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Topic: A lore-light Operation Pitchfork F.A.Q. (Read 6266 times) previous topic - next topic

A lore-light Operation Pitchfork F.A.Q.
The following is a lore-light, out-of-character discussion about Operation Pitchfork.

What is Operation Pitchfork?

Pitchfork is a player-driven operation to take place in Cloud Imperium's Star Citizen massive multiplayer universe. The operation itself involves a massive assault on the in-game alien race known as the Vanduul.

Culturally, the Vanduul are a bit like Space Mongols, though less interested in talking or tribute and more interested in harvesting your body, possessions, and homeworld for raw materials. Their capital ships draw inspiration from H.R. Giger and are all around not very nice folk. For some reason humans have been putting up with them for over two centuries.

First proposed by Sailor67 in this thread in 2013, Operation Pitchfork has since exploded into well, this. The staff at Cloud Imperium Games are excited to see how it plays out, and Chris roberts himself has discussed us at various points.

Ultimately, the idea is to:

1) Blow stuff up
2) Watch explosions
3) Get blown up
4) See if we can capture some fancy Gigeresque ships, and
5) See if a massive player-coordinated effort can have a genuine impact on the game, as per CIG's claims.

What's not to love?

And stress test the servers?

Probably not.

I could go into some geeky discussion about how in ~2017 major operations should not have login queues or server full messages any longer, but I will spare this document that. If you are interested, read up on CIG's ops teams and their use of Google Compute. I find it more interesting than most, but it is related to how I earn a living.

When will Operation Pitchfork take place?

"The last weekend of the beta." Whenever that is. Preferably when a good portion of the Star Citizen world has a 3 or 4-day weekend, and after the Endeavor Hope is well-tested as a respawn point, not just released but thoroughly put through its paces against trolling, odd situations, etc. Hint hint CIG.

During the length of the beta, we will be doing scouting and research in preparation. Working out the kinks of instances, and determining how to best exploit them to our ends. Working out the mechanics of player-drop-in on npcs, and similarly working out how to best exploit that. Scouting Vanduul systems, as well as those they threaten, and building a strategic vision for each. Finding the jump points that are clearly there but as-of-yet undiscovered.

One thing is certain: there will be many videos of entire fleets getting mercilessly wrecked.

How long will it last?

Until we stop having fun.

Operation Pitchfork is presented as a one-weekend event, but months of operations will precede it, conducting research, scouting, and analysis, along with preliminary raids.

The official, in-Universe goal of Pitchfork is to retake Orion for humanity - not the UEE. A lot will depend on the result of the Operation, people's spirits, etc. These systems are presented as being incredibly lucrative if the Vanduul can be forced out of them. At the very least, expect CIG to draw out fully securing even the necessary systems for months in the absolute best of cases.

After the first weekend, Pitchfork will be over. Things like securing individual systems, continuing research, making weekly raids against the Vanduul, etc. will be the responsibility of other organizations.

How do you know you have a chance?

This is a game. The whole point is to have fun and, in the case of this particular entertainment venue, wreck obscene quantities of digital spaceships.

That CIG sets the bar for how it will play out is a given.

You had me at copious quantities of explosions. Where do I sign up?

There are several ways you can sign up for Operation Pitchfork.

1) The best of these is to convince your organization to sign up. The more organizations involved, the better. Sailor's goal is to see every single player in the game take part.

Please convince your organization leadership to read the sticky and Sailor's Open Letter before dismissing the possibility because of organization alignment (piracy and/or UEE friendliness).

There are many Vanduul border jumps. Two with large jump points, and presumably more waiting to be discovered. If the software forces us to do a multi-pronged attack to accommodate differing guild 'alignments', we will do so.

We will be re-organizing things, to help facilitate finding and promoting supporting organizations here.

2) Secondly, participate in Pitchfork as a Pitchfork member directly. This means doing one or more of the following, as it suits you:

In general do things that need doing on your own initiative. The person who does a thing owns it, so to speak.

Acting as a liaison to and between various organizations and/or associations of organizations.

Helping to promote Pitchfork itself.

Gathering and presenting information as we gain it in game.

Actively participating in the early phases. Scouting, raiding, researching instance and player drop-in mechanics (as in, dropping in to control npcs), respawn mechanics, etc. See if we can gain control of some persistent capital ships, UEE, Vanduul, or otherwise.

During the event itself, functioning as a coordinated unit or set of units, filling in the gaps between other large organizations where needed.

3) If you are more interested in just the event, you can instead join a participating organization as a member or affiliate. We have a Lone Wolves section to help facilitate finding friends to fly with, and possibly see what orgs may be interested in such temporary membership.

4) The last organized option is to create your own Pitchfork-supporting organization! Of course, this entails no small amount of effort on your part. Good luck!

5) Finally, there is the option of simply grabbing your stimulant of choice and/or possibly a few friends, then taking an intentionally undersized force into the fray. If you want a chance at surviving the effort, you may want to stick to the periphery.

So how will this be organized?

Pitchfork will do several things for the organizations involved in the coalition:

1) Pitchfork's initial phase will largely be research. Work out things like the largest indivisible unit and make sure this information is well-known among member organizations, so that squadron compositions can be determined. Note: The LIU post is somewhat old, and with the new information on how zones work, it is likely that squadrons will end up being larger than I had previously assumed. CIG has confirmed this outright in recent videos.

This will additionally involve scouting Vanduul and neighboring systems, analyzing NPC drop-in mechanics, working out economic and logistic strategies, strategies for handling, isolating and stalling Vanduul capital ships, shutting down Vanduul logistics, and so on.

2) During the Operation itself, most organizations will be left to do their own thing. We will be providing a communication framework to and from guild leadership, to highlight problem areas and opportunities. Truly major participating organizations and associations may end up trying to claim an 'area' and we will try to make sure such endeavors combine constructively, at least for the event.

3) Pitchfork's own divisions and closely-allied organizations - those that consider Pitchfork's mission a part of their own rather than just a fun weekend event - will still operate within the above framework for the most part.

4) After the operation, we hope to leave a glorious legacy in the history of Star Citizen, and gaming in general. What comes after will largely be decided based on the impact we achieve.

That's it? I was expecting more.

We know far too little about CIG's Persistent Universe to make many assumptions. This will not change much until the beta launches, which may be a year or more away.

Once it does, we will be updating with more information and activity.
  • Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 08:24:23 PM by Xeriar