Friday, April 29, 2011

Steel Legions

A few days ago, on a bank holiday morning, I was tempted to give Steel Legions (SL) a go. My resistance was not due to any forebodings about the quality or concept of the game. What worried me was that I might really love it and start a new boy-meets-game, passion-filled affair. It would be difficult to maintain a blog on Pirate Galaxy (PG) if I never played it, or begrudged every minute that it kept me from my new, exciting and adventurous mistress.

If it wasn't for Cryonite Cove (CC), the apple-of-my-eye, I'd have no qualms about ditching PG as soon as a saucy new waste of time became available. But I have responsibilities, obligations. I couldn't just abandon CC, leave it orphaned and unloved. It wouldn't be CCs fault that PG and I had been torn apart by my eye for a pretty game and taste for exotic role-play. Dare I open Pandora's box and risk the future of my darling child?

Ah what the hell. It's only a bit of fun, nobody'll get hurt.

I downloaded the client from the SL website and fired it up. First of all there is a very cool loading screen with a battered tank giving it large with a machine gun. It made me all nostalgic for my BattleTech and Mechwarrior gaming past, which is probably not what Splitscreen intended but there you go.

I was able to log in using my existing Splitscreen account so I was soon able to bagsy 'Serig' as my screen name. There is a server choice but only the Europe server is available at the moment. The next thing that happened was I had the chance to join the Golden Territories faction straight away and get a bonus of 50 gold. I wanted to consider all options and not be rushed, so declined and looked at all the possible Empires.

Pictures of the four Empires are laid out in a line for you to select. I've read through the website and know that there is background to each Empire. As the richest faction, the Golden Territories, had offered me 50 Gold to join them, I deduced that each faction must have a benefit. For example the Phoenix Empire is described as having a rational way of life and being a culture of thinkers, so perhaps you get some advantage in tactical or technological skills. I clicked on the first Empire, which was the Pandora Rebels, expecting to get an explanation on their background and the benefits of joining them. However I found that I had now, apparently irrevocably, joined the Pandora Rebels. There was no 'Are you sure?' message, just 'bam!' you're a Rebel. Bugger! I have no problem with the Rebels, cool name, bull's head for a flag, but I felt as I'd been press-ganged. Anyway the deed was done.

I found myself at a Player Factory in a dinky little tank with the engine turning over. The graphics are very nice, as in PG much better than you'd expect a browser game to be. They are of a different style to PG, more animation less realism perhaps. No bad thing. As you try clicking here and there a series of hints pop up which explain how to move, how to fire, how to upgrade your tank etc. It doesn't take long before you're able to get into the action. There are things which don't get explained, for example there are little icons under your health bar which are still a mystery to me.

A big blue arrow kindly shows you the way to the nearest HQ for your Empire. When you arrive you can ask to be assigned a mission. Then you wait while the game decides what to do with you and a timer counts down. The first two missions I had were against Marauders, NPC unaligned tanks. You simply have to kill so many in a set time limit. Sound familiar? As you kill the Marauders you pick up items that you can use to upgrade or repair your tank. Before long I was in the workshop beefing my gun-wagon up, though there's no visible difference just yet. Again this was easy enough but I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing. I know my armour was getting tougher but by how much? Did that cost as much as upgrading my weapons? I then found out that I could hire crew members, all of who look extremely cool. There is a description as to what they offer you but I still found the details of the mechanics of it all hazy.

The tank-on-tank action is great fun with nice explosions, fire and smoke. I managed to complete these first missions easily enough and this is definitely a game you can get into straight away. The best was yet to come though. My next mission turned out to be me plus another Pandora Rebel versus two players from the Golden Territories. The objective was to defend a flag for a set time limit. For player versus player (PVP) action, SL knocks PG into a cocked hat. The game arranges it all for you so there's no awkward or annoying "Who wants to PVP?" messages or hanging around until someone has the time to come and give you a match. Plus you are matched up evenly. I was level 1, my partner was level 3 and we were fighting two level 2 players. This mission was even more enjoyable, even though we lost and the Golden Territories took the hill.

There is a tactical map which gives you a wider view of the world and command centres give you a picture of the world map. This suggests that as you progress you can lead armies and conquer territories, or at least that this is coming soon. If the idea is that as you win a battle against an enemy Empire then the world and tactical map changes and your faction advances, then I'm sold. That will add depth and a campaign feel to the game which would keep me coming back.

