## Wednesday, June 13, 2012

### The Math Behind the Backward Strategy

Azule over at The Altruist wrote an interesting response to my recent post on some ‘backwards’ strategies that have been arising in Faction War as of late. He gives three scenarios that could potentially arise from game mechanics that encourage the loss of systems for monetary gain. I won’t go into the details, and I suggest you read his post for yourself.

For those who like to see hard numbers, rather than verbiage about what is or isn’t more lucrative, here is the situation in all its mathematical glory:

It takes approximately 150 plexes to plex a system from 0 to 100%, with no hostile interference. We can estimate that this number will double, as for every hostile who defends a plex in system, you have to do an additional plex to make up for it. (And defense does happen, if even for just fun fights.)

• Therefore, with average defenses in place, a militia could do around 300 plexes to set a system vulnerable. (This number could be much more on systems that are more heavily defended.)

Assuming you do an even number of minors, mediums, and majors, 300 plexes will net you a BASE of 5, 250,000 LP. (10k * 100 + 17.5K * 100 + 20K * 100) This doesn’t take into consideration the fact that you could do more lucrative plexes, including Major Strongholds which give higher payouts, the 40k LP payout for the I-HUB, as well as the LP payouts for the plexpvp that takes place. In other words, this is a low estimate.)

### LP to ISK Ratio

The Minmatar can currently (WZC 4) purchase a Stabber Fleet for 22,500 LP + Approximately 7 Mil worth of mins, or a Stabber hull. Since you can sell a Fleet Stabber for around 60 million ISK, the LP to ISK ratio for the Minmatar is (60 Million – 7 Million) / 22,500 =2,355 ISK per LP.

The Amarr can currently purchase an Omen Navy for 180,000 LP + around 6 million ISK for the mins/hull. Buy orders are currently around 80 million isk in Jita, therefore the LP to ISK ratio for the Amarr is (80 Million – 6 Million)/180,000 = 411 ISK per LP.

### Taking a System is Lucrative

Going back to plexing figures, the Minmatar pretty steadily maintain Warzone Control lvl 4. Therefore, they get a 15% bonus to all payouts. Therefore while the Amarr get 5,250,000 LP BASE for taking the system, the Minmatar would receive 6,037,500 LP for taking the same system.

Factoring in LP to ISK ratios, that calculates to 2.1 Billion ISK for the Amarr and 14.2 Billion ISK for the Minmatar.

#### Owning a System

Once a system is owned, the max upgrade is 5. This means that the max discount to medical clones, taxes, etc. will be 50%.

There are also non-monetary benefits such as being able to dock, bragging rights, station slots, etc. Many take advantage of the industry slots (which compared with what you can already find in nearby empire systems is no deal breaker) with neutral alts. Docking rights, while important in key home systems, have largely not been a motivating factor of system acquiring, especially in systems that have no station. ;)

At 85 million skillpoints, my clones cost 20 million ISK. (The average SP of most FW players is extremely less than this.) Pretending that the Minmatar are all 85 million SP players, we’d have to purchase 1,420 medical clones in one system before the discount benefits would match the income acquired (by Minmatar)in plexing the system during its hostile state.

The current formula for Broker Fees (the fee that is discounted based on system upgrades) is
% = (1.000% - 0.050 % X BrokerRelationsSkillLevel)/2^(0.1400 X Faction Standing + 0.06000 X CorporationStanding)

Therefore, pretending that we have a general trade alt with the Broker skill to 5 and no standings to speak of, the broker % would be (1-.05 * 5)/2^(0) = 0.75%. With a 50% discount, this would translate to a savings of 0.375% of all sell orders.

In order for market order discounts to match the income acquired (by Minmatar) in plexing the system during its hostile state, you would have to put up 37.866 BILLION ISK worth of NEW market orders.
A general PVPer putting up 100million ISK worth of random modules on the market will save a total of 3.75 million ISK.

### Warzone Control

Warzone Control is the primary factor that controls LP store prices, as well as LP payouts. The nutshell version of warzone control mechanics is this:

Each system is worth a potential of 6 points, 1 for ownership, and +1 for each upgrade up to 5 upgrades.

Warzone Control tiers are hard line thresholds. (You either get there or you don’t, nothing is pro-rated in any way.) The Minmatar/Amarr ‘threshold’ is 84 points. (70 Systems * 6 Potential Points / 5 Tiers)

Therefore, you need the following ranges to acquire the given Warzone Control Tier in the Minmatar/Amarr Warzone:

1 1-83
2 84-167
3 168-251
4 252-335
5 336-420

Note: Since you need 84 points to reach warzone control 2, you can own all the systems in the warzone and not reach this level if you do not upgrade any of them.

Mathematically speaking, a certain number of systems are REQUIRED before you can possibly get a Warzone Control Tier level. (For example, if you own 10 systems and upgrade these all to level 5, that would leave you with 60 points which doesn’t meet the first 84 point threshold!)

