1. Game general information, terminology, and sector map
1.1 What is FarSpace?
It is a game. It is turn based, but also a kind of real time game. Turn based because a turn is one hour (or two on week ends)... real time because the clock and the game don't stop when you go to sleep. Briefly, the objective is to re-unite the galaxy after a catastrophic government collapse. Use your skill and judgment as one of many prominent commanders to expand your empire, construct buildings and ships, command large fleets, negotiate diplomatic relations with other commanders, or wipe them out. Only the most skillful commander will be able to re-unite the galaxy and be elected as the new imperator!
1.2 I see a lot of acronyms in this document and the game... what do they mean? What is the best way to find answers to my questions in the document?
CP - Construction Points
Here are some abbreviations, too:
Adv. - Advanced
The best way to find an answer you want is to search this document with your browser or text editor for key words associated with your question. Or, just read the whole thing... you might learn a lot!
1.3 Where is the center of the galaxy?
Refer to the Messages section to learn about messages in the events section. When you see an EMR forecast, you can view its location. This will show you where the center of the galaxy is located on the sector map. Your starting location will be somewhere around this point.
1.4 Do star types matter?
Somewhat. Orange, Yellow, and Yellow-white stars tend to have more planets around them. Red stars usually have 1 or 2, maybe 3. Blue stars are somewhat more random... Other than that, there isn't much difference.
1.5 Where do players start?
Players start in one of two rings of systems around the center of the galaxy. These starting positions are fairly evenly spaced. You will likely see some systems where you start that have terrestrial worlds. These are probably occupied by other players in the galaxy... sometimes not. If the system is not along one of the starting place rings, then it will probably be controlled by a mutant or other faction.
1.6 What is at the center of the galaxy?
A black hole. When you get a chance, send a scout there and check it out...
1.7 Can we go to other galaxies?
Yes... start an account for another galaxy. Otherwise, no. No communication or travel is permitted between any two galaxies. (There have been suggestions to allow this, but they have been denied)
1.8 What are the symbols next to my star system?
There are many symbols that may be next to your star system. See the help file on interface symbols for details.
1.9 What are these blue circular areas around my systems?
These areas represent the area covered by scanner equipment in that system. This can be from structures like outposts and comm centers, or ship control units and additional scanner components.
Note that this area is affected by EM Radiation. Alerts will be sent to your galaxy's news message area to give forecasts about the level of radiation. The higher the radiation, the smaller the area your scanners cover, with 100 being normal. (See the "Messages and News" section for more information on news items)
1.10 Hey! I see something that someone wrote next to a system... How do I do that?
This is a text buoy. You can have up to 30 separate personal buoys. From the system overview (accessed by clicking on a star on the sector map), you can add, edit, or delete a buoy. You can have 10 buoys that are visible to your allies or scanner partners. Check mark the "visible to allies" box so allies can see the buoy text on the map. Check mark the "visible to scanner shares" box so that those you have a scanner sharing treaty with can see the buoy text on the map. Otherwise only you will be able to see it. You can write multiple lines, but only 2 lines will be displayed on the map. A little flag will also be placed next to the system to indicate that a buoy is there.
1.11 Okay... so how do I win the game?
The usual goal is to become elected as the imperator of the galaxy. This happens when a player receives 2/3 rd of all the votes from the players. When this occurs twice in a row for a player, they have the ability to have the galaxy ended and "restarted". This is a total and complete victory. I believe that just managing to survive to the galaxy end is winning in a way. It means you were skilled and smart enough to get along with enough other commanders to not get wiped out.
Once you have been elected imperator twice, you will be able to restart the galaxy. This option appears under "Menu".
1.12 How long does a game take?
Many months. Upwards of a year or so... it depends on when an imperator is elected and when he/she decides to end the galaxy.
1.13 How can I tell how long it will take for my fleet to go to system x?
During the move command, estimated ETA will be displayed on screen.
Otherwise, you can press
1.14 How often do I have to log in? What if I don't want to play?
Currently, a newbie account (less than a week old?) will expire in 7 days, and a normal account (older than 7 days) will time-out in 21 days. This is normal time and not game time.
If you try the game out and you find that you don't want to play for whatever reason, please resign instead of letting the account time-out. This allows other players the opportunity to try the game and keeps the particular account from getting behind so the next player isn't disadvantaged as much.
If you are an established player and need/want to leave the game, I'd discuss this with your allies to determine how to best serve them, since they will be the ones affected most by the change. Perhaps resigning so a new player can take over the account, letting allies take over planets by military means, or some more efficient method of planet transfer... Of course, you may not like your allies, in which case it is up to you to figure out what to do. ;-)
It is also important to remove your fleets from your allies' systems. A new player may not retain military pacts with them, and thus battle may ensue.
2. Messages and News
2.1 What are the different message areas and what are they for?
The top section is for you personal messages. The "mailbox" is where you receive messages from other commanders and where you create new messages to them. The "sent" area contains all the messages you have sent to other commanders. The "events" are all the construction, battles, and other notices relevant to your empire. Each turn you will likely get new messages here, so it is a good idea to check these to see how things are going. The first number in the right column is the number of unread messages, and the second number is the total messages in the section. You can delete any message you like, or delete them all. This doesn't actually delete them, but makes them unavailable to you unless you reinstall the client or delete the appropriate file to make them all load again. Also, in your events section, you can right click to show a menu of options for the particular message. You can view location or source, and/or delete the message.
The second section is for the galaxy news and public communication, for which you are playing in. News events consist of "ecological disasters", "EMR forecasts", election notices. The public area is accessible to all galaxy players and may be used for general communication (usually for "in-game" communication).
