Middle Mayhem #1 - Final Broadcast
Fri May 07 2021 (Updated: Wed Jun 09 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 #1 server. Remember that you can follow more closely his daily news broadcast on some of the current server in the official Discord server.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the 10-4 News Network is once again pleased to present an end of server news broadcast! We're here live on the scene as the jubilant crowds of Zorkans are celebrating the carefully constructed 1st and 2nd place early victory earned here on MM1, the first map where everyone spawns right in the middle! This reporter thinks that this probably should have ended around a week and a half ago if Mortar had really wanted to speedrun this, but we can't argue with the results, Zorka have seemingly gotten everything they wanted here.
This server started with high community interest, with slightly more than a full rankings page worth of viable looking alliances to start things off. The developers had stated they expected ferocious fighting in the middle that would force most alliances to flee to the outer edges of the map, but ultimately, it would seem the value of the high density bonus hexes didn't give cause for any alliances to pursue any major vendettas in the area early. Before we cover the start of the actual first battlefields, let's give an overview of the main alliances that dropped into the server!
Zorka (ZRK) together with their sub alliance Golden Legion Zorka (GLZ) were the strongest premade group to appear on the server initially. Zorka, being the main alliance, was rivalled in terms of early development speed by Oligarch Asylum (OAS), another alliance with a long history. Star League (SLD) led by Warden was also present, the leader of whom seems to have been an old school alliance leader, but who our news network had not previously gotten to news cast for except as a mere member of CW on O4. The Terrible Sinners (TTS) coalition dropped as well, and word on the street strongly indicated a friendly diplomatic relationship with Zorka was in the cards for them. They also dropped two alliances. Sword of the Brotherhood (SOB) showed up as well, an alliance with apparently similar old school history to SLD. Angry Penguins (PEN), a group of multiple recognizable veterans as well as some newcomers, was also on the scene. FREE FREEQS (ARR) got off to a slow start this server off of the front page, but would slowly recover in game score to ultimately give us quite the show late in the server. Vikings (VKN) would be the last relevant major alliance this time.
As per usual, several alliances would only end up having a seemingly minor impact on the game's outcome, either through lack of will to participate or just plain quitting. Thonk (THK), an infamous small knit group who would become the allies of EGB during O3, appeared on the scene and almost immediately started fighting early in the back of the map with Extinction Rebellion (R3B). However, both groups wouldn't amount of much to anything in the end, with THK going inactive, and R3B not sending in any obvious fleets until it was far too late to do anything to stop Zorka. The Xxit-Woundz (XIT), who were major opponents of EGN on S7, met a similar fate to R3B. Although they appeared to interfere with SLD's GTs in a limited capacity, we haven't yet heard any evidence that it was a major contributor to the results. Their last minute attacks on Zorka leader Mortar were ineffective. One minor alliance, MOO (MOO), managed to interfere in Zorka's favor at an important part of their war campaign sign unseen to this news network until it was pointed out after the fact.
With the stage set, the first server controversy would start almost immediately, as Zorka leader Mortar deployed a new meta strategy with the assistance of his allies in Zorka's sub alliance. Two GLZ members were setting up their stations as industrial resource farms, and Mortar was caught dipping into their larders almost as soon as beginner protection dropped! The farming strategy and Mortar's implementation of it would prove to be the most singular point of controversy in the whole server, as well as the most decisive strategic decision made by anyone on the map.
The middle of the map saw little more than opportunistic raids and greater than a few decoy attacks launched by multiple sides, and both Zorka and OAS constantly swapped between 1st place in terms of game score. On the 5th, a mere 4 days into the server and one day past beginner protection, we saw the power of the farmer strategy first hand, as Mortar belts out a TC faster than you could ever imagine someone building! He uses it for his third base, to engage with DumpTruck of OAS just outside of the center near one of only two +8 moon locations. By TCing the NPC just north of where DumpTruck's station was, Mortar immediately started a ferocious claim push war, aided by a batch of early destroyers he had also constructed with the aid of his farmer allies, especially Nebojsa.