So first impressions of Steel Legions. Very easy to get into, great for fighting and blowing things up, top drawer set up for PVP and the promise of more depth and long term objectives to come. Negatives? Well the initial Empire selection process annoyed me greatly with no supporting information or second chance, and the detailed mechanics of how to play the game beyond the basic point and click combat system aren't entirely clear to me yet. To be fair I haven't played for very long and if I fully understood everything this quickly then it would be a very simple game. I will be playing again and am looking forward to it. If you like Pirate Galaxy then give Steel Legions a go, you may never look back.

Is Steel Legions now my latest obsession, tearing me and Pirate Galaxy apart? N0. At least for now Steel Legions will be my bit on the side, but at the end of the day I'll still be going home to Pirate Galaxy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

'Energy Depletion'

Shields, don't fail me now
The preceding Story Mission was: 'Help Fighters'

The following Story Mission is: 'Possible Weakness'

This Pirate Galaxy story mission, though not as good as the preceding 'Help Fighters', is still an enjoyable one. Natassia kicks things off as usual, telling you that the Baumarians' energy reserves are running low. You are dispatched to their central base of Jogan to see if you can help.

At Jogan, Ethan explains that the E-scouts introduced in the last mission are Missing In Action (MIA). They regularly call in their position so the Baumarians have a good idea where they are. You are given an area to search and have to retrieve the E-scouts.

As soon as you reach the edge of the search area you get a transmission from one of the scouts saying that  he's in his pod but is still under attack. (The Mantis are such bounders aren't they?) You should activate your large map at this point (use the spacebar). You will see a red dot which is the location of the E-scouts pod. You have 3 minutes to find the pod, collect it, and Afterburn (AB) out of the marked area. If you take too long, or get destroyed carrying one or more of the pods then the mission is failed.

You collect three pilots and then have to get back to Jogan. I was podded very close to home the first time I tried this but completed it at the second attempt.

A nice mission which I enjoyed. Not too difficult but I was in a Tank which has to be the best ship for this mission. The Mantis come thick and fast when you approach the pods so you'd struggle to survive in a frailer craft.

Friday, April 22, 2011

'Secondary Intel'

Come back Uncle Bill
The preceding story mission was: 'To Kalabesh'

The following story mission is: 'To Lyris'

A very simple and easy mission this one. I was still in my AnIn-1400 and got through it with no problems. 

Darius has been given the job to collect some intel concerning the Vega mine complex from Cassius Rock, who runs the mines on Kalabesh. Darius has a new ship so you have meet up with and escort him. Jake Rattenbury has a snarky dig about making sure you protect Bill properly this time. 

All you have to do is fly to meet Uncle Bill then escort him to collect the intel. Once he's got it he goes to orbit, and the job is done. The only hindrance are the level 8 Colonial Guards who try to pod Bill. All you have to do is fire at them so they focus on you, but stay on Bill's tail. Give the Guards enough damage and they'll back off. Like I said, simple and easy, which unfortunately also means nothing special. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 20th 2011 Update

On Wednesday 20th April there was an update to Pirate Galaxy (PG). It was a big one, in fact the biggest since Draconis. For all the details see the official word here. There were a few bugs that required a hot fix on 22nd April, though none of them affected me. Hotfix details here.

A number two shaped candle (snigger)
The first change you notice is the loading screen. If that doesn't make you smile then there's no hope for you. You may detect an Easter theme, and the game has plans for special events. For more details on that click here. You will also note that the pirate bunny skull (three words you rarely see together) is topped by a cup cake with a number two candle. Yes PG is in it's terrible twos. Expect temper tantrums and breath-holding over the next twelve months. Happy Birthday PG. Have I really been playing one game for two years? Yes, and that's a good endorsement.

Reading through the changelog I see that Cryonite Cove has slain another bug. In 'Hostage Negotiation' I was misdirected via the starmap to Kalabesh rather than Aurora due to an undone Tutorial mission. That annoyance is no more. Thank you 'anonymous reader who has some clout at Splitscreen'. One bug still exists that annoys me regularly though. I can't see my position in the Hall Of Fame. The circular 'jump to your position' button doesn't work and if I keep paging back down the ladder the game crashes at around position 975. Splitscreen must have half-a-dozen crash reports from me for that.

