Operation Firewall is a Special Operations mission designed with the intent of introducing some of the concepts of Dreadnought battles to players, offering them a chance to try a Sector Conquest style battle without having to construct a Dreadnought and take on their rival Corps. Being Special Operations, not SQ, Operation Firewall offers very different rewards, but also differing challenges. It is deliberately meant to be distinct from actual SQ battles, so as not to totally replace them.
Unlike the Defiler Attack, Operation Firewall adopts the PvE style Round model. However, Operation Firewall makes much more significant changes to the map between rounds, simulating an ongoing space battle as capital ships engage one another.
Players will begin by facing a Cyber Dreadnought - a Jericho style Dreadnought that has the Biomorph black and luminous green colour scheme. They are called upon to defend a Jericho orbital platform from attack, requiring them to defeat waves of biomorph fighters and shoot down ordnance. Once the defense is complete, the players will join a Jericho Dreadnought and go on the offensive, chasing down the Cybers and helping to disable, and then capture the warship.
To participate in Operation Firewall, players must form a wing of 8-12 players. Only ships rank 11-15 and up are permitted in the match, but players are strongly recommended to bring a 12 man squad and use rank 13-15 ships. This is intended to be a difficult battle!
As with other Spec Ops / PvE matches, players do not need to be part of the same Corporation to take part. However, they must be part of a Corporation.
Round 1 - Orbital Defense:
This is a timed mission lasting five minutes. The players will deploy in front of a Jericho station with a Cyber Dreadnought deployed 15,000 to 20,000 metres away. The Dreadnought is invincible, but has numerous turrets and main guns that can attack the player. As such, players are advised to stay away from it and avoid its beam cannons.
The Dreadnought will deploy waves of Biomorphs to attack the outpost. Later waves will receive further reinforcements in the form of Scouts, Hunters and even Predators. The Dreadnought will also launch missile attacks that will inflict massive damage to the entire team if they hit the station, requiring players to hunt down and destroy the missiles before impact.
The station itself has several missile and railgun turrets, which the attackers will try to destroy during play. While the Dreadnought appears to be trying to damage the station, it does not actually do so - instead, the station has three Key Systems that can be captured by the Biomorphs the same way Beacons can. Players cannot restore lost health to these Key Systems - once they are gone, they are gone! If all three fall the mission is a failure. To encourage their defense, each system has a unique role to play:
Spatial Inhibitor - This device disrupts biomorph portals. If it is lost, then portals will periodically spawn around the station, spawning fresh reinforcements until they are closed.
Targeting Computer - This device handles the secondary turrets of the station. If it is lost, all remaining turrets deactivate.
Navigational Relay - This communication system is used to call friendly forces. If it is lost, the players must defend for an additional two minutes as their relief force is disrupted.
At the end of the time, if at least one beacon remains, the players move on to Round 2.
Sample Audio for the round:
Opening [Commander voice]: “Mercenaries! A Cyber warship is attacking our facility! Friendly battleships are on the way! Hold out until they arrive!”
At 3:00 remaining [Commander voice]: “Soldiers, keep fighting! The enemy must be kept at bay until our Dreadnoughts arrive! Make me proud!”
At 1:00 remaining [Computer voice]: _"_Spatial disturbance detected. Dreadnought arrival imminent."
Spatial Inhibitor Lost [Computer voice]: “Warning! Enemy warp gates detected!” [Commander]: “Watch your backs! You’ve got additional hostiles incoming!”
Targeting Computer Lost [Computer voice]: “Warning! System malfunction!” [Commander]: “The enemy shut down our defenses! You’ll have to fight hard to hold the line!”
Navigational Relay Lost [Computer voice]: "Warning! Comms link lost!" [Commander]: "Soldiers! Our Dreadnought’s flight path has been altered! You need to hold out a little longer while they get back on course!"
Mission Fail [Commander]: “Damn it! We lost the station! Fall back!”
Round 2 - Dreadnought Attack:
This scenario takes place with the two Dreadnoughts flying side by side as per a typical Sector Conquest battle. However, the rules of the scenario are slightly different.
The Cyber Dreadnought cannot be harmed directly. While it has turrets the players can destroy, this does not count toward the mission goal.
The Jericho Dreadnought will take damage throughout the battle from beam cannons, torpedoes and biomorph attacks. Players can shoot down torpedoes and kill biomorphs to try and protect their ship, but the mission cannot be won unless they achieve the specified goals.
The players have to reach and destroy four objectives on the Cyber Dreadnought. These are protected by turrets and have a lot of health.
Main Engine - This is the largest, and arguably easiest to hit. It is located on the rear of the ship.
Secondary Engines - One is found either side of the ship toward the back. They each have less health than the main engine, but are also slightly smaller.
Reactor Core - This is located on the bottom of the ship in the centre. The reactor core is embedded in the ship and so it is difficult to hit, requiring players to get very close to it and attack from below. It has the least health of all four objectives.
The Cyber Dreadnought’s primary defense here are the powerful aliens it can call upon, as well as high level Cyber ships. Players can expect to be opposed by bots flying T5 ships, Hunters and Predators as well as numerous smaller ships.
Like in Sector Conquest, the dreadnoughts are constantly moving, causing rocks and other bits of space debris to pass across the field of battle as the game continues. This would include chunks of destroyed Jericho ships and stations.
Opening Brief [Commander]: “We can’t let that ship get away! Disable their engines!”
1st Objective Destroyed [Commander]: “Great work! Keep it up!”
2nd Objective Destroyed [Commander]: “That’s another one down! Keep going!”
3rd Objective Destroyed [Commander]: “Just one more to go! Don’t give up now!”
Jericho Dread at 50% health [Computer]: “Warning! Dreadnought damage: severe!”
Jericho Dread at 25% health [Computer]: "Warning! Dreadnought hull critical!"
Jericho Dread destroyed [Commander]: “Our capital ship has been lost! Abort the mission!”
Round 3 - Securing the Prize
In the final round, both Dreadnoughts are docked together as the Jericho crew seek to secure their prize. However, the aliens won’t give up so easily and have sent reinforcements!
Players need to hold out and destroy several “infestation cores” that are being launched toward the ships. Twelve cores will launch in total and will make their way toward either the Jericho or Cyber dreadnought. These cores are the size of a Hunter but faster. They are unshielded and behave like transport ships. If one enters the hangar of either ship the mission is lost.
These cores are launched by Defilers that are orbiting the Dreadnoughts at a safe distance. Players can stay out of their weapon range during the battle. Initially there will only be one Defiler. After the second core is launched a second defiler will appear, and the next two waves will send two cores at once. After wave four a third Defiler arrives and waves five and six contain three cores.
Between waves 2 and 3 an implosion module will spawn over the Dreadnoughts. Between waves 4 and 5 a second will spawn, and then a third during wave 6. Once the last of the infestation cores is destroyed the mission is complete.