Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Faction Warfare and Mercs

In Episode 46 of the Voices from the Void, Hans Jagerblitzen stopped by to discuss Faction Warfare [FW] changes in the upcoming Inferno expansion.  Hans is a member of Late Night Alliance, a CSM7 delegate and a leader in the FW community.  He's a loyal pilot in the Minmatar Militia and he's passionate about FW.

In the segment, Hans commented on opposition to some of the incoming changes.  Namely, the Amarrian Militia opposed the mechanics applied to the loosing side.  It's a very simplistic form of their argument.  It's a little more complex, but you can listen to the interview for those details.  I'd rather write about a solution.

Eve Online is a harsh game and in the Amarr Militia's defense these mechanics are harsh.  The loosing militia would enjoy up to x4 prices in the Loyalty Points [LP] store, loss of LP paid upgrades in systems under siege and station lock outs in enemy systems.  Those are the three big ones.  The main point of their argument is these odds are near impossible to bounce back from.

Hans doesn't believe this.  He believes in the ingenuity of the players.  If those in the loosing militia can not achieve the objectives necessary, someone else who can will take their place.  It may sound a little harsh, but that's a truth of Eve Online.  Someone will find a way.  Sometimes they find ways to things no one wants them to find a way to.  Hans recognizes this about the community and believes the new mechanics will provide a challenge for these players.

That got me thinking.  How could a militia overcome odds like this?  Some CSM7 members suggested bigger bounties given to the losing militia for PvP kills.  It's doesn't really fit into the theme of harshness Eve Online has, but it's a good idea.  Then it hit me.  Mercenaries.

Yes!  That handy dandy already in play game mechanic we know as mercenaries.  Small powers use of mercenary forces is fairly common in the real world.  High sec forces use of mercenary forces is fairly common in Eve Online.  It seems like a reasonable progression of game play to me.  Of course there is the cost of procuring mercenary forces, but hopefully you've been saving for a rainy day.

It seems reasonable to believe a mercenary group would want a FW contract.  Corporations and alliances can join FW.  You can join and leave as you please and as long as you have the standings to join.  On top of their payment from the client, they would also earn LP.  The passive LP would make FW contracts instantly more profitable than a contact of the same nature for a high sec client.  Add in the prospect of your pilots running missions adds to the client's benefit as well.  I don't see why they would say no, other than the standings hits they would take.

That's my great idea.  At worst, FW has been using mercenaries for a while now and I'm slow on the pick up.  At best, this is a pretty cool idea.  I'm not a grand theory crafter or jr. game designer type, but I do know when an idea isn't total crap.  I'm curious to see if this could become an actual game changer.  Only time will tell.


  1. You know... I think you're on to something here, Dani.

  2. Winning or losing at FW with the Inferno changes isn't a lot different from say, nullsec sov or real life war: It's a question of will rather than one of available means. Unfortunately, the general butthurt on the eve-o forums shows me a lack of will rather than a lack of method for the Amarr militia save some diehards that are finally figuring it out.

    The problem with using mercenaries to complete a FW goal (say, get us to at least Tier 3 prices so we can liquidate all this LP and fund our stuff) is that mercs are not loyal. Assuming the objective wasn't obtainable without mercs, once those mercs leave the deck of cards comes crashing down again because it can't maintain the ground that was taken.