Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Future of Dust Corp Battles

For fuck's sake...

There is currently a little threadnaught forming on the Dust514 forums, mostly being fanned by CCP FoxFour, one of the devs.

The key points are people concerned about the current corp battle system and its effect on factional warfare (FW) in the EVE universe.

A breakdown of the current system:
A corporation as an attacker can choose from randomly generated "contracts" from each of the four factions. These contracts have collateral that the corp pays from their wallet. It is currently impossible to select a specific planet or district, and you have to keep refreshing the contracts page if you are attempting to siege a specific system.
Once you have a contract, you must wait around for a defender to take the defense contact. The defender can see who the attacking corp is, and has to decide if the they, too, are willing to front the collateral. The winner of this match (regardless of if any players go into the match) wins the combined pot (minus a tax) and the district is "won" for the faction they took the contract on.
Problems? Any two corps can conspire to just game the system with 100K contracts. This can flip many territories very quickly and have a noticeable effect in EVE FW. Also, the barrier for entry for new players to interact with this side of EVE integration is steep, as most don't understand the corp mechanic at all. And lastly, the incentive for Dust players to take these contracts is extremely low, because the individual mercs are not awarded SP nor ISK, the corp simply wins the loser's collateral. It's even worse if you lose, as you don't get anything at all, and are even out dropsuits/tanks/etc.

Now, the thread points out some of these problems, and CCP FoxFour jumped into the discussion revealing that corp battles are being looked at and ideas are being tossed around the CCP offices as to what they should really be. The gist? Planetary conquest on behalf of corps, not NPC factions.
Now, the problems that need to be solved: How should the battle system work? What should be the reward for doing this?

As far as rewards, I think the easy solution is either passive income or passive resources (I of course favor resources, as they can be turned into items and eventually sold on the market). But this system needs a lot of thought and Dust will need an entire expansion dedicated to industry and crafting just to facilitate the manufacturing component. So I'll instead cover my concept (that I put forth on the forum) on how the system should work:

The planets should all start unclaimed by players, owned by NPC factions, and attackers will just put up contracts to invade planetary districts. These districts will, at first, belong to the factions. Any players inside of the faction NPC corps or even the faction warfare militia will be able to take the defense contracts. If the attacker fails, the district remains under faction control. If no one shows up, the attacker wins by default. The attacker now owns this district.

Once a Corporation owns a district, the corporation must define a "vulnerability" time for this district, similar to the POCO reinforcement timers. If the Corp's district is surrounded by NPC owned districts, or by their own districts, the vulnerability timer for that district will be a 30 minute window starting at that vulnerability timer. If hostile forces own the surrounding districts, your vulnerability timer will expand, depending on how many districts are around you. The direction in which the vulnerability expands will depend on the neighboring districts' timers are. So if my corp sets their timer at 0200, and the neighbor has theirs set for 2300, my vulnerability timer will stretch from 0130-0230, and this will stack depending on how many neighbor districts are hostile.

As far as how many contracts to attack your district can exist at one time, I think a limit of 1 per day is reasonable, with some restrictions: The same corp can only place an attack contract on a specific district once a week. These attack contracts can be outbid by another attack contract, which voids the original attack. This money should be paid 50% in advance to a merc corp (this can include the same corp that wants to own the district) once it is locked in (at a random point 1-2 hours before the actual match), and the other half should only be paid upon success (minus a small tax, approximately 5%). This out-bidding system, coupled with the tax, and the limit of 1 attack attempt per week, should prevent the system from being gamed by a corp attacking themselves from an alt corp to prevent a hostile corp from invading. Also, the payment for such contracts needs to be reworked so a CEO/Director can specify that the money goes to the corp wallet or a percentage goes to the mercs involved.

Defenders can either defend their own territory at no cost, or hire mercs to do so on their behalf. These merc contracts can be made to specific groups, or made public, like killrights in EVE, with settings for standing. The mercs get paid 50% of the contract on failure, and 100% on success.

Now, to prevent zerg-style invasions of entire planet districts all at once, the limit for how many attack contracts against a planet should be proportional to the number of corporations that have a foothold on the planet. This pushes for complete planetary dominance for safety, and prevents large groups from wholly conquering all of EVE all at once. As an example, if SMERG owns all of Seyllin VII, only one attack contract can be made against the planet. Once another corp has a foothold on the planet, two contacts can be made (SMERG should get first choice to counter-attack immediately upon loss of their first district. If they don't take an attack contract for 1 hour, the contract is up for grabs, and can be that 2 attacks can be made against 2 different SMERG territories.)

Well, that is all for now. I presented a shell of the idea in the thread, and hopefully eyes at CCP take notice.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

First Corp Battles

For fuck's sake...

First two Dust514 corp battles for SMERG were yesterday.

1st: Against L.O.T.U.S (ranked in the top 20 corp in Dust)

We took a 1 million ISK collateral match in Deven for the Caldari State. We got 2 squads assembled, consisting of: BursegSardaukar, darkdrifter law, Rectanus, Himiko in the Ventrilo squad, and zezro, chia pet,  katariss katalyst, and kyle mass on the in-game vox.

