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This will work. (Posted by Erek on Year 16 Day 244)
Forgive me, Combine, for I have sinned. It has been 14 days since last I held the hammer. Well. Kinda. Ok, fine it's been about h...

So long, now. (Posted by Erek on Year 16 Day 244)
The Account Aqua de` Savona has been banned for breaching our Terms of Service; a tenet of which is our rules governing players. ...

A game has rules! (Posted by Erek on Year 16 Day 230)
Forgive me, Combine, for I have sinned. It has been 14 days since last I held the hammer.   Year 16 Day 230, 9:...

Community News

The one and only Deathmatch (Posted by Ellias Aubec on Year 16 Day 202)
Well, 'tis time for the Deathmatch to progress and advance to the next round. Who will win the penultimate round for this populat...

Deathmatch advances (Posted by Ellias Aubec on Year 16 Day 133)
The Deathmatch advances in a round. Go vote for your favourite player. Also, a selection of new Grudge Matches as well.

We need you! (Posted by Jevon Lambright on Year 16 Day 107)
UPDATE: I have currently accepted 3 people into the team, who will be announced in full later. For those of you who sstarted a co...

Technical News

Email Server Issues (Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 299)
Outgoing email appears to be broken, this means that no DMs, lost password emails, registration/activation emails, etc. will be s...

Sync Report Year 16 Day 290 (Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 290)
Update to revision ff9801f28cc58afeb3c21eafcc7c68327d948501 (+90) Bugs: - Fix for storing items inside containers they contain (#3...

R&D and Other Plans (Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 280)
Almost a year ago we began planning a redesigned version of R&D. The tech-tree plan was scrapped some time before then, as well. I ...

(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 299 13:06)

Outgoing email appears to be broken, this means that no DMs, lost password emails, registration/activation emails, etc. will be sent out by the server until it resolved. I am not sure if currently-unsent emails are queued or if they have been silently dropped, but we will find out once it is working again. Please be patient while we try to resolve the problem!

Update: There appears to be an issue with sending to GMX accounts, as GMX has incorrectly blacklisted SWC's main server, but outgoing email to most other providers has been restored.  

(Edited by Selatos on Year 16 Day 302)
(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 290 14:35)

Update to revision ff9801f28cc58afeb3c21eafcc7c68327d948501 (+90)

- Fix for storing items inside containers they contain (#3837)
- Fix for two-handed items not being dropped correctly when arrested (#3835)
- Fix for facility links on city designer (#3852)
- Some attempts to improve performance of tag deletion from inventory (#3848)
- Fix for various typos and image orientation issues

- Lots of UI improvements:
-- Subtle color scheme changes
-- Links on side menus are button-sized instead of text-sized for clicking
-- New buttons for horizontal navbars (like on the Character page)
- Added link to current location on navcomp when it is known
- Added link to corresponding inventory from NPC control
- Improvements to reorganizing members dashboard page
- Significant overhaul of the rules pages:
-- New main page layout, including new link/button style.
-- New technology overview pages (per class where applicable) using larger pictures with toggle options to show stats
-- New entity details pages with a complete overhaul to layout and style

- NPC shop reworked so players can now purchase and sell multiple items at once. You can sell any item you physically have at your location
- EU cookie/privacy policy information added. You will see a consent to cookie policy banner at the top along with a link to information about how we use cookies  

(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 280 10:45)

Almost a year ago we began planning a redesigned version of R&D. The tech-tree plan was scrapped some time before then, as well. I wanted to share the core concepts with you now, because R&D will soon be an active project, focusing first on items/ground weapons, as ground combat between players, NPCs, and facilities has concrete rules. The goal of R&D is to provide a self-balancing, open-ended system for creating stuff in game. Part of this comes from the system for R&D itself and part comes from other changes, like the firepower mechanic introduced earlier this year, which self-balances against armor to avoid the problem of infinite damage scaling. Depending on the success of the model it will extend in a natural way to ships, vehicles, and other things.

