Things I'd like to see

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Nemesis
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Things I'd like to see

Post by Nemesis » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:34 pm

Parts of this post belong in MM Suggestions, part in MW Suggestions, and part in Campaign Suggestions. I'd like to get some feedback and possibly refine my ideas before adding each to the appropriate suggestion thread, so for now they're going in General Chat.


Artillery:
One of my minor gripes has always been that all off-board artillery comes from the North map edge, giving one side an advantage over the other when the battle moves nearer or farther from that side. Ideally, each sides arty should come from the same edge as their deployment zone, which places both sides on an equal footing and is also far more logical. This would require changes to the code, as well as deciding where arty should come from for Center starts.

Instead, we could replace all off-board arty in ops with free on-board artillery pieces. This gives the same effect without any coding, and has the added advantage of players bringing fast moving light units to kill them off, instead of the all assault slugfests common in ops that include off-board arty.

Aero:
Yes, mixed aero/mech games don't work, and I never want to see that until it's balanced. However pure aero games work just fine, and some players (myself included) enjoy them as a break from all-mech combat. Add an aero only op, with no dropships available (they have their own balance issues), and using ground weapon ranges instead of the standard 6/12/18 hexes which broke the BV system. There would be no land exchange with this op, so it would be a way for conquer factions to have some fun doing something different with no risk to either side.

With some additional coding, this could also have an interesting game effect. Add an Air Superiority counter to each world, ranging from -50 to 50. This counter could be displayed in the info box for a world, at the bottom along with planetary control, with only the factions with non-0 values being listed.

When an aero op is won, the winning side adds an amount based on the battle's BV to their counter, while the losing side subtracts the same amount. When a ground op completes, modify the land exchange by the winning sides current Air Superiority. If it's at 15, they get 115% of the normal land exchange. conversely their opponent who is likely at -15 would only get 85% of the normal land exchange if they'd won.

To keep things simple, only the AS counter for each side is tracked. This means that in a 3 way fight for a world, if A wins vs B, then A gets a bonus to ops vs B and C, while B is at the mercy of both A and C. While having B suffer a penalty vs C makes sense since they've lost some aero strength, it's a bit unfair for C to also suffer against A without ever having fought them. However the only way to avoid this would be an array of values where AS is tracked for each faction vs each other faction. A better solution, but one that is a bit more complex.

At each tick, move the counter for all factions 1 step closer to 0 to prevent one side from gaining an advantage and then never doing an aero op there again.

Supply lines:
One thing thats always bugged me about MW was that it was never necessary to maintain control of world to keep pushing further into enemy territory. When capitals were used as a victory condition, it was common to see a straight line of worlds leading to the capital, with no concern for whether or not they were still controlled after you'd moved on to the next one.

I'd like to see a supply rule added, where any world that can't trace a line of controlled planets (faction color, not pink) back to the faction capital cannot be used to launch any op (a line being defined as an unbroken chain of worlds 30 LY apart). This calculation would be done at each tick to keep the calculations from having to be redone after every battle on the server, and to also represent the remaining supplies on the world allowing one last attack, possibly to break out and reopen the supply lines.

In addition, at each tick any conquered world that a faction controls that can't trace supply loses 1% of the planetary control back to the original owning faction, representing partisan activity. If multiple factions are present on the world, each unconnected one would lose 1% to the original owner. If the original owner has 0% of a world and no connection to it, then instead each unconnected faction loses 1% to each connected faction, with each 1% assigned randomly if a faction doesn't have enough to pay all connected factions.

This gives factions another reason to maintain valid supply lines, as well as making it a viable strategy to encircle a large group of conquered worlds in order to retake them over time. It also solves the issue of having a few lingering % on an originally owned world well behind the lines.


So... Thoughts? Suggestions? Rants?

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Jackal » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:06 pm

Nemesis wrote:Artillery:
One of my minor gripes has always been that all off-board artillery comes from the North map edge, giving one side an advantage over the other when the battle moves nearer or farther from that side. Ideally, each sides arty should come from the same edge as their deployment zone, which places both sides on an equal footing and is also far more logical.
As far as I know, the fact that arty comes from the north edge is actually a bug. I thought it had been fixed, but if it hasn't, I'd definitely like to see it fixed.

Nemesis wrote:Aero:
Yes, mixed aero/mech games don't work, and I never want to see that until it's balanced. However pure aero games work just fine, and some players (myself included) enjoy them as a break from all-mech combat.
I personally really like (space-only) aero battles and I'd like to see them come back as well. In fact, I know at least 2-3 players who would probably be much more active on this server if aero made a re-appearance.

