[Proposal] FW/Lowsec rework

(Soma Altaris) #1

When I was a new(er) player my first experience with low sec was rather bad. Having run out the economic opportunities of high sec that I could afford I went looking for something better in lowsec, only to find that not only were the economic opportunities only marginally better than highsec (if at all) they also came with an exponentially higher risk of getting ganked which make any gains pretty much moot. While lowsec is generally advertised as being ‘nullsec lite’ in reality it’s much more hostile and lawless while offering none of the benefits.

Since lowsec content is mostly dominated by faction wars it seems like FW would be the primary place to look to improve the situation. Indeed FW has a number of problems which make it, and by extension lowsec, highly unpopular for anyone besides pirates.

The main issues:
-Lowsec lacks any economic incentive for moving there. At best you can farm tags and LP, whereas more ‘normal’ activities like ratting and mining simply are not supported. Additionally the risk of getting ganked by pirates negates any gains that might be had unless your intent is to become a pirate yourself. Thus lowsec remains largely unpopulated.

-The incentives in FW are largely backwards. If you capture a system from the enemy you only serve to remove opportunities to farm tags/LP for your own faction and give them to the enemy. Likewise if you spend LP to ‘upgrade’ your own faction’s systems you only serve to improve the LP/tag farming opportunities for the enemy. Nothing you can do with FW or in lowsec in general actually benefits your faction/corp/alliance in any tangible way, and if you actually play FW as intended you only end up shooting yourself in the foot.

-Because it’s so disconnected from how sov nullsec works it’s not particularly good for players who want to learn how pvp and wars are carried out in nullsec, and is furthermore misleading wrt how the economy in nullsec works.

To rectify this, I propose that FW be made more similar to the way sov nullsec works. By creating an economic incentive to move to lowsec, and by making the incentives of FW follow the intended concept better, I think a lot more people would be inclined to move into lowsec and it could become a viable hub for newbie corporations and a much better place for learning about the more advanced aspects of the game.

Note that the following is merely a rough idea of what could be done, and obviously the details could be changed to make things more interesting:

-First each system gets a vulnerability window during which the FW anoms spawn and the FW minigame can be played for control of the system. The timers should probably be longer than sov structures in nullsec, say perhaps 6-12h per week to allow for more participation. Additionally non-FW anoms should probably cease to spawn during the vulnerability window to reduce clutter in the system (and it’s not like ratting/mining during that time is a good idea anyway).

-For systems owned by your faction, it should be possible to spend LP to upgrade the ihub to increase the spawn rate of economically interesting anoms just like in nullsec. If a system changes hands then the ihub upgrades should be reset to zero so that the system has to be upgraded again by the new owners.

-Likewise it should be possible to spend LP to increase the defense multiplier for systems owned by your faction, making it more difficult (and more rewarding in LP) for the enemy to capture your FW anoms during the vulnerability window.

-Conversely the actual types of FW anoms that spawn should no longer depend on the level of upgrades/LP spent, but might perhaps relate to the degree to which your faction holds the sov.

-Someone else suggested that LP rewards for FW should scale similarly to incursions. I think that would be a good idea to encourage participation, and would be particularly important if the FW minigame only occurred for a limited time window each week in each system.

Finally, there has been some talk of making highsec better but imo that’s a waste of time. Highsec might suck but ultimately that’s because there’s nowhere to go once you’ve burned out the opportunities there (esp. if you can’t afford/don’t have skills for a 100m+ battleship for lvl4 missions) unless you move out to sov null, which is a hefty commitment for a new player to have to make. In fact I think highsec should suck (and it’s fine as is) in order to encourage people to leave as soon as they have the resources to go elsewhere.

[PSA] This is not Player Features & Ideas
(yellow parasol) #2

Throwing more money at lowsec doesn’t help. Been tried time and time again. Your conclusion is based on something that’s proven to be incorrect. The income isn’t the big factor, it’s the dangers. Nullsec is safer for farmers.

Your post makes me wonder if you actually play there.

(Soma Altaris) #3

So why exactly is lowsec more dangerous than sov null? The only reason sov null is “safe” is because the alliances make it safe with standing fleets and intel. Of course in lowsec you can’t use defensive gate bubbles, but even in null there are plenty of ways to get around them (interceptors, hot drops, T3Cs and anything too strong to engage on the gate without a prepared response).

