For those who are interested, there has been an ongoing discussion for Factional Warfare changes in this Discord channel https://discord.gg/cSe6btF
Seeing that there is a lack of agreement on many ideas, I am going to reiterate some of mine, list those most often mentioned with commentary on their downsides, along with a FW proposal list for quick fixes we can see very soon, their impact and longevity, and important issues that require more time but cannot be ignored.
Neutral presence inside the warzone
Many pilots have proposed heavy penalties to player structures anchored within Factional Warfare space. Non-FW entities are highly reluctant to agree to being inconvenienced by penalties such as increased fuel costs for Upwell structures or cyno inhibition. We remind many that FW space fills a greater part of the most often used lanes between Nullsec and Highsec, with another healthy reminder that there is a vast portion of lowsec that is under-utilized and scarcely inhabited. We remind others that stations continue to exist and that it is Upwell structures themselves that are interfering with the docking restriction which they completely bypass, further deteriorating the importance of geography, markets, and home field advantage.
*increased fuel costs to neutrals and reduced fuel cost for faction structures corresponding to system ownership.
*No docking on any structures for hostile FW pilots; docking restrictions apply to stations AND Upwell structures
Cons to the first is that neutrals will eat a higher cost for structures placed on moons that should, in all respects, be fair game. Cons to the second are that one side will not be able to effectively defend existing structures after a system flip. An asset that could be much more valuable than the system itself.
Front lines and Defensive Plexing
Lowering contested values could probably be done in a better way than the passive non-interaction time sink of dplexing, which doesn’t require anything besides hanging in space within 30km of the beacon. You don’t even have to have modules on your ship. We keep on attacking things which are used (stabs), and not questioning how senseless the core idea is behind some of these things. My proposal for dplexing is this:
For each adjacent system, contestation will be reduced 1% every hour. For every hostile adjacent system, contested values of each FW objective increased by 50%. It could be anything, but what it adds is strategy and that is always good. You just have to keep impact on behalf of player activity higher than any kind of bonus that is passive in nature. Require npc clearing for either offensive or defensive plexing.
Complex Timers, impact of variation, and as non-FW hostile ground
Reduce the timers by 25% for all size plex. 7.30 minutes for novice; 11.25 Small; 15 Medium; Large 15m. Scale value of each complex by size to deter the impact small and novice complexes have on a whole: Novice .4%; Small .7%; Medium .9%; Large 1.2%. Making a Large worth up to four novices. Cap or buffer should remain 2.0%. Flag neutral non-FW pilots on acceleration gate as suspect upon gate activation. Since we are likely to not ever get gate sliding back, we might as well piggy back on the warp core stab check and add the non-FW neutral check to it. Lastly, the implementation of Dual-Timers as a better solution to the popular rollbacks. What is essentially two different timers, one for defensive and the other for offensive ticks. Solving the age old problem of bloated timers that encourage abandonment and conceding of some timers. Instead of an unsatisfying tug of war that could have no end in sight, you have a time-frame for every plex that is at best twice the length of time without factoring in the frozen state during pvp activity, giving everyone involved a sense of progression with closure.
Missions and the current tier system
At the moment of writing this, FW missions receive a bonus by tier level towards the amount of LP they reward on completion. They normally would give anywhere from between 25,000 to 30,000 LP a mission. There are around 10 or so level 4 agents which you could visit and request a mission from each one. The mission will expire in 12 hours without suffering any loss to standing. You will lose standing if you reject or quit the mission only, which can sometimes be worth it if you get one you don’t like and want a re-roll. This unholy union with the current tier system has elevated missions to a disgusting proportion that can reach payouts for each mission up to 97,500 LP in tier 5, which awards a bonus of +225% over the original amount. These bonuses apply to every LP payment, from completing complexes, destruction of iHubs, to pvp kills.
So. We have multiple options in bringing missions into balance. One is to see a rework to the tier system which bring them down to no higher payouts than 30k maximum, regardless of which side is winning or not. The other is to require the agents to request an item from the pilot and in exchange they will grant the FW pilot one mission. CSM Steve Ronuken suggested a token of some type. I ran away with this idea and encourage the agents to require the dog tags from the npc’s that are cleared in the very same complexes within the warzone. Each complex rat drops, consistently, a different rank of tag. Tags gained from a novice site should give access to lvl 1 agents; tags from npc’s in smalls could grant access to lvl 2 agents; tags from Mediums for lvl 3’s and tags from Large rats will grant lvl 4’s. Each rat drops a single tag, with the exception of the Large npc, which drops 2 different distinct tags. The result being that the Large complexes would become more valuable and the outcome will be more fights in a plex which can produce the most interesting and dynamic content. This last change will have the desired affect of reducing the amount of spamming that these missions see in their ability to be chained in succession in a long mission running circuit after visiting all available lvl 4 agents, with tags being a limiting factor. If we have the agents request 5 of the tags that are gained, you allow about one level 4 mission per Large that is completed, which sees anywhere from 5 to 7 spawns.
You’re welcome to visit us in the forum to discuss the ideas of,
- complete deletion of mission content (CONS negative impacts on breaking some loyalty store items that rely on the tags that are inside these missions and unanticipated fallout of an unrecoverable tier deterioration for all sides)
*4v4 faction war (CONS to RP allegiances and periodically rare occasions of cross-faction aid support)
*no pirate ships in noobie FW complexes (CONS for many pirate and special edition ships that have mostly only been seen being used inside the warzone)
*making the iHub an upgradeable structure
*No upwell structures inside the warzone, replaced with new faction structures that are corp owned and limited to 1 per system that takes the place of the Infrastructure Hub and inherits vulnerability states by system contested value
*fixing pvp LP payouts at the current +225%
*(Post Script) Currently corvettes, the likes of rookie ships Velator, Reaper, Ibis, and Impairor, cannot activate the complex timers. This same restriction should apply to the Venture.
The ideas presented here that I feel can be achieved as quick fixes in the immediate future are:
[Tags for Missions], which should have the greatest impact on FW tier manipulation and LP devaluation, [fixing pvp LP payouts at +225%] and [docking restrictions applied to all structures].
The rest, unfortunately, I feel will only come with further and deeper work when FW finally has a spotlight for dev time.