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History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: October 27th, 2010, 12:19 am
by Andrew_tM
It's been longer than promised since the last update to the TDZK histories, but I hope you will forgive me for the tardiness. This round's history features war, intrigue, zombies, Willy and Carlosgate. I hope you enjoy.

History of TDZK: 2.0
History of TDZK: 2.1
History of TDZK: 2.2
History of TDZK: 2.3
History of TDZK: 2.4 (You are Here)
History of TDZK: 2.5
History of TDZK: 2.6
History of TDZK: 2.7
History of TDZK: 2.8

As always, I have leaned and borrowed on accounts from others as well as my own memories and records. The more recent rounds are better documented, so the events of these rounds are easier to place.



Political Backdrop: Many of the previous alignments returned in similar format for the new round. IGF again started the round allied with Fury. STS did not restart for 2.4; several of their remaining actives joined Fury. WIth the disbandment of House Harkonnen, XF joined up with Silver Horde and Polar Mist for the new round. GTG retired their tag at the end of 2.3 and for the new round KAOS paired up initially with Galactic Defense Fleet (GDF), later allying Unbroken Fellowship and Dynasty Raiders. Sovereign didn't restart for 2.4 and their members mostly joined with IA - who allied Evolution, reformed from mostly old members of Swarms of Chaos. New alliance Elysium Strife - formed from several sources but with an older core from Lost Bastion in 2.2 - paired up with Phoenix for the start of the round. A less serious debutant for this round was Tin Zombies.

Gameplay Changes: The game at this point was relatively mature and stable, and few significantly changes were made between 2.3 and 2.4.The imbalance of iteming had been clear and the ability to scan for items was removed. Instead they would now be generated randomly in sectors. The experience penalty on death was reduced from 25% to 15%.

Early Round: The galaxy map was becoming mostly predictable as to where alliances would start, and true to form KAOS headed straight for Zane (17) while IGF and Fury settled in Antalon (23). IA settled in Tolera (33) with Evolution in Chronos (13), while XF, PM and SH took control of the southern systems of Tianna (24), Peridon (25) and Sarenn (27). Phoenix and ES claimed Dathkara (19), AD and SW settled in Tulven (32), GC and Cartel in Darimar (26) and Legion in Cerilis (31). A quick impression was made by ES and Phoenix who made some early station raids as a statement of intent. SH added the Cerilis system to their territory by evicting Legion while Polar Mist began the round with a dedicated effort of NPC killing against the Scourge.

Guerilla War - ES/TPX vs AD: ES and Phoenix followed up their initial raids with an early war against Awakening Dreams. AD had prior warning and the killer first strike never materialised. The war itself was relatively insignificant on a wider scale - but it is worth noting for the reverse of the usual logic. The alliances with the secure systems lost double the ships due to easily targetted raids of the low-levelled ports and planets in ES/Phoenix owned Dathkara (19), and easily pinpointed forces. The other scattered their ships all over the map. Planets were not used as a stronghold, but as a distraction - the half-built AD planets in Tulven (32) were captured, but yielded only two ships. The rest of the fleet had scattered and reappeared sporadically to raid. This low-key conflict ended a month in, but the guerilla-style war would become an increasing theme of TDZK over the coming rounds.

The 'Dear KAOS' War and IGF Disbandment: The main early war was between IGFury and KAOS, as the aggressive IGF sought a fight against the inactive behemoth. While Fury and IGF raided, droned and hunted, taking some KAOS planets, there was little in the way of activity in the war and KAOS barely responded. The war was more keenly contested on the webboards than in game, and as the conflict began to wane frustration set in. The war ended without a victor in an underwhelming conclusion.

Following the KAOS war, the first of what would become many splits occurred as IGF disbanded, no longer 'true to their roots'. The alliances splintered between Renegades (predominantely former IGF-R pilots), Elementals and Deus Irae (both mainly former IGF-FL players). None of these retained an alliance with Fury, who went the rest of the round without allies. Renegades focused more on jumping, Deus Irae on hunting and Elementals held only a handful of members. Renegades and DI both attracted more members throughout the round - this would impact more on the politics for the next round. GDF’s remaining actives merged into KAOS, who formed an alliance with Unbroken Fellowship and Dynasty Raiders.

