Stations which can be visited are not limited to just NPCs, the player can also construct their own stations from small factories to supply a local niche in demand to self sufficient mega complexes and fortresses to control regions of space.
Claiming A Plot
Open the Manage Plots tab of the Map and select a New Plot from the list at the top. In the middle are sliders for adjusting the size of the plot relative to the centre with the sum of the directions along an axis being able to range from 1-20. Click the Create New Plot button to be able to place the plot of the selected size on the map along the ecliptic by left clicking. The player then has the choice to pay the Real Estate Transfer Tax for the plot or to ignore it. The tax costs between 1,000 and 7,000 credits per km3 depending on location and notoriety with the faction who owns the sector. If the player ignores the tax the owning faction of the sector will attack any station modules built in that plot. Plots placed in Xenon or unowned sectors will not need to pay anything. The player can then click Continue to enter the Plan Build UI for station construction.
The construction of a station requires some planning. It is only possible to plan stations using Blueprints that the player has already obtained. Blueprints are acquired from Faction Representatives, Data Leaks and Space Suit EMPs. Note that modules will be constructed in the order of their placement meaning priority modules should be placed first.
The actual construction (i.e. hire a builder ship) should commence after all modules have been place and equipped with turrets and shield because any change on a module already build will recycle that module at the cost of part of the resources required. One of the upper right buttons of the construction screen provides the option to save the current construction and the player is encouraged to use that option frequently during the construction.
- Left mouse button is panning the screen
- The scroll wheel is zooming in and out
- Right click on a module opens a context window with option to remove or copy(*)
- Left click on a module to select it and then right click and hold rotates the module horizontally (note: vertical rotation is not possible)
It is recommended to make the first placed module one from the Dock Modules category to enable a Manager to be assigned early on, the station to use drones and for the player to be able to dock their ships. The player can select a module they want built using the upper left window and then placing it on the plot.
The first module placed will have the height default to the ecliptic while subsequent modules can have their height adjusted using vertical connection points. Available connection points a placed module has are represented by white arrows, which will turn green and form a line with compatible connection points of modules selected for placement.
Many production, storage and habitation modules require connection points in a specific direction making Cross Connection modules very useful for forming a framework to attach other modules to.
Selecting an anchor and moving it (left click and hold) will also move the sequence of all modules attached to it. This is useful in combination with the copy sequence option(*). The anchor module of a construction is usually the first placed, i.e. the module on the top of the list(**).
Modules will be build even if they are disconnected from any other module or only connected to some others but to to the entire construction. That can be useful, for example a defence module placed far out at the plot cube perimeter, but it can also be of great disadvantage, for example a resource production or a storage module because the wares will not be transferred. To detect disconnected modules move the anchor module(**).
It is possible to merge or overlap modules if the snap points allow it. This will not affect the functionality.
Some modules can be equipped with turrets and shield. They can be identified by a plus symbol "+" behind their names. To add turrets and shield click that symbol to open the equipment menu. Similar to the equipment menu of ships there are optional preset loadouts available on the top right of the screen. It also allows to save a manually equipped loadout.
Once the player is happy with their design it should be saved, and a Builder type ship needs to be hired or assigned to the construction site. Click the Assign or hire a builder button to open the Object List of the Map, use this or the property Menu to find a player owned of NPC Builder ship which is not busy and right click it in the list to click the Select option. NPC Builders will charge 50k credits for their service.
Aiding Construction And Moving Wares Into The Build Storage With Ware Exchange.
Under the Plan Build menu there is the Manage buy offers for needed resources tab which has an option to transfer credits to the station Build Storage using the Available money for construction slider while the offered buying price for the construction materials can be set in the Configure buy offers sliders to determine how much of the money is spent on each resource. If the Build Storage has funds it will trade with NPC traders for the necessary resources until construction is completed or it runs out of credits.
Additionally it is possible to move resources directly into the build storage with the WARE EXCHANGE menu. The player can manually use Execute Trade orders from the Map to buy construction materials for a cheaper price and then use the Trade with and Transfer wares with commands to deliver the wares to the Build Storage for the station. Select a transporter with a useful build resource (e.g. Energy Cells) and then right click the station. Select the ware exchange action for the Build Storage. This allows wares to be moved directly from the ship to the storage. This method also allows more resources to be loaded at a build storage than are currently needed where they will remain available for future construction plans.
The rate of construction is dependent on the available construction materials and the number of Building Drones the Builder ship has.
Assigning Staff And Subordinates
To assign a Manager to a station the player will need to hire a Crewman/Crewoman from a platform and right click a player owned ship docked at the current station in the Property Owned menu before assigning them to a role as a Service Crew or Marine in the Selected Role tab on the right and clicking Hire. Alternatively crew can be obtained using the Upgrade Ship order at a Wharf, Shipyard or Equipment Dock. The ship with the crew must then fly to the player owned station and the crew member right clicked under the Information tab for the ship to select Comm before clicking "Work somewhere else for me" and selecting the player owned station in the Property Owned menu to have them assigned to the role of Manager under the Selected Role tab. To assign a Manager requires the station to have at least one Dock and Production type module.
Every crew member can be assigned into any role as long as the ships they go to or come from are currently docked. Of course a marine may not be the best manager, unless he learns the right skills.
To add a subordinate ship to a station simply select the ship then right click the station in the Property Owned menu and choose one of the Assign Role for options.
Most aspects of station operations are performed automatically by the Manager who will order subordinate ships to mine and trade for the station and automatically allocate the volume of storage space dedicated to each ware. The player can add or remove funds for the station under the Information tab for the station or adjust trade parameters by right clicking the station and selecting Logical Overview. Under the Logical Overview menu the player will see a summary of the station production lines as well as how much of the allocated storage space is occupied by each ware. Left click individual wares to view inbound ships trading that ware, adjust the Buy and Sell prices for the ware if the Automatic Pricing flag is disabled and to toggle the Restrict trade with other factions flag to prevent the ware being traded with NPC ships. With very few exceptions production modules will always operate at a profit.