Hi CCP and fellow Capsuleers! I am going to create one big thread instead of posting a bunch of little threads. FW is probably the best system in Eve right now, but there are some improvements that can be made to ensure it lasts for a long, long time.
#1: Add LP to the Market
It’s hard to explain how painful selling LP is today. You need to find a buyers, go through a bidding war for the price, coordinate with the buyer across timezones, coordinate with the buyer on where they want you to buy the items, which items, and in what quantities. To simplify this some groups have set up internal auction houses. It’s a mess. It’s frustrating, time consuming to deal with, and it isn’t fun.
And then CCP is going to add in LP taxing at some point. That’s great. Except all of the groups in Eve that use that feature are going to get more than just FW LP. A large nullsec alliance that has people doing missions in highsec, lowsec, and nullsec are going to end up with LP from dozens of different NPC corporations. Those groups are going to burn out trying to go through the process I listed above for dozens of different LPs.
To simplify this CCP should give each NPC corporation’s LP a unique market ID and allow us to sell it on the market. That way buyers can put up buy orders for people who just want isk to “right click → sell”. If they want a better price and are willing to wait they can put up sell orders. This gives everyone the efficiency of the market and we all gain an increased isk sink through market taxes.
#2: Add the missing Scout ADV 1 and Scout ADV 5 sites
In the Uprising patch notes CCP stated “We have limited access to FW Complexes to make them more granular, tweaking the paradigm to prevent pirate faction ships from dominating “Novice Complexes”. We have also reviewed and updated the access restrictions to complexes overall.”
What CCP meant by the bolded part is they left off the Scout ADV 1 and Scout ADV 5 sites forcing only Scout NVY sites to spawn. CCP should add these sites back in because the Small, Med, and Large sites all have ADV options, but those ADV options are not being dominated by their respective T2 or Pirate hulls. Why? Because most people don’t want to dock up and swap ships between NVY eligible and ADV eligible ships. So they just take the NVY eligible ships into the ADV sites.
CCP succeeded in preventing pirate faction ships from dominating “Novice Complexes” by simply having Scout NVY sites that T2 and pirate ships can’t enter. Not spawning the Scout ADV sites doesn’t further the goal of preventing pirate faction ships from dominating “Novice Complexes”. So add in the Scout ADV 1 and Scout ADV 5 sites so T2 and pirate frigates have a place to fight if people want to.
#3: The Advantage System isn’t giving the desired effect
To understand the Advantage System it’s best to read the Development Dev Blog. The issues with the Advantage System are threefold: It’s too easy to gain Advantage, I can’t deny Advantage sites to the enemy, and Advantage is not rewarding enough.
#3a: It’s too easy to gain advantage
The Rendezvous Site is the main way the militias gain Advantage. Doing the site can take upwards of 10 minutes and respawns every 20 minutes. Completing the site gains your militia 2% advantage. Assuming you do it every 30 minutes (10 minute completion + 20 minute respawn) you can gain 96% advantage in a single day. The system caps at 100% Advantage.
Now compare this to the method’s to decrease the opposing side’s Advantage. First there are supply depots and caches that spawn in system. They do not spawn every 20 minutes, but every few hours at best. Second, there are Listening Outposts. Listening Outposts are deployed overview beacon sites. The source for the beacons are from trading in Operations Center data site items to the LP store. You can anchor up to three of them at a time. They take 20+ minutes to run because there is a 10 minute timer that stops every time rats spawn. It doesn’t help the rats spawn every ~20 seconds. Seriously make the respawn longer. Maybe every 2-3 minutes. Also, the spawns are larger than a Rendezvous site. Why? It makes the beacons take so long to complete! And you know what you get when you complete one? 1%! That’s half of a Rendezvous site but takes over twice as long and costs something!
The sheer amount of work that goes into lowering the Advantage vs. gaining Advantage is not balanced. It’s to the point that no one really tries to lower the other side’s advantage through Listening Post spam because they tried and the off timezone undid all the work with Rendezvous sites and Propaganda beacons. I don’t know the best solution, but the current solution isn’t balanced.
I would recommend decreasing the respawn rate of Rendezvous sites to match supply caches/depots, buff the percentage gain/loss of Listening Outposts and Propaganda beacons, increase the Listening Outposts and Propaganda beacon data site items, and adjust the rats on Propoganda Beacons and Listening Outposts so it doesn’t take 20+ minutes to complete.
#3b: I can’t deny Advantage sites to the enemy
The core of the issue is I can’t defensively capture Rendezvous sites or Supply depot/caches. This leaves me with a choice: leave a toon at the site to camp it with the hopes that someone will try to complete it, or just accept it’s lost and spend my time grinding plexes. I will take the gain I know I will get and go plexing.
Ideally, there would be more fights over the Rendezvous Site, but it’s a scanned down site and 99.9999% of FW ships don’t fit a probe launcher. In the hundreds of Rendezvous Sites I have completed I have been warped in on twice. These sites just aren’t contested. I think removing the scanned down aspect and making it spawn like plexes would help bring more fights.
