Today CCP Ytterbium went to great lenghts on the feedback he received from his faction warfare EVE-O thread. His replies range from “meh” to “wowzer” – there is also a word on the LP rebalance plus some zingers on mechanics changes:
Dev Post: Factional Warfare Update.
It has been quite a while since our last update on this topic, mainly due to summer vacations then inertia time to get back into shape, but we are now back alive and kicking.
There are many excellent points expressed on this post that I will first address. Once that is done, we will then move on intended improvements we want to bring to the table for winter. There has been plenty of internal discussions, brainstormings about them, and after receiving feedback from the CSM we are ready to unveil changes for public review.
Please note that we will only address system upgrade and war zone control mechanics here. NPC and complex revamp will be announced in that thread.
Q: ONE OF THE REASONS FOR LOW-SECURITY SPACE BEING CRAP REMAINS THAT HIGH-SECURITY STATIONS ARE TOO GOOD IN THE FIRST PLACE, DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO ADJUST THIS?
A: Indeed we do. This topic brought quite an internal discussion, and while this most likely won’t be part of a Factional Warfare iteration, we do want to have a look at reducing high-security stations effectiveness to make other areas of space more interesting. Some examples could be reducing refining rates, increasing ISK payment to install jobs. Nothing is set in stone as this is not planned for the immediate future however. Another good idea we noticed here was to tie high-security tax with the war performance of its related Factional Warfare Militia. So if, by example, the Caldari Militia are losing the war in Factional Warfare, all taxes in Caldari State high-security space could go up to support the war effort.
Q: HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT TYING FACTIONAL WARFARE AGENTS TO SYSTEM UPGRADE LEVEL?
A: Yes, quite a bit as this is an interesting point. However we decided to keep agents out of the upgrade loop for now, as this would create quite some issues if you have missions accepted / in progress when a system level changes. Dynamic agent seeding also is another problem we need to tackle before we can go on such route.
Q: WHAT’S THE POINT OF UPGRADING A FACTIONAL WARFARE SYSTEM WITHOUT A STATION?
A: At the moment, not much indeed, which is a failure from the previous design that needs to be solved in the next iteration.
Q: HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT ADDING JUMP BRIDGES AS PART OF SYSTEM UPGRADES?
A: A bit, but we dismissed the idea. That is because we don’t like instant travel as it lessens risk as a whole. If anything we should strive towards reducing instant travel, not the opposite.
Q: HOW ABOUT LINKING NPC STRENGTH TO SYSTEM UPGRADES?
A: That’s also something we internally debated. We first wanted to scale NPC response depending on system upgrade level, but after some more discussion we removed the idea out of our plans. The main reason is that we want Factional Warfare to mainly be a PvP activity, where PvE supports player engagements without overriding them. NPC scaling for complexes / general protection brings us dangerously close to the point we are trying to avoid. The design mechanics should encourage players to defend their own space themselves instead of relying on NPCs to do so.
Q: MAYBE WE SHOULD TIE SHIP INSURANCE COSTS TO SYSTEM UPGRADES?
A: That also was quickly considered and dismissed, mainly because there is a high chance it will be exploited to death. If anything the great summer 2012 LP farming taught us to be extremely cautious with this kind of things as our player base are a bit like Velociraptors in that Jurassic Park movie: they will find devious way to eat our designs alive from the side. Clever girl.
Q: HAVE THERE BEEN ANY PLANS TO FACILITATE TRACKING OF LP GAINS?
A: Yes, quite a bit, but they require quite some UI overhaul to properly display, store, track LP progression as a whole. Some ideas are tied to better notifications as a whole, or having a LP history just like it’s done in the wallet.
Q: HOW ABOUT AFFECTING POCOS IN SYSTEM UPGRADES?
A: If possible, why not. That’s something we briefly talked about, but I can raise the issue for more discussion.
Q: WHY NOT HAVING SEPARATE DONATION BRANCHES WITH DIFFERENT EFFECTS IN THE I-HUB?
