GCW: Q & A with the Devs!

Question: What was the inspiration for the GCW? Why did you decide to take this massive undertaking of making a completely new system? (I love it btw )
Dev Answer: Empire in Flames is built as “the SWG we want to play” – and a critical element of that is an active Galactic Civil War. From well before we launched, we knew we wanted a GCW system that encouraged all players to participate rather than just the hardcore PvPers.


Senate

Question: How often will the elections for senator/traitor be? And will there be a limit to terms?
Dev Answer: Elections will happen on a 28-day cycle. There are no term limits. If you want to buy a Senator or Councilor, you’d better start stockpiling credits.

Question: Are there any benefits other than voting for being on the senate or Council?Dev Answer: Senators and Councilors get a unique title and access to their faction’s war room, where voting takes place.

Question: Will there be any plans to expand the system later on?
Dev Answer: We’ve already planned an expansion for the GCW revolving around “planetary loyalty”, which is separate from factional control. A planet could be occupied by the New Republic but loyal to the Empire, for example. Loyalty levels open up different missions and quests for players to swing a planet’s population in their favor, which in turn affects the difficulty of invasions.

Question: Does senator require a specific faction rank?
Dev Answer: No. It does require certain skill boxes in politician, however – New Republic Senators must be Statesmen, while Imperial Councilors must be Warmasters.

Question: Will Senators and Council get a special title or badge?
Dev Answer:  Titles will be Senator for NR and Councilor for Imperials

Question: Can there be more than just picking the target planet to invade, like picking a target planet to defend?
Dev Answer: Defensive positioning will also be a role for Senate /Council when we have JTL.

Question: What is required to become a Senator?
Dev Answer: 1.)Be a citizen in a city of the planet you wish to run on. 2.) Be NR faction 3.) have Politician xx4x 4.) register to run for Senator and win the most votes for Senator on the planet you registered.

Question: What is required to become a Councilor?
Dev Answer: 1.)Be a citizen in a city of the planet you wish to run on. 2.) Be Imperial faction 3.) have Politician x4xx 4.) register to run for Councilor and win the most votes for Councilor on the planet you registered.

Question: What is the term for Senator or Councilor?
Dev Answer: 28 days

Question: Can you have more than one Senator or Councilor per account?
Dev Answer: Yes , as long as you qualify and are voted in legally. In the event of suspicious activity, elections can be audited as all information is logged.

Question: How do I get politician skill?
Dev Answer: Train novice politician. Run for mayor of an existing player city , or create your own. For each vote you have you get 300xp at election (awarded when mayor is elected 3 week cycles).
Each week as Mayor when city maintenance is due, and when/if you win election you will received an extra/automatic 750xp. Even if you do not win the mayor election , you still will get xp for each vote you received.


Question: What will decide which planet to invade?
Dev Answer: Senators and Councilors will have independent votes. The planet that has the most votes for each group will be the planet to be invaded in the upcoming GCW for that faction. Access to the planet is determined by hyperlanes, so planets can only be attacked if a connecting planet is also controlled.

Question: How many Councilors and Senators will there be?
Dev Answer: There will be 1 Councilor and 1 Senator per inhabited planet.

Question: What if no one lives on x Planet?
Dev Answer: If no one runs, the seat will remain vacant for that planet.

Question: Do you have to be mayor of a player city to run for Senator or Councilor?
Dev Answer: No

Question: How / where will I register to run for Senator or Councilor?
Dev Answer: A voting center will be placed by a city’s mayor – the city must be at least rank 2. In the city you are a citizen of you can register to run if you meet perquisites at these tests.
(details to be clarified)


Invasions

Question:  How are GCW battles different than traditional PVP?
Dev Answer: GCW battles are designed with tangible goals, strict timelines, and PvP rewards – it’s designed to be a focused, fast-paced experience that rewards planning and teamwork. Oh, and combat walkers that players pilot into battle! Walkers allow those who normally don’t enjoy PvP to get involved.  Use /takeCommand and /fireCanons to use a walker.

Question: Can we practice piloting the big AT-AT walkers? Please?
Dev Answer: This has been a common request, actually – piloting the various combat walkers, from the New Republic’s little AT-PT to the Empire’s overpowering AT-AT is ridiculously fun. We’re looking at an event our storytellers can kick off to allow players some walker vs walker combat for live events. It’s not ready yet, but it’s been tinkered with and will become available sometime soon.

Question: Will my gear decay from all the extra fighting?
Dev Answer: Use decay still happens – so as you take and do damage, your armor and weapons will decay. However, you won’t suffer decay for death and cloning.

