CSM Minutes Reading Highlights, pt. 2
Xhagen: So how is Factional Warfare doing?
Hans: It’s great.
Seleene: OK, so next meeting is.
Two step inquired about activity trends in FW. Fozzie replied that after the farming nerf, enrollment was down 10-15% (mostly farmers leaving), but has been creeping up again, except for Caldari which has some demoralization issues. Soundwave noted that overall, things are stable, and Fozzie added that last week was the 3rd most active week in terms of PvP.
A discussion ensued about the payouts changes and their effects. Overall, CCP is happy; the two largest militias have shrunk and the two smaller ones have grown. Plexing volume is about where it was when the original FW changes were made (before they were aggressively farmed). Ytterbium would like to see the LP-generation balance between plexing, Missions and PvP shift more towards PvP but there are concerns about it being exploited, so CCP will be cautious here.
Soundwave mentioned that with FW, CCP wants it to be light-PvP, Sov-lite, and not the hard-core null- sec warfare. And that means that CCP does stuff that isn’t intuitive. For example, one request often received is “why can’t we kick obvious spies?” But if that is done, it becomes like null-sec alliances, where someone [has the power to say who’s allowed to join].
Two step asked about the future of RP and datacores, now that FW may be able to support the market demand. Soundwave indicated he was unsure of how many accounts that would affect.
A short discussion ensued about the possible effects on Industry, and the utility of having alternate sources of supply for key materials. Two step and Alek argued that [instead of the current passive research agent path], an active system involving exploration and a fun hacking mechanic would be an improvement. Soundwave indicated that he would like to remove research agents but there needed to be a way for Industrialists to get datacores through non-conflict gameplay, and they needed to figure out what to do with the skills. All in all, it was “a bit of a can of worms” but one he has wanted to address for years.
Soundwave stated that FW has gone from something they were a little ashamed of into something good (he has characters active in FW), and that he wanted to spend the last 15 minutes of the meeting discussing where the feature should go in the future.
Soundwave stated that he would like to have some way of making FW important to the Empire factions that they are fighting for, and used a sports teams/fans metaphor. Hans stated that he would love it if High-sec taxes were related to how well a faction was doing, but admitted this would be extremely controversial.
Some of the ideas Soundwave is toying with:
* Turning High-sec Faction Navy responsibilities over to the players.
* Providing paths for players to progress from High-sec to Low-sec.
* Methods where faction success lead to High-sec effects.
* Connecting features together instead of making them standalone islands as they often currently are (this is a more global goal).
Soundwave replied that he would prefer to reduce NPC control and increase player control
Fozzie noted that patrolling is not within the capabilities of the current NPC AI, but it might be a possibility for the future.
Soundwave wondered if there might be a way to create a home field advantage that encouraged FW players to live in their home space. Hans replied that system upgrades would be an obvious way to do this, and particular mentioned POS fuel costs.
Soundwave stated that he would like to provide opportunities for action; he gave the example of removing Customs NPCs, but giving FW members the ability to scan for contraband and trigger flags if they were discovered. He would like to see 4 or 5 such activities available to FW players. He later noted that this kind of player enforcement activity didn’t have to be FW-only.
Fozzie painted the picture of a drone that’s a robotic drug-sniffing dog.
Diving into the substance of the meeting, Solomon opened with metrics that the number of active characters with bounties has quadrupled (doubled when including all characters) and there is now 8 trillion ISK in the bounty system one week after deployment, an increase by a factor of 80. CCP is waiting till excitement from the deployment dies down to find the baseline but they are pleased with the response. Soundwave noted that despite the high volume of use, there hasn’t been big “breakage” yet. The general feeling is “so far, so good”.
Elise confirmed bounties were a big hit, and some bounty hunting corps have been formed to see if that play style is viable in low-sec. Elise made the suggestion that bounty payouts restricted by standing would be a nice touch, so people can control who can claim their bounties. Team Super Friends stated that more granularity in who can claim bounties has been in their backlog but they wanted to release small, which Elise agreed made sense. Two step was skeptical of the staying power of the feature once the novelty wears off and related a story of how his own corp put a bounty on him on patch day just for fun.
SoniClover mentioned there are a vocal minority of players who role play as “good guys” that are angry they now get a “wanted” label on them and asked the CSM if this is an issue. Two step said that Wanted should carry a little more meaning than just having a 100k ISK bounty, perhaps requiring a threshold of some kind. He went on to say that a corp or alliance bounty shouldn’t result in Wanted status for a particular pilot in that corp or alliance.
Trebor said that CCP should tell those complaining that “If you can’t roleplay that, you just don’t have much imagination”, since “evil” people have clearly put out a contract on their lives for interfering with their nefarious plans. Punkturis related that some people have asked for a different “wanted” sign depending on their security status, which Trebor elaborated on. Two step pointed out that the current Wanted tag is very prominent in your portrait and that outrage might be lessened if it wasn’t as invasive. Alek typed in that the backlash is likely a holdover from when you could only place a bounty on someone with negative sec status, and that the social meaning behind bounties would catch up to the new feature.