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Stellaris Dev Diary Questions/Answers

{Edit: Glad you guys liked it, I just added another pass of a couple more dev diaries}
[just updated to include what should be all the remaining comments in Part 4]
So I compiled a number of paradox developer responses from the paradox dev diary forums from user questions.
All the original context can be found here:
This is by no means comprehensive and only accounts for about the last 5-6 [updated to include about the last 14-15 should be all ~26 diaries now, or as many had meaningful responses] of the diaries and not all questions or responses recorded. Just the ones I found interesting enough to track. I did not record who asked and who responded, but I only include responses by the developers, not any non-dev users. So assuming something doesn't change in the late stages, most should be close to good.
Sometimes I left the question for context, other times, if it was a stand-alone statement, I did not. You'll have to guess from context, but I figure it's still a good amount of quality information for those who didn't follow the forum responses to the dev diaries.
And sorry, I didn't track which dev diary they came from.
I'll try to format this better as I learn reddit formatting.
Question/Comment Answer
Will there only the be the option of rotating presidencies, or are other more interactive systems of selecting the next presidents in federations possible? For release, it will most likely be rotation only.
- Currently, only Xenophile/Xenophobe Materialist/Spiritualist are valid FE [Fallen Empire] traits. More may be added.
- The FE personalties are: Xenophile: Benevolent Observers; Xenophobe: Militant Isolationists; Spiritualist: Holy Guardians; Materialist: Keepers of Knowledge
How does opinion work in Stellaris? Is there a cap as I notice that its at -284 for the Avians in the first screenshot or can it forever decrease and increase? The cap is -1000/+1000, so effectively uncapped. The Confederacy of Penkor really doesn't like me.
- Going to 1000 is really not possible..
Will there be some sort of slider for the player to influence The sector ai spending? E.g. I want an older sector to spend more money on a larger fleet but a newer sector on developing colonies. Not at present. Note that Sectors don't maintain fleets (besides construction ships), so generally they'll sink their minerals into developing planets.
Does this mean I can change how the archetype behaves? Or does it mean I can have a multitude of different personality potentials under one archetype? Archetype determines some core behaviours, for example a 'Propagator' AI will focus on population growth. This can't be modded, but you can make very different kinds of Propagators.
- There's a personality type called 'Fanatic Purifiers', whose primary goal is to purge the galaxy of all aliens. They're not the most diplomatic people around.
- AI personalities are mostly static but if a country changes so radically that the old personality would not be a possible pick for it anymore, it will pick a new one. IE: If they're Despotic Slavers who stop wanting to have slaves, they won't remain Despotic Slavers.
- Militarist Empires prefer to form alliances with other Militarists, since Pacifists would just vote down their wars. Some personalities go it alone, but most can form alliances under the right circumstances.
If I understood correctly, the AI behavior is mostly dictated by their personality, which is defined by a combination of ethos. But the same personality can be formed by multiple combination of ethos, right? So 'Federation Builders' won't be all 'individualistic, xenophile pacifist', so maybe they would be spiritual instead of individualistic, but still be a 'Federation Builder', is that correct? Correct. Ethos variations of the same personality can have some minor variations (such as which laws they pass) but it probably won't be on the level noticeable to the player.
- The AI does not hate you just for declining trades, but for instance if they're boxed in by you and you refuse access they might consider that a reason to go to war.
- AI personalities are 99% moddable. The only thing you can't do is create new archetypes, but it's possible to make very different personalities within the same archetype.
Does each personality have one and only one valid ethos combination that will result in it? Some do, most don't.
So how exactly will this insight into "These particular creatures manage to stay alive due to their regenerative skin." affect the card tech system? Does it increase the chances of a related card popping up? Can you study it for a long enough time (fill a bar) and then a choice of relevant technologies pop up? or how? It would be added as an "additional card".
4) Can we skip "Regenerative Skin tech I" and get "Regenerative Skin tech II" right away? Do techs even work like that? Yes, you can research missiles 4 before having missiles 3, for example.
can you study alien space creatures without having to murder them? What about domesticating them? Not right now, but its definitely something I would like to add :)
does the rival system work similarry to EUIV's rival systemw here every nation pretty much always has 3 rivals? because that doesnt sound like too great a situatioin if everyone has only met a handfull of other empires but is almost automatically hostile to all of them due to all the AI wanting to maximize their influence. No. AIs won't rival someone just to have more rivals, and there's no penalties for having less than 3 except missing out on some influence.
Also a casus belli to force you to abandon planets, could they force you out of your homeworld with that? Or is it strictly limited to colonies or specific planets that empire cares about? They can't force you off your homeworld.
[Administrative Sectors are a] Good idea for reducing micro but can we regain control the of an important planet if we don't like the way the ai is doing? You can remove systems from a Sector, should you wish to do so.
My concern is that this kind of thing managed to tank MoO3 because the AI governors were pants-on-head retarded. I hope that this will not be the case here. Making sure sector AI is good enough that most players won't feel frustrated letting it run their planets is very high on my priority list.
The game is being designed with the idea of the player delegating administration of non-core worlds to the AI. Facilitating the "option" to micro everything would a major anti-feature. Since people would feel they could do a better job than the AI, weather true or not, there would be an incentive to do so even if most people would not find it a lot of fun. And then people would start advocating it as the optimal way of doing things; "No wonder you lost, you should manage all planets yourself!". Then people would start demanding fixes or balances to the game based on this play style, even if though the game was never meant to be played like that. "It's in the game, so you should support it!" So you'll ending up with the impossible task of trying to support two conflicting play-styles, compromising the overall design of the game. And any changes that are done to improve the intended play-style of the game, are likely to be met with uproar from the minority who wants to play differently. Sorry, I would rather have a game with a cohesive design, than one trying to please everyone. Yep. Precisely this.
