Hello Capsuleers. By now you’ve probably heard that the name of the upcoming release this December is Retribution. Team Super Friends is happy to participate in this jolly endeavor of revenge, rage, repercussions and Christmas Carols. We’ve cooked up a set of features sure to spice up this dish of revenge (best served swiftly and sharply) and here to tell you all about them is I, CCP SoniClover.
Mutiny on the Bounty System
Here’s a little secret: the Bounty System is broken! Shocker, right? Well, that is all about to change. We’re going to muck out all the advertisers, poker stars and attention seekers currently clogging this busted system and add some grease and shoe-shine to allow real players to trample over each other in there as [insert deity of your choice] intended.
Below, I will go a bit into the nuts and bolts of the bounty refactoring, but first I want quickly cover what the goals are that we’re aiming to achieve.
The key one is to give people faith that money they put into the bounty system has a fair chance of actually leading to their target crying tears of fear and frustration.
We also want to support the overall theme of the expansion of strengthening the ties between actions and consequences, up to and including making it important who you associate with.
Finally, we want to support bounty hunting as a career choice, preferably in a way that makes it possible for newer players as well as older players to get involved.
The intention is to have the bulk of this work be ready in the Retribution expansion, but there are several items we then want to iterate on post-Retribution. I will mention a few of them later on.
Bounties 2.0 – now with less exploits!
The core of the new bounty system is to pay out only a portion of the bounty at a time, instead of paying the whole pool upon a kill. Here are the pertinent points (with the usual disclaimer that things are subject to change as we continue developing this):
- The amount paid out from the bounty pool upon a kill is now based on the ISK loss inflicted on the target. This is similar to the system used in FW for calculating LP payout, i.e. finding a Total Loss value based on the value of items lost (plus some insurance calculation finagling). We’re making this system a bit more robust and harder to manipulate, but we’re not telling you how ;)
- The bounty payout is based on a percentage of the Total Loss, so the bounty received will always be considerably less than the actual Total Loss value. The base number we’re going for right now is 20%. This means that if you blow something up worth 100 million, then 20 million is paid out in bounty (or whatever is left in the bounty pool if less than 20 million).
- This also means that the bounty pool of a player will be paid out over time, so a player with a high bounty can be killed numerous times before the pool depletes.
- Currently, bounties are only claimed on podding. We want to extend this to ship destruction as well. This means that if you destroy someone’s ship and then pod him, you get bounty twice (the podding bounty is then based on the value of any implants the target has).
- Bounties are public, same as now. This means anyone can claim a bounty. Claiming a bounty is based on Final Blow. If you’re in a fleet and get bounty, the bounty is shared between the fleet members.
- Bounties can now be placed from anywhere in the game, not just the Bounty Office in stations. Bounties on the same character go into a joint pool, same as now. The minimum ISK amount for placing a bounty is increased from 5k to 100k. Also, bounties can now be placed on anyone, we’re removing the -1 security standing requirement currently in the bounty system.
- You can track bounties you’ve placed on other players, seeing how much has been paid out. You’re also notified if a player you’ve placed a bounty on is killed.
- Bounty pools are eliminated and a portion returned to those that contributed to the pool if the target has been inactive (unsubscribed) for a long time.
- We’ll redo the Most Wanted list to make it cooler and more useful. The characters with the top bounties on them will be ranked, with the rank giving a bonus to the payout percentage for killing them. This means high-rank characters are potentially juicier targets.
- We will add a Bounty Hunter rank list as well. Characters gain rank points on this list for scoring big bounties and hitting characters high on the Most Wanted list. For the time being the Bounty Hunter rank list will be purely for epeen purposes.
- We’re aiming to continue to use the Billboards and CQs to show Most Wanted status.
- Bounties have no effect on who can be attacked legally where.
- Important note: Existing bounties in the old (current) bounty system will be removed when the new system rolls out in December. This means that bounties that have not been claimed by that time will be gone for good.
Our main focus is on getting the individual bounty system to function, but we feel extending bounties to corporations and alliances would be an excellent and exciting addition. So, well, we’re doing that.
