Last night we were cruising around in a small fleet of Algos Destroyer when we spotted a Caldari Militia kitchen sink fleet of mixed frigs, destroyers, and assault ships. We chased them for a bit and they setup in a plex and I decided to charge in.
I proceeded to make two fatal flaws: I missed the Burst logistics frigate on the scan and overview, and then I proceeded to call primary as the well tanked Harpy assault frigate. Things did not go well.
Later on with a better composition and still smarting from the previous loss, we ran into the same Cal Mil fleet again and we re-engaged, this time setting up in the plex and having them come to us. The results were better; they won the ISK war but we held the field, and everyone left happy.
One of the pilots (possibly FC) on the Cal Mil side, Myra Stark, had this email comment to my post last week about the state of the warzone:
You missed one piece of this problem. The current Warzone Tier system punishes the losing militia. Using the Cal-Gal WZ as our model, the Caldari hold 22 systems and with 22 systems can garner 132 VPs enough for T2. The Caldari need 41 systems to attain T3. The Gallente have the ability to seize T3 whenever it suites.
In recent history, this has occurred 3 times. Each time the number of Caldari held systems takes an immediate nose dive. Why? Quite simply FW system control is in the hands of players who have no interest in FW PVP or WZ control. They see FW as a means to earn LP/ISK for other pursuits in Eve. As such, they join the militia that pays the best for their plexing efforts. This forces the weaker militia to spend its time pursuing farming alts with ZERO interest in PVP and is like chasing ghosts even with the new Maulus NI. Then after you've chased them from system you must spend hours in plexes undoing the damage they've done. Gatecamps and aggressive patrolling helps remove them from system but doesn't undo the damage they've wrought. That requires FW pilots to spend hours dplexing with alts or mains of their own.
Remember this damage is being done by farming toons. Attacking defended systems has zero impact on the farmer. You'll get PVP from the defenders. The opposing militia may even concentrate to defend the system all the while the farmer sits in his plex undisturbed because FW PVP pilots are PVPing elsewhere.
Finally system vuln is a 24/7 business. This creates large windows of opportunity for farmers when your organization has few people online and they can farm unchallenged.
The WZ Tier system is broken. It empowers players with no interest in FW and prevents the weaker militia from rebuilding. Who wants to spend their precious game time dplexing systems for hours with little chance for PVP to offset the work of profit motivated farmers. In addition, efforts to claim the 41 systems required in Cal-Gal space for T3 requires PVPers to spend hours o-plexing while their home systems become increasingly vulnerable and usually at a faster rate because the opposing militia will rally to defend since they are starved for PVP as you mentioned.
As long as the WZ Tier system exists the weaker militia is at a significant disadvantage as it tries to rebuild its numbers, hold its space and challenge the stronger militia for control in the WZ. Instead of the tier system, lock in plex value at T2. Provides fair profits for plexing and stops the movement of farmers from militia to militia in pursuit of the higher tier. It won't end farming but over time offers the opportunity to even out the influence of farmers on war zone control.