[Factional Warfare, Industry]: NVY plex restrictions and meta mods

This is a pair of suggestions for the upcoming FW rework. It may be better suited to the PvP forum, I’m not sure, but I wanted to put it up for discussion.

Suggestion #1: restrict NVY plexes to meta4 modules, and clones (implants+drugs) . It might make sense while doing this to change empire navy ships to be meta4 too, just so it all lines up (although from CCP Aurora’s comments on stream and the proving grounds, it’s clear that’s not actually necessary for the CCP tools to restrict entry appropriately). This would solidify NVY plexes as the place where you send the spacepoor and the new, while ADV plexes are the place where rich, experienced players can show off their fancy stuff. This would be pretty consistent and easy to remember if you also…

Suggestion #2: Make BPCs for Meta Modules, Sold by Empire Navies. This may also require a rename of some of the meta modules – a corpmate suggested naming them ‘Militia ____’ (e.g. ‘Initiated Compact Warp Scrambler’ → ‘Militia Compact Warp Scrambler’), but a rename is by no means necessary. Flavor-wise, this is the empire navies working harder to ensure that their soldiers are appropriately equipped for the battlefield. Even if renamed, pirate NPCs can keep dropping them at their existing rates – after all, whomst among us has not fed a ship full of the loot of other ships we killed earlier? If implemented along with suggestion #1, this suggestion provides a very clear identity for the NVY plexes: this is where you go to fight for the empire, with tools provided by the empire.

For new players, meta BPCs would be a neat low-investment, low-SP entry point to doing industrial stuff adjacent to empire conflict: they shouldn’t cost too much to acquire or build (in order to be consistent with existing meta module price points). And hey, then you can actually build stuff that makes sense to fly on ships.

From a big bloc perspective, this does make it kind of easier to import a bunch of meta modules to do stuff: you would be able to import compressed minerals + BPCs to get meta modules out. I don’t think this is a bad thing; it still takes time to do two builds to produce your modules, and there’s still involvement with a supply chain.

Finally, adding meta BPCs would address another issue: right now, meta module market depth can be really lacking, what with fewer people MTU ratting and relist fees. Of Sound Mind recently had to adjust our default Sabre fit because we found that we weren’t able to source the meta guns reliably. This also really sucks whenever meta4 proving grounds happen, and inevitably the Best Guns start selling for >3m a pop.

We talked a lot internally about this already but I am posting my thoughts publically here.

I really like Idea #2 I think it solves a few different problems in one package, which is super nice!

I have concerns about NVY plexes being limited so severely making it basically impossible to do any kind of asymmetrical fighting, FW already suffers from the primary strategy in larger conflicts being “throw as many people as possible at the problem” and I’m afraid that this would extend that into even “it’s off timezone and you can’t do anything by yourself to stop these 2-3 newbies from plexing your system” as a more experienced player… Yeah you can counter-plex but that’s boring from a game design perspective. I don’t want to undo their work, I want to undo their ships.

I completely understand the desire to keep newbies from gettings absolutely destroyed by blinged out implanted gamers, but I think that limiting meta in plexes swings too far in the other direction and removes a lot of gameplay options, especially since reshipping in order to be able to actually pvp is expensive in terms of time and effort and ships for a navy novice would be unable to compete anywhere but inside a navy novice.

Being the first person set up in a plex is already a huge advantage, and I don’t really consider increasing that advantage to be desirable in this circumstance. New players already have a defensive mechanism that protects them from getting murdered by blingy ships… they can warp away from the plex and cede it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that they be unable to meaningfully effect the warzone without doing some kind of coordination, and I think that frontlines in general are already going to do a lot to encourage that kind of cooperation.

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The idea of limiting NVY plex to meta mod is a non-starter, if you want that, make it a NEWB-1 plex… Meta is, as Frosty pointed out, far too restricting, you end up with a ship that can only run a single type of plex. The larger the plex size, the more ludicrous it would get in efficacy and, really, once you get to BC or above, they’re death trap just moving around between the 1 plex where they can exist for 15 minutes.

The very limited version I could support is a “NEWB-1” novice/frigate plex that doesn’t allow navy ships / limits to meta 4 and maybe meta 1 implants and contributes minimally in VP and LP (as it will be where bots go to bot.)

I am less bothered by the implant restriction part, I’ve seen the impact it has on the abyssal proving grounds (remember the ludicrous caracals of the first T1 cruiser proving ground? yeah…) and I could see banning pirate implant sets from some of the plexes, it’s less limiting overall and would essentially be a pre-nerf to the obvious high-grade nirvana hookbill dominance (and similar boosted comets and to a certain extent slicers.)

I could see a meta 4 implants restriction on, perhaps the cruiser and below NVY plexes. This would allow some pod bling but not a 4B pod clubbing.

As for making FW a source of meta mod bpc drop that’d be a thing I guess. Not sure really what that would do other than maybe flattening availability of some of them. Maybe a militia meta mod could combine say the fitting of compact along with either enduring, scoped, or restrained benefit, creating some interesting meta options for tight fits?