Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Case for Keeping Local

There are plenty of blogs out there currently discussing ways in which local could be removed as an intel tool. I think Poetic kicked off this latest discussion topic in the last week or so and it's been rumbling on. Personally I hate the idea of removing local. May be because I am a pirate, may be because I am in Faction War, may be because I join roaming fleets, may be because my primary and pretty only game-play style in Eve Online is PvP. Plenty of other bloggers have suggested other methods of intel gathering ranging from the dumbed down to the hideously complicated.

Many people say we shouldn't use local as an intel tool. Why not? It helps both the PvP'rs and the carebears assess a system. I'm guessing its more the carebear side that wants local removed as I can see it creating so much work for PvP'rs it would seriously effect their game. Some have even compared it to Star Trek with 'friend or foe' transponders that can be hidden or faked. Yes I believe I have seen that, but also in Star Trek as I recall, their version of the "D-Scan" covered light years and unless you were cloaked or, in that regularly used manoeuvre, were in a low orbit of a planets magnetic pole, at least the Enterprise/Defiant/Voyager could see you before it was even in the solar system! Plus in Star Trek the ship gave away who was in it more often than not. Romulan Warbird? You know what to expect. Kingon Bird-of-Prey. Get those bloody shields up! Dominion..... erm..... whatever they used to fly...... it's going to be hostile, trust me! Borg cube, here's a hint, they won't be looking for hugs! This is a key thing for me. Local tells me who is about and if they are hostile, neutral (probably hostile) or friendly (still could be hostile if its a militia grunt with a bad overview). Here is a pointless graph to demonstrate the fact what local tells me when I jump in even through the graph doesn't make any sense, but we Eve players love graphs don't we!

Its also been said that "I don't use local to talk in". That to me is also very telling. Generally I'm not up for chatting in local for no reason but I do post in local regularly. 99.9% of what I post in local is generally one of two things.

o/ - as a wave to someone I know.
gf - Good fight sir! Either as I warp my pod away to escape or as I'm looting his smouldering wreckage.

If you don't post gf in local, well either your a roleplayer, not very sporting or don't PvP. 

I can see how removing local as an intel tool could be useful in some limited cases to me, sneaking up on someone. But for the most part I would really miss local. How I use local on a daily basis:-

FW Plexing With Local 

Version 1 - Jump! OK. 2 neuts, 1 blue, 1 war-target and 1 negative standing in local. Looks good. Scan for plex, there is a small. Ideal! Enter that and keep D-Scanning. Harpy on short scan. That would be a GF verses my Thrasher. Hope he's not blue. Here he is! It's the war target. FIGHT TIME!

Version 2 - Same as the above plus.... It's the war target. FIGHT TIME! He's got point on me. Bugger, local spike of 10 war targets. IT'S A TARP! Time to burn from the warp in and try and escape before this 1v1 becomes a 11v1.

Version 3 - OK. 2 neuts, 1 blue, 19 war-targets and 1 negative standing in local. Probably not a great system to plex solo in. I'll move along.

Roaming Fleet With Local -

5 in local. 2 blue, 2 neut and a war target.
OK move to system X, fleet warp W gate and jump on contact. Scout?
Local is blue.
OK move to system Y, fleet warp X gate and jump on contact. Scout?
Sysem clear.
OK move to system Z, fleet warp Y gate and jump on contact. Scout?
12 in local. 4 neuts and 8 war-targets. Looking. Found them. They are set up on the out gate.
Excellent, what we're going to do is......

Solo Roaming With Local -

Pretty much same as plexing. One or two war targets in local and I'll stick around and try and find them. 20 of them? I'll move along!

All I can see the removal of local doing is creating a metric shit-ton of more work for PvP especially solo and roaming gang to 'fix' something that isn't broken.

Lets have a look at the above without local.

