Monday, August 26, 2013

Faction War Guide 2013

Its been over a year since my last Eve Online faction war guide so it might be time for an update. Some of the mechanics have changed and the old guide is now outdated in many respects so in need of a refresh. I am also getting a lot of search hits for "Faction War Guide 2013" so here you go! I've tried to keep the simple bits short and sweet!

PvP! The ability to shoot people in the face without getting GCC (yeah, yeah. It is a felon flag now, but it will always be GCC for me!), gate gun fire or those nasty security status hits in low-sec!

Sign Up!
As an individual, if you have 0.0 or better faction standing, you can join as an individual with the corresponding NPC corp:-

Amarr - 24th Imperial Crusade.
Gallente - Federal Defense Union.
Caldari - State Protectorate.
Minmatar - Tribal Liberation Force.

If you have bad standings then you can join an existing militia player corp. You can enlist your own corp into faction war providing the corp standing is 0.0 or above to the faction.You can enlist your alliance into faction war providing EVERY corp has 0.0 or better standing to the faction. If your standings drop below the requirements, you will be kicked from the militia.

When you join one militia, you become at war with another two. Caldari and Amarr are allies as are Minmatar and Gallente. Join the Minmatar, and the Caldari militia can shoot you as well as the Amarr!

Note, that doing things in Faction War will effect your standings to the Empires. As you capture plex you will get standings boosts to your faction, with a corresponding hit to your standings with the two enemy factions. The Gallente Federation love me, but I can never return to the Caldari State who hate me. Caldari space and notably Jita is closed to Drackarn!

Fight for Control!
Control of a system in the low-sec warzone is gained by running complexes know as plex. If your faction controls the system then you get bonus' and the ability to dock in stations there. If the system is controlled by the enemy, you cannot dock in any of the stations!

Entering a system and opening your probe scanner (you do not need probes!) and you will have a list of faction war complexes that the on board scanner has scanned when you entered the system. If any of them are already showing on your overview it means someone has already been there..... or still is in there.....

If the plex has not yet been visited, as soon as you select warp to it, it will appear on the overview to everyone in system. This is known as "popping a plex" as in it pops up on overview! You can initiate a warp and then cancel. That will still open the plex for all, but you won't warp there.

A quick note on warping to a plex, NEVER warp to 0KM at a gated plex. The acceleration gates are huge and you can get your ship caught up on them. If you select "warp to 10km" you will actually land at '0km' from the gate but won't get tangled up on the gate. This is the same mechanic as a docking ring on a station.

Each size of complex restricts what ships are allowed through the acceleration gate. It also indicates the time it takes to capture the plex.

  • Novice 'faction name' Outpost - T1 and faction frigates. 10 minutes.
  • Small 'faction name' Outpost - T2 frigates, destroyers and smaller. 15 minutes.
  • Medium 'faction name' Outpost - Cruiser and down including T2 cruisers. 20 minutes.

These are the standard three plex that will respawn again 30 minutes after someone completes them. They will change the contested level of the system by 0.6% each. The size does matter here. Therefore novice plex are actually the most efficient as they only take 10 minutes. There are also random plex that can spawn in any faction war system:-

  • Large 'faction name' Outpost - ALL THE THINGS (no gate)
  • 'Size' 'Faction' Stronghold
  • 'Size' 'Faction' Facility

Strongholds and Facilities are random plex that will have the same size modifier as the outposts. So you get Small Strongholds and Medium Facilities etc. There are a certain number of these each in each constellation. Sometimes multiple of these plex can stack up in a little used system as people run them in more popular systems. This is known as 'puddling'. Sometimes you can find a back-end system with over a dozen plex waiting to be captured.

Once inside the plex you will find a satellite some 10km from the warp in. You need to be within 30km of that beacon in order for the counter to start ticking down.

If you are in an enemy controlled system, the NPC Navy will spawn and attack you. If there is an enemy rat inside the plex, the counter will not start to countdown until you have killed the rat. This was implemented to stop the gunless farmers of the summer of 2012. The rat ships are sized depending on the plex and start from frigates in the novices to battlecruisers in the large.

If you are in a system controlled by your faction, the rats shouldn't shoot you (if they do, check your faction standings). Once the counter hits 0, your done! You should see how contested the system is on the bar in the top left of your screen. When it's 100% contested the iHub becomes vulnerable and you can shoot it. Get the iHub into structure and you take control of the system at next DT.

