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NPC Factions and Inactive Positions

Non-Player Controlled Factions and Inactive Positions

Players can control Starships, Starbases, Outposts, Agents, Politicals, Ground Parties and Platforms. These are collectively referred to as Positions. Each position in the game has a unique number, e.g. Starbase Megacity (25641).

All positions also fly a flag of the affiliation they are representing. This is represented by a three digit code, normally an acronym of the title of an affiliation, for example, FET stands for Frontier Exploration and Trade, i.e. FET Starbase Megacity (25641).
Everyone that ‘sees’ this position will know that the player controlling it is a member of the FET.

Along with player controlled affiliations there are also game controlled affiliations. While the list below is not exhaustive, it gives a rough idea of what factions regularly encountered are present in the universe of Phoenix that are not under direct player control. When starting the game as a Trainee your first encounter with game controlled affiliations are likely to be from one of three different affiliations: KAS, HBO and CIV.

The KAS are the Yank faction of the Kastorian species of aliens. These are largely situated in Yank though also have assets in Solo and Skord. For game purposes these control the region of space and crack down on naughty players attempting to abuse this region of space. They are effectively a tool used by the Game Moderator (GM) to keep the peace in this region of space, allowing players to have a small region of space where they can trade with other players and generally rest their ships without too much fear of getting a kicking.

The Halo Benevolent Oligarchy is a faction of somewhat benign though aloof aliens that govern the Halo Periphery, a region of space where all new players start. Like the KAS they are effectively a baton used to beat up the assets of players that attempt to turn Halo into a bloodbath. They will call in GM moderated warships collectively referred to as the Halo Execution Fleet (HEF) if players start violating the basic premise of Halo. This effectively boils down to ‘be nice most of the time but have the occasional scuffle if you want but otherwise don’t take the piss’. If you have to ask for a definition of ‘Taking the Piss’, then it is very likely that you already are, or are intending to, so don’t.

Civilian (CIV) represents the masses of sentients and their gear on worlds scattered across the Peripheries that is not directly under the control of players. This broadly refers to all the people on worlds that are seen as little more than a number generated by a Scan Population order though can also apply to a specific position. The latter is can occur as a result of a player leaving the game while still possessing positions. Under normal circumstances positions owned by the player will be dealt with by the player before leaving however this is not always the case.

Civilian populations represent the law-abiding populace that are generally speaking in agreement with the ideology of the current system claimants. There are exceptions to this such as where an affiliation has become the system claimant of a region of space that was formerly claimed by a faction hostile to the new owners. They may even be apathetic to the system claimants such as in a system where the claimant does not have any assets on the world with a civilian population. They may not even be aware of the system claimant such as could be the case where the species consists of primitives. Krell populations are often balkanised and as such they may not think it too unusual for a KRL ground party to attack a CIV base on the world.

Suspension of Accounts
Sometimes a player for whatever reason drops off the radar and after a period of inactivity, their accounts are suspended. Positions on a suspended account do not perform their standard weekly checks such as generating stellars through merchandising and paying wages. They do not contribute to system income and system claims. They can however be attacked and otherwise interacted with. Generally speaking if a player is in an affiliation, the leaders of the affiliation can start the process of removing their affiliation owned assets that were controlled by the suspended player, redistributing them back to other members of the affiliation. They may by contacting the GM even get control of player controlled assets where it is deemed appropriate on a case by case scenario.

While suspended, it is presumed that civilian authorities are in some way picking up or otherwise subsidizing the wage bill such that after a period of three months any bases still remaining on the account will be converted to CIV. At around this time the GM may initiate a complete sell-off of ships for a price based on their hulls, technology, internal items, crew and cargo. The final price will be a minimum price set at 1,000 stellars.

Value of ships is calculated as:
Size of ship x Production cost of the hull x Tech level x 0.5
+ Crew (1 per mercenary, 6 per trained troop, 25 per veteran)
+Armour and installed items at .5 stellar/mu
+Value of cargo either based on its size or in the case of technology, its level and type.
A typical 100 heavy hull warship with mkII hulls will come out at just over 60,000 stellars.

Agents, operatives and ground parties on the account will be systematically deleted as it will be presumed that anything wanted will already have been claimed.

