005

Reworking Factional Warfare

 
For those of you not in the know, CCP is planning a rework/rebalance of Factional Warfare (FW). CCP Affinity went as far as to create a public chat channel on Slack called “#newfw”, where you can be an armchair developer. In this article, I plan on being that “armchair developer”, by discussing all aspects of FW and how I would want to see them changed. The last time CCP provided a fundamental change to FW was during the Inferno expansion (April, 2012), and it caused some major problems when it was first released. In what was clearly an exploit, some Goonswarm members managed to create huge masses of loyalty points (LP) by killing their own freighters filled with items that had an inflated value due to market manipulation. CCP realized how badly this would have disrupted the economy, and removed the offenders’ LP. Unfortunately, this was not the biggest issue with the changes. Back then, the tier system didn’t give higher LP payouts when militias pushed for higher tiers. Instead, it drastically cut the prices of everything in the LP store. This meant that keeping a high tier was not favorable—unless you had the ability to quickly flip a lot of systems and push the tier up to V briefly for a cashout. During that release, Minmatar had more or less total control of the war zone for long durations and could freely run missions. This is where CCP made the biggest mistake by not taking min/max’ing into consideration. A good pilot who knew the mission triggers could easily pull in 1b/hour or more if he held onto the payout items. This caused all kinds of problems with the market; CCP emergency patched it in Inferno 1.3.2. However, the damage had already been done. I know many players who walked out with over 100b ISK and the biggest multiboxing krabs hitting 1t. After that, there have been no major changes to FW in years. The most recent changes prevent cloaking close to the beacon within a plex and some minor tries to stop AFK farmers, which, as anyone who has spent time in the war zone recently can tell you, were not very effective.

Problems

Here are some of the problems I feel FW has at the moment:
  • Low LP payouts for PvP
  • No Suspect status for neutrals entering plexes
  • FW missions
  • Standing losses
  • Plex sizes and farmers
  • LP stores have some really horrible conversions, and the UI isn’t the best.
  • The value of systems and the shifting FW ownership
  • LP corp tax
  • The Rank system
Let’s go over these and explain them in more detail:

Payouts

First, we have the low LP payouts for PvP in FW. This is something a lot of people want buffed, and for a good reason: PvP is the lifeblood and core of FW space, but the payout is pennies compared to risk-averse plexing or mission running. The problem here is that CCP can’t make the payouts too high because it becomes exploitable (see Goonswarm dudes blowing up their own freighters in paragraph 2). I think that locking PvP payouts to Tier 5 regardless of the tier your faction is in would be a good start.

Suspect on entering a plex?

Then there is the problem with neutrals entering a plex. In my opinion, everyone entering a plex should get a suspect timer. This is something so basic that I think CCP needed to add a long time ago. If a pilot opens up and enters a FW plex, he is attacking a faction and should get a suspect timer for that. The same goes for neutrals entering the warzone and going into a plex where the faction is fighting. They should also get a suspect timer. Beyond roleplay reasons, this will somewhat lower the barrier of entry for FW, and it won’t hurt new people joining by locking them out of highsec because they PvP in plexes. CCP might consider the option of a shortened suspect timer. For example, five minutes for acceleration gate activation instead of its default full length. h6D1fx2

FW missions

As one of the primary sources of revenue for FW capsuleers, missions are sometimes a proportional source of drama. Many people have said that they provide way too much money for what they are. Additionally, they feel very unpolished because certain factions have much easier missions than others. Let’s go over some numbers first. FW missions are at the moment best completed by doing a loop around all the mission systems and picking up all the missions at once. Doing this ensures that the mission objectives all spawn in roughly the same area. The loop to pick up the missions is up to 42 jumps for Minmatar pilots for example, and is dependant on how many mission stations the Minmatar currently own.  A full cycle of 15 missions for Minmatar takes about two hours to complete; this includes picking up and running them. At Tier 4, this pays out around 800k LP, worth around 800m ISK. This puts FW at around 400m/hour, give or take maybe 100m/hour depending on ganking or a bad mission spread. This is lower than totally min/maxed level fives or WH escalations, and a bit higher than highsec incursions. Personally, I don’t think this income level is acceptable. Remember that the ISK/hour is based on other people, and if your faction is pushed to a lower tier, you won’t get much ISK. The missions also provide additional value to certain systems, because if the enemy holds them, you won’t be able to mission them. It’s also easy to kill bombers by camping in one of the mission-spawning systems, and racing the bomber to the beacon with an interceptor. What are the problems with these missions? Some of the FW missions feel like ghetto-burner missions, where you kill one big boss and then warp out. I wouldn’t mind reworking all of them to be more burner-style missions that teach PvP. They should be doable in simple PvP fits, and teach skills like kiting or keeping range to the target. Ultimately, they should teach simple PvP tactics while providing an income that makes living in FW space viable. Another problem with the missions is that they are totally unbalanced, depending on what faction you choose. Minmatar and Amarr have much easier missions due to the EWAR that the rats apply. Fighting Target Painters and Tracking Disruptors is easier than fighting ECM or Sensor Damps. This is also something that I would want to look at.  I also wouldn’t mind lowering the amount of travel you have to do. Right now, the missions themselves are done quickly with the majority of the time spent traveling. Another problem with the missions is that they give you standings losses. I understand the lore motivations behind this, but let’s be real: Standings are an old mechanic and probably deep into the legacy code. The current system feels just as old as the clone mechanic used to feel or how the attribute system currently feels. I wouldn’t mind seeing a total standings rework at this point. I would also love to see mission progress get changed, so instead of grinding lower level missions to slowly get into higher ones, there would be some better system in place. Another thing I don’t like is that you do not get any standings hits for shooting your allied militia faction. Amarr can shoot at Caldari freely, but they still show up as purple on the overview. My solution to this would be to simply remove all allied militias. This would also increase your targets and PvP. Fortunately, CCP seems to already have this plan in the works, so we might see this as a major part of the upcoming revisions. One last thing for standings is the losses for shooting your own militia. I think this is a good thing and something that should be kept in the game, but there needs to be some checks here to see who shoots first. Right now, friendly militia members can attack you, but if you shoot back and kill him and then you are the one who loses standings.   Lowlife---plex-fighting_art1

