Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Friday, August 31, 2012

Sunset

Make hay while the sun shines has been my directive on the faction warfare site thing.  And now we've received confirmation from CCP Ytterbium that the sun will be going down this winter:
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.
In short, instead of LP store items dropping to 25% of their cost when a particular faction pushes to tier 5, instead LP gain from sites will be tripled when that happens.  Interesting thing, though: along with other nerfs mentioned in the same post, this is shaping up to be something we've never seen from CCP before, a quintuple nerf.

First and by far the most important, this isn't mentioned in the post but buying virtually every item from faction LP stores requires both LP and ISK.  When a faction hits tier 5, the costs in both LP and ISK of items is reduced to 25% of their normal values.  This means that both LP and ISK go four times as far as they normally do at tier 5.  After this change is implemented, LP rewarded will be tripled but there will still be no ISK reward and as a result the ISK cost of items in the faction LP stores will be effectively quadrupling versus their tier 5 costs.  That's huge.  This one is the biggest current incentive to the large-scale running of FW sites by non faction warfare players.  Removing that incentive is a big deal.

Second, tripling the LP rewarded (at tier 5) is not quadrupling LP value (as tier 5 does today), so that's a nerf.

Third, it's relatively easy today to "push" to tier 5 and it only has to be done for short periods of time to gain the value from doing so.  When faction members want to "cash out", the faction tier is pushed to five for only a few hours at most, usually at a pre-announced time so the largest possible number of people can take advantage of it.  Since triple LP rewards will only be given when sites are run while the faction tier is that high and since maintaining that tier for long periods of time will probably be difficult (if not impossible), that's a major nerf.

Fourth, the post also states that the cost in LP to push to tier 5 in systems is being increased.  Granted "bleed" is also being reduced, but there's also going to be wastage during LP donation at high tiers.  That affects a faction's ability to defend their overall tier as they're building toward it.  There's going to be a buff to defending systems, but it will only be a partial bonus.  In the aggregate, particularly given the large number of systems that need to be pushed to high tiers to effect overall tier changes, I rate this one as a nerf.

Fifth and finally, vulnerable systems will apparently no longer pay LP, which unless I'm mistaken is going to greatly reduce the number of systems that site farming can be done in.  That will consolidate people running sites into fewer systems, which is a nerf.

When high-sec incursions were quadruple nerfed, this resulted in an enormous impact to the incursion community.  The exact numbers were shared with the CSM in May.  While the official Summit Minutes don't make those numbers public, rumors from the Russian version of the Minutes say that high-sec incursion site completions dropped more than 80%.  Expect to see the same here: just before these changes are implemented, we're going to see a rush on these sites followed by attempts to push to tier 5 by several factions so that a lot of occasional FW site runners can cash out for the last time.

After that, I expect FW site running on a large scale will all but disappear.  Should be pretty amusing.

But (and this is an important but) that change might well be an overall net positive for the real faction warfare players.  I know they hold full-time site-runners in contempt.  So driving them off might be regarded as a good thing.  There's apparently a second thread that will be started by CCP Ytterbium soon just on this issue.

So, more to come on this topic.

19 comments:

  1. The change was necessary. LP store meant to be an ISK sink. With current implementation at T5 the store sinks 1/4 as much ISK as it should.

    Also, current implementation could place Non-FW missioners out of business. I mean the FW people can sell items below the ISK cost in the non-FW item shop as they got it for 1/4 ISK. With the new implementation FW store will still be much better source of items but highsec missions will remain an income source.

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    1. The ISK reduction at Tier 5 is insane. I bet the ISK sink was reduced by a trillion (from 6 trillion lastFebruary )while more items were thrown on the market. The LP should be increased IMHO but keep the ISK costs of LP items the same across the board

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  2. The thing to remember is that those that are purely coming in to run plexes full time (the ones that fit warp stabs, no guns, and just spin for LP) are *not* contributing to the fabric of "the community". It's quite different than the Incursion community where you needed to cooperate in teams with other players and form relationships to get your work done. The Faction Warfare community isn't near as vulnerable to a "community collapse" even if all those spinning plexes disappeared. They never existed during the 4 years before Inferno, because there was no LP to be gained from plexing in the first place.

    The payout nerf is a bigger issue, and I've been pushing CCP to not react to the illogical "you make too much money" emotional response and to remember that the payouts are a conflict driver. They *were* going to nerf them further, thankfully they've listened and brought it up from their very first pass at this. Thanks for immediately articulating this publicly so that others can assist me in continuing to send that message - its not wrong to make hay in Faction Warfare, if you're willing to work for it. At least now the measures are in place (NPC re-balancing) so that players can't automate this anymore. The additional risk should be enough to justify the lucrative payouts, in my opinion.

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    1. Putting the income issue aside, I think there is a bigger issue, that is less talked about.

      What we really want is a war where everybody wants to fight for their space and keep as high a warzone control as the can get all the time. That's how it should be.

      I know the def. plexing buff - combined with the reduced bleeding - is supposed to make holding your upgraded systems more viable. I am not sure that alone will do the trick.

      What would be the disadvantage of incentivising this even more?
      Esp., make the locals want as high a Level for their system as they can get. They are the most likely to def. plex "their" system, I guess. That should include station-less systems.

      20% POS fuel reduction ... is nice I guess (if you have POSes), but you could do more:

      1) What about (moderate) PI bonuses?
      2) Research/Manufacture slots are ... ok. But what about
      reducing the time for a run? That would be oh so much nicer.
      3) Going crazy: How about increasing your scan probe strength? Also a (small) combat related boost for the defending site if you do punting/hunting.

