Trending Games | World of Warcraft | Overwatch | The Division 2 | Albion Online

    Facebook Twitter YouTube YouTube.Gaming Discord
Quick Game Jump
Members:3,840,276 Users Online:0

Show Blog

Link to this blogs RSS feed

Global Agenda Developers Blog

Just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, exquisitely talented developers have been working to create a unique and immersive MMO experience. Global Agenda is a 'Spy-Fi' Action MMO set in a dynamic world of advanced technology and player-driven conflict

Author: HiRezStudios

Global Agenda Roadmap

Posted by HiRezStudios Friday March 5 2010 at 4:40PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

Global Agenda Roadmap
Todd Harris, Executive Producer

We've certainly stayed busy since the release of Global Agenda on February 1!

We are very pleased with the game's growth so far - most of it coming via positive word of mouth from the community. And we've been sending out surveys to understand what the community enjoys most and wants more of. Of course each player is different but, based on fairly consistent survey feedback, the majority opinion seems to be:

1. the core GA PvP and PvE combat is very different from the average MMO, but super fun. The main ask is simply for more content

2. AvA (Agency vs. Agency) can be compelling for larger alliances; but meta-game changes would help make AvA more accessible for smaller agencies and/or players with less time to commit. More AvA content would be appreciated as well.

So, we've been hard at work delivering Updates that address this player feedback:
- Update #1 is already in production;
- Update #2 goes to the Public Test Server next week!
- and Update #3 is currently in development and internal testing.

Yes we've been busy. Plus we plan to deploy all three updates before we ask any player to subscribe. In fact, rather than focus on new game projects right now, our entire Dev Studio is focused on continuing to update and enhance Global Agenda.

Here is our roadmap:

Patch 1.1 (Already Live on Production Server) - Deliver features most requested by the community

  • Allow players to choose mission types within the PvP Q
  • Friends List/Ignore List
  • Enhanced Crafting/Blueprints - new rare and epic blueprints available; all blueprints renamed to be more descriptive
  • Craftable Repair Kits (to repair player Upgrades which have durability)
  • 2 additional AvA zones opened up
  • Additional AvA maps in rotation
  • Enhanced Agency Management screens, Combat Log, and Alliance Reporting

Patch 1.2 (Going To Public Test Server NEXT week - Add features and accessibility to AvA.  New AvA and PvP content.  

  • 4v4 premade queue - For those wanting a more intimate, tactical PvP experience... We are introducing 4v4 gameplay with these 2 new maps. Pre-made PvP teams can enjoy something different while continuing to earn xp and credits. In the future we will look into a ranked Arena system for this content but this patch allows pre-made teams to try out the new 4v4 maps and level-up doing so.


  • AvA Theft Missions - pirate resources from enemy territories
  • AvA Defensive Facilities - a new strategic feature on the AvA map. Defense Facilities allow you to SHIELD any two adjacent territories. A smaller agency can hold 3 territories by building a Defense facility and holding it with a single Strike Force.

  • New game-types and maps introduced into AvA - including the 'Facility Under Construction' location

  • Other AvA Enhancements (lockdown timers, territory tax changes, bidding changes, territory trading) designed to support smaller Agencies and enhance overall AvA play.
  • Cleanups and fixes to current PvE mission content
  • Many more details available on the Global Agenda website/blog site.

Patch 1.3 (Currently In Development) - Introduce Mission Based Open Zones - PvE and PvP!  Plus contined AvA enhancements

  • We know Dome City can feel claustrophobic at times. With the introduction of Open Zones you will be able to finally step outside into the Desert as a solo player or in teams as large as 10 people
  • While in the Open Zone you will see and interact with other teams; each team pursuing an assigned mission goal within that same, very large environment area.
  • Our first themed Open Zone is set in the Sonoran Desert. You will interact with the brutish Desert Dweller element of the Commonwealth; and encounter robotic enemies manufactured by the nearby Recursive Colony.
  • Will LARGE outdoor environments and the presence of many, many different players and teams finally end the 'is Global Agenda an MMO' debate??? Only time will tell. For our part we remain  focused on maintaining the FUN. That is - keep what players enjoy about GA's class-based, action combat, but introduce alternative mission content within these more open, outdoor environments.
  • This 1.3 Patch will include both a safe PvE zone and an entirely different PvP oriented zone. Both areas will support a larger number of players than our current mission environments.

That is our near-term plan!

Hope to see you in game and until the next Dev Blog...

- Todd

The Cure for Life

Posted by HiRezStudios Tuesday December 8 2009 at 12:18PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

Global Agenda Fiction © 2009, Hi-Rez Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved
GLOBAL AGENDA and HI-REZ STUDIOS are trademarks of Hi-Rez Studios, Inc.

At first I thought it was another one of those parades they stage from time to time, where common citizens shuffle through our facility to examine the condition of the prisoners. It had something to do with maintaining civil rights, someone once said. The easiest way to tell was when the shackles were taken off, as if anyone herded past our cells wasn’t going to see the raw skin of our wrists and piece together what had really been going on all that time. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up in a place where the government is everywhere and everything; you start to trust it more than your own eyes.

Anyway, it was just like that the day the patrol android stepped into my cell and prompted me to raise my arms to have the restraints removed. Closing my eyes almost reflexively, I waited for the requisite blast of disinfectant-laced water to fire down out of the ceiling; there was always a ‘bath’ before citizens came through. After a few quiet moments, I looked up to see the robot gone, but the door remained open, letting in more light than my cell had seen since the day I was thrown in there. The pit of my stomach deepened as I rose to my feet, almost as if I was unaware of what I was doing; while my mind processed the situation, my body was already doing what it thought was necessary.

Just as my first step into the hallway resounded with a ceramic smack of bare feet on tile, a deep voice erupted from my left, while the heavy click of a HM-22 Warrior assault rifle, loaded with the expanded 7.62mm ultra clip, made its unmistakable presence known to my right. It had been two years since I heard one, but the recognition never fades. I found myself the victim of a sudden and distracting headache.

“One more step forward and you’re dead,” the voice began, freezing me in place instantly, “and if you’re not ready to make a deal, just take one step backwards and we’ll shut the door and forget about the whole thing.”

Again, my body responded before my brain, “I’m ready.” Somewhere between those words, my body had decided to soak my palms with sweat as well.

