# HEROES OF ZANDIA with Jeff Maginniss

MMO Masters

10/1/2015

SIGINT COLLECTION - TOP SECRET - INTELLIGENCE REPORT

SIGINT REPORT
FROM: Commander Jeff MAGINNISS
To: UNKNOWN SOURCE
CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET
OPERATOR: C/S ECHO

SUMMARY: COMMANDERS, THIS SIGINT COLLECTION REPORT HAS BEEN SECURED RECENTLY VIA SYNDICATE COMMCEN COLLECTION METHODS. C/S MAGINNISS IS DISCUSSING OPERATIONAL THEORY WITH AN UNKNOWN SOURCE PROVIDING THE QUESTIONS.

ASSESSMENT: ZERO-ALPHA RECOMMENDS ALL ZANDIAN COMMANDERS READ THIS REPORT AS THE INTEL IS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER. SOURCE IS DEEMED RELIABLE. ENJOY!

ECHO OUT
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## TRANSCRIPT

Q: I know that you have strong analytical and mathematical skills that help you create useful tools for other players in the game.  There must be some kind of background to back this up, right?

A: While I always did well in math in school, I’m more into writing than math.
In many of the MMO, RTS and Turn-Based Strategy games I’ve played, such as Blizzard’s StarCraft or World of WarCraft, I’ve been really into the theory-craft aspect of it.  Theory-crafting is a mathematical analysis of a game’s rules and mechanics to come up with the best strategies and tactics to maximize both a player’s potential and effectiveness.
Early on in Soldiers Inc, I had some questions about how the battle calculations were done after being handed my own butt a few times.  I looked for help online, and in the community page on Facebook but I discovered that most of the others were just as much in the fog as I was.  “Just send everything you have and hope for the best,” didn’t seem to sit well with me.  There had to be a better way.

The first thing I wanted to do was create a way to maximize my efforts in the units I built: which was worth my time with the resource budget I had?  How many can I crank out a day?  The info was all there for me, I just had to put it together in a way that let me quickly total my units in a way to best serve my purpose.

Since no one else had any tools out there, I thought I would share my creations with the community who were very supportive of my effort and I continue to develop them so more people can enjoy the game without being frustrated and leaving.  You can’t have a massive multiplayer game without people, after all.

Q: what new features do you think would be necessary in the game in the future?

A: I think a way to recon an incoming raid would be a nice touch.  A buildable early-warning system for Mining Complexes would be wonderful.  An asset as valuable as a Mining Complex should not be allowed to be blind-sided without some kind of warning, at minimum notifying the command when an attack launched against it is 30 minutes out.

Defensive units are in need some refining, either in the way of stronger stats or reduced ration requirements.  Someone from the community challenged me the other day to find a defensive force that would win a battle against 1000 incoming Thunderheads, and I found a realistic solution.  But when we looked at the ration rate, the defense was nearly 350% higher to sustain it than the offense, which then forces the player to reach a “why bother” conclusion.  It’s not a war game if it becomes a game of ‘hide-in-the-bunker;’ defense needs an incentive or means to adequately and realistically support a force large enough to repel sledge hammer attacks.

Mining Complex passive defensive bonus by level needs to be much higher, starting at 25% and increasing in steps of 5. Defense should be a very tough nut to crack open, especially an entrenched one comprised of 100 combine members.

Attackers should need many waves and of specific amounts (with recon and analysis). In the real world, garrisoned defenders mostly have the upper hand with territory familiarity and a tactical advantage of being dug in.  The onus should be on the attackers to solve the defense, not the other way around, especially if they cannot discern what units are even incoming.

The ability for coalitions to be formed by CEO’s linking their combines together in a Coalition tab inside the Joint Ops Center. Combines should be able to link together to create in-game networks of friends and alliances. Currently there is no way to do this except with 3rd party chat tools and forums, etc. Linked Combines would show as green territory on the Combine map.

A Combine marked as Enemy by the CEO should have its territory appear in red on the Combine map.
The ability to create and rename Combine internal ranks, as well as the ability to choose just how much Cash allowance each rank gets. Currently it’s a free-for-all /honor system when the Cash privileges are enabled allowing for abuse and infighting over who earned what.

Q: So, I noticed you have been zooming in to 500% to conduct your own map reconnaissance recently!

Absolutely. I admire the tedious and detailed amounts of effort and work that go into designing games. It’s the little things that make a huge difference.  For example, the urban decay that surrounds the base may seem to be clutter to someone, as it is non-interactive and non-functional, but if it were missing the game would be very bland. I had seen the tracer fire, the animated scripts that have helicopters flying by and a Mauler driving down one of the streets… it all helps in completing the sweep to immerse the player in the game.  I found the guys hanging out the window particularly interesting. I would have just thought it was just tracers drawn into the animation. But instead, it’s an actual soldier ducking and moving around in there. Your artists have done an incredible, detailed job.

Q: What are your top 3 tips for newbies?

If I had to start all over again I would begin by investing my time going straight for the Air Traffic Control contract first, even before doing any major raiding or attacks.  I would trade every single contract referral I had until it was done, then begin to upgrade it when possible. The same would be true about the drill instructors, I would make a line right for Ration Consumption and get that to 80/80 because it’s free, and mitigates the need to rely on rations to support your army. Consider boosting the ration production with your reward diamonds when you can, you’ll need the rations to get the ATC up to speed.

Second, I would get myself into the community and into a combine, where I could focus my efforts on things like building defense, and helping a team, in exchange for protection, access to faster trades and contract exchanges with similar players. Friend at least 50 people so you have lots of Mercenaries.

Third, I would save my air, armor and heavy unit rewards in my bunker until I was ready to fight. I’d suggest taking the time to learn how the Search & Destroy missions work, and how to counter the ZHG. Build as many Sappers and Riflemen as you could manager and try to do as many ZHG missions with, each time saving your armor or air rewards for now.  Do not use your diamonds to revive what you can make already.

Q: What are your top 3 tips for the seniors over level 50 out there?

1.    For the veteran players, I would suggest you get into the habit of making yourself the smallest target you can without compromising your combine or game play.  What this mean is:
Don’t make waves
Don’t poke the bear
Don’t try to take over and occupy 100 bases
Don’t raid combine members who are ranked above 100
Don’t try to scam someone, and
Don’t use insults

2.    Second, learn to use a little diplomacy and respect.  There will always be a time for war should words fail, but most battles can be resolved before they begin by trying to be diplomatic.  Slinging insults and throwing a tantrum because you didn’t put a defense out and the enemy got a recon mission on you won’t help the situation.

3.    Lastly, there are 5 essentials for victory for CEO’s and Combine officers out there:
Know when to fight and when not to
Know how to handle both superior and inferior forces
Understand that morale and spirit must be present in all ranks, not just the top
If words of command are not clear and distinct, and the orders are not completely understood, the CEO is to blame.  But if the orders are clear and the soldiers still disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.

I’d like to say thank you to Plarium for designing a great community game with wonderful artwork, interesting concepts and game potential, as well as the community administrators keeping the Facebook pages afloat.  It’s not as easy as it looks!  The Soldiers Inc community is awesome, full of great players and great friends.  Keep up the great work, and I hope to see some fun, new features in the future!

Join Jeff To play Soldiers Inc. NOW!

END TRANSCRIPT
SIGINT COLLECTION - TOP SECRET - INTELLIGENCE REPORT
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