One of the largest claims made by a variety of pilots is that the Minmatar have had a massive influx of plexing alts join militia due to the worth of Minmatar LP.
Not only has this been widely regarded as common sense truth, it has been referenced and used in a wide variety of arguments with regards to plexing mechanic discussions.
Zeric Sarain, previously a Fweddit member and now a member of Late Night, recently wrote on his blog, “Many in the Amarr militia assumed that their efforts would cause a shift in the general population of faction-aligned farming alts to favor the Amarr, as their LP store would be the most profitable place in the war for a brief time. These people assumed that the presence of these farming alts, whose numbers cannot easily be empirically known or reasonably estimated, gave the Minmatar the advantage wielded throughout the history of the war to date.”
In other words, the Amarr’s recent strategies to take back the warzone were, at least partially, dependent upon the assumptions they had made with regard to the Minmatar’s plexing numbers, and the hope that they could make use of them themselves.
Unfortunately, those who widely (and emphatically) make claim to these numbers, do not provide anything in the way of proof –either through a thought-out argument or hard numbers. In fact, while the entire idea makes a lot of sense, it is essentially based on speculation and personal perception alone.
Long ago, I discussed plexing based on system numbers. I will resurrect a lot of what I said, but in a different context.
First off, it’s important to know that ‘farmers’ plex in hostile systems, since offensive plexes are the ones that pay out LP.
When Inferno went live, the Amarr had 12 systems, and the Minmatar had 58.
Now, let’s assume at that point that the Amarr and Minmatar had equal number of plexers. That means that Minmatar farmers would be concentrated within 12 systems, and Amarr farmers would be concentrated within 58 systems.
It would then be logical to predict that in this scenario (with equal plexing numbers) that the Minmatar would flip systems much, much faster than the Amarr. Since the plexers are condensed in only the 12 systems, these systems would reach vulnerability faster.
However, looking back on the events in the weeks and months following Inferno, we see that this did not happen. In fact, during some points of the war, the Amarr flipped systems faster than the Minmatar, reaching at one point, +7 more systems then the 12 they originally went into Inferno with.
There could be a few reasons for this:
1. Once the Minmatar reached a smaller number of systems, it became more difficult, since the Amarr pvpers were also condensed in this area. However, this would not explain the Amarr surpassing original Inferno system numbers.
2. The Amarr could have coordinated their plexers within specific systems. This seems especially unlikely, as the Amarr admit themselves to not having particularly stellar coordination. Also, it’s somewhat a stretch to think that an LP farmer would care much (or even know) about their militia’s particular objectives.
We are left then, with the possibility that perhaps the Amarr, in fact, plexed more than the Minmatar in the months following Inferno. Not, as many believe, the other way around.
But of course, while logical, this argument is hardly evidence.
One thing that many people perhaps do not as widely know, is that plexes reward more than just LP. They also reward Victory Points—which are the points that determine contestation levels within systems.
Not only does completing a plex reward VP, but these VP numbers are publically displayed on the statistics page in the Faction War GUI. You can see, on a week by week basis, how many VP are earned by each militia, as well as total amounts since Faction War began.
Since I’m particularly interested in numbers, and statistics in general, I’ve tracked some of these numbers over the past few months. (In fact, I have data as far back as December of last year.)
In early May, around a week before Inferno, VP numbers for the Amarr – 8.6 million, and Minmatar – 8.83 million.
When I checked the stats this morning, we are at Amarr – 10.28 million, and Minmatar – 10.27.
This means that between the time that Inferno went live and now, the Amarr have earned around 1.68 million VP, whereas the Minmatar have earned around 1.44 million VP.
If the Minmatar plex so much more than the Amarr, as many people think, how can they have made so much less Victory Points than the Amarr since Inferno?
Perhaps the Amarr's plan to tempt the plexing farmers to switch to the Amarr's side did not fail because these plexers refused to change sides. Perhaps it failed because these superior plexing numbers did not exist.
But, past strategies are neither here nor there. In fact, I do not really even care who plexed more in and of itself.
What is relevant, however, is that references to the Minmatar's 'superior plexing powers' is being used, and referenced in many discussions regarding Faction War game mechanics. How can we have a productive discussion about what is and isn't broken when many arguments and opinions are based upon false information? How can we honestly look at the system and identify the weak spots when our assumptions are dependent upon inaccurate speculation?
This is not the first time that the sway of public opinion (and outrage) was built up from false information. Around the time Inferno was deployed, the idea that the Minmatar had superior active numbers was one of the primary concerns of the Amarr. Many claimed the Amarr coming back was hopeless against such superior numbers, and begged for a warzone reset.
However, in the Summit Minutes recently made public, (The Summit took place a mere week after Inferno went live) CCP Soundwave said that "According to the data, there isn’t any evidence that one
side is steamrolling the other in terms of activity or kill success." (Page 114)
This is a far different outlook than the perspectives of many Faction War pilots, from the Amarr and Minmatar alike, who assumed that the Minmatar had much stronger activity numbers.
We may not always be able to completely toss off the cloak of bias. We may always find our friends a little more right, and good then they really are --and our enemies a little more fail then they truly are. But, when it comes to discussion about game mechanics, and the future of the game play we all enjoy, perhaps we can be a little more inclined to challenge our assumptions. Perhaps, instead of basing our ideas on things that are merely convenient, or popular --we can instead attempt to seek out the truth for ourselves.