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.

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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.

Towel Throwing

IGN had an exclussive interview with the director for SWTOR and revealed the contents of 1.3, these include:

  •  Group Finder (I guess this is good, don’t know)
  • Crafting Changes (And by that they mean we no longer need you Synthweavers/ ArmorMechs)
  • More Legacy (Somehow people enjoyed the legacy perks, good for them)
  • ….and Server Transfers (This is somehow a feature and not just a basic need)

These announcements come with much joy from the public. Why? I have no clue. A group finder takes roughly 5 minutes to program. Hell, WAR had it at launch. Then even their skeleton crew were able to setup a realm wide one just as soon as it was asked for.

In the interview, questions are posed by someone either on staff at BW or this person would like to be on staff at BW. But no official statements on the following:

  • Where the fuck are the missing features of 1.2 to include
    • Cross Server Queues
    • 8 Mans
    • Ranked Warzones
  • How about some hints for an overall Open PVP experience?
  • Guild Benefits?

Let’s get something straight: Server Transfers are not content. Waiting till 1.3 is stupid. Well really, waiting till tomorrow is also stupid. But that’s not happening.

Anyways, I held on as long as I could. You had a nice game. You don’t deserve a monthly subscription, but nice game none the less.

In other news, One More Day until the big EVE patch. Getting the itch to start a Minnie alt to jump on that sweet sweet LP discount they are about to have. Amarr only controlled 14 territories when I logged last night. Ridiculous.