Building Sol (Need advice) (Full Version)

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Unforeseen -> Building Sol (Need advice) (3/26/2013 7:33:15 AM)

Hey first post here, its kind of long so i will try my best to make it as readable as possible.

I've been doing search after search on this subject and I've found very little in the way of advice on how to build Sol in a way that is balanced with the rest of the "uncustomized" Galaxy. I cant even find a screen shot of a player made Sol system.

I have already put together a rough version of the system but i have a number of concerns before i start actually playing.

1. Composition; Obviously the game will not let let you include EVERY noteworthy object in the Solar System. So deciding which ones are worth adding was a tough issue to overcome. So far i've narrowed it down to the major planets, dis-including Pluto and the other Dwarf Planets, All Major moons: Luna, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, Titania, Oberon, Triton. I also included an incomplete version of the kuniper belt as well as the two large belts in the outer system by Neptune.

2. Balance; This is arguably my BIGGEST dilemma. Going by their composition's and various available data on the planets and moons i have been able to classify Venus as a volcanic planet, Mars as a Desert Planet, Io as a Volcanic Moon, Europa, Ganymede, and Titan as Ice Moons. This means that there would be 7 total colonies including Earth in the system. I have never seen or started in a system with more than three available worlds for colonizing and the later always included the home world.
-My thought however is that because the moons are relatively small, and essentially have no resources to speak of that it would not cause any balancing issues if i were to add them in as they apparently are in real life. Their quality would also be fairly low.
-The Asteroid fields tend to have a high composition of materials within them, i have never seen more than 1 belt in a single computer generated system and at that it is rare. My system currently has 5, 3 rock and 2 metal.

3. Size, in the process of building the system i realized that i could in fact set the planets sizes to their actual in real life size. Doing this would lower Earth's population capacity to about 12 Billion from 22 Billion. This is ALOT more realistic but at the same time unless i re-did the entire galaxy of 1400 Stars i would be at such a disadvantage that i'm not sure it would be playable. (Note i'm playing 0.5 Colony Distance's so the lost population probably wont be made up by other colonies)

Honestly, i'd prefer to just hand make the entire galaxy. I'd probably go well beyond 1400 stars and it would be quite a bit of fun. But honestly i don't have that kind of time :P

Unforeseen -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (3/26/2013 10:06:23 AM)


Hey i just wanted to throw out there that i decided what to do about planet sizes. I took a look around some of the nearby solar systems and i saw a bit of a pattern that suggested to me (for some reason) that the correct way to calculate what the sizes should be for a realistic Sol in THIS game is to double their actual size. Thus Earth, 12.7 translates to 25.4. Venus, 12.1 translates to 24.2. This does not work for Gas Giants, and isn't necessary for the sun which is 139.2. So what i did is divide Jupiter and Saturn in half, and kept Uranus and Neptune at their actual sizes.

I'm not a science nerd or anything i swear.

Sirian -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (4/5/2013 8:49:57 AM)

If balancing is an issue, you could still reduce the quality of a planet to a degree where it becomes undesirable. If Venus were a volcanic planet it could have a quality of 20% or so and Mars could have 60% so summed up you would have 2 habitable planets in the system which is agreeable and frequently happens in game. Jupters and Saturns moons could have even less quality so balance would not be toppled.

For resources, most resources are so common that a system with 10 of them would not overthrow balace. Critical resources in my games are steel and carbon fiber, steel is quite common and carbon fibre can only be obtained from swamp planets if I recall correctly. So that would not overthrow balance, too.

Dracus -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (4/11/2013 1:49:37 AM)

If you want to stay close to real, there are 2 possible locations that would not require massive amounts of equipment for Humans.

Ganymede due to the lower radiation on it's surface
Titon due to having and atmosphere and carbon compounds.


then of course there is MARS for the only reason there is, becuase it is MARS

I have a custom SOL in my games, took a while to make.

PWOFalcon -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/23/2013 8:35:58 AM)

Question, I always try to make my own Sol system. Humans would colonize these planets and moon first before expanding to other solar systems (why I am want Shadow so much!), but most of the tech takes forever to get to do that. What you think, placing small Settlements on each of the worlds for realism terms. IS that unbalance, is it over doing it or is there a good way to do this?

Mansen -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/23/2013 9:25:08 AM)

One could argue that a mining station would be the first step towards full scale colonization - similar to the International Space Station. [:)]

PWOFalcon -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/23/2013 9:29:37 AM)



One could argue that a mining station would be the first step towards full scale colonization - similar to the International Space Station. [:)]

Very true. Very true.

Osito -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/24/2013 2:18:59 PM)

I've just created my first solar system using shadows, and thought you might be interested in the choices I made. I'd also be interested in feedback.

1. I included the eight major planets. I used Luna; Jupiter's moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto; Saturn's moon Titan; and Neptune's moon Triton. I didn't include Titania or Oberon. I think if you're going to use these two moons, you also need to include Eris, Pluto and Rhea, as these are all larger than Oberon. I didn't try to include any asteroid fields, as I found them just too fiddly.

