Middle Mayhem #2 - Final Broadcast
Mon Jun 14 2021 (Updated: Mon Jun 21 2021)
LagAvenger, our auto-proclaimed and only reporter in the Starborne community has graciously agreed to let us publish his final broadcast on the Omega Middle Mayhem #2 server. Remember that you can follow more closely his daily news broadcast on some of the current server in the official Discord server.
Well well well, it's that time again folks, we've had another wild ride as your premier Starborne news agency, but there's another server to recap at last! The SLM News Network is here to present our final news broadcast of the 5 week MM2 Starborne server! Over the past five weeks starting on April 15th, we've learned that it only takes one person to defeat AI, museums are more time consuming targets to blow up with space dreadnoughts than you'd think, the bond between father and son is best expressed through internet spaceships, and that if an alliance names itself Peaceful anything while hanging out with ava_mara, you might want to look twice. We've also learned that Yngvi is feeling pretty keen on on releasing a new map next, but it doesn't look a ton like MM, so this is likely the 2nd and last server with our beloved buggy map edges! This is normally where we'd put in a poorly concealed paid sponsorship for a bug cleaning solution, but unlike YouTube, us boring writer types don't get paid the big bucks in sponsored product mentions!
But we could be. Lookin' at you, whoever makes WinDex. Do you even capitalize the D? I don't really remember. A little paid sponsorship offer might fix that too! But I digress. The SLM News Network is all about the facts, and we're here today to spit them out in semi-comprehensible order, as per usual! Let's go through the alliance list so all you listeners out there can get acquainted with MM2's competitors before we go through the history.
There were only five major alliances that played more or less for keeps this time. Salamander Squad (SLM) returned to the game after a very long break, and they're an old organization way back from the alpha days! Extinction Rebellion (R3B) have been around for a few servers, but haven't done so well organizationally on servers such as O4. They had a better showing here, though! Sol Mining Corporation (SMC) barely needs any introduction to the community at this point, and while true to form they couldn't maintain much activity outside of a small core of players when it mattered most, they still had some real fleets and some real headlines to make with them! Halcyon Holdings Co. (HHC) returned from O7, but faced some serious membership issues this time around that seemed to blunt their impact on the game outcome somewhat. Dynasty of Weebs (DOW) is a group our news network didn't get to see much of in the past, but their leader chessznerd managed to keep it interesting, they were the top rivals of SLM!
The two factions outside of those major alliances that made or attempted to make the biggest impact on the server's outcome were ava_mara's Please Move Station (PMS) alliance alongside her farmer player ally, and the three player alliance Peaceful Land (PL). ava's solo gameplay would indirectly help SLM secure enough GT's for the early win by decimating and distracting HHC forces in the end game, while PL made an earnest effort to sabotage the early win for SLM by attacking two of their GT's in the final 12 hours.
Several groups, as usual, made some early headlines, but ended up having little to no impact on the game's outcome, due to falling into inactivity. Free Freeqs (ARR) looked like they'd be an important force on the server with some early game expansions deep into the southern parts of the map, but they seemed to decide that O8 was more worth their time and jumped ship. Anger Issues (AI) was easily forced into irrelevance by the early game domination of ava's former allies, who quickly crushed the AI organization which has underperformed in PvP server after server. They couldn't even lift a finger as SLM drove right into their territory and seized their GT's in Gemini Sector without a real fight in the end game! New player alliances The Mortal Ones (TMO) and Elite Anarchist (EA) looked like they had gotten off to an above average start for alliances of their kind, but EA went totally inactive, while TMO headed off to O9, where they seem to be faring far better in terms of overall player experience level. Space Savages (SS) also seemed to be a new player alliance, and they at least made a token effort to oppose SLM in the eastern part of the map, but their inexperience showed! Their fleet sizes were no more than an annoyance to SLM, who didn't even need to team up to swat them away.
The last bit of background info of note is that GoGrow and sp2danny attempted to bring their alliance, SCR, into the server, but when it became apparent around one week in that they couldn't get enough interest from their usual crew, they would disband before any major fighting could start and join HHC, and later, DOW.