OAS recognize the extreme danger immediately of allowing Zorka to implement a farmer strategy at a shipyard location more powerful than any server had ever seen in....well, we don't know how long ago here at the 10-4 News Network! DumpTruck's allies head to the scene immediately, such as Nolanders and potentially several others, and initially, OAS seemed to be holding their ground both in claim push and battle defense.
As the next few days began, DumpTruck did his darndest to maintain the claim push advantage. He gained supremacy in number of bases on the scene the next day, and began sealing off the best HSA spots away from Mortar to try and blunt his ability to use the resources from his farmer allies. The location had, in addition to the +8, a +6, +5, and 3 +3 hexes, meaning DumpTruck had his work cut for him to micromanage those outpost locations and stop Mortar from having a usable HSA!
But the real work being done by both sides wasn't in-game at all. The Discord community was set ablaze as protestors from all sides were whipped into a multi-day frenzy bringing useful conversation in the MM1 politics subchannel to a standstill, as the endless complaints over the power of the farmer role poured in! Multiple attempts were witnessed by this news network to convince Solid Clouds staff to ban Mortar and others for daring to shake up the meta game, but staff members wisely avoided tipping the scales in OAS' favor over a strategy that had already been used multiple times throughout Starborne history on a lesser scale. Nearly 1000 messages were counted in just one day on the 7th!
Back and forth raids and sabotage struggles continued, as Zorka bring in a FOB to help Mortar collect the loot from his farmers more quickly by having them deliver the resources right to his doorstep. Despite being unable to utilize the powerful moon cluster, he nonetheless was belting out destroyers at a dizzying pace, and gunship fleets were spotted possibly hiding in hangars on scene as well! On the night of the 7th, it became apparent that Zorka's sabotage strength was growing to be too much for OAS to handle, while OAS's frigate and patrol ship counts were starting to overwhelm Mortar's production capacity. Zorka stomps out the OAS sabotage defenders, but loses in a big 16k XP fight at the real base.
Here_magnet_pulls attempted a base build next to Zorka's FOB to interrupt the resource stream on the morning of the 8th, but those gunships come out of hiding and snuff out the attempt in an instant. Zorka continue to abuse their sabotage supremacy in back to back 14k and 15k XP sabotage wins, but still can't crack the base in a traditional battle, losing a 21k XP fight as Zorka member Ritual appears on the scene to try and assist their leader. So fiercely did both sides min-max their fighting, that at some point, each sides spy defense overwhelmed this news network's capability to get accurate information!
Alas, on the night of the 8th, the story came to a close. Mortar leads 4 full destroyer fleets against the tired OAS defenders, and finally crushes the hopes of OAS after three solid days of the most ferocious early game fighting this report has ever seen! OAS would never return in force after this defeat, leaving DumpTruck to be destroyed after just a single week of the server.
And why, you dear listeners might wonder, is it so important to the server's summary that so much text is dedicated to this one early game battle? Because in the end, these 3 days of fighting ended up being the ONLY days that really mattered! With Mortar in complete control of the powerful +8 hex and farmer player assistance at his back, the blistering pace he could produce ships combined with OAS being drained of energy and one of their top players proved far too much for the rest of OAS to handle for the rest of the server.
OAS would continue to fight regardless in what would prove to be a hopeless war, but they still had a few temporary wins worth mentioning. They construct a FOB in the rear of Aries to attack Zorka members far from Mortar's new ship building nexus, where they're able to ambush Zorka member CoastieDave, and also defeat Zorka members Zeromanacer and Tapaka. However, these early successes for OAS would merely be the beginning of their end. On the 10th, after DumpTruck's bases and ability to contribute were bombed away, the OAS FOB is delayed by a hole in the space-time continuum that opened up when their FOB jumps on top of a newly built Zorka FOB! Fortunately for the developers, it seems they had patched in some code to prevent the server from going down similar to the last time this happened back in the Alpha days. OAS are forced to jump away due to the impossibility of either side properly using their FOBs, and the delay proves too much for OAS to overcome, as Zorka now had time to move into position and follow the OAS FOB wherever it went. Additional usage of alliance swapping also allowed Zorka to slowly build up enough fleets in front of the OAS marauding fleets to defend where they needed to, when they needed to!
