Faction Warfare Overview
Faction Warfare, when launched was a fun game mechanic allowing players to fight for their faction empires in a semi null-sec game of regional supremacy. It has brought in potentially tens of thousands of players who don’t have to worry about the politics and mechanics of null sec and instead focus on Player vs Player combat with some Player vs Environment game-play.
Capturing systems from one side to the other is based on capturing Enemy Complexes located in space and earning points towards a system vulnerability state. In addition to generating system victory points, capturing a Complex (Plex) also generates Faction loyalty points (LP) for those involved. Once vulnerable, the systems infrastructure hub (IHUB) can be attacked and once placed into structure the system will flip to the opposing side after downtime.
Once captured, a system can be upgraded using earned LP from complexes and FW missions in order to increase benefits of manufacturing and production within that system. The level of upgrade ranges from Null (-) to 5.
These points are then combined with the levels of all other controlled systems for your faction to establish the current Tier of LP rewards generated by Plexing and running FW missions. These range from Tier 1 which is a Negative 50% LP reward for Plex captures / FW Missions to Tier 5 which is 225% Reward Increase for Plex captures / FW Missions.
Faction Warfare as it stands
Faction warfare in its current state is in terrible condition. While the original concept still holds. The game as a whole has changed dramatically over the years, with FW mechanics desperately needing an update to stay relevant in presenting a persistent game play alternative to null sec empire building.
While there are many parties that participate within the war zones it has become a prolific source of easy income with little participation for multiple entities within EVE. This has to do with the abuse of the Faction Tier system. Non-coordinated entities can easily push the Tier level from one side to the other in order to farm that faction’s LP. These farmers generally rely on low cost / high damage frigates and destroyers to run Novice, Small, and Medium Complexes. Their capture lowers the current tier of the system and awards a set number of capture points to the opposing faction for that system. This causes many issues for those trying to defend their space. For instance, Novice Complexes only take 10 minutes to Capture and reward the same number of capture points as a Medium Complex 20 minutes to capture. With Plex respawn mechanics it is possible to capture more lower timed complexes and rapidly diminish the faction tier with the owners having little or no chance to defend their tier without spending significant earned LP to keep the system tier up.
The use of this process allows these non-coordinated LP Farmers to switch from one faction to the other based on the current cash out value of that faction’s LP. In essence, there exists a significant number of players who use the FW Warzones as a means to generate ISK with little to no participation towards the actual objective of Faction Warfare which is about conflict.
This change back and forth is referred to as “The Flip’’ and is an incredibly controversial topic with the FW community. This is because it is not the members of the FW PVP groups that control the warzone, but those wishing to make economic gains with little loyalty to the faction they are with. When your faction reaches Tier 1, it becomes incredibly difficult for those fighting to gain any rewards for participating within the system due to the -50% Penalty to LP payouts for Plexing / FW Missions. Thus it becomes even more difficult to both enlist more people to fight in FW space or even enjoy the play style because it is not economically viable as a way of making ISK.
Faction Warfare Changes
Below I will lay out a series of changes that I feel would be beneficial to both the system as a whole, and help invigorate the FW community as well as fulfill a CCP goal of moving more players towards Lowsec Space. These changes will be broken into what I feel are easily accomplished, moving into those that will actually take some form of development from CCP to implement.
These changes should be easily updated
- Update to the FW Complex System Capture Reward. -
At present the reward for capturing any complex in the Warzone is 0.6 Capture Points. This is the same for a 10 Minute Capture Novice as a 30 Minute Capture Open. This needs to change! Because the capture points are the same, and the time to capture smaller complexes is so little, there is greater emphasis on capturing Novice and Small complexes than their larger siblings. I would recommend the following changes.
Novice 0.3 / Small 0.4 / Medium 0.5 / Large 0.6 / Open 0.9
This change would break out the current meta for system captures and force fights into the larger complexes, which give the larger rewards. Please note the open, which can be contested by any entity.
- Return Large Complexes as a static spawn and / or Move Opens as Rare Spawns. -
Large Complexes in the warzone are a very rare sight. This has to do with the fact that they appear to be roaming rare spawns. I would like to see Large Complexes restored as Static and limited to T2 Battlecruisers and down. This addition would allow battlecruisers the chance to enter a plex and not have to worry about the vulnerables of having to fight in Open Plexes.
While Open Complexes provide significant content for all entities that move through the warzone, it provides issues when fighting neutral or non FW groups because they are not forced to enter the complex through a gate, and thus suffer the same suspect flag as those trying to enter other FW complexes. Because of this I feel that the Open should not only give the highest capture value, but also be a roaming spawn within its constellation.
