wrote a thing complaining about the faction warfare system, how the new massaged numbers for Retribution don't really change much in terms of gameplay from the Inferno numbers.
The argument being that the system, the collection of numbers which CCP keeps massaging, attempts to groom players into a certain playstyle if they want to earn any living whatsoever within faction warfare. Basically, CCP tells the faction warfare player, if you want to earn a living, then you should care about PvE: orbiting buttons and running missions. PvP is secondary.
Some folks have pointed out to me that the entire game is made out of numbers, numbers which CCP continually massage. Yes, I knew that. And that's true. Ship rebalancing, as an example. The difference between ship rebalancing and faction warfare, though, is a micro system versus a macro system.
Whether an Enyo does 180 DPS now versus 170 DPS come Retribution isn't going to change how I play the game, it doesn't even dictate how I should play the game. If heavy missile launchers are nerfed come December, it might change what ships I prefer to fly, but it doesn't tell me that I should stop flying ships, that I should stop blowing shit up. The numbers that define the ships we fly, that's a micro system. It will cause to us to make small adjustments to our gameplay, but nothing larger, nothing radical.
Faction warfare is a macro system. If the system tells us that orbiting buttons solo will give us X loyalty points [LP]. Or that running missions will reward Y LP. And that killing people will reward Z LP. And that X or Y and very much greater than Z, then that system is telling us how we should play the game, that PvE is trumping PvP. In a system that's supposed to be creating more PvP opportunities.
The current state of the faction warfare macro system is out of whack with what the system should be encouraging: more PvP.
The one consistent bit of debate that came out of the Hans Visits Fweddit discussion is that players want to see less LP rewarded for PvE activities, and more rewarded for PvP activities. Faction warfare is, or is supposed to be, a PvP dominant game feature. To have features that tell players that PvE is more important than PvP is, well, inane.
Hans seemed to agree with this. "I agree with you completely," he said, every time someone brought up the issue of PvP-over-PvE. Of course, it's hard to tell with Hans, because he tends to agree with everybody. He's the sort of guy that wants to please everyone, which is probably what makes him a good politician. The problem, if he's agreeing with everything, you don't really get a sense of what he's actually thinking. Hell, Soundwave might tell him "I want to see more PvE in faction warfare" and Hans' response might very well be "I agree with you completely." We'll have to trust that Hans will push the PvP-over-PvE issue forcefully with CCP. Unfortunately, if CCP is unhappy with his badgering, he'll probably back off. Hans is on your side as long as it doesn't annoy anyone important.
Come next February, we'll know how well Hans did as the faction warfare representative. If faction warfare still seems broken, then a lot of the blame falls squarely on his shoulders. Eighty percent of these Retribution fixes and iterations were pushed heavily by Hans. And I doubt CCP would have went through with many of them without Hans haranguing them about it all. CCP thought faction warfare was pretty much a done deal with Inferno.
Back to the micro versus the macro. Micro features don't have a huge affect on our gameplay styles. They'll cause minor adjustments here and there, but that's about it. It's the macro systems we have to keep a careful eye on, because those drive players towards specific features and play styles. Regarding faction warfare, CCP seems to be telling the PvPer that PvE is the all-important game feature. Which is really at odds with what faction warfare is all about. Imagine if killing players increased mining yield? Forcing people into PvP would be as nonsensical a mechanic in an entirely PvE activity.