One of the side-projects I've been meaning to work on for a while is a summarised history of TDZK. I'm finally getting this under way, and intend to expand this to cover most of the 2.x series.
History of TDZK: 2.0 (You are Here)History of TDZK: 2.1History of TDZK: 2.2History of TDZK: 2.3History of TDZK: 2.4History of TDZK: 2.5History of TDZK: 2.6History of TDZK: 2.7History of TDZK: 2.8
As you might expect, this is from my memory only. While I have tried to present a neutral and balanced portrayal as possible, I'm sure people will disagree with my assessments in ... well, many places!
_________________________________________________________________2.0Gameplay Changes: Arguably the biggest set of game changes seen. New Quelaar race, removal of interest, increase in planetary build options, introduction of initiative, auras, treaty points and planetary income, relaunch of EMP and the debut of piracy, expansion to 36-system map with addition of 10 new southern systems hooked off Elanna and Zane. Planets were removed from central systems including Nexus, Manchari and Taelon, while stations became part of ports and looting was introduced.Political Backdrop: Two powerhouses of the previous round, IG/ID and KAOS didn't start the round, and the members were split between three new alliances - the predominantly former KAOS hunters in Maelstrom, the former ID/IG who founded Imperials, and Praetorian Guard who took the cream of ID along with the KAOS raid teams. Lords of Fear started the round with five wings, HOLY, Phoenix and xWW were also major presences from 1.0, and many others started afresh in the new round. The major 'new' force was "all that and a bag of chips" Telos D, who formed out of IGF-FL. Other new alliances also debuted or shot to prominance in the new round after the interest bankroll handicap was removed.Opening Moves: The round started with the typical squabbling for position. Most of the northern galaxies were more peaceful as the race opened up for the new southern galaxies, but there was the start of a battle between Imperials and Maelstrom over the Imrasael (22) system. Some of the other divided galaxies included Elanna (21) and Cryos (25), both of which would be more noted battlegrounds later in the round. But the first battleground was set to be in Sarenn (36) and the opponents were the newly formed Telos D and the Wheeled Warriors.Telos D vs xWW: The self-confident Telos were quickly embroiled in a war with their Wheeled Warriors neighbours. This was a surprisingly short and one-sided war, considering both contributors were expected to be significant players in the round. However, Telos had not yet the full organisation and despite early success, their raid on the final xWW planet failed. The Wheelies retaliated and Telos became wracked with disorganisation and low morale. Players began to leave and the Wheelies rode triumphantly over the remnant of Telos. Shinsen Gumi was founded and many of the former Telos members ended with this as their home.Babypolitik: The all-round event was the steady growth of Lords of Fear at the expense of smaller alliances. The six winged-behemoth alleviated smaller alliances of the burden of their planets throughout the southern galaxies. Typically these alliances would be fighting other small alliances, and LoF would reap the benefits and take planets from all. With the significant planet income contributions this helped to cement a strong strategic position.Middle Game: The new, high levelled ports and the paucity of money meant that not many alliances were raiding ports with any regularity. The only alliance to put together a team of significant level and strength was Praetorian Guard. They were the first to take down a level 40+ port, Pacific station in the Pleiora Nebula (18). They would later be the first and only alliance to pop a level 50 port, adding a level 47 port to their conquests as they raided in Cryos (25).Unintended Consequences - War Starts in the North: The three planets in Cryos were owned by three new or barely-known alliances - Silver Horde, Assassin's Lair and Galactic Corsairs. Nearby neighbours were the unaggressive Phoenix in Chronos (13) as the action developed in the south. GC and SH formed ties and used the Cryptos (26) nebula as a training ground. To 'tidy up' the system, aiming to better secure it from outsiders, they attacked the third planet, whose owner had since moved to HOLY. The planet was taken despite an inexperienced raid team and an accidental warning of an hour.