The last section is for channels accessible to all players. The news channel is intergalactic news on reunited galaxies and their imperators. The public channel is similar to the public channel of a specific galaxy... The QA channel is for asking questions and hopefully getting answers. The Suggestions channel is for submitting suggestions to Admin for game improvements. Others will likely voice their opinions as well on a topic you post... some for or some against. Admin has the final say on any suggestions. The Issues channel is for posting bugs or other "features" of the game that are abnormal to specified game play. Anything from disappearing ships to glitches in the GUI are discussed. Usually issues are corrected by the next update... however, some are so minor, that they are almost a non-issue and will likely not be corrected until most of the major issues are resolved.
2.2 How do I talk to all the other commanders in my galaxy?
For starters, you can use the public forum specific to the galaxy you are in. Once you make contact with another player, then you can send messages privately to them.
2.3 Oops... I deleted all my messages in [section]. How do I get them back?
Reinstall the client or delete the contents of the /vars directory where you installed the game. You will have to re-delete all message that you had deleted before.
2.4 I have a [dumb] question... should I ask it on the QA channel?
If your question is not answered in this FAQ or in the QA channel, then yes. Usually the only dumb question is one that is not asked. However, if the answer is obvious or not available, your question may go unanswered. Please be clear in stating your question so others can respond appropriately.
2.5 Umm... I can't read half the stuff here! It's in some strange language... How can I know what is being said?
Usually you can post a request for a translation and someone with the skill to do so will summarize what was said for that message thread. There have been suggestions for some means to automatically translate a message through the computer, but this is technical challenge that my take some time to work out, and usually these kind of translators are not very accurate. So, for now, figure it out, ask about, or do with out.
3. Techs and research
3.1 Where do I find the tech tree?
You can view it on-line at: Tech Tree
When you view it, you can also download it by selecting
File > Save File As... or
3.2 What do the numbers on the tech tree mean?
The numbers indicate the tech level and sub-level. The number in the colored box indicates the over all tech level you have to have to research the tech. The small number right before it indicates the level the previous tech must be research to before it becomes available to select to your research queue.
3.3 Which race should I play?
All of them. When you have played them all, you will know which one to play. Some have said that playing Cyborg or Human is easier, but that Bionic is more rewarding. Take your pick...
3.4 Some tech labels are yellow... is that a warning?
Techs with yellow techs indicate a mutually exclusive branch in the tech tree. If you research the one on top, then you will not be able to research the one below. When you choose which race type to research, the other race techs will become unavailable once you complete the first research level.
3.5 So, if I choose research one race, then I can't research technologies belong to another race?
Correct. Each technology that is specific to one or more races is indicated in parenthesis: "(Bionic)" or "(Cyborg, Human)" or something like this.
3.6 Which race has the best race specific buildings?
All race specific techs give different advantages. The game is designed to be balanced so that one race doesn't have a significant advantage over another. The general "trend" is that Cyborg have greater production capacity, Human have higher energy and science production, and Bionic have the possibility of highest efficiency over time.
3.7 How many techs can I research at one time?
One at a time. However, you can have many listed in your research queue. Each will be researched in the order you select them. You can adjust the order by using the up/down arrows and the "top" button. (Note: clicking on a column header to sort the list by name will not research them in the sorted column order)
3.8 What does "repeat" do?
You can select this to repeat research on a selected tech so that you don't have to re-select it to your research list once the current level is completed.
3.9 Why would I want to "abort" researching a tech?
You figure it out.
3.10 What does researching a tech to higher levels do?
It improves some of the properties of the process or item that the tech allows. The values that improve, or change, are highlighted in the information screen. For example, at level 3-1, a bio-factory only produces 15 CP (with 100 environment and no production modifiers). When you research level 3-3, then the bio-factory produces 20 CP. At level 3-5, it produces 25 CP. However, some tech info doesn't show an item that improves... if it doesn't show anything, be assured that something does improve, likely something very specific to the tech. For example, increase and decrease planet orbit have a base value of 20, but this isn't shown in the tech info screen. But as it is researched, it changes from 15 to 17 to 20 to 22 to 25.
3.11 So, if things improve with higher levels, how much do they improve?
Currently, the values are based on the values of the tech at level 3. Level 1 is 0.75 times the base value, level 2 is 0.875 times the base value, level 3 is 1.00 times the base value, level 4 is 1.125 the base value, and level 5 is 1.25 the base value. Most fractional portions are truncated. An exception to this is the speed up factor produced by comm centers and star gates.
3.12 What is population support and what do I do about it?
Population support is a drain on your research points. The more population or higher TL you are at, the more population support is required. The only way to lower this is to have fewer population. It would most likely be better to build more research facilities to compensate for higher population support costs instead of trying to lower your population. There are ways, but they are for you to figure out.
3.13 How do I get more research?
Two ways. Build more research facilities or obtain research pacts with other players. Killing off your population will lower your population support with the net effect of more available research, but we discourage such barbaric methods!
3.14 I want to get a good start... what should I research first?
This varies from player to player, but the general consensus is as follows:
4.1 Why should I bother with diplomacy?
Pacts with other players give you significant bonuses. There are 8 pacts available.
4.2 How do I make a pact with another player?
You must first make contact with that player with either one of your ships or one of the other players ships, or have planets with in scanner range. Then you can use the diplomacy screen to make pacts. Enable your side of the pact on the left side by highlighting the player and the pact to make, and then clicking "enable". The other player must enable their side as well before the pact will be made. It is a good idea to send the other player a message through your message center to notify them of first contact and that you wish to make pacts with them (See "Messages" section for more information). To not offer or accept pacts could be considered as a hostile position. Note: you can NOT enable a pact when a required pact (from the right column list of pacts) is selected but you do not have the required relationship level.
4.3 What pacts are available and at what levels?
From Enemy, to Unfriendly, to Neutral, only "passage for civilian ships", "passage for military ships", and "permission to tank ships" are available. At friendly, "limited trade agreement", "scanner map exchange", and "research information exchange" become available. When you reach allied relationship, then "unlimited trade agreement" and "research cooperation" are made available.
