Jumpgate Shipper Widget Help FAQ

What does the widget do?

The widget manipulates static data related to Jumpgate’s economy. No real time pricing or stock level data is used. It is primarily designed to assist those engaged in production and supply, rather than simplistic ‘best profit’ or ‘mission based’ haulage. It will aid those trying to manipulate station inventories in order to control production. If you are still confused why you might want this information, I recommend you read this Trading 101. This FAQ assumes knowledge of the concepts contained in that document. The key tools in the widget are:

  • Shipper – Lists logical transport links, from stations producing, to stations that don’t produce but do demand.
  • Item – Shows item information including production requirements.
  • Usage – Shows uses of commodities in production and common uses of equipment.
  • Station: Production – Shows what a station may produce.
  • Station: Import Demand – Shows what a station requires but cannot produce itself.
  • Cycle Timer – Displays time remaining till the next production cycle.
  • Production Usage Flowcharter – Shows all items directly and indirectly dependent on a commodity.
  • Production Requirements Flowcharter – Shows the entire production history of an item.
  • Cargo Mission Game – Part joke, part learning tool: Builds the economy one item at a time while making loads of experience and cash.
  • Lists – Sort item statistics.

What server does this support?

Version 7.00+ supports only the global (former US) server.

Requirements and Interface

The widget is currently HTML based. It should work in any browser that supports “getElementById” and “innerHTML”, and has JavaScript enabled. It is known to work in Internet Explorer 5+, Mozilla, Netscape 6+, Firefox, and Opera 7+.

Although it may be used over the internet, it works perfectly well without icons from your hard drive.

Switching between screens does not destroy the results that were being displayed on the screen – it just hides them – except when changing Options, which will destroy all existing screens. Subsequent queries made on the same screen will destroy the results from the previous query, although some screens have quick links back. You cannot use your browser’s back/forward buttons for this purpose.

Where does the data come from?

The primary source of item/production information is JOSSH. In-game observations, data from new reports, and known bugs have been added.

Note on Stations

The order stations are presented may seem odd to a new player. The order reflects the order in which stations have been added, and is similar to that used by other utilities.

Non-station buildings that produce things are included, with the following abbreviations:

  • CP – Custom Producer
  • NA – Nano Assembler
  • SF – Science Factory

Shipper

The Shipper screen list items which are produced at the current station, and are demanded but not produced at the destination station.

Demand takes three forms: (1) commodities that are required to make at least one other item at the destination station, (2) commodities which are required to supply the destination station’s resident population and visiting pilots (commodities shown in italics), and (3) equipment commonly used to equip spacecraft produced at the destination station.

Current market conditions are not considered: The fact that a station can produce something does not mean that it will always be in stock, particularly if the item has to first be produced. Although a destination station may eventually require an item, it may not require that item as much as another item. These are limitations imposed by the lack of real-time data. They can to some extent be overcome by using the widget alongside a source of real-time data.

Italicised (or “?”) commodities are ignored by some pilots because the game’s economy does not need them to be delivered – bizarrely nothing bad happens if essentials like food or ammunition are not available.

Equipment can be excluded by changing the Options.

The mission column shows which of the three cargo mission categories (if any) the item will fall into. The algorithm used to generate cargo missions is almost identical to that used by the Shipper, but includes inventory checks (the current station must have the commodity in stock and the destination must not have more than 2000 units of the commodity in stock). It is sometimes possible to manipulate station stocks to encourage a specific mission to appear.

The reverse link swaps the current station and destination: Useful if shuttling back and forth on the same route.

Item

The Item screen lists trading related information about any item. Item name links on other screens will show information for that item on this screen.

The JOSSH database entry for the item can be seen by clicking the JOSSH link.

Size is the number of units of space one unit of the item occupies, except for spacecraft, where it is the cargo capacity of the spacecraft.

The Pol value is the minimum political rating required to purchase the item. Commodities have no listed political rating, but in practical terms once you fall below 0 Pol you cannot purchase anything from stations where Pol applies.

For items except spacecraft, a list of the commodities required to make the item at a production location is shown, with the places those required commodities are made on the left. For spacecraft the list includes commonly equipped items, not items required for production (there are no production requirements for the spacecraft themselves). Stations that produce items as raw materials (spawned rather than manufactured) are indicated with an asterisk.

Depending on the item, links may be available to show full dependencies and items dependent on Item for production.

Where an item can (if such a building exists) be made in a Custom Producer or Science Factory, the net money transfer of using such a producer is shown. A negative values means the producer will take that sum of money from you per unit of equipment produced (in addition to the components).

Usage

The Usage screen shows uses of commodities in production or uses of equipment to equip spacecraft.

Queries can be set to show usage across all stations, or usage at a specific station. Usage can be shown for a specific item or an entire category. All stations/all category combinations should be avoided on slow machines, since this may cause the script to time-out. The Usage screen is useful when attempting to determine what production processes may start as a result of the delivery of certain commodities.

