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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Mon, 17 April 2006 04:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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wumpus wrote on Fri, 14 April 2006 16:23

I'm still sticking by my assertion that the you won't *always* get tech if you already have the toy an MT is trading... but maybe there are circumstances that aren't apparent yet where this *is* true, hmphm. If nothing else, Robert's data bears this out... *sigh* that MT really is 'M' ;P


As a matter of fact, in my last game my ally traded me the MT item he had just got, so I could get a different thing when I catched the same MT. We did this for two different MTs. One of them gave me a single techlevel Evil or Very Mad and the other gave me nothing. Hit Computer



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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 18 April 2006 00:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LEit is currently offline LEit

 
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m.a@stars wrote on Mon, 17 April 2006 04:38

One of them gave me a single techlevel Evil or Very Mad and the other gave me nothing. Hit Computer

Do you have backups for those turns (and the prior turns)?
If so, could you check the exact resources needed to gain every tech level, and compare that to how much you'd spent on research?

I've heard a report that MTs give tech resources not tech levels, and this could explain the giving no tech, especially if you're maxed out in a few fields. It also expains the dimishing returns for tech as you have more tech levels. It may explain how they seem to give you 3 levels of bio too, because if you've got a low level of bio, 10k resources may get you 3 levels.



- LEit

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 18 April 2006 04:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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LEit wrote on Tue, 18 April 2006 06:05

m.a@stars wrote on Mon, 17 April 2006 04:38

One of them gave me a single techlevel Evil or Very Mad and the other gave me nothing. Hit Computer

Do you have backups for those turns (and the prior turns)?
If so, could you check the exact resources needed to gain every tech level, and compare that to how much you'd spent on research?

I've heard a report that MTs give tech resources not tech levels, and this could explain the giving no tech, especially if you're maxed out in a few fields.


Yes, I have backups, I think. Deal

And we were at an already pretty advanced state of the tech race, most fields at 20+. As my tech costs for the fields I still hadn't maxed out were substantial, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the MT fell short of completing several of those fields with the "resources" it gave. It has been so in some other games where I paid more attention, indeed. Razz

Now that you mention it, I think I noticed some secondary techlevels were reached a bit earlier than anticipated. Smile



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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 26 July 2006 11:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
yoey is currently offline yoey

 
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I was inhabiting an entire universe with a race for research purposes and decided to catch the MT's while doing it. I remember that my tech was maxed out in most fields and that i had gotten most but not all of the MT parts. I know for a fact that i hadnt gotten the alien miner (cause the race was AR) Confused He gave me the mini-morph hull! Is that a "toy", or does he randomly give other PRT parts if his stock of toys is low?

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 26 July 2006 16:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Micha

 

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yoey wrote on Wed, 26 July 2006 17:56

He gave me the mini-morph hull! Is that a "toy", or does he randomly give other PRT parts if his stock of toys is low?

Mini-morph is a toy, it's not a PRT part, you might be mistaken by the HE meta-morph ..

Kind regards,
mch

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 09 August 2006 16:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Marduk is currently offline Marduk

 
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Just curious, has anyone ever packeted a Trader? It would be nigh-impossible to do deliberately, but I wonder if one might steal your world-shattering packet should it end up in the same place at the same time.

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Thu, 10 August 2006 10:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PricklyPea is currently offline PricklyPea

 
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Interesting theory, I might test that one!

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Fri, 11 August 2006 15:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iztok is currently offline iztok

 
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Hi!
Marduk wrote on Wed, 09 August 2006 22:38

Just curious, has anyone ever packeted a Trader? It would be nigh-impossible to do deliberately, but I wonder if one might steal your world-shattering packet should it end up in the same place at the same time.

IMO there wouldn't be any transaction. Stars is a program, not a living thing that grows and develops. So because there's no mechanism to target a MT with a packet, I'm very certain there's also no MT code to check for the packet.
BR, Iztok

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Mon, 15 January 2007 03:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tgellan is currently offline tgellan

 
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Just wanted to mention that the MT is sometimes stubborn Wink
In our last game, which ended at 2511, there have only been 2(!!) MTs, both showing up before 2450, the first was caught by 2 players, the second only by one player! But then nothing, it seemed that random events justs went off after that...

Did anyone experience such a thing too?

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 06 February 2007 02:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gwellman is currently offline gwellman

 
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In a solo game, I had 108 total tech. On a turn where I met the MT, I also completed one tech level myself. I gave the MT 9802 kT of Boranium. He gave *one* tech level in return. Mad Does that mean the Trader was really not a tech trader, but was a repeat of the (one and only) MT item I had? Or does it mean that the chart of how many levels for how many minerals is deeply wrong for JRC4?

