Life in Eve: Local is Fine, and Here’s How to Fix It.

First, a brief background, for the non-EvE players:

Like most MMOs, Eve has a number of text-based chat channels built into its user interface. The ones likely to see the most use are whatever corporation and/or alliance you’re part of, any player-made channels created for specific purposes or interests…

And Local.

Now, to the outsider, the concept of a “local channel” doesn’t seem that big a deal: most games I’ve played have some version of this: a channel that can only be seen by the people currently visiting a particular city are common, for example (though there’s usually some question about whether or not anyone pays attention to it).

In Eve, that Channel is called “Local.” It’s always on, always there, and always includes whomever is currently in the same solar system as you.

The reason this matters (for the purposes of this post), is that all the channels in Eve have a Member List displayed alongside the chat window.

Like so.

In some less-common situations, the member list only shows people who have actually spoken in that channel since you logged on, but in most cases, including Local in all of known space, the member list automatically updates to show everyone who’s currently in the same solar system.

This means that, in Eve, within known space (wormholes work differently), the very second that anyone enters the same solar system you’re in, you know, thanks to Local.

As a result, Local — specifically, Local’s member list — is more often used as an intelligence gathering tool than it is a means to chat with the unwashed masses of whatever backwater shithole you happen to be flying through at the moment.

I actually shrink the window so that the member list is the only thing I see.

Not everyone likes this.

There have been great fiery debates about whether or not Local’s member list should remain immediate (like it is now) or delayed (the way it works in Wormholes and some private channels, where no one knows you’re there unless you say something).

Which led to this conversation today:

“Man,” Em said. “I really wish we didn’t have automatic local out in the war zone. It’s so lame to have that much intel at your fingertips. It’d be so cool to see guys on directional scan in a complex and have NO idea of they were friendly or hostile — no Local list to compare it to and say ‘Well, I see three ships, and there are only two hostiles here and three friendlies, so it’s probably friendlies.'”

“Sure,” I replied. “Though it would suck for us as well if they changed it.”

“We’d cope,” Em said. “Hell, we already deal with that every day up in the wormhole.”

“Definitely, but that’s the wormhole. Things should work differently up there. I mean…” I pondered. “We’re in low security space, but it’s still Empire space, you know? The infrastructure is kind of messed up, but it’s still functional.”

“Empire?” Em replied. “Why would the Amarr or Minmatar or… hell, anybody provide intel about their own troop movements to anyone and everyone who can see the Local member list?”

“Well… they wouldn’t,” I said. “But I don’t think it’s really up to them — that’s just part of the deal with the technology. I don’t think they control it.” I shrugged. “Maybe CONCORD controls it.” I frowned. “Actually, I think it’s tied to the stargates somehow — like they’re relays or something — which is why the member list breaks out by star system, and why there’s other channels like one just for the local constellation of systems you’re in, and why it works the same way in High sec and Low sec and Null sec — all the same stargate technology.” Finally, I added, “That’d be why it doesn’t work that way in wormhole space — no stargates.”

Bringing people together in more ways than one.

There was a pause in the conversation. I turned back to the ship fitting I’d been assembling.

“You know what would be cool?” Em said, voice almost dreamy.

“I –”

“What would be cool,” he continued, “is if Local didn’t add you to the member list until you either used the channel… or used a Gate.”

I stopped, turning that idea over, then offered my analysis. “Huh.”

“I mean…” it didn’t even seem as though he heard me. “If it’s all attached to the stargate tech, and you didn’t use a stargate to get there, then…” He shook his head. “MAN that would be cool.”

“Wormholes,” I said, picking up on the idea. “You could — I mean, when you dropped out of a wormhole into a system in known space…”

“No one would know you were there,” Em completed the thought. “It’d make all those shitty class two systems with exits to Null sec SO much more fun.”

There's a hole in your sky...

“It’d be like having a black-ops drop capability for people who can’t fly black-ops ships yet.” I blinked. “Actually…”

“… black-ops jump bridges bypass gates.” Em finished.

Widow likes the idea. (It's smiling - trust me.)

“Regular Titan bridges too,” I said. “I mean –”

“– you’d see the beacon go up, but–”

“– you wouldn’t know who came in, or how many, without more recon. You’d just know a jump bridge happened.”

"Who left the door open?"

We were quiet for a while.

“Wow,” I said.

“Not like wormholes,” Em said, “still it’s own thing, and for most people flying around, it’s basically like nothing really changed, because as soon as you use a gate to jump into system, you’re loaded into Local, but… better than it is now.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. I shook my head, blinking. “You know what?”

“You’re going to write about it.” Em sounded amused.

“We need to tell people about this,” I replied. “This is a good idea.”


TL;DR: Wouldn’t it be cool if, in known space, you stayed off the Local member list if you could manage to bypass the stargate when you entered the system? As soon as you use a gate (or talk in Local), you show up, but until then…

Not quite how it works now. Neither is it the way it works in wormholes. Provides a really neat way to work around the current system, in-character.

