Planet landing risk-reward formula

From Star Control - Official Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

During a game of The Ur-Quan Masters, players must decide whether it is worth the risk to land on a dangerous planet in their search for minerals, biological data, and alien artifacts. The various dangers to the planet lander and its crew include lightning strikes, fire storms, earthquakes, and hostile alien lifeforms. Such decisions are especially important at the beginning of the game when the player is weakest and poorest, and less important in the later game as mineral and biological collecting is no longer the main focus. The decision to land on a planet is also affected by the planet's gravity, since this directly affects the amount of fuel used to make the trip.


(work in progress)
Value = Positives - Negatives

Definition of terms




  • G - Gravity - directly proportional to fuel used
  • MIN - minimum trips necessary to collect all valuables
  • LT - Lightning threat (Class 0 - 8; range 0 - 2 is no threat)
  • FT - Fire Storm threat (in °c; 100°c and below is no threat)
  • QT - Earthquake threat (Class 0 - 8; range 0 - 2 is no threat)
  • BT - Biological threat (Hunter/Wanderer/Coward/Sessile, Extreme/Moderate/Low/Harmless, Fast/Med/Slow/Non)


  • LC - Lander Capacity directly affects minimum trips necessary (MIN)
  • LM - Lightning Shield affects damage lightning inflicts (LT)
  • FM - Fire Storm Shield affects damage fire inflicts (FT)
  • QM - Earthquake Shield affects damage earthquakes inflict (QT)
  • BM - Biologic Shield affects damage alien biological lifeforms inflict (BT)
  • LS - Lander Speed increases potential maneuverability of the lander (FT,QT,BT) [Lightning cannot be avoided]
  • LW - Lander Weapon firing rate upgrade potentially affects threat from Biological lifeforms (BT)
  • BI - Biological Data Importance decreases once all technology is acquired from Melnorme (ignoring information)

Establishing Value Equivalences

Goal of Formula

Once a formula is constructed and agreed upon, a template can be constructed to perform the calculation for any given planet/moon. With a functional template, a table of the top (100?) planets or star systems with greatest (or lowest) value can be constructed.