Friday, August 31, 2012

Faction War 3.0 Part 1

CCP Ytterbium recently released his first forum post with information about the direction CCP is planning to go with Faction War in the winter release.  While it doesn't give any information about plexes or NPCs (that's coming in a later post) there's a ton of information regarding changes to overall Warzone Control, payouts, and other things.

Some key ideas that CCP seems to be pushing in the upcoming release:

  • Eliminate Tier spiking and cash-outs, and make a more gradual systems you have to build up over time.
  • Less harsh payout system for lower Tiers, and a change in the balance of the income between Tiers overall.
  • Diminishing returns for higher Tiers
  • Lots and lots of upgrade 'cookies'

My thoughts on specific changes are below.

Warzone Control - Pre-Inferno static pricing will be reinstated, and payouts will be affected more by Warzone Control  with 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 as factors (vs. original payouts) for payouts for Tiers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively.

There's a few interesting things with this setup. First, mathematically, this will be a huge nerf to Tier 5 income rates, and a huge buff to most other Tiers. At Tier 2, we can easily make the same income we did pre-Inferno, and at Tier 3, we can easily make twice as much per hour. This means that only in a situation where a militia is completely annihilated (ie: cannot go above Tier 1) will the system payouts be less than before FW 1.0.

First, I think the switch back to static pricing, and making the warzone control affect payouts is a good step. I'm not completely sure of the payout factor breakup. It's pretty lucrative to be at Tier 2 and Tier 3 in this setup, so I'm a little concerned what this will do to people's motivations to get more space. However, it may prove to encourage pvp in the long run, as people will be more encouraged to join militias, even if they can't get Tier 5 right away. (And, more targets = more pewpew.) I think it will be one of those things where we're going to have to wait and see, and I'm sure if there's a huge problem that emerges, they will be able to tweak the factors in the future.

The idea that people can cash out any time they want is definitely a plus. It has never seemed right that some people miss out on Tier pushes simply because of what time zone they are in.

Increasing System Upgrade Costs, and Reducing Bleed Out

This means that getting various upgrade levels within systems will cost more LP, but that hostiles cannot plex it away as fast. This is another huge step in eliminating the 'spikes' that occur in warzone control, and will allow militias to maintain warzone control tiers over time, which will be more necessary since it affects payouts now instead of LP store prices.

New System Upgrades

Can anyone say cookies? Well, we're getting more of them! I admit that I already send alts to various FW systems to make use of the extra research slots. I hate POSes, and just about anywhere else, the research slots are queued up for at least 30 days.

Additional Industry slots are getting a huge buff, with +5, +10, +15, +20, +25 slots. This includes slots to ME, PE, and Invention which is HUGE, since in general, empire slots are usually filled up and queued out for a month or longer.

Also, at Level 5, we will be able to anchor a Cyno Jammer. However, it will be destructible, and will only last for a temporary amount of time. (And only available in a system with lvl 5 upgrades.)

The other upgrades are good as well. I only wish there were more upgrades exclusive to Faction War so that there was more of a sense of earning something for ourselves, as opposed to upgrading for everyone in the system, including neutrals.

Maintenance Fee

This was something new that I hadn't really heard discussed much. Apparently, in addition to upgrades being significantly more expensive across the board, they will be even more expensive if you have higher Tier levels. I'm not entirely sure what I think about this yet, I will have to ponder it more.

LP for Defensive Plexing

This is going to probably be more controversial then the cynojammer, but I think without the context of what they are doing inside plexes (hopefully that will be out soon!) we can't really analyze it too much. In general, I think it will go a long ways toward eliminating the whole concept of allowing hostiles to take systems so you can farm them back, and instead allow people to make more ISK in their own systems. But, again, we need more details about plex changes to really look at this overall.

No VP or LP for plexing in vulnerable systems.

I'm glad for anything that encourages people to fight for their own militia, as opposed to putting alts in other militias for strategy purposes. (ie: taking down I-HUBs) I hope this will eliminate that and will make sovereignty more interesting as people flip things back and forth instead of just kepe things vulnerable for farming purposes.

Overall, lots of good things coming for Winter! It's amazing how broad the changes are, and how big some of them are going to be. This release will arguably be as big for Faction War as Inferno was.

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