A new Starpires game instance, Alpha Sector is open to new empires. It is a fresh game install with some minor game mechanics adjustments. Additional game instances, some with very different game mechanics and goals will be opened up in the near future.
To access Alpha Sector just login to your account as normal and click on the server box (top/left) to access the command center which will allow you to create empires on other game instances.
We make periodic changes to Starpires to help improve game balance. In particular large coordinated groups of players have been able to exploit the protection mechanisms and certain special operations to pass resources to gain an unfair advantage. It has also been too easy for larger empires to “bully” significantly smaller empires, despite the use of in game penalties and sanctions.
The following game changes will be pushed live within the next 24 hours to help solve game balance issues.
The “Take Hostages” special operation is being replaced with a new “Crash Stock Market” special operation that allows you to destroy an opponents reserve credits but not steal them.
A special operation is being added which allows nuclear stockpiles to be destroyed.
During invasions the number of planets gained by attacking smaller empires (in planets size) will be incrementally reduced, lowering the gain from attacking significantly smaller players.
The cutoff for how much smaller of empires (based on planets) you can attack is being raised. Relying simply on sanctions/penalties to enforce this didn’t work.
The protection mechanism is being significantly adjusted to disincentivize allies purposely putting each other into protection to gain an advantage. Global protection will not be offered to empires a formula determines are trying to “game the system”
The criteria which qualifies empires to go into both individual protection and global protection is being adjusted to be more fair and lessen the chances of manipulation.
“Rebuilding Credits” provided to empires who have gone into global protection now are distributed each turn that the empire is in protection instead of all at once.
Planetary upkeep costs are being adjusted upwards for empires with very large numbers of planets. The effect will be minimal for empires under 1M planets.
An update was just pushed live that adds 14 additional boosts to Starpires. These include boosts such as Warped Time which speed up how fast turns are accrued. There was modifications to some of the existing boosts to adjust pricing (downwards) in both research credits and reward points. The Body Armor boosts was also modified to make it more powerful based off of player feedback.
Music and sound affect production for Starpires is currently under way with a target of having it integrated into the game by months end. I thought that I’d share a preview of the new background music for Starpires.
Last week the new Starpires “boost” system was launched. Boosts are temporary enhancements for you empire that may last a specific number of turns, battles, or amount of time. Some boosts are extremely powerful yet short lived, while others maybe long lived but not so powerful.
Boosts can be acquired in several ways in the game including purchased with research credits, reward points, and as rewards from the Galactic Council. They are stored in an inventory and can be activated when needed to give your empire a little bit of a power up.
I started work on Starpires nearly a year and a half ago as a fun project to resurrect my favorite BBS game from the early 90′s. Since then it has now grown to over 25k total signups with nearly 10k players active in the last month.
Due to other obligations (earning a paycheck), updates to the game, the blog and it’s documentation have been spotty through much of this time. As of a couple weeks ago I made the decision to pursue building Starpires as a full-time business and now have 100% of my attention devoted to it.
This means game updates and bug fixes have began to pick up pace and will continue to do so going forward. I’m also making a commitment to resurrect the blog and start making sure game documentation/FAQ’s are updated, and start to better support the community of Starpires players.
Unlike many of the previous space empire building games which Starpires is based on, it is meant to be truly massively multiplayer. That is, there can be thousands or even tens of thousands of players competing in the same game.
To make this manageable from a players perspective each player has their “Known Universe” of players within the game. These are the players they can see, interact with and attack. As their empire grows and becomes more powerful there known universe will expand as they discover new players. An added benefit of this is the game keeps getting more challenging.
How does this work?
When you first start out, your known universe is made up of about 20 players. These players are people that started playing at about the same time that you did, your friends (via Facebook relationships) and anyone who invited you into the game. So basically you start off playing with people at your level, and people that you personally know.
Every so often the game checks to make sure your known universe still contains plenty of players on a similar level as you. If not, then additional empires are added to your known universe.
So far the system seems to be working pretty well, but we’re always looking for ways it can be tweaked to keep the game play challenging and engaging.
I’m glad people are enjoying Starpires. Right now almost all the players joining the game are coming via referrals, posts players have made in forums and small game sites. Every little bit helps us grow, and allows me to dedicate more time to the game development.
The following sites have recently added Starpires to their database of games, and having positive reviews/votes on the sites really helps drive traffic to us. So you if have a minute we’d really appreciate stopping by one of these sites and rating, reviewing or voting for us. Thanks…