I don’t. Why would I? I mean I could hang out in poorsville in some ganker ghost town or I could make 100m+ per day in sov null with fleet protection and free choice of whatever pvp I feel like participating in. I mean if lowsec actually had anything to offer I might have moved there instead, but it doesn’t so I didn’t, and even if I’d wanted to pvp in lowsec my highsec income certainly wasn’t going to pay for that.

(yellow parasol) #4

Always great when people answer their own questions, right?

So you don’t play in lowsec, yet believe you can propose ideas for lowsec. you have no clue of lowsec, or why people play there, and only care about money. thanks for telling us. i’m glad we made sure that there’s no need wasting time with this trainwreck.

have a nice day. :slight_smile:

(Soma Altaris) #5

I only pointed out what I already know. I assumed that you knew something that I don’t, which is why I asked.

If lowsec is dangerous because there’s nobody there to defend it then wouldn’t attracting more people there be the proper solution?

Care to make a real argument instead of insulting my intelligence and supposed inability to empathize with other players? I mean excuse me for not wanting to get my ships blown up when I only made 20m per day income missioning all day (or worse 8mil/day staring at rocks) when the gankers out in low were flying pirate faction ships that could sink me in seconds. We fight wars out in null because we can afford to economically. Can you really say the same about lowsec?

(Shallanna Yassavi) #6

Faction warfare does have a mechanism that kind of does what you want. It has a bonus for taking sites if your faction has most of them. As of right this minute, the Minmatar militia get 75% bonus LP, and the Caldari get normal because of the balance of power. Go click the FW button on any station and look at the page.
No, the reason FW isn’t interesting as gameplay is because the design right now says “farm all the sites with stabbed frigates.” When it gave a significant amount of LP for fighting other players, someone figured out how to totally wreck the value of LP.

Increasing the anom spawn and escalation rates in low would make it a more interesting place to daytrip in. So would, say, taking some of the Mercoxit anoms out of null and putting them in low.

As for actually living there, special stuff like the Thukker structures/citadel rigs make lowsec more interesting for a certain kind of industry. Also, player-driven solutions: in a certain lowsec system, there’s a pirate operation because jump freighters like to land there. This pirate operation ganks haulers and sells loot, often at a noticeable discount over a nearby trade hub, which makes it kind of interesting to pick through the station’s orders and run the blockade.

(Soma Altaris) #7

I did some research and came across an interesting article that goes into detail regarding the history of lowsec/FW and how the present state came about: https://crossingzebras.com/lowsec-is-dead/

The main points are:
-From 2008 to around 2013 lowsec and FW were the main pvp outlet in eve. However in 2013 CCP announced that sov null would be the future and have been committed to developing that ever since, pretty much leaving lowsec in a state of neglect.

-In addition to that, eve’s economics has been shifting away from POSs (which are steadily on their way to total removal) and nullsec alliances now get most of their funding from ratting taxes. Since there’s no ratting in lowsec, lowsec entities cannot fund themselves effectively, a situation which is only being exacerbated by the phasing out of POSs.

Thus lowsec is degrading into a pirate’s nest inhabited by griefers, the remnants of old lowsec alliances that never left, and orphaned corps/alliances who lost their null territories and became homeless. It’s also a bad model for new players to transition to nullsec simply because it was never originally planned as such, and represents stale content.

I think that meta would automatically change if the farmable sites were all concentrated in one system and the incentive to defend were increased. Stabbed frigs are pretty useless if the enemy chases you off of all the sites before you can capture anything.

The distribution of anom types that spawn depends directly on the truesec rating of the system, so naturally the anoms that spawned in lowsec would be lower level/quality than the ones which spawn in null, although they would also be significantly better than the ones that spawn in highsec.

That much is exactly as it should be, but the biggest impact would be allowing lowsec alliances to collect ratting taxes to fund themselves like null alliances do. Increasing mining and manufacturing opportunities in lowsec certainly wouldn’t hurt either.

Except that ECs have pretty much obsoleted thukker structures, and most of the associated industry has since moved to nullsec.

Hauler ganking happens even in highsec. The main issue is that nothing is actually being produced in that situation. The pirates are merely redistributing someone else’s wealth to themselves. If that were really viable then I think shipping things to/from nullsec would cease to be, which would be kind of messed up. If we’re talking about funding cap fleets that’s pretty much a non-starter either way.

