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Faction Warfare: A Guide

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What is Faction Warfare?

Faction Warfare (abbreviated as FW) is a game mechanic whereby you sign up to fight for one of the four empire factions (against its enemy faction) for control over certain areas of low-sec space.

Faction Warfare revolves around two conflicts, one between the Amarr and the Minmatar, and the other between the Caldari and the Gallente, with the Amarr being allied with the Caldari and the Minmatar being allied with the Gallente. The conflict is centred on two war zones (areas of low-sec, contested by two empires): the Amarr-Minmatar war zone and the Caldari-Gallente war zone, each located on the border of the two respective empires.

In these war zones, players who participate in Faction Warfare attempt to conquer star systems for their empire, and are rewarded with loyalty points for their efforts.

The War Zone space is vast and PvP is plentiful in these areas. Faction Warfare provides many opportunities for fun, most notably as a reliable stepping stone into PvP and ship piloting. There is also a militia community to participate in, fleet up with and meet new people.

Joining Faction Warfare

Any player can join Factional Warfare provided that their standings towards the empire faction they wish to fight for is 0.0 or greater.

Before joining Faction Warfare, you should at least be able to fly a frigate with the “holy trinity” of midslot PvP modules (a MWD/AB, a scram or warp disruptor, and a web). This will allow you to start looking for and getting into fights. A good knowledge of the overview and some practice with the directional scanner (D-Scan) is also helpful. FW provides plenty of PvP opportunities for solo players, small gangs and fleets.

Set up your Overview correctly, ideally use our recommendation

For new (lower skilled) EVE players and those not accustomed to PvP.

In the beginning, be prepared to die…a lot. I mean it. A LOT. The dedicated PvP Pilots in the FW zones are generally highly skilled into the ships they fly. The only way to match this is by skilling yourself up into the ships you want to fly. After that it boils down to piloting experience and a little luck. You learn all this as you go and the only way to learn is to get into the action

Stock up on a few ships (including fittings & ammo), and have enough ISK to cover your losses while you get your bearings.

It's a lot less frustrating to just jump into a new ship and keep flying if you lose a fight (rather than have to go back to a trade hub and first buy and then fit a new one). Start by bringing smaller ships (frigates and destroyers), and decide later if you want to start flying larger ships.

A State of Permanent war

Being enlisted in a Faction Warfare militia (be it as a solo player or as a corporation) means that you are constantly at war with:

  • the players enlisted in your opposing enemy militias, and
  • the two enemy NPC factions.
    Who to Shoot

The first of these is similar to being a member of a player-run corporation which is at war with another player-run corporation.

You can attack pilots who are enlisted in the enemy militia anywhere in New Eden (CONCORD or sentry guns will not interfere) without impacting your security status.



…..



The second of these affects your movement through high-sec systems controlled by your two enemy factions. Upon entering high-sec space controlled by the enemy faction, you will get a text warning on your screen; “if you don't leave the system promptly, you will be attacked by NPC faction navy ships”.

High Sec Warning





It’s not a huge deal really and you can still dock in high-sec systems….you just can’t hang around in space for long. The NPC faction navy ships take approx. 10secs to initiate warp to you and unlike CONCORD, they will not scram or warp disrupt you, so you can run away from them. Therefore, also unlike CONCORD, it's certainly feasible to survive encounters with them. Picture

I’ve signed up. What do?

Explore

When starting out, it's very helpful to familiarize yourself with the layout of your immediate area. A good way to learn about what's going on is to explore various systems in your warzone and gather your bearings. Look at your Faction Warfare Interface to find out what is happening in the warzone.

The Faction Warfare interface





The Faction Warfare Interface is located under your Eve Menu, in the 'Business' section.

Both the in-game star map and out-of-game maps (such as Dotlan) are very helpful in giving you up-to-date information on the warzone.


The Militia Channel

A Militia Channel will become available to you as soon as you join. There are frequently those around who will answer basic questions. The Militia Channel will also broadcast fleets. The Militia Channel also has spais.

Look for available fleets.

Many Fleet Commanders in the militia will make a fleet available to anyone in the militia. Simply join the fleet, and ask the FC what he/she would like you to do, and what ship to bring.

Plexing.

