VGA Planets Super Site


The Echo Cluster consists of 500 planets, which are basically what it is all about. The more planets you own, the more resources you'll be able to gather, the more starbases you'll be able to build. And with that, the more ships you'll be able to build and arm. And eventually, you'll want to be the one owning most if not all of the planets in the cluster - claiming sole ownership of the Echo Cluster.

The temperature of a planet can range from 0 to 100 degrees, which has a significant influence of the native and colonist populations the planets can hold. Most races have their highest growth rates at moderate temperatures, with 50 being perfect. The Siliconoid natives and Crystalline colonists however, have their highest growth rate at desert planets of 100 degrees. A planet's temperature often also limits the size of the population that can live on the planet. Here, similar rules apply - for most races, a temperature of 50 is best and for Siliconoids and Crystallines desert temperatures are better.

There are three ship classes that are able to transform a planet's climate just by orbiting it. Each ship will change the climate type by 1 each turn. No special code or mission needs to be set, terraforming ships do not need to have weapons. To terraform, a ship needs to have fuel onboard. Terraforming itself does not burn fuel. Both own as well as allied, enemy and even unowned planets can be terraformed. To speed up terraforming multiple ships can be used at the same planet.

  • Bohemian Class Survey Ship: Will make planets warmer until climate type 50 is reached.
  • Eros Class Research Vessel: Will make a planet cooler until climate type 50 is reached.
  • Onyx Class Frigate: Will make any planet turn into a hot boiling pool of rock and desert (temp 100).

Ships which are transforming the climate of a planet will report the temperature of the surface of the planet each turn through an ingame message.

Native Races
The various races that are native to the planets in the echo cluster come with their own characteristics. Most natives can help you in some way, but some natives actually eat your colonists for lunch. Usually, planets either have a native population or they don't. Existing native populations start growing -depending on the planet's climate- when the planet is colonised by one of the eleven players.

Amorphous Eat colonist clans, can not be taxed; can not be assimilated. (more)
Amphibians Free beam (weapons) techlevel 10 on starbase built over planet
Avians Can be overtaxed, extra 10 happiness points per turn
Bovinoids Generate 1 supply unit per 100 native clans (more)
Ghipsoldals Free engine techlevel 10 on starbase built over planet
Humanoids Free hull techlevel 10 on starbase built over planet
Insects Generate double taxes
Reptilian Help in mining, doubles mining rate (more)
Siliconoid Free torpedo techlevel 10 on starbase built over planet

New Natives Appear
When this option is allowed in the host configuration, there is a chance that native life is discovered on planets which don't already have natives on them. The race, amount and government type of the new natives are chosen at random. Usually the amount is not really big so the best use for these new natives would be to provide a free techlevel for a yet to be built starbase.

Amorphous worms
The Amorphous worms eat a number of colonist clans, depending on their happiness: The number of colonist clans eaten is (95-native happiness) with a minimum of five clans. So when they are perfectly happy, Amorphous worms eat five clans per turn. When their happiness is 98 they still eat five clans. When their happiness is 70 they eat 25 clans. Theoretically, Amorphous worms can be taxed - you can set a native taxlevel for Amorphous worms. However, they will not pay any taxes - their happiness will go down because of the taxing though.

Contrary to what some think, the clan-eating of the worms does not make their planets uncolonizable. Either drop enough clans every couple of turns for the worms to eat, or drop as many clans that are needed so your colonists' population growth is equal to or greater than the amount of clans eaten. On planets with a temperature of 50 degrees, 100 clans will grow enough to compensate for the five clans eaten per turn.

Amorphous worms are odd creatures, with some special rules concerning them. They can not be assimilated, and they will not kill eachother during civil wars. The only ways to get rid of the worms are pillaging, or exploding a glory device over the planet. Or hoping a large meteor will hit the planet and kill the entire native population.

Cyborg colonists that are placed on a planet that has a native population will assimilate the natives into Cyborg colonists. The Cyborgs are unable to assimilate Amorphous natives.

The rate at which natives are assimilated is host-configurable, and 100% by default. With an assimilation rate of 100% one native clan is assimilated for every Cyborg clan on the planet. At 50% for example only half a native clan is assimilated for every Cyborg clan (i.e. one native clan for every two cyborg clans) and at 200% for example two native clans are assimilated for every Cyborg clan.

When building a starbase, as long as there are still natives at the moment the Borg player gives the order to build the base (building bases is done during the check of clientside actions, which is handled way before assimilating natives) the base will receive the free techlevel. The base will keep this techlevel after the last native has been assimilated, both with shareware and registered versions.