4.4 What does the "passage for civilian ships" pact do?
It allows civilian ships to pass by planets and military fleets of the other player with out being attacked.
4.5 What does the "passage for military ships" pact do?
It allows military ships to pass by planets and military fleets of the other player with out being attacked.
4.6 What does the "permission to tank ships" pact do?
Allows the other player's fleets to refuel at your systems which have appropriate refueling structures.
4.7 What does the "limited trade agreement" pact do?
Gives a bonus to production of both players.
4.8 What does the "scanner map exchange" pact do?
Exchanges what each players scanners see. This does not include scanner areas of other players which they have scanner map exchange with.
4.9 What does the "research information exchange" pact do?
Gives a bonus to research of both players.
4.10 What does the "unlimited trade agreement" pact do?
Gives another bonus to production of both players.
4.11 What does the "research cooperation" pact do?
Gives another bonus to research of both players.
4.12 How do I vote for someone?
Select the player you wish to vote for and click "Elect".
4.13 What if I don't want to vote for a particular player anymore?
Choose another player and elect them, or choose "Abstain". You can always vote for your self.
4.14 What about mutant and renegade factions? Do they make pacts?
They will usually agree to the first level of pacts, even if you have been attacking them and want a cease fire. Though, I don't think that anyone would want to make any sort of long term relation with them...
4.15 What about pirates?
I don't know... I haven't played against a sentient pirate yet. AI controlled pirates don't like anyone...
4.16 What does highlighting do?
By default, you are green and all other players are colored based on their diplomatic relation to you. Red for enemy, orange for unfriendly, yellow for neutral, purple for friendly, and light blue for allied. You can turn highlighting on so that you can define the specific color you want for a particular player, regardless of diplomatic relation. Those which do not have a selected color will use the default based on diplomatic status. When you have highlighting turned on, the "Highlight OFF" will be lit and the "Highlight ON" button will be dim. To pick a color, right click a player in the list and select "Define color". This is a hexadecimal RGB (Red/Green/Blue) value. You can experiment to see what works for you, or find a nice table somewhere that has a bunch of colors to choose from to find the code you want. To disable highlighting for a particular player, right-click and select "Disable highlight".
5. Ship construction and fleets
5.1 I researched small hull, but I can't design any ships! What's going on?
You must research both "Small hull" AND "Cockpit" to at least level 1-1 before you can begin to design ships.
5.2 How many designs can I create?
40. If you want more, don't ask... Admin will get upset. Use strategies that require fewer designs. Upgrade your old designs or scrap them.
5.3 What kind of ships can I design?
Civilian or military. Any ships with a weapon is military. You start the game with the ability to construct 2 types of military and 2 types of civilian ships. When you have the required technology, you can make your own designs. Only small hull technology is available at TL1. Medium hull technology becomes available at TL2 and large hull technology becomes available at TL3. Additional race specific hulls and components will be made available from TL3 to TL5. These allow you to create a wide variety of designs for many purposes.
5.4 There is a lot of information on the ship design screen... what do I need to know?
Here are some tips. First click "New Design" at the bottom of the ship design list. Then select the hull type and control unit from the ones available in the lists. This will show you the base amount of slots and payload available for this initial configuration. The larger the hull, the more weapons and components you can install on them. Each ship component takes space and/or adds weight. You can add and remove components from a new design by clicking the "Add" and "Remove" buttons. You can increase and decrease the number of that component installed by clicking the +/- buttons. Each change will affect the total weight and slots available, as well as other ship information on the right side. Adding weapons and armor increase the ships weight and MP, while decreasing available slots, payload, and speed. Adding FTL drives increases the ships speed and range, and increases the ships fuel support. All components, including the hull and control unit, cost CP when constructed. The total cost will be displayed in the bottom of the right side. You can NOT design a ship that is invalid, in that either the hull doesn't match the correct control unit, there is too much weight, there are negative slots left, or you have designed a ship with a component that is not allowed (plasma bombs, turrets, or torpedoes on a small hull). When you have completed the design process, click "Construct" to save the design. If you click on another design before you save it, your work will be lost. Also, you can view a components information by hovering over it on the component list or highlighting it and checking the information bar at the bottom of the screen. Note that each weapon has its own attack bonus and ROF.
5.5 What are Att and Def? What do they do?
These values indicate the Attack and Defense the ship has. The Attack value is used to determine your chances of hitting a target. The defense value is used to to determine your opponents chance to hit your ship. For example, if your ship has an attack of 5 and a defense of 5, and the enemy ship has an attack of 7 and a defense of 7, then the other ship is harder for you to hit and hits your ship more often. The exact formula is this:
Hit probability = (Your att + weapon att) / (Your att + weapon att + target def)
5.6 So how do I tell my fleet to target other ships?
You don't. Fleets are ordered by *current* HP, from least to greatest. The first ships in the line up will be targeted first. The exception to this is with ship class specific weapons. These will target the first ship ordered by HP in the line up of the requisite ships class. This includes weapons that can only target planetary structures. It is up to you to design your ships so that the order is the way you want. (HINT: Add armor to have different HP)
5.7 What is absorption? What are the stats?
This is the ability of a particular hull class to absorb damage *PER* hit, as follows:
5.8 What about weapon class? How does that affect damage done to a target?
Each weapon is associated with a particular class of hull. For example, cannons are designed to attack small hulls, missiles to attack medium hulls, torpedoes to attack large hulls, and bombs to attack planets. Each weapon class can NOT attack any hull of a lower class than what it was designed for, and some weapons can only be installed on medium or large hulls. When a weapon designed for a small hull attacks a larger hull, the damage is reduced. Here are the stats:
5.9 What about shot limits per hull? What is this all about?
This was implemented to lengthen out battles... and for some other not so clear reasons. The proposed formula for determining the hit probabilities is as follows:
Shots allowed = (# of targets) * (2+) for each weapon class
Note that (2+) means that if a particular fleet has only weapons of class less than the target, then this may be 4 or 6. If a fleet of small hull fighters were attacking a large hull with only cannons, they would have 6 shots each without penalty instead of only 2.
