Ion storms are natural disturbances that travel through space. These electrically charged storms impose a wide variety of effects to ships and minefields.
After the ion storms complete their movement, they will decloak most ships and prevent beams (but not fighters) from detecting or sweeping the minefields whose centers are covered by these storms. They can also merge to form a more powerful storm.
If a storm gets powerful enough (150 MeV minimum), it can drag (75% of storm speed) and damage starships over the course of its lifespan. Ships that are dragged will fight in combat without shields.
The formula for Ion storms is shown below:
Where d is the damage added, v is the voltage of the storm, m is the total mass of the ship at the beginning of the turn, x is the ship experience (kept internally), e is the engine position, and f is a flag that determines whether the ship is fuelless (1) or not (0). If d is no more than zero, then no damage is applied.
If a ship took damage, then it loses crew equal to:
Where l is the crew lost, and c is the crew remaining. It is noteworthy that an ion storm can never drop a ship's crew below 1.
A Reptile Destroyer was caught in the 301 MeV ion storm. It's total mass was 96kT, and it sustained 222% damage. It was fueled, and had Transwarp Drives.
It's internal experience was 3. The message also reported that it lost 44 crew, but this is a result of the above limitation.
The Reptile would have lost 212-213 crew if it had more than that much. It is currently unknown how Nu handles this fraction.
Ion Starbase Shields Advantage when active, enables your own ships to remain un-dragged and un-damaged by Ion Storms at your own or any Full Alliance allies Starbases. Your Starbases will not protect Allies ships if they do not also have the Advantage active. Ion Storms will still un-cloak these ships (unless they are an undamaged Advanced Cloaking ship).
It is unknown if receiving Safe Passage or Intel Sharing enables your ships to avoid being dragged or damaged at another's Starbases at this time.