(That means Frequenty Asked Questions for the Newbies)
Q: Will you be playing on active.net or on kali?
A: At the moment the consensus is that playing over kali is a lot better than using active net since the virtual war adds an element of unfairness because of the supply levels and there is fear about people creating buddy characters to increase their supply levels. We will use kali for this league and after everything is running, if it seems worth it, we will create an active.net league as well, although currently the setup is not condusive to league play. So the vote was overwhelmingly to use kali.
Q: What is kali?
A: Kali was and is at the forefront of inexpensive online gaming. It opened up the field as we know it, the first of it's kind emulating an IPX network over the internet, allowing multiplayer games without expensive phone bills. With an ISP and Kali you can play not only Heavy Gear but hundreds of other games. It's a product that is continually improving as well.
Q: Where can I get kali and why should I buy it?
A: You can download the FREE trial version of kali on their website or one of the mirror sites they list. Then for $20 you can register it and get the full version and free lifetime updates. I can say without a doubt that it's the best $20 I ever spent on software. Every hardcore gamer should have a copy of kali. There are no hourly fees and there are hundreds of kali servers. There are entire online communities built around some of the popular games that have a drawn out background like Heavy Gear or Mechwarrior. Many people actually enjoy hanging out on kali chatting as much or more than playing the game and I personally have made many friends this way. Friends that have even become buddies in real life. Try it for free, play it for life.
Q: What is TKZ?
A: TKZ is the first real multi-league on the internet. There have been multi-ladders before, but TKZ was the first multi-league and support many simultaneous leagues for different games. For the distinction between leagues and ladders see the explanation at the Kali site Upcoming automation is planned to have an automated ladder for every game playable on the internet.
Q: Didn't TKZ Heavy Gear start out with a different story? I seem to recall something about planets.
A: Yes, originally we were goin to take Heavy Gear to the stars, which would make us unique among the Heavy Gear ladders and also make it much easier to adapt TKZ to Heavy Gear. You can check out the Original Back Storythat was written. The actual Heavy Gear universe has something like 30 planets with a dozen inhabited worlds. That's not enough of a scope to do a planet compaign and since the focus of Heavy Gear is fighting on Terra Nova, we decided to concentrate on one planet.
Q. Once you decided to keep the action to Terra Nova, what is the story behind the map?
A. We really did consider using the authentic map at first. You can take a look at the Authentic Heavy Gear Map (warning, this sucker is nearly half a MB!!) and you will notice that there are only about 80 towns. Since we were experienced at running leagues at TKZ, we expected 30-50 teams if the league becomes popular, So that means few towns per group. This would lead to a very static game and it would be very rare to take a town because each group would have so few towns to defend that they can split their forces well. That would also have taken out some of the tactical challenge. Also modeling rivers and continents would have been difficult for our automation. We chose to edit the names on our own map which already has the coordinates mapped. This saves us time in putting the league into production since we already had the coordinates and just changed the names to include the Heavy Gear names. This caused complaints since it still was too similar to TKZ's Battletech leagues to suit certain people. So then we revamped the map to give it the sattelite imagery effect. Here is a copy of that map for comparison. There were still complaints because since Heavy Gear only had 150 towns there were not enough town names to go around. Having Battletech names on the map still offended them. So we decided to go with an authentic map after all, which is what we are using.
Q:Why do you have most military groups and governement groups and what is the difference between them?
A. In the Heavy Gear pen and paper game, the real units used are the dozen governments of Terra Nova. The regiments are part of that government. In the Activision game, the focus is only on the regiments in a battle of North against South. In TKZ we try to be authentic and at the same time, flexible to the needs of a growing league. The compromise we came up with is that in the beginning the regiments start out under government control and if the government is not strong enough (keeps enough players) to keep their regiments under control, their military units declare independence. This allows new groups to join, and adds a whole new role-playing aspect to the league, since between North vs. South, you have tension between factions of the military and their former governments. This also supports 30+ units for the league.
Q:Why did TKZ change it's format so drastically with heavy gear?
A: Heavy Gear is a very different game. It includes some things which are beyond our control namely, combat priorities and variations in supplies. This would make the normal large scale combat a nightmare. To fit with this, battle flags no longer pin movement and the combat becomes more free form, to reduce the scale of the combats. Up to 4on4's are sanctioned for play in the league, as opposed to some combats in other TKZ leagues that have involved as many as 118 people in a single combat. The leaders attack and then the players choose which of the available combats to do and complete them. Then the players can fill out the results.
Q: Are troops moved immediately when I fill out a movement form?
A: YES!! This is real-time, so if you get an attack movement, that means that most likely your opponent is logged on now issuing attack orders. If you can beat your opponent to the punch, you might even place reinforcement before they finishing attacking a certain town. Timing and tactics are very important. It is also important to get your players to play the battles.
Q: I'm new to heavy gear and I shot at my opponent and he never took damage.
