During EVE Vegas 2018, EVE Online developer CCP announced a series of changes that players have wanted for years. The system of war declarations in the game is finally being redesigned. War declarations are often a source of one-sided conflict and griefing in the space MMO, especially in high-security space. It turns out that just 5 corps are responsible for 50% of all wars in EVE, and that only 4% of wars see the defender actually getting a kill. These stats come direct from CCP, so we know there’s an issue.
The first major change will hit in December and will restrict wars so that they can only be declared against Corporations with a structure in space. The idea is that forcing objectives to become a central focus in conflicts should help to close the gap between attackers and defenders.
Of course this assumption has a problem. Are we to assume that hardcore passive Corporations are suddenly going to start anchoring structures and defending them? No, they’ll act just as defensively as they always have, by pulling down structures and docking up, denying fights to the attacker.
The system also has a major flaw in that requiring structures to be present in space allows for abuses by griefers. Currently, EVE Online allows Corporations and Alliances to transfer structures around to other groups. This new idea allows for a loophole where a wardec corp can simply anchor a structure, then transfer it to their target, allowing for an open war declaration. This is a two-way street though in that it allows that same target Corporation to transfer the structure to a dummy corp, or back to the original party who declared the war. Either way, CCP needs to find a way to close this loophole if the system is to work as intended.
And while the new system will guarantee that it’s slightly harder to grief small Corporations with the wardec system, it probably won’t lead to a massive explosion in conflict, barring other changes. So we’ll have to wait and see what other plans CCP has in store for war declarations in EVE Online before we make a final ruling on the state of the system.
We don’t know all of the specifics of the new system, but the planned December changes are at least a step in the right direction. We can expect CCP to iterate this new system in the coming months.