Phoenix
Phoenix: BSE
Phoenix at a Glance
The Game
Sign Up
Nexus Tour
FAQ
Flagship#130 Review
Contact
Resources
History
Wallpapers
IRC and player sites
SubSpace Static Archive
214
Previous Years
Intergalactic News
Issue 28
Issue 27
Issue 26
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Older Issues
 
Notifications

Notifications
As positions are accumulated there is a very real feeling of data overload. Information in any of the dozens if not hundreds of turns rolling in on a daily basis can easily be overlooked. Ships could have been boarded or run through an uncharted asteroid belt, deliveries may have failed, research completed and the complexes left idle while wages continue to be paid are just the tip of the iceberg on things missed by all except those with the programming ability to parse each arriving turn email and extract the valuable data.

In order to demonstrate their value, a test account has been created. This account has been used to conduct some missions and a few positions have been assigned to it in the Game Master Testing Star System (cunningly called AAtest) in order to show some combat notifications.
Notifications appear right at the top left of the home page and therefore not easily missed. You will note the presence of the triangle with a point either up or down. When the point is up, the section is open, when down, the section is closed. In this first image you can see that the Notifications section is open and that there are notifications in 2 categories; Turns (1 notification) and Missions (2 notifications). As the triangle next to each is pointed down, the categories are currently closed. The other significant point is that each category has a green circle. This is simply a traffic light system (Red, Amber, Green) representing the priority of the most urgent notification within the category.

[FONT=10]

Clicking on the two categories opens them. In the case of Turns, it reveals a date and in brackets, the quantity of notification turns for the date. In this case, each notification represents a single turn for a position. In the case of missions, again it shows a date and quantity of notifications.
Note that these categories are also given symbols to represent whether they are currently open (square within a box) or closed (empty box). Again it is simply a case of clicking to open and close. Opening categories will reveal sub-categories such as in Active and New in the case of Missions.


Note that the notifications are links. This allows you to click on them, quickly navigating to the appropriate location on Nexus or by creating a pop-up page when clicking on a position.


Alternatively, in the case of turns, you can click on the little symbol before the link to open the turn in the turns section and in a new tab.




Types of Notification
There are 9 categories of notifications, each with between 2 and 13 subcategories.

  • Battles
  • Financial
  • Information
  • Missions
  • Relations
  • Restricted
  • Transactions
  • Turns

Details of categories and subcategories can be in Personal > Notes.
In this section there are options to completely block a notification (which is probably a bad idea in the case of battles, but may be reasonable for some of the transaction subcategories).
Ignore own is an available option where two positions interacting are both owned by you. Again transactions where you are delivering to your own positions may be worth ignoring if you have decided that blocking all transactions is a little too far.



There is also the option to set the priority. The default is grey, in which case the traffic light is whatever Phoenix dictates. This is generally Red for battles and various other ‘important’ notifications. Clicking the grey circle multiple times will cycle through the traffic light colours, assigning it to the notification.



Traders with dozens of merchant ships for example may be inclined to increase the importance of Sell orders while those into exploration may increase the priority for new restricted celestials (such as asteroids found in the outer rings of star systems).

GM Notifications
Occasionally the GM would like to release information to some players but more often than not it is not clear who should get the information. This tool takes out all the legwork of looking up accounts for positions within a designated region of space. The tool allows the GM to write a message and select from dropdown menus an area in the game that can be anything from a planetary orbit up to the entire game as well as set the priority of the message. The game then selects all unique accounts of positions within the area and sends them the notification. In this example the GM has created a Test Message for the AAtest system. Unsurprisingly only this Test account got the message.



The title of this message is Test Message, but as it is set by the GM, it is tailored to the situation so could easily have contained the location appropriate to the message.
Simply clicking on the message reveals the content.



The GM notification tool can also be used to send messages to affiliations. Such options could prove useful if for example a player has left an affiliation it is useful to inform all members in the affiliation that uncontrolled positions can be claimed or informing them that there is the potential for system claims to be lost.
A more obvious use though would simply be to inform all players about the latest issue of IGN.

Battles
Unsurprisingly battles default to high priority.



Clicking on the link brings up the battle within the notifications. At present the battle is also sent as a message. It is anticipated though that the message option will be scrapped in favour of having a button on the notification that allows the player to save the battle to Messages.


Reminder

This is an incredibly useful order. When run it generates a notification with the text submitted in the order. A common use is to send the reminder notification after a ship has arrived at a specific destination or having scanned a location. In such cases it is often the case that checking the situation before proceeding with further orders is necessary. It might even simply be a note to self explaining plans at the time of writing the orders such ‘find out if civilians are selling modules cheaper than the DOM’.



Warnings are also very handy. Many use standing orders for construction of mines and their assignment to deposits. Then all they need to do is drop modules off at outposts and the outpost will automatically take care of them. The problem though is that this can lead to having fewer employees than are needed. Also in the above case, with combat ongoing, it is easy to overlook that deaths have caused efficiently to drop below 100%.



Once you have finished looking at them your can of course minimise them.



And in fact you can minimise and maximise any of the sections by clicking on the small triangles highlighted in red.








 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Videtis quantum scelus contra rem publicam vobis nuntiatum sit? ***

The Flagritz Empire is no more! The Flagritz Republic is reborn! Quick on the heel of the collapse of the Empire, the Fessin caste declared a new era of foreign and economic policy with a rapid withdrawal behind the Black Gate.

