Content of the article: "War Posts: a redesign/update for Factional Warfare"
This idea came about while discussing ingame. i've participated in FW as a neutral party but i've been also wanting to participate in it. the issue is that the current mechanics are just too dull to have any kind of fun.
The following concept is meant to be a replacement for the current system rather than buffs/nerfs so it may be a bit broken in some parts.
1. "Proving" Plexes:
just before you jump into conclusions, this isnt instanced. rather, this idea is based on the concept of the Proving Grounds as a way to show your dominance. Proving Plexes are a replacement to the currrent system, rather than depending on a Capture the Flag mechanic these new sites are based on Player vs Player kills.
it works basically like this:
-Site has a bar that measures kills from both sides
-Killing members of the enemy militia inside the site sways the bar to your faction
-Site has no limit on the number of ships that can enter
-Site has no time limit for completion but has a lifetime of 4 hours in case of extended inactivity (so it can respawn elsewhere)
-The site is declared as Completed when one of the factions flips the bar to 100% on their side
-LP rewards are individual but the bulk of the profit comes in the form of LP from kills and assorted loot + salvage
-Completing a site gives increase in militia/faction standing
-Plexes are divided in sizes the same way as the current ones
-ORE ships are banned from entering
-Ships with Warpcore Stabs equipped or in cargo are banned from using the gate (this pertains to those in the frigate bay or similar spaces)
-Entry is based on current Militia standings
this last part is declared for a reason which will be explained in the next point.
2. New Recruits, Loyalty and Investment:
Day 1 alts are one of the reasons FW is so bloated and nerfed as people could just make cheap alts to starting plexing around and get massive gains out of it. this is second part pertains to changes related to reducing the impact of alts in the system while also rewarding long term time investment on the warzone
-Limiting Plex entry based on standings so people has to actually grind reputation with the army in order to participate
-Scaling Site rewards and system control contribution based on the size so Novice Plexes are the entry lvl and dont provide as much impact as doing a BS or Capital sized plex
-Give the means for new players to climb up on the ranks by doing different activities in the warzone
I know people will ask "hey but what about neutrals?", the answer of this is resolved in the next part.
3. Border Patrols, Third Parties, and Warzone environment:
Now that plexes are limited to both sides of the warzone its time to discuss what happens to the other actors in this mess of a system. This part of the concept goes about providing more meaningfull ways for players to contribute outside of plexing, while also giving some tools to neutral parties to alter the place.
-Stations are avaliable to anyone regardless of system control, serving as a buffer zone for both sides and external actors
-Killing pirate NPCs while participating on FW gives not only bounty payouts but also LP and standing increase with the militia. (not as much as participating on actual war efforts tho)
-NPC Militia spawns border patrolling fleets when the system control is above 50%, these fleets range in size and composition but killing them as the enemy faction provides a fair amount of LP, loot and standing gain (this is a replacement due to removing NPC ships from plexes)
-Border Patrol fleets increase in strength and reward if system is at 100% control
-Killing pirates/militia NPCs as a neutral may give chance to drop consumable keys that allow to enter plexes depending on the type of key obtained (Proving Plex restrictions apply)
-These keys can be sold on the market to other players or can be sold at the enemy militia stations for isk and fix standings.
-Keys have a time duration so even if you loose the ship on the site you can still reship and return to the fight
-Neutrals dont contribute to the site faction bar itself, however, since you're technically an external factor your kills are helping one of the fronts or balancing the system if you kill members of both militias.
System Control is mentioned but this is covered in the next part.
4. System Control Index, Removal of Tiers and Player Contribution:
The current system of flipping tiers has created a meta where people just turn their coats and deplex the warzone in order to cash on accumulated LP. this is a set of changes aimed on removing that aspect of the system and adding more emphasis on player actions towards flipping the system.
-Remove Tiers from the warzone system
-Base LP bonus reward amounts in the System Control index (up to 50% under 100% index)
-Killing enemy militia ships, defending sites and structures in a system under your faction's control helps to mantain the index up
-Enemy milita killing enemy players, contesting sites and destroying enemy structures in the other faction system reduces the System Control index.
-index defines certain warzone features like reduced taxes on NPC stations at 25%, Border Patrol fleets at 50%, NPC agents on stations at 75% or similar.