Note that only production related demands are shown for commodities. This differs from the Station: Import Demand list.

Station

The Station screen shows imported items demanded by a specific station or items produced by a specific station. Items are listed by category group.

This screen is particularly useful for those engaged in things such as station ‘adoption’ and stocking.

Cycle Timer

The Cycle Timer indicates the time taken for stations to produce items – it times production cycles. Once you see a cycle start (additional items are placed on the public market by the station), click Start. Small adjustments may be made by using << (back 10 seconds), < (back 5 seconds), > (forward 5 seconds), >> (forward 10 seconds), and Stop/Start. Reset restarts the timer for an entirely new cycle. The timer assumes a cycle time of 6 minutes 5 seconds. The current time value is visible at the top of all screens.

Production Usage Flowcharter

The Production Usage Flowcharter screen shows all items that require a particular commodity, both directly and indirectly. If the commodity was to be completely removed, production of all the items shown would eventually cease. For example,

Water ¬
+ Manufactured Foods
+ Medical Supplies ¬
| + Prosthetics
+ Octavia Light
+ Prosthetics
+ Quanus Ice
+ Solrain Stout
+ Alembic

would mean Water is required directly for the production of Manufactured Foods, Medical Supplies, Prosthetics, beers and the Alembic. Medical Supplies are then required for the production of Prosthetics. In this case Water is required both directly and indirectly in the production of Prosthetics.

Production Requirements Flowcharter

The Production Requirements Flowcharter screen shows the full production dependencies for any one item. It shows the commodities required to produce the item, any commodities required to produce those commodities, and so on. For example,

Abattis ¬
+ Germanium
+ Gold
+ Magnetics ¬
+ Cobalt
+ Iron

would show that an Abattis is produced from Germanium, Gold and Magnetics. Magnetics are first produced using Cobalt and Iron.

Cargo Mission Game

This game provides a ‘lite’ single player version of Jumpgate’s economy, set in the context of cargo missions. Cargo missions are only offered from stations that produce an item and have the item in stock, to stations that demand the item but don’t produce it (the same used in the Shipper screen) and don’t currently have the item available.

The economy is initially set so that only raw materials are present at their respective producing stations. Once a commodity has been transported to another station (in the form of a cargo mission), that commodity will be available at the second station for the remainder of the game. Once all the required commodities to make something are available at a producing station, other items will be made and placed on the market. Once an item has been made, it is available on that station for the rest of the game.

Gradually as you transport items around, you should start to notice stations producing things, which in turn will make new cargo missions available.

In the later stages of the game missions to transport useful items of equipment will appear.

Mining and Artefact Note

Currently there are no artefact hunting features. Artefacts are only used in a handful of rarely used items, so this should not cause a major problem. Mining of regular roids has now been implemented, albeit somewhat simplistically. Travel to a station and mine a specific roid type – the primary ore type from that roid type will be delivered to the station and processed into appropriate commodities. If you need a specific commodity for production, you must mine at each station you need that commodity for production: The product of mining cannot normally be transported elsewhere as a mission. This feature was added so that commodities that can only be mined could be produced somehow – it is not intended to be a perfect mining simulator.

Interface

  • /wing or /wingoff – Hire or unhire a wingman. Wingmen greatly increase the chance of escaping an attacker, but must be paid half your mission credit bonus. Once a wingman is hired, they will remain with you until they are unhired.
  • /home – Set your home station. You will return here on death, so keep it stocked with equipment šŸ˜‰ . You can /home at any station other than Amananth and Hyperial.
  • /jgt – Show current market stocks for any station.
  • /score – Show current score. Shortage is the percentage of all items (that can be made) that currently do not exist at any stations.
  • /reset – Start a new game.
  • Mine menu box – Select a roid type to mine. Ore of that type will be added to the station inventory and processed into any relevant commodities. There are no cash or experience payments for ore, but it is a relatively easy way to create certain commodities. Commodities produced by mining cannot be transported elsewhere unless they are naturally produced by the station anyway. If you need a mine-able commodity for production, you must mine it at the station where it is to be used in production.
  • Destination menu box – Select a destination here. A series of mission options will then be displayed. You can change your destination at any time prior to accepting a mission. You can re-roll to try and get alternative missions to appear. Once you accept a mission you will automatically launch for that destination with a full load of the mission item. You can opt to fly empty to a destination by selecting the destination and clicking ‘fly with no mission’.
  • Inventory – The bottom section of the screen shows the current inventory of the current station. You can view other stations using /jgt.

How does the game end?

Eventually you may reach a point where everything that is needed at every station has been transported, and every production process has occurred. That will require about 2000-3000 launches. At that point there will not be any further cargo missions offered. It is not necessary to for fill every demand at every station.

After playing a while, missions aren’t available. What’s wrong?

You are not managing to produce many additional items. This is quite likely to happen if you are taking missions randomly and/or avoiding certain stations or unregulated space. Try to focus on production.

The re-roll link doesn’t do anything. Why?

