Colonies can be set up on non-core planets where you have a deed. Environmental domes allow you to establish and manage a habitable environment for colonists and colony buildings on planets or moons that have not yet been terraformed.
These colonies can produce food and/or minerals which can supplement the resource supply available within the core as well as meet the needs of local expansion. Once a Stock Market has been built, options are available to allow colonies to trade amongst each other.
Stellar Credits (SC) are acquired by purchasing premium content via the options button. SC are awarded at a rate of 100/month/premium. Deeds require 80 SC to claim and 80 SC per month to maintain.
Before claiming a deed on a planet that you intend to colonize, you should have already acquired (from Deep Six) the blueprints for Environmental Domes and Automated Fission Power Plants.
You will also need the blueprint for the traditional Transport Grids, substantial reserves of minerals for construction, as well as Graphene and Superconducting Coils. You will also need a ship with a large passenger and cargo capacity, and a suitable Hyperdrive fitted if your new colony is not in a gated system.
Another page to look over for good information as you start considering a colony is Planet_Evaluation_for_Colonization.
Having Core Sampling Probes is almost a necessity. It it recommended that you probe a planet before you claim a deed. Go to the Probing Tutorial for more information on how to probe the planet you are interested in settling.
Before claiming a deed, ensure that the land under the deed is mostly flat, and has suitable resource levels. This information can be found by probing the planet. Colonies should not be placed on extra-hilly moons at all, and you should also avoid building on steep hillsides except where absolutely necessary.
Once probed, use the show mb.coresample command on various plots (colored part of a show mb.samplemapoverlay) to determine a good place for the center of the deed. Beware that actual deposits of minerals do not completely correspond to the mb.samplemapoverlay. There is always some overlap. You do not want to invest your limited supplies of Graphene, Superconducting Coils, Titanium, Carbon and Aluminum on a dome when the land under the dome lacks development potential.
Waervyn shows the basics of picking a location and deed placement: Waervyn's Colonization Video
Claiming a deed
While in EVA there will be a button that says Claim Deed. If you have landed your ship in the position that you want to be your colony center, just press this button, and accept the confirm popup.
Once claimed, you will be charged 80 Solar Credits. You can find your Solar Credit amount by clicking Character then click Assets.
Upon claiming a deed, you will want to place your first dome. Ensure the land it is being placed on is flat, or close to flat, and be absolutely sure that it has minerals present under substantial parts of the dome, if not the entire area.
Upon placing your dome, you will notice a structure at the centre of the dome, at ground level. This is the dome control tower. The commands you can use with the dome control tower console can be found in the latter part of this article.
On worlds with oceans the dome may be built either above or below sea level. If the edge of your dome touches the water, it will assume it is submerged and you will have to empty the entire dome of water. It is best to place your dome either entirely underwater or not in the sea at all.
Note that in an h2o-only ocean, you will have difficulty finding sufficient nitrogen for your undersea dome atmosphere. Nitrogen will have to be "unloaded" from a ship into the dome. Having an underwater dome on worlds with no atmospheric h2o is a benefit. Connecting it through transport lines allows storage of h2o with the underwater dome while storing n and o2 in the above ground domes. Filling these domes just requires transferring the stored nitrogen to the underwater dome. The dome can make o2 from splitting h2o.
Warning: Underwater domes take 10 days to empty.
Transport Grid Placement
After placing your dome and supplying its materials, the first thing you will want to build are Transport Grids. Keep them three squares apart creating parallel rows of TG connected on one end. The three square separation allows for two squares of land to be developed in between each Transport Grid. The intersecting grids can be located within the dome boundary, but they do not necessarily have to be.
The next thing to build are your Automated Fission Power Plants. You will need approximately 2-3 power plants before construction is finished to manage the dome's atmosphere, approximately 6 power plants for a single dome farm colony, and substantially more power plants for mining colonies.
As these power plants are designed for rough environments, they can and should be built outside the dome, though they must be connected using Transport Grids.
When deleting and adding buildings, any interruptions to supply of energy to the dome control tower (if you accidentally remove a critical transport grid section while attempting to remove a building) will leave the dome controls unpowered. Your polarization and gravity modifications are immediately affected. Other levels could loose levels over time.
Dome Control Management
Click on the dome control tower to manage the dome's computer. You will see a console. Commands that you can use to set up your dome's atmosphere are listed below.
You will want the Radiation, Gravity and Pressure as close to 1 as possible. The Radiation and Gravity are managed in their own right. The pressure is a function of the quantities of gases present within the dome. You will need the gas amounts and water vapour (N2, O2, CO2 and H2O) to sum up to approximately 430,000 tons. They will need to be at proportions similar to Earth's atmosphere.
All dome commands are lower case. Characters like / ' ` can damage dome commands and force a total reset.
Deletes the specified command line. Each line is numbered. Syntax: del 12 (where 12 is the line to be deleted).
Sets the level of radiation shielding occurring within the roof glazing of your Environmental Dome. This prevents the radiation, where applicable, from cooking your dome's residents. The number can also be set to increase the amount of radiation received by your dome, in low radiation environments.
