Feature Spotlight – Forward Operating Base

Hello, Commanders! We’re excited to bring you a new article series: Feature Spotlight! Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the Forward Operating Base – how it works, potential uses and some concept art.

As with the Dev Log series, values discussed in this article may change prior to the launch of Alpha 9.

Thinking Forward

The Forward Operating Base (FOB) is an Alliance structure that can teleport across entire sectors while carrying active fleets. With the change to Navy Bases, FOBs will be the primary vehicle for alliances to launch operations into foreign territory. They are effective for both offense and defense, so we expect that a large portion of warfare will be conducted from FOBs.

Following the empire expansion ideology of Alpha 9, Alliances may control up to 3 FOBs at once. The FOB limit is attached to a new building in the Alliance Station called “Operations Center”. It starts at level 0 and can be leveled up 3 times – each subsequent level costing significantly more than the last. Active FOBs remain functional if the Operations Center building is damaged but cannot be replaced until the Operations Center is repaired.

Jump Drives Engaged

There are two movement options when deciding where to deploy a FOB. The first is a native Jump Range in any direction from its current hex. This jump range can be upgraded separately via a building in each FOB. Secondly, FOBs can be deployed within a range of an allied GT- anywhere in the galaxy.

Once a location is chosen and confirmed, there is a 24-hour jump charge window before the FOB actually jumps. During this window, the destination hex is highlighted to anyone on the map, and it “reserves” that hex to prevent a station or outpost from blocking it. Also, the FOB itself will be highlighted to show that it is in the jump charge mode and a timer will appear showing time remaining before the jump.

Alliance members can continue to send fleets to the FOB during the jump charge period. Once the jump charge is complete, the FOB initiates its jump drives and instantaneously deploys to the target hex. The FOB jump sequence cannot be canceled and cannot be stopped by other players, even if control of the target hex is lost (when jumping to an allied GT).

In The Danger Zone

After an FOB has arrived at the destination hex, onboard fleets can be immediately deployed. Sabotages against an FOB will apply the standard HP reduction as well as prevent fleets from deploying from the FOB.

If the FOB is destroyed or moved while fleets are deployed, then those fleets will will be rerouted back to their supplying station.

Forward Operating Base Attributes and Buildings

As mentioned above, these values are subject to change as we continue to balance Alpha 9.

  • Native Jump Range: 50 hexes in any direction from current location
  • GT Jump Radius: 20 hexes within any allied GT regardless of location
  • Base Jump Time: 24 hours
  • Claim Radius: 0 hex
  • Claim Strength: ~infinite (it cannot be out claimed)
  • Base Fleet Operating Limit: 40

Each FOB has its own buildings that can be upgraded. If a FOB is destroyed, the entire base must be rebuilt.

  • Drive Core- 5 Levels: -2 hour jump charge time per level (-10 hours at level 5)
  • Particle Accelerator- 10 Levels: +20 hex native jump range per level (+200 hexes at level 10)
  • Navigation Beacon- 5 Levels: +5 speed for deployments to the FOB (+25 speed at level 5)
  • Hangar Bay- 5 Levels: +8 fleet operating limit per level (+40 at level 5)
  • Cargo Bay- 5 Levels: +100,000 resource capacity at FOB per level (+500,000 at level 5). Cargo Bay starts at level 1 on all newly built FOBs.

Commence Operation

Alpha 9 has a large emphasis on expanding the territory that players and alliances control. The first phase of expansion will be local – juicy planets and resource nodes near the starting location. After a week or two of localized expansion, we anticipate that crowding and localized conflict will ensue as each sector center is populated.

Phase two of empire expansion will be securing GTs, outer borders of your sector, and starting to encroach on neighboring sectors. This phase is when Alliances will start constructing FOBs and should start at the beginning of week three. At this stage, FOBs will likely be used to secure a specific area in anticipation of inter-sector warfare. They can also be used for more efficient travel within a sector by taking advantage of the deploy speed bonus.

The third phase of expansion consists of full-blown inter-sector warfare around week 4. Securing GTs will be a primary objective as they serve as jump targets for FOBs as well as ownership of the sector’s Dyson Sphere. Alliances should have at least two FOBs at this point that will be utilized offensively and defensively.

Once Navy Bases start showing up towards the end of the game, each sector can attack any other sector in the same amount of time. This marks phase four – galactic domination. Coalitions will be vying for control of as many GTs and Dyson Spheres as possible. Navy Bases will still have viable uses, but they come with a downside of “locking” those fleets for a full 20 hours. Meanwhile, FOBs can be utilized to launch a rapid succession of assaults from a much closer location.

Early concept art for the FOB

Fast Forward (Operating Base)

We decided to implement FOBs to serve as the primary conflict points across the galaxy in Alpha 9. Location and relation to other sectors gains significant importance in Alpha 9 and GTs will now be vital to the growth of any Alliance. Both offense and defense will be more engaging overall. Offensive movements will require sufficient planning and preparation for optimal use of the jump drive, and defenders will have a warning ahead of time that they need to bolster their defenses – provided they are keeping an eye on the territory around them!

We hope that this deeper look at Forward Operating Bases has helped gain a better understanding of the changes coming in Alpha 9. We’ll be releasing several more of these Feature Spotlights this week, so stay tuned- only one more week until liftoff!

Alpha 9 launches on Monday, April 15th, 2019

Fly Safe, Commanders!

-Starborne Dev Team