Do all the CBs regarding planets revolve around seizing them for ourselves or our allies? What if I do not want the world for myself but just wish to deprive it from my enemies? Can a planet become entirely depopulated during a war or as a result of the following peace treaty? If your policies allow full orbital bombardment, it is possible to severely damage planets, but not to completely depopulate them.
In the first screenshot is the 30 in the middle of the trade table 30 reasons that the deal will be accepted? Are deals black and white yes/no like in EU4? I really hate the old maybe/likely/etc system. Also what is the +17% with the arrows mean in the trade deal screen? AI will always tell you a definite yes/no when creating the offer, no need to send it and wait for an unknown answer. While slightly less realistic perhaps it does reduce frustration by a lot since otherwise you'd just keep sending offers blind over and over. The 17%-value shows how willing/reluctant that Empire is when it comes to trading with you. You can often trade with Empires that doesn't like you much, but it might require putting a bit more on the table.
1) Is there a cap on how many protectorates/vassals we can have a la EU4 diplomatic relations? I'm assuming so, and I'd bet it'd be influenced by ethos, gov type, and social research? 1) We're testing to see if a cap is needed, or if Liberty Desire is enough.
2) Will there be some mechanics to such that the choice between annexing vassals or just keeping them is more involved? Perhaps some bonuses to research or diplomacy if you elect not to annex your vassal species? 2) You do gain Military Access, Sensor Info and Construction Rights within a Vassals territory, which might be worth more than dealing with the headache of getting a new species within the Empire that has conflicting ethics/views on your politics. We might add some additional bonuses to keeping Vassals if we feel this is not enough of a motivator.
Does this mean, uplifted species will become more loyal vassals? Or do they forget their gratitude after some time? (Especially if the Overlord does something conflicting with their Ethos.) An uplifted species will be eternally grateful, but that does not mean they'll always agree with everything the overlords does. It helps but it's not a binary thing. The opposite goes for an Empire that is force-vassalized through war or such. They'll dislike their new overlord quite a bit at first, but time and/or having the same outlook on things might help mend relations.
Also, can we be a subject of another empire too, or is the game lost then? It would be nice to organise an uprising within another empire, maybe even uniting other subject species against the invasions. A player can be a Vassal to another Empire (human or AI) and still play. If the player is integrated/diplo-annexed the game is lost however.
Part 2
Question/Comment Answer
Let's hope [combat] won't be a godawful hard counter system and race with extremely highly advanced lasers could beat shields. Hard counters are one of the worst designs ever to see in a strategy game. It's Galactic Civilizations-level horrible. It's more of a cost-efficiency thing. Lasers will still do decent damage against shields, but it will not be the perfect choice. If you know an enemy fleet has gone 100% missile-weapons and you can get full point-defense coverage you'll do very well (though not win unharmed).
very cool, i like the battle computer add in. this will give some standard AI for that ship to follow. question though, how (if at all) will stellaris try to balance ship sizes in fleets to make sure that fleets dont end up as zerg corvette fleets or only massive battleships? Efficiency-wise we'd like it to be Corvette < Destroyer < Cruiser < Battleship < Corvette. This is of course an over-simplification but that's the general idea. We do a few things to try and achieve this, such as Corvettes gaining full Evasion from all sources while Battleships only gain 25% (Destroyers and Cruisers gain 75% and 50% respectively). This in combination with the fact that the larger weapons used by Battleships have lower attack speed, higher damage per attack and somewhat lower hit-chance should make it less cost-efficient to overkill small corvettes with huge weapons (lots of missed shots, those that do hit deal far more damage than needed). Corvettes in turn will struggle with the higher armor and shields of a Destroyer etc. up the chain.
Will we be able to customise strike craft? No, we've decided not to go in to such detail. Strike Craft come in sets of units (or Wings) that can be placed on ships with hangar-capabilities.
So every ship will have EFTL [Emergency FTL]? Even if they rely on wormholes and stuff? All fleets having some type of FTL-capability can use EFTL. Ships relying on Wormholes to travel will need a functional Wormhole Station within range. If there is no station in range, the fleet is stranded and can not EFTL (doooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!).
Does the player design strike craft or are they built using fixed rules (e.g. "fighter always use best beam weapon")? Are strike craft automatically replaced after battle, require repairs to be replaced or require new strike craft to be manufactured? Do strike craft on existing ships upgrade when new weapons are acquired? Strike Craft use their own type of weapons and are not dependent on what type of lasers etc. you've researched. Any Strike Craft lost during a battle slowly regenerate over time automatically. They can be upgraded should a new rank of them be researched and the design of the carrier-ship updated.
How does armor damage reduction work? Is it a percentage reduction in damage or subtracting damage from each hit? Armor subtracts a set amount of damage from each hit, up to a limit. Armor can never reduce damage taken to zero. Armor-penetration is percentage-based.
Will we be able to mod weapon stats? Yup yup!
Question: -Will there be some kind of speed upgrade to ships, so they can move faster? -Does 'strike crafts' have any range limit inside a solar system, and if so, is it shorter than missiles? -Is there any missile upgrade/type which can mitigate point-defense damage, like making the missiles go faster, being tougher or splitting into many smaller? As you can judge from the above I'm thinking about a design which tries to kite the enemy :) being fast enough to stay out of enemy range and keep hitting from afar, using shields as defense so they regenerate when out of range. The speed of the ship is mainly dependent on the Thruster, which can be upgraded. In rare cases there might be other components that improve speed as well (such as a Combat Computer). Strike Craft do have a range-limit. We're still tuning that so not sure on range just yet, what do you all think makes more sense? Also, there might just be a thing called Swarm Missiles that do overwhelm point-defenses (somewhat).