To calculate your polarization number, divide 1 by the radiation your dome receives. You will not be able to find the Radiation level until you have a completed dome. When you click on a completed dome the first line will show base radiation.
Changes the level of gravity within the dome. Ideally this should be set to the difference between external gravity and 1. If a planet has over 1g, modgrav -## (## represents the number to be subtracted) is used where the number is 1 less then the gravity. If the planet is below 1g, then modgrav ## is added to get to 1g.
Heats the air/gases within your dome. Can and should be made conditional. All temperatures are in degrees Kelvin. This value should be the coolest you want your dome to get during the night. Best setting:
heat temp < 296.4
Read as "heat when temp is less than 296.4 K"
Cools the air/gases within your dome. Can and should be made conditional. All temperatures are in degrees Kelvin. This value should be the warmest you want your dome to get during the day. Best setting:
cool temp > 297
Read as "cool when temp is greater than 297."
Separates and expels specified gas including nh3(Ammonia), ch4(Methane), and co2(Carbon Dioxide), as well as useful gases such as Nitrogen, Oxygen, and water out of the dome atmosphere. Venting can and often should be made conditional, so that these gases are only expelled above your preferred upper limit for each gas.
All Carbon must be vented. The dome's computer does not do a very good job stabilizing the carbon in its molecular form. The technology to achieve this is unlikely to ever be developed during our lifetimes.
All surplus gases must be conditionally vented above the levels you want in your atmosphere. Where a gas is also needed for split or combine functions, make the vent command conditional at a slightly higher quantity than the condition set on the split or combine function. The vent command should also follow any combine or split command. This is the only command that order matters. If you vent a molecule before you combine it, there will be nothing to combine.
vent n2 n2 > 300000
Read as "vent n2 when n2 is greater than 300,000." This will only vent nitrogen after the dome has 300,000 tons in the atmosphere.
This vents all loose carbon in the dome atmosphere. Carbon can not be stored and is toxic even at lower levels. Adding this at the bottom of your commands insures clean healthy air for colonists.
The vent command is the most powerful command. It moves approximately 30 tons per second. It takes time, but it will empty your domes of all unwanted gases, and keep the good gases at the right balance.
Stores a quantity of unwanted gases from the dome into a warehouse, once the dome is habitable and has a warehouse. Codes of gases that can be stored are, h, n2, o2, h2o, ch4, nh3, and co2.
To store 100,000 units of hydrogen (h): store h 100000
To store 12,345 units of oxygen (o2): store o2 12345
To store one million units of nitrogen (n2): store n2 1000000
To store 5 units of water (h2o): store h2o 5
To store 10 units of carbon dioxide (co2): store co2 10
To store 10 units of ammonia (nh3): store nh3 10
To store 25 units of methane (ch4): store ch4 25
Separates out the molecular bonds between various atmospheric gases, to yield potentially useful gases. For example, you can create a conditional rule to split NH3 into Nitrogen (required for atmosphere) and Hydrogen (can be stored and/or vented and/or recombined into water).
This can be a conditional command allowing splitting as it detects levels.
split co2 o2 < 92000
Read as "split co2 when o2 is less then 92,000."
This will split and produce c (to be vented) and o2 for dome atmosphere until 92,000 tons of o2 are in the dome atmosphere then stop.
Recombines split gases or gases obtained using intake. For example, if you have H2 from an intake or a split command, and you have O2 from another split command, you can combine the two to make water. The 'Combine' command does not support conditional parameters.
To make water (H2O): combine h o2
*** Combine command is not conditional. It will free run and ignore any conditions added to it. If left in without the proper settings, it will use up available oxygen ant make a dome take much longer to become habitable, or use up oxygen and make it uninhabitable or never reach habitability.
Sets the dome controls to retrieve a specific gas from the atmosphere.
To see what gases can be retrieved from the atmosphere, use the computer command show rs.composition while you are in the atmosphere. The available gases are also listed in the Dome Control window at the bottom.
Intake water gas (H2O): intake h2o
Intake nitrogen (N2): intake n2
Intake oxygen (O2): intake o2
These commands can and most times should be conditional. This allows the dome to only intake what is needed. The correct syntax is as follows:
intake n2 n2 < 300000
Read as "intake n2 when n2 is less than 300,000. Seldom is '>' used in an intake since this will free run once the level has been reached, yet not intake any until that level is achieved.
Allows a player to drop nitrogen, oxygen, and water directly into the dome from your ship's cargo hold. Most domes will not need this feature as it's infinitely more efficient to intake and use gases that are present locally. You would normally only use this command if your dome is on a planet with no atmosphere or where a specific element is missing from the atmosphere. This is a one-off feature: it will not continue to raid your ship's hold for atmospheric gases the next time you visit your dome.
A dome only needs 3 gasses to become habitable: water, oxygen and nitrogen, the rest are not needed and cannot be unloaded in a dome.