Plexes

ss+(2015-06-16+at+12.06.41) I think this copy/paste explains the problem nicely. The plexes are currently very limited in size and there are ships that totally outclass anything else that can be brought into them. The biggest example of this is small complexes, where tactical destroyers reign supreme. For novices, the Garmur and especially the Worm murder everything else that can fit inside, and mediums allow far too many ship types. Also, certain ship classes such as battlecruisers are almost completely irrelevant because they can’t fit in any common plex size, and putting them in a large plex allows the enemy to bring a range of far superior ships as a counter. I would propose adding an additional plex size. First, I would restrict Novice to standard T1 frigs only, and make Smalls accept T2 frigs, T1 destroyers and faction frigs. Then make Mediums only allow T1 cruisers. We then create a new plex size called Large, and allow battlecruisers and T2 cruisers. Lastly we rename the current large plexes to Extra Large plexes and keep them ungated, allowing all ships. The end result would be this
  • Novice—T1 frigates—10k LP
  • Small—T2 frigates, faction frigates, T1 destroyers —17.5k LP
  • Medium—T1 cruisers, T3 destroyers—20k LP
  • Large—T1 battlecruisers, T2 cruisers—25k LP
  • Extra Large—un-gated—30k LP
Another problem with the plexes is the fact that so many people farm them and warp out as soon as any danger shows up. I understand well enough that you can not force someone to fight, but it is often a wild goose chase that only wastes your time. I think that a different method of capturing the plexes would be better than what we have now—kill a rat and wait. I don’t think this is a fun mechanic at all, as it involves a lot of waiting and D-scan spamming. Defensive plexing is even worse—where you just sit there and don’t even shoot the rat—requiring basically the same amount of involvement as mining. I have discussed this with many people, and one of the ideas we came up with was to tie in the Entosis link for FW. We did, however, identify a few issues that might make this problematic. The first concern is the cost of a T1 Entosis Link at around 25m ISK; the worst was that it is quite limiting to fit on a T1 frig, and would eliminate any that don’t have a utility high slot. We discussed many different options here, such as allowing the Entosis Link to just speed up the timer or making a new FW Entosis module that only worked in FW. Another thought was making the NPC stronger, and having the Entosis shut him down or adding a deployable entosis bubble that points your ship but captures the plex. The elegance of using the Entosis module is that it prevents warping and would help combat the farmer problem where people just farm all day and warp out as soon as any danger presents itself. This would force them to commit a bit more before taking a site. I like the deployable idea the most, because it doesn’t have the fitting problems or the slot problems that the regular Entosis Link has. It might also be possible to scoop up the hostile Entosis field generator if they didn’t defend it for the capture time. I would probably have it emit a bubble that prevented warps inside it, similar to an ESS. I would want to limit the effect on pods and only allow it inside FW plexes in order to prevent creating a lowsec variant of the bubble. As I’ve said, an Entosis Link might create unnecessary complexity and has many problems associated with it. The fact that you lose a slot, reducing the combat value of your ship, is bad enough. Plexing should be a conflict driver, not something you do when it’s quiet. The obvious solution is still timer resets: If you leave the plex, you lose all progress. This would have to go hand in hand with a plex timer length adjustment, of course, because some timers are simply too long for that. It clearly sends a message that you are supposed to fight for the grid. If you can hold the grid, you make progress, otherwise you lose progress. It would be a very intuitive mechanic. The main argument against it is neutrals, which I don’t see as a problem. I see it as a feature of a sandbox. Timer resets fix the problem cleanly at its roots, with WCS suddenly becoming useless. (They will still save your ship but you won’t make LP with them.) CCP could even revert the decloak field changes (because they wouldn’t matter anymore). Other ideas: Resetting the beacon timer via LP donation, defensive plexing via LP donation at beacon (closing the plex defensively with a single donation). In general, trading player time vs. player time without conflict should be avoided at all costs. Deployables for defensive plexing only would also be an option. I would love to hear what thoughts and suggestions you guys/gals have. eve-online-tournament-ccp