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 06 February 2007 04:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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gwellman wrote on Tue, 06 February 2007 08:05

In a solo game, I had 108 total tech. On a turn where I met the MT, I also completed one tech level myself. I gave the MT 9802 kT of Boranium. He gave *one* tech level in return. Mad Does that mean the Trader was really not a tech trader, but was a repeat of the (one and only) MT item I had? Or does it mean that the chart of how many levels for how many minerals is deeply wrong for JRC4?


It actually depends on your own Research settings, as has been discussed somewhere else. Sherlock Basically, the MT gives you a dollop of "research resources" which then get more-or-less-randomly allocated to your various Research fields. That way, several different tech areas get advanced, though that might mean few new techlevels are actually reached that very turn. Whip



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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 06 February 2007 04:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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iztok wrote on Fri, 11 August 2006 21:23

So because there's no mechanism to target a MT with a packet, I'm very certain there's also no MT code to check for the packet.
BR, Iztok


Interestingly enough, there's code for the MT to check ANY fleet under the same coordinates, even if it was not targeting the MT itself (nor any other fleet rendez-vousing with the MT), as I discovered that time the MT happened to "orbit" one of my planets where a mineral-balancing fleet was also received at the same time. Shocked



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How often does MT change direction/speed? Tue, 01 May 2007 09:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gwellman is currently offline gwellman

 
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I know it's random, but any idea of the frequency? Casual observation suggests less than 5% chance, maybe more like 2%. I wondered if anyone knew for sure.

Thanks!

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Re: How often does MT change direction/speed? Tue, 01 May 2007 18:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bystander is currently offline Bystander

 
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Murphy's Law says the Mystery Trader will change directions at the most inconvenient time. And Murphy was an optimist!

That being said, I believe there are some trends mixed in with the randomness. People have said that large fleets and large numbers of minefields can spook an MT. Someone catching it increases the change of a direction change the next turn. Personally, I was playing in a game with an observer (neutral host race with much better tech due to special rules). I stumbled across the occassionally heavily-cloaked Nubian observer ships scattered throughout open space. There must have been a lot of observer ships because, the Mystery Traders bounced around like pinballs with ADD! Laughing

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Both StarsCal and common sense fail to predict M.T. location Tue, 12 June 2007 02:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gwellman is currently offline gwellman

 
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Ok, given an M.T. moving at warp 9 in a current game ...

M.T. position
year . . . x . . . y
2453 1780 1468
2454 1702 1446
2455 1624 1424
2456 1546 1402
2457 1468 1380
2458 1390 1358
2459 1312 1336
2460 1234 1314
2461 1156 1292

where do you expect it the next two turns?
First up, if you plug any pair of the above locations into StarsCal and ask where it will be the next turn, StarsCal usually gets it wrong, predicting an x one greater than in reality.

So, let's just cut to common sense ... each year for 8 years, it moved 78 in the x and 22 in the y. (and that distance is 81.04 ly)

So in 2462 we'd expect 1078,1270 but bizarrely got 1078,1271. I'll accept that as an effect where the true angle was slightly different than atan(22/78) so every once in a while you get 78 and 21 as the coordinate changes instead of 78 and 22.

But... plug the 2453 location and the actual 2462 location into StarsCal, and it will predict an x coordinate of 1001 for 2463. Common sense says 1000. In reality, there was no 2463 location, because it exited the universe. Huh? It should have gone 78 in the x and 22 in the y again. (81.04 ly). To exit the universe, it would have to go further than that. It should have wound up on the very edge, with x=1000. There was no message about the M.T. changing speed or direction.

Anyone have a good explanation for this?

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Re: Both StarsCal and common sense fail to predict M.T. location Tue, 12 June 2007 04:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
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The next position predicted would be 1000,1249, rounding could cause it to have been 999,1249 which would take it outside. ie the angle rather than being 78/22 may actually be 78.1/21.9 so you could have had
1780.9,1468.1
1702.8,1446.2
1624.7,1424.3
1546.6,1402.4
1468.5,1380.5
1390.4,1358.6
1312.3,1336.7
1234.2,1314.8
1156.1,1292.9
1078.0,1271.0
999.9,1249.1

Why not try loading 2462 and seeing if it's predicted end point is shown.

