The Faction Warfare “Stupid ISK For Little Work” HOWTO

Now that the cat is out of the bag about making a ton of loyalty points with faction warfare for little work – WITHOUT EXPLOITS – I’ll provide the real details on how to do this yourself.

Why am I doing this? Because as Paul said in his previous post, the current behavior is highly unbalanced and needs attention so that CCP will fix it. And we figure we already made all the money we can make. 😉


You make or reuse an alt that will join Minmatar factional warfare. You’ll fit him in a cheap frigate with a low-cost clone, fly to contested Caldari space, and capture factional warfare complexes. These will yield a lot of LP, which you can translate into items or ships, which you sell for cash.


First an explanation of how factional warfare “tier”s and LP works: As your faction controls more systems, and upgrades them (with LP), your “tier” value increases, every 20% gain. 0-19% is tier 1; 20-39% is tier 2; 40-59% is tier 3; 60-79% is tier 4; and 80-100% is tier 5.

The rewards you get from completing factional warfare sites (also called plexes) increase with each tier, by 5% per tier after tier 1. At tier 3 a small size complex gives 11k LP. Tier 4 is 11.5k LP, and tier 5 is 12k. More importantly the cost in both ISK and LP for items in the LP shop are decreased by 50% for EACH TIER.

Let’s say you want to invest in some Republic Fleet ammunition. At tier 3, one purchase of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M will cost you 1600 LP and 1.6m ISK. At tier 4, it will cost 800 LP and 800k ISK. At tier 5, it’s a shockingly low 400 LP and 400k ISK.

Here’s an example using the same Republic Fleet EMP M ammo:

Tier 3
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M: 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 1,600,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 1,440,000 ISK
LP cost: 1600
ISK per LP: 900

Tier 4
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M : 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 800,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 2,240,000 ISK
LP cost: 800
ISK per LP: 2800

Tier 5
Cost to buy 5000 units of EMP M: 380,000 ISK
LP Store ISK cost: 400,000 ISK
Sell value of 5000 units of Republic Fleet EMP M: 3,420,000 ISK
Total profit: 2,640,000 ISK
LP cost: 400
ISK per LP: 6600

When running missions for LP, a conversion ratio of about 2000 ISK/LP is usually considered about standard. Heavily traded items will sell for less, and infrequent items for more. At tier 4 this is above average money, and at tier 5 it is *insane* money.

Pressing The Button

So here’s what you need:

1) An alt that can join Minmatar factional warfare. Only Minmatar is even close to tier 4 right now; Amarr is stuck in tier 1, the Caldari are just into tier 2, and the Gallente are also down in tier 1. At tier 1 and 2 prices, it’s not even worth trying; you should go mission or run Incursions instead.

In order to join the Minmatar milita, you need positive Minmatar faction standings. An easy way to do this is to run the 10-part tutorial mission series “Cashflow for Capsuleers” which you can get from an agent in Hadaugago. It takes about 40 minutes to run all 10 if you bash through it quickly.

2) Your alt needs to fly a tanky frigate. We’re looking for 100 dps or better with kinetic and thermal resists of 75%. Currently the best way to do this is with the new Incursus. With a 10% bonus to armor repair amount per Gallente Frigate level, it has a superior tank advantage over all the other frigates. I’ve seen people do this in Rifters, or Punishers; but the properly fit Incursus can even tank the Major faction sites that give close to 30k LP on completion.

Here’s your target Incursus fit:

[Incursus, FW]

1MN Afterburner II
2x Cap Recharger II

Small Armor Repairer II
2x Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II

Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
2x Small Capacitor Control Circuit I

You will need the following skills for this:
* Gallente Frigate IV
* Repair Systems IV
* Energy Systems Operation IV
* Energy Management IV
* Hull Upgrades V
* Afterburner IV
* Energy Grid Upgrades III
* Armor Rigging I

With these skills, you’ll be cap-stable, flying at least 900m/s, and should tank around 138 dps. This can tank the Minor and the Medium complexes. Since I know some of these skills take a while (Hull Upgrades V for example), swap to T1 resists while waiting, and a T1 afterburner before you get Afterburner IV.

