With over three dozen new features, Starbase Orion v1.1 is the largest, most comprehensive update to date. There are so many new features, there is something to excite everyone!
I would like to personally thank all of the Starbase Orion players who joined the testing group to help make v1.1 the best it can be. VanderLegion, ddebernardy, elph, bmike, ed, thebardofblasphemy, Ayjona, Xlom, Kabukiman, waynebo, Dalmuti, Jusvah, GALATICA_Actual, General_Grr, Stormbringer, Treksdot (and everyone for whom I do not have a forum name for) thank you so much for your tireless efforts in helping improve the game!
• Pass and Play Games
Who else enjoys having a get together with friends to battle for galactic conquest? I know we do, and so do the numerous Starbase Orion players who have requested Pass and Play games be added! Now you can enjoy battling it out with friends when you only one device to play on.
• New Map Size, “Massive”
You wanted more stars, we’re giving them to you. The new “Massive” map size is approximately 50% larger than the “Huge” map size.
• New Game Speed, “Quick”
Want to speed the game up a little? Now you can by playing a game on “quick” speed, which reduces all production and research costs by 75%.
• More Empires Per Map
Previously Starbase Orion limited games to four empires; you can now enjoy the game with up to eight empires! For single player, that means you and seven computer opponents, for GameCenter and Pass and Play multiplayer that means four human players and four computer players. Which leads us too…
• Computer Empires in Multiplayer Matches
Not satisfied with conquering your friends? Now you can up the ante by throwing up to four computer empires into the mix. Now wouldn’t it be cool if you could team up with your friends against the computer players…
• New “Allied” and “Survival” Game Modes
Joining the current “Classic” (free-for-all) game mode are two brand new game modes available in single and multiplayer games. “Allied” mode splits all of the empires into two teams mixing human and computer players. “Survival” mode is your human vs computer cooperative mode, can you team up with your allies against a team of the new and improved computer players? We’ll see with…
• Faster and More Devious Computer Opponents
Battle-tested by some of the finest Starbase Orion players around, the AI for SO has received continual improvement in both performance (how quickly it takes its turns) and strategy (how much of a challenge it provides). If you beat the game on Impossible then the Starbase Orion AI wants a rematch! And if that still isn’t enough for you, you can now take on multiple computer opponents in “Survival” mode!
• User Customizable Build Focuses
Players can now customize the priority listing for the Industry, Farming, Research, and Military build focuses. Don’t want to build Cloning Facilities? Or you want all planets to default to Funding or Industry when idle? Simply go to the CUSTOM BUILD FOCUS option in the main options menu. Custom build focuses are synced over iCloud and are shared between all of your current games!
• Retreat From Combat
Combat in Starbase Orion is meant to be RISKY (committing troops to battle is a big decision and it should come with big consequences), but the number of requests for this feature to be added has overwhelmed us! You can now order them to retreat and if they survive 80% of the next combat round they will retreat to the nearest friendly system. Only combat ships are equipped to handle a combat retreat; if you engage an enemy with colony or troop ships in your fleet, the colony and troop ships will be lost if the combat ships leave.
• Primary Targets in Combat
You can now set primary targets for each ship you have in combat. Want to take out the starbase and then focus on the weakest enemy? Want half of your fleet to take out the starbase while the frigate attack specific targets in the enemy fleet? Now you can! And if you can attack individual ships, how about protecting a wingman…
• Escort Ships in Combat
Loaded up your Destroyers with point defense systems with the intent of protecting your valuable Titans? Assign your ships to escort specific friendly ships.
• Surrender Button
Does the end look inevitable? There is now an easy way to surrender the game, allowing the other players in a multiplayer to continue on without you.
• New Race Attribute: Tolerant
Tolerant races are naturally resistant to irradiated and toxic atmospheres and materials. They are able to perform minimal farming on radiated and toxic planets. Empires of this race are familiar with colonizing these harsh environmens and enjoy reduced maintenance penalty cost for buildings on these planets.
• Production Costs for Ship Systems Reduced
Prior to v1.1 ship systems in Starbase Orion were quite expensive. Now they are drastically cheaper (on par with the weapon systems); load up on your heavy armor and point defense systems! And just in time for the sale…
• New Ship System: Shield Modulation Unit
The shield modulation unit is a fantastic piece of engineering that allows your shields to remain active inside of a nebula.
• New Ship System: Improved Energy Controller
This ship system will double the recharge rate of your ship’s shields. Useful for out surviving your enemy.
• New Ship System: ECM Jammer
Enemy missiles and torpedoes ruining your plans for intergalactic dominion? Each ECM jammer provides a 30% chance of evading missiles and torpedoes, and equipping multiple of them will stack the bonus.
• New Ship System: Auxiliary Thrusters
Turning a massive starship takes a lot of force, do it just a bit faster with these additional maneuvering thrusters.
• New Ship System: Combat Engines
Do your enemies scatter before your might a little too quickly? Chase them down a bit faster with additional combat engines.
• New Ship System: Fast Missile Launcher
A smart man once said “two nukes are better than one”; we couldn’t agree more! With Fast Missile Launcher your missile frigates will be able to fire two rounds in the time it would normally take to fire one.
• New Technology: Security Training
An empire-wide achievement, additional security training reduces the maintenance cost of your spies by half.
• New Technology: Personal Cloaking Device
Another empire-wide achievement, personal cloaking devices doubles offensive spies chance of successfully infiltrating the enemy.
• New Technology: Clandestine Initiative
Are your spies dying as fast as you can produce them? Give them additional support in the field with this tech which provides your empire a 75% chance of saving a spy which would otherwise have been killed or captured.
• Industrial Production Spillover
Prior to v1.1 if you built an item your production points above the cost of that item were lost. This penalized switching strategies down the line, as you would lose production switching to build something cheaper. Now production point spillover to the next item you are building.
• New Compression Algorithm for GameCenter Games
Now that Apple has increased the size limit for turn-based game in GameCenter, you are going to see a number of new features added to Starbase Orion that were not feasible with the lower limit. The first of which is this new compression algorithm; while it doesn’t compress quite as small as the previous algorithm, it is much faster and is less memory intensive (which means less memory crashes on low memory devices). Another new change thanks to this addition is…
• New Chat Features
The first step of our multi-patch effort to improve the in-game chat; we have increased the message size from 140 characters to 512 characters, and there are now two chat channels: one for All players and one for Allied players. This is just the beginning; in future versions of SO we are looking to support real-time chat between players.
• Rock Your Tunes As You Colonize That Rock
A long standing request to be able to listen to your music while playing the game has finally made it! Now you can name out to Ride of the Valkyrie while charging across the heavens
• And More!
There are many more features (such as improved situation reports, user interface changes, race attribute tweaks). Please see the whipping post on the Starbase Orion forums for a comprehensive list.