Stations typically manufacture wares from materials harvested by mining ships, lower-tech wares, or combinations of the two. Stations generally have secondary wares that, while not necessary for production, will increase the amount(s) of wares produced from a given amount of primary resources.
Stations fall into two broad categories:
- Stations the player can construct, which typically manufacture wares needed for ship and station construction.
- Stations that are unique to NPC factions and cannot be built, which include all shipyards.
Station construction generally entails building an initial stage, which will comprise a production module, and optionally upgrading with further stages offering further modules or utility. Some modules offer single manufacturing lines, others offer multiple manufacturing lines, and others offer rotating manufacturing lines that make several wares in sequence. Warehouses from the HoL DLC are a little different in that instead of manufacturing, they operate as trading stations (described here). Station construction is described below.
Once a station is built or upgraded, its modules can work straight away if you manually supply the required wares. However for it to really work for you, it needs crew and ships assigned to them (ship assignment is described below). Managers create Buy and Sell Orders which may be fulfilled by NPC traders, our manually-ordered trades or ships assigned to station Managers (reduces micro-management).
Information on the wares stations may produce and the building materials needed to make them are nicely presented here.
Stations can only be built at predefined locations, which only have visible icons when you have a CV in your player ship's squad. Building can only be initiated if there is an Architect already on the Construction Vessel (see below). There are usually 2-3 build locations per regular zone, or 7 in "empty space" (which you can rename after a station is built there). Having said that, due to the size of stations, less than 7 stations per empty space zone can be expected in practice. The following info is mostly from from DocAce and can be useful to be aware of.
- A zone is a box with an edge length of 100 km. A sector is a box with an edge length of 1000 km.
- A new zone in empty space has 7 build spots. In practice you may not be able to build 7 stations in each zone, as build locations that are within a safety distance are disabled, so that fully extended stations can't overlap. Station orientation isn't possible, and doesn't matter for this purpose - the distance checks assume a spherical shape.
- New zones in empty space will not be centred on a station you may build inside one. They are centred on whatever made the zone (e.g. player or passing ship). Therefore the placement of a station within one should take this into consideration if it is of importance to the player.
- Mass traffic will connect every station within a zone and will not connect between zones. Even if a station's model is partially is in another zone, the build location defines which zone it belongs to.
Stations are built and repaired by Construction Vessels (CVs), which are sold by XL Ship Dealers and can only build the variants of stations from the CV's originating system. The CV needs an Architect NPC, in addition to the normal crew options (Captain, Engineer and Defence Officer). Remember to equip CVs with Construction URVs & at least 1 Cargolifter URV before before assignment, otherwise you'll be waiting a /long/ time for the station to finish! Before you can order the Architect to build a station, it needs to be in the Skunk's Squad. Otherwise build icons in space in each zone will not be visible and therefore cannot be clicked on to initiate building. CVs have priority over stations when NPC ships wish to sell wares so station construction can be a bit smoother than supplying rare wares to stations.
Once construction of a station is begun you can technically cancel construction, but it's better to make sure you build it in the correct place first rather than risk the possibility of something bugging out with the CV and/or Architect. If the CV is destroyed at any time after construction begins, you can replace it by being in the same zone as the location and the new CV (in your squad) and talking to the Architect. This does not need the same <faction> CV; any CV will do provided it has an Architect on board.
All stations are built from a very similar collection of wares (see below; fewer types than ships). These station components are not typically needed in huge volumes for individual station build stages and are often only available in small quantities which get quickly traded away due to high demand. Therefore you may find multiple faster L TRADE ships are more useful when building stations than a few slow XL TRADE ships. It is also not required that the exact amounts of materials for a build stage be present in the CV for it to progress, only that at least that amount is present for the build stage to complete. This means you can transfer-in excess materials for later build stages in advance so construction on subsequent build stages can begin immediately upon completion of the current stage.