As beginner protection wore off, rather than the first bit of PvP action starting outside of the middle like on MM1, things started off strong right in the center, just as the developers had originally intended! SLM went on offense after a few days against many of their potential rivals, especially HHC! Azgarreth, who was the #1 player in the beginning for quite some time and one of SLM's leaders, was joined by Guillermau and many of the strongest SLM early game players very close to 0,0 as they began striking out at mostly unguarded HHC starter bases. HHC didn't seem interested in investing much into defending their holdings as they started deploying bases into the southeast and northern ice parts of the map! Of particular interest is the fate of Manvis, who repeatedly had his sabotage forces trounced, both in battle and in being snuffed out in the shipyards by sabotages. He'd bow out of the game early after receiving help from nobody except for vebo and his corvette fleets, a major loss for HHC!
Many other members of HHC and several others from other alliances had their starter stations made ineffective early in the process as well, but SLM's bombing speed so early in the game wasn't that great. The only serious resistance SLM encountered in the beginning in the early days was an attempt by R3B, with the assistance of HHC's DumpTruck of MM1 fame, to try and overwhelm this very news reporters father, Geocrownvic, in the southern part of Libra! Unfortunately for R3B, SLM had the luxury of being wherever they wanted in the middle after sending so many enemy ships to the scrapyard, and easily reinforced the position before any serious bombing damage could occur. Over the next 2 or 3 days, Azgarreth and Guillermau would work together to bomb out most of DumpTruck's bases from the middle, while HHC stood by as their member got trounced, and R3B did absolutely nothing, despite being the ones who dragged him into it in the first place!
In the background, DOW leader chessznerd was already hard at work trying to assemble a coalition against SLM. SLM only had a slight lead on 2nd place HHC even after inflicting major losses on them, but both alliances had started to get an even bigger lead on 3rd through 6th, which were at almost identical scores with each other for several days. However, there would be no grand coalition to be found on this server! HHC was a flat out "no", ARR was intending to go to S8, SMC had its own problems with R3B in the southwest, and R3B were apparently unresponsive!
And so, the days dragged on, with SLM harassing or bombing whoever they wanted in mid. There was a small, amusing side show going on at the same time with ava and two of their friends, Jayka and Teraqua, turning AI into their personal farms, even chasing them as they tried to flee into the northwest before Teraqua would leave the game after IRL time conflicts. AI would never rise again after the savage beating their defenseless membership received from the trio!
All the alliances scattered out across the map despite SLM's harassment in the middle. SLM split up the most, into both Aries and Sagitta. DOW went near the far lands in Aries, and locations just outside of the middle. R3B as already mentioned went southwest, while SMC also went southwest, but farther. HHC fled the middle into several parts, GoGrow and Danny would go north into the ice slightly away from the middle, while the rest of HHC scattered widely in the near and far southeast. The only major claim conflict that resulted was ImperatorGod of SLM vs. DOW leader chessznerd in the far lands of Aries, and the two would engage in some serious claim warring escalating into real warfare soon after! However, DOW would eventually get the upper hand as the assistance of sustainplus from SLM was insufficient after chessznerd's allies arrived. Both SLM players would later end up not being able to contribute much to their alliance's victory after this!
Finally, on the 29th, we'd see the first serious war develop outside of the middle. R3B ambush SMC member TeddyD's base cluster out in the southwest, after SMC are unable to respond in time. It seems some people took Clanpred's warning that SMC would attack anyone within 5 hours flight time a little bit personally! Clanpred himself was busy trying to solo claim a +7 hex near the bottom of the map while harassing DumpTruck, R3B, and HHC at the same time. As for everyone else in SMC...well, it's a story you'll have to hear from them! R3B and SMC would continue fighting each other from this point on for the entire server. But in the end, with all that was said and done, neither side's efforts seemed to have any impact on the server's outcome whatsoever!
The 2nd of May, over 2 weeks into the server, was the beginning of the server's only important war. The outcome of DOW Vs. SLM, which would start in earnest on this date when DOW launched a FOB attack on Thanael in the southeast corner of Aries, would be the main decider of the server's outcome! The attack seemed to be an extension of chessznerd's victory over ImperatorGod, giving DOW full control of the Aries far lands. They destroy one base initially, but Thanael's outpost management proves too powerful for DOW to overcome quick enough to defeat them before large quantities of SLM reinforcements arrive. DOW retreats towards the nearby bases of DAISHOBioEnergy, starting a stalemate that would be unbroken except for the sabotage waves from Guillermau for weeks!
But unfortunately for DOW, while it took the combined fleets of most of their members to get into a big enough defensive position, SLM had plenty of players left over to consolidate their positions elsewhere. DOW's Sagitta holdings come under attack, and in the following days, Azgarreth would almost eliminate DOW member FloatingHitPoint from the game entirely, while FuriousFaysal also gets eliminated from the active player list. Mews and Bawler, two SLM members living in the far northern ice, also come down from their snowy mountain homes to attack DOW holdings to the south with a FOB, nibbling away at DOW's ice bases.
