Strategic Overview and Game plan
30 September 2006
Version 2.0 DRAFT (with business plan removed for public discussion)
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Table of Contents
1. Overview Page 3
2. Key Principles Page 4
3. Business Plan Page 5
4. Game concepts Page 6
5. Game Mechanics Page 9
6. Technical overview Page 18
7. Donations Page 19
8. Development Phases Page 20
9. Glossary of Terms Page 21
10. Intellectual property Page 22
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2. Key principles
a) Have fun – This is not only for the player base, but for the I3042 staff.
b) The customer has choice. – The player base chooses how they want to play, not
the Games developers. Cater for different wants and needs listen to the customer.
c) Limitless possibilities. – Through constant development the game can achieve
d) For I3042 staff to increase their programming skills and to put their skills into real
e) Have fun, see point A)
I3042 is about the community, it is game communities which make games stand out from
one another, by involving and utilising the community the game can advance and become
a better playing experience.
Invasion 3042 whilst sitting in a common genre builds on a historically popular board
game, by immersing players in an empire building environment.
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3. Business Plan
Intentionally omitted in this version of the document.
Revised version 1.2 of this document to be placed here.
Detailed financial outlines version 1.1 to be placed here.
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“The year is 3042, the galaxy is under siege, the clans have invaded from the north and
the internal bickering of the inner sphere continues to disrupt most peoples way of life,
It’s a challenging time in the galaxy where only you can change its history….
The Great houses challenge each other for supremacy, their vast territories give them
great resources, but in times of fluid warfare mean that things change rapidly and vast
fortunes are made and lost.”
Game Scale / Map:
The game takes place on a galactic scale map, with each planet inside a hexagon style
Map. This hexagon map lays out the galaxy and allows for players to move items
between planets, move armies between planets, invade neighboring planets, and it also
allows for a graphic representation of who owns what part of the galaxy. (Colour Coded)
The galaxy is not limitless, but for in game purposes is capped at a certain number of
planets based upon the number of players.
Players as their empire grows can occupy more than 1 planet, and more than 1 player
may be based on the same planet, however each planet has 1 ruling empire, the largest
on the planet.
To drill this down further each planet contains “zones” these zones are where an actual
empire does its building, mining and other tasks, it is also where an empires military may
Each empire contains a minimum of 4 Zones.
The capital city, where an empire starts from. The subsequent 3 zones are available for
the player to expand upon, for example he may build his infrastructure according to figure
It is totally up to a player what he may implement in each zone, however mixing
incompatible facilities inside a zone, like mixing resource mining with food production can
often lead to some interesting results.
Sample Zone layout
There is also a 5th zone that an empire may never “own” which is the landing zone, this
represents the location in which an enemy may land on their planet and attack from.
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5. Game Mechanics
Like any good empire building game players can choose a variety of different tasks
Non military tasks
• Empire administration / infrastructure
• Stock market
• Politics / Diplomacy
• Large and small scale combat
• Repairs and maintenance
• Combat limitations
• Military unit individualization.
Looking at each point in more details.
Non Military Tasks
Empire Administration / infrastructure
The backbone of a Players Empire is made up of the citizens that they have in their
empire, each citizen is capable of working in any number of tasks.
These tasks are the basics: Research, production, mining, commerce etc.
Each person gives 1 point per IDay in the relevant task assigned. This point is added to
the empires account and can be used at any time. For example:
For 10 days 1 person works in Builders, this gives 10 Bpoints. These Bpoints can be used
to build new infrastructure or work in factories.
Each empire can choose how they want to spread their available workers, this gives them
the ultimate choice in what they want to achieve with their empire.
Each empire also is only as good as its workers effectiveness; this figure is represented as
the Effectives Percentage against each worker type. Lets say that Empire A in the
example above has just defeated the enemy in a large scale war, as a result his entire
populace is very excited and right behind their leader, this increases his effectiveness in all
tasks by 50%! So:
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For 10 days 1 person works in Builders, this gives 10 Bpoints. Multiplied by the 150%
effectiveness he currently has gives a total of 15 Bpoints.
Likewise Empire B has suffered a minor defeat and its effectiveness is at 90% so: For 10
day’s 1 person works in Builders, this gives 10 Bpoints. Multiplied by the 90%
effectiveness he currently has gives a total of 9 Bpoints.