Right then. A significant change is the introduction of new white missions. Wahey! I love white missions me. First is 'Defend the Energy Collector'. In these missions a new type of allied ship collects energy from an energy field and you have to protect it from Mantis attack until it's full. This is good fun and a great addition to the game. An assortment of Mantis types land to attack your charge while a timer counts down. Good to have another use for the Taunt, and Engineers will be in their element too.

This is going to be hard work
Second, there is 'Cryonite Harvest', a squadron mission. This is very much like the destroy harvesters white missions but without a time limit. The one I initiated wanted me to blow up 5 of the blighters which would take yonks on my own, so I aborted it. All of these new white missions are going to make the 'clear all white missions in a system' achievements even harder to get. I'd be very unhappy if I was two whites from the achievement the day before they put all of these in the game. Luckily I managed to get all of Gemini's white missions a month or so ago. It was a nice surprise to also get 5 points for the 'Gemini Finalizer' achievement at the same time for doing all story missions and all whites. I wonder if I'd get a surprise achievement for getting all the Blueprints too.

A different meaning to 'Pod Race'
The third new type of white mission are the races. Brilliant. Totally different to anything else in PG, though I remember a time trial mission in the old Vega system just after you got an Afterburner. First you have to get to the start point, and sit there while Mantis blast you. There's a count down and then you have to race, against NPCs or your fellow squad members, through various check points. This is difficult and exciting, especially as stun equipped Mantis can really throw a spanner in the works. As you take the mission you are told the best time to beat and the pilot who set it. Wonderful. I can see players becoming specialist racers before you know it. I tried one race and came last by a mile. I don't know if you have to come first to beat the mission but I'm sure I'll find out.

There's a lot to try out in the new 'Terrible Twos' PG, and we haven't even spoken about Log Files yet. It's still early, but I'd have to say nice job Splitscreen, nice job.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

‘Help Fighters’

I just want to know what's down that shaft
The preceding story mission was: 'Planet Search 2'

The following story mission is: 'Energy Depletion'

This is a cracker. If I had a rating system I'd give this mission 5 stars. It's original, tests your flying skills, has a seductive trap within it, is tough enough to make you work, but not so hard to drive you nuts.

The Baumarians in Jogan, their one remaining settlement, are under sustained Mantis attack. They're running out of Energy so you have to go and help. First you fly to the centre of Jogan, probably passing one of their under attack outposts. You might be shot at but just ignore it and fly on. Once there Ethan explains that they use E-Scouts to find Energy and supply their fighters. With the heavy attack underway they need help. Your task is to collect canisters of Energy and transport them to the marked outpost.

The canisters appear in Jogan near the shaft and you need to collect them then get them to the marked outpost before the 1 minute timer runs out. Then you have to get back and collect another, again in 1 minute. You have to supply three outposts to succeed.

Making the journey in a minute is difficult because you have to fly through the narrow and winding gorges. I was tempted to switch back to the standard 'non-relative' steering system, as with the use of the mouse it is better for tight manoeuvring. However I stuck with it and managed it at the third attempt. The first time I took too long reading the mission prompts and the second time it was just taking a wrong turn.

In a cunning and plausible tactic by Splitscreen, when you reach the outposts you find it littered with the debris of battle. Cryonite and BluePrints (BP) are scattered all around, but you need to ignore the booty and get on with the mission. At the end you can quickly try and hoover up the loot, and I managed to get 2 BPs and 239 crystals before they vanished.

Here's a thought. Can you keep re-taking the mission but ignore the objectives and scavenge this loot over and over? Maybe but I haven't tried it. Warning! If it is possible, then it would probably be seen as an Exploit, in other words cheating in Splitscreen's eyes. So don't do it. There, that should be clear enough. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

'To Kalabesh'

Everything you need to know about this mission.
The preceding story mission was: 'Smuggler's Revenge'

The following story mission is: ‘Secondary Intel’

In orbit around Axiom, Jake Rattenbury comments that he's surprised that Major Ivanova survived the bomb you lured her over in 'Smuggler's Revenge'. He also has a mission for you on Kalabesh. Use F7 F8 (thanks Pbhuh) to get to the star map and make the short journey.

