|By: Carlo the Curious
|Edited: 06/09/10 00:47
The simplest complex consists of two stations and a complex hub.
In order to build this you need a TL-class ship (either one you own, or one you have hired) loaded with the stations and a complex construction kit (CCK).
- Order the TL to the sector where you want to set up the complex.
- Order the TL to drop the first station and position it as normal.
- Deploy the second station. It must be within 20km of the first station, but not so close that the stations are overlapping (they will collide and eventually be destroyed). Remember that the map is 3-dimensional!
- Order the TL to drop the CCK. Instead of the normal positioning grid a listing of your factories will be displayed.
- Select the first station and press Enter.
- Select the second station and press Enter.
- The sector map will then show a positioning grid. You must now position the complex hub, similar to the way you would for a normal station. The hub must be within 20km of both of the linked stations (if you attempt to position it out of range the icon will turn red).
Note that the hub will provide the only docking point for your complex, so it is important you position it so that the approach to the docking clamps is accessible.
- Press Enter when you are happy with the position of the hub, and the complex will be created.
The complex hub now serves as the docking port for both stations, and shows the combined production information.
You can add more stations to a complex by using additional CCKs (one per station).
- Deploy the station. To be linked to an existing complex it must be within 20km of the complex hub. Note that the distance between the new station and any of the factories already in the complex is not significant (unless they're colliding, obviously!).
- Order the TL to drop the CCK.
- Select the first station and press Enter.
- Select the complex hub and press Enter.
The new station will be linked into the complex (and as a consequence, the position of some of the connecting tubes may change).
Note: if a complex is modified (by adding a new station) then any ships homebased to the complex will automatically be issued 'Return Home' orders.
You can fit a lot of stations within 20km of a hub, but you may need to spread a complex over a larger distance (e.g. if it contains a very large number of stations, or you have mines you don't want to have to tow into range). You can do this by creating several complexes and then linking them together.
The procedure is similar to that for adding a station to an existing complex, except that you select two hubs for the CCK rather than a station and a hub. The two hubs must be within 20km of each other, but the distance between the stations in each complex is not significant.
Important! When you link the two complexes they will be combined into a single complex with one complex hub. This hub will be the first hub you selected when dropping the CCK. The second hub will be removed.
For example, say you have
- several ore mines connected to a complex hub (hub A) at 0km, 0km, 0km
- a food/crystal fab/SPP complex with a hub (hub B) at 15km,0km,0km
- a silicon mine complex with a hub (hub C) at 30km,0km,0km.
These complexes could be linked into a single large complex as follows:
- Link hub B to hub A. This will link the ore mines and SPP complex into a single complex with a hub at 15,0,0.
- Link hub B to hub C. This will link the silicon mines into the complex as well, leaving a single complex with the hub still at 15,0,0.
With a little planning you can spread complexes over entire sectors.
- If a complex hub or any of the stations in a complex is destroyed then all the connecting tubes will be destroyed.
- It's not possible to dock directly with a station in a complex.
- A complex can only have a single hub, which has room to dock 20 ships – enough for most complexes, but potentially the cause of a traffic jam if your complex is very large or very busy.
- Some stations cannot be linked into a complex. This includes:
- equipment docks
- trade stations
- the Xenon hub
- the player headquarters
Note that you are not limited to using stations (or CCKs) from only a single race when building a complex - they can be mixed without penalty.
There are some stations in the X universe (e.g. 'Heavy Shield Production complex') that produce multiple wares. These are only available to the AI races, and are a single station rather than actual complexes in the same sense as those built by the player.