http://goo.gl/Xv5e0A FAQ is coming in the next hour or so. Please do not start feedback/response threads until the FAQ from last time is posted. I'll be adding it to the bottom of this post and providing a feedback link at that time. I'll also delete this awful and hard to read red text at that time. I just wanted to make sure to get this first main part of the update up ASAP. Community Warfare - Phase 2 - Update Sept 24,2014 First off, to make things a little easier to communicate, I will be using the following terminology: Force - Inner Sphere or Clan Faction - The House controlled IS Factions (Davion, Steiner, Kurita, Marik, Liao, FRR) or Clan Factions (Clan Wolf, Clan Smoke Jaguar, Clan Jade Falcon, Clan Ghost Bear) Unit - Player created 'guilds'... the ones you have created and invited friends to. Group - A group of 2-12 players of the same Unit that will enter matches together. Invasion Conflict - A match happening between Forces. Border Conflict - A match happening between Factions. Now some quick updates to cover some new points stemming from community feedback: 12-man Unit Group Requirement for Initiating Attacks Taking a look at your feedback and the ability of the backend systems and Match Maker, we have decided to remove the restriction of a 12-man Unit Group to initiate attacks. This does NOT mean that we are creating matches of 6v6 or anything like that, just the requirement of a 12-man group is removed. What will happen, is if a less than 12 Unit Group attacks a planet, they will enter an attackers queue for that planet and the Match Maker will be filling the rest of the team with any other attackers attacking the same planet until a full 12 person TEAM is created. Once the 12 person team is created, the attack is initiated and a call to arms is sent to the opposing Force or Faction. More on how this all plays out below. Now remember, a 12-man team does not mean it has to be a 12-man group, it's just that a team has to consist of 12 players from the same Force/Faction wanting to attack. Drop Ship Mode Players will be able to prepare their own personal drop ships that house 4 BattleMechs. The limit of 1 'Mech per weight class still remains and if you do not own a 'Mech of a certain weight class, an appropriate weight class trial 'Mech will be used to fill that spot. When CW-Phase 2 is released, both IS and Clans will have trial 'Mechs that cover all weight classes. A concern about not being able to bring 4 of a single weight class was brought up. This ties in with player preference of only piloting Light 'Mechs for example. Do not think of Drop Ship Mode being about bringing what you are most efficient in, think of it more along the lines of being able to rejoin the match to support your team in any available resources that remain at your disposal. Drops between 'Mech destructions will be staged to a global timer. If you do not select your 'Mech and ready yourself in the drop delay time limit, you will be required to wait until the next drop occurrs. Current plan is to have drops happen every 30 seconds (tentative number for now). This means if your 'Mech is destroyed and the global timer has already been counting for 25 seconds, you will have 5 seconds to ready up. If you do not achieve this in that 5 second window, you will have to wait an additional 30 seconds before dropping back into the match. Essentially drops will be in waves. Merc Corps/Lone Wolves/Dagger Stars At this time for our first iteration of Phase 2, we are going to require players aligned with these Factions to align themselves with one of the primary Factions. We will watch how the first 'season' works itself out. We will make sure that a system will be in place to allow Merc Units/Lone Wolves/Dagger Stars be independant but we want to make sure the core Faction system meets requirements before adding too many more variables to the equation. Now on to the main update: Bidding For Planets - This feature has been removed. Making bidding fair for all size units was making the bidding system far to complex/convoluted to include. Faction Contracts - This has been added to replace bidding. When players click a planet, they are shown planetary information along with the contract from the Force or Faction who has put the contract out. For example, a Davion player clicks a planet that is contested in Kurita space will see an attack contract. Solo players or Unit Group Leaders can choose to accept the contract and enter the attacker's queue and a call to arms is sent to the Kurita aligned players for defense. Defending players can now accept defense contracts from the defending Force/Faction. In the example above, the call to arms would have gone out to Kurita aligned players. As the defending players accept defense contracts, they are put into the defending queue. Once there are teams available in the attacking and defending queues, a match is kicked off. How to Conquer a Planet There are some new advancements here to make conquering a planet easy to understand and dynamic on a daily basis. First off, planets will transition ownership every 24-hours. Added is the new aspect of having to hold X number of wins on a planet for the duration of the day's combat phases to successfully conquer a planet. To make this a little easier to explain, I will break down the average scenario between Clans invading an IS planet. Scenario setup: At 0:00 UTC (Acutal time TBD), planets are marked as contested. For demonstration purposes, let's use "Balsta" as on of the contested planets which is just inside FRR space on the current IS Map. Combat Phase 1 (First peak time zone) begins Combat Phases last 2 hours (actual length TBD) How it plays out for the attacking Force players (Clan players): * Clan players (either solo or in Unit groups) click Balsta and see a planetary information screen appear. * On this screen, players can see the contract issued by Clan Jade Falcon (as an example). * Clan Jade Falcon says the reward of winning your attack match is an extra 5,000,000 CB divided amongst your team. * An 8-man group clicks Accept Contract. * The 8-man group is put into the Attacker's queue for planet Balsta. * A 2-man group clicks Accept Contract. * The 2-man group is put into the Attacker's queue for planet Balsta. * The team builder for match making adds the 2-man group to the 8-man group for a team of 10. * A 4-man group clicks Accept Contract * The 4-man group is put into the Attacker's queue for planet Balsta. * The 4-man group does not fit into