Mars is the sims combat zone and as such you can find combat here around the clock 24/7. This means that you roleplay at your own risk and may be attacked by anyone at anytime for any roleplay reason. Aside from a few safe zones you do not need to give warning when you do so. These safe zones allow players to roleplay without the risk of enemy factions entering their home. This isnt 100% secure since the GM's may remove restrictions on safe zones when story applies. If you want to conduct operations within a safe zone you first need GM approval.
Where to start
Mars is a rural hostile environment and when landing you probably need a good reason. A ship may land anywhere other then a safe zone and there are plenty of open desert. Make sure you have a pressure suit and read the rest of this blog for more information.
The safe zones are the PROTUS outpost 15 in North Mars, Lyra station that hovers in the space area of north Mars and Dinetah, the D'naa home in south Mars. Any other location is open combat for any and all reasons.
If you are exploring or visiting that is fine and encouraged. Please do not enter locked areas they are rentals or roleplay locations. It is alright to explore provided you stay out of the way of people who live and play in the sim. Mars is not a sandbox for players to rez items, test weapons or horse around. While goofing off a bit is alright prolonged or repeated use of Mars for personal reasons will result in you being asked to leave. If you idle or go AFK in a locked rental or roleplay area you will be asked to leave, or ejected without notice. Please respect the roleplay, the roleplayers and the environment. They're plenty of locations for horsing around and sand boxes for you to build/test your items.
How to get in on the action
Mars itself is polarized between factions. VASC represents the corporate presence and players who work for corporations, either Earth based or Mars based may want to begin by contacting VASC IC to use their facilities to conduct business operations. Otherwise you might find yourself locked out and unable to utilize their facility.
The other main faction is the D'naa. Freedom fighters who are at war with the corporation and are located in South. This faction is rather exclusive and communication with this faction is limited due to language barrier and low tolerance for outsiders. Nomads are the only group capable of beginning relations with the D'naa and expect to be locked out immediately from open communication with this hostile faction.
Nomads are cousins to the D'naa but operate between the two main bodies on Mars. These players have no localized homes and wander the desert setting up camps and living from location to location. They know the hidden ore deposits as well as the pockets of oxygen located throughout the landscape. They are not openly hostile but are bent on trade and bartering.
Playing a random encounter
If you are just here for the combat aspect of the setting you may do so with a few points in mind. First you may not be a random encounter of any of the above mentioned factions. Your temporary character doesn't need a character sheet but needs to fall within the guidelines of Mars and the sim. Rogue drones, sentient AI's, Raiders, bounties, criminals, corporate spies, smugglers, or traffickers are all good examples of random encounters. Off sim factions such as SL paramilitaries or groups are not recognized on Mars. While Mars remains the combat area of the sim it is not part of the SL combat community and leaving your group at the door is a good way to ensure a lasting presence within the sim.
The Meter used
Mars uses the K10 combat meter which can be obtained at the welcome center or any of the safe zones from the K10 terminals for free. The meter has fall damage and only allows players to heal one another so take care when entering combat on Mars without backup. We also have environmental conditions such as oxygen etc for those using the RPA meter solely for these additions. We do however primarily use the K10 for all combat related engagements.
It enforces environmental effects such as gravity and oxygen. At this time you may notice that gravity on Mars is less than earths and running and jumping slowly degrades your stamina. Falling applies damage as well. The hud uses collision based damage and as such damage from weapons may vary so if you have any questions you may get your weapon tested by an admin. If you use a weapon that is overpowered you will most likely be asked to change it. Please keep this in mind when suiting up for combat.
Oxygen tanks can be gotten from o2 dispensers at the safe zones in the sims. Simple touch the dispenser to receive a 10 minute supply of oxygen. When worn outside simply touch the tank to turn on the oxygen supply and enter a breathable zone to refill the tank. Times may vary on how long to wait to refill the tank depending on how low the tank is. Additionally you may use the EV helmet which is free from the RPA store for an additional 10 minutes of oxygen. If you have a custom helmet just pull the scripts out and place it in your own, touch to utilize. Only use 1 tank or helmet at a time and as needed, if you do run out of air your stamina will slowly drain until you fall over unconscious. While health regen is enabled on sim without oxygen you wont be going anywhere and will need to wait for help or tp to a safe zone to start over.
Eating is also enabled on the sims and you can find food at either a rations crate which spawn randomly or from the food vendors located in the safe zones. To use simply touch the vendor (you must be close) and touch the food that appears, it will ask permission to attach to your avatar. Say yes, sit and eat. This takes about five minutes to be fully fed. If you want to know your current status touch the little man icon on your hud to receive your current condition.
The hud also features healing packs, repair tools, shields, weapons, ships and more. See the main RPA store for more options.
Only specific melee is works with the K10 at this time, while not all melee weapons will work some do, this will need to be tested by the user prior to combat to see if its a viable method of dealing damage.