Without turning my head, I could hear the man’s footsteps as he walked into my field of vision. I immediately noticed: No fatigues. No brass. No steel. It was just a middle-aged man, a bit on the heavy side, with a military-issue mustache and retinal replacements; the RR’s shimmered slightly when the light caught his eyes at certain angles. His plain clothes were so new that they still had fold marks in many places. In the reflection of the shiny civilian guest pass pinned to his unremarkable lapel, I caught a glimpse of Commonwealth heavy combat body armor and blast helmet behind me. “Who are-“ I began, but he cut me off abruptly.

“CPSD 39 Finster.” The bluntness of his answer convinced me that he really was who he claimed to be, second in command of the Commonwealth Prime Security Department and one of the highest ranking officials in the government. “Any more questions?”

“I think that’s all I need to know about you.” Relaxing a bit, I slid my hands into the pockets of my jumpsuit and attempted some veiled passive aggressiveness. “Let’s hear about this deal already.” My casual conversation must have set him off.

“Remain imprisoned until your inevitable execution for crimes against the state,” he began nonchalantly, smiling as my posture stiffened noticeably, “or volunteer for duty in our experimental technology department.” He reached up to adjust something on his shirt that apparently wasn’t there, because his hand returned to his side without actually doing anything. It was probably something on his regular uniform that bothered him from time to time.

“That’s not much of a choice now, is it?” It was difficult to conceal my excitement at getting out of that hellhole, no matter where I ended up.

“That’s my favorite kind of deal, Inmate 7 Vanik.” He nodded over my shoulder to his companion, who lowered his weapon and took a step back from us. “They’ll come for you in the morning. Try not to make any noise as you leave though; I’d rather the other prisoners not get any ideas about you getting pardoned.”

I turned back into my cell just as the two men marched off, but Finster called out from a few soundproof cell doors down the hallway, “By the way, this special assignment requires the standard automatic termination implant.” No amount of flowery terminology could make those things sound any more innocuous or humane; it was a radio-activated capsule buried between the lobes of your brain that could, from anywhere in the world, be activated to release a neuro-toxin. It was instantaneous death at the press of a button. As if it wasn’t enough to have that looming over you, there were numerous accounts of accidental deaths involved with ATI devices.

Leaning back out of the cell, I responded, “Well, that changes the terms of the deal. What if I reconsider?”

Finster and his guard stopped at the main security door of the wing; he didn’t even turn to reply. With a cheerful tone, his voice echoed down the corridor, “It was installed during your last sleep cycle. See you in the morning.”

The beeping of my cell door before it slammed shut, allowing me just enough time to get my head back inside, ended our conversation. The lights went out and everything was silent again, leaving me with a lot on my mind.

* * *

The highlight of my morning was watching how uncomfortable the requisitions officer was when Finster ordered him to provide me with a weapon and ammunition. It was just a simple ballistic pistol, but you’d think it was his first born the way he clutched it and looked me right in the eye. Finster beamed his usual smile as I slid the clip into place and inspected the sidearm, and I couldn’t help but join him as we both nodded with approval at the officer, who couldn’t muster anything beyond an ice cold stare in my direction as a response.

“I take it this sort of situation is a rarity around here,” I began as we stepped out the door and into the hallway, where two guards immediately took up positions beside me. I tucked the pistol into a holster at the small of my back and slid my hands back into my pockets.

CPSD 39 Finster tilted his head and shrugged, “Not really, I suppose.” He glanced at the two soldiers as we began walking down the sunlit corridor, with massive plate glass windows offering a scenic view of immaculately tended square grass planters, which was an impressive feat for a one hundred and seventeenth level atrium platform, a setting I made a conscious effort not to take for granted after my years of quiet, dark incarceration.

When it became obvious that he wasn’t going to perpetuate any kind of conversation, no matter how trite, I interjected, “Is that all I get for this mission, a gun?” True to their conditioning, I could feel both of the guards tighten up when I mentioned the word gun.

“If you’re smart, it’s all you’ll need, Inmate 7 Vanik.” Finster wasn’t looking at me or the scenery outside.

At the risk of causing him to second guess my eagerness to work with the Commonwealth for even a temporary freedom, I corrected him. “Vanik. My name is George Vanik.”

The Assistant Director smiled condescendingly and nodded as if to say ‘how quaint.’ I knew not to press the issue with him and continued walking obediently. As the hallway came to an end, he pointed at the elevator doors, prompting one of the guards to reach out and place a bare hand on the reader. A polite, feminine voice floated in from somewhere above us.

“Authorization for ground level approved. Inmate 7 Vanik detected; threat level unknown. Assistant CPSD 39 Finster detected. Are you in danger?”

“No.” He sounded impatient for some reason. I wondered if he had to put up that sort of thing at every door he walked through.

“Elevator enabled for ground level. Have a nice day, CPSD 39 Finster.” The first female voice I’ve heard in two years was abruptly cut off by the rush of air emerging from the elevator as it opened. In the cramped space, all I could smell was the gun oil of the assault rifles on either side of me. Once we were cut off from the echoing hallway, he turned to me and raised his eyebrows expectantly. It was apparently time for my mission briefing.

“Who’s the target,” I began casually, trying to establish the overall goal before digging into the details of the numerous other questions I had prepared.


* * *

“I… don’t understand.” As I stared at Finster, he crossed his arms and leaned back against the wall of the elevator.

“Luckily, that’s not a requirement of the mission.” He smiled and glanced down at his watch. “We’ll be at the ground floor in four minutes. After that, you’ll have about thirty seconds to leave the facility and try to hide somewhere in the city.” He wasn’t sweating, fidgeting, or even breathing heavily.

Casting a sidelong glance at both guards, who appeared to be completely unshaken by the topic of the conversation, I rubbed the back of my neck. “So you’re a clone, then?” It wasn’t uncommon for high ranking government officials to keep clones in stasis for testing allergens, harvesting spare organs, or complete reconstitution after the death of the original body. I guessed it was an inevitability that eventually they would be used to fake deaths. “You get to blame it on some resistance faction, then conjure up a new identity on paper and plastic surgery.”

“Close, but backwards.”

Frowning, I moved on, “What guarantee do I have that my implant won’t be immediately activated? Once they find out I was involved, the central office will just press the button.”