Empires must also to be able to grow provide their empire with certain essential services;
these services are the barrier to exponential growth at an uncontrolled rate.
These can been seen on the example research tree document.
To operate a particular service, you must first build the necessary infrastructure to support
that activity, so lets say that we wish to have 500 people working in commerce to
generate some income, we must build commercial facilities hat equate to 500 commercial
workers, once these facilities have been created when can then man the commercials up
to that particular level.
There are other essential services that are required in a zone to be able to grow, these
include admin centres etc which will allow you to grow beyond a certain point.
These services apply to just about every aspect of the game from the above example
through to military size, an example of a military item is: A basic mech hanger is required
to house 1 Mech in a zone, whereas a Intermediate mech hangar is required to house 1-4
Mechs. Each of these buildings/services is larger and more difficult to achieve as the scale
To be able to produce any item in the game players must have the appropriate resources,
these resources form the backbone of everything that is produced in the game.
Each zone in the game has a certain resource type associated with it, and at a certain
rate, for example the mining zone on the planet “New Avalon” of the empire “Brotherhood
of Steel” contains Aluminum. And it’s found in a concentration of 100 units per 1000
mined. This means that for every 1000 men assigned per IDay then 100 units of
Aluminum will be produced. Of course efficiency comes into play here as well.
Bearing in mind that you must have built the appropriate infrastructure to support the
Players can produce any item in the game that they have successfully researched.
Production takes 2 shapes, firstly is the capacity to create Bpoints (Building or
construction points) these Bpoints form the backbone of empire growth for every new
building or item that you wish to add uses them to be created
Bpoints simulate the time and effort that it takes to actually produce anything.
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For every worker assigned to Bpoint production you receive 1 Bpoint (subject to efficiency
You also must have the capacity to build Bpoints you can expand that capacity by adding
Often games allow you to only produce items that are used to make combat units,
whereas I3042 allows you to be able to produce military and civilian items. An example of
a military item: AC/5 or as it’s known an Autocannon 5.
The empire producing this item must have Autocannon 5 Researched. To produce it
requires 75 Aluminum, 200 Iron, 15 Titanium, and 10 Silicon. And 75 Bpoints
An example of a Civilian item is a Basic Research facility; this facility gives you the
capacity to generate 5 Rpoints per Iday. You of course must have researched this item
and to build requires the following resources:
200 Silicon, 50 Silver, 5 Gold, 45 Copper, 10 Nitrogen and 5,000 Bpoints.
Any item produced can be bought and sold on the marketplace.
A more detailed example of producing a tank:
Lets say Empire A is going to make a Scorpion Tank.
Firstly it has to have the plans to assemble a Scorpion tank researched.
However it does not need to have the individual components that are required to make
the tank researched. Such as:
The following components are required assemble this tank.
1x 25ton tracked chassis
1x 150 ICE engine
1x AC 5 Autocannon
1x Machine gun
55 Armour points
11 Internal structure points
2000 Bpoints to assemble.
Therefore using a TEAM PLAY principle, if Empire A researches the tanks Design and
Empire B does the components together they can manufacture this tank.
This offers several advantages.
1. It allows for the plundering of spare parts to be very valuable.
2. Salvage plays a very important part in combat operations
3. Researching complex items takes a long time and is difficult to achieve, but buy
breaking this down into components across several empires allows TEAM PLAY
to form a very effective strategy.
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A large research tree is available to players, like everything research can be easy or
complex depending on what task is being undertaken.
Research is a two tiered approach by using a Theory then an Application principle. For
example to research a machine gun you must research ballistics Level 1, which costs
1000 Rpoints, and then research machine Guns which costs a further 1000 Rpoints.
Let’s take a look at the Machine Gun example again.
Machine gun MK I has the Ballistics Class Level 1 as a Theory Requirement.
But to research machine Gun MK II you must have ballistics class level 2 researched.
To achieve ballistics class 1 is a cost of 1000 Rpoints, 500,000 Cash, and 1000 Bpoints.
Once ballistics class 1 has been researched the next series of ballistic items is available to
be researched such as:
Machine Gun MK 1
Class 2 includes
Please see the Complete research Tree for an listing of all theories and items that can be
It is important to note that it is much easier for Inner Sphere empires to research inner
Sphere technologies, and Clan empires to research Clan technologies.
