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icon10.gif  Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 13 August 2003 15:05 Go to next message
overworked is currently offline overworked

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 403
Registered: November 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Trying to collect and organize some information in one place on what the MT does to annoy us so. Smile Will refer people elsewhere for some details, but try to cover the generalities and identify the mysteries (for those who feel like exploring).

(1) What is the Mystery Trader (MT)?
The MT is a random Stars! event. IF the game does not allow random events (comet strikes, artifacts, etc.) then the MT will NEVER appear in that game.

Beyond that the MT is a mysterious vessel that enters the galaxy broadcasting a willingness to trade something to you in exchange for 5000kt of minerals (in a single fleet). Since it's broadcasting you always know where it is on the map (though other things on your scanners might occasionally obscure it.)

(2) When does the MT appear?
Appearance of the MT is a random event for that year. However, it seems that there is a validation check involved as well. This is possibly tied to year (2440 is the earliest I've ever seen an MT appear), and possibly some threshold of technology, resources, or minerals among the races in the galaxy.

The MT will enter from a border traveling at a speed between Warp 8 and Warp 13. Later random events might cause any given MT to change course, speed (faster or slower) or both. Claimed correlations between speed changes and imminent interception by a race are believed to be greatly exaggerated. :~ [Note: a Warp 7 MT has been reported, but is believed to be a Warp 8 or higher MT that slowed down due to another random event.] The MT will cross the galaxy and eventually exit.

Minefields do not affect the MT. Twisted Evil

There is also a random event that will cause a previously exited MT to cross the galaxy again (the "entry" message is different.) This may or may not be lauded depending on what it is carrying and your previous luck in trading with it.

(3) What happens if I try to attack the MT?
It ignores warships. Unless they're carrying/escorting 5000kt of minerals and you haven't traded with that MT yet. In which case it will trade with that fleet (see below). Claimed correlation between annoying MTs and subsequent huge comet strikes on homeworlds are still being investigated. Surprised

(4) How does trading with the MT work?
You have to intercept the MT with a fleet containing 5000kt (or more) minerals. The MT will absorb this fleet (i.e. it is destroyed) and give you something in exchange. MTs move before your fleets do; so the trick is to be in position to get in your move that year where the MT will be *after* it moves. The general rule of thumb is to get ahead of it with enough fuel to move fast enough to catch it even if there is a speed change.

Attempting to intercept the MT with multiple fleets will not work. One will be absorbed, the rest will not be able to trade.

Interception of MT occurs *before* fleet merging. You need to have the 5000kt in one fleet the turn before interception. Intercepting and merging the same turn will not work. (Unless the MT is going slow enough you can keep up with it the next turn.)

(5) What do I get from the MT?
A given MT is giving out one of three things (and this appears to be set when the MT is generated - this is an exception noted below.)

(a) You get a unique part or hull type that you can build and use yourself if you have sufficient technology. There are detailed lists and discussion of these parts elsewhere.

(b) You get some technology levels.
"Some" levels is dependent on some additional factors. First, it *decreases* based on your total number of tech levels. Second, if you bring additional minerals you a bonus technology level per additional 1200kt you bring. This tops out at 9800kt of minerals traded. It is possible for the MT to give you zero tech levels. This also happens if you meet a "technology" MT when you already have max tech.

[Note: Research has not generated a widely accepted set of data on what the exact breakpoints are for the total tech penalty. My opinion is that the initial number you get is random, then the bonu
...



[Updated on: Sun, 17 August 2003 09:35] by Moderator





Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.
- Groucho Marx

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 13 August 2003 18:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BlueTurbit

 
Lt. Commander

RIP
BlueTurbit died Oct. 20, 2011

Messages: 835
Registered: October 2002
Location: Heart of Texas
There is another type of MT. The warp one MT. This is the type that takes your ships and minerals and gives you nothing. This is definitely a warped one if ever I saw one. Laughing

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Thu, 14 August 2003 04:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Micha

 

Messages: 2342
Registered: November 2002
Location: Belgium GMT +1
overworked wrote on Wed, 13 August 2003 21:05


(b) You get some technology levels.
"Some" levels is dependent on some additional factors. First, it *decreases* based on your total number of tech levels. Second, if you bring additional minerals you a bonus technology level per additional 1200kt you bring. This tops out at 9800kt of minerals traded. It is possible for the MT to give you zero tech levels. This also happens if you meet a "technology" MT when you already have max tech.