You get loyalty points for offensive plexing (however this is modified by warzone control level). The LP rewards for capturing plex are:-

  • Novice - 10,000 LP
  • Small - 17,500 LP
  • Medium - 25,000 LP
  • Large - 30,000 LP

If your militia already own the system, you can defensive plex. This lowers the contested level of the system and requires the enemy to capture additional plex to capture it. When defensive plexing the counter will run with the NPC rat in there as it is (or should be) friendly. You do get a lot less LP for it and the number goes down the less contested it is. If the system is 6% contested you will not get much LP. If it is 99% contested you'll get just under 75% of the normal value:-

  • LP Gain = Base value of plex * (Contested percentage of the system/100) * 0.75

So completing a small plex in a friendly system that is 10% contested, you will get 750 LP (at warzone control level 2, more on this in a moment).

You also get LP for killing enemy players!

  • LP= ([Market value of target ship] - [Max. Insurance market value] + [Fitted mods, rigs and subsystem market value] + [Transported items market value]) / 10000

A few examples (note these are based on average prices in 2012. Use as a rough idea how it works only):-

Abaddon with T2 mods: LP = ( 196m ISK – 161m ISK + 46m ISK + 0 ) / 10000 = 8,100 LP
Machariel with T2 mods: LP = (1.170m ISK – 95m ISK + 40m ISK + 0 ) / 10000 = 111,500 LP
Punisher with T1 fitting: LP = (450k ISK – 312k ISK + 100k ISK + 0) / 10000 = around 24 LP
Punisher with T2 fitting: LP = (450k ISK – 312k ISK + 7.8m ISK +) / 10000 = around 794 LP

Of course, with no insurance, a pod with good implants nets you a lot of LP!

You can donate your LP's into a systems iHub increasing the benefits to your faction in the system and giving your militia more influence in the warzone. Click the militia button and have a look around. It's fairly obvious how tier levels work. You score for every system you control plus extra for the upgrade level. The system upgrade level gives you bonus to clone costs, market order costs and factory/laboratory slots in stations in that system. The amount of LP's needed are:-

  • Level1: 40,000 LPs
  • Level2: 60,000 LPs
  • Level3: 90,000 LPs
  • Level4: 140,000 LPs
  • Level5: 200,000 LPs
  • Buffer: 300,000 LPs

The buffer is required as when you are capturing plex in enemy systems, when you receive LP's, 10% of that number of LP is removed from their iHub. So if you plex enough, the upgrade level of the system will fall affecting their 'warzone control level'. So if you get 25,000 LP for capturing a medium compound, 2,500 LP in the enemy iHub will be lost.

As previously mentioned captured systems and each level of upgrade count to your factions overall warzone control level.

At tier one all LP rewards are reduced to 50%. At tier 2 they are normal and from tier 3 you start getting a bonus. So for a small plex the LP gains by warzone control tier level are:-

  • Tier 1 - 8,750 LP
  • Tier 2 - 17,500 LP (base reward)
  • Tier 3 - 30,625 LP
  • Tier 4 - 43,750 LP
  • Tier 5 - 56,875 LP 

The equivalent ISK value of a LP varies by time, how the side is doing, etc. but as a rule of thumb many work on 800-1000 ISK per LP in faction war.

It should be noted that the faction war LP stores are also discounted. So you need less LP with Federal Defence Union to buy that Navy Brutix than you would need with Federation Navy.

Just Fight!
Plexs are good locations to get fights. Kill the rats, sit on the warp in, wait for enemy to show up. One issue we do have is with farmers coming in with warp core stabs and cloaks. If you do this, you should be ashamed of yourself!

Faction war is about PvP so get yourself a PvP fitted ship, leave the stabs and cloaks at home and lets rumble!

Fighting in T1 frigates, destroyers and cruisers is fun! None of this lock, press F1, see how it goes. These days there are multiple fits that all work well for the same hull. Is that Merlin shield, LM kite fit? Or is he armour tank with rockets? That Incursus, is he blaster or 150mm rails? That Tristan, is he neut or blaster or rails? These all generally need more skill to fight in than big fleets in big ships.

Take the neuting Tristan. You need to manage range, drones, cap injector, armour repper, capacitor levels and overheating. Faction war solo and small gang warfare can be easy or very complex!

Station Lock-Out
Its been mentioned above but I thought I'd highlight this again. If the enemy control the system, you cannot dock in the stations. This applies even if the station belongs to your militia. This is the case in Nisuwa. The station is State Protectorate, but as the Gallente have captured the system State Protectorate members are denied docking permission. A lot of pilots are caught out by this and warp to station. This even applies to capital pilots (check the ownership of the system before jumping your dreadnought to a station you cannot enter!)

