Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Faction War is Going to Suck

A few days ago, Shalee Lianne from the Amarr Militia wrote a post on her blog about Why Faction War is Going to Suck.

Her opinions about the 'evils' of restricting docking access are not particularly new. They are shared by a lot of people in militia -- people who threaten to leave Faction War and EVE altogether if the changes are actually put through.

What I did find interesting were her references to the current imbalance in Faction War, and a call to resetting the warzone with the implementation of Inferno.

First, she talks about the 'fragmentation' of FW, and implies that she can't rely upon other time zones in her militia. I heartily agree that flipping systems should not be as easy, or take as short a time as it currently does. However, I think it is naive of the Amarr to think that lengthening the timers will mean that they do not have to deal with the issue of a fragmented militia that is incapable of coordinating between timezones. (and even coordinating among their own time zone)

She also mentions a time when Late Night plexed TZVI. While she was mainly discussing how the Amarr couldn't counter, having only seven in their fleet, I think it's more important to note that TZVI is a system much more important to the Minmatar's European base of operations and less important to the USTZ base of operations.

Since this is the case, why was LNA, primarily a USTZ alliance plexing there to begin with? Gasp!! Could Euro/USTZ coordination be somehow involved? It's a conspiracy!

The bottom line is that any militia who can tackle the timezone/fragmentation issues, even to a small degree, is going to have a leg-up come inferno, no matter how long it takes to flip a system. If the Amarr want to be competitive, (and want to maintain a presence in the warzone) they should probably start sorting out and addressing some of these issues, rather then hoping that CCP will bend the mechanics in such a way that prevent them from having to deal with it.

Secondly, she discusses the imbalance in numbers between the Amarr and the Minmatar. In my two years or so in militia, there has always been cycles in militias where one side or the other tends to be heavier. Eventually, things even out, or go the other way.

Shalee mentions a situation where she had 7 in fleet, where the Minmatar had 40. What she doesn't mention is the possible 30+ Amarr several systems away who were not 'with' her. In otherwords, some of the Amarr's numbers issues comes from their inability to work together, not from the sheer lack of numbers.

Over the last few months, the Minmatar have gotten much better at setting aside differences for the purpose of combining fleets to 'get the job done.' This did not happen naturally, nor was it an easy process. There were a few key individuals who really pushed for us to start mixing fleets, and keeping 'the peace' between various alliances.

Drama may have occurred and friendlies may have been shot during this process, but in the end most people saw the benefit of being able to work together when necessary, and I think this is going to benefit the Minmatar more then they know once Inferno comes into play.

The Amarr, on the other hand, seem to feel that this inability to work together merits a call to CCP to reset the warzone so that they have a chance. While I realize that the warzone will probably be reset anyway, just due to the 'behind-the-scenes' nature of the changes CCP is making, I find it hilarious that the Amarr think that this reset will help them.

In the end, unless they sort out their problems and organize themselves, they are still going to be in the same boat they are in now. They are still going to be fragmented, without much hope of countering the Minmatar.
And in the end it won't be the Minmatar's fault for having too much coorperation or too many numbers. It won't be CCP's fault for not making ideal mechanics.

It will be their own fault, for sitting on their thumbs or running away from the warzone, when they could be recruiting, organizing, coorperating among themselves and strategizing with other timezones.

So yeah, Faction War is going to suck for the Amarr. But not because of any mechanic, or due to any decision that CCP makes.

Faction War is going to suck for them because they suck.


  1. Now now Susan, the Amarr don't always suck. I seem to recall you and Galdornae were Amarr before joining up with Manos?

  2. Her big complaint is losing access to stations.

    Which is a non-problem. Have an alt fetch your stuff back to the new front lines, or build a POS and defend it.

    1. Not everyone has a second accounts or 2nd alt where we can train it to fly all racial ships that are docked in station be that T1 lines to T2 variants. Building a POS is more structure grinding that many corps don't have the bandwidth for. Don't assume that your solution is what fits many FW corps.

    2. lol...I remember living out of POSes during the MaxCampaign so long ago.

      It was like camping. Complete with bears...

    3. Yeah, a non-problem for experienced vets with multiple accounts. But Faction Warfare has always been intended as a feature that is accessible to players of all skill levels and skill point totals.

      Faction Warfare is what got me hooked on EVE, but learning to live in lowsec as a young pilot can be a challenge. I remember spending a day fitting and flying them one at a time into the warzone, preparing for weeks of war ahead. If I had logged in one day and found out that I couldn't even use the ships I spent my hard earned money and time on, it would have made me want to go play a different game.

      I've been encouraging CCP to make sure that they keep in mind the perspective of a new player when making these iterations, life in the warzone should be viable even for those with low skill points and a single account.

    4. I think that everyone should have a hauler alt, even if it needs to be on the same account.

      A Bestower pilot can be trained in about 8 hours. If you are willing to give up 8 hours of training your main, you can put this issue behind you. An alt hauler is just too damned useful to not have one.