Creating new entities will be broken into two distinct activities (research and design) based on a simplified view of real world technology development. In the design activity, a new entity design is created from modules. Each module covers one aspect or system of the entity being designed. In a hypothetical ship design example, the hull, shields, power generators, etc. would all be distinct modules. Each module has free (design) variables chosen arbitrarily by the player and process parameters determined by the technology available to the designer. The process parameters generally serve to create constraints on the acceptable values to use for design variables by translating them into costs or requirements, such as RMs, available power, required power, and others, but there are no hard caps on design variables. A meta-process for “ship” design or “item” design will also control the number and types of modules that can be installed together within a single design. The research activity would exist separately from design and work to improve the values for process parameters in a particular technology. Technology management will be extensive, with the ability to trade and share technology as well as derive new processes from existing ones. Research time will scale with the total number of improvements that a technology has over the baseline, so a derived technology may not be “cutting edge” in order to facilitate easier research in a previously neglected direction.

Once a player is satisfied with a design, it would be converted into a datacard and an entity definition with stats as we have now. There will probably be no limit to the number that can be created, although there may be a small cost associated with finalizing a datacard design. There may be minor changes to stats (nothing is planned), but the stats, not the modules, will determine how the entity behaves once it has been produced, just as they do now. However, the underlying module structure (including any margin in the design, such as extra power or space) is preserved, which forms the basis for aftermarket modifications to be performed individually per entity. The concept for entity modification hasn’t been fleshed out much beyond whether it is possible, but the “process -> module -> entity” structure is able to support it natively and keep it balanced.

In R&D the design phase will probably not involve any skill checks and be determined entirely by players’ creativity. The research phase will probably function more similarly to force training wherein there is a timer and a dice roll that determines success, with some attention paid to skill point assignment, although the objective will be selectable (e.g. look for a better hull parameter or better shield generator parameter).

Feel free to discuss the upcoming R&D design, but we’re still not taking suggestions on the details at this time. Also, the infamous tech level statistic will be returning as a descriptive quantity.

Other changes will probably be made to “how things work,” eventually, as well. There’s been a thread discussing the Rock Ivory rarity; this will probably be adjusted as a temporary solution within a few weeks, because it is easier than adjusting RM requirements intelligently. When RM requirements actually follow from entity design, coherently, it will change again (possibly for all materials). Another thing that we’re exploring is a worthwhile entity upkeep system, one that does not penalize players for being inactive or having a lot of stuff, but rather focuses on upkeep associated with frequent use of entities without being tedious or requiring extensive micromanagement. Even with combat adding destruction, the general flow of goods is that they are created and then remain (especially for non-combat entities); a complete lifecycle needs to be in place that has “being discarded/refurbished/recycled” as an important step, to create equilibria for demand.

There will be an unrelated sync within a few days as we push some bug fixes and updates from the past few months, including redesigned rules pages and upgrades to the scripting system capabilities. We are also improving compliance with EU cookie laws, so you will see some additional banners related to cookie usage after the sync to inform you that they exist and are unfortunately inedible.  

(Posted by Jennifer Dreighton on Year 16 Day 263 20:44)

This is a reminder that the Holocron needs your active participation. There has been some confusion who is actually allowed to vote for featured articles that appear on the starting page. The good news is: Everyone is. Everyone can suggest articles to be featured and everyone may vote. You do need a Holocron account. If you don't have one, create one using your Combine handle. All the details on how to make and activate your account are explained here: http://holocron.swcombine.com/wiki/Community_portal

For suggesting articles and voting, go here: http://holocron.swcombine.com/wiki/Talk:Holocron:Featured_Articles  

(Posted by Syn on Year 16 Day 252 12:35)

I've fixed the stuck timers issue but as there are about 4500 actions backed up they will be clearing themselves slowly over the next hour. Please be patient.  

(Posted by Kendall Holm on Year 16 Day 252 8:10)

The timers are stuck and we know. They will remain this way till someone who has access to the tool will reset them. Please be patatient and dont fill out a bug report.  