The LP store

I think anyone that has used the LP store at least once knows how horribly outdated the UI is. There is no search function, the filters are really confusing, and the multibuy function doesn’t tell you how many you can buy with your current LP.  While I was on the CSM, I proposed a total rework of this entire window. I assume it isn’t high priority; I think it would help greatly to have the LP store be similar to the market window, where you can see prices, available (to you) quantities, ISK/LP values, etc. ISK/LP used to be an open secret where everyone had their own spreadsheet and refused to tell what items they were converting in order to keep profits up. Thanks to Fuzzysteve on the CSM, we now have https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/lpstore, a public spreadsheet that shows the ISK/LP for all LP stores. Apparently, the whole LP concept is still confusing for many of new players, and I have met people who have been doing highsec missions for a long time but never converted any of their LP because they didn’t know much about it. I am all about helping people play better, and this is one of the things that will make your profits much higher than simply blitzing missions for the ISK payouts. For level fours, this isn’t obvious since they pay somewhat similar ISK and LP, but for FW you get around 100k LP per mission and a lot less ISK, so people have to convert LP in order to make any profit. Reworking this UI into something prettier with more information would be a good first step. Let’s talk about some of the items offered in the LP store. Requiring tags to convert items seems like some hardcore legacy code, and there’s no good reason to keep the tag costs there. Tags make the whole system overly confusing and create items valued at negative ISK/LP, tricking people into losing ISK by converting them.

The value of systems

Right now, the value of controlling systems in FW is next to zero. I am a fan of certain systems having more value than others. For example, mission systems are worth more and consequently, more people put in the effort to defend/attack them. Historically, certain real-life regions or cities have always had more significant tactical value as well, so this adds a level of realism to the game. Currently, the upgrade system provides pretty worthless bonuses, and it became worse after CCP removed the clone discount and neglected to replace it with anything else. Another problem is that all discounts and bonuses were always available for everyone, regardless of participation in FW, which made them practically worthless. At the moment, the only reason to keep your systems upgraded is to push a higher tier; the rewards you get are not at all relevant for FW . I would like to see something else here that rewards FW pilots for donating more LP. The first thing that comes to mind is increasing LP payouts even further in systems that have level V upgrades. But let’s not stop there. It doesn’t need to be straightforward bonuses. You could allow control of gate guns or increase aggro timers for people not in your faction or increase insurance payouts like an SRP light. There are many innovative things CCP can do here. Something else that’s problematic, is the constant switching of who owns the warzone and the fact that actually capturing all the systems provides no reward other than to shut down most PvP from the other side. Apart from the pretty—but useless—medal for winning the war zone, I am talking about a more concrete reward or event if that happens. For example, CCP could have the faction itself start some type of incursion, capturing a couple of systems, and providing PvP opportunities for both sides. This would make EVE feel more alive and have the factions’ NPC forces actually doing something in the war besides exploding ignominiously in plexes. Lowlife---comat-comms-art1

LP tax

This is a concept a lot of corporations have been asking for in order to help with things like SRP or funding bigger corp projects. I am all for bottom-up income, and would definitely want my corp members to be self-sufficient and able to replace ships without SRP. But that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be an option for directors to tax their members. And as always, it is up to your members to decide if they want to join a corp with an LP tax.

The Rank system

I think the whole FW ranking system is a missed opportunity. Right now, the ranks are nothing more than decorations on your character sheet. Ranks should be something meaningful and provide some benefits. I think higher ranks show that you have contributed immensely to your faction, and they should unlock special things for the people who hold them. Ship skins and special missions/storyline missions are the first things that come to mind. Being a Valklear General for the Minmatar Republic should involve some equivalent perks.

Final thoughts

I don’t know any specifics or how far CCP Affinity and Sugar Kyle will go with the FW rework. They might not keep the war zone system at all. Though it’s hard to say how, the new structures CCP is implementing will definitely change FW in yet unforeseen ways. I wrote this article from the very common lowsec perspective of small gang/solo. However, CCP also needs to consider larger groups in FW to keep stagnation to a minimum. My personal vision for FW is an easy-to-access system that provides new players with PvP opportunities and enough ISK to support a PvP lifestyle. Any income in EVE will draw farming and individuals refusing to actually take part in any conflict; I also wonder if those guys are as big a problem as people seem to think. Sure, they are frustrating and boring to chase around; sadly, there are farmers in all parts of EVE. If you were to completely “fix the farmer problem”, you would just end up with empty space. They wouldn’t suddenly take up arms and start fighting back. FW needs to promote fighting, and bring more meaning to the last word of the phrase “Factional Warfare”. In a perfect world, the upcoming changes would cause ships to get blown up, incentivize fights, and continue turning lowsec into a humming metropolis of PvP action. Thanks to Niden, Motorbit, Julianus Soter and Tarek Raimo from Gallente Militia, Muad ‘dib and Bienator II from Amarr Militia
Tags: Factional Warfare, gorski

About the author

Gorski Car

Gorski Car was a CSM 9 member whose theorycrafting and knowledge of mechanics has had a key role in helping CCP adjust how we play EVE. He is an avid small gang PvPer with a background in lowsec, but flies in all areas of space, depending on his fancy.