    5. And remind me again how you're gonna fit a rigged cruiser hull or higher into a T1 hauler?

    6. Heh ... I guess you lose the rigs, eh?

      A folded up cruiser might fit in a pimped hauler. The other option is contract it to an alt, have the alt package it for a courier, and have that courier move it for you. Or pay someone you trust to move it for you.

      Yes, having stuff stuck behind enemy lines sucks, but it can be dealt with.

      Another possibility is discussed further down the thread: No use of facilities or docking of new ships, but allowing a pod to dock, activate, and remove the ship.

  3. I wouldn’t be worried about being on the losing side of the new FW. CCP has already anounced the reason people will join the losing side for profit; Datacores!
    When the FW LP store has Datacores for their own race the losing side will have less LP thus there will be less datacores of that race. Now what will happen to the price of those datacores?
    Once one side in a conflict starts losing their ranks will swell with ‘profiteers’ who want to farm the best datacores. This effect becomes stronger the more one side is losing.
    I’m not sure if this will cause a continuous wave of winning and losing or that there will be a equilibrium between winning and losing. It might even be that some groups will try to game the system by first stashing a lot of LP/Datacores and then drive the price up by making thier ‘own’ side lose (a lot) of space.
    It will also make people join FW only when the side they like/have standings for is losing because it pays better than running missions/mining/whatever.
    One thing it will do for sure is make more people join FW for reasons you haven’t seen before.
    (PS I’m not in FW, might be I’ll join the minmatar some day)

    1. Yeah, this is actually what the FW community has been trying to fight all along, more reasons for people to drop in and out purely for financial reasons.

      The original purpose of the FW feature was not to bring a fun new source of income to the game (like Incursions), it was to create an environment that fosters casual, sustainable PvP.

      The problem is that the existing mission structure and NPC presence in the occupancy dungeons is very vulnerable to inty / bomber farming, meaning that those that enter FW just for financial rewards can avoid PvP entirely while watering down the market and devaluing the rewards for those who really need the LP to replace ships they lose fighting the actual war.

      I'm not opposed to new reasons for people to join, but its unfortunate that CCP placed such heavy emphasis on giving players financial reasons to participate, rather than working more on the mechanics of the war itself to make engaging PvP the main reason for new players to sign up.

    2. Susan I just don't get you. You always post about PvP, and have lead me, and probably many of your readers to believe that is why you play eve. Now a well known (and loved) Amarr pilot and blogger writes a blog about how the current changes will more than likely limit PvP in FW and you trash it. I hope you can agree with me that limiting docking in hostiles systems will do nothing for the fights in FW space. If anything it will limit the fighting even more.

      Now i applaud the Minmatar for working together. There are those on the Amarr side who are trying to do the same. But at the end of the day people play this game for different reasons and some times those reasons just don't line up. The Minmatar will go into Inferno with a leg up I am sure of that. But once all the systems are taken and Amarr roams in for hit and run fights then leaves what will Late Night do? Huola will get lonely very fast.

      I know I run open fleets, and we have had some great new members come from that. You suggesting we are sitting on our thumbs is very wrong. We fleet almost every night. I play this game to have fun with my friends and shoot stuff. I've been having a blast recently, according to your blogs you have not. If you're not having fun its not because the Amarr suck Susan, its because you suck=)


    3. Almity,
      My intention is not to 'trash' Shalee's post, and I respect her opinion that restricting docking access will limit pvp. It's an opinion many people from my own Alliance have.

      However, are we really right in thinking that it will limit pvp, or is it only going to change it?

      Right now, not having anything important to fight over really limits pvp. Instead of brawling with each other we dance around, as I say further down int he comments, waiting for either side to decide the fight is 'optimal.'

      While fighting for fights sake is fun, it gets stale when the same people fight each other over and over again for months and years.

      It's time that FW was more then just a glorified free RvB style wardec that alliances can join in on. I think most FW pilots would agree with this.

      And even though many Faction War pilots are against docking restrictions, I have not seen much in the way of a suggested alternative, that is the same sort of 'big deal' mechanic that will give FW the major push it needs.

      So I ask you. What would you do to change Faction War to give it meaning, and encourage fighting?

    4. Hmmm ... maybe some mechanic that requires you to actually fight the enemy to get access to complexes? No kills ( or losses! ) for yourself or your corp = no plex access?

  4. I think Amarr got a bit tired of always playing the "up-ship" game. We have gotten a small upsurge in activity recently, but, mostly b/c we've stopped bothering with trying to up-ship to meet whatever the minmatar fleet of the night has (which usually includes logi, larger ship hulls, and a dash of loki boosts and ecm). We've become opportunists. This does mean we get some good fights/ganks, but doesn't equate well with being able to hold systems. I do expect there may be some increase in plexing when there is a real benefit to owning FW space.

    The crux of the issue is, it is difficult to coordinate with people who are not online or active, or who no longer care.

    In response to Susan's usual bias, I can only say that it's easy to say these things now. A year ago, this was not the case, Amarr was strong, and Minmatar was fractured. I say this knowing it makes the point that you made. However, I would expect a little more understanding and a little less smug derision. Although, if our short history has taught me anything, I can always expect smug derision to be in surplus and actual objective reason to be wanting.


