EVE: FW: It’s Not an Exploit

I am not a Goon Fan Boy or even neutral to them. I kill them on sight like every other pilot with some PVP background. See the Goon in local, kill it. I was also among those shocked in Faction Warfare to learn that it was mostly Goon driven alts that plowed Minnie FW into  Tier 4 and 5 allowing them to buy LP items for a cheap as possible. But I also can’t ignore the fact this is being called an exploit. More disturbing I don’t understand CCP’s promise to rollback these characters as punishment.

You set up a new system, that by the way took heavy scrutiny from veteran FW bloggers,vocal capsuleers and CSMs, that heavily favors PLEX farming for LP and rewards for non-engagement. You say, here is loads of LP for literally circling a button for 10mins plus. And here are reduced LP costs for doing an excessive amount of this.

But if a bunch of players actually go and do this as featured, it’s exploiting?

Even though they are twats, they aren’t wrong. And it’s not an exploit. You made the system bad. If you didn’t intend the possibility of someone using your changes to their advantages, then that’s really a shame on you.

I wait to see what happens on the rollbacks. I’m assuming it will be against brand new alts that made billions in days. I’ll be damned if you think I’m giving these Fleet Issue Tempest back. It’s not our fault if we went and used the mechanics you advertised as an expansion.

The only good news is this is a living breathing economy. And a major influx of commodities does take its toll on the market. Meaning, Fleet Issue ships have taken a dive in the market. To the point that holding on to them, is a much more advantageous approach.

So what of the future of FW, Plexing and Loyalty Points?

The overall idea was good.

  • Make Plexes have Reward
  • Make expansion grant a Reward

But these were excessively done and then made excessively easy to not deter PVP within them. This resulted in:

  • Cheap Frig Fits to Run Easy Plexing for Major LP Cashout
  • Focus Offensive Plexing Only

These fixes should be obvious:

Loyalty Point and Zone Control

First is to overhaul the percentages of dis/advantages to Zone Control. The Double Costs at Level 1 and the Half Costs at Level 5 are ludicrous. Simply put, move these to a 20% range.

  Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
LP Gain 0% 5.00% 10% 15% 20%
LP Store Discount -20% -10.00% 0% 10% 20%

The 100% up and down is too much. You neuter the losing side and grant rich convenience to those with the most plexers. 20% is a reward worth fighting for, but not detrimental if you can’t get out of it.

Defensive Plexing

Everything currently is a matter of Offensive Plexing. Because simply it’s the only one with reward. If you are defensive plexing you are either bating for a fight (PVP) or you are a cheap trial alt.

Defensive plexing has a risk and it serves a means. But it is quite easy to do. The only risks are PVP offensive plexers in which you have NPCs hopefully on your side.

Defensive Plexing needs LP rewards. Small ones, but a reward none the less. I suggest two parts: a reward for running the boring defensive plex and a reward for further LP gain for kills in a defensive plex:

  Minor  Medium Major
LP for Kills 15% 30% 45%
LP for Completion  500 LP   1000 LP   1500 LP 

Percentage for LP are a bonus LP adjuster for the kill inside the Plex. LP for completion is a very small reward for Defensive Plexing. But something.

Adjusted Offensive Plex Rewards 

Overall the LP output for Plexing is far too high. It dwarfs FW missioning which is just as dangerous, but without the risks. Missioning opens the same outlet for intruders, and is essentially a Plex in sorts. But the Plex doesn’t present an Agent standing loss if not completed. And the Plex can be run by an AB fitted t1 frig where the L4 mission requires a SB or HAC.

  Minor  Medium Major
LP for Completion  2,500 LP   5,000 LP   7,500 LP 

Almost cutting minor LP gain by a quarter. This more rewards those willing to take further risks and deters from LP farming for little risk/gain returns.

Adjusting Plex Difficulty

Offensive Plex difficulty is overall far too easy. You can complete Mediums in a completely non-tanked destroyer. You can AFK speed tank a Major. You can tank the entire Minor with a frig and still be in a fair 1 on 1 PVP fight.

We need to up the difficulty. While currently CCP is talking about making it easier by reducing EWAR from NPCs to make it fair, I would rather see Plexers, if they are going to PVE cowardly in a PVP environment, at least have to PVE. Point being, is that Minors should probably have double the waves and two at a time. Mediums need a the same with some more availability to heavy ship NPCs joining in. And Majors, they need the same but with some Statis Webbing NPC frigs. That last part alone will pretty much fix a great deal of the issues. A Webbing NPC in the Majors. That’s it if nothing else.