The following is a table of the minimum systems required for each Tier:

1 1
2 14
3 28
4 42
5 56

The price for upgrading a system with LP increases for each level by 5,000 LP, with the first upgrade starting at 10,000 LP. Therefore, to get to LVL 2 it would cost an additional 15,000 on top of what it took to get to LVL 1, and to get to LVL 3 it would take an additional 20,000.

The more systems you own, the less systems you must maintain at lvl 5. Since it is cheaper to maintain lower upgrade levels then higher upgrade levels, as was already mathematically explained, this means that the more space you own the cheaper it is to maintain it. If you can spread 'points' to lower upgrades rather than relying on lvl 5 upgraded systems, you will spend less LP.

The following chart shows the break up between each Tier, with the x-axis illustrating the number of systems owned. As you can see, as you acquire more systems, the cost of upgrading systems to maintain a certain Warzone Control level tapers downward.

Note: If the system was linear, ie: Upgrading it to 1 cost 20,000LP, upgrading it to 2 cost +20,000LP, upgrading to lvl 3 costs +20,000 LP for a total of 100,000LP to upgrade to lvl 5,it wouldn’t matter how you distribute the points in your systems as it would all ultimately cost the same.

### A Matter of Control

Since Warzone Control is based on thresholds, with maintainability becoming easier as you gain more space, every system you own on top of the minimum you need for the WZC LVL you’re attempting to keep becomes a sort of ‘buffer zone.’

For example, if you are trying to maintain only Warzone Control 2, and you have 30 systems (which is 16 more systems then you need for the minimum) it is extremely easy to maintain the warzone, only needing the bulk of your systems at 2 and 3. If you have 14 systems, you must maintain every system at upgrade lvl 5 to keep your warzone control lvl, making it very difficult.

#### The Minmatar

Currently, the Minmatar own 58 systems, and usually maintain a Tier 4 Warzone Control. The Minimum number of systems needed for Warzone Control 4 is 42. This means that we have 16 buffer systems, which is actually quite large.

In fact, we have enough systems to reach the minimum threshold for Warzone Control 5. However to maintain Warzone Control 5 would be significantly more difficult as we’d have to uphold many more systems at higher upgraded levels. (The Minmatar briefly reached Warzone Control 5 yesterday.)

### What Susan is Trying to Say

Comparing the monetary value of owning a system with the potential income of plexing it while hostile, knowing that defending is monetarily pointless and knowing that the risk factor of losing a handful of systems from a 16-system buffer is relatively small, it is only common sense for the Minmatar to enact the strategy of giving up systems for the purpose of monetary gain.

The being said, it is also more monetarily lucrative for the Amarr to give up systems and take others, as opposed to defending every system that they have.

Therefore, the ‘struggle’ in Faction War becomes which Faction can take systems faster than the opposing Faction.

#### Food for thought:

If both sides have a relatively even number of active pilots, and yet the Minmatar have only 12 systems in which to offensively plex and the Amarr spread themselves between 58 systems, who do you think should be able to flip systems faster, just as a matter of natural course?

#### Related Posts:

A Backwards, Yet Lucrative Strategy
Guide: Plexing in Faction War
Basic Warzone Control

#### References:

Market Prices
Wiki on Brokers Fees

1. this strategy is prone to fail and will burn pilots out. For example as your war zone control gets higher you will eventually get less and less isk for the things you sell because they are of abundance. Also letting your enemies take a system will invariably let them come back at you harder and with more isk.

If the amarr realize that this is your plan they'll let you take the systems back and then take they may take them back again. This may continue until they feel they have enough LP's and do a offensive "cash-in" LP drop. Pushing them in to tier 2 levels and allowing the amarr who have much HIGHER isk values for they're faction equipment which you have unknowingly let that happen. They'll come back at you with better fleet comps because they now can afford to do so.

1. That's not logical, actually.

Even if the Minmatar get full Warzone Control 5 for a long period, prices will not drop that much due to outside influences. Even if they do drop to the price of their tech 1 versions (which can never happen for a variety of complicated reasons I wont get into here) our LP will still be worth more then the Amarr's at that point.

As far as doing a quick cash-in, the Amarr could technically do this, but it would have to be extremely coordinated among all time zones. Technically, they could have done it when they had 14 systems for a brief time, putting all their systems at 5. However, at minimum system numbers it would be impossible to maintain Teir 2, even.

Even cashing in everything for a brief period, their LP would not be worth as much as the Minmatar's is on the daily basis, so the idea that they would suddenly have more ISK then the Minmatar is illogical. Also, you assume that the reason the Amarr fly crap is because they can't afford to do otherwise. A lot of the new Amarr are new pilots, so skill also comes into play. A bunch of unskilled pilots in faction ships would simply feed the Minmatar PVP LP, which would further their cause, not hinder it.