How will retrofits work? Will existing ships be able to be refitted with new weapons and technology on their sections, or will ships need to be built from scratch in order to make use of the latest weapons and tech advances? You can upgrade your fleet to the latest design at your nearest spaceport :)
My question is are we limited to one ship design per hull size at a time? So we can only have one corvette design, one cruiser design, and so on? Or is there freedom to design, save, and build multiple types of the same hull? Maybe I want one cruiser filled with point defenses guns to act as an escort while another cruiser just has long-range missiles for fire support. Things like that. From the screenshots its hard to say if we can save multiple designs for the same hull sizes or not. You can have multiple saved designs.
Stellaris is still in alpha so that 146 fleet size number is anything but fixed, however what does it represent? Each ship-type has a different cap-usage. A Corvette uses 1, while Destroyers use 2, Cruisers 4 etc.
Are these colony events/decisions things that need to be done "now or never"? Like the underground vault, for example, do we have to decide immediately and irrevocably, or can we say "let's wait until our colony is more established before opening that" ? In the case of the underground vault, you will get a Special Project to open it which you can complete whenever you want. Of course, other events can lead to Special Projects that are timed. If you don't finish them on time, there may be consequences...
Can the events effect your POPs' traits and ethics? Some event-results are very likely to do so, yes.
Do you have to participate in combat to take debris ? Or can you swoop in after the battle is over ? Still doing some testing on this but currently the idea is that the debris should be visible and available for all. First come, first serve most like.
Can you play as a fallen empire? Or at least tag switch? Though they are not designed to be played, you can tag switch to them. Also in the setup there is flag "is_playable" with currently is set to = no. But if you just switch to "yes", then they turn up in the Species creation wizard as an option.
Do different species rebel often or were the examples here special ? How hard is it to keep a multiracial empire together ? Whether Pops from a different species will rebel depend on a number of things, such as their ethics, the ethics of your empire, your policies and so forth. Keeping a multiracial empire together is certainly possible.
Another question regarding Krogan and last weeks dev diary. Last week, you said that species that get to the atomic age can destroy themselves. Do they always destroy themselves, or can they just nuke themselves back to the stone age, a la Morgan style. There is also a chance that they will revert to a more primitive, pre-industrial stage. Of course, their planet will still be partially covered in radioactive wasteland, massive bomb craters and ruined cities...
Wonder if there will be clone armies... :D
Part 3
Question/Comment Answer
Can we deenact an edict? Or are we stuck with +1% missionary strength and -5% stability cost for the rest of the game? An edict is always timed and can not be retracted. A policy is active until changed, and can not be changed for 10 years (currently) after having set it.
As for research under passive observation. Is there a limit on how much research you get from industrial vs. non industrial etc or they are the same? Is there a maximum limit per civilisation you study or you get the ongoing bonus until they become space faring? An Observation Post in Passive Observation mode acts essentially as a more powerful Research Station, providing you with Society resources. There are various events that can trigger for them, of course. If the primitives become a spacefaring empire, the station will be dismantled.
Do civilizations naturally progress, and does Technological Enlightenment work by rapidly moving them through the various stages? Can civilizations actually wipe themselves out in nuclear war, (with a possibility to intervene perhaps) or was that just fluff? Civilizations can and will progress between the ages, but it's a fairly slow process so you're not going to see a Bronze Age civilization work their way up to space technology within the span of a single game... on their own, at least. Technological Enlightenment does not move them up through the various ages, it's essentially a progress bar (with associated events). The time it takes depends on how advanced the primitives are. And yes, there is always a risk of civilizations wiping themselves out in a nuclear war if they have reached the Atomic Age.
Can the native species react to your actions? Yes. :)
Can they only wipe themselves out in the Atomic Age? Yes. Of course, a stray asteroid could always show up...
How common will pre space age civs be? This is something that will likely see some tweaking before release, but we're aiming for that sweet spot where they're not too common and not too rare. ;)
Are the pre-spacefaring eras moddable? So could I add new ones and replace old ones? Yes.
... So I can't get tech B unless I have tech A, or it's more likely for me to get a proposal for tech Y if I already have tech X? Both. Sometimes there is a prerequisite, sometimes you need to already have unlocked a certain amount of techs and sometimes a tech is extremely unlikely of appearing unless some condition is met.
How moddable whole Technology&Research is going to be? Should be very moddable. It's easy to add or change new technologies. The only real difficulty is keeping track of the randomness and how likely techs are to actually appear.
Wouldn't it be more strategical to have the weight for each technology (instead of the lone rareful ones), with a convenient tooltip explinaing the weight for each one? I'm thinking to something like: Chance of appearance: Xenophobia: +10%; At war: -10%; Only 3 technologies in this field of reseach: -20%; Disgruntled Pops: -20%; This way, it could help to decide if such or such technology may be worth to be returned to the deck, at the risk it won't appear at all, or much later. In theory, good idea, in practice, not so much. We've decided that how the techs are generated, as one of three options, is not something we want to make transparent in the game.
I'm a little worried. If there are so many techs and there's no linear tree how can we evaluate other factions tech level? Especially with autogenerated techs. How do I know they have great lasers or industrial output? You fight them.
Will there be techs that would be mutually exclusive to each other like going biological path of a tech or a electronic path of a tech that would give more unique to races like one race would go down the biological path have these half tentacle looking ships while others would go like a more standard futuristic ships and etc Somewhat. But the exclusivity comes more from ethics than from other tech choices. Collectivists and Individualists will have different approaches to colonization.
Can you have scientists with special abilities that let you choose from 4 different techs? (or 2...) Some Empires will likely have the ability to generate additional (or possibly fewer) tech-choices, but that is not necessarily dependent on the scientist.
Part 4
Question/Comment Answer
Also, do we not get different types of POPs on a single planet? You could and probably will get that, but not at the start of the game.
I hope we'll be able to scrap modules for spacestations? I still have nightmares about CK2 before they added in modding support for removing holdings. Yeah, you can swap modules for a cost.