Question: What is War Fame, how do we get it and what will it be used for?
Dev Answer: War fame is the “currency” you acquire while you participate in invasions. All players participating get a “tick” regularly while they’re in the invasion zone; accomplishing objectives will give you much larger windfalls. Successful defense of a planet will give the defenders a giant bonus, too.

Question: What will war fame be used for?
Dev Answer: War Fame will be used to purchase GCW specific rewards, like the battle damaged versions of armor and more.

Question: Is there a listing of costs?
Dev Answer: Yep. Not anywhere you can find it though.*nod* (Yet.)

Question: How is war fame earned?
Dev Answer: For now, War Fame is earned through active participation in Invasions, but once the Planetary Loyalty missions are rolled out, players will be able to earn War Fame that way as well, but with a much smaller return than actually fighting in the war.

Question: Will war fame remain or get lost if you change factions?
Dev Answer: If you choose to defect, your war fame will follow you.

Question: What can you tell us about the new armor and weapons?
Dev Answer: We’re using GCW to bring in armor and weapons that have been requested practically since we launched the server. The big obvious star is the New Republic’s A280 – the iconic BlasTech blaster is going to be available for Riflemen, Carbineers, and Pistoleers! But we’re adding more than just the A280.

We’re also bringing in the war-scuffed versions of the six factional armors at minimum…and a few surprises.

Question: Can all of the new items be traded?
Dev Answer: All of the Factional items and War Fame rewards will be crafting schematics, so you will *need* to trade them to your friendly local crafter.

Question: Are there any restrictions to equipping some of the new weapons or armor?Dev Answer: The armor will generally be factionally-restricted for now – a character must be Imperial to wear stormtrooper armor, for example.

Question: Can non-combat characters help their faction?
Dev Answer: At launch, non-combat characters are useful both in providing equipment – rocket launchers, for example, are critical – and healing during invasions as combat and death begins to accumulate wounds and battle fatigue.

We have further plans to allow non-combat characters (and characters who can’t participate in invasions directly) to both help their faction and acquire war fame, but that system isn’t ready at GCW launch.

Non-Combat can also contribute with the walkers as explained above.

Question: Will non-PvPers be able to contribute in any way?
Dev Answer: At launch, only indirectly. The planetary loyalty expansion will change that – we’re ensuring that even crafters and entertainers can participate.

Question: when will the invasions happen?
Dev Answer: The current system schedules battles for 9:30 PM EST. This can be adjusted as necessary, depending on attendance and other variables. Because the system runs on a 6-day schedule, the day-of-week always changes.

Question: are there going to be any EU-friendly battles, or are there plans to include some if the European population grows large enough?
Dev Answer: If the European population on EiF grows to the point where EU-friendly invasions are more plausible, the system is flexible enough for us to schedule them.

Question: Will there be ranks higher than Colonel added?
Dev Answer: Yes, but high ranks also come with drawbacks like being permanently Special Forces


Planets

Question: Which planets will be involved?
Dev Answer: Most of the planets currently on the server will be used. More than half of our planned additions will also be part of the GCW when they’re ready.

Question: Which will not, and why?
Dev Answer: The “no” planets currently on the server are Tatooine and Lok. Both have very much an underworld/edge of the galaxy vibe, and in time of open war they don’t provide much to either the New Republic or the Empire.

Hoth will also be left out, for two reasons. From a technical perspective, Echo Base doesn’t work very well on pre-CU and has issues that Takhomasak has not been able to solve in spite of over a year of work. Story-wise, Hoth is of no further interest to the GCW warring factions after the Rebel Alliance evacuated.

Question: Will there be new planets added in the future that will be included?
Dev Answer: Absolutely

Question: What are some of the incentives for controlling a planet?
Dev Answer: That’s the trick, isn’t it?

For launch, we’ve designed a series of skill bonuses that apply to all members of the controlling factions. These launch bonuses include things like weapon accuracy and crafting assembly bonuses. Those bonuses also scale based on a character’s rank in the faction.

Question: What are some of the penalties for losing a planet?
Dev Answer: Losing bonuses! We opted not to directly penalize players losing a planet – hurt pride is generally reason enough for players to come out again. Not gaining the control bonus is penalty enough


Neutral Players

Question: What are some reasons that neutral players may want to participate?
Dev Answer: Neutral players miss out on the rewards that participants receive. The rewards range from armor, weapons, decorations, and vehicles, to skill bonuses for factional characters.

Question: Can neutral characters participate?
Dev Answer: Not directly.

Question: If not, can you temporarily join a faction and then go back to being neutral later?
Dev Answer: Only through standard game mechanics – e.g. having enough faction points to reach 200, and sign up with a faction via a recruiter. At this time, we’re not looking at adding mercenary functionality.