2. I am thinking that potential change to the current fw mechanic that would impact this situation perhaps for the better would be to not structure the war zone control tiers so symmetrically. I mean, make teir 2 take fewer control pts to reach and scale it up so that the number of additional warzone control pts needed to get from 4 or 5 is twice that of getting from 2 to 3. I have not done any math with it, just having the idea to scale war zone control. Perhaps make it take 14 maxed systems to get from 2 to 3, but 1-2 only takes 10 maxed systems worth and 4 - 5 takes 16 and 4 -5 takes 20 max systems work. That kind of idea. It would make it easier for an underdog faction to gain a foothold and yet make it harder for a dominant power to gain a strangle hold.

2. You seem to keep complaining that minmatar has no incentive to completely crush the amarr out of existance. But that is sort of the point of balance. You gave a proposal on eve-o that seems to provide no balance but instead mirror null sec.

Goons just won against white noise. Now lets just say white noise was amarr and could only fight to take the space goons took. How many people would join them? At least as an alliance they can decide they want to try to take over other space. In faction war we are locked to the system ccp designates. If one side completely squashes the other, then the war ends.

Are more people joining amarr or minmatar?

Susan you are already lucky enough to profit from a severely unbalanced system. You should be happy, but instead you are focused on your minor economic disincentive to completely own the map. Your obsession with this minor inconvenience is leading to multiple posts asking ccp to change the rules even more in your favor.

Don't make me get my pictures of crying babies out.

1. LOL, You are either attempting to troll me, or have completely missed the point.

I don't propose anything in this post, and ultimately this is not a balance issue. It is a risk vs reward issue, and a problem with the philosophies of some underlying mechanics.

Ironically, the 'fix' helps the Amarr and makes things somewhat more challenging for the Minmatar. Though I suspect I could propose something that gives the Amarr billions of ISK and they'd still scream it was a Minmatar conspiracy. ;)

2. Susan
You are trying to make people believe there is a problem inherent in the current system. One which your "solution" posted on the eve threads will solve.

But the "problem" isn't really a problem its just a tiny bit of balance for the underdog. You don't have a great economic incentive to take every single system from the amarr. :(

Takes that tiny bit of balance out of the mechanic. That is why amarr don't like it but I'm not surprised a few minmatar think it looks promising.

I have repeatedly asked how you think your system would be balanced. You keep baldly claiming it is and that it helps the underdog but never explain how that is the case.

Shifting around with semantics saying this has nothing to do with "balance" but with risk v reward and "philosophies of underlying mechanics" gets us nowhere.

And anyway its funny to hear you say this isn't a balance issue when your eve-o proposal addressing this same concern is titled "Balancing Faction War"

But whatever, bottom line if you have some sort of balance in your proposal that I am missing or if you are proposing something new lets hear it. But continuing to cry that you guys won't be able to continue to make billions of isk if capture every last system from amarr is a pretty high class "problem".

-Cearain

3. "But continuing to cry that you guys won't be able to continue to make billions of isk if capture every last system from amarr is a pretty high class "problem". "

This is not the problem...lol. This is your interpretation of what you think I am saying the problem is.

It is a mathematical fact that it is more lucrative LP wise to take a system then to defend one. Therefore it is a common sense strategy to take a system to replace one that has been lost, instead of spending the same amount of time defending the one that is threatened. In a way, taking systems is a type of defense against your enemy who is taking your systems, and due to the LP payout system, this type of defense is ENCOURAGED.

From here, you have jumped to some rediculous notion that I'm claiming the Minmatar are panicking because we won't be able to make ISK once we've taken all your space. Not only is that completely off base from what I'm talking about, but it's not even logical, as you yourself said that mission running is more lucrative anyway. Heaven forbid the Minmatar not be able to make LP plexing when we can make 1-1.5 billion isk an hour mission running under our Warzone Control 5. (I know we can, because it's already been done.)

Concerns over not being able to plex once we take all the Amarr's space is not even on our Radar as far as Minmatar concerns go. I didn't even know I was supposed to be concerned about it until you and other Amarr informed me I was concerned about it. ;)

What I am ultimately saying in this post is that the current system encourages a system of defence by which we 'give up' systems and take others, as opposed to heartily defending systems. This is just a math thing, and applies to the Minmatar, the Amarr, the Caldari and the Gallente. It just...is.

The reason I shy away from talking about 'balance' is because 'balance' has a decided political undertone, and this is NOT a discourse over balancing things between political parties. This is a discussion of how a game mechanic is working, plain and simple.

I will be writing more about this in the future, and explaining a lot more things in a lot more detail.

4. Susan, people seem to think that you are a political pundit with hidden motives for your proposals/ideas. Even the Eve Altruist article casts you in some similar light: openly asking that if the Minmatar goal is to run a puppeteer-like system where we let the Amarr take some space only to reap the benefits of taking it back; then why would you come out and say it, thus undermining the potential effectiveness of said plan. I guess that is what people expect to see. But right there is a clear illustration that Susan herself is not interested in promoting a given political angle but simply asking questions about the current system and thinking about how else FW could be done.