HOLY and Phoenix declared war, and the most costly typo in TDZK happened as SIMEK built 90 drone hangars instead of 9. This rocketed SIMEK to level 76 (and in turn prompted the immediate removal of planet building experience above level 50) and spent most of GC/SH's war chest. The early war was dominated by the newcomers, raiding and hunting in Phoenix territory with little opposition. An attempt on the main Phoenix planet failed late on due to a squad error. The first retaliation blow was struck as LoF - allies of both HOLY and Phoenix - raided GC planet Concorde Dawn. A spirited restocking effort couldn't ward off the raid teams but the planet held for a significant time before it fell, and with it almost all of the GC fleet. GC and SH went into rebuilding mode while Phoenix and HOLY failed to follow home their advantage. The war lay dormant.David vs Goliath - Shadow Knights: One of the unexpected surprises in LoF's battle against smaller alliances was the resistance of one new alliance in Elanna, the newly formed Shadow Knights. Their tougher planet had remained untaken in the initial LoF run which had yielded the three DEA planets and one IR planet in the system. Repeated success by previously unknown SK hunters including ToMa, Ciralin and particularly Malhavoc led to success against LoF, and prompted an LoF attack on the planet. A furious restocking exercise and many poached kills over the planet were in vain as the planet eventually fell, but this would be an interesting benchmark for the next round.The Reunification: KAOS Returns: Towards the latter half of the round both Praetorian Guard and Maelstrom dropped tags and merged together to reform KAOS once more. There was a lot of reaction after the 'cynical' nature of the split and reformation. The reformed alliance's attention turned first to the battleground in Imrasael, and their raid teams took down Imperials' planets to add them to the KAOS fold. Other targets were soon added to the list.Dormant War to Live War: As GC and SH rebuilt their fleets and formed their plans, Phoenix and HOLY also began to ready themselves to take the last two planets. By coincidence both set their decisive raids for the same day. GC and SH would go first by a matter of hours. A redesigned raid team using new features of initiative and auras would take a succession of planets without the need for multiple suiciders. This attempt died in the first shot as an (unnecessary) visibility aura was set incorrectly. The planet fired third, three of the prototype raiders died and while the planet fell with multiple pods, the to-be-decisive chain of raids had gone.
The HOLY/Phoenix retaliation ran into difficulties. A long battle over the SH planets was met with firm resistance as dedicated restockers settled in for the night. The HOLY and Phoenix raid teams handed over to LoF, who in turn handed over to KAOS (who had already claimed the new GC planet taken earlier in the day). The restockers held firm as accusations flew. After a pause, the HOLY and Phoenix teams tried again the next day and were immediately successful. The following day a further restocking effort couldn't prevent the final planet from falling. The war was over and the established powers were victorious, but this was the beginning of the changing of the guard.Individual Achievements: In a round short of significant individual achievements, the most notable one was roemern's piracy tally. Piracy was introduced with 2.0 and took place from a board button on the attack screen (long before the days of Attack & Board option). Roemern's interceptor set a tally that would stand for many rounds. Thirteen players managed to reach Admin World after a long quest-chain requiring bringing odd combinations of goods and ships to different sectors to complete individual sections.Tactical Notes: While obvious in hindsight, many of the new tactical options were barely touched on. Auras were rarely used and not fully understood, and the advantages of levels not fully realised. With money in short supply after interest removal, trading was required for longer and average levels rose. Planet income filled the void, and those who had many planets could afford to field bigger and better ships.
The easiest and most efficient way to level was through planet-building, but this wasn't really known until SIMEK's mishap - although PG did level their raiders this way. Looting at a station resulted in you being docked at it after the refresh, allowing an effective alignment-bypass. This was used first by PG to get their raiders cloaks for initiative-raiding of the higher level ports, but became widely used later in the round. Initiative changed planet raiding by introducing the 'suicider' concept, the cheap ship with initiative and fusion torpedoes to fire first and clear the planet's drones.
In warbird design, designs mostly followed standard 1.0 patterns. Initiative led to the introduction of main engines into the standard design. The newest innovation was Zaekoem's wraith EMP ranger using the new Energy to Shield converter and power drain mechanics. With power overflow this provided a cheap and effective shield buffer.Round Summary: The last hurrah of the 'amateur' approach of 1.0 and the final round of the old traditional powers. It would not be until 2.1 that all the changes would be fully taken advantage of, and by a much wider range of alliances.
To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.
- Albert Einstein