A: That’s a good question. Our first design for the system upgrade included different upgrade branches; for example, one was focused on industry, the other on warfare. But the main problem here, is that on the contrary to null-security territorial warfare, there is no supreme authority coordinating FW player effort into a specific upgrade path or another. Because the donation system is totally free and open to large pool of players with vastly different interests, having separate paths would cause quite some problems. What would happen to LP stored in branch A if branch B was upgraded first? How to tell whose donated LP is more important? It’s not to say this is impossible to resolve, it just was too much of a complex problem to look at for a first summer release.
Q: HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT ADDING/REMOVING LP STORE DEPENDING ON SYSTEM UPGRADES?
A: Indeed we have. The main issue with that option is that the LP store is a terrible, confusing, horrible [Censored by the EVE Moderation Team] pile of [Censored by the EVE Moderation Team] dog [Censored by the EVE Moderation Team]. Here, I said it. The code is obsolete and it needs a serious back-end as well as external UI overhaul before we can touch it in such an advanced fashion. For example, clicking the same datacore offer 1000 times because there is no multi-buy option is to put it mildly, annoying. And yes, we know you, you and you over there have been doing it for hours, we have logs.
Q: LET’S GET BETTER NOTIFICATION/INTEL TOOLS WITH SYSTEM UPGRADES MR. HOLMES!
A: Interesting argument Dr. Watson. More water Sir? We definitely agree having better notification tools should be part of the whole package, but it should maybe be independent of Factional Warfare and something you need in all cases. After all, Starbase, corporation, war declaration notifications also need love too, let’s not be selfish here. Such revamp is in the pipeline, even not for immediate release. Better intel tools for system upgrades however is definitely something we are thinking about.
Q: COULD WE HAVE I-HUBS GIVE GANG BONUSES?
A: With all due respect, no thanks. Gang links are too much effective already, especially regarding off-grid boosting and while there are evil plans to fix that, let’s not magnify the issue please.
Q: HOW ABOUT HAVING PIRATE NPCS IN BELTS PROVIDE BETTER SECURITY STATUS INCREASES FROM SYSTEM UPGRADES?
A: While it sounds good on paper, we would recommend caution on that one. It’s mainly because, at the moment, recovering security status is a long and annoying process that forces one to go into null-security space. While it seems frustrating, it also prevents player from recovering too quickly and thus being able to commit crimes with little to no consequence. Allowing players to recover security status from low-security space, and thus bypass the above process could thus be very dangerous. We are not closed to the idea, but we still need some serious convincing.
Q: HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT ENCOURAGING BORDER FIGHTS BEFORE CLAIMING SOVEREIGNTY IN A CENTRAL SYSTEM?
A: Yes, we have quite a lot actually. It’s a good idea, as it spreads fights along an outer rim of system while giving a geographical meaning to a war effort. However, implementation is very time and resource consuming, which is why we don’t have it actually planned for winter.
Hope that helps a bit
After looking into current mechanics and feedback there are a certain number of points we want to change on the system upgrade and war zone control systems.
WAR ZONE CONTROL EFFECTS
Current warzone control design is flawed as it does not encourage players to hold space, only to upgrade I-hubs when they need to buy stuff from the LP store to get massive reductions. Ideally we would want players fighting and struggling to keep control over their space, that is why we propose the following.
We would remove LP store price reduction in the new system, and only modify LP gained. As such, tier1 WZ would reduce all LP gains by 50%, tier2 would keep them on the same field as of now, tier3 would give a 100% LP gain bonus, tier4 150% and tier5 200% LP gain bonus. This would encourage factions to actually keep and maintain space to have the LP bonus rather than just push once in a while.
NEW SYSTEM COSTS
We are not particularly fond of how easy it is to upgrade a system currently. On top of that it is quite easy for attacking players to reduce upgrade level by attacking complexes in the same system due to how the bleed-out on the I-Hub works (this will be tackled further down below).
