Ever-changing map

Has it been done in any plugs?

During my random times tinkering around in Nova I came across something that is relatively easy to achieve in the game engine, but I hadn't ever seen it happen in Nova stock or in any of the TC's or plug-ins I had played.

Are there any plug-ins out there that take advantage of the ability to have systems change ownership based upon cron events?

An example of what I'm saying:

You reasonably often will see reports of Feds invading an Auroran system or Aurorans invading Fed space or Rebels invading etc (if you ever go to the bar to check the news). I simply made a cron that has a chance of activating which flips ownership of some Fed border systems to other factions. For example, the Gateway system turns red on the map and the border colors expand as Aurorans invade the system. The new Auroran Gateway star system has better battle odds for Auroran vessels since they invaded so I simply made a higher chance for their ships to show up and less for Feds ships to show up in the system. After a month or two it changes back to Federation ownership and everything is restored back to normal.

Using mission bits it's easy to make this event repeat at random times simply with a "b###" on start and "!b###" on completion with a random percent chance of this happening.

People could make an entirely different feel to the game by having the map changing around them in this way... it would be quite interesting.

What do people think? Great idea unused or have other people done this in some plugs I haven't seen? Regardless, I feel it is an underutilized possible feature to the game..

I don't think it's been done for stock Nova before, and I wouldn't mind seeing it.

Have you seen this sort of mechanic used in any plug-ins? I mean, if it's something never really used, I might try posting my plug up and I might suggest Delphi using the mechanic maybe for his more chaotic areas of space on his map 🙂

I assume the main reason this hasn't been done is cause if a system flips ownership and you make the planets change factions, you won't have the same planet id and some missions related to that planet might not be completable during the take over period. I currently have the crons just changing the system with what I mentioned above, but leaving the original planets in that system. ...so I guess the invading government claims the space, but the planet still is under original ownership.

For a tc perspective, you could work around the mission part though by deciding where you wanted occasional invasions and just not have string missions related to those places.

Another possibility is maybe set the cron to not happen somehow, when you get to that part of the storyline?

I feel like this is doable, but you need to know what all the mission bits related to each system and its' missions will be.

I think it's better to have just the space around the spöbs taken by the opposing gövt while the spöbs remain in the original gövt's control. It's like a long-term blockade of the system. At the same time, though, if the spöbs were taken as well, it would kinda make sense that non-story missions wouldn't be possible since the opposing gövt wouldn't be likely to let the player land.

It is possible to eliminate those events, though, to ensure they don't interfere with story missions. Simply have the OnAccept field for the mission clear the bit that switches the systems. You can even put a test for the bit in the offer dësc to explain why the system is suddenly retaken so that the player can land there.

As for past usage, I've only seen it used for permanent change of systems. For example, in Realm of Prey, there were several systems the player would have to dominate in order to capture it for a specific faction. Upon completion of the mission the system would swap sides. But I haven't seen it used for temporary swapping of systems due to skirmishes.

I found something weird which is happening... So I have the 2 different versions of systems with the mission bits to flip flop them and it works fine and I have the same planets (same ids) in all the double systems. When the fed system flips to Auroran the planet becomes Auroran as well, even though I never made a new planet with a different id to change the governments. I know this is happening because I blew up some Aurorans and then the planet went red and demanded a bribe, even though the planets are still technically under fed control at all times. Thoughts on why this happens? I know for a fact I didn't kill any ships other than Aurorans because I only used missiles that were homing and didn't have a blast radius.

Something I do like however is you can build up 2 different records in the same system (2 different id's). It saves your record from the flops. What I mean is, I can be a minor offender to the Aurorans in the system, it flips to Fed and I'm a citizen and then back to Auroran and I'm still a minor offender. I like that it keeps track. I'm glad the flip flopping doesn't wipe your record in the area.

I'm also having some fun here setting crons that have a chance of activating off of other crons that have a chance of activating haha. This way each invasion can effect a different number of systems in a chain reaction of sorts and they don't all flip at once all of a sudden. I have it set up so that there's a cron with a percent chance for like a border system to be taken for a sizeable amount of time and then other systems past those defense systems with chances of being taken from other crons once the initial defense system is taken. An invasion might only get that one system. An invasion might flip the border and then a few core systems a few days in. Random factor is fun 🙂

Another question: How might I find out which mission bits are being used in stock Nova? This is something I've wondered for a long time as I've typically always just copied mission bits other plugs used since I assumed they must have known what they were doing 😛

That's a good question. I think the Nova Bible might list them, but I'm not sure.

I used the handy google of the interwebs and found this file in the guides:

"evn bits bible.sit"

It's rated 4/5 stars, but seems quite detailed. Seems believable enough to me haha

So, some fun developments with my tinkering around with the changing borders idea. So what I did initially was simply have crons for Fed invasions into Auroran Space with set amount of times and a chance of triggering more Fed invasions farther into Auroran space with a shorter set amount of time. I did the same for Auroran invasions into Fed space with more crons set to possibly go off after the initial invasion of a border system.

It all worked in triggering 1 cron to the next, but the problem was, I couldn't set good time lengths for each cron or invasion of a system because the random factor didn't cause it to happen at the same times each time. The secondary invasion (in core systems) could happen on the first possible day or the last possible day. Either way the event lasted the same amount of time and this caused Aurorans to hold onto core Fed systems even after the crons timed out on the Fed border systems and the Feds got those back... I didn't really see an easy solution to this problem so I started over with a new thought process...

