Yesterday a discussion was open by CCP Falcon regarding the recent practice known as Miner Bumping, the practice of arriving an asteroid belt and constantly bump a helpless mining barge or exhumer, therefor forbidding it from warping out and holding him up indefinitely.
As of now, policy on bumping is as follows:
Bumping in itself is not considered an exploit.
Bumping in itself is a valid game mechanic.
If players feel they are being repeatedly harassed despite trying to avoid this practice by all necessary means, they are free and encouraged to file a petition.
Here is the original thread if you wish to glance your eyes on it.
Benny Ohu pointed right after the op the following justification:
To be clear, the controversy over bumping is about the New Order of Highsec bumping mining ships out of range of asteroids to deactivate their mining lasers
I don’t feel bumping should be disallowed when the bumping is being done for a reason. (e: To me, extortion and ‘within-the-EULA-harrassment’ are good reasons to bump someone, as well as the more normal bumping during fights or as a way to stop someone warping off.) There are some options the pilots being bumped can take. Anslo’s blog says quite clearly there are ways to stop yourself being bumped, just as there are ways to not be ganked. There is little reason to disallow something that you can defend yourself against, is there? e:then again james 315 claims none of these work but whatever
In the case of bumping for extortion, the entire point of extortion is that the extorter (is that a word?) won’t give up bumping unless money has been paid. This does mean that one player is repeatedly targeting another (‘harassing’), but if they had to ‘just go away’ after fifteen minutes or something there’s no reason for the victim to pay up
Official GM Ruling
Today, GM Karidor reiterated CCP Falcon’s points, with a small twist:
On November 28th 2012, CCP Falcon created this thread on the Crime & Punishment Forum for the discussion of Miner Bumping with a view to clearing up any questions regarding the legitimacy of this type of gameplay.
The thread was closed on December 5th and the discussion regarding this tactic has been long and detailed. After speaking with Game Design and discussing the contents of the thread among themselves for quite some time, the GM Team has come to the following conclusion:
CCP considers the act of bumping a normal game mechanic, and does not class the bumping of another player’s ship as an exploit. However, persistent targeting of a player with bumping by following them around after they have made an effort to move on to another location can be classified as harassment, and this will be judged on a case by case basis.
We would also like to stress that if a gameplay activity is classified as being “within the rules” this does not mean that we endorse, sanction or back player activity. We simply see this as emergent gameplay that has occurred due to the nature of game mechanics.
As such, any players who have any notes to this effect within their in game biographies should remove words of this nature immediately.
There you have it, quit whining… Or better still whine some moar, since the “case by case basis” bit remains a bit blurry. Could this open the door to have certain players protected after “x” amount of bullying? How would CCP Games ensure that players won’t claim “favoritism” should a “bumper” be given a warning to cease and desist on “x” victim?
We’ll see about that.