Black Widow Company
Founded by Military Veterans
Founded by Military Veterans
Founded in 2003, the Black Widow Company is a classic gaming community with a military touch. We are highly structured with our own custom software to make organizing effective groups in game not just efficient, but fun at the same time. You will not find a gaming community out there with an engrained culture of organization and teamwork from top to bottom.
Direct from the Community
Direct from the Community
CitizenCon 2953 in Review
Well what an absolutely killer CitizenCon this year! First time we have had a full two days of content, and they jam backed those two days with a mind blowing amount of detail! As an Aussie, this poor writer wasn't able to get up at the 4:00 am start time each day, but you best believe that the moment I was able I was catching up on the stream, and since then I've rewatched the content at least half a dozen times, especially with all the high quality YouTube videos the team has been dropping of the panels!
Chris Roberts is the man that started it all, and while he's certainly been the centre of some controversy over the years, it was great to see him back on stage introducing the show on Day 1. While Chris has never really been the most polished orator, the man was clearly feeling a bit overwhelmed with the emotion of it all and what he knew his team were going to be showing to us over the following 48 hrs, as he became almost lost for words a couple of times. And he had reason to be excited!
One of the stars of the show was the Star Engine tech demo reel, which was also our initial introduction to all the hard work the team has been doing, and it was a kaleidoscope of gorgeous visual improvements, which were expanded upon further throughout the 2 days of panels which followed. The entire swath of improvements that we dove into with the team over the two days including new volumetric clouds and ground fog, with light rays shining through beautifully, dynamic fire that responds to the world around it, physically simulated water surfaces with correct illumination of objects below the surface, grime and wear build-up on your weapons, and even physically simulated blood, sweat, & tears on characters!
All of which is just scratching the surface.
But I think of the whole two day show, the break-out star attraction was the demonstration of working Server Meshing. The holy grail of Star Citizen development, that they've been working on from the beginning of the project! Seeing server meshing in action was absolutely astonishing, especially the incredible smoothness of transition as items and players were handed off from one server to the next while traversing an area. Combined with Persistent Entity Streaming (PES), which is what lets players leave objects in a location, or return to the sight of battle to find the destroyed ships for salvage, and the replication layer, which grants us live active-active failover of game servers, for zero client downtime in the event of a server crash, Server Meshing puts the final capstone on the key pillar technologies of what will make Chris's dream of the game possible, allowing hundreds, if not thousands of players to exist within the same "server" at once, with load shared across a meshed system of servers, presenting the players with absolutely seamless, loading screen free gameplay, and epic space (and ground!) battles!
It really is hard to follow up on the news of Server Meshing with just about anything else, but there really was an absolute bucketload of other content, way too much to do justice to here.
So, I'll finish up by saying we got a cool new Scout variant for the Drake Cutlass, along with a teased 3rd variant which we'll hear more on later. The RSI Zeus MkII was announced in 3 flavours, all of which look incredible, and this writer wants them all! And last but certainly not least, the Ship team dived into an apology and explanation of the holdups and setbacks they've had to overcome in recent times, but showed how they have been able to push through them, build from them, and are now well on track to deliver not one, not two, but three big RSI ships to us over the next 12 months; the Polaris, the Galaxy, and the Perseus! This is made possible through the asset sharing that occurs among ships from the same brand, allowing them to "batch produce" ships of the same manufacturer in parallel, greatly accelerating the speed with which they can be delivered into player hands. And finally, we got a ship silhouette slideshow teasing all of the ships we can expect to see in the 'verse within the next 12 months, which included a few unfamiliar silhouettes which have had fans arguing over what they could be since!
Wrapping up, CitizenCon 2953 absolutely knocked it out of the park. We had heartfelt apologies from the team where they were needed, amazing updates on features we didn't even know they'd been working on, and announcements of key technologies being completed. And the reactions from the crowd at the show echoed across the world.
Oh, and not to bury the lead, but Squadron 42 is now feature complete! Which also means many of the staff whose attentions were diverted to it to get that done, are now moving their focus back to Star Citizen!
If the team over at Cloud Imperium can deliver even half of what was shown in the next 12 months, 2024 is going to be an amazing year for fans of the game.
This fan is certainly hyped!
Summer Bash 2023
With the end of the season drawing near, we here at the Black Widow Company hope you had the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. As per tradition, we will be helping bring an end to the summer festivities with our yearly Summer Bash. This is an amazing opportunity to get together with fellow community members and have some competitive fun. The Summer Bash boasts games from all of our major company games as well as a few expeditionary games to help bring our community together.
