Welcome to the first entry into the Dev Log for the Alpha 9 release. The new “Dev Log” series will cover details about upcoming releases so players can get a look at the development going on behind the scenes. Before we dive into specific changes, coming in later Dev Logs, we wanted to share the broad strokes vision for the next iteration of Starborne.
Alpha 9 introduces several new features and includes a major overhaul of many existing game systems. Alpha 8 generated a plethora of feedback that we have put to good use in development of these changes. This update will address all phases of the game- with a special emphasis on making the mid game more dynamic and exciting.
Read on and find out what changes are on the horizon!
Grow and Expand
We want to make sure that players are encouraged to expand the number of hexes they claim, rather than clustering bases tightly together. Expansion means that there will be natural conflict that occurs throughout the game as players fight over prime territory. The current Navy Base mechanics are being reworked so that players are not punished for expanding in the early game. Furthermore, instead of having to destroy hostile stations and place your own, Alpha 9 will introduce a conquest mechanic that allows players to capture stations. Keep an eye out for hostile invaders!
Empire Policies – À La Carte
Many players provided feedback about the current policy system- it’s frustrating being locked into one role, especially as alliance and coalition needs change throughout the game. To improve upon this, Alpha 9 will introduce a new policy system that allows players to adapt their role as the need arises. We’re making sure that every player will be able to contribute to all roles.
Make Space Great Again
With the current Navy Base mechanics, (space) terrain isn’t as important as we’d like it to be. By delaying the availability of the Navy Base combined with incentivizing territory gains, this will create choke points where conflict can naturally occur as different sectors fight over prime space-estate. This aligns with our desire to have much more combat availability and incentive without fearing a counter attack from across the galaxy – at least, not until the end game.
We’re also adding additional goals for the mid game that provide bonuses to your alliance when completed. Securing your borders will be important – you don’t want to have a hostile alliance building a forward station to start raiding your territory. With the change to Navy Base mechanics, we expect to see many more border conflicts and full scale invasions. Be careful not to take on too many war targets, or else you’ll end up fighting on multiple fronts!
To make wars easier to manage from a leadership front, Alpha 9 will introduce Alliance Assaults that combine all fleets together into one attack. Alliance Stations will have an upgrade that allows for the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB), which can travel to distant sectors while carrying fleets. Traveling won’t be instant, so your
victims enemies will know you are coming- so be sure to pick a spot that gives your alliance time to prepare properly!
Get your war on
Combat is the lifeblood of Starborne. Alpha 9 will introduce mechanics that make it easier to replace lost ships so players are punished less if they take losses. The number of available fleets that a player has grows over time so combat gains and losses will grow along with their empire. Ships will also be constructed more quickly so players are combat ready earlier in the game. Also, no matter what role a player takes, everyone can participate in offensive and defensive objectives.
Making Life Easier – One UI At A Time
Alpha 9 is improving many of the UI elements in Starborne to enhance gameplay and alliance/coalition management. No more relying on every individual player to schedule the correct time and date for an assault, only to have one player send their fleets too early and give away the surprise. Fleet movements are also getting a brand new UI that is more intuitive and easy to use.
Players should not feel like they “have to” log in every few hours in order to send freighters or manage their supply. Some of these repetitive actions will have an option to be automated with the use of new structures available via the tech tree. We want players to be active, but not just logging in once every few hours to send freighters to the Dyson Sphere.
Accounts With Benefits
It’s important to us that player accounts gain value over time as players participate in different servers. We’re adding a layer “above” each individual server that handles account information, statistics, awards, and rewards gained from each server played. Player accounts should grow alongside the player – an expansion of the current avatar reward system. This new feature includes rewards at the account level that provide small perks in game. Perks will not be restricted to the victors of a server; all players will be rewarded when they complete a round.
We hope you are excited for these upcoming changes! Dev Logs will be released on a weekly basis with details about various improvements coming in Alpha 9. Consider joining us on the Official Starborne Discord to stay updated with the most recent information.
We’re excited to announce that Alpha 9 launches on Monday, April 15th, 2019
Prepare yourselves – Alpha 9 is coming!
-Starborne Dev Team