The new ecologically-friendly Prime Minister Kayxaer, asked for patience as “economic” reforms were undertaken. It remains to be seen whether there will be any price to pay for the dramatic changes being made by the reclusive Flagritzi or whether it will all be sunshine and rainbows going forward.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Large at Large * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Bravo for Freedom ***

Naplian Forces have attacked three human pirate outposts in the Morroglyph system. A spokesperson for Naplia HQ told the press that the plucky duct-tape loving free people would continue their war against slavers and pirates in their home periphery.

One salty Naplian libertarian told the SSS, “The people of the Naplian Home Periphery are sick and tired of human criminals coming here just because their homeworld is an overcrowded hell. It’s time for them to go back home.”

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Igor of Fang and Horns * Admiral Loves Dick Turpin * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

.What is It?
..a wOrmhOle?.
…No.. worse..
….the KANG singularity!…
…..It pulls us IN…..
……lOOks sO familiar……
…….yet so strange…….
……..what is……..
………that?……..

*** Flagritz Liberalise Economy ***

In good news for all the galaxy the Flagritzi have vowed to liberate all slaves across their Empire. Furthermore, the hectapods have given up eating other sentient species; taking up a strict diet of veganism and soy chai lattes. Sales of turtle neck sweaters and Forbidden Fruit laptops have skyrocketed.

The news was cautiously welcomed by the benevolent Felini Tyranny who looked forward to reducing the War phase of their daily Nap-Lick-Nap-War-Nap-Eat-Sleep cycle to a perfunctory forty winks.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Baron Womble * A Short History of the DPP * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Empire Strikes: Solo ***

A massive fleet of some 1600 warships, including large numbers of super-heavy capital 300 and 400 hullers, attacked the DEN in the Solo system, catching them with their metaphorical pants down. The DEN gate platform and some two hundred DEN freighters were subject to antimatter missiles amongst other high tech ordinance.

Jack the lad, Viceroy of the Empire, claimed a victory for freedom and the Imperial (right of) way leaving the sullen Dewiek unusually unresponsive.

With DOM platforms firing on CIA ships, will the IMP now demand the DOM add them to the Do Not Fire lists as well? And what exactly is the nature of the DOM and DEN alliance in light of the sustained attack from the Empire? And will the DEN’s alien friends stand idly by as the Empire fleet camps in the vital gate system of Solo? How will the DEN retaliate for this action or are they ready to roll over and have their bellies rubbed?

All this remains unknown. All that is certain is the “feel good” factor across the DTR has increased, with citizens reassured that for some time yet, they may continue in their slumber with the easy assurance that their number is not coming up anytime soon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * New BHD Guy * DOM Statement * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** To Ur Is Dewiek ***

Dewiek forces had a hefty smackdown against the mysterious living ships known as the T’Cath (TCA). Seven adult TCA 400 hull capital ships, each firing eight of their notorious plasma cannons, were killed by a DEN and DOM fleet of some 700 ships.

Of the minimal losses suffered by the DEN / DOM, one-eyed Magnus and Nevets Motnhap of the FEL were amongst the dead.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Caribbean Congo Continues * Ur Witness Report * * Hive Briefing * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** The Long Quiet Season ***

Listen…
There’s no sound of anger or of annoyance,
There’re neither cruisers racing on the jump lanes
Nor there jump lanes for them to race on,
There’re neither monks chanting on the battlegrounds
Nor bells calling us to the True One.
There’s neither the lightning cracking of the sky
Nor the persistent Naplians pattering on my roof.
There’s no Dewiek arm in arm to admire the magnificent view
There’re no war drums to feed Human ears
Nor Hive sirens to steal the boredom away
There’s no unfamiliar wing creeping underneath the Falconian sun
Nor floods to enshroud the Aquaphid grounds
The land lies lonely out here
On this lazy summer’s day
There’s no pollution to poison the airs of Inversion
Nor forests to give them life
All I hear is the hushing sound of the wind
Assisting the sand to fall into beautiful undulations.

Whilst we’ve been away: * Operation Giantslayer * Naplian Liberation * Back in the DTTR * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Falconians Saved ***

The Imperials have cunningly saved the Falconian Republic from being consumed by the Dewiek Elder Nation and at no small cost to the DEN either. Whilst the new pro tem Consul crowed about the “victory”, all former FCN systems besides Acropolis have been taken over by the two warring Empires - Human and Flagritz.

Was it all worth it? For the IMP / GTT it clearly was, for the movement of a few hundred thousand troops is surely nothing to the cost they endured trying to and failing to knock the DEN out of Solo after the fact. The FCN now plucked off most of their navy and wider assets are a tiny nothing of their former self. The DEN may have resorted to some dirty namecalling but can the costs endured to save an enfeebled FCN have really been worth it? Time will tell.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * INDignation * FELicitous Caribbean * Nah Plan for Naplia * Mercs Trouble DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Acropolis Now ***

The IMP and GTT have brought peace and stability to Acropolis.

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Goodbye Falconians ***

The galaxy bid farewell to the Falconian Republic as the Human Empire subsumed them into their expanding territories. This marks the second death of an alien civilisation at the hands of the IMP / GTT in recent years. Like the extinguishing of the nearby Ulians, no voices of opposition could be heard from other quarters. This marks a long-period of appeasement by the Detinus Republic and Dewiek Elder Nation.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DOMination * &etc

 

Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
Dedicated human moderators
Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
Over 20 years of content development
Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic