The mtrek gold economy has been significantly revamped.
Upgrade classes now cost 5,000 each. (Vorcha, Valdore, and Sphere)
gold earning rates
Before you get too excited about the cheaper upgades, also be aware that gold earning rates have been changed across the board. mtrek.com has returned to the old method of awarding gold:
(Damage Given + Bonus) * .10
For the last several months, it has been:
(Damage Given) * .10 + (Bonus)
There are a couple of exceptions to note.
Currently, Gamma quadrant starbases award:
(Damage Given + Bonus) *.11
And the Ferengi class earns:
(Damage Given + Bonus) *.15
Everyone used to get crap for free when their ship had less than 1k. Ships with less than 1k are now charged for buying things; xtals, anti, weapons, etc.
Gold droppings have been changed to a flat 10%, no matter how much gold a ship has (even if it has less than 1k) when it dies, whether from life support, detonation, quitting, dying from a broken connection with more than 50 damage, or breaksaving.
Breaksaving now penalizes the ship by 1/3 of the ship’s gold instead of the previous 25%. And of course, the droppings are 10%, where they were at 40% before. (Glad no one ever noticed the old method. Even I missed the potential for abuse until tonight when I actually looked closely at the code. Anyone with over 1k could have break-saved their way to the top by losing 25%, logging back in, picking up the 40% chunk, and repeating over and over)
high score list scoring methods
Previously, the high score lists were sorted by Gold in descending order, with no regard to other stats.
Now, to be ranked #1, not only must you have the most gold in whatever category (overall, class, etc.), you must also be ranked in the top 20 by Damage Given. In fact, to appear on the high score list at all, you must be in the top 20 by DmgGvn.
For the most part, the changes are more subtle than they seem. A handful of “banky-er looking” ships will not appear on the HSLs, and ships that don’t earn much gold but still qualify for the listing appear low on the lists.
In individual class listings, ships with 0 gold or 0 dmggvn are now sorted more appropriately.
In players’ fleet scores, the ships are simply sorted by dmggvn.
All of these changes have been carefully thought out, and are calculated to shift the focus of game play towards actually damaging enemy ships, rather than harvesting/vulturing as many 1k+ bots as possible. Gold is still what ranks you in the high scores though, so it is still a very important stat–maybe even more so than before. The small chunks will have to be fought-over, weapons and xtals will have to be conserved, and penalties will have to be avoided. Breaksaves, making peace to planets, repairing transmitters/cloaks… these things will hurt you more now. I also predict a slight shift in favor towards the ships which can be flown effectively without xtals, carry regenerating stuff, and have cheaper warp cost, etc.
These changes are probably the main reason for the upcoming high score reset. A ship started after these can’t be accurately compared to an older one carrying 3 times the amount of gold earned from damage given and bonus alone.