Tag Archives: Factional Warfare

EVE Online gets Low Sec Love and the Frigate Escape Bay

A week back CCP announced that today they would unleash a load of changes and updates to help out arguably the most neglected region of New Eden, low security space.

Feeling the low sec love

The premier event of this update is likely the Champions of Low Sec contest that CCP announced this past Friday.

Who will be the banner bearer

The event runs for five days, starting as of downtime today and running until downtime on the 31st.  The rules are:

  • The winner will be the alliance or independent corporation that accrues the highest ISK value of ship & pod kills during that period. Structure kills will not be counted.
  • The alliance or independent corporation of whoever receives the final blow on the killmail will be credited with the full value of the kill.
  • The ISK value credited will be equivalent to value of the hull and items destroyed on the killmail. Dropped items won’t be counted.
  • Only kills made in low security space (0.1 to 0.4 systems) will count.
  • Only kills of other players will count. NPC, CCP, ISD or GM kills will not be counted.
  • All kills which adhere to these guidelines will count, regardless of the circumstances surrounding them.

The winning corporation or alliance will be declared the Champions of Lows Sec and   There will be medals and a tribute video to play on the in-game billboards and the alliance’s logo flag will be displayed at CCP’s new HQ. (CCP will help a winning group without a logo create one.)

So that is off and running.  I know nobody will try to cheese through to win.  That would never happen in New Eden.

In order to help that along and make things go in low sec, warp speed for all ships in Low Security system by 2AU/s through April 6th.  So your travel ‘ceptors will really zip through low.  Also, the Loot drop chance has been increased to 90% in Low Security space until April 6th as well, so wrecks will be a bounty.

More substantial are the changes to the long neglected Faction Warfare aspect of the game.  These include:

  • Faction Warfare complex Acceleration Gate will give a Suspect Flag if activated by non-Faction Warfare Capsuleer.
    • In such cases, the Safety setting must be to Partial or No Safety (orange or red) to activate the gate. When safety is Full (green) the gate cannot be activated.
    • FW participants will be able to activate the acceleration gates without penalty.
  • Faction Warfare Acceleration Gates have an increased activation range allowing for activation at 90km radius
  • Adding a new 5th tier of Faction Warfare sites, and renaming the ‘Large’ tier:
    • Large Compounds are now (Faction) Open Compounds
    • Large Strongholds are now (Faction) Open Strongholds
    • Added a new tier of sites. These sites have gate restrictions that allow only Battleship sized and smaller ships
    • The new Battleship Complexes are named (Faction) Large Outpost
    • The progression in tiers is now:
      • Novice (unchanged)
      • Small (unchanged)
      • Medium (unchanged)
      • Large (new Battleship tier)
      • Open (formerly “Large”)
  • Loyalty Point payouts for Faction Warfare PVP kills have been given a fixed increase, and no longer linked to the warzone tier multiplier. The LP payout rate is now fixed at approximately the same level as it previously was when the attacker held tier 5 warzone control.
  • Loyalty Point payouts for Faction Warfare missions have been reduced by approximately 30%

I am sure all of this means something… good or ill… but I haven’t touched Faction Warfare since it launched, so couldn’t tell you what.

Closer to home… for me at least… CCP is also launching the frigate escape bay feature.  This allows you to put a frigate of any time in a bay in your battleship, so if your battleship explodes, you will be ejected in the frigate rather than your pod.

I tinkered with this a bit on Singularity, the test server, and you do indeed get a bay with the capacity of one unit of frigate.  Size of frigate does not matter.

One frigate will fit nicely

Some experimentation showed that if you simply eject from your battleship you will end up in your frigate.  You do not even need to get all blown up.

Leaving the battleship behind

However, I couldn’t recommend that as once it is ejected you cannot stuff the frigate back in the battleship.  I wonder if we can get a “scoop frigate to frigate bay” option?  I am sure that would never be abused.

I am interested to see how doctrines out in null sec will evolve around this feature.

Also on the list were a couple of war dec changes:

  • If a war ends because the attacking Corporation/Alliance fails to pay their War Declaration bill, a forced peace treaty for 14 days is triggered. This will prevent the attackers from re-declaring another war against the same target.
  • Hull Reinforcement Duration for War Headquarters structures reduced to 24 hours (down from 4.5 days). This is intended to give defenders a realistic chance of taking down the HQ within 7 days.

Those seem non-controversial.

Anyway, the word is that the update has been deployed.  The March patch notes have been updated to include the new changes.  The servers are up and it is time to start blowing people up.

Incursion and Public Fleets

Just as I was eying the exits in New Eden, CCP announced their latest expansion, Incursion, which is due out in November of this year, about the time when my last ISK purchased PLEX will expire.

Will there be something in this next expansion to tempt me?

There is the now usual round of technology upgrades promised with this expansion. Faster is always better, but in my little corner of space, performance generally isn’t much of an issue. I think the biggest fleet I’ve even been in had seven ships total.

There is a new Sansha Mothership in the works. I’ll be looking for screen shots of that. Sansha ship models are always interesting… and pointy.

And they will be giving us a dedicated salvaging vessel, the Noctis, which will use the same ship model as the Primae. I am far more likely to buy and fly the latter… once the price comes down… but that isn’t really a reason to stay in space… or in station, where I have been for most of the last few months.

There will apparently be an update to the character creator. I hope that will allow everybody to redo their pilot portrait for free. I rushed through the character creator in my desire to get into space and have been living with the same uninspired pilot picture since then.

