These changes fall into two main categories: the new career-system and everything else. Let's start with the former.
Until tech 5 you have to choose a so called "career". This is fixed for the rest of the server, and it can be one of the following:
But that's not all. Within each career there are so called specializations which provide more bonuses. In order to specialize, you have to meet certain requirements. For example you have to build a planet to 100%, or you have to shoot down at least 20k equivalents of ships, it all depends on your chosen specialization. If you satisfy the conditions, the possibility opens up, but you don't have to choose immediately. You can wait until another more likeable direction becomes available. Think twice however before you click, since your specialization will remain the same for the whole turn, once you choose it (except for zealot, which can be chosen by any warrior, giving up his/her previous specialization).
The whole career/specialization list is as follows (with the approximate bonuses in brackets):
- engineer (faster city bulding, more efficient construction technology research points)
- merchant (access to regional markets)
- trader (sell on the free market)
- protector (increased HP)
- fleet marshal (increased attack value)
- bounty hunter (higher speed and stealth, lower decrease in morale, but only for own fleets)
- zealot (bonuses only against Zandagort) (option for the end game)
- spy (more efficient espionage)
- saboteur (more efficient sabotage)
- phantom (more efficient counter-intelligence, planets look like npcs, hidden public data, such as toplist ranking)
- justice of the peace (faster agreements, open negotiations, diplomatic immunity)
- advisor (secret agreements, guest status)
(Note: exact names are subject to change.)
Let's move on to the other changes. These are partly connected to the career-system and partly independent.
Research and development
There's only one kind of research lab, which produces one kind of RP, which has one market. You can spend your RPs to improve technologies. They are arranged in a "tech tree", that defines the RP and technology requirements of each technology. Your way on the tree is your unique decision. Would you like to map the entire galaxy with probes? Research the Kirchoff-shields. Would you like to race with fulgurs? Then research the Orosházy-hyper drive and the impulse lasers.
The galaxy is divided into (about) 10 regions each with its own regional market (which works exactly like the current one). A typical player (who is not a merchant) can use only one region (where most of his industry resides). So it's the same for him as now. However, a merchant can choose two from any of the regions where he owns a planet, and he can choose again every 5 days or so. Since there are different players with different industries in different regions, the prices between these regions will differ and merchants can use this to make profit.
The old free or speculator market (well-known and missed by old players) finally comes back. Bid sell and buy offers with free pricing: both traffic and prices are determinded directly by demand and supply. This will be reachable from the whole galaxy, but ordinary players will only be able to purchase from it, speculators will have the bonus to sell. And why is it worth to sell on this market? Because prices are higher than on regional markets. And why is that? Because of the buying limit on regional markets: players who hit that limit will be willing to buy from speculators even at a higher price.
Experience points (XP) can only be earned during pvp (player vs player) battles, and the fleet's coordinator gets it, not the fleet. The amount of XP depends on three factors: the rate of shot down/lost equivalent (probes don't count), the size of the battle (shot down equivalent/average daily shot down equivalent during the last week), and the XP of the adversaries (if you fight player who has less XP than you, you can only get a small amount of XP).
There's a public weekly battle top list (updates daily, but always shows the ranking based on the last 7 days of battles). If you reach a certain amount of total XP, and you're high enough on the list, you get a rank (cadet, veteran, elite, specialist). And what's the use of this? In the battle formula the strengthening factor no longer depends on the fleet's XP, but on the rank and career/specialization of the player who controls it (warriors get these bonuses).
Sharing of firepower
The weight of affinity will be increased in the sharing of firepower. So it will be easier to shoot down a specific type of ship from a fleet by attacking with the type designed against that type (also known as dropping).
- Ordinary players can sign diplomatic contracts with a break-up time of 12 hours max.
- Contracts with longer break-up time show name of the diplomat who made the offer with the date.
- These contracts are public on the profile of the alliance (except for secret contracts signed by advisors).
- Cease-fires take effect only 48 hours after signature (except for cease-fires signed by justices of the peace).
- Guests in alliances: advisors, when invited, can peep into another alliance's chat and some parts of its forums.
- Private chat rooms: diplomats can open private chat rooms, where they can conduct diplomatic negotiations (this is already present on server 7, but in another system)
Espionage and sabotage
The training of the agents becomes cheaper, since the chip consumption of intelligence HQ's will be zero. However it will only make the intelligence capacity cheaper, the real costs will appear as you perform actions. In case of both spying and sabotage your agents first have to get to the target planet. They can be moved similarly to fleets at a speed of 100 parsec/minute, except for the fact that they can't be catched during their journey.
If your agent is passive (such as a sleeper agent on an alien planet, or counter-intelligence agent on one of your planets), it won't cost you anything. However, if your agent is performing active actions (such as espionage, sabotage, active counter intelligence) it will cost you (in-game) money (SHY) to bribe politicians, guards, soldiers and enemy agents.
Starting stock and tech levels
In order to speed up the early game the starting stock and the tech levels have been modified. Instead of villages you will start with a city, and you can already trade on level 4, and conquer your first planet on level 5.
Server 8 starts on June 19 in this galaxy: