Fan Fest 2014 is still underway but it’s not too soon to look at some of the new features being presented to see how they will affect militia life. While there isn’t much we’ve heard yet that you could say is “faction war specific”, there have been quite a few announcements that will impact life in low-security space in general.
The only militia-specific news came at this year’s Faction Warfare Roundtable. Hosted by CCP Fozzie, the talk was well attended but brief due to the fact that “we had all of 2012 dedicated to us so small fixes are the name of the game”. In that vein we will be seeing more Large Complex spawns, more NPC waves inside plexes, and a new ban on cloaks within the beacon’s range all due to be released this summer. On the surface a ban on cloaks seems like a good way to cut down on faction farmers but, sadly, I think the opposite is true. At the moment one of the only reliable ways to catch a farmer is to cloak up inside the plex and wait for them to return. Three targeting rigs and two scrams on a cloaky frigate will allow you to lock and warp disrupt all but the most watchful stabbed farmers. Unless there will be further clarification on this that allows for cov-ops cloaks to be used, it seems this tactic is now lost to us. An increase in NPCs may change some of the fits farmers use, but it’s a strange fix considering CCP has stated in the past that they want to make plexing less of a PvE activity. With constant waves of the same low-powered rats we are seeing now, plexing might become quite annoying for those looking to PvP while only slightly changing the dynamic for the farmer. Time will tell how beneficial these tweaks will be for PvP, but for now it’s nice to see CCP try to address the farmer problem.
The major reveal was, of course, Mordu’s Legion being introduced into the line of Pirate Faction Ships. The new faction will use a mix of Caldari and Gallente skills with bonuses to missile damage and warp-disruption range. Along with a high base velocity, these traits should make for great kiting ships. Perhaps of greater interest to the Gal/Cal warzone, Mordu’s Legion has strong ties to the Intaki System in Placid. Hopefully this could generate some content for the militias or possibly even provide some additional incentive to hold the system.
Another stand-out was the T2 Venture hull, the Prospect. It will feature an expanded ore hold, additional mining bonuses, and the ability to fit a cov-ops cloak. Low-Sec mining will become dramatically more accessible with this ship, and if that wasn’t enough, CCP has decided to seed low-sec with additional belt types. This should spark a great deal of mining activity in our war-zones which translates into more targets, more opportunities, and easier access to resources. The Prospect is also keeping the Venture’s bonus to gas harvesting, possibly making it the booster-producer’s ship of choice. Although the economic implications will no doubt be great, I don’t think we can speculate too much on the specific effects the Prospect will have alongside all the other changes being made this release.
Several other ships are getting a balancing pass to go along with the general industry overhaul and it should make life away from trade hubs a little easier. Jump freighters will be getting the option to fit rigs for safer travel or more cargo room, while all Blockade Runners are gaining a high-slot to make worm-hole navigation a possibility. Deep Space Transports have never found a great deal of use in low-sec, or any space for that matter, and are thankfully being fully revamped. Increased cargo space and EHP were mentioned, but the complete details aren’t being released until later this week.
Faction Warfare is unique in that it is a place where you can experience that rare connection between Capsuleers in the heavens and Mercs on the ground. Furthering that concept, DUST514 will be finally getting a port to PC in the form of EVE: Legion. While this is great news for all of New Eden, it’s particularly sweet for those in Faction War who have been dealing with poor integration and dwindling participation in regions outside Molden Heath. Very few details have been released so far about what EVE: Legion will be, but one must assume it will feature greater connectivity with the EVE universe along with (hopefully) a huge surge in players to bolster the ranks. If Legion can make Faction War a more appealing feature for Mercs, we could see much more interactivity in our warzones.
Overall we have some great features to look forward to, and, although there are some questionable updates to plexing, the building blocks are there for a renewed and exciting low-security space.