Alpha 9 Dev Blog #3 – Make Space Great Again

Hello, Commanders! Welcome to the third entry into the Dev Log for the Alpha 9 release. We’re going to cover some exciting changes that will revolutionize the metagame – make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position because we’re ready for liftoff!

As with the previous Dev Log, we are not releasing the specific values of these changes until we are finished with the final balance pass.

Laborious Labor

Labor Supply Range Penalties are being completely removed from the game. Yes, that’s right; no longer will players be penalized for stationing their fleets away from their labor supply. This will allow for large scale fleet movements and a progressive expansion of territory. It will often be more effective to launch assaults from a location closer to the enemy in lieu of utilizing the Navy Base in the end game. There will still be supply penalties for exceeding fleet operating limits.

Fleets that have run out of labor will be unable to move instead of moving at a reduced speed. This will be balanced so that players cannot voluntarily go below zero labor while fleets are traveling. If a player goes into negative labor while fleets are traveling, nothing will happen until the fleets get back to their station, at which point they will be grounded. We’re moving towards a straightforward approach with labor supply – fleets are simply unable to move if there is insufficient labor.

FOB: Favorite Forward Operating Base

A new Alliance Structure called the “Forward Operating Base”.Alliances can build a new type of station that can house a large number of fleets and warp to other sectors with fleets stationed at it. As with the current Alliance Station, the FOB will have structures that can be upgraded to provide various benefits. When a FOB initiates a warp to a location, a marker appears on the destination hex. FOB warps cannot be canceled, and take several hours to arrive at the destination. This is being balanced so potential defenders have time to react and prepare for war!

FOBs will have a built-in Stargate effect. Attacking from, and deploying to the FOB will be much faster than a newly built station. This effect will provide the same speed boost as a single fully upgraded (and augmented) Stargate outpost.

FOB warps are limited to a certain distance from an owned Grand Terrestrial planet. Expect this distance to be a relatively small radius around owned Grand Terrestrials – this will prevent alliances from simply warping anywhere in the galaxy and will give defenders an opportunity to defend incoming attacks. Alliances should focus on acquiring a “chain” of owned GTs to ensure that they can warp to the front lines- and make it home safely!

Real Fake Attacks

Fake attacks are being removed from the game. If players want to fake attacks, they’ll have to use a fleet with at least one ship in it to do so! After evaluating gameplay and feedback from Alpha 8, we determined that Fake Attacks as implemented in Alpha 8 are simply not fun. It was too easy to spam a large number of fake attacks for almost no cost; Alpha 9 will require a fleet sacrifice to “fake” an attack.

Coordinated Assaults

Players will be able to launch Alliance Assaults that allow all fleets to fight together in a single battle. These assaults are restricted to members of the same Alliance. Any member with the appropriate membership role (name to be determined) will be able to schedule an assault at any friendly structure. Once an assault is scheduled, fleets that are at the origin station can participate.

Be “Resource-full”

Resource production buildings are being rebalanced to provide more resources and be cheaper to upgrade. All levels of resource production buildings are affected by this change so that they have a reasonable return on investment. Resource Plant and Survey Department will have their effectiveness reduced to make up for the increase in base production. As mentioned in the last Dev-Log, station claim radius is increased and stations will harvest from all nodes within their claim radius. The balance is aimed at reducing the effect of the early resource wall without removing the need for player choice or opportunity cost.

Starlight Saving Time

Game rounds will be shortened to Eight (8) weeks instead of Twelve (12) weeks. Each round should be memorable and exciting, and we feel that shortening the rounds will help with this. A shortened time frame, combined with all of the other changes that Alpha 9 brings, should lead to more consistent combat and activity throughout the entirety of the round. We will be evaluating how the rounds progress at 8 weeks and may revise the length again in the future. Build times on the Alliance Station and Dyson Sphere structures are being balanced to fit this new time frame.

We hope you’re as excited as we are for the launch of Alpha 9. Next week we’ll be releasing Dev Log #4, “Get Your War On”. Expect April to bring some intense, Heavy, station bombing to Starborne. Join us on the Official Starborne Discord http://www.discord.gg/starborne to share in the eager anticipation of the Alpha 9 launch.

We’d like to give a special thank you to all of the players for their continued support of our journey through the Starborne Alpha. Our player community is the force that drives us to make Starborne a truly stellar experience!

Alpha 9 launches on Monday, April 15th, 2019

Get ready to Get Your War On!

Starborne Dev Team