Let me help out any readers here with questions about Susan's motives writing these articles and posts. She is a numbers geek. She likes doing the math and seeing how things turn out in extreme cases, etc. You have seen eft-warriors, yes? Well she's a calculator warrior, a spread sheet wizard. She is not trying to manipulate things in FW to make herself or the Minmatar more isk, nor is she crying about anything, least of all how she can or will make isk or "win fw".

This whole discussion started because Susan felt like the current mechanic (regardless of sides) does not promote defending space. She feels like (and so do some others) in a game where you try and take something, you should be rewarded for keeping it. The current system does not reward keeping space nearly as much as it rewards taking space. So ask yourself (like Susan did), what could be changed in FW to make it rewarding to keep the space you have taken. So she came up with an idea of how to structure FW to promote holding space you have taken.

There are two valid discussions to have here.

1: Taken Susan's premiss that it would be good if FW was a system that promoted holding space over taking space, does her proposal accomplish this? What are the potential pitfalls and downsides to her proposal? What other ways could FW be set up to encourage holding space over taking new systems?

2: Do we really want FW to encourage holding systems over taking new systems? This is the very discussion people are addressing when they claim her idea makes it too much like NULL sec space. Is FW better off rewarding sides for taking enemy space and not for holding already taken space?

So keep that in mind. You can address both issues. Does Susan's plan do what it set out to do and encourage defending captured systems? Do we even want to encourage holding systems? This does not need to be an emotional discussion about who's side is winning - try to think like a game developer instead of a player.

Under the current system, I think that there will be more cycling over time as systems change hands back and forth. Susan's analysis seems pretty good. I am not convinced that this is a bad thing, however. I understand the basic idea of wanting to hold onto what you took, but I am not convinced that FW would be better off that way. I think that perhaps FW will live longer and be more fun to take part in if systems to change hands more often, not less. I do see the parallels between her proposed system and NULL sec sov, and I do like the idea of FW being quite different from 0.0, not more like it. Overall, FW is supposed to be the perpetual war, not a system that will fall into some certain alignment where very little changes anymore. Mainly, I think that we really need more time to play in the current system to see how it pans out. Time to see if minor tweaks are what is needed, or an over haul is in order.

Urik

5. Urik knows me better than I thought. =p My corpmates actually troll me all the time for my spreadsheets, and any time I say I’ve figured something out or found something cool, they say “did you make a spreadsheet for it, Susan?” LOL!

Where I ultimately disagree with Urik is the claim that making space worthy of holding onto would create a null-sec like environment that ultimately discourages a perpetual war. In fact, I think it would have the opposite affect –it would promote PVP. However, beyond all of that discussion, my beef with the system is actually quite more general.

Currently, the intrinsic worth of a system, for the most part, is in taking it, not in owning it. To me, this is illogical. Imagine as a manufacturer, if you received payouts for building something but when you finished building it, you ended up with a worthless item? This would make no sense! And what’s more, instead of making use of this useless item, you would be encouraged to reprocess it and start over, which is essentially what the Minmatar are doing. Instead of keeping various systems they simply let them fall so they can ‘build’ them again, since owning them means little.

Yes, we are pvping in this system right now. And having a heck of a fun time! When the system of Rousch fell, Minmatar gangs roamed over there to harass the Amarr.

However, we had no intention of defending that system. Which means we are ultimately not fighting over space. We were ultimately fighting for fights sake.

This means that in many ways our PVP is similar to pre-Inferno motivated pvp, and ultimately this could mean that it could also go stale as it did historically.

Now, imagine mechanics where it is extremely valuable to OWN systems in and of themselves, along with warzone control Imagine if the Minmatar didn’t want the Amarr to take systems for personal strategic and monetary purposes? Well, we’d have to fight for it! Imagine the PVP this would produce?!

Instead of needing to take a lot of space in order for it to be worth it, every system would become a valuable asset.

As far as saying FW would become like nullsec, I do not think that this illogical philosophy of fighting to take space vs fighting to own space is what ultimately makes nullsec and FW different, and therefore I do not think it would shove FW toward becoming like nullsec. I think that the differences in sovereignty, particularly in having a dual-ownership system rather than a free for all, as well as the plexing system and a myriad of other differences will keep FW from ever becoming like nullsec in the sense that Urik is talking about.

6. Urik says:
"Susan, people seem to think that you are a political pundit with hidden motives for your proposals/ideas."

There is nothing hidden about why she posted the last few blogs. She explains what her solution to these imagined problems are here:

I will quote the section titled "The Solution.":

"The Solution

1. We would swap the Warzone Control store/payout bonuses. Instead of the store prices doubling with each tier, they would go up/down by 5,10,15 & 20%. Payout bonuses would double and quadruple. This means that the most the LP store prices would be are 120% base, and the least they would be is 80% of base.