I think getting zero tech only happens when you have max tech ("wasn't able to teach you anything new"), I've always got tech from the MT even when I had all techs maxed out but bio at 23 or 24 ...

Quote:

(d) The "Random" MT
Some articles claim that there is a fourth type that gives out a random part. I've never seen a confirmation of this. However, I've seen a behavior that might be mistaken for an explicit "random" MT. If you trade with a type (a) MT (unique part) and you *already have that part* (from a different MT) then it appears that just for that trade the MT does a new random check for what it is trading and trades that to you instead.
[Example: You have the Cargo Pod from a previous MT. A new MT comes out that randomly is also trading the Cargo Pod (confirmed by someone who missed the previous MT meeting this MT and getting the Pod.) If you trade with this MT you get something else since you already have the part. This could be tech, ships, or (hopefully) a different unique part.]

I think this would explain "random" MTs if all races had met an earlier MT that just so happened to be trading the same part. They can all potentially get something different - and in essense it *is* a random MT.


Personally I never encountered a random MT (neither did any of my alter ego emperors) and IIRC when the MT gave something that I already had I did not get anything else ("you already have that part"?) Crying or Very Sad ... but it has been a long time since I had several MTs in a game, so I might be wrong ...

A good post!! Why not make it a sticky? (and maybe a slightly better layout Wink sorry but yes I have to complain (or grip? what was it? Grin )

mch

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Thu, 14 August 2003 07:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
overworked is currently offline overworked

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 403
Registered: November 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

<getting tech from the MT>
Micha:


I think getting zero tech only happens when you have max tech ("wasn't able to teach you anything new"), I've always got tech from the MT even when I had all techs maxed out but bio at 23 or 24 ...


I vaguely recall getting no tech from an MT once or twice when I still had not reached max tech. Or it might be that you always receive a minimum of one level.

<the "random" MT>
Micha:


Personally I never encountered a random MT (neither did any of my alter ego emperors) and IIRC when the MT gave something that I already had I did not get anything else ("you already have that part"?) Crying or Very Sad ... but it has been a long time since I had several MTs in a game, so I might be wrong ...


I think it's possible when "re-rolling" the MT for it to get something you already have. In which case I think you get the "I have nothing to teach you, ask another" message. Guess I need to get Xdude some spare time and have him research MTs...
Rolling Eyes

Micha:


A good post!! Why not make it a sticky? (and maybe a slightly better layout Wink sorry but yes I have to complain (or grip? what was it? Grin )



I'll leave decision of "stickiness" status to Ron or one of the moderators who decide this thread/post is valuable enough to keep at the top. Any suggestions for a better layout? And I used the term "bitch", which is a synonom for "gripe" in any case. And "gripe" is more polite as well. Very Happy

- Kurt



Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.
- Groucho Marx

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Fri, 29 August 2003 03:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Orca

 
Chief Warrant Officer 1

Messages: 148
Registered: June 2003
Location: Orbiting tower at the L5 ...
Regarding uses of MT parts and ships - they're *all* useful under the right circumstances. And most of the lower tech parts (yes, even the multi-cargo pod) are immediately useful. Smile

I believe the tech depends on tech level, with a minimum of 1 tech level gained (assuming you haven't maxed out your tech yet).

As for MT randomness - I've *never* seen an MT slow down except when it's bouncing off the edge of the map (when it always slows down by 1 warp). If the speed changes, it's invariably to move faster (also by one warp). Granted, the sheer randomness of the MT's makes it a pain to absolutely deny stuff, but if anyone else has seen a different behavior and can confirm it, please correct me.

Just some clarification.

- Damon

Who remembers building up a fleet of 15 MT Lifeboats when using the shareware version.



Jesus saves.
Allah forgives.
Cthulhu thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Sat, 20 September 2003 20:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Zathras is currently offline Zathras

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 32
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When catching the MT. Make sure you have at least one empty ship design slot. If the MT tries to give you ships and there is no place to put them, you get nil, nada, and nothing.
Zathras

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Fri, 26 September 2003 08:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
alric

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 38
Registered: September 2003
Quote:

(b) You get some technology levels.
"Some" levels is dependent on some additional factors. First, it *decreases* based on your total number of tech levels. Second, if you bring additional minerals you a bonus technology level per additional 1200kt you bring. This tops out at 9800kt of minerals traded. It is possible for the MT to give you zero tech levels. This also happens if you meet a "technology" MT when you already have max tech.

[Note: Research has not generated a widely accepted set of data on what the exact breakpoints are for the total tech penalty. My opinion is that the initial number you get is random, then the bonus is added and total tech penalty are subtracted. Thus you end up with an adjusted random number.]



My (limited) experience is that you always get 6 tech levels + 1 per 1200kt of additional min at low levels. So if you give 9800kt of minirals and you've got crappy tech levels, you always get 10 tech levels. This goes down as you get more tech. Hmm, maybe I'll do an MT testbed - I need all the parts Razz

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Sat, 04 October 2003 19:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sinla is currently offline Sinla

 
Warrant Officer

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Quote:

My (limited) experience is that you always get 6 tech levels + 1 per 1200kt of additional min at low levels. So if you give 9800kt of minirals and you've got crappy tech levels, you always get 10 tech levels. This goes down as you get more tech. Hmm, maybe I'll do an MT testbed - I need all the parts Razz


Nope; last week got 1 level for my 9800kT Sad
It depends mostly on your current levels and (IIRC) what the rest of the galaxy already researched.

BR



If you can't beat me... Run away...

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Thu, 30 October 2003 06:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iaznab

 
Crewman 3rd Class

Messages: 6
Registered: March 2003
Location: South Africa
A long time ago I did some MT testing and read up on the FAQ's available at that time - here is what I remember: There is a random chance every year for an MT to appear, if and only if some player in the galaxy has more than 40 tech levels, and the year is 2440 or later. The MT accepts minerals from 5000kt+.

In previous patches, you were able to catch the MT with battle fleets i.e. if you had a fleet of 5000+kt mass you could catch the MT with it, but this was removed in the J patch I think.

For TOY traders, if you catch them you get the part. If you already have the part, you get nothing new.

For TECH traders, the amount of techs depend on your current tech level, as well as the amount of minerals you give the trader.

If you have less than 60 total tech levels:
You get 6 techs for the first 5000kt minerals, and then an extra tech level for each extra 1200kt minerals up to a maximum of 9800kt minerals (i.e. a maximum of 10 tech levels)

For 60-69 total tech levels:
You get 5 techs for the first 5000kt minerals, i.e. your total maximum goes down to 9 tech levels for 9800kt minerals)

For 70-79 tech levels:
You get 4 techs for the first 5000kt minerals, and 8 for a maximum of 9800kt minerals.

And so on and so forth.

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Thu, 30 October 2003 11:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sinla is currently offline Sinla

 
Warrant Officer

Messages: 132
Registered: February 2003
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iaznab wrote on Thu, 30 October 2003 12:11



And so on and so forth.


I agree that you should only give 5000+1200*n (max n=4) to the MT.
But according to your suggestion I should have been given 4 levels (if I read it correctly).
I had 117 techlevels, so 0(!) for the first 5000kT and 4 for the next 4800 mins?!
But I still only got 1 lousy level...
I think it's not mathematical what the MT does, just some chance.

Bit of the same with getting one of his ships. The number of ships varies. Sometimes I got only one ship, where the leader (there are games where I am not in 1st place Wink ) has gotten more (and IIRC even other ships).

my 2 cents



If you can't beat me... Run away...

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Thu, 30 October 2003 13:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ashlyn is currently offline Ashlyn

 
Lt. Commander

Messages: 834
Registered: November 2002
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Hi

I love the MT - always try to catch him Nod

Very skeptical about him giving out more levels for more minerals - tried it - never succeeded Sad

Most I ever got was 6 levels (early game) and least was 1 level (late game).

My un-favorite message Mad is "you would have gotten a really cool ship but alas you don't have any free slots" (or something like that Smirk )

Balloon

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Thu, 30 October 2003 16:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LEit is currently offline LEit

 
Lt. Commander

Messages: 879
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Location: CT
I did get roughly 10 levels from the MT in my first PBEM. It was very nice, as my tech was way too expensive (1 normal, rest expensive). I also got 6 or 8 from the second MT...

MT stuff was probably one of the reasons I won that game. I also got the Alien Miner, so I could remote mine everything I couldn't live on. Although the game was over before I got much mined...



- LEit

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 07 January 2004 07:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Robert is currently offline Robert

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 393
Registered: November 2002
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Some comment about the random MT:

It was the game "stone age slaughter3", and there was a MT that gave tech-levels to the first one who met him, a Lifeboat to the second one, and some Scouts to me.

