For those of you who are running a corporation in DUST 514 or are planning to do so in the future, this dev blog should be of great interest to you. So without further rambling, I present to you: Corporation Roles within DUST 514.
NOTICE OF GREAT IMPORTANCE!
We want to make sure that if you participate in Planetary Conquest, you read and understand the following: With the introduction of the Terrestrial Combat Officer (TCO) role, only CEOs, Directors, and TCOs will be able to join Planetary Conquest matches. Anyone who does not have one of those roles will be required to join a squad led by someone with the correct roles. Please ensure you understand this and are suitably prepared when Uprising 1.5 goes live.
Why in New Eden would we add corporation roles to DUST?
As it stands in DUST 514 right now, any member of a corporation can have one of three roles:
- A regular member of the corporation, with access to corp chat and the ability to join corporation battles.
- A Director, with access to everything, including but not limited to: approving applications to join the corporation; changing the corp tax rate; withdrawing money from the corp wallet; and managing corporation-owned districts.
- A CEO, who also has access to everything (as any Director does), but with the added ability to appoint new Directors or remove the directorship of other members. There can only be one CEO in any corp.
This seems pretty simple. But in a game as deep and complex as DUST, having only three roles presents a few problems.
To appoint someone to recruit new members, you also have to give them access to the whole wallet. To appoint someone to handle financial matters on behalf of the corporation, you have to trust them with running the military operations in planetary conquest. It is an all or nothing choice.
As DUST continues to grow and the capabilities of corporations expand, it is important that the leaders of a corporation can run it with confidence. If corporations are scared to recruit new members because having more members would mean having more Directors, and you don't trust someone enough with that power, it hurts the game. Corporations therefore need a way to more gradually and granularly distribute power and grow their numbers.
What exactly are corp roles?
Corporation roles are designed to allow corporations to distribute power within a corporation with more granularity. When this feature hits Tranquility, a corporation's CEO or Directors will have the ability to grant roles to their members that confer specific abilities.
Here is a list of all the roles included in this release:
- CEO: No change. The CEO can do anything any other role can. The CEO can also assign or remove the Director role from others. There can only ever be one CEO in a corporation at a time.
- Director: No change. Able to do everything a CEO can, except the ability to assign or remove the Director role from others.
- Accountant: This role has the ability to transfer ISK out of the corporation's wallet, as well as monitor the corporation's wallet transactions.
- Personnel Director: Personnel Directors are charged with growing a corporation’s membership. They have the ability to accept applications received by the corporation.
- Terrestrial Combat Officer (TCO): Charged with organizing your corporation’s ground fighting forces, Terrestrial Combat Officers can join all of the corporation’s battles, bringing members of their squad into the battle with them. Those being brought into battle with the squad do not need to be members of the TCO’s corporation, nor do they need to have this role themselves.
- Terrestrial Logistics Officer (TLO): Terrestrial Logistics Officers are responsible for managing a corporation’s terrestrial operations and logistics. This includes things like managing district-reinforcement windows, district surface infrastructure, and clone stocks on corporation districts. TLOs can also initiate attacks by either moving clones from an owned district to one held by another corporation, or by purchasing a clone pack from Genolution.
The roles chosen for this release are the result of extensive discussion — internally, with the Council of Planetary Management, and on the forums. I wanted to give a quick shoutout and thank everyone that participated in those discussions, they were of great help.
How does this all work?
CEOs and Directors will find a new tab within the Corporations interface called Roles. It will look something like this:
The page is pretty straightforward, consisting of a list of all the members in the corporation and the roles each one has. There are a couple of things to note from this screenshot. (The first, of course, is that CCP Merc is amazing at generating names for test characters and has probably been around Tony the Tiger too much.)
Let’s break it down:
- CCP Merc has selected the character Peter Gibbons.
- CCP Merc has selected the first column of the row.
- The first column happens to be the column for Director as noted by the word Director at the top right of the roles section.
In the next screenshot you will see GallenteMerc is the selected character and the fourth column is selected, displaying the name Terrestrial Combat Officer.
Since screen space is limited, only the name of the selected role is displayed. The order is always the same however, so after using the interface for a little while you should become pretty familiar to which columns are which.
For smaller corporations, you’ve got everything you need right there. However, not all corporations have only five members. Some are much larger. To help those corporations we have added a filter option as well (below).
The filter is pretty simple and straightforward. Press square to bring the filter up while in the roles interface. You can type the name of someone and leave the role field set to “any”, or you can leave the name field blank and set the role field to something specific like Director. This will let you find people by name, by chosen role, or both – you can see the results of the filter below.
Finally there is the “winfo,” which can be displayed by pressing triangle on a selected role to show that role’s description:
(To be clear, CCP Cognac insisted it be called the winfo. Pretty sure that is how it is referenced in code now as well...)
If you’ve ever tried to load your corporation’s member list, you’ll find that if often takes a while to respond. This is especially apparent the more members you have in your corporation.
For an idea of how long this takes on Tranquility right now I asked Dennie Fleetfoot, CEO of DUST University (one of the largest corporations within DUST) to investigate. According to Dennie, it took 2 minutes and 52 seconds to load 1,300 members. While working to add corporation roles, we knew that this had to change: If loading just the member list took almost three minutes, how long would it take to load the members list AND all their roles?
Optimization time! CCP Cognac and CCP Merc put some time into tracking down exactly what was taking so long, and did a whole bunch of magic programmer voodoo to speed it up. Anyone care to guess how long it now takes to load the roles interface (which is the full members list plus all the role information) for a corporation of 1,300 members?
- 1 minute 30 seconds?
- 1 minute?
- 30 seconds?
- 5 seconds?
Who guessed 5 seconds? Well you are all crazy — and correct. From 2 minutes 52 seconds down to 5 seconds. When I heard those numbers my mind was blown. Please do keep in mind that this 5 seconds was to a local test server and so your mileage may vary a bit, but do expect a dramatic decrease in load time for the corporation members list and an equally short load time for the member roles list.
Bonus round #2!
This is kind of cool as well. Since we added the ability to filter the roles list by member name and role, why not add the same capability to the members list?
You can now filter the members list as well! :) /rejoice
When is this hitting Tranquility?
All the fun that is contained within this dev blog can be expected to hit TQ along with the rest of Uprising 1.5.
Thank you very much for reading this dev blog. If you have any questions or comments please ask away in the comments and we will be happy to respond.
-CCP FoxFour on behalf of Team True Grit