OAS manage to gather two FOBs worth of ships by the 12th as Zorka felt free to sacrifice numerous large fleets into the OAS FOBs until then, likely taking advantage of their massive advantage in ship building capacity and number of usable players. On the 13th, Nolanders starts a chain of mischief that would take up a considerable amount of Zorka's time when he seizes and reinforces an Aries GT location near the front of the sector. But alas, the OAS fleets can no longer pretend that they have a chance by this point. Mortar shows off some early game carriers during the fighting, further demonstrating the power of his farmer assisted income. Then, Ritual destroys one FOB fleet in a 45k XP fight, and Nolanders starts losing major ships on the 15th. On the same day, Zeromancer and Vorox destroy the other OAS FOB fleets for 36k XP. In the final act of triumph for OAS, Purple_Hu and Nathanita gather what seems to have been all of OAS's remaining strength to get three wins totaling 76k XP. But it would be all downhill from here for OAS, as Zorka was now so confident in their victory that they could send their member Bobodrilla off on an adventure into Sagitta, to start the process of seizing GT's from PEN.
With two alliances, two allied alliances, and the most powerful ship building organization visible in the server, the overall mood of the server quickly turned negative towards the idea of anything happening except a steamroll Zorka victory. SLD and SOB were the only two opposing alliances with halfway impressive looking game scores by this point, with PEN, ARR, and VKN not looking so good in development. Competing with Zorka's ship production with Mortar farming away appeared totally impossible!
At least, it WOULD be totally impossible, unless someone ELSE won early! SLD, engaging in some fancy diplomacy, manage to convince almost every alliance that wasn't under Zorka's umbrella to help them, the strongest anti-Zorka alliance after OAS' defeat, to assist them in gaining 13 GT's across the map, to force the server to end before the Zorka production juggernaut drowned the map in a sea of ships more befitting an 8 week server. Star League silently began acquiring GT's across the two bottom sectors and the western sector of the map. TTS interfered at one point with a big hit on SLD leader Warden for over 60k XP, but by the 16th, SLD had 5 GT's while Zorka was still fighting in the east in PEN space while continuing to pacify the remaining fleets of OAS in Aries.
By the 18th, SLD would rise to 9 GT's, after fending off Xxit after some minor fighting amounting to around 22k XP, and receiving multiple free handoffs from sympathetic alliances. But OAS was on their last legs in terms of defense against Zorka, while PEN had totally collapsed in the east, and would be forced to evacuate in the south near SOB space. And although ARR had been engaging in a campaign against TTS starters bases in the middle, it didn't seem to really be bothering TTS leadership much, as they were still able to get hits in on Warden, who's bases were precariously close to TTS borders in the northwest.
DumpTruck switches to SLD at some point to assist in the grand master plan, and on the 19th, they had 10, with two more that were clearly almost ready to enter their possession, prepared by allies somewhere. LordGutek, an isolated Zorka member in the south, seemed to be guarding what would be the final one, as an attempt by OAS to hand one over to Xander up in the northwest was snuffed out. TTS start to bring the heat over their ice belts against SLD, weakening several SLD members in the area who are unable to obtain assistance due to SLD's heavily spread out base positions.
On the 20th, LordGutek spots two SLD base drops incoming for his GT, and bounces them away with fortresses. Minor alliance WAN does their darndest to interfere with another exchange near SOB space, and delay things for some time while SOB are forced to deal with their surprise bombing fleets. BlueBear, one of the more isolated SLD players, starts to get some unwanted attention from TTS in the northwest, as he holds one of the SLD GT's way behind enemy lines. SLD still have 12 GT's basically in their possession at this point, they just needed to claim LordGutek's to start the timer!
