Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why the Sudden Shifts In Faction Warfare

It was less than a month ago that the Gallente Militia had conquered all the Gallente-Caldari warzone and forced the Caldari militia into high sec bases. Now, the Caldari are dominating the plexing war and rear stronghold of Heydieles has fallen. What was once Glorious Green has turned into majority Bombastic Blue.

Why? Have the Caldari suddenly found new vigor? Have the Gallente suffered a leadership crisis?

I'm going to speculate on why I think this is happening because what else are blogs for? I think it comes down to a small number of minor factors for the recent pendulum swings.

1) Evoke. The famous null sec alliance has joined the Caldari militia in January and the discipline and coordination of null sec fleets suddenly made itself felt against the more casual Gallente fleets. This bolstered the Caldari euro timezone considerably and gave the Gallente militia less flexibility to operate freely.

2) Meta Changes. With pilots just coming to grasp on what the revamped cruisers, destroyers, and frigates can do, there is a lot of uncertainty in the warzone about what works and what doesn't. This experimentation can lead to more volatility in military operations.

3) Psychology. Quite simply, its easier to log in and join the fight when your side is winning. Defending the gains is less exciting and with fewer people logging in and organizing fleets, the enemy can gain ground and momentum for their own side's enthusiasm.

4) Plexing is harder... thus easier. Come again? The plexing changes of Inferno 1.1 or whatever it was changed the plexes so that warp ins were right on the button (and fewer NPCs in the plexes) so that plex farming was a more dangerous occupation. This means that each side lost a lot of plex farmers only in the miltia for ISK. Thus pilots who are plexing for occupation control don't have to compete with the other side's plex farmers, thus making their plexing efforts count more in comparison. In a nutshell, plexing for conquering purposes is more effective and gains made in out of the way systems are not rolled back by the enemy farmers and thus don't have to be re-plexed. Thus plexing is easier and more effective, which when coupled with (3) leads to more momentum.

5) Burnout. A lot of Gallente FCs put in a lot of hours leading fleets to conquer the warzone and maintain momentum. Once accomplished, they took a deserved break allowing the angered Caldari militia to strike and gain ground.

6) Lack of ownership. This is a big one. Its hard to motivate people to defend systems once they move any of their assets out of the way. Yes, militia pilots can invest in the systems and get minor improvements to number of slots and such in the stations, but their is no rallying "protect the " cry or "remember Heydieles!" motto to rally the troops. Nothing gets burned to the ground, it just changes flags and inconveniences pilots who have to use out of militia alts or drop militia membership temporarily to get things out of locked stations. 

* * * * *

Do I think the pendulum will swing in favour of Gallente again? Do I think Caldari will continue on to conquer all the warzone in reprisal for the enemy's earlier success? Its hard to say at this point as there are a few big Gallente militia corps that would not like to see Nennamailia or Vlillier fall, but then I doubted Heydieles would ever fall and its gone now.

Time will tell. Until then, I'll see you Caldari scum in space. ;)


  1. 5 - Burn out. It took what? 6 weeks of manic plexing to capture the warzone. I know I've not plex'd anywhere near as much lately. Evoke obviously are one reason but I think burnout is the main cause.

  2. #4 is a very interesting observation to me. KK, this is sort of what I was talking about when we were ... er, discussing the Gallente conquering the full warzone. Remember what I said about the plex farmers. That's a HUGE difference-maker. It's much closer to what original-school warzone plexing was like.

    And you're absolutely right, it does tie directly to #3 ... the more motivated force WILL generally have the advantage - unlike the time it was easily offset (and even overwhelmed) by the large, dedicated farming community.

    Now I absolutely grant that a) Evoke's presence and b) burnout are undoubtedly a huge tilt in Caldari Militia's favor at this time; but in the long run, I believe such changes to be good for FW and you'll find that once the Gallente recover some from their burnout that it's much more competitive between the militias. I think you'll be in for a much more enjoyable time.

    As far as the CalMil pulling a reprise of '09 ... with a re-motivated force stiffened by the backbone Evoke is providing right now, I'd say it all hinges on Nenna, more so than Vlillrier. Nenna was _our_ touchstone, and I'd doubt that's changed. It's right on the doorstep of Cal high sec, and is a total thorn. Guarantee they'll want to pull it. And if Evoke's dominating EUTZ, it might be interesting to see if that tilts the playing field.

    I'll have to keep an eye on the fun.