Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fixing Faction War: The Big Picture

Originally, I was going to throw this idea out. However, the more I thought about it and 'tweaked' it the more I liked it. Then, I shared it with some militia friends, and they seemed to like it to--actually quite a bit (what parts I shared)--so I revisited portions of it, and fleshed out some of the details I was lacking.

A lot of my ideas includes changes that are interconnected, so in the beginning I'm going to give a high-level overview of it. Then I will break each piece down to talk about specific details, pros/cons, what each piece 'accomplishes' and etc.

The Big Picture

Instead of removing occupancy, I suggest we change it -- introducing tiered sovereignty mechanics that are unique to faction war. Each system would have 5 'lvls' of occupancy shared between the warring factions. When one faction has lvl 2, the other will have lvl 3, etc., so that the total occupancy equals 5. This also means that when you gain an occupancy lvl, the opposing faction loses one.

Instead of occupancy only being tied to plexing, I propose we make it tied to all activity done within that system, giving players many options for defending and/or taking occupancy in systems. Missions done by agents in that system, pvp, and plexing would all give Victory Point payouts that would affect occupancy.

Your occupancy lvl would directly affect your LP payouts, with missions, plexes, and pvp giving lp payouts. It would be beneficial to take occupancy lvls to increase your income. Also, it would be beneficial to defend, as losing occupancy will make your income in that system decrease.

Once a faction gains an Occupancy lvl 4 (which will be relatively difficult to do) the system goes 'vulnerable' and they can make a final push to take Sovereignty of that system. This would include a structure/timer/etc similar to current null-sec mechanics.

Only FW pilots of the sovereign faction, and the 'sister' facation will have access to the stations in each system. (No neutrals) 

In addition to these individual system mechanics, there would also be further overarching mechanics regarding 'the war' as a whole. The more occupancy and sovereignty you take in low-sec will directly affect your 'defenses' in highsec. There is the understanding that as you 'lose' occupancy lvls and sov in general in the low-sec systems, the 'faction police' will be sent to 'the front' to help defend. Therefore, the defenses in highsec will descrease, and in some cases, pvp will 'bleed' over into high-sec.

In addition to these general changes, I would

  1. Make it so that only lvl 1-3 agents are in stations. LVL 4 agents would be moved into locations in space, similar to CONCORD agents in null-sec, and would be difficult to complete without a small gang.
  2. Fix the unbalance in ewar and etc. in plexes, making plexes balanced across all races.
  3. Repping someone from your faction will never give you a standings decrease, even if the person is a pirate. Neutrals repping FW pilots would get a standings hit from the opposing faction. 

After the 'fixing' and 'reblancing' I would include the following New Content features:

  • LVL 5 Faction War missions that require largish fleets to get through.

  • Randomly occurring FW 'encounters' where NPC battles show up on gates and stations, and FW pilots could defend friendly NPCs, and kill enemy NPCs. The staged 'battle' would complete when all NPCs of one side were defeated. These encounters would range in size and scope, from small 'frigate' encounters to larger BS encounters..and could possibly include a good 'drop' of some kind, if a faction 'officer' happened to show up at the end. They would also be extremely dangerous to non FW 'neutrals' who would get shot by both parties. 

'Invulnerable' system would be more prone to these 'encounters.'

  • Random, wild cool stuff that mostly just relates to FW. (In the same way that dictors, bubbles, cyno jammers, and etc, are only really useful in nullsec)

I could get pretty imaginative here, but it's just a rough idea. An example would be a pos module that an 'offensive' party (ie: the non sov holding party) could put up that 'disrupts' communications in system, making it harder for the defending party to access their lvl 4 agents in space.  
Or, perhaps a faction ship/item that gives you bonuses based on your faction standing. 
Or perhaps a different kind of jump bridge that can connect highsec Faction 'bases' to low-sec 'bases' where both sovereignty and a high occupancy lvl is held.

In the end, my primary objectives for 'fixing' Faction War are to:

  1. create overarching mechanics in FW, without discourging pvp, or 'nerfing' any one game style. Expand the 'scope' of the mechanics to create deeper immersion and longer-term goals.
  2. connect and intertwine mechanics to create a bigger sandbox, rather then disjointed, standalone mechanics where the 'purpose' has been predefined. (ie: plexing for occupancy vs missioning for isk vs pvp for fun)
  3. focus more on the power-struggle of war, rather then purely on taking space for space's sake.
  4. balance the risk vs. reward (give benefits for gaining something and negative effects for losing stuff, instead of just negative effects for losing stuff.)
  5. keeping things relatively simple

You can follow the EVE ONLINE forum thread related to this topic here.



  1. "Only FW pilots of the sovereign faction, and the 'sister' facation will have access to the stations in each system. (No neutrals)"
    Eh, ok, I can see that for the "military" stations in the systems. But, for example, why would Duvolle Labs or CreoDron, which are "civilian" companies, only allow military pilots of the occupying faction to land? That makes zero sense.