Plexing is the means by which Faction War pilots capture or defend systems within a warzone and is the main source of Loyalty Point rewards. More on plexing in the next section.

FW Missions.

Pilots enlisted in Factional Warfare may run missions offered by agents belonging to the NPC Corporation that represents your empire in FW. All FW missions are “encounter” missions, which always involve flying somewhere and killing something (usually ships or a structure). These missions always take place in the low-sec Factional Warfare war zones, in the “enemy half” of the respective war zone

The war zones are not just populated with players enlisted in one of the FW militias, but also plenty of “neutral” players. Many of these are pirates who prey on members of both militias; therefore, as in other areas of low-sec, it's generally a good idea to treat neutral ships as potentially hostile.

Once you join a militia you will not be able to dock in enemy, low-sec stations within the war zone. Only stations outside the war zone and stations in systems held by your militia can be docked at.

Plexing

A Plex (short for complex and not to be confused with the in-game item) are areas of deadspace that you can capture (offensive plexing) or defend (defensive plexing).

Defensive plexes provide very low skilled players with the opportunity to participate and earn Loyalty Points. This allows you to make isk while skilling into your preferred ships.

It’s important to note however that defensive plexing yields a lower LP payout.

You can find available plexes in system via your probe scanner. Plexes remain 'hidden' and only visible in the probe scanner until a pilot initiates warp to it. Plexes that have been activated will become public knowledge to players in that system, and will show up on the overview depicted as a beacon. Other pilots can therefore warp to it without using their probe scanner to find the plex. The beacon remains publically visible until the plex is completed.

Finding Faction Warfare Plexes




There are 4 different sizes of Plex. Each size has certain restrictions, limiting ship sizes that can enter the plex: Novice (T1 and Faction frigates), Small (Frigates, Destroyers), Medium (Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers), Large (Unrestricted).

The most obvious advantage is that you can use a complex' size to pick what kind of ships you want to fight: if you're inside a novice-sized complex, you will only be fighting Tech 1 and faction frigates (and will not have to go up against, say, destroyers or cruisers).

All plexes, with the exception of large, are accessed by an acceleration gate. You take that gate to get the Plex's beacon (sometimes referred to as the “button”).

EVERY ship coming into the plex will land on the button.

This is useful to know because you can then use your distance from the button to dictate the engagement range of your ship fit.

When warping to a plex choose “warp to 10km”.

Warping to 0 can get you tangled on the acceleration gate which will be bad if you encounter enemies on the gate.

Plex Timer

Upon entering the plex a timer begins to count down. You then wait for the timer to count down to zero after which time you have successfully captured or defended that plex. Your faction militia will have gained more control over the system, and you will receive a payout of LP.

Plex sizes and capture timers
Type Capture time Allowed ships NPC defender
Novice 10 min T1 and Faction/Pirate frigates, Industrials, (no rookie ships) Frigate
Small 15 min Frigates & Destroyers Destroyer
Medium 20 min Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers Cruiser
Large 20 min Unrestricted Battlecruiser


In order to capture a complex, you must first clear the area around the capture point of enemy ships. If you're offensive plexing, this includes killing the defending NPC; if you're defensive plexing, the NPC will not fire on you, and you therefore you shouldn't destroy it. You must stay inside the capture radius (within 30 km of the capture point) until the complex' timer has counted down to 0 (you can see how much time is left by selecting the capture point), at which point you will have captured the complex!

Kill the NPC (Offensive Plexing only)
Captured Plex
Stay inside the Capture Radius

If you leave the complex, the timer will pause (but will not reset). If an enemy ship enters the complex, the timer will also pause until ships from only one faction are present in the complex, and then it will resume counting down.

The LP rewards for capturing a complex in an enemy-held system (“offensive plexing”) depend on the size of the complex (Novice, Small, Medium, Large) and on your faction's tier. Offensive plexing rewards greater LP but you have NPC's you need to kill. NPC’s in plexes are very easy to kill. Defensive plexing rewards less LP but the NPC in these plexes are friendly towards you and you do not need to spend time killing them.

The amount of LP you receive upon capturing/defending a plex depends on your Faction Tier.