To start off the festivities we have another Death Race hosted by Planetside2 at 1900 on the 25th. This is a two-man race where anything goes as long as it's in a Harasser- points for survival and killing across the continent. Following the race will be yet another Planetside2 operation with more standard gameplay, this operation is geared towards new players with tutorial sessions in game to allow all members to participate.
Moving into the 26th we begin with some Destiny 2 gameplay. As with the Birthday Bash celebration, we will be doing F2P content to allow all members to participate. This time the scene will be Vault of Glass, as this raid allows easier entry compared to most. D2 mains will be spinning the Wheel of Handicap to create more challenge in their run. Be prepared for the suffering.
The next event on our weekend itinerary is a tribute for our fallen member, Bromines. The memorial will be hosted directly in Final Fantasy 14 where new players will be taxied to the venue in game. This will allow time for everyone to say their peace and share memories and experiences that they had with Bromines. We hope everyone will be able to participate as we give a final send off to our dear friend.
With the transition within the game, FFXIV will move onto its Summer Bash operation. As per tradition, we will be hosting another Deep Dungeon run with Palace of the Dead. This dungeon allows for a low bar to entry at only level 17 (and completion of a singular side quest) while creating loads of fun competition among players.
Finally ending the 26th is a Battlebit operation hosted by our lovely Shims. What will we be doing exactly? No clue! You'll simply have to join to see what is in store for you. If you dare? Not trying to peer pressure you or anything though. I would never think to do such a thing. Nor would Shims. The nerve! That you would possibly think that!? I simply cannot.
Ending the Summer Bash on the 27th we start with our Diablo IV operation. For fun in the sun, D4 will be doing dungeon races (teams must have matching world tier) as well as Mount races across the zones and will finish it off with "To Catch a Dartangan" where he is alone in the PVP zone and everyone else tries to kill him. Followed by our First Sergeant's Association hosted social. Please drop by to hear about recent promotions, awards, and other current and upcoming news within BWC.
It wouldn't be a Summer Bash without Mech Warriors Online though. As one of our most active and dedicated companies within Black Widow Company there is sure to be lots of mech destruction and playful banter in store. Not to mention with the game being free to play- you really don't have an excuse not to join.
Finally, we have our newest members to the expeditionary games with an operation hosted by Star Trek Online. Buckle up because you're in for an epic experience. This operation is geared specifically to new players to help them get into the game with a fun speed running challenge. See who can get their team's captains to align with Starfleet or Klingons fastest with a two hour time cap.
And you can't have a festival without awards now can you? This year there are six tiers of awards for participation in the Summer Bash. These medals are awarded for each SB operation you attend going from 1-5 operations all the way to the "King Daddy- Ring to Rule them All" medal for participating in every operation over the weekend? Will you be able to down the crown yourself?
Can't wait to see you all there! Have a great one and remember- One Team- One Fight!
Memorial Day 2023
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it... it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did.
The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.
To the veterans like myself, I want to tell you this: You are not alone, and you having nothing to be ashamed of.
Today is the day we should reminisce for those who fought valiantly for the pride, honor, and freedom of our country.
We don't know them all, but we owe them all.
Birthday Bash 2023
In honor of Black Widow Company's 20th anniversary, we will be hosting our annual Birthday Bash the weekend of April 1st. This is a full weekend long event spanning from Friday afternoon till Sunday crammed full of gaming fun spanning several genres. Whether you are a longtime member of our community or a potential recruit, we welcome everyone to this weekend of fun and competitive comradery.
Kicking off the weekend we're taking it back to our roots with some intense Planetside 2 gameplay. Name of the game: Death Race. Your mission? Pair up and cross the finish line using whatever means necessary. Yes- any means. So get out there and get crazy! Teams will use the Harasser vehicles with an additional point system based not only off of enemy player kills but also for kill streaks. Planetside 2 was one of BWC's original operational games back when we had multiple platoons with hundreds of players teaming up for operations. This operation is a great way to promote our roots as well as help introduce our other players to the fun this FPS game can be.
Next quest in our arsenal is the Mechwarrior Online "The Trial of BloodRight". This weekend-long event starts out with one-on-one brawls to see who is the top of the top in each of the game's mech classes: Assault, Light, Medium, and Heavy. Wrapping the event up in a final free for all in the Grand Melee where players can fight to determine the new Kerensky BloodName holder. Mechwarrior Online is a free to play tank game that offers pleasantly straightward mechanisms as well as an amazing community for new players to be introduced to.
Moving to our Saturday games is Destiny 2 with a Prophecy dungeon Speedrun competition. The Prophecy dungeon is not only a classic for longtime Destiny fans, but also a great introductory dungeon. Additionally, it is available without the need for additional expansions to the game as well as having a low bar of entry as well. To spice up the game play a bit, however, we will be adding the "Wheel of Handicap" for our D2 mains. For our Destiny Savants- you will be forced to spin the wheel to see what sort of restrictions you'll play with to add some difficulty for yourselves as well as level the playing field to our new players. The game itself will have an hour long time limit to see which team can make it the furthest.
