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Upgrading Infrastructure

Upgrading Infrastructure

So far two articles have been presented on auditing a world and what factors influence life demand. This article covers the final part of the equation, developing a world infrastructure.
The process is simple enough; choose a specific upgrade, either a tech or a planetary stage and hand items over to the planet until all the criteria are met. There we go, article finished… If only.
As specified, there are two types of upgrade:

Infrastructure Stage
The stage represents the size of the colony and how many people it can effectively cater for. The size of the investment required at each stage is significantly larger than the previous stage’s investment. The stage (further modified by population size) sets the raw merchandising and Trade Max Income stats.

Tech Integration
This deals with specific aspects of the colony, some of which only become efficient as the population grows. The size of the upgrade is independent of the infrastructure stage. It is presumed that the integration simply provides all the tools for the world infrastructure and that they will replicate the integrated infrastructure as necessary. Tech integration generally modifies merchandising and trade: Value/Mu stats.


Initiating an Upgrade
While determining which upgrade to do is likely dependent on the situation, unless there is currently no population present in which case, starting with initial colonisation is a given, the process is straight forward enough.

First of all issue an Audit World order which will indicate the infrastructure stage and which techs are present. Then determine which one not already integrated gives the best return on investment (and is affordable).

This is then followed up with an Audit Base to determine what items exist in the base and whether all or in fact any of the criteria have been achieved.

Audit Base
There are two uses for this order. When choosing the ‘Everything’ option, it simply lists all the items in the base that have an infrastructure value. Further it lists the world’s values that increase the amount of infrastructure required to achieve any upgrade. Finally it checks the world to determine if there are any planetary extremes that may certain items more useful (see Environment Types below).

When choosing a specific upgrade, the list is then subjected to masking based on the criteria of the upgrade specified such as max% and infrastructure required along with any items that have already been integrated with the world.
In this example, the base issues a ‘Everything’ audit. The one item of interest is ambrosia of which it has 2,000 present.

Qty Agriculture Item Value Max% Total
2000 Ambrosia (30268) 100 10 200000


When running the order again for agriculture, the world needs 86520 agriculture infrastructure points of which Ambrosia can make up a maximum of 10%. As such the order indicates that a maximum of 87 ambrosia can be used (after rounding).
86520 Agriculture infrastructure required.
Max Qty Agriculture Item Value Max% Contribution
87 Ambrosia (30268) 100 10 8700


If the base then integrates 50mu (see below for integrating items), this will be listed and the inventory updated appropriately next time the order is run.

Agriculture already integrating with civilian infrastructure.
Qty Item Integrating Type Contribution
50 Ambrosias(30268) Agriculture 5000
79520 Agriculture infrastructure required.
Max Qty Agriculture Item Value Max% Contribution
37 Ambrosia (30268) 100 10 3700


Environment Types
Currently there are 7 classifications environment (will be extended). These are:

  • High/Low Gravity
  • High/Low Temperature
  • Dense/Thin Atmosphere
  • Tectonic Activity

A world may qualify multiple environment types based on its audit.
Certain items are flagged as being appropriate to one of these environments. Where this occurs the item doubles its infrastructure value.
Environment Value Inf Increase
Gravity 1.05 (Normal) 0%
Temperature 265 (Low) 5%
Tectonic 9 (Normal) 0%
Radiaton 0 (Normal) 0%
Env Damage 42 (Normal) 0%
Atmosphere: Dense (28.22)
Nitrogen 86% 0%
Oxygen 14% 3.15%
Infrastructure cost increase = 8.15%
86520 Agriculture infrastructure required.
Max Qty Agriculture Item Value Max% Contribution
2000 Arctic Cattle (31986) 0.8* 10 1600
2000 Alien Animal (30043) 0.6 30 1200


In this example, arctic cattle normally have a value of 0.4, less than alien animals (which have the same stellar value as arctic cattle). On this cold world however they are far superior and as such have a value of 0.8, making them a superior choice. Note though that their max% contribution is not increased. While it may seem that it is beneficial to have a world just over the cusp of being classified as normal, this is unlikely to be the case as the infrastructure increase is normally greater than zero while still being classed as normal. Further, items with an environmental type do not normally have high max%. Essentially, they allow a resourceful and well connected developer off-set some of the penalties incurred by upgrading less than perfect worlds.

All items that qualify for an enhanced value to the world’s environment are noted with an * next to their value.
Question – Why make items better for certain specific environment types rather than making items less effective?
While it would make sense for a car designed for our world to be less use on one with a high gravity, it was felt that due to the frequency of terrestrial similar worlds having at least one parameter outside the normal, this would make for over complication. Having items that are by default slightly less useful compared to standard items but being superior in a specific situation was interesting as opposed to annoying. There is now a reason for searching for plants on high G worlds and of worlds with a dense atmosphere.


Integrating Items
The Integrate item order is used to hand items over to the world infrastructure. In the above case it is decided to hand over 1000 arctic cattle and 200 alien animals.
>Date 33.5: Infrastructure - Give Items {3} {31986} {1000}
Give items to develop Agriculture infrastructure.
GM Note - work in progress, not all items have had their values set.
1000 Arctic Cattle (31986) has been turned over to civilians to support
integration of Agriculture.

>Date 33.5: Infrastructure - Give Items {3} {30043} {2500}
Give items to develop Agriculture infrastructure.
GM Note - work in progress, not all items have had their values set.
Insufficient Alien Animal (30043), amount reduced to 2000.
2000 Alien Animal (30043) has been turned over to civilians to support
integration of Agriculture.

Following this, another audit base is used. This time it lists the items given over to the infrastructure in the list of integrating items. It also indicates how many infrastructure points are still required, in this case 84520 points, or which only 800 can be made up by Arctic Cattle.

