"new MT FAQ" by James McGuigan - 5 December 2001
Sasha <sp...@ukc.ac.uk> wrote in message news:firstname.lastname@example.org...
- <editor snip>
- > On another note, is there anywhere I can find a complete description of all
- > the bonuses you can get from Mystery Traders (preferably with screenshots of
- > the items)? I think I've seen most of them, but I'm curious to know what
- > else is out there...
There's the battlesim testbed which can be downloaded from http://www.starsfaq.com/download.htm which is a 16 player max tech game and all the races have all the MT items (not everyone has the genesis device though) As for a text description, I need to do an MT FAQ for my site so here goes: The Mystery Trader or MT for short occasionally passes through the galaxy at warps between 7 and 13 and is a random event so only occurs when these have not been disabled. He may occasionally change course and/or speed and this is also random.
There are 4 types of MT dependant on what they give out:
- Technology Levels
- MT Component Designs
- MT Ships
- Random (will randomly give one of the above)
To catch the MT you will need to intercept him with a fleet containing at least 5000kt of minerals (colonists don't count), the whole fleet will be absorbed so ensure that you don't have more ships than you need in the fleet when intercepting him. All MTs (apart from random ones) will give out the same item to all players who trade with him.
For traders giving out technology, the amount of levels you get will be based on the total number of tech level count though by bringing extra minerals (upto 9800kt total) you can get bonus tech level for each 1200kt extra above the 5000kt mark for a maximum bonus of +4 levels. Below is a table of the amount of levels you can get including the bonus techs for extra minerals.
0-60 = 6-10 levels 61-70 = 5-9 levels 71-80 = 4-8 levels 81-90 = 3-7 levels 91-100 = 2-6 levels 101+ = 1-5 levels
For traders giving out components, you will get the design specs of one of the MT parts, you won't get more than one part for bring extra minerals and all players will get the same part from the MT. If you already have the same part as the MT is offering, then you will either get a different part or some tech levels, if you already have max tech and all the MT parts you will get nothing but your fleet will still be absorbed. These parts have certain tech requirements and it may be the case that you cannot actually build these parts until you have gained increased tech levels. Here is a list in the rough order I personally value them, though some more useful at different stages of the game.
Requires Tech: Energy 7, Prop 13, Con 5, Elect 9
Slot Type: Engine
Base Cost: 12kt Iron, 15kt, Bora, 11kt Germ, 40 Res
Cost at max tech: 6kt Iron, 7kt, Bora, 5kt Germ, 19 Res
Abilities: Warp 10 engine (plus ramscoop @ warp 5), +1/8 jet, 10% cloak
Notes: This is a powerful battle engine, it gives warp 10 speed and for battle speed gives an extra 1/8 movement (+1/4 for 1-2 engined ships, +1/2 for 3-4 engined ships, +3/4 for 5 engined ships). Against the IS-10 it is 33% cheaper and has comparable fuel usage and is 5kt lighter (20kt vs 25kt) but requires two extra levels of prop and also provides a warp 5 ramscoop which can help should you run out of fuel, though being a ramscoop it will take extra damage in minefields.
Requires Tech: Weap 12, Elect 12, Bio 12
Slot Type: Bomb
Base Cost: 1kt Iron, 5kt, Bora, 0kt Germ, 5 Res
Cost at max tech: 1kt Iron, 2kt, Bora, 0kt Germ, 2 Res
Abilities: Standard bomb (3% cols, 2 instals)
Notes: This component doesn't have the multi-functionality of other parts, but its cheapness and low installation kill rate while still
remaining an non-smart bomb means it can be used to remove all the
population on a planet without destroying too many factories. Also its low weight of 8kt means even 16 of them loaded onto a B-52 is still fully gateable through a 300/500 gate.
Requires Tech: Energy 16, Prop 20, Con 20, Elect 16
Slot Type: Mechanical
Base Cost: 0kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 50kt Germ, 40 Res
Cost at max tech: 0kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 38kt Germ, 30 Res
Abilities: Mobile stargate for ship
Notes: This allows a ship to jump to planetary stargates. Range and weight limits are determined by destination stargate, though has fairly high tech requirements. You have to build a jump gate in each ship as non jump gate ships cannot use another ships jump gate. One of the quirks of this part is it allows for non-IT races to gate cargo and population, though it only works if you are not already at a stargate location, so you may need to do the gate in two years, on year to get into deep space, the second to the destination location. The part is also useful in several other designs. On scanner/skirmisher/sweeper/minelayer/raider ships it allows for the ship to make a quick get away should it get badly damaged or under threat of being intercepted in enemy territory. Also a mobile reserve fleet could make use of jump gates to allow it to move outside the gate network and still be on call to defend a planet.