“Your implant is controlled by an unauthorized unit,” he reached into his pocket and pulled out a slim remote detonator like a normal person would casually produce a lighter or some change. “Unfortunately, there are few places in the world with advanced enough medical equipment to safely remove an ATI, but I imagine holding the trigger yourself will let you sleep better at night. Once I’m dead, it’s yours.”

My eyes fixed on the detonator in his hand, I was nonetheless aware that almost two of my four minutes had passed. “And these two?” I waved my hand towards the soldiers.

“They have been… briefed on their responsibilities.” As if he was waiting for me to ask before putting on his show, he turned to the guards and muttered an odd phrase, “A friend of mine is out of time.”

Snapping to attention, they replied in unison, “The time has come for me to dine.” They stood rigid and frozen, unnaturally so.

Finster took a deep breath and then finished the rhyme, “I dine only with friends of mine.” No sooner had the last syllable left his lips than the guards abruptly raised their rifles, took aim, and shot each other simultaneously. They didn’t even grunt in pain as one slumped against the wall and the other pitched forward onto the floor. Once they had expired, Finster caught my astonished gaze and quipped, “I can’t imagine what command was like before behavior modification, can you?” He nudged the body on the floor before continuing, “Loyalty and patriotism are fickle, but conditioning is always reliable.”

I couldn’t help but stare at the bodies for a few moments. “They’re going to blame that on me too, aren’t they?”

“Without a doubt. You have one minute, Inmate 7 Vanik.”

The pistol felt much heavier than when I had examined it upstairs. Finster looked flatly at me and tapped his forehead with his finger. Forty-five seconds. I remembered the layout of the massive building’s lobby from the day I was brought in two years before. It was just as oppressive and needlessly large as all the other buildings in Commonwealth Prime. The elevator doors were fifty meters from the street exit. There was a reception desk, a guard station, and a security aisle with metal, pathogen, and explosive detectors. Thirty seconds. The doors could be immediately secured from the inside and out at the push of a button. Patrol vehicles went past the front of the building at five minute intervals. Fifteen seconds. Cameras covered both the elevator and main doors. Four guards, one receptionist, one security officer. Eight shots in the clip. Ten seconds. The elevator doors open and close in two seconds each way. The main entrance doors swing out towards the street. Five seconds.

The shot went cleanly through Finster’s head and he fell atop the other guards on the ground just as the doors to the main lobby opened. Luckily, nobody was standing there waiting for the elevator to arrive, giving me a few extra seconds I wasn’t sure I was going to have. Kneeling and reaching out only up to my shoulder, exposing nothing else to the hallway view of the camera, I aimed diagonally and shattered it with my second bullet. The ATI detonator was right where Finster left it in his shirt pocket.

Before the guards in the area could respond, I had sprinted from the lift and began shooting. One guard in the chest. Another guard in the head. The camera over the reception desk. Sliding up behind one of the massive columns that supported the one hundred and fifty stories above us, I avoided a few scattered shots of return fire from the remaining two guards. Leaning out, I carefully lined up and fired off a round straight into the plastic arch that detected pathogens near the building’s entrance. More gunshots chipped away at the column.

Ducking out on the opposite side, I caught the third guard in the neck, spinning him wildly back over the desk behind him. When the last soldier peeked up from behind the counter, I was halfway there, my weapon raised and waiting just for him to do so. His helmet shattered under the impact of the bullet right before I dove over behind the counter. Rolling and coming up running, I raced through down security aisle.

By that time, I could hear the screams and shouts of more people approaching from within the building. Heavy footsteps echoed down the two main hallways leading to the lobby, but I was at the door by that time, shouldering it open and dashing out into the crowded street. Between the rushing wind, drone of people talking, and the hum of traffic racing by above, nobody had heard the gunfight inside the government building.

I took a moment to judge the distance, then threw the gun sidelong across the street, where it skipped twice before clattering down into a sewer chute in the curb at the other side. I was certain that a camera somewhere had caught the maneuver, but at least it would buy me a few hours before anyone found the weapon, giving me time to vanish into the crowded city before the CPSD could distribute my genetic identity. Even then, their review of my escape would not reveal the ATI device in my head, for they always registered as pathogens on scanners.

Despite all the surveillance and regulations, it was easier to blend into the choking overpopulation of the world’s largest city than one would imagine. I didn’t know if they were still alive or in business, but there were people in the embassy district that could help me get a new face, fresh papers, and a ride out of Commonwealth Prime.



The Utopian

Posted by HiRezStudios Monday November 23 2009 at 7:02AM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

This is the first in a fictional series providing a closer look into Commonwealth Prime, Earth's greatest city of the 22nd century, and the lore of the world of Global Agenda. 


Global Agenda Fiction © 2009, Hi-Rez Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved

GLOBAL AGENDA and HI-REZ STUDIOS are trademarks of Hi-Rez Studios, Inc.


The Utopian

Steven made a conscious effort to awaken several minutes before his alarm sounded every morning, creeping out of bed as quietly as he could to peer out the window at the street a few stories below. The immaculately cleaned road had never suffered an automobile on its surface, as most of the traffic in Commonwealth Prime was airborne, clogging the skies above the incredible city in a perpetual jam of personal vehicles, public transportation, and security patrols. Ground level was reserved for pedestrians, with narrow walkways punctuated by neatly trimmed gardens and every imaginable shape of abstract sculpture. Thick nationalist banners hung from so high up on each towering skyscraper that the morning haze would obstruct their origins, making it appear that they hung from the clouds themselves, unfurling to broadcast their message of loyalty and pride. Steven wasn’t interested in any of that, not the cleanliness and beauty of the metropolis, or the eerie complacency and ruthless efficiency of each passersby. All he cared to see was the single hovering garbage collection drone that would visit the intersection just below his window every morning, a few minutes before his assigned duties began.

Crouching next to the window, the seventeen-year-old gently touched its interior surface, which caused the opaque shade to slowly give way to a transparent view of the street below. There were very few people out that early in the morning, mainly those assigned to an exercise route or maintenance androids. Always wary that someone might look up to his level and see him watching, Steven wondered if anyone would know or care that he was up before his assigned time. On one hand, most citizens of the Commonwealth were entirely self-absorbed, caring only for their prescribed duties, but on the other hand, the draconian guidelines that kept the city functioning required the immediate reporting of anything out of order. Not about to take any chances for his singular guilty pleasure, Steven exposed only enough of his face so that he could clearly see the street corner.

