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Another Viewpoint on the Ins and Outs of FW by David McCallum #701548

Ah, I love it when Spike goes off like a frog in a sock… I need to time it better so I can get the cameras around and sell it on pay-per-view.


I could either retire, or at least pay for a few levels of mech upgrades…


Still and all, one of the things we have always done here at The Galaxy Gathering is show all sides to any story, especially when it gives us the chance to point out how utterly wrong the other person is.


I do miss Pat and Kenneth, they were such obligingly easy targets.


The problem with this one, however, is that to a greater extent I can entirely sympathise with Spike’s opinion.


However I do have the advantage of not salivating like a Welsh close harmony quartet in the way that Spike is, so I can perhaps put some things into the mix in a more coherent manner.


In between incoherent ranting, it would appear that there are two separate issues, to whit the value of prizes being able to offset the experience gained and the ability to get yourself into a fight to go for the big bickies.


Let’s look at the prizes first.


And we may as well start with the easy ones. Crystal prizes. Especially crystal equipment.


Why bother… (the reason I didn’t put a question mark there was because it’s a rhetorical question). Seriously, it’s like ordering a steak and having it delivered on your plate with a sprig of parsley on top. It makes it look a lot better, but the parsley serves bugger all purpose.


That’s what Crystal equipment is in any prize pack; because we have no level restrictions on purchasing it and very few of us have issues gathering the resources needed to purchase it, it is essentially, something stuck in the prize pack to make it look better than it is.


Not so with Crystal weapons. Level restricted, and at higher levels number restricted, crystal weapons are still a valid prize at all levels. Especially the lowest… those MAK-74s and Deaths Heads in the bonus prize pack are an extremely welcome boost to those generally fighting around the Division 10 mark in a Clan War.


Crystal out of the way, we get to the simmering point… and I must say, it’s not just Spike that is pointing it out. There are others around the community mentioning it as well. Let’s address that big grey pachyderm trying to hide behind the pot plant in the corner of the room.


Increased experience and the ability to pay for the resultant upgrades. Or quite simply put, are the prizes worth it.


Ah, what a multifaceted gem this one is.


In honesty, I don’t know… literally, I don’t. I’m saying this up front. Mine and Spikes level are roughly the same in the grand scheme of things, and I am willing to concede (due to not having enough facts) that our level may simply be a rough patch.


I shall explain (because as you know, I always do)…


Mine and Spike’s levels are around 110-120 ish. I know I need around 13500 to go up a level. But I don’t know how much XP somebody at say level 300 needs… I presume its a bit more than me.


In a raid, Me, Spike and the level 300 gain the same XP for kills. Ergo, Spike levels faster than me and we both presumably level far faster than that level 300 pilot.


Kills in wars (or PvP play) are done on tonnage. At my level, tonnage is around the 3K mark on average. At level 300 it seems to be around 4K. So unless the XP difference per level is only around 33% higher than mine up at level 300 (being maybe 17-1800xp per level?) then me and Spike are still leveling faster when taking hits against players who are our ‘equals’.


I know that one of you big boys will be able to weigh in with how much you need to level….


Add in the recent horrendous leap in XP for KotMs, where I can PERHAPS get 4 bronze in a row for that quest and not level… so inconceivable that a Sicilian would be pointing it out to you… then I can only assume that myself, Spike and others in the community are currently stuck in a serious of hell levels that we simply have to advance through before we can get back to reasonable play and level at a, well, level we are comfortable with.


All of that goes well beyond the scope of a single Faction War.


But yes, it is true that we would expect to level probably more than once during a Faction War and the ensuing raid, unless any of us deliberately leave attacks not taken in order to impede our advancement.


On the bright side, Factions of 60 are a thing of the past. Seeing pilots go without sleep in order to ‘do their bit’ was unhealthy, and the powers that be heeded that warning flag. Now you may expect to make between a little under 60 up to 90ish attacks. Still more than normal, but not quite at the magnitude of Factions Wars past.


Which brings us to the resultant pay day, because we still have to level those mechs.


And the big burning question of “Is It All Worth It?”


We are after all mercenary clans.


Now is at this point that I have to mention that Spike got it a little bit wrong. You see, while frothing at the mouth and recounting tales of payment for past Faction Wars, he neglected to mention the cardinal rule… payment is what it is worth to YOU.


Take Spike’s example of a level 20 Megazome. Actually no, lets park that mech for just a second. Lets have a quick look in the bonus prize pack. A Handheld Nuke is no good for either of us, so is classified as scrap for Niodes. On this we agree.


