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Infrastructure - Audit World

Infrastructure Orders - Audit World
Those currently involved in developing worlds will have seen progress on orders over the past few months as these are as much a tool for the GM because they are useful in determining results. Currently there are four orders in various states of readiness. All currently have the suffix Infrastructure though at some point, probably after they become live, the order editor will be upgraded to include a section specifically for infrastructure orders. I can see more infrastructure orders appearing as this section of the game develops in time.

Infrastructure - Audit World
Infrastructure - Audit Base
Infrastructure - Give Item
Infrastructure - Civilian Claims
Infrastructure - Establish Government

Initially this article was going to describe all orders but it started to spiral out of control and has pushed back the deadline twice already as each day seems to bring new points that need coding into the orders. As such it has been decided to deal with each other individually over the next few issues.

Details of Infrastructure such as stages and techs can be found in the Library>Rules>Pubmeet>Infrastructure. This section will soon be moved to the rules as infrastructure is activated.

Audit World is best one to start with as it allows players to look at the worlds in the game as it stands and start to formulate plans as the other orders become active.


Conversion from Phoenix
At the point of conversion from Beyond the Stellar Empire (BSE) to Phoenix, more than a decade ago, some rather basic values were calculated for the world based on populations generated by removing colonists from colonies and applying a factor set by the GM at the time of conversion. These produced reasonable values for trade and merchandising based on the size of colonies present in the game at the time. In a few cases though we had to make affiliations viable at the point of conversion based on their troops and overheads as these were viable affiliations under BSE mechanics. This required anything from minor tweaking to jackhammers taken to merchandising on some worlds just to get stellar incomes required. As a consequence some worlds simply defy the infrastructure mechanics as presented, though this has rarely been an issue as merchandising and trade values have been effectively static.

Things however have come a long way in the intervening years. The increase in cargo capacity of ships, the production bases of affiliations and the increase in ships moving around largely due to the change from pay per ship turn to free turns has allowed for material to be built and shifted the length and breadth of the Peripheries with relative ease. It took HQ around five years to reach 1 million colonists, the first class 10 colony in BSE and this colony was in the same star system as the source of colonists. By comparison, the Mohache moved around a million civilians from Yank to Solo in a week.

Audit World
The model for infrastructure as now defined in the rules is very close to the one used when developing Corewards which in itself was codified to not be far from the otherwise empirical method that defined the conversion from BSE to Phoenix.

The audit world order calculates the merchandising and trade for the world based on the current population rating (which has already been set through a GM tool) and any techs that have been integrated into the infrastructure either as part of the development of Corewards or player actions elsewhere in the Peripheries. Slight changes in the development of infrastructure between the creation of Corewards and the writing of the infrastructure rules means that a few worlds in Corewards are slightly out, through for the most part agree.
Code:


Determine grassroots infrastructure values for Relinkis in Fonnud.
Sentient Population: 11742000
World flagged as stage 3
Current technology integrated into world infrastructure:
Basic Colonisation Support
Industry
Transport
Advanced Colonisation Support
Infrastructure Development
Merchandising Calculated Actual
Global Max: 150 150
Global Drop: 3 3
Local Max: 450 450
Local Drop: 31 31
Drop Step: 10 10
Trade: 120565 137420
Trade Mult: 1.2 1.2

In the older regions of the game however the divergence can be quite high:
Code:

Determine grass roots infrastructure values for Ladder in Starling.
Sentient Population: 489000
World flagged as stage 1
Current technology integrated into world infrastructure:
Basic Colonisation Support
Merchandising Calculated Actual
Global Max: 63 90
Global Drop: 3 3
Local Max: 228 270
Local Drop: 35 26
Drop Step: 10 10
Trade: 17835 15640
Trade Mult: 2 1.932

So, what happens when a world's calculated and actual values are different?
Nothing. The values as currently set will continue to be the ones used. This said, if a player has the only starbase on the world and wishes the values to be changed such that all match the calculations, this can be achieved using a free special action. Where multiple starbases exist as above, providing consensus is reached.

What happens if a player wishes to improve the infrastructure of a world which is not consistent with its calculated values?
The blanket answer is that they cannot unless they have been specifically been told that they can in a special action - which will undoubtedly pre-date the latest round of upgrades.

What happens if a world is highly unusual, will there be exceptions?
Some worlds are unique in the game on account of their history. Such worlds include those in the Halo Periphery and may include the locations of significant historical events or some other feature generally detailed in special actions and investigations. In these cases, the players may explore through investigations if there is a Unique Cultural Modifier that can account for some of the divergence. If such a cultural divergence exists then the player can request that the world is updated so as to include the tech. Issuing the audit world again will determine its new calculated values. They may then want to update the world, setting the actual values to be the same as the calculated ones. Once updated, the world will then be able to be upgraded through standard infrastructure rules.

Unique Cultural Modifiers
There are two types of modifier, direct and limit. Direct modifiers alter a stat, e.g. Global Drop +10. Limiters set a maximum or minimum on a stat, e.g. Local Drop (Min25). Limiters are likely only to occur where a world has wildly skewed stats and no integrated technology accounting for them. This prevents them becoming even more skewed through integrating technology.

Where there is no case for Unique Cultural Modifiers
Where a world is typical and there is no reason for a Unique Cultural Modifier, it is still possible to integrate techs, though until such times as the player wishes to set the world to its calculated values, there will be no benefit for doing so, except that they are not currently being penalised by having the world downgraded.

In the Ladder in Starling example above, the player may feel that the benefit from merchandising outweighs the lack of trade sales. As such the player first integrates Industry, Agriculture and Transport and increases the population by 300,000 before asking for the world to be updated as the trade increase exceeds the merchandising loss.
Code:

Determine grassroots infrastructure values for Ladder in Starling.
Sentient Population: 789000
World flagged as stage 1
Current technology integrated into world infrastructure:
Basic Colonisation Support
Industry
Transport
Agriculture
Merchandising Calculated Actual
Global Max: 81 90
Global Drop: 3 3
Local Max: 288 270
Local Drop: 32 26
Drop Step: 10 10
Trade: 22335 15640
Trade Mult: 2.15 1.932




Unique and Non-standard Techs
As well as unique cultural modifiers, it is possible to develop unique and non-standard techs. These work in exactly the same manner as standard techs, for example, Industry, granting +0.1 trade multiplier and -2 local drop, but can only be researched and integrated under special circumstances as discovered through roleplay and special actions. It will be rare that more than 1 can be applied to a single world in a region of space while others may be unique in the game universe. Examples of unique to the Peripheries run along the lines of The Detinus House of Lords (should they build it), while limited to a few worlds may be The best Garden World in the Periphery. Normally these sorts of things are set to Stage 5 - Established Worlds, though lesser ones may be applicable to Stage 4, such as Capital World, where multiple worlds in the system are colonised. A few however may only be applicable to the low stages, becoming obsolete as the population grows. An example might include domed environment, significantly reducing the local drop for a Stage 1 - Initial Colonisation world but incapable of covering a Stage 2 - Colony.

The purpose of these techs is to allow players to customise a world to some degree.

Note that some of these techs may come with running costs and failure to meet them will result in a stellar default or other penalty. Example may be Trade Partner granting an uplift in weekly trade though failure to completely account for all trade on a weekly basis will result in no carry over and a stellar fee equal to the shortfall. Many of these techs will be tied to affiliations and subject to system claims to prevent abuse.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

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

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

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

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

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.


 

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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