Station construction components differ in Omicron Lyrae to other systems, and are listed in the following table.
|Material role||Albion/DeVries/Home of Light||Omicron Lyrae||Type||Notes|
|Station, and HIVI Turret, construction||Reinforced Metal Plating||Container||Rare during plot games|
|Fusion Reactors||Container||Rare generally|
|Bio-Optic Wiring||Plasma Pumps||Container||Steady, moderate supply|
|Standard defences||HIT/MA Turrets, Plasma/MA Turrets, V Launchers,|
and Force Field Projectors
|Occasional defences||Plasma/JET Turrets, Astrobee Launchers and Hailstorm Turrets||Container|
If the station is damaged by combat it will need to be repaired by its maintaining CV's Architect. Repairing is done on a module basis and costs building materials related to the hull percentage lost and construction cost of the damaged module. For this reason it may be useful to leave excess construction materials on CVs to allow for light repairs to be made. Keeping a station repaired is very important, as any damage done to manufacturing modules decreases their production efficiency, which in turn increases the product cost. Most NPC stations use an assigned Engineer to repair with similar mechanics as L and XL ships, meaning they repair slowly over time for free. This is slightly unfair to <player> as his stations cannot assign Engineers and can only be repaired in a costly way.
Once constructed, several NPCs are needed for crew in order for the station to run smoothly and safely. Upkeep missions are generated to help guide the acquisition of crew and drones, and to provide reminders about module upgrades.
|Manager||Manages budgets used for trade with visiting ships or assigned trade ships|
Purchases/replaces drones and/or missiles as required.
|Defence Officer||Control of available weapons, combat drones and Fight ships assigned to them.|
|Specialists||Increases amounts of product per cycle (like secondary wares)|
|Architect (on CV)||Construction, extension and repair of stations (may have assigned trade ships)|
Production modules will often need multiple types of storage space (Bulk, Container, Energy and/or Liquid) in order to function smoothly, so stations work best with ships assigned that cover the relevant types. Typically, modules contain some storage for each ware they need, and stations may also be extended with additional storage modules.
Manager and Architect settings
It is possible to control various aspects of how the station trades, in terms of what wares assigned ships may trade and what wares NPC factions may trade. Ships assigned to player faction stations can freely trade with any player station, regardless of settings. Trade restriction options, and ways to set them up, are described in the child page here.
Summary of trade restriction options:
Trading with an NPC faction ships and stations (no restrictions).
Trading with an NPC faction stations only.
Trading with an NPC faction ships only.
Manager and architect settings are summarised in the following table.
|Manager Setting||Description||Architect use?|
Definable balance for trading that is maintained at roughly +/- 25% this level
|Restrict trade to other factions|
Opens the menu for setting up NPC faction trade restrictions (see above)
|Manage trade offer prices||Allows for changing supply/demand-based automatic pricing to manual pricing||Yes|
|Supply Options||Govern the optional automatic stocking of consumables (see below)|
|Trading operation range||Determines how far subordinate Trade ships may operate*||Yes|
* Default range for Managers is Sector (System becomes available after the Command Relay station module is constructed); default range for Architects is System.
In order to function successfully, a station needs, or needs to be able to purchase, a few things (Supply Options setting supporting the first two):
- Cargolifter URVs*:
- A prerequisite for transferring wares to and from Large and Extra Large ships.
- The lack of any on a station or its assigned ships can lead to ships (including NPCs) buying/mining wares they cannot unload.
- Station Managers initiate trade offers to stock/replenish cargo drones through the Supply Options menu.
- Defensive items:
- Missiles for use by any V Launcher or Astrobee launcher on the station (optional).
- Combat drones* for use against S/M ships (optional).
- Station Managers initiate trade offers to stock/replenish defensive items through the Supply Options menu.
- Lots of credits, at least initially:
- Manager budgets are used for buying resources, selling products, and for Supply Options.
- Architect's budget is used for buying wares for constructing, repairing or upgrading the station.
