaration. That's been good for them in a few ways: Forcing them to turn hard rules into guidelines; allowing their members more freedom to do what they want; teaching their members to operate in potentially hostile environments.
It's probably time, though, to find that equilibrium. No highsec group deserves to be under a constant state of hostility. It is highsec, after all. There's supposed to be a certain level of safety inherent in operating out of the high security theatre.
I'm not sure exactly how to find that equilibrium. But it's probably something we should talk about. Seriously. Before the Terrible Trebors of this game convince CCP to remove it altogether. We should start thinking about how to keep a non-consensual war declaration system in place, while not allowing it to completely strangle the operations of folks who choose to live in highsec.
I'll throw out a couple ideas, to get the party started, but bear in mind that they're only ideas, a starting point for further discussion.
Flat out disallow war declarations between groups with large size differentials. A group cannot declare war on another if it is less than half its size or more than four times its size. So, for example, an 80-man corporation cannot declare on a 39-man corporation or a 321-man corporation (though a 40-man and a 320-man would be fine.) The theory, here, being that similarly-sized corps and alliances are likely more apt to engage each other. Of course, PvP shouldn't be the only metric for declaring war, but it should be a driving factor in most wars.
Allow defending corps and alliances to bribe CONCORD to end a war. The cost of this bribe should be a sliding scale week to week. In the first week of a war, it should be very expensive (perhaps on the order of ten times what the war cost the aggressor.) In the second week that bribe amount falls drastically (perhaps to an amount twice the cost that the aggressor originally paid.) In the third week the cost falls further (an equal amount, maybe.) In the fourth week it costs less than what the aggressor paid. And so forth. Once the bribe is paid, the defender is free of wardecs from that aggressor for a month.
If a war is not renewed week to week, then the aggressor forfeits any opportunity to re-wardec that defender for a month. (To eliminate gaming the system, where defender bribe costs are concerned.)
I don't know the exact solution, but perhaps these few ideas are a place to begin the discussion. And yes, every system can be gamed. But some mechanics can be applied to put the kibosh on some of the more obvious and aggregious gaming.
Your thoughts, as always, are good reading.
(Edit: See the follow-up post, Wardecs as Bounties, Sorta, for more on this topic.)