In my post on Sunday congratulating the Gallente Militia for winning all systems in the Caldari/Gallente warzone I got this comment:
tMmM!9:24 AMLast night when I was in game I asked in militia chat and various channels what exactly he was talking about. I don't remember seeing a lot of Minmatar fleets helping the Gallente but I was not around much, and as far as I know there was no obvious broken mechanic. No one had anything for me until my poking finally got one Caldari FW player to communicate with me on condition of anonymity.
Well well. So it's finally happened. Congratulations at evening the score.
Although ... when we did it those years ago, we didn't have the help of scores of Amarr plex farmers and fleets, or a very friendly recent game mechanic change to let us easily hold our takings. So it begs the question ... if not for those things, would it _really_ have happened? Hm.
I guess we'll always wonder.
Here's the bulk of what he had to say:
But a lot of times, I guess what it comes down to is the "ninja patch" in October - the one that hit on less than one day's notice, intended to end the seesaw nature of FW and cut off the LP faucet. I've read what people have said on the forums, (filtering out insane conspiracy theories, propaganda, and blatant violations of Wheaton's Law), but the ninja patch - and its second part, which reduced the levels of vulnerability of every vulnerable system - led to the following scenario:He then added:
The side holding many vulnerable systems (in this case, the Gallente) had to decontest every system they held in order to take them out of vulnerable. This required a large number of small ships set up for defensive plexing, which could all operate independently, and evade at will (in effect, the gunless frigates of the farming days, except that they didn't even need to worry about speed-tanking the rats).
The other side (the Caldari) had to bust as many bunkers as possible before they could be deplexed. This required a large number of high-DPS ships to bunch up and concentrate on one I-hub after another - something which can't be hidden, especially given the map system, and which presented an attractive target, to pirates as well as Gallente. This large, vulnerable fleet had to be formed up on zero notice, basically in a full-blown call to arms, which lasted until its FC burned himself out after a couple of days.
And one other factor: CalMil didn't have capitals to call on for any of this. The Gallente had been seen using dreadnoughts for I-hub bashing, and they've probably still got their Titans parked in Black Rise; also, the major Black Rise pirate groups have capitals, shiny subcaps, and Titan support. CalMil didn't have a dedicated capital fleet, and to the best of my knowledge, its total Titan count was: zero.
My guess is that if the ninja patch had hit while the Caldari had heavy warzone control, the Gallente would have dropped dreadnoughts on many I-hubs in succession, in addition to using high-DPS subcaps. CalMil didn't have that option.
It also didn't help that the Gallente militia groups were apparently much more monolithic, while the CalMil groups all too often ended up at one another's throats (too many blue-on-blue kills leading to intra-faction war-decs, nominal friendlies picking off members of I-hub bashing fleets, et cetera), and couldn't seem to get all their guns pointed in the same direction at times. When the biggest alliances left, one or two of the smaller groups found themselves responsible for trying to hold the entire warzone, and by mid-December, we just flat-out didn't have the men or the metal to pull it off in the face of a resurgent Gallente assault. Several corps in my old alliance were basically on constant CTA, operating with minimal support to try to hold off the advance and failing.So according to the one source I could find in short notice, the issue was a matter of timing, militia memberships, and organization. While one could fault CCP for implementing the patch without resetting the warzone, previous radical changes to FW mechanics were also not accompanied by a reset warzone.
Still, that's not a "broken mechanic" so much as an "unfortunate timing" issue.
When I asked on twitter I got the following response:
What @eeski says is that its the fault of the Dust514 guys. What I think he means is that since Dust was not off the ground yet on Tranquility until recently, Caldari Dusties could not contests systems (using mechanics in place already but not used) when Gallente were attacking, thus making the takeover easy. This ignores the fact that Gallente militia had the same lack of Dust mercs although I grant it may have been a contributing factor to the perfect storm.
Interesting, but I was hoping for something more broken I could hang around CCP's neck. If anyone has any more information, please forward to me. I'd love to hear more.
P.S. I heard a rumour CCP will not be granting a medal for this achievement. If true, poor form, CCP, poor form. Way to not reward your players for generating content for your game.