Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mutual Back Scratching

I've been rolling an idea about in my head for a bit for, scary enough, faction warfare. In my information gathering over the past few months I've picked up a lot of the same issues across various factions. I've also listened to hops and dreams, frustration and dejection, and some very honest and open commentary on why things are needed in some ways.

I had an idea slam into me the other week. I was responding to a question and writing up my low sec thoughts and everything coalesced at once to create an over arcing image that I will try to explain. I try to avoid having ideas but sometimes they happen and then I offer them up to others.

It started with a mail that reminded me that PvPers would like to be paid for killing people. Faction Warfare currently does this. But, truly, being paid to kill and only kill is a dream that many have. Some people have this. Ship replacement programs or ship replacement programs that pay above and beyond the cost of the ship recreate this. But, as I was writing out my ideas for faction warfare having an impact that people could care about in high sec I came up with the idea of war bonds.

War bonds are not the exact term for what I want to do but they invoke the general feeling that I feel. My ideas for facton warfare affecting high sec is full of carrots and not sticks. Sticks just irritate people but carrots are appealing. Many times people want players to come down and fight. It is a dream goal but it is also an unreasonable goal. The person who does not want to fight is not going to fight and you can only chase them away and maybe kill them but not make them fight.

War is fought by a small group supported by a whole. In my idea faction warfare would tilt areas of high sec in a favorable way sot hat the people would want their faction to have control. People are homebodies by nature and in these ideas I do not try to compensate for those who will move. I believe that if one can improve ones home, one will.

So, if war zone control some how tilted things to the better, be that taxes, or mission rewards, or something that makes sense, while it wandered back down to 'normal' if the faction is losing, and there is some in between state if they are at a tug of war that is better but not as good, noncombatants could donate to the war effort.

The idea of donating to the war effort is that it creates a pool that pays out a greater percentage of is or LP or some combo of the two to the faction warfare players when they kill members of the other militia. The incentive is that the people paying into the pool do it for their area to improve. As their area improves they are incentive's to keep it that way or to pay in less and the pool drains. The PvP pilot, when they are at their lowest state of war zone control gets the biggest boost. The thought is that they get this boost when they most need it and as the war evens out everything evens out.

With the ISK and/or LP coming from the player we don't have the same broken faction warfare issues before. Bounties are already a stepping stone for this type of system. Bounties are another topic but I feel they need better pay out.

My thoughts, in birthing this idea was to give some more gains to the pilots out killing, give noncombatants a reason to care about the war zone, and to give militias that has been kicked all the way down an extra boost on the way back up. It is people interacting with people but with NPCs in the middle which is already a precedent in faction warfare.

If people just want to run back and forth they too will meet a certain balance. There is the potential that no one would participate but it would be a tool more than anything else.

These are the kind of ideas running through my head.  It is not a fully formed thought but it is the start of an idea where people can interact with and support each other indirectly but positively. Hopefully it isn't too incoherent as I am falling asleep at the keyboard.

13 comments:

  1. In some ways, this is already how it works in FW. You donate LP to an iHub; once you upgrade a certain number of systems a certain amount, your faction bumps up a Tier. This gives increased LP payouts and some small benefits in upgraded systems.

    The problem comes down to "tragedy of the commons" and the freerider issue. Someone has to coordinate the donation drive, and FAR more people benefit than donate. That's why some factions with really dedicated farmers / mission runners stay at high tier for a long time, while others tend to drift down relatively quickly.

    Having highsec mission runners impacting the warzone... can't think of a way that'd be a good thing. If anything, it would exacerbate the pendulum effect, by allowing unaffiliated unwardeced HS mission runners out of the reach of opposing FW pilots able to further fan the flames of plexing farmer hordes.

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    1. Aye. But this is not an ihub. The nebulas is wrapped around a ship vs ship explosion incentive in the same way SRP or a bounty are. If PvPers kill each other you feel this is encouraging those who join faction warfare for beacon orbiting?

      I know beacons are hated by some and loved by others. What do you want for becon conquest?

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    2. According to Fozzie last FanFest, they can't increase the LP payout for PvP beyond what it is for Tier 5 currently, without allowing another Gewnswerm exploit like what happened in Minnie FW several years back. Just pegging PvP LP payouts to Tier 5 as the base would be a good change.

      As far as plex capture LP goes, smoothing the Tier 1-5 progression would go a long, long way to fixing the incentives in FW. Capping the max plex / mission payout around Tier 3-4 level, then making it so that Tier 5 is roughly 2x as much LP as Tier 1 with a smooth progression between, would be workable IMO.

