Saturday, October 20, 2012

How Will the Crimewatch and Bounty Changes Affect Bumpers?

The rebellion has given itself over to speculation about how the New Order might be taken down by changes to game mechanics. This comes as no surprise. They have a long history of taking solace in false rumors and hopes of CCP intervention. Lately our enemies have been praying the new expansion will tip the scales in their favor, in the form of "crimewatch" and a new bounty system.

The sentiment in the comment above, a reply to this post, is typical. Those who oppose us are delusional, but what effect, if any, will the changes to game mechanics have on bumpers?


The new bounty system will allow players to put bounties on any character. I'm no stranger to having a bounty placed on my head. In fact, tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my bounty! Many have tried to collect it, but all have failed.

In a general sense, the ability of my enemies to put a bounty on me doesn't change anything, because they've never lacked incentive to attack me before. The mechanics of the new bounty system also undermine its usefulness as a motivational tool. On the one hand, yes, a bounty can be collected by killing a ship rather than a pod. But the amount of the bounty you can collect will be greatly diminished under the new system.

The bounty system will award the killer a small fraction of the total value of the ship and modules destroyed. The point is to prevent bountied players from blowing themselves up to collect the bounties. Since platinum insurance allows you to lose only 1/3 of the value of your ship when it blows up, the fraction paid out must be small. The fraction paid out is subject to change, but I've heard numbers like 10% and 20% being tossed around. You can put a huge bounty on someone, but only part of the bounty will be paid out each time he loses a ship.

This has a couple of effects. First, ships need to be quite expensive to have a worthwhile bounty payout. Killing a bountied Agent's Stabber might get you around a million or so isk. Killing my Invincible Stabber (Fleet Issue) might get you around 10 million. That's a small number compared to the cost of having your ship(s) Concorded. By contrast, a bountied Mackinaw kill could pay out closer to 20-30 million isk, depending on the payout percentage and fittings. We can immediately see that the bounty system works for some things, but not others. The math just doesn't work for bountying bumpers.

Second, although the new system helps ensure bounties won't be collected by alts, it also greatly reduces one's ability to add incentive for a kill. For a year now, I've had a 106 million isk bounty on my head. Assuming the attackers can kill my pod, that's at least some incentive to go for a kill. Under the new system, you can't collect a 106 million isk bounty by killing my Invincible Stabber. Even if a group of rebels got together and put a billion isk bounty on my head, the maximum payout would still be limited to the fraction of my ship's value. You can't arrange a very enticing bounty, no matter how much isk you're willing to spend. So much for incentives.

Despite the new mechanic's limitations, some enemies of the New Order may nevertheless be tempted. They may end up wasting a bunch of isk putting a big bounty on me or my Agents. That's a good change! Especially when the temptation of the bounty is paired with the Crimewatch changes.


The purpose of Crimewatch is to increase the penalties for shooting other players in highsec. Under the current system, shooting a neutral player earns you a minor security status penalty--along with having your own ship Concorded. If you kill someone, you get a bigger hit to your security status, and the person you killed earns kill rights. However, if your target returns fire before dying, you get neither penalty. This is why I preferred ganking miners who had combat drones out, back in my suicide ganking days: Their drones would automatically return fire.

When the new Crimewatch system is put into place, you get all the penalties just by shooting someone, even if you don't kill them. In addition, kill rights will become more powerful. Instead of just allowing you to shoot someone whom you have kill rights against, kill rights may be rented out to third parties. When the third party activates the kill rights, the target becomes attackable by everyone for 15 minutes. Kill rights last for 30 days or until the enemy is killed.

The changes to kill rights and aggression penalties are important to bumpers, because we are frequently shot at but not killed. Under the new system, rebels who try to attack us--whether by using smartbombing Merlins or Moa gangs--will have targets on their back for a full month. If someone scrambles a fleet of disgruntled miners to try ganking us, every member of the fleet who fires a shot will receive the penalty.

As you can see, the new changes will have an effect, but not the kind of effect our carebear enemies think. Until the rebels realize CCP has inadvertently done the New Order a great service, the new system will offer us some interesting opportunities. Some Agents are PvP specialists, and they may enjoy renting kill rights from any bumper who gets shot at.


  1. After reading your post i started thinking to renew my subscription. Thx alot for your analysis.

  2. Previously I asked if the rebels constant failed attempts to suicide gank in Moas was some kind of omen, given that moas are an extinct flightless bird. Then CCP announced this.

    It's going to lead to a lot more agents getting petitioned for not breaking the rules.

  3. Crimewatch is going to be a carebears worst nightmare at least until ccp scrambles to change it. I hope the big announcement tomorrow involves creating a pool for miner bounties / kill rights. This will be awesome.

  4. Wait... The new bounty system lets me put a bounty on anyone? Even High-sec Carebears? Looks like I've found a new way to clean out Ice Fields. Place Bounty on Carebear, wait for someone to kill Carebear or do it with my own alt. The tears are gonna be sweeeeeeeeet!

  5. Bounty is not and will not be equal to kill rights so you still be concorded if you open fire at miner you put bounty on. Geez, why is it so hard to understand few simple sentences from a dev blog?

  6. Glad I don't mine high sec ;)


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