With T1 resists and a T1 afterburner you should still be doing at least 850m/s and tanking about 120 dps against our target damage profile, which is Caldari’s kinetic and thermal. This will handle Minor complexes but may give you problems with Medium size complexes.

If you max out the Gallente Frigate and Repair Systems skills, you’ll tank almost 160 dps. You’ll be able to run Major sites which have the best LP per time. You can also drop a CCC for another Aux Nano Pump, but you’ll need both Energy Systems Operation V and Energy Management V to make this be cap-stable, or implants. The 2x Nano Pump Incursus has a stupid 178 dps tank.

Receive Bacon

You’ve got your guy and your ship. Now set sail for the Black Rise region, where the Caldari are battling the Gallente. Wait, aren’t you Minmatar, shouldn’t you be fighting the Amarr? Well see, the Minmatar and Gallente are allies; you can complete Caldari complexes for LP. The Amarr FW space is also much more busy, and you don’t want busy. You want as quiet as you can get. Black Rise is quiet.

When you get to Black Rise, fly around until you find a system owned by the Caldari – you want to see “Factional Warfare System: Caldari” on your screen. Running Gallente sites will make those guys angry at you and give you no LP. When you’ve found a system, fire off your system scanner (no probes needed). You’ll find sites like these:

Minor Caldari Outpost
Caldari Stronghold
Major Caldari Installation

“Medium” size sites have no label, they just appear as the faction and the type. The particular type does not really matter to you; except for Majors, you should have no trouble tanking each type. Pick a Minor, and warp to it. You’ll notice a beacon will appear on overview; *everyone* can now see that you are running this site.

You arrive on a gate. Minor gates only allow T1 (including faction) frigates and destroyers. Medium sites also allow T2 frigates, and T1 cruisers. Major sites allow T2 cruisers and T1 battlecruisers.

Enter the site. You will see an item on overview that looks like a bunch of circles, about 50-60km away. This is the capture point. You’ll also find a number of NPCs. You now need to fly in-range of the point and continue to stay in range until the timer on the counter finishes.

Range on sites: Minor is 10km, Medium is 20km, Major is 30km
Times on sites: Minor are 10 min, Medium are 15 min, Major are 20 min

Orbit the site, turn on your repper, and wait out the timer. When it finishes, you get the LP. Horray! Repeat a zillion times.

You Damn Dirty Pirate

So what can go wrong here? A number of things:

1) The Caldari militia and local pirates take notice when you start doing these sites. Sometimes. If you pick an empty system or one with harmless looking people you can pretty much AFK while doing this. If you have possible hostiles in local, set your directional scanner to 100,000 km and zap it every so often. If you see anyone, warp away. Since these guys have to hit a gate AND start off at 50km or more away, you have plenty of time to GTFO.

Though if this happens, you might just want to move on to another system.

2) Don’t forget to turn your armor repper on. Yes, I lost at least one ship that way. Derp.

3) Don’t bring a buddy. Your reward is split if both of you are in range of the site timer when it ends.

4) Sites take a little while to respawn; when you run out in system A, go to B and run a few, then return.

Counting My Eggs

Let us pretend that you are doing Minor sites, at tier 3, and getting 11k LP per site. You pick quiet systems and manage to get an average of 5 done per hour as these sites only take 10 minutes.

At tier 3: 5 sites x 11k LP = 55k LP x 900 ISK/LP => 55M ISK per hour – this isn’t bad, it’s at least as good as most missions.

At tier 4: 5 sites x 11.5k LP = 57.5k LP x 2800 ISK/LP => 161M ISK per hour – This is *great* money.

At tier 5: 5 sites x 12k LP = 60k LP x 6600 ISK/LP => 396M ISK per hour – You may actually have trouble liquidating all your LP at this level, but you can see the insane ISK it represents.

Final Words

So to wrap this up, you can right now make about 55M ISK/hour with a totally new alt and a few days training. If tier 4 returns, you can make as much as 161M ISK per hour. Risk exists, but if you get popped and poded, you lose a T1 frigate with some T2 fittings and a cheap clone. Worth it? Entirely.

