Territory Capture

Summary
Now that were several weeks into territory capture who are the winners, who are the losers and my overall thoughts.

Winners - Big Alliances

Territory capture is all about the particles, yes there are other boosts from services, private mining and relative safety but the big thing is the particles. Without them you can't progress in the new research and without territories you cant get them and the arrangement of the territories makes it hard to get multiple. Currently there is the possibility for 4 alliances to get all 3 particles at the same time but more realistically its 3. These select alliances can get all 3 particles every day without moving or jumping alliances. This leaves members of other alliances two choices.

  1. Jump alliances every day to get particles at the cost of alliance events
  2. Miss out on collecting the particles and doing the new powerful research tree. 

Both of these favor the large alliances as members who do not get the particles are not able to do the new powerful researches. Members who do jump lose access to the Alliance events and cannot contribute to them making it easier for the big alliances to walk away with these events and their rewards. 

Below is a map showing the possibilities to obtain all 3 particles. Shoutout to Saltrix for making the underlying map for me to scribble on. 

Territory map with 3 particles

Losers - Mid-Size Alliances

Mid-Size alliances to me are the ones holding in with the power range of 5-15 or so. These usually have some big players who spend and a generally active player base. The generally do fairly well in alliance events pulling in decent rewards. These alliances are unable to takeover and hold systems with more then 2 particles and most will only get 1. 

Exit: The Bigs

This is where some of the big players start to see the exit, most of them have developed friendships within their alliance but when faced with their inability to grow they start to consider the move into the bigger alliances. This causes a snowball effect where more and more players leave as they see their alliance unable to compete. 

Services and Their Impact

The introduction of services adds a new interesting dynamic to the game. You can online them in a territory you own to provide a boost to a multitude of things from mining, pvp combat, upgrade efficiency to ship and combat boosts. These services cost refined isogen and components build from it. The level one systems are the easiest to activate with costs increasing for level 2 systems and again for level 3. It can get quite expensive to keep them all online and a alliance effort to mine refine and build the parts to online and keep them online. 

The impact of services while providing a little boost is really minimal in the long run however. Even the level 3 systems with boosts like 50% hull boosts face the same diminishing returns that research does. 

 

Mining - Level 2 and 3 Systems

The level 2 and 3 systems give access to 3* and 4* nodes. These nodes provide private mining and increases mining speeds. The level 3 systems make it much easier for players who have neglected their miners to access to 4* materials. Players who have had issues doing their dailies after crossing 30 mil rep with a faction have access to be able to continue to let their reputation increase. 

Larger players who need to refine 4* to upgrade ships and buildings can leverage the speed of the mines to help reduce the mining time needed to even refine the smallest batches. Spoiler Alert: 4* refines require exponentially more raw ore/crystal/gas to do refines. 

The Death of Base Raiding

This release also made it so you can now locate you base in a system that only your alliance has the ability to relocate into. This means that raiding bases has to be done from a distance. Historically you could relocate your base next to another and rapidly scoop resources. Scooping remotely greatly slows the ability to raid RSS and since these systems are treated like deep space the inability to see into them when you are not there makes it hard to scout for targets. 

While not truly the death nail for raiding the impact of this release makes one of the most enjoyable pastimes for some a tedious chore. 

Wrapping it Up

This patch does indeed provide new content and ability to do large scale pvp. It adds the requirement for diplomacy and teamwork both within alliances and between allies. The current system really favors the bigger alliances and hurts the mid sized ones. I hope Scopley realizes that making the particles only available to the select few is hurting the F2P player base. Even making the ability to trade particles would be a stopgap... It would grant the advantage to those who fight for multiple particles would allow smaller alliances access to the new research. The need for the massive amount of new mining has also increased the time commitment per day. The ability to locate your base where people outside your alliance cannot get close also drastically impacts the ability to raid.