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Known Bugs in Stars JRC3

  • Coding Bugs

  • Player Exploitable Bugs / "Features"

      The use of these bugs (with the exception of chaff), is generally considered cheating in multiplayer games unless specified previously by the host that they are allowed, though if you are in doubt check with your games host. Though it is still advisable for hosts to mention which things are disallowed before the start of the game.

    • Chaff:
        The game mechanics will cap the kills inflicted by missiles to the number of missiles fired (i.e. one missile = one kill). Also the targeting algorithm favours weakly armoured targets (in relation to cost in res and bor). These two facts can be taken advantage of. The cheapest armed ship you can build is a scout or frigate with an x-ray laser and QJ5 engine. If you build 1000's of these, the enemy's missiles will target these first. The problem is that the targeting algorithm doesn't take into consideration the fact that to kill a frigate with an Armageddon missile is actually wasting 1005 points of damage in overkill. So with enough chaff you can effectively nullify the enemies missile firepower. But note that the "one missile = one kill rule" doesn't apply to beams, so beamers will eat through chaff very quickly.

        See Art Lathrops article for a more in-depth description of chaff and the various tactics associated with it. Though most players consider this a perfectly legitimate and very useful tactic, there are an odd few players who consider this cheating, and so you will find the occasional game which bans chaff, though be very careful to get an exact definition (including ship designs) as to what is consider chaff from the host if it is banned (well before it becomes an issue), as the line between chaff and a cheap sweeper is very thin.

    • Split Fleet Dodge:
        An attacking fleet can only attack ships at the same location. If you split your fleet into many smaller individual fleets and diverge their movement orders, an attacking fleet can only engage one of them (the one with the largest mass will be targeted - though there may be a bug with this). A change was made in the JRC3 patch to stop multiple chasing fleets from all attacking the same target when this was done.

    • UR/CE Scrapping:
        Races with CE get half price engines, and races with UR get to reclaim up to 90% of resources and 70% of minerals that went into the ship/fleet. However when scrapping at another races starbase, Stars doesn't take into account the fact that CE races get half price engines and the resources given are based on the full amount. A ship that is mostly engine (scout with pricey engine), can be used between an alliance to generate "free" resources and minerals. This has been partially countered now that gifted or alien ship (i.e. not built by that race) are considered 30% cheaper in working out scrapping.

    • Battle Board Overload:
        The battle board can only handle a maximum of 256 tokens (shared among all races present). Excess tokens are simply left out of the battle. The tokens selected are based on fleet number, so the lowest numbered tokens would fight and the other left out, though each player is guaranteed (256 / players present) number of tokens. This can be taken advantage of by splitting off 256 chaff (or other cheap ship type), doing a split all on the 256 chaff fleet and then merging the rest of the fleet with the highest numbered ship. This would allow you to "dodge" the battle for the price of 256 chaff. Or simply keep some of more vulnerable ships out of battle (i.e. bombers and freighters). Most players would consider the deliberate use of this to be "cheating" unless specified by the host prior.

    • 0.2% Minimum Damage:
        Stars records damage to armour in a fleet/stack as in 1/512ths (0.2%). Any shots in combat (that do armour damage) will be rounded up to the next 1/512th of the total armour in the stack. Normally this isn't an issue, but can be abused. By Building 100+ DDs or nubs with alpha/beta torps, and splitting them into individual fleets just before combat, you will fire a very large amount of slavos (100 fleets of nubs with 9 slots each with beta torps = 900 salvos). Normally these would only do a little bit of damage, but because they are all individual salvos they will each do 0.2% damage, and with 900 slavos that is 180% damage. Which would kill one enemy token/stack outright and damage another by 80%, and this is per round of shooting. The number of missiles per slot won't increase the damage, but having 2 or 3 in the slot will give you a second or third chance to make that salvo hit (missed missiles don't damage armour). Note that shields aren't calculated this way. And the 0.2% rule doesn't override the one missile = one kill rule, so when the stack is at 99% damage you will still need one missile per ship to do the killing blow. The best counter tactics for this are first to split up your fleet into several smaller tokens (thus it will only kill part of your fleet), and to have gatling armed beam ships (as they do damage to each token in range).

    • False Public Player Scores:
        Stars calculated actual resources during the middle of the generation, but calculates resources displayed in public player scores at the very end of the turn. This can be taken advantage of, by uploading pop from each of your planets using waypoint 1 orders (i.e. after movement) and then dropping them back as a waypoint 0 order (ie before movement). This doesn't affect actual output, but can significantly lower your reported resource output from which your score is largely based. This could prevent other players realizing that you are running away with the lead (and thus ganging up on you) until it is too late. Though this could backfire if you are caught, as other players would know that you are hiding something so may to gang up to stop you (which is exactly what you are trying to prevent).

    • North/South Minefield Immunity:
        There is an unusual bug in which there are no minefield hit checks done do a fleet traveling exactly due north or due south. Though the checks are carried out if there is even 1ly of east/west movement. This could allow a player to travel through a minefield at warp 10 with a 0% chance of hitting a mine. Most players would consider deliberate use of this bug to be "cheating".
        • Fixed in v2.6+ JRC4 (reported by Rick Steeves)

    • East/West Speed Bump Minefield Immunity:
        A similar bug to the one above, but this time affecting only speed bump fields for fleet traveling due East or West.
        • Fixed in v2.6+ JRC4 (reported by Rick Steeves)

    • SS Pop Steal:
        The robber baron scanner can steal minerals from an enemy player, though a player cannot usually steal enemy colonists. Though in the J patch, the check for seeing if the player wishes to steal enemy colonists was disabled when using the waypoint 1 task option (Transport|colonists|load all). This was not intended. This bug has been proved to unbalance the game when used. Most if not all players would consider use of this bug to be very serious "cheating" unless "specifically" stated by the host prior the start of the game.

    • [freepop] Hack:
        Using a memory editing utility it is possible to create colonists out of thin air, limited only by a players freighter capacity, with the help of a memory editor. This abuses a lack of a viability check for loading colonist from an uninhabited planet, usually you cannot load more colonists than you drop down in a turn, but a memory editor can be used to trick the user interface into believing that you had dropped down millions of colonists, and the host doesn't double check these figures. Use of this in a multiplayer game would be considered by most players to be a totally inexcusable cheating offence.

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