  • Thanatos Marathon

    You might want to reword “Battlecruisers are almost completely irrelevant because they can’t fit in any common plex size” to say that they can’t fit in any gated plex size.
    You may want to consider letting T2 dessies into smalls.
    Have you considered the spawn rate if you are adding a 5th outpost to systems and how it will impact system flips?
    With regards to timer resets, under the current mechanics I don’t think they are needed. Having 2 different timers for each plex (one for each faction) seems more ideal.
    Having plexes carry over their timer through DT and reworking the non-outpost plexes spwan mechanics should also go on the list.

  • ksjfgksjdhgfsdkjfg

    I hope neutral/pirate pvpers living in FW space get some consideration. I feel unable to affect the process at all, and I seem to get totally ignored when the FW people are trying to push some warzone control. if we keep plex timers, and plex timers ticked down fast when people warped out/cloaked, that would be cool. I’m certain that fozzie said years ago that they intended to do this, but it got cut because they ran out of time or something. here we are, 5 years or something later and it’s still not in.
    a lot of FWs tell me that these kind of plexers don’t affect warzone control particularly, but to me, they are people doing some kind of pve, and I want to be able to shit on them – warzone control doesn’t matter to me.
    you talked about fixing missions, I’m not sure if you talked about making them closer to what they were supposed to be – things where you’re at risk of getting pvped. I don’t like the idea that they’re just a thing that provides x isk per hour. if you’re a run away from everything scrub, you should have a bad time when people show up and mess with you.
    one last shitty thing I notice as a pirate in FW space that bothers me is how people in FW get insane free intel from local. I think it would be good if militias had icons in local. being in a militia lets you instantly appraise local and match it up with the numbers of stuff on scan. being a neutral, all I see is a big bunch of other neutrals. unless I want to show info on absolutely everyone, I have no idea who is with who. it gets me killed sometimes.

    • Kamar Raimo

      “I think it would be good if militias had icons in local”

      I totally agree. Some overview tag that indicates militia membership would be nice, it gives the neutrals/pirates an indication who’s fighting who in a system and they could quickly make a choice whether to engage and on which side.

    • Druik Arbosa

      When I was flying with GalMil, Snuffed Out was a major consideration, we couldn’t take down AmmMil and CalMil POSes because they were able to counter any capital escalation with overwhelming superiority. It made it very difficult flip systems.

  • Jason Ender

    ” A full cycle of 15 missions for Minmatar takes around two hours to complete”

    HA HA HA! if someome would video this i would watch it the full 2 hours of it. to get the missions it takes 30 then to run takes 3-4 hours on a good day with no one trying to kill you 3 hours but you will always have the people in intercepters frigs what ever trying to kill you and you have a minimum of 35 jumps just jumping that takes 25-40 mins if you count gate camps warp speeds ext. 20+ jumps just to get the missions.

    ” FW you get around 100k LP per mission”
    No
    at tier 4 form a level 0.3 system mission you get 60k lp at tier 1 you get 5k lp at tier 5 you get 80k lp but tier 5 is achieved maybe 3 times each season for about 30 mins

    • gorski

      Just because I love you: here is a video where I do a cycle in less then 2 hours: http://www.twitch.tv/hkarn/c/6860459
      14 missions <3

      • Jason Ender

        why thankyou for the video

        ive ben playing in fw sinces 2013 and dam, you run that shit fast and in best time to run it too. i run form amo for minmitar or sasiekko for amarr for average of 3-4 hours for 15 missions usually complete 10 missions running around 2000 eve time lose 1 bomber per 3 runs not the best time to run i know but it is when i can play get chased every run. cloak changes and recon changes got me killed more. can not realy play at 0700 eve time.

        if i would change any thing would not be the missions, quite frankly if it was not for fw missions i would not be playing eve. they can be counter quite easy.

        I would change or say add the way teir levels get raised we all know the ihubs which i think are fine but say if cal and gall are fighting head do head and dam best pvp in militia i would make it also X killed gives Tier level for 4 days. give a reason to pvp even if you only control 1 system you have tier 3 because you killed the enemy so much.

        now on you idea of missions well to kill there lp or change them would kill a lot of people game play, almost like making moon mining in high sec. if they change lp prices would make the market too costly, incrustion lp would spike for implants people would just move to pirate ships and avoid navy ships and other reasons.