2. We would swap offensive and defensive plexes. Therefore, plexes you run in your own space would be 'offensive' in that the rats are hostile and shoot you and you get LP, but 'defensive' in the sense you are 'protecting' your space from hostile invasions. Plexing in hostile territory would be essentially 'assisting' the NPCs, and would not result in LP payouts. (The primary reward for plexing in hostile space is taking the space.)

3. We would shrink the warzones to about 1/3 of their original sizes, making the warzones more volatile.

4. We would add a System Upgrade where the higher the upgrade, the faster plexes in system spawn."

This is what she wants. If I am wearing a tinfoil hat for simply quoting what a person says they want, then I guess I am a tinfoil hat.

If her premise is that there is no value in holding onto systems then her premise is simply wrong. This and other problems have been pointed out to her in this blog and in her thread. But she still wants the above quoted "solution" so she continues to argue for it.

-Cearain

7. Cearain, Susan likes her idea better than her image of the current FW set up. Yeah. My point is that she wants it because she likes how it works, not because she thinks it helps her personally when compared to the current system. That is all. This discussion isn't a what's good for Susan or good for Minmatar discussion. It's a how should FW be designed from a game development standpoint.

The premise that there is no value in holding onto systems would be wrong, Cearain, but that is not the entire premise. More like, there is MORE value in taking a system than there is in holding one. A dollar has value, but one hundred dollars has more value. Or to put it another way, a job that pays 10 dollars an hour has value, but given the choice, I would do the job that pays 50 dollars an hour instead. It's a better job, so I would spend my time on it. Susan suggests that since taking systems has more value than holding systems, people will spend their time (a limited resource) on taking systems, not on holding them.

Plus, I'd wager that Susan is arguing for her changes to spark discussion, and to see what others think of her idea, not to push CCP into adopting her idea right now. I bet she is smart enough to know that no such drastic change is going to be implemented this summer, or probably even next patch unless FW collapses entirely. You don't find it hard to believe that different people would have different ideas about how the future of FW will turn out, do you? I don't think your a tinfoil hat for pointing out what she states in her plan, but I do think that it is a bit off topic to keep attacking Susan for having an idea. Let us talk about ideas. How do you think FW is going after theses changes? Will the upswing in PvP last? What will FW settle into once people get used to how it all works? Is the current design to your liking? Why? Why not? How would you design FW if you had the chance to do it? This doesn't have to be a side with Susan, or attack Susan discussion.

I think I will stick to talking about FW now, not talking about Susan, but I wanted to make that point clear.

Susan and I have had some of these discussions already, but to respond, I don't like analogy of FW vs real world corporate business, manufacturing, etc. Nor do I like analogies about real wars, etc. It's a game mechanic designed to engage participants in PvP battles. FW doesn't have to match the logic of a real war, nor a business model, etc. So the fact that you dislike the current system, Susan, because it is illogical in some fashion or another when compared to other systems of competition or what have you does not sway me at all. The real question is, over time, will this current system of promoting and rewarding the capturing of systems more than the holding of systems lead to more sustained warfare or if it will stagnate. Alternatively, will your proposed alternate system of FW promote an active war zone and the PvP that we want to see in FW or will it ultimately stagnate. I happen to think that they current system will continue to provide an active PvP war zone for quite some time and therefore I feel there is not reason to make drastic changes like the ones Susan proposes. But I think that only time will tell. So let us play this out and if come next May see what the state of FW is and decide on where to go from there. Maybe Susan's idea for FW will be the right choice at that time, or maybe not. Let us play it out and see.

8. I think game mechanics that favor people taking over different space instead of just sitting in their own space and carebearing make for more wars and pvp.

Like I said a big problem with null sec is because it does pay so much more to "own" space than it does to take over new space. This is why there were very few wars that are worth anything in the last few years.

I really think if they made null sec such that if you sit defending your space for too long you run out of benefits and you can only get the best benefits by constantly conquering new space, like Ghegis Kahn, did then null sec would be a lot less boring.

So I am against ideas that encourage people to sit and farm their own territory (especially when the enemy can't even dock there) instead of going to fight for new territory.

Not only is boring but there already is a mechanic in eve if you want to own space where your enemy can't dock so you can run pve.

-Cearain

3. Susan says:
"It is a mathematical fact that it is more lucrative LP wise to take a system then to defend one. Therefore it is a common sense strategy to take a system to replace one that has been lost, instead of spending the same amount of time defending the one that is threatened. In a way, taking systems is a type of defense against your enemy who is taking your systems, and due to the LP payout system, this type of defense is ENCOURAGED."

Exactly! Whereas you in your proposal on eve-o you want to make fw more like null sec. But do you know a big reason why null sec is horribly lame right now? Because the mechanics do not encourage you to take enemy space. They encourage you to sit there and farm your own space. Hence no war.

If null sec alliances had an economic incentive to actually take over new space instead of sit there farming like carebears there would be allot more pvp in null sec.