FW Plexing Without Local -

I have no idea if it is safe. I can spend 5 minutes wasting time scanning from various celestials  but what's in that station? I cannot dock in there to check if its a Caldari owned station. For all I know there are a dozen war targets who have a cloaky ship watching me warp around system scanning and are waiting until I enter a plex. They they'll undock and gank me. Even if they are in the next system, they can get tackle on me and jump in. There is no local to spike and I won't be spamming D-Scan whilst I'm fighting a 1v1. Will by good fight turn into a bad gank?

Roaming Fleet Without Local -

"Still looking. This is a 110au system you know!"
"Still looking!"
"Almost there, last two scan locations?"

Solo Roaming Without Local -

Suddenly cloaky T3's and uber fast ships become all the rage. You have no idea if your 1v1 will become a 100v1.

But Drackarn! We're advocating removal of local AND a new intel system.

Yeah right. Lets have a look at some of the ideas....

Anchorable Scanner Probes/Structures.
It has been suggested that there is a small anchorable structure you can pop down if you have the appropriate anchoring skill and that beams information to your ship. Sounds OK if you stay in the same system 99% of the time. I have carrier, will travel. Many players do not sit in the same system day-after-day. This is a non-starter for all the players that roam. Also what use is it if it works like a D-Scan? Is that Thorax in my militia, alliance or even corp. Is it blue, cyan, grey, orange with a minus, orange with a star, red with a minus, red with a star, purple or green?

Intel Probes
A probe with a large scan radius that gives you intel on ships in its area. Unless I can strap a no CPU and PW probe launcher on the top of my Thrasher with Duct tape that fires probes with 200au range and returns the ship, pilots name, corp, standings, militia and what they had for breakfast, sod off!

Improved D-Scan
Do you fight in 1v1's? Between using mods, capacitor management, keeping correct range, watching damage, managing overheating and generally having a good fight you want me to spam d-scan every few seconds to see if his cavalry is coming to save him? Fine as soon as we get dual mouse support, real life multi-tasking implants..... and a third arm (a proper one!).

Delayed Local
Either by a few minutes, or until someone speaks like wormhole space. Pretty much the same as not having local at all. As an intel tool next to useless for faction war, solo PvP and roaming gangs. The scout of a roaming gang needs to sit in each system for 5 minutes to see if there is a fight to be had before looking in the next system? Seriously?

I have yet to see a convincing argument to show me how local is broken. 

The "local has no basis in sci-fi" doesn't really hold water. We crash super-fast Macherial battleships into carriers and they "bump" off each other (even when both ships have no shields before you use that excuse). Try crashing your ship into an asteroid! How about flying into a planet or a moon. You warp THROUGH planets and suns. You can park your destroyer behind a capital ship or station and fire THROUGH that capital ship or station to hit the enemy without loading boomerang ammo! If local is the most "unbelievable" part of the game for you, you need to look at other areas with a critical eye!

I see no reason to remove local and it should be kept as it is..... except for Jita.... lets rename local there "Seems Legit".

Unbreaking Local - An EVE Intel System Proposal by Rhavas @ Interstellar Privateer
Getting Rid of Local & More Local by Poetic Stanziel @ Poetic Discourse

Found on D-Scan


  1. I agree wholeheartedly. There is nothing wrong with local in any shape or form. The gathering of intel is beneficial to ALL players wether they are hardcore PVPing pirates, Carebears just trying to check on their lowsec PI, or a mix of both like me. Where this idea that local should be changed came from is beyond me. The only people I see with evenb a marginal problem would br big ship(freighter) pilots. But even then they can just get a friend or an alt to run in a frig and check out local before they decide its a fantastic idea to jump in a Fenrir (Which it isnt, in case people don't know).

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  3. I deleted my first post because I seem to be dyslexic... IE I can't type for crap... so I edited and reposted.

    I disagree wholeheartedly. There is a lot wrong with local in any shape or form. The gathering of intel is beneficial to ALL PvPers. Period. Where this idea that local should be changed came from is plainly obvious to me. The only people I see with even a marginal problem would be whiney grieferbear pilots. But even then they can just get a friend or an alt to run in a frig and do some scanning so they can find a Fenrir to GANK...

