Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Victory By Default?
One of the major problems of fighting for fights sake, is that your enemy will often decide not to engage if they feel that they don't have a chance.
This was seen this weekend when the Amarr (specifically Smurfsbrigade) abandoned their ships in a station and ran home in pods -- choosing not to engage the 60 man AHAC/Guardian fleet that the Minmatar were running around in. (We didn't really blame them.)
It was also seen last night, when the Amarr cruiser/BC gang refused to ship up and come after our small BC gang that was roaming in the area, claiming we had more numbers then we did by a long shot. (They of course count random AFK, docked militia in any given system.)
What's ironic is that both sides in this situation will feel themselves the victor. The party that decided to dock and live another day will consider themselves pushed into a corner and will look down their noses at the opposing force that 'blobbed' them. And, the party that forced the enemy to dock will claim victory by default.
In many ways, I believe this 'pick-and-choose pvp' is what many Faction War pilots seek to maintain in FW. Some call it 'casual' pvp, or 'fight club.' But in general, what it is is consensual pvp--the ability to choose what you want to fight, where you want to fight, when you want to fight.
And I firmly believe that this sort of 'causal, consensual pvp' atmosphere is the very thing that has made Faction War as stale as it currently is. As people wait more and more for the 'perfect fight', pvp action has slowly dried up until having an all out engagement can sometimes be a rare occurrence.
While encouraging pvp through LP payouts is good, I don't think it will be enough to break the current, stale trend in Faction War pvp. In many ways, I feel that the only thing that can really break this trend is a motivator of the opposite sort -- a consequence for not pvping.
In null-sec (and I realize that comparing FW to null-sec in any ways causes a great many feathers to ruffle) if you don't defend your space you lose it, along with all the perks and 'income' that comes with it. This isn't a 'null-sec' thing or 'sovereignty-mechanic.' This is simply risk vs reward --something that permeates and affects every mechanic in the game.
In many ways, when people whine about CCP forcing 'null-sec' mechanics down FW pilot's throats, I think what they are really scared of is this idea of risk. In many ways, introducing something into the game that provides a consequence for not defending your system introduces a sort of 'non-consensual' pvp into FW, and I think this scares people to death.
I know that there are issues with the proposed docking restrictions, especially concerning the time it takes to flip a system. I know that a great many people are against it altogether, even threatening to leave Faction War and EVE altogether if CCP goes through with it. I know that restricting docking access may cause some interesting problems that we have to work through.
But as I sit afk in space on a gate, on a station --anywhere, waiting in vain for wartargets to undock and provide some much needed action in this game, a growing part of me hopes that CCP will do it anyway.