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History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 21st, 2010, 2:36 pm
by Andrew_tM
This round was possibly the greatest case for crushing the popular reminiscing activity. Sometimes things really weren't better back then. The 2.7 round was ran on a 'retro' round - back to the original 1.0 round style. It was promised to be a simpler, bloodier round - less calculating, less maths, more fighting.

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
History of TDZK: 2.5
History of TDZK: 2.6
History of TDZK: 2.7 (You are Here)
History of TDZK: 2.8

As always, I have leaned and borrowed on accounts from others as well as my own memories and records. By this point there wasn't much actually happening of any significance - so while accuracy doesn't actually matter any more, I have still made the effort to be as accurate as possible with all the details.



Introduction: Ever since the change to the 2.x Genesis engine, many veterans of 1.0 had nostalgic memories of the early rounds. There was often a clamour to have a retro round. With Nomad delayed, a retro round was perfect to fit in the gap - and their wish was granted.

Political Backdrop: There was minimal change between 2.6 and 2.7 in terms of politics. The former Renegades and Arcani pilots in Shattered Dawn left, forming Outcasts and attracting many other members from various sources. There were fewer pairing of alliances, with Warriors, KAOS, Fury, RONIN, Unbroken Fellowship, Tagons Toughs and Outcasts all flying solo. XF and SD were once again allied, as for this round were JT and AD. Evolution and a reformed GTG also paired up, but the number of competing alliances in this round was shrinking.

Gameplay Changes: The retro round was played with 1.0 mechanics, with some necessary changes for enforced 2.x setups. Ships, equipment and weaponry were restored to their 1.0 style, and equations for AI, maneuver, accuracy and visibility alongside them. Initiative was removed and firing order became a matter of first trigger. The level curve was much softer, and levels significantly more important. Interest was reintroduced with 5% granted daily. Port levels reverted to 1-10 once more, auras were removed, the 26-system 1.0 map was used again and - significantly - siege weapons no longer did unmodified damage to deployed ships. Among noted reversions that weren't made, ports remained with 50,000 goods capacity and looting remained.

Early Round: The galaxy generation for the start of the round randomised the starting ports between level 1-10, as had been typical throughout the previous rounds. However, for the retro round this meant that many ports started at maximum level and early-round vulnerability was minimal. Alliances claimed planets throughout the galaxy without significant clustering or system ownership. The only real early-round disagreement was between Unbroken Fellowship and Awakening Dreams, the latter having chosen the only system with level one ports for their home and were evicted by a day 1 UF raid team.

Trade for Victory: The early strategy of 'trade for victory' was espoused by several alliances, particularly Fury. The potential bankroll that interest could create, coupled with the likelihood of a round featuring multiple battles, high ship numbers and easy raids meant that this initial nest egg was crucial. Trading was considerably easier and more profitable than 1.0 due to the expanded port capacity, so the money and interest soon ramped up.

The second stage of this strategy was dubbed ‘raid for victory’. However, it soon became clear that the round had been overhyped. By the end of the round, much of this money would lay dormant.

Outcasts vs RONIN: The first major battle was between RONIN and Outcasts. While the original form of the war was a classic raid war, it became more known for the RONIN defensive blob. With siege weapons unable to damage deployed ships, and normal weapons doing the standard 25% damage, a group of deployed ships with enough auto-repair could remain invincible. None of the 2.x mechanisms - negative repair auras, EMP - would work to prevent the repair or allow more damage against the ships. With interest easily funding new ships, players could leave their safe spot, reship into a new ship for ops, then reship and rejoin the defensive structure.

Eventually enough firepower was brought against the deployed RONIN blob for the ships to be taken down. The war ended and RONIN utterly collapsed into inactivity. KAOS, Outcasts, Fury and Warriors came to an agreement that they would not use these blobs and work together to take down any other existing blob that came about in the future. Other alliances still occasionally did this, unwilling to be dictated to, still seeking a safe docking point or simply not caring about this agreement.

SD/XF vs KAOS: The biggest war of the round was between Shattered Dawn and XF on the one side, and KAOS on the other. This reflected a traditional 1.0 style war and was perhaps the closest to staying true to the retro theme. Planets were raided to try and catch the other alliance’s highest level raiders, and in turn each would run through the systems taking planets, hoping to kill that last elusive raider. The nature of the round meant that the war ended without result, but it was also the most engaged conflict throughout the round.

ShadowMeow Actually Made It: The one notable thing that occurred in 2.7 was that level 100 was finally reached - not once, but twice. The closest anyone had come before was BrunoX’s level 98 in 2.1 with a different level curve. With protected systems and port/planets to loot from, both f00shyw00shy (DragonHeart) and Fluffy Pingu hit the level 100 marker and discovered the new level titles along the way.

