A nebula is a region of space in which a star formation has recently taken place. These regions are often fraught with partially ionized gasses and more often than not can pose a serious risk to the passing starship. Miriani currently houses three unique types of nebula: Emission, Reflection, and Planetary. More specific information regarding the composition of these types of nebula and their various idiosyncrities will be left as an exercise to the reader. This help file will only deal with their effects as they pertain to gameplay.
Effects on General Technology
Every nebula in the game shares one characteristic in common: They all wreak minor havoc on a starship's systems. You will find that, while inside a nebula, your starship will not show up on any long-range scanners. This is because scanners cannot penetrate the slurry of crazy that stews in a nebular environment. Likewise, you will find that your long-range scanner is ineffective from inside the nebula. You should also be aware that interdiction is meaningless inside of a nebula, be it natural or artificial. You may find that many technologies do not react the way you expect in such an unpredictable environment.
Effects on Sensors
Depending on the type of nebula, you may find that your standard sensor range is reduced. This means that your ship is no longer aware of the entire sector, but rather a small bubble around the ship itself. For the sake of example, let's say that a regular sector from corner to corner will give you a 33 unit sensor range. That means that you can be at 1, 1, 1 and still see an object sitting at 20, 20, 20. Now, imagine you're in a nebula that limits sensor range. Your sensors could be reduced to, say, 20 units of usable range. Now you're unable to see the object at 20, 20, 20 while you're at 1, 1, 1 because your sensor range doesn't extend the distance necessary to make contact with that object. Beware the shadows!
Effects on Propulsion
Certain nebula may also interfere with your specialty drive systems. It's entirely possible to find yourself left with no means of propulsion other than a diminished relativity drive while you're inside a nebula.
Effects on Weapons
Most nebula contain high concentrations of excitable gas. Energy weapon use should be limited to absolute emergencies, as they risk igniting the gas from the point of contact back to the point of origin. If it helps, think of it like squirting lighter fluid out of a bottle on to a fire: It might innocently make the fire bigger, or it might ignite the stream, explode the bottle, and burn your face off. Be cautious of energy weapons.
Effects on the Hull
Most nebula are relatively harmless. You may experience minor electric charges or nearby detonations that do minor damage to your hull. However, you could also encounter corrosive gasses. These have much more serious consequences. Typically, damage done to your hull can be repaired by your repair drones. There is no structural damage and it is, all things considered, superficial until the hull plating gets destroyed entirely. Corrosion, however, causes much more serious damage that cannot be repaired by repair drones.
When you sustain structural damage, your hull becomes weakened as a whole. Where you were once able to sustain 100% damage before a hull breach, you might now only be able to sustain 95% damage before a critical hull breach. When this type of damage occurs, the DAMAGE command will warn you in two ways: First, beside the hull damage, there will be a number in parenthesis. This number indicates how much capacity for damage your hull has lost. If the number is 5%, for example, that means you're able to take 5% less damage to your hull than you ordinarily would be able to. The second warning occurs at the end of the component listing. It warns that your hull integrity has been compromised and tells you the total amount of damage your ship can take when compared to ordinary circumstances. In our example, when we've lost 5%, our hull is only able to sustain 95% of the damage that an identical undamaged starship would be able to take.
When this type of damage occurs, there are presently two ways to repair it:
1. At a properly equipped spaceport.
2. By bartering with aliens who are capable of conducting these sorts of repairs.
Related Topics: Damage