Wednesday, February 20, 2013

If The Lore Fits, You Must Aquit

With the launch of Retribution 1.1 yesterday some became concerned over the introduction of a dueling mechanic designed to allow players to fight a 1v1 battle in high sec.  I always decline duel invites in all other games I play and I expect to check the auto-reject invitation box as soon as I find it.  For me, the deciding factor in whether Eve should have a dueling system is if the lore not only allows the practice of dueling but also makes logical sense. 

If I can put on my role-playing hat (making sure to put my tin-foil one in a safe place) I think I can give a reasonable outline of how the lore could play out...

About ten years ago some enterprising capsuleer figured out a way to fit a container that holds 27,000 m3 of material into a ship with a cargo hold of less than 200 m3. Suspecting the capsuleer of exploiting some sort of Jovian technology CONCORD's Directive Enforcement Department attempted to squelch the secrets of what became known as the jet can, but they were too late.  By the time the original capsuleer distributing the technology was found the DED agents discovered that the secrets had spread too far afield to stifle and CONCORD reluctantly ended its attempts to suppress the use of the jet can.

Just because CONCORD allowed the use of the jet can in mining operations did not mean the organization was happy with the situation.  Soon after the widespread adaptation of jet can mining came a breed of pirate who practiced a type of theft called "can flipping".  The commanders of the DED ships would actually allow the pirates to steal from the miner's jet can and claim the contents as their own.  Then when the miner would seize his property back, the pirate would scream "Thief!" and CONCORD would stand by as the pirate destroyed the mining ship.

As a side effect of this unofficial policy pilots with grudges began using CONCORD's attitude toward the use of jet cans to begin staging duels to settle differences that did not warrant corporations declaring war on each other.  This type of conduct became accepted and even celebrated as some of New Eden's largest entertainment stations staged gladiator-style combat that in some cases even included the betting of large sums of ISK.

This situation continued until YC114 (2012) when the empires began taking a greater interest in protecting their mining fleets in the wake of the fifth wave of terror attacks, called a "Hulkageddon," by pirates.  Following the Hulkageddon came a concerted campaign financed by a large capsuleer empire in null sec against all four empire's mining fleets.  In addition this null sec alliance attempted to interdict the mining of ice in the Gallente Federation.

In response the empires began a program of upgrading their combat ships that continues to this day.  Additionally, CONCORD convinced Yani Sar Arteu of Outer Ring Excavations to begin a redesign and retrofit of all the mining barges and exhumers in New Eden.  This led to tougher ships with large ore bays which greatly reduced the necessity for jet can mining.

In the wake of the mining ship changes came a massive investigation into some of CONCORD's conduct in enforcing security within the four empires and in December YC114 sweeping new rules were put in place.  One of those took away some of the protections that can flippers had enjoyed and allowed any ship in the area that stole from a jet can to shoot and destroy the pirate.  At the same time
these changes suppressed the occurrence of duels and ended the entertainment network's broadcasts of staged combat.

While some media moguls on GalNet celebrated the end of such barbaric practices in today's more enlightened and civilized universe, many rich capsuleers as well as the entertainment networks lobbied for the return of dueling.  These voices reached sympathetic souls in Yulai and yesterday the CONCORD Assembly passed a law restoring somewhat the policies that allowed dueling within the empires with only limited involvement by the Directive Enforcement Department...

Well, that's how I would explain the new dueling system.  I think it makes sense.


  1. Brilliant. You're wasted stalking botters and digesting Rapr stats (although don't stop those, I like them too).

    I thought I might be able to add something to the science of your explanation, but I just got my brain brutalised trying to understand more about the repeated lore references to the Planck bubbles behind the TARDIS-like cargo container abilities. That way lies quantum physics, so I'm just going to accept the status quo.

    I love your player-instigated lore though. It is my hope that this will be the EVE of the future.

  2. Excellent. Made me laugh out loud in work. Like Stan I think it best not to think about cargo containers. I've only learned Quantum Physics to II. Good job it wasn't a prerequisite to filling a hauler cargo bay with the things.

    More examples of lore explanations please, or permission to jump on this bandwagon whenever I feel like it?

  3. Speaking of jumping on the bandwagon, I once wrote a short story explaining why docking in EVE is so disjointed.

    Docking Games: The Secret of N.I.M.

    I've got an unrecorded audio script version of it somewhere too, that Angus McDecoy and I were planning to do something with. Ah, those were the days...

  4. Your wish is fulfilled:

    Tells you how to turn on the auto-reject option.

    1. I'm not getting many. Turning it off at the moment seems like removing a source of information. "ORLY? You want to fight, and are perhaps more cocky than you should be?"

    2. LOL as we live inna C6 now, it is just one more mechanic, like the "safety", that has ZERO affect on my gameplay... LOL

  5. Noisy... Kudos!!! Well crafted and well written New Lore. I am a big fan of the lore of EvE... and this fits like a perfect piece of the puzzle...

    Now, an ANYONE answer WHY the L33T A55H0L35 are soooooooo U Mad Bro over MORE PvP options in EvE??? It makes no sense except that it is not a SCAM and hence, in their set too close beady little eyes, is not dishonorable (scammy?) (skeevy?) enough?? Everybody cries over how hard it is to find fights... CCP gives us all another PvP option and the griefers all cry nerf! WTF???

    1. TBH I will be using it later tonight. I'm going to use it on my alt to evaluate the effectiveness of ECM techniques. Useful!

  6. I had read somewhere in the lore - training mission I believe - that the Amarr still turned a blind eye to dueling due to blue laws that were still in effect in Amarr society only. Although the practice has diminished over the years.

  7. The dueling option adds to the game. It doesn't remove anything. Why oppose it? How does it detract from anyone's gameplay?
    Any game feature can be explained with ingame lore. We already have jet cans, insurance companies that are to big to fail and spaceships suffering from drag.