Welcome to part 8 of the feature series. This week's topic of discussion will focus on outposts. Outposts in Lord of Rigel will provide players with the ability to look at the galaxy in a little different way and give them a reason to use this often ignored game feature. Oddly enough outposts was one of the initial topics of discussion during the early design phase of Lord of Rigel. Other potential features like sensor nets and research colonies brought up the discussion of revamping outposts and making them the vehicle from which to have features like sensor nets rather than adding such a specialized mechanic. By the end of the discussion, outposts became a sort of generalized tool that a player could use to augment their empire with.
So what can players do with outposts? And perhaps more importantly, how much micromanaging are players going to need to worry about? The good news is that players can do quite a bit with outposts such as receive trade income and research points, extract strategic resources, and use them as a type of listening post to keep track of surrounding systems. Even better, players can build an outpost, put it on any valid location, and instantly receive the benefits of the outpost type they are building. There is no micromanaging colonists or adjusting build queues. Instead players will only need to select the type of outpost they want. Outposts as a whole are versatile things, however each outpost will only provide a single benefit to the player. So for instance a research outpost producing research will have a maintenance cost, but will produce only research points. So players will need to be wise about not building too many outposts or else run the risk of bankrupting their empire with high maintenance costs.
We also hope that outposts change the way players look at asteroid belts and gas giants. Most players are accustomed to looking at asteroid belts and gas giants as worthless - we hope to change that. Sure you can't build a colony on them, but what if you could build a listening post to reveal nearby enemy fleet movement and scan other planets to see their defensive abilities? Now asteroids belts and gas giants can be useful and players can begin to use them to their advantage.
We hope you enjoyed our discussion about the outpost system in Lord of Rigel and will find uses for it in future games. Outposts should provide players with a massively revamped system that should make outposts more relevant and rewarding for players to use.
Please join us next week as we discuss custom species!