Right on cue, as though it needed him to be watching in order to occur, the hovering trash collection vehicle rumbled into view a few stories above, coming around the corner between buildings suspended on four massive fans that labored to keep it afloat. It was one of the older model vehicles still active in the city, not really vital to transportation or defense, and therefore low on a perpetually growing list of assets to be updated or replaced. The cranky old barge got the job done, and as long as that’s what the paperwork supporting it said back at a main office somewhere in the city, the entranced official that shuffled those papers around would remain content. One would have to look very closely anywhere else in Commonwealth Prime to see rust streaks, loose panels, and rattling motors, but Steven delighted in watching something continue to function with all of those afflictions on a daily basis. He pressed his nose to the glass so as not to miss a second of the performance.

The truck wobbled over the street about five meters high, then turned slowly as it neared the intersection, overcompensating for a clanking rotor and finally reaching an angle that would allow it to land without crushing any of the identical trees. Settling onto the concrete as gently as it could, Steven could feel the dull thumping of the landing gear through the window, which brought a smile to his face for a reason he couldn’t quite explain. The joggers and laboring robots moving about in the pre-dawn light simply altered their paths to go around the vehicle as though it had always been there, or perhaps as though they had already determined where they needed to go just in case anything happened to land right there. When its weight had settled, the engines powered down and, for a brief moment, serenity returned to the intersection.

Leaning forward onto the balls of his feet, Steven pushed up the sleeves of his grey sleep suit, eagerly anticipating what he knew would happen next: The side door of the blocky craft opened slowly on creaking hinges, allowing a crude humanoid robot to step out awkwardly. It was a much older model than the ones a citizen could see every day staffing a food station or supply depot, made from opaque and weathered components instead of the slightly translucent and illuminated materials used in the androids that were designed to be more appealing to the eye. Its joints weren’t at all concealed like the newer models, but its face was an emotionless mask of rigid plates and eerily glowing yellow eyes that in no way responded to prompts from nearby humans or other automatons.

No sooner had its feet hit the ground than the robot moved quickly around the garbage truck towards the intersection’s single disposal bin, which hadn’t once been completely filled in all of the years that Steven had lived in the youth crèche on the third floor there. Perhaps it was the close proximity to one of the industrial sectors of the city or more the result of the lack of any real garbage to fill the receptacle, but it always surprised him that such a superfluous task had been religiously completed every single day for as long as anyone he knew could remember. However, that wasn’t why Steven watched every day. It wasn’t the execution, the process, or the result of garbage collection that fascinated him. It was a specific moment during the ordeal, right when the robot approached the refuse bin to pick it up, when it had to make a short ascent over the curb, which stood at a height of no more than ten or fifteen centimeters.

The robot neared the curb and raised a foot to step up over it, but caught itself by the toe and stumbled. It prevented itself from falling by reaching out and grabbing the side of the hover truck, looking down to reevaluate what it needed to do to circumvent the obstacle. Panning slowly to ether side of the step, it locked onto a shallow ramp that provided easier access for rolling conveyances just a few meters to the right. Turning and moving in that direction, the robot went about twenty seconds out of its way to use the ramp instead of simply raising its foot a few centimeters higher to overcome the curb. Steven smiled so widely from his window that he honestly thought someone might catch the glare off of his teeth and report him for being out of bed before his designated hour. It was worth it every morning, though, for it always happened the exact same way. The obsolete garbage truck and the idiot robot always made him feel better somehow, gave him the strength and patience to face each day in the monotonous and unchanging city of Commonwealth Prime.

* * *
Later that day, otherwise just as unremarkable as every other day Steven had experienced growing up in the city, something different happened. Sitting there in the educational pod, it wasn’t altogether uncommon for the instructor to pass by behind a student and pause for a moment to observe what he or she was doing on the secondary monitor. Steven was one of the brighter students in his echelon, so he rarely suffered the personal attention of the professor, but that day it seemed like CED 14 Brighton was paying an inordinate amount of attention to all of the students, not just the ones struggling with the lesson.

As he traced out geometric patterns with an acute stylus, according to the computer’s requests for mimicry of displayed shapes, Steven glanced over his shoulder a few times to see not only Brighton but an assistant he had never seen before moving anxiously behind each pod, exchanging glances every now and then. The assistant was a shorter man with a well-kept Commonwealth Educational Division jumpsuit, somewhat different from the broken in old outfit that the professor wore. The data pad tucked under his arm was receiving dictation from the head-mounted microphone perched just before his mouth, recording his every word, which apparently had something to do with the female student they were both observing.

Steven knew her as Citizen 3 Valmont, a redheaded girl probably six months younger than he. She had been in a few of his classes, but he hadn’t taken much notice of her; sexual education wasn’t scheduled for his age group for another five semesters. The two instructors hovering over her pod seemed to be much more interested, whispering to each other as they intently watched her toil at the same lesson he had nearly completed. Frowning as he turned back to put the finishing touches on his pattern, Steven felt a tinge of jealousy; why would they be so impressed by her work if he was already done? He double-checked his project to ensure that he had exactly copied the image, growing even more frustrated when he found no errors.

“CED Fourteen Brighton,” he blurted, turning halfway in his chair and raising his hand. When both instructor and assistant had looked over in his direction, he continued, “I’ve completed the lesson.” The two older men exchanged glances briefly, then walked over to Steven’s pod together, standing on opposite sides of him.

Brighton spoke first in a hushed voice, “Citizen Four Lesuvo, you were told to complete the exercise and then wait for the rest of the class quietly.” When Steven looked over at the assistant, he added, “This is CED Twelve Markov. He is observing our class today.” Markov nodded after his introduction, then brought his data pad out and began tapping on it.
“Apologies, CED Fourteen Brighton,” Steven whispered, “but I seem to finish all of my lessons before everyone else.”

Markov stopped tapping and peered over the top edge of his pad at Brighton, who stiffened noticeably before responding. “It is highly irregular, Citizen.” He scratched the back of his neck and repeated, “highly irregular.”

Sensing his colleague’s uneasiness, Markov interjected, “Steven, do you enjoy your lessons here at the youth crèche?”

“I understand their relevance to my education,” he replied before the realization set in that the assistant had used his first name to address him. Swiveling in his chair to face Markov, he added, “but I abhor the repetition, sir.”

Taking the signal, Brighton nodded to Markov and went about surveying the other students, none of whom were watching the exchange. Reaching out and touching the student on the shoulder, Markov leaned in and smiled, whispering, “Come with me. I have something very important to discuss with you.”