Question: Will a neutral character be aware that a planet is under factional control? Dev Answer: Planet control determines a number of troop spawns on a planet, most noticeably in starports but around cities as well. If a player is paying attention, they’ll definitely notice.

Question: I mean will there be effects of planetary control which apply to non-aligned chars? (I would like to see some. even if they are detrimental).
Dev Answer: Neutral characters suffer from having neither bonuses nor drawbacks.


EIF Community!

Question: What is the EIF pvp community like?
Dev Answer: Surprisingly chill. While there are always some emotions that run high, during the Week of War testing phase players on the losing side generally came away both with some satisfaction for having fun and with determination to win the next battle.

Question: Is there lots of trash talk and spitting on corpses?
Dev Answer: I’ve seen a little, and I don’t think it’s possible to get completely away from it. On the other hand, it’s a fraction of the toxicity you’ll find on servers with a self-proclaimed PvP focus.

Question: Will a novice feel intimidated or unwelcome?
Dev Answer: I don’t think it’s possible to not be intimidated. On the other hand, both factions’ leadership tends to really take new players in under their wings to equip and train them to get ready to fight.

Question: I’ve heard there is lots of RP on that server, how does that affect GCW battles?
Dev Answer: Oddly, it leads to better turnout. It’s a trend the EiF staff has noted going back to the live Starsider server, when the largest turnout for space PvP events consisted of RPers who were interested in advancing the story and fighting for their faction. If PvP isn’t constant – and with EiF’s system, we’re on a six-day cycle – RPers tend to come out and enjoy it.


General

Question: Are there any plans for when Jump to Lightspeed goes live?
Dev Answer: Very much so. And yes, we will be integrating JtL into our GCW system. Planetary blockades, anyone?

Question: Will Boris and Natasha ever catch that pesky moose and squirrel?
Dev Answer: “Military intelligence. That phrase mean anything to you?”  “It sounds like a contradiction of terms.”

Question: What will the impact of Jedi be on the GCW and vice versa?
Dev Answer: Indirect. When Jedi goes live, they will be able to participate in the GCW, but they will not have a special role per se. However, the Jedi system relies on a substantial part of the code we’ve written for GCW. Jedi development in earnest will be starting not long after the GCW launch.

Question: An important aspect of factional conflict, especially in Star Wars, is looking the role.  What steps are being taken to make sure that from the lowliest grunt in the Imperial Army, to a sergeant in the Stormtrooper Corps, to a Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy, have access to appropriate gear?
Dev Answer: A large part of this is simply the combat and crafting redesign Empire in Flames underwent before launching. The distance between “top tier” and “entry level” isn’t nearly as large as it is on, say, Basilisk.

Question: “Is @Sandi the best CM?”

Dev Answer

  • Of course. Without her, Empire in Flames wouldn’t be the awesome place it is!
  • What kind of stupid question is that? Sandi is awesome!
  • Sandi’s leagues better than people paid to do the job
  • Without Sandi, you’d be stuck with Abi as CM. Daily floggings to keep morale high.  The beatings will continue until morale improves
  • *Threatens to rip some arms off for anyone that thinks otherwise*

(Sandi rolls her eyes and hugs the devs)

GCW Live Invasion Test – 4/8/18

We will be conducting a third, and with any luck last, live server test of a GCW invasion on Sunday, April 8th at 3 PM EST. Location will be announced shortly before kick-off. Come armed and ready for both offense and defense!

Assuming a successful test, we will shortly after begin rolling out the GCW to the live server, starting with the Senate and Council election system.

Friday Feature 2/2/2018 – Food and Drinks (released 2/16/2018)

It feels a teensy weensy bit self-serving to be writing about this topic. However the timing is such that it needs to be addressed. Why now? What is special about this time in the life of EiF? I’m soooo glad you asked! Players are starting to think about how to get the most from their characters and templates now that PvP is starting to kick in. The GCW Invasions are being live tested. Bases are being dropped by opposing factions, just taunting the opposition to come blow them up! Just last week the Imperials and New Republic faced off over salvaging the ruins of a blown up NR Base outside Anchorhead.

The player killing instincts are coming to the surface. Crafters want to make the toughest, most resistant armor. Weapons need to deal a lot of damage! How can foods help? There are food and drink to help improve Assembly and Experimentation chances. Food to increase the drop rate on creature resources when something amazing is available.

