We achieved rollout of CUOP via the following steps:
- Plant a single colony on the target planet
- Plant LM and PWH if not already present
- Transfer materials for CM to other operatives via LM and PWH
- Plant additional CMs as required
- Plant ADM thereby initiating election period
- Secure election
We took this approach in order to minimise logistics requirements. Some target planets required more than 1 shipment. I think LH-786b required 3 shipments to bring materials for 1) additional storage, and 2) materials for a total CUOP CM capacity of 10.
This approach is referred to as a “CM Bomb” as a single CM can quickly explode to many.
Countering opposition CM Bombs was achieved via the following steps:
- Raise fees on PWH slots and LM trading in order to drive off other rentals
- Have 17 friendlies rent all 50 slots of the PWH
- Lower PWH rental fees on planets where all 50 slots are controlled by CUOP
This also increased the logistics complexity of our opposition as each new colony required the player to take their own ship, rather than rely on third-party haulers. This relegated established players to the roll of financial backing of opposition operatives if their ships were already occupied.
Countering opposition CM planting was achieved via:
- Storing materials for additional CMs at already established colonies
- Planting CUOP friendly operatives in opposition circles
- Distributing additional CM materials at CX planets in order to reinforce planets in danger of being overwhelmed
It was far to easy to gain complete control of the PWH. 17 players can completely remove this as an option for a counter-attack.
Logistics is a massive driver of defence capabilities. On a planet like LH-786b, CUOP control of the PWH caused a logistics multiplier of around 4-5 times for the counter-attack. That is, we used 2-3 trips, but opposition operatives needed 8-15 trips. Where shipping is tight, or the cartel has a large number of members, this becomes prohibitive very quickly.
The main community reaction centred around social retribution for the bulk of the period. If CUOP were composed of malicious actors, social retribution would have been met with mockery rather than concern. Social retribution is only an effective measure against operatives having more ties to the affected community than the hostile actors.
All CUO deposits were located outside of faction space. This allowed us to immediately increase fees to a very high level. There was also a very low number of CUO deposits (9) which meant that we only needed to provision materials for 40-60 CMs in order to achieve an effective rollout.
CUOP operatives initially ran for election whilst 1) in original corporations, or 2) in no corporations. During the election process, CUOP operatives left their original corporations and joined the CUOP corporation. Thus, their ties to each other were left hidden from the public.
CUOP launched rollout at a time when most members on the server were asleep or otherwise occupied. This allowed us some extra time in the crucial first days while the election was underway.
Once elected, players have no way of escaping or otherwise hindering a governor in achieving domination of the planet.
Rollout of CUOP was completely un-noticed by the community. I personally felt that I would notice a malicious entity attempting a rollout. I was genuinely surprised that it was not noticed.
Insufficient attention was drawn to an active election by the game.
PWH slots are not automatically freed if there are insufficient funds to pay for rental. They are simply suspended.
Overall, there is a drastic lack of capability for players to fight back against a large, organised group.
PWH should be expandable to allow for more slot capacity.
Players without a colony on the planet should be able to contribute to planetary projects. This will allow for opposition operatives to expand the PWH in order to make use of additional free slots.
There needs to be mechanics to
- Challenge the absolute power of the governor, or
- Remove the effect of fees, or
- Force reduction of fees
The total number of deposits for each resource should be greatly increased. Resources are abundant in space, there is no need to have so few exploitable deposits.
Each material should have at least 1 deposit located within faction space. This does not need to be a substantial deposit, it just should be there.
The election information screen should show up-to-date information on governorship candidates.
Initial election period should be increased to the standard election period. I know this was changed to allow for faster rollout of ADM when they were first introduced as a mechanic, but I think the argument for a longer period carries a little more weight now.
Fee changes should be limited to incremental growth. We should not be able to jump straight to maximum fees. They should be limited to increments of say 500 or 1k.
More attention should be drawn to ongoing elections. Notifications should be sent if the player is eligible to vote in an election but has yet to vote. Perhaps at 5 days, 3 days, and 1 day remaining.
A BFR listing all ADM facilities or showing ongoing elections should be provided.
PWH slots should be auto-cancelled if they are not used for a certain length of time.
PWH slots should not be suspended when rental payments are not met. They should be cancelled.