The Summit

Again, it has been quiet in the land of the clone soldiers, life goes on as usual completing contracts and making ISK with little interesting things happening. There has been rumors circulating about new dropsuits and pistols being released, but I won't touch on these until they are confirmed. So, to at least have something out, I will highlight a place I visit quite often. It is a ground facility on the planet of Yulai III, but we have dubbed it the Summit.

This facility is a hub for clone soldiers of all races, all affiliations and all corporations to come together and socialize as mere co-workers and not as enemies on the battlefield. It is a huge complex, originally designed as base of operations for CONCORD. But with a huge influx of clone soldiers emerging, CONCORD established a virtual message board for us to use, named the Intergalactic Summit, similar to the one capsuleers have. A few months later, they converted this facility on Yulai III as a hub area for clone soldiers, and after over half a year it has finally started gaining momentum and become very popular.

It houses several different venues varying from emissaries, clubs, restaurants, museums, places of worship and many more, while CONCORD security assures that everyone can interact peacefully there without a bloodbath. So, why would a place of this kind be important to me at all, or to the clone soldier community at large for that matter?

Well firstly, it just brings good-will among the soldiers when they can go to a place where there are no enemies or friends, just fellow soldiers in arms. In the Summit, we can gladly share our stories of that one battle that turned the tide of war within Molden Heath, or from that crazy stunt you performed with your LAV while being chased by two dropships, or that one kill that was so glorious that you died from epicness right on that spot.

It also does wonders to soldier morale. Life can be a little hectic for us at times, we constantly die brutal and painful deaths, only to wake up in a new clone, redeploy and do it all again. When you do this for hours upon hours a day, for weeks, months, even years. it can start taking a toll on you, and you start losing your grip on reality. This has happened to me too.

In the Summit, baseliners, capsuleers and clone soldiers are all free to walk around and socialize without constantly having to look behind your back. You can get a touch of normal life as well, outside of the tiny room that is your mercenary quarters. Overall, the Summit is a place where you can relax, recharge your batteries and gain new friends. There you can forget about the demands of your corporation for a while and just enjoy life as it is.

And that is why I like going to the Summit, and why others should also visit it(I'll also try to make a proper entry next time, promise!).

ཟར༴ཐ٦ཡཐ༴ འཤན༴བ བ༴ཏ༴མ༴ར٦ ٦ནད༴བ٦ ༴འ٦٦ད ན٦བ༴༴ٲ 


Okay, after a long holiday break(and a severe case of writer's block), I'm back to writing new entries, apologies for the long delay. Today's topic is actually quite a simple one, about the whole reward system we have while in battle, and how it enforces certain behaviors. I dubbed it metacombat, as it is basically using external factors not related to actual combat to influence combat.

For the non-dusters reading, how much we are paid from our contract depends on the Warpoint system. Basically, you are awarded points for performing various actions that benefit you and your team, which is then added to your total score for that battle.

When the battle ends, either the MCC was destroyed or the clones were depleted, you end up on a scoreboard which compares how many Warpoints you made in comparison to the rest of the team and your enemies, who are ranked from 1st to 16th on their side depending how many Warpoints they had accumulated. How this translates into ISK transferred to your account is a little more complicated.

Throughout the battle, the value of all the vehicles and infantry fits destroyed within the battle gets added into an invisible ISK pool that is shared between both sides of the battle. When the battle ends, a calculation starts immediately on how much ISK each soldier gets based on the total ISK pool and how many Warpoints they accumulated.

The ones with the most Warpoints get the most ISK paid obviously, but there is also the factor of how big of a difference your total Warpoints are in relation to others. If you have a greatly larger amount of Warpoints when compared to the rest of the team, you get a bigger percentage of the ISK pool, whereas you would get a smaller amount if your entire team scored roughly the same amount of Warpoints.

How this relates to the enforcement of certain behaviors? Simple, with you getting awarded different amounts of Warpoints for different kinds of actions, you are subconsciously guided to do certain things. A kill rewards you 50 Warpoints and a headshot 60, a successful hack gives you 100 Warpoints, and a counterhack 80 Warpoints.

There are plenty of other things that also give you Warpoints, but these are the biggest rewards. Because you get more ISK the more Warpoints you get, people naturally lean more towards hanging around objectives killing every enemy in sight. It is a lot easier to gain kills than to hack or counterhack, so you naturally want to kill more and give less attention to the objectives.

This whole scoring system also acts as a callous effect. You're just hunting for points, not really thinking of the real implications what your actions. You don't really think that you just shot straight through that person's head and now he completely misses one, it was just a 60+ Headshot kill for you. Yes, we might be only fighting clone soldiers where death has little meaning, but maybe you were fighting actual people with real families and responsibilities they have to do. It would be just another +60 notification and a one added to your total killcount.

Really, many people treat these battles we fight as matches, a competition to show our prowess in killing people. From the talks I've had with other people, most of them treat their careers as some sort of game, where your actions have no real implications and you just compete to have the highest kill-to-death ratio, the most warpoints and the like. At times it feels like every single mercenary has gone insane with how many crazy things that happens to us and we willingly do.

Heck, we may as well make our careers into a video game, dub it DUST 514 because we're always fighting in the dust and everyone seems to have gone 514.

ཟར༴ཐ٦ཡཐ༴ འཤན༴བ བ༴ཏ༴མ༴ར٦ ٦ནད༴བ٦ ༴འ٦٦ད ན٦བ༴༴ٲ