Monday, January 20, 2014

Dust514 Tear Harvesting

For fuck's sake...

When Dust 514 launched last May, it came Planetary Conquest mode, which would feature the first form of friendly fire for the game. And since any corp mate could bring in ringers, this lead to quite a bit of AWOXing in the first two weeks. Even my corporation met Grief Uni, who were the prevalent griefers at the time. I spoke to my Corporation for a while after that first week explaining that I supported griefing and they should not get raged about it, since we would eventually move into that realm when it requires a lot less :effort: to screw over strangers. So we made a trainer corp to put new recruits in until CCP implemented a role and/or kick system for PC. By the time that happened, though, forces were fully entrenched on planets, filling their wallets to the point where they are nigh impossible to remove. That's a whole separate issue, however, that I might touch on soon, if CCP doesn't beat me to to the punch.

Testing the Waters

With Uprising 1.7, CCP revamped the Faction Warfare matches in amazing ways (except for the bombardment shit I cried about in my last blog). But the best thing they included, by far, was friendly fire. Yes, my day to enjoy the willy-nilly griefing of strangers, without having to infiltrate corps and gain trust for a single AWOX that would be meaningless in the long run, was finally here. And boy have I been busy.

I hesitated at first, since I didn't quite read the penalties correctly, and assumed that standings hits would be across the board if I started to team kill excessively. After double-checking the penalties, me and Arunis Gen of GIANT started experimenting. Since Arunis had previously been banned from FW matches for both the first and second days after 1.7 was launched for landing drop ships on friendlies by accident, he learned two valuable things:
  1. You only get a hit for the Faction you team killed, not allied ones, and certainly not opposing ones
  2. The ban isn't 24 hours, it is until downtime the next day.
The opened up the great possibility of being able to log in every single day and AWOX the living crap out of whatever faction you don't mind losing standings for.

Expanding the Grief

The next thing we learned was that the ban wasn't to an account or IP, it was only to the individual character. 


And, oh man, did I ever. I made sure to stick with the original name scheme I was using, removing the space between the first and last names of my main EVE alts: Burseg Sardaukar (EVE) -> BursegSardaukar, Bashar Sardaukar (EVE) -> BasharSardaukar (Dust514), Caid Sardaukar (EVE) -> CaidSardaukar (Dust514). This is largely because I'm a stickler for consistency and am also completely comfortable with the consequences my actions will have. Not to mention it wouldn't take too long for people to just correlate the alts and the PSN ID anyway.

Tears have already started flowing in:

FW: im sorry life has been so bad for you that this is fun
Sent: 2014.01.10 05:28
To: BasharSardaukar

Re: :3
Sent: 2014.01.04 07:19
To: Arunis Genforge,

Thank you for the intel we will certainly make sure you have a planet that is composed of shit in the future... we will make a planet for you and name it outhouse and you will fit in just fine with it, regardless of your shitty "tactics".
Remember, You can go fuck yourself with a metal pole anytime you wish.
Re: Re: Re: :3
Sent: 2014.01.04 07:30
To: Arunis Genforge,

If you didn't care, why are you here? Also the next time you do that, I will run for CPM and make sure that all General Shitheads are fucked....
That said,
You already are.

  We have several guys with all 3 characters on their accounts (some with multiple accounts with multiple characters on their accounts) that log in on an almost daily basis for this glory. To make things better, additional EVE players who haven't played their PS3's in ages are DUSTing off (see what I did there?) their consoles to take part in the joy!

Refining Our Strategy

We started off just blasting anything and everything at the spawn. But now we've since made it a point to not AWOX anything below an Advanced suit, and even then we might hesitate. We think of it as doing our due diligence in an attempt to balance out the richer/more SP characters against the general riff-raff. If people see us on their team, we want them to hesitate breaking out Thale's and Krin's various modified douchebaggery. Save that for PC, guys!

In addition, we wanted to curb the proliferation of tanks, but killing a single tank can come close to insta-banning you, so its not particularly worth it as far as ISK damage per ban is concerned. Unless a juicy tank is the last thing you are killing that day and are doing so via Orbital or a lucky Rail installation/Forge gun/RE volley. So, just pop the driver as he calls in the tank, steal it, and drive it off into the great unknown!

Like this, but a bigger cliff, and more fire.
As a different strategy, we attempt to get the try-hard proto-stompers banned alongside us. We kill them one or two times at the start of the match, then spend the rest of the time spawning on their uplinks, destroying the spawn point, then shooting around the player until they are forced to choose between team killing us or losing their shiny proto (maybe AUR and/or LP? Limited Edition??) suit and precious KDR, ermhagerd!!! We of course punish the heartless griefer for killing us. This also works well by jumping in front of fast-moving friendly vehicles, heavies' machine gun fire, friendly grenades, friendly orbitals, etc.

We have made a point to not play favorites, but since I stuck bombardment alts into both Caldari and Gallente militias, if I want to add friendly bombardments to the fray, we'll have to stick with these factions for the time being. As we expand our AWOX brigade's ranks, we'll get some more EVE alts into Minmatar and Amarr FW militias as well, so we'll be equal-opportunity griefers before too long. A minor setback on the bombardment front was when I tried to kill a "friendly" destroyer alt on the beacon because I wanted to ensure the orbitals were dropped for me on the ground, it lowered my alts's standings for Caldari, and they are far less forgiving on the EVE end and punted me out of the militia altogether. I'm not training crap social skills to get back in their good graces.

What Should CCP Do About It?

The part of me that won Hulkageddon IV wants to answer it with "nothing, it's working as intended!"

Dark Drifter.
But the part of me that worries that FW will become nothing but AWOXers on tons of alt accounts before too long thinks there are a few steps CCP can make to discourage the griefing more than a measly ban till downtime.

One option: scale the bans. The first ban should work as it does now, but loosen it up to only banning for an hour. It's possibly a friendly tank ran into an orbital like an asshole and that might get a good squad leader banned for a reckless dick head wandering where he obviously shouldn't have. Now, if the team killing continues after that first ban, let's say within 24 hours of the previous 1 hour ban, expand that ban to 24 hours. And not to downtime like it is now, actual 24 hours. If more griefing happens withing 24 hours of that  ban being lifted, expand to a week. Cap it at that, because we want griefing to be possible, of course.

Another concept would be to lose standings across the board to all 4 factions for team killing. I don't really see this as particularly effective except against those that swap from a side they usually grind for just to intentionally damage the other side. This makes it so hurting the other team by AWOXing will hurt the player's standings across the board and would discourage them from continuing the practice. I don't see this stopping the use of Alts, but only to keep players who grind for a single faction from being dicks for a match a day.

The best idea, though, would be to allow standings to go into the red, below zero. This shouldn't restrict players from joining a particular faction, of course, but should flag them as troublemakers inside of the match. When they are between 0 and -5, they should just be "yellow" just like in EVE. Killing any character in this range wouldn't incur such a drastic punishment for the offender, so weary players could shoot suspected AWOXers before losing their shiny suits to their militia fits. But if a character was to drop below -5 standing, they should be flagged as being able to be killed by either team without penalty. This shouldn't give kills or WP or LP to a team mate that murdered the guy, to avoid gaming the system.


All this said, I think AWOXing isn't at a point where it is a huge detriment, yet. I've only seen a handful do it outside of my group, so the penalties must be enough of a deterrent, or the general Dust player base is not nearly as full of scum fucks as EVE Online currently is.

Not pictured: The horrible things General Tso's have done/said over the past 5 years.


  1. I still like my idea of negative LP / SP / ISK at the end of the round for friendly fire/damage.