It is not a real random MT who gives different toys to different players, but for sure some kind of randomnes.

If someone is interested I think I still got the files somewhere...

Shocked

Robert



2b v !2b -> ?

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 07 January 2004 08:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Robert is currently offline Robert

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 393
Registered: November 2002
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Did some quick test, and it seems to me that:

- up to 59 techlevels you get 6 levels and 1 for each 1200kT up to 9800kT

- from 60 levels on get 1 less level from the first 5000kT, and 1 for each separate 1200kT, up to 89 levels (where you get 3 levels for 5000kT and 7 levels for 9800kT), so it is always worth it to give the bonus if you got less than 90 techlevel.

- from level 90 on you get 2 levels of tech, regardles of giving 5000kT or 9800kT!!! this is valid up to at least 102 techlevels.

- from some point between 102 and 108 techlevels (i guess 105) you get only 1 level regardles how much mins you give the MT.

so:
- if you have less than 90 techelvels, give 9800kT
- if you got 90 or more techlevels, give him 5000kT

Maybe this is not completely correct, but what my short (2 hours) test showed me...
(I am not completely sure about the breakpoint, my excel sheet i did during the tests show a breakpoint between 59 and 60, and another one between 80 and 81... maybe one of them is wrong?
maybe sometimes it is before finishing the next 10, sometimes after that...)

May this be useful for someone...

Rolling Eyes

Robert


[Updated on: Wed, 07 January 2004 08:35]




2b v !2b -> ?

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A note on trading MT parts Wed, 25 February 2004 18:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ptolemy is currently offline Ptolemy

 
Commander

Messages: 1008
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For any of you that have wondered, it IS possible to send somebody else an MT part via scrappers. (I do it all the time in my testbed).

What I have found is that to virtually guarantee that the 2nd party gets the part, you need to send 167+ scrappers. This will pretty much guarantee that the part is received. However, ALL the ships will need to be scrapped in the same turn (i.e. scrap fleet, split all). If you plan on doing this make sure that an additional 167+ fleets won't take you over the 512 fleet limit!!!

Ptolemy




Though we often ask how and why, we must also do to get the answers to the questions.

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Re: A note on trading MT parts Thu, 26 February 2004 02:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Robert is currently offline Robert

 
Lt. Junior Grade

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Location: Dortmund, Germany
There are formulas for MT toy scrapping, and I am pretty sure it depends on
a) number of fleets
b) number of toys per _fleet_

there must be the formula outside somewhere... I will try to find it...



2b v !2b -> ?

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Re: A note on trading MT parts Thu, 26 February 2004 04:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ptolemy is currently offline Ptolemy

 
Commander

Messages: 1008
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I haven't tested using something like a frigate hull and building 84 ships for scrapping with 2 toys per ship though it may work. As I recall, the chance of gaining the part was somethng like a 1.6% chance. I do know that in my testbed it always has worked with 165 scouts but has failed with anything fewer. Ive seen the part transfer on the 164th scout also.

I'm not using the full blown downloadable testbed - I built this one myself so all races don't yet have all the toys.

One note on transferring the parts - don't scrap the ships without the tech to build the part or may end up getting tech and not the part.

Ptolemy




Though we often ask how and why, we must also do to get the answers to the questions.

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Re: A note on trading MT parts Mon, 01 March 2004 05:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Robert is currently offline Robert

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 393
Registered: November 2002
Location: Dortmund, Germany
From StarsFAQ:

Trading Mystery Trader Parts
Mystery Trader Parts can only be traded via scrapping or via battle and not through invasion.

The chance of getting a part is based on the number of MT items in the whole fleet (upto 25 items per event).

As with trading tech levels there is 50% chance of not getting an MT part per event.

After the above check, there is a 1% chance per MT item present of gaining the design.

The total chance per event with the max 25 items is 12.5% (50% x 25%)

This is the one instance where having multiple copies of a component on a single scrapper is advantageous.





2b v !2b -> ?

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icon5.gif  Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Mon, 08 March 2004 11:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Hyena is currently offline Hyena

 
Master Chief Petty Officer

Messages: 109
Registered: January 2004
The 9600 minerals trick works only if the MT is a "tech" MT, right? Does that mean you need to wait until someone else interacts with it and tells you they got tech levels before you know to load 9600 minerals?