Each additional number of shots allowed receives a -25% penalty.
For example, 10 medium hulls with trained crews and with 2 cannons, 2 ss missiles, and 2 torpedoes each attacks 3 large hulls with 8 SS missiles each. With the above rule, the hit probability would be calculated as follows:
For the medium hulls - Cannons; attack = 5 + 10 = 15
For the medium hulls - SS missiles; attack = 5 + 7 = 12
For the medium hulls - Torpedoes; attack = 5 + 7 = 12
For the large hulls - SS missiles; attack = 2 + 7 = 9
5.10 How do I tell my fleets to go somewhere or do something?
Click on the fleet to open its fleet screen. Click "New Command" near the bottom middle (at the bottom of the command list). From the command screen, you can choose a star system to "move to" (default), "refuel at", "deploy", "wait", "declare war", and "repeat". If you issue a "refuel at" command to another system, the fleet will move to that system and then refuel. If there is a colony ship (a ship with a colony module) in the fleet, you can issue the "deploy" command and the fleet will move to that system and attempt to deploy the colony to the selected planet. If you select the wait command, you can choose the number of turns to wait (the default is 1). This is useful for waiting before executing the next command that will be entered into the command list. You can select "declare war" and then a target, either a planet or a fleet (first select the star system) of another player, and your fleet will move there and attack. The repeat command allows you to loop back to a previous command in the command list once it is reached. You can set the active command by highlighting the desired command and clicking "Set Active". However, you can not change commands once a fleet is en route to a destination. I assume you know how to use "delete" and "delete all" on the command list...
5.11 How do I upgrade one ship design to another?
Open the ship construction screen, Select the design you want to upgrade, then click the "Upgrade" button. In the list of available ships designs (only those of the same hull type will be displayed), select the one you wish to upgrade to. The first column is the ship name you have given it. The second column is the UCP cost to upgrade per ship that you have of the design to upgrade. The last column is the total UCP required to upgrade all ships of the design upgrading to the design in the 1st column. You will also have to have available the required UCP in your upgrade pool (See your Empire overview screen). If you do not have enough CP in the pool, you will have to construct "Upgrade ships" task to produce them. The amount of UCP produced from this depends on the research level you have obtained. At level 5, you can produce 300 UCP for the cost of 240 CP. The CP that is converted to the upgrade pool are no longer CP, upgrade construction points. They are only good for upgrading ships, and while in the pool, a maintenance penalty applies as if the whole pool were a ship. So every 1000 points costs 1 point for maintenance.
When you have sufficient CP in your upgrade pool, the ships designated for upgrade will automatically be upgraded, *IF* they are in a system with a structure capable of performing upgrades, *AND* the upgrade structure has sufficient "Upgrade Points". These upgrade points are more like slots... you can only fit so many ships on the port or in the dock. The ships must also not be in combat. The structures that can upgrade will have upgrade points based on its stats and tech level. It takes 1 upgrade point to upgrade a small hull. It takes 5 points to upgrade a medium hull. It takes 10 points to upgrade a large hull. These points are reset each turn before construction.
Also note that the cost for upgrades of UPC is the difference in CP cost of the two designs, times 1.375, with a minimum cost of 120. So, even though you get 300 UPC with 240 CP, that is only a 25% bonus, which leaves 12.5% in additional cost. At some point, upgrading from a really cheap hull to an expensive hull will require more CP than just building the more expensive hull from scratch. Another thing to consider is that if the HP of the two designs nets an increase, the upgraded ship will have to repair the difference in HP. If the HP is down graded, there is no need to repair them down; they are removed immediately. It also doesn't matter what is installed on the ship. The only thing that matters is the total CP of each design. The exception to this is when upgrading from a standard ship design to one that requires a strategic resource. In this case one resource per upgrade is required. If you don't have the resouce, then the ships will not be upgraded.
5.12 I just checked one of my systems and it said it only had x upgrade points... but it is suppose to have y upgrade points. What's going on?
This system is showing you the *available* upgrade points. Some of them were used in the previous turn for upgrading ships. Note that your allies ships can upgrade at your ports as well and will use the available upgrade points.
5.13 I have a fleet located at another player's system but it isn't refueling... What's wrong?
It could be one of several things:
If your fleet has more fuel percentage than what the system can refuel, your fleet will NOT refuel. However, it will not lose fuel while there. If the system has no refueling structures, then your fleet can not be refueled and will continue to consume fuel at its normal rate. Note that even though you may not be losing fuel at a system with a refueling structure, a message will be shown in your problems list indicating that the fleet isn't refueling. This is normal, but be sure that it is the case and not a fleet wasting fuel sitting in a system where it will eventually run out. Obviously you can't refuel in a another player's system if you are attacking him... or even your own system if it is being attacked.
5.14 How do I colonize another planet with a colony ship?
Send your colony ship to an uninhabited planet. Then issue a new command. Select the "Deploy" button at the bottom of the command window and select the planet to deploy to (the little square to the left of the star). You can NOT deploy to an inhabited planet, even if another player wants you to.
5.15 I have set up a redirect, but the ship is still sitting there... how come?
It may take several turns for the ship to accept its orders. You do not need to tell it to move (unless you just can't wait!), and while it sits, you will see a message in the "Problems" list that it isn't refueling if the system it is constructed in doesn't have refueling structures. This is normal.
Note: The delay appears to be a 6 turn cycle, so that every six turns, what ever new ships have been constructed there with the redirect enabled, will then be given the "move to" command.
