For the past decade, the carebears who demand an end to wardecs have consistently used the same absurd arguments. One of their most frequent--and most outlandish--claims is that wardecs are broken because "wardecs don't accomplish anything". Here's a quote from CCP Fozzie that encapsulates this point of view:
"What really needs to happen with wardecs is that we get to a point where, when one group wardecs another group, at the end of the day, something gets resolved... When wardecs happen, both sides get to have potentially fun gameplay, and the end result has an actual end result."The source of this quote is not the CSM summit from last month--it's from a Crossing Zebras interview that was conducted with Fozzie all the way back in 2013. Clearly, CCP was too busy with other projects to bring Fozzie's vision for wardecs into reality; wardec mechanics haven't been touched in over six years. But the idea that wardecs require some sort of objective "result" has been echoed by carebears and is still with us.
CCP's recent discovery that wardecced corps often suffer a permanent decrease in activity post-wardec prove that, in fact, wardecs often do have a result: The extinction of the losing side. MinerBumping readers have occasionally been treated to field reports describing the use of wardecs to bring about positive results. The evidence suggests there's no cause for complaint here.
In any case, the complaint itself is bizarre and unnatural. It has no place in EVE: In no other context do we find people complaining that spaceship combat doesn't have a concrete "end result". For instance, in nullsec, coalitions go to war with other coalitions. Sometimes one of the coalitions is destroyed as a consequence, but sometimes they both survive. Some conflicts end in stalemate. Other conflicts burn on continuously, or they change form. In still other cases, one side gets bored or gives up, leaving its intended victim intact. The same is true of the fights that go on in lowsec and wormhole space. Yet no one demands that an arbitrary framework be overlaid so that these wars have a "resolution".
It has always been understood that in EVE, the players make the rules and the content for themselves. The players define their own goals. They make their own plans and attempt to achieve their own objectives. It's emergent gameplay on a grand scale. The Code, of course, is the most brilliant, shining example of this truth. The Code is the crowning achievement of the EVE sandbox. It's something that no one in CCP could ever have conceived or designed.
In the most recent CSM summit, it's obvious that the CSM and CCP have lost sight of this--when it comes to wardecs, that is. A few highlights (or lowlights, if you prefer):
"Sort Dragon mentions the idea of using propaganda structures as a means of ending the war in the form of a victory condition to end the war."
"Aryth brings up a king of the hill scenario as a new war mechanic."
"Jin'taan suggests a goal being ships killed."Nonsense.
Several years ago, Pandemic Legion leader Shadoo was faced with a dilemma. At the time, PL and TEST Alliance Please Ignore had formed a coalition to rival the power of the CFC (later known as the Imperium). There was a cold war between the two power blocs, and all of nullsec held its breath, waiting for war to break out. PL considered itself to be the most elite PvP'ers in the game, more than capable of defeating the CFC and its Goons. However, Shadoo was afraid that if an all-out war did take place, his side might actually have a chance of losing. That might mean the end of PL. On the other hand, if war didn't take place--if PL didn't challenge its only true rival--then what was the point of being elite? What was the point of EVE?
Shadoo came up with an alternative, which he called "War Games". He outlined his proposal in an editorial for TheMittani.com (the predecessor of Imperium.News). Shadoo's idea was that the two coalitions could have prearranged fleet fights with special rules, rather than actually trying to conquer each other's sovereignty. That way, EVE players could engage in spaceship combat without either side running the risk of losing.
The reaction from the EVE community was swift and vicious. Everyone hated Shadoo's idea, and he was endlessly mocked for it. Players instinctively grasped that EVE was the "war game", and that Shadoo's idea was a fundamental violation of it. Even Ripard Teg, the author of Jester's Trek, wrote a scathing rebuke, calling Shadoo's proposal "Chinese Checkers".
The story had a happy ending: Shadoo's concept was rejected by all as un-EVE. Since PL was afraid to fight the CFC, the CFC launched an invasion of PL's primary coalition partner, TEST. Known by history as the Fountain War, this invasion resulted in the loss of all of TEST's territory in nullsec as PL refused to fully commit to defend its ally. But the Fountain War wasn't the end for TEST or PL. The story of nullsec continued, written by the players.
Wardecs don't need artificial victory conditions. They don't need to become a highsec version of Chinese Checkers where each side engages in a minigame and the "winner" is declared, with some predetermined carrot or stick automatically dispensed by the game mechanics. Wardecs are as they should be: A mechanic that enables the two sides to fight it out without CONCORD intervention. Maybe they bring fleets to camp gates or stations, maybe they engage in small, scattered guerilla war. Maybe one side stays docked up and refuses to fight. Maybe one side dissolves its corp or withers away as its members leave. Maybe one side realizes its weakness and joins an alliance for its own protection. It's up to the players, not an NPC referee.
Anyone can see that the "wardecs must have an end result" crowd is engaging in unnecessary, un-EVE nonsense. Why do they do it, then? Because their true motive is to nerf wardecs into oblivion. Any proposal to change wardecs in this manner inevitably descends into a system of strict limitations on wardecs. They want to force the attacker to have "skin in the game"--beyond the wardec fee, of course. The attacker, in their minds, is the bad guy. On some level, they view the side that initiates a wardec to be the griefer, the harasser, the bully. So the wardec mechanic they propose is designed as a potential punishment, to discourage anyone from daring to initiate a wardec.
To justify this, the carebears and their allies have deluded themselves into believing that wardecs inherently favor the aggressor and unfairly stack the deck against the recipient. As we shall see, they are painfully, inescapably mistaken.
To be continued...