Corelin, a new Caldari FW pilot who writes the blog Mad Haberdashers also had a few things to say about this strategy, which you can read here.
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 RatioThe 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
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 SystemOnce 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 ControlWarzone 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:
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:
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 ControlSince 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.
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 SayComparing 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
Wiki on Brokers Fees