From Starfleet Commander
A moon is a celestial body that can be found in orbit around an inhabited planet. It is the home of several specialty buildings, and can be used in many ways similarly to a colonized planet. It disappears upon abandoning a planet, or when a colony is removed for inactivity.
Moons can also be abandoned independently of the planet.
- Specialty buildings: Lunar Dock, Oracle, Warp Gate, and Lunar Dock.
- Oracles cannot scan moons.
- Resources may be stored and consumed via building, or through a Shipyard.
- Moons do not produce resources and have no cargo capacity: Infinite resource values can be placed on the moon to allow continued resource production on planets without building ships to hold the resources.
- Unlike ships, moons can only be destroyed by Zeus class ships.
- Mines cannot be built.
- Missions cannot be run from the Moon.
- Workers cannot be transported to, or used on a Moon.
- Mines, [Research Lab]], Factory, Foundry, Resource Den, Droids, and Helios Class Solar Satellite cannot be built on a moon.
- Ships and resources sent to a Moon are still visible to probes, and vulnerable to attacks, just as if they were on a planet. They would have to be in transit to keep them safe.
- Unlike planets, moons can be destroyed by a fleet of Zeus.
- Planets and Moons share a single location for Debris. Debris resulting from a battle taking place at a moon will be found on the Galaxy screen adjacent to the associated planet, not the moon itself. Harvest missions sent to either the planet or the moon will collect the debris.
Moons appear as a blank spot in the number sequence from the galaxy view.
Moons can only be formed from the debris of large battles. For every 150,000 debris produced in a battle, there is a 1% chance that a moon will coalesce. The maximum chance of moon accretion is 20% (3,000,000 debris).
The calculation is performed on a per-battle basis; any debris in orbit at the time of a battle is not included in determining if a moon is formed.
Because the moon is the result of battle, the defending planet is the owner of any moon that is formed. Moon creation is immediate after the battle, and does not consume the debris field; therefore, collecting the debris field will not interfere with the process.
Some users claim that since the debris is left from the moon formation, the moon must actually be made from the 70% of ore and Crystal, and all the hydrogen which does not form debris. These lost materials are sometimes jokingly referred to as "Cheese."
Moons generate with exactly 1 (one) building field, which must be used for a Lunar Base Level 1.
The following are the ONLY building types available on a Moon.
- Lunar Base is required in order to build other structures on a moon. Each level provides three additional building fields on the moon, but occupies one, leaving a surplus of two available building fields.
- Oracle can only be built on a moon. It is a long range telescope that is capable of detecting most fleet movements.
- Warp Gate can only be built on a moon. When you have more than one, it allows for the owner to instantly transfer ships between warp gates.
- Shipyard works like a shipyard on a planet. Building one allows you to build ships and defenses.
- Capitol works like a capitol on a planet.
- Lunar Dock can be used to deploy a Hephaestus Class Attack Platform back to your moon.
Note that the moon is considered a separate entity from the planet it orbits. Any shipyards, planetary defenses, and capitols built on one do not affect build times and defensive capacities of the other. Anti-ballistic Missiles built on a planet do protect its moon.
At any time, should you have used all current building fields, you will receive the following warning on the moon's Buildings page:
All fields on the moon have been used up. If you wish to continue building, you will have to tear down one building's level and then upgrade the Lunar Base to gain more fields.
- NOTE: The rightmost columns project the rounding from the 1% value and so overstate the requirement slightly (8.3 Athena for 1% is indeed 9, but at 20% the correct answer is 167 not 180)
The probability of getting a moon is always a maximum of 20% on any given chance. The more attempts you make however, the greater the likelihood you will succeed in creating a moon. Unfortunately five 20% attempts will not guarantee you a moon; the odds of probability are closer to 67%. The same can be said with 21 20% attempts. Even though the odds of probability state you have a 99% chance of gaining a moon, every attempt still has a 20% chance of creating a moon. Using a lunar commander will double the base percentage chance of a moon forming.