-Enemy players can put faction structures at 50% or lower
People will have some questions about faction structures so this is explained in the next step.
5. The War Post system, Cleaning up the region, Faction Structures:
Another nail in the coffin to the FW environment was the inclusion of player structures, having lots of citadels/engineering complexes or the like means its really time consuming to remove the enemy from a system. this part is all about turning structure warfare out of player hands and into the empires themselves as it should be.
-Upwell structures cannot be erected on FW systems, only POCOs, POSes and deplotables can be put there.
-The main HQ for the militia comes in the form of the War Post, a new structure that can only be erected by giving LP to the militia. once enough LP has been donated the structure will be spawned and will start anchoring on the system.
-Only 1 War Post can exist in any given system once it has been captured, this is based on some limitations that will be commented later on
-War Posts start small like Citadels but they are multitasking structures that can be upgraded by donating more LP into them. this is the replacement for the Tier system, and allows players to reinforce the empire structure until converted into a proper system fortress.
-War Posts cannot be manned but they posses close ot the capabilities of Upwell Structure including all services and weaponry based on their respective faction.
-Upgrades allow players to ease the dependance on NPC stations to work, making the War Post their main home on the front. and as such its worth to defend it due to the big bonuses on services provided.
-The next Faction Structures dont have a name currently but they are basically Navy FOBs, these FOBs are also created by investing LP, up to 3 may exist on system for both sides but enemy fleets can only deploy them once on the territory if the System Control index is 50% or below.
-Navy FOBs are similar to small structures with only a few basic features like repairs, clone vat, player hangars and insurance, they dont provide acces to industry or other and are meant to be staging points for invasion fleets. they can be upgraded with LP to improve their survivability
-Asset Safety applies to both, items will be moved to the closest NPC stations in case of destruction.
-War Posts have 2 reinforce timers like any powered structure
-Navy FOBs have only 1 reinforce timer like jump gates/POSes
Now, you may be wondering what has this to dow ith system flipping?, this is the final part of the post.
6. System Control changes, Structure Warfare, Putting everything together:
The main elements required for flipping systems depends on both the System Control Index and the War Posts. i wanted to create a mechanic that felt close to Sov Null but without all that Entosis/Capture the Flag shit. so instead of that, the actions of players on the different activities has an effect on defining who controls the place.
-FW systems have 2 states, Neutral and Controlled
-Controlled systems have a Control index bar corresponding to the faction that conquered it
-Neutral systems have a Control index bar similar to Invasions, where there's 2 ends for it.
-A system is declared Neutral when the enemy War Post is destroyed and the Controlled Index falls to 0.0
-Both factions can deploy FOBs and War Posts when the system is Neutral
-NPC militia will send reinforcement fleets from FOBS in order to ensure capsuleers capture/recover the system.
-Killing FOBs, Reinforcement Ships and Enemy Player Ships will contribute to swaying the Neutral Control Index to one of the factions
-Swaying the bar of a faction to 50% will call in stronger and more numerous reinforcements
-When one of the factions sways the bar to 100% they will be able to deploy a new War Post
-A system is declared Controlled after 48hs if one of the factions was able to kept the bar on 100% to their side and were able to deploy their War Post successfully (Structure was anchored and survived the first vulnerability timer).
-If the 48h period passed and these conditions werent met, then the system remains neutral and the enemy faction can deploy their own War Post
-Both Factions will have a 7 days period after that timer to reinforce their side.
-A new 48h timer will start after one of the War Posts is destroyed, system will be declared Controlled if the surviving War Post is defended and the bar is kept to 100%
-If both factions lost their War Post (could happen), then first 48h timer rules will apply again after another 7 days period
-this cyce will repeat until one of the militias is capable of deploying/defending their War Post while mantaining the Neutral Index to their side.
-System will change ownership to the winning faction with a period of grace of 7-15 days where it wont be able to be contested (not sure how long for the defenders to reinforce their infrastructure and index)
To wrap this whole thing up:
TL:DR the idea was to get rid of Capture the Flag mechanics and instead force people to actually invest time/resources on improving/disturpting the contested system with a new set of structures and sites to replace the current FW systems. this to evade having shit like Day 1 alts flipping systems out of nowhere or doing massive Tier flips on the warzone or having player structures as an obstable to conquest.
thanks for reading, it took a lot of time to think this out, there may be errors but its a start.
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