No, the big deal for me is at the top of the press release, the new additions to PvE play.

Incursion will feature the escalating attacks of the deadly Sansha’s Nation which is bent on instituting its own utopia and exacting vengeance against the pilots who stand in its way. Pilots can join public fleets and co-operate to destroy the Sansha incursions and return the universe to normal, receiving wealthy bounties, earning loyalty rewards and high commendation.

Public fleets? That sounds vaguely familiar.

The public quest thing was an idea that worked pretty well in Warhammer Online, though the schizophrenic nature of the game (how many experience bars should a game be allowed?) diluted its impact.  And the huge drop off in subscribers after the first couple months did not help.

And a similar idea worked well enough in Star Trek Online. There was always the problem of “the fleet that refused to communicate” in those group quest instances though. I spent a good deal of time trying to guess where my temporary fleet mates were headed in STO.

But in STO the death penalty was pretty mild to say the least.  There is very little pain associated with getting yourself in trouble.

Of course, we know that the death penalty is a little bit different in EVE Online.  That is something that could drive cooperation.  A ship loss in EVE… if you’re insured it won’t cost you much in ISK, but the time it takes to get another ship assembled and ready to go… that is often the biggest loss.  Time has value.

It would be great if this turns out to be a good way to get players to group up and cooperate and maybe even teach people how to work together in a fleet.  Maybe people could even use some of those modules that generally only get equipped for PvP.  The current PvE missions do not train players for PvP at all.

Of course, CCP tried to get people to band together in ad hoc fleets for PvE-ish objectives when it introduced factional warfare back in the Empyrean Age expansion.  How did that turn out for you?  It was something of a non-starter for me.

Still, I look forward to more information on this new tack in EVE PvE play.  Maybe it will give me a reason to get back into space.

And at least I’ll get a new in-game portrait.

Is there anything in Incursion for you?

My First Factional Warfare Mission

In which I demonstrate I am obviously unclear on the concept

I had a couple of hours the other night so I thought I would finally dive into the whole factional warfare thing that the Empyrean Age has brought us in EVE Online.

I suppose I could have just jumped into some contested area, joined up with a blob of my fellow militia, and started blazing away at those “Gallante Nanofags” as somebody on the channel was calling them.

However at least one friend of mine reported that those willing to field tech II ships were eating the cheapskates in tech I ships alive, with interceptors chewing up frigates like there was no tomorrow.

Not wanting to merely feed my Kestrel into the garbage disposal, I thought I might go the mission route. I used the traditional in-game method of finding and agent, as detailed in my post on the subject, then popped out of the station and, one by one, set the available agents as a destination to see how close they were.

The nearest level 1 agent was 8 jumps away. I figured I would go with level 1, being in a wee frigate and all.

I cloned jumped to protect my implants, saddled up the Kestrel, all strictly tech I, and headed off.

Once there, I asked him for a mission. He told me to head off to Arderonne to destroy the reactor at some Gallente base.

Fair enough! So I left the station and set that system as my destination.

23 jumps away.

Hrmm… well, in the name of the state and all that, I headed out.

The last 12 jumps or so were in Gallente space, so every time I landed in a system I got a message from the local authorities declaring their intention to blow me up if I did not move along within a few second. This message:

Fine, I wasn’t planning to hang around anyway.

More jumps, with the last few being in low security space. No threatening messages at least.

Finally I arrived at the system. Time to warp into the mission!

At this point I have to stop and share my expectations.

This being a PvP, factional warfare mission, I have it in my mind at that point that somebody real is going to have to show up and stop me. The notes about the Empyrean Age talk about alarm bells going off when you show up, allowing the defenders to respond. I expect that what I am going to have to be on the watch for is somebody warping in to get me.

With that in mind, imagine my disappointment at warping in to find myself facing six frigates, two cruisers, and four sentry guns, all NPCs.

Twelve jumps from friendly territory, no place to turn to, expecting other players to show up and blast me, and now I have to face NPCs with the odds stacked against me.

This seemed like a bit more than a level 1 mission encounter, and this from somebody who had to run “Worlds Collide” in an Ibis. (That was the first mission I received when I started playing EVE.) But at least then I had a base close by for support, and another Ibis handed to me when I lost one. Out in hostile territory I was alone.

Still, I had come all that way, there was nothing for it but to go on.

With my usual deft touch, I managed to aggro the lot of them with my first missile. A few minutes later the Kestrel disintegrated around me, leaving me in sitting in space, in my pod, alone in low security in the middle of Gallente territory.

Of course, NPCs do not pod you, so I was safe. I sat there a minute wishing they would though, it would have saved me the trip back.

But, since no fatal blow was imminent, I set my destination for home and started heading back. I felt like those bears in the middle of the city in that one Far Side cartoon. I was the bear saying, “Great, were lost and it is only a matter of time before somebody shoots us.”

Nobody shot me. Nobody noticed me. After quite some time I ended up back where I started.

Unfortunately, this round trip used up all the time I had to play. I figured I might take another stab at it the next day, if I could find the time.

But the next morning, I got the message that I had failed the mission. It seems that factional warfare missions expire in hours rather than days.

And so went my first brush with factional warfare.

My standing now with the State Protectorate, the Caldari Militia, is now -0.03.

Considering that my standings with the Blood Raiders is 0.00 and with the Guristas is -0.04, both NPC pirate factions that I have spent a lot of time blowing up, that is not so good.