Posted at 17:46 GMT on Friday 23rd March 2007
We are pleased to announce information about the forthcoming Round 21.
Firstly, the round name competition is open. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion for Round 21 by Monday, 26th March.
Signups for Round 21 will open on Wednesday, 28th March, and ticks will provisionally start on Friday, 13th April at 20:00 GMT. Now there's a good omen!
The major new change this round is that Engineering has been replaced with a "Population" aspect for each planet, and we've also added 4 unique government systems, each with its own benefits and costs. These are both paid-only features.
With respect to the basic setup, much of it is the same as this round, including Cluster ETAs.
Buddy packs are remaining as 2 lots of 2 planet buddy packs or a 3 planet buddy pack as a "base" for each galaxy, with paid randoms and free randoms being allocated randomly on the top.
At shuffle time, all planets with less than 20 asteroids who are at least a day old and not in vacation mode will be placed in c200 - previously an overlooked bug has stopped a similar system from successfully completing.
The alliance limits will stay as before - a base count of 60, and after tick 120 up to 70 members, with any members over 60 being half of the average score of the top 10 alliances.
Alliance merging is staying the same - it is available between ticks 0 and 672 (4 weeks).
XP is changing. The XP gained by capturing asteroids in combat is now as follows:
XP gained = asteroids_captured * 10 * (min(2,target_score/your_score)-0.6)*(min(2,target_value/your_value) - 0.4). This is the same as the Round 18 XP formula.
Auto exile of planets with less than 40 asteroids that are not in vacation mode now happens twice as quickly - 36 hours for free planets, and 1 week for paid planets. This is to remove the inactive players from the active universe more quickly.
It's also now possible, at a cost, to queue constructions in advance.
Other tweaks for Round 21 include alliances being able to close applications, paid/free "trusted" planets being the only ones able to see the outgoing status in the galaxy, the "magic number" for joining alliances with 60+ members being displayed on the universe and alliance pages (as well as the application page, when relevant), and making donations to / from the alliance fund more user friendly. You can also now donate 2 ticks of resources every 24 ticks as opposed to 1 tick's worth of resources every 16 ticks.
Finally, we'd like to have a Creators Hour at 20:00 GMT on Tuesday, 27th March in #planetarion to answer questions on the new round. We'll also be opening a beta round after this, where you can view Round 21's new ship stats in addition to the other new features. To submit questions, please /msg CH_Bot <your question> on irc.netgamers.org