        I would avoid changing them, but give a better option mabye remove the tier for plexing offincive and def plexing make the same but then you have to worry about bots (or the warp stabs alts that warp away and never say any thing and just die with kill kills on reacord and are 1 month old)

        if you change the missions your opening up something entirely thay can not be replaced for non group isk gain. it is known the best isk in the game is in no order Incursion, level 6 wormholes, Fw missions, Null sec rating moon mining and marketing/scamming

      • Joe

        Nice job I did not know you only have to kill the industrials to the left. The times I can play I get chased out of missions about 3 times during a cycle and probably lose a bomber about 1xs every three cycles.

  • Leo2014

    I like most of your points. Definitely some good talking points to open up dialogue.

    * Low LP payouts for PvP
    – I agree, it would be great to increase this without making it exploitable. I even thought a FW bounty system, where for every kill of a militia member that militia put an LP bounty on the killer. FW bounties would only be payable to opposing militia members.

    * No Suspect status for neutrals entering plexes
    – I agree, if you enter a plex you should get a short 1-2 minute suspect flag. If you are hopping around plexes that will keep the timer going anyway.

    * FW missions
    – I’d like these to not be quite so lucrative. Some changes are needed I have no suggestions.

    * Standing losses
    – I agree this needs some work so that FW is it’s own thing and participation is not costing you standings/security outside of militias. And for intra-militia fighting I agree that the aggressor should be the only one to take a standing or security loss.

    * Plex sizes and farmers
    – Your suggestions seem reasonable, though some more discussion is probably warranted.

    * LP stores have some really horrible conversions and the UI isn’t the best.
    – I agree

    * The value of systems and the shifting FW ownership
    – It would be great to have things apply a little more to the conflict itself. I think some minor buff effects that don’t stack with links could be interesting. I like the idea of increased insurance payout, though I can see that being exploited unfortunately. But what if the ship you lost was the payout, like with rookie ships? Just dock up and you buying fittings and you are back in the fight.

    * LP corp tax
    – no opinion

    * The Rank system

    – It would be nice to see a little more recognition for these accomplishments, but I’m okay with some things just being for show or bragging rights. One thing that crossed my mind would be same faction military saluting you at gates or something. Again just for show.

    Now as for complex capturing. I don’t an entosis link is not right, but I see where you want it to go. I think reworking complex design in a more robust way would be better. For instance: indestructible stasis and scram towers with 20km limited range. And give a bonus to capture time 2x speed if you are within 15km of the capture point. It gives incentive to be webbed and scrammed while still allowing a player to be cautious and escape. With all the risk going to the attacker I don’t see a need make every plex capture attempt an all in deal.
    There needs to be choices for engagement and disengagement. I regularly see pirates complaining the most about WCS and I would be fine with them being disabled while within the 30km sphere or even make it 35km so they have to fly away a bit if they want them. You get the idea, tweak it, adjust it, but leave options.

  • Veratrix

    The most frustrating aspect of being in FW is the standing losses caused by using smart bombs and to a lesser extent bubbles. It pretty much makes it impossible to use sb’s in any meaningful way in a faction warfare fleet, which is a pretty massive issue that desperately needs to be fixed.

  • Thanatos Marathon

    I wish I could thumbs up your comment veratrix! On the other hand, with all the fun stuff coming to sov null I don’t think bubbles are that much of a lesser extent atm.

  • Tarsas Phage

    FW LP stores have the richest choices to choose from when it comes to what to nuke your LP on. They not only have the best ship hulls and modules for a given faction, but unique items as well… shield extenders, navy cap boosters, datacores… hell, even clothing. Any one of these might not be the best conversion based on market conditions at the time, but you sure have a lot of fallbacks.

    Let’s take your Level 5 example, where the equipment investment and danger is arguably greater than a FW L4. Khanid and Ammatar L5 LP stores are laughable. The modules are not unique – they’re the same as Caldari Navy and Imperial Navy in terms of stats… but no one buys them because people just don’t think to look for them. When was the last time you looked to buy a set of Khanid Navy BCUs, for example? You probably and automatically searched for CN BCUs pretty much like every other person. Other than that, you’re down to implants which every other LP store in the game offers anyway. So while the impression is that L5s make you richer, you’re pretty much stuck with mediocre LP/ISK conversion rates because you end up having to nuke them on +3s or generic hardwirings.

    For the risk and equipment investment and LP/ISK conversion, I’d rather fit up a cache of 10 stealth bombers and run FW L4s over investing in T3s, marauders, carriers and even supercarriers to run L5s, not to mention wrestling for control of the L5 agent system/constellation and/or going through diplomatic contortions. So I have no idea where you’re getting the impression that the FW LP store is crap and its value is subpar compared to other activities.

    In fact, I can say with a straight face that FW LP, since the FW buff a few years ago, grossly devalued LP for everyone, including FW itself.

  • naxnix

    Its weird how you call requiring tags “tricking people”. Anyone who pays attention to the cost can make the adjustment. I did this immediately when I first saw it. I don’t think people not paying attention to the game should be an excuse.