The next day, DOW started a counter-attack against Mews and Bawler that would see them heading north for several days. They push the pair off of their FOB after some fierce fighting while only losing the one ice base in the process, and despite not being able to acquire ARR's assistance earlier in the server, they nonetheless get some incidental help from BlitzStratos and RabidClown, the only two remaining active ARR members in the middle. Blitz begins destroying bases from Lisbeth in the starter zone with an enormous fleet, but he takes his foot off the gas in the next few days, instead wasting all his time farming countless marauder camps for reasons unknown. RabidClown tries to engage with Geocrownvic in the middle, who was their neighbor, but in an hilarious display of mediocrity loses all of his modest-in-number ships after ramming them into a missile battery 7 or 8 times over the next two days or so.
SLM resume destroying enemy bases in the middle, this time focusing on DOW starters, after it becomes clear Blitz has no intention of fighting seriously. ava_mara, the strongest player on the server but playing solo, would later help herself to some more combat score by crushing Blitz on her own. DOW start trying to invade Gemini rather than head straight for Mews and Bawler, wasting an entire three days trying to destroy our Sol News Network museum near a GT. At long last, after three horrible days of staying online constantly to rebuild the same level 1 buildings over and over against a mere four dreadnought fleets from BlueNomad, somebody finally told him about the Gunship Diplomacy policy, allowing his heavy ships to clear the way for the dreads. Nomad, let's never do that again, ok? It's just not a fun way to play the game!
The distraction of effort from BlueNomad, sp2danny, and Eisenbauss give SLM the luxury of time to finish up all remaining DOW bases in the east and almost all bases in the middle, and they start moving those forces into position for a new phase of the war. At the same time, on the 7th, R3B makes a major move in their war against SMC. GalaxyOfZeroes makes a huge station drop back in SMC's ice in the far lands, cloaked by the mysterious area's color disguising effect. He destroys countless SMC labor bases, and SMC's counter attack doesn't do themselves any good, as they lose multiple big fights against R3B's brandy00!
It was on the 10th that DOW's downfall would finally begin. With most of their fighting fleets still in an endless stare-down in the northeast, the members of SLM who had finally finished their tasks could attack the region of ice belonging to GoGrow and sp2danny, two of their strongest players who had left HHC previously. A four way attack was launched with Mews and Bawler from two northern directions, MadMonarch and Azgarreth from the southwest, and the SLM News Network with father Geocrownvic in tow from the east.
Azgarreth was bounced away after he got in one great hit against a GoGrow ice base, when GoGrow blew out the base from underneath Azgarreth. MadMonarch managed to get in a bit more damage from a FOB, but also had to eject after it lost a few too many levels. bawler nearly got sent home early, but the bombing forces from BlueNomad proved just as inadequate at blowing anything up fast as they did up at the museum. Mews was unopposed as he took out a GoGrow base cluster. sp2danny's eastern base cluster was reinforced by recons and capitals after losing most of The Seat at his headquarters to our professional interview team, but we nonetheless destroyed several carrier fleets before having to stop in the face of the rest.
bawler's fleets land after he stalls out the bombing runs, while Mews destroys the GoGrow bases in front of him. Many DOW members such as Reginal, naughtdame, eisenbeiss, and carlos_pl lived nearby, but only BlueNomad was seen to be doing any serious active fighting on behalf of GoGrow and danny! With teamwork like that, or rather, a lack of it, even sending MadMonarch and Azgarreth home early wasn't enough. GoGrow and later Danny would perform their trademark self destruct move on the 11th after their fleets were destroyed and their critical labor infrastructure gone with them. This would soon herald the end of DOW!
HHC send in two FOBs towards SLM's southeastern ice belts at the same time, but unfortunately for them, if they were hoping to save DOW they were after the wrong targets. Lisbeth, brainsmog, and guillermau's fleets weren't at the scene of the slaughter of DOW at that moment! Besides, the FOBs were behaving like they were piloted by a green monkey, judging from the highly inefficient route they took, allowing SLM to hit them at least once long distance with a raid. They destroy one brainsmog labor base, but then lose their fleets on one FOB just after when their fleet capacity is bombed out from under them. The other FOB ends up unable to attack, and HHC slink home in shame, never to go on offense against SLM or anyone else ever again. It was the only organized PvP action they did all server that they actually managed to gather for!