That said, something like the air superiority feature you mentioned is probably a no-go because it definitely require new code (the admins want the Council of Six to limit their proposals to just things that can be achieved within existing settings, and there are LOTs of things that can be achieved that way!). We would also need to make sure that aero is purely optional, because many players want no part of aero.

I do have some ideas about how to make aero a useful, but optional part MMNet, but I'll have to elaborate on that at another time.

Nemesis wrote:I'd like to see a supply rule added, where any world that can't trace a line of controlled planets (faction color, not pink) back to the faction capital cannot be used to launch any op (a line being defined as an unbroken chain of worlds 30 LY apart).
I agree with this idea in spirit, but I suspect it would be quite difficult to code. And, difficult or not, the fact that this requires any coding makes this a no-go.

I totally agree though, straight lines to the capital are not terribly realistic. Maybe we can devise some new and better victory conditions that make straight line to the capital campaigns unnecessary.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by TigerShark » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:45 pm

Nemesis wrote: Aero:
Yes, mixed aero/mech games don't work, and I never want to see that until it's balanced. However pure aero games work just fine, and some players (myself included) enjoy them as a break from all-mech combat. Add an aero only op, with no dropships available (they have their own balance issues), and using ground weapon ranges instead of the standard 6/12/18 hexes which broke the BV system. There would be no land exchange with this op, so it would be a way for conquer factions to have some fun doing something different with no risk to either side.
Untrue, but partially due to the fact that Total Warfare rules were being used. The TW rule set is nigh unplayable and should never be used, IMO. StratOps AA allows you to fire at any point in the flight path, choosing whether you want to target Aft, Nose or Side, depending on where you're at. This targeting has been fixed and is available in your current version. Also, Maneuvers were broken before, allowing Aero a free turn when using Half Roll or Barrel Roll. This has also been fixed. What that means for the non-Aero player is that slower, bigger fighters won't be attacking every turn without risking a nasty PSR from Split-S or Immelman to change direction.

Given AA targeting, the ability to load Flak and a limit to the "abusive" aero (usually AC/20 carriers), it works out just fine.

Example: Rifleman RFL-3N firing at a Corsair CSR-V12
4 (Gunnery) + 4 (Long) + 3 (Velocity) + 0 (Aft) - 2 (Anti-Aircraft) - 2 (Flak) = 7 to-hit

Now this is a worst-case scenario. If the fighter is close to the Rifleman, reduce the TN by 2 for Medium (5 to-hit). Now both AC/5 shots will threshold the Side and Aft locations, causing a crit check. If you don't have Advanced Atmospheric Control rolls on (and you should...), this will also cause a "lawn dart check." But in reality, you shouldn't need to keep that off. You'll pop a fighter pretty quick with the modern rule sets, Flak ammo, AA targeting and Heat-Seeking Missiles.

Ceorl
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Ceorl » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:57 am

Ohhhh that sounds very good. I always want more combined arms in the game and would welcome a more balanced ground-air rule set as a way to bring back aero.
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TigerShark
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by TigerShark » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:04 am

Problem really comes in at low BV games, where the unit is basically unhittable. They're not "broken," they're just not meant to be played at 3,000 BV. So if the minimum for Aero was, say, 6,000, you'd have a lot more stuff to throw at it.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by McMadMax » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:38 am

TigerShark wrote:Problem really comes in at low BV games, where the unit is basically unhittable. They're not "broken," they're just not meant to be played at 3,000 BV. So if the minimum for Aero was, say, 6,000, you'd have a lot more stuff to throw at it.
A 1\3 chance to deal 80 punch damage sacrificing a unit that costs as little as a good infantry platoon has nothing to do with aero.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by TigerShark » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:52 am

McMadMax wrote:
TigerShark wrote:Problem really comes in at low BV games, where the unit is basically unhittable. They're not "broken," they're just not meant to be played at 3,000 BV. So if the minimum for Aero was, say, 6,000, you'd have a lot more stuff to throw at it.
A 1\3 chance to deal 80 punch damage sacrificing a unit that costs as little as a good infantry platoon has nothing to do with aero.
You talking about crashing onto a unit? If so, then "don't shoot at it" could be an option. lol If you don't force the PSR, it can't fail, right? Just hold off from shooting, move forward one hex next turn, make one facing change and you have an instant rear shot the next turn into its Aft arc. Boom. Done. Also, that same 200 BV fighter is probably doing... what? 4 damage? 5? So what..? That's less than an infantry platoon could do with 1/2 strength and Assault Rifles.

