Sunday, June 1, 2014

Faction War and Kronos

Many Faction War pilots have been telling me that post-Kronos, it will be faster for people to flip warzones due to the addition of large plexes. Another regularly spawning plex will increase the rate at which you can earn Victory Points, thus making it faster to flip individual systems --and subsequently, the entire warzone.

However, even though I agree that this additional plex will make it possible, mathematically, to take systems more quickly, I think that from a practical sense something entirely different is going to happen.

While plex farmers--sporting cloaks and/or stabs, and always running away at any sign of trouble--have long been considered a blight on the FW community, they also have served an important role. And that is to keep the warzones 'moving.'

The Faction War game mechanics are designed around the element of farming, for better or worse. The very nature of needing to slowly contest a system until you take it is not merely a game mechanic that 'encourages' farming, but requires it. And the need to do this across the warzone in large quantities of systems in order to gain more warzone control for larger payouts means that farming is a basic element of the Faction War game mechanic design.

Right now, a warzone will flip fairly quickly, due to plex farmers. In the last Amarr/Minmatar flip, it took only about a week for the warzone to go from complete Amarr dominance to complete Minmatar dominance. And there was no pvp campaign. There was no rally where we decided to take back the warzone. It happened because the farmers decided to start farming the Minmatar instead of the Amarr.

Now, while the addition of the Large plex will increase the rate at which you can gain VP, the changes to the NPCs and cloaking will easily counter any increase to system flipping.

In fact, I predict that the changes to cloaking and NPCs will significantly slow down warzone flips. At a minimum, militias will win for significantly longer period of time, and the warzones will no longer be flipped in a week. And on the extreme side of the spectrum, I think there is the possibility of warzones even becoming fairly stagnant.

Now, whether this slowing down will be good or bad is the real question, isn't it? On the one hand I could see this as a good thing. Many pilots have often complained about farming --and how the farmers 'rule' the warzone. I've often heard discouragement that the 'real' Faction War pilots don't really have any impact on the warzones --just the farmers out to make LP.

But on the flip side, stagnation could also be bad. Just because stabbed alts are going to be running things less doesn't mean that pvpers are going to be running things more. SOMEONE has to farm in order for the warzones to flip, and I think that pvpers who already know what it is to burn themselves out on orbiting buttons over and over will not be participating.

Furthermore, slowing down the cycles also means that militias will be winning for longer periods of time. Not only could this cause discouragement to the losing militia, but it will also have an interesting impact on the market.

What do you think? Are the changes going to significantly slow down the warzones, and would this be a good or bad thing if it happens?


  1. On the Gallente side of things, we all believe that farming will be significantly reduced for the same reasons. The only viable farming will become defensive farming, so the warzone will stagnate to some extent. That being said, if defensive plexing turns into the thing to do, once a system is flipped, it's going to be harder to flip it back. Possibly to include station systems.....

  2. There is nothing about the current system worth reminiscing about. The various entities of each militia need to live in the warzone and in various systems at that. Conflict is not created by logging in and doing a one hour roam through a dead warzone. Conflict is created when an actual militia entity threatens the home of the enemy.

    What we have right now is stagnation. Many people have quit and quite a few are not coming back. Logging on to hours of defensive plexing burns people out - not trying to get fights on someone else's home system.

    More spread out means more chances at getting fights and less of getting hot dropped. When you live in one super system because farming is so rampant it isn't that hard for PL to keep tabs on you.

    Finally - less volatility is hardly a bad thing. We will probably rarely see tiers 3-5. Farmers will shift to mission running rather then defensive plexing at lower tiers. The changes excite me and I look forward to helping rebuild the Amarr militia.


  3. It has become next to impossible to farm now in Kronos, primarily because of the NPC spawn rate. Taking a large plex requires killing up to a dozen BC NPC's with a stronger defensive buffer, something that cannot be done in a frigate or a destroyer. Even a cruiser would take around 40 minutes to cap a large, assuming you never get chased once. You are also going to have a difficult if not impossible time capping a medium or even a small in a defensive fit frigate. Farming takes a larger ship, much longer time, and entails greater risks.

    I agree things are certainly going to stagnate in faction warfare. Even worse, I suspect players are going to leave faction warfare entirely, which will harm not only the warfare mechanics but the opportunities for pvp as well. Systems are already beginning to stockpile plexes since they've become so difficult to cap for farmers or otherwise. CCP needs to at the very least reduce the NPC spawn rate to perhaps once every 5+ minutes.


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