It’s been a while since we announced Intrusion 2.0 back in July, but we have used these months to fine-tune the original concept and turn it into reality. Today I’m happy to announce that the new system will be deployed in our anniversary patch, on the 1st of December.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Intrusion 2.0, we recommended you read the previous blog about it, but I’ll try to cover all the important details here as well. The basic premise hasn’t changed; we still want it to be a system that reflects the main powerblocs on an island via outpost ownership, while making both owning an outpost and doing intrusions more worthwhile, and of course to get rid of the fixed event times and registrations. Some of the details have changed though, and we think for the better. Let’s have a look!
The basic mechanics
One of the most notable changes will be the lack of an event calendar, because the whole system will be pretty random for defenders and attackers alike. Taking part in an intrusion event will be a matter of being at the right place at the right time.
The events will still happen around Service Access Points (SAPs), with the same old SAP types. One notable difference compared to the SAPs you know now, is that they will be easier to complete, even with a relatively small squad. But the main difference in the new system is that only one SAP will open up at a time for an outpost, and you won’t know exactly which of the three SAPs it will be beforehand.
If you’re an attacker, and you see an open SAP, you simply start completing it. The system will immediately add your corporation to the list of attackers. If you can complete the SAP objective before it closes, you win the intrusion.
If you’re on the defender’s side, your only goal is to keep the attackers from completing the SAP until it closes again. Simple as that - you won’t even have to touch it. The maximum time limit until a SAP is open has been reduced to 1 hour; that’s the time you have to stick out.
An important sidenote: should the defenders start completing a SAP, technically they will also become “attackers”, and if they win the intrusion they will decrease the stability of their own outpost!
SAPs will open up at random times at every outpost in 8-16 hour intervals. This means that when one intrusion finishes, the next SAP at the same outpost can open anywhere between 8 and 16 hours. This also means that the minimum time where you can be sure no SAP will open at the same outpost is 8 hours. This rule works independently for all outposts, so it is quite possible that there will be more than one intrusion happening in parallel.
There is no way of knowing which of the three SAPs will open, but there is still a way to know at what time it happens.
Captain, we have spies in our backyard!
You’ll be able to scan for intrusion times in the same manner you scan for artifacts. Your trained ninjas will have to get relatively close to the target outpost and use a new geoscanning ammo specifically designed to find out when then next SAP will open. The scan result will tell you the time, with some random inaccuracy depending on your geoscanning extensions, and the remaining time until the SAP opening. Naturally, outpost owners will only have to step out and do a scan to know the time of the next event, but they will also have to be on the lookout for spies trying to scan for it.
As mentioned above, now there is only one SAP to complete or defend at a time, and you win that intrusion. Winning an intrusion does not mean that you become the owner of the outpost, though.
Since the new system is much more random than before, there has to be ample buffer space, to prevent you needing to stand guard around your SAPs 24/7. We know you have a real life too... most of you, anyway.
This is where outpost stability comes in.
Outpost stability is a number between 0 and 100, which represents how much a corporation “owns” that outpost. Intrusion events will dynamically modify this number up and down. When someone completes an intrusion, stability will go down. When the owners (and/or their allies) can keep anyone from completing an intrusion, stability will automatically go up. Remember that the defenders won’t even have to touch the SAP, so there is no restriction or rule who can be a defender - it’s all in the sandbox.
Different types of SAPs have different stability values, here’s how it looks like:
- Passive hacking: 10 points
- Active hacking: 15 points
- Destruction: 15 points
- Specimen processing: 20 points
These are the same when attacking or defending, so for example when you complete a Destruction SAP, outpost stability will go down by 15 points, and if you successfully defend a Passive hacking SAP, stability will increase by 10 points.
To make another example on the big picture, if you own an outpost with 100 stability, you have to lose about 7-8 intrusions in a row (7*15=105, depends on SAP types of course) to lose that outpost. This means around 3-5 days of minimum buffer time, depending on how much the gods of randomness favor you (ie. the 8-16 hour intervals).
Gaining ownership of an outpost
Every now and then an intrusion event will bring down outpost stability to 0. At this point the outpost will go into a contested state, where no one owns it. The next intrusion event will be decisive regarding ownership: whoever completes it will be the new owner of the outpost, starting with a stability of 5. Of course this can just as well be the old owner, in which case they manage to regain ownership again. No “claiming” an outpost for millions of NIC, no protection tokens; from then on the owner’s task is to keep the SAPs alive.
To make it all a little more interesting, and to give you all more incentives to do intrusions, all SAPs will drop a loot container. They will do this regardless if you complete the intrusion, or if there is a timeout (a successful defense.) The catch is that they won’t be assigned to anyone, so if you want it, you’ll probably want to make sure that the area is clear from enemies when the time comes. Of course during tighter intrusion events it’s also possible that the losing team ninja-loots it and gets away with it.