Ceorl
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Ceorl » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:46 am

You talking about crashing onto a unit?
I don't remember kamikaze low BV aero being the problem in prior cycles, more the fact that they were unhittable, high damage units.
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Nastyogre
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:39 am

Ceorl wrote:
You talking about crashing onto a unit?
I don't remember kamikaze low BV aero being the problem in prior cycles, more the fact that they were unhittable, high damage units.


You can't crash them intentionally, I tried. You CAN force and impossible roll due to overthrust and special maneuvers and then crash. I did it a couple of times. Once I realized how easy it was I wouldn't do it again. That is also when I figured out that the Aerocrashing was yielding double damage. (Thus not abusing a bug) A big enough aero could destroy any mech in the game. Even a moderately sized one would cripple or possibly kill them since you had so many chances and a head shot.

Nothing like taking a 30 ton fighter and mauling a heavy mech. Heck a Corsair (waste of a nice fighter though) will kill an assault most of the time.

We would have to have a rule against intentionally failing PSR to cause a crash. Otherwise unless you can knock it out of the sky before it kills you...

The problem was always vs lighter forces. It was almost impossible unless you were prepared to deal with it. Very tiresome to do it every game.

I wouldn't mind in bigger games. Those units are more likely to be able to handle aero. Then again, it should cost a ton to use them and procure them. Considering their power, they would dominate the game (in universe) but they are considered prohibitively expensive to maintain. Run of the mill ops don't see major ASF involvement. Perhaps just for "Grand Slam" style ops.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by TigerShark » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:26 am

Artillery is absolute murder on Aero. The TN is so incredibly low for flak... good lord...

McMadMax
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by McMadMax » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:19 am

TigerShark wrote:
McMadMax wrote:
TigerShark wrote:Problem really comes in at low BV games, where the unit is basically unhittable. They're not "broken," they're just not meant to be played at 3,000 BV. So if the minimum for Aero was, say, 6,000, you'd have a lot more stuff to throw at it.
A 1\3 chance to deal 80 punch damage sacrificing a unit that costs as little as a good infantry platoon has nothing to do with aero.
You talking about crashing onto a unit? If so, then "don't shoot at it" could be an option. lol If you don't force the PSR, it can't fail, right? Just hold off from shooting, move forward one hex next turn, make one facing change and you have an instant rear shot the next turn into its Aft arc. Boom. Done. Also, that same 200 BV fighter is probably doing... what? 4 damage? 5? So what..? That's less than an infantry platoon could do with 1/2 strength and Assault Rifles.
Descend 9 lvls this turn and you have an impossible roll, also if you fail it's a guaranted crash due to losing 1d6 lvl being at lvl 1 height (which also gives a +3 to-hit thus making it even harder to hit,even though it's offset by closer range,then again you can also evade).
Also,i stand corrected but crashing damage isn't based on anything (weight,engine size, etc.), but the dice roll.

So I think that lowbv aeroes cause even more problem than higher bv ones. 1000 bv is too much to pay for a vision advantage and too much to throw away for a 1 in 3 chance to kill a unit.150 bv on the other hand is worth either.We might very well end up having these aeroes on both sides just to gain vision, effectively turning off double-blind.

That being said i'd like aero back, but these issues have to be adressed.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:22 pm

The chance to miss a unit in the crashing hex is only 1 in 6. You may not be doing enough damage to kill it, then again you might. For a few hundred BV crippling or killing a unit is pretty cheap for what amounts to a ballistic missile.

I'd rather not see mixed aero/ground back, not without some capacity to bring in counters if you see it is there. It was one of the most controversial and disliked changes we saw. Lots of people left, it was just too problematic.

Now, pure aero, I wouldn't mind, though the repair problems of not needing to repair aero have to be fixed. It shouldn't be a cheap and easy way to make $$. From a campaign perspective, it would be interesting to have aero ops able to extend your attack range but I don't think aero should be able to conquer a world on it's own. That's just me. We have to manage what can be done with the existing code or what can correct in the current code if something isn't working. Asking to do more isn't very feasible.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Jackal » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:56 pm

Nastyogre wrote:Now, pure aero, I wouldn't mind, though the repair problems of not needing to repair aero have to be fixed. It shouldn't be a cheap and easy way to make $$. From a campaign perspective, it would be interesting to have aero ops able to extend your attack range but I don't think aero should be able to conquer a world on it's own. That's just me. We have to manage what can be done with the existing code or what can correct in the current code if something isn't working. Asking to do more isn't very feasible.