Placing the bounty will work pretty much the same as for individuals. Each corporation and alliance has its own bounty pool. Bounties are paid out from these pools whenever a character in this corporation/alliance is killed. This means that killing a character can pay out from three different pools. If this happens, the most specific pool is drained first (i.e. first the individual pool, then corporation pool, then alliance pool). Viewing a pilot in space will still only show a single bounty amount – the total of the three pools.
Note that bounties are paid out for anything that creates a kill report, so you’ll get bounty paid for destroying for instance a POS belonging to a corporation that has a bounty placed on it.
The minimum ISK amount to place a bounty on a corp is 50 million. The minimum for Alliances is 500 million.
The Most Wanted list will be divided into three different categories, so there is a Most Wanted Character, Most Wanted Corporation and Most Wanted Alliance list.
“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. I have his Kill Right. Prepare to die.”
We want to broaden the scope of who can become involved in the bounty hunter system. While much of what we’re thinking must wait for later releases (see the Iterative Work section below for a glimpse), one thing we want to do is allowing people to use each other’s kill rights. While not directly connected to the bounty mechanic, these two things tie nicely together in giving this sense of actions-having-consequences-theme we want to foster. Furthermore, it makes it slightly more possible to pursue a bounty hunting profession in hi sec.
Kill rights are part of crimewatch, so we had to sync up with Team Five O on their work in refactoring that system. We’re tying into the crimewatch system in two ways:
Kill Rights will now be created at the same time a Criminal flag is put on a player, but only for attacking in hi sec or podding in low sec. RRing a Criminal will not create a kill right (but still puts a Criminal flag on the repper).
The second way is in how the kill right is used. This is changing from previous functionality. If you have a kill right against someone, you can activate that kill right to make your target a suspect (i.e. give him a Suspect Flag, as explained in the crimewatch blog). This allows anyone in the vicinity of the suspect to engage him legally.
An additional functionality is that you can allow other players to use your kill right. You can mark any of your kill rights as open and set a price on using it. This price can be any ISK value you want, including 0. There is a new bracket icon for open kill rights, so spotting players with an available kill right on them will be easy.
Kill rights are bought “on the spot” in space, i.e. if you select a player in space and that player has a kill right on him for sale, you can buy & activate (one action) it right then and there. This immediately puts a Suspect Flag on the target, thus allowing you and others in your vicinity to attack the target. If the target player is killed while under a Suspect flag, then the kill right is ‘spent’. If the target manages to escape and the Suspect flag timer (15 minutes) lapses, the kill right is still available to be purchased (activated) later on.
Kill rights will continue to have a lifespan of 30 days.
There are a few additional things we’re looking into as a possible post-Retribution iteration work. Some of that stuff is too early to discuss right now, but here are a few tidbits of what could happen:
- Structure bounties – this is the ability to put a bounty directly on a structure like POS or POCO. While this is indirectly achieved by the ability to place a bounty on the owning corporation, being able to place it on a structure instead allows for a more directed strategic incentive.
- Private/public bounties – the ability to narrow the selection of who can claim your bounty. This would allow people to have more control over who can reap the benefits of the bounty and gives the receiver confidence that he will be rewarded for his efforts.
- More selective kill right selling – this is similar to the one above, only for kill rights instead of bounties. This basically allows the owner of the kill right to select more carefully who can purchase the kill right.
New modules are much less of a focus this time around for team Super Friends, but there are a few things here we’re doing:
- Adjust the ASB to be more reasonable. The ASB is a little on the strong side right now. We want to adjust that while maintaining the overall functionality of the module.
- Micro Jump Drive. The classic ‘blink’ ability, allowing ships to maneuver around the battlefield in a new way (with some hefty limitations of course) . We’ll try to get this out on a test server as soon as we can. It’s still some weeks away, but stay tuned.
- Salvage Drone. As the name implies, this is a drone. That salvages. Need I say more? Ok, a bit. This is a small drone. It’s a bit worse at salvaging than the modules, but has the advantage of course of having longer range while saving precious slot. Again, we’ll get this out on a test server as soon as it is ready.