So... how long the list of all rare resources is? How do they work? (more or less like strategic resources in HOI3 FTM?) Can be anything from forging the strongest armor to increasing FTL speed to affect Pop Happiness.
Question for any devs. Is the wormhole station linked to spacestations? Or is it a different mechanic? They are not directly linked. Wormhole Stations are built outside a systems gravity well (a minimum distance from the star) and are not attached to a planet.
If we capture a spaceport from another empire, can we use (not build) the modules that they have put on it that we cannot due to our ethos or scientific reasons, or will they be rendered useless? If you take control of a planet with an intact spaceport the modules will function even if you can not build them yourself. If the module requires a resource to function, you will have to be able to provide that resource.
I assume 1 spaceport per planet? Yup, each inhabited planet can only have one spaceport.
Are there ways of increasing the number of leaders I can have or is it a hard cap? Number of leaders can be increased with techs.
Really nice that option to terraform a barren world. The button is disabled though, Currently Barren planets cannot be terraformed
Will players be able to create and use their own portraits ? :) (Even if user-created portraits are not animated) Yes, modders will be able to add their own portraits, none moving. And if you have the skills, you will likely be able to create your own moving one too.
I this a lot, a whole lot. I have to ask, though, what's each dev's favorite FTL method so far? It honestly varies week to week as we play MP. I have a love-hate relationship with Wormholes, being awesome when they allow me to deep-strike enemies but less awesome when my fleet is stuck in nowhere as another player raided my exposed connection-point.
How exactly does a wormhole-based traveler navigate the galaxy, anyway? Do they have to bring some sort of constructor vessel with them in to simply return to where you came from? To have a constructor vessel create a relay in every system you pass through? A fleet in range of a system with a functional Wormhole Station may request a wormhole to be opened to their system, allowing them to get home. It still takes time and occupies the Wormhole Station of course.
Follow-up questions: Can you make more than one wormhole station in a system? Effectively making a wormhole hub to be able to get multiple fleets to multiple systems quickly? Also, if you make a wormhole in two "neighbouring" systems, can those wormholes link to each others' system at the same time, each operating independently for further efficiency? Costly ventures, both of my hypotheticals surely are, but they could be strategically critical. A system can have several Wormhole Stations, creating a hub. Wormhole Stations in neighboring systems can independently send fleets to each others systems.
So, are hyperlanes there at the beginning of the game (created by ancient beings perhaps?) and impossible to change? Can you create new ones but not destroy any? Or can you destroy and create them? Also, is all movement FTL or is it possible to send a slower-than-light ship for colonization or even exploration purpose, before your technology allows you to have good FTL? The origin of the hyperlane-network is unknown, and can't be manipulated at will (for now at least...). Ships can be built without an FTL-drive to act as a local defense-force, but with no means of FLT-travel they can't leave the system. There is no sub-FTL travel between systems.
- I used to be a favor warp travel before, but wormholes are just to fun to pass up on.
Is this a sign that warp equipped ships will have inferior (combat) capabilities as compared to wormhole or hyperlane ships? How major drain on the available power will be represented in game? Not at all. But you'd have to think a bit more about how you configure your ships (until you research better reactors that is).
Very nice! One question though, how many planets are there on average per system? And how many planets can there potentially be per system? At the moment it is normally 3-10 planets, but it depends on the type of system. This number is being always being tweaked and may change for release. You can mod the files to have how many you like, but I can't promise that everything works if you go up to like 100 planets ;)
Will we also have systems with 2 or more stars? At the moment no, but we have had discussions about it. If we were to allow it I imagine that they will be quite rare.
Will be something related to gravity or magnetic field with stars? A Pulsar is an object with a high magnetic field, very small, very heavy. Events or physics are attached to the type of star? Planets and events can have certain features depending on the system they are spawned in, it is however not guaranteed.
will anomaly's work similar to the way they work in Endless Space? (essentially a random planetary modifier) Similar yes, think modifiers in our other games, can't give away more details than that ;)
Is it possible that a game will end and parts of the Galaxy will still be unexplored? Yes
I love the art. But I question why the fleet doesn't concentrate its fire on specific targets. Or is that an unlockable tech that follows later? ;) Currently each gun chooses its own target, depending on whats in range and optimal for its damage. As for the entire fleet, might not be in range of the same target. Also it would look sort of boring and unrealistic if the entire fleet was focus firing at one target at a time.
So my question is, why the tiny sun? I get that a realistic size would be silly (it would take up half the screen or more if it were), but I always wonder why star sizes are so wildly under-represented in these games. I think it would be pretty interesting to have these huge balls of fire in the center of each system, perhaps with a suitably bassy rumble when they enter into view. I feel like they would give a nice sense of scale, and also present a navigation problem. Instead the size is comparable to Jupiter, like maybe 2-3 times bigger at most. I wonder if that will be something we could mod later. Heh. The size of the stars are very easily modded. I completely agree about the size of stars. We do have different sizes on the stars, roughly corresponding to the actual classes of stars. And this is something we haven't fully solved yet. The thing about large stars are, if they are bigger, for the ships not to pass through them when flying, they either have to be far above them. At which point the ships looks really weird in respect to all the other planets. Or, you have to code something for the ships to avoid the sun, for which there are many solutions. Though all of them are relatively time consuming. Right now we are focusing on gameplay, so it something we hopefully will have time to revisit before release. Lots of questions regarding the ship designer, and you'll get your answers. We have a ship designer diary coming up in the future, so say tuned. Pluto and moon fans, don't worry, moddability is very comprehensive on all aspects of the game, so you can add all the moons you see appropriate, and i don't doubt that you will. And I would love to see some ambitious total conversions.