Our next stop is the Award Winning Final Fantasy XIV in our Deep Dungeon Divers. This is one of the game's alternative gameplays where players are set to level one and have to climb the Palace of the Dead with teammates to see who can make it the furthest in the race. While the game is free to play up to level 60 (more than far enough for this game mode) there is a bar of level 17 in order to unlock the Palace of the Dead so please if you are interested in this event (and we hope you are) reach out to your fellow FFXIV gang so they can help get you geared and ready for the event.
The final major gaming event of the weekend is hosted by Star Citizen in their event "Race to the Stars". This is a scavenger hunt style race in which players team up with a pilot and navigator while solving riddles in the Stanton System to complete their race. Screenshots proving that you have arrived at each location are required. The only other requirements are having access to a PU and a ship. Even if you don't have the game itself this is a must-see event for the streaming pleasure as well.
To wrap up the event in its entirety is the 1st Sergeant Association's Social Operation. Not only will we be playing a fun free to play game as an entire group but we will also be going over announcements for promotions and future cross-company pollination events. We hope to see you all there.
The Daymar Rally 2023: Star Citizen
The Daymar Rally is a customary race amongst Star Citizen players. Taking place on Daymar, one of the three moons of the planet Crusader in the Stanton System, this 500+ km vehicle race tests players speed and fast-paced decision making skills. Teams of four choose between three divisions of vehicle types: BUGGIES, TRUCKS, and BIKES as they take part in a five-stage relay with the chances for the winners to come home with in-game spaceship sets.
Two hours prior to the start of the race is when the event really starts though. There are team briefings, setting up server units and getting Comms channels up and running. Being able to see so many people get together for such a high profile event is really inspiring to the gaming community and for Star Citizen itself.
The race itself is a major real-life time commitment too with each roughly 100km section stage potentially taking racers a couple of hours each. Not to mention the "clankly" moving mechanics of the vehicles themselves making maneuvering on the orange- desolate moon a difficult task.
Despite this however, our fellow BWC members: Fluffulupigas, Puma101, Samurai, Firefly and Nightstalker were able to put in a good effort for the showing. Maintaining 7th place until the last 99km of the race when their final Cyclone was unfortunately rendered inoperable and competing against over 700 other players worldwide- they have made us proud as a gaming company.
So, what was it like participating in the race itself?
Fluffulupigas (SC S-2 Analyst):
(As a co-pilot) "I enjoyed the race. Something I always enjoyed and am good at is reading and piloting routes. And since we, more or less, were in this race blind; it was a challenge trying to find the routes. For the first 30-40 minutes my heart was racing as we had the lead with the guys that took overall 1st about 300 meters behind us."
Nightstalker (Task Force Ranger OIC):
(Captain/Driver) "Being sat on the start line with 20+ other teams, my heart rate did start to climb. Once we got the green light it was a relief- we were away and all I had to do was focus on getting us to the first checkpoint. Having the rest of the team there for support, giving directions, and keeping track of our position to them was great- it's a real sense of teamwork. It's why we play these team games."
What can we do moving forward as a team?
Firefly (Company Executive Officer):
(As a co-pilot) "Everyone on the team should be prepared to drive the race buggy. Everyone on the team then needs to practice driving en route. The race buggy has different handling and gravity mechanics and it also has a boost feature that we need to know how to finesse and micromanage."
Security During the Race:
However, the Star Citizen gang is more than just a race team. We boost members specializing in virtually all aspects of game place SC has to offer as well as a constant flow of group operations to keep the game exciting and social. This includes another critical feature to this rally as well as what makes Star Citizen such an immersive and enthralled game.
Since the race takes place in an open world system- there is always the possibility of uninvited guests trying to join the fry. And this couldn't be more true as literal space pirates were a serious concern for the races. BWC members G-LOK and ItsUhMeUhMario joined in on the TRUCK server for security tag teaming with other gaming companies such as Fleet of the Faithful Knights (FFK) and AvengerOne.
"Trucks would be the longest racers in the rally because the vehicles are just slower than the buggies or the bikes. So for us, we had people coming in to attack right when we started. We had constant attacks against us for probably the first 2.5 hours of the race. It was non-stop dogfighting, it was great."
After the success and feedback from the previous race, our crew at BWC is already making preparations for more races in the future. Additionally, they intend to do more practice matches prior to races in order to hone their skills and teamwork and be able to come back to the Daymar Rally 2024 stronger than ever.