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Version 6.40

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All the various updates for v6.40 are listed bellow:

Shipyard Naming

Shipyards will now be auto-named at start (instead of Shipyard #1, Shipyard #2 etc.) and when new shipyards are constructed. The name will be a combination of one or two surnames from the commander names theme plus one of about sixty different suffixes such as "Shipyard", "Shipbuilding Company", "Navy Yard", etc.. This format will also be used for the auto-rename button for shipyards instead of the current set list of Earth-based shipyards.

Some example shipyard names, using the Warhammer 40k commander name theme:

  • Styphus-Mael Heavy Industries
  • Adamantis Shipyard
  • Alaric-Phaeron International
  • Galenus Naval Shipbuilding
  • Valefar Enterprises

I've also created a random company name generator for the Create Research Project window. There is a new text box above the System Name, along with a Suggest Name button. You can keep clicking the suggest name until it creates a manufacturer name you like. That will then be used as a prefix for whatever you call the new system. The Company Name will remain there without being affected by any changes to the parameters, so you can use it for several systems without retyping. The Company Name comprises one or two commander surnames plus potentially a suffix such as Corporation, Industries, etc.. You can leave the company name field blank if desired.

A few example company names, using the Warhammer 40k commander name theme:

  • Crassian Space & Security
  • Vulkan-Ravenor
  • Orias & Galenus Dynamics
  • Anzu-Lazerian Limited
  • Alexander-Vandis
  • Prometheus-Rachmiel Electronics Industries
  • Dominus-Loken
  • Typhon-Macharius
  • Lexandro International
  • Gothicus-Phaeron

Fleet Training Change

Fleet Training rate is currently based on task force commander's crew training plus half the operations officers crew training. For v6.40 this is changing to task force commander's crew training * task force operations bonus. The latter is equal to the operations officer's operations bonus * 25% of task force commander's operation bonus.

So if the TF commander has crew training 200 and ops bonus 10% and the operations officer has ops bonus 20%, the fleet training rating for the task force will be 200 x 1.05 x 1.20 = 252

Order Template Update

Added delete button for Order Templates (and fixed issue with using template when there are already orders in the fleet's queue).

Multiple NPRs in Sol Start

I'm embarking on something of an experiment for v6.40. Sol starts generally require human control of all faction or war breaks out fairly quickly. So for v6.40 I've added a Truce Countdown Clock during game setup. You specify the time for the clock in years and NPRs will have a fixed neutral relationship with races who start in the same system for that period of time. This means you can setup a multi-race (Trans-Newtonian) start in Sol while controlling only one faction. The other factions won't consider attacking unless you attack them first or the clock runs out. Even after the clock runs out, you may still be able to prevent war with diplomatic teams, etc.

In effect, you will have the time on the clock to establish yourself outside the Sol system before all hell is likely to break lose. Even if they fight each other instead of you Earth is probably going to suffer. This isn't a good scenario for turtling and it forces you to go out into the galaxy with less forces than you might like because of the time constraint. The other factions will also be expanding and you might be settling the same worlds.

Underground Infrastructure

Underground Infrastructure functions in the same way as normal infrastructure except for the following:

  1. It costs 10 BP per point, compared to 2 BP for normal infrastructure, because of the need to build artificial gravity into the construction.
  2. It cannot be transported so it must be built on site.
  3. It can only be used on worlds for which the gravity is too low to support a normal colony. In this case, the population lives beneath the surface of the body and makes use of artificial gravity. Because of the difficulties in building and maintaining this infrastructure, the body is treated as colony cost 3.0 for the purposes of underground infrastructure requirements, agriculture/environment, etc..

In essence, Underground Infrastructure is used for hollowing out asteroids and small moons to provide underground living accommodation. It's an immovable underground version of an orbital habitat. Note that as construction of underground infrastructure has to be done on site, you will need either construction brigades or workers living in an orbital habitat manning construction factories up to the point where the asteroid can support enough workers of its own to man construction factories. This makes it a substantial undertaking but allows the creation of asteroid bases etc. Other facilities can be added as normal to the body once workers are available.

This adds some complexity because of the potential interactions between underground infrastructure and orbital habitats so it may throw up the odd bug or two until it's been thoroughly play tested.