Agriculture already integrating with civilian infrastructure.
Qty Item Integrating Type Contribution
1000 Arctic Cattles(31986) Agriculture 800*
2000 Alien Animals(30043) Agriculture 1200
84520 Agriculture infrastructure required.
Max Qty Agriculture Item Value Max% Contribution
1000 Arctic Cattle (31986) 0.8* 10 800


Integrating Techs
All upgrades require a tech. This tech needs to be tooled up before it can be integrated. The integrate item order is used just as for any other item though it will only check the tooled techs list. There is no requirement for the tooled tech item to be integrated first. While waiting for a newly delivered tech to be tooled, the base can still integrate other items as they arrive or are built.

Shared Upgrade
Items integrated into the world infrastructure are visible to all bases on the world. Issuing Audit World will list all upgrades and flag the ones that are still integrating. Running the audit base order for the specific upgrade will also list the items that have already been integrated (as shown above). While this means that others on the world can in theory see what is being integrated, it also means that multiple bases (presumably in the control of multiple factions) can coordinate integration so as to jointly work on upgrades. This is especially suitable for the higher stages where the requirements are steep.

Completing Integration
Stage upgrades normally require sentient life forms to increase the population. As this requires some degree of arbitration by the GM (felini may not be too impressed with the immigration of a hoard of flagritz and nobody wants to live next door to hive, except other hive) seeding population over to the world is always through special action. It is therefore sensible to seed population in reasonably large amounts as this will also increase the trade demand (presuming that the world is compliant with its calculated values).

As all upgrades and stages require infrastructure items in multiple categories, as the categories are satisfied, they are no longer included in the audit. Once all criteria are completed, a special action should be issued to complete the upgrade. If it is a stage upgrade, then sentient life can be integrated at the same time.

Example Special Action:
Please seed the 850,000 human colonists onto the world and complete the Stage 2 Advanced Colonisation upgrade. All criteria have been completed.

The GM will then check criteria and complete the sequence, updating the world as appropriate.
NB. If this is a world that does not currently conform to its calculated values (because the actual values are superior to the calculated ones), the player may prefer to complete the upgrade but request that the GM not upgrade the planetary values.

Initial Colonisation
There are many worlds scattered throughout the Peripheries that are garden worlds, blissful Edens unspoilt by humanity (amongst other species). Some of these garden worlds are also reasonable way points or trade cross roads while others have strategic value. While very nice to look at, they do not generate any stellars. So the best thing to do is colonise them. This is the steps that should be followed:

Create Outpost
Construct an outpost at an appropriate location, presumably one with a deposit. Don’t worry too much about it being in an ice sector or even in the middle of the ocean.

Audit World
Issue the Audit World order. While it costs 1,000 stellars, this is negligible compared to the real money cost of running a starbase. From this the team will be able to determine whether any of the world parameters fall outside of normal. If they do, they may be able to source some specific environment type items to off-set extra infrastructure costs. The results may also indicate that the calculated parameters for life demand are lower than the calculated value. If this is the case, issue a free special action to update the world to its calculated values (though maybe wait until it is decided to upgrade the outpost to starbase – no point tipping others off).


Upgrade to Starbase
This is a decision call. If there are plenty of life items being delivered then it might be viable though obviously if colonisation is the objective, sinking items into the planetary market that could contribute to various infrastructure fields may not be the best plan.

Start Integrating Items for Initial Colonisation
There are two theories here, the first is that the base should hoard all the items until it is in a position to integrate them all at once. This prevents others on the world from seeing the infrastructure being integrated before it is time to complete the stage. The flip side of the coin however is that the base will be loading up with gear and be ripe for capture (or simply have a massive profile, making it easily detected from orbit. As there is currently no way to remove items that have been integrated, maybe ‘dumping’ the stuff ASAP is the best policy.

Making a plan on what should be used is sensible. Vehicles for instance are better than modules for transport infrastructure. In fact modules though the most versatile (due to having a max% of 100) should be considered last as the lowest tech version only contribute half their mass in points.

Now that quantities are known, start integrating items beginning with the ones that are suited to any of the extreme environmental conditions. Next integrate the best infrastructure/mass ratio providing that these items do not have another purpose. Handing over all the tanks might not be the best policy. Finally complete with the ubiquitous low infrastructure to mass points such as modules and agricultural implements.

Many agricultural infrastructure items have a unique origin. This raises the question as to whether to sell them to the world (once the outpost has been upgraded to a starbase) or take advantage of their often high agricultural infrastructure value. Generally speaking though if they have been exploited from this world, using them here rather than transporting them all the way across the Peripheries to reap their mark-up may well be sensible.

Tool Basic Colonisation Support
As soon as it arrives at the base start the tooling process. It takes a month so soonest started and all that.

Bring in the People
This may take a while, so start piling them up until at least 100,000 are present in the base.

Seed the Population as a Special Action and Upgrade
The final act, once all the infrastructure fields are satisfied is to issue the special action requesting that the GM seed the colonists and civilians in the base onto the world and update. As this is a new colony, you get to choose the sector, though it will presumably be close to the base. The GM will convert a sector to cultivated and update the world stats.


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

Return of the LiQuans

A close associate of the Baron LiQuan has been haunting the Corewards periphery and like the old Baron it is said he has a meklan connection. It's unclear whether he obtained his meklan nanites via the CIA but there are rumours that the DEN may be helping the Liquan relative in a bid to sow discontent in the Stellar Empire. Exactly why they would start in Corewards is unclear although with DEN allies, the DOM, having strong positions both in the Sol system and the old Harcorp systems of Harlong and Coptuv they may be the linking factor.


 
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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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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