Thursday, June 28, 2012

From a Minmatar

This is in reply to a post on Susan Black's blog which you can read here.  The grey is an Amarr pilot is the person who brought up several things from his perspective.  Susan's responses are in red, and mine are in yellow.


Plexing for minmatar is much easier than for amarr.

To be honest, I’ll have to take your word on it. Even in the year I was in Amarr I never did one plex!

If speed tanking wasn’t an issue would this still be true? Would it still be harder to run the plex normally? 
And why is it harder? Because of the weapons they use, or something else? Have you noticed any difference since they removed ewar?

A lot of this has been fixed with the EWAR removal.  Amarr were literally the only side that were unable to run plexes solo in super cheap ships.  This was because of the Target Painting and Missile spam from the Minmatar rats.  This meant either plexing had to be done in groups or that you had to actually invest in a proper PVE fit ship appropriate for the plex you were doing, ie: much higher barrier of entry, where everyone else could use a 10hr old Vigil toon and speedtank a major.  The much higher barrier of entry combined with T1 Warzone control meant that from a PVE perspective there wasn't much point to run plexes.  Meanwhile, all the other sides could simply split up single ships in each one of the plexes in a system and speedtank to their hearts content.  If off timezones when there aren't many gangs running around chasing people out of plexes and the only thing limiting your side is how many guys in frigates with minimal skills who want to make ISK/LP I think its pretty obvious why this was a huge deal.  I'd like to point out I think the ability to speed tank solo is also broken, but at least now all factions are playing on a somewhat equal field.

Lets fix these 2 issues and faction war will be much much better. I think very few who follow this blog would not agree these two things are problems.

Now other issues have been raised and I think there is considerable disagreement on these issues:

1) Whether goons helped minmatar very much. Some help yes but not much. Minmatar can easilly get the @6 mill lp needed to bring them from tier 1 to tier 5. They will likely do this again. They don't need to stay there long. Just long enough to cash out their lp!


I don't agree with this at all.  As I mentioned on a previous blog post, the biggest impact this had on thing was on morale.  Being able to get into tier 4 whenever you want is one thing, but for many Amarr combined with the fact that Amarr LP was worth fuckall it completely eliminated all gratification from offensive plexing because you could plex a system down to level 0 and it would be right back up at 5 the day again.  It literally felt like banging your head against the wall.

The fact that the Goons pumped in LP that the Minmatar didn't have to means that all the LP they used was LP that the Minmatar didn't have to.  While this may not have been a huge deal for organized groups that understand the game mechanics well enough to understand that you only need to get to Tier 4-5 long enough to cash out, i'm sure there are many general militia guys who have way more isk than they normally would have had and this created the image of the Minmatar side being this magical ISK fountain that was flowing all the time which from an outside perspective not only made the Minmatar more appealing for those who only want ISK also made many general militia members on the Amarr side wonder why there weren't on the Minmatar side or farming with a Minmatar alt.

I also wonder whats the point of tiers when you only need to push long enough to cash out.  FW would be much more fun if it was a constant battle between 2-3 rather than sit at 1-2 until you feel like cashing out, but thats a whole different discussion.
2) Whether amarr can come back. I think we can due to the no lp for defensive plexing rule. However amarr are simply not employing strategies to use that rule to our advantage. We keep flipping systems right next the minmatar bases and feeding them lp! This is dumb and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

The caldari seem to be much more organized and frankly smarter from a occupancy plexing perspective. Amarr got this idea of defending some sort of "pipeline" early on. Nothing is being piped through this pipeline because eve mechanics don't work like world war 1. But nonetheless old strategies seem to die hard.

I think the Amarr can come back too. And I think that employing some smarter strategies could very well be a big part of doing that. It will be interesting to see what happens. =)

A lot of this had to do with plex bugging.  Before I joined Amarr militia, I had no idea about any of the game mechanics and all the people whining about plex seemed like they were just whining.  Then I actually joined and realized how much it actually sucked.  A lot of times we were limited to the systems we wanted to offensively plex were trash systems which weren't bugged.  I agree that much of the pipeline stuff is silly, but another thing to remember is that with station lockout you're punished for pushing too far into enemy territory without first establishing a forward place to base out of and many key station systems that would be worth taking were constantly bugged.  Its easy to look at things from the outside and wonder "why aren't we doing this!?" without having the full facts available to you.