* * *

The instructor’s office was a bland cube of white walls, a single door, and a desk so uncluttered that it appeared no one had ever before used the room for anything but brief, uncomfortable interviews. Markov walked around the desk and seated himself, motioning for Steven to do likewise. When the door whistled closed behind them, the older man inhaled to speak but the student cut him off. “I didn’t mean to disrupt the classroom or begrudge my lesson, CED Twelve Markov.”

Waving a hand dismissively, Markov also interrupted, “Stop.” Steven sat back in his chair and waited for what he surely thought would be a reprimand and stern chastising on the importance of a good Commonwealth education. The older man removed his head-mounted microphone and set it down out of the way. “My name is GCED Thirty-Two Markov, but I’d like for you to call me Markov in private like this, Steven, when other citizens aren’t listening.”

Hitting him like a thunderbolt, he finally started piecing together what had been going on all day. Markov was a high-ranking member of the Global Counter Espionage Department, an elite branch of Commonwealth law enforcement that regulated covert activity around the world. Most citizens didn’t even know it existed. “What do you…”

“Want with a student?” Markov smiled and stood up and sat casually on the corner of the desk. “You’ve noticed that you’re somewhat different from the other students, from everyone else your age, right Steven?”

“You keep calling me that, I-“

“It is your name, is it not?”

His throat was dry, making his voice waver uneasily, “Only the matron back at the dorm calls us by our first names.”

Frowning, Markov rolled his head back to look up at the ceiling lights, “We’ll have to make a note of that, thank you.” Reasserting himself to the young man, he continued, “Steven, have you noticed that you’re different from other citizens?”

Not knowing how to respond, he ventured, “Yes, somewhat different. I mean, not entirely. I obey the doctrine, I sanitize regularly, and I love the Commonwealth.” Unsure as to whether or not he had provided the right answer, he waited through a few excruciating moments of silence.

Markov suddenly belted out a hearty laugh, a rolling display of mirth that made Steven jump upright in his chair with surprise. He continued for what seemed like forever before drying his eyes and clapping the student on the shoulder, “Quoted right from the plaque near the door of this very building, excellent!” He chuckled for another few seconds before sitting back down in his chair and tossing his data pad onto the table. “I want you to look at this, Steven.”

The digital readout displayed what appeared to be a security camera feed replaying a loop of about five seconds worth of footage. It panned quickly from left to right across a street corner scene somewhere in Commonwealth Prime, a busy district with at least fifty citizens and robots visible. Shadows passed quickly overhead as hover vehicles raced above the pedestrian traffic, security forces marched in unison, and the bland uniforms of the citizenry made them blend together to form one flowing mass of people, like an enormous blanket with numerous individual legs.

Steven studied the video for three loops of the feed, then looked up at Markov expectantly, “What am I looking for?”

Markov leaned back and clasped his hands behind his head, “You tell me.”

The younger man tilted his head slightly in confusion, then answered without looking back down at the data pad, his eyes locked onto Markov’s the entire time, “There is a flicker in the northwest street lamp, two citizens are wearing the wrong day’s uniform, and the robot cleaning the windows of the dark gray building is missing a brush on its lower right appendage.”

Raising his eyebrows in applause, Markov leaned forward and admitted, “Nicely done, Steven, nicely done.” Something about his posture or choice of words betrayed his disappointment, though; Steven noticed it immediately and told him what he knew he wanted to hear.

“At time index 14:32:52, the man standing on the northeast street corner facing south with the dark hair and blue uniform is not a citizen.”

Markov grinned from ear to ear and snatched the data pad, inspecting it for himself and pressing his finger into the screen to pause the display at that exact moment. “How did you come to that conclusion?”

Answering flatly, Steven explained, “He stops at the street corner and looks in both directions, when any citizen would be familiar enough with the flow of ground traffic to know that every block alternates right-of-way. There is no need to stop when heading in that direction from that corner.” Markov looked up with doubt in his eyes, but Steven wasn’t finished yet, “His uniform has only one replaced button, but regulations clearly state that all buttons are to be replaced if one malfunctions. Also, his eyebrows have not been trimmed according to sanitation standards in at least a few weeks.” Stopping for a moment to make sure he didn’t overstep his bounds, he concluded, “The man is obviously not a citizen.”

Markov nodded and cleared the image before setting the tablet back down on the table. He launched into a startling dissertation, “Before you were born, Steven, your biological parents were selected to be part of a very exclusive group of loyal citizens, those with a unique combination of hereditary traits and life experiences that would make them ideal for producing… special children. For your entire life, your nutritional supplement pills have not included some of the basic… mood stabilizers that make our great civilization possible, which you have probably already noticed by now.”

“How would I-“

Continuing without hearing out the interruption, Markov went on, “For example, I know you detest the lessons you receive here at the crèche, you look for excuses to alter your routine even temporarily,” he smiled, “and you have an uncanny knack for pinpointing disorder, don’t you?”

Steven wasn’t sure if he was supposed to be excited or frightened, but something about Markov’s demeanor hinted at the former. “Yes.”

Taking a deep breath before pushing himself back from the desk, Markov stood and motioned for Steven to do the same, “You are to begin reporting to sector nine, building sixteen, floor five, room six hundred twelve from now on at eight hundred hours, do you understand?”


“Finish the rest of today’s lesson here, but tell no one of this conversation or where you are being transferred.”

“I understand, Markov.” Steven left the room and closed the door behind him, his mind overflowing with a sense of revelation, like the heavy curtain of the government had been pulled back just enough for him to see light on the other side. His entire life was about to change and he could sense it.

As soon as the door closed, Markov pulled out his personal communicator and brought it to life with the push of a button and a single high pitched beep. A voice drifted in over the connection, demanding, “Status?”

Pulling the data pad over next to him on the table, Markov activated the screen again and inspected the image. “Secondary objective completed, GCED 1 Lesuvo was successfully activated.”
“Understood and noted for promotion. The primary objective?”

Markov pushed the screen with two fingers and stretched them apart, causing the image to zoom in on the face that Steven had identified as a non-citizen. “Fugitive identity confirmed, it’s Vanik.”