Another possibility is that Stars makes the move and then checks to see whether it has exited the universe, it could be checking whether the position is <=1000 to decide whether it has exited rather than being <1000, it may also be that the developers delibrately decided that once it gets within a particular range of the edge it leaves the universe rather than showing a tiny or even non existant path. ie if it had arrived at 1000 and you clicked on it you wouldn't be able to see it's future path.

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Re: Both StarsCal and common sense fail to predict M.T. location Tue, 12 June 2007 06:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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gwellman wrote on Tue, 12 June 2007 08:52

Anyone have a good explanation for this?


Rounding is throwing you off. Bounce

Those coordinates you see are the result of rounding up the actual coordinates before displaying. Any calculator using them to project the next point will magnify the rounding error enough to get a wrong result more often than not. Whip

Your data fits to 100% accuracy a straight line from [1780,1468] to [922 (or 923),1228] which correctly predicts coordinates for 2462 and gives [999.9 (actually rounded up as 1000),1249] as its last waypoint before falling off the edge of the universe. Sherlock

Since 1000 is a valid value for ship coordinates, it would seem the universe bounds are tested against the 999.9 value (which is indeed almost 1000) before it gets a chance to be rounded up. Shocked



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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 12 June 2007 17:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gwellman is currently offline gwellman

 
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Hmm, well, if we assume that the M.T.'s "real" position is stored to fractional accurracy, and that it can even *start* at a fractional location then,

year . . . . x . . . . y
2453 1779.78 1468.00
2454 1701.75 1446.06
2455 1623.72 1424.12
2456 1545.69 1402.18
2457 1467.66 1380.24
2458 1389.63 1358.30
2459 1311.60 1336.36
2460 1233.57 1314.42
2461 1155.54 1292.48
2462 1077.51 1270.54
2463 0999.48 1248.60

would give 78.03 change in x each turn, 21.94 change in y each turn, equals a speed of 81.05c, would round (by normal rounding rules, not trunc) to the locations observed in the game, *and* would even legitimately place the M.T. outside the universe in 2463. (Although I am by no means dismissing m.a@stars' suggestion that the edge test could be applied before the rounding.) I can't quite make it work forcing the speed to be exactly 81c, but I could get it down to 81.02c with slightly different coordinates that still satisfy all the other constraints.

The moral of this story is, don't try to catch the M.T. on the edge of the galaxy.


[Updated on: Tue, 12 June 2007 17:46]

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 12 June 2007 19:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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gwellman wrote on Tue, 12 June 2007 23:34

Hmm, well, if we assume that the M.T.'s "real" position is stored to fractional accurracy, and that it can even *start* at a fractional location then,

year . . . . x . . . . y
2453 1779.78 1468.00
2454 1701.75 1446.06
2455 1623.72 1424.12
2456 1545.69 1402.18
2457 1467.66 1380.24
2458 1389.63 1358.30
2459 1311.60 1336.36
2460 1233.57 1314.42
2461 1155.54 1292.48
2462 1077.51 1270.54
2463 0999.48 1248.60

would give 78.03 change in x each turn, 21.94 change in y each turn, equals a speed of 81.05c, would round (by normal rounding rules, not trunc) to the locations observed in the game,


I'm afraid that's not quite how things work. Sherlock

Deal Nothing suggests coordinates are actually stored as anything other than integers, and rounded up integers at that.

Deal an exact speed*speed distance is applied towards the destination, with rounding governing the actual coordinates achieved. This means distances travelled can be over or under the expected ideal numbers and deltaX and deltaY will likely deviate from theory.

Deal this applies to foreign ships, your ships, the MT, and packets.



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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 13 June 2007 04:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gwellman is currently offline gwellman

 
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But if the rounding is applied each turn, and the fractional part is "forgotten" each turn, then the resulting delta in x and y should be the same every turn (for an object on a constant course, with no waypoints). But that's not what happened.

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 13 June 2007 04:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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gwellman wrote on Wed, 13 June 2007 10:12

But if the rounding is applied each turn, and the fractional part is "forgotten" each turn, then the resulting delta in x and y should be the same every turn (for an object on a constant course, with no waypoints)


Remember, in Stars! everything has a Waypoint, and only the MT could conceivably be devoid of it. Since the deltas do in fact change and the MT seems to act the same as everything else, my theory is that the MT too has a destination Waypoint. Sherlock


Quote:

But that's not what happened.


Q.E.D. Rolling Eyes



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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Wed, 13 June 2007 07:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kotk

 
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My theory is such that:

Deal MT destination waypoint is a point at edge where it plans to exit the universe. If you have 2-3 WP-s of MT then you can find it out, because it is at very edge where ships can move. However MT disappears there, no way to catch him there.

