Don’t Have Nightmares: EVE’s Crimewatch & Punishment

if only you could talk to the spaceships. now that would be something

‘Retribution’ is hopefully a self-aware title for the latest Eve expansion, given the frequency with which the game’s playerbase seems to declare war on it. It’s the 18th add-on for the convention-breaking space MMO, and it concerns itself with bounty-hunting and crimefighting.

It calls the latter feature Crimewatch, which has a certain evening telly resonance that suggests no Brits were heavily involved in its creation.

Retribution will include the mandatory selection of new ships, including a new mining frigate for all new pilots, and there’s also a promise of better textures for some of the game’s metal steeds. Crimewatch sounds like the boldest, most significant change though, promising as it does ‘consequences’ for those who choose to flout in-game law. It won’t be the game itself that punishes wrong-doers, however – rather, their naughty decisions will be that much more publicly visible, thus enabling other players to know what’s been done by whom and, if they so wish, visit citizen justice upon their heads. So, in theory, rather than limiting choice it’s amplifying roleplaying. So folk can still troll and pillage and deceive, but they might get called out on it.

Interesting stuff. Whether it’ll be embraced or scorned by the community remains to be seen, but it’s good to see EVE definitely refocusing on the spaceship captain fantasy after its unfortunate diversions into overpriced pretend clothes.

Retribution lands on December 4th, and you can find more details here. Here’s a vid from the fanfest a few months back in which CCP discuss the ins and outs of Crimwatch.


  1. povu says:

    I could swear I’m hearing the narrator from The Stanley Parable at the end of that video.

  2. Simon Hawthorne says:

    I can’t help but feel that there’s something wrong with that video…am I missing a joke here?

    Is there an EVE clan called Panadol?

    • Gap Gen says:

      I did lose my watch this morning (in a flat of about 25m^2). Maybe it’s out committing crimes right now.

      • Simon Hawthorne says:

        It should be careful. If it gets caught it’ll get time.

        • tungstenHead says:

          Now, don’t you be winding it up and making us all panicky.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Last time, there was a lack of evidence so the judge threw it out of the qwartz.

          • Tuor says:

            I knew this was going to happen. It was only a matter of time…

      • Steed says:

        Damn, you must be really ticked off about that. I tock my watch off and it slid under the bed.

        • The Random One says:

          I hope they c-lock him up and throw away the wind-up key!

        • Gap Gen says:

          I eventually found it and its criminal ways. It’s now under a wrist.

  3. mmalove says:

    I unsubbed EVE long ago, but I hope the game designers there found a better way to implement crime and punishment: the original system of bounties was so exploitable, ebil pirates had to give up and put bounties on themselves to look cool.

    • Kelduum Revaan says:

      Bounties are getting fixed too. It was the ‘secret’ feature that myself and the other CSM members are stakeholders on.

      The idea being that they will actually mean something, and be something to avoid for most of EVE.

      • ChampionHyena says:

        Whoa. Kelduum Revaan reads RPS? I mean, I knew E-UNI were cool people, but…

        …so I guess I shouldn’t actually be surprised in any way. Hiya, Kelduum!

  4. Davee says:

    Ooooh my. This may just be the thing that makes me resub. I just can’t say no to realizing my space-faring bounty-hunting dreams. :)

    P.S: The header image is borked for me, error 404 when using “view image”. Only shows the alt-text here in the article. [FIXED now]

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Yep, borked for me as well. Using Opera, in case anyone is wondering.

  5. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    If they get it right I might just resub. I’ve always wanted to fly about in my underused Rifter, tracking bounties and / or being a bit of a space-jerk. Corp life it seemed, largely wasn’t for me.

  6. Mr. Mister says:

    Something tells me the currently existant crime-commiting forces will overhelm any bounty-hunter wannabe.

    Kinda like how 75% of the ships you find in FTL are pirates.

  7. Jae Armstrong says:

    Crimewatch sounds like the boldest, most significant change though

    Actually, I’d say it’s the complete rebalancing of the entire tech 1 frigate, destroyer and cruiser lines. The Features and Ideas forum runneth over with rebalancing stickies, and I’d actually forgotten Crimewatch was on the table until you mentioned it.

    (And, for clarity, Crimewatch isn’t a new feature, it’s the same-old criminal-flagging system that’s been around forever with some of its logics reworked. Details were discussed at fanfest, video here.)

    • Batolemaeus says:

      I was about to write the same post. Crimewatch is the name for the system that has made lowsec fights horrible lagfests in the past. I hope it got a complete rewrite.

      Alas, until supercaps are removed from the game in any combat role, I don’t see myself coming back, ever..

  8. TimMc says:

    I also unsubbed ages ago (had to quit, was too addicted), but this sounds like a great change. The bounty system was very half-hashed, with players implementing their own versions of anti-piracy or bounty hunting through war declarations rather than a special mechanic.

  9. JBantha says:

    I would like this to be a user powered system, as that an user had to make the denunce, like in real life, so if people do not want to inform to the police that they got scammed, no one should know about the scammer, at the same time giving it a second use of denouncing non criminals. Like in real life.

  10. buzzmong says:

    What I find most interesting about CCP currently is that since Jon Lander took the helm, they seem much more interested in looking at existing systems, stripping them down and then rebuilding them into something bigger, better and greater for their updates, rather than just adding trivial content which is what they did for years.

    Things like the new missile graphics which came in last year, which required a big rewrite of the notoriously flakey EVE Physics engine, or the upcoming plans to make POS (Player Owned Stations) made out of modular parts.

    The new bounty and updated Crimewatch systems should prove very interesting as well as CCP Soundwave very much loves making players have conflict with each other.

    • TimMc says:

      This is very much a good thing. CCP spent almost a decade adding content that was half-hashed. After release it was seldom improved or even fixed.

      You can argue that this was needed to get the game going, but it was starting to become a joke after so many years.

  11. The Dark One says:

    I’m on to these guys now. If Goonswarm is a front for the CIA, then CCP must be a facade for the entire New World Order.