It was a black day for PA the day ranked matchmaking suffered a hiccup and went silent. Fortunately this bleak period is at an end with the release of hotfix 89528 which resolves the issue.
Now get back to laddering.
The latest PTE build has been pushed to stable as a hotfix. If you read the PTE changelog then know that nothing has changed.
In the deep, dark days of the Planetary Annihilation Alpha, developers and players worked side-by-side to forge a strategy game that would revitalise a genre long thought dead. These were happy, blissful days, and a sense of harmony and righteous progress lingered in the air.
Then the Beta came along. With it came many changes; the developers allowed multiple planets to be fought over for the first time and the players grew excited. In their excitement, however, they overlooked an act of treachery set in motion by the wicked Scathis. For in amongst the many treats the developers had laid out for the players, he had changed the name of the beloved Basic Tank from “Ant” to “Pounder”.
Once this monstrosity was unearthed, chaos took hold. The players demanded the restoration of the Ant’s rightful name, petitioning the developers repeatedly. One among their number stood forward as the brave champion of their cause: the Marshall.
He resiliently fought against a protracted campaign of malicious propaganda set forth by the developers. As the futility of their lies became apparent, they switched to outright mockery, changing the name of the tank with each successive patch to the game: a demonstration of their absolute power over the helpless players.
From Ant, to Pounder, to Titanium Insect, to Histericlese, to Alleged Tank, to UTC-8, to Unit Cannon, to Scamper, to BOLO, to Aventail, to Ripper – the tank was stripped of any semblance of identity it once had. The players sat back, accepting defeat. But not their Marshall.
Through a glorious propaganda campaign of his own, he kept the fires of hope alive that one day the Ant would make its return. He challenged Scathis to a duel – an honorable fight one-on-one to decide the fate of this iconic tank and to restore the honour of the Planetary Annihilation community.
The time has come, brothers and sisters, as Scathis has accepted this challenge. Join us for the glorious spectacle that is the Fight for the Ant, steamed live on Uber Entertainment’s Twitch channel at 1800hrs UTC on 26th September 2015. Celebrate with us as our Marshall fights for our honour, and decides once and for all the name of our dearly beloved Basic Tank.
Immediately after our honour has been restored, Marshall will then join Sorian from Uber in commentating on the AbleGamers Tournament 2015, where you can donate towards an exceptionally worthy cause in exchange for interplanetary carnage. Let us show Uber that the Knights of the Ant are as generous as they are righteous!
The spit and polish continues as Uber release a fresh build to PTE. A number of lobby bugs have been squashed, AI and pathing improved, and some UI tweaks made. Nothing too radical, though I think everyone will be grateful for the lobby changes.
It’s about time, right? Quite so.
Planned prior to the launch of Titans, no one knew what the mystery was, only that it was… mysterious. Participants had little time to prepare, but everyone signed up prior to release got a free copy of this surprise requirement courtesy of Uber Entertainment. It led to some fun games where everyone was clearly trying to figure out what the heck they were doing.
If you want to see someone really struggling, check out my games on the videos page from the Titans launch livestream. Painful, painful memories.
Still, if you missed out on Mystery Mayhem then all is well because every VOD is now online. Give the page a moment to load (154 matches!) then look for the YouTube symbol, or browse the video page. As ever, it’s all spoiler free, so enjoy! If you only have time for one, then make it Match BV from round 3, which is our match of the tournament. A real nail-biter.
Following a recent discussion on the Uber Entertainment forums around whether the use of mods in competitive play was fair or not, we invited two Uber league players on opposing sides of the argument to share their thoughts.
In the article The Ethics Of Mods In Competitive Play, Elodea and Cola_Colin argue over what fair really means.
If you’ve been following the PTE releases then there should be no surprises here. There are a lot of crash and AI fixes and updates bundled into this hotfix, and it resolves a critical Linux bug.
Ahead of the expected release of the PTE into stable today comes this minor update for PTE 87070 which resolves the issue of handling Classic and Titans saves in a single interface.
