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By Nathan Tech!

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activity help: asteroid processing


After The Great Star Disaster of 2430, asteroids and planetoids were scattered out right across the universe. With gravitational fields out of balance, they dredged up and collided with other objects. After the beacon stations were set up in each local sector, in the 2470's, we curiously noticed that the asteroids and planetoids were forming into fields of similar types, gradually orbiting the sectors, held in place by a gravitational field from the stars and a pull from the black holes.
In 2453, scientist and chief SDF Engineer Diera Golden Scale went to investigate the asteroids and came up with a theory of use. She theorised that if the asteroids (planetoids being too large) could be hauled into local space, they could, in theory, be crushed for resources.
In 2486, she set up the first asteroid crusher and used a capital ship to haul in an asteroid. The experiment was a success, the asteroid being crushed into 400 bricks. The only problem was that not everyone had a spare capital ship floating around.
Working on this, Diera built the 2-pilot asteroid hauler. A ship that had a warp core and speed engines was fitted with asteroid hauling equipment and a backup generator. It also included a lounge for foods and a single bedroom.
The asteroid hauler was approved four days after its application, something rarely heard of in the stores. The asteroid hauling business had begun.
aIn 2491, only a few months after the Mutariansi became part of the alliance, several of their chief scientists made the Senate aware of safety concerns they had. The anchor device used on asteroids was not only causing pilots to destroy valuable deposits, but was also a possible safety concern. Put under too much strain, the anchor would just snap, destroying the ship with the force of the reverse collision almost instantly.
Heavy pressure was put on the Senate by the Senator of Diana in 2492, after citizens of the planet were killed in several of these accidents. After Maraquda through in their support in March, something had to be done.
Diera, now having gained several honours from the Senate, was redeployed to asteroid hauling, and admitted in several high-profile interviews she thought the system, "primitive" and "unsafe."
By the end of March, Diera, working with several Mutariansi scientists, came up with a new spherical ship design. This one of a kind vessel had a very unique ability. It was actually two half-spheres, magnetised into one for easy transportation.
It was fitted out with two engines, a warp core, and an all new, all shiny, magnetic generation system which projected 8 columns of magnetic streams, which would connect up such that 4 came from the top, and 4 from the bottom half of the vessel.
It was theorised, to that end, that asteroids could be moved by exerting more or less power into each one.
It took 10 attempts in total before the first asteroid was hauled in this way, during which the pressure continued to build as more and more deaths occurred.
This change in hauling though, came with one problem. Previously, beacon stations would use the hole created by the anchor to get into the depths of the asteroid's layers, but now, there was potentially no hole!
the old laser and grind method was dropped, in favour of a Stargate Productions funded drone method. In this new method, the pilot had to be a lot more involved, but it claimed to produce higher output, especially for businesses.
Further support got thrown behind this new method when stargate productions announced that the left-over materials from these enterprises would be put into funding house production on a future planet colonisation, perhaps looking for the original pauagiwa homeworld.

You will need:

A 2-pilot asteroid hauling sphere.
Activity note: this activity can be done solo, or in a group. Doing it with more than one person will speed up the process. The more people doing an activity, the faster it will go and the more reward will be given out.

What to do:

1. Buy an asteroid sphere. these are sold in most activity and general starship stores.
2. Gather a friend or two (if you want), and grab your preferred drink of choice.
3. Launch your vessel, and head out to find an asteroid field. Do this from a sector that contains a beacon station, otherwise you can't get back! It is worth checking that the beacon station has a free bay before you leave. Do this by heading into the asteroid processing facility and typing bays.
3.1: Asteroid fields generally appear between 500, and 2500 units out from local space. It is often best to get into uncharted, IE by going over 500 units out in either the north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west or northwest directions, and then using the autoscan and the "field scan" command.
3.2: It is best to try and get an asteroid field that is as close as possible to local space, so that your return time is small!
4. Find an asteroid of choice. Bigger asteroids produce bigger rewards overall.
5. Go to the asteroid, and when above it, split your vessel in two.
6. If you are on your own, please read 6.1, if you are not, please read 6.2.
6.1.1: Set course in the top half to the beacon station, but do not start moving! It may be worth activating defensive systems, for damage reduction.
6.1.2: Activate all four of your magnetic generators, and configure them. See "Configuring your magnetic generators" for help on this.
6.1.3: Teleport down to the other half of your vessel using the teleport command and repeat the same procedure. That includes setting course to the beacon station, and activating magnetics.
6.1.4: Start the asteroid hauling process.
6.1.5: Ensure your magnetics remain balanced during the course of the journey until you arrive.
6.1.6: Go to step 7.
6.2.1: Person 1 stays in the top half, person 2 must teleport down, using the teleport command, to the other half of the vessel. Both of you must then set course for the beacon station. Do not start moving!
6.2.2: Agree on a configuration to use for your magnetics. See "configuring your magnetic generators" for more information, and set it up. Set course for the beacon station on both halves of the ship.
6.2.3: One of you must start the hauling.
6.2.4: Maintain balance using the announcements given until you arrive at the beacon station.
6.2.5: Go to step 7.
7. When both halves have come to a stop, turn off the magnetic generators and rejoin the ship.
8. Land on the beacon station.
9. Head to the asteroid processing facility, usually northeast of the landing bay. One of you must tether the asteroid.
10. When tethered, the computer will tell you what bay to go to. Enter this bay.
11. Congratulations, the first part of the activity is now complete, this is a great time to drink that drink from step 2.
12. This part of the activity can be done solo, but is again quicker to do in a group. The more people doing this, the easier it is to manage. Your job is to now process the asteroid into bricks. This is done in a 2 step process of gathering, and then making.
You are given 10 drones to perform several tasks. Your character will always remain on a forcefield protected balcony overlooking the asteroid itself. On this platform are a number of controls to control collecting of materials. the first thing you must do is divide the asteroid into 10 segments. the computer will do this at the entry of a command. It performs a deep scan of the layers of the asteroid, analysing what raw resources their are for exploitation, and putting them into a grid.
You can view this grid by typing status, it may look something like this small example:
Segment, percentage(water, clay, sand, junk):
1. 20, 40, 30, 10.
this shows how much of segment 1 is made up of water, and how much by other materials.
Your bay contains storage bins in which raw resources will be put when drones return from collecting.
Each drone collects up to 300 of a resource type each round, if told to do so.
Each storage bin holds a maximum of 1000, but you can only ever have a maximum of a total 6000 resources at any time.
There are a number of tasks you can assign to each drone to do.
First though, you must activate it.
Do this by giving it a segment to concentrate on.
Once done, you can give it a task.
This task can either be to collect something, or to process.
In the case of processing, a segment does not have to be assigned first.
How does it work?
Each collection drone will go out, harvest from your asteroid, and then return to your bay to drop it off. If there is enough space, it will drop off the resources, then head out to do it again.
If it runs out of resources in that segment, for instance if you tell drone 1 to collect water from segment 1, but there is no water left, it will just go out, and come back, wasting you time.
When a certain number of resources are attained, and if you have one set to do it, a processing drone will process the materials into bricks, which it will take away to be sold.
The exact requirements of each resource to begin for a processing round can only be found if you ask a fellow player, or experiment.
there are a number of commands, listed in the commands list, that help you know where your drones are and what they are doing.
When you have processed as much as you can from the asteroid, you type finish.
This is when your reward is given proportionate to how many process rounds were performed.
Note: If doing this activity with more than one person, only those in the room, with the asteroid processing skill, will get a reward.

