For a game that prides itself on a player’s ability to spy on enemies via infiltration of enemy corps and alliances, the watchlist seems like a cheat. It’s a lazy form of espionage that requires no effort.

What is the watchlist? It’s a mechanic that allows you to add any character to your contact list, and to be able to see when they log in and log out of the game. It doesn’t matter where the character is located, it doesn’t matter if they want to be watched or not, it’s something any player can do to any other player. There are no limitations. There are no restrictions.

Perhaps it is time that this changed. If you want to spy on an enemy, perhaps some effort should be invested by those who want to do the watching.

Let’s say Alliance X is banging down structures in Region A with dreadnoughts. Let’s say Alliance Y would like to hotdrop onto them. If X and Y are long time enemies, there’s little chance that Y is going to surprise X. Most likely Alliance Y’s supercapital pilots are on the watchlists of most Alliance X fleet commanders. If twenty or so Alliance Y pilots log in to the game, Alliance X is going to know about it immediately. The Alliance X dreads will be gone before Alliance Y can light their cyno.

The watchlist precludes surprise attacks. That seems a shame.

(I know players have developed other strategies to get around the cheat of watchlists, such as using interdictors and the like to first trap targets before the supercapital pilots even log in to the game. Of course, that’s a nullsec-only strategy, not available to lowsec groups.)

How would I change the watchlist? I wouldn’t get rid of it entirely. But, if you want to add someone to your watchlist, a request is sent to that person. If they agree, then you can monitor their logged in status. If they don’t agree, then you have to resort to old school espionage.

Poetic Stanziel

You can read more of Poetic Stanziel’s opinions at his Poetic Discourse blog.

Other recommended Poetic Stanziel’s Posts:

Alliance Tournament XI – Dominixes, Waffles, and Surprises

The Alliance Tournament Ad I Should Have Created


  1. dog whisperer

    Things to do today:
    1. Feed my dog some alphabet soup
    2. Read the better article (than this one) he shits out

    July 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm Reply
  2. asdf

    c’mon Poetic, take a break. You’ve read too many Goblin posts…

    July 29, 2013 at 10:33 pm Reply
  3. ProPvp

    Poetic Stanziel is the new Goblin

    July 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm Reply

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