The same mission is being generated each time. This is likely to be the case if there is no more than one possible mission in each mission category.

I have an item at one station that I want to transport to another, but it never appears as a mission. How do I transport it?

If it isn’t being offered as a mission either you are very unlucky (re-roll a few more times), or it is a commodity created via mining (in which case mine at the station you want the commodity), or you are trying to transport an item to a station where that item is also produced. For example, you may have Machined Parts at Octavius Core, but you want them at Solrain Core. Instead of transporting them from Octavius Core, you need to produce Machined Parts at Solrain Core. You might, however, find a mission from Octavius Core to Hyperial because Machined Parts are not made at Hyperial, but are required.

How do I save?

You can’t save. The game will remain in the browser’s memory while the widget window remains open. You can look at other widget screens without exiting the game.

Got any tips?

Initially, work towards the production of a few key commodities, such as Electronics, Fuel Cells, Fiber Optics, Magnetics and Synthetics. You will need to venture into unregulated space early on to fetch essential commodities such as Silicon. Focus production on one station per faction. Hire a wingman when you are transporting heavy cargoes through unregulated space.

How similar is this to the ‘real’ economy?

It is simplified by the lack of production indices and the assumption that a cargo mission worth of each required commodity will be enough to make infinite units of everything that commodity makes on that station. Equipment is not used, nor is there any real penalty for it not being available (it would make the game almost impossible). Only logical cargo movements may be made, but that is not a bad thing. All the production locations and requirements, and transport demands are accurate, so it does create a mirror of the important aspects of the economy.

Lists

This screen sorts different item statistics. It is primarily provided for reference:

  • Price/Profit – Many of these calculations are now inaccurate.
  • Rank/Pol/Mass/Size – Rank and Pol(itical rating) are the minimums required to buy/insure the item. The screen also shows the theoretical mission level the item would appear under.
  • Manufacturer – Varies between EU and US servers.
  • Components/CPs – This list excludes SpaceCraft. Components is the number of commodities required for the manufacture of the item. The total component base price is the sum of the base prices of one of each of these required commodities. Base price of product is the lowest (untaxed) price of the item produced. Highest sale price of product is the maximum price the item can be sold to stations for. The difference is that between the total component base price and the highest sale price of product. The custom producer money transfer is the total component base price-(base price of product*115%): This is the amount transfered to/from the pilot per item produced.

Hide artifacts removes (or if unticked, adds) artifacts from the list. This is currently fudged – it actually excludes/incudes items which have no icon associated within them, almost all of which are artifacts. Click sort in the relevant column head to sort the list by that column. Note that “All” options are script-intensive, so may take a few seconds to display.

Options

The Options screen is always accessible via “About”, even if you opt not to display a direct link on the toolbar. You must press “Apply” to save options. Changing options will remove any previous data shown on other screens.

  • Allegiance: Changes text colour.
  • Text size: Changes text size between 60% of the browser default and 125%.
  • Include equipment on shipper screen: Opt not to include equipment on the shipper screen, restricting it to the traditional commodity flows.
  • Get jossh prices from shipper screen: Automatically launch two windows showing the inventory at the selected stations.
  • Automatically launch widget in future: A popup window containing the widget will automatically launch when you visit the launch page.
  • Display items: Opt to display the names of commodities, equipment and ships as graphic icons (as used by JOSSH), or as simple text, or both.
  • Display toolbar: Opt to display the toolbar using a mixture of icons and text.
  • Add to toolbar: Tick each of the screens you wish to have displayed on the toolbar. “Tools” and “About” cannot be removed from the toolbar.
  • Use these options on future visits: Save these options as a cookie on your machine. (Two cookies are saved – “jgs_options” contains everything except toolbar settings, and “jgs_toolbar” contains toolbar settings. Other “jgs…” cookies relate to older widget versions.)

Known Issues

Opera just stops working

Opera 7 is rather slow, and so it is easy to confuse it. For example, by pressing buttons it has visually created but has not cross-referenced yet. Although I have added checks for most such events, very rapid use of buttons or menus may occassionally trip Opera up. The situation can sometimes be recovered by changing Options (which forces screens to redraw), or alternatively reloading.

Options do not save

Ensure cookies can be written and read. In Opera, cookies cannot be accessed if the file is run from your hard drive.

Options button has disappeared and won’t return

Select “About” and then “Options”. If About has somehow disappeared too, delete the cookie “jgs_options” and restart the browser.

Firewall or virus checker thinks it is being attacked

Unfortunately the volume of code executed at startup is such that it can look like a malicious attack. It isn’t. Even if it was it should be impossible for JavaScript to access anything critical on your machine. Possible solution: (1) Click the retry link that should appear if loading goes wrong. (2) Suspend that firewall/virus checker. (3) Save the HTML (or download the zipped version) and use the widget offline.

Toolbar exceeds screen width

Make the toolbar smaller (smaller text or icons only), or turn off some toolbar buttons under Options.

Index: Jumpgate

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