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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