There are player enhancing foods and drinks. Things to temporarily increase health or mind pools. Need to dodge better? Are you missing your targets and need to be more accurate? Yes, you guessed it there is a food or drink for that! ((Okay, I’m totally geeking out and thinking…”there is an app for that* Then I remember back when I played SWG Live there were no tablets and smart phones in everyone’s hand, and apps weren’t a thing. Sorry, back to the topic at hand. Hee hee hee))

This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, nor am I the expert. Not by a long shot. Thanks to Colin and Anishor for their input into this Friday Feature.

Things to be aware of when using Food and Drink

Filling – Each food or drink has a fill number. This means how much your tummy is filled when you eat or drink an item. You can fill your tummy up to 100. There is a lot of strategy that players put into this, so talk to some experienced PvPers to learn more.

Timing vs # – Each food or drink item has a duration that is either a set amount of time or a number of uses.

Bonuses –

-Citros Snowcake:
Accuracy bonus to hit on the currently equipped weapon

-Vayerbok:
Block – Increases the chance to block

-Synthsteak:
Damage reduction for a set number of attacks, but never lasts longer than the designated duration. Gives a nice edge in PVP, especially if facing a hard opponent like a rifleman with an ion rifle or various others that sometimes hit hard for one or another reason. This will reduce the indicated % of the DMG you take after your armour reduction has fully had its course.  

-Exo-Protein Wafer:
Damage Reduction. Works exactly like Synthsteak, but not as strong, nor filling.

-Pikatta Pie:
Dodge – Increases ability to dodge for a set amount of time.

-Aircake:
Dodge – Less powerful than Pikatta Pie

Pool Increases

-Accarragm:
Action/Quickness/Stamina – Increases each of the three pools for a set time duration

-Vasarian Brandy :
Mind/focus/willpower pool increase for a set duration.

-Vagnerian Canape:
Focus and willpower

Other

-Veghash:
Creature Harvesting – While not directly PvP related, the resources are for the crafters who make the weapons, armor, food, and drinks PvPers use. This provides a direct increase to the amount of resources harvested.

-Blue milk:
Instant heal to your mind. Not often used, but useful in a tight situation where you need that little edge over the opponent.

-Bespin Port:
Crafting Experimentation – Increases the chance to get an amazing on the first experimentation

-Pyollian Cake:
Crafting Assembly – Increases the chance to get an amazing on the assembly of your item.

Sandarie, Community Manager

Clearly Not A Combat Princess!

Friday Feature 1/26/2018 – Base Busting EiF Style!

Tensions are mounting. Imperials and the New Republic alike are setting the stage for invasions. Armies are in training, troops being dispatched, leaders are coordinating the survival of their planet or the take over of another one. Bases and Outposts are being placed in preparation. Some are  placed to intimidate small cities, others located more stealthily in the lesser traveled areas of planets. Training is underway to take out these bases, some preemptively in hopes of turning back an invasion.

Join your faction today and start preparing. Below is the training manual to take out a base. Learn it. Use it. Don’t let the other side take over your planet!

OOC:

Base busting was a very popular PvP event in SWG Live. It was content driven by players. A faction could plop down a base, complete with NPCs and those deadly turrets, to protect a city or outpost. The opposing faction would search out these bases and then make plans to bust the base wide open.

The planetary invasions in Starports are designed around the base busting model as well.

Below is a guide I found from the old SWG Live forums. It’s been tweaked to explain the new base busting design of EiF’s developers.

Required Professions:

Bounty Hunter 2000 (Investigation II)

Smuggler 0100 (Slicing I)

Novice Doctor

Commando 0200 (Heavy Weapons II)

Novice Squad Leader

Equipment:

The smuggler must have Molecular Clamps and Laser Knives.

Base Vulnerability Times:

Find an opposite faction spy who is at least a Warrant Officer II. They can enter any base and look for the Main terminal to check its status. The base’s terminal will indicate how much time is left before the base is vulnerable to attack. For those placing bases, the countdown starts when the base is dropped.  The base will be vulnerable to attack for two hours.

If a spy is not available, use /tar power. If the base is vulnerable, you will be able to target its power regulator.

Starport Note: These are only vulnerable when an invasion is active.

Base Entry:

When the team gets to the base/starport, turrets should be taken down first.

You cannot enter the base while the turrets are up.

Base Only Note: You can blow up the turrets prior to the vulnerability window. However the defenders can replace them. Only one turret can be added during the vulnerability window.

Take Down Procedures:

Remember there is a timer ticking down!

Make sure that system messages are enabled in your options

First slice: The Bounty Hunter on the Uplink Terminal

Goal: Find the numbers

  • Stand next to the Uplink to begin the process of jamming the uplink.
  • Open up the radial menu and click on the jam uplink.
  • A set of numbers  (1-10) appears and you need to guess the number. A system message appears indicating of your choice is too high or too low.
    • Repeat selecting numbers until you find the first one.
  • Repeat until you find all the numbers.
  • You will get 1000 xp and a successful slice when you’re finished.

