Postfactum edit: This whole text is now of mostly historical interest, being happily obsolete, as faction warfare mechanics were changed to make it impossible to game in such a manner. I’m not sure if I contributed to this, but at least it is no longer such a problem. :)

I have spent quite some time messing with numbers and working out statistics. I can’t say this essay is complete, but at 17 pages, I’m approaching the point where nobody will read it even if they’re interested, so I guess it’s time to publish and whatever happens, happens.

A TL;DR summary for the impatient:

  1. In Faction Warfare, at most 200 people per faction actually participate in the war for system control as such, i.e. run Faction Warfare plexes. 800 people in total at most, ever, out of ~30000 listed participants. Only about ~50 people per faction do it on any kind of regular basis. Only ~10 people per faction plex at any given moment.
  2. That despite the fact that the hourly ISK rate for this activity can reach as high up as 1.8 billion ISK per hour.
  3. Any entity that can provide certain stable and actually rather low quantities of manpower can win Faction War for their chosen faction in a couple of weeks, and reap gigantic profits, well exceeding spending a month sitting on tech moons, provided they plan their operation as a raid rather than a war. They don’t have to be anywhere as big as Goons or TEST to do it.

This essay argues for the above statements with numbers and outlines what a nullsec alliance needs to do to take advantage of this mess.

Faction Warfare: Gaming the system