    Tags seem to me to be an attempt to provide value to actually doing the mission and gathering the loot instead of simply killing the objective with a stealth bomber and running away.

  • Ben Ishikela

    Mein Senf:

    *Low LP payouts for PvP

    Insurance makes ships cheaper to fly risky, but its broken too damn often. However with alts usable, insurance and destruction-reward is nearly identical. Therefor Rewarding destruction is not going to work. perpedomobile will break the game.

    However, if the killer gets a payout of 50% of payd out insurance (also nonFW), then you had only one system to fix. But also insurance for the ex-owner halfed. imho insurance needs to go away.

    *No Suspect status for neutrals entering plexes

    yes, absolutely. Another approach would be to have a little pocket of nullsec in a plex, where nothing matters. (because concord sensor cannot destinguish between friend and foe due to “natural phenomena”). Then no suspect timer/etc to worry about afterwards.

    *FW missions

    I also farm them sometimes. Waaaay too much isk. Ok, risky as well. (fw space is busy)

    Gallente side of these missions are riskier as you need bigger ships because caldari npcs have range. also ecm is a killer for actual pvp if ever something shows up. Believe me, i tried to pvp in there. you scram something and nearly kill it, but them jammed, he bruns out and kites you. rip. nothing can do, therefor fight avoidance and no pvp happening.

    *Standing losses

    you proposal seem fine. only for aggression. but ….. smartbombs !!

    *Plex sizes and farmers

    Well… although i like you intentions, but the solution is none at all. its a mere symptome treat.

    The game’s ships are not balanced towards fighting in their own classes. You run into all kinds of problems there. Well, we solved most of them and also adapted to it, but its a pain. See one simple example: the fittest ship that fits into a plex is dominating it (D3,Worm,Recon).

    While its fun to fly mixed fleets and upshipping to raise the stakes also, i suggest another mechanic. In short, its fozziesov light:

    TLDR (i might need to write a complete article on that.)

    0) remove all system upgrades, lpdonation and stuff. Remove ihub.

    1) same system indexes like EntosisSovNull for all FWsystems. (then only one system to maintain.)

    2) a system can be owned by multiple militias in %. % can be pushed by actions (see below).

    3) IndexLvL of all systems is summed up (…+%*index+…+…). this sum determines the warzone-control, which determines the tier.

    ==> no more tiears xD….. incentive for lowsec-economy, right?

    4) anchored a “new”-structure in FWspace and index is high for your militia?->moreHpAgainstEntosis!
    ==> incentive to battle for highvalue systems.

    5) cannot dock in npc-stations, if your miilita has less than 34%.
    7)remove highsec npc navy.

    8) add pirate militias.
    9) extend this to all new-eden, as it does not interfere with sov or highsec. Although i’d like every pvp fanatic to gather in a ball of fire in blackrise. cotradiction?

    2.1) Actions to influence ownership percentage for your milita:
    2.2) Buy a deployable entosis “light” in LP stores for 0LP 1milISK or whatever.
    2.3) Anchor it anywhere in system. For militia!. It needs to get online Xminutes.
    2.4) When its online, it shows on map for everyone(or just hostilemilitia) (it has a strong energy signature) => hostiles are alarmed and content might be on the way.
    2.5) when online, it takes over Y% or system control per minute. (slower on high index systems)

    2.6) on destruction, explosion. nothing else.
    2.7) different sizes (from cheap to expensive in building-cost): small/medium=(fast online, slow % conversion, simple hp), large=(bigger online time, medium conversion, entosis destruction required), X-large = (2days to online etc. , faster conversion, constellation entosis defence event).

    2.8) no invulnerablility window on these maybe?
    2.9) no limit of those structures per system.
    2.10) deployables decay or need fuel.
    2.11) optional: small covert sized = (medium online, expensive, simple hp, only findable by probing the signature, its sig increases over time)

    *LP stores have some really horrible conversions, and the UI isn’t the best.

    no isk(?) & no tags required. hand in tags for negative LP costs. In short,: trade tags for LP. I know, tags are a pain currently, but wont with the following. please read on this fancy one:

    TLDR (i might need to write a complete article on that.)

    1)remove all FW-BPC from all other LP stores.

    2)remove all non-bpc (non-ship) from FW stores.

    => less bad prices for other non-fw-acitivity involving LP, if FW might be broken.

    3)If and only if tier cannot be pushed with LP (see fozziesov light), then adjust cost(non-tags) in LPstore by Tier again.

    4) remove all tag drops from npcs.

    5)Every militia-player-ship that is killed, with hostile-militia member has final blow, drops a tag. This tag is of appropriate size: frigate drop novice-tag(“minuteman”), BC drop large-tag(“vize-admiral”).

    6)adjust LP-Store-Trade-Course so 1CruiserTag gets you 1Cruiser BPO.

    7)Market will adjust tag’s prices.

    8)FW-fleets have a painted target on them ==> more content for them.