IA vs KAOS - The Sequel: With resentment still simmering from the previous round, IA again attacked KAOS and declared war on them. The sides were slightly different this round, as IA were alongside new allies Evolution, while KAOS were allied with UF and DR. The early momentum was with EvIA, as KAOS were still in an inactive mode from their previous war with IGFury and would take a while to be roused from their slumber. The war was notable more for individual events as opposed to steady conflict. While EvIA had the better online numbers and an efficient raid team, KAOS, UF and DR were still able to raid effectively enough. The notorious 'cafe crew' in Unbroken Fellowship, a squad of Polish pilots who played from the same internet cafe and reaped obvious benefits from this, helped to even the group combat balance.

Raids were made back and forth between the two sides, but again IA had the benefit of two strong planets, this time located in Tolera (33), and there was no item bonanza this round to easily make the money to raid the planets. One series of IA raids in Antalon (23) provoked a short-lived war with Fury, who were considerably more targetted by these EvIA raids in their home territories. This war (in declaration only) was ended when IA paid compensation to Fury for the lost ships. Elysium Strife and AMF both joined the war on the side of EvIA as KAOS and UF began to get more into their stride, capturing the mid-ranged Evolution planets in Chronos (13) and later the ES planet in Tulven (32).

Death of an Admiral: The Federation Navy NPC Admiral Williamson, better known as 'Willy', sat over Concentric Station in Nexus for the entire round. Towards the end of the round Fury decided to target this ship. The difficulty lay mainly in the two Perpetual Motion Cannons, the last weapons to fire - each of these were capable of destroying all of a ship's drones, shields or armour. After taking out the other NPC ships in the same sector, Fury starting by using destroyers with shield drones. This negated the risk of the PMCs, but once the shields were down the armour integrity combined with the Admiral's IRM meant the NPC was repairing as much armour as damage was being dealt.

Noticing that Williamson was always firing late regardless of the ships in combat, Fury reshipped into initiative ships. Setting an initiative order through this allowed them to clear the shields with flux weaponry, then use EMP to negate the retaliatory salvo. This allowed more ship levels placed into offense, enough to overcome the repair rates and down the Admiral.

The Jump that Killed the Server: One of the more celebrated events of the round, and of the EvIA/ES/AMF vs KAOS/UF/DR war, was a jump that had the rare impact of taking down the entire server. The IA coalition were raiding in Darimar (26) to evict a UF raider. The raid was finished efficiently, and the ejectees podded - but at the point of the raid, KAOS and UF jumped. The initial battle went with the defenders, but then KAOS and UF got the upper hand as the infamous ‘cafe crew’ jumped in and the smaller squads went down.

Most of the lone ships had looted the raided port as the jumpers sat overhead, with the refresh nearing. Issues began to take hold at the refresh, as it didn’t happen on time - then suddenly happened. Several ships were lost as others tried to redock, and then the server went down. Aggressors and defenders were stuck in space for ten minutes until the server returned to life, and fights continued. The remaining IA coalition ships were outnumbered and were either lost or fled. The battle itself wasn’t significant in terms of the war, but was an indication of increasing KAOS/UF ascendancy. As an interesting footnote, IA leader carlos blamed himself for the defeat - to apologise to his allies, money was sent to each of them to help reship.

Prequel to 2.5 - The 'New' Renegades: The latter part of the round was marked by a serious of Renegades jumps in both a throwback to early 2.2 and what would be a prequel to early 2.5 as well. The most notable of these was a jump (alongside Cartel and GC) against XF, PM and SH. The latter group had been unsuccessfully trying to oust Cartel and GC from Darimar (26) for a while, and in a raid in Sarenn (27) Renegades were happy to jump alongside Cartel and GC against the triumvirate. Renegades convincingly won the initial battle against the odds, while the Cartel ships were lost. The fight went on for a while as trapped raiders, out of turn hunters and rallied escapees all fought in a series of running battles - but the victory was with the jumpers.

Carlosgate - The Spare Trillion: Suspicion had existed for a while on the seemingly endless supply of money available to IA. They were seen in expensive ships, with two huge planets and rarely trading. Enemies and allies alike began to wonder as to where this money kept coming from. Accusations became more public as people tried to determine the source for this hidden fund. Prompted by this, Aelanna idly checked to see just who the richest player was. It was a level three player with a little over one trillion in their account. The money transfer history showed this money had been funnelled to and from the account of Carlos der Bomber, IA's leader.

