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Network of the Accessible Universe - Simplified topological jump map


Academus

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The new star map is extremely impressive (kudos to Turbulent BTW), but it's perhaps a bit showy for planning and examining the fabric of the verse; not to mention unprintable. With that in mind, I transformed the 3D star map into 2D schematic maps. They aren't pretty, done in a spreadsheet, and details are omitted, but I believe some of us will be able to derive great use from them.

1. LMap - only shows large jump points

L%20Map.gif~original

2. MMap - show large and medium jump points; double lines represent large tunnels and single lines represent medium ones

M%20Map.gif~original

In addition to maps, I also did some calculations. If I'm not mistaken, there are 130 jump tunnels visible on the map, of which 85% ie 110 are at least medium in size, and 73 of them are large tunnels. A comforting number considering that Freelancer cannot go through small jump points; a restriction that seriously limits the economic as well as offensive potential of small jump points, as evidenced by Vanduul's inability or unwillingness to punch through Nul.

Which brings us to the figures on maps. We know in lore that the remoteness of Earth and the central location of Terra contributed to the gradual shift of power, but just how far is Earth from the rest of the Empire?

If we only count the large tunnels, then the answer is close to two and a half jumps. Capital warships and enormous transports moving from/to Earth would need to travel 40% further than Terra. It's even worse when Vanduul is taken into account. Of the six systems that are ten jumps or more removed from Terra, only one is occupied by Vanduul. In the case of Earth, the ratio is 27:5. That ratio also means that nearly 40% of the systems linked up with large tunnel are at least ten jumps away from Earth. As a case in point, Orion, the furthest star of humanity, is 15 jumps away. Logistical difficulties may have contribute as much to UEEN's defeat as Vanduul has; moving bases from Magnus to Kilian, which is actually two jumps further from the frontline, certainly didn't help. The picture isn't any better even when we include the medium tunnels as well. Smaller transports are still traveling more than 40% further to/from Earth, compare to Terra. Seven systems are ten jumps or more away from Earth, compare to none for Terra. No wonder Terra is the new spot for trade and commerce.

All things considered, the remoteness of Earth relative to the entire UEE is damaging UEE's war effort and condemning itself to economic decline. With that in mind, how would things change if a large jump link is discovered between, say, Sol and Vega?

Such a link would have greatly benefit the movement of large vessels and supplies from the heartland of UEE to the Vanduul frontline, bringing all Vanduul-occupied systems within ten jumps of Earth by closing the large link circle. In fact, should such a link exists, the average jump from Earth to any large-tunnel-linked system would actually be 6% lower than from Terra; on the medium side, the gap is reduced to only 2% higher than Terra. Whether Earth is in the shape to utilise such advantage is another matter.

Thank you for reading my wall of text to the end!
* I acknowledge that everything including the map and jump link may change at any time.
* I acknowledge that the travelling time between jump points hasn't been taken into consideration.
* I acknowledge that in some cases a route with more jumps may take shorter time to transverse than one with less jumps.

Edited by Academus
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This theory stuff is too complex for me at this time.

But I like your icon.

 

Ok, I tried again.

Well, if it's going to be that complex it's better switch to the combat/military part.
Exploration will be an adventure for sure.
Anyway, nice work.

Edited by Wyvyrias
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Nice work on the maps, it does give a better sense of scale of the known galaxy and how the systems are interlinked.

The Sol-Vega jump point will probably be the catalyst to the sacking of Earth, giving the Vanduul a much shorter route to Earth (on two large jumps). So I don't think the UEE will see it as a positive asset when (if) that jump point will be discovered.

Oh, and welcome to the base! Great First post :-)

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This theory stuff is too complex for me at this time.

But I like your icon.

 

Ok, I tried again.

Well, if it's going to be that complex it's better switch to the combat/military part.
Exploration will be an adventure for sure.
Anyway, nice work.

Glad you like it; in case you don't recognise, it's from Rance 9 (NSFW).

Nice work on the maps, it does give a better sense of scale of the known galaxy and how the systems are interlinked.

The Sol-Vega jump point will probably be the catalyst to the sacking of Earth, giving the Vanduul a much shorter route to Earth (on two large jumps). So I don't think the UEE will see it as a positive asset when (if) that jump point will be discovered.

