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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.

KAS
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.


HBO
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.

CIV
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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Meklan Unleashed on Mobile Bay

Mad Dewiek scientist Dr Kala released a number of Meklan on the busy world of Mobile Bay in the Yank system. Thousands of civilians have been killed in what is treated by DEN warlords as an amusing practical joke. Rather than take any responsibility for their affiliation’s reckless behaviour, a DEN lord rumoured to be half-meklan himself quipped he would nuke the planet whilst another merely saw it as an opportunity to test some of his greener troops in combat. Surprisingly, the KAS planetary defence force was up to the job of repelling the insidious incursion. Questions remain whether further meklan are stored elsewhere on the planet and whether anybody will challenge the Dewiek’s lack of care for the lives of innocents. Probably not, given how even the mighty IMP are now cowering from a fight with the DEN (see inside this edition).


 
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Who is behind the AFA?

Following the large scale holiday attack by the AFA against the FET the question of who is behind the attacks has been raised once again. What is clear is that the AFA is using ships that were transferred from the GTT to the IMP. The organisation and expertise of the operation also reduces the pool of potential candidates. Few can go from commanding a handful of broadswords to half a thousand warships and significant army logistics without a long stint in one of the more combative affiliations. With the DEN’s allies the HEX in close relations with the FET and no recent history of animosity between the aliens and FET, at least since the departure of former one-eye big-bun Norozov, it would be a bizarre turn of events if they were behind these attacks. Frankly, there’s no point dancing around it. The IMP are clearly behind the AFA. The question is what can anybody do about this move of significant Imperial resources to a black-flag agency?


 
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Fox Effects Fantastic Turnaround

With his feet barely under the table, Xavier Fox has managed to dramatically turn things around at the GTT. With year-on-year sales figures up by 23%, manufacturing up 42% and ship production increased by 36%, the megacorporation is running at full steam with noticeable impact on local economies across the Stellar Empire. Political analysts also note that after a period of retrenchment following the disastrous leadership of Ike Krieger, investment in defence is at a five-year high. After such bullish growth, the trick will be for Mr. Fox to recruit C-level executives fast enough to match his ambitions. It is notable in temperament, the current crop of GTT politicals do not exhibit the monomaniacal xenophobia of their predecessors and have resisted repeated provocations by the DEN to enter a pointless spar before they have re-established superiority against the foolhardy aliens.


 
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Felini flounder in Winter against superior Dewiek forces

The FEL have managed to get their asses kicked by the DEN yet again after provoking the definitely “not cute or cuddly” Dewiek in the Crossley system. The furry punching bags had bought a civilian flagged outpost in the system, without permission or under certain conditions depending on who you ask, and then had the gall to reinforce this error by positioning warships in orbit. The famously patient warlord Halvor did not buy the story these heavy hull armed ships were merely transports and sent a pack to clear the orbit. The mouthy yet green Felini fleet commander Pr'prz fancied his chances against what looked like a light complement of DEN warships and ordered his own warships to engage in the neighbouring Winter system. The result was predictably a wipe out of the FEL forces consisting of forty-seven capital warships at no loss to the DEN. Once again, a series of calamitous decision making resulted in Felini lives being wasted by a leadership barely fit to clean a litter tray. The otherwise untested Halvor can now claim some victory ale although with his penchant for picking on creatures as weak as Gracians, it’s not exactly clear how much glory this new breed of Dewiek warrior can claim against the legends of old.


 
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Dastardly Dewiek Disregard Yank Neutrality

The governor of a MRC outpost in the Yank system reports that a 400-hull DEN warship called Grey Hunter Axiom entered orbit of Spritzer and opened fire with weapons of mass destruction (WoMD) against a platform, outpost, ground party and ship. Reports indicate significant casualties to Kastorian personnel both in space and on the ground. The KAS Junta is gruffly warning, with a slightly indifferent air, that everybody better stay out of the sector of the outpost for their own health. It is unclear what measures the KAS have or will take against the DEN on this matter. Such a breach of Yank neutrality has in the past caused the Dewiek to froth at the bit against the Empire for their disregard of ‘civilised’ norms. Their current silence on this matter speaks volumes.


 
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Yenni-bodies Pirates?

A PIR outpost was miraculously discovered by an IMP freighter, of all things, in the Yanni system with several Javelin class warships in orbit. After noticing the IMP freighter and seeing the public post by Jack Jones on subspace, the PIR decided to flee and leave a combined force of IMP and FET forces to capture the outpost. A brain damaged three-year old commentator who still believed in the goodness of people and Santa Claus was quick to commend the IMP on their good work, dismissing those who thought it no more than a convenient clearing up operation signifying* completion of operations in the nearby FET claimed systems of Graydown, Canth and Onissian by IMP puppet Edward Lowe. Meanwhile, the Wolf Lord Lyceum summed up the view of many when he screamed, “What is this amateur b*llshit?” into an uncaring universe.


 
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Crowe Coups Self

The IMP Viceroy Tiberius Crowe has finally achieved something in his unremarkable tenure by relinquishing even the semblance of wearing big boy pants and instead, appointed Jack Jones as Patrol Commissioner, salty spokesperson and policy maker for the Empire. Crowe will now join CIA Director Laton in riding the special bus to work where the two of them will enjoy long pleasant afternoons sipping cups of tea. Actually, just tepid fruit-scented water as neither of them can be fully trusted with a hot kettle. Occasionally, they might be visited by equally dynamic war “veteran” Admiral Bridge to enjoy mimes presenting the latest comics from the Howl. Meanwhile, Jones is putting pressure on the FET and will soon no doubt find a pretext to deploy his vast mercenary forces against anyone else who is seen working too closely with his most hated of enemies, the HEX.


 
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Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

Around one hundred DEN warships have launched an attack on a small GTT destroyer squadron of forty ships in the Daggern system. Two GTT ships were destroyed and another fifteen suffered noticeable damage. CEO Xavier Fox issued a restrained but angry statement demanding the DEN explain themselves. Highlord Aadolf’s buffoon-like response amounted to “Dewiek be Dewiek, let’s drink and forget about it.” Cold comfort for the dead crew onboard the GTT ships and their families. Especially, as seems likely at this time, the Empire will settle for some bloody money instead of retribution.


 
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The Worm Turns

The FET have reduced relations with the IMP to neutral. Sneezy boss Cu Chulainn took the bold step of putting 1 and 1 together by linking recent mercenary attacks in their systems with the IMP scouts seen loitering for some time and refusing to move. Even bolder, hints that they believe “a certain Imperial citizen” is responsible for Edward Lowe’s entire underhand operation were voiced loudly enough that the handsome but hard of hearing Tiberius Crowe had to take note. He was seen grappling in trademark fashion with his skin tight jacket, pulling it down over his partially concealed middle-aged girth, as he sat to issue a terse public statement. Exactly who this citizen may be was left unnamed and no news channel subject to Imperial laws would dare unmask the villain. Luckily dear readers, we are not subject to phony Imperial laws. It’s Jack Jones everybody. Jack Jones, butcher of Naplians and fancier of silver long johns.


 

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