The higher the outpost’s stability value, the more loot they will contain and the more chance they will have for higher level items. Loot also depends on the type of SAP and the outpost’s faction, and can contain decoders, CPU cortexes, lots of minerals, distress beacons or ammunition. (A little hint: a SAP loot of an outpost with 100% stability will always contain officer beacons!)
The benefits of owning an outpost
So far, pretty much the only notable benefit corporations had by owning an outpost was the fee paybacks from facilities. While this enabled them to use the high-level outpost facilities practically for free, there was no option which could help them shape their outpost to their liking, or generally look at it as their home.
Now, the fee paybacks will still be around, but the new system has much more in store for the potential outpost-keepers.
Outpost Access Control
One of the main benefits of owning an outpost is the long-awaited option to close them down from unwanted enemies, aptly called Outpost Access Control. The feature simply consists of an on/off switch and a relations slider, which determines the minimum relation at which you let in other Agents. The slider is exactly the same like the one you use for setting your relations to anyone, so for example if you set access control to “Good”, it will only allow entry for members of a corporation for which you have set at least “Good” relation or higher. Access control will become available if your outpost reaches at least a stability of 50.
Auras are basically outpost-level NEXUS modules. They provide small but notable bonuses to the members of the owner corporation, and they do this on the whole island where the outpost is located. The more stability the outpost has, the more Auras will become available for you to activate, but only one at a time. Effects include bonuses to mining or harvesting amount, geoscanning accuracy, armor repair, accumulator recharge and detection&masking. At stability 100, complex auras become available which combine some of these bonuses.
There is one piece of bad news for those who plan world domination though: an Agent can only be affected by one Aura effect at a time. So if you plan to own more than one outpost on an island, you’ll have to make decisions when selecting your active Auras. To avoid switching them back and forth too quickly, changing Auras will also have a 24-hour cooldown.
So far outpost facilities had fixed levels and there wasn’t much strategy involved, except for trying to get the outpost with the better facilities that suited your needs.
Now owners will be able to shape their outpost’s industrial profile, by upgrading facilities from level to level, even up to level 4!
Facility upgrading is also tied to outpost stability levels: at first, all facilities are only level 1. As the outpost gains stability, every 10 points you’ll be able to spend a facility upgrade. So if you manage to get it to 100, you’ll be able to upgrade altogether 10 facility levels, in any combination. This means for example that at stability 100 you can have two level 4 facilities and the remaining four on level 2 (2*3 points, plus 4*1 points). Or you can have five on level 3 (5*2 points), and one remains at level 1.
Naturally if the outpost’s stability gets lower, you will lose your upgraded levels, starting from the last one you upgraded (or simply deducted from the unspent upgrades, if you have any). Productions in progress will not be affected by this, only new processes will start with the reduced efficiencies.
This system brings in a whole new level of strategy: is refining more important for your corporation than anything else? You can upgrade to a level 4 refinery already at stability 30. Or are you sure that you’ll be able to bring it up much more than that and spread the levels evenly to help every aspect of your production? Or do you own two not-so-stable outposts on one island, so you upgrade reverse engineering here and the factory there, and transport the goods between them? All up to you; we’re really curious how you will use this system.
There is a catch to outpost modification, too: only upgrading is possible, there is no direct option for downgrading. You can take the risk of reducing the stability of your own outpost to free up that one upgrade point you need... as we said, it’s up to you.
Make your mark and let others know
We also wanted to make intrusions much more the center of attention, since they are currently the pinnacle of intercorporation warfare, shaping the political map of Nia day-by-day. Even if you are not into PvP, you probably want to know what’s going on around you.
In this regard, intrusion news was quite hidden so far; you couldn’t even poke your buddy to check the news and brag him about your latest win!
To this end we’re adding a new tab into the News window (right beside the list of “Most dangerous Agents”), which will list all the past intrusion events, complete with the owners, the winners, and outpost stability changes.
The world map will also have the option to show outpost owners, with their corporation logos neatly hovering above their outpost icon.
We also implemented the same information windows for terminals and outposts that robots and modules have too. These will also show the current owner and stability levels (the latter in a nice graph as well), and the facility levels at that specific outpost. This will also work for alpha outposts, so you won’t have to ask around about which one has the level 2 refinery anymore.
Lastly, owners of an outpost will be able to write a public description of their property, and this will also be visible for everyone who brings up the outpost’s information window. You can use it to advertise your facilities, taunt your enemies, advocate world peace, or whatever you like (well, within reason of course)!
Currently owned outposts will start from stability 5 (this also changed since the previous devblog) when the patch goes live on the 1st of December, but we’ll delay the start of the first intrusion events to Monday (5th), after the anniversary weekend, so you won’t have to worry about them while you’re taking part in the festivities.
*Phew* that’s all of it I think. There is no tl;dr version for this I’m afraid, but trust me, it’s a pretty straightforward system once you get the hang of it. I tried to cover everything, but I’m sure many of you will have questions, which we’ll be happy to answer in the comments below or on the forums!