Oh, and welcome to the base! Great First post :-)

Thank you! :)

The eventual sacking of Earth has me convinced that the Sol-Vega link is almost guaranteed to be at least medium size, and on top of that very likely to be large size. The lack of Vanduul movement from Caliban to Nul and beyond suggests that they recognise small jump point as favouring the defensive side and would not move through one. That and the fact that it is quite inconceivable how the Vanduul can project enough forces to hold back multiple Bengals through a small or even medium jump point.

I doubt the Sol-Vega jump link is up to players to discover. As I mentioned, the economical and military advantage of such a link is substantial; given enough time, the link would likely allow UEE to stabilise or even push the Vanduul front. To me, the sack of Earth scenario feels like a blitz rather than the end of a long siege; a sneak attack of overwhelming force on unsuspecting defenders rather than a battle of attrition. I expect the jump points to be revealed by plot.

Edited by Academus
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First off, great work! You moved on this very fast, and I appreciate your altruism in spirit with the original ARK program by sharing this with all of us!

I would tend to argue that if a jump is displayed on the map-then it is a discovered and well known jump point. What we can probably still find, however are temporary or unstable jumps between systems, jumps on the fringes to new systems, or perhaps more depth to the allied and enemy systems. Note how the Vanduul don't have listed planets? Might be incentive to run a high risk op to go collect data and smuggle it back!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edit: for plot points, I'd strongly recommend reading about the late Roman Empire. Sol is even "west" of Terra based on the starting orientation of the star map!

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First off, great work! You moved on this very fast, and I appreciate your altruism in spirit with the original ARK program by sharing this with all of us!

 

I would tend to argue that if a jump is displayed on the map-then it is a discovered and well known jump point. What we can probably still find, however are temporary or unstable jumps between systems, jumps on the fringes to new systems, or perhaps more depth to the allied and enemy systems. Note how the Vanduul don't have listed planets? Might be incentive to run a high risk op to go collect data and smuggle it back!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Edit: for plot points, I'd strongly recommend reading about the late Roman Empire. Sol is even "west" of Terra based on the starting orientation of the star map!

Thanks. I agree with you on most of your points. One thing I would contest is that while there'll be new jump links between systems, I don't think we'll find medium or bigger jump points that connect Sol or neighboring systems to the Vanduul front, at least not before the sack of Earth. The horseshoe shape of the large jump link lane is a deliberate choice to separate Sol from the frontline and set the stage for a surprise attack on Sol, and therefore a major jump link between them would defeat the setup.

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Great work on these maps! So I take it I should not choose Earth to set up my primary hangar? :P

Since its known that they're basing the UEE off of Rome...I would say its a safe bet to stay far away from Earth in Sol with any assets you'd like to permanently hold on to.  Even with the combined firepower of the entire community's Javelins, Idrii and other combat ships...we'll likely be squashed by a Vanduul force in SC.

In SQ42 however, I'm quite curious to see how the campaign plays out.  Obviously we're not starting out with Bishop in Vega...but knowing how WC worked, we'll quickly end up in the thick of the action.  A lone battlegroup on the fringe doing routine patrols?  Please.  It'll be Battlestar Galactica all over again-there may be one normal mission before the balloon goes up, but I doubt it.  We'll find ourselves in the thick of the fight almost immediately and we'll quickly become essential to the war, despite the UEE Stanton being aged warship.  I wonder what will happen to the rest of the 87th Battlegroup?

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Finding out on what planets we, as players, will be able to place our hangers when the PU opens will be an important decision for our initial occupations. Imperium may choose a few planets to set up it's org markets, then those planets will our centers. From what I gathered, Earth is going to be expensive.

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Thanks. I agree with you on most of your points. One thing I would contest is that while there'll be new jump links between systems, I don't think we'll find medium or bigger jump points that connect Sol or neighboring systems to the Vanduul front, at least not before the sack of Earth. The horseshoe shape of the large jump link lane is a deliberate choice to separate Sol from the frontline and set the stage for a surprise attack on Sol, and therefore a major jump link between them would defeat the setup.

Yeh I don't believe we will find jump points in Sol. We already have lore from one of the Empire reports that talked about someone who found a jump point in Sol but is asking for a massive payout to supply the information. The event is likely to happen prior to the full SC PU so as players it will be too late for us.