With just two weeks to go until Clash Of The TITANS, our 1v1 swiss tournament with the largest prize pool yet, we’re happy to unveil the final maps drawn from some of the finest available for the game. We’ve got old favourites and a few new ones to test your skills, so use the time well to prepare because your opponents will.
Below are my thoughts on the challenges ahead. I look forward to the games proving me horribly wrong!
This map by Uber Entertainment has been part of the ladder pool since the release of Planetary Annihilation TITANS and was first seen in the quarter-finals of the Big Bang Finals.
Featuring two late asteroid spawns, it primarily plays out on the main planet with orbital being a rare feature. An initially defensible looking base proves to be hard to hold, with multiple entrances providing ample opportunity for raids. Large craters between the bases mean frontal assaults can quickly turn to the defenders advantage.
A map by superouman seen in the Big Bang Finals, it featured heavily in the finals and may be remembered for one particularly epic game.
Don’t be deceived by its simple two path appearance, there’s a lot of opportunity for trickery. Water in the lakes can be grabbed by air, or denied by torpedo launchers. High ground on either sides of your base must be guarded jealously else you will lose access to sizable amounts of metal not only on the ledges, but also on the ground around them with Grenadiers being free to rain death down on you.
This map by Uber Entertainment is a classic which has stood the test of time. This semi-final game of Clopsey 9 is a personal favourite of mine, though this final game of Evil Twins is perhaps a more typical bit of play.
If you don’t know this map like the back of your hand then you need to ladder more as it has been a feature of the pool since the introduction of custom terrain. Featuring heavy tank play, the rush to grab the easily defensible six metal to one side has died down a little with the Drifter providing an easy way to raid this space. While an all vehicle play with limited air support has been a mainstay on Forge, some players have been experimenting with early Booms to take advantage of this.
This map by superouman represents the first of our new entries, not seen before in tournament play.
I’m excited to see how this one plays out. There’s a great concentration of metal on a plateau between the two bases, along with smaller amounts spread out across several platforms. The sea stretches between both bases, and a strong position here also offers firing opportunities direct onto the enemy’s stronghold.
Another map by superouman also not seen in tournament play before.
As with many of his maps it has two primary routes, one which leads through a central arena with strong metal concentrations to the side. Meanwhile the back route has an easily defensible choke, but the metal sits beyond it and has two paths curving either way around a massive repository of metal accessible only by air.
Rather like with the Prof X system, I think the outcome of the battle for the air accessible metal will also determine the outcome of the game.
A map by Alpha2546 which features two asteroids accessible from the start of the game.
Most of the metal is on the land between the bases, but it’s spread out in a forest area. With terrain preventing the easy traversal of land troops from one side to the other, expect to see plenty of air raids. While the sea doesn’t have as much, it offers easy rear access to the base. Plenty of opportunities for Drifters, or just plain old coastal bombardments.
The asteroids have very little in the way of metal and I don’t expect them to feature in most games, but they do offer an opportunity to give yourself a slight economic edge should the game stalemate, and a way to end the tournament in glorious fashion.
In case of a tie we have this final system from [RLM]Mot9001, updated by PAG_Elodea for the SuperCommander tournament series.
This is a very old school map. Very little terrain, and a spread out metal layout which will favour aggressive bot or air play. This kind of system sees a lot of back and forth and can either end very quickly, or lead to a protracted battle with both sides probing the other for weaknesses. Anyone who played Planetary Annihilation back in beta will feel very at home here.
A big PTE just landed. For those of you who are new, the PTE is the public test environment where Uber allow the community to try out changes ahead of them going live. Check out our guide for more information. Feedback for Uber should be left in the official thread for classic or TITANS.
If you spend most of your time playing against the AI then you’re in for a treat, because not only are there a host of AI improvements in this PTE, there’s also a big new feature: you can force the AI to spawn on a different planet from you if the system supports it. So if you’ve been wanting to force a slower opening and more orbital play, now you can.
This PTE has a big focus on isolating and fixing any crash issues that have been identified or reported since TITANS went live, so if you’ve been having a problem give it a whirl and see if that problem still exists.
If you’re a Linux user then this PTE has a fix for the menu issue.