(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 246 8:30)

Facility income has been run manually and people should have money now. If someone was active two days ago but wasn't today, I'm sorry, but I won't be doing further manual updates, and there is no easy way to adjust this for just you.

I've been informed that editing the simnews posts doesn't update all RSS feed readers correctly, so most updates of significant content like this will be new posts from now on (same for sync warning and sync digest, for instance, but edits to update wording or something will generally remain in the same post).  

(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 245 17:13)

Looks like facility income didn't run for some reason; I'll try to find out why and post updates when I have them.  

(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 232 22:08)

Mini sync to address some datacard related issues and clear up several things.

- Generic list added to the datacard overview rules page. Most of the rest of the page (regarding R&D, etc.) is still inaccurate
- Slot information added to cards that are generic on the details page for each entity
- You cannot hold any generics to become a government
- Upon reverting from government status you give up previously held government-only datacards (an old bug technically, it seems)
- Production exceptions updated for non-manufacturing groups:
-- LIN miners can be produced by mining factions, DC created for mining factions automatically
-- Mining vehicles, farming vehicles cannot be produced by mining factions, bu they do hold the DCs
-- Mining explosives can be produced by mining factions, DCs created automatically
-- Medical droids can be produced by medical factions, DCs created automatically
-- Medical ships and vehicles cannot be produced by medical factions, but they do hold the DCs
-- Recycling factions can produce uglies that they hold the datacards for
-- Other recycling ships and vehicles, which have actual schematics and a specification require an outside manufacturing group as before

Originally I was thinking of giving mining, medical, and recycling the full production pipeline for their other assets, but I realized that would reduce the need for back and forth interaction too much. Now they can produce assets required for day-to-day operations (explosives in mining are an upcoming change once a programmer is free to handle it) but still require outside support for creating the more interdisciplinary entities like ships and vehicles.

In the future production rules are liable to change again (become simpler) once there is R&D and it makes less sense to have arbitrary boundaries for tech based on faction type, but that is a long ways away.  

(Edited by Selatos on Year 16 Day 232)
(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 226 23:14)

After reading some of the feedback and having some more discussion about the best way to proceed with reorganizing the datacards, we've decided to back off on the restricted DC reassignment for the time being. It is too aggressive of a change for now, but depending on how the situation looks in a couple of months it may be an option. Generic datacards will proceed as described before, and the same rules will apply for purchasing generics (no unique/restricted DCs in the list on your faction datacard page).

Datacard quantities will be restored to their pre-sync values tomorrow evening.  

(Posted by Selatos on Year 16 Day 224 20:49)

Update to revision ebb7a91a7c07cabcaac43e3df5990b79b4e6f62a (+76)

- Bug #3799 X button now works on modules
- Fixed bug where multiple modules couldn't be disabled on members page
- Fixed bug #3800, unable to load party screen when a character is present
- Fixed bug with GNS posting privs not providing access to choose the correct category on the post page
- Keycard crafting will no longer auto-restart
- Inventory fitout text updated to reflect clicking instead of dragging

- Members page automatically refreshes. Style, text, and watermarking changed to increase readability
- Lots of CSS changes: images replaced with css, gaps and margins improved in the header, larger clickable header link area
- Colors changed a little bit to increase (functional) consistency between skins and improve overall polish of color schemes. Not all icons were updated, they are still pending conversion to css or svg from images
- Ship, vehicle, item, and droid production factions have been merged into a single general type. General production factions cost 70m to create
- Medical droids now produced at medical factions
- LIN-series miners, alpha plus charges, and blaststicks now produced at mining factions
- C-wing uglies now produced by recycling factions

- Can now walk through gates if they are open to all
- Datacard assignments are now broken into three categories: restricted, free, and generic, plus rare entities that do not have datacards
- Generic datacards may be purchased by general type only, with cost based on DC "slot" value: 5m credits per slot, total active members must exceed the cumulative number of slots used by owned generic DCs.
- All existing datacards are being reassigned, see below for important information about this change.