The Global Agenda Community Talks PvE with Executive Producer Todd Harris

Posted by HiRezStudios Tuesday September 22 2009 at 8:22PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

Global Agenda is fortunate to have a very active community around the game, including a boisterous forum base, some great fan sites (as listed on our official blog), pretty darn talented video makers, and a fantastic collection of agencies (our version of guilds) and agency leaders.

We find that our fans and beta testers often have the most insightful questions about the game. So this week, we invited one of our community fan sites, HexAgenda, to quiz Executive Producer Todd Harris on Player vs Environment (PvE) content inside Global Agenda. We hope to have future similar Q&A’s with other members of our fan community.

HexAgenda was one of the winners of our fan site contest earlier in the year. They are also technology innovators within the Global Agenda Community, launching such features as the Global Agenda Feed Aggregator, and the Global Agenda Dev Tracker. They are also leading the pack in helping us test the Global Agenda Stats API, which will allow fan sites, guild sites and other interested parties to develop custom applications from Global Agenda data.

In discussing PvE inside Global Agenda, HexAgenda focused on how PvE and PvP interplay inside Global Agenda, and how Hi-Rez intends to keep the content engaging over the long haul.


PvE Q&A with HexAgenda

1. Many MMOs are considered to focus more heavily on either PvP or PvE, with the other element being somewhat of a supplement to whichever takes center stage. What role do you see PvE playing in Global Agenda, which clearly has a strong PvP component? How extensive a role do you envision that being?

With Global Agenda, our 'center stage' focus has always been the AvA Campaign - the massive, persistent world conflict between player-driven groups over territory and resources. So, we really intend for the Campaign to provide the overall game context and then allow players to contribute to the Campaign and level up their own agent character via either PvP or PvE as they choose.

From a balance perspective we started with PvP for combat, classes, and devices. Once that felt fun and balanced we introduced PvE enemies and missions that were compatible and balanced against the core player gear and abilities. In this way we can continue to develop additional PvE enemies and content and give PvE a very rich role without watering down the PvP one bit.

2. Hi-Rez has stated that the goal for the game is to be "a minute to learn, a lifetime to master." How might this play into the design of the PvE side of the game?

One simple example is our implementation of tiered difficulty levels for PvE missions. So, when my team is playing the Rookie level difficulty we are facing NPCs that are fairly basic in their behavior and have relatively low levels of health and damage output. At the harder difficulties the bots do scale up in their stats, but we also introduce entirely new enemy types now protecting that same mission location. So, instead of just facing Commonwealth androids I might now be dealing with an Elite Assassin coming out of the shadows or a Hunter that targets and relentlessly pursues one specific member of my team.

3. How extensively do you plan to tie in a continuous storyline to the PvE (and possibly even PvP?) portion of the game? Should we expect something along the lines of Guild Wars' campaign-long story arcs, or instead something closer to the free-form universe of EVE Online?

Global Agenda definitely presents a free-form universe closer to Eve Online rather than a scripted story arc, but at the same time we plan to provide narration around key world events and happenings. So, our continuous story-line is based upon the major in-game actions of players and player groups. Basically we intend to deliver an audio newscast summarizing the major conflicts and accomplishments across the persistent world

4. A common complaint among players of PvE content in many games is that the available content inevitably becomes boring since players can experience content far faster than developers can produce more interesting content to be experienced. What plans might Hi-Rez have to tackle this issue in Global Agenda and keep the content fun and interesting in the long term?

Well there is no escaping the fact that it does take a lot longer for us to develop new content than it takes players to go thru that content!

There’s really no silver-bullet solution, but we do have plans and tools that help with this challenge. First we have developed a fairly efficient PvE production pipeline thanks to our experience with the Unreal 3 engine and some additional homegrown tools. So, we can actually produce PvE content fairly quickly.

But, ultimately we are going for quality over quantity and that involves designing our mission spaces to have a high degree of replay-ability. A single environment supports multiple difficulty levels as we discussed earlier. And, even within the same difficulty level, the missions also have a degree of randomness in terms of which enemies spawn and even the distribution of cover objects. So you can revisit the same mission location multiple times and have very different experiences.

Finally, another defense against boredom comes with the nature of our shooter oriented combat. You really cannot auto-macro your way thru our combat since you have to target the reticule on your enemies and move your character to avoid enemy fire. You will be quite active in mission regardless of what class you are playing and this tends to keep our PvE very engaging rather than feeling like a grind.

5. What would you consider one of the "coolest" aspects you've implemented so far for Global Agenda's PvE?

We have a bunch of cool new NPCs and encounters planned; but of the content currently playable in Beta I really like the Scanner. This hovering droid patrols Commonwealth areas and casts a rotating detection beam that players need to avoid or risk the Scanner calling in a wave of reinforcements. It is a cool mechanic and one that reinforces how our PvE involves managing environment aspects like cover in addition to the enemy bots themselves.

In terms of systems, we are also getting positive early feedback on the PvE auto-grouping support we recently added. Our PvE is built for 4-man squads and players can certainly pre-form their entire team, or use chat or Agent Search functionality to LFG. However, solo players and partial teams now have the option of selecting the mission type they are interested in and then be automatically matched with other PvE players. Grouping for PvE can be a hassle in some games and auto-grouping helps players find one another and quickly get into the action.



Global Agenda's very first beta testers just leveled up

Posted by HiRezStudios Thursday July 23 2009 at 5:47PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!



Global Agenda's very first beta testers just leveled up.

Inside the Studio, Thursdays are typically New Tester Day (OK, internally we call it 'N00b' day), when we invite new people in to the studio to test Global Agenda.

Today, our NooBs got a special treat. While Global Agenda’s Closed Beta does not officially begin until tomorrow (July 24), we allowed the tester's to login early and be the first on our Beta Servers. So, if you are one of our Closed Beta testers and you login right at the start tomorrow and see a few players already tooling around 10 levels ahead of you – you know they were probably among the group that was at Hi-Rez today.

Over the past two years, Hi-Rez hosted hundreds of internal testing sessions for Global Agenda, drawing in players from the nearby community.

Our developers, especially QA & Level Designers, receive valuable feedback from these first-time users by watching how they navigate through maps, the intuitiveness of device usage and capabilities and, above all, how much fun the testers have while they play the game.