Purchasing Positions
Positions for sale will have either their value shown when scanned or a message to contact the GM for a price. In the case of the latter, a free special action can be used, stating the position and asking for a price to be set. The GM will either give a reason for not setting a price at this time or will report that a price has been set. The response to the special action will not however indicate how much the price is and the position will need to be scanned again. This gives all players that scan the base on the next day equal opportunity to submit a buy position order to be run on the following day.

Limits on who can buy
All loyalty to the previous owners can be considered atrophied over the months of unpaid wages. Where a base is for sale in unclaimed space, anybody scanning the base can purchase it. Where a base is in claimed space, only those that have the appropriate affiliation relationship to the system owners can purchase the base, subject to the profile of the system owner. For example, the Falconian Republic has the profile setting ‘Friendly/Allied’ with respect to the purchase of positions in their region of space. As it stands (at the time of writing this article), the Dewiek Elder Nation are allied while the Felini Tyranny, Hexamon and Wimbles are friendly. This means that only these affiliations (and the Falconian Republic of course) can purchase any base in star system claimed by the Falconian Republic.

Other Methods of Acquiring CIV Positions
Any position that has converted to CIV from an affiliation will be listed on Nexus under the Poltical > CIV tab for nexus accounts with appropriate affiliation rights. Anyone that can view these former affiliation bases can claim them. Generally speaking there is a minimum grace period of 2 weeks between a position converting to CIV control and it having its price set. This gives the affiliation the opportunity to claim the bases back before others get the option of buying them. Claimed positions will be transferred to them on the next day without having to pay the sale price. This can be done even if the base is in a system where they would not be able to buy the base. For example, an IMP player leaves the game and has his account suspended without transferring his positions to other players. After a period of three months his bases become CIV of which one is in Falconian Republic claimed space. As such all IMP players with appropriate Nexus rights for the IMP have the ability to claim these bases even the one in Falconian Republic claimed space. Obviously the FCN, DEN, HEX and WMB also have the ability to purchase the one in Falconian claimed space as well once the grace period has ended.

A system owner has the right to demand control of any CIV bases in their system (provided that the base has been given a sale value) through special action. In these cases control of the base is immediately turned over to the player submitting the special action. The sale price of the base will then be converted into a debt. This debt will normally be added to the base, to be paid back over a year, though may also be assigned to another more suitable base if there is the slightest chance that the base in question will not be around in a year’s time. Where the sale price is excessively large, it may even be split over multiple bases. For example a large base comes up for sale at a price of eight million stellars in an unclaimed system that borders space controlled by rival factions. After a bit of a rush the system is claimed for one of the factions who then immediately demand control of the base with the intention of simply stripping it of its tech and various other goodies before abandoning it. The debt is therefore split over 4 other starbases (2,000,000 stellars each) in the new controller’s territory with weekly repayments of 40,000 stellars. In simple terms if you don’t want to pay for the base, gather the troops and capture it, further, there is nothing stopping the new owners from selling some of the tech and other goodies and getting their stellars back.

Fate of Unsold Bases on Suspended Accounts
As the only way to determine if a base is for sale is to scan it, it can mean that in secret corners of the Peripheries CIV bases may simply linger with nobody even knowing that they are for sale. This would suggest that there is the incentive to simply leave them, counting on the ability to pick them up as and when, safe in the knowledge that nobody else will get them and nobody is paying wages, especially if the system is also claimed. It is strongly advised against as decay (as stuff is stolen, scrapped, sold and otherwise rendered useless while personnel quit) is applied to suspended positions a short time after the position is suspended. After a certain period the position will be deleted from the game.

Why do this?
It is important to keep the game dynamic. Stuff that isn’t being utilised should be dealt with by the affiliation or the game one way or another. By making the system more draconian we have already seen some significant changes in certain areas of space. This has definitely improved the game, reducing dead space, areas of the game that are seen as no-go areas. Historically there has been the attitude that it is better to hang on to all the assets that belonged to players that left the game for the sake of the affiliation. What has happened however is that those remaining have become ever more burdened and also left, further exacerbating the issue. Players joining the affiliation however are often not inclined to take on the ‘cast-offs’ from other players in the affiliation and would rather build their own as building is a very enjoyable part of the game. This means that in many affiliations there are assets that nobody actually wants hanging round. It is by far better that these are sold to people that do want them, thereby bringing in stellars for the affiliation. If not sold they should be scrapped. There is utterly no point in hanging onto stuff if it is in any way preventing playing the game the way you want.

