From Starfleet Commander
Newbie Protection in Starfleet Commander restricts some interactions between players of widely disparate levels of development, preventing the Defenses and unsaved Ships or Resources of newer empires from being destroyed or plundered by vastly more advanced ones. It does not prevent attacks on inactive players (players who have failed to log in for seven days). Players who are protected by this system are marked (n) on the Galaxy view to players who have many more Resources Spent Points (RSP), and they will see these more advanced players from whom they are protected with an (N) marking.
Note: Resources Spent Points (RSP; also known as Build Points) is not your ranking number on the Galaxy Screen. Click "Leaders" and then "Resources Spent" to view your Resources Spent Points. However, relative RSP is indicated by the color of the the ranking number in the Galaxy Screen: a player whose ranking number shows up as red has higher RSP than you, whereas a green ranking number indicates a lower RSP.
- Note: not for SFC Nova; see below.
Players with fewer than 100 Resources Spent Points cannot attack (except NPCs and Inactive players) or be attacked. Players with between 100 and 25,000 RSP may only attack or be attacked by other players who have between 1/5th and 5 times their current RSP. (For example, if you have 4,000 RSP, only players with between 800 and 20,000 RSP may attack you.)
Players with more than 25,000 RSP may be attacked by anyone, unless the other player is protected by this system, or either player is in diplomacy (and not inactive), suspension, or vacation mode.
Rules for SFC Nova
Players with over 1,000, but fewer than 250,000 RSP, may only attack or be attacked by other players who have between one-fifth and five times (20% to 500%) their current RSP, unless the other player has fewer than 1,000 RSP.
Players with more than 250,000 RSP may attack or be attacked by players with between one-tenth and ten times (10% to 1,000%) their current RSP, unless the other player has fewer than 250,000 RSP, in which case the 5x rule above applies.
Group Defense is also restricted by Newbie Protection. Players may Group Defend Buddies and Alliance mates (only) if they have between one-tenth and ten times (10% to 1,000%) the mate's RSP. It does not apply directly to the attacking and group defending fleets.
- If you have 8,000 RSP, only players with between 1,600 and 40,000 RSP may attack you.
- If you have 300,000 RSP, you may only attack players with between 60,000 and 3,000,000 RSP.
- Suppose you have 125,000 RSP and are attacking a player with 100,000 RSP. That player may be Group Defended by a buddy with up to 1,000,000 RSP. Suppose your target in fact has a buddy with 750,000 RSP, whom she notifies of the impending attack (or who detects it with an Oracle). Even though the buddy could not attack you directly (he would appear (N) to you), your ships will do battle with his, if he sends a fleet to the target planet in time.
See Also: The Auto Escape feature which provides additional protection to new Nova players.