Friday, 14 December 2012

Sow, or let lie fallow?

Vard. Lamaa. Ezzara. Roushzar. Avenod.

Considering 4 months ago the Amarr were more or less protrate, squeezed down to one system, and that heavily pressured, it is good to see them resurgent. It is, after all, no fun being in Faction Warfare with no one to fight.

The reasons for the resurgence are manifold. Partly, of course, changes to FW mechanics themselves have caused a mass exodus of Minmatar Plexing Alts. I doubt anyone who is even mildly invested in FW really wanted the giant space farms to continue, and it is prettty clear that their influence on the warzone was actually quite profound - although they didn't actually contribute to capturing anything in the Amarr-Minmatar zone, nor did they really PVP.

There were also piles of Caldari alts keeping Metro deep, deep red, and contributing nothing to PVP - they were like flies you waved away and they would come right back. The Amarr flipped a few systems in Metro, but despite what some forum warriors say about the situation, it was clear that they kept it as a farm. You'd see them in Metro constantly, and they could circle buttons for hours...then exchange their LP's at a bad rate, or indeed, save them up for now, and cash in at Tier 2 or 3.

Either way, changes to the mechanics, the re-entry of Fweddit into the Amarr-Minmatar zone, changes to the plexes and the button location have served to give the Amarr a second wind. The new ships in Retribution have also rebased FW away from flabber blob plus Thrashers Online, into more of a T1 Cruisers Online and T1 Logi Blob - as explained in Does it begin. In the past week, as well, standings issues have knocked several large Minmatar FW alliances out of FW for a few days, which has contributed to a few systems tipping over.

Behind all this, there is some debate about how we arrest an obvious misalignment of minmatar militia efforts from, eg, sitting in their home systems grumbling or avoiding PVP (in some cases), derping wholesale (in other cases), and losing systems.In my view, there are several factors at work.

1) Morale
Morale is pretty low - and getting booted from Militia can hit an alliance hard. It forces you to assess what went wrong, and navel-gazing is never good if you think you are "all that" and more. Losing multiple systems, even if this may be a temporary setback, is going to hit morale in general - so it will be interesting to see how the ancients respond.

3) Tactical misalignment
T1 logi, both frigs and cruisers, and the admixture of T1 and T2 ships within plexes, has changed the tactics you need to use in plexes. Same for the button being closer to the warp-in. Some people are adapting, others are not. The ones who are not are being rolled out of plexes.

2) Strategic paralysis
I think that some of the corners of Minmatar FW are stuck thinking this isn't a game about plexes now. There are many who will not plex at all, and instead mission, because you make more ISK in missions. There are also many who mine in lowsec, and contribute almost nothing to the war effort - not even to the point of supplying minerals to the markets in lowsec (it all goes to printing their own SFIs for sale in Jita).

I heard it told that if we "Field of Dreams" the warzone by making it Tier 4 (by donating millions of LP, which I do not have) then we will get the farmer alts back in, who will help offensive plex enemy systems, and defensive plex.

I don't hold truck with this. Herds of alts worked for Minmatar before, like an unwanted fungal infection that keeps your tuberculosis at bay via a miracle. However, you cannot offensive plex AFK now and due to the position of the buttons, you can barely AFK the defensive plexes now. So, why try to re-attract the plexing alt horde?

Thus, dumping bulk LPs in the hubs isn't going to do much to turn the warzone control back in the favour of Minmatar. Only coordinated offensive plexing in small gangs, or dispersed throughout a whole cluster like a giant protean mob of def-plexing frigates, will actually affect system control.

This requires organisation, which requires experience, skill, social skills (ie; not being a dictatorial, elitist douche who thinks everyone else is a retard), and a coherent tactical and strategic model. Right now, Minmatar doesn't have this warzone-wide. 

We should be leaving the fields to lie fallow and make do with Tier 2 and 3, until we can get reasonable control over whole constellations, such that while the Amarr may plex it up we can respond, stymie their efforts, and deplex. Meanwhile, yes, we will get PVP, and there will be chances to sock it to 40 man Fweddit cruiser fleets. But there's no value existing just to crank things to tier 4, nor to just stick around for the PVP.


  1. One thing that confuses me is this bugbear people in FW leadership (on both sides) have about fleet fights and forming large(ish) fleets. Maybe my perspective is skewed by my underlying boredom with larger engagements, but FW fleet brawls never seemed especially consequential. Past 10 or so people, they don't accelerate the act of capturing a system, and winning a fleet fight is not exactly going to cause some kind of plexing frenzy (more likely everyone is going to go to bed).

    If there are 40 Amarr sitting in one of your systems, shitting up local, the logical solution isn't to go throw them out. It's to split up your own 40 guys into 5-10 small gangs and go attack 5-10 Amarr systems.

    1. True, the consequence of forming a large fleet (40-ish) for strategic conquest is that you are unlikely to get many fights - maybe one 40-a-side fight per timezone.

      For example, the recent Aset capture fighting was majority 20-30 man Minmatar fleet, with probably 1/3rd of the force split off in frigs deplexing the 7 neighbouring systems, a third docked AFK, the remainder in Aset orbiting buttons to flip the system.

      The Amarr would mostly be docked, fitting ships or organising their main force, probably badgering people in their intel channels and working themselves up to another fight. If they weren't docked, it would be soloers harassing and our deplexers in the neighbouring systems, picking people off one by one. Every few hours or so, the Amarr would feel the balance of power was right and make a move on a plex to force us out via pew pew.

      Then when Fweddit glommed up a 30-40 man fleet, they would roll into Aset, force the Minmatar out of system, wind the clock back 5-10%, and we would inevitably either form up for a good fight (or two) or just blueball them into being bored enough to wander away.

      The end result was that the people who wanted to solo did so on the periphery, as a consequence of the strategic fight, and the people unlike yourself who don't mind fleet fights would get them every so often.

      I honestly don't think anyone on either side can complain about this sort of FW interaction; people who like small gang, frigate, solo PVP get it by circling the proximal systems, and people who don't mind the big fights get them. Then everyone gets to welp EVE Uni a couple of times. Win-win-win.

  2. Hey! I am excited to find out one thing, of course if I'm not asking too much could you be so kind and please share with us where you grew up?

    1. my memories of my early years are hazy. I remember being suckled upon wolves, or maybe left for the eagles, who landed to tear my chubby form limb from limb but which I murdered and ate, growing to be what I am today - the son of Zeus or whatever.

      Sydney, in other words.


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