The money had been generated by the abuse of two bugs simultaneously. A double-kill meant that the money split happened twice, generating an additional 50% of the money. A player with an apostrophe in their name didn't appear in the notices. By combining these, endless amounts of money could be generated in secrecy. This was funnelled from the storage account, via carlos, to IA in various guises as transfers between wings, left on planets, money collected from planets, or sent to allies instead. In 2.3 the money was more easily hidden by item funds. It was only in hindsight that the money source for all of these transfers was obvious.

Carlos was immediately banned alongside three other IA members who had contributed to this money generation. Following the revelation IA collapsed. Many of their players suicided their ships. Many left the alliance entirely, some left the game altogether. IA's allies also were similarly affected. AMF disbanded at the round end, while both Evolution and Elysium Strife were badly affected for the next round. The two large planets in Tolera (33) built with the 'free' money were transferred to the Federations of Races. IA disbanded the following day.

Individual Achievements: There were only a handful of notable achievements this round. Grealian (better known as Bardicer) got the honour of the kill against the Admiral, but this was a group effort. Firestorm finished top of the experience rankings with an impressive level - it should also be noted that second placed trader CortezNeo tried to put a bounty on his Fury alliancemate to finish top, for which he was ejected from the alliance. Silencer accumulated nearly double the NPC kills of anyone else.

Tactical Notes: The introduction of the NPCs, particularly the Scourge in maneuver-based ships meant that player maneuver-based ships were rarely seen. These NPCs were also a significant source of money as well - many alliances farmed these with dedicated NPC squads to generate money for other shipping. For raider design roulette builds were increasingly used, typically shield or hybrid raiders. Drone raids were again used or considered more commonly, and planet raid fleets would also be less standardised with multiple raider types in a single raid squad. The reduction of the death penalty meant that there were ever-increasing player levels throughout the round as deaths made less of a dent into these.

Round Summary: While there were other highlights and multiple conflicts, the main activity revolved around the extended war between Evolution, Iron Angels, AMF and Elysium against KAOS, Unbroken Fellowship and Dynasty Raiders. As this occupied so many alliances other conflicts were harder to find. The round ended on a pessimistic note with the late banning of carlos and disbanding of IA, and this overshadowed much of the round.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: October 27th, 2010, 8:43 am
by zmaniacz
Short story, KAOS held their own against rainbowssss cheaters because we are ponies awesome. Suck it, Mak.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: October 30th, 2010, 10:26 am
by foamy
I'm still astonished that IA wasn't found out-- officially-- much earlier. I mean, everyone knew or was suspicious of it. I recall a bigass thread where Andrew went and outright accused 'em of cheating for money... but, this being TDZK, and AP being AP, it got shut down.

Bloody ponies culture of silence. :evil:

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: October 30th, 2010, 10:48 am
by Andrew_tM
The bigass thread was about as close to an accusation as was allowed. I think it was just an attempt to catalogue all their income, expenditure and the massive difference between the two suspecting there was something dodgy in their money. But it did get closed down as it was still too much of an accusation. Again, I think this was pretty much on the same or similar day to when Aelanna finally got curious on the riches and that did follow on pretty soon.

(Confession: I think the accusation thread more a forum repfarming effort than a moral stand :P)

To talk about something different, for a moment - I found out recently while looking at a log that towards the tail end of the war, I had been quietly helping KAOS with some raid theorising, and that two-three KAOS raiders slept on AD planets - something I had utterly forgotten about. More amusingly was a conversation of hysterical duplicity where we discussed how unfortunate it would be if in the hurly-burly of war KAOS would forget to leave money on a couple of planets (this dropped the defenses) and some opportunists like AD would spot this and raid them.

If it weren't for the logs I'd have sworn all that didn't happen. I don't remember any of it.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: October 30th, 2010, 6:31 pm
by foamy
My memory is going. I recall that 'Dear Kaos' was an AP thread, and I recall posting in it, but damned if I can recall who made it or what it was about. =(

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 8:24 pm
by zer0das
Ah... taking down the Admiral. Good times. That's about the only thing I remember about 2.4, aside from the whole cheating thing.

