June 29, 2014

Bounty Hunter: Part Three - Optional Compnents

A while back, I wrote two posts on Bounty Hunting. The first was about what I saw wrong with CCP's vision of what a bounty hunter was, and the second was my basic idea about how to improve bounty hunting. Unfortunately, I never could find enough willing parties to interview, which was my original plan. Instead, I'm going to semi-finish this series off (but maybe not!) by writing a little a bit about what I mentioned before: optional additional components that can be added to the basic bounty hunting system. I firmly believe that bounty hunting should be a fairly simple mechanical concept so that new players can understand it fully and easily. But, it's also important to allow for players to grow (in the form of higher tier licenses, as I mentioned in my second post).

While the story line of the game may be about capsuleers moving away from empires as they grow stronger and stronger, there are undoubtedly players who don't want to separate themselves from the empires. There will still be those people who are in faction warfare, flying the flag of their respective empires. A general bounty hunter is someone who has been approved by CONCORD to operate in all areas of space. But what about the empires?

A player who wanted to be a bounty hunter and work for a specific empire doesn't have an official option in what I've described so far. To fix this, it's not complex; you simply buy your license from the empire! The licenses are even a bit less expensive to buy, and here's the best part: they offer rewards in the form of ISK and loyalty points, with a mix that gives slightly higher rewards than general bounty hunting. Why are they less expensive and offer higher pay outs? Well, because you're limiting your hunting grounds. And empire bounty hunter can only hunt in the specific areas of that empire. You can only have one license from any one empire at a time, so when you choose this route, you're aligning yourself with a specific faction, at least temporarily.

One of the reasons I like this idea is that it can be implemented after the rest of the changes, after the balancing and tweaking phases. Or, it doesn't have to be added at all and the rest of the system isn't hindered. But by adding it, there is a good deal of depth that is instantly created for those who wish to explore it, including roleplayers - and yes, I think it's very important to foster this group of people.

Who knows, maybe one day soon we'll be seeing bounty hunters as an actual play style instead of a joke.