The State of Factional Warfare: Ideas and Improvements

I’m KiithSoban. I’m a small-gang FC. Although I have experience with PvP in all parts of space, the past six years I have been living in FW Lowsec. I’m here to talk about FW, some of the problems that plague it, and some proposed solutions to those problems.

The FW Discord:

First, if you want to discuss improvements and changes you want to see in FW the best place to do that is on the FW discord. Be sure to look at the vote section. You can see how the community feels about changes. This is what we sent to the CSM and CCP. CCP and CSM has even had some direct conversations with us asking for feedback about some of the changes last year, but have then sense been silent. I really want CCP to have a more active part in community outreach. FW has entered a development stage where a Dev needs to place a lot of trust in feedback from the community. I would appreciate that leap of faith.


The State of FW:

I would say that FW is on a downward trend for sure. The Gallente-Caldari warzone is “completely dead” with the exception of Tama. We have GMVA in the Minmatar militia area, who left that side of the warzone because it was just so dead. However, at least in the Amarr-Minmatar side of the warzone, we have a good batch of players on each side, but good fights between the militias over even inexpensive astras are squelched by snuff’s capital superiority. In the right systems though, small-gang fights do occur frequently. FW has seen some changes about a year ago, but many players view this as far short of hitting the needed mark. We need a complete overhaul and those recent changes were merely “minor tweaks” that didnt address the root cause of the problems that plague FW. About a year ago my mood was “hopeful” because it appeared that FW had the eye and was going to have some changes soon. The fact that the CSM had to specifically request a meeting from CCP about FW shows that they really had no intention of even touching FW for that entire year.

So the question then becomes: why are you still here Kiith?

This is why I Stay in FW:

I stay for Plex combat.

The system of restricting ship sizes in each Plex creates an extremely rich micro meta for each Plex type. This opens up enjoyable playstyles for T1 frigates, dessys, and cruisers. Compositions that work are seen nowhere else in Eve and it also opens up great opportunities for newbros, who don’t feel like they need to own a HAC or dread to make a difference.

Additionally, making the outside of a Plex deadspace was a great move. It opens up the meta for all kinds of good sniper-range setups and other kite ships.

Both ideas together are absolutely brilliant and in my opinion is the best feature of FW. I look forward to small balances to frigs, dessys, cruisers, and all other ships so that the meta inside FW plexes remains ever changing and rich in content.

A Problem: FW Missions and How They Devalue LP.

I consider FW plexes to be the real substance behind what makes players stay in. However, the payout for completing a FW Plex yeilds LP as a reward. This LP has more or less value based upon market supply and demand. Now I’m no economist, but I know that dishing out tons of LP to FW mission runners will devalue the worth of the LP we gain by completing a FW Plex. Good fights in these plexes is why I stay, but they need to attract players to fight over them. Now, CCP knows that FW missions pay out a crazy amount of LP and this can easily be converted to isk with relitively little risk. That’s why they just recently nerfed the LP payout of FW missions by 30%, but even that isn’t enough. FW missions need to pay out a different form of LP. That way, market supply and demand will naturally give a higher payout to the more risky activity. Makes sense right?

A problem: The tier system.

Let’s assume that FW missions didn’t exist. Would there still be a problem with plexing? Yes! The tier system adjusts payout for both missions and plexes. The difference in payout from tier 1 to tier 5 is 6.5x higher! That means that the faction that sits at low tier level has essentially no payout during that time. That’s an absolute killer for attracting and retaining new players! In addition, the casual pvper has little to no affect on the tier level. That’s mostly changed by “no-lifers” and farmers. Flipping a system is a 23h game. I can do nothing to affect the FW system level outside my window of playtime. This can lead to severe burnout for players, trying their hardest to make a difference and getting nowhere. In summary: the tier system is a harsh negative feedback loop for those in low tier and not even that rewarding for those casual pvpers in high tier that did little to change tier status.

The only good thing to learn of this is that FW does have a “zero input response” meaning that given little to no reward, some people still do it just for the fun of it. Beware though, the Gallente-Caldari warzone has died out because there is no “zero state response”, or what happens when there are little to no pvpers participating in FW. FW isn’t fun without anyone to fight.

A Problem: Concentration of Players.

Plexes are no fun if there aren’t players there to contest them. We need to find some way to concentrait players. Many have proposed a “Frontline” system where only a portion of the FW systems are available to be captured. I like some of the proposed systems, but if we had some way to monitor the activity in plexes and have the number of systems adaptively respond to that data I feel this would be the best system. That way, you could ensure players aren’t super spread out like they are now but also ensure things don’t develop into total blob fests. I want to note though that CCP has been doing a good job in using roleplay news articles to indicate what systems are of particular interest. This at least modivates those that stay informed, but isn’t the best method of directing new players.

