Helm switch to adjust wormhole drive polarity was rolling over sensibly in one direction but not the other. That is now fixed.
Arena Won't Start
Arena never starts when you configure it with no officers, so you can shoot at drone targets. That is fixed.
New Designs in Arena
New ship designs really can be loaded into the arena in this update. I've seen it happen.
Arena Ends Without a Word
Opponent NPC officer no longer scuttles his ship if it is defenseless.
Cities list on Governance window now shows the facilities at each city. This is exactly the table you see on the city report that shows the buildings, their range of tech levels, and the number of completed levels.
Brokers can now be configured to send shipments to cities in other solar systems. You will find the controls for this on the city window when you are at a broker.
- You schedule a shipment of a certain commodity to a specific city. Minimum Q and TL can be applied.
- The shipment may be filled a specified number of times or it may be a continuously recurring shipment.
- A broker can process a number of shipments equal to the number of building levels.
- Shipments are filled on the same six minute interval that brokers import stuff to the city.
- When a shipment is full, it begins waiting for shipment.
- Shipments awaiting transport are sent out hourly, if the broker can track more shipments. This interval is roughly one game-universe day.
- Shipments are en route until they arrive at their destination, speed based on direct travel at 2X lightspeed.
- A broker can track en route shipments up to the number of building levels. Once full, shipments awaiting transport will continue waiting until something gets delivered, thus stalling the order filling process.
- When a shipment arrives at the destination, as much as possible is added to the city's stockpile. Excess is lost. Better stuff replaces worse stuff like when stuff is manufactured.
Spacecraft encounters can be generated to coincide with these shipments. This will enable players to notice those trade activities more than they do now. It's very rare to cross paths with a trade ship. This aspect is also not finished; until then you will not see any visible spacecraft as a result of broker shipments.
Officer nerf is not implemented, just contemplated here. This probably should have been in the arena of ideas thread. It is not going to happen as soon as the text suggests. Certain roles that officers fill now need to have suitable replacements before proceeding.
I don't usually announce future changes but this one may require some preparations. Officers' command ability is going to be nerfed in the near future, probably the next update. This is what is going to happen to them.
- Officers on non-stations will not take the con, unless the ship has a human officer/capt on the roster.
- Officers on non-stations will not sequence to the next order even if they have the con, unless a human officer is aboard and on line.
- When no human officer is aboard and on line, someone will have to tell them to sequence each order using the comm. This way you could at least walk them through going to get materials from another system when building a city, something I have done many times.
- Officers on stations will be able to act as a two-level broker, for sending shipments. This is to facilitate harvester stations. It's not done yet.
- Officers will no longer get homesick, though they will still commit suicide if their home world is lost.
- Demi avatars are subject to the same rules as officers when they are AI controlled.
- I am probably overlooking some important detail. I value your input here.
Every starship traveling around the universe adds to the overall load. That load is no less if the ship is being commanded by an NPC.
At present there are many hundreds of spacecraft flying from system to system, performing sensor scans, piloting to avoid obstacles, navigating from place to place, all with minimal contact by human players. They get to have all the fun, while slowing the servers down for the rest of us. Human players should be the Pikes, Kirks and Piccards of this universe. That's who it's here for.
Through the use of officers, a relatively small group of players is able to create a disproportionate load on the server grid. I am speaking in general terms, not at all pointing fingers at any particular group of players. It's just the way it is. The game enables it. It wouldn't take very many ambitious fleet commanders to overwhelm the servers.
By taking the command ability away from officers, the notion of huge fleets of ships should go out the window. Whew! I cringe every time someone says they want to have a fleet of hundreds of ships. There is no conceivable way the servers could handle that, not at the level of detail the ships are simulated. It would be possible if they were mere tokens, like a game of Starcraft, but they are much more complex, which translates into more server load.
My vision for this game was to have it play out much more intimately, like an episode of Star Trek. I imagined players occupying a ship they called their own, perhaps upgrading it over time, as they pursue science fiction adventures. Like Star Trek, an encounter with three(!) enemy ships would be a big confrontation. Dozens of ships? Please no!
This will be a significant change, felt most by old timers; I apologize to you the most. New players won't notice that things were ever different.