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blankseplocked WTB Blue, a Renterís Mechanism
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Rui Cunguara
Posted - 2008.12.12 23:51:00 - [1]

Proposal: a contract mechanic under which a potential renter offers X isk for blue status with an alliance (host) for a specified window of time. The mechanic would take the isk from the renters wallet on acceptance and deposit into the alliance wallet at the conclusion of the specified period. During the period, the host has to maintain +10 standing with the renter or the isk reverts back to the renter. The renter cannot cancel the deal once itís accepted by the host.

Known Issues:
1. Everyone knows you can shoot blues. Having the contract accepted does not assure the renter has any degree of safety from assault by the host, to say nothing of third parties. But standings lists have proven to be important internally to most alliances, so blue can have value even if itís not certain. The market price will reflect a renters certainty and confidence in the allianceís reputation.

2. Blue to an alliance doesnít mean the renter is blue to the alliances allies. It may be the case that in order to make a rental agreement make sense, the renter would have to secure blue standing with all affiliated alliances. On the other hand, an alliance could advertise a synchronized blue list as a selling point for its space.

3. Rental agreements usually come with rules as to where the renters can go and what they can do. A simple contract mechanism couldnít incorporate those rules into the deal. Here again, though, the parties involved have an incentive to work together. It may be that rental contracts would be very short, so that the host has an out besides just lowering standings and voiding the deal. Of course, the host can always pod the blue renters and/or their poses if rules are violated.

Why Bother:

First a little story: my corp was recently in a rental deal in some space that was taken over in one of the major current wars. As renters, we had no access to the jump bridges or cyno generators that would have allowed us to make an orderly retreat. We managed to sneak out fine, but the event got me to thinking. We would have been happy to come to terms with the invading alliances and continue doing what we were doing. We had no loyalty to our prior hosts or hostility to the invading force. Actually the space we were in was not directly affected by the fighting but midpoint systems were. If we could have secured blue status with the invading force, we could have made both sides of the conflict better off as well as ourselves.

(Predicting responses, Iíll have the argument with myself)

So, would have been good for us, by that doesnít mean it would be good for EveÖ

True, but I argue it might. Currently, wars are fought for fun and profit. The profit comes from high-end moons primarily. Some space is better than other space because of the moons so its more highly fought over. The earning potential of a region is not only in its moons however, and its probably a bad thing that moons are so prominent in the politics anyway.

For an alliance to make good use of controlled space, it needs to populate the place. Because of security concerns, most space goes unused. The pilots that can take space are not the pilots that can use it.

If, however, rental rates for quality space (irrespective of moons) reflect earning potential there is something else to fight for. Politics gains an additional dimension as the very threat of invasion would make renters seek blue standing with a neighboring alliance.

I know real PVPíers hate long blue lists, and I understand that. But renters as a source of income might compensate. The choice is not between juicy carebear targets out in 0.0 blue or red, but between empty systems and systems filled with blue renters to fight over, not fight with.

Rui Cunguara
Posted - 2008.12.12 23:53:00 - [2]

(Assuming the negative again)

But renters are bots, farmers, scum, they donít really play eve and they might even be spysÖ

Agreed, some are. But I can tell you as a renter, the presence of bots and farmers makes the space unattractive for real industrial carebear types. The market price for rental make not reflect that factor, as the host doesnít care where the isk is coming from. But some hosts do care and certainly good industrial corps care. The host may get a lot more out of having real people in their space than hordes of similarly named 23-hour automatons. Donít really know on that score.

On the spy thing, certainly true. But the host can limit access to intel channels if they offer them at all, can pod suspect blues, can keep renters out of specific areas, etc. It would be a gamble, but the market price would reflect that.

II. Even more radical plan (from a programming standpoint)

Location-specific standings Ė same as above, but with a wrinkle in the standings mechanism were renters are blue only in specified systems. It would help the spy issue, allow hosts to rent out specific systems to specific renters. Maybe a standings system mechanic whereby one standings level (light blue) is in effect in pipes and station systems and another (real blue) is in effect where the renters are allowed to be. This would allow alliances to know when to pod renters mining or ratting outside their allotted space.

In my little story, I would have only wanted light blue status with the invading force so that I could move through their space to my rented home. Iíd be willing to pay a lot for that, but not as much as people ratting and mining there.

So bottom line: Iíve long been interested in mechanisms that would allow a ďcivilianĒ class of pilots to exist in spaces outside of empire. All the mechanisms I could think of were really cumbersome, so when this one occurred to me I thought Iíd write it up.

The attraction to me is not just an expansion of mining and ratting opportunities for carebears. Iíve just always thought the territorial control in Eve lacked some meaning because its only space and moons. RL wars have the added dimension of political control over the conquered civilian population. Iím not sure any alliance in Eve wants that dimension added, but I think it might be really cool. If it could be done with a little extra do-dad in the contract mechanism, it might expand the game significantly at little effort.

Just my thoughts.

Kiki Arnolds
Allied Caprican Heavy Industries
Posted - 2008.12.13 00:58:00 - [3]

I think you identified the problem, whats the point if there is no enforcement mechanism? If they really wanted they could adopt a NRSI policy (Not Red Shoot It) and reverse all non-renter standings...

In your story, what would this mechanic have provided that contacting the incoming alliance directly wouldn't have?

Rui Cunguara
Posted - 2008.12.13 01:23:00 - [4]

Edited by: Rui Cunguara on 13/12/2008 01:29:45
I agree its really limited, but I think getting the contract system involved in rental deals could make them much easier to implement.

Its different than just contacting a random alliance for standing because of the hassles involved for them. Typically, blue lists are such a nightmare to deal with that a few hundred million isk isnt worth the hassle. But if it were streamlined via the contract mechanism that might make a market for rental that doesn't currently exist.

Such a mechanism doesn't solve much. Renters could still be spies and use blue status to get back somewhere and pop a cyno, covert or otherwise.

What it would offer, however, is a way for alliances to make their willingness to rent out space known and to structure the deal. WTS Blue would be equally possible.

The problem I sought to fix is one simple level of rental scam. Currently, were I to go to COAD or the recruiting forum and say "industrial corp looking for rental deal" I'd have a dozen people offer to take my isk for space they dont claim and with no assurance that they have control over the standings for their alliance anyway. By making the payout hinge on actual blue standing being conferred and maintained, one small dimension in the problem is eliminated.

To be clear though, the mechanism would be this:

Renter A posts contract: WTB Blue Status with X Alliance for the month of January for the purposes of mining in Blank system. Offer: 250m isk

If X Alliance accepts, the contract is agreed to. If on Jan 1, Alliance X has blue standing with Renter A, 250m goes out of the renters wallet. As long as blue status is maintained, the isk stays in limbo. On Jan 30, the isk drops into the Alliances wallet. Otherwise, it goes back to renter when standings are changed.

It wouldn't have to be a month or 250m, the market could decide.

Thanks for your response though, you're right. What I'm talking about is a rather small incremental change toward a robust rental market.

Rui Cunguara
Posted - 2008.12.13 03:49:00 - [5]

Another thought occurred to me based on this:

I've got loads of stuff hoarded into stations to which I no longer have access. I'd be willing to buy access (blue and docking rights) for a price. It would only need to be 24 hours and for that I could pay millions of isk.

Also, wars occasionally have a moment where the victor gives the loser a chance to retreat with their stuff. Thats primarily, as I understand it, a mechanism to avoid pos warfare when the outcome is already certain. With the mechanism I'm talking about, that offer could be extended via the contract system with less vitriol.

Any thoughts? (Otherwise I'll probably just keep responding to myself anyway)


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