Other Conflicts: The conflicts and battles in 2.7 were underwhelming. There was a mid-round battle between JT/AD and Warriors, with little coming of it besides planet sieges and the occasional raid against a high levelled target. Fury fought Unbroken Fellowship and obtained a quick victory, while a late round effort from AD and JT against Fury to try and hit a few planets and spark something was both short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful. KAOS did raid Fury’s biggest planet at the very end of the round.

The ultimate proof of the quiet round was a sponsored ‘bring your squad for a fight’ challenge - which only ended in argument when Fury’s squad dominated the battle.

Individual Achievements: The most notable achievements were of the two traders, DragonHeart and Pingu, reaching level 100. While both were mainly achieved through loot-trading on a port-planet, and despite neither of these beat previous round experience levels, it was still the most impressive achievement of the round. Several players posted above-average raid tallies, nomad hitting over 500, but there was again a lack of notable individual performances.

Tactical Notes: As would be expected in a retro round, the same ships thrived. Maneuver ships were incredibly powerful, and snipers became more popular again to counter these. Kitarans and Zalluns dominated, while the initial thought of powerful Derivians for solo-hunting (by virtue of their significant visibility bonus) never really happened due to the quiet round. Warship designs focused on shield bubbles, typically with sabots and proximity-warhead enhanced rocket bombs. More EMP was used than in the original 1.0 rounds as hangover from the 2.x design tradition. Survivability was greater than ever with the one-click repair all option, and both deployment and the 4 x maneuver fire mode making it even easier for ships to survive fights.

The reversion of the AI equation meant that AI ships were never seen, and raiders were designed as simple armour bubbles. Planet raiders could be armour bubbles, considering their weakness, but the main strength was through kitaran maneuver-raiders. With the greater raiding knowledge and more experienced raid teams, both the planets and ports in 2.7 didn’t pose much of a challenge.

Round Summary: Despite the promise of constant conflict funded by interest, a never-ending run of warbird fights, the round was quiet. The nostalgia faded away as the broken mechanics became increasingly apparent. The conflicts were short-lived and lacked real purpose, rivalry or any genuine sense of competition. It was a round conducted on autopilot that went on for too long, and never sparked as it was hoped.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 23rd, 2010, 7:39 pm
by Raynian
Hey, I broke 100 too. :p And I did it as a wraith, so no +speed or +cargo holds bonuses.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 24th, 2010, 12:12 pm
by Alucard
KAOS did raid Fury’s biggest planet at the very end of the round.

I was completely out of turns, docked to that planet. They raided me out, took some shots, and:

07/06/06 18:38:06 EDT
Matrim Cauthon (8) piloting [Fury] Avendesora destroyed Elysium, owned by Imperialist (994), in Sector 13181.


I have Blah to thank for repairing me there. And K to thank for not finishing off either of us!

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 27th, 2010, 12:35 pm
by Kazmo
You missed the biggest point of the round... Kazmo joined!

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 27th, 2010, 6:36 pm
by Thor
As far as i can recall DH didnt trade in our protected systems, to paranoid, he was resourcing in the nebula (18k?) towards the end, i know several of us spent time covering him there. It was during one of these times that we came across the Ronin 'deathstar' which had been hiding from us. I then faintly remember some form of arrangement with FURY to try and crack it(?) and we covered IS for them using #zombies as an op channel. I think the most notable aspect of the deathstar was the arguments it caused on the weboards...'we are doing it to show that the game doesnt work'.

I remember 12k becoming something of a battleground between around the two stations, due to only being about 3 sectors apart. Several hunters had some success vs multiple enemies by deploying and rep in combat and expecting the spam trigger.

OOTB impressed me early in the round, they maintained good activity and did well considering what they were working with. TT became more than a minor nuisance with high level kitties, i think at one point DH was our sole hope!

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 29th, 2010, 11:45 am
by Andrew_tM
One thing that I entirely forgot to mention but should at least be remembered is that for some reason, Fury decided to all play this round with their names as terrible pop singers.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 29th, 2010, 4:03 pm
by Solace
It's also worth observing that the round was initially planned to be a short round, but was later extended by at least a month (or more?) to allow the admins more time to work on Nomad, which dragged it out and exacerbated the broken mechanics and activity problems.

A horrible round all around, pop star names included.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: November 29th, 2010, 5:17 pm
by zer0das
"I give my hand to you with all my heart
I can't wait to live my life with you
I can't wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true because of you"

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: December 2nd, 2010, 3:19 pm
by Harbinger
It took me a week to realize who Cyndi Lauper was.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: December 2nd, 2010, 5:50 pm
by ColdWizard

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: December 3rd, 2010, 5:49 pm
by Andrew_tM
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Every time I hear that song now, I think of Iccyh. Worrying? You bet.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: December 7th, 2010, 9:44 pm
by zer0das
Don't forget Dancing Queen!