Another advantage of a concentration mechanic is that PvPers tend to push out the farmers. Restricting the number of systems that can be plexed and slightly tweaking the Plex timer mechanics will go a long way towards encouraging those farmers to become hardened pvpers.

A Problem: Citadels Make System Ownership Strategically Meaningless.

Before citadels, the only places players really docked in and staged out of were the NPC stations (POS usage was very infrequent. Stations were just… easier to live in.) If you are in the militia, you can’t dock in an NPC station if the system is owned by the opposing militia. Because Citadels are so easy to set up you can just anchor one in whatever system you want to assault, JF in a bunch of ships, and have a plethora of comps you can switch into right on top of your enemy. Citadels in FW really need to be forced to declare loyalty to a faction and be locked out to all docking and undocking if the system is owned by the opposing militia.

Overall, FW is in a bad state that desperately needs attention from CCP. I welcome discussion in the comments about how you think we should fix this problem.


I love these ideas but have concerns about a frontline system. Right now the players decide where the frontline is and where the big fleet fights will be. I also enjoy roaming solo or with a couple of pilots in FW. I would not want that to be killed off by making only a few systems contestable. Maybe there is a system that could preserve this. Players who are not rich need to be able to go to less populated systems to make some LP. If that is not available they will just run missions or have to earn outside the warzone.

Really I think the tier system is the biggest issue right now. Just remove tier 1 and tier 5 so the losing side can still survive and be motivated to fight. That would be little effort for CCP and be a huge step at keeping the warzone active. It would still reward the victors as well. Would love to see an additional nerf to mission LP.

Overall there are some improvements to be made but I still find faction war to be the best part of the game. There is no where else I can get fights so quickly and use a variety of small ships to get them.

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Sup Stolven. Yeah I proposed as an alternate an adaptive Plex reward system on the FW discord but it didn’t gain much traction. I myself think a frontline system would be better, but may be more challenging to implement.

Yep. While removing the tier system or tiers entirely would be nice, it would take a lot of work. What would be a super quick fix is just adjusting the bonus constants to make the change in tier less harsh. I’m still a fan of removing tier, but both ideas have equal traction and I would settle for the more time efficient fix in this case.

From the FW discord:

"Vote using 1, 2, or 3.

  1. FW tier system should remain as is.

  2. FW tier system should be removed entirely.

  3. FW tier payouts should be flattened to make change in tier less harsh. Example:

Tier 1 - 100% (currently -50%)
Tier 2 - 115% (currently no effect)
Tier 3 - 125% (currently +75%)
Tier 4 - 140% (currently +150%)
Tier 5 - 150% (currently +225%)

Note: Please direct specific discussions about changes in tier system to the warzone-mechanics subcommittee channel."

Vote was 15 for (2), 11 for (3), 2 for (1)

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After the “attention” Black Rise received from CCP during the Triglavian invasion, I don’t think I really want anymore of CCP’s “attention”.


One of the better FW posts I’ve seen. Thanks for putting this together Kiith.

Missions have been an issue which is raised over and over again. I’m a firm believer they should be removed from FW alltogether but that’s probably not a popular opinion. As a minimum the reward for missions should be uncoupled from the tier system so they pay a flat rate which is only influenced via social skills and the level of the mission as per non fw missions.


I thought that LP payouts are flipped for plex completion

So winning side want do missions and loosing side - plexes

Nope. Missions and plexes pay out higher for a higher tier. It’s a sharp negative feedback loop for those at lower tier. Both missions and plexing are worth nearly nothing.

As an active participant in the Caldari/Gallente deadzone, I have to agree with most of these points with the possible exception of the front line idea, which probably needs a bit of thought.

The complaints we regularly hear about are:

  • Plexing for isk is boring
  • Enemy militia dock up in “friendly” neutral citadels in our space
  • No real advantage to taking a system
  • Why should I join Caldari when I can get 5 times more LP with Gallente
  • Who are these rats circling all these gates and why did they transport me back to my home station

With that in mind we also should remember why me and so many other old timers enjoy playing there even after participating in sov null.

  • All manner of engagements from solo, small gang to fleet fights
  • It offers meaningful content for newbros and teaches them to be both independent and how to be useful in fleets.
  • Less risk of suddenly supers

CCP really need to come up with an engaging system with a balanced reward structure for this to work. It could be a valuable part of the new player experience but right now its being left to rot. There is so much more to Eve than being a meatshield in a 1000 man sov bash but I fear that CCP do not see it that way.


I’m glad to push issues, united, from… opposite sides of the isle ;).

This is a good post and it deserves attention.

I don’t think the problem with missions really has anything to do with devaluing LP, though. Not that it isn’t true, but plexing still pays out very competitively compared to other isk making activities. Missions just don’t add any value to the FW system.