But lets have another look at that Megazome. Around 19 niodes for the levels, plus 30ish scrap for the Mech is what it is worth to Spike, because his focus is on his Main and Rainbow, so its just too low tonnage to be of immediate use. Therefore the scrap value is better as he can use it immediately.


But for me? I run cruiser mechs. That for me is a keeper, a 152 niode investment. Disco Hips? Keeper. Saturn Shield? Keeper. Hawking’s Singularity? I am working on 105 ton mechs for my main offensive formation… another keeper.


All of those keepers are Niodes I don’t have to spend, meaning the unused funds can be diverted elsewhere.


Which brings me, and quite nicely, to the raids.


Gold prizes are a good payday. Silver isn’t bad. But for Bronze or plastic, the raid is your big payday, split into scrap to pay for the upgrades, keepers you don’t have to pay for, and perhaps something else more valuable.


I’m talking about the stuff you can’t buy. The stuff that if you have it makes you more powerful than level alone implies you to be.


I’m talking about the big mechs.


I well remember my first mech that was above my level. Funnily enough I earned it in the first Faction Wars; a Dreadnought. Took me a few levels before I could pilot it without blowing myself up, but I was suddenly so much more powerful and dangerous. I was no longer low level, I was now low level with Big Guns and I made damn sure my opponents knew about it. Its still in my main formation, my longest serving line mech, and its not due for retirement any time soon.


But I wandered off point there. If we look at Spike, anything from Reaper upwards falls into this category. A gem worth more than mere Niodes, because Niodes alone can’t buy it. A gem that would make him better than his level and would no doubt fit very nicely into his Rainbow formations.


Those Gems are the reason we raid at our level, trading the XP and resultant possible Niode expendature for that priceless gem that you just can’t buy. Everything else is just payment.


It comes back to that statement… what its worth to YOU. You are all big boys and girls. Fight when you have to, conserve energy if you must, maximise your pay day. I’m not your granny, so don’t come crying to me. If you want a safe space because your feelings are hurt, perhaps mercenary life isn’t for you.


The point is, you all know your income sources, whether they be prizes, payments, writing contributions or videos. Balance that with your fights, your wars, your raids, your KotMs and your missions. Make it work.




Now that I have that little load off my chest, lets get to the part that I do agree with young Master Spike on.


Faction assignments.


From what I can see, Spike feels hard done by because he has been passed over for what will probably be a Division 1 slot. Don’t blame him, I’m in that boat too.


Apparently his specialist formation isn’t good enough to offset his perceived lack of levels and/or his offensive capability. Mine isn’t either apparently.


Ok, I know some of you will try to point out that Spike had primarily been talking about results from Clan Wars, and they don’t apply in a Faction War. You are of course correct.


I would fully expect to be against pilots over 200 levels higher than myself in a Faction War. Levels do count for a lot. Even as a specialist, I would rightfully expect that if I had to cede you 200 levels in a fight, you could attack my Cruisers with rubbish and expect to win. 100 levels and a valid 70 ton formation should take me. The better your formation, the less level advantage you would need. Some of you… well, one of you… can take me almost at will regardless of level. But I do know for a fact that there are clans out there that have a big sign next to my name saying ‘AVOID’.


And on the flip side, I can hit above my weight on offense. Just because you have 100 levels on me in an unlimited formation, do not presume you are safe. There is not a single specialist formation I cannot attack… it is just knowing if I should or not.


But those are the exceptions. The Rule, when we come to talking about a Faction War, is that I would be considered dead weight to be carried in a Division 1 fight. Others would be doing the bulk of the fighting while Spike and I took targets of opportunity.


And regardless of where we feel we should fare in the roster, because he and I belong to clans who are a junior partner in a Faction, the bigger clan will carry the weight of their own members to better prizes rather than us.


Oh, they will use phrases like ‘Your Leadership said’ or ‘We thought you’d be better with’. And don’t get me started on the ‘We just do it by snake draft’ comments. The grey pachyderm just had an accident, I can smell it.


When the smaller partners feel like they are getting screwed over, it leads to strained relationships, both within the Faction and within clans. We ditched the BBB because they did it to us in FW2. I broke ranks last Faction War because I’d had enough of our senior partners and even though I’m back for this one, nothing has changed from what I can see.


More fool I for giving them another chance.


The bright spot to this little article is that there have been breaking developments… Spike has been offered and accepted a berth in what is more than likely going to be a Division 1 Faction.


Maybe having a good old rant works on occasion.


I’ll have to remember to try it some time….

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