Ignoring or harming PvP in game design is contributing to ganking

Yup, it's one of those threads...

PvP consistently seems to be the last thing considered with game features. If anything, features are introduced that hamper PvP in Elite. This pattern I believe is contributing to the infamous ganking "problem" so often posted on reddit or these forums. Full disclosure, I do my share of ganking. Let's go over some avenues that can bring about meaningful PvP in this game.

1) BGS: One player faction comes into conflict with another for control of stations and systems. This has great potential to drive meaningful PvP since each side has an incentive to hamper the efforts of the other. But there are some things that get in the way:

Solo / PG: Actions are just as effective in these modes compared to open, so players have no incentive to play in open if there's threat of hostile action.
Menu Logging: Allowed by FDev, reviled by the PvP community. You can de-spawn your ship in 15 seconds after getting attacked, leaving players very little time to complete an attack. With today's defensive modules and engineering, it's incredibly easy to have a ship that can survive 15 seconds of fire from fully decked out PvP ships.
Blocking: Say each group has 3 players in a wing. Wing 1 has blocked 2 members of the opposing wing already. Because of this, instancing will likely be incredibly broken, such that either the two wings don't see each other at all, or Wing 1 will only see a single member of Wing 2, while the other two members fail to instance with the rest of the players, giving Wing 1 an advantage. They can also just proceed to block any member if the opposing faction, effectively playing in PG but in open.

2) Powerplay: This was built to help encourage PvP, so seems like this would be perfect for those who want to do PvP. Again, there are many things that get in the way.

Solo / PG: Actions are just as effective in these modes compared to open, so players have no incentive to play in open if there's threat of hostile action.
Menu Logging: Allowed by FDev, reviled by the PvP community. You can de-spawn your ship in 15 seconds after getting attacked, leaving players very little time to complete an attack. With today's defensive modules and engineering, it's incredibly easy to have a ship that can survive 15 seconds of fire from fully decked out PvP ships.
Blocking: Say each group has 3 players in a wing. Wing 1 has blocked 2 members of the opposing wing already. Because of this, instancing will likely be incredibly broken, such that either the two wings don't see each other at all, or Wing 1 will only see a single member of Wing 2, while the other two members fail to instance with the rest of the players, giving Wing 1 an advantage. They can also just proceed to block any member if the opposing faction, effectively playing in PG but in open.

(Look familiar?)

3) Pirating: This is great fun when it works and is perhaps the only PvP activity that can net a potentially meaningful monetary reward. This is generally an activity that should not result in the death of even the victim (provided they comply with demands). Again, we have problems here:

Solo / PG: Obtaining cargo and selling it are just as effective (if not more so in this case with mining) in Solo or Private Group. NPCs pose just a minor fraction of risk that a player does. So there's really no incentive at all to play in open. Instead there are specific incentives to conduct this in solo / pg for the current mining meta.
Menu Logging: Allowed by FDev, reviled by the PvP community. You can de-spawn your ship in 15 seconds after getting attacked, leaving players very little time to complete an attack. With today's defensive modules and engineering, it's incredibly easy to have a ship that can survive 15 seconds of fire from fully decked out PvP ships. While some cargo can be extracted with hatchbreakers, pirates tend to announce demands first and give time for their victim to comply since they want to encourage this behavior. The small time window however doesn't afford this luxury.
Blocking: The entire purpose of pirating is to find players transporting high value items. If no players are found, there is no pirating to be done at all. Broken instances from blocking only exacerbates empty instances from the lack of players playing in Open.

(Again, look familiar?)

4) CQC: Perhaps the only PvP that actually works, but it's not very meaningful in the sense of personal CMDR progression or contributing to something bigger. We also cannot use the ships we want to fly, which are the ones we've spent credits and time building.

5) Organized PvP Events: These can be great fun, and many who enjoy PvP attend such events. But these tend to be few and far between, and have the problem of not contributing to something greater.

So, put yourself in the shoes of someone who really enjoys combat with other players in the grand universe provided in Elite. You're really just ending up hitting roadblock after roadblock. What's there left to do? You probably guessed it: Ganking. It's true for me, and I'm sure it is for others, ganking you see in Elite is largely a result of boredom.

To be successful at ganking, you have to:

1) Go somewhere that you have a chance of finding a target. This means an engineering system, where everyone is mining, or where it's being sold (though sell systems have been empty in open lately). We've already established BGS and Powerplay functionally do not provide an adequate environment for open PvP. With many in solo / pg or blocking, these are the only systems that you have any chance to encounter players.
2) Attack quickly and ruthlessly because you potentially only have 15 seconds if your target decides to combat log (or less depending on method). Time spent messaging or attempting to pirate often just results in the player combat logging.
3) Don't communicate before interdiction otherwise you might just get blocked.