That's it. Travel to Kalabesh. For 20 crystals and whatever war score it gives you. Don't get too over-excited.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

From Storm to Tank

Jean II as designed by my Mrs
After a lot of grinding I now have a fully equipped and customised MST-FF2 to ride in, otherwise known as a Mizar Tank. Thanks again to those who voted in my poll on the class of ship for Mizar. I got my wife to choose the paint job, and like my old Vega tank I named it after my mom.

Piloting a Gemini ship on Baumar is like driving a moped on the motorway. You feel a mug and can just about stay with the traffic, but one mishap and you're smeared all over the tarmac.

Going from a Storm to a Tank takes a serious adjustment. You feel almost invulnerable at first, but it takes forever to blow anything up. Trying to take down a basic Baumar Harvester in an entry level Mizar Tank requires close control of your energy. Even at level 40 with an Energy cap of 4,875 it's a challenge. It only takes a couple of Marauders or Detonators to stick their noses in and by the time you're got rid of them your Energy's spent. The Aggrobomb's a laugh though. Wait for those Interceptors to come screaming in, park yourself under the Harvester and Kablooey!

The effect of the Repair Droid will take some getting used to as well. I know it's repairing just as much armour on the Tank as it would on a Storm but it only fixes about a third of the damage bar per use. No more saving it until you're below 50%, more like 25%.

Well that is one of the good things about this game. You can chose different ships and have to adapt your tactics to match. In my Solaria campaign, currently in Vega, I think I'll choose a Shock ship when the option arises. That's the only one I haven't piloted yet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

'Planet Search 2'

My new Mizar Tank.
Now I need to decide on the paint job.

The preceding story mission was: ‘Planet Search’

The following story mission is: ‘Help Fighters’

This is a strange one, virtually a copy of Planet Search. Natassia says that there are still areas of Baumar to be searched so you have to go back down and keep looking.

This was my first mission in my new Mizar Tank, so it was a lot easier to survive the attentions of the Mantis. I reached the first area simply enough, but this time the search was designated as completed almost as soon as I entered the zone. Then you are given the final area to search which you are warned is full of very dangerous Mantis. I can't argue with that as I was podded 10 seconds after I got there.

I decided not to resurrect but be rescued so that I could resume the mission with almost full energy. As in 'Planet Search' the mission did not have to be restarted. I went straight to the final area and searched most of it, and then Natassia said that it seems Vicius is not on Baumar. He could be on Molikar but the Baumarians say that every human ship that has landed there has been destroyed. Natassia promises to investigate.

I kept expecting something to happen, like an ambush, perhaps finding a mysterious pod or Vicius the Mutilator reading Noggin The Nog in a bubble bath. Nothing. Maybe the game designers intended to bluff the players and I fell for it. However I can't help wondering why they didn't just combine this and 'Planet Search' into one. This mission feels like padding. Dull.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

‘Smuggler’s Revenge’


The following story mission is: ‘To Kalabesh’

This is an interesting mission, different to the typical search/destroy/escort formats of most missions. By now you may be flying the AnIn-1450, but I stuck with my 1300 and completed this mission first time, though it would be easier in the 1450.

Jake Rattenbury wants to shock the Colonials by attacking Administration City (imaginative name). Major Ivanova messed up the smuggling run in ‘Escorting Bill’. By blowing her up Jake hopes to keep the Colonial Guard out of his business.

On the surface you need to meet with Jake in his coolly named ship The Anarchy. He has a bomb which you need to collect and deposit at the gates of the city. Being a big chicken Jake stays behind and leaves you to do the dirty work. Once you reach the marked spot with the bomb it is automatically deposited and activated.

Now you have to go and find Major Ivanova in her even cooler named ship Falcon’s Fist. She’s not far away and your task is to lure her to the bomb. Give her a few shots with the blaster and she’ll follow. If you Afterburn away then you may lose her, so just head straight for the bomb and use your Repair Droid or Shield if you have one.

Once Ivanova passes close to the bomb it goes off and wastes Falcon Fist. The Major survives and curses you for a coward from her pod. “What if the Mantis attack?” she says, “You wouldn’t take my place and defend the Colonies.” Jake Rattenbury gloats, and you feel like a rat.

So a different mission, but this is one where you may not enjoy the role you have to play. The Mantis are swarming about and here you are attacking the first line of defence to protect Jake, who’s obviously a bad guy. This story mission makes you aware of just how linear the storyline is in Pirate Galaxy (PG). The recent tutorials give you a choice over ships, but the story is still a straight jacket. Now PG has never claimed to be a Role Playing Game (RPG) so I won’t criticise them. However I think the game would be improved if you could make a choice in some missions about which side you want to be on.

