Insightful, in-depth and entertaining features on Planetary Annihilation, real-time strategy and related subjects.

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Massive-scale massively-multiplayer real-time strategy has arrived

Planetary Annihilation is the best real-time strategy game yet, and by a huge margin. But the "critics" have failed the game because they lack the attention span to even play it, and the players have failed it because they lack the vision — and, unfortunately for most of them, even the capacity — to play it properly.
   cosmicwar.net is about to change all that.
   Our mission is to revive the PA scene and show the gaming world how PA should be played. I have already written the best in-depth analysis of the game that will ever be written (or at least the first of three parts [ > ]; look for the other two soon), in which I explain that PA is the future of real-time strategy precisely because the future of real-time strategy is in the massive-scale massively-multiplayer wars that only PA, so far, can deliver.
   Massive-scale, massively-multiplayer real-time strategy — what I have dubbed "MMO RTS" — is not a genre for the average gamer. It is a niche of a niche of a niche, and as such it is destined to be played and appreciated by an extemely small minority of gamers; by almost no one in fact. Strategy is already a niche genre that the vast majority of players are simply not genetically predisposed to enjoy. When you add real-time mechanics on top of that, you lose most strategy players, because the type of brainiac who enjoys strategy games tends to be the kind of bookish stay-at-home nerd who gets panic attacks when faced with time-sensitive high-stress high-pressure situations. What you are left with is a tiny group of people who love both deep strategic thought and making complex decisions under intense time pressure; but when you further demand that these people form in groups, and co-ordinate their actions with each other, you lose most of even them, because the kind of weirdo who has such rarefied tastes and cognitive capacities tends to be a social outcast, or at the very least socially awkward and uncomfortable in dealing with other people, let alone forming a highly integrated unit and hiearchy and perfoming well within it under high-pressure conditions. In the end, only a vanishingly small percentage of the gaming population is fit for the type of game that will dominate the future of real-time strategy: essentially, graduates of military academies, or the kind of person who would have perfomed well there if they had chosen that path of life, and who want to enjoy the experience of the grueling challenge of the activity in simulated form, together with their friends, on their computers, on weekends.
   Our goal is to find and gather together all these people, and host events for them that will push them and the game to their limits.
   To that end, Insomnia and cosmicwar.net will be hosting the following three types of exclusively clan-based events:

1. A regular weekly showdown called Clan Wars, in which all clans that show up get thrown into a unique system with as many players as they can muster, and fight it out in chaotic wars until there's only one clan standing or the server gives up and crashes, whichever comes first,

2. A Clan League pitting each clan against each other in smaller seasonal battles, as practice for the Clan Wars,

   and finally,

3. The titular Cosmic War, a clan-based metagame designed by me with help from the Insomnia and PA communities in which hundreds if not thousands of players fight it out for cosmic domination in a persistent universe of a scale never before seen in a strategy game.

   The first two events are already running, and you can catch up with them via the videos featured on our frontpage and YouTube channels [ > ], and our many discussion threads in the Cosmic War forum [ > ] and our massive thread in the official PA forum [ > ]. The third event is under development and will be launched as soon as all relevant parts are ready, meaning the ruleset and the mod that integrates it into the game in the form of a fully-fledged expansion.
   In sum, we will be pushing my vision for the future of PA and real-time strategy using all means and via all avenues available to us. We will host events, we will stream and cast these events, we will rent cutting-edge servers to run these events, we will recruit players into our clan and we will promote clan creation and clan growth, we will develop promotional materials such as event posters and trailers, and we will improve and expand the game via mods and brand-new game modes and features. And we will never stop doing these things until a better RTS than PA is released, at which point we will simply switch to that and carry on, because we love this shit, plain and simple.
   To join any of our events you must be a member of a clan which has signed up for them. Only the clan leader, or his appointed representative, can sign up a clan, so please do not contact us unless you have the authority to speak for an entire clan. If you do have that authority, post in the Cosmic War forum [ > ] or come to our Discord server [ > ] and message me directly, whichever you prefer, and we'll sign your clan up. If you are an unaffiliated player who wants to participate in our events please join a clan or start your own with the help of the clan section of the official PA forum [ > ], and good luck! Joining or starting a clan, and doing it successfully, are difficult endeavors, and you will need all the luck and help you can get to succeed in them. Come to our forum and Discord if you have trouble with any aspect of this, and we will give you solid advice you can use right away.
   One last question I will answer in this brief manifesto is "Why clans?" (even though the answer would be obvious to anyone, like my target audience, who has any decent grasp of strategy).
   The bottom line is that team strategy requires ACTUAL TEAMS in order to function properly, and teams of randoms aren't real teams, as anyone who has played against them (never mind with them, lol) in the PA MP lobby should be able to attest to. Proper co-ordination and advanced strategies and tactics are impossible with randoms, and it is precisely these advanced strategies and tactics that we want to promote with our events, so teams of randoms are out. Even when such teams are comprised of good players who know each other, they still do not know each other as well as clan players that have been playing exclusively between themselves for years, as has been proven time and again both in the MP lobby, and in team-oriented tournaments in PA and other games. On top of all that, random teams lack the continuity of team makeup that makes long-term events so interesting to watch, and to participate in. Who will you root for if the teams are entirely different every game? Who will you work with to improve, and with whom will you develop long-term rivalries when there are no real teams involved, as in the MP lobby and in random team events hosted by other organizers? It is simply impossible to develop rivalries — let alone an actual viewership and fan base — when every person in the tournament has played in the same team with every other person at some point in time, and usually all the time. These people get bored of the game and end up quitting it because they are playing it in a boring manner. You might have heard the pacifists saying that they would introduce every person in the world to every other, if they could, in an effort to end warfare, and they are right! Friendship kills rivalry, which kills long-term interest in war, or in a game that aims to simulate it. That's why The Cult maintains a policy of strict exclusion for non-members. You CANNOT play in our team if you are not a member of our team, and we sure as heck do not want to play in yours! You are either with us or against us, and there is no half-way state in which you sometimes play with us, and sometimes against us. This is what war means! We don't want to learn from your tactics. We don't want you to teach us, and we sure as heck do not want to teach you anything. We just want to FIGHT you, and may the best team win, get it?
   We hope that enough people will get it, and join us for our events so that we can keep running them and participating in them until the end of time, or PA2, amen.
   So that's all I had to say to start with, and now I am going back to working hard with my friends and collaborators to bring you and, above all, to ourselves, the most massive, deepest and most chaotic real-time strategy events ever.

See you on the battlefield,


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