Friday, March 30, 2012

The Hard Questions: Should FW be About Small-Gang PVP?

One of the biggest fears of many FW pilots is that FW will go the way of nullsec, with it's large structure destroying fleets and blob tactics.

"Keep the nullsec blob out of FW PVP!"

"FW is Fightclub. Preserve small-gang pew!"

But, is FW PVP currently a base for small-gang pvpers because the mechanics are condusive to it, or do we travel with small gangs because there's simply not that many people in Faction War anymore?

If you ever talk to people who were in Faction War in the beginning, you will learn that it was once very different then it is today -- that it was common for FW to field fleets of 100+ in bloody battles to claim sovereignty over each other's systems.

The same people who want to presevve the same small-gang pew that they are currently accustomed to, also want to promote Faction War, make it more popular and desireable--which will also increase the number of people that join and possibly turn the tides of the availability of true small-gang pvp.

But I digress somewhat. Should FW even be about Small-Gang PVP?

The answer is no.

::This is the time where you skip the rest of the post and proceed to rage and froth at the mouth and get out your pitchforks::

The answer is no, not because FW should be turned into null-sec-like sovereignty wars.
The answer is no, not because FW should become blob warfare, or should be more condusive to large fleet interest.
The answer is no, not because I don't think that small-gang pew is very important.

The answer is no because no game mechanic should be about one play style.
The answer is no because any attempt to compartmentalize pvp styles limits the sandbox.

Null-sec isn't blobtastic because game mechanics force you to fly in large fleets out there. Null-sec is blobtastic because people think null-sec is fun. People fly in large fleets out there because they like flying in large fleets. Because shooting things with lots of people can be fun, and is really super fun for a super lot of people.

FW is not limited to small-gang because some game mechanic dictates that it be so. FW is full of small-gang pew, because only a small number of people actually care about it right now.

FW will be full of small-gang pew in the future, not because of some mechanic put forth by CCP to make it continue to be so, but because that is how FW pilots have chosen to use the mechanics that are available to them.

Or perhaps, FW will become so much more fun that people will flood it, creating the larger fleets of old that make it more and more difficult to find small-gang fights.

In that case, it isn't a 'null-sec mechanic' that will break it. Nor is it some other 'mechanic' that CCP decides to implement.

In the end, in this case, it would be the very act of fixing Faction War that destroys it for small-gang pvpers.


  1. Makes you kinda wish that no one had wanted to fix faction warfare in the first place if that was going to be the consequence, huh?

    Still, there's plenty of small gang action in nullsec, although small gang tends to range somewhere from 8-30 most of the time. I don't think FW would be any different: You only pull out the big fleets for timers, because you won't find a fight for a 70 man fleet otherwise. I can see the same thing happening for FW.

  2. ::gasp:: small-gang pvp in null-sec? Surely you lie.

    1. It happens. Usually the idea being small fleet (5 or so) just passes thru an area, quickly scouting and seeing if they can catch anyone belt-ratting or in an anom with pants down, and if not, very quickly move on to next system before the "home forces" get enough intel to set up a response fleet.

    2. But how many actual fights do you get during these roams? Because what you're describing sounds more like rabbit hunting than actual fisty cuffs (which is ok to me).

  3. Small gank PvP cannot be supported by programming without artificially limiting players like "no more tha 10 Minmatar Militia member can enter one system". Those who want to make small gang PvP "supported", must openly speak up for such programming walls, because without such walls, there is no way to stop the next guy from joining. And if enough next guy joins, you get a full fleet.

  4. "any attempt to compartmentalize pvp styles limits the sandbox." But isn't the sandbox already limited? Null sec has bubbles and no gate guns, some area are conquerable and others not; low sec has no bubbles and gate guns; etc. Wouldn't it be better if this was a continuum from one PvP style to another? From consensual to small gangs to anything goes? To me, it seems more PvPers would make for a better EvE. And isn't this what we all want?
    So maybe some limitation to the gang size would be a good thing if done properly (which with CCP might be a big if)? For example, the more ship there are in your immediate vicinity the lower your scan res would be?
    Now that my stock of question marks is depleted, I will end this comment.