The faction war mechanics right now are good because yes you will defend your space if you see someone actually plexing - ie, you get pvp. Fly in kill them and you don't have to worry about orbitting a button for no reward. If you don't actually kill them in pvp *before* they capture the plex then you are punished and have to orbit a button for no reward. This encourages pvp. This encourages you to actually stop the person orbitting the button as opposed to letting them do it and then orbitting a button yourself.

As far as what you propose, until you say different I can only go off of what you posted on eve-o. There you basically try to copy the lame and counterintuitive parts of null sec and apply them to fw. I understand why you would want to do that because null sec has no balance and your changes on eve-o would benefit the minmatar tremendously. But your not looking at what is good for the game as a whole.

And I am not saying you are intentionally biased. But the things that rub you the wrong way are working as intended. They are rubbing you the wrong way because they are what is balancing the game and you guys strolled into this expansion with an overwhelming lead.

-Cearain

1. See, I like this more. You address the FW situaition. And I tend to agree, Cearain, I think the current system does encourage PvP. I want to see systems changing hands and battles being fought. If just holding what you have is a great payday, then things get locked up. I don't think her system would make FW just like the bad parts of null sec tho. I can see your point, but much of what makes null sec bad for pvp is the huge spaces and empty systems, etc. So making the war zone smaller, as Susan suggests, I think would actually make it less like null sec and it would encourage more battles. I will repeat that I do not beleive that Susan likes her idea because it is unbalanced and would benefit the minmatar, tho. She likes it because she thinks it is more logical and well organized than the current system. Continuing the personal attacks just doesn't help the conversation.

And I take a bit of umbrage at the idea that we strolled into inferno with an overwhelming lead. Our lead will decline, for one, and for two, we worked for that lead. Sorry your side didn't do better under the old rules, but it's not like these systems were handed to the minmatar. We took them using the same mechanics that the amarr had to play with. I know you complained that those mechanics were unfair to your side, etc. But in the end, not both sides can win. We won the first round, so to speak, and so we have the better position in the second round. But I think that the amarr have a good chance to come back at us.

2. Ok I am glad you agree that mechanics that encourage you to take over new territory instead of sitting and farming what you own are good. I also appreciate that you see I am giving reasons for my views and not just attacking people.

Making the warzone smaller is just going to limit options and strategies to where the side with the bigger blob can sit there and take over the war zone. This just makes the war one dimensional.

There are other better things ccp can do to make the war more intense. I have posted thousands of times that they should simply let the militias know where when and by whom plexes are being taken so that the players can fight for them and ninja plexing becomes a thing of the past. There are other ideas such as having timers count down when someone warps out of a plex.

Susans idea of having bigger pay for pvp is ok. But already the minmatar store is so good its getting close to 10k isk per lp. How much better can it get?

Its not that I think Susan is a real life pro minmatar fanatic or anything. Its just that her experience is shaped by the faction she flys for. Her ideas would address problems she and her faction are having with the war now. But she is not really looking at the big picture. Like ok if you get lp from defensive plexing and not for offensive plexing then why would anyone choose the amarr?

They wouldn't. Right now from our perspective there are only 2 reasons to be in amarr. 1) the no lp for defensive plexing will eventually wear minmatar out and we will get allot of systems to flip. or 2) some null sec or quasi null sec (fweddit) group with a big ego will try to flip the war just to get recruits, make isk and get publicity.

As far as what you did to help the minmatar, I don't know what you personally did. Sasawong has more loyalty points than any minmatar *corporation.* I dare say that much of your victory was a one man effort -not really due to coodination. As far as your claim that minmatar earned this in the weeks leading up to inferno - How many systems did minmatar have 2 weeks before inferno?

I mean I really don't care too much myself. Like I said before I do not take the success or failure of the amarr militia as some sort of personal issue.

So really I don't know maybe you did do allot of plexing. But I think most of the minmatar were like hans. They really didn't do much plexing. So they were lucky enough to walk into a windfall ccp handed out.
-Cearain

4. I guess I don't see the worth in a conversation about who did how much plexing. The amount necessary to take the systems was done by minmatar before the patch. Who did how much is pretty immaterial. My point was that CCP did not hand systems to the minmatar. Minmatar pilots ran plexes and shot bunkers thus flipping the systems according to the rules of fw at the time. And even tho I have heard the complaints that plexes were bugged, etc. and it was hard for amarr to flip systems, that does not matter since all plexes had the same chances to be buged. Minmatar won that round of war because we had more people running more plexes than the amarr did. Pretty simple. Probably not worth further discussion. If you think that the bugs in pre-inferno fw aided minmatar more than amarr and therefore CCP defacto handed victory to minmatar by not addressing those bugs before inferno released, than we can just agree to disagree. To me, that sounds like the losing side blaming someone else for their loss. We are both probably a bit biased by our perspectives and are not going to convince each other that our view is the more correct one.

