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.