FW & Nullsec, Comparing/Contrasting

FW & Nullsec, Comparing/Contrasting

The response to CSSYN leaving FW has been interesting to say the least.  Between the in-game evemails & chats to the on-blog comments, the response has been varied.  A good portion of messages from both Cal and Gal Mil boil down to, “Sorry to see you guys go.  Thanks for the intel cams.  You guys were fun.  Hope to see you again soon.”  To you guys, thanks!  We had a lot of fun flying with you.  Us leaving has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with falling out-of-like with FW mechanics and finding more fun elsewhere.

A small minority of you seem genuinely confused/upset with us leaving.  You’ve repeatedly drawn your own conclusions, colored by your own particular lens that you view us/the game in.  That’s fine, and your prerogative.  But in the hopes of clarifying our reasons one last time, I wanted to go into a more in-depth explanation on two or three points of contention we had with FW.  I’ll even go so far as to offer suggestions for improvement in those areas.  In the end, us leaving was not about one particular “feature” or another…it was the compounding of each “meh” feature separately into a whole that we didn’t like.

To that end, let’s do a little bit of comparison between FW and 0.0.  After all, I spent most of my ten years in nullsec.  No, not always as part of one giant alliance or another.  In fact, that time is in the minority.  Most of my time, instead, was spent in small gang warfare.  So I’m not approaching anything below from the perspective of, “BLOBS R GUD.  I WANT CAPITAL HOTDROPS EVERYDAY.”  I’m approaching this from a person who would like every feature that CCP provides us to be the very best possible for the small-to-mid sized groups that make up the majority of the EVE player base.

Final disclaimer:  These are my opinions.  Duh.  That should be obvious, this is my blog.  I understand that other players get enjoyment out of areas that I have no interest in.  Some people like station trading.  Some people like mining.  Some people like frig fights.  Some people like Black Ops hotdrops.  Not every style of play is enjoyable by every player.  As a result, just because I dislike something doesn’t mean you have to.  The reverse is also true, just because you think something is working as intended/fun doesn’t mean I have to.   So, let the comparison/contrast begin in two or three key areas.

Taking/Holding Systems:

FW – No consequences when losing sov, besides lack of station access.  No weeks going by to achieve sov level X at which point you can tangibly improve the system.  Indeed, once you have lost a system, it is more valuable in FW, not less.  Offensive plexing is much, much more rewarding in terms of ISK than defensive plexing.  You expect to get a system back within days.  The Fall of Innia, when we lost Templis’ staging system to Gal Mil?  Who cares.  We had it back a day or three later.  Templis and others made more LP taking it back than they ever did holding it.  Holding system offered nothing to the Gallente.  No wealth increase.  No strategic value through linking it to another core system via a jump bridge.  Had they desired to hold onto the system they probably could.  But why desire that?  They didn’t benefit in any way.

0.0 – Losing sov means losing your system upgrades.  Fewer, less valuable sits, anoms, belts, etc…  It means holes in your logistics network.  Your jump bridge chain (potentially) evaporates, making it hard to rapidly redeploy or resupply.  These things take days, weeks, or months to get back should you retake the system.

Geary’s proposal: Increase/change the benefits for holding sov in FW.  Taking a system should mean something, other than another dot on the map.  Allow people to donate LP collectively to purchase system upgrades that benefit everyone in that faction.  Limited jump bridges from one place to another place you hold sov.  Pirate detection arrays to make the exploration sites that much better/valuable (this in turn would increase the amount of PvP in the area, which is another win-win).

Providing tangible benefits for holding the space would in-turn incentivize keeping those systems.  This would lead to more fights to keep the space, rather than saying, “Meh, we’ll take it back tomorrow or the next day, and get more ISK for capping than defending.”  More fights equals more fun.

Barrier to Entry:

FW – Low barrier to entry.  Anyone can try it out, see what it has to offer, and then decide whether or not it is right for them simply by joining the general militia corp.  The action takes place smack dab in the middle of Empire space, which makes resupplying or leaving an easy affair.

0.0 – High barrier to entry for most areas of nullsec.  In order to make money in nullsec you have to be able to rat or mine (over generalizing).  The rats there are not killable by a frigate or destroyer solo (for the most part).  Instead, you need a high-end T1 Cruiser, Battlecruiser, or better.  This means more SP.  Most alliances aren’t willing to accept newbros, with 10-20M SP requirements often at the bottom end of the spectrum.  Once accepted and you move your belongings in, it’s quite a bit of work to move your stuff back out.

Geary’s proposal: Nothing here.  Per my interview with CCP Soundwave, “The idea was that it would be an easier stepping board into PVP, letting newer players go out and blow things up without the large groundwork needed to get into 0.0.”  This is working as intended, and letting a lot of people get into PvP earlier than that might otherwise.

Gating Combat:

FW – Gating the deadspace pockets is both awesome and beyond frustrating, at the same time.  On the one hand, it offers newbros the ability to hide from/avoid Big Bad Mr. T3, Battlecruiser, and Battleship.  CCP is to be applauded for providing a feature to help new pilots get into PvP quicker where they aren’t in hopelessly over their head.

