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  1. Extinction Chronicles IV! Extinction Chronicles IV is now live! Leading up to the release of Extinction there will be monthly drops of Extinction-related Explorer Notes on The Island, Scorched Earth, and Aberration. Once collected these notes will unlock new Extinction-related skins! There will also be the appearance of more powerful Tek-themed Dinosaur variants within the ARKs each month. These Tek Dinos are permanent additions (meaning they will continue to spawn even after the event is over), with a new one beginning to appear each month. * In Extinction Chronicles I we released three Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Helmet and the Tek Rex. * In Extinction Chronicles II we released three Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Boots and the Tek Stego. * In Extinction Chronicles III we released three Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Pants and the Tek Raptor. And now, we're excited to bring you three new Explorer Notes, the Corrupted Shirt and a new Tek creature, the Tek Parasaur! In addition, special colored dinos will be populating the ARKs. You'll be able to find creatures sporting black and green for the next month beginning tomorrow. Be sure to take advantage of these special colors before they're extinct! Patch Notes! Here are the full fixes and notes in Extinction Chronicles IV update. - Extinction Chronicles IV - Added Tek Parasaur * New breeding line * 5% chance to spawns * 20% higher base level - Added new color set (green and black) - Added 3 new Explorer Notes and matching unlock (Corrupted Chest) - Increased maximum player level by 1 - Hole fixes on The Island, Ragnarok, Scorched Earth, The Center, Aberration - Windmills are no longer affected by electric storms - Decreased Cliff Platform build radius by half New Extinction Previews! In celebration of the patch today we're sharing what we have been working on: some more brand new previews of our upcoming expansion pack ARK: Extinction. Check out the images below for a sneak peak at what you can expect to see on planet Earth! In Extinction, Earth has become an Element-infested planet filled with fantastical creatures both organic and technological. Element has ravaged the planet and corrupted both the landscape and some of its inhabitants, causing mutations in the creatures and plants that can be found there. We look forward to sharing more in the months ahead as we work towards our Extinction release! Be sure to check out yesterdays Community Crunch post on our website for the full Crunch announcement post.[survivetheark.com]View the full article
  2. Our next update is changing Competitive Rocket League in a big way! The Season 9 Update will be available on all platforms September 24 (pending first-party certification) and, as the name implies, it will mark the start of Competitive Season 9. The biggest change coming with Season 9? Ranked Extra Modes -- as Dropshot, Hoops, Rumble and Snow Day shed their 'Casual Playlist' status and join the Rank-based 'Competitive' fray. Check out our full Season 8 Rewards/ Season 9 breakdown blog from last week[www.rocketleague.com] for more information. What’s joining the new Competitive Season in the update? Season 8 Rewards A new in-game soundtrack EP -- ‘Rocket League x Monstercat Vol. 4’ Our new Hot Wheels Triple Threat DLC Pack[www.rocketleague.com] Quality of Life improvements, like shortening the post-match progression screen ...and bug fixes! Remember, Competitive Season 8 will end roughly one hour before the Season 9 Update goes live -- we’ll share the exact timing on Twitter -- so be sure to lock in your top Rank and Season Reward Level before it’s too late. Thanks, everyone!View the full article
  3. OceanicBot

    Ape maps, chemists, addiction, and more. View the full article
  4. OceanicBot

    Every week, designers, engineers and other developers from our five offices around the world answer backer questions submitted on SPECTRUM and voted on by YOU. You can submit your questions for consideration in future episodes of Calling All Devs here. And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions View the full article
  5. OceanicBot

    Hi everyone, Last week, after gathering questions about our latest concept ship on Spectrum, we released the Q&A for the Crusader Industries Mercury, the Star Runner chassis catering to governments and the private sector alike. Make sure to check out the Mercury before it’s gone, as it’s only available until September 18th! Don’t have any plans for October 10th yet? Check out the CitizenCon 2948 website with details about the biggest Star Citizen event happening in Austin, Texas. The MISC Commercial Contest ended last week, and you should check out all of the incredible entries to get a glimpse of what the life of a miner in the ‘verse feels like. We want to thank everyone who sent in a video and hope that you had as much fun creating the videos, as we had watching them! Didn’t win anything this time around, matey? No worries, the next contest is rrright arrround the corrrner, arrr! And with that, let’s see what else is going on this week: Every week on Calling All Devs, designers, engineers, and other developers from our five offices around the world answer backer questions submitted on Spectrum and voted for by YOU. This week we we talk about joystick and gamepad support, ship locking mechanics, rest stops and more. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on the notifications to be amongst the first to watch! On Tuesday, our Lore Team will publish another in-fiction gem, continuing the “On the Run” story published back in August. If you have some catching up to do, you can find Part 1 here. Thursday will welcome another episode of Around the Verse where we’ll take a look at the latest Star Citizen news with a project update. Finally, make sure to tune in on Friday for another episode of Reverse the Verse, broadcast live on our Star Citizen Twitch channel. We’re looking forward to a Hammerhead double feature with a Ship Shape followed by a Q&A session at 9am Pacific! Keep an eye on Spectrum for the questions thread! We’ll see you in the ‘Verse! Ulf Kuerschner Senior Community Manager The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2018 Calling All Devs (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2018 Lore Post (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2018 #TalkLikeAPirateDay THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2018 Around the Verse (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) Vault Update FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2018 Reverse the Verse LIVE (https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen) Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: September 17th, 2018 We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it’s fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Every week, we select one piece of content submitted to the Community Hub and highlight it in this section. The highlighted content creator will be awarded with an MVP badge on Spectrum and be immortalized in our MVP section of the Hub. Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here! The Dream That is Star Citizen by WarBarbl Featuring music by the wonderful Pedro Camacho, this video by WarBarbl captures unique and atmospheric shots in a stunning 4k fan trailer. Great job! Full video on the Community Hub. View the full article
  6. https://youtu.be/QkEH61jcWBg We’re teaming up with Hot Wheels for the second year in a row[www.rocketleague.com] to bring even more die-cast inspired action to Rocket League! Dropping September 24, the Hot Wheels Triple Threat DLC Pack[www.rocketleague.com] is one of our biggest Premium DLC packs ever. Working closely with our friends at Mattel, we’ve transformed three legendary Hot Wheels models into sweet new Battle-Cars -- ‘Gazella GT,’ ‘MR11’ and ‘Fast 4WD,’ each with four unique Decals. Plus there are new ‘Gorilla,’ ‘Snake’ and ‘Spider’ Toppers straight out of the Hot Wheels canon. The Hot Wheels Triple Threat DLC Pack will be available on all platforms for $5.99 or regional equivalent. But that's not all! In addition to our in-game DLC, the die-cast Hot Wheels Rocket League 5-Pack will be available beginning mid-October at participating stores worldwide! The Gazella GT, MR11, Fast 4WD, and last year's DLC cars, Bone Shaker and Twin Mill III are all brought to life as real-world diecast cars with Rocket League branded paint jobs. Plus, specially-marked packs will include a code that unlocks the exclusive in-game DLC item, ‘Hot Hot Wheels.’ Finally, we're also bringing FREE Hot Wheels content to Rocket League to celebrate our partnership. A FREE ‘Hot Wheels Rivals’ Arena will be coming to all platforms, along with several new Customization Items at the same time as our DLC! Check out the trailer up top, enjoy the screenshots down below. [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net] [steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net]View the full article
  7. OceanicBot

    RTV is back in LA with another Gamedev special! Designer Calix Reneau will build a game system prototype for potential research mechanics and answer questions LIVE. To watch Reverse the Verse LIVE each and every week, tune into http://twitch.tv/starcitizen. View the full article
  8. OceanicBot

    The return of asteroid mining, focused audio, and Lorville air traffic in this week’s update. View the full article
  9. It’s time to conquer that Diamond III-Division IV hurdle and cross-off your remaining Season Reward Level wins, because the end of Competitive Season 8 is near! Season 8 will conclude with the release of our next update and Competitive Season 9 will then officially commence! As always, we'll have Season Rewards in tow and Season 8 is all about Rocket Boosts! Check out the images up top (Silver, Champion, Gold left to right) and below (Bronze, Diamond, Platinum) to see all six Boosts planned for the roll-out. We'll have more to share on these Boosts closer to their release with the next update. Here’s the distribution breakdown: Bronze I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Bronze’ Rocket Boost Silver I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Silver’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Gold I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Gold’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Platinum