There’s been a bit of grumbling about the Forsaken Fortress update, and I wrote a forum reply so long that I figured I might as well turn it into a blog post. Hell, I’ve probably should have done this with a quite a few of my walls of text.
The Forsaken Fortress update introduced a new structure state. Structures that have been in low power mode (no onlined modules) for one week will drop into the abandoned state. Once abandoned, they will have no reinforcement timers (you chew through shield, armor, and hull in one sitting), and all of the stored assets have a 50% chance of dropping.
Personally, I didn’t have a problem with the old system. First of all, most groups didn’t even bother bringing a hauler or salvager in order to secure the structure loot and salvage. Second, if you have a strategic or tactical reason for destroying a structure, you have a damn good reason for destroying that structure. You don’t need to get paid on top of that. So, this complaint that we have no reason to destroy structure spam is a bad argument. There’s been plenty of reason to destroy structure spam all along, players just wanted easier, direct compensation for doing so.
Lazy, entitled players aside, I do think that Forsaken Fortress is good for the game. Now, I do have a bone to pick with CCP over how they handled the transition. But I do think that this is a step in the right direction.
We can’t allow the guys who aren’t even playing to hold the game hostage.
Yes, I understand some of them are on relatively short breaks, and some of them have to deal with real life issues, but many of these players disappear for YEARS. And a significant portion of them may never return. So are we really going to say that we can’t move forward with the game because we might screw over players who prepared for going on extended break (possibly never to return) in a PvP-centric game with a harsh death mechanic by simply leaving all their crap in a destructible station?
Yes, I do feel sympathy for the guys who planned according to the rules at the time, and will come back to their stuff gone. But we also can’t stop trying to make the game better because it might screw over some players who may not ever even come back to the game.
We are not doing these guys a favor by taking their stuff.
So, I heard a guy saying that we were doing players a favor by taking their stuff. The asset grind is why they quit the game in the first place, and we were freeing them of this, blah, blah, blah. Sounded a lot like a technique of neutralization frequently used by criminals -specifically, deny the harm. Personally, I think what’s happening to these guys is crappy, and it removes one of the hooks keeping them tied to the game (see the guys who try to bring closure to their relationship with Eve by divesting themselves of all assets and characters).
In fact, you know what this reminds me of? This reminds of all the cock suckers willing to let people die for the good of the economy. And the only reason I find this change acceptable is because this isn’t real life and no one is going to die. They’re only going to lose “physical” assets in a game where the most valuable assets (by far) are friends and player knowledge.
CCP could have implemented this change better.
I’ve heard people say that CCP should have grandfathered in the assets of people who were already on break. I think I agree with them. However, I’m also pretty sure that this would have been easier said than done. You can’t protect everyone by just manually triggering asset safety for all assets in structures that hit the abandoned state in the first week. This would exclude the guys who have assets in structures that are currently being maintained, but get abandoned months or years from now. Moreover, it would protect the assets of active and recently active players that know better, but still failed to plan accordingly. Thus, implementing a proper solution would have probably taken a fair amount of work.
On a side note, grandfather mechanics would have drastically reduced loot and severely muted the gold rush profits and excitement. I’m speculating here, but I suspect that CCP looked at all the extra work they would have to do, and decided to throw active players a bone at the expense of players on break.
No going back now.
CCP probably should have instituted some grandfather mechanics, but they didn’t, and no one is going to die. Moreover, in spite of this dickish implementation, I do think this change is good for the game. It deals with a long standing player complaint, and is a content driver. We could have taken a better route, but we most certainly shouldn’t throw the car in reverse. It wouldn’t benefit the game, nor would it unfuck the players who have already lost their stuff.
CCP cannot reimburse the dropped loot.
Some people have suggested reimbursements for returning players. I’m not sure how I feel about that. One thing is for sure though. If they do (officially or unofficially) adopt a policy of reimbursing players, they should do the same thing that they already do with disconnects -only restore the stuff that didn’t drop. Full reimbursement could have economic ramifications, but more importantly, I guarantee you some players would exploit it to duplicate assets.