The Opposite applies when cross researching technologies, For example there are large
modifiers for inner sphere empires to produce Clan technology, and V.V. These modifiers
represent the difficulty in understanding the technological differences between equipment.
Some technology will ALWAYS remain either unique to clan or Inner Sphere. However
equipment can always be bought, sold, salvaged or taken in raids.
Research is designed to be difficult, research is a huge investment made over a significant
period of time, and the Concept of TEAM PLAY is very important, a large number of
empires are often required to be able to complete a significant piece of equipment.
It is anticipated that certain house/clans shall only be able to manufacture certain finished
military items. For example: Only the Draconis Combine can produce the Hatamo-Chi
Of course the universe is shaped by the players, so if the Draconis Combine is on good
terms with the Federated Suns, then of course this Battlemech may be sold to them, or
salvaged through combat.
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If you have a piece of military equipment which your IS/Clan choice does not have the
ability to produce/research then maintenance rates are slightly higher due to the inability
to source basic spare parts for that piece of equipment.
C) While the game is in its early developmental phase all items and equipment is provided
by a NPC Empire (Comstar) this allows empires to remain unhindered in their growth
whilst not having all research available to them.
Buying / Selling
Buying and selling items forms a key part of the games interaction, and its allows players
to get what they want without the ability to produce it themselves.
This has an added benefit of helping newer players, for example: Fred is a new player he
has decided to Join Clan Wolf, one of the larger Clans in the game, Clan wolf really
encourage new players so they have decided to welcome Fred on board by providing him
with some new tanks at a very cheap price, this helps him grow quickly so he can defend
There are two types of buying and selling, one is internally within your house/clan this is
listed in the faction marketplace. The Second is game wide, and is listed for buying and
selling across the known galaxy.
There is a transit time associated with item. The closer an items location to the place
where it is to be shipped makes for a quicker transit. Shipping items across the Galaxy can
take some in game months to arrive. Also the longer the distance the higher the freight/
admin charge. This signifies the vast distances that items must travel.
There is an in game stock market where empires can buy and sell shares; shares are
made of an empire “floating” them. An empires stock price is determined by the dividends
that an empire gives back out to its shareholders.
An empire can float at any time. Each empire is made up of 1000 shares and up to 499
shares can be sold/held to outside parties this represents that the commander of the
empire always has a controlling stake. Each in game month a dividend is paid out of the
empires funds to share holders. For example Empire A has 10 shares in Empire B Empire
B’s dividend is $20 Icash per share, so Empire B will receive $200 Icash in total for its
investment per month.
Players determine the share price of their company however it’s basically determined by
market forces, like what someone else is willing to pay. There are many events which
affect a share price too, such as if an empire wins or loses a battle, units are destroyed,
planets won or lost etc.
The stock market whilst not for everyone provides and important method of funds raising
and adds a huge element to those who find the economics and empire building aspects of
the game challenging.
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Once a player floats on the stock market he has no control whatsoever of the share price,
a share price is solely market driven.
Politics / Diplomacy
Players are free to determine their own plays in terms of politics and diplomacy however
there is a certain frame work around what they entail, this gives players a guide as to the
relationship that they have with other Houses/clans
The basic levels are:
These are determined by each house/clan Empires within a house clan are always
treated as being allied. They can never attack nor declare war on each other.
An empire is always in the same house/clan, it can never leave, and this simulates the
populace’s loyalty to that particular house/clan.
Houses/clans set their level of relationship with other houses/clans through the elected
Leaders Empire, (or sub commanders) and only they can change this standing.
There is no penalty to changing a relationship status, however relationship changes are
quite major and can only be changed once every Real Life day. Changes are made up or
down one step in a ladder, for example from Diplomatic relations to Allied. These changes
are made at no penalty or cost at all.
However, if an House/clan wishes to go from diplomatic relations to War then there Is a
significant moral penalty as it seems your betraying your own people, likewise to go from
allied to war is a huge leap and the houses citizens really don’t like this!
At a state of neutral empires can raid each other but no capital can ever come under
At a state of War Houses/clans can fight over total planetary control.
At Diplomatic relations or allied no Combat may take place between the two parties.
