Hello, hello! I thought I’d do a little Q&A post on the basics of Factional Warfare. Sounds pretty boring, I know, but, since the blog was listed as a featured fan-site, I’ve picked up a few readers who have absolutely no idea what FW really is.
It’s cute, really. I had one new reader convo me in game, asking about FW, and he thought that it was “just a bunch of people fighting in High Sec”.
High Sec!!! Most militia pilots cannot even go to high-sec due to being dirty evil pirates. (more on this later)
So, without further ado, questions I’ve been recently asked about FW:
Q: What is FW anyhow?
A: Basically, it is an ongoing war between the four game factions: Amarr, Caldari, Minmatar, and Gallente. It is a perpetual war that never ends.
The setup is supposed to be that Amarr and Caldari are allies, and Minmatar and Gallente are allies. There are two war-zones, the Amarr vs Minmatar, and the Caldari vs Gallente one.
The wiki page states: “A player belonging to an enlisted FW player corporation in the Gallente Federation can shoot any other player enlisted with Amarr or Caldari. However that player cannot shoot at a player enlisted in the Minmatar Republic.”
That is horribly misleading. Just because the game makes your militia allies to another militia does not mean that they are real blues. Yes, the game will automatically assign them as friendly, but that doesn’t make them friendly. The biggest problem with having fake allies is that you lose none of your own militia standings for shooting one another. So Amarr can shoot their allies, the Caldari, without losing Amarr standings. Etc, and so on.
If you are an Amarrian pilot and shoot another Amarrian pilot, you will lose a lot of standings, and eventually cause your corporation to get kicked from militia. If you are an Amarrian pilot and you shoot a Caldari pilot, everything is hunky-dory.
Q. Where does FW happen?
A: Pretty much everywhere. Once you join a militia, you gain a whole slew of enemies who can freely shoot you anywhere. At anytime. You’re never safe. NEVER. EVER.
Ok, going for the dramatic effect there, but it is true. You can’t just waddle around high-sec on autopilot in your big fancy blingy ships anymore because there are people who are deliberately looking for you. You can’t just go to the big trade hubs and not expect to get shot at, because eventually a war-target will be there, waiting for you.
So you’re safe no where, got it?! Good.
Mainly, the war takes place out in low sec. Amarr/Minmatar War Zone Map, Caldari/Gallente War Zone Map. This is where most of the fighting happens because this is where the FW missions are, and the FW plexes.
Side-note. On the wiki, they want to call the plexes “bunkers”, but no one who actually does FW will call them dungeons. Dungeons? This ain’t WoW, people.
Plexing is a big part of FW, because that is how you take control of systems. If you control the system, you can dock there. If you don’t, you’re screwed. Move along people. Other benefits of owning the system includes cheaper clone prices and some industrial stuff, like more slots? Or something carebearish. I don’t know. Probably no one else does either.
However, owning a system contributes to the overall total, which is divided into tiers. The higher your tier is for your militia, the more ISK you will make off of the plexes, missions, and killing your enemies.
Side-note. I really loathe the tier system, if you search my blog you’ll find a couple of rants on why I think it sucks. Pretty much it is a perpetual cash flow for whoever is ‘winning’.
Q: So winning is decided by what Tier a faction is in?
A: Eh, not so much, no. The thing is, not many people really care about who is winning. We are all winners. By this point, the majority of FW players have alts in various militias so they can soak up the rewards. You can make a lot of ISK in FW if you have the time and desire to do so.
Since most people cash in on alts, there isn’t a huge reason to claim systems otherwise. I think most corps and individual players choose their own goals and work towards that, for their own personal reasons. For instance, my corp doesn’t really care about system occupancy for the most part. We live on a fringe system in FW, so the whole docking thing isn’t an issue for us. I know a couple of other corps who do the same thing elsewhere in the war zone. They have picked a couple of systems they care about and will plex the heck out of the to keep them, but it is really for no real purpose other than ‘we want them’.
I mean, after you’ve seen a system flip fifteen or twenty times already, it loses its importance. Do I really want to stay logged on for another four hours to run those plexes…or do I want to watch Vampire Diaries instead?!
Also, another fun effect of having your militia being on the losing side usually means you’ll get a little more pvp because the ‘winning’ side is out there trying to soak up as much LP as they can. Its a strange and confusing pendelum we chase.
Q. Does FW fuck up your standings & sec status?
A. Ab-so-fucking-lutely. Sec status is a big kicker, because the war zone (which is in low sec) is often fraught with more neutrals than war targets at time. Those neuts will invade your plex, so of course you’re going to shoot them. How can you not defend your plex? It is how you make your money. So you shoot, kill, and lose security status. Rinse and repeat, and eventually you lose so much that you cannot even go into the militia’s capitol star system that you are defending!!! I fight for Amarr, but I cannot go to Amarr. lol
FW is really a mish-mash of pilots. Some are naughty little pirates that will shoot everything that moves that’s not blue, they don’t care if they go neg ten. In fact, they probably prefer being neg ten. However, there are some people who do care, and it really messes with their sec.
The good thing is that, you can purchase sec status by turning in tags to Concord, etc. That really is a brilliant thing for those who care. I once cared and tried to fix my status with them, but a week later I was already flashy again, so I’ve thrown in the towel. But I love the fact that there is an ‘easy fix’ for it, if I want to fix my status again.
Standings is a big deal for some people. I’ve heard countless times they would join militia but don’t want to destroy their standings. Or, a corp wants to join a certain militia but one or two dudes will have horrible standings with it, so they are unable.
Pretty much if you join one faction and do all the things you’re supposed to, your standings with the enemy faction are going to fall. Drastically so. Which means, even after you leave militia, you still can’t go to your old enemy space without getting shot.
If you want to fix those standings, I think you have to do a lot of missions. Personally, I loathe missions. I really think there should be some kind of option to buy standing. If you can buy sec status, why not buy faction standings? Make it cost as much as it does to fix security status. I think this one thing would encourage more people to join FW.
Q- So why join FW if it is so flawed?
A– Because it is still pretty awesome, despite all the things I’d change about it if I could.
*FW doesn’t require the commitment that Null sec does, I think.
*Also, a lower skilled pilot can do quite well in FW.
*It’s a good place to learn small gang pvp.
*You can fly solo or with others.
*You can make a lot of isk in an unfit ship (I do think it’s fucked up a hull of a ship can plex, but since it is in the mechanics, why not take advantage of it?).
*You can run FW missions if that is your thing for absurd amounts of LP.
*You get militia ranks, which are meaningless for the most part but sound cool. I’m a Divine Commodore, baby.
*It’s a good way to support your role play, if that is your thing. Ie, if your toon is an Amarr loyalist, what better way than to prove it by fighting for Amarr?
*The people are chill, for the most part. There is smack talk, of course, but it isn’t to the degree of what I think is elsewhere in the game. Your space enemies are still kinda your bros, too. It isn’t uncommon for enemy militia to call a quick truce to kill pirate fleets that roam into their war zones.
*The Dust connection. Currently in FW you can fit up special ammo that will allow you to bomb planets when Dust Bunnies in call in orbital support. You can’t imagine the giddy thrill you’ll get when you blow up people IN ANOTHER GAME. All those tears, baby.