I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Platinum’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Diamond I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Diamond’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Champion I or higher – ‘Season 8 - Champion’ Rocket Boost + lower Rocket Boosts Grand Champion – 'Season 8 Grand Champion' in-game Title + all Season 8 Rocket Boosts Remember, in order to be eligible for Season 8 Reward items, you must complete placement matches in a Competitive Playlist AND fulfill the appropriate Season Reward Level(s). You can learn more about Season Reward Levels here[support.rocketleague.com]. Additionally, any account found to be abusing the matchmaking system may lose out on Season 8 Rewards entirely. Season 9 DetailsOur next update marks the beginning of one of our most exciting Competitive Seasons to date! Extra Modes (formerly known as Ranked Sports) are coming to Competitive for the first time ever! Rumble, Dropshot, Hoops and Snow Day are all being converted to Competitive Playlists -- 2v2 for Hoops and 3v3 for the other Playlists -- found under the new ‘Extra Modes’ tab in the Playlist Menu. Similar to Competitive Soccar, you will have a unique MMR in each Playlist where you’ll need to complete ten placement matches for each before obtaining a Rank. All of the same Competitive rules (forfeiting, matchmaking bans, etc.) will still apply as well. How are Rewards going to work with these changes? Extra Mode wins will contribute to the same Season Reward Level as your Soccar matches. For those putting serious time in with Extra Modes, we’re also considering additional Season Rewards like Extra Mode-specific Grand Champion titles. Alongside these additions to Competitive play, Rumble, Dropshot, Hoops and Snow Day will no longer appear as Casual Playlist options. (You can still use these modes in Private Matches, Local Matches, and Tournaments.) Due to population split, keeping Extra Modes in both Casual and Competitive could lead to great difficulty finding matches -- something we want to avoid for their inaugural Competitive Season. Want to play Extra Modes without worrying about Competitive Ranks? We’re giving you the option to hide your Rank for these modes so you can maintain a more casual mentality while playing. We hope you’re as excited for these Rewards and changes as us -- we can't wait to see the boxing gloves, tiles, basketballs and hockey pucks fly this coming season! Be sure to share your thoughts on the Extra Modes changes on Twitter, Discord[discord.gg] and the Subreddit. View the full article
  10. OceanicBot

    Q&A: Crusader Mercury Following the launch of the Mercury Star Runner from Crusader Industries, we took your top voted questions to our designers in an effort to get you more information about this recently revealed data runner. If you haven’t watched the recent Ship Shape on the Mercury, you can do so here. We also sat down with the developers behind the ship in a special Townhall Q&A, LIVE from Gamescom which you can watch here. Special thanks to John Crewe and Todd Papy for taking the time to answer questions. What are the differences in scanning between a ship like the Terrapin and the Mercury? Are they similar enough that a Mercury can be fitted to perform a Terrapin’s role equally well, or better? Dedicated scanning ships, or ships equipped with dedicated scanners are built around that gameplay, which is not what the Mercury is built for. The Mercury’s scanners are only good enough to intercept local communications, rather than scanning of unknown areas or picking up low signatures at distance like the Terrapin can. The Terrapin, when crewed effectively, will always surpass the Mercury in terms of scanning efficiency. Think of the Mercury as a hybrid cargo ship, between freight and data. Considering its weaponry and supposed light armor, shouldn’t the Mercury be faster than the Cutlass or Vanguard, which are armored and have more firepower? To follow up, the Mercury is considered to be fast, but the stats shows us it’s not much faster than a Freelancer. Can we expect the speeds to be adjusted? As always, all stats are subject to change and if we find out during production the Mercury isn’t fast enough to fulfil its role we’ll adjust as necessary. Generally as ships get larger they get slower in the current design, so as the Mercury sits in between the Freelancer and Cutlass, it currently sits in between their speed ranges, although there are a whole host of parameters aside from top speed we use but don’t show to adjust their handling characteristics. Mentioned in the design notes for Electronic Warfare, the Drake Herald will have a dedicated e-war suite. Will the Mercury follow this data-running trend and also have e-war capabilities? Having a dedicated e-war suite was not part of the original design for the ship and at this time is not being considered for addition, instead leaving the functionality on other ships such as the Herald and Sentinel. However, a dedicated e-war suite is not a requirement for data hacking. Will the Mercury enter the ship pipeline soon and serve as the template for the larger Crusader ships? Keep an eye on the roadmap for more