Standings and EVE Gate: The way forward

Standings and EVEGate: The way forward

Greetings pod-pilots, please behold a joint message from CCP Prism X and CCP Karuck.

As Greyscale has written in previous blogs, we will be making some changes to the old standing system for Tyrannis in order to expand the current functionality for alliances as well as remove the redundant complexity level for personal relationships. Here we will try to outline their effects in more detail, both on current in-game functionality as well as their role within the upcoming EVE Gate social network.

What has changed?

To quickly give a summary of what has changed without going into details:

·         The term Contacts refers to any entry in a Contact List. Contacts can be characters, corporations and alliances. Contact Lists, on the other hand, belong to characters, corporations and alliances and every character has access to his personal, corporate and possibly alliance level lists.

·         The standings concept has been merged into your contact list (buddy list, address book) which will henceforth both contain your standing levels towards your contacts as well as whether you want to be notified about their online presence. As previously, CSPA charges do not apply to any of your contacts but you can now add your current contacts to your blocked list to prevent your less friendly contacts from harassing you.

·         Your personal contacts no longer use the highly granular slider and have been switched to five discrete levels ranging from Terrible to Excellent. There was no functionality based on the granularity so it was considered redundant complexity.

·         Your alliance contacts no longer use the highly limited discrete levels and have been switched to slider based floating point numbers much like the corporation contact standings.

·         Your alliance contact standing levels CAN now overwrite corporation contact standing levels for the purpose of battery aggression and outpost service access and fees (Note: Any check made from an entity to itself resolves in excellent standings). This expanded functionality is now possible due to the point above.

·         Alliance contacts will now function just like corporate and personal contacts when it comes to overview icon display. It used to only regard the higher of alliance to corporation and alliance to alliance.

·         You can now notify characters when you add them as your contacts. This is entirely optional.

·         Not a change but a handy note to have here: NPC corporations do not have corporate contacts, nor do corporations who do not belong to an alliance have access to an alliance contact list.

How does this affect me?

The effects of this change will affect you both in game and outside of it with the advent of the awesome that is EVE Gate. Even if you are not interested in EVE Gate you will want to read how the standings apply to your characters profile there. Your contacts will affect your EVE Gate privacy settings. More on that later.

How does the overview work with the new contact standings?

The overview works similarly to before, with the exception of the new alliance level standings (from the alliance contact list, not to be confused with corporate or personal contact list).


Image 1: The Overview settings denote your icon prioritization.

As before, this priority list is the brain of your overview as a top-down priority list of conditional states to check on any pilot showing up on your overview. The icon associated with the first state to be evaluated as true becomes the icon that shows up on your overview. Not all of these states are standing-related, but those that are have seen some changes with the introduction of proper alliance contacts.

These standing conditional checks (with the exception of Pilot has neutral standing) evaluate as true if any of your contact lists contain the pilot, his corporation or his alliance with the relevant standing record (for floating point standings refer to the old standing mapping above). Neutral will only be true if all of your contact lists have the pilot, his corporation and his alliance set to neutral. No contact is of course considered neutral.

In the list above you can see that Excellent and Good are above Terrible. That means that if I set an entire corporation to Terrible (-10) on my personal contact list everyone from that corporation will show up as red on my overview. That is, until your alliance decides that his entire alliance are pretty cool guys and sets his alliance to Good (+5) standings. Suddenly the entire corporation you loathed (and possibly some others you did not) shows up as light-blue through no actions of your own. This is because the list above is set to display Good over Terrible.  To change that you need to move the Pilot has terrible standing record above the Pilot has Good denoted by the arrow on the picture.

What do my personal standings do in game?

Anyone who you‘ve set to excellent standings has free add/remove access to your jet-cans. That and how they affect the overview icons are the only in-game effects. They do, however, have a huge impact on your EVE Gate presence and that will be covered later in this blog.

What about the corporate contact standings and the new alliance contact standings?

As mentioned earlier the corporate standings function as they always have. With the advent of the alliance standings, we made the decision to have them function as an opt-in full standing overwrite. That is, any outpost/pos set to use alliance standings will ignore all corporation standings and one set to not doing so will continue to function exactly like before.

These settings are accessible by properly roled corporation members in the pos/station management window in the tabs which control other standing related settings. The standing checks function on the contact list of either the owner corporation or the alliance towards the highest of the requesting pilots person, corporation or alliance. The same method applies to any discount/surcharge calculation for the service.

Fair enough. So how will this all look come patch day?

Your personal contacts list will be created from your current contact list (buddy list, address book) as well as all your personal standing records. All entries from your old contact list will enter your new one as a part of your online watchlist. All standing entries will then be used to set their new standing levels according to this mapping:

·         -10 <= old standing < -5 becomes TERRIBLE (-10)

·         -5 <= old standing < 0 becomes BAD (-5)

·         Old standing = 0 or no standings entry becomes NEUTRAL (0)

·         0 < old standing <= 5 becomes GOOD (5)

·         5 < old standing <= 10 become EXCELLENT (10)

Your corporate standings will be transferred into your new shiny corporation contact list. They have no watchlist entries and keep their granularity so there's no real change here other than they are now in a new window.

As your current alliance standings are set on a discrete level  they map differently: FRIEND will become a solid ten and ENEMY a solid negative ten. COMPETITOR and NAP are then the negative five and positive five respectively.

All space assets will of course be set as using their corporate owners standings so you should not expect any homicidal behavior (unless you‘ve got use aggression set on your POS but then it was a homicidal maniac before as well).

How do standings and EVE Gate interact?

As mentioned before, the standings level also affects how your information is displayed on EVE Gate and who can view it.

EVE Gate has privacy settings to control who can view your broadcasts, contacts list and mutual contacts and since EVE Gate is supposed to be a social networking site (and not an anti-social one) we've tried to set the defaults to values we think will suit most players.  However if you don't like to share yourself on EVE Gate that option is up to you and only a click away.

So without further delay, here are the privacy settings and their default values.

For each of the dropdown boxes the possible choices are: All Pilots, No Pilots, All Members of My Corporation, All Members of My Alliance or choose a specific standing.  If you choose a specific standing you get the option of also allowing your corp or alliance members.

As mentioned before, your current standings of +5.1 and higher will be mapped to Excellent standing, and by default those contacts will be able to go to your profile page and view the broadcasts you post there, as well as comment on them and post new ones on your wall.   Also, all members of your corporation will be able to do so as well.

On the Home page you have your broadcast feed.  This will show broadcasts from all people in your contact list that you are allowed to view broadcasts from.  That access is dependant on their privacy settings and could be because the contact gave you positive standings or simply allows all pilots to view his/her broadcasts.

The Home page will also have a corporation chatter feed, which includes broadcasts of all your corp mates that allow you to see their broadcasts.

By default your contact list will be visible to contacts you have set to Excellent standing and we decided to have the Mutual Contacts be limited to the same group of people as well, since they can already see your whole list.  The main reason for showing contacts on EVE Gate is to promote social networking and discover new friends to play the game with.

Below are the areas of your profile that you can turn on/off for groups of people:

The new build of EVE Gate with active privacy settings will go live on Singularity on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 and will be released on Tranquility on May 18, 2010. We therefore advise players who have concerns regarding the privacy settings to adjust their standings towards contacts they do not want to view their full profile before Tuesday, May 18.

More details on other EVE Gate features will be posted in a future blog.