Deal Random event "perhaps something startled him" lets everyone to know that MT increased its speed and choosed bit different destination point.

Deal Random event "decided to take another" lets everyone to know that MT "bounched back" at the destination waypoint, decreased its speed and did choose a new destination waypoint.


[Updated on: Wed, 13 June 2007 07:41]

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Fri, 13 July 2007 16:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
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Kotk wrote on Wed, 13 June 2007 12:40

My theory is such that:

Deal MT destination waypoint is a point at edge where it plans to exit the universe. If you have 2-3 WP-s of MT then you can find it out, because it is at very edge where ships can move. However MT disappears there, no way to catch him there.

Deal Random event "perhaps something startled him" lets everyone to know that MT increased its speed and choosed bit different destination point.

Deal Random event "decided to take another" lets everyone to know that MT "bounched back" at the destination waypoint, decreased its speed and did choose a new destination waypoint.


I have the MT Structure sewn up, it consist of it's current coordinates, destination coordinates, speed, bitmask of players that have met it, 16 bit bitmask (no bits set gives tech, 12 are used for the parts, 1 is used for ships (the number and design you get are random, confirmed by rerunning the same turn again), leaving 3 that appear unused) and the turn number which is 0 when it first enters, and appears to get set when it is met or changes speed or direction.

The destination cordinates always occur 20 ly away from the edge of the map, that explains why the MT couldn't be caught 1 ly from the edge since it leaves 19 ly before then. I've included examples destination coordinates from my testing below

1157,1020
1088,1380
1335,1020
1135,1380
1264,1380
1020,1149

There is nothing in the structure to indicate whether the MT will change direction or come round for another pass so those events will be completely random. You should be able to confirm that by reloading the backup turn when he does and rerunning it.

The .m files contain the same information as the .hst so if you can decrypt it you can check in advance what it will be giving.

I've always been getting something from the MT, the message that it couldn't teach you anything new occuring when it gives you tech resources but they are not enough to advance you a level.


[Updated on: Fri, 13 July 2007 17:17]

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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Sun, 08 March 2009 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
slimdrag00n is currently offline slimdrag00n

 
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Is there anything else that has been said about MT in this thread that has been tested and factual by more than one person that should be added to the first post?? I cant bring my self to believe everything I read; people have posted in here some of there experiences that may not be 100% true.. thus sort of confusing. So the definite stuff already in post 1?


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Re: Some answers about common MT questions... (long) Tue, 07 April 2009 09:48 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
PaulCr

 
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slimdrag00n wrote on Sun, 08 March 2009 22:02

Is there anything else that has been said about MT in this thread that has been tested and factual by more than one person that should be added to the first post?? I cant bring my self to believe everything I read; people have posted in here some of there experiences that may not be 100% true.. thus sort of confusing. So the definite stuff already in post 1?


I can tell you a few things that are definitely fact.

1. The MT always targets it's exit point 20ly from the edge of the map so if you try to reach it within 20lys of the edge you will miss it.
2. What the MT gives is predetermined when it first comes on and it can be tech, a particular part or ships. If it gives ships you will get a random number and type, if it gives you tech then you will get a set number based on your current tech levels and how many minerals you give it. The levels are given randomly although there does seem to be a bias to the lowest levels which is why it is known for giving bio. The MT completes any field it gives you, ie if you have put 10k into getting W16 and it gives you W16 you will no longer have those resources being contributed to getting W17.

The above has been confirmed by looking at the actual data in the files and by rerunning a generation multiple times. The rest of this message is based on my experience.

1. If you already have the part the MT is giving or have all tech levels at 26 when it is giving tech it seems to randomly pick something else to give, if it can't give the new choice to you it appears to give up and you get the message it has nothing to teach you.

2. As mentioned above when giving tech if you rerun the generation multiple times you will get the same number of tech levels although the distribution is random, from my experience it appears it is the number of tech levels that matter rather than what you have in a particular field.

We've just got a new MT in the game I've taken over that is about 7 years away from me, I seem to be slightly behind the main races in the tech race so I want to exploit this MT as much as possible if it is a techie so I'm going to do a test to find out exactly how many levels it gives for every possible number of tech levels and minerals, I'll run each test twice, once with the levels evenly spread, the other with all levels in a single field until it reaches 26 and then start again in the next field. I should be able to do the test automatically by using a script to copy the original files and using the host editor to set the existing tech levels and then generating and looking up the new tech levels, hopefully I'll get time to write the script to do it tonight in which case I'll hopefully have a table ready for tomorrow.


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