Requires Tech: Energy 14, Con 14, Elect 14, Bio 6
Slot Type: Armour
Base Cost: 18kt Iron, 6kt, Bora, 6kt Germ, 65 Res
Cost at max tech: 9kt Iron, 3kt, Bora, 3kt Germ, 34 Res
Abilities: 400dp Armour, 100dp Shield, 20% Cloak, 20% Jammer, 80/40ly Scanner
Notes: This part allows shields to be placed on a design in an armour only slot. This part also has a built in pen scanner which is can be useful for races with NAS. The added jammer and low weight mean it is useful in designing BBs with limited electrical slots. The low weight of 20kt, only 5kt more than organic armour, allows it to be used to give extra protection to beamer BBs without reducing the speed of the ship.
Requires Tech: Energy 5, Con 10, Elect 5, Bio 5
Slot Type: Mining Robot
Base Cost: 8kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 2kt Germ, 20 Res
Cost at max tech: 3kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 1kt Germ, 7 Res
Abilities: 10kt mining robot, 30% cloak, 30% jammer
Notes: This part is a cheap mining bot and makes remote mining with OBRM races somewhat feasible and cost effective. Also its low weight of 20kt allows for these mining ships to be gateable.
Requires Tech: Energy 20, Weap 10, Prop 10, Con 20, Elect 10, Bio 20
Slot Type: Planetary
Base Cost: 0kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 0kt Germ, 5000 Res (no miniaturization)
Abilities: Reset planet stats
Notes: For 5000 resources you are able to randomly reset all of a planets attributes including hab setting and most importantly mineral concentrations, though it will also destroy all a planets factories, mines and defences. Its not available until the end game, but thats when it is most useful in providing fresh sources of minerals. Especially useful for AR races which have no planetary installations to lose through the use of this device.
Requires Tech: Energy 12, Prop 9, Elect 9
Slot Type: Shield
Base Cost: 10kt Iron, 2kt, Bora, 6kt Germ, 20 Res
Cost at max tech: 4kt Iron, 1kt, Bora, 3kt Germ, 9 Res
Abilities: 125dp shield, 65dp armour, 5% jammer, 10% cloak, 50/25ly scanner
Notes: This along with the IS croby sharmor are the only parts that can add armour to a shield slot. It is heavier than a normal shield at 10kt and the same weight as the croby sharmour and for RS races its armour component is not halved. It gives more overall protection that the gorilla shield two energy tech levels above it. The 50/25ly pen scanner may be of some use to an NAS race and jamming and cloak though not much on their own, might be of some use added up on a BB, though if used on a beamer BB with the Mega Poly Shell and the IS-10 engine you will need to drop the shield slot count to 6 to preserve the speed of the ship.
Anti Matter Torpedo
Requires Tech: Weap 11, Prop 12, Bio 21
Slot Type: Weapon (Torpedo)
Base Cost: 3kt Iron, 8kt, Bora, 1kt Germ, 50 Res
Cost at max tech: 2kt Iron, 6kt, Bora, 1kt Germ, 40 Res
Abilities: Torpedo(60dp, range 6, init 0, accuracy 85%)
Notes: This missile requires a very high level of bio which most players will not get until well into the end game. Its main advantage is its cost, it uses up very little in the way of minerals though is very costly in resources, but in the end game when minerals are the only limiting factor this is not a problem. High accuracy also means you will only need a few computers to counter the enemies jamming also helping to keep your mineral costs down. The low damage per shot and low cost combined makes chaff rather ineffective as there is not much overkill. However you won't start getting whole ship kills until the enemy stack is almost dead. Range 6 against AMP nubs means you should be able to get 2-3 rounds of fire before they manage to close which helps overcome the lack of whole ship kills. The low weight of 8kt allows anti matter torp designs to be easily gateable. The other use for this item is the tech trading in bio tech that lacks buildable items in the higher levels.
Multi Cargo Pod
Requires Tech: Energy 5, Con 11, Elect 5
Slot Type: Mechanical
Base Cost: 12kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 3kt Germ, 25 Res
Cost at max tech: 5kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 1kt Germ, 10 Res
Abilities: 250kt cargo pod, 10% cloak, +50dp armour
Notes: This is basically an extra large cargo pod and this is its main use. This is the only part that allows extra armour to be added to designs without an armour slot, this is of particular use on B-17s and mini-miner hulls as it allows them to take a single minefield hit in a fleet when there are no ramscoops used in the fleet though a bit of extra armour on freighters is always useful.