Part of the fix is to increase LP amounts required to upgrade a system to the new numbers mentioned below:
* Level1: 40,000
* Level2: 60,000
* Level3: 90,000
* Level4: 140,000
* Level5: 200,000
* Buffer: 300,000
NEW SYSTEM UPGRADES
As mentioned quite a few times, current system upgrades are a bit lame, as not really providing needed bonuses, especially in systems with no stations. Iteration would include:
* +5 station manufacturing, copy, ME, PE, Invention slots
* 10% market tax reduction
* 10% repair cost reduction
* 5% manufacturing time reduction
* +10 station manufacturing, copy, ME, PE, Invention slots
* 20% market tax reduction
* 20% repair cost reduction
* 10% manufacturing time reduction
* +15 station manufacturing, copy, ME, PE, Invention slots
* 30% market tax reduction
* 30% repair cost reduction
* 15% manufacturing time reduction
* 10% reduction to starbase fuel cost
* +20 station manufacturing, copy, ME, PE, Invention slots
* 40% market tax reduction
* 40% repair cost reduction
* 20% manufacturing time reduction
* 10% reduction to starbase fuel cost
* +25 station manufacturing, copy, ME, PE, Invention slots
* 50% market tax reduction
* 50% repair cost reduction
* 30% manufacturing time reduction
* 20% reduction to starbase fuel cost
* Able to anchor Cyno Jammer
As you can see above, the Cyno Jammer is back with a vengeance. However we took into consideration the feedback we received during Fanfest and various community channels, and it would work as mentioned below.
* Bought from FW LP stores as 1 BPC (total cost including manufacturing materials estimated around 100-130m ISK)
* Has only 25% hitpoints of the null-security Cyno Jammer version (thus about 4 million HPs instead of 16)
* Cyno Jammer is launched from the ship cargohold and deployed into space, requires the “config starbase equipment” role (this technically restricts all NPC militia members to launch such a structure – you have to be in an enlisted player made corporation)
* Cyno Jammer requires a spool-up time (5 or 10 minutes)
* Cyno Jammer automatically turn online once spool-up timer has passed, causing its effects to be activated for the specified amount of time
* May only be anchored when proper system upgrade has been met
* Only one Cyno Jammer may be anchored per solar system
* Cyno Jammer needs to be launched near the system Infrastructure Hub (between 5 and 10km)
* An anchored Cyno Jammer automatically turns online after the spool-up period and works for 1 hour
* Deployed Cyno Jammer is automatically unanchored and destroyed if the solar system upgrade level goes below minimum requirements while it is active
* Deployed Cyno Jammer automatically unanchors and self-destructs once their lifetime has expired
* Cyno Jammers are considered as militia objects and may be shot by the opposing factions without any consequence (neutrals can shoot them but have to take a security status hit)
* Has same effect than null-security version – prevents Cynosural Fields to be created in the solar system as long as it is active
LP DONATION MAINTENANCE FEE
The more system upgrades a faction has, the more donated LP is wasted to maintain current upgrades. Technically this would mean a faction with no upgrade would get a 0% fee while donating LP to the I-hub, while a faction reaching tier 5 war zone control would spend 70-75% of its LPs into the maintenance fee before they are counted for the upgrades themselves.
This mainly done to offset the massive LP gain bonus when reaching higher War Zone tiers, and also provide diminishing returns to factions owning vast amount of space.
GENERAL CAPTURE CHANGES
Last but not least, we have a certain number of smaller changes that have been suggested and requested for a while.
* Reduce I-hub LP bleed from attacked complexes: I-hub currently lose 50% of attacked complex LP amount, which makes it difficult to hold a system upgrades. We would like to reduce the bleed out to 10% to make it less easy to reduce it. Thus capturing a Major site would only remove 3,000 LPs from the I-hub instead of 15,000 as it is today.
* Defensive plexing gives LP: as title says, but with a twist. LP amount is based on contested system % to avoid farming. Thus, a system that is 50% contested would only give 50% of the total LP amount available. Maximum cap would be set to 75% to encourage players to still be in the offensive.
* Attacking complexes don’t pay anything in vulnerable systems: currently it is possibly to still gain LPs and VPs in vulnerable systems, not only allowing you to farm the system instead of taking the I-hub, but also give you a huge VP buffer as they keep piling up indefinitely. Plan is to stop attackers from getting LPs and VPs when system is vulnerable – we would still leave a small VP buffer for attackers, but nothing bigger than 100-200 VPs.
That’s pretty much for this thread, as mentioned above, we have more stuff coming, but that will concern NPCs and FW complexes, both of which are covered elsewhere in the Features & Ideas Discussion forum.
Many thanks for reading this huuuuuge wall of text, constructive comments are welcome