"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option.
Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"
This one is too juicy not to wade in on. I've already pointed out that new pilots should have some form of protection in my post You are Killing the Thing You Love One Noob at a Time. (It is my third most read post of all time in fact.) I have not changed my stance. There should be penalties for anti-social behavior.
Now, here is where I get confusing so hang on. There can never be any such thing as a no-PVP setting in EVE. That would ruin the game. As much as I hate the idea of noobs getting ganked, and even though I think such behavior is bad for the future of the game, turning EVE into WoW, or LoTR, or <insert and other MMO here> is out of the question.
I am a carebear. But I also have nearly 65 million SP and not even half of them are in carebear skills. I can fly any hi-sec Gallente ship I want. My Caldari skills aren't much further behind. All of my tanking certifications are at Improved or better. My offensive certificates are at Standard or better. That allows me to take care of myself if I so choose. I don't need a no-PVP setting. I am my no-PVP setting.
That only leaves those that can't take care of themselves like I can. I like Kirith's idea of an Isolation Matrix. However, it may be too difficult to implement and it will surely be gamed to death - everyone's death if my guess is correct. The gankers will quickly figure out how to turn it to their advantage.
Using True Sec per Rixx Javix is perhaps a more workable solution. It'd still be a pain to implement, monitor and control. And the gankers would still figure out how to use it to their advantage. They're crafty.
If there is one no-PVP option I'd agree with, I'd say it is to make noob systems like Cistuvaert no-loss zones. So long as a player is there, Concord won't allow their ship to blow up. Give all ships in these systems infinite shields. Let them shoot at each other all day long to know affect. Noobs could practice PVP at no risk. Miners could mine all day long at no risk. Making a few systems in each region like this wouldn't hurt the game in general. The undock button would still be PVP permission, it just wouldn't mean much there because no one would blow up.
But to be honest, I don't want any of those ideas implemented. I'd much rather discourage the anti-social behavior of what is really very few players than rewrite an entire game mechanic that is tied so deeply to the essence of the game. Player action is the ultimate solution to this. If players want to keep other players safe, then they will just have to grief the griefers. There are no rules that say you can't do this. There is just a general lack of will.
Hulkageddon V is coming up. I'm looking very much forward to Griefergeddon that goes along with it. I don't want anyone in SMERG to be able to "flip a switch" or "run to a safe house" when they have the tides turned on them. This is very much like their desire to keep carebears from running home to mamma at the first target lock. Of course, the Goons are backing this Hulkageddon. That ought to be interesting.