Continuing on from last month, where we talked about getting a game into Vanguard, this month we will look at the first part of the Vanguard process, when a game is in Horizon (Tiers 3 & 4).
The Tiered system is used to prepare a game for launch, ensuring Spin Up Leaders receive the support that they need from the Vanguard staff. There are clear requirements for each tier before they can proceed towards launch, such as filling staffing positions and sorting out admin issues such as servers and qualification badge requirements.
Games enter Vanguard in Tier 4, where a core team is formed. Games are usually in Tier 4 from anywhere between a couple of days, to 2 weeks. The requirements for a game to be in tier 4 include:
1. The game must be suitable for TAW and interest must be reasonably high
2. Have fully researched the game and its' potential; to include any required information (i.e. paid servers, etc)
3. Game must be approved by VG staff and Army Command
4. A Spin-Up Leader (SUL) / VG Spin-Up Leader and/ or Staff Officer (SO) must be identified
5. In-game assets will be created, or control handed to VC/VLC, at the discretion of the VC
6. Unit must be added to Horizon Division on TAW site
7. Unit must be added to TAW application listing
8. Initial TeamSpeak channels must be added for unit in Horizon Division
9. Recruitment to public and internal transfers will not be open (staff transfers only)
10. Actively looking for staff; at least for an SO and DI
11. Spin-Up Meeting must be completed
When Spin Up Leader shows evidence that these requirements have been fulfilled, it will be moved to tier 3. In tier 3, the units leadership is trained and public recruitment started. This is the first real stepping stone to becoming a unit within TAW; it will have minimum leadership internally and will rely heavily on its' SUL / SO and VG staff. The conditions of Tier 3 are as follows:
1. Must have an SO and at least one DI in place
2. Actively open for public recruitment
3. Plans must be in place if game requires a TAW server
4. Unit must conduct weekly events or meetings with all members
With that, read on to see how our current units are going along. We have updates from all 6 of our current teams; [EV] Evolve, [INS] Insurgency, [GW] Guild Wars 2, [HW] Homeworld, [SCZ] Star Citizen.
Read on for more information on each of our teams. More detailed reports can be found in the upcoming edition of TAW’s monthly newsletter ‘From The Battlefield’ .
TAW's Evolve division has grown fast in its first month since spinning up. Evolve is now officially tier 2 and can accept internal transfers and is still in need of more officers from Europe or OC regions, if you are interested contact SixthGear. They now have competitive team setup and intend to be a force to be reckoned with in the tournament circuit. Finally, major patch has been announced which is intended to fix some bugs, and evens out the power levels of some characters which were overpowered or underpowered. An Observer Mode was announced as "Coming Soon" by a TRS press release on March 4th.
February was another exciting month for us. INS split off into two battalions allowing for growth in our leadership positions. The developers released an update this month to fix well needed bugs, glitches, and exploits. However, the most prominent part of this update was balance tweaks for the competitive leagues. Season two has started of the Digital Gaming League, while TAW weren't able to compete last year for various reasons, a team has been entered for this season!
Guild Wars 2
The old TAW Guild Wars 2 guild, from when TAW first had a presence in the game was donated to the EU platoon by previous leaders. A number of new recruits have also joined us this month.
After a few teething problems with the multiplayer option, Homeworld has gone from strength to strength. A significant number of recruits have joined TAW since launch. This is a great achievement and it goes to show the commitment of the team members to get new talent playing the game. At the moment we have been designing new logos for the ships. So, whatever rank you are within TAW will show on the ship that you fight with.
After a year of hiatus, Star Citizen Division has been resurrected as a Tier 4 Horizon team in Vanguard. One of the main issues surrounding the initial Spin Up in early-mid 2014 was that there was not enough content at that time for members to participate in together during the long pre-alpha stage of the game development process. Star Citizen is still in pre-alpha, but the amount of modules that have been released as well as the anticipated content throughout 2015 mean it can return to TAW. Members can currently group up together to do team-based dogfighting and racing modules and in the upcoming weeks we will be having an informal dogfighting tournament.
In the upcoming months events will be organised around new content to prepare for when the Persistent Universe (the sandbox MMO aspect of the game) launches.
As far as the upcoming content release timetable, the First Person Shooter Beta (being debuted right now at PAX East) is coming soon in Spring 2015 with the Planetside / Social Beta arriving soon after. Arena Commander 2.0 with multi-crew ships is anticipated for Summer 2015. Squadron 42, the Single-Player / Coop Campaign is coming Fall 2015. The Persistent Universe Alpha, the aspect of the game that we’re all waiting for, is planned for the End of 2015. The Full Game Launch is anticipated for 2016.
Eifer [CC VC] | Vanguard Commander
Andrewki [CC VLC] | Vanguard Lt. Commander
Nightshaper [VG DC] | Vanguard Division Commander
Ffaen [VG DO] | Vanguard Division Officer
Newo [VG PIO] | Vanguard Public Information Officer