So, some context before getting into the concept... In the Starmourn Official Discord, a discussion began in #starmournpk about the state of conflict in Starmourn, started by @Solus
. One of the things discussed was a lack of resources that needed to be fought over, and I mentioned the Orrery from Aetolia(for those who haven't played IRE's Midnight MUD, you can read about the orrery in more detail here
mentioned that such a thing would be neat for giving access to the Y'saari's subsector, and it gave me this idea. Thus...
Presenting: The Y'saari Games
Extremely wealthy, ancient, and wise, the Y'saari Covenant have been one of the most powerful forces in the Sector for thousands of years. Now, as their ancient enemy, the Ishvana, continues its machinations in the background, the Covenant decides to bequeath a small fraction of their wealth and technology to one of the factions of the Starmourn Sector... But who is worthy of such a gift? Should they be allowed access to such secrets forever?
The Y'saari have come to a conclusion to answer both of these questions. Each year, they host their competition, allowing each faction to send forth their most powerful soldiers, their most fearsome protectors, and their most bloodthirsty mercenaries to compete in the Y'saari Games.
The Mechanics: The Basics
The Y'saari Games, of course, are not simply competitions of reflex or strength, but of tactics, strategic resources, to determine which of the Sector's superpowers could truly become a military force to fight back the Ishvana. Thus, the Games themselves focus on total planetary warfare.
The Y'saari have prepared one of the myriad worlds to be the perfect battleground, with three stations, one for each faction, and one additional station, in orbit about it.
The Mechanics: For the Ground Combatants
Upon the surface, there are seven primary structures; three are the landing zones, one for each faction, three are orbital defence cannons, and one is a Y'saari supercomputer. Shuttles taken from each faction's station bring people down to their landing zones, with shuttles behaving similarly to the one to Ajax Garrison, wherein there's a time within which players may load aboard, before being taken down to the surface.
Orbital defence cannons can be captured at the surface to fire upon the other faction's shuttles, delaying their travel time to the planet, as well as attempting to defend against incoming orbital bombardment(see the Space Combatant section below for more info). To capture and hold an orbital defence cannon, at least one player must be at the location of the cannon, there must be no other players of another faction in their room, and both of the previous two requirements must have been true for the past thirty seconds.
The final structure, the Y'saari supercomputer, is the primary objective of the ground force. Capture of the supercomputer goes the same way as the capture of the orbital defence cannons, with a few differences. Firstly, fully capturing the supercomputer takes far more than thirty seconds, as fully capturing the supercomputer signifies the end of this session of the Games, and a point gained for the capturing faction, along with a number of marks from the Covenant's accounts. The speed at which the supercomputer is captured will directly correlate to the number of players not engaged in combat standing with the supercomputer, though hackers may slice into the system to give their faction a small boost in capturing. After the supercomputer is fully captured, the battlefield will then become a no conflict zone for the next IG day, until the next session. The faction that gains the most points over the course of five sessions will be the victor of that year's Games, and receive a bonus(listed at the bottom) depending on how high their score was compared to other factions that year.
However, the Games focus not only on ground combat ability, but on a faction's ability to engage in total warfare. Thus...
The Mechanics: For the Space Combatants
If you're here, you probably noticed the comment about orbital bombardment? Well, no worries, this is exactly where you can learn more about it. The fourth structure in orbit around the planet is a Y'saari orbital bombardment satellite. By taking control of it, a process that takes a full minute announced over either the conflict, or the Game's channel, pilots may remotely connect to the satellite, and order an orbital bombardment one of the seven aforementioned structures, doing massive damage to all people in that location, only reduced by the number of active orbital defence stations on the planetary surface. After that, the satellite will take five arms to automatically cool down and rearm.
Capturing the satellite is pretty simple, you must have at least one ship from your faction that is in one of the tiles immediately next to the satellite, and no ships from any other factions next to it.
Though, you may be wondering what exactly you're firing down upon the planet below. The answer? Meteors of useless materials. You might also be wondering what all of that random detritus is that's everywhere in the zone. The answer? Meteors of useless materials. You might be seeing where this is going. Meteors from inside the zone can be tethered and brought to the bombardment satellite to rearm it faster. Be warned though, once it's rearmed, its control computers will have been reset, and it must be captured all over again.
Of course, no war machine is simply consistent of its troops and vehicles. There's logistics to account for, and those to are present in the Games.
The Mechanics: For the Non-Combatants
Your faction needs you! During each session of the Games, the Y'saari will open a number of cargo requests. If you bring the proper cargo to the Y'saari's stations, they'll award you a single logistics point. You can then spend this logistics point, similarly to the CAC, to improve something that'll affect your faction for the entirety of that session.
-Faster cloning time
-Faster shuttle time
-More bombardment damage
-More defence cannon defence against bombardment
-More enemy faction slowdown of shuttles by defence cannons
The Mechanics: The Rewards
Finally, the rewards for winning the games, ranked by how many points you have more than whichever faction came in second.
1. Faction-wide access to a Y'saari voidgate that connects to your faction voidgate. From here, you can access a special section of Y'saari space, including better mining, a Y'saari station that sells special goods, and perhaps more(I started running out of ideas for base rewards, but that's what the forums are for)
2. The Y'saari provide your faction with special shuttle fuel, increasing the speed of shuttle transportation(stacks with luxury shuttles)
3. The Y'saari reduce the prices of voidgate travel for all members of your faction
4. The station in Y'saari space provides special ship parts that you can't get anywhere else
5. The Y'saari improve your faction's cac with quantum subroutines, allowing twice the capacity they normally have
So, that was an extremely long post born from an idea from a random discussion on more PvP incentives, and inspired by the orrery from Aetolia, but given more mechanical depth because I got caught on the idea of total planetary warfare. Though, this only an idea for right now, so please do leave your comments, thoughts, and critiques below!
Big things I'd very much like to hear about(though if you have something else to comment, please do); overall attitude about the concept, whether or not orbital defence cannons should be a thing at all, more/less/different logistics bonuses, and more/less/different rewards for winning the Y'saari Games.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you all enjoy!