Faction Warfare: A Newbie’s Take

[Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of a previously published blog post by pilot Dantelion Shinoni. The article is an opinion editorial, thus the views expressed here are not necessarily the views of FW.com.]

So, I planned for a long time to release an article explaining how I stumbled upon EVE Online and how the game made me enjoy MMOs again after a long hiatus and a long search for one that would not bore me to death or make me unable to care less about it after a couple weeks.

I planned to talk about how EVE Online is one of the few and rare games out there where you actually care:

  • Care about other people, because they can kill you, you don’t want that so you better watch out.
  • Care about what happens to you, because resources are finite and you actually can totally run out of in-game money, making you unable to field ships and weapons.
  • Care about what you do in it, because the game is hard and there is a lot to learn, and at the same time if you do what you are supposed to do at the right time, you can be rewarded handsomely, either in loot or in kills you can be proud of.

But instead of talking about all that, I will respond to that article talking about what is actually made me discover and enjoy what the game really was:

http://crossingzebras.com/reworking-factional-warfare/

This article will be in reaction to that article. I recommend you read as it is quite good and a lot of the ideas I reference here are discussed in that article.

So I started the game not too long ago. As I write this article I’m nearing my third month playing EVE. As you can expect I started the game with the usual carebearing in high sec, which is Exploring (not that much as I couldn’t get the point of the activity and finding a site in high sec was… not easy) and mostly Mining (a lot, to the point where I regret all the time I freaking wasted there)… but that’s a discussion for next time.

What made me discover what the game was really about was taking the plunge and entering Factional Warfare.

It was a pretty bold decision, and to be honest a pretty uninformed one. I had no idea that I would actually become fair game to a lot of people, way more than I imagined. To be honest though, I actually wanted to be blown up by someone, anyone, just to see a hint of the fighting in the game.

So yeah the promise of actual PvP and finally fighting my way into the game was too alluring to ignore, so I joined Factional Warfare.

And so far it has been a blast.

Lots of ships lost of course, lots of red in my kill-board, hundreds of “what the fuck did I just do right now??” moments, lots of learning, but mostly lots of fun and a sense that I actually discovered what EVE is about, fighting some fools, flying with mates, and trying to do both in the least stupid way possible.

I have to quickly add that I can clearly see now that such an enjoyment of the game would not have been possible without joining my FW Corporation. If any “newbro” is reading this, when people tell you that you need to join a corp as soon as you can to truly enjoy your time, they are not kidding, it really opens up the game.

Anyway, to sum it, I like Factional Warfare. I have some great time in it and it fulfilled its role as a great way to discover and enjoy the game.

But… And yes, unfortunately there always a ‘but’…

As a player that recently got into the game I feel like there are multiple areas of the activity that could use some serious tweaks. I will list them in the simplest way possible:

  • Novice plexes
  • Farmers
  • LP donations

If you have checked the article I linked above, and if not you really should, those concerns are also mirrored in it. However I will take an approach on what those problems are, and how to solve them, that will lean more toward the less experienced people playing the game.

So, First in order…

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2 comments

  1. I disagree with the point about novice plexes.

    Yes, some ships are very apex and very OP. I even avoid engaging certain ships because they are so powerful. But there is no reward to fleeing. There are times you have to be willing to stand your ground and try to fight. That is were vital experience can come from because sometimes it is smart to flee from one guy too.

    The game mechanics do not teach or push people to flee. Other people do, the mindset of your group will impact your game play more than anything else. The warp core stabs you see on fits are not on people looking to ever PVP. They just want the LP for the ISK it offers.

    As for the farmers, I tend to disagree with a lot of people’s complaints. Farmers can’t farm active systems, and if a system is inactive why do I care if it is being farmed?

    Your logic for the deployable as “an investment in that it gives you the possibility to earn LP but at the cost of a minimal amount of ISK” is already what your ship is. I do not believe mechanical changes in FW are a good solution to the “blight of farmers” if you want people to stop farming, then undock and make it impossible for them to farm safely around you. They will then go away.

    On the point of LP donations. A LP donation is an investment in the quality of your system and the tier level of your faction, which potentially means more ISK for you. I do agree the rewards an upgraded system offers are minimal, and need to be improved :somehow:.

    That being said, the reduction in manufacturing and market costs are definitely nice, and add up over time as your operation scales.

    Corporate LP tax has been something asked for in FW for a long, long time. I am on the fence with it. I do believe that LP should only come from player activity though, so I really don’t like the suggestion of an iHub offering any kind of reward that just feeds LP into a wallet directly. You don’t really need an SRP if everyone makes enough ISK to afford all their ships anyway, an SRP is a crutch to try to encourage cowardly players to be brave and dumb players to actually get the right fit.

    Overall bro, a lot of your ideas are asking for tweaks and changes to mechanics that honestly just aren’t required. A lot of what you’re looking for can be done by the will of the players. Particularly changes in the face of farmers and LP donation/taxation as I see those more as a cultural thing.

    The interesting thing in FW is that FW corporations do not have a way to directly earn an income in the same way Null or High Sec groups can. It puts more responsibility on the individual pilot to be involved, active and participate. Everything in FW rewards you and your group heavily if you undock and are active.

    For example; You want to see who is running the plexes in your system? Get into space, and land somewhere within dscan range.

    I do think some things need to be adjusted, but I don’t think mechanics that demand specific fits or reward laziness are the solution. FW is about occupancy in the WZ, that should always be the most important and rewarding thing about it.

    But, hey. Different people can get different things from the same set of mechanics. Just look at the farmers, I am sure they currently love FW too!

  2. I definitely agree that there should be some loss of plexing progress if you retreat out of a plex rather than take a fight. A total timer reset is a bit harsh though, and also punishes people who plex in small gangs, spreading out between plexes and converging if one of them gets attacked.

    Furthermore, if such a change is implemented, it needs to be combined with a rebalancing of plex ship type admittance. Currently, pirate frigs are the uncontested kings of novice plexes and t3 destroyers of small plexes. If fleeing from a plex is penalized much, it won’t just hurt farmers but also sincere factional warriors who are ready to take even fights but not fight when massively outmatched. Flying basic t1 frigs will be little more than farming, with sincere factional warriors being forced to up their investment, until all that remains is worms, garmurs, tactical dessies and recons.

    Each plex size should be its own ecosystem where no single ship type is the uncontested king. Small plexes were nice like that before t3 dessies came, with t1 dessies, t2 frigs and navy/pirate frigs all being reasonably capable in the environment. Using more expensive, higher-end ships still brings in a reward in letting you run bigger plexes, which have better LP/h ratios. Also, if you really want to be the king of a specific plex size, you can get there by using more expensive fittings (t2 rigs on a basic t1 frig, for example), implants or drugs, all options that I’m well for allowing, since doing so comes at hastily diminishing returns.

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