At any stage empires inside houses can Duel or fight “trials” on an unlimited basis. This is
quite often a great way to resolve conflicts without the need for civilian casualties. This is
particularly important for Clan empires.
Inner sphere Empires are not bound by any rules in combat, however clan empires are,
they are NEVER permitted to attack a planet with more forces (BV) than what is currently
stationed on a planet, this rule does not apply to the Inner Sphere.
One important aspect to role playing for empires is an honor system, whereby players will
be ranked on a formula based upon a number of factors primarily on when fighting
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The planet which they are raiding is a border world, whose ownership has been hotly
contested over a long period of time, Empires from all over its house have banded
together to station some units there to help defend this world. So raiding and taking this
world is not an easy task.
Each unit has certain skills, if it is a Battlemech then it has skills in mech piloting and mech
gunnery, the units has no skills in any other type. A Soldier stays with his unit for the
life of the unit. This signifies the training that is required for a soldier to get the best out
of his unit. When his unit is destroyed in combat for game purposes the warrior/s in that
unit are killed.
When you purchase a new unit it is skilled at level 8 this skill signifies that he is a very
green soldier and has very little skill.
If a unit is located in a friendly zone it can be set to training this helps better a soldier’s
skill. (The lower the skills of a soldier the better) For each point of skill that a soldier is
reduced costs Tpoints, money and time. The lowest a soldier can go by skill is 0.
To stop all players having this massive and abnormal skill, there are costs associated with
each soldier maintaining their current skill levels for example. At skill 8 it costs 0 Icash per
day to maintain these soldiers’ skills. Whereas at 0 Skill the Cost would be in the
hundreds of thousands of Icash per day. This reflects the training and upkeep a soldier
must do maintain his elite skills.
On average most armies will be able to maintain a skill set of between 3-4 without a great
impact upon their empire.
Once a soldier is trained at this level his skills can not decrease. ( the exception to this rule
is that a player may reset a pilot to return to his 8/8 skills at any stage, the penalty for
doing this is that the unit will be out of service for a particular time, think of this as a pilot
retirement, and a new pilot is sought for his old unit)
Jason has a just bought a brand new CNT-9L Battlemech, it’s the flagship of his empire, so
he trains the pilot down to a 3/3 skilled Mechwarrior, this costs him 2200 Tpoints and
renders the unit Out of service for 3 months in IDays.
After several Months Jason decides to buy an Assault Mech the much feared Awesome 9R,
however he wants this Mech to be 3/3 instead of his CNT-9L so he retires the old
Mechwarrior from the CNT-9L and starts him again at an 8/8 Skill and trains him after the
pilot retirement period to 4/5 and then he trains his new AWS-9R to 3/3.
Large and Small scale combat
As eluded to in previous sections I3042 has several options for combat, from Arena of
challenge fights to attempting to take over planets through military conquest.
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The types of combat are:
a) Arena / Challenge fights (this is targeted for Alpha release and Early Beta Release)
b) Planetary Raids (these raid particular zones)
c) Planetary conquest
A) Arena / Challenge fights. These are staged on a neutral world where players can
settle scores, fight for bets, or practice their skills against each other. This is a very good
way for players to practice and to solve grievances without the need for a full scale attack.
There are 2 types of arena battles, a LIVE fight where all damage done is real and units
take damage and can be destroyed. The second is a simulator style fight where after
every combat phase players armour values are reset this is a great way for players to train
and learn the ropes.
B) Planetary raids. Players can raid particular planets inhabitants by attacking Planets in
range of their forces. Only houses/clans that are in a neutral or war status can be raided
without penalty to morale/honor. A Player selects his target empire, his forces land in the
landing zone which once taken allows the player to attack the zone he wishes to for a
Raid. Raiding certain zone types achieves certain goals for example raiding an empires
research zone will give you Rpoints for which to advance your own research, or by raiding
a factory zone you will get Bpoints and perhaps some items which are being stored there.
Raids are intended to be a main part of the game and for players to be able to fight
without spending long periods of their time in front of their computer.
c) Planetary conquest. This is the only way for Houses/clans to expand their territory,
players can choose to assault a planet that is in range of their forces, and they must take
all zones including the capital of every empire on the planet for it to fall. Once this is
achieved the planet changes hands, and falls under new ownership. During a planetary
conquest each zone that is taken you receive the benefits of a raid. If an empire
succeeds in taking a planet then its morale and other benefits increase. Should a
defending house faction lose a planet then it receives negative effects on morale.
