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?