information on when this ship will enter production. The design work done on the Star Runner and Starlifter will both be used as reference for the larger ships, such as the Starliner. Is the Mercury expected to be able to fit through Small Jump Points? Jump point sizing and categorisation is still being worked out, but we expect the Mercury to fit through the same size jump points as the Freelancer. Is the back ramp the only entrance to the ship? The back ramp is the only entrance to the ship, and it has no docking collar or secondary lift entrances. Why only 3 beds and max crew of 3 when you have a pilot, copilot, and 2 turret gunners? Shouldn’t it have 4 beds and be max crew of 4? This was an intentional choice to make players choose between the roles. There is actually 5 distinct stations on the ship (Pilot, CoPilot, Scanning, 2x Turret) and we want players to react and choose what they want to do in various scenarios. Increasing the crew capacity means significant other knock-ons to ship design in terms of size and features, and we want to keep this ship relatively compact and focused. As a “versatile” ship, will the Mercury have variants or modules to remove the data running equipment and focus the ship on a different role? There are no plans to have any additional variants or modules at this time. The original brief was for a ship to do these two specific roles (cargo and data running) rather than be modular and changed into different roles. Can you give us a gameplay example of legal data collection vs illegal collection, ideally including both PvE & PvP scenarios? An example of legal data collection in PvE would be a mission along the lines of scanning a certain location for information, such as asteroid composition/density. Alternatively, you may recieve a mission to find specific player owned ships & their locations, which will need to be reported back the mission giver. Illegal data collection would be something more along the lines of intercepting sensitive information between two ships for PvE or intercepting and beating another player to delivery on an existing data running mission. Does the Mercury have a bathroom, kitchen, dining table, gun rack and armor storage for all crew members? The bathroom, kitchen, dining table and gun racks are shared between all crew members. Each crew member also has their own suit storage locker near their bunk. Does the Mercury have an airlock for EVA, or will we need to decompress the entire cargo room to get out of the ship in space? There is no secondary entrance/exit, so the cargo room must be decompressed to enter or exit the ship in space. There is an airlock to the rest of the ship, and the turrets are sealed off to prevent further decompression. View the full article
  11. It’s been two weeks since Rocket League’s Progression Update[www.rocketleague.com] went live and one week since our inaugural Rocket Pass[www.rocketleague.com] was released. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on both of those items, with many of you embracing the new ways in which you can earn free content by playing matches online while also unlocking new Battle-Cars and Goal Explosions with the Rocket Pass Premium Upgrade. We’re also taking your feedback into account as we consider different ways to fine-tune progression in upcoming updates and adjusting future versions of Rocket Pass. Before touching on our last update and the XP conversion, though, we wanted to share some news about RocketID, which includes cross-platform friends and parties. As outlined in our Summer Roadmap Update[www.rocketleague.com], our goal was to release RocketID in September, but we’ve made the difficult decision to push it out of September and include it in a future update. We want to ensure that RocketID is operating flawlessly on all platforms before its release, and this extra time will ensure that you'll be playing and partying up with friends on different platforms with ease. Between the progression and XP changes, Rocket Pass and the introduction of Clubs, the Progression Update is one of the largest updates we’ve ever had. An update of this size is always a challenge and the two hotfixes[www.rocketleague.com] we released in the days after the update went live are reflections of those challenges. That pair of hotfixes allowed us to address the most urgent issues -- control input and unintended changes to ball physics -- within 48 hours of the Progression Update’s release, while still leaving some additional bugs to address in future updates. Another change we made after the Progression Update, was focused on where Level 75 ‘Rocketeer’ players would land in the new XP system. Initially, most of our Rocketeers ended up between Levels 110-120 and our fix the following week adjusted placement in the new system, pushing most of those affected players up into the Level 200-225 range. Two major factors went into determining how you would be converted into the new progression system: online matches played -- which excludes private matches and is based on our own internally-tracked match history -- and earned XP. The internal match history we used for this conversion process may not line up with what you see on stat-tracking websites for a number of reasons, including local save data file corruption or manipulation. Along with matches played and XP, we've factored in progress on your last level before the update, while granting up to 10 additional levels to players based on where they fell within the curve of matches played by their same-level peers. We’ll share more on RocketID (like a release date) when the time is right, along with our Autumn/ Winter Roadmap blog in early October. In the meantime, be sure to leave us feedback on Rocket Pass and the new progression system via Twitter, Discord[discord.gg], and Reddit. Thanks, everyone! View the full article