Planets changing hands is not expected to be a common event, with the logistics required
to take and hold a planet mean that it is a very expensive exercise, but the rewards can
be great for houses/factions that do complete this task.
Houses/factions have options to regain planets lost as the populace is still treated as being
sympathetic to their cause, but these only last for a certain period of time.
Repairs and Maintenance
Units which have seen combat may require repairs and maintenance, units can be
repaired in friendly zones with mobile repair facilities or in larger zones which have more
permanent facilities, each facility is rated to be able to do a certain scale and type of
repair, for example a Union class dropship is capable of doing armour and ammunition
repairs/reloads in a landing zone. Whereas a large mech hangar is capable of doing any
sort of repair/reload. Special repair and reload vehicles are also available to players.
These often provide a valuable target in battle.
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Repairs are done with Repair Points; repairs depending upon their complexity also take up
a period of time. Example: to repair 1 point of armour uses 1 Repair Point and takes 1
minute of game time. To repair a Hip actuator takes 750 repair points and takes up 72
Players wishing to play as guns for hire mercenaries have an important role to play within
the game, and their services may be essential for a House/Clan to win a particular battle.
What is a mercenary? Well in I3042 a Mercenary is a player who has an empire just like
any other except they have no allegiance to any particular house, except in the form of
taking a “contract” for a specific mission or length of time. This then in essence allies
themselves with that house/clan and allows them travel within their controlled space.
They an then take on active military missions etc.
Some of the normal penalties for having military units away from home etc are wavered.
Other skills such as research and development are increasing difficult for these empires,
as really they are focused almost solely on combat.
This section cannot be understated, there is countless games out available today where
game balance is horrendously out of balance and this affects players longevity in the
game and also attracting and keeping new players.
How does I3042 try and solve this? I3042’s main aim is to create a level playing field for
all players to survive in, whilst giving other players an opportunity to show their
aggressions and play to their own style. This is achieved through:
a) Combat Balance, When attacking a particular planet the attacking side at no stage may
they commit more than 10% total BV than a defender has. If a defender brings in more
units then the attackers forces can also bring in more, however there are transit times etc
to consider here.
Lets say that Timmy who is only relatively new who lives on a border world (an already
risky decision on his part) has amassed 7500bv to defend his zones. Sam who is the
attacker is not allowed to commit more than 8250bv in his assault. During the battle,
poor Timmy is having a hard time so he calls in some re-enforcements, coming from
another planet he controls he brings in another 4000 BV worth of Mechs and tanks, this
then means that the attacker has another 4400 BV he is able to bring in. Of course poor
Timmy’s troops didn’t arrive in time and the attacker looted his factory zone.
b) Multiple attacks. Re-attacks or “gang banging” based on rule A that an attacker
cannot bring in more than 10% of a defenders forces, if an attack is successful in taking a
single zone at any stage (LZ excluded) then the losers particular empire is excluded from
attacks for a period of time based upon the value and size of what was lost. If in the
above example Timmy was good enough to beat his enemy back then he is open to being
attacked again with a new BV figure calculated on his current at that time forces.
c) Clan versus Inner Sphere. When a Clan empire attacks an inner sphere empire he must
openly declare that his attacks will happen, essentially warning the opposing forces before
a shot is fired, (minimum time frame applicable TBD). A clan empire also must apply to
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rule A but must be under the defenders BV by 10%, Normal combat related honor
benefits apply for victories etc, but these are Multiplied even further for clan forces who
Commit even less against a superior Inner Sphere defender.
d) Clan Versus Clan, this takes the form of a “trial” in which the attacker is able to commit
an identical force of the defender.
e) The advantage always lies with the defender! As a planet does not always only
contain only one empire. any other empire on the planet ONLY once a capital is under
attack may begin to commence operations against the attacker, of course normal transit
times apply. So attackers be forewarned, if your going for empire destruction/Capital
Cities then prepare to be potentially massively outnumbered. (its not fun to loose
everything that a player has worked for!)
This is a very complex area of MMORPG gaming and will no doubt be further developed as
the product reaches maturity, with this particular process taking a very high priority.
