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.
Caldari+Amarr do plex about 30% more than Gallente+Matar on average according to my numbers, and have slightly more plexers get into the top 100 plexers list, but that's really the limit of the plexing imbalance. Notice it's not in favour of Minmatar. That's the whole reason Nulli were able to triple the squid plexing output while they were there in the first place. No hordes of plexing alts exist, or rather, if they do exist, they definitely don't plex.ReplyDelete
I'd really love to understand how this meme came about exactly. :)
CCP will have numbers that apply to actual mechanics issues. Players may not have access to that data. Don't despair CCP can still mess up the system worse than it is.ReplyDelete
"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?"ReplyDelete
1) At the beginning Amarr was spending allot of time defensive plexing instead of offensive plexing. Both give vp, but offensive plexing is smarter. So yes I agree at first a considerable problem was that amarr did not work with a good strategy. It is now pretty well established, that there should be a preference for offensive plexing. I think its pretty clear that now with the station lock outs its best if the smaller militia simply bases out high sec or one of the 3 low sec entry points. That way you are not saddled with defensive plexing.
2) I am not sure if minmatar get vp for plexing in caldari space. (althoguh I haven't confirmed this myself) This is the big hole in your analysis. When Minmatar started out inferno at tier 5 the majority of minmatar alts went to caldari space to plex. Its only after amarr flipped metro that the farm horde came to our front in full force.
3) The farmers also tend to major and medium plexes. They offer about 30-50% more lp per minute. The pvpers tend to do minor plexes and occasionally medium plexes because the rats in the major plexes are way too much for the majority of pvp fits to withstand. (at least for amarr) However, I am pretty sure, the minors offer just as much vp as the majors. So I think it would be fair to say that the side that is doing more minor plexes is not really farming fw - but doing fw. The mediums is sort of a mix but I think heavilly favors farming. But the side that is doing majors - is likely farming more. I really don't know which militia did what.
4) Nulli kept farming vulnerable systems. I think doing that still adds vp but it doesn't really help your militia. So this might explain how the amarr surpassed minmatar in vp. I think they joined on July 28th. Did amarr have more vp before then?
But this is the real bottom line:
"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."
Yep lets get teh numbers from CCP diagoras.
1)how many of each type of plex was run and in what ship types for each of the militias?
2) How many plexes involved an explosion or even an aggression from a wt or neutral before it was captured?
I can't speak for the majority, but I know many people personally who've put plexing alts into FW purely for LP farming. These alts are shifted between militias based on where the good LP rates are at the time, and are currently in Caldari or Minmatar.ReplyDelete
I think their effect on the warzone is exaggerated though. Firstly since these aren't mains, I expect these characters spend less time plexing than a harcore FW plexer would. Secondly these people usually plex semi-afk, which means they avoid systems which are likely to be defended. Most of them just plex backwater systems or those which are already vulnerable, and don't really add any pressure against 'key' systems.
On a slightly different topic:
"That means that Minmatar farmers would be concentrated within 12 systems, and Amarr farmers would be concentrated within 58 systems."
I used to think the same, but it doesn't really work that way. Minmatar LPers can also plex in Caldari systems, of which there are plenty, and most of which have far fewer defenders than the handful of remaining Amarr systems. Unless both Amarr and Caldari simultaeously lose most of their systems, plexers will always be spread among 40+ systems.
"I think their effect on the warzone is exaggerated though. Firstly since these aren't mains, I expect these characters spend less time plexing than a harcore FW plexer would."ReplyDelete
I find it is the opposite with my plexing alts. When I am on my main I am sort of plexing but mainly looking for pvp. So if go to a system and after a few minutes run on the timer I see it is very unlikely anyone will come into the plex I leave.
On my plexing alts its all hard core plexing - Pretty much getting he most lp per hour. Now its true that doesnt mean the most constesting the system per hour- because I think the minors contest the system as much as majors even though they take 2xs as long. But still on my main the plexing is much more just occassional and very inefficient. If I wanted to really win the plexing war I would be plexing in metro not in huola trying to get pvp.
"Secondly these people usually plex semi-afk, which means they avoid systems which are likely to be defended. Most of them just plex backwater systems or those which are already vulnerable, and don't really add any pressure against 'key' systems."
Well sorta thought that way too. Until I looked at how much metro was contested within about 48 hours of our flipping it. I was really pretty amazed at the minmafarm's efficiency. I mean for me running a net gain of say 5 plexes for a day was pretty good. That would mean the system is creeping about 3.5 % more contested day after day. But within 48 hours or so the minmatar had these systems at about 50% contested or higher. That means they had to run about 35 extra extra plexes per system per day. Thats allot of farming!
Although I wished we held out of tier 5. I think almity expressed the view of most or at least a large percent of the amarr when he said "Thank F&@#ing God that is over with." Everyone was tired of orbitting buttons with frigates. (and yes that is the only practical way for the amarr to capture plexes larger than minors.) Then just to see the minmafarm nation come in and farm the hell out of metro - within hours. Even I was like Ok F this. And I am one of those who most often try to annoy the amarr to get plexing.
But after looking at those numbers what am I supposed to say? Lets go chase farmers for hours on end in metro? I too had to admit this is just absolute farmville and agree we should all just cash in. I am as stubborn as they come but even I accept numbers when they are right in front of me. This whole thing mechanic is just silly.
Something to note - as you mentioned, VP is awarded for capturing Plexes. Capturing plexes also strips LP away from the system's hub, which has the overall effect of lowering warzone control. That's why Minmatar drop back so fast after they buy Tier 4 or Tier 5. So it's quite possible for Amarr to have approximate VP parity with Minmatar, despite not actually making any progress.ReplyDelete
Amarr did a ton of d-plexing on kourm/kam during the past few months. Didn't see as much d-plexing on minnie side.ReplyDelete
These last few weeks, well, most of us are a bit tired of the whole thing.
Susan, you forget that those numbers don't include Minmatar plexing in Caldari systems. The only numbers you should be looking at is the week after Nulli flipped all those Minnie systems. If you look at that week, you will see Caldari and Minmatar being roughly equal. Gallente are 1/3 of that. That is probably the best window of timewe have into actual plexing "power" of the militias. The Amarr was pretty much noise that week, because they have pretty much died. Below is the data for the week after Nulli flipped the systemsand the minnie farmers actually had lots of Amarr plexs available.ReplyDelete
VictoryPointsLastWeek" key="factionID" columns="factionID,factionName,victoryPoints"
factionName="Caldari State" victoryPoints="259517"
factionName="Minmatar Republic" victoryPoints="252289"
factionName="Gallente Federation" victoryPoints="79750"
factionName="Amarr Empire" victoryPoints="33109"
That's impressive, especially considering the Caldari have about 30 more systems with which to earn VP.Delete
This shows what a huge difference the farming alts are making. Before amarr flipped their systems (to hit tier 4) the minmafarm was in caldari space. They were plexing there and getting lp but you get no vp when you farm for your ally. (this is the key point susans analysis left out)Delete
What happened after amarr flipped metro? The farming horde came back. Not only did they get tier5 quickly but they took the pressure off caldari so caldari got tier 5 as well!
This explains why caldari are getting so many vp but weren't making as much progress as you would explect. They were battling the minmatar hordes who vp doesn't register when they are farming caldari space.
This is proof what a farmville game fw plexing is now. Hopefully now that Susan sees that she missed this mechanic where you don't get vp for farming for your ally and sees the numbers of farmers she will admit this is farmville in another blog.