Building up your realm, one sovereignty at a time

Hello everyone,

I am here today to talk about one of the main features coming for Revelations 2, namely Upgradeable and Constellation Sovereignty.

As you may already know, sovereignty is being expanded and revised, and while the nature of some of the changes is under constant review, here’s a comprehensive summary of their scope.

Why?

This is the first question that springs to mind; why the changes?

This question is best answered or illustrated by explaining the changes themselves, but seeing as it’s an important question, and the technicalities of the changes long, it would be a good idea to address it first.

One of the philosophies here at CCP is to work in iterative processes, and as a part of that, we often release new content in batches; laying down the basics, monitoring it for feedback and building on that. This is true for Sovereignty; for which the underlying mechanics have seen review and change, and are now finally being expanded upon – something that was planned since inception.

In other words, now that the stepping stone is firmly set, we are hoping to consolidate the foundation and build further up.

The gameplay reasons and goals, which are the defining factor for any and all changes happening, are manifold; giving more goals (long and short-term) for players to work towards; better rewarding the dedication and work put into claiming your corner of space as well as expanding the field to the whole constellation rather than isolated pockets.

Hence, we are introducing the possibility of “upgrading” your sovereignty and work towards sovereignty on a constellation level, through investments in both time and equipment.

Allow me to explain.

Sovereignty Today

Claiming sovereignty of a system today consists of anchoring a starbase control tower in a system and waiting for the countdown to expire in order for sovereignty to go into effect.

Sovereignty is also only on a per system basis, meaning that the effects of having sovereignty do not go beyond that one system; there is no bigger picture and no special benefit in having sovereignty over more than one system in a constellation or region.

Sovereignty Tomorrow

While the scope and specifics of the changes are still under constant scrutiny, we are looking into putting limits to the claiming mechanics, which have been touched upon by TomB, but this would be the subject of another blog; I am merely mentioning it to give a better idea of what the whole picture is forming up to be.

What this devblog will talk about are the concepts of Upgradeable and Constellation Sovereignty.

So onto the nitty-gritty;

Upgradeable Sovereignty

As the name indicates, the idea is to introduce more levels of sovereignty; each will have different requirements in time, assets and territorial (or spatial) control.

The mechanics for claiming and loosing sovereignty in a system remain the same. It is also important to note that sovereignty changes are enforced during downtime.

Please note that the specific numbers and exact bonuses for each Sovereignty may change at release.

Also note that another blog detailing the exact nature of the outpost upgrades and improvements is forthcoming.

Sovereignty 0

This is the base level at which unclaimed systems are.

Sovereignty 1

This level is reached when a starbase is anchored and sovereignty is held for 7 days in the system.

Sovereignty 1 allows for:

  • 25% reduction in fuel usage to all starbases belonging to the sovereign alliance
  • Possibility of deploying an Outpost in the system
  • Anchoring of Capital Ship Arrays at starbases belonging to the sovereign alliance

Sovereignty 2

This level is reached when Sovereignty 1 has been held for 14 days in the system.

Sovereignty 2 allows for:

  • Anchoring of Cynosural Field Generator Array
  • Anchoring of Scanner Array
  • Upgrading an Outpost in the system to Tier 1

Sovereignty 3

This level is reached when Sovereignty 2 has been held for 14 days in the system.

Sovereignty 3 allows for:

  • Anchoring of Twinned Jump Bridge
  • Anchoring of Cynosural Field Jammer
  • Upgrading the Outpost to Tier 2
  • Ability to set the Outpost as Capital for Constellation Sovereignty

Sovereignty 3 in a system is also one of the requirements for Constellation Sovereignty, which will be explained right after Sovereignty 4 is detailed.

Sovereignty 4

This level is reached when:

  • A system with Sovereignty 3 has its Outpost set as Capital for 30 days
  • Constellation Sovereignty is in effect

Sovereignty 4 allows for invulnerability of the Capital system;

  • Upgrading the Outpost in the Capital to Tier 3
  • Starbase control towers, conquerable stations and outposts belonging to the sovereign alliance may not be attacked
  • Sovereignty in the Capital system cannot be lost (or contested) while Sovereignty 4 is in effect

We finally arrive to;

Constellation Sovereignty

Constellation Sovereignty expands the marking to the whole constellation, and requires;

  • Majority of the systems in the constellation to have at least Sovereignty 1 for the sovereign alliance
  • Ownership of three stations (Conquerable or Outpost) in the constellation for the sovereign alliance
  • One of the Outpost systems set as Capital (which requires Sovereignty 3)

These conditions have to have been held for at least 14 days in order for Constellation Sovereignty to come into effect.