Configuring your magnetics:

You have 8 magnetic generators in total, 4 on the top half of the ship, and 4 on the bottom half.
In order to start hauling an asteroid, each generator must balance to 20.
This means something like this:
If on the upper half of the vessel, generator 1 was at power 19, generator 1 on the bottom half must be 1. If generator 1 on the upper half was 10, then the lower half must also be 10.
Most people opt to have 10 on all of them, merely for ease, but you may find another method that works better for you, especially if you are soloing the activity.
When you start hauling the asteroid, you will occasionally hear a warning that may look like this:
A warning alarm blares to life as upper beam 1 over does it and goes up to power 12.
What does this mean?
It means that you need to correct generator 1 and reduce the power by 2.
haul boost 1 -2
This will boost the power back to ten and solve our problem.
Note: If you are soloing, and find yourself in the other half to the one that is announced, you may find it easier to boost your half to compensate, instead of balance, as long as the combination still adds to 20, you will be fine.
The boost command also allows for reductions in power, like this:
haul boost 1 -5.
Having a magnetic generator go into the negatives is also fine, it just means your generator will be repelling rather than pulling.
You have roughly 45 seconds to correct the configuration before the asteroid breaks loose, should this occur your ship will take damage, and the asteroid will run ahead 20 or so units.
We recommend repairing if this happens.

Full list of commands:

Note that, if a command has a bracket next to it, it identifies an alias. For example: haul boost(haul boo), means you can type haul boo, rather than haul boost.
When hauling:
launch: Launches a ship
course : Set course for somewhere.
warp , or speed : Start moving
scan , scan , and scan : Scan for things.
Haul: This is how you access the hauling console.
haul split: Split your ship in half.
haul rejoin: rejoin two halves of your ship. /Note if one half becomes destroyed, the other half is all but worthless and may as well be destroyed.
haul activate(haul act), , : fire up a generator, between 1 and 4.
Haul deactivate(haul dea), : Deactivate a generator.
haul boost(haul boo), : Change the power in a generator.
haul status: review the status of your generators, note that, the first number will always be the half of the ship you are in, for easy viewing.
haul begin: Begin hauling an asteroid.
In asteroid processing facilities(not the bays itself):
Tether: Tether an asteroid
bay , bay or just bay: enter one of the 4 asteroid bays of the station.
bays: view what bays have things in them.
From asteroid processing bays:
exit: Leave the bay
segment: divide up an asteroid.
status: view the details of the asteroid, along with the items in storage in the bay.
check: See which drones are working(shown as efficient), and which ones are not, (shown as inefficient).
drones: control your drones.
The drones command always takes a first argument of a number, like this:
drones 1,
drones 2
drones 3 ETC.
Drones status: view details about a drone, like what it is doing right now, what its task is, and where it is performing this task.
drones abort: immediately aborts what your drone is doing. He or she will lose any resources he or she is carrying.
drones collect , or drones c : Tells your drone to collect something. Item can either be, water, sand, clay, or junk. You can use just w, c, s or J.
drones segment , or drones s : Tells your drone what segment to collect from. Number should be between 1 and 10.
Drones process, or drones p: Tells your drone to join the processing crew.
Note that each drone has two helpers. You can not control these.
finish: ends the operation, giving the reward.


Rank: 90
Skills: Asteroid processing
Race Advantages: None
Note: You will also need the starship movement skill over 3 to be able to land on beacon stations safely.
Recommended help files: shelp combat drones,shelp Finding and Moving to Objects,help sector security grade.
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