Posted at 00:08 GMT on Wednesday 17th January 2007
Apologies for being slightly late in announcing these final details.
As planned, Signups open at 20:00 GMT on Friday, 19th January. Ticks start at 20:00 GMT on Friday, 26th January.
Firstly, the round name competition is finally open here. Please vote for your favourite!
Now for an overview of the changes for Round 20, including those announced
(for the full list of the technical details and formulas visit the manual.
We have added a 5th race, the "Eitraides" (Etd). These were originally Terrans that decided a profit was more important than war. They've traveled the universe and come into contact with other races.
Their special race bonuses include a fairly hefty salvage bonus and a reduced cost when trading with the universe exchange.
Cathaar also have a salvage increase. However, total salvage is decreased to 30% for defending ships and 15% for attacking ships.
Cluster ETAs now give a -2 ETA bonus to defend and a -1 ETA bonus to attack. To somewhat offset this, the 4th ETA research has been removed from the tech tree.
Military Scans are replaced by "Advanced Unit Scans" - Unit scans that show cloaked ships.
Fleet Scans now show the (accurate) total amount of ships, including cloaked ships, incoming.
Steal ships now die when stealing ships, on a 1:1 value basis.
Alliance limits are 60 for the first week.
From then on, once the 60 limit is reached an additional 10 members can be recruited PROVIDING they are under half the average ("real") score of the top 10 alliance.
Galaxies are now ranked with a "contributed score" factor, which consists of all score gained by a planet since they joined the galaxy (apart from the shuffle).
For the shuffle, paid accounts can form buddy packs of 2 or 3 planets in total. At the shuffle, these will be mixed into 2 groups of 2 or 1 group of 3 to form the basis for galaxies.
Free accounts are now different. They are considered as more than the 'trial' they were previously, and are now far more competitive over the length of the round. However, there are still many benefits from upgrading, which include:
-Use of the Engineering, History and Journal pages
-Being able to research the last 2 scans in the "Waves" branch of the technology tree (Jumpgate Probes and Advanced Unit Scans)
-Being able to research the last 3 covert operations in the "Covert Ops" branch of the tech tree (Information Blackout, Resource Stealing and Havoc)
-Being able to research over the 2000 roid limit
-Keeping your scans for 1 week as opposed to 1-2 hours
-Being able to join a buddy pack
-Use of "paid only" skins
-Exiling at half the cost of free planets
-Seeing outgoing galaxy status
There is also a new "state" for planets in the galaxy. In addition to the "Not Wanted" and "Wanted" options on politics, there is now a "Trusted" setting. This trusted list can view "Trusted-only" parts of the Message From Commanders on Overview, indicated with a [trusted] [/trusted] setup. There is a similar tag [paid][/paid] for paid accounts.
Secondly, the speedgame "sessions" have finally come to an end. The game.planetarion.com server will be reset and all accounts lost between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
Lastly, we will have a public beta opening on Friday at 20:00 GMT. We do not anticipate any major flaws; however, we reserve the right to stop the ticks and reset the game if it becomes necessary. A public beta forum will be open ingame for feedback.
The stats are available currently here. They are not yet finalised for the beta, and some aspects of them will almost certainly change to some degree before Friday.
As well as this it is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Marv as head of support, he has gone on to focus on his degree and we wish him all the best. With this in mind and the proximity of the start of the new round, timeline has been asked to take over the day to day running of support until a final decision is made. As usual applications to join the support team are being taken and you can apply by going to #support and speaking to timeline.