I like the idea of reporting where plexes are being run so it is easier and faster to choose to go face them. As it is, fw space is too big to easily roam around and find fights. You find some, but it is plenty of empty system after empty system and a being so boring to roam looking for fights you often never find, then the motivation to go looking for plexers goes down. Just as annoying is when you finally find someone plexing and there are 4 of them and 1 of you, or the plexer is in a cruiser med plex and you roamed in a frig, etc. So even the fights you find you can't have. Plex reports, even if it was just areas with recently closed plexes and how many ships were in them - something like that - would be nice.

I don't understand what you are proposing with timers counting down when someone leaves a plex.

I have seen more people purpose that defensive plexing give some reduced LP just so people will spend time on it and get something in return. But again, I kind of like that defense has to be for its own sake. Otherwise you lose the system and can try to take it back for great gain. Also someone (Curtiss Hawk I think) suggested to me that and LP reward for doing a defensive plex would go straight into the I-hub (at some reduced rate even) instead of to the pilot (or no reward at all). That was you could not farm for personal gain by defensive plexing, but at the same time there would be some benefit like raising the system control level by defending. I thought that was an interesting idea. Not sure how it would play out.

Bigger payout for pvp kills would be nice, in that in practice, pvp is not really all that great of a way to make lp. Offensive plexes pay more and so do missions. But that is really just because so little pvp is solo while plexing and missions are often solo or two and 3s getting good pay. Solo kills of t2 frigs pay just fine. But 5 people killing 5 t1 fit frigs and you get a couple hundred lp. Not worth much. So I am not sure how to balance that. Maybe it's ok as it is. At least it encourages solo and small gang pvp.

Susan, Cearain and I agree. Your proposal to change FW to make holding space the profitable aspect and to make taking new space less valuable by comparison is well thought out and would work well to achieve your stated goal. Cearain and I also agree that changing FW in that fashion is not what we think would make FW better. The current system of promoting taking systems and not paying to defend systems (other than to keep your ability to dock and to keep the overall number of systems high for the overall warzone control bonuses) is a good system. I would rather encourage systems changing hands than encourage systems to stay the same.

1. What I really want in more PvP. And frankly, things have already returned somewhat to the pre inferno norms where fleets are forming to find enemy fleets to fight, and plexes are not being run at all until the fleet disbands. Then some small groups or solo people run some plexes for defense or for LP, or to look for a fight. In that regard, perhaps the LP payouts for Plexes and mission should acutally be diminished and PvP kills increased. I don't know how it will turn out, but I could see it ended up after a few more month just like it was pre inferno were for most pilots in most fleets, plexes are bad word and no one cares to do them, at least not in groups. Ninja plex for LP (read isk) or solo run your missions, but when in fleets, just look for fights.

Ideas that decrease ninja plexing are all good in my book. If we want to PvP over plexes trying to turn systems, then either we need fewer systems to patrol or we need a way to find where the enemy plexers are at. At the moment it feels like there is no way to really stop ninja plexing and that is what is contesting most systems. Not gang warfare over the systems.

5. "I like the idea of reporting where plexes are being run so it is easier and faster to choose to go face them. As it is, fw space is too big to easily roam around and find fights. You find some, but it is plenty of empty system after empty system and a being so boring to roam looking for fights you often never find, then the motivation to go looking for plexers goes down. Just as annoying is when you finally find someone plexing and there are 4 of them and 1 of you, or the plexer is in a cruiser med plex and you roamed in a frig, etc. So even the fights you find you can't have. Plex reports, even if it was just areas with recently closed plexes and how many ships were in them - something like that - would be nice."

Currently fw isis already much more like sov null sec where the "frontlines" are busy but the back systems are pretty much empty. We are after the same goals here urik. I would ask you to consider a few points:

1) What you describe above is exactly why I used to have plexing ships throughout the war zone. If I went and saw a plexer in a cruiser and I was in a frigate I would then be able to reship and get in a cruiser to fight him. Same thing if I was in a cruiser and he was in a minor. I had ships at several different bases so I could reship and get the fight before the plex closed. This of course is no longer possible.

2) @ the counter: The counter would not automatically start counting back to zero unless an enemy war target landed on grid (or on grid with the accelleration gate before you leave) So if you run a defensive plex up for a few minutes and warp off before any enemies land on grid the timer stays as normal. Also if you find an ninja plexer running a plex next to you and go chase them out your plex timer will not count down. But after you chase them out theirs will!

3) I am glad you agree some sort of notification system would help prevent ninja plexing. However if we only find out after the plex is taken its sort of too late. If we come the ninja plexer can then just warp off to a different system and we are still stuck with chasing him.