I’m very surprised not to see mention of some kind of decreasing bar or rapid decap for plexes. (IE, if a player has a plex half done and leaves, the timer would extend back to the full amount.) It would go a long way to make running a meaningful decision and incentivize players to fit to fight. It would also decrease the isk/hr for bots and pure farmers, which would also raise the market value of LP for the average FW player.

The “optimal” way for the soloist or small gang militia to play is to bring an Atron or Catalyst with istabs and run at the first sign of trouble - and that’s not particularly fun gameplay for anyone involved. Increasing LP for kills was a good start, but more needs to be done to bring the vision of FW in line with how the system is actually played.

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Some very valid points and ideas, but I feel the real problem is generally a lack of players and a lack of players actually willing to go out and participate in space combat.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times enemy militia members have simply warped away from a plex from a similar sized fleet, slightly smaller sized fleet or hell even if I’m solo. And i’m almost 100% sure it happens on the opposing end too. Then once the person/group has gotten bored of chasing around the other dudes or bored of plexing (because it is really freaking boring) the group who ran away from the fight, return to the plex and continue to plex the system unopposed. Knowing that the group who were looking for a fight wont return because they know the result will be the same.

If there were more players who are willing to step up, form and lead a fleet and actually fight there would be alot more content for everyone. But insted, this falls on the shoulders of a select few psychopaths who then burn out because of it.

Now the question is, how to incentivise this and also stop rewarding NOT pvping. Which the current Plex mechanics and FW mechanics actually does?

There have been ideas of having the plex give a warp disruption timer similar to a citadel, but whilst this can benefit you, can also bite you in the ass. Something to think about at least.

Another thing about plex is that, whilst it definately does create some amazing meta, really fun fights and a really good area for dudes to learn the concepts and execution of fleets, plexing itself is boring if you’re unopposed. Which is 99% of the time. The whole system needs a massive rework and rethink. And the fact that Novice and Small plex are the ones that actually matter and dictate how to win a system siege, for me, is pretty broken. The larger the plex and therefor the larger the ships should reward the attacker or defender.

Tier system needs to go, straight up. FW LP stores need a rework all around the board.

I do agree that citadels are a bit of a problem within FW as they essentially make station lockouts meaningless. But I don’t think that they’re really one of the core problems. Because if you don’t like the enemy having a citadel simply remove it. Citadels add another content option in an already stale and boring content system (plexing) They also lead to more thrilling fights, challenge newer FC’s and forces players to put alot more on the line than some ■■■■ fit t1 frigates or destroyers.

One of my main problems with FW right now is this years INSANE influx if plexing bots. I feel this is a much larger problem than mission running, which I agree should also be removed. Or made alot harder to farm and access.
It is near impossible at the moment, say for amarr to push a system without it either being; dplexed in off tz by bots, other amarrian systems being oplexed by bots as you’re elsewhere, and ultimately lost.
Making it even less appealing to go out of your way and siege somewhere.

I do think a frontline system or a similar system that Albion online has recently introduced into their game, which is essentially what players have been asking CCP for for half a decade now. Would be much better.
But I also agree with Stolven in that this would kill alot of content for the small roaming groups that are often more largely seen around the warzone recently rather than large plexing forces.

TL;DR - FW needs more blood, more FC’s, Missions removed or put behind some sort of loyalty system, Plexing rework to reward PVP and reward using larger ships rather than smaller ones, Not be able to flip flop to each side whenver the LP is good and remove the Tier system.

But for me, the real problem is that CCP don’t listen properly and hardly act. Its been far too long the community has been asking for a rework and CCP refuse to deliver. Meerly dropping us a few little breadcrumbs that essentially don’t solve any REAL problems within FW.
We can theorise and post all we want. But at the end of the day CCP have shown that they really don’t give a ■■■■ about us. And it pains me to say, I doubt that we will get a meaningful, fun and engaging change anytime soon. Which will result in more players leaving FW.

Final edit: I also believe FW needs to be something more than JUST plexing. As plexing exclusivly doesn’t teach players too much and also doesn’t push FW groups to improve themselves as, say citadel fights do. Also just having FW revolve around just one system is extremly shallow and boring.


I echo these sentiments.

Whilst a number of us are currently unsubbed & not playing:

  • I believe it would be smart for CCP to follow up on the last Las Vegas meet up
  • make a further announcement, concerning FW.
  • Even if the announcement only promised something was coming and when.

I’d bet that changing the Tier system payout multipliers (which should be no more than modification of 5 integers in the code) would be the super fast way to address one of the key issues.

  1. How about next Tuesday!

I kinda hinted at that, but left it open to interpretation.

Most people like dual Plex timers, where opposite sides of the militia have independent timers that either must run to.completion. This way, a farmer could be running a Plex but wouldn’t “run up” the plex for the opposite militia.

