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EVE Online: Retribution First Look

Posted Sun, Sep 30, 2012 by Ethec

EVE Online: Retribution is the game's 18th free expansion in all its nine years piracy and pod-killing. While CCP has painted Retribution in broad strokes in the past, CCP's Ned Coker was ready to talk details following a special fan reveal at Eurogamer Expo this weekend.

Bounty System Revamp

A first look at the new Bounty Office UI element. EVE Online's bounty system was an early attempt at something CCP has perfected over time: supporting player-created gameplay. Unfortunately, the system has progressed about as far as the game's paltry scripted content in those 9 years. What was meant as a means for player punishment of pariah behavior became exploitable - as players had friends kill them and split the proceeds. High bounties and the accompanying visibility also became a form of advertising for EVE poker purveyors and others.

Ned explained that the new bounty system will be modeled on the payout system of factional warfare, meaning tha when a bounty target is destroyed, the gang that gets the killing blow will get a split of a portion of the bounty funds, which is calculated from insurance cost and other variables. The new bounty system will allow players to put bounties on corps or alliances as well as individual players

Crimewatch & Weapon Safety

Another aging system due for a retrofit in Retribution is Crimewatch, EVE Online's aggression flagging mechanic. Crimewatch held its own as a system that allows criminal players to be killed without penalty, but over time it's become, in Ned's words, "a jumbled mess." Many players aren't exactly sure what's legal and not, so they're naturally hesitant to explore the more cutthroat side of the game. Worse, griefers have used Crimewatch to bait new players into criminal actions like removing items from seemingly abandoned containers floating in space, tricking new players into firing with non-criminal actions, and so forth.

Details are still forthcoming, but a big part of CCP's plan is to simplify the criminal code. Edge cases - such as when a criminal ejects and moves to a bigger ship to escape without penalty, or when a player repairs a criminal ship - will be removed.

The new Weapon Safety UI panel will replace pesky pop-ups. Between crime watch and the new bounty system, CCP seeks to put what's criminal and what isn't in players' hands and describe the clear consequences of actions before the action takes place. But some offenses will always be criminal, and players will be able to lock themselves out of criminal acts with a new weapon safety setting. Weapon safety replaces the criminal action pop-ups, which did a poor job of warding off potential evildoers and simply annoyed the hardened criminals.

Icons for criminal penalties under the new Crimewatch. Penalties will be enforced with one of the following three icons (right). Icons appear in the upper left part of the UI, wrapped in handy cooldown circles that show how much longer you have to stay in the penalty box. As with other EVE UI elements, just mouse over to get the exact countdown.

Factional Warfare & New Ships

While CCP will continue the Factional Warfare revamp they began with Inferno - what Ned described as an "iteration" on payouts, upgrades, etc. - details were sparse. What did get airtime was the wave of new ships coming to EVE as part of the December expansion.


Ib4 highsec chaos due to entire rewrite of a major EvE mechanics.

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Another aging system due for a retrofit in Retribution is Crimewatch, EVE Online's aggression flagging mechanic. Crimewatch held its own as a system that allows criminal players to be killed without penalty, but over time it's become, in Ned's words, "a jumbled mess.
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It takes some impressive cojones for a game developer to come right out and say that one of its game's systems is broken, but I really love the new bounty system. Thanks for the information.
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