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Ion storms

Ion storms are large charged plasma sub-space temporal anomalies. Ion storms will appear at random and can form anywhere. When they appear they can be of any size and power. Ion disturbances can form in the deep void of spaces just outside of the echo star cluster. They are normally prevented from forming by the stellar winds radiating from the stars of the echo cluster. They are area high speed charged particles that are bounded by a natural warp shell that enables them to travel at faster than light speeds. The energies within the disturbance are constant throughout the disturbance.

Ion storms move along semi-predictable paths at a warp factor ranging from 1-10. The heading vector of a Ion disturbance can not change more than 20 degrees per turn.

Ion storms have two phases:

  • The power increase phase: The disturbance's voltage and speed will slowly increase as the size of the disturbance decreases to a smaller diameter.
  • The weakening phase: The disturbance's voltage and speed decreases as the diameter of the disturbance increases. Sometimes a weakening disturbance will suddenly increase in size while loosing a great amount of both speed and energy. These effect is commonly known as "pancaking". Sometimes two Ion storms will merge together, but very little is known about the why and how of this process.

There are five classes of Ion storms, the class is determined by the voltage of the storm.

Class 1 Harmless Disturbance Voltage is less than 50 meV
Class 2 Moderate Disturbance Voltage ranges from 50 to 99 meV
Class 3 Strong Disturbance Voltage ranges from 100 to 149 meV
Class 4 Dangerous Storm Voltage ranges from 150 to 199 meV
Class 5 Very Dangerous Storm Voltages at or above 200 meV

Storms and disturbances will not harm planets, only starships.

  • All starships can navigate a class 1, class 2 or class 3 Ion disturbance with full shields.
  • Class 4 and class 5 Ion storms will drag starships along with them. The drag speed is 75% of the speed of the storm.
  • Class 4 and class 5 storms can damage or even destroy a starship.They can also kill the ships crew. When a storm enters class 4 or class 5 the ships shields will be rendered inoperative. There have been reports of Ion storms with voltages over 451 meV having an unexplained effect on starships. Starships that have entered storms of that power and have either been destroyed or have vanished, never to be seen again.
(-e0419)<<< ION Storm >>>
Ship ID Number: 419
Our ship is caught in
Ion Storm: Claudia
Ion Storm ID # 15
We have been pulled
27 LY off course.
Damage Taken: 0
Crew Killed : 0
Shields are down.

There are two factors that can prevent a ship from being destroyed: mass of the ship and the experience level of the crew.

  • There are only four things that will gain a crew experience. These are movement (the larger the starship's mass the more experience that will be gained from movement), surviving combat, performing alchemy missions and surviving an Ion storm. There is no way to tell how many experience points a ship has. This information is kept secret.
  • Solid matter acts as a damper against the effects of voltage fluxes. If you must travel through a Ion storm, be sure to load the ship with as much fuel and cargo as possible. Smaller starships do not handle Ion storms as well as larger ships.

Next to influencing and possibly damaging ships, Ion storms and disturbances have a number of other effects:

  • Ion storms will cause enemy minefields to be cloaked from ships' sensors. This means that while the center a mine field is covered by an Ion storm it can not be detected or swept. The Colonial fighters however can sweep mine fields that are covered by Ion storms.
  • Ion storms and disturbances will cause cloaking systems to fail completely while within (i.e. starting their movement inside) the storm. Note that Ion storms decloak ships after the ion storms have moved - it is quite possible that a storm moves over a starship that was just outside the storm at the beginning of the turn, and decloaks it. It is also possible for a ship to be just inside an ion storm at the beginning of a turn and not be decloaked, because the storm moves away from it.

The Resolute and Dark Wing have advanced cloaking mechanisms and are the only two ships that can cloak inside an Ion storm. When cloaked, these ships will not be affacted by Ion storms at all. They will not be dragged along, will not suffer any damage or crew loss, their shields will stay up and they will ofcourse not be decloaked.

Ion storms will not render Chunneling or hyperdrive systems inactive.

(Further information on Ion storms, based on Stefan Reuther's article on Ion Storm Physics can be found on the details page)

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