Farmers or how I learned to love the Warp Core Stabilizer
I have to admit, one month ago I was definitely tempted to just fit a couple of them and farm LP all day. At that time I was low on ISK and I just started to see the massive amount of power T2 provided in some modules. To put it simply I needed ISK to no longer suck (or at least try to). So I obviously fitted the occasional Merlin with some Warp Core Stabilizers (WCS) and went on d-plexing for hours.
And it was easily the worst time I’ve ever had in Factional Warfare.
I quickly came to terms that I was not the kind of guy who could just sit there and watch d-scan all day, afraid of everybody. I needed the occasional fight to feel like I was actually playing. So I docked up the Merlins (plus I hated that ship, again I’m a Drones guy) and decided o-plexing was more of my thing.
Of course the amount of fights I got while o-plexing were definitely a dent in my profits, with of course the infuriating cases where mistakes were made (“Damage Control off… ahhh that’s why my structure is melting so fast when I am that close to killing him………….”), but at least I felt like I was playing! It was fun and rewarding when I actually managed to cap one plex, because I knew I actually defied some risks and came out of it alive.
To be honest I have no idea how the people farming can find any enjoyment out of what they are doing, and I highly suspect that most of them are not really engaged in FW but are mostly plexing for their mains, where they actually get their enjoyment. But yet they farm, and warp off whenever the slightest possibility of a fight comes near them.
I think this is a problem for Factional Warfare, as FW is supposed to be, as many people say, a conflict-driver. Plexes are supposed to be places where you can go to find people to shoot at, that’s the whole point of them asking people to stay close to them.
“You stay here and assume the risk of getting in a fight and I will reward you sooner or later”.
That’s the implicit contract signed between a FW player and his plex. The ease at which WCS allow a player to avoid any fights, and thus risks, is bad in that it deprives people from something crucial, Content. When someone enters a plex, a part of him should accept that he’s making himself eligible for a fight for someone. He will have to provide Content to them, and if he survives he will get rewarded, that simple really.
Stabbed farmers totally circumvent that. Worse, they actually play a crucial role into FW politics as they have a substantial effect on the contested ratios of some systems. Them having such an impact and yet providing nothing to others, and yet being rewarded handsomely by the system for it. That’s a terrible recipe.
I think what is lacking right now in the whole system is commitment. There should be some amount of commitment asked when you enter a plex. I like the Gorski’s idea of when you leave a plex the timer resets, essentially making you lose. The time lost being potentially bigger than the ISK lost if you lose your ship would entice some people to actually fight!
Also among the two ideas, the Deployable and the Entosis link discussed in Gorski’s article, the Deployable one seems by far superior and that for a pretty subtle reason:
It introduces some commitment outside of the ship you bring to the plex.
Pretty much the Deployable is an investment in that it gives you the possibility to earn LP but at the cost of a minimal amount of ISK. It costing something would make sure that people realize that if they leave the plex to save their ship, they still lose out ISK-wise in that they let a part of their money open to be destroyed by the opponent (would be interesting if only War Targets could destroy the Deployable). The Deployable could be optional but allows for an increased/multiplied amount of LP being awarded upon the completion of the plex. Plus the Deployable offers three very valuables opportunities system-wise:
- Content Signal: The Deployable could emit a signal, change the plex, or any other things to signal to people in or out system that there is a group of people inside that plex ready to fight and who have invested money to be there.
- Force Limitation: The Deployable could change the plex in allowing only a certain number of people to enter at a time, a bit like Wormholes only that here it would just make sure that only up to 3 or 10 people can enter each 2 minutes for example (and to prevent people from abusing it you could just have anyone being inside the plex being barred from entering it again and thus unable to affect the cooldown).
- Time Gating: The number of times a Deployable can be obtained could be limited and that to make sure people don’t just farm the mechanic like they do with regular plexes.
Normal plexes could still allow for normal farming except that if you just WCS around you will waste a lot of time, and Deployable-powered plexes would serve as focusing points where people can flock to for a greater chance of an actual battle.
And imagine if Large Deployable-powered plexes were rare and rewarding enough to the point of encouraging people to bring Capital ships in them? Imagine the potential for Destruction and Content in Low-Sec!!