But at the same time, that same protection extends to half of the potential combat spots in a system (Novice and Smalls).  In practice, you’re looking at closer to 2/3 or 3/4 of the potential combat spots are reserved for these T1 & T2 Frigates and Destroyers.  That locks veteran pilots out of the vast majority of potential combat if they aren’t willing to stoop to flying ships they have long since moved on from.  You’re preventing these pilots from flying their favorite ships if they want to engage the enemy.  Curse, Ishtar, Tengu, Proteus, Prophecy, Ashimmu.  That’s a list of my favorite ships.  Curse, Ishtar, Megathron, Tengu, Proteus, Pilgrim.  That’s a list of Unreal’s favorite ships.  Falcon, Falcon, Falcon, Falcon, Falcon.  That’s a list of Sub’s favorite ships.  ;)   I could go on.  Bottom line is, we don’t like flying Frigates and Destroyers.  I haven’t been limited to one of those ship types since 2003.  Why would I willingly limit myself again, when my enjoyment comes from flying much more capable options?

0.0 – There isn’t really any comparison to the deadspace complexes that FW has, but maybe there should be.  Right now the vast majority of combat in 0.0 takes place at gates, at stations, or at starbases.  There are vast voids of unused space in between those objects where absolutely nothing occurs.  But if you add deadspace complexes, they have to be for a purpose rather than just :moarfights:.  After all, there are already enough fights that take place on said gates, stations, and starbases.

Geary’s proposal: Keep the gating of deadspace pockets.  Make Mediums and Larges more common (potentially with reduced LP rewards, I don’t particular care).  Make Medium and Larges effect the Contested State dramatically more than Novice and Smalls.  Maybe each level twice as much contribution to the Contested State as the previous below it.  i.e. Completely hypothetical and not actually suggested numbers:  A Novice moves the Contested State 1%.  A Small, 2%.  A Medium, 4%.  A Large, 8%.

Something along these lines would still allow newbros the relative safety of their Novice and Smalls.  They’d still be able to contribute toward capturing systems for The Cause.  Their plexes are still more common than the Mediums and Larges, meaning that they still have the ability to run two or three for every one up-sized location.  However, now there’s a reason to run, and fight over, the larger plexes for other reasons besides the increased LP.  There are more of them.  They contribute in a more meaningful fashion to the Contested State.  More action here means larger/more powerful ships.  Larger/more powerful ships means (in my eyes) more fun and interesting fights.  Newbros win.  Vets win.  It’s a win-win.

For 0.0, create gated deadspace complexes with <insert some reward here for completing them>.  Maybe they are complexes that the NPC pirates in the region want you to assault, and in so doing you’ll raise your faction standings with them.  Maybe you revamp some of the sov mechanics to take these complexes into account.  I don’t know.  But whatever you do, don’t %$&@! restrict them to things like Frigates, Destroyers, and the like.  The intent here is to produce more fights, not limit what you can bring to fights.


That ended up being a bit longer than I intended, and there are still additional points to discuss.  Rather than make this post a novel, let’s consider this “Part One”, with the potential for a follow-on “Part Two” in the future.  What do you think about the problems/proposals outlined above?  Do you have other solutions that weren’t suggested?  What other comparisons/contrasts would you like to make about the features of 0.0 and FW?

 

Fly dangerous.

8 Comments

  1. Sucks to see you go. I had an Idea for us for when I came back to fw.

    I think that they should have much more “large” thunderdome like plex’s on a constellation by constellation basis. Back during the seige of Innia I remember the best time was when we were constantly contesting this large plex (no warpin gate) fpr we;; pver 2 hours in a wicked king of the kill style extended brawl. Pirates would come in and smash off the winner and both sides scrambled to send small ships back to the point to get it running and then escalating on and on until one side won and the pirates acme back again.

    Interested to hear what your plans for the future may be. hope to cross paths with you again one day.

    • well technically the System hubs are kinda that way already. but I would like to see it more dynamic.

  2. ‘That locks veteran pilots out of the vast majority of potential combat if they aren’t willing to stoop to flying ships they have long since moved on from.’

    Stoop? Bigger isn’t better. It’s far from uncommon to find people saying that flying frigates is some of the most fun they have.

    (oh, and the text entry window here is a little painful. light grey on white)

    • I’ll see if I can work on the text entry for you, Fuzzy.

    • Flying frigates is fun for some people. I enjoy it myself, though try as I might I’m not a good frigate pilot. My killboard record with even AF is terrible. Destroyers aren’t nearly as bad, but I like cruisers. They are a good middle ground and take better advantage of the SP I have accumulated over the years. I also REALLY like Battlecruisers, but finding a large to fight over while roaming in a Myrmidon has happened to me exactly one time in my FW career, and nobody came to fight over it so that was disappointing. I myself echo the opinion that there are far too many novice and small plexes compared to mediums and larges. I would go multiple days without seeing a single large in the warzone, which is very frustrating.

    • Oh Fuzzy, I agree that bigger isn’t better, but it’s not worse either. There is currently almost NO reason to fly anything bigger than a cruiser except for ihub bashes. That’s it.

      A good bit of us frogs thinks that there is a great need for more large plexes.

  3. So, would being in NPC Delve and shooting all the things be interesting to CSSYN?

    Gah

  4. I whole heatedly agree with the more medium and large PLEX suggestions. It is literally impossible to find a fight in bigger ships in FW right now. I lasted exactly 4 days in FW because of this. Frig fights can be good fun but giving the option for everything to happen whether that be frigs, cruisers or battleships can only benefit FW as a whole and would keep people interested much longer that aren’t wanting to restrict themselves to just frigates.