For example in this story mission you could decide to stick with Jake and keep collecting the crystals. However what if you could decide not to plant the bomb, or warn Ivanova, or even attack Jake. At the end of the mission you would then be part of the Colonial Guard. There could then be a series of parallel missions where you fight against smugglers and Mantis raids. You could keep your own ship or be loaned a Colonial vessel. The trade off might be a better ship but less crystals as you just draw regular military pay.

After 4 or 5 missions then the Smuggler and Guard paths could converge as the Mantis attack and all differences are forgotten. Doing this would only require 4 or 5 extra story missions and increase the replayability of PG. After taking the Smuggler route you could create a new pilot on another server and try the path of the Guards. Similar paths could be set up in the other systems too, maybe tailored to suit different choices in ship.

All a suggestion to improve the game, not a criticism because as I said this is a good mission.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Random Fun Stuff - A Victory

There will be an update to Pirate Galaxy (PG) this Wednesday, April 6th 2011. The change logs used to be posted on the forum, but now only appear on the PG home page. The change that caught my eye is the first

Rare aliens are now spawned automatically by the system instead of having to be spawned manually.

Yes! Either we've just had one of those events where separate and unconnected people simultaneously have exactly the same idea, or someone with influence reads Cryonite Cove. Not convinced? Read my recent post More random fun stuff in Gemini please. Since Cryonite Cove once managed to get on PG's Facebook page, a Splitscreen bod must have seen it at least once. Either that or one of our regular readers has posted the idea on the forum in the suggestions thread. Pbhuh seems unable to stop posting on the forum and he's a regular commenter here so maybe he picked up the baton. The suggestions board is very long and I can't be bothered to search through it all.

By the way I owe Pbhuh a big thank you for re-raising the issue of Cryonite Cove's 'banned from the forum' status. The moderators have allowed this distinguished blog back into the fold. Thanks Pbhuh.

Anyway whether I had anything to do with it or not, Rare Mantis will be returning to the forgotten systems of Pirate Galaxy. Result.

There is other, bigger news too. Steel Legions is now in Open Beta testing. Open Beta was when I started to play PG and I haven't stopped since. I haven't played Steel Legions (SL) so I can't say if it's any good. I believe the afore mentioned Pbhuh is though, so if you're reading mate drop in a comment and let us know what you think.

All player accounts have been reset and this won't happen again, so now is the time to get in on the ground floor and make yourself a legend. Maybe you could be the V1-Hyper or Buccaneer Bill of Steel Legions.

It will be interesting to see what effect this will have on PG. Many of the PG players are likely to give SL a try so it will probably get a little quieter, and many may not come back. Perhaps some new SL players will come over to PG. Whatever happens growth and diversity is good so best of luck to Splitscreen.

I'm resisting Steel Legions for now because I know what I'm like. If it's any good I'll be there all the time and Cryonite Cove will either grind to a halt or have to change to include SL. I'm sure I'll crack and dip my toe in one day, but I've enough on my plate for now. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

‘Planet Search’

I couldn't think of an amusing or informative caption. Sorry.

The preceding story mission was: ‘Back to Mizar

The following story mission is: ‘Planet Search 2’

We’re back in orbit around Baumar and it’s time to properly engage the Mizar Mantis at last. Natassia tells you that Vicius must have found a way to mask the signature of Ethan Copernicus’s ship Freedom’s Force because they can’t track it anymore. It was last seen on Baumar so you have to fly down and search.

On the surface you are given a large area to search. It’s not far away but you do have to cover the whole space. You can’t just lurk on the edge and wait for a certain amount of time to pass, I know because I tried it. This is a bit difficult if you’ve already explored the area because the map is already revealed so it’s harder to keep track of where you’ve been.

I was still in my Gemini Storm and I found this difficult. I got podded 4 or 5 times by the Pyros, Marauders, Paralysers etc. Gemini ships are a bit fragile for Mizar Mantis weaponry and the Storm is probably the worst ship to avoid trouble in. A Gemini Tank or Shock might do it easier. Luckily getting fragged does not end this mission. That means that if you get podded you can return from the hangar and resume your search.