Interception Movement

In v6.40, movement of task groups toward non-stationary task groups and non-stationary contacts will use interception movement, plotting a course to rendezvous in the shortest time rather than heading straight for the target. This takes account of minimum distance settings, so where minimum distance is greater than zero, the course will be plotted as the shortest path to a point where the moving TG will be in range of the target TG.

For a target task group or contact to be classed as non-stationary, it must have:

  1. Speed > 0.
  2. At least one order in its order list.
  3. Moved in the previous increment (because some orders don't involve movement or only partially involve movement).

Also added interception movement for missiles vs. ships. (Added partially because this has been requested several times over the years but mainly because I am tired of the Russian Fleet (NPR) being dumb in its attempts to catch the raiding Belasco FACs).

NPR Research Costs

It has often been pointed out that NPRs fall behind quickly in Research. I just figured out why. Because NPRs don't manage their available wealth as well as a human player, they tend to build too much early on and then run out of wealth. To cope with the lack of money they halt their research program. Therefore, in v6.40, NPRs won't pay wealth for research. I know this goes against the general principle of NPRs functioning in a similar way to players, but it is on the same lines as no fuel costs and no maintenance. Ongoing research and reduced costs should make NPRs more capable opponents.

Improved NPR Escort Design

Just realised there is a flaw in automated design for missile-armed escort ships. The number of fire controls was being set according to ship size (as it is for normal warships), regardless of the number of missile launchers. This meant a ship with 40 Size-1 launchers might only have 3 fire controls. Given the max launch capability of 5 AMM vs 1 ASM, this meant a lot of those launchers would not be used in defensive mode. I've fixed this so NPR escorts have a number of fire controls equal to (size-1 launchers / 5) rounded up. This should result in improved anti-missile performance by NPRs.

Energy Weapon Impacts

I've added a new type of contact for v6.40 called energy weapon impacts. These are very similar to explosion contacts except they occur when an energy weapon scores damage on something (ship, missile, shipyard, population or ground unit).

(mainly so I can see what is going on in my current game when NPRs are firing beam weapons at each other)

NPR Scientist Selection

In the past, NPRs have not been selecting the best scientists for their research projects. This is fixed for v6.40, which should help NPR tech advancement. For those familiar with SQL, the word desc can be quite useful in the order by clause Smiley

EDIT: I also found another issue because the NPR research code queues associated projects in groups for a single scientist, such as Laser Focal Size, Laser Wavelength and Capacitor Recharge. The problem is that the third item in that group is a different field of research. NPRs now check each item in their queue for the best scientist at the time of assignment.

NPR Home Systems

I've run into a problem in my own v6.40 test campaign. I've encountered a second NPR home-world system within two jumps of Sol. Unfortunately it's identical to the first NPR home-world system - oops!

Because Aurora system generation is so complex, the home systems for starting NPRs are pre-generated and added to the game along with the NPR. In v6.30 there are only about 15 different systems and it turns out there was nothing to prevent the same one being selected twice.

For v6.40. I have eliminated the possibility of duplicate systems and increased the number of different pre-generated NPR starting systems to 60.

NPRs created after the game has started are handled differently and their systems will always be unique. The above only affects the NPRs generated during game creation.

NPR Salvage Ships

NPRs will begin operating salvage ships in v6.40. To avoid a lot of tricky coding for little game play benefit, any components recovered by NPRs will be disassembled on site and any tech points will be assigned to their capital. They won't get the minerals in the same way though. This should add competition with NPRs, even friendly ones, to be the first to salvage wrecks (as well as giving you another reason to fight the NPR Smiley)

Automated design will include a salvager as well.

NPR Missile Allocation

At the moment NPRs can be wasteful in their allocation of missiles against small targets, such as using a whole salvo from a battlecruiser to take out a single fighter. In v6.40 they should use salvo sizes that are more appropriate for small targets, leaving some launchers unallocated if necessary.

Mineral Generation

Homeworld minerals have been boosted. Minimum amount is now 50,000, minimum accessibility is 0.4 and there should be generally more minerals overall.

Comet minerals have been adjusted. There will be generally be fewer mineral types per comet and of slightly lower accessibility but with the possibility of larger deposits. This should mean the average comet is less useful but there is more chance of a very good comet. This is to avoid the current situation where all comets are generally reasonably good but few are standouts. Also comet mineral generation will now be affected by the size of the comet and the age of the system (in the same way as other system bodies).