But alas, horror upon horrors! Warden calls it quits on the same day, as it turns out, SLD forces in the area no longer had enough ships left to capture one last GT thanks to the efforts of TTS in the area. Additionally, our news network had seen some rumors that SLD's allies had not appeared to be responsive enough for SLD's efforts to continue! So close to an upset that would rival Omega Historical, and yet, so far! The shocking departure of SLD from the server, just one day before the unofficial official lockdown day of 3 weeks, (Which was announced as 2 weeks, then secretly extended with all participants unawares until days after the supposed lockdown) would spell the end of any chance of Zorka's defeat.
Zorka began their doom push through the rest of the map, content to play an early win strategy of their own slow and safe. Rather than send in some FOBs at the now abandoned space left by SLD and take the win as fast as possible given their now insurmountable lead in ships, they go on a top to bottom crusade, eliminating PEN from the east, then descending slowly into the south, as Bobodrilla leads one group attacking from SOB's north, while Mortar and others join Lordgutek from SOB's left. The battle totals are enormous, and it would be at this point that Zorka receive some assistance on the northern front from minor alliance MOO, but the outcome was never truly in question. After Mortar finally claims the #1 server battle record, Zorka calmly finish invading just enough space that they needed from SOB and PEN to capture far over the necessary 13 GT's, as they rack up win after win against the impressive but ultimately inferior long range attacks from Mochime and other SOB members. By the end of the game, Zorka's GT defense fleets looked a lot more like what we'd expect from an 8 week server than a 5 week one!
After SLD quit, the only main sideshow going on across the map was a joint invasion of TTS space by ARR and VKN, which seemed to really get in gear on the 25th. But with the effort being launched at late as it was, I'm afraid this news network can't really say that any of the fighting contributed to the server's outcome whatsoever! VKN and ARR ambush multiple large TTS fleets, and even manage to invade TTS heartland space for some time, racking up enormous bombing and battle scores that are reflected in the final standings of the server. TTS eventually push them back, and if the server had just been down to this war zone, it's likely ARR and VKN would have ultimately proven victorious after another week or so. But alas, no matter how impressive the battles were, it was too little, too late! The time to strike for ARR and VKN would have been BEFORE TTS erased SLD's fleets on the border and convinced Warden that continuing on was fruitless, not after! But maybe it was all just a distraction in the end, since Afreeq, leader of ARR, would come out after the end of the server to declare that no matter what happened with TTS, they never would have challenged Zorka to stop their win anyway!
With the timeline of events out of the way, let's go over the server superlatives! The 10-4 News Network awards the MVP trophy to Mortar, and it's not even close by our estimate! In addition to overseeing two alliances which have been said by numerous sources to have re-defined the meaning of high quality organization in their internal processes, he personally led the forces that would set OAS back in the beginning by an amount that they could never recover from with his successful claim push and farmer income bolstered attack on DumpTruck and the +8 shipyard hex. His fleets would only get bigger and bigger as he was the primary leader of the farming meta on the map, and his overwhelming shipyard speed would crush everyone he went after, which was a whole lot of people folks! We got word from the man himself that by the end of the server, he had so many combat fleets at once, that it would have been literally impossible to send any more in a single attack, even if he wanted to! A one-man alliance attack plus 10 more fleets, are we sure this was a fast paced server with ship counts like that?
Final Thoughts and Thanks
Special shout-out to Destiny1001 for giving the 10-4 News Network security staff a wonderful training exercise as we had to deploy across the map in a New York minute to save our precious double civic intelligence buff hex, a critical piece of news casting infrastructure to keep our spies coming. But when you've got an ace gumshoe partner with a history in the 10-4 organization as storied as Murdershoes helping out a reporter that is THIS hard boiled, I'm afraid the outcome is never in question! Our wonderful employees Murdershoes and Balur were with us this time to help get the word out on the comings and goings of this server.
