If FW pilots can have their docking taken away, but neutrals cannot, then why wont people just leave FW? Then they can dock wherever they want, and continue to shoot each other as pirates. In fact, they'll have more targets now that they're not in a militia....
The missing ingredient to all of this comes down to ISK. FW pilots talk a lot about good fights and small-gang warfare, but many people are in FW for the ISK making opportunities.
To give some perspective, you can mission the LP for a Fleet Stabber in two lvl 4 missions, with some LP to spare. People who know what they're doing and have a good setup --maybe a fast alt to speed tank while their main brings in damage, etc., can burn through 12 lvl-4 missions in as little as 2 hours.
It is not uncommon, or unusual for a good mission-running FW pilot to make 750mil+ isk in an afternoon/evening of dedicated, solo mission running.
With new additions to the LP store stuch as Datacores, and LP gains through pvp and plexing, I believe the theory is that the lucrative potential of FW will be too great for people to resist, and will make the risk of fighting over stations well worth it.
But, what about people who don't care about missions? What about people that make ISK trading or doing DED plexes, or etc?
Well, if being locked out of stations is not worth it for them, they don't have to stay in FW.
Isn't that kind of harsh? Don't we want people to join and stay in FW? It seems like adding mechanics that makes people leave is really bad!
Well, it depends on your perspective. Right now, a lot of people are only in FW to exploit the free wardeccing system. They're after free, easy targets and are not interested in any of the other aspects of Faction War, or even working with their own militias.
The notion that Faction War is no longer going to cater to these kinds of people is actual a good thing, because it means CCP has succeeded in developing a unique game mechanic that has meaning outside of the 'free wardec system' that it is currently--meaning that will attract a lot of new pilots that actually want to be involved in something 'more.'
It is important to note that no one is getting kicked to the curb. But now, if pilots want to engage with a war-dec system, they can use the actual war-dec system. If they want to shoot whatever they want, they can use the actual game mechanic that caters to this style -- piracy.
But, won't fighting over stations hurt casual pvp? Don't we want to maintain casual pvp, even if we don't care about the free wardec?
A lot of people talk about 'maintaining' casual pvp as if the current Faction War system somehow enforces casual pvp. In general, it is not the 'mechanics' that make something casual or not--it is how you use the mechanics, and your attitude as a pilot.
In fact, having a 'casual' attitude toward something is just that -- and attitude. CCP can't change your attitude, and there are plenty of people in null-sec who treat null-sec mechanics 'casually.'
But, won't fighting over stations and having more people coming into Faction War cause there to be less small-gang pvp? Don't FW pilots love small-gang pvp?
Fighting over anything, instead of fighting for the sake of fighting will create less small-gang pvp. As people go toward meeting objectives (ie: taking a station) they will be less and less concerned about matching fleet composition for the purpose of getting a good fight, as has frequently been the attitude in FW.
However, this would occur with any 'goal-oriented' aspect being introduced to FW.
In other words, this comes from adding meaning into Faction War, as well as getting more people involved and interested. (As more people join, the fleets will have the tendency to get better.)
Since these (meaning and more involvement) are the very things FW pilots have been asking for, it is an interesting and ironic dilemma.
What about new players? Isn't Faction War supposed to be a place where they can easily access pvp, and 'get their feet wet' so to speak? Doesn't restricting station docking really hurt this aspect of Faction War?
First of all, after talking with an acquaintaince who really is new and grasping exactly how overwhelming EVE already is, it's pretty safe to say that not being able to dock in a hostile faction's station in a warzone would be a drop in the bucket...
Secondly, not being able to dock in a hostile faction's station during a large scale 'war' is logical, and most newer players would be able to easily grasp this concept. In fact, a lot of new FW pilots are often surprised you can dock in a hostile party's station.
Thirdly, most new FW pilots currently live in high sec, due to the low-sec warzone being so hostile. You don't see a lot of noob corps moving into the warzone because the high-sp, experienced older FW pilots would eat them alive. Not to mention the pirates, by nature of the warzone being in low-sec. (And on the rare time you see a young corp, or noob heavy corp move in, they don't stick around for very long...)
In many ways, I think that pointing at the new players and aruging that this change shouldn't go through because it will so horribly affect them is really just a desperate excuse. Ultimately, the change will most significantly affect the older players who could have the docking access they've taken for granted, taken away.
But...isn't it an issue that docking access can be taken away in so short a time? You could lose access in as little as 6 hours!
Yes. It is a huge problem that I hope CCP will address. (In fact, they arguably need to address this before they can really begin to fix Faction War, for reasons I will discuss in a different post.)
However, it is a problem that effects Faction War in general, and not just 'new' players or, 'casual' players.