- FW Complex / Mission Update – Warp Disruption
At present there is little to risk when entering a FW Plex. This has to do with the fact that if the player that is trying to Capture the complex spots an enemy outside, or nearby, they can quickly warp out to a safe spot and wait for the danger to pass. This is a common tactic used by FW LP Farmers because it presents little risk to the farmer. I believe that making the Plex NPC warp disrupt an opposing faction’s ship would allow for more risk when attempting to capture a complex. This would increase the danger of Plexing while the NPC is alive as well as allow for defenders an opportunity to defend against someone attempting to run a complex.
I would like to see the number of warp disrupting rats increased in all missions. At present it is too easy to “headshot” or eliminate a needed rat to complete most missions and then warp out without any real danger. The addition of more warp disruption would help to add some ability for defenders to stop mission runners and in the least increase the amount of risk a mission runner faces.
- Update the FW Tier System –
When the tier system was first introduced it was the belief that a lower tier would invigorate a faction to push their tier up or risk suffering the lower LP rewards. After years of farmers being the only driver to getting a faction out of tier 1, it’s time for this to change.
Tier 1 – Normal LP Rewards
Tier 2 – 25% LP Rewards
Tier 3 – 50% LP Rewards
Tier 4 – 75% LP Rewards
Tier 5 – 100% LP Rewards
While this could be variable, Tier 1 needs a change as it allows for more people to gain some form of reward when under Tier 1.
- Faction System Docking -
At present FW members are not allowed to dock in NPC stations in systems controlled by the opposing faction. While this has helped to establish ownership of a system, the release of player owned citadels has completely removed this features original intent. While I believe the use of Citadels are an important part of faction warfare, I do not believe hiding behind a neutral Citadel owner should be allowed. I would like to see all docking restricted to systems owned by opposing factions with exception of Citadels owned by your current faction. This would still allow a group to deploy a citadel in an opposing system and dock there, but would not force the opposing faction to engage a neutral structure to do so.
The Caldari control Tama, which blocks opposing factions from docking in both the NPC stations and local neutral player structures.
Deciding to attack the system, the Gallente deploy an Astra from their Militia corporations which allows them to dock within that structure.
These changes may require some development
- Faction Rank LP Rewards –
At present your faction rank which increases through FW Faction Standing while Plexing and running FW Missions means little. This proposal would allow for an %LP Increase for Plexing / FW Mission running based on your rank. This amount would stack with your current factions LP tier and allow for continued rewards as you move up ranks.
Rank 1 Normal LP Rewards
Rank 2 – 10% LP Rewards
Rank 3 – 20% LP Rewards
Rank 10 – 90% LP Rewards
Example – Tier 2 – 25% + Rank 5 – 40% would be an LP reward bonus for FW Plexing and FW Missions of 65%
- Faction Warfare LP Store Update –
At present the FW Stores have been left untouched for years and have desperately been in need of a change. This has left some faction stores being extremely unreliable as a way of cashing out LP. This has to do with three things.
The cost of some items in the store, relative to their actual value.
The requirement of FW Tags for many if not most items.
The lack of a direct cash out item for LP
The solution for the first is easy, there needs to be a normalized LP cost for goods within the store. At present modules exist as T1 / T2 / Faction / Deadspace / Officer. Faction in many cases offers more benefit than T2, yet their price is extreme in many cases vs their deadspace cousins. By lower LP / tag costs they can see more use and fit better within the meta.
The solution for the second can be found with FW Plexing. At present the only way to get FW Tags is to Plex or run FW missions. Both entities drop FW Tags. The problem is that a significant number of those tags required to purchase goods in the store can only be acquired through FW Missions.
I would like to see the tags updated with the store, and those tags also be looted in the FW Plex.
Novice / Small Plex NPC’s drop tags for Frigate sized modules and rewards.
Medium / Large Plex NPC’s drop tags for Cruiser sized modules and rewards.
Open Plex NPC’s drop tags for BS sized modules and rewards
Also, the rewards could be purchased with an increased number of a lower tier reward.
BS Sized Gun required 10k LP and 1 Open Tag or BS Gun requires 10k LP and 5 Medium / Large Tags
The solution for the third is a direct LP Tag or Item option to be sold to the faction militia. Much like the Red Trig Items or Blue Drifter Items that have no manufacturing value but have NPC buyers always willing to purchase for ISK. The creation of this would allow newer players to the game who do not have much experience with the market or the LP store to cash out their LP for these items, and then sell them for ISK so they can continue to contribute to the warzone.