  5. LOL

    Speaking of bias and unobjective reasoning, you make quite a few partial statements of your own. Just this attitude alone that the Amarr just want to have a GF, and the Minmatar ruin it all by bringing big, scary ships is somewhat rediculous. I can recall numerous times where the Amarr have dropped battleships into BC/Cruiser fleets, and etc.

    But, the whole argument will go in circles, as it always does. This is why I think it may be good for the Amarr/Minmatar to have something to fight over rather then just fighting completely for fight's sake. The run-around, fleeting-up, fleeting-down, each side trying to coax the other and convince them that the fight is 'optimal' has gotten old.

    Sometimes, we spend more times dancing around each other, reshipping, and analyzing then actually fighting. The Amarr are not the only ones sick of this.

    However, with the addition of something to fight for, we're focused more on 'winning' so to speak then trying to find an optimal engagement. While this might seem 'null-secy' I think it's going to spawn a lot of really fun, good fights on both sides.

    And I'll be honest. I thought preventing station docking was a bad idea at the first. However, I can't get around the fact that we need more then a little 'payout' to encourage fighting.

    1. Well, we've made it easy for you to know what to bring. We're in cruisers down. *rolls eyes*

      The rest of your wall of text isn't worth responding to.


    2. When I logged in yesterday afternoon (about 1700 eve) Wolfsbrigade were rolling 10 Abaddons with 8 guardians around the war zone, We couldn't rustle up the numbers to counter that so we continued to plex in Arayar.

      The same WBR fleet then dropped 4 Moros on Late nite POCOS and a POS so it was a wise decision not to engage it, We continued our plexing with the occasional roam around the surrounding area looking for fights while the plexes respawned.

      Amarr had eyes on what we were doing and they ran a few plex in Asghed But no major resistance came our way and at 23.10 we captured the system.

      During the 5 hours of plexing our gang consisted of 10 or so active players in a fleet of 18 and our ships ranged from Dessys to Tornados with 1 battleship arriving when we shot the bunker.

      The Amarr had 5 hours to do something about our gang but were content to roam around in a unbeatable gang looking for ganks rather than defend their system.

      Why should CCP give you back your systems when you don't care about them?

  6. So I'm not in FW, but I fly around the FW areas quite a bit.

    First of all FW is also about ISK pretending it isn't also about making money is just silly. If it wasn't why aren't you all just flashy 'Pirates' (I know many of you are that too) if it's *just* about the small gang PvP you don't need to join a militia for just that after all...?

    Also I see nothing wrong with people farming plexes in bombers or in the future farming datacores, EVE is still a sandbox there's no reason being in FW should somehow oblige you to PvP. Napoleon's grand army had it's cantinières & vivandières too, some people profit from war without fighting, always have, I don't see why EVE would (or should) be different.

    Anyways on the docking issue, I had to say when I heard about this in Iceland my first question was; can us dear 'pirates' still dock? Yes. Oh good, I don't care so much then.

    Anyways through my non FW lowsec pvp eyes the advantages of being in the militia are; you get to fight opposing militia on the gate, you can keep your sec status in one piece and you get access to the LP stores (the latter is easily done by having an alt farm in said bombers which I know some 'pirates' do).
    The disadvantages are; a metric shit ton of unwanted blues (people in the same militia) I can't really shoot which is really really bad.
    But now a new disadvantage will be added, namely docking right issues.
    And I can't for the life of me figure out why you'd be fore this? The only reason to want this is some something I would label as 'lol RP <(^_^)>'. Because really 'giving meaning FW' seems like a very odd reason to me if you actually mean what you say about FW being all about small gang PvP. Small gang PvP (to me) is about gud fites and explosions and has nothing to do something as arcane as docking rights...

    Anyways my 2 cents, rambling done.

  7. I agree with you. Neutrals docking is a problem, as I have said from day one. It basically makes a system where you are essentially 'punished' for being in Faction War.

    I offer some alternates here:

    As I've said above, I can't get around the fact we need more then payouts. Perhaps just losing access to missions, or some of the things i mention in the link will be worth it? What do you think?

    1. Losing access to plexes was my thought as well.

      If you don't get kills, or get killed, you aren't fighting the war, so why should you be sent on important missions?

    2. I can see the no docking for neutral in actual FW faction stations (so 24th etc).
      But I'd be vehemently against applying it to other stations for neutrals some pirate corps have been living in certain systems in what is now FW space since before FW was even a thing, it wouldn't be very fair to them imho.

    3. Maybe instead of losing access, just not allowing them to use ANY station services or dock a ship?

      They can dock while in a pod, activate an already docked ship, and fly it out.

      Faction military bases should also be surrendered until their faction regains control of the system.

      As for neutrals and pies ... this should not even apply to them. The police are responsible for dealing with them when they behave badly, not the military.

  8. Just pay Red Frog Freight or Black Frog to move your large items back to a station you can access. Or just sell it in the station. There was that so hard?