To paraphrase Laton of the CIA – with respect the Cluster assets I had no idea what was there. I did not envision the Confederacy doing anything in the Cluster for the next couple of years. It was therefore in the interest of the Confederacy to dump the lot. I refused to even look at the positions because if I had I would have started thinking them too valuable to give up and been stuck with a stellar hole and not even been getting any fun out of them. Better to dump them and if we want to go back into the Cluster get a big invasion force and go back in style.

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******Empire Syndicated News Network (ESNN) ******

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Welcome to the new version of ESNN (formally CSNN), giving the news and views from the former CSNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe,

And so with the news,
***** Inter Galactic News *****

A Detinus expeditionary force is being assembled to liberate slaves in the Twilight Periphery. Stung by the wit of the Wimble Dinash, Admiral Bridge is leading a personal and sizeable force against the newly constituted Flagritz Republic.

The Wimble Bake Off has new competition with the Dominion instituting a Master Chef competition in the Orion Spur. This is all said to be a cover for further land grabs and in preparation for a move against the Hive and Dewiek, tipping the balance further in the Stellar Empire’s favour.

Meanwhile, the Wimbles struck off a number of hapless Wimbles under their new rules. To cement their plan to align themselves with the Stellar Empire, they have offered the services of their new masters to the Emperor.

Several hundred thousand slaves have been released by the Flagritz Republic but the terms of their manumission are unclear. Millions more await their emancipation. Many have refused to accept freedom without transit home, especially those brought in from outside peripheries. Many reportedly were captured by the Stellar Empire from the Detinus Republic and then sold on to the Flagritz.

***** Inter Galactic News *****

The ship PRV HarCop Omega has been reported both in Orion and Corewards. This was the flagship of the former League Chairman, sacked from the role when the League went into administration and quietly disappearing beyond the edge of known space. It is thought that his return may have been for a clandestine meeting with his former contacts in Harlong and Coptuv. If so then he clearly has an agenda.

Unconfirmed stories that the Pirate King of The Pirate Holes and Million Islands is near completing research on the various larger ships his pirates have successfully captured over the past few years (big thanks to all the affiliations that participated in 'donating' ships). If the rumours are true it is likely a new armada of pirate ships using more advanced technology will be found in Corewards in the near future.

An supernova has been detected originating from just beyond the Transpiral Periphery. The rare event has created ripples in the subspace of the nearby stars. Nobody has reported any tangible ramifications but this is the first supernova in the current age of the Peripheries so esoteric scientists are excited by the prospect of grants to study the relatively nearby phenomena.
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Wimbles Crisis Solved ***

The Wimble Crisis of 217 has come to an end with the human Baron making way to the wimble Grandfather Paden Mastaak. Celebrations were held in Wimbledon upon the news with crack teams of Wimble security staff guarding all the pies.

It’s unclear how long the Wimbles will enjoy this new era of peace and self-determination.

Vocal Wimble Dinasha, one of Paden’s early backers, has chosen this precarious moment to bait Dewiek, Flagritz and humans who were initially disposed to be friendly to the new administration. Whilst the Wimbles' history with the former-slave-loving Flagritz could be understood, their animosity towards the Dewiek and humans was more mysterious. One insider alluded to a rise in the number of cases of foot-and-mouth across the herd as being a likely cause.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Storm in a Teacup *** Yahn Bares All * &etc

***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door ***

The stargates are closed! Reports from multiple sources indicate at least three of the stargates, all within Dewiek controlled systems, have been closed.

Two different sources have indicated that the TCA have been spotted recently in a number of systems and may be behind this turn of events. A scan sent to the SSS indicated eight TCA ships were recently spotted first in the Faery system and later near the Kasmer stargate.

Another source, suspiciously put the blame on the ARC, suggesting the ARC and DEN were working together because they “need to trap [the TCA] and try and finish them off after the DEN bodged their operation to protect the ARC while they incinerated the MEK homeworld, which ended up with several ARC ships being destroyed and the job only being half done."

However, with no public statement from the Dewiek themselves, its hard to know whether these rumours are reliable.

Lord Igor of the Dominion and Erasmus Andersen of the Garcia Family both offered public apologies at the delay in meeting their trade commitments because of the recent closures. The not-so-subtle subtext being that someone will pay with blood for this interference in their business. Or at least with a stealthy price rise.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Wimble Civil Strife * Who Sniffs the Sniffers? * Largin’ It * &etc

***** 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


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).