I told the second squad to hold point A no matter what, and the harass other points if needed, but their entire purpose would be to ensure we never lost our closest point, to hold  back a failcascade. We managed to hold the C point, while L.O.T.U.S grabbed B. The initial fight against C was rough, the enemy bringing in heavies and shotgun scouts, but we repelled them, having possession of the CRU at that point. We then captured C and held it for the majority of the fight. It traded hands a couple times, but our secondary squad struck back and held their objective and ensured C stayed in our hands as our first squad continued to harass point B. I managed to call in two orbital bombardments, destroying the enemy tanks both times. I also lost a Madrugar tank during the fray, but it was a worthy investment. We were bleeding clones for a good part of the match, and were far behind in the K/D, but we destroyed the enemy MCC by holding the objective.

SMERG Victory - 2 Tactical Hybrid Bombardments (provided by Caid Sardaukar) in Deven.

2nd: Less awesome, against a relatively unknown corp, they were undermanned, we took it easy on them. The match wasn't nearly as impressive, and the contract was only 100k, so it wasn't much to brag about. We also took this contract on behalf of the Caldari State.

SMERG Victory - 1 Tactical Hybrid Bombardment (provided by Caid Sardaukar)

I hope to do these regularly. Because, as you can see, our Dust numbers are getting rather GIRTHY.

Monday, February 4, 2013



today i write to you as a humble EVE player who has come to an impasse.
no im not considering quitting our beloved game. but i am seriously
considering giving myself a home labotimy just so that i can actually
stoop to the level of retardidness that that some members of my corporation
went to last night.

it all started with our esteemed leader Burseg Sardaukar who suggested that we fuck
with a known LOGISTICS ABUSER and kill his NEUT LOGI. at this point neither me nor him had any idea how our corp would ultimately let us down.

we decided that the best tactic was to use out "tested" VEXORS fits to get aggression on the suspect. who was initially flying in an ENYO class gallente assault-ship  whilst we was on grid the suspect had already managed to pop other locals ships. namely:

AMARR NAVY SLICER (amarr faction frigate)
ISHKUR(gallanet drone assault-ship)
SLASHER (minmatar frigate)

Burseg however assumed (wrongly) that our superior noobs would prevail and relive this suspect
of his ship. our fleet consisted of
5 (7) hulls:
2 NAGAS (sniper fitted)-(1 WO aggression for logi detail, me)
1 FALCON (logi jam detail WO aggression, burseg)

Burseg had the VEXORS and ISHKUR engage the suspect on station. this ultimatly failed because the target was able to move at around 2.8kms where as our fleet had a top speed of about 1kms.
the target easily kited the fleet and docked up in DODIXIE moon 20 station. he had at 3 of our
fleet locked in limited engagements (or so me and burseg thaught)
with in seconds he undocked from the station in an ASTARTE class command-ship and preceded to
kill a "sniper fitted" NAGA that was sat on the undock, with agression and weapons lock might i add.

when the primary VEX/ISHKUR trio landed on the ASTARTE he de-agressed and we assumed that he would dock again. well that was a wrong assumption. he re- aggressed the now separated RR VEXORS (now about 8km apart, medium RRs have a max range of about 6km) and killed both in about 30 seconds. the he stated on the ISHKUR. luckily for me and Burseg the pilot of the ISHKUR was new to the corporation and was listening vary carefully (sucking Bursegs dick) and under direction was able to escape the grasp of the ASTARTE and live.

so far the score was ASTARTE 3 : fleet 0


after 60 seconds the ASTARTE docked up and we assumed (wrongly again) that this was then end of the fight. the suspect however still had one limited engagement that he could play with.
enter KAPHINE stage left. this idiot had agresed the ASTARTE pilot, now in a TORNADO class battle-cruiser  in his BLACK BIRD (a jamming ship) the target moved to about 28km off of our
B-TEAMER and engaged. the BLACK BIRD was melting fast when he excitedly exclaimed in ventrillo that he had managed to jam the target and was warping out. HOWEVER the fucking idiot was hugging the station (model) and had picked a celestial that was on the far side of the station
so surprise surprise his ship started spanning out on the station trying to align in to the station for warp then is jam cycle missed and well the rest is history.

i recommend the following names be forever inscribed in to the B-TEAM stone.

BRUSANAN for losing his alt in a "SNIPER" naga on station with aggression
KAPHINE for trying to warp through a station, not keeping in range of his LOGISTICS partner
SELINE (PL SPY) for also not keeping in range of this LOGISTICS partner

RECOMENDATION: DADY FATSACK for keeping his cool whilst his fleet melted around him and still managing to take instruction resulting in the survival of his ISHKUR


there has been a sharp rise is the BUNNI population as DUST 154 has gone in to open BETA
we in SMERG have embraced these furry ballz of fun and have also dipped our fingers in the sticky goo that is DUST 514. check out our member list people (overt SPY info coming up)


well that was a bad dream what was this narrator talking about that not how i recall the battle of DIXM20... i have a headache. time for sleep i think.