What If ... The 2.6 Round Hadn't Been Reset?

Andrew_tM
Posts: 70
Joined: 2006-10-15

In the early hours of the launch of the 2.6 round, it became apparant that those who were offline at the hourly refresh weren't recieving turns. A quickly written fix for this malfunctioned and while the game was accidently opened early, a few people logged in and were granted maximum turns. Telling others, who did likewise, this spread to many before the game was closed again. Faced with impossibilities as to what to do to balance this up, Aelanna granted everyone maximum turns. Problems began when Fury set into play a pre-planned round start, where they raided all the stations and several ports immediately from the off. Many complaints were made as it appeared this had only been possible due to the increased turn cap. After further consultation among the admins, the controversial decision was made to reset the round. But how different would the round have been if it hadn't been reset?

The reset of the round threw everyone into confusion. The first few people to be affected were those who had spent few turns; those who had already devoted their turns to levelling or money-making were put at a huge advantage as they had gained more turns from the granting of maximum turns to all. Many alliances hastened early plans. Fury set in play a pre-arranged strategem of raiding all the stations for money. The extra turns meant they could raid more ports as well as all the stations. Awakening Dreams started raiding earlier in an effort to take advantage of the high turns. Other alliances moved forward plans too. However, the most controversial action was the Fury raids; the perpetrator of the action no doubt contributing to the controversy as much as the action itself. There is no doubt that had these not been done, the round would not have been reset. It was self-evident to many that they had only been able to do this due to the maximum turns. After massive complaints, the round was reset.

The majority of the questions of what happened in the first few days revolved around Fury, and the reset affected them more than any other alliance. As a consequence, I spoke to Fury leader Solace extensively about this, to find out the details of Fury's plan for the round, and am extremely grateful for his help with this article. He explained to me that the plan was essentially the same regardless of the reset - the early raids of the stations, the continued use of raiding to gain money, while they built a cash reserve to build the super planet. These had all been pre-planned. The reset proved the complainers wrong as Fury continued to raid all the stations for a second time. The only difference that the extensive turns gave was the ability to raid a day earlier, and to raid the series of ports in the Ward system (22), in addition to all of the stations, granting them extra money. Solace said to me that his major worry surrounding the reset would have been people knowing their plan and planning to jump those early raids. This never happened - undoubtedly because everyone was so sceptical about the validity of those achievements, and so convinced it was only possible due to the extra turns.

The major change in the round reset was that the galaxy was regenerated. This may not sound like a major change, but considering the location of the planet that was to become crucial on the node, this was significant. Solace said that they hadn't yet looked for locations for a planet to build up, and agreed that it would have lacked the same potency it did had it not been on a node. However, he stated as part of the plan they'd anticipated there may be a planet/station combination, or a planet in low visibility. I'm not so convinced of this myself - the former were usually removed manually, and the latter could be reduced in power with visibility auras.

This gives us two interesting perspectives on what was to be the main event of the round, the raid on 8002. Had the round not been reset, would it have been harder, or easier, or even possible? Would it have attained the same legendary status? My initial perspective was that the lack of a node meant the sector could be secured easier with massive number of aggressive drone stacks, making jumps harder, and restocking harder. The planet would have been harder to defend in the way that it was defended. However, Solace pointed out something else that I had overlooked - that the planet was incomplete when the raid started, as not all of the EMP had been completed. This contributed significantly to the ability of the raiders to lower the population firstly, to a level where KAOS raiders could join in, and keep it low enough for the continued assault. With the large amount of extra money generated on the first day's raiding, Fury would have been able to complete the planet - and would that have made it defendable? It's impossible to say, but it would have been both easier yet harder to take.

The obvious other question is to whether the rest of the round would have panned out the same way had the reset not been made. This is quintessentially paired with the question of what happened at Fury's super-planet. The different location would have meant the defence would've been more passive than active; with more EMP, population draining would have been much harder - leaving power draining as the most realistic way of taking the planet, which would have led to the defense being more in terms of stocking. Considering this, I am unconvinced the planet would have fallen. Fury would not have had to resort to multiple jumps which sapped their ships and levels even when successful.

In this scenario, a successful raid would have still had the same effect - the planet would have gone, but the defence would not have been the same, and the cost in ships and levels would have been less on both sides. The protection of most of their fleet and bank balance led to the possibility for a war to be sustained and for the 8002 battle not to be as crippling as it was for all sides. As a consequence, the knock-on effects of the war would have been greater on others too. Awakening Dreams would almost certainly not have broken the raid record. Jade Triad would have been greater targets for more active and more numerous raid fleets, and could well not have broken the experience record. The 8002 battle would not have had the same legendary status simply because it would have been a more classical restocking battle, as a different location and more reinforced defense would have meant jumps were both harder and strategically less necessary.

In short, the round would have been a lot poorer, and the notable events would have been a lot less notable. All of these potential events are only possibilities; however, they are interesting ones, and likely ones considering the course the reset 2.6 took. The 2.6 reset also gave all the events that transpired a validity, as Solace observed; it is easy to see how fingers would've been pointed at Fury saying that they had only been able to be so dominant because of the 'exploitation' of the maximum turns, which would not have done justice to their incredible performance in the first half of that round. Overall, the round would have been much poorer had it not been reset, as many of the key events would not have been anywhere near as dramatic as they ended up being.