I strongly agree with this. Space-only, 'pure' aero would be nice to see again. I also think it would bring some players back into the fold.

I also agree, it should involve low amounts of land exchange, have low CBill payouts, and repairs should cost money (at one time aero repairs were free). And, anyway, making money wasn't really what drew most players to aero. The reason people liked aero games is 1) they were fast (usually less than an hour), and 2) it was a good change-of-pace from ground games.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:14 pm

I knew of players that farmed Aero for Flu (because so few played) and cbills because repairs were free. If there were a way to limit the number or have aero armies generate much less flu (like 1 point ) It would bother me that you could avoid the blind system so easily due to a low player pop for Aero.

I might play it a little. It is a nice change of pace. I found the big games like Black Water Navy, to be fascinating but not something I'd attempt. So I might devote a bit of a hangar to it. I'd never be a big player though.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by TigerShark » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:11 pm

I think the BV spread is the limiting factor. If Aero are included in an Open with BV spread, it's shooting yourself in the foot. For example, you wouldn't want to take a Lance of Awesomes and Battlemasters, some infantry and a tank against an army with Aero. You'd need a Partisan, a Ballista, Thumper, etc as effective AA. Without that, it would feel broken and it is. Though artificially so. It's a build problem, not the Aero rules. So a Grand Slam is really the place for it.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:52 pm

I agree entirely. While Aero is technically useable in small games, rarely would something smaller than a company be able to call on ASF support.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Ceorl » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:19 pm

@ Nastyogre
rarely would something smaller than a company be able to call on ASF support.
Eh what? In modern military, small units down to the platoon level can call upon organic artillery and air support greater than mortars and drones.

The problem more has to do with the fact that aircraft do not loiter. The RTS' depiction of a single use ability or single strike before returning to base are more accurate than BT's VTOL with wings who stay on the map until combat is decided.
It was one of the most controversial and disliked changes we saw.
What TigerShark indicated is the server used the wrong ruleset. I would be intrigued to try StratOps AA and see how more effective it is.

@ Tigershark
I think the BV spread is the limiting factor.
I disagree. You can have plenty of AC units, loaded with Flak ammo, at anything but the highest base BV assault.
Problem really comes in at low BV games, where the unit is basically unhittable. They're not "broken," they're just not meant to be played at 3,000 BV.
I run heavy on AC in my 3k lances: Scorpions, Partisans, Pikes. Very easy to put together a reasonably effective AA screen.

@ McMadMax
So I think that lowbv aeroes cause even more problem than higher bv ones. 1000 bv is too much to pay for a vision advantage and too much to throw away for a 1 in 3 chance to kill a unit.150 bv on the other hand is worth either.We might very well end up having these aeroes on both sides just to gain vision, effectively turning off double-blind.
Highly skilled players theory-craft doom; just look at fan forums when patch notes for MOBAs are released. You might be right, but I don't want to do nothing just because the elite player fear 150BV PSR and Double Blind abuse.

---

My main concern is testing StratOps AA and seeing how much of a difference it makes. Assuming that it works, amendments to the aero rules can be made to account for MMM's concerns.
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:02 pm

I am relating the in universe description of ASF. whole regiments have only a couple of wings. The number of fighters today compared to the use of ASF in btech isn't the same.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by celegance » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:20 am

Ceorl wrote:@ Nastyogre
rarely would something smaller than a company be able to call on ASF support.
Eh what? In modern military, small units down to the platoon level can call upon organic artillery and air support greater than mortars and drones.
In modern western(mostly US) militaries that MIGHT be true for expeditionary and special forces. You know as long as the artillery has actually been deployed, is in range, you are actually cleared to use it, and it isn't already firing at something else. The scene from Full Metal Jacket where they are held up by a sniper and try to call in a tank for support comes to mind. I would imagine that close air support during an active firefight would be even more dicey because in addition to the factors that have already been mentioned they have to make sure and only shoot at the enemy.

However if you toss aside the modern realism factors and only consider the btech universe... during the third and fourth succession wars aerospace fighters were practically unheard of among anyone but the most elite regular house units and a single periphery state. The older books often make reference to aerospace fighters and how ridiculously rare and expensive they were. They also say that if one side does manage to scrape together some air support they usually win.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Eric von Kastell » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:30 am

Back to Nemesis' first post ...

Artillery:
I like the idea to have arty on the map, but wouldn't this make it necessary to enlarge the map?