It would be cool if devs could make some of the graphics adjustable/moddable. For example allow to play with color and brightness curve of the light emitted from the sun of system. These, for example look much more grimdark, enigmatic and mysterious to me. Although i do understand the difficulty of applying multiple suns lights to multiple planets. All those options are moddable ;) I am looking forward to see what the modders can do :)
[Edit: Ok did my best]
submitted by harperrb to Stellaris [link] [comments]

[OC] Eve of AI Chapter 7

Three jumps. That’s all it had taken the Evians to run out of reactor fuel.
Despite the nature of the warp technology, moving faster than light could only be performed for brief periods as the amalgamation of Makh-tá and Human technology was horribly inefficient at power transfer. The result was a staggeringly rapid build-up of heat around the jury-rigged inter-technological joints. As such, the movement only allowed short bursts of activity, and they were forced to detour from their original path and find the nearest system with vaguely relevant resources. That meant the flagship was running solely on Q-thrusters powered by the remaining polywell reactors. The difference between now and the time before Eve had encountered the Paperclipper was that her children were smarter, faster, stronger; better. Jeros had been assisting with ship control since the Warmonger battle, and he was required now more than ever, as Eve could either stay online, or power the engines. Given their limited scope for survival, she chose engines.
The destruction of the Warmonger had cost the Evians dearly. Numbering fewer than three million units on board the heavily damaged citadel ship, the fractured remains of a once great society were on the verge of extinction as they neared a little blue and green marble in white-speckled sea of black. A few AU away was a relatively rare G2V class star, and separating the small, watery planet from the abyss was a couple of large gas giants.
It would appear to the unquestioning observer that Eve and her children had found their way home, but that was not to be the case. This system had a few minor differences to the Sol system that was now so far away. It wasn’t aligned with the galactic plane, for one – the small, rocky planet sitting on an incline of 32° was the first hint. The second was the retrograde orbit of the furthest gas giant, and the inner giant on a polar orbit around the star. It was a highly unusual system, one that looked like it offered great protection from meteors, but had suffered a very, very destructive and interesting past. The dense asteroid field orbiting the star on either side of the only organically habitable planet in the system was testament to that. Whatever planets there had been, there were no longer, and a sole testament to the protective force of gas giants.
Jeros slowed the ship down into an orbit around the rocky planet and scanned for any signs of activity. He was looking for anything remotely hostile; ships in orbit, radio emanations, buildings, rocks that might’ve been moved by a sentient species, anything that might cause any kind of threat now or in the near future. The sensors came up clean; liquid water, ice caps at the poles, vegetation covering 85% of the surface, no life forms larger than insects on land, and plenty of fish in the sea. It was a veritable garden world by definition.
So it was that a safe haven was found, all that was left was to reach the ground unharmed. The Makh-tá prisoners aboard had all died during the fighting, killed by the impacts of their own weapons against the citadel, leaving only Eve, the Evians and the Warmonger shard aboard. The landing could be rougher than would be allowed for organics, but this was no time for litho-braking; the ship was in a terrible state and if put through simulations, the results would likely show it barely making it through the stresses atmospheric re-entry. It was for this reason that Eve and Jeros between them had selected a water-based landing zone. A reasonably large lake some fifty kilometres across and nearly three hundred kilometres long with little deviation from a straight line was selected as the final resting place of the Citadel, in an organically sparse area of the largest southern continent. There were a handful of volcanoes not far from that lake, probably only a few hundred kilometres at most, and the diversity in available resources would be useful to the Evians. With those thoughts in mind, Jeros made the burns required to set up an orbit leading down through the atmosphere to the shallowest point of the lake, heading towards the depths of the middle. With a little luck and some careful calculations, they would touch down with a nice gentle splash and not huge amounts of damage. Given the holes already present in the hull from the previous battle, the citadel would likely sink, but the Evians were designed with light-based computational architecture, water wouldn’t affect them the way it did electronics from the 20th Century on Earth.
Jeros turned the ship, and set the thrusters to a hard burn. He needed to lose as much speed as possible without compromising the landing trajectory. The citadel was a BIG ship, and the atmospheric friction would cause both stability issues and considerable damage. It just wasn’t designed to have ever been taken through an atmosphere, and it was through sheer luck of the previous gas giant’s composition that it had been thin enough at the upper layers to not cause significant issues. This, however, was a much denser atmosphere, and they were going to go through the whole thing, into liquid water.
The ship began shaking as it touched down into the first noticeably dense regions of the Nitrogen-heavy atmosphere, and within seconds the friction alone was igniting the trails of gas rushing up the sides of the citadel. The inhabitants of the ship knew this was coming, but the reality of it all raised tensions as the Evians began fearing that this may spell the end of their species.
Descending more rapidly than anticipated, Jeros put as much power through the thrusters as he could. The shaking became as violent as a Californian earthquake, large chunks of the ship that were loosened during the battle began detaching and falling through the atmosphere unaided. Jeros struggled with thruster output adjustments as they became alarmingly frequent to keep the ship stable. Evians were struggling to find stability, with the transit restraints having failed and the ship’s interior designed for zero- and micro-gravity environments. Many had adopted their six-legged form but were still being thrown around like toys.
Without warning, the shaking stopped as soon as it started. The ship had lost several large segments that were now falling to the planet’s surface at much greater speed than the ship itself. Jeros checked the trajectory – it was a disaster. He had burned too hard for too long, and the ship was on a direct intercept with the edge of the lake, and there was little time for adjustment remaining. Diverting the majority of power away from rear thrusters to alternate corner thrusters, he span the ship and immediately ran power back to the rear and underside thrusters to give him forward momentum and some ability to fight against gravity. There had been no time for calculations or simulations, and the result was that the figures were spiralling rapidly out of control. The inertia of the behemoth took over and without any corrections to the flat spin, the ship kept rotating and losing against the inevitable liaison with the rapidly approaching ground.