Example: unload 500 Water
unload 100000 nitrogen will unload UP TO 100,000 nitrogen. If you have less, it will unload the amount you have in your cargo.
copy x y
This will copy the commands of the dome at coordinates x, y and input them into the current dome.
- This command is undocumented in the Dome Control Interface at present.
This command will completely reset your dome and the gasses inside to planetary conditions. Only use as a last resort!
Example: reset yesimsure
Sample Environmental Controls
Here is a generic set of dome instructions that will generally work on most planets. A few things need to be tweaked at times to adjust for no h2o in atmosphere. Often, it is easier to buy h2o at colonies for 1 credit a ton, haul and unload in each dome. 1000 will easily get you habitability if everything else is correct. The only thing that needs to be changed to fit the planet is the polarize and modgrav. It is already set to store 10000 tons of hydrogen as soon as there is warehouse space. This number can be raised or line deleted if you did not want to store hydrogen and the rest of the settings will work. co2 is actually not required at all at present even if you get the warning "co2 levels are too low for plant growth." It is good to keep it in when this is corrected in the future.
polarize 1.0000 (replace with result of 1/Radiation Level)
modgrav 0.000 (replace with planet gravity level -1)
heat temp < 296.4
cool temp > 297
intake n2 n2 < 333000
intake co2 co2 < 250
intake h2o h2o < 1000
intake nh3 nh3 < 50
split co2 o2 < 92000
vent h2o h2o > 2000
vent nh3 nh3 > 100
vent n2 n2 > 333500
vent co2 co2 > 300
vent o2 o2 > 92500
store h 10000 (replace 10000 with amount you want stored or delete line to not store. If you add it back later, it must be above the vent h command.)
Dome Control Programs
A player made dome control program is available to assist in setting the controls in new domes. It also has a delete feature to delete a series of lines as needed. 32 and 64 bit versions can be downloaded at the links below.
Bolter's Dome observations:
- A dome can be made habitable with 20% Oxygen and 80% of non toxic filler (Nitrogen and water are non toxic).
- A dome is habitable between 0.7 and 1.3 atm.
- A dome is habitable between 0.5% and 30% of water.
- A dome can split faster than it can intake.
- A dome can vent faster than it can split.
- Splitting output follows molecular ratios.
- Domes without population can serve as gas storage when connected by grid to warehouses.
The most important factor in determining brewing time, is the amount of gases in the proposed dome. If the atmosphere is thin, you have to bring gases in to reach at least 0.7atm. If you have a heavy atmosphere, then you'll have to vent down to no more than 1.3atm. While you can vent quicker than you can intake, anything over 2atm is slower to vent than building up.
The second most important factor is the composition of the world's atmosphere, as that defines both the degree of correction needed, as well as the potential fuel output rate of the dome. The hard number is the O2 which ranges from 60k to 120k tons between the pressure limits. Since splitting rates follow molecular ratios, CO2 yields twice the O2 per tick than water does. So given two equal worlds, the one with CO2 will brew up faster than the H2O one. Water, however, can make up to 30% of the non-toxic filler, so a world with 50%N2 and 30%H2O only needs 20%O2 and it's the fastest prospect for habitability. Also, since domes split faster than they intake you can get a higher rate of O2 production from splitting an excess of CO2, than bringing it in to be split. Finally, if you only have one available, CH4 > NH3 > H2O in fuel potential.
Colony Buildings and Colonists
You will already have blueprints for the basic colony buildings such as Water Tower, Residential Tower, Warehouse, Entertainment Complex, Mines and Farms, if you have built successful settlements on core planets and moons. Dome colonies are larger and slightly harder to build versions of these, though dome colonies are potentially far more lucrative.
All buildings must adjoin at least one transport grid section to operate correctly.
All buildings must have workers to operate correctly. In the core there are millions of unemployed residents, and thus finding labor is not difficult. On colonies you will only have workers present if you transport them yourself.
(We can only hope their presence is entirely voluntary. At present this is unclear, especially since the UNCA is paid per colonist but there is no evidence that the colonists themselves are being paid for their presence or their labor.)
You should recruit colonists (by clicking Manage Settlement -> Recruit Colonists), while within 100,000km of your colony, once your dome is habitable and you have completed buildings for colonists to work, rest and play. You will be told which system you need to go to upon each allocation, and how much you will need to pay the UNCA for that allocation.
You should continue to recruit and transport more colonists until your colony has reached full employment.
A typical dome full of mines or farms and a few towers will require approximately 2,000 colonists. Spaceships can expand passenger space by attaching Passenger Quarter modules. A Class 7 Passenger Quarter module can fit an additional 107 passengers and you can fit as many Passenger Quarter modules onto your ship as long as you have cargo space. Higher class Passenger Quarter modules carry more passengers on your ship.
Colonists must be brought to within 5,000 meters of the center of your deed, often called the Deed Stake. It is the right hand bottom corner of the colony name plate. They will find their own way to your colony from there. This gameplay feature will change once sufficiently large airlocks are developed.
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