    Issue: Why would i join fw then in the first place? –> well ja, i need final blow to get a tag. (also i need to use the exploit and suicide-loot before tag-prices settle). works?

    9) no other LP source!?

    *The value of systems and the shifting FW ownership

    see fozziesov light.

    *LP corp tax

    no corpLP. missions are taxable. ok. Corps do not need taxed income imho. We are fine without.

    *The Rank system

    Just fluff. (because farming it without having to encounter any hostility is a possibility, anything built on that will be broken from the start. Also standings…)

    *addition:

    Under current rules: Reduce all LP by 1% each day. so “stack up and hold on” gets a penalty, which is a disincentive to daily activity. (if a faction has low tier, even more so)

    *LP store UI: search filter!!!!! etc.

  • lfsdjkfhshfaskf

    much more than a FW update, this article makes me want the old megathron hull back. so pretty, rip.

  • ControlBlue

    Gorski, your article actually inspired to write a little about Factional Warfare too, it’s heavily inspired by yours so I would like it if you could check it out:

    http://alpha-absolute.blogspot.com/2015/06/eve-online-as-factional-warrior.html

    I really enjoyed the article, was about time people started talking about Factional Warfare, it’s not just about Null-sec out there.

  • Carter Hood

    Yes! Very good article IMHO, touches a lot of FW problems. But all in all I would like to ask all decidents to choose ‘evolution’ not ‘revolution’ path. Please introduce changes to FW in portions, so you could monitor how they work and how they make life in warzone different.
    Briefly ,regarding pointed issues:
    1) suspect timer for neutrals entering plex – YES! Fully agree. I want to be in FW, but don’t want to loose sec status when attacking neutral who slid into my plex. I have right to shoot first and not loose sec status!

    2) LP’s for PvP – agree. It should be somehow rebalanced in order to promote active PvP. I’m a 1,5 year character in EvE with nearly 2000 kills. Chasing a farmer sometimes is funny. Suprising them with 2 scrams makes me happy, but yes!, I could use some more financial incentive to PvP.

    3) Winning warzone – I have experienced it once as Gallente pilot. And as I was noob that time, I was really disappointed with the result. Basically nothing happened. I expected anything from my faction, so that I was so dedicated to be a part of it…

    4) Plex timers – I think reducing plex timers combined with loosing progress when leaving it could work “in plus” for FW. Worth trying.

    o7
    C.

  • maxsmiler

    I’d also like to see the removal of hi end moons from fw space and all low sec for that matter to reduce the number of mega alliances operating in the area with 300 odd pilots and dozens of Supers, fw should be about small scale skirmishes and not the giant super battles of null. you shouldnt have to worry about getting dunked by 15 archons everytime u undock in a BC or put together a flleet of a dozen cruisers

  • PB J

    100% yes to all of these proposals

  • Syrilian

    I love all of your points. About stabbers though: I don’t really think they are that big of a problem. Yes I get the point gameplay wise is to encourage fights and not to run away. But lorewise, FW is about controlling systems and stabbers’ impacts on system control is next to zero. If they want to just spin in a circle and run away, more power to them. Sounds boring to me but whatever. It isn’t breaking the system in so much as they actually impact anything.

    I don’t like the entosis link idea. One of the points in FW is for people to learn how to do well in PVP and part of that is fitting ships. It seems counter productive to force people to fit something that actually hurts their fighting capability.

    And yes they completely need to rework what ships can go into certain plexes. I recently downgraded to frigs from dessies just because it makes no sense to jump from only having to fight t1 and faction frigs to having to fight t3 dessies, arguably the most powerful ships in the game. Personally I would like for any t3 to be restricted to larges if they are allowed anywhere in FW at all.

  • Andre Vauban

    Payouts: Sure, but this will be hard to do without opening up exploits.

    Suspect on opening a plex: Whatever, I don’t think it matters much but it may help new players.

    Plexes: I agree the ship restrictions need to be tweaked, but I strongly disagree with what you are suggesting. Forcing certain types of ships to be used is not the answer. I like the idea of running all plexes with the novice ship class, assuming you have enough people/DPS to break the rat. If you change the number of plexes, we also have to watch VP very carefully as I think the balance of how long to take a system is in a good spot.
    Novice: T1 frigs and faction frigs only (no pirate)
    Small: Anything Destroyer hull and down except T3 destroyers
    Medium: Anything cruiser hull and down except T3 cruisers’
    Large: Anything

    I disagree with the entosis link idea. There is no need to fit a module to your ship to make FW viable. It reminds of days where you had to fit a probe launcher to scan down the plexes. It really gimps your ship.

    Timer reset is a bad idea as well, it’s too harsh. Timer rollbacks, such as if you force the other side out of the plex, the timer will start rolling back to neutral even if neither faction is in the plex. ie You force the other side out, the timer starts rolling back to neutral, you leave the plex, the timer keeps rolling back to neutral until it hits neutral or the other side comes back. if the other side comes back, they start capturing again. Same general idea, but not nearly as harsh in case you have to make a strategic withdrawal to reship and come back.

