Welcome back to yet another rambling Astra Exodus dev diary! Today we will be talking about Heroes and Espionage. If you’d like to discuss this dev diary with other fellow fans, please join the new Discord channel by clicking here.
Heroes are very important characters in the galactic community, whose experience and capabilities make them incredibly powerful allies to have (in return of a hefty contract fee and salary of course). It is also through Heroes that we can have a look at the larger galaxy. From the Academy of Talos to the Wunet Confederacy and the Quantum Nebula, the backstory of each hero helps shape this narrative.
In Campaign mode Heroes are unlocked by completing missions, while on Skirmish mode Heroes will randomly offer their services to you, either spontaneously or once you find them while exploring the galaxy, stranded on forgotten planets. Regardless of how they become available to you, you will have to pay a hiring fee plus their monthly salary. Heroes in the Campaign will wait for you as long as it takes to be hired, however in Skirmish mode many will get tired of waiting and might withdraw their offer. In a regular game you can have up to 4 Heroes at your service at one time. However, there are factions traits that both increase and decrease this number.
Each hero has three possible roles to play: they can be either an Admiral, Governor or an Operative.
Admirals, as the name indicates, are experienced starship leaders. Admirals will grant advantages (for instance, bonus damage against menaces) to any ships in their fleet. Governors on the other hand focus their efforts on more earthly pursuits, providing aid to your star systems (for example, by increasing the system’s morale). Finally, Operatives provide you with a way to wage war through more subtle ways (by sabotaging the enemy colonies for example, deep behind the main battle lines).
Heroes can achieve results thanks to their Skills. Each hero can have up to 4 Skills and usually most if not all are heavily related to his or her role in the game. The more skills a hero has, the more expensive his or her services will be.
While in service, a Hero will gain experience and eventually levels. With each level gained, out of which there are 10 to gain per hero, you get two Skill Points to spend. These can be used to level up specific skills (up to level ten), significantly improving their effect on the game. This means you will have to decide which skills to level up and which to neglect according to your needs.
The Espionage system lets the player fight and protect from damage without using his or her military units. As previously mentioned, Operatives are the only heroes who have the skills required to conduct espionage missions. There are seven types of espionage missions available in the game:, Sabotage, Counterespionage, Hacking, Stealing, Assassination, Rebellion and Demolition.
A Sabotage mission has a chance of destroying an enemy starship at random. Counterespionage in turn is used to defend, as it decreases the chance of enemy operatives being successful in their missions. Through Hacking you can extract a technology from a foreign power, while Stealing is the same concept but it applies to treasure instead. Assassination, as the name implies, revolves around killing an enemy hero. However, thanks to cloning technology, their death does not have to be permanent. Then there is Rebellion, which can turn a Colony against its own government. Last but not least the Demolition mission involves the destruction of an enemy installation at random.
We will be back next week for another dev diary of Astra Exodus!