CCP’s upcoming Damage Control Tiericide has significant effects on suicide ganking. CCP Fozzie is aware of this:
This will result in a significant EHP buff to ships that can’t or don’t fit Damage Controls, but most of those already have very low hull hitpoints. The impact is Freighters, but we like to pair buff and nerfs to suicide ganking to keep things in balance, and after the February Wreck HP change these ships can handle a bit more tank without the “predator and prey” environment being thrown out of whack.
335 posts in CCP Fozzie follows-up:
Now a quick note on suicide ganking and the impact that these changes will have.
We view ganking as one of many normal game systems that needs tweaking and balancing from time to time. Changes to the balance around ganking doesn’t mean we have any intentions on removing it (if we wanted to do that, we easily could through direct methods).
In a lot of ways, keeping balance in this system is much like park rangers maintaining balance between wolf and elk populations. We keep an eye on how the whole ecosystem is developing and make tweaks as nessesary. Sometimes we might protect the corpses of dead elk from vultures so the wolves can feed in peace. Sometimes we might put some light body armor on the elk so that the wolves need to pick their targets more carefully. And I think I’ve officially taken this analogy too far.
You gankers are a clever bunch and we have no doubt that you’ll adapt and do just fine. Our previous changes didn’t kill ganking, these changes won’t kill ganking and our future changes won’t kill ganking either.
We’re going to keep making changes that we believe benefit the game as a whole, which needs to remain healthy for both sides of this debate to thrive.
Observation #1 – Monetary Balance
Monetary balance takes care of itself. Using Freighters as example . . .
Buffing freighter hitpoints tempts freighter pilots to jamb more value in the hold. Why make multiple trips when it’s now possible to make only one in a recently buffed freighter?
The more in the hold, the more profitable the gank.
The more profitable the gank, the more amenable the gankers to either bringing more people or dispatching more expensive, harder hitting ships to crack through that buff.
Everybody settles into the new balance. Abusive epithets continue. The game flourishes.
Observation #2 – Ecosystem Balance
As Fozzie correctly points out, he pushes his Elk, Vulture, Wolf analogy pretty far. More importantly, if you ask me, his analogy is a little off from the get-go. ‘Vulture’ is fine – they swoop in to feast on others’ kills. ‘Wolf’ is also fine – they often hunt in packs. ‘Elk’ is off however as they’re often herd animals while space pixel wolf packs tend to hunt solitary prey. ‘Moose’ might have been a better choice. Big ole herbivore – doesn’t herd up.
I make a fuss about this to highlight how suicide ganking has evolved over recent years. While the solitary nature of the prey hasn’t changed much, the pack nature of the hunters has expanded. This is by design. Successful suicide ganking is increasingly a group activity. While the ecosystem remains healthy, inhabitable niche change is profound. “Psychopathic” suicide gankers now have to navigate in-group social hierarchies and expectations which requires empathy. Solo, iconoclastic renegades are little but prey. Such a topsy-turvy world is Eve.
Observation #3 – Adaptation
I have a little suicide ganker, WhoopsyDaisy:
After 200 malevolent murders she went on hiatus as her solo hunter style prey dissipated away to game mechanics changes. I seriously considered joining a suicide ganking group like CODE. but in the end never followed through as fleet actions don’t fit well with my real life, unpredictable schedule imposed solish play style. A shame in some respects as I enjoy playing the ‘evil space bully’. I groused about it for a while but Eve is a big game and I found other things to do. These days I’m mostly an industrialist flitting about Hi & Low Sec dodging the wolves out to murder me. These days I’m prey. Such a topsy-turvey world is Eve.