Probably the most important topic I could start about Faction Warfare.
It pretty much boil down to thinking about what is the fundamental difference between Albion Online and EVE Online that EVE could capitalize on.
I’m sure you have noticed that Albion Online has made their own version of Faction Warfare, and more importantly that they are growing. EVE and Albion pretty much go after the same demographics, people who want loot drop from PvP, intense combat, and multiple playstyles living alongside each other. However, Albion has a mobile-friendly gameplay, and a lot more Actions/Decisions-per-second than EVE. So what does EVE has that Albion does not and that EVE is best suited for?
The response is simple, Industry.
= 1. The Difference between EVE and Albion
I was actually quite relieved when I heard @CCP_Aurora talk about the difference between Albion’s FW and EVE’s FW. For me, the word that describes best her description of EVE’s FW is Weighted.
EVE’s FW takes more time, asks for more resources and preparations. In Albion, regions are gained and ceded in the span of an hour, in EVE it’s a matter of days.
I’m glad that you guys see that particularity, but now what I hope is that you also see the other crucial difference between EVE and Albion:
Albion has Craftmanship, EVE has Industry.
In Albion, each item is crafted.
In EVE, items are manifactured.
Pretty much, EVE has a much more automatized and supply-chain based production than Albion does. Items are made to be made en-masse and consumed en-masse, to the point that even Titans and Supers reached that state. The only notable exception are Abyssal items.
This makes for a different kind of game. In Albion, you search for ingredients and materials, in EVE you search for suppliers.
If a FW system is to be developed for EVE, it must incorporates that aspect in its very core.
= 2. Incorporating Industry in FW
If Industry is to be incorporated into FW, there are several factors that have to be looked at:
- What are we building?
- Where are we building things?
- Why are we building them?
- How do we profit from it?
The first question is very much about selling FW and the Rework to the people who do FW.
The second question touches upon the problem of Structures in FW, and as you’d guess, it’s a pretty huge problem.
The third question is more about the FW Rework itself and the ways it gives people ways to participate in FW.
And the fourth question is very close to the concern FW corps had for years over not being able to profit from their role in the Warzone.
== 2.1 The X-Factor: Modules and Ships
A FW Rework needs some X-Factor to sell itself, and in EVE the best X-Factors are self-evident: Modules and Ships.
Modules and Ships are what sell a feature, people got interested in the Triglavians in part because of their ships, the Sleepers provided us with T3 technology, so on and so forth.
The FW Rework needs something that would make people want to manufacture it.
In my compilation of Proposals: The Dantelion Plan: Rapid Warfare I have made several suggestions over what those could be. Essentially modules to enhance T1 Small ships, or ships made to reward FW participation and solidify FW standing power.
But that doesn’t matter, what really matter is that the reward has stuffs that people want and are ready to fight over to mass-produce.
== 2.2 The Where: The Importance of Gates
If items have to be built, there are only 2 different options right now:
- In Stations
- In Structures
The first answer provides valuable points of interests over the Warzone that can be disputed between Militias for the opportunity of doing Industry there. And thus more than ever they ask for Occupancy rules that reward obtention of the system and give exclusive access to the spoils to the victorious faction.
Stations also don’t ask for resources for young pilots and unaffiliated players.
The Big Problem of Stations is that they are few and far between, and factions will fight for ages without ever getting closer to obtaining one, we have seen it when it came to accessing FW missions.
The second answer, Structures, is a bit more contentious.
First thing first. The way Structures are designed right now is not adequate to Faction Warfare.
As I have said plenty of times, for years and over several channels and threads, the greatest strength of Faction Warfare is its Accessibility.
Accessibility that Albion conveniently took advantage of, using FW as an easy way to introduce full-loot PvP to people in the Royal Continent (the equivalent of Not-Null for them).
The use of Structures in the Warzone removes the emphasis from plexes and place it upon Fleet combat and Structure Sieges. Thus superceding the whole gate mechanic and removing any kind of originality the zone could have over its meta and fights (over time it will just follow Null’s meta).
If Structures are to be the place where Industry is incorporated into FW, Structures have to be made to conform to FW and its particularity, which is the selection of sizes and stakes.
= Which ask for one of the core mechanics of FW: Gates. =
This design restriction leaves only one solution:
FW Structures capable of Industry for FW should be made available through Non-Players Actions, in order to be spawned into Deadspace available only through a Gate.
Pretty much, Players will have to ask for the creation of those Structures in the space that they have captured, and those would be spawned alongside a Gate that would impose Size-restrictions (and possible Ship Amount restrictions) that you’d see at the level of plexes.
== Suddenly you have Structures that follow the rules of Warzone instead of being generic==
This to me, seems like the best answer to the question of Where to do Industry that is incorporated into FW in the Warzone.
Not only does it allow for Structures that can be tailor-made for FW, it also allows for control points over where they are spwaned and how many of those points we want available at the same time. Combats at those Structures would follow the same rules as combat in the plexes, and would be exclusive to FW Participants and encourage people to join the militias instead of siting on the sidelines, profiteering from both sides.
== 2.3 The Role of the LP Stores compared to Industry
Right now, the LP Store is the way FW does Industry in the Warzone.
It is how FW pilots get their modules, and extract resources from the Warzone to sell to the rest of the Cluster.
However, as we all know, the LP is clunky, unbalanced, and it is the furthest thing from automated. It’s a system that would fit highly-specialized, rare items more than common variations of ALL items.
As a way for a single pilot to obtain some items, it is adequate, but as a way to get massive amount of goods that are to be consumed, it is inefficient.
Pretty much, the FW LP Store should be changed from a common list of variations to a list of rare, and unique items that would be accessible for an important amount of LP.
Not only does this give a goal for players, but it makes for a more manageable and more interesting list of goods for CCP.
The only good aspect of the LP Store is the use of T1 base items (like the Merlin in the Hookbill). It encourages building those items in the Warzone which is good as more avenues for Industry in EVE is always a good thing.
Therefore the concern of producing FW variations of commons items, should be switched from the LP Store to Industry in the Warzone. Using base components just like the LP Store does.
FW Industry should produce en-masse, and in an automated fashion, items of the Caldari Navy or Federation Navy variationusing the relevant T1 components.
This would provide a supply chain that is unique and made for, and by FW. And above all, it would give a reason to do Industry in the Warzone rather than elsewhere.
== 2.4 Death, Taxes, and Profits
Incorporating Industry into FW would also provide a way for both passive income and Corp income for FW Warfare.
And this is why the Automated aspect of Industry in EVE is important as this is what allows for its passive income aspect. If the production of FW items is automated, FW corps only have to worry about System Control and fighting it out in the plexes.
This, by itself, could create a form of Corp Income. But other sources of income can also be grafted to it, like taxes to start jobs in FW Structures, or ways to sell those items at FW Structures.
A way to incorporate Suppliers too must exist. As FW Corps work with each others to produce items, you have a specific point where you can both generate value and create sources of income that are Corp-specific.
By answering those 4 questions, CCP can find a way to put the inherent X-Factor of EVE, its Industry, into the Faction Warfare Rework.