September 15, 2014

Rebellion: Live Event Proposal

After the tears about the Revenant event I’ve been thinking about what would make for a better Live Event.  My proposal can stop at merely being a single live event, or could provide a series of events that move to additional functionality - and can be a test for some of the concepts discussed under the broad “fix nullsec” banner.

This the first post, aiming for a set of live events which engages the player base and changes New Eden.  In a later post I'll talk about where this could go beyond just the live event.

First we should ask ourselves what goals would we have for a live event:
  • Geographically distributed to reduce the TiDi nightmare
  • Distributed across time-zones to engage players around the world
  • Cannot require heavy load on CCP resources
  • Should be accessible to a range of players (new and old, pvp and pve)
  • Should fit within the grand arc story for the Eve universe
  • Should have meaning and impact to the Eve universe

Overall Theme: Rebellion

The theme of the Empires losing control has been a consistent one over the past few years.  Incursions represent the early Sansha moves in this direction.  All these things point to a change in the power distribution across New Eden.  Now it is time for the inhabitants of New Eden to declare their Loyalty and shape the New Eden that will come.

Build Up

Ahead of the Rebellion CCP builds up the story of increased pirate activity in eight constellations - four pairs of high-sec/low-sec constellations on the border of each empire.  These rebellions are led by the four predominant pirate factions.  Players are warned that CONCORD is reaching the point that it can no longer guarantee their safety in these constellations.  The Empires and Pirates put out a call for loyalists to gather in each of the four constellations, though a set of existing and new personas to give the lore-aware players something fun to latch onto.

Possible lore twist: Angry CONCORD Guy announces that the four empires have been reducing their financial support due to the continued cost of their proxy wars with each other.  As a result CONCORD may have to pull back from "frontier" systems.

This would be advertised to the player base through the kick-off devblog, which would also include the mechanics explanations on the scoring and prizes, as well as through a launcher news placement, social media outreach, and through the CSMs and their various blogs.

Declare your Loyalty
CCP allows all Alliances to declare loyalty to a single faction, either empire or pirate.  All Faction War corporations are automatically considered loyal to their faction.  All NPC corps are loyal to their faction.  The deadline will be set a bit more than two weeks before the new release comes out.  The implementation to this is relatively simple out-of-game - a web page lists alliances and factions, including a search facility to find corps/alliances. Players are warned that once the deadline passes, the loyalty declaration will be unchangeable for the duration of the live event.

Alliance level declaration was chosen to keep the overall number of data point down, as well as to keep Alliances from being split in loyalty.  Accommodating corporations without an Alliance would be a nice addition.

The live event period kicks off two weeks before the new release.  Loyalist alliances are encouraged to declare war on opposing loyalist alliances by a discounted war cost.  While much of the idea is that the players are generating content, there are specific CCP events and enablers during that time period as well.

Assault Forces
NPC characters (played by CCPers) will appear during the Live Event to lead assaults on the Rebellion Constellations.  These will generally appear in multiple constellations simultaneously to encourage players to respond across multiple servers.  Assaults should be scheduled in waves for the various time-zone.  These NPC characters will be flying blinged-out navy/pirate ships to make for desirable drops.  Some CCP leads could live stream on Twitch for increased engagement outside of Eve.  While most assault forces would be fleets with comms and chat channels set up to coordinate large numbers of loyalist forces to them, pilots like CCP Rise might revisit his solo glory days under the persona of an elite pirate or navy commander.  Empire forces may have a NPC Titan ready to bridge a loyalist fleet straight from a major high-sec system straight into the low-sec rebel area.

Loyalist Forces
Player capsuleers are also encouraged to create events, sponsored by CCP.  Generally we would look to the largest alliances to sign up for each faction to take the lead here.   CCP assistance would be in the form of re-broadcast of advertisements as well as logistics support like the NPC Titan mentioned above.  To encourage new players consider giving out T1 hulls with meta fittings for the fleets.  Envision this as something like Mangala Solaris leading a RVB-core fleet representing Caldari high-sec to preserve the Onivura constellation (RVB’s home,

Pirate Agent Infiltration
Agents will appear for the pirate forces on both the high-sec and low-sec sides of the Rebellion Constellations, infiltrating otherwise loyal stations.  These will offer level 1 through level 4 missions on behalf of the pirate faction.  Note that if the rebels are successful there will also be a way to turn that LP into goods.

Keeping Score
The event would have a scoreboard similar to the one used during the introduction of the Gecko drone.  There would be four sections, each of which would show the relative victory conditions of each set of Rebellions.

Player Ship kills
Points for the ISK value of ships destroyed by loyalist forces in the warzone.  Depending on how sophisticated CCP can be with tracking kills, this could be broken out more specifically with the Empire forces getting points only for killing Pirate loyalists but perhaps Pirates get points for any kills in the high-sec region.  This would match the theme of the pirates disrupting high-sec structure.  

Economic activity
Both sides gets points for mining and industrial jobs run by their loyalists.  It’s expected that this will bias for the Empire side, so that will need to be considered in the scoring system.

Missions run
Both sides get points for missions run in the warzone.  The pirate agent infiltration will provide an opportunity for pirate loyalists to even score these points in the relative safety of highsec.  In general this will also be biased towards Empire though.

Live Event Conclusion - Rewards and Consequences

Alliance Rewards
Alliances will be rewarded in appropriate faction hulls commensurate with the amount of damage they inflicted on the opposing faction, to be delivered into stations into the relevant Rebellion Constellation.

Individual Rewards
Individual pilots will be recognized for the ISK damage they inflicted on capsuleers of the opposing faction.  Top pilots in multiple categories would be rewarded with faction hulls (Most kills, most solo kills, most damage done).  Using the reward categories from previous player events would be a good start.  Another set of lesser rewards (faction frigates and modules) would be given to participating random pilots to help let newer pilots still have a chance at winning prizes.  Non-PVP prizes could also be given for the other scoring categories (mining, industry, missions) if CCP has a good way to track that.

Changing the world
When the next release is rolled out, the map of New Eden will change.  For systems in Rebellion Constellations where the Rebellion prevailed, the security status will drop by 0.1.  For systems where the Empire prevailed, the security status will increase by 0.1.  For this version of the proposal, the minimum security status remains 0.1 and the maximum 1.0.

Next time: Take it up a notch.  If we actually had mechanics implemented in the game, where could this take us?

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