Multi Function Pod
Requires Tech: Energy 11, Prop 11, Elect 11
Slot Type: Electrical
Base Cost: 5kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 5kt Germ, 15 Res
Cost at max tech: 2kt Iron, 0kt, Bora, 2kt Germ, 6 Res
Abilities: +1/4 jet, 30% cloak, 10% jammer
Notes: This is an electrical part as opposed to a mechanical part for the normal jet and OT. Other than this the part simply functions as a replacement for the manuvering jet, and its cloak is half the effectiveness of a normal super stealth cloak, so the 2 slots of this part could be used to replace both an OT and a cloak slot in order to get the bonus jamming.
Multi Contained Munition
Requires Tech: Energy 21, Weap 21, Elect 16, Bio 12
Slot Type: Weapon (Beam)
Base Cost: 6kt Iron, 40kt, Bora, 6kt Germ, 40 Res
Cost at max tech: 5kt Iron, 32kt, Bora, 5kt Germ, 32 Res
Abilities: Beam Weapon (140dp, range 3, init 6), 10% cloak, 10% computer, 150/75ly scanner, standard bomb (2% cols, 5 instals) and lay 40 mines per year
Notes: This has the largest scanner of all MT components and the pen scanner can be useful for NAS races. As a beam weapon it is less powerful and more expensive than the Mega-D which is available at weapons 22, however its mixed abilities are best suited to cloaked sweeper/skirmisher/minelayer/raider type designs, as it allows alot of functionality in a limited number of slots.
Requires Tech: Con 8
Slot Type: Ship Hull
Base Cost: 30kt Iron, 8kt, Bora, 8kt Germ, 100 Res
Cost at max tech: 8kt Iron, 2kt, Bora, 2kt Germ, 28 Res
Abilities: 250dp base armour, 400mg fuel, init 2, 150kt cargo, 2 engine slots, 10 General Purpose slots (1x3 + 2x2 + 3x1)
Notes: This ship is a mini nubian, though it lacks the size and base armour to be an effective warship even in the CC era. Its main use would be for a cheaper version of the galleon for sweeping/skirmishing/raiding and cloaked scanning/minelaying.
The third type of MT
will give you ships, you will get several ships of one
of the two designs he has to offer. The number of ships you get is totally random and bringing extra minerals will not improve your chances of getting more ships. Though not generally all that useful unless gained early in the game, it is usually best to scrap these designs to free up the design slot as you cannot build more of these yourself and hope to either gain tech levels or MT parts in the process.
The first design is the MT Scout which can be used to gate small quantities of minerals/pop through its jump gate with its 400kt mineral hold:
Mini Morph - 2 Enigma Pulsars - 4 Anti-Matter Torps - 1 Multi Cargo Pod - 1 Multi Function Pod - 1 Jump Gate
The second design is the MT Lifeboat which could be used as a cloaked skirmisher
Nubian - 1 slot Enigma Pulsars - 2 slot Anti-Matter Torps - 1 slot Multi Cargo Pod - 1 slot Multi Function Pod - 2 slot Mega Poly Shell - 2 slot Langston Shell - 3 slot Multi Contained Munition.
Tips on catching the MT:
The MT moves before your ships, so when you plan to intercept him look at where he will in the year of your intercept and target that point. The MT often moves faster than warp 10 so often there will be only one point along his trajectory that will be suitable for you to intercept so its often a good idea to plan ahead. Clicking on the MT will show a line with 5 arrows which show where he will land each year.
The MT will absorb the entire fleet that goes to meet the MT even non-freighter designs, so its a good idea to split off any escort before interception, though any fleets without 5000kt minerals will not get absorbed.
Battles happen after movement before the trading actually takes place, so if you attack another person trying to intercept the MT you can stop him on the year of intercept. If he has multiple ships in the fleet with cargo capacity then the cargo is equally carried between all the ships so if a fleet with 10,000kt cargo space but only 5000kt minerals loses half of its cargo ships then the remaining fleet will have only 2500kt minerals left to trade with the MT which would not be enough and so fail, the rest would be added to the salvage in the area.
You do not have to specifically target the MT to trade with him, just be in the same ly square as him at the end of the turn, so it might be possible to accidentally trade with him and on very rare occasions the MT may even pass over one of your planets.