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Mon, 08 March 2004 12:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
craebild is currently offline craebild

 
Lieutenant

Messages: 568
Registered: December 2003
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
If there is time to postpone the launch until you can learn from an ally what the MT is giving out, then you can of course send the appropriate amount of minerals (5000 if part, 9800 if tech).

Often there isn't time to postpone the launch that long, but you might have an ally who intercepts the MT one or two years before you do. Then you can initially launch with 9800, and split the fleet if the MT is giving out tech (remeber to send the fleet with the excess minerals somewhere else).



Med venlig hilsen / Best regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Christian Ræbild / Christian Raebild

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Mon, 08 March 2004 14:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
overworked is currently offline overworked

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 403
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Hyena wrote on Mon, 08 March 2004 11:23

The 9600 minerals trick works only if the MT is a "tech" MT, right? Does that mean you need to wait until someone else interacts with it and tells you they got tech levels before you know to load 9600 minerals?


Yes. Or you make the willing risk that it'll be a tech MT and you have the minerals to spare.

- Kurt

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Fri, 06 August 2004 01:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mlaub is currently offline mlaub

 
Lieutenant

Messages: 744
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Location: MN, USA
Hmmmm...I didn't see anyone post this. Fairly certain it is accurate.


M.T. Tech levels
                   

                           Minerals in kt
Tech Levels       5k     6.2k   7.4k    8.6k    9.8k 
<60               +6     +7     +8      +9      +10
60-69             +5     +6     +7      +8      +9
70-79             +4     +5     +6      +7      +8
80-89             +3     +4     +5      +6  	+7
90-99             +2     +3     +4      +5     	+6
100-109           +1     +2     +3      +4      +5
110-119            0     +1     +2      +3      +4
120-129            0      0     +1      +2      +3
130-139            0      0      0      +1      +2
140-149            0      0      0       0      +1
150+               0      0      0       0       0



-Matt


[Updated on: Fri, 06 August 2004 01:21]




Global Warming - A climatic change eagerly awaited by most Minnesotans.

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Fri, 06 August 2004 01:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
perece

 
Crewman 1st Class

Messages: 20
Registered: July 2004
Location: Moscow, Russia
It is really strange... Am I only one managed to discover that tech MT isn't giving You exact number of techs, but "inserts" some amount of resource investment into some fields of research?
To discover that I'm saying about, create a test game as JOAT, all tech expensive starts at 4. Don't invest into research, build alchemy after mines/factories (so all techs will require same amount of resources to get next level). When MT appears, catch it (better with max load). and after it gives You X techs, open research dialog and switch between fields where you gain equal number of techs and notice the difference in amount needed for next level.
Then restart from scratch and do some research, gaining no level but minimizing "res need to complete" in each field to, say, 10.
and start building alchemy after You got that (it will ensure You're investing no resources into research). And catch another MT with same amount of minerals. How many tech levels it give this time?
Sure some MT's can appear carrying anything other than tech, just skip to next one if this happens

As I figured not just from that testing, but from my numerous 'training' games against AI, tech MT gives You fixed amount of resources inserted into Your research (but it still depends on amount of minerals shipped), divided randomly between several Your research fields. And in the late game, when it says "give nothing", You still boost Your research. this means just that such amount of resources inserted into research isn't enough to give You tech immediately.
When MT gives You 4 techs and You realize after that, that only 5 resources needed to make, say, ener 11 and You didn't invest anything in ener after researching 10, say that MT give You 5 techs.

SMTP /Perece/.

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Fri, 06 August 2004 07:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Micha

 

Messages: 2342
Registered: November 2002
Location: Belgium GMT +1
perece wrote on Fri, 06 August 2004 07:55

It is really strange... Am I only one managed to discover that tech MT isn't giving You exact number of techs, but "inserts" some amount of resource investment into some fields of research?

Grin No you're not the only one, this has been mentioned on the newsgroup before. Years ago ...


Did a quick search, came up with at least two posts, one from Jason Cawley (of course Grin)

Here and here.

mch

[Edit: added links]


[Updated on: Fri, 06 August 2004 07:58]

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How often does an MT appear ? Mon, 04 April 2005 06:37 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
mazda is currently offline mazda

 
Lieutenant

Messages: 655
Registered: April 2003
Location: Reading, UK
Anybody know how often a new MT appears ?
Does it decrease through the game ?

We had 3 new MT on consecutive years in Plain Vanilla 2.
And have not had any since.

Just wondered if anyone had a formula.

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