Empyrean Age and all that - Signing up

"It is well that war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it. "
Robert E. Lee

In the previous blog we discussed the basic ideas behind Factional Warfare, and had a quick shufti at the new region we're adding. Today we're going to cover how you can get involved, wars and the info screen, and explain briefly how ranks fit in.

Capsuleer Militias

If you want to get involved in Factional Warfare, you'll be looking to sign up for your chosen faction. Each of the four main Empires – Amarr, Caldari, Gallente and Minmatar – will be operating and sponsoring its own paramilitary/privateer/vigilante/insurgent type operation, which are called Militias.

The Militias serve a number of functions, but the easiest way to think of them is as being almost-alliances – they share a lot of the same functionality, but implemented in slightly different ways. Each Militia is in a state of perpetual war with its two main enemies – Amarr and Caldari are both at war with Gallente and Minmatar – and empowered by its parent faction to perform certain activities on its behalf.

Signing up as an individual

The administrative core of each Militia is a specialist NPC corporation. If you're just interested in signing up on your lonesome, this is the corporation you'll need to get into.

To do this, simply fly to any station owned by the appropriate faction. Inside you'll find a new station service – Militia Office – which when opened gives you a bit of information and a button to press to sign you up.

In order to sign up as an individual, you need to meet a couple of criteria. Firstly you must not be on a trial account. Secondly, you have to have a faction standing from that faction of 0.5 or higher. It's intentionally a very low barrier to entry, as the Empires aren't being too choosy right now! Thirdly, you must not have previously signed up to a Militia in the last 24 hours, to prevent people yo-yoing in and out of Militias.

Either way, if you meet the requirements you'll be moved into the NPC corporation and become part of Factional Warfare.

Here's a gratuitous picture of the new corporation logos, just because they're awesome.

Signing up as a corporation

If you happen to be a director or CEO of a player corporation, when you visit the Militia Office you're given the option to enlist your entire corporation. This again functions similarly to joining an alliance: provided that your corporation as a whole has a faction standing of 0.5 or higher (it's an average across all non-zero standings of individual members), your corporation becomes part of the Militia at the next downtime.

No Alliances!

Alliances are not allowed to enlist, and neither are corporations in an alliance (or with an outstanding alliance application). There are a number of reasons for this, technical and otherwise, the most important of which is that we just don't want the major power blocs to descend en masse and take over everything. It's obviously not a hard limit on the players involved, but it's designed to encourage the idea that if you're a major player on the nullsec political scene you're already doing something incredibly worthwhile and shouldn't let yourself be distracted by the petty machinations of the Empires.

Rights and responsibilities

Becoming part of a Militia, whether as an individual or a corporation, bestows certain advantages and gives some extra things to consider. All member corporations, including the NPC corporation, are members of their "Militia" channel, which functions similarly to "Alliance". Obviously, everyone's at war with the relevant bad guys, which functions similarly to a standard war in that you can shoot anyone, anywhere, any time, but doesn't count towards war limits and the like.

You'll also find that, as a fully paid-up militia member, hostile factions won't like you all that much. If, as an Amarr Militia member, I venture into Rens, the Republic Navy is going to try its hardest to clear me out. Be aware though! The Navies have finally twigged that two frigates and a cruiser aren't really a significant threat these days, so they've upgraded their rapid response teams. Considerably. They won't scramble, but if you hang around expect to get hurt. (Sentry guns, CONCORD, Customs and Police will all leave you alone though, provided you don't do anything to antagonize them).

You'll be required, as a matter of course, to maintain the minimum standings requirements you had to pass on signup, whether that's for individual players or corporations. Failing this requirement will result in a warning followed by an ejection a day or two later. You can, of course, leave the Militia at any time simply by visiting a Militia Office and resigning.

Finally, being signed up will allow you access to new Factional Warfare agents and missions, make you count towards certain objectives and so on and so forth, all of which will hopefully be explained in the next couple of blogs.

That Militia Office

As mentioned, if you click the Militia Office button while not signed up, it lets you sign up. If you click it while you're already signed up, you get this rather snazzy screen:

This rather fabulous creation is the Battlefield Intelligence window. You'll see a whole bunch of things here, some of which you can figure out for yourself and some of which we'll talk about in later blogs. Interesting features include obviously a whole load of stats, dedicated news feeds for each Militia, and listings of various types of interesting nearby star systems. These all update at various intervals, letting you see a good idea of what's going on for your Militia right now.

Ranks? Ranks!

You may also notice the "Rank" listing and the snazzy image next to it. This is a pretty cool system that ties into various things and which I'm not going to explain here because I know Ginger's doing his best to obfuscate explain it in another blog which should be along shortly.