Further Advantages to System Upgrades

Currently system upgrades do 2 things. They grant small reductions to production and clone costs and they need to be increased with coordination from other FW pilots to get to higher tiers of FW control for discounts. Theese upgrades are costly LP wise and they reduce easily to plexing. You can dump 10K in LP into a system and that can be reduced immediately by one minor plex completion.

It will be far more advantageous  if this upgrades also upgraded the plexing NPCs. What if each level of upgrades granted more waves of defensive NPCs in the local Plexes. It would means that local defenders would be more apt to off load LP into system upgrades for the purpose of more NPC help.

Conclusion

Overall the idea of the FW changes were good. No one disagrees inside of FW. The amount of gains and rewards are what were changed out of proportion. And for more to the effect, the reason was in the ease of difficulty in plexing was overlooked. If nothing changes, all we will see is Goons and other alts taking to a new Militia to do the same in that market. This time without the bragging and the obvious disparity.

I would be hard pressed to beleive this wasn’t already the case with Caldari Militia. They have 5 times the plexers with less PVP kills than any militia. I’m guessing the difference was that opposition wasn’t as easy to over turn as the Amarr space. I doubt this was advertised as it wasn’t the overwhelming success story, but literally hundreds of brand new pilots join Caldari on expansion day and they run Plexs nonstop far more than any other militia. Yet, because they aren’t in Tier 4 and 5, they aren’t exploiting.

Either way. The current system was a bone thrown to FW, it just needs some tweaking.

Advertisements

EVE Online: Useless Skills and Custom Slot Idea

I’m a veteran of EVE Online, yet I am a nub. It’s what you get with a 9 year old game. To someone fresh, I have all the skills they would love. To me, I can look at all the time wasted in things no longer relevant. 45 Million Skill Points should really be all a normal combat pilot needs to have a good time. Yet, spent in poor areas, this can also mean that only 20 Million are relevant.

I add this it up because I am the 45 Million Skill Point pilot. A pilot that was brought into the universe thinking that there should be something to factions and loyalty. That was a poor decision. In the beginning I saw what an Ishtar could do in PVE, and what it could to in PVP. I spent 2 years training to fly that thing. Only to find that normal PVE can suck my right testicle, and after the Nano-Nerf of Oh Nine the Ishtar had a only a few places to go. Very versatile ship, just lacking the CPU to really take full advantage of it. And there are few places a heavy drone has in PVP these days.

When I joined Gallente Faction Warfare I tried to keep up the Gallente tradition. And that has over and over again proven pointless. When a Shield Nano Fleet is forming, short of Lachesis, there really isn’t room for a Gallente boat. When the Armor BS gang is forming, it basically is Abbaddon or nothing. The Megas will be accepted with heavy sighs at best. Even in Frig and Destroyer gangs, the Gallente are only accepted in Interceptors and Comets.

Sure, you can go solo rape in a tri-repping Myrmidon and there’s not too many things scarier than a Deimos fully tackling you with Blasters, but this doesn’t help the problem I see in general with Racial Ships.

You watch the EVE movies, trailers and even the posters, and you see these fleet formations of all the same race and you go “Where in the fuck did that happen in game?” The answer is it didn’t if you are Amarr or Gallente. I can see the Minmatar and Caldari having that chance. Each race has a solid performer in almost every role. And Minnies can pretty much do whatever they want in this game.

New Pilot Spoiler Alert: If you only have time to train for one type of Racial Ship, the answer is always Minmatar.

You see the Gallente poster and it has a wing of Tristans (possible) in front of a smaller wing of Catalysts (unlikely) that seem to be escorting a fleet of Brutixs (there has never been more than 3 in one place at a time) ann behind that some Hyperions (yeah, no). Put that with a poster for Caldari sporting Merlins, Comorants, Drakes and Scorpions and you bet that’s at least likely.

What it really means for me, is that I basically have a toon that has all the passive skills needed to V. I will need to spend the next 2 years training into Minmatar and Caldari to be able to bring the right ships. Another 6 months to get into Amarr Battleships proper. Just the thought of it pisses me off beyond belief. Seeing that I have Heavy Drones to V is upsetting. Large Hybrids to V is even more upsetting. It’s all very upsetting to know that really, the only thing we need is Minnie ships to be happy.

If only CCP would consider any of the following as a solution to everyone’s benefit:

Skill Point Refund

Account Management sells for a cost the ability to refund Skill Points for selected Skills. Say $5 per skill.

