Mercenaries, Chameleon Devices, Forgivenacity and More!

Sunday, October 13, 2013
The latest significant round of changes to the Planets Nu system has been released. As always, we've been listening to your feedback and working hard to make Planets Nu a better and stronger community. This release features changes to the leaderboard, new campaign modifications and some changes to the Tenacity system along with numerous bug fixes and technical improvements.  

The new Mercenary Leaderboard

A new leaderboard has been released to highlight those commanders who like to hire themselves out to many different races. These commanders do not move up the ranks for individual races as quickly but are some of the most dangerous and experienced commanders around. Starting with the next Championship game top Mercenaries will now be invited to take over positions in the championship games when the original commander is unable to continue and drops.  

Check out the new leaderboard here:


Since releasing the new Tenacity system 3 months ago we have seen a significant decrease in the # of dropped positions in games and replacements have been a little easier to find. Overall the new rating has been well received and the impact of dropping and importance of staying in games to other players has become much more widely understood and appreciated. Every player has had a good hard look at their Tenacity score and at the scores of other players.  

It is now time to forgive our brothers (and sisters) who have low tenacity from past actions. All drops prior to August 1st, 2013 will no longer be counted in Tenacity scores.  

In addition, two small modifications to the rating are being made:
  • Beginner games with a max rank of Lieutenant or less do not apply to the tenacity system. (no tenacity can be lost from these games)
  • Improving or maintaining a position in a replacement game not only gives its current bonus but wipes a loss/drop from your tenacity record books effectively giving you +10% tenacity to your raw tenacity (up to 100%).  
We have also introduced a new standard game format: Classic Planets, No Tenacity limitations, everyday for 15 turns dropping to 3 turns/week.

Campaign Modifications and The new Lizard Chameleon Device

Every race has several common ships. Three of these ships have now been assigned a campaign advantage value:
  • Large Deep Space Freighter - 15 advantage
  • Neutronic Refinery Ship - 10 advantage
  • Merlin Class Alchemy Ship - 25 advantage
With the addition of this common 50 points of advantage campaign games will now allow a maximum advantage of 500 advantage points. A nice Planets number. This will give commanders more flexibility in customizing their races when joining campaign games.  

Some of you may remember the classic Dan and Dave add on Race Plus. Race Plus was one of the most popular add-ons to planets and we've used a few of the great ideas in Race Plus and Starbase Plus in our campaign mode. Dave Killingsworth (of Dan and Dave) recently made an appearance on our forums to say hi and was also kind enough to send his support to the Planets Nu team. In honor of his visit we are introducing one of the most memorable features from the Race Plus add-on. The dreaded "Chameleon Device".  

The Chameleon device allows a ship to fool the sensors of enemy races into detecting the signature of a different hull class. Effectively allowing the ship to appear to be any ship class of her Captains choosing. It takes 10 fuel/turn to operate the Chameleon device. Three new ship classes may now be researched for The Lizard Alliance:
  • Chameleon Class Freighter © - A tech 8 freighter similar in specifications to a Large Deep Space Freighter. 
  • T-Rex Class Battleship © - A T-Rex outfitted with the Chameleon Device but more expensive.
  • Madonnzila Class Carrier © - A Modonnzila outfitted with the Chameleon Device but more expensive.
From now on... don't trust your sensors when facing high ranking Lizard officers in campaign games. 

Technical Enhancements

In addition to the above game changers we have made a number of small bug fixes to the system (too many to list here). We have also modified the way Planets saves data from your computer to our servers to do a better job of handling situations where the system gets disconnected for any reason. The system can also save a lot more data at one time. We haven't tested this in a real game situation yet, but in theory you should now be able to open your turn, disconnect your internet, play an entire turn while disconnected and then reconnect and it will save all data when you exit the game. We're taking small steps toward a true disconnected version of the game. Not because it is a feature in high demand, but because it adds strength and robustness to your playing experience.  

We have also made a major enhancement to map rendering performance on slower devices and browsers. If you are already using Chrome on a newer machine you probably won't see any difference but if you are using Internet Explorer or Firefox or a tablet you should see some significant improvements.  

We hope you enjoy the changes. We have some additional changes in the pipeline but decided to cut this release a bit shorter and get all these features out to you.  As always your feedback is welcome!  Please report any problems and we'll fix them right away.