Sunday, June 24, 2012

Inferno - FW, It's Not Working As Intended

The run up to Inferno was fantastic! With all sides knowing it was going to get much harder to capture systems and the new mechanics that could make faction war lucrative, we fought.... and we fought hard!

We battled over systems with some fights lasting hours and involving hundreds of starships being violenced. We were running ops, taking on fleets, bashing bunkers and being bashed ourselves! It was a fun few weeks before Inferno launched!

Now the dust has settled we are starting to see that the build up to Inferno was much better for Faction War than Inferno itself. Why?

Basically, in Post-Inferno Faction War..... Losing is Lucrative - PvP is less financially rewarding than PvE farming which is much more profitable.

You capture a system. Whoopy "F'in" do! What do we get? 50% off medical clones! Please note, THIS IS LOW SEC!, we get podded very rarely (although now I've said that....) so that discount is not much use. Extra research/factory slots. Erm, I'm a PvP'r who likes to violence internet spaceships. What the frack is an extra slot on an assembly line doing for me and the majority of FW who are here for fights? Docking rights? Other than our home system, not being able to dock elsewhere is nothing but a minor inconvenience. So capturing a system gives me no real benefits. Upgrading the system is pointless. As soon as you go to bed the LP farmers are out with two week old alts in their T1 speed tanking frigates and get you from level 5 to level 0 before you are snoring. The whole sov system is pointless.

But plexing an enemy system! Now that's where the money is! By offensive plexing I'm making lots of ISK, which I can use to buy internet spaceships to violence other internet spaceships (well actually most the time I'm chasing two week old alts in T1 frigates with no guns). Offensive plexing fuels my PvP, but I'm not getting much PvP as every fecker is farming LP's. To be honest we are talking in alliance about letting the Caldari capture adjacent systems so we can get LP easier.

Yes there is the mechanic where at tier level 1 the FW LP prices are through the roof. But we come to another problem, Time Zone Tennis.

Caldari are more active in the US TZ's. The Gallente are more active in the EU TZs. One side plex's, the other side plex's. And the net result? Both are stuck at tier 1 and 2 with neither side getting ahead. The Amarr/Minmatar obviously isn't quite like that as they started very uneven. But the Gallente/Caldari fight is stuck in a stalemate.

It's just not working.

So what can we do?

Nerf LP's for offensive plexing, buff LP's for iHub takedowns.
Faction War is turning into Farmville. Cheap, speed tanking frigates running plex's who run at the first sign of trouble. When I drafted this in the week I was going to say "I've seen one time about a dozen Gallente systems vulnerable". This weekend there is TWENTY! There is no iHub bashing going on. Why? Because the people making those systems vulnerable are simply farming LP's. Actually capturing the system is shooting themselves in the foot. They won't get LP's for plexing there if they actually win the system.

Give a low number of LP's for defensive plexing.
Defensive plexing is boring. Sit in space for 15-20 minutes doing nothing. Is there any wonder nobody defends systems when it is so boring AND, more importantly, why defend a system when you get more benefit from losing it and plexing it (note the term plexing, not recapturing). By giving some LP's, much reduced from offensive plexing, may be we can encourage people to defend systems. Unlikely I know.

LP's for PvP kills, can we buff this without causing farming?
Farming LP's from offensive plexing is easy and little risk. On average I appear to get 2000-3000 LP's for each PvP kill I get generally. When solo roaming, do I get 6 kills every 15 minutes? Of course I don't, not even Loren "The Chuck Norris of Eve" Gallen, does that! So do I run a single offensive medium plex, or try and solo 6 players in 15 minutes. Stupid question as finding enemies that are not farming LP's in speed tanking frigates is difficult!

Balance the NPC's.
Gallente major plex can be captured by a solo two-week old character in a T1 frigate. Caldari major plex's require a much older character and a much better ship. Thankfully the ECM is being nerfed in Inferno 1.1. That made many plex fights pointless for the Gallente as being perma-jammed is no fun. Why not add stasis web towers and turret towers for all plex. Two week old plexing alts in speed tanking T1 frigates? Pop!

Reward system capture.
The benefits now of owning a system are outweighed MASSIVELY by the benefits of losing it and plexing it for LP's. What perverse system is it when we are talking in-game about letting the enemy capture systems as that will be better for us than us owning that space! The current tier system for warzone control should be mainly based on system control, not upgrade level. Upgrade level is too hard to maintain and simply results in the faction saving their LP, all dropping into iHubs at the same time and then cashing in the rest of their LP. Give each system a value of 10 points max. 5 points for the control and then one point per upgrade level. Or how about making defensive plexing increase the LP in the iHub?

Increase the LP buffer in the iHub.
Got level five? Easy to knock that down to level 0 with an alt in a frigate in a couple of hours whilst the system owning corp is asleep. All your hard work undone by a two week old toon in a T1 frigate!

Kill Speed Tankers - Kill the Farmers
Simply add stasis web towers and sniping turrets to plexs. Stop the two week old toons in T1 frigates with no guns taking plexs. Give the NPC rats Sleeper AI, get them swapping targets and kersplatting those farmers.


  1. Nerf LP's for offensive plexing, buff LP's for iHub takedowns -> so basically reward structure bashing?

    Give a low number of LP's for defensive plexing - farming will go off the scale, why go into enemy territory when you can do it at home, almost risk free? On the other side, the opposing faction might think the same, so the offensive side of things would get driven into the ground.

    LP's for PvP kills, can we buff this without causing farming? - no. See what the Goons did.

    Balance the NPC's - jamming removal is good. Stasis web towers = bad. Why? Well, frigate 1vs1 in a plex can transform the plexing character into a space pinata if the enemy shows up.

    Increase the LP buffer in the iHub - have to agree on that one tbh.

    Kill Speed Tankers - Kill the Farmers -> as I said, killing speed tanking will kill any frigate 1vs1 that might happen in a plex.

    Now I'm not talking out of my ass here, I created a Minnie militia alt only to check what this farming is all about. What I can tell for sure is that whilst you CAN solo in a 24h alt (with guns, mind you, I like to be able to shoot back even though I will diaf to every 2 week old char that sneezes in my direction), you DO need IRL skill to do it. When you cap a plex, the spawns can make it extremely difficult to hold on to your pile of straws that's your ship, so basically, you kite them away then burn to the plex, cap smth, rinse and repeat. Extremely fun if there's enemy militia dropping in on you or enemy militia + neutrals. MWD helps more than AB here imho.

    Just to prove I'm not talking silly, here's a KB link, was pretty nice for a first day, but PvP was a lot more fun than capping plexes (only did 2 or so before jumping in a militia fleet and started shooting people in the face with ma meta 4 weapons of doom). Also had a solo kill. Yes, tricked a guy into shooting me on a gate then shamelessly whored, but that counts when I was just a few hours old... right? :D

    1. To bash a structure you need a fleet. Fleets are better to engage than a T1 frigate with no guns.

      Key word is low.

      Kill the statis tower then first :)

      Take the tower out first. That way you stop the farmers who are flying around with no guns :)


    My url-fu is bad.