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Well, if any Faction Warfare Councils had plans to hit Tier 5 in the near future, consider them over and done.  The changes to Faction Warfare have been upped to be released.. tomorrow.  The stated reason for this was that LP rewards and PLEX prices were starting to be a problem, and it appears that newly rich LP farmers were crashing markets and were conversely pushing the PLEX prices up and up.  With PLEX prices constantly on the rise, those that sell PLEX are holding onto them so that they can get a better deal.  This, in turn, lowers the number of PLEXs in the marketplace, which then in turn, raises the prices even more.

So, here is the short version of the devblog:

  1. Vulnerable Systems will still have plexes, but once a system is fully vulnerable it will no longer give LP rewards to those plexes.
  2. System control and Tiers will now affect LP Gain, instead of Store prices  here is the old/new list:

    • Old system was:
    • Tier1: LP store offers 4 times more expensive, LP gains unchanged
    • Tier2: LP store offers 2 times more expensive, LP gains increased by 5%
    • Tier3: LP store offers unchanged next to pre-Inferno levels, LP gains increased by 10%
    • Tier4: LP store offers 2 times less expensive, LP gains increased by 15%
    • Tier5: LP store offers 4 times less expensive, LP gains increased by 20%
    • New system is:
    • Tier1: LP gains reduced by 50%
    • Tier2: LP gains staying the same
    • Tier3: LP gains increased by 75%
    • Tier4: LP gains increased by 150%
    • Tier5: LP gains increased by 225%
  3. All NPCs will have to be destroyed in Offensive plexes before you get LP.
  4. There will be LP for plexing defensive systems, and here is the LP calculation:  LP Gain = Base value of plex * (Contested percentage of the system/100) * 0.75
  5. Warzone LP Donation Tax: The higher the warzone control, the higher the tax is on the LP donation.  To get to Tier 5, donations will be taxed upwards of 70%.
  6. Warzone Tier Upgrades will be changed as well with systems requiring 2 to 4 times as much LP to upgrade, as shown:

    • Old upgrade costs were:
    • Level1: 10,000 LPs
    • Level2: 25,000 LPs
    • Level3: 45,000 LPs
    • Level4: 70,000 LPs
    • Level5: 100,000 LPs
    • Buffer: 150,000 LPs
    • New upgrade costs are:
    • Level1: 40,000 LPs
    • Level2: 60,000 LPs
    • Level3: 90,000 LPs
    • Level4: 140,000 LPs
    • Level5: 200,000 LPs
    • Buffer: 300,000 LPs
  7. Speed Tanking is done. All NPCs in offensive plexes will have to be destroyed before you can get LP at the Plex.
  8. In the backlog/Might be in: Plex Timers will now count back if no one is there to complete them.
  9. In the backlog/ Might be in: Plex timers will also be visible to EVERYONE in system..

So, the entire FW world is about to be turned upside-down and made into a very dynamic playstyle.  One thing I didn’t see was anything relating to how Plexes were going to operate.  I remember that Hans was trying to push for a Plex that would only allow Tech 1 frigates entrance, but I don’t see in the notes that this ever got buy-off.  Another item that we do know will be in Faction Warfare is the Temporary Cyno Generator and that doesn’t appear that it will be added right now.

The big question of course will be if this will kill solo and small gang warfare.  To be honest, I’m not sure.  I think the LP farmers will likely stick to defensive plexing, which will pretty much for the rest of us to offensively plex and run missions.  I do suspect that there will be a rise in blue on blue violence because of LP farmers may instead just warp to a plex that is already being dealt with and just sit there until they get LP.  Though a few poddings might fix that problem too.

I will say that I prefer the new LP reward system over the current one.  It felt rather.. fake.. when everyone pushed for Tier 5, and it seemed like if people were willing, that it could be monopolized by both sides.  This new system allows for the benefits to be longer in range and scope, while giving all players a chance to do well financially.  The new upgrade system might even finally be a good point for more industrial minded players, though we’ll have to see if it will be enough of one to really get involved in.

Probably the only change that I really don’t like is that the plex timer will now be visible to everyone.  I don’t see how that is really a benefit to gameplay.  It gives an undo advantage to offense players (whether they are defending or invading a system) because it pretty much tells you that someone is in there.  That information should be worked for, not just given.

Official Blog Post.  Warzone and FW System Changes.  FW NPC changes.