Also, at least you're honest about the repfarming. Truthfully, I kind of miss the whole forum shenanigans, because despite being really stupid, it was kind of fun. Trying to find 10 posts that weren't completely idiotic to down rep someone again was such a hassle, but oh so rewarding.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: June 10th, 2011, 9:14 pm
Ah, 2.4. The reset where in a rather complex way STS and Fury merged. At the start of the round nearly all the active STS players went to IGF-R with me sending extras Wolfy didn't want to Fury via Solace. When IGF-R went emo pretty much all the EX-STS players there went strait into Fury. A few weeks after this Fury was transformed into a totally different alliance than it started the round as. The road to 8002 started in mid 2.4, with the right people working together with way too much time on their hands.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: August 23rd, 2012, 2:38 am
by Steve McQueen
My memory of the Carlos incident doesn't jibe with the OP. He got turned in - or at least had attention directed at him - by a pissed-off IA subcom as a retaliation for unrelated internal drama between IA and AMF leadership. I doubt anyone cared to air it at the time, however, so the story as posted is probably what everyone else got.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: August 23rd, 2012, 1:34 pm
by Andrew_tM
I've never heard anything of that before - would love to hear some more background to see if there is anything more behind it. As it is I'm doubtful.

For my part, I find it more likely to be something that was said afterwards as opposed to being true. I don't think AMF knew anything of it - I chatted a bit around this time to VT (ES at the time) after the jump that killed the server, and after I got some of the story for the INN we did talk privately about the money and how it seemed to be a lot from somewhere. He didn't have any idea either where it had come from - although had the same suspicions that something wasn't right. (He also did me the courtesy of informing me once it was out and being discussed in the test channel).

My source for the 'Aelanna idly looked' line is from Aelanna, and several others in the test room at the time can verify it - this was the day of the big accusation thread, and it seems like a fairly logical journey. I'm sure there may have been more of an investigative look than an idle glance, but nuance aside, I don't think there's any particular reason she'd cover up for someone reporting - albeit possible.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: August 23rd, 2012, 8:57 pm
by Steve McQueen
I can't go into more detail without naming names, so eh. It's a small matter :p

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: August 24th, 2012, 6:31 pm
by Andrew_tM
So as with your comments to Solace in the 2.1 thread, is this just another poor trolling effort?

Either name names - 5 years later on an abandoned site, people aren't going to be fussed about it, or really be too ashamed that they've been outed as the one who revealed the carlos conspiracy - or don't suggest it was 'people unknown'. Part of the purpose of these was to get some openness around a lot of things from a lot of people - which we mostly got - and straightening out these things that are wrong, as you suggest, is the ideal thing to do.

As it is, knowing who most of the IA subcoms were and how much they knew / how their general feelings and attitude was, I'm not really giving it much credibility.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: August 24th, 2012, 10:16 pm
by Steve McQueen
Not at all, I think these history threads are awesome and want to add my little bits of trivia. I'm just not willing to attach specific names to my admittedly fuzzy memory of the maybe-incident.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: November 10th, 2014, 8:32 am
by Rosalind
I remember being suspicious of IA way back when I was subcom in SoV. When we lost a bunch of our early raiders and were forced back into trading, only to be told that IA was "lending" us some money to reship blaming their inadequate cover as to why we died. After this happened a couple of times over the course of the round, I remember being suspicious of where it was coming from (could their career traders make THAT much?). I believe I brought it up with Dragonheart (leader of SoV) at the time but mostly was told to stop complaining if they were giving us money, though I suspect it played on his mind as well since both of us self-funded throughout the round. I remember being offered some sort of position at IA but this was probably at least in part why I left them to start the 2.4 round with ES, though around the end of the early war left to rejoin IA's second wing in a non-leadership position. I do vaguely recall—I think he was called Sardukar, the raid leader—having an argument with the other leaders, though I don't think I ever knew the details. Certainly there was some internal tension before the truth emerged.

As for the raid involving the café squad, god damn did they piss us off. So many official orders of "everyone just shoot those balloooonss"; the co-ordination and timing remains something I don't think was ever matched. 5 players jumping in, taking a shot and then running off to reload their fuzzies, slowly picking us off bit by bit. I think they ended up killing about 7 or 8 of us—enough that our two squads had to merge into one—and in return we only managed to kill one of them. After all that happened, we decided it was best to call it a night :P

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: January 6th, 2015, 6:41 pm
by JSG
I dont remember any alliances anymore and am very confused by all of these letters. Which one had lemmy in it?

Re: History of TDZK: 2.4

PostPosted: January 9th, 2015, 4:10 pm
by Andrew_tM
In 2.4? Tin Zombies. OBVIOUSLY.