After completing a tour of the first area you get a second, then third area to search. After that Natassia seems to give up and calls you back. So the way to do this is stay out of trouble as much possible, if you get podded then return to Baumar and pick up where you left off. You  may lose a lot of cryonite but you will complete the mission and collect the 700 crystal reward. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

‘Tutorial: Find and Install Ion Shield’

Ooh that's new!

The preceding story mission was: ‘Tutorial: Buy New Spaceship’

The following story mission is: ‘Smuggler’s Revenge’

Now this is classed as a tutorial, but it’s really a tasty story mission. It only unlocks if you complete ‘Tutorial: Buy New Spaceship’ and you can complete the Vega storyline without touching it. However it introduces you to a new Mantis, the Marauder, and gets you a new piece of equipment to play with.

Jake Rattenbury explains that the empty ‘5’ slot in your Heads Up Display (HUD) is for a shield. Mantis Marauders use shields, and smugglers have spotted some on the surface of Axiom. You need to go and loot a Shield Blueprint (BP) to fully equip your new AnIn-1450. You can fly the 1450 without a shield installed, so if the rest of the equipment is up to snuff then you should fly it. It does have tougher armour than the 1400.

You know the drill by now, get to the surface and fly to the marked spot. Jake tells you to take on only one Marauder at a time which is good advice. The Marauders are level 9, and I completed this mission first time in my AnIn-1400 at level 8. However I’m an experienced pilot starting the game over again, so don’t feel bad if you find this mission tough. It’s good training for later missions, and things have been pretty easy up to now.

When you first approach the Marauders they are unlikely to have their shield up and you can usually get one or two shots in first. However very soon after engaging them you’ll hear a ‘thrummm’ sound, and the alien ship becomes encased in an oscillating bubble of energy. You’ll see that the damage bar of the shielded ship splits into two uneven columns. The thinner of the columns is the shield strength. When you blast a shielded ship the shield strength drops, just as ship armour does. Once the thinner column is depleted then the shield collapses and you can start to damage the ship itself. Shields can be re-raised but there is a cool down period, just as there is for all other equipment. They also only last for a set time, like your Afterburner or Repair Droid. You could try and avoid a Marauder until its shield deactivates, and then attack before it can be raised again. However I wouldn’t recommend it as you are bound to run into other Mantis and become outnumbered, plus it doesn’t take too long to knock the shield down and running soon becomes boring.

In my case the first Marauder I killed dropped a shield BP, maybe that happens every time but I don’t know. Once you have the right BP then you can Afterburn away and get into orbit. Next enter the hangar (don’t forget F7) and fit the shield as you would do other equipment. Jake then rants about how he’s going to make the Colonials fear him while you go back to orbit which completes the mission.

I don’t see how Splitscreen can call this mission a Tutorial. I talked about why they did this in 'Hostage Negotiation'. It's still an untidy solution. Splitscreen should explore and expand this non-linear approach to the storyline rather than have this sticking plaster solution.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lies, all lies

As it's April 1st I was trying to think of a good April Fool's post for today. However I decided against it.

For example if I was to say that pressing Ctrl + Alt + N would enable the nude Natassia mode then everyone would be trying it and complaining when it didn't work (at least I don't think it does, I've never tried it.)

I could also say that I'd discovered a fictitious cryonite hack. For example if you type 'Red Heads are Foxy!' into the main chat, drop rates double for one hour. Trouble is then the whole game would be full of people shouting the praises of the Ginger Gang, with arguments breaking out over whether it worked or not. (It doesn't, I made it up. So it's very unlikely to be true.)

I could confide that if you travel to the extreme top right corner of Commerce Central and activate your repair droid and afterburner simultaneously then it opens a wormhole to the bottom left corner. (I wish it did, but it doesn't. Probably.)

Maybe I announce that 'Operation Weakpoint' has a bug that allows it to be completed 100% successfully if you pilot an AnIn-1300. (It's a lie, it must be.)

I could also say that I have learned that the pilot known as xxxBigBen__@ is actually none other than Lady Gaga. (Ridiculous! I have no idea what her player name is.)

But if I was to do any of the above then I'd probably upset a lot of people and get into terrible trouble, so I won't. Instead I'll just post a concept design for a new Mantis boss for the Sirius system that was mistakenly posted on Facebook before it was quickly withdrawn. Looks good.

I'm joking, though I have copyrighted this just in case