The Pendulum refers to a ■■■■■■■■ phenomenon in which players will change which FW faction they enlist in primarily based on, among other factors, the current faction tier multipliers (which is determined by territorial control). Players from losing factions will switch sides to winning factions until the LP to ISK conversions of goods from the FW corp LP stores become so unprofitable from the surge of items seeding market that they switch sides again to the now-more-profitable losing side. You constantly have a back-and-forth pendulum swing of sides that are winning and losing by wide margins that are determined on the basis of economic factors rather than actual militia-wide collaborative efforts. This is not desirable behavior. Here I present a simple idea that I believe will mitigate the momentum of The Pendulum by forcing it to rest in the center.
In many games, losers have a unique “loser bonus” that helps them regain their footing, but isn’t in itself desirable (or desirable enough) to have in favor of winner bonuses. Perhaps a simple way to prevent The Pendulum from occurring in FW (or at least mitigate its momentum) is to give T1 and T2 factions a loser bonus: T1 and T2 factions will have a capture speed bonus at plexes, thereby making T3 “the center of gravity”. That is, if your militia faction is below T3, it will be easier to get to T3, but once you’re at T3 you’ll have standard capturing speed at and above T3. Since both factions can simultaneously be T3, it would not be unfair to either side. Example capture speed bonuses worth considering: 1.5x/1.25x, 1.25x/1.25x, 1.5x/1x (ie. T2 doesn’t get the bonus - since they get 100% LP there would no need - but T3 won’t be a center of gravity anymore). Personally I’d be in favor of the 1.5x/1.25x, but any of these would be an improvement in my opinion.
The nice thing about this change is that it would not require any sweeping gameplay mechanic changes, and it would encourage more militia-wide cooperation in order for a faction to go above T3 for at least two reasons:
If your faction is at T3/T4/T5, systems actively being o-plexed by enemy militia in the T1/T2 bracket would need to be actively d-plexed since they might be able to take over your territories faster than you can take over theirs. With defending contested complexes comes more opportunity for PVP and LP to be gained from PVP (esp. after the recently announced Loyalty to Lowset patch). D-plexing is often taken for granted (more often than not, an entire batch of systems is lost because their defense was neglected in favor of trying to capture new ones), so I consider an increased incentive to d-plex to be a good thing.
If your faction is at T1/T2, there should be an increased motivation for the militia to collectively take advantage of the T1/T2 capture bonus. At worst, if a large chunk of the militia is not plexing, the remaining militiamen can still help bring the faction to at least the T2 bracket, possibly even T3. (I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen a hundred militiamen fleeted up to bash a single POS instead of o-plexing when the faction is at T1 with only 7% territorial control… talk about missing the forest for the trees…) This proposed change should provide some initiative for militiamen to actually engage in FW-specific PVP rather than regular PVP at warzones. At the very least, I hope to see regular PVP efforts like POS bashing delayed until the faction tier is at T2 or higher rather than T1.
In short, giving T1 and T2 faction tiers a capture rate bonus helps mitigate The Pendulum because any vast discrepancy that exists between two factions should be more easily closed (resting the pendulum in the center), but at the same time additional collaboration will be required among the entire militia to maintain and advance past T3 (and keep the enemy in T1/T2), thereby making FW truly a militia-wide effort if the faction as a whole is to benefit from the LP bonuses of T4/T5.