As part of our fast-paced scrum-based development, Hi-Rez deploys and plays a new version (or build) of the game every single work day inside the study. Developers pull the latest content at the beginning of each day, create/tweak/build new content and check it in once they are ready. Around midnight each night all the new content wrangles together and by the time we're back in the studio to start the next day, a new version of Global Agenda is ready for us to test.
Usually :)

Daily developer playtests are brutal! Take it from a Medic who equips with more poisons than healing devices; those sneaky Recons and their decoys are enough to get even the most mild-tempered agents close to rage-quitting a post-lunch testing session...especially when they stealth, then stun bomb and then sneak up with a melee attack. Also when they two-shot you from across the map but, I digress.

In the spring of last year, the Studio connected with a local high school's Interactive Media Club -- a group of students who got together once a week and played games in a supervised classroom with consoles they brought from home -- and created a program for consecutive testing of Global Agenda. Basically, we offered a new, perhaps cooler venue than their chemistry classroom for their club to meet, and a chance to actually be part of a game's development.

The consecutive weekly testing slowly evolved to a twice-a-week rhythm of testing at the Studio, and the group expanded to include game design students from local universities who previously play tested at Hi-Rez as part of their course curriculum; and eventually, expanded further to external folks who learned of the in-studio testing via word of mouth or community forums. These testing sessions are a regular part of Studio life and judging by the noise level that comes out of the gaming lab on a given afternoon, I'd say they have a lot of fun!

"Noob Day" is usually quite different. The groups are generally quieter (at least for the first hour) and more attentive to the details of game mechanics because they're looking at them with a set of fresh eyes.

New testers came to the studio when Hi-Rez first announced its Tour & Play Program, an initiative geared toward Georgia-based schools, universities, technical colleges, and clubs, with the aim of exposing budding video game creators and enthusiasts to the development process to help cultivate Georgia's gaming industry. Last week we hosted a group of kids from a computer camp based at Emory University; prior to that we had folks from the State of Georgia's Economic Development office - even the Commissioner himself.

Today's 'noob group comprises individuals who live nearby and register through the Global Agenda website for today's testing session. I'm not sure when they signed up they knew they'd be the first to get onto Global Agenda's Beta, and I guess I should stop calling them 'noobs' because right now they are the highest ranks players on our beta server!


Pursuing a Global Agenda, captured elves delivered to Studio

Posted by HiRezStudios Wednesday July 8 2009 at 4:41PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!


Hi-Rez Studios' Todd Harris, Executive Producer of Global Agenda, the action MMO with no elves, received a package today complete with two elves, bound and gagged. The offering, from a like-minded Agency MONGBAT, follows a campaign highlighting Elven inferiority in a technology driven, future world. 

The box was delivered along with a note from the agency:

Attn: Hi-Rez Studios
Subject: Offering
Timestamp: 2009.7.5.1135

The Mongbat Agency has become aware of your campaign against the Elven People. Please accept this sacrificial offering as a token of our intention for a long and trusted relationship between our Agency and your new world order. Our only request would be to make the prancers suffer before enacting your final divine judgment.

We trust your new order shall be the stuff of legends, and hereby stake our own claim as part of it - just remember while we toil and labor nightly to live in your world, we are entrusting you to deliver a world that exceeds all others, a world where those with proper ambition can flourish, a world...without elves.


Hi-Rez Studios has accepted the sacrifice and MONGBAT members were among the first players invited to participate in the Global Agenda Closed Beta which begins July 24. 



Preparing for Global Agenda Closed Beta

Posted by HiRezStudios Wednesday July 1 2009 at 5:03PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

Back from E3

In our last post we talked about our path toward E3 - our purpose at the show being purely to let people walk-up and actually PLAY Global Agenda. No booth babes, no scripted demos, no velvet rope waiting lines. Our booth was mainly a bunch of PCs so anyone at the show could come by and play! …OK, for the sake of full disclosure I’ll admit that we also put out a bowl of candy on day #2. (Michal’s idea). Maybe next year we’ll have a celebrity appearance but this year we had byte-sized Snickers.

And the whole hands-on thing worked out quite well for us. Our dev team certainly feels the game is fun because we’ve been playing it every day for the past 3 years. But it was still incredibly satisfying to see E3 attendees instantly enjoying Global Agenda and sharing their positive reviews. Our favorite form of marketing - friends escorting other friends to the booth to try out the game for themselves!

A BIG thank you to the folks at MMORPG.COM, who awarded us “Game of The Show” after their own E3 hands-on experience with Global Agenda! We're both thrilled and humbled by this honor, especially given the other highly anticipated games that were considered. We're doing all we can to live up to growing expectations.

OK, so Global Agenda is fun, I’ll grant you that … but is it an MMO?

We hear this question a lot.  

And it is perhaps understandable since so far we have ONLY exposed our mission-based combat. From the beginning our first priority has been to ensure that our combat – based upon shooter mechanics but also incorporating very distinct roles for each class, a large number of specialty devices, close-ranged melee, and jetpacks – all comes together to yield game play that rivals any team-based shooter.

So all our Alpha testing to date, culminating in the public showing at E3, has been primarily focused on combat mechanics. We have not yet exposed the many systems relating to character progression or end-game. But that is about to change…

Onward to Closed Beta

We plan to have two major phases of Closed Beta Testing (CBT1 and CBT2). And with each phase we will introduce significant features that MMO players have been anticipating:

During CBT1 we will introduce Character Progression. So, you will interact with vendors, mission-givers and other players within Dome City, level your character thru missions against the Commonwealth (PvE) &/or other players (PvP), earn and allocate skill-points into talent trees, acquire new high-tech gear, customize your appearance with new suits and dyes, enhance your character thru technology implants that are player-crafted and available thru the auction house, and earn personal achievements.

During CBT2 we will introduce Alliance vs. Alliance Campaigns. With this feature set, players within a major geographic region, for example ALL North American players, compete in a single integrated end-game. Unlike the typical MMO convention where you need to pick a server, for Global Agenda we do not want a server-choice to get in the way of player-driven politics and strategy on a massive scale. It is truly a massive, persistent world within which players create their own agencies, form alliances, and compete to acquire resources and capture territory.

Our Goal:

Fun, mission-based Combat + meaningful Character progression + massive Campaign for territory control

We are now working hard to launch CBT1 in July!
More on that in our next blog post…

- todd

The Path to E3

Posted by HiRezStudios Friday May 29 2009 at 4:43PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

 Who do we talk to about getting E3 rescheduled?