So really, if there is a ganking problem, its really due to the design of the game, and the lack of compelling options for PvP because of it. As someone who ganks, I would absolutely love to have a compelling BGS war with another player group far more than just ganking in a random high traffic system. There'd be more fun pirate interactions as well if the current situation didn't overtly hamper pirating efforts so harshly.


TLDR: PvP players are left with little to no compelling options for PvP content, resulting in increased ganking.
 
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One mode to rule them all , one mode to bind them , one mode to bring them all and in the PvP bind them. 🖖
While I'd love to have open only, I know how those discussions tend to pan out, and understand there are barriers to making that happen (console players for example basically have to pay a subscription to be able to be in open). I think there's a lot that could be done without open only that would help.
 
1) BGS: One player faction comes into conflict with another for control of stations and systems. This has great potential to drive meaningful PvP since each side has an incentive to hamper the efforts of the other.
No
Learn what BGS is about and why PVP will going to hurt your faction, directly or by inactivity, instead of helping it.

One other aspect - PVP is a minor activity. Fun, but still minor
To put it into perspective, it's a minor part of a minor part and it is entirely optional.
 
While I'd love to have open only, I know how those discussions tend to pan out, and understand there are barriers to making that happen (console players for example basically have to pay a subscription to be able to be in open). I think there's a lot that could be done without open only that would help.
Genuine question here but what exactly do solo players and group players get out of being made to play an open only game?
 
Genuine question here but what exactly do solo players and group players get out of being made to play an open only game?
Bingo!!! There's nothing. This is a problem with the game design. I'm not saying we should force anyone into open, but to have no incentive at all to play in open is a problem that contributes to more people ganking because it's the only semi-reliable PvP content to be had that's organic.
 
FCs are not suited for PvPers?

You are twsting reality to make your point. So... No
If I'm wrong about all those problems I've posted, give me your reasons. FCs don't bring anything to facilitating organic PvP content that is meaningful to the Elite universe.
 
My incentive for playing in solo is that there is no people in it.
Cool, if you're truly looking for a single player experience, I have no problems with that. But if you're interacting with the greater galaxy, having no incentive to do this in open where PvP can occur while having the same impact as those who choose to be in open where there's greater risk is a flawed design contributing to more people just resorting to ganking.
 
No
Learn what BGS is about and why PVP will going to hurt your faction, directly or by inactivity, instead of helping it.

One other aspect - PVP is a minor activity. Fun, but still minor
To put it into perspective, it's a minor part of a minor part and it is entirely optional.
Yeah.

There is an argument to be made for some sort of weighting in the case of wars and specifically only wars, because wars by necessity are a directly opposed activity between two groups and there are dirty tricks to be had for people who want to take advantage of another side's wish to do it "honourably" in open. (running some of your guys grinding in PG while you send a small number of ships out to be disruptive rather than actually fight, or else going out with blocklists to mess with their instancing, and so on)

Wars are a unique case though since they are a directly opposed inherently combative activity. Everything else in the BGS... not so much and you're wasting your time trying to intercept people.
 
Well starting with just 1%-ing your victims as a ganker might help... Try make it engaging and fun for your victim? Like pirating?
Oh, I've tried pirating plenty. Most just log out, or I'll be in systems with thousands of ships supposedly flying through, but not encountering a single player. As for bringing someone to 1%, I've done that a lot too.
 
The point is, that PvP is possible in E|D, but it isn't required. In a game arranged like E|D, the shared BGS over differing game modes and platforms, each task required to play the game has to be equally available to any mode. If not, some players would be disenfranchised. You can even see a trend towards offering, more and stronger, ways to avoid PvP in the game's development. With that in mind, why would PvP drive content? The answer is, It shouldn't.

Just like every other group activity in the game, it has to be driven by the players. Being jealous that Exploration can attract thousands of players to one cause, isn't reason enough to turn the game upside down to become something it isn't. PvP just isn't important enough in the over all.

Organize those Commanders interested in PvP in order to accomplish something. Even a Sandbox requires someone to shovel the sand into the buckets to make a castle out of it. Petition FD to integrate PvP into the existing game so PvP minded players can feel involved. That would solve a lot of the griping.
 
Cool, if you're truly looking for a single player experience, I have no problems with that. But if you're interacting with the greater galaxy, having no incentive to do this in open where PvP can occur while having the same impact as those who choose to be in open where there's greater risk is a flawed design contributing to more people just resorting to ganking.
Gankers gonna gank no matter the incentives not to.
 
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