Comets will appear in more systems in v6.40 but there will be about the same number overall in the universe.

The mineral deposits on small system bodies under 100 km in diameter should be a little larger. This is to avoid the small asteroids and moons with a few hundred tons of minerals that are not economical to mine.

Black Holes Return

Somehow the Black Holes have been removed from the Real Stars database. I can't remember if this was deliberate or accidental, so I have put them back in.

Brown Dwarfs for Real Stars

I've added one hundred and fifty-nine Brown Dwarf stars to the Known Systems list (now at 4420 systems). Until now there haven't been any brown dwarves in real stars games. These are stars detected by the WISE mission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide-field_Infrared_Survey_Explorer) and therefore have names like WISE 1830+4542 or WISE 1348+6603. Renaming them on discovery is probably a good idea.

NPRs Respecting Capital Planets

In v6.30 and earlier, NPRs will send ships to investigate sensor contacts. This can sometimes mean they will visit your home world every time you launch a new ship (if you are within detection range). This is especially a problem in scenarios where two or more races start in the same system on different worlds.

Therefore, in v6.40 NPRs will respect a zone of ten million kilometres around the capital planets of alien races who are non-hostile when they decide whether to investigate new non-hostile sensor contacts.

If this works out well in practice, I might start extending the concept of exclusion zones so they can made part of diplomacy.

Changes to Shipping Lines

At the moment when a shipping line builds a new ship it checks for ships that are more than 10 years old and are not currently carrying out orders. If it can find one, it is immediately scrapped. The problem is that civilian ships are rarely doing nothing.

In v6.40, when a shipping line builds a new ship it checks for ships that are more than 10 years old regardless of current orders. If it can find one, it is flagged for future scrapping and its default orders are removed. During the 5-day update any ships flagged for scrap and without orders are scrapped at that point. This should result in a lot more of the older ships being scrapped.

I've also added Huge Freighters and Huge Colony Ships, which have 5x the capacity of the Small versions, as potential designs for Shipping Lines. In addition, when choosing a Colony Ship or Freighter the Shipping Line will choose the largest vessel it can afford within the category (after accounting for future dividends) rather than selecting randomly.

Captured Missiles

In v6.40 NPRs will reload their ships using captured missiles if no other option exists

Forced Labour

In v6.40 there is a new type of ground unit - the Forced Labour Unit (FLU). This functions as a Construction Brigade (CB) but with the following differences:

  1. It only costs 40 BP, rather than 150 BP.
  2. It is four times as large, equal to 20 battalions.
  3. The defence strength is 10% of normal ground combat strength, compared to 50% for a CB
  4. It can only be built at populations that have an occupation requirement (currently Conquered, Occupied and Subjugated).
  5. 10,000 population is consumed.
  6. Building one of these units raises unrest by 2%.
  7. FLU do not count toward occupation strength and do not reduce unrest. Their defence strength (equal to 1/10th of a Garrison Unit) is used in ground combat defence only.

The unit is ideal for expanding construction capacity on conquered planets as (like CBs) it does not suffer due to production or unrest modifiers. While it can be moved to other worlds (or the dilithium mines on Rura Penthe), the transport requirement is considerable. Of course, there is also the consideration of whether your Empire is one that would create forced labour camps.

Ground Force Training Facility Changes

As GFTF are military installations that do not require population to operate they will no longer be affected by the Population Status Production Modifier (based on political status) or the Manufacturing Efficiency Modifier (not enough workers). They will still be affected by radiation and by the Economic Production Modifier (negative wealth).

NPR Construction Decisions

If NPRs are running low on missiles, they will now concentrate on building beam warships until the missile stockpile improves. when considering missile stockpiles they will do this separately for offensive missile ships and AMM ships, so they may stop building missile warships if the supply of anti-ship missiles is low but continue building missile escorts if they have a sufficient supply of AMMs.

NPRs will build more ordnance factories than in the past.

The proportion of warships to escorts will determine which to build, so if they have a lot of warships compared to escorts they will build the latter and vice versa.

NPR Terraforming

In v6.40, NPRs will build terraforming ships and terraform their own colonies.

Reduced Size of Beam Fire Controls

In v6.40, all beam fire controls have been halved in size. So a fire control with 4x range would be 2 HS while one with 4x range and 4x speed would be 8 HS.

Contributors

Erik luken, Milki, Mor, TMarkos