Seriously, it couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time in relation to Global Agenda’s accelerating timetable, with our plans to enter beta testing very soon. We’ve been working toward this goal for almost four years now and the buzz around the studio is becoming audible, filling our studio with excited energy at all hours of the day and night. For us, constant play testing is critical. For the past three years we've been playing the game ourselves every single day, but for the past month we've stepped up the frequency of external tester visits to 3-4 times each week. So far the player feedback has been great and, if you’re fortunate enough to be attending E3, we hope you'll stop by to see and play the game for yourself.

Executive Producer Todd Harris said it best: “Global Agenda is something that’s best experienced rather than merely explained.” We’re itching to illustrate his point next week when we host the first worldwide unveiling of the project. Here’s my stab at summarizing the game: Global Agenda is an action-packed, third-person, team-oriented shooter/RPG hybrid with character advancement, visual customization, and guild-level territorial conquest set in a post-apocalyptic future Earth where rival factions of elite super agents equipped with advanced technology struggle to control and rebuild the world while simultaneously opposing an oppressive world government. OK, so maybe it IS a bit hard to explain. As the MMO Report recently quipped: Global Agenda - "FPS...RPG...MMO...WTF?"

Bottom line, if you stop by our booth you'll get a taste of exciting match-based PvP missions, co-op PvE missions, stylized graphics and visceral combat sequences. You'll see agile soldiers in power armor jetpack across battlefields scattered among various environments, from arctic wastelands to perilous mountaintops, ocean platforms to metropolis skyscrapers. We were saving most of this until Closed Beta but decided that it would be worthwhile to give the crowd in Los Angeles an early sneak peak!

So, while we’re very proud of Global Agenda and eager to share it with everyone at last, we’re still going to ask around about putting the convention off until we’re ready to drop our beta on the world. The game is ready, but we need some sleep! You can all still get your airline tickets and hotel reservations rescheduled, right? Alright, alright, so that would be a pain. I guess we’ll just have to sacrifice a little more rest in order to get everything setup for our public showing.

If you stop by the Hi Rez Studios booth in the South Hall at E3 and everyone there looks like zombie movie extras in matching t-shirts, just remember that they’re living on a diet of excitement and energy drinks to bring you a preview of their baby. We don't really have full-time marketing execs, nor suits, nor hired booth babes. We'll simply be bringing a few members of the actual development team; although admittedly some of us ARE babes. :) See you there!

- Michal

A Minute To Learn, A Lifetime To Master

Posted by HiRezStudios Tuesday May 12 2009 at 11:05AM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

A Minute To Learn, A Lifetime To Master
Todd Harris, Executive Producer

In early 2005, when we first opened the doors of Hi-Rez Studios, we were asked to describe our team's philosophy in making games. Our answer was "a minute to learn, a lifetime to master".

Erez (our company founder & Lead Designer) and I grew up in the coin-op arcade era, where if the game did not grab your attention and give you a taste of victory within the first 5 minutes it wouldn't earn another quarter from you. Yet the best games also managed to engage & challenge the best players for hours, and sometimes on that same quarter!

Easy to learn, hard to master seems like a great, common-sense approach, yet it is not uncommon for titles to take a seemingly opposite approach - overly complicated/confusing/difficult from the start; or not remaining fun/interesting/meaningful over time. With Global Agenda our intent is to offer multiple 'tiers' of game-play such that players can engage and master each of those at their own pace. Particular players may progress at different speeds based on their prior gaming experience and player skill but the game should remain challenging and engaging for a very long time.

Specifically, the major tiers of gameplay within GA include:

1. Action/Shooter mechanics and reflexes
2. RPG/Build
3. Team Tactics and Cooperation - Per Mission Instance
4. Domination Strategy & Coordination - Per Alliance vs. Alliance Campaign

Each of these could actually be subdivided in more detail but the general point is that each tier builds upon the one before it.

1. Action/Shooter
When first starting out, a player has a limited number of devices so he/she can become familiar with the basic WASD+mouse, jumping, crouching, grappling & jetpacking involved with player control in Global Agenda. Players that come from FPS/action backgrounds will master this tier quickly; and those players that have high situational awareness and learn the specific map layouts will likely progress even faster. But for those players coming from more traditional fantasy MMOs that do not play FPS games there will be some new player skills to learn and master.

2. RPG/Build
As players accumulate new skills and devices for their character, they make a different set of decisions quite independent from their twitch skills or map-knowledge. Some of these decisions are made at skill-point allocation time, some are made at mission equip time, while others are within the middle of fast-paced combat. We have the concept of different attack types (melee, aoe, range) and different damage types (physical, fire, poison, & energy) per device. And we have various passive and active protections against those different attack types and damage types. So, this layer adds the 'stats' element to the core action element. My devices matter; but it also matters what devices my enemy has and which he is wielding at that moment. And, this is the layer of gameplay that is more familiar to traditional MMORPG players ("I designed the leet build... take a look"); but may be less familiar to some action/FPS players.

3. Team Tactics & Coordination - Per Mission Instance
Our intent is for team-work to make a huge difference within mission, and with more variety and role options than just the traditional Tank+DPS+Healer combo. Indeed, the value of teamwork is consistently demonstrated within our playtest sessions where we see coordinated teams beating a collection of high-scoring individuals. The distinct roles of our classes, map layouts, and gameplay mechanics such as the HERMES teleport beacon, are designed to reward teams that are coordinated.

4. Strategy - Per Alliance vs. Alliance Campaign
Finally, with Alliance v. Alliance conflict, we provide a territory-oriented Campaign that is winnable in the way a sports season is winnable. A more strategic set of decisions are introduced at this tier in terms of which other organizations to ally with, which to target, how to allocate resources, and how to best construct and defend your own facilities toward dominating a region or accomplishing other agency goals.

So, how are we doing with these goals?

- Well, our dev team has been playing the game every single day for three years and things haven't gotten stale yet! It is always bittersweet when we have to stop playing Global Agenda in order to keep developing Global Agenda and that is a good sign.
- Also, for months we have playing alongside our 1000ish Alpha users. We have not yet exposed the Campaign to Alpha but the community has been very enthusiastic about tiers #1, #2, and #3 based on their experience to date. Thanks to this active, passionate Alpha community we feel very good about these elements.
- For us, the next step is rolling out the Campaign and group vs. group territory control elements with a larger test community. That will happen sometime within our Closed Beta phase which we are fast approaching. We're very excited about the potential and invite interested others to join us!