Fri Sep 11 2020 (Updated: Mon Dec 14 2020) - 4 min read
The mood in the Solid Clouds’ office is bubbling with excitement. After several months into our ambitious release schedule, we’re excited to finally announce that the first major update for the Starborne Open Beta is just around the corner.
Featuring an entirely new, handcrafted map, reworked to one single victory condition, with significant ranking changes as well as a whole list of other UI enhancements, quality of life upgrades and backend optimizations. Today, you’ll get a first look in a series of posts at what you can expect to find when the Starborne: Dissidence update goes live on October 1st.
So, without further ado, let’s run through what’s coming!
At the core of this update is an entirely new map. Keeping true to the massively multiplayer aspect, the map features over ~1.500 starting locations and three large home sectors for players to spawn into. The aim of the map layout is to define players into distinct groups, generating conflict over territory ultimately leading to wars being waged with their neighbours.
Zones of contention bristle at the edges of these initial areas and a highly competitive arena forms the middle of the map. Within your home sector you’ll find the rest of your team, but more on that in our next section:
All players are assigned into one of three teams according to the Sector they spawned into. This ultimately turns the game on it’s head as there will only ever be three large groups competing on any single server.
Alliances still exist and will form a core layer of organizing smaller groups of players into achieving their own goals. Players can only join Alliances belonging to their home Sector. There is also a new chat tab for Sector Chat to find alliances and coordinate amongst your wider “team” with.
One Path to Victory
As this new sector-based approach is a fundamental change to the game, we wanted to streamline the first server as much as we could to best test out the new dynamics. Our victory conditions are entirely modular however, and we aim to launch other servers hosting different combinations of victory conditions further into the update.
There are no dyson spheres or mechanisms on this map. Expanding your claim – as an alliance and as a whole sector – is the only way to achieve dominance and victory.
Your totally claimed hexes don’t earn you points. But rather the number of Victory Point hexes within your claim. Wildly grabbing claim and simply expanding won’t help you if you aren’t reaching out and taking these valuable hexes which earn you (and your team) Victory Points.
The Dead Zone hex effects feature will make its’ first debut in Sovereign Space with the Dissidence Update. The ability to have hexes on the map which afford bonuses to your entire alliance (or entire home sector) is something we are very excited about.
Simply by expanding your territory you will naturally gravitate towards the Victory Point hexes. But a truly great alliance will also grab as many of these stacking bonus hexes as they can to get an edge.
Anything is possible in terms of what effects we can offer through this system. Alliance-wide freighters? Heavy ship bombing damage? Fleet movement speed? Plasma cargo for the Solar Flare afficionados among you? Keep your eyes peeled as we reveal what’s in store.
Furthermore the bonuses can be applied at the Alliance and/or at the Sector level. Some hexes might give your alliance a significant advantage and share a smaller bonus across your whole Sector. Grabbing and holding on to these Strategic hotspots on the map – while wrestling the hexes from your enemies control – is sure to lead to some spicy stories (and heartbreak!)
Politics and Ranking Panel Updates
A lot of love has gone into a few of the in-game panels. The biggest of which was the Rankings panel which can now house any number of attributes and statistics for both players and alliances.
The Alliance (politics) panels have also undergone an extensive renovation. It’s now easy to set multiple “Message of the Day” as “Memos” and to quickly navigate between Alliance Pins, Forward Operating Bases and scheduled Movements. Oh, and all your applications and recruitment invites from other alliances are neatly displayed – finding a team should be a breeze!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’ve gone one step further and compiled a little gif to showcase exactly what’s coming here:
Until next time…
Phew. And that just about concludes our first look at the Dissidence Update. We hope you are as excited as we are to hop into this new update going live on the 1st October.
We have plenty more to reveal for this update too! Coming soon, to a dev blog near you: the lore update, the actual hex effects, a beautiful photo series of the actual developers and much, much more! As always, thank you for your continued support. Starborne has always maintained a unique relationship with its’ community and playerbase, look forward to seeing you in game and on the Discord!