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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Founder’s Landing, Day Two, Past Midnight

Suit In High Orbit; Strong Stench Of Terror

Gradually, I came out of it to see the face of Founder’s Landing tumbling overhead. A little at a time it started coming back to me; I was… I was… cargo?

OSTRICH TO CARGO, DO YOU COPY, OVER — OSTRICH TO CARGO…

Even as I clicked my mike in response, it came to me I’d been hearing them for a while. Suddenly, I realized where I was and what was happening. I’d passed out after all. I checked the timer — no, still on schedule. Thank the gods.

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2350

Airlock In High Orbit; Tinny Taste Of Adrenaline

“You about ready?” Eddie asked. “Your window’s coming up, in about–“

“FIVE MINUTES!” Sanchez’s voice blared over the intercom. Eddie grimaced.

“Yeah, in about five minutes or so. Give or take. Just, you know, kinda guessing at it.” He helped with one of the clamps, checked the holster, and handed me the case. “We’ll be watching for you at the rendezvous in ninety minutes. Don’t miss us, or it’s a long walk back home.”

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2325

High Orbit; Smell Of Scorched Insulation And Ozone

Molly’s betrayal hurt, and that’s the truth of it. It was still too close to think about.

But everything else — that Confederate, and then Intel getting involved. The riots, and the raids, and all the explosions… and my own job: moving money secretly offworld, without government knowledge. It all added up, and in a way I didn’t like.

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2310

Deserted Mansion, Wrong End Of A Blaster

“They call that desertion. Barring Imperial instructions to the contrary, I’m here ’till I die.”

At that she smiled, and it was lovely indeed. “I’d be only too pleased to help you with that, Martin… dearest Martin,” she said… and pulled the trigger.

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