The 12th would be the day of final defeat for DOW. Brainsmog, freed up from the east after HHC's failed attack and the destruction of all other credible forces, sails up to Thanael and takes a FOB to send his giant armada up against the remaining fleets still staring SLM down, now without GoGrow's ships. He gets the server battle record of just over 200k XP defeating them, which may be a tame total compared to MM1's clashes of titans, but we didn't have +7 shipyards for everyone here!
Later in the night, he returns to finish most of the fleets he missed, for around 111k more XP. DAISHO would lose his bases to our very own SLM News Network bombing crew over the next day or so, while chessznerd would decide the best use of his remaining ships would be to get his vengeance against HHC across the map for failing to render aid, so he sails off into the distance after his initial base build attempt on SLM is bounced away by the FOB jump animation. "There's no way that works"....until it does, my dear chessznerd!
The rest of the server wasn't too much to write home about, as SLM took control of the Gemini sector GT's without a fight as AI was far too inactive to put up any resistance in their part of the map. R3B and SMC apparently came to the conclusion that fun for them would be finishing up their war as best as they could all the way until the server ended, as both sides seemed to be losing or had already lost major strength to inactivity in the final week. HHC's territories would be invaded by chessznerd from the southwest at their ice, SLM from the north in search of two more GT's, and mostly solo player ava_mara, who had been running through the middle like a freight train gathering up battle score from dead and inactive players, and was now looking to secure a spot on the leaderboards with two GT's from HHC. There wasn't a single impressive fight HHC could put up anywhere in their sector, as SLM started the victory timer with 14 GT's around 3/4ths of a day early.
PL gave quite the scare to this news network on the final day, as they launched a very impressive last ditch attempt to stop SLM's victory timer. The three person team sent some respectable armadas to ambush Lisbeth in the far east, using TC's to capture one SLM GT without a fight. Then, they launched a long range attack on a crosamo GT, but with only three fleets against two bases, it appears to this network that SLM might have been just fine even if they hadn't of lifted a finger! crosamo's building points seemed to be just a little too high for the bombing power PL had available to send to the stations, as they could blow up one, but likely not the other. Regardless, SLM defend anyway in case of another TC barrage, and they give the server quite the end game show of fireworks in nearly 200k xp of fighting just a few hours before the early victory occured.
Let's move on to the special shoutout phase of our SLM News Network final broadcast! Normally, this is where we'd award MVP status to the player or players who played the most critical roles in a server's outcome. But to be honest, we're at a loss here this time, folks! No one player's contributions seemed to go above and beyond everyone else in a big way! Azgarreth would win MVP for sure if the server came down to who dominated the middle of the map best, but it was brainsmog and other players who dealt the most important blows to DOW later in the war! The faceoff against PL that decided if victory would be early or not also featured Lisbeth, crosamo, and even our own news crew, none of whom had previously done anything too critical! As for the other alliances, well....there never really seemed to be a point at which SLM was ever in serious danger of losing as a result of any one player's actions. PL might have been the closest to stopping the early win timer, but nobody actually seemed to rise up to threaten at least a regular victory for SLM! As for the top battle? Brainsmog of SLM takes the top honors for his defeat of DOW's defensive deathball that had been having a staring contest in the northeast for days. It was worth 202000 xp!
Final Thoughts and Thanks
Next, let's give a big hand to our news network's valuable contributors! Our sponsors this time, SLM, were excellent assistants with the news, as their battle reports provided top quality insight into the fighting they were getting up to on a regular basis. From HHC, we had input from DumpTruck. Sounded like HHC's organizational structure was not really up to the task of playing to win! From ARR, BlitzStratos chimed in with the deets on ava's fleet that crushed his marauder camp pirating harbor. From R3B, brandy00 gave us some nice screenshots of SMC's attacks. Even though the war between the two alliances ended up being meaningless for the server's outcome, it still made for some great headlines day to day! From DOW, chessznerd gave our news network his ear in regards to diplomatic backroom dealings on the server. SLM refused all diplomatic offers from the start, so our news network would have been flying blind without some third party input! From SMC, Clanpred also gave us his two cents on the business between them and R3B. Turns out, Clanpred's adventure in the south was just an experiment over that +7 space, and he merely wanted to get rid of the people who dropped in afterwards near him!
This server, unlike MM1, featured far more extensive fighting to control the middle of the map. But with so many stations, it took SLM forever to do the job, and in the end, it didn't seem like they really used the new territory to set down any special bonus hex capture combinations or new +6 shipyards! Was the middle of the map really worth the fight? Perhaps Solid Clouds could consider beefing up the benefits of gaining dominance of such an area if they return to the concept in the future, because it doesn't seem to be worth the struggle right now!
Felt like a lot of fatigue had set in amongst most of the server community near the mid game and end game, as well. Was there really anyone playing to win besides DOW and SLM by the time fighting had left the starting sector? The logistics involved in capturing so many victory points over such a huge distance really seem like they only work in a properly active alliance, as SLD found out on MM1 when they ended up feeling like some of their partners weren't pulling their weight! We heard word that in SMC, only around 5 players survived by the end. and R3B had lost possibly half of theirs to inactivity! Additionally, by the time of the lockdown at week 3, SLM and HHC couldn't find a single person anywhere in the server worthy of filling their 16th slot! There seems to be something a little off about how the game is capturing people's attention in the later stages right now.
Alright, this just about wraps things up ladies and gentlemen! You were once again a wonderful audience, we'll hopefully be seeing you again shortly on the O9 broadcasts! Individual player rankings and observations will soon follow this broadcast. This is the SLM News Network, signing off!
It may seem strange that SLM is not even close to being in first, but in truth, it was ava's server, we were just living in it. Ava got off to an outrageously powerful start involving heavy solar flare usage and extremely high game time. It didn't hurt that AI was involuntarily forced to give up almost all of their income to ava and their friends! They're likely the main reason AI didn't do anything on the server this time. Ava continued to grow and grow with the assistance of a farmer player in the far east, and even TCed their capital ship hangar at one point! Curiously, the hoards of detractors of the farmer role were nowhere to be found. I guess it's only a major problem for the game for the people who are fighting it, and it doesn't matter as long as certain groups aren't the ones on the other end of it, eh?
Otherwise, SLM have a strong showing in all the other spots. In the top 10, the vast majority are all SLM! Battle score has a lot of influence from R3B and SMC, who's war with each other dragged on for the entire server, and could have gone on for even longer if the server didn't have to end.
Despite using the TC strategy, ava still built the most ships on her own. We've seen servers in the past where third parties come out on top in one or two categories because they had nobody to fight, but things have been taken to a new extreme this time! It's VAR of SLM who claims the most building points by a mile, however, despite being pressured slightly by minor alliance SS in the east. Azgarreth's early game dominance gives him the top spot in level, as ava needed quite some time to seize the #1 spot long term.
They've got to go somewhere folks, it's the categories of things that really don't matter! Plasma did seem to garner some decent long term interest this time around from a few people. We're not sure who Bahart is, but they're solo out somewhere on the map with that 5th place claim score!
Thanks to a certain SOMEBODY, their name is too long to fit properly on my screen without jumbling up everything if I list the scores four at a time. No matter, these three are some of the most important figures on any server! ava couldn't manage to make it into first place in attack, as most of her targets were AI, dead players, and HHC players near the end who just couldn't seem to work together to resist her properly. Alukat of SMC was a super active long range attacker, and while many of his attacks primarily against brandy00 or R3B FOBs were failures, it still counts for attack score! Maybe SteveMacgregor should have been aiming for Alukat's shipyards and not Guilty's? brandy's huge defense score comes from SMC showing an odd obsession with his base cluster for their entire war, causing R3B to repeatedly have to show up and help him defend. ava still wins in destruction by a mile though, there must have been quite the jackpot of hangar ships in all those dead bases!
The bombing award is all ava, you can't compete with that many dead people's stations! Loot too goes to show you how much you can scoop up when you've got a farmer player to use! Otherwise, the bombing rankings belong to SLM due to their war victory. guillermau and steve were the top shipyard disablers of their respective alliances. Mews often took a little off of the top of fellow alliance member bawler's bases, but bawler wasn't a dedicated farmer! We didn't see any strange solo player take the top spot in missions this time, it's a strong showing from SLM.
SLM take the win with an early victory. It's the second early victory for several members, in fact, such as Mews and bawler! R3B were the only other alliance with enough members remaining to properly capture any quantity of GT's for themselves. ava's alliance had a name, but let's be honest, it doesn't matter, it was all ava's show! It's highly likely, in fact, that if ava had chosen to interfere with the server's outcome, SLM would almost certainly not have gotten an early victory.