    " Therefore, the defenses in highsec will descrease, and in some cases, pvp will 'bleed' over into high-sec."
    Well, maybe FW PvP will, but your proposition has nothing to do with CONCORD... and as much as I've even proposed curtailing CONCORD significantly, as we've seen, that is NOT going to happen. CCP likes their risk-averse spinner-boxing, slow steady income Bears too much. ;-)

    "They would also be extremely dangerous to non FW 'neutrals' who would get shot by both parties."
    I like, but vast majority of non-FW types won't. Also what's the story reason for 2 empire fleets in battle pausing to attempt to tackle and kill a neut?
    Here's the "script" for that one: "DIE you Amarrian DOG!" "No, you die, SLAVE..." "Hey wait, there's a neutral ... let's put aside our differences and kill someone who's done nothing to either of us." "OK!! All units primary the neutral Drake!"
    ^^ Yeah right.

    I like the overall idea, but those couple hitches just don't make sense and don't really fit, but otherwise good work.

    Why didn't you run for CSM?

  2. Yeah, I see both your points. However, I think that if you could dock in other stations, you would have to think through different 'benefits' to having sovereignty beyond owning the station..since being able to base out of that system for the purpose of defending occupancy levels was somewhat a big 'part' of the risk/reward balancing.

    The 'mini incursions in fw idea' was a really rough

    In general, I think that FW space should resemble more of a warzone, more dangerous to neutrals then general lowsec. I'm not sure how this would be accomplished though....that was the idea that I had.

    As far as running for CSM...that's what Hans is for. =p He has wa more patience then me.

    1. I see where you're coming from, Susan. Just trying to think of it in a way that "makes sense according to the [admittedly limited] Prime Fiction", and "doesn't screw over everyone else in lowsec".

      But I do agree -- "FW zones" should definitely be more dangerous for everyone. Spice things up a bit, that would be very fun. Definitely make things more interesting, "shake the ant farm", as Jester said. I'm all for that, just, in a way that makes sense from an "in-game" logical standpoint. :-)

      Personally, I'd love to see you guys affecting .5 and .6 systems as well in some way. Maybe not as much as in "true" lowsec, but enough to wake the Bears from their "warp to mission, launch drones, wait and catch nap, recall drones, turn in mission" hibernation mode. ;-)

  3. To kind of steal an idea from the up coming Guild Wars 2 game, I would like to see Faction Warfare have an effect even on those that aren't in it...neutrals if you will. In GW2 the pvp aspects are going to bleed into the pve aspect. There are going to be World vs. World battles which will pit servers against each other. The winning server will then get bonuses that will affect pve aspects of the game among other things. It would be cool if every player in the game had to choose an "allegiance" if you will to one of the 4 factions. Now this doesn't mean you fight for them or even operate with them, but you are sympathetic to their cause basically. As a result maybe you get some kind of benefit from operating in a system that is owned by your pledged faction. Better station services are perhaps a bonus to damage and defense verses NPC's of an opposing faction. I don't think it should affect pvp but giving a reason for people not involved in FW to be concerned about how the factions are faring and how it affects them I think would help boost it.

    As far as the allegiance pledge. Say make it for 6 months so you can't just change allegiance to whoever suits you most or is most convenient at the drop of a hat. Make it work like a neural remap. Also everyone starts with an allegiance towards their own race with the option to change immediately that first time.


  4. There's already an "allegiance" mechanic in the game: faction standings. It should be possible to tie this in somehow.

    Here's a rough mechanic: Each system is measured on a scale from 10 to 0 to 10 between two factions (eg Amarr vs Minmatar). This measures "system control" for that faction.

    Each pilot has an "Effective FW standing" with each faction. This base value is their standing with the given faction (including connections). However, if their base standing (no connections / diplomacy) with the opposing faction is positive, their effective standing is reduced by that fraction. Example: if I am 6.0 with Amarr and 2.0 with Minmatar, my effective Amarr standing is 6.0 * 0.8 = 0.48, and my effective Minmatar standing is 2.0 * 0.4 = 0.8.

    If the pilot's standing + the system's allegiance - 10 is positive, the pilot receives a scaling benefit. Allegiance might "leak" into adjacent hi-sec constellations, providing benefits for those in proximity to the war.

    At some point, those with negative faction standings should become targets for both NPCs and "enemy" FW pilots, for example if your faction standing (including diplomacy) - the current allegiance drops below -10. For added fun, negative allegiance might also "leak" into adjacent hi-sec systems, giving a chance of "enemy" faction navy rat spawns at FW gates, belts, and perhaps appropriately aligned stations. These would engage those whose faction standings are low enough.

    Summary: FW pilots would benefit from allied system allegiance, as would non-FW pilots with skewed faction standings. Pilots with all standings positive or near-positive would be safe, but receive much smaller benefits from control.

  5. My problem is not that your system has negative effects on "neutrals" in high sec but the idea that "neutrals" exists. I'm a Caldari with 8.1 faction standing. Why should a system with Caldari/Amarr sov deny me entrance or a Caldari/Amarr militia/NPC attack me?

  6. Please don't suggest changes for thing outside faction war, being a capital pilot I reside either in low-sec or nullsec and travel extensively through both. Taking away my docking rights effects my game. I have been in lowsec much longer than you faction war people, I have standings with most of the major corporations and their agents in lowsec.

    Why don't you propose something like using your fw bunkers as stations for only fw pilots. Don't mess with npc stations, as I can dock even in null in those so why wouldn't I be able to do so in lowsec.

    Just saying don't force me into your playstyle...