    LP Store: Yeah, the interface needs updating. CCP also needs to overhaul the tags. Some items are pointless, as the tags are worth too much. I could sell the tags for a Fed Navy 1600 plate for something like 375M on the open market.

    LP Tax: I’m against this because I don’t like SRP. SRP makes pilots bad and I don’t want to see that kind of playstyle come to FW.

    Ranks: It would be nice, but again it needs to not be game breaking or exploitable.

    Honestly, I think the biggest complaint people have with FW is the farmers. I think the problem is really not with FW, but that nullsec is broken. Nullsec players shouldn’t have a highsec mission running alt, an incursion alt, or a FW alt to make isk. They should be able to make more isk than those options by living in/farming their sov space.

  • CCP Affinity

    Nice article – thanks for the feedback 🙂

  • Joe

    I agree with many things you said I will just mention what I
    disagree with. Sadly this makes me seem more disagreeable than I am:

    Missions:

    First let me say I agree they pay a bit too much. Now for
    the disagreement:

    I don’t think you can really collect all 15 missiions from
    every agent and run them in 2 hours. Maybe on sisi but generally you will have some people warping in and making
    things difficult. I think you are looking at something more like 3 hours.

    Also the lp is fairly deflated. And getting 800k isk per lp is and dumping 800k worth of lp takes some amount of time. You might see some buy orders on jita up that high but also look at the quantities of buy orders that are that high of a return. Also you know when you stock up on one item because the market buy orders are high you can find that items buy order value crashes.

    If you want to get into sell orders that is a completely different
    matter were you will find you are getting 1 cent isked even in 3rd tier market hubs. I think if you are talking about dumping a few mill worth of lp you have to consider adding quite a few more hours into the equation. Again if you really want to make that work well you need to invest time. It’s not instant isk like null sec bounties.

    The other advantage of missions is that they tend to take the heat off the losing side. You can make more lp running missions than running plexes. And these missions devalue the lp.

    So when a faction hits a high tier and therefore attracts allot of mission runners the mission runners actually hurt that faction.

    Burner missions do not have very much to do with pvp or pvp
    fits. I like burner missions in high sec but they do not work well in low sec. You have to fit your ship often with like 3 webs and no prop mod while you sit there for several minutes scrammed with no escape in a ship that has hardeners
    specifically for the rat. (often you add hardeners to your t2 ships highest resist leaving huge holes in your tank) If you look at the fits you need to use to run burner missions and ask yourself how you would do pvping in that fit you will likely conclude you would do poorly.

    The best thing that could possibly happen if pirates jump in on you while running a burner mission is that the burner rat will turn on them. But that is just relying on a random
    mechanic.

    Missions are unbalanced.
    But since mission runners devalue the lp while contributing nothing to sov, it is not clear that there is advantage to having easier missions. It may actually be a disadvantage. It’s
    just unclear that this really effects that much.

    On the whole I would say faction war missions are a very good success. It gets people in low sec and
    traveling around it. They learn that it is not so dangerous. It is really the ideal form of low sec mission running. I
    agree the pay is a bit high but low sec is the riskiest place in the game so if you believe in risk versus reward then there could be worse things. In fact I think other corps should offer
    these types of low sec missions.

    As far as the plexes you are assuming solo pilots in every
    plex. I don’t mind that but I also think the problem is just as much a need to nerf the worm and garmur. Pirate ships cost allot more than the other ships so there is a bit of risk and reward going on even if they are the top in each plex.

    That said I would like to see a plex that only lets vanilla t1
    frigates in.

    As far as d3 in smalls again they are the most expensive
    ships that can fit in that size plex. So yes on a 1v1 they will be the strongest. But again you are risking more in flying them.

    As far as preventing people from warping out there have been proposals that would help prevent that on the table for years. CCP has indicated a willingness to do this but has not gotten to it. They include a timer rollback mechanic (or reset mechanic that you mention) as well as providing players better intel tools to tell where complexes are being run.

    I am not sure the entosis idea is going
    over very well in null sec and think we should try these more obvious fixes first. I think either rollback or reset would be much better than the current system. A reset might be a bit draconian and allow a blob to simply ruin everyones day but that is not so clear since there are different sized plexes.

    As far as adding additional consequences for winning I think
    ccp should first work on making winning faction war sov a fun game to play. Right now its not. Having alts sit in empty frigates to dplex is more of a chore than challenging and fun gameplay.
    That needs to change before ccp increases consequences.

    LP tax. Eh I don’t see that as really making fw that much more fun. But its not going to make it worse either. I just think there are more important things to work on first. And
    that has been the problem for ccp they made allot of changes but they left out the important ones.

    The ranks are easily obtained by running missions (or having
    an alt run them for you while you are in fleet in the militia) and do give you a huge faction standing boost. Yes other perks would be nice but I reallydon’t think it will make fw that much more fun to play.

    I posted some ideas that I hope ccp will consider here:

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=443997&find=unread