And let's not forget our third party citizen journalist news contributors who helped us get out the FACTS....and maybe a slight amount of editorial zest to boot! It's a long list this time folks, we've got Nathaniel and Nolanders of OAS, NudeTwister of CircleOfZero, Mauro Brandolt the leader of TTS alongside his alliance members Nihal and O1RKid, FlyingPotato of SLD, feazeyu of ARR, Gambler of his own solo alliance, Mortar the leader of Zorka alongside his members LordGutek, Bobodrilla, and Coastiedave, Corvina of R3B, ATp32 of MOO, The Gozerian of SOB, and DumpTruck of OAS and SLD! This reporter is thinking this might be a record for the 10-4 News Network in terms of cooperation from the player base, and we appreciate your assistance in getting out the truthiest truth that we can shout from the rooftops!
The server battle record goes to Mortar, as he gained the top honors on the morning of the 28th. He defeated a combined force from SOB with so many fleets he couldn't use more if he wanted to, in a fight generating a galaxy shattering 287620 XP. But seriously, Mortar, i'm sure you could have cobbled together another #1 win in a way that didn't involve dragging out the server around a week and a half longer than it really needed to last! Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say, as HOT retain the record for fastest early victory.
Looking back, it seems apparent to this news network that despite trying to engineer a map that would revolve around conflict over dense bonus hexes and +5/+6 moon positions for days in the middle, most alliances only seemed interested in claiming and operating from vast swaths of territory in the outside of the map, leaving the middle to mostly be the space of tiny solo players. MM2 seems like the leaders there currently, SLM, have been taking a firmer interest in the middle than here on MM1, but since the developers are planning to remake the map before releasing it again for bug fixing purposes, perhaps it may also behoove Solid Clouds staff to take a look at the perception of value that major alliances are seeing in Libra-centric warfare!
This has been the final broadcast of the 10-4 News Network for Omega MM1. It's been a long journey filled with twists and turns, but it's finally over now! Individual player ranks will soon follow this broadcast, you've once again been a stellar audience!
Mortar, the server MVP, take the top spot in game score and battle score for his efforts as both leader and warrior. Surprisingly, though, he's only 5th in empire score, and chatter in the public discord made it sound like Mortar prefers to sacrifice empire building at times to churn out more ships. Nihal and ccc show up in 3rd and 5th in battle score after their efforts in the TTS vs. Pirates and Vikings war. If that fight had been game deciding, I don't think this final broadcast would have been written up before midnight.
Mortar, despite having the farming meta at his back and the supremely powerful +8 hex at his disposal, is actually far from first place in navy points. In fact, the ultimate #1 is way ahead of anyone else! Baerdred of Zorka takes the prize after building a ridiculous quantity of scout ships all server, which have a highly unrealistic weighting in the navy point calculations. He seemed to expect to use them in suicide sabotages, but apparently hardly got the chance!
These lesser achievements I've grouped together, as without the territory win condition, claim doesn't mean much. Plasma doesn't seem to have had much association between farming stars and actually winning, as the top 3 are all occupied by those who met their betters from the Zorka war machine.
Attack and Defense are both dominated by Mortar, whose fleets were seemingly everywhere that mattered despite some puzzling moves in the middle of the news cycle involving abandoning a FOB that was in front of OAS member Nolanders multiple times for as of yet unknown reasons. ccc shows up in attack for his participation in the Viking invasion of TTS space, while Nihal is 2nd after participating in the defense of said invasion and matters involving SLD's defeat. Mortar's loot reflects his successful implementation of the farming strategy.
Mortar predictably wins in destruction given his other results, with Nihal and ccc showing up again from the fighting involving TTS. Bombing is the biggest surprise, as the back and forth war between TTS and those who wished to see them defeated actually dealt far more building damage than Zorka's steamrolling of their enemies.
You know what, maybe we of the 10-4 News Network should have tried a little harder to take that GT that opened up in the north when VKN kicked TTS off by the 10-4 News Network Gemini offices....oh well, no sense crying over spilt milk! Big differences in total victory points and actual game score this time around, as ARR showed no interest in interfering with anyone's victory, and SOB's 0 point performance in no way indicates a lack of effort or participation on their part. Xxit Woundz sneaks into 4th place despite not being able to contribute meaningfully to the server's outcome.