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214
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Intergalactic News
Issue 33
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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.

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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
GTT step forward to control protection and peace in the Stellar Empire.

With the retirement of Jack Johns and various lower-level IMP officers from public life, the Imperial Services were left on the verge of being unable to fill their role as protectors of the Stellar Empire. Due to the serious nature the Imperial Services found itself in, the Emperor recently travelled to GTT HQ to attend a board meeting with the directors of the GTT.

With Galactic Trade and Transport being one of the few remaining loyal Imperial Chartered affiliations, who also supply well over half of the war material to the Imperial Services, the Emperor sought the position of the GTT with regard to the Imperial Services becoming overburdened with bureaucracy and lacking effective leadership. Effectively the Imperial Services were at the point of collapse. A position highlighted when an opportunistic supposed ally subverted four Imperial Outposts in the Inner Empire, thinking their asset grabbing would go unnoticed.
 
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  Star Date: 221.30.5

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RAGNAROK COMES

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A Forlorn Hope

The seat of Dewiek Government has fallen. What began as a small group of Architect ships picking up retreating DEN forces, amalgamated into a much larger force. The bombardment fleet comprised dozens of Adult ARC ships plus several Planet Killers. The force made short work of the impressive fortifications of the planetary orbit of Newstart. Multiple heavily armoured and maximised deflector shield platforms crumbled. They did so only after releasing their volleys of antimatter and nova weapon batteries. Any DEN warships that remained from earlier encounters also stood the line. But within the week, the last defence was gone.

Bombardment of Wolf Lair starbase proceeded without further resistance from the Dewiek. ARC Plasmas ripped through starbase shields. They demolished tens of thousands of factories and research facilities. The ARC demolished the huge military recruitment and training facilities on the planet. Over half a million trained troops evacuated from deep bunkers, leaving a token ground defence.

The ARC were not satisfied to burn the facilities and murder the workers. They deployed repeated salvos of their Virus Bombs on the wider population. Reports began to arrive of civilians of the world regressing. Leaving settlements and returning to nature. Much as the Dewiek found themselves some decades ago when they started to recover from the First Great ARC-DEN War. This time there was no High Lord Magnus willing to obliterate the world to save a remnant of the people. Newstart was already lost.

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Newstart is lost

 
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  Star Date: 221.27.2

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RAGNAROK APPROACHES

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End Game Lost

A short-lived period of peace followed the Dewiek Elder Nation’s historic and Saga-worthy defence against the Architect Planet Killers. A handful of the more typically encountered ARC ships were spotted picking off DEN support ships in Forlorn Hope before more than forty of them appeared back in End Game.

While the ARC “Adult” class ships, as the DEN had previously classified them, were eight times smaller than the “Planet Killers”, they were still as big as the largest ships any other species has managed to produce. Including the otherwise technologically advanced Dewiek.

Forty-four of these Plasma armed organic vessels smashed through the DEN forces left circling the orbit of Beacon, End Game. The mass of ARC weapons bombarded the DEN Shipyards at Ragnorak with their superheated ionized gas, razing the entire outpost to the ground.

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ARC Plasma weapons devastate End Game

 
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  Star Date: 221.22.5

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RAGNAROK BECKONS

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Assault on End Game

The ancient Architects have declared war on the Dewiek Elder Nation. The first sign of the conflict was subspace transmissions in a remote system in the Pocket Periphery. This followed reports that the ancient Ragnarok shipyards on Beacon were malfunctioning. In response, the Wolf Mother sent urgent orders to several Dewiek scout ships to patrol the End Game system.

The Konungr Smidamadr was the first to encounter the gigantic, “Planet Killer” class ARC ships. Measuring in at thirty-two hundred heavy hulls and armed with a hundred ARC plasma weapons, the ship was more like a mobile armed platform. It is certainly the largest vessel ever recorded. The scout ship was vaporised instantly.

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ARC Planet Killer dwarves largest DEN warships

 
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  Star Date: 221.11.4

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Caste Apart

The Flagritz Republic is (very nearly) no more. In its place, a single Hexamon and Flagritz power has arisen. The new Collective has absorbed much of the Flagritz holdings with only a handful of Clique-caste Flagritz systems choosing instead to align with the other Elder species, the Dewiek.

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Flagritz and Hexamon Hybrids - A hope for the Future?

 
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  Star Date: 221.3.3

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Meklanmania

Meklan scout ships continue to be seen around the Orion Spur periphery. These cyborg creatures in service of hidden ancient masters appear to be terrorising the Wimble Nation in particular. Despite public lamentations against the hardship of defending themselves, the Wimble leadership have not yet responded to our request for comment.