Only one ship per race may trade with each MT so sending multiple fleets to trade will not benefit you.
MT components can be traded with or lost to other players, there is a 0.5% chance (50% chance per event then a 1% chance per item) of the other player learning the design for each individual item scrapped or destroyed in battle upto 12.5% chance per scrapping/battle event. The other player will only be able to build the item once he has the required tech levels for it.
So any suggestions on this new FAQ -- Rules are written for those who lack the ability to truly reason, But for those who can, rules become nothing more than guidelines, And live their lives governed not by rules but by reason.
- - James McGuigan
OWK replied on 6 December 2001:
"James McGuigan" <ja...@starsfaq.com> wrote in message <news:U%eP7.8832$Sf4.email@example.com>...
[snips, lots of snips]
> As for a text description, I need to do an MT FAQ for my site so here goes:
> The Mystery Trader or MT for short occasionally passes through the galaxy at
> warps between 7 and 13 and is a random event so only occurs when these have
> not been disabled. He may occasionally change course and/or speed and this
> is also random.
> There are 4 types of MT dependant on what they give out:
> 1. Technology Levels
> 2. MT Component Designs
> 3. MT Ships
> 4. Random (will randomly give one of the above)
I'm not sure there is a "random" class. But can't offer any evidence to prove there isn't either.
> For traders giving out technology, the amount of levels you get will be
> based on the total number of tech level count though by bringing extra
> minerals (upto 9800kt total) you can get bonus tech level for each 1200kt
> extra above the 5000kt mark for a maximum bonus of +4 levels. Below is a
> table of the amount of levels you can get including the bonus techs for
> extra minerals.
> 0-60 = 6-10 levels
> 61-70 = 5-9 levels
> 71-80 = 4-8 levels
> 81-90 = 3-7 levels
> 91-100 = 2-6 levels
> 101+ = 1-5 levels
The bonus is probably affected by your tech levels as well. I've met an MT with 9800kt of minerals fairly late in a game and gotten 1 tech level. It may well be that the MT tried to give me a Weap level when I already had Weapons 26 (and thus I got nothing); i.e. the MT randomly picks the technology class and if you have less than Level 26 you get a level.
There are *three* designs given out. MT Scout, MT Probe, and the Lifeboat. The Probe and Scout are both mini-morph hulls, but differ slightly in the load-out of other parts they carry. I seem to recall the Probe carrying either Langston shields or Mega-Poly Shells.
Dirty Tricks department for SS: Get a Pick-pocket or Robber-baron equipped ship to meet an interception fleet and then steal 1kt of minerals; or enough to drop their load to 4999kt. Might not be noticed until the MT refuses to trade with them.
- - Kurt
Dan Neely replied on 6 Decemeber 2001
"OWK" <ove...@usaor.net> wrote
> "James McGuigan" <ja...@starsfaq.com> wrote
> > 4. Random (will randomly give one of the above)
> I'm not sure there is a "random" class. But can't offer any evidence
> to prove there isn't either.
this was documented on stars'r'us by someone making a bsim. so unless Jeff removed it, it should still be there.
"Tman" <tbmiller replied on 9 December 2001
If you don't have enough minerals from one planet & you have to reach the MT in one year, is it possible to have 5 ships, all from different planets meet the MT and him accept?
What if one ship targets the MT, the other ships target THAT ship with waypoint task set to Merge Fleet? Will that work?
Sean replied on 9 December 2001
>If you don't have enough minerals from one planet & you have to reach the MT >in one year, is it possible to have 5 ships, all from different planets meet >the MT and him accept?
The ships have to be in a single fleet. Minerals present are measured per FLEET not per player, sorry.
>What if one ship targets the MT, the other ships target THAT ship with
>waypoint task set to Merge Fleet? Will that work?
Merge them one year AHEAD of meeting the MT, and thatw ill work. Otherwise ...
I doubt it.
[This post, and its content, are intended solely for this newsgroup and are Copyright 2001. Forwarding or access by any other means is unauthorized without the express prior written permission of the author.]
James McGuigan replied on 9 December 2001
Merging happens after the MT trades with you. So from the MT's point of view its 5 fleets all with 1000kt rather than 1 fleet with 5000kt. He will say NO five times rather than YES once. You need to merge the five fleets into a single fleet before the final trade with the MT.
Rules are written for those who lack the ability to truly reason,
But for those who can, rules become nothing more than guidelines,
And live their lives governed not by rules but by reason.
- - James McGuigan