Dunno about you, but I like it.

13 Replies to “Life in Eve: Local is Fine, and Here’s How to Fix It.”

  1. So jump a gate, log off, log back on, now invisible in local channel?
    There’s also the exit problem, if I jump a gate, then catch a Cyno/WH somewhere, does local channel update to me leaving system? If it does then why doesn’t it update when I enter?
    If it doesn’t, can places like Jita or other heavily trafficked systems handle having a ton of people entering via gates but leaving via other methods? Dunno how much of a fan Nullsec people will be of it if all their Titan bridge systems have a permanent local population of a thousand…
    The problem with local is that it’s used more as an intel tool than as a chat channel. Personally I think it’d be best to remove it and instead make constellation (remember that one?) update instantly. That or make local only extend to the grid you’re on.
    Cool idea otherwise.

  2. Oh man, the nullbears who complain about afk cloakies would be even more pissed when they get blown up by someone that didn’t appear in Local.

    I love it.

    1. It’s the nullbears who have no need to leave their farming systems and can just titan/jump bridge everything around that would not show up in local.

      Would be a huge nerf to roaming hostile nullsec if it was implemented this way.

      Restricting it to players entering system from WHs or using covert cyno might work though.

      1. Basically, if a pilot interacts with the ‘infrastructure’ of the system, they’d get registered with network and show up with local. This would basically mean:

        – Jumping gates.
        – Docking or undocking.
        – Clone jumping into the system.
        – Using the Local comms channel.

        Which leaves cyno jumps and wormholes as the only way to get into the system without loading into the local comms. Leaving a system through a wormhole, for example, then reentering through that wormhole would erase them from local.

        Pilots would retain the ‘not visible in local’ flag through logouts and so forth.

        Basically, for an ‘unregistered’ pilot in system, the channel would work like a delayed channel (meaning THEY would need to do some intel to see who’s there, cuz they won’t magically see people who aren’t talking either), and it would work like a normal channel for everyone ‘registered’, except that the unregistered people (the ones withour a ‘registered’ flag, but with the same system location as them) don’t show up.

  3. I don’t remember who suggested it, or even where I read about it, but one idea was to change local to constellation chat. No more effortless intel about the star system you’re in. Just the knowledge that somewhere nearby, maybe one jump, or maybe five jumps, a roam is stalking around. It would certainly make life for the bots and bears more stressful, and I think would add a perfect amount of stealth capability for known space.

  4. Sorry but what is the symbol on the right of Cynthia Nezmor on the second picture ?

    1. Blocked.

      I generally don’t read local often, but I do see the “heads” scroll by if someone’s talking and can open up that side of the screen if nothing’s going on to see what’s happening, IF I’m somewhere where the local chat might be useful (the warzone) versus somewhere it won’t (Dodixie).

      Cynthia is one of those pilots who decreases the usefulness of Local.

      I have a few other random Amarr pilots blocked, a few random Minmatar militia blocked, and most of Late Night Alliance (nominally part of the Minmatar faction), for the same reason.

  5. How about just shrinking local down to match your current dscan range/angle?

  6. We talked about this a bit more last night and flushed it out a bit more.

    Those jumping in through a bridge/WH: To even out the ‘risk/reward’ aspect, we had an idea that the person jumping in would get the benefit of not showing up in local, but would also not see local until someone talked or they ‘saw’ the people, likely in overview, or perhaps scanned down. Why? They did not register with the gate when they came in, so they would not really have any of the intel benefits and know who truly was in local.

    This would make it so they actually have to work at finding the target and wouldn’t give an unfair advantage to the pilots. Obviously there is still the meta game, which can’t be avoided (secondary pilot moving through system) but I think this would fall in a bit more in the ‘lore’ side of things.

    Jumping to a Clone: You would register to local because you are using a station service which is tied in to the stargate system.

    Logging out/In: The flag should be set based upon the latest state. If you use a system service (station, stargate etc.) then you should have local shown and should show up in local. If you came in through a WH/bridge and logged, then you should not show up until you are flagged as using a system service. What system services are is up to debate, it could be acceleration gates, etc.

    You are scanned/seen in overview: At this point, the ‘system’ is alerted, or can be alerted, that the player is in system and is added to local. This does not, however, give that person the benefit of local until they ‘register’ with system services.

  7. Bah, haha, teach me to not read everything before posting, I see Doyce got to some of the things we talked about.

  8. I’d go a little bit specific and include *being on grid and uncloaked* with a station or star gate. Basically think of it as being picked up by the gate/station sensors.

    So if you blops bridge to a safe and then cloaky watch a station you win at being a clever spai.

    I think there should also be a way to cause someone to be displayed in local involuntarily. Weapon discharge could accomplish this.

  9. And because Concord doesn’t know where they are, “unregistered” pilots should be able to freely attack each other.

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