Posted at 20:49 GMT on Thursday 29th September 2005
Firstly, to clarify, there will be no shuffle, deletion of inactive planets, or ability to change race before havoc starts on Saturday. Also (as it was missed out in the last announcement) everyone will be issued with 500 of each roid type. The maximum roid limit will be disabled.
We're happy to announce a trial return of "Creators Hour", starting in #Planetarion on irc.netgamers.org at 21:00 GMT, Saturday 1st October.
To submit questions for Creators Hour, /msg #questions <your question> on irc.netgamers.org . We'll try to cover all of the more serious questions. It should hopefully last about an hour.
Speedgame and Round 15
The speedgame will run from 11:00 GMT until 11:00 GMT (for 24 hours) on Saturday 8th October and Sunday 9th October. Signups will open as soon as we've reset the server after havoc (hopefully sometime Friday evening).
Everything will be the same as Round 14, apart from two things:- the ship stats, which are currently being discussed at http://pirate.planetarion.com/s.php?t=187058, and the galaxy format, which will (pending testing) be the Round 15 galaxy format.
The galaxy format for Round 15 runs as follows:
There will be private(buddy) packs of up to 5. However, those not containing 5 people will still be matched, e.g. 2 members with 3 members. Paid randoms will fill any gaps, bringing all groups up to 5. These will be the galaxy bases, with paid planets and free planets will be distributed between them equally.
Self exile and galaxy exile have both been modified as well:
Self exile now costs (value/10)*((number_of_self_exiles_so_far+2)^1.5) of each resource.
No planets in protection can self exile, and free planets have self exile disabled.
There is also an additional confirmation page for self exile, which will show the number of galaxies with higher and lower score you can land in, so you know if it's worth the risk .
It's impossible to galaxy exile a planet in protection, or a planet that has been in your galaxy for less than 48 ticks.
The galaxy exile cost is (target_planet_value/10)*(0.5*number_of_galaxy_exiles_so_far_for_gal+1) of each resource.
Galaxies in the bottom 15% of the universe by number of planets can now exile again; however, there will be more information on the galaxy given on the politics page.
Other settings that have been changed to do with this include:
Free accounts will be deleted after 10 days of no logins, but will be moved to c200 after every (72 + (number of times previously autoexiled * 24)) ticks of not logging in to their account,
All free accounts with less than 50 roids since tick start will be moved to c200, and
Free accounts can again be ministers and GCs.
The alliance limit will also change. It will work as follows:
The base member limit for alliances will be 80 members. However, after 168 ticks (1 week), all alliances not in the top 5 will be able to accept additional members, up to a maximum of 100 members, on the following basis:
A new member can be accepted each max(1,14 - $current_alliance_rank) ticks (this is corrected from the End of Round Announcement).
For example, the #6 ranked alliance can accept a member every 8 ticks, while any alliance ranked 13th or below can accept a new member each tick.
Once people who have accepted more than 80 members move into the top 5, they will not loose members, and the alliances moving out of the top 5 will be able to accept members too, while they remain outside the top 5.
If anyone in the top 5 kicks a member, and has 80 or more members, they obviously will not be able to replace him.
If this method of limiting alliances proves successful, then it may be used in a modified form in future rounds, with the values changing.
Signups for Round 15 will open at some point the week after the Speedgame ends, with a signup period of one to two weeks. We don't plan for ticks to start any more than one or two weeks after the Speedgame ends, but we'd prefer to make sure the code works first.