      ...
      The more the merrier. We should WANT our systems to be as high as possible.


      Ok, stopping here. Overall, I obvs. like the direction. CCP seems to generally thinking along the same lines.

      Regards, an enemy.

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    2. Hans is right in that its not FW's fault that CCP DEVs went overboard throwing ISK reductions & LP @ the solo FW runners in incredible amounts that can be reaped. I saw many an Incursioner look @ the ~20 billion a month a 8 day old alt could make going FW & said goahead hope you come back even though you'll be solo & outa touch with the MMOaspects of Eve...at least with Incursions you had to train 3-6 months to get into decent fleets

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    3. "The payout nerf is a bigger issue, and I've been pushing CCP to not react to the illogical "you make too much money" emotional response and to remember that the payouts are a conflict driver."

      FW plexing in its current state makes _every_ other pve gameplay in eve seem redundant. The complaining has got nothing to do with emotions, but with realizing that most of eve's core gameplay mechanics have been crippled (as Ripard said: You're dumb if you waste your time on something else as moneymaker) as long as the prices of LP-store items stay high.
      Additionally, could you please elaborate on the value of AFK-plexing as conflict driver?

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    4. I never once said AFK plexing was a conflict driver. I give high praise to the NPC revamp that will nuke AFK plexing *into oblivion*. It has NO place in FW, NO place in EVE's PvE lineup, it does nothing to create and support entertaining PvP content, and it does nothing to add members to the Faction Warfare community. Good riddance to it all, I won't be sheddinging a single tear.

      I hope that clears up my thoughts on AFK plexing. :)

      What I named as a conflict driver was the lucrative payout mutiplier for holding tier 5. If this bar isn't set high enough, both factions will settle into a stalemate in the middle where they make comfortable incomes. The reward for successfully holding tier 5 for a length of time must be worth waging war to obtain, this is the danger in over-nerfing the spread of the reward penalty. Without the price-based bonus profit to be made during a faction recovery, the pure payout at the top end is now the main carrot faction-wide, so it has to be mighty tasty. CCP must be careful not to kill their remaining conflict driver to cater to those that arbitrarily think the payouts are just "too obscene".

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    5. Nice to see the CSM working towards not having an overnerf Hans were the fuck were you when Incursions got the 80%+ nerfs that decimated the Incursion communities.
      Only thing I read in the CSM minutes was them cheering it on.
      The CSM is for CSM interests only.

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    6. Thanks for clearing that up, Hans!

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  3. I knew this nerf was coming but didn't think it would be this bad. Farming FW plexes was the only way newish/non-sov players could make really good isk. CCP loves nerfing isk making opportunities that newish/non-sov players can use (incursions, fw plexing, etc etc) yet they let tech moons go for years without being looked at

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    1. Eve is a BIG, complex place.

      There are a LOT of ways for newish players to make good ISK (esp. before they "should" be able to do it as ppl. conventionally think).

      Ninja looting+salvaging comes to mind (more ISK/hour than the mission runner gets, if you try to be efficient, and you can do it much earlier, without grinding the standing to get access to the agents. Stabber FTW.)

      Trading. Almost no SP required and - if you do a bit of homework - more than 100M ISK/hour.

      The dark side > Scamming and corp thievery if you are so inclined.

      There are more ways ofc. - it's the sandbox ! - so never say "only". It's a word that rarely applies to Eve.

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    2. I think it is hilarious how CCP reacts to any hireward/low risk OTHER than the whole effin Tech Moon/Titan blobs/big Alliances issues...

      Just goes to show once more that CCP is simply dodging (placating?)the Big Elephants in the room to chase the mice down...

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  4. i think its a mistake to compare FW to incursions... you cant solo an incursion with... and incursus. xD

    as far as how much money FW makes, its hard to say. most calculations of lp/isk were done using old prices. nowdays you can maybe get 50 BPCs, but whos going to manyfacture off them when the ships sell on the market for LESS than mineral cost? and if you sell them, how much do you get for them?

    the point is, to call a nerf something that was a terrible implementation is just wrong. they are fixing it so it makes sence. currently FW is producing far more stuff than what the game can consume, if they dont change it, pretty soon items will sell at their T5 cost. when that happens regular lp stores are worthless, hell, even T4 items would be useless. how can anyone compete with T5?

    right now, you have a lot of people thinking they can keep introducing items in the market and call it "intelligent use of game design" like the people using incursus to solo plexes. what they dont know is that they are selling to speculators who will flip their items in 6 months for 2 times the inverstment.

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  5. lol... CCP Ytterbium is so clueless. I made over 250B ISK on the first round of FW LP "improvements". And, now, there is at least one new exploitable feature in the proposed changes, but, we'll see how many other people cash in on it this time around, before someone decides to expose it to CCP.

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    1. And the GONS almost made 5 TRILLION ISK this shit was not well thought out !!! Is CCP so stuck in DUST MODE they can't see shit from thier asshola?

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  6. Good riddance.

    Back to good fights and some side-income.

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  7. The 75% ISK reduction with Tier 5 is game breaking for the ISK sink function of the LP stores it NEVER HAD SHOULD HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED I am willing to bet 1 billion ISK that the LP ISK sink dropped 25% from 6 trillion per month levels due to this FW mechanic which allowed 8 day old Winmatar alts to make 20 billion ISK a month after Tier 5 firesales in the LP stores.
    It is the reason we've seen such a huge PLEX price spike the past 2 months

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  8. The ISKs made from FW expansion in 2 months dwarfed incursion profits over 2 years. Next bright idea going o be tojust give free Titansto everyone CCP?

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  9. F**KING FINALLY is pretty much all that should be said

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