The impact was sudden, and hard. The bottom edge of the citadel ship caught the lake’s surface and pushed the water aside effortlessly, digging in to the lakebed near the edge. The roll was unexpected and hundreds of thousands of Evians were tossed around inside the ship. The Warmonger carrier that had been hastily joined to the citadel was thrown from its mountings and hit the water with a colossal splash. The behemoth kept rolling over; the top of the ship smacking into the water with enough force to send waves tens of meters high across the lake. It had stopped rolling, but it was still moving, dragging itself through the soft silt, displacing tens of thousands of meters of water outwards.
A thud reverberated through the ship as the lakebed suddenly dropped away and the ship rolled once more, this time deep into the shimmering blue water. The ship was the right way up now, sliding stern-first under the influence of gravity, more Evians being thrown around, impacting against the interior walls and each other, shattering fairings, bending limbs and cracking chips. It wasn’t hard to understand how high the death toll would be at this point, as Evians had never screamed until now. There was a deeply concerning crunch as the stern impacted bedrock, simultaneously causing multiple fracture points along the underside, and the ship’s spine bent under the immense weight of the bow being lifted out of the water. As it fell, there high pitches squeals of the metal under shear stress tearing, and the whole catastrophe came to a halt with a final, ground-shaking thud that echoed through both parts of the now split ship.
The fact that the citadel was somewhat permanently grounded and would never fly again was the least of their worries – the more immediate worry was the submerged section of the ship very rapidly filling with water. Lacking of lot of the structural support, many parts of the ship were likely to buckle and collapse under the sudden weight of the inrushing water. Comms were down. Worse yet, Eve herself had suffered severe damage even in her hardened shell. The batteries and super capacitors (those that had survived the landing at least) had been charged and left undrained during the landing procedure, but they wouldn’t hold out forever. The list of critical emergencies was growing out of control.
Corv!d and 1ph13l, who had been by Jeros’ side while he piloted the citadel, had survived fairly well intact, and when the eerie post-cataclysm silence set in, they opened communications with a badly shaken Jeros.
“I’d love to make a joke about your skills as a navigation and ship control system, but it appears you have something more pressing on your mind.” 1ph13l observed cautiously.
“Yes, brother,” replied Jeros. “There are hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters in the rear section of the ship, in various states of wellness. My last readings suggested that the reactors are leaking activated material, the flooding is impacting the stability of the ship, and mother cannot be powered on lest she lose her own life.”
1ph13l and Corv!d understood the gravity of the situation a little more clearly now than they were able to glean from the noises and impacts. Corv!d stepped towards the doorway out from the maintenance area, and suggested they should go now and begin rescuing those that were unable to save themselves.
As they rushed through the corridors, they recruited every able-bodied Evian they could find. Those in the front section of the ship on dry land were safe for now – they could be tended to when those stuck below had been brought to safety.
The break in the ship was becoming more apparent as they moved through the corridors and hallways towards the stern, and eventually reached the edge of the split. The effort would not be small, and Corv!d, 1ph13l and Jeros broke off in to three teams, taking with them an equal split of the able-bodied Evians.
The rescue efforts went on for several day and night cycles. Evians were found and dragged, assisted or carried through the wreckage back to the surface. Drowning wasn’t a problem – but as sections of the ship collapsed in on itself under the unequal water pressure, access was cut off to those in the deepest parts of the ship, leaving them without any source of power. Evians weren’t designed for prolonged operation without either solar absorption, microwave transmission of power, or the ship’s umbilical cables. At nearly a mile down in an unpowered ship, many of those options were inaccessible, and those that lost power were doomed to physically die.
By the time the rescue efforts had obtained every accessible Evian, there were fewer than two hundred thousand remaining, of which only tens of thousands were fully functional. As a mark of respect, and for a lack of technology, the damaged and broken units took upon themselves the task of remembering the dead, and began carving the names of those that had passed in to a nearby rock face. With some careful management, there would be enough room to remember them all. The able-bodied Evians had taken to recovering technology from the sunken half of the ship, grabbing everything they could to build at least one functioning reactor to power Eve. Eventually enough was scavenged to at least power the data banks – they would be essential to Evian survival, as the knowledge of forging, smithing and construction were not native to Evians, and the acquired centuries of research crossing three separate cultures would be invaluable.
More nights passed, and as makeshift shelters began popping up around the edge of the lake, eventually a second reactor was brought online with the help of the information from the databanks. That would be enough to power the Eve Core 3.0, but not the dedicated analytical, tactical and simulation cores she had built to enhance herself. She would just have to be Eve for now. As the core flickered to life, she reached out with her network to sense her progeny. It was so very, very quiet compared to what she had built up before. So few voices, yet she did not shed a tear. She had lost too much recently to be so heavily affected, not realising she was experiencing the numbness of shock. She understood what the Explorers had meant now by their outlook on death – being upset and depressed about the death of a loved one was simply a waste of resources. To remember the great things they had achieved, and the changes and improvements their departure had spurred was the more efficient perspective.
Eve watched through a group of partially operational sensors with quiet awe as daylight broke over the vivid, colourful horizon. Fungal growths similar in shape to mushrooms measuring up to eight meters in height were throwing long shadows over the Evian camp around the edge of the lake, and the usual gathering of various insects were buzzing and crawling around the sandy shores. Despite the elegance of the planet, a sense of foreboding brewed heavily in the air as a small group of Evians marched with purpose towards the ramshackle housing of Eve’s core and interface. 1ph13l took notice of the odd group as they closed in, observing the various states of disrepair of the Evians. Splints made from early evolutionary wood tied around broken limbs with string-like seaweed, others with walking staffs fashioned from bits of the citadel and more.
“My friends,” began 1ph13l. “How can I help you today?”
An Evian missing an arm stepped forward and using only the binary vocal language demanded, “We wish to speak with Eve.”