5.16 So what is the best ship design?
Hint: Bigger is better... (for now)
5.17 Can I save my designs locally and use them for a later game?
Not in the game specifically. You will need to use a some other medium to save your designs, whether in a text file, spread sheet, or on a piece of paper.
5.18 I don't have enough slots for more ship designs... how can I save more designs?
Scrap a ship design to make room for the new design. You might want to upgrade the design to another one before doing so...
5.19 My ships are too expensive... how do I reduce my ship support?
You can send them off to your enemies to be atomized... I am sure they will like that! You can down-grade them to cheaper designs... you can also scrap individual ships on the fleet screen. Just click on the fleet you want to remove ships from, highlight the ship to scrap and click the "Scrap" button. Or, you can scrap the whole lot of a particular design from the ship construction screen... use with caution.
5.20 What happens when my fleet runs out of fuel? What if I can't support the fleets I have because I don't have enough production?
They will eventually be destroyed. Ships that do not have fuel or CP for support will lose HP per turn until destroyed. Only sufficient fuel or CP requirements will prevent ship self destruct. I am not sure which ships will be destroyed first when you lack sufficient CP support... I have no desire or need to test this.
5.21 What happens when a ship is damaged? What is affected?
The only affect is the ability to attack. The amount of weapons or ROF is reduced so that the over all MP is proportional to the current HP.
5.22 What happens if I split my fleet while in combat, or I am attacked by 2 enemy fleets? How are my fleet's weapon shots affected?
It appears that weapons are targeted based on either the number of ships or the total HP of each fleet. So, the larger fleet will take more hits from the opposing fleet, where as the smaller fleet will take less. Also, fleets that are split and then issued a "move to" command will have their attack reduced substantially (to 1/3) as the fleet "regroups" for departure while withdrawing from combat for 3 turns. This limitation will be removed for fleets that are not "under fire" from any opposing fleets.
6. Systems, Planets, and structures
6.1 How do I build things?
Use your "Task queue". Click on the "New" box and then select the item you want to build from the list. You can choose a different type list by clicking on the appropriate tab on the bottom left. You can have up to 10 construction tasks. Each task can have a quantity which will be repeated until that quantity has been constructed.
6.2 Can I build things to another planet in the same system?
Yes. Just select the planet from planet list on top right of the build task screen. You can also build structures onto an another player's planet if in the same system. This can be good if that player is your ally... or it could be bad if he is your enemy! Note that when you build to another planet, the cost of construction is double. So, take this into account when deciding to have one planet help another with construction. It may be cheaper to have the one planet build for its self what it needs rather than have another planet do it... it depends on what you want to build and how fast.
6.3 How do I replace a structure with a different one?
When you begin a build task, you can select the structure to replace from the list on the middle right. The selected structure will be removed AFTER the project is complete and just BEFORE the new structure is placed in the slot. Take care when replacing all construction producing structures with non-production structures on a planet, as this will prevent any further construction on that planet.
Note that the first building of the type specified will be replaced first. So, if you are replace one of two factories which is damaged, make sure to move the damaged one to before the undamaged one so that what you indended will happen. Also note that once you select a building to replace, you can not change it later. To change, you will have to abort the task and create a new one. If the building type specified doesn't exist when the project is complete, then a free slot will be used. If there are no free slots, the project is wasted.
6.4 How do I get more planets?
There are several ways:
6.5 Does planet type matter?
Yes, if you choose to be Bionic. Bionics require high environment to function well. The other two races have no need to concern them selves about it. However, prior to choosing one of these two, all commanders will do well to use the higher environment planets (better planet types) to produce bio (food). Planet type is also limited by the available energy the planet has.
6.6 What are minerals good for?
A lot. For one, they are what make your basic factories work. They are also required for Titanium factories, Factory complexes, Hi-tech Factories, and Mega-factories. The amount of minerals is the percentage the factory's base production is multiplied by. For example, a standard factory at level 3 produces 10 CP per turn. On a planet with 100 minerals, the factory would produce the base amount, 10 CP x 100% (or 1.00) = 10 CP. On a planet with 50 minerals, the same factory would only produce 5 CP. 10 CP x 50% (or 0.50) = 5 CP. And, on a planet with 180 minerals, the same factory would produce 18 CP. 10 x 180% (or 1.80) = 18 CP. Note that if you are Bionic, one bio-factory produces 50 CP at level 5 on a world with 200 environment. A ti-factory produces 50 CP on a planet with 138 minerals. Also, using a ti-factory on a world with less than 138 minerals isn't bad... but each ti-factory require one unit of the strategic resource, titanium.
6.7 What is environment good for?
See question and answer 6.5. Environment also is required for most Bionic specific structures: Biofactory, Bio Power Plant, Hive, & Greenhouse farm. The standard farm requires environment as well. The same calculation for minerals applies to environment. For example, one standard farm at level 3 has a base bio production of 100. On a planet with 100 environment, it will produce 100 bio per turn. See question and answer 6.6 for other similar examples. Environment can be increased through the use of farms and other environmentally friendly structures. It will be reduced by unfriendly structures like standard factories, oil power plants, and such... (See question and answer 6.12)
6.8 What is energy abundance good for?
Energy abundance is used by solar power plants and other related structures to produce energy for structure requirements. The same calculation for minerals and environment applies to energy abundance. For example, one standard solar power plant at level 3 has a base energy production of 100. On a planet with an energy abundance level of 100, it will produce 100 energy per turn. Note that energy abundance is not the same as energy production. See question and answer 6.6 for other similar examples. The energy abundance can be modified with high level technology... (See question and answer 6.13)
6.9 Why are there free workers? Aren't they wasting food?
Free workers are a good thing, for the most part. The exact number is based on the total number of slots available and the current requirements due to existing structures. The formula is:
Planet Population = (Needed workers) * 1.125 + (Free Slots * 250 * TL)
There are free workers so that new building have a pool of labor to draw from, and so that bombardment doesn't degrade the performance of your structures until all the free workers are .. um .. working.