Second slice: The Smuggler on the Security Terminal:

Goal: Successful slice using smuggler slicing skills

  • Stand next to the Security Terminal
  • Open up the radial menu and choose to Slice Terminal
  • Use the molecular clamp
  • Follow directions for the slice
  • Check spatial for the message that you were successful or received XP for the slice.
  • If you get a failed message, start the process over once the cooldown ends

Third slice: The Doctor on the Override Terminal

Goal: Break the code.

  • Stand next to the Override Terminal
  • Open up the radial menu and choose DNA Sample
  • A box with 44 letters appears.
  • Look at the sample at the box of the opened box. It shows the 4 letters in the DNA sequence
  • Each of the letters matches up with one of the others letters.
    • For example: If the DNA Sample code is ACGT
    • ACGT would match with TGCA (notice the code is reversed)
    • a with t, c with g, g with c, t with a
  • In the box below is 22 code sequences. Using the information above enter the corresponding code
    • For example: if the box displays ACAC, the answer is TGTG
  • When all 22 codes are decrypted, you will get XP or a message in spatial indicating you completed the slice.

Fourth slice: The Commando on the Power Regulator

Goal: Turn off the power at the base

  • Stand next to the power regulator.
  • Open the radial menu
  • 8 power switches appear, which are either set to on or off
  • Click on the “on” buttons until the buttons are off
    • It’s possible that clicking one button to off will turn another one on. Just keep clicking until a system message appears indicating the power has been shut down, or you receive 1000 heavy weapons XP

Fifth slice: The Squad Leader on the Primary Terminal:

  • Go to the top of the base if it’s a large or the front entrance of the smaller ones
  • Stand next to the Primary Terminal
  • Open the radial menu
  • If all the slicing was done properly, select the activate overload. In 60 seconds the base/starport will be shut down/destroyed. 🙂

Defend, Defend, Defend!

Defend the base for 60 seconds to protect the countdown. An overt defender can shut down the activation sequence. (The 60 second countdown is subject to change.)


Special thank you to Halyn, Abi, Anishor, Kelta, and Alhai for their help in reviewing this, making suggestions, and clarifying things for me!

Sandarie, Community Manager

Clearly Not Combat Princess!

Friday Feature 1/20/2018 – Factions

Rumors of a Galactic Civil War erupting are increasing. Stories are spreading of Imperial Moffs attempting to consolidate their power in the wake of the Emperor’s death. Mon Mothma is rallying the Rebels to form a New Republic in the wake of their success against the Empire. Planets all over the galaxy are preparing for war on their soil. Calls are being put forth for retired military to come back and lead the scattered troops. The NR looks to each planet’s citizens to join them and stabilize a New Republic. The Imperials expect citizens to demonstrate their loyalty and help maintain the Empire.

OOC:

Many in the EiF community have participated in two live tests of the GCW invasion system which greatly helped the devs and the players learn more about what is needed to improve when the entire GCW finally goes live! New and returning players continue to swell the population. Crafters are working hard to meet the demands of the growing community, as it prepares for the GCW.

Part of players’ preparation is gaining enough faction to be able to participate in the exciting, original content exclusive to  Empire in Flames. This Feature is one in a series to help players prepare. This week we are concentrating on gaining factional alignment.

The GCW’s factions are Imperial and New Republic. You will need to earn 200 faction points to show a faction recruiter you are serious about joining their cause. These are earned by:

  • Killing enough opposite faction NPCs or overt players
    • Random factionally align NPCs
    • Faction missions obtained from mission terminals
      • Found in Cities
        • NPC
        • Player Cities whose Mayor has provided them.
  • Having another player of the same faction delegate some of their faction points to you.

Once you have your points, locate a recruiter. They will let you join the faction and you will gain the rank of private. There are links to locations below, but there will also be recruiters at the GCW Basecamps and in the defending faction’s city.

New Republic recruiters (formerly the Rebel Recruiters)

http://swg.wikia.com/wiki/Rebel_recruiter

Imperial Recruiters

http://swg.wikia.com/wiki/Imperial_recruiter

To participate in a GCW invasion you will need to already be aligned with a faction. When you enter an active GCW invasion, you will automatically be made Special Forces.You will be vulnerable to enemy players, NPCs, and their equipment, such as turrets.

Special thanks to Kelta for editing and Halyn for reviewing for accuracy!

Sandarie, Community Manager

Clearly Not Combat Princess!