Players on Mars are restricted from using jetpacks, gliders, movement enhances, player trackers, singularities, flame throwers, teleporters, cloaking, shields, laggy weapons or scripts exceeding 30. We offer in character certifications (limited use) to unlock some of these technologies but random encounters and beginners on Mars are not permitted to use them. All certifications including your current combat/military status all degrade and expire every quarter, so if you do not keep up on the action you will lose your status and certifications. Bare in mind that legacy status for Mars veterans are the exception to this rule.
The one tech rule
Players with the certification and or technology may opt to use a single technology only. for instance if you are using shields you may not use a jetpack, if you are using a jetpack you may not use cloak/camo. If you are using a vehicle you are not allowed to use shields and so on and so forth. Bare in mind there will be certain exclusions to this rule based on events or the situation however for now players may only utalize 1 tech. This also includes melee, if you have a melee weapon that works you may not use a jetpack etc.
Using the right technology
Jetpacks need to have limited fuel, weapons cannot have infinite ammo. Players cloaking or who have camo opted as their tech may remove their K10 titlers. Bare in mind if you have a certification for any tech you most likely know the most fair way to implement it in combat.
What about mini map and name tags?
Minimap, Radar, Viewer combat features, Alt Camming, combat huds, Name tags, wire frame mode, hit box, must remain off. While there is no way to truly enforce these conditions for combat it is a rule of thumb that if you can see a player and know their location other than direct line of site with their avatar that it is an unfair advantage. It is more rewarding and exciting combat experience to find an enemy, be surprised, ambushed or even just walking over a hiding enemy than to spot them via some other means. So much immersion and excitement is lost when you have to listen to where an enemy is or you know they may be hiding in a bush but cant see them. As usual there are exceptions to this rule concerning technology that can locate enemies however the general consensus is to hunt players using only what you can see visually, if you want to know what I mean try doing combat in ctrl-shift-F1 mode (no overlay).
Vehicles are allowed only if they are destroyable. Vehicles that cannot be destroyed are not permitted, any vehicle using the RPA system are fine and if your vehicle cannot be destroyed but is moddable we can provide scripts so that it may be destroyed. Military vehicles such as tanks and gunships are not permitted unless approved or faction based.
When you die or are defeated you must stop shooting, The hud prevents players from moving and at this time players cannot revive one another. While a player may heal a player who is injured they cannot revive them once defeated. Simply wait the allotted time and then you may be healed when you get up on your own. Admins have the ability to change combat settings from regenerating health to full death or simple can revive any fallen player at any time. These rules may change depending on the scenario in play. Combat scores are also recorded for future use and awarding players for their struggle on Mars.
Breaking and entering
Players are not allowed to enter safe zones without approval or without giving the faction a chance to respond. If you accidentally enter a faction headquarters you will be asked to leave. Please refrain from entering private rentals on mars. The one exception is Lyra station since the welcome center is located here.
Rentals on Mars are simply roleplay rentals only. If you want to rent in a faction location you must be part of that faction. Joining a faction is conducted in character and not through im's if you need help on how to go about doing this IM a GM for help. Once you are part of a faction you may rent an available rental. If you wish to rent on Mars and no rentals are available we may be able to construct one for you. If you wish to rent outside of the main factions and live in the desert we may also set up a unit for you. The only way to keep things rezzed in any of the sims are if you are a tenant and you stay within your allotted prim limit. Excess prims or parked vehicles will be removed.
The roleplay system used
Mars uses the Insilico roleplay system for its character sheets, progression, certification, credits, faction alignments etc. What it doesn't do as often is the city is roll dice. Rather then roll to see if you succeed or fail at combat, repairing, hacking, mining, driving etc you do all those hands on. We still use the system to its full extent and the system actually began on Mars but for reasons you will soon discover that its hard to roll dice when you are being shot in the face. As always ensure that you communicate with players which method of roleplay you are comfortable with. Just remain conscious that Mars is a combat area.
Concerning everything else.
What about pressure suits? The factions? The lore? The state of the planet? Well to answer those questions we have a full blog that goes in depth with all of that. Albeit a bit dated it still rings true for the lore and history of the red planet. This blog simply covers combat and rules of engagement.
See you there.
If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to contact any of the Game Masters either from the landing zone or the welcome center and we can help you get into the action. Insilico has a lot of different mechanics and gameplay that can be experience so feel free to explore. As always you are here to have fun and so are all of us. We strive to make this a unique, challenging and enjoyable experience for everyone. If you feel ready to get your hands dirty and pressure suit rust-stained head on down to Mars for some action.
One last note
The combat system is not perfect and remains a WIP. Mars was designed for low lag combat and also remains a WIP. We are striving for the most balanced and rewarding experience everyone can enjoy and will not cater to single players complaints. If the issue involves everyone we will look into it and are always open to constructive positive suggestions. If at any time you are creating issues for the INSILICO community you will be asked to leave, especially since Mars combat is come and go as you please. Bare in mind this is an evolving process and expect to be defeated repetitively until you get the experience needed to survive. It is not about who wins or loses but about having fun. With that in mind we look forward to seeing you on the red planet, suited up and ready for war.