The Diamondback Explorer was the ship featured in the concept art in Newsletter #70 back in April. This is a long range combat and exploration-leaning craft, sitting somewhere between the Cobra and the Asp. The Federal military wanted a cheaper, cut-down/smaller ship, and that became the Diamondback Scout, to use as a small multi-role attack and assault ship. The Scout (the smaller ship seen at the rear of the image) is also available to players, priced below a Cobra.
There are two Diamondbacks. The Diamondback Explorer is the ship we showed in concept art back in April, and the Diamondback Scout is a cut-down cheaper ship made by Lakon for the Federal military.
The two ships are quite different, even though they share some components. They will count separately.
This is a bone of contention amongst our designers - and we will do something in the future. There should be a cost to this - but that is for another day. So some news - we will be reversing this change shortly
(or 'soonTM' as Michael B would say...), so to be clear this aspect will be as it was before in the public release.
COMMAND CAPITAL [CC]
Each power uses a resource called command capital [CC] to pay for its endeavours. CC represents a combination of financial, political and social weight that can be channelled into use by the power.
CC is received from systems under the control of a power. The bigger the population of a system, the greater the amount of CC can be exploited from it.
CC is the lifeblood of a power. Without it, the power cannot expand or protect its territory.
Powerplay runs in cycles, each one lasting a continuous week in real-time.
When a power controls or exploits a system, it also applies one or more control effects to the systems.
Control effects are varied and dependent on the power, but could include shutting down all black markets, increasing penalties for criminals or legalising/criminalising specific commodities.
CONTROL SYSTEMS AND EXPLOITATION
Powers do not take direct control of all systems they wish to expand into. They instead focus on single systems, dominating them, turning them into control systems. A control system automatically collects CC income from all nearby systems within a 15 light year radius.
These systems become exploited systems.
Importantly, control and exploited systems cannot be expanded into by other powers.
You can pledge support to any power, at any time. Once you have pledge to a faction, you are given a power rating of one. You can increase this rating by successfully completing preparation, expansion, fortify and undermine tasks for the power. Doing so will give you merits with the power. At the end of each cycle, the amount of merits earned by all supporters is used to determine who should increase or decrease in rating. The effect of merits is reduced over time, so you need to actively support your power to ensure the best rating possible each cycle.
You can leave a power at any time.
Should you leave a power, all benefits are immediately revoked, but any modules unlocked as a reward and purchased are kept.
Once you have left a power there is a “cooling off” period before you can join a new power.
You can defect from one power directly to another power. Doing so allows you to carry over an amount of merits from your old power.
However, if you defect you may be hunted and attacked by mercenaries working for the power you left. The higher rating you had when you defected, the longer this hunt will last.
Once you have defected you cannot defect again, until you are no longer being hunted. You may leave the new power, but you will not be able to pledge again until the hunt has finished.
At the end of each cycle the galactic standing of currently active powers is calculated, allowing the powers to be ranked relative to each other.
The following elements are used to determine galactic standing:
A power that is in the bottom three ranks of the galactic standing list is at risk of collapsing and vanishing altogether. Simply being in the bottom three ranks does not automatically put the power at risk. It also has to fail to achieve any expansion during the cycle. The more cycles a power is ranked in the bottom three and fails to expand, the more likely it will collapse. Supporters of a collapsed power are freed from service; once they have come to terms with the ignominy of failing to save their power they are free to pledge to a new power.
There is really no need to join power to use passive benefits and each power has one - from 20-25% increased black market profits, 20% discount on imperial slaves and high value goods to 10% weapon and 15% outfitting discounts.
If you pledge to any power you most likely will become hostile with many other powers. For now it doesn't really matter because you can dock at hostile stations but it was mentioned as a known bug and maybe it will be fixed, maybe not.
Each power has it's own power specific commodities or actions, some powers allow you to earn merits by killing ships but mostly you will earn merits only by hauling power specific commodities which will refresh every 30 minutes and you can take for free only from 10-50 depending on your ranking (10-15-20-25-50). If you want to take more you will have to buy them - 10 000 credits per commodity.
You will rank up depending on your merits earned only after power cycle which will happen once a week.