6.10 How do I rename a system?
From the planet view, click on the star to view the system information. Click the "Rename" button and enter a new system name. Select the numbering type and click "Done". If you use invalid characters or do not select a numbering type, you will not be able to save the new system name. You can rename a system only once per day and only systems that you control completely. (It has been proposed to allow any owner of a planet to be allowed to rename the system... we'll have to see if this happens.)
6.11 What does "redirect" do?
Redirect is an automated method of directing newly constructed ships to another system. This allows for a central gathering point without having to issue the move command to each new ship. The redirect may take several turns to actually take place, but is much nicer to let the ships move them selves than to take time each turn to command each one of them... You set up a redirect by clicking the "Redirect to [system name]" or "Redirection OFF" to bring up the sector map. Then click the system to move all new ships constructed in that system to. Then click "Redirect" to set it. You can cancel a redirect by going to this same screen and clicking "Redirect OFF". When a redirect is enabled, a blue path will be shown on the sector map pointing to the system the redirect is set to.
Note: it appears that redirects can be "chained", so that you can redirect from one system to another, and then to another, etc. I can only imagine what happens if you create a closed loop of redirects... actually, I believe the ships will go in "circles" until they run out of fuel and disappear.
6.12 If I am Bionic, how do I improve a planets environment? Do I need to terraform?
Use farms, or greenhouse farms to produce bio and environment. Bio-factories and hives also produce some environment. You can also construct "improve environment" with your (bio) factories, if you have the technology. Another method is to manufacture mutagen, a Bionic only strategic resource that is only acquired by synthesis. This can be used to then construct mutagen dispensers which produce a high amount of environment per turn. Recently, "initiate environment" was made obsolete, so environment producing structures will take effect on 0 environment worlds automatically.
At some point, you will need to terraform the planets you are upgrading to the next level. All requirements for the next level must be met. The planet must have at least the minimum environment of the next level, and have the required energy abundance. There is also the possibility for a planet to automagically terraform its self. Recently, the rate for automatic terraforming was modified. Now it is set at 1/10000 for Cyborg, 1/2000 for Human, and in 1/20 for Bionic for every point over minimum of the next level. So, with a 5% per point per turn, it isn't likely that a bionic will need to terraform.
Also note that the reverse is true. If the environment falls below the minimum for the current environment, then the planet will automatically be down graded to the next lower level, and if left to continue to deterierate, it will eventually become a "lifeless rock"...
6.13 What else can we do to planets?
You will want to research "habitable surface expansion" so that you can fully use the whole surface of each planet. Most planets start with about half of the total slots available for use. You will need to construct the habitable surface expansions to acquire use of the remaining unavailable slots.
Another process that can be useful is to change a planets orbit. This technology becomes available in TL5. Orbits can be increased or decreased. This will change the energy abundance that the planet gets from the star. This is important for planets that have either too little or too much energy to support a higher environment, or for getting more energy abundance to obtain higher solar power energy output.
Also at TL5, there are technologies that allow you to create planets from gas giants and asteroids. Note that the number of slots of the planet obtained after "condensing" a gas giant is 1/100 th its original diameter. All other planets will have 1/10 the number of slots of its diameter. Asteroids are given a random number of slots when they are formed, usually between 4 and 10, from my experience (though I have heard of up to 14 slots).
Note: These projects are contructed like you would a structure to another planet. If the planet you select is not valid for the build task, you will be told so.
6.14 I want to get a good start with planet production... what should I do?
Usually you will have a couple of extra slots on your first planet when you begin. It is a good idea to fill these with useful structures. Most players begin with 2 factories and replace a farm with another factory. The next thing to build is outposts on any other habitable planets in the system. Usually, the best approach is to initially build factories on worlds where there are high minerals (100 or more) and research centers on worlds where minerals are low (less than 100). However, even worlds with 98 minerals will produce 12 CP with level 1-5 factories. Note that minerals below 80 will produce fewer CP with a level 1-5 factory than a level 1-5 outpost. However, the outpost requires 4 x the population to operate. Also, you will need to construct extra farms and/or power plants as needed to keep your population fed and your structures powered. You can replace outposts with other buildings later when the new planet is full and you no longer need its bio, energy, or CP production to reduce population. It isn't uncommon to eventually have systems with multiple planets where each planet is somewhat more specialized in one function or another. For example, in your home system, the first planet closest to the star is usually a good source of abundant energy and is capable of producing a lot of power with solor power structures. It also may have high minerals and good for CP production. The starting planet, usually the second planet starts with 100 environment and 100 minerals. It is good for production of bio and CP. The third planet may be good for either CP or RP production depending on the amount of available minerals.
6.15 What about the "ancient" structures? Should I keep them?
In the beginning of the game, before you reach TL3, these are the best buildings in the game you can have. I would strongly suggest keeping them until you have acquired technology to construct buildings that exceeds thier production, or you need to swap out research facilities for more production and you have sufficient research production elsewhere.
6.16 What does morale do, and what affects it?
Morale is in indicator of how content the population of the particular planet is. When morale is high, you get a production bonus to CP and RP, in addition to the bonus from empire effectivity. A morale level of 70 to 89 has no affect on your production. From 90 to 99, you gain a 12% bonus to your base production values. At 100, you get a 25% bonus! However, if your planet's morale drops below 70, then you receive a penalty of 12.5% (fractional part truncated) for every 10 point range below 70 down to a maximum of -87%. So, 60 to 69 is -12%, 50 to 59 is -25%, 40 to 49 is -37%, 30 to 39 is is -50%, 20 to 29 is -62%, 10 to 19 is - 75%, and 0 to 9 is -87%.