Can you do this hour after hour after hour? Not really. Eventually someone will come gunning for you and you’ll need to safe up or move systems for a while. Still worth it? Yep.

Is this unbalanced? Jesus H Christ, yes. The main problems are the ability to tank a complex and win it without killing a SINGLE rat, and the huge imbalance each level of tier gives out. 50% is just so big of a bonus for each tier that it puts everything out of proportion. The poor other militias at tiers 1 and 2 are getting totally shafted, their LP is barely worth anything.

I would solve this issue by requiring that a certain number of NPCs had to be killed in order to capture a site. I would also change the tier levels to be closer to a 20% difference between levels, and making tier 2 be as good as regular missions are right now in terms of LP required for similar rewards. Members of factional warfare could still make some ISK, and upper tiers would still be worth fighting for, but not massive firehoses of ISK.

20 Responses to “The Faction Warfare “Stupid ISK For Little Work” HOWTO”

  1. Agnar Volta Says:

    I disagree, I think the more the merrier. What is the problem with players making buckets of LP? LP doesn’t add to the economy, quite the opposite, is probably the biggest ISK sink in the game right now. In the long term, it will make faction stuff cheaper and cheaper, till the same balance that tech I production has. Almost no profit can be made with tech I manufacture, the same will happen to faction stuff. When a Stabber fleet issue cost like a million or two more then a vanilla Stabber I’ll be very happy.

    Not to mention the overall improvement o the economy with less ISK floating around, maybe we will see prices going down to a more reasonable level then now. It may happen that tech II production will take a hit as people use more and more faction stuff, but who knows?

  2. As noted in the Goon article about their trick and/or exploit, the reason Minmatar is at tier 4 right now is because of Goons buying the tiers with the profits from their now defunct scheme. Do we have any reason to believe that the Minmatar faction will be able to maintain tier 4 without the aide of the massive Goon LP recycling scheme?

  3. Minmatar is right at the tier3/tier4 boundary right now.

  4. […] Friday I had the pleasure to read an article by Khalia over at My Loot, Your Tears. Basically it’s a tutorial on faction warfare plexing, but using […]

  5. […] faction warfare LP party is over, at least for those in the Minmatar […]

    • Oh, without Goon’s tampering, does the Minmatar tier decrease substantially to the point where it’s pretty much the same as other factions, and also not that profitable?

  6. […] is a well-written speedplexing HOWTO — which suggests you use an Incursus fit that is so optimized for the task, that it is not […]

  7. Nut Kaizio Says:

    How you can tell to players to get a matar players to win ISK? This is to take over the FW? How the amar forces can equilibrate fight if people made players to made easy money?

    You present to us a good way to destroy our game… not thanks.
    (Sorry for my bad english)

    • Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Making it widely obvious so that CCP is pressured to fix it is the way to go.

  8. Halle Kryptos Says:

    Using an incursus is fail, merlin tanks the same and you can fit stabs.

  9. Malachi Says:

    My skills are by no means shitty, but I can’t tank those minor and major’s in the incurus. Almost got away with it in a major, but they cracked my tank 8 minutes in. Only skill I don’t have is frigs to 4, as I’m minmatar

    • Malachi Says:

      Erp, meant the mid-level ones and the majors. Minors are fine.

    • For majors, you’ll want T2 kinetic and thermal resists, a T2 afterburner, a T2 small armor repairer, and two aux nano pumps. You’ll need top-level capacitor skills.

      • Malachi Says:

        Ah. Two nano pumps. was running with two CCC to make the cap last.

      • Malachi Says:

        Everything is T2 though, so I suppose it’s the last couple levels of frigate combined with lack of level V cap skills.

        • Total Noob Says:

          Train some navigation skills, orbit 25km in mojors and you are fine even with meta hardeners.

  10. […] been killing mostly Incursus frigates, most of them wearing the no-gun, no fun fit from Khalia’s post. There’s not really any money in killing cheap frigates with inattentive pilots, but […]

  11. Article is out of date. Black Rise is terrible now as everyone that has read this article has gone there and flooded the area. Filled with competiting militia members and enemies. I moved to the Placid area and it’s much better

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