A few weeks ago many of us agreed that the plexing strategy was bad, but there wasn't much that could be done at the time since the only group actively plexing was Fweddit and since we didn't have a lot of numbers.  I'm not in the Caldari militia so I can't really speak for them, but since their warzone control is much more even and they've been able to solo speedtank, I can't help but feel like from the start of Inferno they had much more incentive and ability to run offensive plexes strategically since there was still ISK in it for them.  EVE is a game about min/maxing and why would you want to fit out a proper ship to run plexes or do it in a group when you can do it solo in a cheap toon you don't care if you lose and make more ISK doing it for another side.  With the current FW mechanics, you don't really need a solid PVP core.  You can successfully take systems with a large amount of guys who are motivated from an ISK standpoint to just offensive plex all day long in ships that are hard or not worth trying to catch.  Why doesn't the Amarr do this?  Because most of the groups running plexes are PVP oriented groups and care more about fights than flying all over the map running plexes to put ISK in our pockets.  If I told my alliance to run plexes for a month straight for strategic warzone control we'd probably just say fuckit and leave FW because thats how boring plexes are.  In fact, we just lost -7th- fleet to the Caldari militia because many of their members have ran out of ISK to fight with and its just not feasible to stay in the Amarr militia.

3) Whether the lp disparaty is too large. I tink it is not too large. Given that no lp for defensive plexing is given the amarr could easilly turn the tables on the minmatar by not actually taking systems but leaving them vulnerable. This is what we see caldari and gallente doing. And yes its because they are smart about plexing.

After the amarr get the upper hand then minmatar will be able to flip it back. And this flip flopping is how all people in faction war will be able to afford top notch ships and fittings to continue the war. These large rewards gives us reason to plex and to defend plexes. (note by defend plexes I do not mean defensive plexing. I mean fighting enemies who try to plex in your space)

Interesting perspective. I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree with the whole defensive plexing. I think the fact we have less systems to LP for ISK in condenses our ‘farmers’ and makes it easier for us to take systems in the long run.

However, if the Amarr simply refuse to take a bunker and leave something vulnerable, I’m not really sure how the Minmatar would respond, so you may be onto something where that’s concerned. They can barely be asked to defensively plex in systems they live in let alone other places…so…it could be interesting…

The disparity needs looking at.  I completely think the winning side should have rewards for their hard work. But as far as breathing new life into the losing side, if i'm a new player without outside means to fund my PVP why would I ever want to join the Amarr?  Fweddit has filled this void, but from a game mechanics standpoint if I want to jump into the wonderful world of faction warfare without a pile of ISK beforehand, theres no incentive to join the losing side if you can orbit a button for 20 minutes and get an SFI on the winning side.

Once again, I don't think you can easily directly compare the Gallente/Caldari wars with the Amarr/Minmatar one.  Map layouts are much different and they both had much different starting positions going into Inferno as well as many different starting groups.  Add this to the issues of plex bugging, EWAR imbalance, and Goon pump and dump and you have a very different warzone picture.  Like I said before, before I joined I thought all the people whining about these things just needed to try harder, but then I joined and realized how much many of these things actually sucked.  With the above 3 issues gone, I can honestly say that many of the complains were completely justified and we're fighting a much different war now.  I think defensive plexing does suck, but as it stands now, since all the major groups in the Amarr militia are only in it for the PVP and could care less about LP rewards, we've actually been defensive plexing our systems.  Is this good game design, de-incentivize LP rewards for the losing side so much they just ignore it completely as a game mechanic?  Probably not, but thats how its working for us now and we're fine with that.  Time will tell how things pan out.  

4) Station lockouts. IMO this was stupid and remains stupid. And yes it is annoying to hear hans or even fweddit say its no big deal. Neither was effected by this change! As far aw I know fweddit is still based outside faction war and they have no idea how great it was from a pvp perspective to have the stations open thoughout the warzone. Lockouts simply makes it harder for the side with fewer systems to field pvp fleets.