    The ISSUE w/ Local is it is "unbalanced" in favor of the Aggressor... all it does for the "ToOs" of EvE (Targets of Opportunity, IE: PvEers, miners and Industry, freighter types) is tell them that a fleet just jumped in and is most likley warping to them as they watch local spike...

    There is NO COUNTER to local's perfect intel... and in EvE we pride ourselves on a game that is BALANCED aggressor vs target as far as the game mechanics go. We are exploring ways in which the PERFECT intel of 'local' could be countered... bringing badly needed balance to an unbalanced mechanic in EvE.

    Understand I never used the word "broken"... it is not Broken, it IS however, unbalanced.

    The ONLY people whilly against this are, as Drack said, PvPcentric players... and that is because the local mechanic works FOR them... not against.

  4. Likely a big part of the reason you don't mind local the way it is has to do with the fact you seem to mostly fight people that want to be in fights. Most of the serious talk I have seen about local involves null people that want to be able to jump in and take down miners or ratters who currently just dock/POS up when potentially hostile ships show up in the system. Somehow people seem to forget that finding these targets to gank without local is no small task and is going to lead to more of the scenario you outlined with "Only two scan locations to go." I also have to disagree that local is unbalanced in the favor of the agressor, since almost any ship should have time to warp out in the time it takes the agressor to find them after jumping into the system

    1. I fully support your right to disagree... no matter how wrong you are. =]

      IE "...almost any ship should have time to warp out in the time it takes the aggressor to find them after jumping into the system..."

      (1) ALMOST any ship... well that seems unbalanced for whatever class of ship you feel does not have time to...

      (2) the 'time it takes', have you by any chance tried out CCPs New and Improved Dscan with TRACKING Camera??

      If the ToO is at an AB mining Dscan will have you warping to him in seconds... if at an anom then the aggressors will know it within seconds also... and if they have the anoms BMed... then they will know which one to warp to is nearly as short a time as any celestial.

      If Local wasn't unbalanced before (and IMHO it was) then Local and Dscan with Tracking Camera pushes it wayyyy over the unbalanced IN FAVOR of the aggressor line.

  5. Excellent points! I've been somewhat delayed in my own half-written post on the subject, so maybe I should take another shot at it.

  6. It seems to me that the whole 'local is broken' sentiment was built up out of the fact that it's difficult to catch ratters in null. Or that it's difficult to rat in null because there's an afk cloaker in local. In reality, it's not the problem of local at all. It stems completely from the risk-averse culture of null-sec alliances. You lose a ship? Your alliance chews you out for it.

    Then again, it's so much easier to advocate mechanic changes and point the finger at how the game is constructed than take responsibility and advocate social changes.

    1. May I ask... you base your opinion on the obvious basis that being risk-adverse is BAD. Why? Explain why playing in a sandbox game where the Creators, Devs and Executives advertise half (6) of the roles/career paths available in the game as non-combat roles?? (proof is in the packaging,

      Yet, to you, a non-aggressive role is somehow BAD... why?

  7. I agree that Local should (in effect) remain unchanged in Highsec. I'm an advocate for delayed Local in Lowsec - while my original proposal (see here for nth detail: was a 60-second delay, I'm beginning to lean toward those who say you show up in Local when you break gatecloak. I also advocate a system by which FW pilots specifically can upgrade systems to get full "true local".

    Good post from the Lowsec POV.

  8. Strange - I thought the PVPers were arguing for no Local so the carebears couldn't see them to run away. Who then is arguing for it, the wormholers? They already have it?

  9. Thanks for all the comments guys. One thing that really stands out at me is that PvP'rs are seen as people who gank carebears 23.5/7.

    Yes, I will kill a carebear. To be honest I'll kill a noob ship. But I don't go actively hunting these. Looking back on the killboard I cannot find a recent mining ship or industrial ship kill. I know I have some, but 99.99% of my kills are combat ships (and before anyone says it they are not mission runners!)

    There is a big difference between PvP players and Carebear Griefers. I would guess the Carebear Griefers would love no local.