When you delve into FW mechanics you will notice that Faction War, as we know and love it, is really the 'dumping together' of three distinct mechanics.
- 1st, you have missioning. Currently, missioning only rarely inspires pvp and is the main (and almost exclusive) way you can make ISK in FW.
- 2nd, you have the general 'wardec' that implements the pvp aspect of FW, and
- 3rd, you have plexing which is currently directly related to taking occupancy of a faction's system.
In general, these three aspects of FW have very different, predefined purposes that are only loosely connected to each other. The largest connection is really between plexing and PVP, where many people engage in plexing for the sole purpose of getting a fight. However, pvping in and of itself does not influence occupancy. (You can plex for occupancy without any pvp occurring.)
This seems somewhat limited to me, and part of my goal in coming up with an idea for FW was to increase the number of choices pilots have. Telling a pilot he must do 'this' or 'that' to achieve a specific goal seems very un-sandboxy to me.
The current system could be graphed as this:
The goal? To turn the graph into something like this:
Several parts of my suggestion addressed this.
- making more things affect occupancy gives players more options. This also correlates to the logical 'storyline' aspect of Factional Warfare, where any pvp engagements should affect the war somehow. In general, it increases the immersion factor of Faction War.
- moving lvl 4 agents to space adds a degree of risk to missioning, that may make missioning a proponent of PVP. (People will camp/protect/fight over agent location in a similarly casual way they currently fight over plexes.)
- giving LP for plexing and pvp while increasing the risk to mission running will balance some of the risk vs reward, and encourage more people to engage in different activities. Just like you have many opportunities to make isk in other aspects of EVE (nullsec pilots gain systems to access to better ore for mining, better exploration sites, ratting, etc) you should also have options in Faction War for making ISK in relation to the game mechanic.
In many ways, the bottom arrow on the last graph could be drawn to point both directions: with this structure, players could plex to make isk to fund pvp, or pvp to take occupancy to gain access to missions....etc. The point being, you would have a lot of options for gameplay.