Thursday, May 8, 2014

FW Changes

As far as I can gather, three changes to Faction War were announced at Fanfest:

  • The addition of a Large, regularly spawning plex,
  • The inability to cloak within 30K of a capture point, and
  • The re-spawning of NPCs inside plexes.

I am very glad they are returning regular Large plexes to the game. When they introduced the concept of the ‘Novice’ plex, instead of simply giving us a new plex size, they renamed things in such a way that actually took a larger plex away. So, in many ways, re-introducing a gated Large plex is putting something back they took away a while back.

Either way, many have been asking for it back for a long time, and I’m glad CCP is finally getting around to it.

The other two changes I’m not so sure about. I’m not entirely sure what CCP is hoping to accomplish by removing the ability to cloak. Already, you cannot run down a timer while cloaked, and cloaking as a way to surprise an enemy seems to me to be valid, sandbox gameplay. 

I do not think that cloaking will impact farming, as most farmers simply warp away. Nor do I think it’s really going to impact the majority of pvp that actually takes place inside plexes. 

What is the point, exactly? Am I missing something?


And finally, the change to NPC behavior. How bad or indifferent I am to this is going to depend on exactly how they do it. How fast will the NPC respawn? How many NPCs will a player be expected to kill through the course of running a single plex?

NPCs inside plexes are kind of a touchy thing for Faction War pilots. On the one hand, we need some sort of risk involved, otherwise farming would be even worse than it is today. But on the other hand, when you’re having a legitimate, small gang or solo fight, the last thing you want is NPCs showing up and swaying the fight in one direction or the other.

At any rate, I’m glad they are willing to make at least some minor changes to Faction War. And especially that they are looking at plexes. While plexes are primarily a ‘FW’ mechanic, they are also popularly used by the general inhabitants of low-sec.


  1. Really quick thought on the last point. Could they not implement a mechanic which prevents NPC spawning if the site is contested i.e. two pilots from at war faction were present.

  2. Your thoughts mirror my own. The large plexes I don't think are gated though, they're the larges we have now, just with regular spawns as far as I can tell.

    As for the other changes... not many people seem to be in favor of them once they sit down and think about what it actually means. The cloak one especially, since it does nothing to deal with WCS in plexes while taking away one of the prime ways to hunt the ships using them.

  3. WCS are to be dealt with soon(tm) in the module rebalance.

    The cloaking trick means the farmers have to do something rather than just press F1. There is also the possibility some of these cloakers are bots. This makes it a lot harder to bot.

    The NPC spawn is to help with those that come through with a neutral alt and clear all the rats in several systems allowing their farming alt to, erm, farm. It also directly impacts farmers with crap DPS as they take longer to kill the rat. Respawns are random times so impossible to say how many you'll get given randomised timer. It was suggested that the respawn timer only runs when the capture timer is also running. That way they won't interrupt fights.