Friday, November 8, 2013

To Farm, or not to Farm

Something that has been a constant thorn in the side of Faction War, has been regarding the concept of ‘farming.’ I’ve seen people outside of Faction War complain about this ‘farming’ for economic reasons, as well as militia members complain that it is skewing sovereignty in that the farmers have a significant impact on sovereignty, and indirectly, warzone control.

What is this farming that they are talking of?

Primarily, the act of pilots running a large number of plexes, solely for the purpose of monetary gain in the form of LP, and most often on low-SP alts in stabbed ships.

I’ve heard all manner of theories on what the ‘problem’ is. The ability to enter a plex with a stab on your ship, or the timer being such that it allows the farmer to continue their farming when given threats are gone.
In reality, these are but symptoms, or side effects of symptoms. And fixing any of these things would be similar to handing a tissue to someone with a really bad head cold, and calling it the ‘cure.’

The problem with farming in the warzone is actually the fault of pvpers not farmers. For, the only way that farming can happen is if pvpers allow it to.

To explain fully what I mean, let me give you an analogy.

Let’s say, that for whatever reason, I decide to take out a POS in low-sec. Perhaps because I think it’s going to spit out goodies, or because I think I can steal the modules later. Either way, I fit up a Battleship, and go shoot at it.

Now, a corp not at all related to the POS passes through the system, and scans me. A quick look shows them that there is a lone Battleship attacking an undefended POS.

They are pirates, so of course, they want to pew me! Kill the battleship!

But I see them on scan and run away before they get there. My objective is not to pvp, but to take the POS. I am ultimately not fit to take on a fight like that. Not to mention, they outnumber me 6 to 1.

They smack a little in local, but go on their way. I return to shooting the POS, and after some time manage to destroy it. And poof! I get hundreds of millions of ISK in loot.

Now, a few members of the pirate gang sees this and starts to complain very loudly about it. “A lone pilot should not be able to get that much ISK for doing something that was ultimately risk-free.” He claims. “All she had to do was sit there stabbed, and she gets so much ISK doing so!”

At this point, let me ask you. WHY was I able to do this? Are the POS mechanics at fault? Or perhaps, the fact I’m allowed to fit certain things on my ship in the presence of said POS?

No. The only way I was allowed to do what I did was because the POS was undefended –either by the owners, or the pirates who’s objective was to GET PVP, not defend some random POS.

My objective did not at all line up with the pirate’s objective. I wanted to take the POS, they wanted to pew. If I had wanted to pew, it would have been another story. If the pirates had stuck around to defend the POS, it would have been a different story.

This is exactly the problem in plexing for Faction War. Regardless of how the plexer is fit, or what their end goal is, (roleplaying, LP, etc.) their objective is to TAKE THE PLEX. NOT PVP. The objective of the PVPer is to pvp, not take the plex. The plexer will do what they need to do to successfully take the plex –whether this is fitting stabs or otherwise. And the pvper isn’t going to stick around once they realize they aren’t going to get a fight.

If the plexer also wanted to pew, the story would be different! If all the pvpers also wanted to take the plexes, the story would also be different. For the only way a farmer can farm, is if the pvper doesn’t stick around.

The only way that plexing is, or ever will be a conflict driver is if there are two parties fighting over the same objective. This is why the biggest fights and the most pvp happens in militia when one group is taking a plex another group want, usually due to high contestation levels on a system that one side wants to take and the other wants to defend.

Some could argue that the huge monetary benefits of taking high warzone control Tiers is a conflict driver for people pushing the warzone one way or the other.

But unfortunately, this is not how it works.

I’m going to tell you a secret: the warzone is rigged.

Yeah, you heard me right. The Amarr and Minmatar fighting and hating each other is smoke and mirrors. CCP has designed the system in such a way that ISK ultimately runs the warzone.
The Minmatar know this. The Amarr know this.

What do you think the Minmatar are doing right now? Bemoaning the fact that we’re losing? Losing sleep over how to come back from this? Gearing up for a long war involving PVP to take back the warzone?

No way. We’re cashing out. And hoping the Amarr win just a little bit longer so that all those Stabber Fleets and Tempest Fleets and Firetails we have hoarded away continue to rise in price.

What are the Amarr doing?

They’re hoarding—LP, ships, etc. Because they know that in a few months, the Minmatar inevitably will be winning and it will be their turn to make bank.

The bottom line is that in Faction War, it is in everyone’s best interest to lose now and again.

In fact, perhaps we can all sit down and create some sort of schedule?



  1. Yup, you nailed it, Susan. Excellent post.

  2. Not to mention that farmers have alts in both militias as they can't care less about who wins.