A:This is probably a result of what is know as lag. It takes a certain amount of time for information to get from your computer to your opponents. So you need to lead your target. A higher ping means you have a lot of lag. When your ping is high you can try reconnecting in case you had a bad connection. You can also move to a server with less people. If your modem is anything less than a 28.8 then your modem is slow enough that it is affecting gameplay and people will not even be willing to play with you as a result.
Q: I played against someone that was cheating what should I do?
A:Check the codes of conduct for instructions.
Q. When someone ejects or presses Ctrl+Q, what happens to their gear?
A. With Regens for both sides, this is not such a heated issue. If they eject or press Ctrl+Q, it is a lost gear. If someone is dropped for any other reason, besides running out of gears, then everyone else should also exit heavy gear, reconvene on the kali server, grab the same players and continue with the HUD count as the number of gears lost. If the kill does not show up on the HUD, then it doesn't count.
Q. How often can a unit attack?
A. A unit can attack continuously as long as it has gears and pilots to fight with them. The group leader just has to keep filling out the movement form for each attack. In TKZ the only thing slowing things down for attacks is group leaders. We give you the tools. It is up to you to use them. If your group leader doesn't have much attacks on the board tell them how much you'd like to play.
Q. How do I totally destroy another group?
A. Well you can kill them to the last man and take all their towns. This means tracking down their men if some of them are hidden in someone If you take their last town, you get 25% of their resources. They have one week to find a group willing to give them towns or they will be pronounced dead.
Q. The top 5 of what are prohibited from merging?
A. There is a page with rankings. There are overall rankings and also rankings by group type in three different categories, total production, total towns, and standing armies. If either group is in the top 5 on ANY of these lists, then the merger is prohibited.
Q. Is location a factor or can we attack from anywhere?
A. There is a limit of how far you can move. This is called jump distance and the automated system will calculate this for you when doing a movement. You can use the imagemap to find what towns are in range. You can keep moving closer and closer to your intended destination with multiple movements.
Q. How many battles can a member participate in? How often?
A. The only limits you have are time and money(like in real life). All gears used on an attack are available. Both sides can regen until they run out of gears.
Q. What happens if my group falls before the minimum number of people?
A. Why haven't you been recruiting? This is a fun ladder, surely you can find some people to play for your group. If this is your first deadline or you just dropped below, I'll give you a another week to go on kali and ask for members. After that, you're history, time to turn in your spot and the next person on the waiting list gets to take your place.
Q. Can I borrow funds from someone?
A. Funds can be transfered from another group only from their main bank and this is done using by group leaders using the groupedit form.
Q. I want to start a group, what do I do?
A. This is mentioned in the rules. Didn't you read the rules? Go to the first section of the gear zone area. Start reading there and while you're at it you may as well all the rules. hehehe
Q. Help I just started getting a bunch of attack messages from my neighbor. Hurry, what can I do to stop him?
A. Timing is everything. Good thing I'm here. OK log on to the automated system right now and send an attack force from one of your towns You can go ahead and counterattack. If his players fight the battle before you reinforce it, you may lose the town.
Q. I'm going to be away from email for a week, what should I do?
A. Well this is a fast paced ladder, so make sure that someone is on your leader list who WILL be around. If not, FIND someone and ADD them to the list. That is why many groups have several people that get attack messages.
Q. You said jumps are instanteous, so you could keep jumping and go behind the front line troops. So doesn't that meant that I would have to place gears in all my towns?
A. YES! Unlike the current standard TKZ format, battle flags in heavy gear do not pin forces, they only show your location to the surveillance satellites. You should always guard all your towns. Now they can keep on moving, since this is on land, they can use other routes besides the roads.
Q. What is the correct way to declare an attack on a town?
A. Go to the automated system and fill out the movement form. Everything else like figuring wether it is in range is done automatically. The people with gears on the town are informed of your attack and all forces there are listed. The only information not listed is it's production. Now you need to decide how you are going to spend your points for gears and schedule the battle. Oh, yeah! You have to fight the battle too.
Q. All the slots on The Killing Zone are filled. What can I do to get in?
A. Get placed on the waiting list. Periodically we will make room for waiting list units to play! While you're on the waiting list you can make deals with registered groups and fight under their banner, but remember you can still be in only one group at a time, so your group would technically be part of their group. Your patience will be rewarded.
Q. Just Great! I'm surrounded by pacifists! We're at peace all my neighbors. What can I do to play?
A. Get someone to give you a town elsewhere and freepassage to the battle front. Then you attack somewhere completely unrelated to your main location and play a new opponent. You can also just keep moving past your peaceful neighbors. If it's your group leader that is the pacifist, then let them know as a player that a lack of combat is not why you joined their group. Remember, we are here to play.
Q. I tried to move through our allies space and it told me I couldn't without attacking them? What can I do?
A. Get them to give you free passage on the intelligence form. You can't go into someone else's space without being welcomed. For free passage, you are given a single point on the town that acts as a marker. If you take that point with you when you move through, you will have to be given free passage to move through that town again.
Further questions? Ask TKZ