Empyrean Age and all that - Ranks

"When soldiers have been baptized in the fire of a battle-field, they have all one rank in my eyes."
~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Now, obviously Bonaparte hasn't got a clue about ranks, so we thought screw that one armed loser, we're having ranks. And you know what Bony; we're going to have 10 of them because that's how we roll.

Development of ranks was split into two major steps. One was easy and we shall call that "Stuff Game Design did" and then we had another much bigger and difficult task which we shall entitle "Trying to figure out names for the bastards", and I would like to take a little time to explain each.

Stuff Game Design did

Here is what I originally planned to put in this section:

"Twiddle their thumbs"

But apparently I actually have to make it seem like everyone did something so, basically, we had the grand vision. This was having medals and ranks as one big design and implementing the whole lot. We soon realized that medals were quite a lot of work and while we could get a bogged version in, if we wanted to do it properly we had to shelve it until after the Empyrean Age expansion.

So that was shelved and we were left with ranks. This is a quite simple concept that I shall now try to elaborate on, but no doubt end up confusing people.

Ranks are tied to the standing you have to the "Militia Corp", not the faction, and this is important because everyone starts at standing zero when they first join. It's also important because Militia Corp standings, and all changes to them, are not affected by relevant skills as per normal with standings. I.e. you cannot sweet talk, bribe or sleep with your commander to get him to give you a fancy rank, you have to earn it, soldier!

As you gain in standing towards your Militia Corp, so you gain in rank. You start at the lowest rank which is standing zero and then gain a rank for every full point of standing gain. So you would next get promoted and advance in rank at standing one, and then standing two, all the way up to standing nine. You can also lose standing and get demoted in the same way.

In addition for every rank gained your overall faction standing gets an incremental increase.

Ranks are displayed on your character sheet in a new tab entitled "Decorations", where you can view your current rank. What else? Oh yes, if you leave the faction and later rejoin it, you retain your previous rank.

In future expansions of Factional Warfare we are going to look at linking additional functionality and rewards into ranks like (and these are not promises, just current ideas) tying them into dungeons in space and adding additional equipment and ships to the loyalty store that will only be available at certain ranks.

Trying to figure out names for the bastards

This is where all the work went, let me assure you. No one wants to be a rank which sounds like something from a B movie, people want to look at rank and think that it is "cool". They also want their rank to be "cooler" than the previous rank. But you need a structure of ranking so that it's clear which rank is higher and which rank is lower. We didn't want to use traditional military ranks at all initially for a number of reasons so we played around with various names for ranks which got sent up and down and around and we went through umpteen revisions that did not meet a general consensus of being good enough.

Here's a small preview of names that flew around during this time, I'll let you try and guess which ones applied to what faction:

Knight Servant, Order of the Sword
Protector of the People
Stormherald, Second Talon
3rd Wing, Falcon Company
Second Aegis
Bravo Pack, Razor Talons
1st Templar

And my favorite (which got ruined for me by the other devs, I won't say how):

Bloody Fist of Matar.

None of these really worked out, some were truly awful, people loved some of them and people hated some of them. Oveur screamed, Hammerhead stamped, Greyscale cried, Ginger got sent to hospital... the world, as they say, was coming to an end. We were going to cancel the expansion and everyone was going to have our stuff. The Ginger breeding program was going to be called off.

But we toiled, we brought more heads in, tOnyG came and said "How you doin'?", and eventually we settled on something which seems rather obvious in hindsight. One which most of you will hopefully strive to become.

Oh yes, I forgot about the hippies.

I forgot about the hippies, or as you may know them, the Art department. Basically, getting art for something to me makes it alive in EVE, it's always awesome seeing what these guys bring out and when they designed the rank images, well, they were awesome.

Full Rank Listing

Paladin CrusaderProtectorate EnsignFederation MinutemanNation Warrior
Templar LieutenantSecond LieutenantDefender LieutenantSpike Lieutenant
Cardinal LieutenantFirst LieutenantGuardian LieutenantSpear Lieutenant
Arch LieutenantCaptainLieutenant SentinelVenge Captain
Imperial MajorMajorShield CommanderLance Commander
Marshal CommanderLieutenant ColonelAegis CommanderBlade Commander
Imperator CommanderColonelVice CommanderTalon Commander
Tribunus ColonelWing CommanderMajor GeneralVoshud Major
Legatus CommodoreStrike CommanderLieutenant GeneralMatar Colonel
Divine CommodoreBrigadier GeneralLuminaire GeneralValklear General