Bring Your Own Objective Invasion
So there are a few things I’ve seen in invasions that have become a bit silly:
  • Complex rules and objectives
  • Counting PvP matches for victory
  • Fleet/NPC battles with 6+ members a side
The first of these isn’t too bad, but sometimes Faction Admins try to put down rules to try and stop people playing “unfairly”. The problem is we’re chasing a white whale here. The rules will never be extensive enough to stop the member who sees a way to try and powergame/sees a way to exploit rules.
The second of these has, in my opinion, led to a reluctance of players to “take hits” or admit they have been defeated. In the old days we saw a lot more character death in invasions as people sacrificed themselves to tie up the enemy or save another member.
The last of these has made some fleet battles I have personally participated in onerous to take part in. I’ve had to open six posts across four pages of invasion thread and it has taken upwards of two hours just to write down the damage on my own fleet. This was also a massive issues on Contruum. Personally I think NPC and Fleet battles are much more manageable and enjoyable with 1v1 or 2v2 encounters. It’s much easier to discuss with a few people where you want to be in terms of taking damage and you can spend more time enjoying the story aspect of your writing. Personally I see no reason not to have a fleeting engagement split out to a separate thread. With the tag system as it is digging through pages to find a few posts is a nightmare.
I also have an issue with NPC battles for objectives. I’ve seen this multiple times where there are multiple attackers and one person takes on the role of “DM” for the defender. The problem is when the DM is effectively out to make you lose, they’ll just hand wave off every move you make all day long.
All this leads me to my current thoughts. Currently Faction Admins are setting the objectives for invasions directly. There is some, if any, engagement with the members to see what they want and then generally one or two people negotiate this with the other side. In my mind it looks like this:

Now, my BYOO idea is just that at the moment: a notion. There are numerous ways it could be practically implemented. This could include having a template for members to fill out for proposed objectives, involve splitting out an invasion into multiple threads, or simple encouraging members to do this.
The principle is simple:
  • Faction Admins set the story of the invasion.
  • Faction Admins create one main sandbox environment for PvP [i.e. picking a location from the codex/canon and setting this as the main locale.
  • Members work out further objectives and what they want to see horizontally.
Sort of like this:

So you might have the fleeters on each side decide that they want to run two fleet battles (2v2), each with 10km of ships, you might want two people decide they want an NPC battle for control of a factory. They want this objective closed or open. When they’ve agreed how they wants this to play out and what the victory conditions are they raise it to the Faction Admins.
At the end of the invasion time limit the leaders of each objective (members) would agree a short sentence/paragraph outlining where they got. This is one submission from members on both sides, noting any disagreements on where they think the objective finished.
At the end the Faction Admins from both sides look over where the story is and agree who wins. If they can’t amicably agree this within a few days they are letting their members down. In my opinion Faction Admins should make a statement of intent beforehand that they’re willing to work together to determine the victory based on the story, and won’t quibble over rules, or try to nullify objectives etc. at the end. Perhaps they should both agree to give up other planets if the RPJ finds they’ve been deliberately uncooperative! It’s for Faction Admins to lead from the fore and show members we’re here to write stories, not win-at-all-costs. They have to agree to remove members from the invasion if they display the wrong attitude, not try and come up with rules to stop them from powergaming.
So this is a giant bag of holes at the moment, but my intention is to get faction membership more involved in seeing what they want in invasions and getting engaged with the other side horizontally before the invasion starts. Throw rocks through the holes, make suggestions, and be positive!