* The number of available drone unit slots depends on the number of surviving drone bay modules on the station. A number of slots should be reserved for Cargolifter URVs to assure efficient trade operation of the station. NPC stations reserve a number of units as Industrial Surveillance Craft (police) which patrol around the station attempting to thwart scanning and hacking attempts as well as flag up ships carrying illegal wares. Next to that any number of combat drone units can be equipped and used in defence.
Assigning ships to stations
In order to help stations run smoothly, we can assign ships to the station's crew. This is described in detail in a child page here and summarised in the following table.
|Station crew||Ship role||Ship tasks||Notes|
|Manager||Trade||Buying manufacturing ingredients||Buying is a priority|
|Selling manufactured wares||Only if sell price drops below average price|
|To buy and sell traded wares||HoL DLC only (Warehouses)|
|Mine*||To harvest manufacturing ingredients||Will not trade without player intervention*|
|Defence Officer||Fight||Capital ships will patrol the zone||They will engage hostiles in their radar range|
|Fighters patrol or are assigned as escorts||Only medium Trade/Mine ships are escorted|
|Architect (on CV)||Trade||To buy station construction wares||Operates system-wide|
* If Mine or Trade ships have mining drones installed, they will only mine. If they don't, they will only trade (details).
Gaining info on NPC stations
For full details of NPC stations to show in station's or module's Detail Menu, their modules must be scanned to 100%. High end production facilities like shipyards, weapon forges, drone forges etc, cannot be scanned to 100% by default. See "Gaining information about trade offers" table for further info on unlocking Info points.
Effect of station damage on production
Stations are comprised of multiple modules providing functions like storage, production and increasing production efficiency. Each module has it's own number of HP, and the sum HP for all modules is displayed in a station's Detail Menu. If an individual module's hull is fully depleted, it is destroyed and provides no benefits until rebuilt. If a storage module is destroyed it will spill some of it's wares into space, from where they could be looted. Damaged production modules have an efficiency penalty based on how damaged they are. Since stations and their modules lack /hull/ shields, even light combat can cause some hull damage.
When <player> is in-zone, stations may receive "engine damage" from L and XL ships. In theory it should practically never happen as L and XL ships should never fly close enough to stations for their engine damage to be a problem, even when trading. However if an L or XL ship boosts through a station, their engines will slightly damage flown-through modules.
In the long run, damage isn't a significant issue for NPC stations as their assigned Engineers automatically repair them. However the Player cannot assign Engineers to our stations; instead, we must order their Architect to initiate repairs, which requires construction wares.
Stations in Rebirth cannot be permanently destroyed but as noted above. If particular modules are attacked, production can be crippled or storage can be vented into space for looting; these actions could then have a knock-on effect on supply and prices. If combined with careful destruction of station weapons or hacking, loot can be retrieved in relative safety.
Identified station modules can be selected by clicking on their Info Point or through their Detail Menu found via the Zone Map. Alternatively, targetable objects can be cycled through (like on a capital ship), but that can take a while. Once selected, we can double-click on their icon in space to open a contextual menu with the option to order our Squad to attack the module (this applies to selected surface element too).
Each module type has specific numbers, types and positions of weapon systems; it is common for fully built stations to have several hundred weapon systems. Mostly the weapon systems consist of HIT/MA and Plasma/MA turrets with the odd V Launcher. However, stations that manufacture surface elements can also be defended by Astrobee Launchers, Plasma/JET Turrets and Hailstorm Turrets.
A fully constructed station is one of the most powerful combat assets a player can own due to its combination of a huge hull, large number of powerful weapon systems and the potential number of combat drone units. Although L and XL fight ships will be able to damage a station, even many such ships may not be sufficient to completely destroy one before themselves being destroyed. NPC stations are equally powerful; however <playership>, when strafing, cannot be hit by most station weapon systems except for the Plasma/JET beam (if it locks on it always hits), found on very few modules. This means <player> can manually strip stations of most anti-capital weapon systems, greatly reducing the station's ability to damage <player> L and XL fight ships.