  12. Hello, you eternally smooth-skinned angel feathers. Welcome back to the community newsletter, where this week we have some news from the Testlive trenches, an updated map and some combat gifs. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin! First off, we wanted to take a quick moment to talk about our patch schedule. Obviously, we would like to roll out fixes for the game as soon as we can, but we will also be the first to admit that we have been guilty of patching too quickly in the past. We’ve tried to learn from this to avoid creating frustrations for you, the community. Going forward, our plan is to patch Conan Exiles every 4 to 6 weeks, with one possible hotfix within that 4-6 week period if needed. This way we have time for extensive bug fixing, tweaking and testing, in order to make sure that a patch is as ready and as stable as it can be. It also gives us more time to take your feedback into consideration. We aim to patch all platforms as close together as possible, hopefully the same day. TestLive will be updated more frequently to incorporate ongoing bug fixes and testing as needed. We hope this will add to our ongoing effort on improving our patching process as well as closer communication with all Exiles players. Call to Arms event Last weekend we ran another Call to Arms event on our Testlive branch to get more eyeballs on our most recent Testlive build. Anyone participating in the event who reached lvl 40 would be eligible to receive a DLC key of their choice in a post-event raffle, if the community as a whole reported over 50 unique bugs. As expected, you all came through in a big way and helped us find some previously unknown bugs and issues. We’ll be getting in touch with everyone who qualified for the raffle, but keep in mind that we have several hundred people to send individual keys to, so please be patient. Among all these Testlive updates happening on PC we know our console audience is wondering if a similar testing environment is possible on consoles. Unfortunately, it’s not, due to the nature of deploying builds to consoles versus PC. When selling a game through Steam we can easily set up a beta branch that players can switch over to through the Steam client. Here we can deploy builds fairly quickly without needing to go through a certification process. On consoles, it’s a different story: Setting up a separate testing client is possible, but every build we deploy to said testing client would need to go through the certification process every time we wanted to roll out a new build. Players would also have to download an entirely separate client, which would be the same size as the regular game. However, that doesn’t mean that players on consoles don’t benefit from what we do on Testlive. Any and all changes, bug fixes and updates on the Testlive will eventually make it to the live builds, on both PC and consoles. Map coordinatesAs we mentioned last week[www.conanexiles.com], we’re updating the map to include a grid and coordinates system to make it easier for players to navigate and find each other. You will also be able to zoom the map out much further than before. The new map is already available on the Testlive branch and will be rolled out with the Pets update. Off-hand combosWe've been sharing a couple of gifs of some new combat animations over on our Facebook[www.facebook.com] and Twitter channels. If you missed it, we’ve been tinkering with ways of integrating off-hand weapons into the combo chains. Specifically, shields and throwing axes are now part of the heavy chains when paired with swords, maces and axes. A sword and shield heavy-combo usually looks like this: But with the new animations, it will look like this We’re also really into the new double axe spin attack: Using a mace and a shield will let you uppercut your enemies with your shield These are just a small sample of the new weapon combos we’ll be rolling out alongside the Pets update. You can watch Oscar and Jens Erik discuss the off-hand combos in a video on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/2ImFNN6CkoQ?t=8m2s 4x XP PvP eventThis weekend we’re starting up a month-long event on our official PvP servers, on all platforms. On Friday morning, when the servers restart at 5am local server time, players on all official PvP servers will gain experience points at 4 times the normal amount. We’re doing this to help new players get a fighting chance on a fresh server more quickly. Be aware that this will only affect our PvP servers, not PvE or PvE-Conflict. As always, community feedback is important to us so please let us know if this is a decision you support. Friday live streamIt is stream week once again, so we’ll be live on http://www.twitch.tv/funcom and http://mixer.com/funcom at our normal stream times: 5pm CEST / 11am EST / 8am PST. This week we’re going to be running the new Midnight Grove dungeon to see what dangerous creatures we meet there and how many bosses we’re able to take down. Will we die a lot? Probably. Will Jens Erik once again be wearing a funny T-shirt? Most definitely! We can’t wait to see you on Friday. Sincerely, FuncomView the full article
