Aug 152010
 

We’ve launched the new Star Conquest space system!

Keep in mind that this is merely an initial release. While there’s a few all-new places, our goal was really just to convert existing space to the new system. Mainly, this release is just paving the way for many more changes to follow. Just so that’s clear.

Read the full changelog after the break!

SECTOR STRUCTURE

  • Sectors are no longer numbered 1 through 30, 31 through 60, etc. Instead, sectors each have unique names that you will use to identify them.
  • Sectors are no longer all equally accessible. Instead, sectors are arranged in clusters consisting of a main (or gateway) sector, usually at least one secondary sector, and sometimes more lower-tier sectors.
  • The practical difference between main sectors and the lower tiers is beacon strength. Here’s all you need to understand: main sectors have strong beacons and you can jump to them from pretty much anywhere, exactly like how all sectors worked before. But secondary sectors have weaker beacons, and you must be at their main sector before you can jump to them. This means that to get to Old Earth, you must first jump to the main sector Earthgate, and then you can jump to Old Earth Orbit.
  • You can no longer refer to sectors by their numbers. Except for one deliberate callback, numbered sectors no longer exist. To jump to a sector, such as Old Earth Orbit, you would type JUMP OLD EARTH ORBIT. The command also accepts shortened names. For instance, JUMP OLD EARTH is also sufficient.
  • You can see sectors within your current cluster, plus other immediately accessible sectors, by typing JUMP by itself and selecting YES at the prompt. This list DOES NOT include sectors in other clusters that you cannot immediately access. If it did, it would be overwhelming.
  • You can use the JUMP command to travel to ANY accessible sector, even if it’s not IMMEDIATELY accessible. For example, L5 Station will now be three jumps from any other cluster, but you can type JUMP LAGRANGE 5 from anywhere, and the system will automatically jump three times for you. Additionally, linking jumps like this is much faster than doing them one at a time, so that jumping between places doesn’t take much more time than it did before.
  • In summary:
    • Use the JUMP command as you did before.
    • Answer YES to the prompt that follows if you want to see a list of accessible sectors.
    • Choose to jump to ANY sector you can access and your ship will take you right there, even if it requires multiple jumps.
    • Sectors which are not in your current network, such as how Mutuality space is separate from the other alliances, still cannot be jumped to directly. These are accessible via the same methods you used previously; for instance, via acceleration gates.

SECTOR SECURITY AND PLAYER VS. PLAYER

  • Sectors now have security ratings. These go from the Alpha tier, the safest, to Delta tier, the least safe.
    • Alpha-1 security is completely safe, in that any hostile ships will be set upon by alliance navy or Accord peacekeepers within seconds, reinforced by space-based defenses.
    • In the Beta tier, the next safest, the defending ships take longer to respond and the space-based defenses go away. Your safety isn’t totally guaranteed, but anyone who attacks you must be prepared to face some opposition.
    • In Gamma tier, spaceports become increasingly picky about who they serve. First they will serve only allies, and in very unsecure space, they will accept only their own pilots. Also at this level, spaceports can be influenced by conquest activities taking place in their region.
    • In the lowest level of the Gamma tier and below, spaceports are outright capturable in battles.
    • In the Delta tier, alliances have no recognized authority and your faction standings will take precedence in your relations with other ships and spaceports.
    • At this time, only sectors in the Beta tier and above will be accessible.
  • The high security responder ships will take the place of the old navy system, which has been disabled for some time anyway due to the strain it placed on the server. The new system has a much lower overhead, and we’ve also greatly upgraded our server hardware since then.
  • The Accord Peacekeeper force will now respond to defend unclaimed and neutral sectors in Accord space. Miscellaneous Tandem Pact ships will respond similarly near Mutuality space.
  • As mentioned above, very high security sectors will now have space-based defenses. These will probably guarantee the destruction of any hostile ship. Hostile ships are considered to be enemy alien factions, alliances at war, or any ship containing blacklisted pilots. Additionally, any ship that that sector’s controller considers to be under its protection will be actively defended against hostiles.
  • Player vs. player conflict is intended to be essentially impossible to pursue in high-security sectors, to the point where successfully carrying it out in Alpha-1 security will probably be considered a game exploit. In Gamma tier sectors, there is nothing to actively prevent player vs. player conflict, but it may still be considered an act of war in character, exactly as all sectors tended to work previously. In the Delta tier, you should expect and be prepared for active conflict regardless of war status. If you go to low-security space, you’re accepting that risk.
  • Some aspects of Gamma and Delta security may change before their release as we finalize the design.

RESOURCES

  • Resources are now linked to particular sectors rather than scattered sort of everywhere.
  • Debris can no longer be found just anywhere in uncharted space. Instead, certain sectors are known to contain clouds of debris, and you may go to these to salvage. Mostly, these are exactly the same sectors that contained debris before, now under new names. Additionally, uncharted space around these sectors also contains debris.
  • Asteroids, similarly, can no longer be found just by exploring uncharted space from any point. Instead, you should look for asteroid belts or clusters and search from there.
  • Local artifacts… can you guess? That’s right, they’re no longer found just anywhere. There is currently one source for them. Solve the mystery! Clue: Pivotal battle of the Outsider War.

UPCOMING CHANGES

  • Firstly, the game will probably be full of bugs for the next couple of days as we find things that didn’t handle the conversion so well. Enjoy!
  • We plan to greatly expand the geography of Known Space, in particular adding in sectors at Gamma and Delta security.
  • Certain objects in space are likely to be rearranged in the near future, such as space markets, asteroid belt management stations (which are currently nowhere near asteroid belts), stars, and other things.
  • Mutuality space is largely untouched by the conversion and is not finalized. It’ll probably undergo an overhaul of its own soon.
  • Factions will become more important throughout the game and particularly in Delta security.
  • The new stations all take the form of tiny placeholders at the moment. These will be built into proper destinations over time.
  • Activities such as mail delivery, courier jobs, and running passengers will take security level into account in the near future, and will tend to keep you at the same security tier.
 Posted by at 5:01 am

  3 Responses to “Star Conquest’s New Space System Launched!”

  1. Awesome changes. I can’t wait until Gamma and Delta space is put in.

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