Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Truth About Wardecs, Part 1

A specter is haunting highsec--the specter of wardecs!

In case you missed it, CCP released the official CSM 13 Winter Summit Minutes earlier this month. This "Winter" Summit took place during early September, which is technically summer. If you find that nonsensical, just wait until you read what's actually in the minutes. Or, better yet, allow me to summarize it for you.

The big news from the minutes, which led to numerous excited posts on the EVE subreddit, was all about wardecs. Did CCP announce a major overhaul to the wardec mechanics? No. Some small improvements to wardecs, then? Also no. The big news was... CCP and the CSM talked about the current state of wardecs.

If you're someone who participates in wardecs on any level, the excitement over the "current state of wardecs" may surprise you, because the wardec mechanics haven't changed since CCP last monkeyed with them in 2012. That's right, the EVE community was abuzz over the review of a six year-old game mechanic.

One might assume that there would be little to say about wardecs that hasn't already been said in the past several years--and less to learn. But CCP dropped a bombshell on the CSM. You see, CCP has recently been collecting statistics about player retention and highsec conflict. Again, if you're an EVE veteran, this is probably beginning to sound familiar.

Here's the introduction from page 8 of the minutes. Wardecs merited an entire section of the minutes, despite discussing a game mechanic that hasn't changed since Mitt Romney ran for president:
"In the EVE Leadership meeting the CSM was presented with numbers resulting from research into the state of war declarations in EVE and those numbers quite starkly showed how asymmetric the situation is, and how war declarations allow a small number of players to negatively affect a huge number of people, with low risk."
If you're a wardeccer, you belong to an elite group of players who have been enjoying a massive number of victories. After all, in a competitive PvP game, "negatively affect" must be code for "winning", right?

Not so fast. Spaceship combat isn't all fun and games. In fact, as CCP's researchers finally uncovered, you wardeccers have been secretly undermining EVE all this time. In another section of the minutes, on page 12, we get a few more details on these shocking revelations:
"CCP Larrikin pulls up activity data for players of corporations that have wars declared against them and it shows considerable activity drops in all activities during the war. They also show that the low activity continues after the war ends. Brisc Rubal noted that the numbers here were so stark, it would justify immediately removing war decs as a mechanic and promising a fix after the fact. The CSM in general were surprised at how stark the numbers were and noted it was clear this mechanic was having a significant impact on player recruitment and retention."
The CSM member's call to immediately remove these scandalous wardecs from the game was echoed across Reddit. That's no small matter, considering that the removal of wardecs would render countless highsec structures immune from all forms of attack. There would be many other consequences, as well. But for the sake of saving EVE from total destruction by the recently uncovered wardec menace, it might be worth it.

It goes deeper. Although wardecs were most recently revised (i.e., nerfed) six years ago, the wardec system has been around in one form or another from the beginning. It's extraordinary that the game-threatening cancer went undetected until now. But when you look at the player statistics, it all becomes clear:

The cause and effect are unmistakable. First there were wardecs, and now EVE is dying.* You would need to be blind not to see the connection.

Next time, we'll find out more about CCP and the CSM's quest to save EVE from an untimely demise at the hands of these sinister wardeccers. And, perhaps, we may hear a more reasonable perspective on wardecs from the Saviour of Highsec.

To be continued...

* For more Code.


  1. Now that we've finally uncovered what's been killing EVE for 15 years, we can begin to focus on solutions!


  2. I for one was excited to see something from High Sec making it into the minutes at all. Any kind of official focus on High Sec has to be good. Just have to make sure that the information and thoughts are steered in the right direction.

  3. I've never subscribed to the idea that WARDECS scare off players. CCP in fact made a video a while back that showed that was not the main cause.

    Having said this, the WARDEC mechanism is broken, but from the perspective of a miner/carebear player. It's being used as a griefer ransom tool that has nothing to do with actual warfare and everything to do with being an asshole towards newer less experienced players just getting started. I've stated this for the past six years and I'm glad to see this recent analysis supports my argument that it's time for a fix. Not some time in the future but immediately.

    I posted something a while back in the forums about making WARDECs more like a war with goals and objectives. Despite the recent changes to the game mechanics, it still holds up well.

    1. You silly creature. We don't need to be given objectives and goals - James 315 has already determined that all carebears are to be punished and destroyed, using all methods available - until they purchase a 10,000,000 ISK mining permit, and follow The Code. What could be a more noble cause than that?

    2. Nobody cares what you think Mehk, just remember you are at the bottom of the food chain in this game.

    3. Yet you cared enough to reply. That invalided your argument, unless we consider you a nobody, which I am willing to entertain.

      I like my casual game play. I like playing the way I want to play, not follow some Dune/Islamic style of roleplay under force. That's the way EVE Online is supposed to be played.

    4. What does "invalided" mean?

      I googled the term and even google thought i was retarded for entering such a query.

      Go back to the 1.0 systems and mine some scraps.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. KB, if you had to go on Google to figure out what I meant by my typo instead of using the heuristics in your head to figure out I meant invalidated (the omission of two letters, really?), mental retardation is the least of your concerns. Plus, that would be insulting to those who are mentally challenged.

      It could be comprehension or memory retainment. Most players know Nakugard is a 0.5 system, not a 1.0 as you incorrectly stated.

  4. Just as long as they leave some form of pvp in high sec, such as ganking and duels maybe bounty hunting....I have to admit that Code keeps it interesting in high sec.

  5. Ganking,bumping and all that fun stuff won't be touched. It will be CCP trying to get rid of the cancer of Marmite and PIRAT mass deccing any small corp for either shit and giggles, easy pain-free blapping on trade hub undocks, extortion, or easy kb padding. The pros of CODE will continue to do their good in HS, while CCP is trying to stem the loss of paying customers fleeing the game due to asymmetric warfare and lack of content. Gank away, most of the players support you and your mission. That being said, the business model cannot healthily support the game with the current numbers and the trends they show.

  6. I might have a shred of respect for wardeccers if they didn't flee 100% of the time when a combat capable ship shows up, terrified beyond reason of a red mark on their killboard. Be a man and suicide gank instead.

  7. Looks like they are trying to find a scapegoat for their declining numbers. Instead of taking responsibility and adding meaningful content to the game, CCP sits idly just milking the last subs they have left. When it's all over with they will blame anything but themselves.


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