Since its known that they're basing the UEE off of Rome...I would say its a safe bet to stay far away from Earth in Sol with any assets you'd like to permanently hold on to.  Even with the combined firepower of the entire community's Javelins, Idrii and other combat ships...we'll likely be squashed by a Vanduul force in SC.

In SQ42 however, I'm quite curious to see how the campaign plays out.  Obviously we're not starting out with Bishop in Vega...but knowing how WC worked, we'll quickly end up in the thick of the action.  A lone battlegroup on the fringe doing routine patrols?  Please.  It'll be Battlestar Galactica all over again-there may be one normal mission before the balloon goes up, but I doubt it.  We'll find ourselves in the thick of the fight almost immediately and we'll quickly become essential to the war, despite the UEE Stanton being aged warship.  I wonder what will happen to the rest of the 87th Battlegroup?

I would say that the event will happen in SQ42 which is prior to the full PU. So our PU assets shouldn't be affected by this event. I'm guessing we may or may not partake in the defence as part of SQ42 but probably wont be able to effect it in our PU capacity which would probably sway the tide of the battle heavily in the UEE's favour.

After all Imperium alone could field dozens of capital class ships.

Still, I'm hoping we will have the opportunity/risk of a Vanduul attack/invasion in the future PU!

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I doubt the Sol-Vega jump link is up to players to discover. As I mentioned, the economical and military advantage of such a link is substantial; given enough time, the link would likely allow UEE to stabilise or even push the Vanduul front. To me, the sack of Earth scenario feels like a blitz rather than the end of a long siege; a sneak attack of overwhelming force on unsuspecting defenders rather than a battle of attrition. I expect the jump points to be revealed by plot.


It's not inconceivable that Bishop takes a large chunk of the UEE fleets and goes off to reclaim one of the lost systems by overwhelming force. And in response the Vanduul pull a Scipio Africanus and go straight at Earth through the hitherto unknown jump point. Earth, believed to be fairly safe, would have been stripped of it's naval assets for Bishops push.
And they have a giant vanduul plot-point-nuke with them that will blow up the planet, the only ones standing in their way are the rag tag crew of the UEE Stanton... ;)


 

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Good job. You should also try to calculate Centrality, Betweenness Centrality, Average Paths, and single out Hubs, then we're ready for everything. :)


Interesting RSI forum thread

 

Awesome post. I also liked the RSI post that @Aglanor mentioned.

Thank you! I've read that post; the problem is I have difficulty seeing Hadrian as a weak spot when it's so removed from the Vanduul frontline and heavily mined to boot. IMO he has been confused by the colourful star map; exactly the reason why I'm making these simplified topological maps.

Take a look at this linear L link tube map:

Linear%20L%20Map.gif~original

Once we take away all the bells and whistles, we can see clearly that Hadrian isn't the only point of weakness. From Hadrian to Ellis, cutting off any one of these systems would be enough to split the L link network. If anything, Nyx is a much easier target with equally devastating results; it has a medium jump point to Vanduul-occupied Virgil, and another to Pyro which leads to Stanton; it is an unclaimed system with little UEE presence, and by interdicting Nyx, 19 systems, including almost the entire Vanduul front, are disconnected from the remaining L link network.

Finding out on what planets we, as players, will be able to place our hangers when the PU opens will be an important decision for our initial occupations. Imperium may choose a few planets to set up it's org markets, then those planets will our centers. From what I gathered, Earth is going to be expensive.

Rent shouldn't be a problem for the early birds who enjoy free hangars. For the rest, I found Kiel to be a pretty good choice for real estate for the following reasons.

1. Kiel is only a jump away from the main L link lane, two jumps away from Terra and Xian, and four jumps away from Banu.

2. Kiel is a part of the Terra-Baker loop which would benefit from triangular trade.

3. Kiel has habitable planet and gas giant, allow one to land, acquire real estates as well as harvest fuel.

4. In lore, real estate price in Kiel is low, which means they'll have a low initial price.

5. Kiel's jump points are situated close together near the star, reducing transit time in normal space.

Other potential candidates include Magnus, Goss , Castra and Oya, but Kiel has the best combination of favourable factors.

