First, a disclaimer.
I'm in the Gallente Militia for about two years now, first on my own in Kadavr Crimson Guard and then part of Aideron Robotics. I did faction warfare in the Minmatar militia way back in the original Empyrean Age days and then only really did plexing for standings. So my perspective is heavily biased towards what I see in that warzone.
Now, onto the post.
Overall, faction warfare is in a relatively good place right now. There is a lot destruction occurring in FW low sec space, keeping pace with null sec in a much more confined environment. There is a lot of variety in fleet compositions and sizes, and pilot skill and experience. It can be a great place for a newer player to get introduced to PvP combat, and it is a great place for a veteran to stretch their wings and play in a more personal style than can be found in the big null sec wars.
That all being said, its not perfect. There are some pain points, some places for improvement to put some new shine on this trusty beast. So here is my current wishlist for Faction Warfare.
1) Faction Warfare should not be for Easy Button Farming of LPs
I understand there is a desire for there to be some way to make ISK in Faction Warfare. I agree that capturing plexes for LPs as well as contributing to system control makes sense, and I like the changes that reduced the number of NPC faction rats in the plexes to encourage people to use PvP ship fits instead of PvE ship fits.
But the result is that a pilot can run a plex now with a double or triple warp core stabbed ship with a few weapons strapped on. Attacking them in the plex means they just warp off even if you manage to get a point (unless you start packing double warp scrams).
This is bad enough that those farmers were basically getting LPs almost risk free with low effort, but its made worse by the fact that it allows them to attack system control in the same manner. Sure, you can chase them off but it obviates the core raison d'etre of faction warfare.
There have been many suggestions for fixing this issue, such as Rixx Javix's crusade to get Warp Core Stabs removed or to have them affect the ship they are fitted on even more severely to make fighting even a single NPC near impossible, but I'd prefer to approach the problem from the other direction. Just like the Electronic Surveillance System deployable warp scrams anything within its range with an infinity point, I think faction warfare complexes should do the same. That way, if you are in a plex that has the timer counting down, you are not able to run so easily (or cloak). I would have it so that there is a buffer between the maximum range you can be at and still have the plex timer count down, and a further out point where the maximum range of the infinity point reaches.
2) More Farms and Fields
Controlling a system has some benefits. The stations lock out the other militia and you can upgrade the number of station slots, clone costs, etc. But that is the extent of the benefits. The enemy militia can still own the POCOs and have POSes, and beyond proximity to other pilots or enemy targets, there is no big benefit to living out one controlled station over another in a different system (beyond the usual services available or station topography for capitals).
It would be nice if there was more ways to invest in a system that was directly tied to having control over it. Perhaps temporary deployables that can only be anchored in controlled systems that give higher LP rewards for defensive plexing, but like the ESS you have to go to the deployable to get them and they can be stolen. Or maybe ship repair deployables that can only be anchored in systems your militia controls. Things to give a system a flavour from you living there AND additional opportunities for the enemy militia to attack to disrupt your habitation.
3) Decouple the Factions
Its time to decouple Caldari from Amarr and Minmatar from Gallente. The fact that as a Gallente pilot I can awox a Minmatar pilot with no Gallente faction standing loss is a shame, but it also makes very little sense that pilots in the allied militia can run plexes for the other faction. It leads to a lot of weird gameplay and doesn't promote any interesting gameplay.
However, let's go a step further: make all the factions hostile to each other and devise a system where any faction can try and take any system in all the warzones. This could lead to some very interesting gameplay where more than two sides are trying to take a strategic system. Related to that...
4) Expand Faction Warfare Systems
Make it so that the warzones of Gallente and Caldari share a border with Minmatar and Amarr. If all the factions are hostile to each other, you want them fighting near each other more often.
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That's all I got for now. Any ideas out there?