4) As far as who did what to win. I am not saying minmatar used bugs more or whatever. I am saying that for myself and I think the vast majority of people in faction war who ended up going into this war with more systems was pretty much arbitrary. I hardly did many plexes (I use them to find fights allot but I would rarely run them.) Hans admitted he wouldn't do it. The blog sov wars had a poll as to who does plexing and it pretty much bore witness to the fact that few in faction war would do them other than to get fights. Now sure sasawong and there were guys in arzad who were plexing hard. They definitely deserve what they got. But I will admit if amarr ended up on top it would not have been do to my efforts. I think hans would agree.

Here is a site that give how many vp everyone has:
http://api.eve-online.com/eve/FacWarTopStats.xml.aspx

Look under "vp total". You will see that sasawong individually has more vp than any of your minmatar player corps has total. This is true even though many of your corps have been around for years. I guess what I am saying is that what happened is that suddenly ccp just said that somethign that no one really cared about is all of a sudden going to be important. When this happens its leads to a somewhat arbitrary result. But I agree that this is somewhat beside the point. Except so far as I would say that the end result of this war is too far removed from me for me to place really care. I do not have the time sasawong has to really make a difference.

Moreover the way you win this war by using alts to plex like mad is not something I am interested in. So if amarr wins its not really something I personally am proud of the fact that they are losing now is not what I consider any sort of personal failing. I guess that is what I mean when I say its just sort of arbitrary which side I was on and how they are doing.

-Cearain

6. Ok, I see your "arbitrary" assertion about who won the fist round of FW. I agree that when something thaty didn't matter is announced to start mattering, the results are often tilited in an unpredictable fashion just based on who decided to personally respond to that change. I will point out that Sassawong was plexing a ton daily and leading all militia in plexing and VP since the introduction of FW. The fact was, when inferno was announced, many minmatar who had never plexed or hardly every plexed before, decided to get in on the action because there was a short term goal that seemed achievable. My point being that Sasa has that huge lead built over time. There were many more minmatar helping plex in the week before inferno lauched that at any time previously. So their VP total numbers aren't big like Sasa's, but in crunch time, they were helping flip systems. The fact about Sasawong is that the minmatar would have lost many more systems over the past two or three years (has it been that long already?) without his efforts. But he personal role in the leadup to inferno and the minmatar domination was a lesser percentage simply because for that short time, many more pilots went plexing. Not only that, but our most common FCs of fleet who for years eschewed running plexes in favor of looking for fights and even camping gates decided to take their fleets to plex in the days before inferno's release.

A real time plexing chart showing what ships are running what plexes would be cool, it just sounds harder than a list of recently closed plexes. The latter seems much more like the type of intel ccp has provided us with in the past; ie the map with recent ship losses shown. So as much as I would like more detail, it seems like asking for a lot from ccp whereas the first option seems like something we could probably get right away. Plus, a recently closed list would still help in that you would know for certain that there WAS someone out there to go fight, instead of just roaming blind hoping to seem something. I know for me that is a deterrant, not even knowing if I have a chance to find someone 10 jumps out. So even tho the info would not be as useful as the intel you are asking for, I think it would still help (and be easier to get from CCP).

I'm still unclear about what you are suggesting for plex timers...

"The counter would not automatically start counting back to zero unless an enemy war target landed on grid..." Counters don't automatically start counting back to zero ever. There has to be someone in range of the timer, either friend or enemy, and that determines which way the counter counts. If both are in range, it does not count at all (and if ther is fighting around the timer, it usually bugs the plex and breaks it :[ ) I'm sure you know how it works, I just can't tell what you mean the change to be. Are you saying you want defensive plexing to work as it is, but offensive plexing to lose the time put on if the plex is not finished?

1. I think we more or less understand eachother as far as how we ended up where we did. I would agree that systems like arzad were vigorously defended, by people other than Sasawong. That is why I was against a reset. But you get what I mean so no need to dwell on it.

As far as the counter you are right it does not count back to zero now. The proposal is that it would start to count back to zero if you are chased out of a plex. The pvper who comes in would not have to sit there and undue the plex timer. He could go back to doing his plex or whatever. This would benefit those that stay to fight for their plexes and hurt those who run.

What I was getting into, were more of the specifics of the proposed mechanic. Just leaving a plex when no one has landed on grid with you or on grid with your accell gate would not make the plex timer start counting down. It would only start counting down, if, when you leave an enemy is on grid with your accel gate or on grid with the button.

-Cearain

2. I don't know... that seems awfully complicated. Timers are buggy enough, not sure they would ever work right like that! I do kind of like the idea tho, that running an offensive plex, the timer will count back down to neutral if the plexers leave for any reason. It's like a bit of built in auto defense, so if you are pvp focused and chase enemmies out of a plex in your teritory, or kill them in the plex, you don't have to sit in the plex to get the timer back down to neutral. You'd still have to sit there if you wanted to close the plex, however. I would not want defensive plexes to do the same, however. Since it is a useful tactic in uncontested systems to run plexes there in almost close, thus making it take longer for an enemy to take it. Again, since there is no payout for doing defensive plexes, at least this would make it easier for people to chase enemies out and acheive something.