  13. OceanicBot

    Writer’s Note: This portfolio was originally published in Jump Point 4.10. With the launch of the UEE’s “Militia Mobilization Initiative,” the role that militias play in protecting the Empire has come front and center. The current directive aims to help arm civilian militias, so they can protect their homeworld and system against Vanduul incursions and outlaws. One system where militias have played a prominent role for centuries is Bremen — home to the famous Bremen Defense Force, which is the longest constantly active militia in the UEE. Bremen was a relatively quiet and safe frontier system following its discovery in 2441. That all changed with the onset of the Second Tevarin War. The armadas of Corath’Thal utilized insurgency tactics to wage an unpredictable and shifting war against Humanity. With little idea as to where or when they might attack next, the UEE needed to raise a massive and expanding force in order to protect the populace, one that they struggled to properly feed. It was then that the fertile soil of Rytif (Bremen II) became the main producer of rations for UEE forces. With this responsibility came both great wealth and an unexpected degree of danger. Bremen’s location meant the chance of a Tevarin attack was relatively low, but residents still noticed an uptick in Human threats. These outlaws were smart enough to avoid targeting military convoys, instead concentrating their attacks on civilians enriched by the system’s booming economy. Philippe Lattimore almost lost his life in one such outlaw attack. The spry octogenarian was a veteran of the First Tevarin War who attempted to reenlist in the Navy when the second one began. After his application was politely denied, Lattimore took it upon himself to patrol the system. He spent his days responding to distress calls and meticulously documenting his experience. One day he answered a distress call only to be overwhelmed by outlaws still picking apart their latest catch. He barely survived the attack and although it was a close call, it didn’t deter him. In fact, it only made him more resolute to stop what was happening in Bremen, and he realized one thing: he wasn’t going to be able to do this alone. In 2605, Lattimore met with Arcturus Koerner, Rytif’s largest landowner and de facto governor, to ask for funds to create the Bremen Defense Force (BDF). Legend has it that Lattimore spoke, uninterrupted, for over an hour about his recent experiences. He presented the detailed reports he had compiled while on patrol, highlighted the system’s current crime stats, and argued that it was vital for the people of Bremen to stand together to keep their system safe. Once done, Koerner only had one question, “How much do you need?” Weeks later, the Bremen Defense Force was up and running. Under Lattimore’s leadership, the system’s crime rate was quickly cut in half and remained that way for years to come. Being a member of the Bremen Defense Force became a major point of pride for those ineligible or unable to fight for the UEE Navy during the war. A proud tradition that carries over to this day. Peacetime Problems Following the end of the Second Tevarin War, the UEE armed forces’ demand for foodstuffs from Rytif was greatly reduced, yet the landowner collective known as Bremen Mills didn’t slow production. They had become an economic powerhouse in the Empire’s grain market, and had quickly shifted their focus to supplying food for the public. Security for these food shipments were of the utmost importance, and Bremen Mills quickly realized that subsidizing the Bremen Defense Force was cheaper than hiring full time private security forces. This arrangement worked relatively well until the grain market crashed in 2640. Bremen Mills suffered a severe financial hit and was forced to cut funds to the BDF. In addition, millions of jobs related to the grain market were lost, and Bremen saw its population dwindle. Suddenly, the BDF was on a precipice. Lacking funding and losing members, many thought it didn’t have a chance to survive. Though he had stepped away from running the militia’s day-to-day operations due to failing health, Philippe Lattimore once again got heavily involved to save the BDF. He made appeals to private citizens to donate time or equipment and called upon local businesses to provide financial support. Now, more than ever, he argued, Bremen was in need of a strong militia to protect its people during the insecurity of these tough economic times. Many resisted until in 2642 the Advocacy’s Travel Safety Advisory System (TSAS) upgraded the system’s threat level to “Medium,” its highest threat level to date. Worried that Bremen’s safe reputation