Attribute Remap

Account Management sells for a cost a neural remap reset. Say $10.

Customization Slot Point

CCP goes above and beyond and inserts a new type of Hard Point to each ship fitting. They call it a Custom Slot.

All ships still have the normal High, Mid, Low, and Mod Slots, but now they have a Custom Slot that allows the user to input a Custom Mod to change or further improve a bonus skill. At first glance and my bias for Gallente usefulness, would be to have it always change the Secondary Bonus. Each ship always seems to have 2 bonuses (I can’t think of an exception). The custom slot would cancel the secondary bonus and replace it with a new. Depending on the type of custom slot it may also adjust hard points, PG and CPU for that purpose.

For example I could take a Myrmidon and slot in a Custom Slot Mod to replace the 7.5% Armor Repair Bonus with one of the following:

  • Shield Resistance Bonus: 5% to All Shield Resist
  • Shield Booster Bonus: 7.5% Shield Boosting
  • Armor Resistance Bonus: 5% to All Armor Resist
  • Armor Repair Bonus: 7.5% Armor Boosting
  • Capacitor Recharge Bonus: 5% Recharge Rate
  • Capacitor Size Bonus: 5% Larger Capacitor
  • Inertia Bonus: 5% Reduction to Aligning
  • Speed Bonus: 5% Bonus to Max Velocity

Maybe take consideration for Mid and Low slot changes depending on the mod as well as PG and CPU changes to correlate.  Just food for thought that can help any user of certain ships adjust it at a cost. This way specialty skilled pilots can keep flying their favorite into combat as well a help break assumptions on ship when fighting what is thought to be sure fire.

That and new items to be built and put on market. To me, when this idea hit me, all I saw was very little change to the balance of ships, rather adding more economy, more variety and more shadows of war. I see a great deal of availability to improve ships thought to be useless, and rather than revamp each ship at a time, you now give the player base a simple way to revamp it for themselves without the ability to cause a massive new influx of overpowered ships.

Just gears turning while fingers are near a keyboard.

EVE Online: Gallente Faction Warfare: Mr. Meh’s Noob Guide

I got some new and old players excited about Faction Warfare in EVE. And for good reason. EVE with the changes to Faction Warfare are that much closer in closing the gap Theme Park MMOs have a hold on for constant action. EVE was not a universe in which instant action occurs. PVP takes a hunt, a strategy, and preparation. Not with Inferno however. It’s now a big ball of PVP fun. So I decided to pull together real quick a small noobish guide to Gallente Basics for Faction Warfare Continue reading

EVE Online: Buying PLEX Directly Is Retarded

With my much esteemed enthusiasm with EVE and the improvements to Faction Warfare, I realized there’s never been a better time to be a new player in the midst of ancient players. To prove it, I started an alt last night to join in an indirect opposing Faction to my own (so there’s no conflict of interest).  To make it a bit easier I contracted my new alt some implants and 10M in ISK just to help out. The reasoning I started an alt is in two parts:

  • I really want to get a hold of some of the sweet faction items that side has. This is just the easiest way. Plus plexing and missioning for this side is just too easy.
  • My corp switched faction sidings and kind of held me in a day old loop from gaining LP and making ISK. Which is unfortunate as I bought a little too much and became broke. And this leads me to the title of the article.

I had bought up 6 months worth of PLEX and so many ships to fight in the last month, I ran my ISK out. Our faction just can’t seem to get to level 3 rewards to save its life. And as a result what used to be an easy day of FW missioning for lots of ISK has now become I need to PVP everyday all day. 50 Kills in the first 3 days of June speaks to that in volumes. As my wallet approached 100M ISK and realized I need some more Nemesis fitted up, I, a character who has nearly a year of subscription time on his account buy purchasing PLEX with his own ISK, needed to purchase PLEX myself to sell for ISK.

Which I felt was a decent trade. I haven’t paid my subscription in EVE for over 2 years now. Giving some money from my own wallet to CCP couldn’t be that bad. So I go to see how to on the Accounts page and I amused. A month of subscription costs $15, but a Month of PLEX is $20. Go fuck yourself. You’re looking for an extra $5 for what? Amusing, I thought as I went looking for alternatives. And I find it.

The Buddy System.

You send an invitation to your friend for 21 days. If they subscribe you get to choose from either a month of subscription or a month of PLEX. Ummm…. I pick the PLEX, as they are the same thing, except one is tradable.

So … buying PLEX for $20 is retarded, especially when you can get it for $15. Not to mention a free spy alt if nothing else for nearly 2 months.