This sync incorporates dramatic changes to the way the datacard system works. Datacards are now available for purchase by general production factions that do not own restricted datacards. They may be purchased at any time if your faction is elligible and meets the cost and membership requirements. Each datacard costs 5m credits per slot, and your total active member count must be above the cumulative number of slots occupied by all owned generic datacards.

All existing datacard assignments have been reevaluated. If you currently own datacards that fall under the restricted category after this change, their uses have been set to zero, meaning you cannot assign them to any new production facilities. Existing assigned uses will remain valid for one week, until July 19th, 2015, to allow some time to begin a final round of production for entities you may be losing. After this time, existing assignments will also be removed. I understand this will create significant IC turmoil as it may affect production contracts, datacard contracts, etc., but I'd really appreciate it if players would try to not be assholes to each other about this. It may require some non-RP decision making to "do the right thing" because the game is being rebalanced. Datacard reassignment is not something you should try to incorporate into your IC history as magically losing your technology or something equally stupid, and you should not use this opportunity to scam people and then claim you're totally legit because the admins took away your production, so it's not your fault.

Restricted technology will be assigned based on one of two criteria: (1) it is assigned as 'canon' tech, either in a SW or SWC canon sense, to one of five government factions: GE, NR, Hapes, TF, and FF; or (2) it is assigned as 'draft' tech, which will be selected by factions that elect to participate in the datacard draft. All existing production factions of the four types that are being merged can choose to participate in the draft or transition to full time generic datacard production. There will be one draft per legacy faction type, where factions who were previously of that type will take turns selected datacards from the draft pool, ordered by faction create date. The draft will happen in the leaders' forum to keep off-topic posts to a minimum, but we will try to keep updated information available in other locations to watch its progress. Draft selections will be made by the faction leader or a designated subordinate who has access to the forum (i.e. you need to make them 2IC if you will delegate, for the time being). Each draftable datacard has a number of slots associated with it that identifies how many times it may be drafted before it becomes unavailable. Undoubtably the draft will take some time, but we will strive to hand out datacards quickly as they are drafted.

The list of datacard reassignments is summarized in this google doc. As you can see in the document, there are 60 or so generic datacards (not all generics are listed--all previous generics are also generics moving forward but I did not add them all to the spreadsheet). This list also includes the draft order for each category. There are many previously restricted or unavailable datacards that are either draftable or even generic in some cases. Furthermore, several type-specific datacards have been added to non-production factions as well, partly to compensate for lost restricted tech. One example is the dreadnaught, which is now available to all government factions, but it still requires a ship production faction to actually make them.

There will be no faction mergers at this time, primarily because there are no datacard transfers to preserve. If you wish to participate in the draft, your faction must not dissolve. If not, you are free to empty the faction and dissolve it to concentrate your assets in a different faction. Only the faction creation date and previous category will affect its draft status, so if you wish to draft with one faction you own but not another, you may dissolve the second and place all your assets into the first. After the draft, should a faction that owns restricted datacards dissolve, those datacards will return to the draft pool. On some regular interval, to be determined based on how quickly restricted tech becomes unavailable again, we will hold further drafts for any lost datacards, open to any general production factions that do not hold generics. Ordering for future re-drafts will likely be based on number of datacards held, with the smallest number held granting priority.

Finally, we will also be handing out the canon assignments sometime this week, after some time for community response to the assignments. I'm sure there will be lots of angry debate about the new datacard assignment, but keep in mind that essentially every faction has lost datacards, some of which have been held for a long time. There will be a dedicated thread for discussion and another for suggestion of new entities, as there are a few critical gaps on the canon list I wish to fill quickly.  

(Edited by Selatos on Year 16 Day 225)
(Posted by Ellias Aubec on Year 16 Day 202 0:45)

Well, 'tis time for the Deathmatch to progress and advance to the next round. Who will win the penultimate round for this populatiry contest? In addition we have several more Grudge Matches for you to peruse and vote on. Don't forget to make new Grudge matches if there is something you want to decide, or see what people think of. Or are bored...