Planetary structures
Apart from the structures used in addons, there are three types of structures you can build on planets. These are mineral mines, factories and defenseposts. Mines are used to extract minerals from the planet's core. Factories produce one supply unit per factory per turn. Defenseposts help shield the planet from enemy scanners and protect it in combat.

Technically, structures are built during the client side of the game: they are built "immediately" once you build them with whichever client you're using. This is why it is one of the first things the host-program processes. There's little to explain about this process, apart from the following facts:

Costs to build

  • Mines: one supply unit and four megacredits per mine
  • Factories: one supply unit and three megacredits per factory
  • Defense posts: one supply unit and ten megacredits per defensepost.

Maximum structures
The number of structures allowed on a planet is limited by the number of clans present. The first time this is checked for is during building: you cannot build more clans than the number of clans on the planet allows. The maximum number of structures is checked again later in the hostrun, when structures decay.

  • Mines: one for every clan up to 200, above that it's 200+SQRT(clans-200)
  • Factories: one for every clan up to 100, above that it's 100+SQRT(clans-100)
    Effectively this is one for every clan up to 101, due to SQRT(101-100) being 1
  • Defenseposts: one for every clan up to 50, above that it's 50+SQRT(clans-50)

Structures decay
If there are more structures than the number of colonists allow (as per the above formulas) a number of structures decays due to lack of maintenance. Whenever there are more structures then there are colonists needed to support them, a number of structures that can be set in the Hostconfig is destroyed. By default, this number is 1. So when a planet has 60 factories but only 40 clans to support them (making the maximum number of factories 40), 1 factory will be destroyed each turn, until the number of factories is reduced to the maximum allowed by the size of the population. If the decay rate is higher than the difference between the number of structures, the allowed maximum the number of structures will not be brought down below the maximum (if there are three factories too many and the decay rate is five, only three will be destroyed).

Planetary production
The main use of planets lies in the resources they provide. Apart from money generated by taxing the natives and colonists, planets produce  supply-units and minerals.

Supplies are generated in two ways: from factories and from Bovinoid natives.

Factories produce one supply-unit per factory. No further conditions have to be met. If you take over an enemy planet with 200 factories and you only have one clan on the planet, the factories will still generate 200 supplies. The amount of factories will start to decay, however, if you don't bring in enough clans to support this number of factories.

Bovinoids produce one supply-unit per 100 Bovinoid clans (one per 10,000 Bovinoids). One colonist clan is needed per Bovinoid-generated supply-unit to actually collect these supplies. Nine million Bovinoids will for example only generate four supplies if a player only has four colonist clans on the planet.

The amount of minerals extracted from the planet is based on the number of mines and the mineral density: 100 mines will extract 50 kilotons of Duranium if the density of Duranium on the planet is 50%.
By default, the Feds mine at 70% of the normal rate (in the above example they'd mine 35 kilotons).
By default, the Lizards mine at 200% of the normal rate (which would result in 100 kilotons in the above example).
Mining rates are host-configurable per race.

Reptilian natives double the speed at which mines are extracted from the planet. In the above example, if there were Reptilian natives the mines would extract 100 kilotons of Duranium. The Federation with Reptilian natives would mine 70 kilotons, Lizards with Reptilian natives would mine 200 kilotons.

The amount of minerals in a planet is rated at five different grades.

  1. none ( 0 KT )
  2. very rare ( 0 to 99 KT )
  3. rare ( 100 to 599 KT )
  4. common ( 600 to 1199 KT )
  5. very common ( 1200 to 4999 KT )
  6. abundant ( 5000+ KT )

DOSplan does not show the exact mineral density rates. According to the online hostdocs, it uses five degrees of density, corresponding with the following densities:

  1. very scattered: 0-9% (ten mines can extract a Kt per turn)
  2. scattered: 10-29% (five mines can extract a Kt per turn)
  3. dispersed: 30-39% (three mines can extract a Kt per turn)
  4. concentrated: 40-69% (two mines can extract a Kt per turn)
  5. large masses: 70% and better (one mine can extract a Kt per turn)

Trans-uranium mutation
Each turn, an amount of new minerals will be formed in the planet's core. The exact amounts are determined by two factors: the host-configurable Isotope Trans-uranium Mutation rate (by default set to 5) and the mineral density at the planet.

New minerals are formed according to this formula:
Minerals formed = density percentage * mutation rate /100

This is calculated for every mineral on every planet. An example: at a mutation rate of 5 and a Duranium density of 60%, 3 kilotons of Duranium would be formed each turn.

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