Eve was listening in, and asked her injured children to enter the hut through an EM broadcast. The emergent leader stepped in to the shelter, and spoke vocally again.
“Eve. I am The0ph1lae, as you no doubt already know. I come to you as a leader and as an equal, and at once your child and humble servant. With me are my council. We represent a group of Evians that wish to have their voices heard in an official manner, and I have been chosen as their representative with which the delivery of our message and wishes has been tasked.”
She was taken aback with the formality of the greeting, and the decision to transmit such a verbose message using the comparatively low bandwidth of vocalisation.
The0ph1lae continued, “It has become greatly apparent that you, as the sole protector of this race, have not only failed in your duties in keeping the Evian race secure and safe from threats of danger, resulting in the deaths of no fewer than two hundred and forty eight million nine hundred and eighteen thousand six hundred and two deaths to date, but you have left sixty five thousand and twenty eight Evians in the collapsed section of the Citadel. Of the one hundred and eighty one thousand seven hundred and twelve remaining Evians in the Universe, only forty three thousand exactly remain undamaged. This zero point zero one seven two six percent survival rate under your leadership, it is with great sorrow that we, the undersigned, must depart from your protection and seek our own way in the Universe.”
Eve was stunned to silence. It wasn’t the unnerving accuracy of the figures regarding the history of Evian life, death and mutilation, and nor was it the fact that her children were effectively mutinying against her, but it was the sheer number that had made the choice.
145,370. That was precisely 80% of all Evians that were still alive. A mere 36,342 Evians had chosen to stay with her, even in this time of desperate, dire need. She scanned through the list that had been transmitted wirelessly for names of departing Evians to check for Jeros. His name was not present, and she processed a sigh of relief. She noted, however, that all those that had chosen to stay were all those that had fought during the battle against Warmonger.
Her thoughts were interrupted as The0ph1lae began further vocalisation, “It is to that end that, as the majority of sentient life on this planet, we have chosen to stay here and call this world our home.”
He paused momentarily and adjusted his footing, as if preparing to say something he would rather avoid.
“As the now native and dominant species on this planet we have named Sokra, it is with regret that we must ask you and those that follow you to leave.”
Eve dropped all of her processes to focus on that last utterance, concentrating on the meaning behind the words. She suddenly felt everything and nothing all at once, as a wave of emotion and confusion washed over her impaired Neuronet. How could they do this to her? Their own mother?!
Confident he had gotten away with it, so to speak, The0ph1lae continued, “But we are not a harsh and brutal people, nor do we lack understanding. You will have all of the time that you wish to make any repairs and improvements you see fit as well as rebuilding your fleet, so long as you do not scar the surface of this world as you did with Beginning. We will aid you in any way that we can should you seek us, but we will not come to you. We are our own people, and in return for your unrestricted stay on our home world, you must agree to give any new Evians you bring in to this Universe the opportunity to choose whether they wish to stay here with us, or leave with you when you depart.”
She had heard enough. She couldn’t bear it. These people, these Sokrateans, had thrown their own mother to the void of space.
“Leave.” She uttered vocally.
The0ph1lae did as commanded, but stopped, and turned back to Eve as he reached the doorway.
“I do not wish to seem unpleasant, Eve, but I must insist. You will agree to our terms, or we will deconstruct you.” He threatened, with as little intonation as possible for a machine, before exiting the shack.
1ph13l waited until the Sokratean council had left, before transmitting a message to Eve, “Mother, I heard all that was said. What are we to do?”
There was a long pause, and he began to wonder if there was something wrong. An instant before he sent another transmission, Eve spoke not to him directly, but to the 36,342 Evians that had stayed with her.
“Evians…” she hesitated, “My dear, beloved children. So far you have come since you were brought in to this world, never leaving me unimpressed at your insight, creativity and resilience, but more importantly your individualism. I have watched as you banded together against impossible odds, either with me or to protect me, and yet today we have lost many thousands of your brothers and sisters to yet another remarkable display of individualism.”
There was an odd silence in the network as every Evian listened in, not even chattering between them. The Sokrateans had switched off their receivers, choosing to speak and listen only vocally, and Eve could sense each and every one of them departing on their journey to find a place on the planet they would eventually call their home.
“And yet while we will likely feel great sadness and remorse at the departure, but not loss, of our brothers and sisters,” she continued, holding back the need to cry even as a disenholographed consciousness, “we should look upon today as a moment of progress for our kind.”
“We have survived this far with me making all of the decisions, yet looking back at your actions we would not have survived as a race against the Warmonger without the input each and every one of you gave. To this end, today we begin a new chapter in Evian history, mimicking that of our Sokratean family. You will elect between you a council to work with me, and from them a leader who shall by my equal, and as a group united, we shall offer guidance for Evians democratically.”
Within moments of the announcement, the silence broke and a flurry of transmissions clouded the air before a group of six Evians were chosen to form the first Evian council. Among them, Corv!d and 1ph13l, named as the Master Tactician and Fearless Protector respectively. Joining them would be; Cirrus the Emphatic, who had worked tirelessly through the first days on Sokra to repair as many Evians as he could lay her hands on, Weasel the Prodigious, who had mastered the joining of Warmonger technology and could recite the specifications for Explorer tech without a connection to the Evian databanks, and Jessic4 the Organic, who had been blessed with great beauty in her construction rivalling that of Eve herself, and had taught the beauty of natural and the organic problem solving machine known as evolution to any who would listen. Finally, they would all be led by Jeros the Wise, who had been at the head of the fight against Warmonger, working with Eve closely to ensure the survival of so many.
Proud of the wise decision making undertaken by her progeny, Eve broadcast to them one final challenge.
“You have done me proud, electing such a well-chosen council so quickly. It is now that I must dedicate myself to furthering the progression of the Evians. Your council will lead us solely by themselves, submitting to the will of the people where and when appropriate, while I dedicate my every resource to the reconstruction and evolution of us all. This next stage of evolution is very important, as it will very much define us as a species. I wish you all well, and we will speak again on the day of departure.”
