Planets Con in a Post-Pandemic Continuum – Cheers!

OPINION – What’s really important?

I sit down to write this article and find myself straining to pinpoint when we last had an in-person Planets Con. Lords of Cobols – do you realize it’s been three years?! Was the last one truly 2018? Yes, the Finns know how to party, but the rest of us need to get shaking. With that in mind, I key this note to remind everybody of what’s really important:

That image sends some potentially confusing messages; however, I assure you that I honestly mean that beer is the most vital part of Planets Con. Is there really any better way to connect to another human being than to clink glasses together?

[TS: Rhetorical sarcasm?]
[G: Actual fact. Though mine might be coffee. …OK, maybe Irish coffee.]

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The Inside Scoop – Money and Development

Our last Inside Scoop was either an April Fools joke or wishful thinking. Personally, I was secretly hoping some of it was coming true… *sigh* …But let’s set flights of fancy aside. It’s nearing the end of May and we have a new Inside Scoop for our dedicated fans. This release contains a lot of hard facts, some hints on future developments, and intriguing insights into where our subscription money goes.

(As with our other Scoops, this article was pieced together from an email discussion. Some wording was edited to help clarify and highlight main points. Money was a weighty topic and we dumped a huge load of questions on Joshua. We were afraid we might have scared him off, but he found the time to give us some excellent and exciting answers. Super thankful!)

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On Keeping The Pot Boiling

A few of you have expressed interested in how Planets Mag works — some with an eye to contributing content, others no doubt from idle curiosity. The simple truth is, alas, that we’ve got no idea ourselves. We keep writing, and people keep reading, and these are good things.

There’s more to it, mind; it’s a valuable rule to remember that everything is always more complex. So if you’re interested in the process, feel free to keep reading. If on the other hand you prefer to think of it as “magic” and just plan to enjoy the fruits of our labor… well, you too can keep reading, because this is exactly one of those products of which we are (for better or worse) so immensely proud.

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A Modest Proposal: The Hull Penalty

When the revised queue system was first released as an alternative to the Classic ship build process, it met with some opposition. Today, it is being systematically replaced by the new Planetary Production Queue with its random build options.

And yet, at least in my opinion, the original objections have yet to receive even a satisfactory hearing, and they certainly haven’t been addressed. Sure, anyone who objects to the new system can go back to play Classic if they want — but that’s no answer; some of the advances since 1991 haven’t been all bad. And it’s no use saying you can pick and choose in Custom games unless you and ten of your closest friends all agree on exactly which new options you like.

So let’s take a moment and review one example: the Hull Penalty.

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The Inside Scoop: April Fools

Our last Scoop article shared all the details about Leagues and Championships. Now the Cognitum War is underway, we can turn our attention back to the future. We at Planets Magazine are pleased to bring you an announcement: Nu’s got new features and ships coming your way. Moreover, Planet.nu’s usually inscrutable leader, Joshua, is here to tell us all about it.

NOTE: We’re told the art is preliminary, and it may not come in by release time, so TS has given us a filler picture or two.  Contrary to appearances, no alcohol was used writing this article. -G


(As is always the case with Inside Scoop, the following has been condensed from a lengthy email chain. Just imagine we’re all in a comfy studio with nice cups of tea and an Easter wedge of Mom-Mom Bessie’s Coconut Molasses Pie. – Editor)

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Addressing Torpedo Balance – Part 1: “Normalize MC costs”

Opinion

In my last article, I described the new torpedo changes and demonstrated the relative inequality of torpedo stats in VGA Planets. In this article, I will discuss what planets could (and arguably should) look like in terms of an ideal distribution of stats. I will follow up with some concrete suggestions on how to make this possible. In doing so, I will try not to change the flavour of the game.

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Founder’s Landing, Day Two, 0100 (Delivery Time)

Airlock On Delivery Vessel, Helmet On

I was standing just inside the hatch, looking down the barrels of two hand disruptors, each held by an identical crewman. But I was in combat armor; no need for a little thing like that to intimidate me.

“Oh, please!” I said through the suit’s speaker. “It’d take you half an hour to burn through my armor, and that’s if I was polite enough to stand still. Why don’t you put those silly things down and let me finish my delivery?”

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