yesterday's post on faction warfare, a bit of added explanation on why I feel the current system of loyalty point payout does not further or help the goal of a) keeping people in faction warfare, or b) increasing the amount of PvP in faction warfare.
First a truism of all online games, and especially EVE Online: the majority of players will flock to the easy money.
ISK is a necessity. It buys you all the in-game items you need to play EVE Online. Since items are continually being destroyed, players need a regular influx of in-game currency to replace what they have lost, so that they can continue playing the game.
ISK earning is rarely the sort of game play that is exciting and captivating. Especially in EVE Online, it's usually dull and monotonous. Thus players will flock to income earning that affords them the most ISK in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle. This allows them to return to areas of the game that do capture their interest.
(EDIT: I got the math wrong. In calculating ISK/LP potential, I was basing it off the old T5 values and working backwards, not taking into account the changing ISK cost for many of the items. Thus the 1250 ISK/LP I was assuming is actually much worse. The current loyalty point store now pays out around 625 ISK/LP on most items. I'm also being generous and assuming that the markets bounce back to pre-Inferno prices. Currently, with most markets crashed, the ISK/LP earning potential is closer to 250 ISK/LP.)
Take faction warfare. For the losing side, sitting at T1 warzone control, the best case scenario for ISK earning while offensive plexing is ~20M ISK per hour. That's 2.5 major plexes per hour, which takes into account travel time between buttons, and shooting rats (which is now, a requirement). Again, that's a best case scenario. It doesn't take into account being interrupted by the enemy, fighting, running, getting your ship destroyed, reshipping, etc. So income potential for the losing side will be below that 20M ISK per hour best case potential. 15M ISK per hour is probably more realistic.
(I'm not complaining that there'll be more PvP in plexing. That's fantastic. Cuts down on farming. I'm just pointing out that it does decrease income potential.)
The thing is, there is better income earning potential outside of faction warfare. Why bother running plexes for 15M ISK per hour, when you can do L4 missions in highsec for 40-60M ISK per hour?
The goal of the faction warfare changes, this massaging of the numbers, is to increase the amount and quality of the PvP in faction warfare. But what is likely to happen, due to the penalizing of the losers, is that the PvP decreases.
Faction warfare players tend to lose 500M - 1.5B ISK in ships per month, on average. Faction warfare players, unlike players in other areas of the game, are expected to be more self-sufficient. Their corps and alliances don't have the luxury of large passive sources of income to support extensive ship replacement programs and the like. Thus, folks in faction warfare need a steady source of income to replace their losses, and they do this on their own time.
If you're on the winning side, at T5 control, offensive plexing will get you about 85M ISK per hour (best case scenario, 75M ISK per hour is probably realistic.) Faction warfare mechanics allow them to earn a very good income from within the system itself. The losing side, though ... not so much.
What I expect will happen, if the losing side ends up at T1 warzone control most of the time, is that players go elsewhere to earn their income, outside of the faction warfare system. This will have the end result of actually decreasing PvP. If you're missioning in highsec for your income, you're no longer partaking in faction warfare.
Which is why I have come to feel that penalizing the losing sides of faction warfare is not conducive to the stated goals of this new system. If you want players to remain within the system, if you want them available for PvP at all times, the system must guarantee an income commensurate (or better) than incomes available outside of faction warfare.
Of course, time will tell. We'll have to see how the new mechanics play out. It might be the case that the losing side maintains T2 control with minimal effort. Or that might not be the case at all. If T1 warzone control is the norm for the losing side, then I suspect my prediction is not far off the mark.