Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Meaning in Faction War

One of the main things that Faction War pilots have complained about time and again is the lack of meaning in Faction War.

"Taking Occupancy doesn't have any meaning."

"The battles fought between militias ultimately doesn't have any meaning or purpose beyond the 'fun' factor."

A lot of changes have been discussed on how to give Faction War meaning. They've talked about offering payouts for pvp and plexing. They've talked about introducing sovereignty into FW and giving ownership of a system more benefits by making more consequences to losing it.

Even if you like the tiered occupancy idea where different bonsues are applied per levels and a sort of tug of war struggle is enacted between militias, have we really solved the problem of there being a lack of meaning in FW?

In the beginning of FW, militias fought bitterly over systems and occupancy. Over time, this enthusiasm waned a great deal. Battles are still fought to defend systems, but there is not nearly the activity that there once was, from what I'm told.

Will payouts and benefits be another thing that makes FW interesting for only a temporary time period? Will payouts for everything turn Faction War into a ISK grinding machine for many people?

Unlike almost every mechanic in the game, from the basics like mining to the broader ones like nullsec sovereignty mechanics, Faction War affects little to nothing outside of its own world. Unlike in nullsec, where people taking space and large campaigns affect market prices and great numbers of people all over EVE in various ways, who is winning or losing in FW affects no one except FW players.

For all its pvp and missioning and plexing, if Faction War was stripped completely from the game tomorrow, it would only affect FW pilots.

Faction War. is. irrelevant.

When I first heard CCP's plan to introduce datacores into the LP store, I scratched my head. What on earth is a datacore? Why do we care about this? ? It seemed like a random move that only those who currently gain datacores through a completely riskless, passive method seemed to care about.

Then, I did a little research on what datacores are, and a light turned on. This was not a random move to dump stuff they don't know what to do with into Faction War's LP store, but a deliberate move to give Faction War a 'resource' of sorts that the rest of EVE relies upon.

It is a deliberate, planned approach to making Faction War relevant to the rest of EVE, and giving the mechanic meaning. Ultimately, they are trying to give us exactly what we've been asking for all this time.

Will this move be painful? Hell, yes. And, I'm not just speaking from the perspective of the people who are going to be left without their passive income. It's going to be painful for Faction War, even though it's exactly what we've been saying we want.

It's going to be painful because all of a sudden other people besides us are going to care who's winning or not.

It's going to be painful because we will no longer have our little corner of the sandbox to ourslves...outside the scrutiny of those who care about the markets and the economy.

Some are concerned that in many cases, outside parties will get involved in the dealings of Faction War. That militias will use naps with neutral alliances against each other.

As far as I can see this already happens. Just the prospect of getting a fight is enough to interest some alliances in joining up with faction fleets, currently.

The bottom line is, making Faction War better --giving Faction War meaning -- is going to attract people in many different ways. In some respects, I feel that some FW pilots want all the meaning, benefits, and payouts, but don't want to share. They don't want to be 'corrupted' or forced to join the ranks of the rest of EVE. They like having their own little corner of the sandbox.

But we can't have it both ways. The only way to preserve the current activity in FW -- to keep 'the masses' from getting involved or interested -- is to leave FW the way it is now. And most agree, that's not an option.


  1. "Will this move be painful? Hell, yes. And, I'm not just speaking from the perspective of the people who are going to be left without their passive income."

    Do you like T2 mods and ships?
    Yeah, it's gonna be REALLY painful because indy types need those datacores to research T1 BPCs to T2. If datacores are solely obtainable by FW LP, heh...ohhhhh boy. Severe shortage, because I guaran-damn-tee you that if you think you were going "Hm, datacore? WTF is this? I don't want it..." the rest of FW is probably thinking along those same lines.
    When indy types can't get datacores, I RE-HE-HE-HE-HE-HEAAALLYY doubt they're going to join FW to obtain em, Susie. ;-)
    They'll just stop producing T2 shiznat.

    Now combine that with mineral shortage from the drone goo changes, and "reduced wages" from nerfed bounties.... yep, definitely setting the stage for economic collapse leading to "all-out war".

    Only one problem with that.... and I think it's the one problem that would _actually_ solve your FW dilemma:

    You guys should be able to directly affect and take hisec occupancy as well. ;-) What's a "war" that only encompasses a few border zones and doesn't really affect anything else? That's not a war, that's a "police action" or "minor skirmish".

    CCP wants a better game and FW to mean something? Take it to the next level. Faction war is "total war". CCP: Take a dump, for VICTORY ... square on the carebears' heads. :-D

    1. I think Kirith gives a good idea of what Eve will be after the datacore change ( http://www.ninveah.com/2012/04/ripples.html ). In two words creative destruction :)
      And remember that before incursions started, there were no talk about farming them. For FW, CCP will just adjust the datacore faucet, if there are not enough farmers.
      Finally I think FW is meant to be guerilla/non-state warfare, otherwise why use the term militia?

  2. " yep, definitely setting the stage for economic collapse leading to "all-out war"."


  3. Whatever new meaning is applied, FW should be a provider of on-demand PvP, 23.5/7. It once was that way, and I think it could be again...