Overall, there has to be a way for me to defensively capture the sites. If I hold the friendly Rendezvous or Supply cache/depot I should be able capture the site to deny it to the enemy. It shouldn’t just stay up forever until they decide to run it. If I can defensively capture these sites then it becomes a race to complete the site against the opposing faction. That brings fights.
#3c: Advantage is not rewarding enough
The Advantage bonus isn’t worth going for. I am almost always better off running another site because running another site will give me more VP than the brief time I retain a Net Advantage. Even in cases where there is a massive Net Advantage it just doesn’t feel like it reduced the time to grind the system meaningfully. I think a great way to fix this would be to increase the Advantage cap from 100% to something like 2-300%.
#4: Fix the Neighboring Systems Advantage Bonus
In the Development Dev Blog it highlights that Command Ops systems will be providing a 10% bonus to neighboring systems. The issue with this is it makes systems not neighboring Command Ops systems have a higher potential Net Advantage. This means it’s potentially faster to capture a Rearguard system, or a Command Ops system with no neighboring Command Ops providing an Advantage bonus, than it is to grind a Frontline. We are using this to pre-grind Rearguard, and Command Ops system with no neighboring Command Ops, because we can get a high net advantage and rack up VP quickly. This means that when we take the frontline the previous Command Ops and Rearguard fall quickly like dominos because we pre-ground them.
I think it would be better if every friendly system provided a flat percentage bonus to each neighboring friendly system. This would make terrain matter in FW. A system surrounded by five other friendly systems would be a harder grind than one with only one neighboring friendly system. This would make choosing when and where to attack matter, while preventing Rearguards from being the best way to grind.
#5: Battlefields need adjustments
Yes, seagulls are an issue. People are already getting alts to kill them until CCP puts in a better fix. If it bothers you then you should do the same. Remember, there is no standings penalty for shooting and killing allied militia ships.
The current state of BFs are that if they spawn in a system that is being hotly contested, you might get a fight. What happens more often is we throw 3 BCs with 3 logi in the BF while everyone else caps other sites in system. At 90% everyone goes to the BF to get the LP.
So the biggest issue with Battlefields is they aren’t getting the fights they should. Part of the issue is we don’t know where a BF will spawn before it spawns. Advanced warning gives us time to form fleets to contest. Also, make the BF more meaningful. Right now it gives a ~0.5% system capture and 15% Advantage. That’s a lot, but not anything worth going all out for. I can get 1.5% or more an hour with multiple normal sites. Bump it up to 2-3% or more to make us really care.
I would also love to see an ADV 30 BF with the 250k LP per pilot be added that spawns on the weekends. Let us go all out a few times on the weekends.
#6: Victory Points aren’t visible in the client
Swap the System Capture percentage for a victory point total. The total victory points to capture a system and the victory points gained by completing a site aren’t visable in the client at all. Instead we have a system capture percentage. A no kidding “System has X/Y Victory points towards capture” would help so much.
#7: Create a “Militia” option for contracting
The issue with current contracting is I can make them to my corp/alliance or Public. The issue is the militia can’t access my corp/alliance contracts, and the issue with public contracts is the enemy militia buys the ships. I am not here to sell ships to my enemy. A militia option would be wonderful to allow all the groups in the militia to ensure a steady supply of fit doctrine ships.
#8: Update the FW Agency filters
Under Home/Encounters/Factional Warfare/Factional Warfare Systems you can see a lot of data about the systems in FW. The issue is it’s hard to see systems spread across many regions. I think a Frontline/Command Ops/Rearguard filter would be super helpful.
#9: Redo the System Upgrades for FW
You can read about the system upgrades here. The biggest issue is that under the current FW system that removed tiers you will never see a benefit that will exceed the amount of LP donated unless you scale in to the tens of billions of isk on market or on contracts. I think this should work on a more passive system like the SOV indexes. At day 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 the system gains 10% in each of the system upgrades up to a max of 50%. That way longer held systems will be economically better to conduct business in.
Additionally, the benefits could be buffed. Maybe this could tie in to the advantage system by giving a small passive percentage Advantage buff to longer held systems similar to the current Command Ops bonus. Or maybe even remove the Command Ops bonus and replace it with a flat neighbor bonus that is derived from the System Upgrade level.
#10: Give T1 Dessys the T1 BC links bonus
It would be super helpful to be able to bring links in to the Medium and small NVY sites. Or to not have to rely solely on bringing a T1 BC if you are in a Large NVY but are flying in a cruiser or destroyer sized fleet.
#11: Add the HP attributes to the iHub, Supply Cache, and Supply Depot
No one really knows how much HP these have. Please add this info so we know.
#12: Prevent unfit ships from defensively plexing
Unfit ships are too low risk to be defensively plexing. I don’t know what the solution is yet, but d-plexing is too risk free with an unfit T1 frig.
#13: Update the FW help pages
The help pages are super helpful and easy to link. However, the FW one could do with some improvements. Things like how to direct enlist, the differences between the plexes, explaining the advantage system, explaining the iHub vulnerability system, etc. Bonus points if you move FW to it’s own group instead of being under Corporations and Alliances.
#14: Fix bug IBR-774
I made a bug report.
I will add more ideas as they come up.