was on the line, the public and private sector rededicated themselves to ensuring the system’s security. Since the Bremen Defense Force was already so deeply ingrained, the powers that be figured it would be quicker and cheaper to get it running at full capacity rather than expanding Rytif’s anemic police force. Public and private funds once again were funneled to the BDF and a widespread ad campaign to recruit volunteers was kicked off. Some balked at the system’s main defense force not being a wholly government-run operation, but it was impossible to argue with the results, as the system’s threat level soon dropped back to its previous level. This action also reinforced the tradition of Bremen relying on militias instead of normal police forces for their security. This was a unique practice when compared to other systems, and one that revolutionaries would eventually take advantage of to help bring down the Messer regime. Revolutionary Road Over the years, a number of other militias rose to prominence in Bremen, though none ever achieved the sophistication of the BDF. The system’s reputation for being relatively safe persisted and remained a point of pride. It was only because of this that the Messer regime didn’t insist that a more centralized, and controllable, security apparatus be installed. With the rising Vanduul threat on one front and the cold war with the Xi’an on another, the Messer regime didn’t see a reason to change a system that was working for them. Yet, it was the Bremen Defense Force’s decentralized nature that allowed anti-Messer activists to exploit it to their benefit. According to reports released during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Messers ran several concurrent operations that implanted loyal agents into the militia to monitor its activity. The militia stayed non-committal to Messer regime policies and deflected pressure to take sides on anything not directly related to Bremen. They changed their motto to “Bremen Above All,” and instructed volunteers to not discuss Empire-wide politics while on duty. To avoid like-minded individuals consistently pairing up, patrol partners were randomly selected at roll call. Actions like this helped the militia maintain their autonomy through the centuries of Messer rule. As the tide of public opinion turned against the despotic rulers, a brave faction within the BDF, unbeknownst to other volunteers, began to use the cover of the militia to smuggle anti-Messer activists through the system. This activity reached a fever pitch following the Massacre of Garron II in 2792. The events of this time in the militia’s history were captured in The Bremen Beltway, a harrowing account of what it was like to work this part of “revolutionary road.” The book compiled interviews with former militia members and anti-Messer activists, journal excerpts, and declassified government documents to paint a picture of the extreme danger involved with smuggling revolutionaries through the system. Most of the activists were first smuggled from their system of origin into Xi’an territory and eventually into Nyx. That made Bremen the port of reentry into UEE, and a particularly perilous part of the journey. Without this secure gateway back into the Empire, many believe the overthrow of Imperator Linton Messer XI would not have happened nearly as quickly as it did. This only highlights the importance of high ranking BDF officials guaranteeing the revolutionaries safe passage through the system. For nearly three and a half centuries, the Bremen Defense Force has been the standard that all other militias are held up to. Comprising a coalition of dedicated volunteers and funded by both public and private interests, the BDF has placed the security of their system above all else. When RSI looked to include militias in the design process of the Polaris, the BDF was their first call. Militia members consulted on the design and were among the first to purchase the new capital ship for their fleet. BDF officials can’t wait to put the Polaris to use, in the defense of the system they believe is their responsibility over anyone else to protect View the full article
  14. OceanicBot

    September 2948 Subscriber Flair Subscribers I think we can all safely agree that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and if you ask us, that adage extends to the rest of the head as well. That’s why your head gear shouldn’t be taken lightly. With RSI’s classic Venture helmet your head is in good hands, and with this exclusive Centurion edition, you won’t have to sacrifice stellar looks for stellar safety. Imperator Subscribers Imperator-level subscribers will receive this limited edition purple variant along with the red Centurion design, perfectly matching the sleek base suit whilst preventing grey matter splatter on potentially dangerous missions. If you’re an active subscriber, these items will be added to your account on September 12th. If you aren’t a subscriber yet but want to sport these suits, make sure you subscribe no later than September 16th. More information about subscriptions can be found here View the full article
  15. OceanicBot

    Floating islands, slingshots, giant crystals, and more. View the full article