I’ve before been of the unpopular opinion that Plex timer progress should be able to be “reset” if the opposite militia stays there for a min or two. This would greatly aid players trying to disrupt farming activity. However, I’m now more of the dual timers because through discussion it seems that a hard reset would negatively affect actual combat in the plexes.

This. The frustration because of lack of attention does a lot to discourage content creators (at least, the kind of FCs you are looking for). I’ve seen MANY good content creators leave out of frustration due to lack of attention to FW.

About bots, bot numbers in the Minmatar-Amarr warzone aren’t super bad or anything. I can maybe spot a farmer or two but I’m unsure if they are actually bots. No idea what the Gallente-Caldari side looks like though. I hear there are tons of farmers in atrons. The frontline system will go a long way force farmers to be able to farm in just a few systems, which hopefully should be active with pvpers.

I can kinda agree that mission removal and structure changes aren’t at the TOP of the list, but they both need to be changed. Citadels DO bring content, and they have their place, however citadel fights are DESIGNED to escilate to cap fights. That’s how the meta is shaped right now. Citadels online = capitals online. I want to fight in plexes, not grind all day for a super, and I truely believe the majority of the community matches my opinion on this.

I agree and disagree with your perception of Citadels. They are designed that way and sometimes do tempt it, but its not 100% always the case. And also this throws back to my point of “forcing groups to improve themselves”.
Simply sticking to plexing only content limits your ability to grow and improve, I feel.
As the great Mikal Vektor once said “Just because you’re in FW doesn’t mean you have to be ■■■■”

I also can’t remember the last time either side ground structures in supers and the last “big” cap fight we had against each other was last year in Floseswin. Over six months ago.
Since then we’ve had MANY subcap citadel brawls against each other, which I know alot of people did enjoy and were vocal about the enjoyment. But I digress…

The bots are out there too, take a spin around sosala and its surrounding systems all the way up to sahtogas and also the eugedididdididdiddiddi constellation. Its rife with them. Its the worst I have seen it in years. Typically they’re in cheap as hell coercers, with a triple barrel name. But we’ve also been catching and killing botting kikimoras, completely shitfit. Which is yikes.

I’ve honestly been very close in the past few months to just let my subs run out, due to the lack of love toward FW. It just gives me vietnam flashbacks of why I have quit the game before for extended periods of time.

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That’s amazing. I need to say that to our dudes more often lol. Mikal is respected as a good dude on the Minmatar side (Mikal is a new Amarr FC for anyone that doesn’t know). FW needs more content creators like him.

I feel personally attacked :smile:

Hey Kiith,

Good post. I agree with all of it bar the front line system. Echoing the points made by others surrounding the death of solo and small gang.

Saying that, if it were to be taken out of isolation, to perhaps build areas or clusters of conflict that lend themselves to frontline combat and others where asymetric warfare and solo hunting were; that might work. That would of course require actual coding and development of the game, which simply isn’t going to happen.

CCP are clearly more interested in the monetisation of their game through power creep and shiny new thing syndrom, than aming money through original and inspiring game development.

There is so much they could have done with FW, over the past decade, but I suspect it has been left to rot, because many on the CSM during those years make muchos iskies out of farming the FW missions.

Those Jackdaw fleets you see, are just a few dudes. Many of whom have been vocal opponents to any changes to FW. SO when you mention, that you like how the RP news announcements have concentrated attention on certain systems, please don’t forget that began in order to break the lvl 4 mission hub embargoe. RP alliances are not your friend. They needed the LP to flow and CCP helped them.

So, it’s not just CCP’s lack of ambition and imagination that’s to blame it’s also the player bases own fault, and this is echoed in the play style Ohpeck describes, people just using FW alts to plex systems, while they sit ready for a discord ping to jump capitals on their main.

I had some fun these last few weeks, but that’ll end soon enough, As larger alliances start attempting to prove their relevance in low cause they can’t make it in null. All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again.

Kind Regards,



You are very uninformed my friend.

1/I have personally been an FC for fleets that worked towards embargoing missions. I was also a major decision maker and coordinated to get that to happen.
2/I can say for a fact that NONE of the players from the major Minmatar RP alliances run missions to the scale that is seen with the multiboxing of jackdaws.
3/CCP’s modivation to push the offensive of major FW mission hubs back into Minmatar hands through the floseswin campaign was BECAUSE it in no way aligned with the RP narrative. They were simply roleplaying existing personalities so that content could be created. And it WAS created!! Lots of people had fun in Floseswin and it in the end bolstered FW popularity for a time.

About the Adjacency Frontline system, see the above posts. I am aware that backwater plexing would not be a thing anymore.

And the rest of that response is just pent up rage against CCP, which I totally understand your sentiment tbh.