Keep in mind that the chance is always random. The game doesn't keep track and calculate how many attempts you've made in the past. Below is a chart that outlines the probability.
|Percent Chance of|
gaining a moon with 20% attempts
|Percent Chance of|
not gaining a moon with 20% attempts
|Percent Chance of |
gaining a moon with 10% attempts
|n||( 1 - (0.8)n ) * 100||(0.8)n * 100||( 1 - (0.9)n ) * 100|
In universes since Starfleet Commander Nova, moons are assigned a size at the time of formation based on the size of the debris which created it. (Moons in older universes also have a size assigned, but the number is meaningless.)
Moonsize Diameter: = FLOOR ( (x + 3 * Base Moon Percentage Chance ) ^ 0,5 * 1000 ) x is a number between 10-20 (10 <= x <= 20) where all x are equally likely to occur
The minimum diameter is 3,605 and the maximum diameter is 8,944. You should always seek the largest possible moon, so it will not be easily destroyed. At the highest probability of 20% moon formation a moon always receives a diameter of at least 8,366.
|Moon Chance||Average Size|
MinimumPossible lunar sizes
The Moon Chance portion of the formula for moon size does NOT take into consideration the lunar architect.
In Nova, Conquest, and Eradeon a moon can be destroyed by a fleet of Zeus. Before Zeus can destroy a moon, they must defeat all fleets and defenses on the moon. There are 4 possible outcomes for a moon destruction mission:
- Moon survives, Fleet survives
- Moon survives, Fleet is destroyed
- Moon is destroyed, Fleet is destroyed
- Moon is destroyed, Fleet survives
If the fleet is destroyed a debris field is created but there is no moon formation chance. If the moon is destroyed all fleet tasks from it will be diverted to the planet.
Formulas for Destruction
There is almost always a greater chance that a fleet with a single Zeus will be destroyed than the moon. Adding Zeus raises the probability that the moon will be destroyed, up to 100%. However, assuming defending units on a moon can be defeated by a single Zeus and there is no limit on the number of attempts that can be made, additional per-attempt Zeus increase the expected cost of moon destruction.
In the following table
- Moon Sizes are selected from the outside (left and lower) edges of the above moon size table. These values are generally repeated several times in the interior as well.
- The Chance of Fleet Destruction is the chance that the fleet is destroyed in a particular attempt, as given in the above formula. It is independent of fleet composition.
- The Expected Attempts for Single Zeus is the expected (average) number of times a single Zeus would have to attempt moon destruction before the moon is destroyed. (As it turns out) it is simply the inverse of the above chance to destroy moon with Zeus = 1. This is by no means a guarantee; as the number of attempts required with a given number of Zeus follows a geometric distribution, the variance is very large. It can only be said that the actual number of attempts required will usually be between 1 and twice the expected value listed in this column.
- The Expected Zeus Lost Using Single Zeus is the product of the previous two columns, multiplying the expected number of attempts by the probability that the Zeus will be lost in each attempt.
- Zeus required for Certainty is ⌈(100÷(100 − MoonSize½))2⌉, the number of Zeus required for the chance to destroy moon to meet or exceed 100%.
- Expected Zeus Lost at Certainty is the product of the second and fifth columns, multiplying the chance of fleet loss by the number of Zeus in a fleet that has 100% chance of destroying a moon of that size. Actual fleet loss is, of course, all or nothing.
|Moon Size (selected)||Chance of Fleet Destruction||Expected Attempts for Single Zeus||Expected Zeus Lost Using Single Zeus||Zeus Required for Certainty||Expected Zeus Lost at Certainty|
Moons may be abandoned, like planets, from their Home page.
When moons were introduced, it was not possible to abandon one without abandoning the associated planet. However, moons are expensive (especially at the time), so the circumstances where one would want to abandon one were extremely rare, if nonexistent. (An exception might be if one accidentally queued a large number of units at the moon's shipyard, and then had a need to enter vacation mode.)
With the introduction in Nova of destructible moons, and moon sizes, a way to abandon moons was also made available. Presumably this was to allow a player to abandon a small moon to attempt to gain a larger one.
Moon abandonment is still rare, but the same user interface is used to detach Hired Guns territories from the associated planet, which is a regular occurrence.