2. I also wondered about which planets to make inhabitable. To be honest, I think it's a bit of a stretch making any planet inhabitable. Calling Venus a volcanic planet may be roughly correct, but that says nothing about the extreme climate. However, I also decided (before reading your post) to make Mars desert and Venus Volcanic. I set the quality at 50%; the reason for this was to make sure I could only colonise them "because they're there" rather than to get any significant economic benefit. The only other object I made colonisable was Titan, as this does at least seem to have some sort of atmosphere; I made Titan an ice planet. That gives me 3 extra colonisable objects, but they can't be colonised until later in the late game. I made Neptune and Uranus frozen gas giants, while Jupiter and Saturn were gas giants.

3. You're right, size matters. Oddly enough, you came to the same size for earth as me, i.e. about 250 (which I believe gives a maximum pop of 25 billion). All the smaller planets and moons had their size adjusted relative to earth, based on diameter. It probably should have been based on surface area, but that led to differences which were just too great. This still doesn't help with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune, which have diameters 10.97, 9.14, 3.98 and 3.86 respectively times Earth's diameter. In the end I (somewhat arbitrarily) set Jupiter at the maximum 1000, with Saturn 900, Uranus 700 and Neptune 650 (Edit: on reflection, I should probably have made Uranus 670).

4. There’s also a problem with distance from the sun. First thing I did was to place Neptune as far from the sun as possible (I clicked a long way out, then kept coming in till it allowed me to place the planet). That gave me the total diameter of the system. Next I reduced the size of Sol to 750, as this allows me to get Mercury much closer in. I placed Mercury (0.4 AU), Venus (0.7 AU), Earth (1 AU) and Mars (1.5 AU) at approximately the right relative distances, allowing enough space so they don’t overlap in orbit. There wasn’t enough space to put the other planets at the correct relative distances (Jupiter is over three times as far away from the sun as Mars), so I put Jupiter about twice as far away as Mars, then Saturn and Uranus equidistant between Jupiter and Neptune; it’s a compromise, but it gives a reasonable feel for the correct scale.

5. For compositions, I gave Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus hydrogen and helium (with much more hydrogen than helium, as the ratios are generally around 10:1). We also need Caslon, so I role play that Caslon is found on Neptune, the most distant planet. Also for role play reasons, I gave Earth no resources: that’s the motivation for the surge into space. Otherwise, I’d give earth Steel, Silicon, Carbon Fibre, Polymer and Chromium. Most other planets get some silicon (there’s a lot of silicon in the solar system). Venus and Mars also get steel, as they contain a lot of iron. Ganymede seems to contain carbon, so I gave it carbon fibre and polymer. I wanted to give Uranus polymer and carbon fibre as it contains methane, but I could only pick gases (bit of an omission not to allow for that, I reckon, but maybe polymer and carbon fibre are supposed to be more complex than what we’re used to).

6. Playing Shadows pre warp, you also need to have a planet with the Warp Bubble Generator ruin (otherwise, you’re making it really hard on yourself). I chose to put that on Titan, along with Yarras marble and Argon.

7. One final point: I wanted the solar system to start off unexplored. First time I tried this, I built the solar system in the same place as my initial colony, and I ended up with all the planets explored right at the start. I couldn’t seem to undo this, even if I reset the system to “unexplored”. I eventually got around this by building a new solar system, making sure it was flagged as unexplored, then adding a capital colony to Earth, and deleting the original home system. I don’t understand the exact mechanics, but that worked for me.

PS Just to round off the complete "anality" of all this, I also added Alpha Centauri, Proxima Centauri, Sirius and Procyon systems near my own. In my defence, I didn't include Alpha Centauri A and B! I would also like to build a "real" galaxy, but I just don't think it's worth the effort at the moment, as the editor is too clumsy and the options inadequate for that purpose.

Final comment: The editor is EXTREMELY sensitive, and frequently doesn't do what you're expecting, e.g., you enter a load of data, then it all gets reset to a default value. I imagine this isn't too high on the priority list right now, but it could use a little work.

PWOFalcon -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/25/2013 5:33:47 AM)

Very cool Osito. That actually helps me. I wish the colonization tech is different but the creators have their reasons.

Osito -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/26/2013 6:20:25 PM)

Ok, I’ve had another stab at the problem, this time setting Jupiter at the maximum size (1000) and calculating the other planet sizes accordingly. This gives the following sizes and relative distances from the sun. I decided to add Pluto, because I’m kind of nostalgic about the place (I accept the Pluto/Neptune orbits can’t be reproduced in game).

You have to place Mercury quite close to the sun to get the scale right.

Quality is up to you. I set Earth = 100, with Venus, Mars and Titan at 50.

I’ve found it works quite well. I think Earth’s maximum pop is only 9.1 billion, but that’s ok, because (in pre-warp) we’re starting out at only 5 billion or so.


