I’d love to see some ideas and suggestions that create more conflict drivers in FW, particularly inside plexes –conflict drivers that introduce interesting gameplay with perhaps the side effect of discouraging the not so great gameplay. As opposed to simply ‘punishing’ or ‘restricting’ the ‘bad’ people.
A couple things of noteworthiness regarding plexing:
First, there’s a lot of space to cover.
I’ve often said that farmers can only farm if pvpers let them. If they’re stabbed, and they run away—they’re not running the plex, therefore they’re no longer farming. The response often is that it’s ludicrous to think that pvpers should keep up some sort of vigil across the entirety of the warzone—playing a constant game of wack-a-mole with plex farmers.
Especially in the Gal/Cal warzone, it’s a lot of systems, and a lot of plexes to cover!
Rolling back timers and etc., isn’t really going to fix this. The whole idea depends upon pvpers chasing stabbed farmers out of plexes, so the argument that pvpers shouldn’t have to spread across the warzone to chase around stabbed farmers in and of itself kind of nullifies the argument for having the timers roll back….which would require that very gameplay.
Now, a different focus that could prove interesting, is somehow making the warzone feel smaller by funneling people into key areas. There are a lot of ways, both big and small, that this could be done.
Just one example would be to change the very way that plexes spawn in the warzone, so as to create more of a ‘front line’ feel. What if, you could only contest systems that are directly connected to a system you already own?
For example, let’s say the Amarr own the majority of the warzone, but the Minmatar own a key area where many Minnie alliances live—the Huola, Kourmonen, Auga, Kamela pipe. In order to take back the warzone, the Minmatar would have to start contesting and plexing systems attached to Huola, Kourmonen, Auga, Kamela…as opposed to spreading out all over the back woods of Metropolis to flip the ‘easy’ systems. Plexes wouldn’t even spawn out there.
You may have one front line, or perhaps a couple highly contested ‘pockets’ in the warzone. And in the unlikely and rare occurrence where a militia takes over every system, the front line would focus on the edges of high-sec. where the faction still holds control.
There would be no more warzone-wide ‘farming’ at all, but rather focused efforts in key places where plexing is even available.
Secondly, plexing in and of itself is kinda boring.
One thing I have often heard of pvpers, is that they quickly become ‘burned out’ when going on any sort of plexing initiative. But…what if pvpers were drawn to plexes for more than just watching the timer count down?
I mentioned a few posts ago about making plexes a sort of ‘anything goes’ battlezone. No security status losses for aggression, and etc. I think the idea of becoming locked out of highsec due to sec loss really turns a lot of people off from low-sec in general, and even Faction War. (We have to shoot a lot of neutrals in our plexes, so it’s very common for FW pilots to go ‘pirate.’)
In other words, instead of punishing the farmers, remove restrictions and turn-offs that are discouraging pvp inside plexes in any way.
And finally, is the matter of warzone economics.
Right now, the most lucrative LP making activity in Faction War is mission running. This is hands down, indisputable. At tier 4, Minmatar missions pay out around 60-80K LP and often take no more than 5 minutes to complete in a stealth bomber. At tier 5, a lvl 4 mission can payout upwards of 100K+ LP. This is why a lot of militia PVPers will mission binge during high warzone control as their primary source of income, as opposed to relying upon the LP they may get doing the odd plex, or through pvp.
Furthermore, because of the highly expensive nature of keeping I-Hubs upgraded, militias will rarely upgrade unless they are doing a fullscale warzone push.
The changes I’d propose are simple. First, I’d disconnect missions from warzone control, and simply pay base payouts regardless of warzone control. Missions have nothing to do with Warzone Control, or sovereignty.
Secondly, ONLY in conjunction with the changes I mentioned above, I’d redistribute some of those ISK payouts by somewhat increasing ALL plex payouts so that plexing becomes more of a viable way for pvpers to make a constant income stream, as opposed to mission binging. Mind you, there will be far less plexes and no more farming off in the far reaches of space.
I guess they’ll just have to fight over them. ;)
Thirdly, I’d change the algorithm for upgrading warzone control/system upgrades, so that it is more viable for militias to hold middle warzone control tiers. In a healthy warzone, I’d like it to be common for one militia to maintain WZC3, while the other has 2, or etc. Right now, it seems that only the militia doing the warzone push even bothers upgrading.
With all of these changes, I think you’d see a much healthier warzone:
- There’d be less mass plexing, and more concentrated plexing.
- There’d be even more reasons for pvpers to be inside plexes –both for pvp reasons and economic reasons, making plexing extremely dangerous for someone unprepared to defend themself.
- There’d be less burn-out and more strategy in taking the warzone, or parts of the warzone. Taking certain systems over others may have more meaning and strategic value depending on their location.
- The bulk of the LP payouts will focus around the conflict, as opposed to farming missions that don’t really create any conflict.
- Players would have the ability to create defendable locations by creating sovereignty buffers around their home—making living and defending one’s home in the warzone more of a reality.
- The ‘snowball effect’ of farmers cycling the warzone back and forth every couple months will significantly slow down, without creating an atmosphere of stagnation.
Anyway. Just a thought or two. =)