One can equip, as an example, a Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field, and get 37.5% shield resists, compared to the Tech II Invulnerability Field of only 30%. Also, you only need Tactical Shield Manipulation trained to Level 1 to fit the faction version, but you need Tactical Shield Manipulation 4 to fit the Tech II version. This saves days of skill train time, to then be used for training something else.
However, the cost in terms of ISK, is a major draw back, of Faction gear.
Take, for instance, a Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field, which will set you back 280-300 Million ISK. Yes, you heard me right, hundreds of millions of ISK, for a single module! Where as, the Tech II version will cost you only 2-5 Million.
2-5 million to 280-300 Million. Insane, isn't it?
My argument, regarding most Faction gear (but not all), is that the price is way, way inflated, in relation to the benefits. Sure, you may need to spend a couple days training for the Tech II version, and will give you nearly the same result. In some cases, it may save you weeks or more in training, because you are also not required to train for CPU and/or Power grid skills.
However, if your character skills are that low, that one can't equip a module, yet have access to hundreds of million in ISK, brings up some conflicting issues.
1) How can a noob, with no skills suddenly have 300 million ISK?
ISK farmer sites perhaps? If a noob can pay $5 USD for 500 million ISK, well then the Faction gear is a perfect way around EVE's skill training requirements. Yes, I am saying Faction gear inflation could be directly related to ISK farming, which is a direct violation of CCP's EULA.
Now, I know there are many legit buyers of 300 million ISK modules, but if you take a look at the buyers of faction gear, they are typically in Empire, are new players that think bigger always means better survivability. Any 0.0 Alliance member pilot knows, that sooner than later you will get Popped, perhaps in a fleet or gang fight and having that faction gear simply is not worth having.
I have seen entire ships fully fitted with Faction gear.
Take the Caldari Navy Raven Issue Battleship. The ship itself is a faction ship and costs around 300 million. Not bad, but the only benefits are an added Launcher point, some more armor and shield. A regular Raven will cost 1/3 the price at 100 million. So, you could buy THREE Ravens or just ONE Raven Navy Issue. Then start added the faction gear, like; Launchers, Shield Boosters, Amps and the Invuls. Finally, you can add Caldari Navy Ballistics Control Units for a 2.5% extra damage, but this module will cost you 50-70 million ISK.
All and all, below is a listing of a fully fitted Faction Caldari Raven Navy Issue.
1x Raven Navy Issue - 300m
1x X-Large Caldari Navy Shield Booster - 100m
2x Dread Guristas Shield Boost Amp - 200m
2x Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field - 600m
7x Caldari Navy Cruise Missile Launcher - 500m
2x Caldari Navy Ballistics Control Unit - 100m
Total ISK: 1.8 Billion ISK
As in BILLION. Yes, this ship has a bit more resists, firepower, Hit points, but for nearly 2 Billion ISK for a single Battleship, this becomes completely inflated in price. Sure, you will have the best gear, but thats not going to do you any good, if you warp scrambled and popped by say, TWO regular Ravens, or even another Raven with one or two cruisers or Frigates! Now, once you go POP, your out 1.8 Billion ISK.
Imagine what you can do with 1.8 Billion ISK... you could buy a whole FLEET of ships, fully rigged and fitted with Tech II gear that is nearly as effective.
Simply put, I just don't get these pod pilots that put all their eggs in one basket like that.
Now, do not get me wrong, I think Faction gear is great. Like the c-type pithi small shield booster I fit on my Hulks. For 12 million, I get a really effective and cost justified module. But, is it really worth it to pay 300 million ISK for a Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field that gives a modest 7.5% increase in shield resists? Or it is smarter to pay 5 million (tops) for a Tech II version?
Now, some argue, it might be a good idea to put one of those 300 million ISK Caldari Invul Fields on your Dreadnaught, since the Dread is extremely costly for the ship itself. But, when I concider all the facts, I come to the conclusion that, if you think 7.5% extra shield resists will determine the life or death of your Dread, you are probably a dislusional and horrible Dread pilot.
What gets you Popped or not, largely depends on, not what your flying or what modules you have fitted, but rather, what choices you make as a pod pilot. It is safe to say, that camping a gate that is about to get over run by 30+ ships is not a good idea. That 300 million ISK Invul is not going to make any difference at all.
So, sorry to say, I have a new term for Faction gear. When faction gear is used in such a way as to boast yourself as thinking you are all bad ass, for the rest to gawk at, or think that those tiny bonuses faction gear gives is going to determine if you live or die, you might as well call it FAGtion gear. Because, it is absoluetly GAY to pay 300 million for a single module, that gives very marginal benefits, at best.
I appologize to all my Homosexual readers (if I have any readers at all), as I do not mean to offend you, personally, with my choice of terminology.
FAGtion gear feeds the ISK farmers and attempts to glorify the pathetic EVE pilots that can't play the game without going to ISK sell sites to get anywhere in the great game called EVE Online.