Supply lines:
I highly appreciate and support this idea without deductions!

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Mole » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:46 am

On the arty question, I also support on-map deployment and the interesting twist that you could bring fast units to target and destroy the enemy artillery. Perhaps a modest increase in map size whenever artillery is present could be combined with deploying artillery to the appropriate edge of the map? A 25% increase in map length and width would increase map area by 56%, a 50% increase in length and width would more than double the area to 225%. The artillery deployment area could be just one hex deep on the very edge of the map, say the center 50% of the corresponding edge for N, S, E, or W deplyments or 25% of the edge on each side of the corner for NE, SW, SE, or SW deployments. I am not sure how to handle center-edge deployment. maybe that would remain off-board?
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by obese pigeon » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:38 pm

Mole wrote:On the arty question, I also support on-map deployment and the interesting twist that you could bring fast units to target and destroy the enemy artillery. Perhaps a modest increase in map size whenever artillery is present could be combined with deploying artillery to the appropriate edge of the map? A 25% increase in map length and width would increase map area by 56%, a 50% increase in length and width would more than double the area to 225%. The artillery deployment area could be just one hex deep on the very edge of the map, say the center 50% of the corresponding edge for N, S, E, or W deplyments or 25% of the edge on each side of the corner for NE, SW, SE, or SW deployments. I am not sure how to handle center-edge deployment. maybe that would remain off-board?
On the flip side, on board arty is different enough, and threatening enough to change the nature of the game with its presence.

I'm not sure about you, but i'm not super keen to play every game being 'hunt down the arty tank'. I think it would get dry after a while - not to mention, armies would start looking rather similar - Want to bring infantry? forget it, those are just mincemeat. Slow tanks? dont bother. fast, heavily armored mechs with VTOLs are where its at...

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Mole » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:16 pm

That's a valid point, my portulent avian friend. Perhaps, as long as the arty offboard direction bug is fixed, it could be a die roll to determine whether or not the arty is on or off board? I agree that turning every game into "hunt the long tom" would get old, but have a chance for it go either way would spice things up. Unfortunately, that would probably require new code.
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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Nemesis » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:47 pm

obese pigeon wrote:I'm not sure about you, but i'm not super keen to play every game being 'hunt down the arty tank'. I think it would get dry after a while - not to mention, armies would start looking rather similar - Want to bring infantry? forget it, those are just mincemeat. Slow tanks? dont bother. fast, heavily armored mechs with VTOLs are where its at...
I don't think it would turn every game into 'hunt the arty', since free on-board arty would only be replacing the free off-board arty we already get in the larger ops. The arty is going to be there regardless, and smaller ops wouldn't be affected at all.

In those larger games, I'd rather play hunt the arty than 'sit there and be shelled randomly and unable to do anything about it'. In addition, we'd see more variety in army construction as people brought fast units to hunt down the arty and slow tanks to guard them, instead of the almost all assault armies we usually saw for Grand Slams.

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Re: Things I'd like to see

Post by Nastyogre » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:51 am

To provide some information on the Aero ops the Council of Six was provided by Spork.

Aero is still repair free. The fix requires code and is non-trivial (meaning a bunch of work) however it is on Spork's radar. (Which is saying something.) I am not inclined to try to implement Aero ops until this is corrected. How would the interested players feel if Aero ops paid virtually nothing, provided no RP and provided only token land? This is because your undestroyed units would not need to be repaired and the anticipation that Aero could farm flu relatively safely. (Though that might not stay that way)
Additionally, Aeros would probably be pretty expensive to maintain (in bays or rental)

Mostly I propose we open this up just for people that really want to but that it can't be used for very much advantage. Note this is my idea only and not one I have proposed in the Council. I wanted more feedback from interested parties before I would make any formal proposal. (OK or amended the proposal we have working already, see we do take up your causes)


We will continue to discuss this in the Council, we appreciate your feedback and ideas. These threads are major sources of ideas and input for the server you all play on. We may not agree to adopt all of these ideas, or even any of them. We do talk about them and we do take them seriously. I want the Council's discussions to be private (the details) but the results should always be relayed to you by your council members or in general here by one of us. (The staff of course can, will and has related some decisions and retain that right always)
I do wish you all could see the discussions we have, it really is pretty damn cool. 5 VERY engaged players discussing not what just is best for their faction but for the server and the game here. The staff comments only a little but with significant importance to help us remember the implications of things we are talking about or have decided.

It is exactly what you should expect and deserve of your council members.

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