Designing Features Part V

Part V! Ah well, its patch day…

If you conduct criminal activities there are likely to be consequences – provided you are caught of course.  In order to develop out the theme of smuggling I introduced an idea a post or so ago that ‘contraband’ is something illegal in some fashion and that includes stolen items. The reason for that is because I see ‘crime’ in EVE in homogeneous terms – smuggling boosters, stealing ore, podding someone they’re all ‘crimes’ and I’ve participated in all of them at some stage or another.

Currently in EVE if you get caught by NPCs “smuggling” you get forced to either hand back the goods, or go home in a concord induced pod.  Theft results in a flagging you against your victim as does violent aggression at least for a time. For the purposes of this exercise assume that the normal flagging / aggression system works as normal with the following additions:

Stolen goods act like contraband (see the previous post) – whilst theyre in your cargo hold there’s a risk(increasing over time) that they will no longer be concealed from the authorities.  Once this occurs two things will happen.

1. You suffer a security rating penalty (a relatively small one)

2. A Warrant is issued at each station in your constellation. OR

3. You’re in Null Sec, in which case nothing happens as this is an un regulated area of space.

Warrants appear in the Bounty Office of a station.  Here they can be collected by would be Bounty Hunters.  Each Warrant provides Kill Rights to the Bounty Hunter – he can attack and destroy the fugitives ship and POD anywhere without penalty. The Warrant also provides a ‘last known location’ which is where ever our fugitive happened to be when the Warrant was issued.With the limited ‘last known location’ information the BH now has to seek out the Fugitive. Its worth noting that the only information publicly visible through the Bounty Office is “Fugitive Last Seen in XXXX’ so you cant expect to leave an alt in a Bounty Office to collect your mains Warrant. The way I would like this to work would equate to blood hound following a scent.  Over time that scent will fade, allowing the fugitive to potentially escape. This is how I see this working:

Initially the BH will be able to see the recent (last 30 minutes) gate activations of his target fugitive in the region he is currently in – as per the statistics on the universe map.  After that 30 minutes the “gate activation” map data increases its time lag to the last 2 hours, then 4 hours, 8 hours, 16 and finally 24 hours. After 24 hours the trail has ‘gone cold’ and no further information can be gleaned from that source.  Of course that doesn’t include worm holes or Jump Bridge / Covert Cynos, meaning a well supported or stealthy fugitive can potentially go off the grid – at least to an extent. Nor does it prevent a BH using traditional locator Agents.

“That all sounds great Cailais, but as a Bounty Hunter how am I getting paid!?”

Glad you asked. You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned player submitted Player donated bounties, and that’s for a very good (& possibly controversial) reason. There aren’t any.


Yup. You see the reason Ive decided to remove them entirely is because they’re unnecessary and introduce to many problematic issues in terms of Alts and so forth.  They’re unnecessary because you dont need a player allocated bounty to create a fugitive: it doesnt add any additional game play because ultimately if you want revenge on another player you can hire mercs or anyone else for that matter through normal social interaction. It doesn’t need a mechanic behind it.  So how does our erstwhile Bounty Hunter make a living?

First off the BH doesn’t take any standing hit, so he can collect the loot from a perished fugitive.  Additionally the Bounty Hunter is paid any insurance on the destroyed vessel: not the victim.  Secondly if he collects the corpse as a result of a pod kill he is paid the value of that players Clone at time of podding.  Admittedly that might not be a vast sum of ISK but if the ship is uninsured its at least some recompense. Critically this process cant be abused by using an Alt for ‘self claiming’ as as a player you’ll only get back as much as you lose – a net gain of Zero.

For the final Part VI of this journey I will try and add a little more numbers and perhaps a flow chart to describe the process.  There are also a couple of sketchy areas that I need to go back and consider (no doubt you’ve already spotted those).  In the mean time of course any comments are welcome and I hope this short series has been a distraction from waiting on TQ to fire back into life 😀


7 Responses to “Designing Features Part V”

  1. Virtuozzo Says:

    Neat. Has potential, and for once it is not a feature or content set rooted in Vertical Expansion of the product – something of which EVE has suffered quite a bit from.