Constellation Sovereignty allows for;

  • Sovereignty 4 in the Capital system
  • Fuel bonus upgrade from 25% to 30% to all starbases in the constellation belonging to the sovereign alliance
  • Faster claim – in 1 day – to Sovereignty 1 in the constellation for unclaimed systems for the sovereign alliance

All conditions have to be kept in order for the Sovereignty level, or status, to remain in effect.

Before we go further, let us detail the Capital system a bit more;

Capital System

The ability to set a station as Capital is only possible when the sovereignty of the system reaches Sovereignty 3, and once selected, it is not possible to change capitals until Constellation Sovereignty has been lost again. This makes for a tactical decision to be taken when choosing your capital because of what if offers.

Setting a station (and indirectly the solar system) as Capital enables for Constellation Sovereignty and starts the countdown for Sovereignty 4 in that system; the countdown is started even if Constellation Sovereignty is not yet in effect, however, Sovereignty 4 only goes in effect once all conditions for it have been met.

Sovereignty 4 is the pinnacle of Upgradeable Sovereignty – it transforms the capital into a castle’s keep, with Constellation Sovereignty acting as the walls; so long as it is in effect, the Capital system cannot be conquered or contested. It remains, however, accessible (i.e. anyone can travel through it) and may be raided (the capital station’s services may be disabled as on any other station).

This brings us to the next question everyone must be asking themselves; “how do we knock the castle down?”

Here’s how;

Bring in the Trebuchets

On a per-system level, the mechanics are the same; whoever has the most Starbases in the system has sovereignty after that the claiming period is over. Losing sovereignty, however, is a little bit different:

Sovereignty 1, 2 and 3

Losing sovereignty in a system of either of the levels means that the sovereignty of the system drops back to zero (Sovereignty 0) and has to be reclaimed from scratch; meaning that anyone reclaiming or conquering the system would need to start from Sovereignty 1 and go back up.

Sovereignty 4

Being particular to the Capital system, this sovereignty level has two specificities;

  • Sovereignty 4 may only be lost if Constellation Sovereignty is lost by the sovereign alliance.
  • When losing Sovereignty 4, the system Sovereignty is downgraded to Sovereignty 3 rather than being completely lost.

This of course entails that Capital system invulnerability is no longer in effect.

Constellation Sovereignty

In order for Constellation Sovereignty to be contested one (or more) of its required conditions has to be denied, meaning that if the sovereign alliance;

  • Loses its majority claim of the systems in the constellation, or
  • Does not have control of 3 stations (Outposts or Conquerable) anymore, or
  • Loses ownership of its Capital station

The Constellation Sovereignty becomes contested.

Unlike system sovereignty, Constellation Sovereignty does not drop back to zero the next day; it rather goes into a contested mode for 7 days, which is called the grace period.

During this grace period, Constellation Sovereignty remains in effect, as do its bonuses; the defender then has the opportunity to recover that which he has lost, or expand further in the constellation to meet the recovery conditions.

The recovery conditions that the defender has to fulfill are;

  • Sovereignty over the majority of the systems in the constellation, and
  • Control of 3 stations (Conquerable or Outposts) in the constellation, and
  • One of the outposts set as Capital (if none of the controlled systems have Sovereignty 4)

At the end of the grace period, if the defender is meeting all of the recovery conditions, his claim to Constellation Sovereignty remains intact. If the conditions are not met, Constellation Sovereignty is lost but the individual system sovereignty claims in the constellation remain in effect, except for Sovereignty 4 in the Capital system which is downgraded to 3.

It is worth noting that the grace period cannot be reset or extended; the 7 days are fixed and any sovereignty or influence shifts during that time is not taken into account; only the evaluation (last) day is taken into account.

It is also important to note that the days are counted from downtime to downtime rather than from 00:00 (midnight) to 00:00.

Use Cases

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.

So, in an effort to better illustrate the contents of this blog, here are two (three actually) possible scenarios for the colonization and attack/defense of a constellation.

Figure 1 - Claiming Constellation Sovereignty

Figure 2 – Conquering and defending Constellation Sovereignty

The links require for JavaScript to be enabled, and will open windows with simple flash slideshows. Simply use the "Next" and "Previous" buttons to browse through the slides.

In Closing

These changes are just as huge as the first introduction of Sovereignty, and we are very much aware of that fact; much work, discussions, test scenarios, tweaking and tinkering has been done for everything listed above, and we sincerely hope you’re as excited about the changes coming in as we are in bringing them out!

Oh, and before we part, allow me to introduce myself; I am LeMousse and it’s a pleasure meeting you all :)