The more population on your planet, the more your population doesn't like being there... (probably due to over-crowding and lack of surplus commodities). When the population is less than 5000, the planet receives a +40 morale bonus. All planets are affected by the amount of governing power you have available and the distance the planet is from that government source. With the development of the required technology, you can build a government center with a governing power of 312,500 population, or a parliament or emporer's palace with a governing power of 625,000 each at level 5. However, as your total population increases and the distance from you governing center increases, you will need more than just governing power to keep you citizens content.
To help improve the morale of you citizens, you can build entertainment centers. These recreation parks make your citizen's dull lives much more interesting and tolerable. Each entertainment center increases the max morale of the planet by 25 (at level 1-5) up to the maximum of 100. In some cases for colonies out on the fringes of you empire, it may require 3 entertainment centers to keep them in good enough mood to get any work done! Even your government centers provide some morale bonus... (perhaps due to the comical nature of some of the politicians). The government center you construct will provide a +10 morale bonus only on which ever planet you build it.
When you construct one of these building, or are attempting to recover from a revolt, you may find it helpful to allow the citizens a time of festive holidays. For some reason, we don't know what a holiday is until it is researched... oh, well. At least a holiday when produced will increase the current morale by 5 (at level 1-5) up to a maximum of 100. Even if the max morale is less than 100, the current morale can exceed this. What ever the max morale is, the current morale will increase or decrease one point each turn to meet this value. Also note that bombardment is a significant penalty to morale.
Note that morale will *NOT* increase when a planet is being bombarded or
when there is starvation due to depleted bio reserves. Also, remember that
morale structures, over all government power, distance from goverment center,
and bombardment all affect the max morale of a planet. If your *MAX* morale is
low, it is likely due to one of these factors. Holidays only affect the
*CURRENT* morale. If current morale is low, either the planet is recovering
from bombardment or you haven't had enough time for the morale to increase to
a new level for new buildings or improved government power, or your MAX morale
is also low.
Strategic resouces are required for constructing particular structures and ships. When you start a new game, your first planet has a Nuclear Power plant. If you want to build more of these, you have to obtain more uranium. You can find this and other strategic resources on other planets throughout the galaxy. Most will likely be guarded by renegade, pirate, or E.D.E.N factions. In order to obtain a particular strategic resource, you must control the planet that it is on. Each system with a strategic resouce has a symbol for that resouce next to the star. On the sector map, hover the mouse over the square of each planet to see which planet the resource is on. You can also see which planet it is on by viewing the planet/system screen and clicking on each planet. Strategic resources are listed in the planet information area.
So, uranium is required to *research* AND construct nuclear power plants, A-bombs, and to produce uranium by nuclear fusion. Titanium is required to *research AND construct ti-factories, titanium small hull ships, and to produce titanium by nuclear fusion. Chromium is required by Cyborgs to build mega-factories. Silicium is required by Humans to construct sci-cities. Carboneum is required by Bionics to construct hives. Wolframium is required by Cyborgs to construct their mighty HUGE hulls... Currently, anti-matter and Plutonium are not used for any purpose.
All available units of strategic resources will be listed near the top of your Empire Overview. When you attempt to construct something that requires one of these resources, the required amount is checked to make sure you have enough, and if not, you are informed of this. Before the following turn, the resources are NOT committed. This allows you to change your mind, and abort the particular build task to use them else where or to hold on to them. Once the next turn happens, the required resources will be deducted from the appropriate resouce pool and will be *perminently* committed to the projects they are associated with. Canceling a project after it is started will waste the resource, so be carful when commiting these resources to use.
6.18 I took over a system of planets and I tried to set the reserve bio and energy manually, but it isn't working... I still have structures without power and population without bio, even though I have a surplus!! What's wrong?!?!?
Population and structures take what they need from the reserve. If the reserve is set too low for either of these, then there may not be enough available. To set these manually, be sure to set for reserve the amount that is required per turn for population or structures. It may take several turns to build up the required reserves. After the reserve is met, then all population and structures should have the required resources. If not, then your system most likely has a negative net bio or energy and you will need to build bio or energy producing structures to make up the difference. If you do not, then either your population will die off until the amount of population is supported by the bio produced, or your buildings will not be able to operate due to the lack of energy.
Note, you don't have to manually set both if you only need to adjust one or the other. Also, it is probably a good idea to set this back to automatic once sufficient reserves have been built up.
6.19 I have aquired a new planet, but there aren't enough workers for the structures. How long will it take to have enough workers?
As long as you have either bio reserves, your population will increase, but at a rather slow rate. If you are only short a few hundred, then this shouldn't be a problem. As long as you have 1 worker for you last building, it won't deteriorate and be destroyed. If you are short several thousand, you can build an outpost which produces about 2000+ to 3000+ population depending on your tech level. Repeat as needed.
7. Empire overview
7.1 What is "unused production"? How do I use it?
Unused production is a sum off all CP obtained from "Idle task", empty task queues, and from trade pacts. It is incorporated as part of you empire effectivity. See question and answer 7.3.
7.2 What is "fleet support"? How do I decrease it?
Fleet support is the amount of CP required for your fleet maintenance. Each ship you construct requires maintenance. This value is 1/1000 th of the total CP cost of all your ships. For example, if you construct a fleet of 100 ships that cost 10000 CP each, then your fleet support will be 100 x 10000 / 1000 = 1000 CP. However, this amount is offset by 1/10 th of your total raw production. If your raw production was 5000, then your net fleet support will be 1000 CP - 500 CP = 500 CP. In your overview this value will be negative...
7.3 How do I improve my empire effectivity?
There are a few ways. For production:
For both research and production:
7.4 What is population support and what do I do about it?
Population support is a drain on your research points. The more population or higher TL you are at, the more population support is required. The only way to lower this is to have fewer population. It would most likely be better to build more research facilities to compensate for higher population support costs instead of trying to lower your population. There are ways, but they are for you to figure out.
