Today we’re going to discuss two game mechanics that alter how players move in Lord of Rigel: wormholes and FTL amplifiers. Wormholes are passages through space-time that allow for near instantaneous travel between two locations. Visually we decided to go with a less scientifically accurate popular conception of wormholes as a “whirlpool” effect, to fit with the 1990s science fiction style of the game’s art and setting. In the Lord of Rigel galaxy wormholes are phenomenon that tend to be more frequent around dead stars. White dwarves and neutron stars have a higher chance for wormholes, and can even have multiple wormholes. In a galaxy set to having “high anomalies” which increases the number of wormholes, nebulas, and neutron stars in a galaxy you may find neutron stars serving as a superhighway of sorts. Wormholes let players each the system on the other side on the turn, regardless of distance. A good strategy is to scout a wormhole and build an outpost on the opposite end so that you can greatly expand your fuel range and start exploring the other side.
Another way of moving faster in Lord of Rigel is to build FTL infrastructure. This comes in the form of FTL amplifiers. FTL amplifiers work a bit like wormholes in that any two systems with amplifiers to connect them will increase the speed of a ship. Having a network of FTL amplifiers can greatly increase speeds to respond to threats to your empire. The ultimate form of the FTL amplifier is a stargate, which when constructed acts like a wormhole to any other friendly planet with a stargate. This means even in the largest galaxies you can move from one end of your empire to the next in a single turn.
This type of infrastructure can also offset some of the movement penalties player fleets can face when moving through nebulas, or near neutron stars. Players can also build structures that slow down FTL travel. Warp interdictors when constructed on a colony can greatly reduce the speeds of approaching hostile fleets. Towards the end game, superweapons such as black hole generators can also be used smartly as a defensive measure. Black holes can prevent travel for ships lacking navigator heroes, and destroying systems to become black holes can be another method to lock off a region of space!