Edited by Academus
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I really need to get into this more, you sir, are an inspiration.

My previous comments were based on an assumption that I picked up somewhere that Earth was just two jumps removed from the Vanduul who certainly know its location by now. Looking at the star map it appears that whatever formed that impression has been since revised.

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If most interested in trade with both Banu and Xian what would be best strategically (given what we know)?


Assuming different system ownership = diverse goods = profits moving around

Terra is amazing purely from a jump point access standpoint. A jump out and out Goss has the best diversity of Xi'an, Banu, Unclaimed and Developing worlds within 2-3 medium-large jumps. There is a lack of knowledge of Banu jumps, and Kins only has a small jump if you want to make a trading loop through every kind of system (except Vanduul). But once a few more jump points in Banu space are discovered you'll probably close that loop with a medium instead of a small. 

The other is Tohil, which has every kind of system, including vanduul, withing 2-3 jumps. But no clear loops there either. Of course trade doesn't have to be in a loop, it can be back and forth, but loops and triangle trade tends to work best.



It's impossible to gauge available goods. Or demand/supply. For now all we have is an economic indicator and a risk indicator, as well as available jump points. Presumably we'll want to set up in an area with lots of jumps to high risk and economy systems. (depending on hwo you want to ply your trade)


For small ships there are a ton of short cuts through Pyro, but it's a pirate system. I'd expect it will be a good place to take some money taking risky short cuts. And it's right next to terra.

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I've created a second version of the M jump link map, with an emphasis on having the Nul-Vega lane as the main circle, with the other jump links as branches from it. I also prepared a colour-coded version of it.

Circular%20M%20Map.gif~original

Colour-coded%20Circular%20M%20Map.gif~or

As you can see, interdicting Nyx is much easier and more damaging than interdicting Hadrian.

If most interested in trade with both Banu and Xian what would be best strategically (given what we know)?

Terra: for obvious reasons.

Kiel: for reasons I listed in previous post.

Goss: worse than Kiel in almost every way, except for medium ships' owners, Goss is 3 jumps closer to Banu's Geddon. Or if you want to run a travel agency.

Nexus: 1 jump from the main L jump link lane, and 4 jumps away from Geddon; further away from Xian but closer to Banu; UEE and pirates are clashing in this system. Good for bounty hunters and those who want to trade frequently with Banu.

Magnus & Ellis: if you can get into their housing market cheap; they're part of the Sol-Terra trade lane, and Xian and Banu systems are around 7-8 jumps from them. Ellis is especially attractive: for miners, Ellis just have a planet smashed into pieces, and for refuelers, as it sits at the middle between Sol and Terra.

Edited by Academus
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@Academus could you add a color index at the bottom of the map? Just for completion reasons, most peoples will probably know it or can just look at full Star Map but its better to include one.

Sure and done at the bottom right corner.

I also made a colour-coded large jump link map that highlights the loops for traders.

Colour-coded%20Linear%20L%20Map.gif~orig

Edited by Academus
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We know from lore that the Sol-Terra run is considered the artery of UEE, and this map tells us why it's the busiest lane within the human space.

Sol%20Terra%20Run.gif~original

Supply and demand of similar products have been paired and colour coded for your convenience.

As you can see, the Sol-Terra run is full of trade opportunities. No matter which direction you're going, you can always pick up something enroute, and chances are you can sell them for profit before half way through. The entire run is connected with large jump links, and with most of these systems being heavily populated and patrolled, you can bring your Hull-E out with minimal escort. Moreover, since Terra also attracts a lot of traffic from further regions, including Banu and Xian, you may act as a reseller to trade goods that aren't locally produced or consumed.

Edited by Academus
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...

As you can see, the Sol-Terra run is full of trade opportunities. No matter which direction you're going, you can always pick up something enroute, and chances are you can sell them for profit before half way through. The entire run is connected with large jump links, and with most of these systems being heavily populated and patrolled, you can bring your Hull-E out with minimal escort. Moreover, since Terra also attracts a lot of traffic from further regions, including Banu and Xian, you may act as a reseller to trade goods that aren't locally produced or consumed.

wow, this thread is becoming more and more interesting :) thanks for the great work

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