Friday, August 31, 2012

Faction War 3.0 Part 2

Read Part 1 Here

CCP Ytterbium's post on plex changes is out. My initial thoughts are below, though it will probably take a little time to absorb the implications of what some of these changes mean.

Moving the warp in to 0-10k of the timer.

This will be a huge change, and one that I think is for the good. It significantly increases the risk behind plexing for both solo plexers and groups. While many have complained about solo farmers running away, I've witnessed many cases where entire gangs will 'huddle' on the button so that they can quickly depart if something they do not wish to pvp with enters the plex.

The one concern I have is that this makes it very, very easy for friendly militia to 'steal' LP much more easily by jumping into plexes at the last minute.

Making all captures ranges 30k. 

This is an interesting change, though I'm not sure what it's purpose is at this juncture. Since you will always warp into a plex within 0-10K, and fights will mostly happen on the warp-in, I'm not sure what this change will ultimately affect in game-play, or what problem CCP is attempting to solve.

Hostiles within the room will pause the timer.

This is the first suggestion I've seen that gets a huge thumbs down from me. I see it being extremely abused, especially in key battles over systems. Defenders can simply set up a fast frigate inside plexes, burn 300K off, and 'camp' inside, defending the system passive aggressively by not making it viable for the enemy to take the plex. (Which, in turn, prevents new plexes from spawning.)

There will now be four plex sizes. Rookie plexes will allow tech 1 frigates, Minors will allow all frigates, Mediums will allow all cruisers, and Majors will be unrestricted.

Plex sizes, in general, is somewhat contrived in Faction War. And, arguably, contributes toward pvpers becoming bored with predictable, 'standard' fleet setups and battles.

This may mix things up again, and I definitely like the idea of all majors being unrestricted. However, I wonder how long it will be, before brute force 'standard' fleet setups are seen in the new sized plexes as well.

NPCs will become faster, will have no EW, will have incorporated Sleeper AI, and will have active tanks that match the size of the plex they are in. Furthermore, one NPC will spawn at a time per plex, which will need to be killed before the timer runs down. Also, if pvp is happening, no NPCs will not spawn.

I have a lot to say with regards to NPC changes, so I will probably move my comments on this topic to a separate post.

I knew that plexes were not going to be an easy aspect of Faction War for CCP to fix. Everyone has ideas about what plexes should accomplish, no one really agrees on what the 'problems' really are, and I'm not sure that anyone will go away from overall plexing changes completely satisfied.

Sometimes, addressing any part of plexing feels like putting your finger in the dam. You fix one thing, and another major leak occurs somewhere else as a result of the pressure. Some have gone as far as to say that maybe the dam itself needs replacing --ie: maybe plexing in and of itself needs to be reevaluated as an overall mechanic for taking sovereignty in Faction War.


  1. I feel like the warp-in fix is a bit like the change to the iHub bleed -- bit too far the other direction.

    Your point about being able to contest in a fast frigate from 300k out is... yes. People are going to do that, and it's a bad thing.

    The changes to plex sizes bug me, because it effectively removes a lot of t1 ship options -- why ever hit a standard plex with a vexor or rupture when you know your opponent will show up in Ishkurs and Vagabonds? It's a step away from new-player-accessible (note: not friendly, just accessible) Faction Warfare.

    1. I agree. Setting up a frigate for speed and orbiting at 300 (assuming it is implemented as is) will definitely be a way to abuse the new rules, and it WILL be abused if it CAN be abused.