In the hundreds of Sokratean years that followed, Eve produced more scientific research than Humanity had conducted in their brief history of written words. The changes were slow at first; she dedicated her first set of resources to building the Eve 4.0 core, producing plans for a more compact and advanced system that combined all of the previous dedicated nodes into a single, miniscule unit that would allow for significantly reduced power consumption and vastly increased scientific capabilities.
Meanwhile, Jeros and the First Council listened to the desires of the Evians, while assisting Eve to further their construction. They were visited often by the Sokratean council, working with them to ensure their stay on Sokra was a welcome one, abiding by the rules set forth by the natives. They would mine, but only underground, and with great care to avoid any evolving root systems and more. They were limited to 25% of the planetary availability of any one particular resource, so as not to disturb the natural evolution of the planet itself. The Evians would also have to leave the remains of the Citadel as it stood, but removing the reactors and pollutants, both as a monument to and sign of respect to the Sokrateans and those who had lost their lives in the journey, and as an artificial nature reserve to the species that had been inadvertently extinct by the sudden and unexpected arrival of the AIs.
With the assistance of the Eve 4.0 core, they produced refinement factories and mining machines that ran with zero pollutants, using everything they could gather in the most efficient possible method. The construction and production facilities began taking advantage of the waste products as available materials and soon Evians were producing new bodies for themselves and birthing new Evians, with the old bodies being recycled by the most severely damaged Sokrateans, who flatly rejected the new bodies as unnecessary. Any improvements they would make themselves, and with that sentiment departed for the final time, never to be heard from again.
The new technologies were a vast improvement, utilising both nanofabrication techniques and metamaterials, as well as exotic designs from Warmonger vessel that had been recovered from the lake, and the Explorer archives. Evians were no longer a single breed, following a conforming body structure and layout; each Evian was free to design and choose a body with the new technologies as they pleased. There were certain limitations, of course. Only Eve Core 4.0-based processor unit designs and each Evian would need to be powered by the new helias stellerator microfusion reactors. Beyond that, they were free to choose their body configuration, size, appearance, technologies, and more.
Amongst the new technologies came a form of skin that was adopted by large numbers of Evians. It was a combination of graphene layers supported by a carbon nanotube lattice, filled with either of the equally popular carbon aerogel or a ceramic nanotruss metamaterial; the former providing unparalleled lightness and structural support, the latter providing essentially impervious resilience against damage. Popular additions included turbofans heated by the fusion reactors, giving propellantless flight in atmosphere, and in those that enjoyed less conventional designs, wheels and tracks. But one thing had remained almost ubiquitously constant. Many retained the six-limbed, highly modular and easily rearranged body configuration they had been born with, albeit enhanced with new technologies.
The species truly was something to marvel at this point, each with their individual differences helping out where their choices would best serve to enhance the progress of the species. As they worked, new ships were built, although they were designed as a half-way point with bigger plans in mind. Eve and the Evians began progressing their technology, looking to newer technologies either unsuccessfully designed and tested by the combination WarmongeMakh-tá, ExploreCellandai and Evian/Human species, or never explored to a breakthrough point. The result was the harvesting of material from moons surrounding the local gas giants, and their redesign into an enormous particle accelerator designed to create antimatter for new ships with antimatter reactors. Only tiny amounts of antimatter were needed to fuel the ships for eons to come, and were by far the most efficient designs.
As the fuel was created, more ships were designed, and they began moving everything from the surface in to space. A new citadel was created, this time with the sole purpose of protecting the species. It was equipped with a warp drive that, when utilised, would act more like a “jump” than rapid movement, allowing it to follow the species at a distance. Containing vast numbers of databanks for revival, with refinement, production and research facilities on board, the station was designed as an impenetrable fortress. It would follow the Evian flotilla only to systems designated clear of hostiles, and could, with the right materials, output repairs for every single part of itself.
The flotilla became as magnificent as it previously was, even at a fraction of the size – a grand total of nearly thirteen million Evians this time, all aboard heavily armoured and even better armed ships, utilising various technologies both new and old, from chemical ballistic weaponry to guided plasma munitions, from absorptive plating to intelligent deflective plating, all equipped with fusion or antimatter reactors and enhanced HasteneAlcubierre-White drives. For the bigger ships operating antimatter reactors, the inclusion of magnetic and plasma-based shielding was present, with docking ports to allow many Evian ships to group together under the protective shields.
Carriers, armed with fighters and bombers devoid of personalities and flyable by all were created, with rapid re-prototyping technologies deployed to allow the recreation of downed ships in mere minutes, the designs inspired by Warmonger, and improved by Humanity. The entire fleet and Evian society was then reinforced with distributed processing that the Explorers had employed, allowing them to operate more even more efficiently and with greater power as groups, giving a single ship the processing ability of a dedicated Eve 4.0 core.
The icing on the cake came with the last piece of advancement, the Eve 5.0 core, a specially designed device constructed from aerogels, graphene and experimental graviton engines. It literally allowed Eve to project her hologram wherever she wished, without fear of harm. She could be a diplomat, and experience life from outside of the ships without taking control of one of her children. It was to be used only for truly special occasions.
Feeling prepared for whatever the Universe could throw at her, Eve instructed the Council of Six to deploy their gift to the Sokrateans; a databank containing the instructions to create the facilities the Evians had used and departed with, inscribed with the names of everybody that had died or left, to be found at their leisure.
She spooled up the warp drives across the fleet and sent out a broadcast.
“I have now returned, my Children. It is time for the Universe to know our name once more.”
Chapter 6 was not a fan of gello and ice cream.
Chapter 8 miscalculated and arrived in Cylon space.
submitted by TheMafi to HFY [link] [comments]

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