Offensive Plexing LP Payouts
Complex size Tier 1 (-50% LP) Tier 2 (Base LP) Tier 3 (+75% LP) Tier 4 (+150% LP) Tier 5 (+225% LP)
Novice 5000 LP 10,000 LP 17,500 LP 25,000 LP 32,500 LP
Small 8750 LP 17,500 LP 30,625 LP 43,750 LP 56,875 LP
Medium 12,500 LP 25,000 LP 43,750 LP 62,500 LP 81,250 LP
Large 15,000 LP 30,000 LP 52,500 LP 75,000 LP 97,500 LP

If there are multiple pilots within the complex at the moment it's completed, the LP reward is split evenly between them (irrespective of how long they have been there).

Faction Tier

The main effect of faction tier is that it affects how many loyalty points you receive for various activities you do in Factional Warfare.

The Faction Warfare interface

The more systems in a war zone a faction controls and the more those systems are upgraded, the higher the Faction Tier and the greater the rewards the pilots who fight for that faction receive;

In other words; the higher your faction's tier, the higher your LP rewards.

If you open the militia window in a station then you can see the tier of that faction's war zone as well as the number of systems (and their upgrade levels) currently controlled by that faction.

System Upgrading

As a general rule of thumb, hold back 10% of your LP rewards to donate to system upgrades in the warzone. Your input helps maintain/increase your Faction Tier.

System Upgrading via the i-Hub





To upgrade a system, fly to the system's infrastructure hub, right-click on it, select the “open system upgrade panel” option, and select how much LP they would like to donate.

The Infrastructure Hub (or “i-Hub”) is a structure in space which the attacking faction needs to destroy in order to completely capture a system. The i-Hub can be found (and warped to) from the Overview. I’ll not go into i-hub mechanics here. You can check out more info on this link: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Factional_Warfare#Infrastructure_Hub

FW Missions

Security missions for the militia are the fastest way to gain standings and make ISK in FW, sadly they don't involve shooting other players. If you still are interested in missions, here is a full guide on them.

Converting LP into ISK

Running plexes, FW missions and yes killing enemy ships nets you loyalty points (LP). LP can then be used to purchase items from your factions Loyalty Points Store located in stations owned by your militia. Besides being able to buy some useful items from the stores, you will also want to ‘convert’ most of that LP to ISK. This is done by buying items in the LP store and then selling them on the local market or your closest trade hub.

Your current faction tier heavily influences how much LP you receive from these activities. The higher the tier, the higher your LP rewards.

As a general rule of thumb, donate 10% of your LP rewards back into systems you own in the warzone. Your input helps maintain/increase your Faction Tier.

When you buy items from your militia's LP store, you pay with LP and usually with either ISK or additional items (or both). You want to purchase items which sell for as much ISK as possible (relative to the amount of LP they cost and the cost of any items you need to buy them in the first place). The steps are typically:

  1. Check how much the item you want sells for on the market. Check the local market (in-game if situated there) and trade hub markets via EVE-Central.
  2. Subtract how much it would cost to buy the “inputs” on the market
  3. Subtract the ISK cost of buying the item from the LP store
  4. Finally, divide the result by the amount of LP that the module costs

Calculation can get complicated and takes a little patience in the early stages, but you soon get a feel for it. When starting out, it's recommended that you buy items which trade in high volumes and which require a minimum number of inputs (even though they may not make you the absolutely highest amount of money). Once you get the hang of it, you can diversify into more lucrative items which give you a higher ISK payout per LP, but which may also need more work.

Thankfully there is an app for that! Fuzzworks is a very useful tool that allows you to see what ratio of ISK to LP you can get with your corporation's LP. It can help you choose which items to buy from the LP store to get good return on your LP.

PLEASE READ THE ADVICE IN THE FIRST FEW PARAGRAPHS OF THE FUZZWORKS PAGE. The figures here are merely a guide and should be treated with appropriate caution, ideally being checked before you blow all your LP buying something that's been manipulated. No, the Zainou 'Gypsy' Weapon Disruption WD-903 is not worth 36,000 ISK per LP.

These videos by MarkeeDragon (Published Nov/Dec 2014) talk about how to convert your LP into ISK and gives a good run through of using Fuzzworks


Faction Warfare Strategy and Tactics

More information coming here

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