The 2nd way I tried to accomplish this was by having 2 cron events per captureable system, 1 for the Feds taking it and 1 for the Aurorans taking it. I simply set mission bits to be inactive when the cron wasn't triggered and active when started and finished. I did this for both the Fed and Auroran side of the battle. With this approach, I ran into another problem however. All the system governments seemed almost completely random. By taking off and landing again, all the systems I have labeled as possible for switching sides could have flipped all at once. This was because the mission bits to change systems were at the start of the crons and that meant another cron to change that could turn on simultaneously. I wanted it to be a gradual process... so I've abandoned that track I believe.

Since those 2 ideas didn't entirely work, I have a 3rd approach I'm thinking of doing, though it will take more work if it's possible. I was thinking I could have each cron with a duration period and I will have 2 mission bits set on cron start. 1 mission bit will control the flopping of the system and the other mission bit will be for making sure other undesired crons won't activate during the duration of the current cron. The first bit will remain the same between start and finish (to change the system), but the other one will become active and then deactivate at the end of the cron (allowing a new cron to activate).

Does this 3rd method sound like it'll work and do people have suggestions that might be easier or better? I'm glad I'm taking the time to play around in Mission Computer again. It's fun trying to figure out how stuff works in a game engine 🙂

Have you considered using the news announcements of the invasions as the trigger? I seem to recall them not happening too often, which would allow the system flipping to happen less often, as well.

Well, I know that you can set news announcements to be set off by way of crons, but I dunno if news announcements can set off crons or mission bits. Thinking about it, I really don't understand #str's and str's very well at all.

My third idea on how to do what I have in mind seems to be working well so far, but it takes time figuring out how so many different mission bits will effect each system. We'll see how it holds up as I add more systems into the mess to flip in more possible chain reactions. If I figure it out and it works, I'll make cron durations a bit longer and percentages a bit more reasonable so borders aren't constantly changing every couple days.

I want it to be an ever changing map, but not in a way that is over the top and too unreasonably chaotic haha.

Once I figure things out I'll try and write up correlating news strings and share the plug! 🙂

PS: A pleasure reading your comments DarthKev!

So I have my general concept working for the most part, but some reason a couple of the systems are triggering at times that I am not setting them to.

Just to make sure this is , if you know, this would be an allowable nbc/mission bit, right?:

This is what I have set up for a Fed invasion of Creyt from Gateway:

NCB Test: !b9993 & !b9994 & !b9793
NCB SoStart: b9993 & b9793
NCB SoFinish: b9993 & !b9793

The Creyt system(Fed) is activated by b9993 with this cron.
The Creyt system(Aur) is deactivated by having !b9993.
Gateway (Fed) is !b9994 so that Fed's can't take Creyt if Aur have Gateway.
Both this cron and the opposite cron (Aur taking Creyt) have b9793 for the duration of the cron to prevent them from ignoring the cron durations I have set up.

So, that all seems to make sense to me and I believe I have it correct, but Feds still capture Creyt at random times even if Aur has Gateway. What am I doing wrong? Do I need parenthesis somewhere or what?

@1purevengeance1, on 19 March 2014 - 06:28 PM, said in Ever-changing map:

NCB Test: !b9993 & !b9994 & !b9793
NCB SoStart: b9993 & b9793
NCB SoFinish: b9993 & !b9793

The Creyt system(Fed) is activated by b9993 with this cron.
The Creyt system(Aur) is deactivated by having !b9993.
Gateway (Fed) is !b9994 so that Fed's can't take Creyt if Aur have Gateway.
Both this cron and the opposite cron (Aur taking Creyt) have b9793 for the duration of the cron to prevent them from ignoring the cron durations I have set up.

Creyt system(Aur) should be activated by having !b9993 and deactivated by having b9993. That's your problem. So in Creyt system(Fed) you would put b9993 as its test. Creyt system(Aur) would have !b9993 as its test. When b9993 is set, the systems swap.

I guess I said it wrong, because that is what I was trying to convey Darth. My apologies.

Creyt system (Aur) has !b9993 in its NCB Test and Creyt (Fed) has b9993 in its NCB Test.

I'm wondering if the problem systems are using NCB's that are used in the game and aren't found in the NCB guide I downloaded... possibly something else is activating the NCB...? I'll sit in Nova burning some more days to see how things react.

Okay... so I tried to swap some things around and nothing's changed. Creyt, Gateway, Alphara, Vemap and Heraan Cov seem to work as intended, but Sol, Vega, Fire and Chirt systems seem to trigger whenever they feel like.

I have the plug-in in my public drop box if anyone would be willing to simply open it and take a look and see if anything stands out to them...


I'm trying to have these systems work in a chain reaction sort of way ie Aur can't attack Sol or Vega/Fire without having control of Alphara. Fed's can't attack Vemap without owning Alphara etc

Thanks for if you give it a look.

PS: I have crons labeled with set bits in the titles for convenience.

This post has been edited by 1purevengeance1 : 20 March 2014 - 12:25 PM

Any takers on what's up with some of the crons going off at random times?

Um, your link is broken. All I get it an empty text file.

Drat! hmmmm Well, I just compressed it (even though it's a small file anyways). Maybe that will fix it.


It should be 33KB which is 307KB uncompressed.

Well I can now download the intact file, but I can't quite see why things aren't working. My suggestion for now is to go back and limit only border systems to flipping. Once you can get that working perfectly, then add core systems a few at a time, making sure each batch works perfectly, as well. If adding a batch starts causing problems, remove it and try adding a different batch. Probably only two core systems added at a time. This should start to give you an idea of what's going on.

Random note... looking at the Auroran Empire's system's it's quite amusing seeing how many systems are near pointless and undesirable lol So many of them just have a a station and nothing else there and most of them have weak railguns that barely do anything haha Even many of the core systems are just space stations. Makes me wonder how they made it out there 😛

I will try moving forward with this plug soon.

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