Military unit individualizations
Individual military units specific to a players wants and needs will be available to players
who have done significant research into a particular design in which they wish to
customize. This can take form of a new variant for a particular design. All rules apply
when customizing designs and they must adhere to game rules about unit specifications.
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6. Technical overview:
I3042 is based around .Net technologies, utilising Visual Basic, and C# for its client /
server based programs and SQL server 2005 as its database engine.
The client is distributed via a download from www.invasion3042.com
The game is broken into two sections the actual game and also an image / map / sound
pack. (known as the image pack)
The image pack is installed on a players PC, this allows for significant graphics to be
incorporated into a game without increasing any bandwidth consumption. Each
Image/map is CRC checked when being loaded to check its authenticity against what is
The game keeps its self up to date by using a clickonce deployment which prior to running
the game checks that it is the latest version.
The game is anticipated through its current technology to support up to 500 players per
server. Servers themselves are transparent to clients, and they do not need to connect to
a particular server.
During the games development the server will be located in Melbourne Australia, however
once Alpha phase has been completed and it proves successful then servers are
anticipated to be located in the United States and potentially Europe.
Each I3042 server runs and maintains several processes; it handles client authentications
and also handles client / server communications. This traffic is encrypted for security
Each server runs many “game day end” processes which update empires according to set
parameters, for example, each game day as it passes figures are updated in empires to
include any worker assignments income etc.
Most transactions happen in real time, for example when an empire purchases a part from
one empire the ICASH and the part change hands at that instance.
Loop back checking is done on all transactions; this means that when a transaction is
complete only then are any funds debited/credited. If a transaction is not complete it is
“rolled back” to prior to the transaction.
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As described in the Business plan, this Game is run as a Not for Profit business and it
relies on the generosity of its players to pay for the servers, bandwidth used and the time
which its staff spend on the game games development.
Donations are rewarded and encouraged in game but giving players some advantages.
These include certain donation only units, advances to research, effectiveness etc.
There remains a constant balancing act with encouraging players and keeping the game
balanced between players who do not pay to play and “donation heavy” empires. The
game welcomes donations and players must realize that before they play that people who
donate do get “better, bigger and faster” before those who do not.
Donations are simply that, they DO NOT give any empires any special privilidges except
those assigned through Ipoints, and they do not carry any real monetary value, nor dot
hey actually give a player anything physical in return, as such donations are given as that
Donations, they do not physically purchase anything but are given as a sign of support for
the game to continue to operate and potentially enhance its product offering.
As this is a game, its like anything if you cannot afford to donate then do not, players can
continually enjoy Invasion 3042 without needing to invest financially in the game, but rest
in the knowledge that Invasion 3042 cannot remain playable without financial support.
Players can also put their empire into “Absent Mode” by donating for this privilege, this is
useful for people who are on holidays, serving for thier country or are unable to play for
any length of time. This mode can be triggered provided the player has not engaged in
any combat for 5 RL days and there is sufficient Ipoints available. Empires who are in the
absent mode receive no income, do not accumulate any points, cannot buy or sell items or
perform any other functions. They are essentially frozen. An empire can become
unfrozen at any time.
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9. Glossary of Terms
I3042 Short for Invasion3042
ICash Monetary item within the game , a $ is used to represent this figure.
IPoints These are given to players for donations made to the game, the current rate
is 1 Ipoint per USD donated to the game. Donations are also given to
players who helped support the game with their time.
RPoints Research Points, empires assign civilians to work in research facilities, the
standard rate is 1 RP per person.
BPoints Build Points, empires assign civilians to work in production facilities and to
build new infrastructure, the standard rate is 1 Bpoint per person.
Repair Points Repair points are points used to repair military units and buildings that have
been damaged in combat. The standard rate is 1 Repair Point Per person.
Effectiveness The effectiveness of an item is based in a percentage terms, from 0%
Upwards, this is a percentage modifier on the association that the
Honor Honor is measured by the way a player plays and how well they perform in
combat. Honor also allows players to potentially receive awards at the end of
each game month.
Morale Morale is associated with an empires populace, having a positive morale
means people work harder and are more productive. Negative morale means
the people really could not be bothered as much as they should.
TPoints Training points, these are required to train a units skills for combat
MPoints Mining points these are generated to simulate mining operations in a
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