Monday, October 1, 2012

Bounty Hunting - Rixx Javix is the Target!

Damn you Rixx Javix! Damn you! /shake_fist

I have a long weekend at the coast away from Eve, get home last night, check my emails and see the headlines for the new next expansion in a mail from CCP. I write a nice blog post on it next morning and then in the afternoon open up Google Reader to catch up on my blog reading to see Rixx has covered pretty much everything I've wrote already on Eveogander! Bah!


Sod it, I'm not writing another! I'll post it anyway! If you've already read Eveogander over the weekend, skip my post and go here instead for a picture that made me laugh out loud in the office (never good on a Monday afternoon!).

"Bounty hunters! We Don't Need Their Scum" 
- Some Empire Bloke in Star Wars (If you know his character's name..... GEEK!).

Last week I did a blog post stating that the winter expansion was only weeks away (since that post we now know it was 10 weeks in fact) yet there was nothing headline grabbing in there. Most of what we knew about the expansion was that it was tweeks. This up a bit, this down a bit. A few new ships, a few new role changes but nothing earth shattering. Yes we're getting new ships, but they don't do anything that larger versions did already (logi frigates and new destroyers for example). There was a fair bit of discussion on that post (well for here anyway) with some getting my point and some really not getting my point at all. After four days at the beach I've returned home to see from my inbox that CCP are going to be releasing a headline feature in the winter expansion after all..... bounty hunting!

In a previous post from February, entitled "Bounty Hunting - Will it Ever be Worthwhile?", I looked at the problems with the profession. Now it appears CCP are going to fix it.

I'm wondering if Faction War has been used as a test bed here. In Inferno we faction war players started receiving loyalty points for kills of the enemy players based on the value of the kill. This was calculated on the value of ship itself, modules, rigs, drones, ammo and anything in the cargo hold minus the full insurance payout. Basically, the "real" value of the loss. Now when CCP put new mechanics like this into the game, players will soon work out how to milk them. I believe it was a couple of Goons that worked out that by manipulating the price of certain rarely-traded items on the market, they could inflate the average cost the server calculated to epic proportions. Then by putting that item in the cargo hold of a militia alt and blowing them up with an alt in the opposing militia they could make huge sums of money via LP payouts. By say, inflating the average cost of Elite Slaves to billions each, each kill with Elite Slaves in the cargo hold netted the victor a shed-load of LP's. They (eventually) pointed out the issue to CCP (after making large amounts of ISK from it) and CCP defined it as an exploit and confiscated their ill-gotten gains.

So now the mechanics to calculate "total value of kill" are in-game, working, and the exploits have already been identified, is it ready to be rolled out to Bounty Hunting? I think this is probably what CCP are doing.
So far we've had no details from CCP how Bounty Hunting will work, but here is my guess.

When you put a bounty on someone's head, it goes into a pool. When that horrible nasty person's ship is destroyed a percentage of the value of that loss will be be given out as bounty. May be something like 20%? I would assume it will work so that the person who gets the final blow will get the cash. If that person is in a fleet then the cash will be split between those fleet members on grid at the time.

So lets assume as a minus nine point something naughty pirate type, someone puts a 100m ISK bounty on me. I'm flying a 160m ISK (value of ship, fittings and cargo) T2 cruiser and I get dead'd by a gate camp. If the bounty payout is 20% then the payout will be something like 30m ISK (20% of 160m minus full insurance payout of about 10m). This is removed from the pot on my head so I'm now flying around with a 70m ISK bounty on my head and a group of guys are 30m ISK richer. I dock up in a rage and get out my Moros and drop the gate-camp who then proceed to kill me again. However this time my loss is 3bn. Whilst the payout sould be 400m ISK (3bn value of loss minus the 1bn insurance payout giving a bounty of 20% of 2bn) there is a problem. I only have 70m ISK left in the bounty pot so the fleet that got the killing blow only gets 70m. And I pod off with no bounty on my head anymore!
So that's how I envisage the Bounty Hunting payout system to work. I guess we just have to wait for the Dev Blog to see how wrong I am!
But will there be other mechanics in the Bounty Hunting fix other than cash? One that has been suggested by players is a security status gain for killing player pirates.
If you get security status gain by shooting an NPC rat, why shouldn't you get a security status gain by shooting me? I'm minus nine point something. If I enter hi-sec the police will come and try and kill me. Actually I'm more wanted than your average NPC pirate. At least they can sit at a belt and not be disturbed by the space cops!
I think, like with rats, any security status gain should be tied into value of the loss. Otherwise people will rat up by making an alt, smart bombing Jita to hit -10 and then repeatably killing them in cheap frigates to "rat up". Kill me when I'm in a Merlin. You're not going to get much. Kill me when I'm in a capital ship, CONCORD will hump your leg in appreciation!
But what about those who don't want to receive a sec status gain? Pirates fighting pirates could mean someone is ruining their "well-yarr'd-for" perfect -10 by fighting another pirate. Will we see people podding alts just to get back to -10 after a pirate verses pirate battle? Something to think about as many players value their perfect minus 10 status.

So there you have it. A couple of things that could be in the winter expansion for Bounty Hunting. But most importantly, we have our headline feature that will get us some press, hopefully tempted back some bitter-vets and also maybe encourage new players to give the game a try.
Oh and the first toon I see called Boba Fett, I'm podding!


  1. what if you need to have a better sec status than the pirate you kill to get sec status bonus... -10 vs -10 doesn't give sec status

  2. What does this teach us? Stop going away for days at a time!! lol

    We've all been saying that bounty hunting needed fixed for a long time, so it's great to see CCP is finally doing something about it. Hopefully it'll be good. I'm also hearing that you'll be able to sell Kill Rights in local, so who knows what that means.