Thursday, June 28, 2012

Faction Warfare - Week 1 Impressions and Wrap Up

I wrote this post several weeks ago but never ended up posting it because I wanted to add more things to it. Now that I've decided to begin posting on my blog again I figured I might as well post it to give a baseline for the changes over the past few weeks for my alliance and the Amarr militia as a whole.

Moar Tears has been in Faction Warfare for one week and let me tell you, it hasn't gone like we expected it to.  We were torn between joining Gallente or Amarr, but settled on Amarr because that's where we were already based from our Empire days and the prospect of fighting for the underdog was more appealing.  Unfortunately, some things you just have to experience firsthand before you truly understand what you've been reading everywhere else.

Growing Pains and Harsh Realities
We're a very small alliance and our force multipliers in the past have primarily lied in the fact that we're all relatively high SP pilots that aren't afraid to field expensive ships backed by booster alts and neutral logistics to overcome lack of numbers. 3-4 pilots in T3 Cruisers backed by a handful of logi alts can handle pretty much anything you would ever expect to face in highsec and allow you to fight extremely outnumbered.  Unfortunately, in FW, the numbers and organization you face is much different and the second you bring out a gang like that, the opposing side brings out a gang with ewar and Falcons purpose built for taking that gang down.  So, we've been mostly flying around cheap nano-silliness which means that as a group, we've been struggling to do much other than larger dodge gangs and get small kills since 3-4 pilots has much less direct punching power and without bubbles, its really hard to DPS bigger targets down before they reapproach gates.  Secondly, in FW the opposing side tends to fly really small stuff unless given a reason to ship up into something bigger.  Meaning that as we ship up, so do they, however, since they always have numbers and have more assets in the area, they're able to completely match us and it turns into a game of numbers.  In our first traditional engagement, we brought 3 Absolutions and a Cane, backed by two Guardians and an Oneiros.  They brought 6 DPS ships including a Vindicator, backed by 3 Guardians.  We were tanking their DPS completely fine on our Absolutions, but weren't even coming close to breaking their Guardians and 90% webs on the Vindicator meant it was only a matter of time before we started losing Guardians so the call was made to de-aggress and we lost an Absolution that had been 90% webbed, scrammed, and bumped off the gate.

I hate to play into the whole, "if you ship up, then the Minmatar will just ship up as well, with greater numbers" whinefest that I see everywhere from the Amarr, but everything I've experienced over the past week kind of confirms this.  Even if you take into account all of our utility alts, we're still completely outnumbered by mains on the opposing side.  I'm not going to lie, its really frustrating and with how unorganized the Amarr militia is, we have yet to really find our way and morale is dropping extremely fast.  We've tried skirmish/hit and run tactics, but without bubbles to help seperate enemy fleets, we really only end up with a handful of destroyer kills before we get the attention of several Minmatar militia groups and the net starts being cast around us and we're forced to pack up.  Meanwhile, we watch the Minmatar militia get tons of kills against less organized groups and while our own militia chat fills with either drama or people in the process of getting ganked ask for help.

As much as I hate to say it, the best course of action for now at least if you're Amarr, might just be to put an alt into the Minmatar militia and farm plexes.  I'm totally new to Faction Warfare and am really trying to stay positive throughout all of this, but am really struggling to figure out ways to adapt and still have fun flying for the Amarr side.  When we joined the Amarr, I largely ignored the Amarr whinefest that you see everywhere, but after a week in FW, my own impressions are that while many of the complaints might be overdramaticized, there really isn't much incentive to join the Amarr FW side unless you're a hardcore Amarr roleplayer or Fweddit.

The Amarr are disorganized as fuck
Everything you read about the Amarr being disorganized as fuck is completely true.  I flew in a couple general fleets and they were fucking awful.  Its not just that they have difficulties working together, in the current state, they have absolutely no reason to want to work together.  In one of the general fleets that I flew in, we watched a more organized group backed by logi and better ships support ours in a major that pretty much did their own thing and left us to die when things started to go bad, but I don't blame them at all for this.  If they were in the fleet with us, we still probably would have lost and the poor FCing that our side had would have just gotten their expensive ships welped alongside ours.  After those experiences, i'm pretty sure that we're not going to be supporting any general fleets in any major capacity again, its just not worth it.

The only fairly consistent and 'organized' gangs I've seen within the Amarr have come from Fweddit.  I didn't really see any Wolfsbrigade or I.Law all weekend.  I don't know if they're all on vacation or farming LP on Minmatar alts, hell I don't know if I would even blame them, but unless the better groups within the Amarr are able to get organized in a meaningful way, they're in trouble because the only people I've seen attempting to fill that void thus far are pretty bad and not people I would really feel comfortable flying under.

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