(Galakktis) #8

The most basic problem in FW is that to capture a system you have to grind through this awful plexing mechanism. This mechanism is boring as hell. System capture should be based like the nullsec system capture mechanism.
Also, the fact that a ship inside a plex knows exactly where a landing ship will arrive has made the meta completely stale. Short range or bust.
There are many kinds of creative fleet types in nullsec (sniping fleets, snatch fleets, etc…), but in FW plexes, it is quite repetitive.

(Gian Bal) #9

Newbro in PH suggesting lowsec needs to be converted to what nullsec is.


(Arline Kley) #10

Another issue is the Citadel system itself. Currently in FW, if one faction conquers another factions space, then all the stations in that system will not all the enemy faction ships in.

However the Citadels allow for bypassing of this system, meaning its a lot harder to actually excise a stubborn enemy - yes you can destroy the citadels, but doing so requires large organisation of forces mostly outside of the militia’s general control, and most are from neutral corps, but are aligned to a specific militia.

In the Amarr/Minmatar FW it has been a struggle to get systems back once they are filled with virtually untouchable bunkers, which allow the enemy to reinforce and rearm without thought to the mechanics - it just makes it so much more of a drag to do it, rather than the short burst of intense fun it should be.

(mkint) #11

It sounds like the fun:suck ratio is off balance. Risk:rewards, incentives:disincentives, whatever.

What I’d love to see is the reward systems in EVE dynamically balanced against actual risk. The isk per active pilots would go where the most value of ships being lost is, possibly balanced on a regional level. Chaotic places are where the most powerful opportunities for profit are. So those null regions where literally nothing ever happens would be about as useful for farming as highsec. The lowsec regions where you’ve got a statistical life expectancy of about 30 minutes would be where the rewards are best.

But here’s the thing: There are a few sacred cows in EVE. Nullbears getting all the best stuff is the most sacred cow of all, no matter how it makes the rest of the game suffer. The death of lowsec is just a canary in the coal mine, another sign that EVE is on a death spiral. Don’t ever expect lowsec to ever stop sucking.

(Oreb Wing) #12

The problem with this system is how arbitrary it is. Systems become dangerous because of the presence of pilots that make it so. Any group can move to another system or place and create this content, while leaving behind the ‘high-risk’ area.

Things are simple. When there are plenty of fish, you have a pyramid of power, where one predator is kept in check by another bigger predator. If your smallest member is not incentivized enough to be a catalyst for content, if affects the entire health of a zone.

It is hard for me to take a thread seriously when the OP has not invested a serious moment to interview the leaders of active corporations or those in the leaderboards, but depends on highly opinionated articles. Most FW threads take place in the PVP Gameplay section of the forums, in Warfare & Tactics. I suggest you spend a few years in FW before you try to change the best things about it, while adding things that cannot benefit the content those who do partake in FW are really after. Non-pve.

(Saint Michaels Soul) #13

There are some good points here, but you’re missing a few rather decent isk facuets from your argument.

Firstly Faction Warfare system capture does help you work your tiers up and therefore your LP return. Secondly FW missions at high tiers really are one of the best methods of making solo ISK in the game (and risking nothing more than a t3d). Exploration in LS also pays off with little to no risk.

Introducing FW system vulnerability windows penalises people in different timezones and you’d fairly quickly get people working how to timezone tank key systems, so that doesn’t feel like its a starter.

In terms of upping other rewards you’re comparing a busy FW system to what sounds like a half decent sov null system - The two shouldn’t be comparable if you consider the extended investment to capture, hold, upgrade and work the indexes of the null system. LS simply shouldn’t provide that level of reward - LS should be about travelling and finding things over a range of systems, Null Sec is about sitting and digging into your space and I believe that differentiation needs to stay.

(Oreb Wing) #14

I think it’s a bad way of thinking to put a theme on any part of space. Low sec, high sec or null, they are home to someone and of you add more reasons for emotional investment that could only be a good thing. Ill get to the rest of that after work.

Btw, glad you are running.

(Oreb Wing) #15

I see much of this response is directed to the OP? It’s hard to tell. Not intending to hijack this thread, but I’m assuming you read the threadnaught too? If I’m not mistaken, you were present for the galmil round table a small while back.

Also about themes. I dislike them because it is really the players and the mechanics that decide what an area of space will be used and become known for. I would prefer that we see it that way rather than force any kind of style in certain parts of space, basically taking for granted or ignoring what drives the meta.

Give us the tools and we will build what’s in the sandbox. That is what keeps Eve special. CCP should continue, and be encouraged, to continue to build around that.