7.5 What is the "upgrade pool"?
This is the store of UCP that has been constructed in upgrade ships task. It is used when upgrading ships.
7.6 What happens when I am "Leader of the galaxy"?
This happens when you are elected with the majority of votes. It gives you a 5% bonus to empire effectivity, for both research and production. This bonus lasts only while you are leader.
8.1 Do you have any hints or tips to help me?
1. The game doesn't start right away. It is usually suspended for a couple of days to allow players to join the game. Don't issue commands to your fleets until the game begins... there have been several reports of vanishing fleets due to some bug. So, unless you know this bug has been fixed, use some restraint!
2. In the beginning, expand as fast as you can. Build lots of colony ships. Make sure to research FTL drive fairly soon so they travel faster.
3. Hint: you can only go to systems that you can *see*. Improve your eye sight. Try a deep space scan on a system out near the edge of your visible area if you don't have enought scouts or other ships to use to explore.
4. You can use fighters to scout with, but this can cause automatic wars to start with other players and factions, so use at your own risk. Colony ships won't cause a war unless you or the other player cancels the civilian ship passage pact with you, or you meet a pirate...
5. Cyborgs rely completely on minerals. But, they can obtain high production fairly quickly. Humans don't need minerals as much (50%), but they require large amounts of energy to run their structures. They will produce better than Cyborgs on worlds with low mineral. But, Cyborgs can produce more on high mineral worlds (unless both use ti-factories). Bionics don't need minerals, but they can use them with ti-factories. But, it takes a long time to build up a planet's environment to a useful level (about 89% depending on empire production effectivity... less if you have an effectivity over 100%). However, if you survive long enough, you can have more production than Cyborgs. Also note that most planets at the start of the galaxy that are marginal or terrestrial are guarded by some kind of faction that you will have to conquer before you can colonize them.
6. You don't have to attack renegade or other factions right away. Build up your forces so you don't loose too many ships. Make sure you use bombers... remember absorption? It used to be that you needed about 10+ for renegade, 20+ for pirate (non-player controlled!!!!), and 40+ for E.D.E.N... With the new shots limit rule, you will likely need 2 x or more. YMMV (your milage may vary)...
7. Make sure you colonize a planet with titanium and one with uranium strategic resources. You need to collect at *least* 1 of each to gain access to the technologies associated with these. Queue all research techs for these before using the resource to build something (even if you don't research them right away)... you can only start (queue) tech for research if you have the resource in your resource pool.
8. Remember all players start in one of two rings around the center of the galaxy, so make sure to expand toward the center to find pirates and race specific resources, and outward to gain as many uninhabited planets as possible.
9. A ship's speed is equal to its drive power divided by its weight:
speed = power / weight
And, you can find the approximate speed of another player's fleet by finding the distance between the fleet and its destination (the longer the better) and multiplying by 25 and then dividing by the # of turns of flight time. Remember that 1:20 is 44 turns, not 120!
So, for example, if a fleet has a distance of 7.24 sectors to travel and an ETA of 1:06, then its approximate speed is:
speed = distance * 25 / turns = 7.24 * 25 / 30 = 6.03
10. Sometimes it is better to not have 100% morale. When you have only 5 or fewer slots with production structures (construction or research), then you will get more by having them all for production with a morale greater than 70, than to use one slot for an entertainment center and have a morale of 100. There is a formula to figure this out exactly, but I will leave that for you to find... Also, if you have up to 10 slots for production and you have 90 to 99 morale, it isn't worth taking a slot for an entertainment center to make it 100 (depending on empire effectivity).
11. Medium hulls have about 4 x the HP of a small hull for only 2 x the CP cost. Large hulls have about 4 x the HP of a medium hull for only 2 x the CP cost... that make a large hull have about 16x the HP of a small hull! With advanced hull types, it is a little less (like 12 to 14 x its small counterpart), but advanced types are almost 2 x the normal version. So, a live large hull has about 28 x more HP (including control unit) than a small normal hull for only 3.5 x the CP! But don't go all large and torpedoes and expect your oponents to do the same... they will use medium hulls with torpedoes against you (remember weapon class?).
12. It use to be that ships in fleets were sorted by HP... This is no longer the case. As of this writing, they are distributed according to the number of each ships type in the fleet. Be aware of any future changes to the ship order and plan accordingly. Hint: A ship loaded with lots of weapons will die just as fast as one with one weapon and the same HP, *IF* you have equal numbers of each.
13. Bionics may get ships with more HP and firepower, but a Cyborg or Human ship of medium or large class with an ECM is more powerful than its Bionic equivalent (especially at higher crew level), even though it has fewer HP and weapons.
14. Faster ships have better defense and attack, but usually less weapons. More weapons may not be the best strategy now with shot limits implemented. So, figure out how to make your shots count...
15. You don't have to use all of a ship's slots or available weight.
16. Think *cheap*... If you know what "opportunity cost" is, then you will know that more powerful isn't necessarily better. It isn't a matter of how powerful a ship you can produce, but how many weapons and HP you can produce with your available CP over time. The more, the merrier!
17. Oh... and if you happen to start a game and "take" over a rebel faction, you will most likely declare war on all players you have fleet contact with, either your's or their's. This is because all the pacts are reset to starting conditions with only the civilian ship passage pact enabled. Without the military ship passage enabled, you will find your self in a situation of instant wars, even if the other players were not hostile to begin with. I have requested that this be changed to keep the previous player's pact settings.
18. Communicate. There is nothing I dislike more than a player that doesn't contribute to the game other than making pacts and attacking me. An AI can do that... So, try to show some personality and help make this game fun and interesting! :^) Enjoy!