  2. Really like this train of thought, as well as the recent cyberpunk post, which seems to have some linkage potential to the bounty hunter/smuggler stuff (hacking?). Thought I would mention also that CCP seems to have their eyes set on Incarna having some under the table dealings as part of it. I believe they mentioned “off the grid transactions” somewhere.

  3. I like your end game there.. having BH collect as much as the killed target worth in insurance and clone value, with no player driven money to scoop for alt.

    I do have a possible alternative to the warrant and location system though:
    – issue warrant in all of the bounty offices of Eve for a crime, not just in the current constellation.
    – For each pilot, track the number of warrants generated by this pilot’s criminal action.
    – Allow other pilots to issue a warrant on anybody for a flat fee (not to cheap, but not too expensive either). This money is just paid to the bounty office, and not recovered by anybody.
    – Allow BH to buy a warrant on a target (the max number of BH that can pick up a warrant on the same target is the current number of warrants issued). The fee would be a fee paid to the bounty office and lost to the BH, and that fee would be increased according to the number of BH that already bought such a warrant (so the more BH on the same target the more expensive it gets for them).
    – Every time the criminal under a warrant docks in a station, he has to pay a small base sum like 10 ISK time the number of current active warrants to land incognito there (greasing palms to remain incognito). If he does not pay this, all the logged-in BH with warrant on this guy receive information about his current location when he lands.
    – When a target is killed, all the BH with a warrant on him that participated to the kill lose their warrant right, and the number of warrant for this criminal is decreased that much.

    keep up the good fight. Improving the rules for bounty hunting is badly needed. This is the best way carebears can get back to PvPers and griefers while having do the revenge work for them. Griefing is too easy and cheap to do atm…

    • Thanks for the comments Grisix 🙂

      Allow other pilots to issue a warrant on anybody for a flat fee: might be open to abuse for griefing players??
      Every time the criminal under a warrant docks in a station, he has to pay a small base sum…to land incognito there (greasing palms to remain incognito). I LIKE!
      – When a target is killed, all the BH with a warrant on him that participated to the kill lose their warrant right – agreed, maybe should have made that clear.


      • I think players need to be able to put a warrant on someone else for whatever reason they chose. People can already flip can with no possible retaliations, other than risking a mining ship into a PvP engagement (the game mechanic currently favors Orca based can flippers). There is no mechanism to really allow carebears to counter this type of player’s action, and I think issuing warrant on them at the players discretion (and possibly convincing his corp/alliance to do so for each pilots..) is a neat player interaction mechanism, as well as a fair way to compensate for whatever action triggered the decision to pay money to issue a warrant.

        I can see can flippers as well as scammers of various sort getting hit the most but such a system, which in turn would regulate this kind of practice, without forbidding it.

        One thing to highlight is that one person could only have one active warrant per target (i.e. he could issue of warrant for as many players as he wants, but one per player only). When I see that the map systems track how many times a player visit a given system, I am sure this kind of warrant management is technically doable.

        I like the ideas you are developing. Keep pushing the good changes, bounty hunting really do need love!

  4. I had a thought on the smugglers bounty. As a smuggler may do a run get caught but getaway. A bounty is set. As for the next time he makes a couple runs undetected, this how ever is logged for said smuggler. And the next time he gets caught and get away. The bounty on his head is increased acordingly to what he has done and thus increasing the bounty and the profit for a bounty hunter to get him.

    If you don’t like the idea of the logged crime part, it could just be when caught( detected , wrong use of word before). The point atleast to increase the bounty is to make life harder for a smuggler since more ppl looking for him/her and whants to clam the bounty.

    I’ll come back later to edit this abit so it’s abit more clear I’m sitting on a iPod kinda hard putting it all in.

    Basicly more crime = more bounty= more bounty hunters chasing.

    Lokeus minmatar newb

    totaly like the idea of flying a falcon as Han solo gleeing from bubba fet 😉

  5. […] have been other proposals regarding bounty hunters lately, including those from Cailais and Katana […]

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