Plex Grid Mechanics
Outside, you can warp to the acceleration gate at range, but you cannot warp on grid. This means you cannot warp to fleet members, cans, wrecks anything. I use this when fighting outnumbered. Lure the target well off gate and when his mates warp to him they'll find themselves landing at zero on the gate whilst we are 150km off. If you need to get to someone off gate see if there is a celestial like a station or planet in a good alignment. You can warp to that, warp back to the plex at 100km and then burn the rest of the way. Inside the plex its prop mod or GTFO. No warping inside the plex at all.

Hi-sec is not safe in faction war. You can enter the enemy's hi-sec, but an NPC Navy spawn will attack you. They do not point but they do web and in higher security systems neut heavily. The strength of the spawn relates to the security status of the system. In a 0.5 it is fairly week, in a 1.0 strong. The Navy can be tanked and kited so it is possible to enter the enemy's hi-sec and kill militia there when they think they are safely running missions/mining/hauling. CONCORD will not attack you if you fire on enemy militia in hi-sec. Being in militia is the same as being in a permanent war-dec.

You cannot cloak in enemy hi-sec when in militia (the Navy are tracking you)!

Do Not Attack Fellow Militia Members
Some times there is an asshat in local who is in the same militia as you that you really want to kill. Obvious spy, leeching LP or just smacking like a 6 year-old in a playground. DON'T. Massive standing penalties are given to people who attack fellow militia members. If you pod a fellow militia mate then your standings are going to be in the toilet. There are also the noobs flying around with bad overview settings and may attack those 'friendlies' who are security status challenged (aka pirate). Usually it is best not to have fellow militia on the overview..... but the turning off fellow militia members from the overview also turns off allied militia members which can be a problem.

Allies, or the Enemy of My Enemy is My Enemy or Maybe Friend, I Don't Fracking Know?
In faction war we are supposed to have an ally. It is supposed to be Gallente/Minmatar vs Caldari/Amarr. However there is no penalty for attacking members of the other militia. The Minmatar are supposed to be on our side but are full of anti-pirates. As a -10 player many Matari RP'rs don't like me and will attack. So now I have to consider all Matari potentially hostile (well we have some sensible Matari Militia corps set blue). It gets tricky in the warzone! General rule of thumb, just because the other pilot is in a supposedly allied militia doesn't mean he won't attack you.

When you join faction war you will have the "Militia" chat window pop open. This will be full of spies so do not for one second think it is a secure channel. The enemy has ears and eyes and probably other body parts in there too. All the militia have invite only intel channels. You'll need to prove you are not a filthy spai before getting invited to those. Best way to prove you are not a spia? Kill the enemy.... a lot.

Fleet Up!
As a new player it can be hard to get into some of the roaming fleets. FW is full of spai's remember! Keep an eye on militia chat, there will occasionally be fleet adverts posted. The thing with faction war is it is great for solo and small gang. Get a few of your mates together and fleet up and go for a roam. Faction war is about PvP. So go find someone to violence! Many FC's will look at killboards. If you have been actively killing the enemy you are more likely to be accepted into fleets.

So there you go, my rough faction war guide 2013. If it's pricked your interest have a search around and I'm sure you'll be able to find more in-depth guides. Or just join up and get violencing important internet spaceships! That's the easiest way to learn!


  1. In the normal day to day rough and tumble, it there a place for a logistics pilot ?

    1. Logi as in repairing or logistics as in moving goods about? Place for both in FW, depending on the corp. You really need to find a decent sized corp that does fleets but you'll find most people love logistics and I mean that for both types!

    2. Heh.

      Space priest as opposed to driving a moving van.

      Its a concept I might consider - I'm not a PVPer, but its something I might pursue, given that there appears to be opportunities for someone that can fly all logistics ships.

    3. Space priest! I like that! Logi are used, but as faction war is small gang and solo heavy you might find not find a huge amount of action.

  2. That said, as a space priest come salvage(er)you might pick up a little work.
    As Drackarn has said its down to a trust game, if you're not openly shooting the enemy you are potentially feeding them intel and even if you are shooting them you still might be feeding them intel.
    Working as a priest come salvager works if you can get buddy buddy with a couple of FC's, it won't really work for larger fleets if you are not actually with the corps involved, as you will tend to get shot at (more so if said corps are pi-rates).

  3. Your numbers are a little off. When a offensive plex is run, only 10% is deducted from the iHub. So medium plex @ 25,000 only deducts 2,500 from the iHub. That was changed during the surprise plex patch last October.

  4. "These days there are multiple fits that all work well for the same hull. Is that Merlin shield, LM kite fit? Or is he armour tank with rockets? "

    You just made me all nostalgic for the old rocket merlin, damn you!