the current 10-man group in the queue so they are placed on hold. * A 2-man group clicks Accept Contract * The 2-man group is put into the Attacker's queue for planet Balsta. * The team builder for match making adds the 2-man group to the 10-man team for a team of 12. * A successful 12-player attacking team has been built. * A call to arms message to all players aligned to FRR is sent system wide. ("A unit group is attacking Balsta! Click the Faction tab to defend!") * A 3-man group clicks Accept Contract. * The 3-man group is put into the Attacker's queue for planet Balsta. * The team builder for match making adds the 3-man group to the 4-man group that was on hold for a team of 7. This cycle of creating teams and triggering attacks/calls to arms continues for 2hrs. How it plays out for the defending Force players (IS players): * A call to arms message is read about a Clan force attacking Balsta. * IS players (either solo or in Unit groups) click Balsta and see a planetary information screen appear. * On this screen, players can see the contract issued by Free Rasalhague Republic. * The FRR says the reward of winning your defensive match is an extra 2,000,000 CB divided amongst your team. * A 7-man group clicks Accept Contract. * The 7-man group is put into the Defender's queue for planet Balsta. * A 2-man group clicks Accept Contract. * The 2-man group is put into the Defender's queue for planet Balsta. * The team builder for match making adds the 2-man group to the 7-man group for a team of 9. * A 4-man group clicks Accept Contract * The 4-man group is put into the Defender's queue for planet Balsta. * The 4-man group does not fit into the current 9-man group in the queue so they are placed on hold. * A 2-man group clicks Accept Contract * The 2-man group is put into the Attacker's queue for planet Balsta. * The team builder for match making adds the 2-man group to the 9-man team for a team of 11. * A solo FRR aligned player clicks Accept Contract * The solo player is put into the Defender's queue for planet Balsta. * The team builder for match making adds the solo player to the 11-man team for a team of 12. * A successful 12-player defending team has been built. * This 12-player defending team is now in queue to be matched against any attacking 12-player attacking team. * This cycle of creating teams and defending continues for 2hrs. Once the above two teams were created, they would be matched together and the game begins. If the attacking Clan team wins the match, they will win a token (zone, point, something that is collectible and visually representable). If the defending IS team wins the match, they will have sucessfully defended the planet from that one attack. No tokens are awarded. Let's assume that the Clan team DID win this match. The Clan Force now owns 1/X tokens for that planet. (for now, let's say X=10) Here's where the planet conquests rules start to apply. The Clan Force needs to get 10 tokens to successfully take the planet from the IS Forces and the FRR. When the Clan Force (or any attacking Force/Faction for any contested planet) takes the first token, the opportunity for the IS Force to do a counter attack begins. The next match after the token is taken, is considered a counter attack. In this case, if the Clan team wins the match, they keep their token. If the IS team wins the match, the token is taken away from the Clan Force. If the IS team wins the match, the next match to take place on the planet is another Clan attack match. This creates a push/pull mechanic for the planet's tokens. With this scenario playing out over the 3 or 4 peak time combat phases, at the end of the last combat phase, the servers will see if the Clans have maintained at least 10 tokens at the end and if so, the planet is no longer contested and now belongs to Clan Jade Falcon and the border on the IS map reflects this. If the Clans do not have 10 tokens at the end of the last combat phase, the planet remains in control of the FRR/IS Force. The following question arises: What if the Clans get 15 tokens? The answer is that the IS Forces will have to successfully counter attack 6 times to push the token count back down below 10 to keep the planet. Unit Coffers When it comes to Unit coffers and the fact that bidding was removed from Phase 2, coffer monies will be spent on logistical costs for war. Each drop will cost a Unit a set amount of C-bills. This is to pay for fuel/food/supplies and other logistical costs. We are not actually implementing the logistics at this time (maybe in Phase 3) but the cost of operations will be present in Phase 2. The cost per drop will be scalar based on the number of members in your Unit. This is to avoid smaller units being punished while large units don't notice the cost at all. This is not unlike moving the Swedish army costs compared to the US army costs. Numbers of Contested Planets This is going to be a tough one to determine for day 1, but our tentative numbers are 2 planets on each side of Faction borders (so the Kurita/Davion border would have 4 planets in contention, and the Kurita/FRR border would have another 4). There will tentitively be 8 planets along the FRR/Clan invasion path as well. This brings up the thought of participation. Our current plan is as follows: Invasion Conflicts will allow anyone from the Inner Sphere Factions to defend. Anyone from Clan Factions can attack. Border Conflicts will allow only people aligned with the two bordering Factions to participate with one exception. Anyone in any Force specific Faction can defend any conflicted planet, but only the specific Faction aligned players can attack for a Faction. For example, if a planet on the Kurita/Davion border, that is in Kurita space, only Davion players can attack it. Anyone from the other Factions (Steiner, Marik, Liao, FRR, Kurita) can defend the planet. You should notice that Davion cannot defend against a Davion attack. I know this adds a weird twist to the lore of the Houses which is why this particular part of the feature is still being discussed. (I'll let you know that my stance is that only the Faction players aligned with the Factions involved can participate. i.e. Steiner would never defend a Kurita planet from Davion. I'll let you know where that discusson ends up at when we make a final call.) And yes, there should be a take away from this: IS vs IS and Clan vs Clan conflicts will be part of Phase 2. That's it for this update, I'll be back in 2 weeks to update you all again.