In Starbase Orion (SO) technology can play a key strategic role in your path to victory. This article will outline how technology works in SO; how one acquires new technology, in what order technology can be researched, as well as answering some common questions near the end. Keep in mind that this is a pre-release description of SO, and is subject to the following caveats:
- All design decisions are subject to SO’s Vision Statement. To summarize, SO’s gameplay is focused on providing a great multiplayer experience first, and a great single-player experience second.
- SO will be monitored closely after release; both user feedback and data mining will drive continual update to the design as needed.
There are four ways in Starbase Orion to acquire new technology.
What better prize for exploring new worlds and new civilizations than discovering a juicy piece of new technology? In Starbase Orion certain planets and systems are “special”, providing new benefits to the empire which discovers them first. Scouting early and often may provide the edge up you need to win.
Your enemy has something you need? Developing a healthy spy network could be a sneaky path to quickly discovering new secrets. Espionage requires that your empire is within travel distance of the target empire.
Sanctioned Piracy is a racial attribute which allows an empire of that race to perform piratical raids on undefended systems of which they are blockaiding. Raiders generally make off with a portion of the systems combined income (of which a portion of that then enters your Empire’s coffers). Sometimes the raiders manage to raid research facilities and bring technological plans. More on racial attributes and customizing races in an upcoming article.
This is the typical method for acquiring new technology. You build research facilities and designate scientists throughout your empire, and these thought tanks are busy dreaming up the next crop of cool stuff for you to play with. These ideas are gather up and presented to you as a series of research proposals, spread across the three main project areas: Military projects, Civil projects, and Astrophysics projects. Military projects deals with things like ship weapons & systems, Star System fortifications, security. Civil projects involve improvements on a planetary level, such as improved production facilities. Astrophysics projects deal with anything space-related, from improved star drives to building hyperspace disruptors.
Researching technology is a fairly straightforward process. Scientists and research facilities in your empire generate research points (RP). These points are accumulated at the empire level and put towards whatever the current research project is. When your research points are greater than the cost of your research focus, you gain that technology. In the research screen you can view all currently available research projects. You can choose any single project to focus on at a time. You can switch projects at any time, but it will incur a penalty on the RP you have gained thus far.
After you have gained a technology in a project area, a few things happen. First the newly researched proposal is removed and a new research proposal takes its place. If the technology you just researched has a refinement, then a proposal for the refinement is also added. All other proposals in that project area that didn’t get chosen start getting “aged off”. This is represented by the colored dot on the left: green ages to yellow, yellow ages to red, and all red projects will get removed completely.
Do all races in Starbase Orion use the same technology tree?
Yes, all races in Starbase Orion use the same basic technology tree. However, there are two exceptions to this:
- There are customizable race attributes that open access to a specific technology that only races with that attribute can research.
- During the course of the game you might discover a new technology through exploration that is not researchable.
Can you win the game through technology research alone (such as in Galactic Civilizations, or to a lesser degree beating the Antarans in Moo2)
For the initial release of Starbase Orion there will not be a strict technology route to victory. The vision of the game is focused on multiplayer, so the goal for ranked matches is to defeat the other player/team in galactic conquest.