1000 LP for Faction Loyalty Cert – Sell to Militia Vendor for 500k ISK.
This change would set a standard reward for LP for the militias, but still allow those who are savvy with the market to earn for their LP through selling Faction modules / ships.
- Corporation / Alliance LP Taxation -
EVE allows for all alliances / corporations the option of taxing the ISK made through ratting and other actions of its players. This is not the case with Faction Warfare. FW uses LP as its means of currency, it is used to upgrade system tiers and purchase items within their factions LP store. Sadly there is no way at present for Corporations or Alliances to Tax LP earned through FW Missions or Plexing. Thus it is incredibly difficult for those entities to fund their operations, unlike those that reside in Null or High Security space. The addition of allowing these entities to Tax LP would allow the ability to generate money within the warzone to survive. This is a huge ask for a lot of corporations as we are not able to generate ISK in the way other groups can.
These changes may require some significant development
- Faction Warfare Front Lines -
Currently, a FW system can be flipped no matter where it exists within a warzone. This means that a system can be captured anywhere, no matter what location it has within the warzone. This type of back capture tends to spread conflict out and allows for farming in the less traveled areas where there is little conflict. This proposal would attempt to move the conflict to more contested systems through changing plex respawn rates and further incentivizing LP plex rewards. To do this Front line systems would be any system directly linked next to an enemy factions system.
Amarr control Kamela and Lamaa
Minmatar control Kourmonen
Since Kamela and Lamaa are attached to Kourmonen via stargates they are flagged as Front Line systems.
Because of this, Plexing in these systems will reward Higher LP (ex. 25-50%) and Complexes will respawn 25-50% faster.
In Addition to this, only Front line systems can be put into a vulnerable state and captured.
So a system that has its system capture pushed to 100% and is not a front line system cannot be captured and its I-Hub cannot be attacked until it is considered a Front Line star system.
Because LP is the primary currency of FW, this would allow for more content to shift to the Front line systems, as well as make many systems strategic to hold.
Players still could plex elsewhere in the warzone, but the frontline systems would provide the greatest risk to reward ratios.
- System Tier Upgrades – Expanded
Currently upgrading a systems tier only affects System Pricing and market fees. I feel this can be expanded on dramatically to simulate some of the benefits the nullsec empires are allowed in FW space. FW space is different from all other types of low security, as the militias are fighting for their respective empires, it makes sense to me that upgrading the tier of a system should bring significant benefits to it by upgrading its IHUB.
Tier 0 – No Bonus
Tier 1 – Militia Frontier System – 1M LP Cost– Market / Manufacture Bonus 10% - IHUB Generates Lower quality “Militia Combat Anomalies”
“Militia Combat Anomalies” - Similar to Current NPC combat anomalies but filled with current faction owner NPC rats that reward limited LP and Drop Tags
Tier 2 – Militia Outpost System – 5M LP Cost– Market Bonus 20% – IHUB Generates Medium Quality “Militia Combat Anomalies”
Tier 3 – Militia Stronghold System – 10M LP Cost – Market Bonus 30% - IHUB Generates High Quality “Militia Combat Anomalies” – IHUB Sentry Turrets for Defense (Similar to Gate Guns in Damage which can be disabled if put into hull - These will attack opposing faction ships)
Tier 4 – Militia Fortress System – 25M LP Cost– Market Bonus 40% - IHUB Generates High Quality “Militia Combat Anomalies” – Increased IHUB Sentry Turrets for Defense – System Capture % Reduces by 0.1 Per Hour –
Tier 5 – Militia Capital System (One Per Constellation) 50M LP Cost– Market Bonus 50% - IHUB Generates High Quality “Militia Combat Anomalies” – Enemy Plexing No longer reduces System Tier – Increased IHUB Sentry Turrets for Defense – System Capture % Reduces by 0.1Per Hour – IHUB Jump Bridge (Costs LP to use. Links to other Militia Capital Systems in Adjacent Constellations)
The addition of the IHUB generating militia combat anomalies would allow militia members an alternative to Plexing and Missions to gain LP and tags to redeem in the faction store.
The idea is to provide benefits and objectives for the militia groups to fight over. The significant LP costs for upgrades give a sense of accomplishment, and balance as territory is claimed and defended.
I have tried to summarize the changes I would like to see made to faction warfare to make it a modern and viable part of EVE. It has been around for a long time, and has always been the place I have found the most enjoyment in this game. I know many may not agree with all the changes I would like to see, but I feel this is one of the most balanced approaches to address many of the concerns within the FW community.
Red Sky Morning
Local Is Primary
Proposal for minor to significant development updates to the faction warfare system. If you got this far through reading I want to thank you for your time.