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Artist's impression of a Meklanised Wimble

However, Xavier Fox, CEO of Galactic Transport and Trade, did give us the following statement:

“We have engaged several Meklan ships, although currently the source has not been identified. GTT Directors have been running patrols and have engaged and destroyed numerous ships that have attacked outlying outposts belonging to different affiliations. The pattern of ships encountered leads us to believe there is a central source, but until that is found we would suggest any affiliation with assets in the area provide adequate defences.”

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Doomsday On Pause

At the site of the Thete anomaly, the Dewiek Nation has sent media sensation Sharon Aleman to the scene. Aleman, whose cybernetic enhancements allow her to directly interface with her ship’s sensor array, led her hardened crew into a dive of the outermost “edge” of the anomaly. After spending several days collecting and analysing data (mere minutes to the rest of us outside the anomaly), Aleman reported her shocking discoveries.

 
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  Star Date: 220.50.5

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Veil Lifted on Flagritz Home Space

As the Hellcadium ISR field continues to fluctuate, one of the newly exposed systems is Junista inside the previously hidden and inaccessible home periphery of the Flagritz Republic.

Over the past few weeks Flagritz Republic patrols and platforms have dealt with a number of scout ships from the Human Empire as the IMP wasted no time in exploiting this opportunity to poke around in their old enemy’s backyard. It is understood that at least one of these unarmed scouts was destroyed with no one willing to estimate how many more might be buzzing around.

Coincidentally, suspected IMP lackey, SSL TOAD, has also been overheard showing an obsessive interest in the Flagritz periphery. However, we have received no reports of this being anything other than his usual drug-fueled, barely decipherable mutterings at this stage.

Either way, this sudden, uninvited interest in the Flagritz Periphery has left the FLZ leadership muttering darkly about appropriate measures being taken. Defensive fleets and supporting structures are being deployed in the Junista system and beyond in expectation of further uninvited guests.

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When You stare into the Flagritz Periphery...

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Thete's Timey-Wimey Tease

Investigation into the Thete anomaly continued in the Dewiek Pocket Periphery. The anomaly was scanned from all angles by a number of the Dewiek Nation’s best sensor ships and officers. The data, collected over several weeks, was sent to one of the DEN’s most advanced scientific laboratories for analysis.

What they found will shock you!

 
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  Star Date: 220.45.1

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Perfidion Reached

Long speculated by theoretical Stellar Cartographers, Perfidion Reach finally opened in the last few weeks. Immediately, the Detinus Republic boldly staked a claim on the first accessible system, Hellcadium. Only time will tell the true value of this strategic move but their much-taunted bureaucracy may have finally proved its worth.

Early reports from scans of the system reveal a wildly fluctuating ISR field. Rumours suggest that at least one ship was destroyed as it was forced into an asteroid belt chasing a stable jump field attempting to exit the system. Casual travellers are warned away from the system at this time for their own safety. Leave it to skilled explorers and navigation officers.

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Mathematical model of Hellcadium ISR Field.

We spoke to Captain Zakiyah Ummahi via subspace link. Zakiyah led the first DEN expedition into the Perfidion Reach. "Spirits remain high but this is largely down to the extended R&R we were all forced to take immediately prior to jumping into this hole. Initial scouting reports show at least one planet with plenty of forests and grasslands which might help if we're going to be stuck here for Folkvar knows how long waiting for this damned ISR field to stabilise."

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Valhalla Stargate Reopens

Dewiek engineers and scientists have finally managed to re-enable Stargate Valgrind this week and the protective Exclusion Zone is to be lifted. If DEN investigators discovered who caused the gate to malfunction, or why, they were not willing to share it with us. Military sources, however, have announced a project to provide a significant boost to the already formidable defence platform in the stargate’s orbit.

 
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*** Inter Galactic News ***

Empire - DEN action grinds to a halt

After months of tension relations between the Empire and the Dewiek Nation, which rose to several large scale fleet actions ending in the DEN losing over 60 Direwolf warships in Solo, things appear to have moved from antagonistic to unfriendly. With the Solo system being a particular issue an agreement has been reached between the Wolf Mother of the DEN and Xavier Fox of the GTT. Since this things have become very quiet, not just because the shooting has stopped, but also because my reporters have been on their summer holidays.
 
News For Discerning Naplians!
---- Special Galactic Edition ----



(The Host sits at his desk as the studio lights dim, and a single spotlight bathes him in light. He looks straight into the camera and begins to speak: )

Host: Naambta!
Good Greetings, and welcome to the show.

This is News for Discerning Naplians, and i’m sure you are all showing much impatience to see this week’s Panel Discussion. We will be discussing religion with the Lady Ghadir of the Temple of Ya Zoon, renowned neo-naplian spiritualist Chairman TonTon, and a very special guest from our imperial neighbours, Bishop Samantha Porteus of the Brotherhood. But before we get to that...

(Looks demonstratively at his digital wrist watch. )

... it is time for a word from our sponsor.
 

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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