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: December 16th, 2010, 3:51 am
Not a single mention of The Numbat Empire? We racked up some 30-40 kills against TT in the first few weeks (which I basically said we were hired to do but really I just decced for publicity and lols). Then SD hired us to blow up someone else (or did someone hire us to blow up SD? I can't remember). LotD and I neutral droned EVERY cluster in the galaxy and decced whoever it was that we were asked to kill, and were promptly thrown money every kill with bonuses for every 10th. Rough memory was walking away with some 50-60 kills.

Also, Squee told me off for spamming people with advertisments.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: January 9th, 2011, 11:30 pm
by foamy
Andrew_tM wrote:One thing that I entirely forgot to mention but should at least be remembered is that for some reason, Fury decided to all play this round with their names as terrible pop singers.

How dare you imply that the Stones were terrible. :x

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: April 26th, 2011, 8:55 am
by Absolut Zero
Kudos for starting this, but unfortunately this round history you list is different from what actually happened.

The mechanics of the round weren't quite like that. Although the raiding knowledge was far superior, you still needed two different types of ships to pop a port or a planet. Retooling was very turn consuming. Especially if the other alliance managed to gain wind of ops targeting a switch in raider types, they'd try and pick off the raiders as they were retrofitting, which meant several battles above stations before each op was even scheduled to begin.

Fury were largely quiet for the round, likely burnt out from super activity the round before. KAOS was stereotyped as a retirement community for has beens that get uppity for the first month or two of every round. Yet somehow KAOS was able to stave that off (likely with the appeal of the retro round for the older vets). They started strong and were the major player for most of the round along with the Outcasts.

The big war was between KAOS and Outcasts. XF/SD didn't get involved until they started letting Outcast raiders dock on their planets to avoid getting podded. KAOS couldn't find the main Outcasts raider, spent money/turns on ships with massive vision, and then scouted every single sector in the entire game. We guessed XF/SD were housing Outcasts raiders. We popped their planets, we were right, they were protecting them.

Eventually the war between KAOS and Outcasts (XF/SD wasn't really a big factor) was called for a truce since Outcasts claimed boredom, yet the handwriting was on the wall for them. They misused their bank accounts and realized they couldn't keep up with K's bank inflation. Outcasts were going broke, their warbirds were 40-60 levels lower than K ships were. After the truce, there were a whole bunch of Mak fests between Outcasts and K with hunting territory, loud proclaimed "violations of the truce", small skirmishes etc, nothing major. Neither side wanted to resume that long drawn out war especially since activity times for both alliances were vastly different. Outcasts were primarily European, while K was primarily North American. It wound up being incredibly infuriating and frustrating, there were accusations on both sides that they were deliberately choosing to raid when the other was least able to jump it, but ultimately the wide gap in time zones was the culprit.

The races you list as dominating were Kitaran and Zallun. This leaves out two others which were incredibly potent. Due to the bank inflation allowing for unique ship builds, Wraiths were deadly, which K utilized. Wraith's had a bonus to energy/power/whatever it was, and they were able to rock some sick damage ships that could fire more full salvo's before having to repair than any other race. The difficulty with this was getting Wraith's to stop hunting and getting a large enough bank account to actually a build a ship capable of maxing out weapon slots. And yes, the ships raped in battles, specifically small-mid scale ones with fewer than 10 ships on either side. EMP didn't have time to pile up since the battles would simply end in a few rounds.

The other was the trading race, forget what it was. With bank inflation, it was the workhorse of alliances. Get a few of those and your banks inflation could outpace other premier alliances incredibly fast. I think this was a big reason why KAOS was winning the war of attrition with the Outcasts.

Just a side note, but I believe UF was thought to be a smallish alliance that was actually an up and comer. If they allied up with a vet alliance, they would have contributed.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: June 5th, 2012, 5:05 am
by Andrew_tM
Absolut Zero wrote:The other was the trading race, forget what it was. With bank inflation, it was the workhorse of alliances. Get a few of those and your banks inflation could outpace other premier alliances incredibly fast.

Yes, this is a response to a year-old comment. However, was idly reading through these the other day and thought it was worth noting that Tamarans weren't that strong for the retro round - what most people forget is that in 1.0 (and therefore also in 2.7) they didn't have a cargo holds bonus. I'm not so sure if they had the buy/sell bonus as well (where they sold for +10% and bought for -10% of regular cost) - but they weren't significantly better traders than other races. Kitarans again were arguably the best, with their racial speed bonus helping out.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: June 8th, 2012, 8:19 am
by zmaniacz
Well thank god you cleared that up.

Re: History of TDZK: 2.7

PostPosted: June 9th, 2012, 2:50 pm
by Andrew_tM
It was eating away at you inside and you know it.