Sol (Yeah, this is a star; I know this is a star) – Size 750-1200 (whatever you feel most comfortable with; I think 750 looks better)
Mercury – Size 36 – Distance from Sol 1.0
Venus – Size 87 – Distance from Sol 1.9
Earth – Size 91 – Distance from Sol 2.5
Mars – Size 48 – Distance from Sol 3.9
Jupiter – Size 1000 – Distance from Sol 13
Saturn – Size 831 – Distance from Sol 25
Uranus – Size 362 – Distance from Sol 50
Neptune – Size 351 – Distance from Sol 75
Pluto – Size 16 – Distance from Sol 100


Luna – Size 25

Jupiter (in this order, closest to farthest, approximately equi-distant):
Io – Size 26
Europa – Size 22
Ganymede – Size 38
Callisto – Size 35

Titan – Size 37

Triton – Size 19


The compositions aren’t easy, because there’s not much data. Clearly there’s a lot of silicon, steel (i.e. iron + a bit of carbon), hydrogen and helium. The following figures suggest composition levels and quality (the figure in percent), but it’s all a bit of a guess. If you want to make it easier on yourself, you would add in carbon fibre and polymer plus some caslon, gold and chromium.

Mercury – Silicon (5/70%); Steel (31/30%)
Venus – Silicon (30/35%); Steel (61/15%)
Earth – Silicon (30/70%); Steel (61/30%)
Mars – Silicon (24/50%); Steel (24/50%)
Jupiter – Hydrogen (750/80%); Helium (250/80%)
Saturn – Hydrogen (748/70%); Helium (83/70%)
Uranus – Hydrogen (200/60%); Helium (162/60%)
Neptune – Hydrogen (200/50%); Helium (151/50%)
Pluto – Silicon (16/15%)
Luna – Silicon (15/50%); Steel (10/50%)
Io – Silicon (13/30%); Steel (13/30%)
Europa –Steel (22/30%)
Ganymede – Silicon (20/30%); Steel (18/30%)
Callisto – Silicon (20/30%); Steel (15/30%)
Titan – Silicon (20/30%); Steel (17/30%)
Triton – Silicon (19/20%)

Further thought: you really should be able to get carbon fiber and polymer from Neptune, owing to the methane content, so I think it is an acceptable compromise to replace Triton's silicon with 10 each of carbon fiber and polymer.

Another final thought: it will take a LOT of patience to set the compositions, as you will frequently find them being reset to default values.

Constantine XI -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/26/2013 11:46:35 PM)

Very cool! I would like to set this up as well. Would be fun to do a scenario with all the normal DW stories, but with Humans still starting out in an accurate Sol system. Has anyone uploaded anything like this?

Osito -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/27/2013 12:08:47 AM)

I could upload my own galaxy, but the problem is that it's limited to all my initial starting conditions (number of stars, number of alien empires, etc., etc.). It would be great if we could design galaxies and then apply the starting conditions afterwards.

Osito -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/27/2013 12:19:47 AM)

Agh, I just spent like 2 hours setting this up, only to find that the government type for humans had defaulted back to democracy in the initial part of the set up, when I wanted corporate nationalism. Some part of the initial set up screens keep defaulting back to the original values, while other don't. Damn, this is hard core!

PWOFalcon -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/27/2013 4:29:40 AM)

I see you really did lower the sizes. Wouldn't that make the Humans have a very unfair disadvantage?

PWOFalcon -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/27/2013 6:57:51 AM)


Hey, just watched Avatar and finished reading the Sol creating posts. That is when I came up with a idea, why if moving the warp tech into another solar system to make things a bit more interesting.

I recreated a small part of a region. Created my own Sol system and next door systems. I did want you did, added Alpha Centauri, Proxima Centauri, Sirius and Procyon. I put the warp tech in Proxima Centauri (and Epsilon Eridani, got to love Halo XD) since its the closet star.

For balance, I made Europe a moon to be able to colonize easily. 61 with some resources.

I am currently testing it and might do after action reports (assuming things go well XD).

PS: Not going as well as planned XD

Osito -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/27/2013 12:56:26 PM)

Hehe, I don't know that a disadvantage can be called "unfair" if you set it yourself. It does make it more challenging. You could mitigate this by putting a better planet in a nearby system. Either that or increase the planet sizes to a level you're comfortable with, recognising that Jupiter can't go above the 1000 ceiling. I think I may try this since I found out that you can't place ruins on anything less than size 60, and I want to place the pre-warp ruins on Titan.

I don't think it will work to place the ruins in another system. The initial ships take like a year to get to the outer reaches of the solar system (i.e. 100 AU). The nearest star is about 250000 AU, so it ought to take 2500 years to get to the nearest star using the initial engine tech. I imagine you can actually do it quicker than that in game (assuming you can do it at all), but it's still going to be a pain.

PWOFalcon -> RE: Building Sol (Need advice) (5/27/2013 10:30:14 PM)

You can, I just tested it. I placed a star system as close as it can. You have to design a special class of explore ship. I got there in 2 years. It was very fun actually. Problem was that you get overwhelmed by pirates. You either try buying them off (got to 24k in protection money) or fight. Un short, I couldn't pay them all off and list all my space ports and ships. They also block all my colony ships (smart of them). I also ran into another empire, they already expanded to 5 other systems.

post report: was very fun, have to plan everything out well, don't have settings on max. But a really great way to challenge your skill

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