For a casual gamer like me who will never again base out of faction war unless ccp undoes this rule it is not at all a reason to fight. I don't care if kamela falls from a docking perspective. Tuomuta is right next to it and I used to base out of there anyway. I still have a bunch of stuff there in fact. However not being able to reship in frerstorn or arzad sucks and has cost me plenty of fights. It has also made the war zone blob up in and around kourm. I would love to see the percentages of fw pvp that take place in all the fw systems in april compared to june. I think you will find the pvp was much more spread out in april with lots of small gangs rolling througout the faction war zone. People who just joined faction war after inferno simply didn't get a chance to understand how great that was.


Okay, okay. I also haven’t thought of it as a big deal, but then again I didn’t have to move, and I haven’t yet been gotten locked out of anything important.

When push comes to shove, I’m not sure I care either way about the station docking issue at this point. While I think it’s interesting to have some sort of home court advantage in your own home systems, I also like the idea of facilitating small gang pvp by not creating a system that polarizes people into certain systems, as you are saying. I’m going to have to think that one over for a while.

I'm fine with the homefield advantage aspect of it.  I think i'm with Susan on this one.  I think if anything, station lockout makes staging systems that much more important.


I'd like to finish by saying that when I refer to the Minmatar as having more numbers many of these comments are/were based on a few weeks ago, which many of these arguments and remarks are based under.  The warzone is much different now and in terms of active combat pilots I would say things are much closer to being even in terms of what each side can field.  Obviously there is Fweddit with massive numbers, but I think that at times saying you were fighting 2:1 or 3:1 with Fweddit on the field can be misleading when it comes to the outcome of a fight.  Fweddits effectiveness can greatly vary depending on which fits they're using and their fleet composition and you never really know what to expect out of a Fweddit gang.  Sometimes they'll take a fight they should probably lose and end up holding the field, other times they'll all die gloriously in a fireball.  Case in point, I lost my Talos because I did a short warp to the Huola gate at 0 from Kamela since I thought we would have no problem holding the field with 20 Fweddit on the field and by the time I landed more than half of them were dead.  Meanwhile our kiting Tornado gang wasn't able to keep anything pointed because Fweddit who was our only tackle had pretty much went poof before we could land.


  1. Great analysis, Pinky. These last few exchanges between those of us that like to discuss this stuff have been way more constructive and civil than ever before. All three of you brought up a lot of good points, keep up the nice work.

    You're absolutely right about the plex bugging and E-war issues being a large part of the problem, which is exactly why I've worked with CCP to get them fixed first and foremost, before they go on to the other bells and whistles. With those two accomplished, next up on my agenda: delivering the final blow to AFK speed-farming alt-plexing.

  2. "I agree that much of the pipeline stuff is silly, but another thing to remember is that with station lockout you're punished for pushing too far into enemy territory without first establishing a forward place to base out of and many key station systems that would be worth taking were constantly bugged."

    This I disagree with. You can still dock in enemy high sec (assuming you are not a pirate and given that fweddit was basing out of high sec - may still be - I think they are mostly not pirates) We could put plex bases adjacent to every minmatar constellation. Every offensive plex run would force the minmatar to either spend time for no lp dplexing or allow their systems to get closer to flipping.

    We would be the ones wearing them out. While we do it we get lp they don't.

    The biggest problem is that this would be boring and involve very little pvp until we started really making progress. Then the minmatar would either have to split up their blobs in kourm or they would see systems go vulnerable.

    Minmatar have a few people like sasawong and his alts that will d-plex. But its not clear how many people they can keep doing this for no lp. I predict it is like an active tank - once the dps excedes it the ship pops fast.

  3. Cearain:
    "1) Whether goons helped minmatar very much. Some help yes but not much. Minmatar can easilly get the @6 mill lp needed to bring them from tier 1 to tier 5. They will likely do this again. They don't need to stay there long. Just long enough to cash out their lp!"



    "I don't agree with this at all. As I mentioned on a previous blog post, the biggest impact this had on thing was on morale..."

    If this had a bad effect on morale its because the amarr leadership were not properlly adjusting expectations of the militia. Minmatar will hit tier 5 several more times before we can do our flip. Amarr needs to have a strategy that works and explain it to the militia so they don't get discouraged by stupid stuff.

    "YAY we flipped RAA!!! BOOHOO we lost raa!!" Of course we lost it. We should never have flipped raa to begin with, we accomplished nothing but gave minmatar plexers tons of isk.