Dev Blog 1 - Community Warfare
It’s been a month since the launch of MechWarrior® Online™’s website and we’ve generated a lot of buzz and content. As promised last week, we’ve prepared a developer blog about Community Warfare.
Since Community Warfare is a large topic, we decided to focus this blog on one specific topic, the Inner Sphere and Faction Warfare.
Contributors for this blog include Paul Inouye and Bryan Ekman.
It all starts with the concept of the Inner Sphere and a living timeline. Each day that passes here on Earth, also passes in the virtual MechWarrior® Online™ Inner Sphere.
Wednesday December 7th, 2011 is Wednesday December 7th, 3048.
This means every time you log into MechWarrior® Online™something new has happened. News Updates via the ISN feed, news reporter features, and battle feeds, keep players up-to-date on current events. Feeds can be viewed through a dynamic universe map or RSS style feed, in game or online at the MechWarrior® Online™website (coming soon).
For those unfamiliar with what the Inner Sphere looks like, here’s a map:
The Inner Sphere is broken up into several factions, each with their own regions and sub-regions. Each faction is warring with at least one other faction at all times in a universal territory battle. Players can be active or passive participants in this battle by following one of three paths:
- Pledging Allegiance to a Faction
- Joining a Mercenary Corporation
- Remaining Neutral
At its core, the territory battle is a fight for resources – planets. Planets are divided into three types. Each type requires a more active level of participation by the player and as a result earns a greater reward.
- Core Worlds – Are managed by the dev team. These are worlds that necessary for future planning and part of major historical events.
- Faction Worlds – Are fought over by Faction players. These planets buffer core and border worlds, and do not play a significant role in major historical events. Rewards for controlling these planets are directly linked to global bonuses and abilities associated with a player’s Faction.
- Border Worlds – Are fought over via a contract bidding system by player run Mercenary Corporations. These planets change hands on a regular basis, and have no impact on historical events. Rewards for controlling a boarder world are significant and go directly to the occupying Merc Corp.
It’s important to state now, that worlds can change from Border to Faction to Core, or any combination thereof, at any time by the development team. This will be necessary to facilitate dramatic changes in faction territory control as we progress through some tumultuous times within the BattleTech® universe.
The battle for control over faction planets is a simple war of attrition. The faction with the most influence over a particular planet occupies it. By virtue of simply competing in online matches, faction players contribute influence points to target planets.
Mercenary Corporations can bid and fight for occupation rights of border worlds throughout the Inner Sphere. Merc Corps must bid on a planet’s occupation rights via a system of contracts generated by the game.
A match or series of matches are set up between the defending Merc Corp and the challenger. The victor is determined from the results of each match, and takes control of the planet. They are rewarded with an immediate contract payout, and will continue to earn rewards while they occupy the planet.
Loyalty Points and Ranks
Loyalty Points are used to determine how devoted you have been to a particular faction. The more loyal you are, the greater the reward. LPs are earned by engaging in activities that further the goals of a particular faction.
For Example: Killing an enemy faction player would earn 1 LP.
Loyalty Points decay over time if a player is not active. Participating in negative actions can also decrease LPs.
As a Faction Player, loyalty points are earned by playing and winning matches. As the player accumulates loyalty points, they will gain a military faction rank at pre-determined loyalty point totals. If a player loses LPs by decay or negative actions, they will be demoted.
Gaining ranks earns special privileges and items, including membership to special units, unit skins, and bonuses to C-Bills and XP. These are all non-permanent and subject to the player maintaining a certain rank level. At the highest possible levels, players can begin to influence their faction by controlling which planets are targeted in territory conquest.
Mercenary Corp Players
As a Mercenary Corporation, all members’ earned loyalty points go to the Merc Corp. The Merc Corp must have a minimum amount of loyalty points with a faction before they are able to engage in planetary combat on behalf of that faction. Loyalty points also determine the type and level of contract a Merc Corp is permitted to bid on. These loyalty point restrictions mean that a Merc Corp’s membership, must remain active in order to maintain the required level of LPs.
Ranks are created within a Merc Corp by the Merc Corp leader. The naming of the ranks is entirely up to the Merc Corp leader who can assign Merc Corp level permissions to each rank.
Lone Wolf Players
As a lone wolf, the player can earn loyalty points through participation in random matches, however these LPs have no positive or negative implications. A lone wolf player does not have any ranks.
We’re committed to releasing information about BETA ready concepts only, however some ideas and concepts are still subject to change after testing.
The Community Q&A 2 is now open for questions! Ask away.