Changes to Scan Trade and Formal Aliances

Just want to let you know I have plugged the loophole that allowed trade with Formal Alliance partners who you don’t have direct scan data with. This will go live in all existing games tomorrow some time.

With Scan Trade only enabled you must have a direct scan of an opponents star to trade with them.

I did have a good think about whether or not this was the right choice, but I think the spirit of the rule was to restrict the trade in the map and letting you bypass the rule with a formal alliance seems wrong.


I am happy to see this change. As you said, it was about the spirit of the rule.

I’m sure a half dozen people will whine about it and talk about quitting (again) because it affects existing games, but this needed to happen.

Any time someone doesn’t like a change, they will say they will quit, no matter what game you are playing. I can’t even count how many times I have played a Blizzard game and they complain about something and say they will quit. 6 months later they are still playing the same game.

A balanced game would keep bringing people in. People don’t want a bunch of elite players who can wipe out other players by choosing the right build. In this game, you have a lot of deciding factors that help balance the game so that no one has a big advantage over the other.

Formal alliances shouldn’t be allowed to trade with each other from the other side of a galaxy. It allows too many loopholes regarding trading and they can get strong too fast. They should find a way to be within scanning range in order to make a trade work. This also allows other players to find an alliance member without being at a big disadvantage.

I’ll go ahead and disagree with you Matt, and since we get along so well, I’m sure you won’t take offense. And for the record, I’m not in any games that allow for formal alliances.

I have repeatedly argued against Jay plugging code into the game that changes the games in progress. He has repeatedly said he has a way to impact only existing games. It is never okay to change the rules for games in progress. Fix a bug, sure, but once a game starts, it should be fixed for the duration.

That said, I still disagree with this rule. Formal alliances get too few perks for the money. You should be able to balance bad situations like having only a single potential trade partner who is attacking you with paying extra to form a formal alliance with someone else.

As for whining and quitting, I’ll put my money where my mouth is. I purchased a 1-year premium, for a few reasons. I wanted to create games and play more than two at a time. I felt it was a good value for the time. I felt that IF I was still enjoying the game in a year or two or three, I would rather support the developer, which meant more long term support than one time Lifetime payment.

My subscription isn’t up for renewal until September, but I’m not going to renew it. It seems to me that lately, Jay has not been listening to the community as much as he used to. Plenty of people told him that his change to Star Abandonment would do nothing to solve the problem he wanted to address. It only negatively impacts formal alliances.

That is just a single example. This change to formal is another negative to formals. Jay even said he thinks they suck. Rather than improve them, this just makes them worse.

So, I’ll finish my remaining game, and move on. The community here is awesome, but the game has lost it’s appeal to me. I cannot continue to support a game that in my opinion gets worse with each recent update.

Ah I wouldn’t go that far. I think formal alliances are broken, but it should be easy to transition that feature to support a team game mode.

I do agree 100% that this shouldn’t have changed for current games.

I also kind of think NP2 is in a very beta state, and there will probably be features added and removed pretty rapidly. I think the closer it gets to completion, the less feedback gets implemented.

Fortunately, there’s a lot of latitude to mess with game rules when you create them, so if you don’t like something ideally you can turn it off or adjust it while features are still in flux.

Bottom line, @Brian_Flowers, don’t give up just yet! It would suck to lose you as a player and a member of the many various NP2 communities!

Tell me what you think is broken about formal alliances. Is it just that you have to give up control of your carriers when they visit an allied star?

What would make formal alliances better?

Better? A reduction in trading costs when you’re in an alliance.

An option to combine research across all players. (Faster rate, but only one tech between all of you)

Shared alliance victory conditions.

An alliance screen? Showing comparative data. (Intel from all members and current research focus)

Stuff like that?

1 Like

I think Formal Alliances brake a very important element of the game: the distrust. And mainly because of the scanner sharing. When you have a Formal Alliance you don’t have to wonder if your ally is telling you the truth: you can see his/her every move.

Formal Alliances should have some benefits over regular alliances, and I like the impossibility to attack one another and the delay to brake the alliance, but I think it should not give too much advantage. Maybe, following @Rosslessness suggestion, it could turn your research points visible to the allies, and the current research tech too. It could have a way to make your scientists produce points for your ally instead of you, so his/her current research would be faster, but at a cost, like only 75% of your research points sent would be added (think of this like some difficulty for your scientists to work together), making possible two (or more) allies to research the same technology together. But I wouldn’t reduce costs for trading techs. And I strongly suggest formal alliances to be public, so everyone receives a notice when a formal alliance is made and when it is broken.


  1. Remove shared scanners
  2. Share all research info
  3. Allow researching a tech together
  4. Be public

I just think part of the key to the game is having to build trust with other people. Sure you could be screwed at any time, but that’s diplomacy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad system, but I personally think it should be used for team games exclusively

Yeah, I think you are right. I think it sends some mixed messages. When I have the team games implemented I might make them the new formal alliances!

I also think that any new updates should take place in new games only. If it is a small fix for a problem then it should be implemented right away. Any drastic changes to the game should take place in future games only. This will help reduce some of the complaining with these updates. We do not know what changes will take place during a game and we should have a stable game that doesn’t change while we play it.

1 Like

I’d agree with Jason. I think it’s a genuine complaint. I’m in a game where someone sent me a formal alliance request. so we could trade, hour later, complete waste of time.

On a side note. A software update, or changelog could be present in the top corner. 0.1.23 or whatever. More people may read it than the galactic news. Just a simple link.

I think for a big update with game-changing features, there should be some notice before the update is applied. If there is a big update that was made on July 5th, maybe have some type of notice saying the update will be applied in the game on July 7th and say exactly what will be changed during the update. If people don’t like the update, they can complain about it in a separate topic. Basically it would be good to have a full list of updates for easy reference in a locked topic and another topic made for each individual update that people can reply to and leave some feedback.

Also there should be some type of notice that an update will be applied on July 7th or whenever the next update will come out as you are playing your game. Rosslessness has a good idea about a notice in the top corner about a software update. Have a link that you can easily click on in the game that brings you to the newest update.