      - Vesk

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    3. "Just pegging PvP LP payouts to Tier 5 as the base would be a good change.
      As far as plex capture LP goes, smoothing the Tier 1-5 progression would go a long, long way to fixing the incentives in FW. Capping the max plex / mission payout around Tier 3-4 level, then making it so that Tier 5 is roughly 2x as much LP as Tier 1 with a smooth progression between, would be workable IMO."

      ^ This ^

      - Than

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  2. I'll tell you right now, IF this system was implemented, and IF it affected any of my operations in highsec, I'd just move my things in highsec. Because I'm not silly. I'd sit down with a spreadsheet, plot all the warzones over time, figure out which side is "winning" more of often than the others, then move to that faction's systems. I'd tax dodge that so fast that the day the devblog came out there'd be freighters in flight.

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  3. One big problem with Industry Teams was "Why should *I* pay for a team that any Tom, Dick or Harriet can move in and benefit from?" Any "FW Benefits" programme will have to avoid that trap, if only to avoid people playing the system rather than playing the game.

    Indeed, from reading about FW, it seems to be a major problem that the people who do the work then get over-run by people chasing the benefits. FW rewards -- and, by extension, the FW Benefits programme -- needs to be on more of a pilot level, diluted at Corp level and almost non-existent for an Alliance member who doesn't personally participate. That would also help with "loyalty", since you couldn't just switch sides (or deploy an alt) and reap full Faction buffs straight away.

    War Bonds could actually play to that. I pay X to the Free Minmatar Trust and get Y benefits. My Corp pays X, and each member gets Y/(current_member_count), and similarly for an Alliance. But there should also be penalties -- if I get +1% refine at Minnie stations around Heimatar, I should get -2% at Imperial Armaments in Onga and elsewhere...

    Perhaps you need to roll this in with the other ideas about in-game groupings that are other than Corp/Alliance/Faction? I could still be in my Corp but also "subscribe" to the "Friends of Liberty", my donations to that group would pay the Minmatar-aligned PvPers (so it would be in their interest to drum up support) and my benefits would be proportionate to both my % of total donations and the fighters' success.

    But it could be tricky scaling any buffs so that they could be both meaningful to your average player and not totally game-breaking for an individual or Corp who can dump in billions...

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    1. +1

      Not because I wholeheartedly support what you are saying (I haven't thought enough about the matter to declare either way), but rather because I find your comment a wonderfully thoughtful exploration of Sugar's idea.

      Not very 'Bitter' of you . . . :)

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  4. Hypothetically speaking: "Why should I do anything to benefit PvPrs? Today I pay for their FW ships, and tomorrow they may gank me with those same ships..."

    I bet PvP would love to be paid for playing the game their way. But I have no doubt that no carebear will pay for the ships killing them.

    Say: I give reward to Alex the FW, and thus he has spare money for his alt Bob the Ganker who ganks me for the LULz because Alex's faction is losing the war and he can't bother to log in... Does this sound like a deal to you?

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    1. Hypothetically speaking: Because I will benefit from his success in FW.

      As to Bob -- there's a chance he'll gank me, sure. There's a lot more chance that he'll gank someone else, meanwhile I'm supplying him with Catalysts, modules and ammo for those ganks and resupplying the ships of his other victims -- all at a slightly better profit than my competitors because I've donated to "The Cause" and they haven't.

      As a confirmed carebear Industrialist I *want* PvP happening around the place, not less. It's then down to me to avoid getting caught in the cross-fire while hoping others aren't so lucky :-)

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  5. The main weakness i see is that based on the popularity of some tradehubs people might be spending their lp/isk/reward to support that.
    Lets say if caldari is winning they get a 5% of taxes.
    That would be very good for jita and amarr, and dodi and rens/hek might be going down faster as a good trade hub... .

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  6. PvPers would like to be paid for killing people.

    After a careful and concise review, the answer is no. Are we talking about some in-game form of welfare for a particular play style? I can only see it getting abused by suicide ganking. Insurance was removed particularly to re-enforce the necessary deterrents inherent to unsanctioned attacks.

    Do not fly what can you not afford to lose. It is implicit here that the ship has value, which the player needs to make an effort to earn.

    If someone wants an income from mere killing, then select targets with a bounty. There is already an in-game system to support this play style.

    There are organisations and role-play groups will fund and reward pilots for kills. This includes mercenaries which are always on the lookout for new recruits.

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  7. No. Taxes being affected by FW would be broken.

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  8. Thank you for the feedback everyone.

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