The Safety Net

First off I want to state that I really like the Retribution Patch its a good example of how little changes can refresh the game and bring it forwards to compete with modern titles. But there is one glaring feature in the patch which I didn’t mention in my morning after post, the Safety switch. This was because every time I tried to explain in a reasonable way why I didn’t like it, I just couldn’t pin it down.

The thing is it doesn’t even affect me directly. Despite being a 0.0 warrior and a nasty blobber, according to my concord files (I asked for them under the Freedom Of Information act of YC2) I’m a pretty law abiding citizen. My two oldest my chars have 4+ security status, and my guns only ever get activated against enemies of the state(s), or in 0.0 combat outside the remit of CONCORD. I’ve been concordokend once (when very young) for activating a module on a friend, and if I remember right, I’ve only ever been in low sec a very few times. So actually I should never really have to turn off my safty system to fire my guns. So what makes me dislike it so much?

It arrived the other night, as many things do, while chewing the fat with my gaming friends. Chatting with one of them, we were discussing the crime watch flag changes in retribution. She was asking what the new yellow flashing symbol next to a player (in front of her) meant, I was explaining the suspect flag. While doing so I mentioned that although CONCORD wouldn’t attack a Suspect, it was free game for players. At this point someone else put in a doubt that this was the case (I’ve since confirmed it is from the patch notes), and this is when I hit upon my now rational dislike of the safety system.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure you can kill them when there a suspect, but if you want to check, just make sure your Safety is green and try to fire at them. If its illegal, it wont let you do it”

There it is. I’ve been tightrope walking the niagara falls of eves crime system for 4 years (mostly) successfully. And now CCP have come along and placed a safety net under me, my epic feet of not getting concord’ed (much) can now be equalled, and beaten by placing a keyboard attached to a PC playing an undocked eve account into a hamster cadge.

Is this just another bitter vet rant? I have passed well into the danger zone of bitter vet contraction. I’ve even since joined a Bitter Veteran Care Home. I’m just not sure any more. I would argue that the times I have crossed the line of the law by accident, have been learning experiences for me. I guess its a matter of learning preference.

I believe that I learned how to obey the laws of New Eden by researching and experimenting. If I broke the law I had the lesson beaten into me by CONCORD, and you don’t forget losing a ship as a new player.

On the other hand you could argue that new players can now be unafraid to push buttons and find out what happens. Before if a player was unsure if an act was illegal, they might have shrugged away from it. Now they can press the button and fear nothing more than a friendly warning flash that the action they tried to commit might have gotten them CONCORD’ed.

I just worry we are breading a new kind of player who isn’t encouraged to research about eve. Who doesn’t need to join a corp to tap the knowledge of older and more experienced players on what can and cannot be done. A player who is the mental equivalent of a hamster on a keyboard… gosh I really do sound like a bitter vet don’t I?

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