Welcome back for another Astra Exodus dev diary. My name is Atomic Kaiser and today I’ll be talking about the game’s factions, the systems behind them and some examples from the game. I’ll be careful not to give any spoilers out though!
Before we get to the dev diary itself, don’t forget to check on today’s preview stream on Twitch. Join us at 6 pm GMT on our Twitch channel for a first look at Astra Exodus!
The universe depicted in Astra Exodus is inhabited by several factions, some of which do not have what you would call a government or structure in the classic sense of the word. In fact that’s why they are called factions rather than nations or civilizations. One such case is the Followers of Kala, which function more like a religious cult than a classic empire for example.
All factions have a leader, a central figure that directs its will and whom you will interact with - or take command of! This leader will also be served by several advisors, and they will offer their counsel on the central topics regarding the management of your faction.
Regardless of the fact that all of them are humanoid shaped, these factions are highly diverse, both in form, function and thought. They vary a lot on how they look, why the look that way, what they are trying to achieve in the galaxy and how they want to do it. This is reflected in the game’s lore as well as in their abilities or characteristics (called traits in game), both of which we’ll talk more about a bit later on.
From an AI perspective, each faction will then have a preference on how to win through what the game calls an Agenda and who they essentially are through a Focus. AI also has a preference regarding what classes of ships to build and troop types to train. This helps with differentiating factions especially when played by the AI.
Traits are what make a faction different from others, gameplay wise. Each faction has a unique set of these traits which define its capabilities, by either improving or diminishing a gameplay aspect that affects the player. They can be very basic, such as the Miner trait, which increase materials production per miner in each colony, or quite complex, such as the Ancient trait, which reveals the whole galaxy at the start of the game.
The game uses a trait Pick Points systems, in which each Trait gets a positive or negative value accordingly and the sum of them is the same for all factions.
The history or lore of the known galaxy in Astra Exodus long predates the arrival of humans to the sector and the events that will unfold in the game’s campaign. However, much of the history known at the game’s start is more myth than anything else. From the role of the Precursors in the shaping of the galaxy, in their terrifying ancient wars and alleged surveillance of all major species, to the so called “old gods” with truly infinite power, they are all treated like myth and legend rather than history.
However we do have some actual bits of history to share, without going into any campaign spoilers, on each of the major factions of the Skirmish Mode.
The Potermi Dominion is a major power in the galaxy, which has been in constant fighting to keep its borders against many enemies, ever since the faction’s peak, some 2500 cycles ago. Sadly the Ulari have not found much success with their current regent and seem to be ever shrinking in the extent of their power.
The Veloran Horde is a chaotic collection of warring tribes, banded together under the current Grand Boss Jarak, who achieved her title by betraying the previous grand boss. The Velor are known to be raiders, slavers and pirates; however never had they posed such as threat to the galaxy as they do under the Horde.
The Guardians of the Seed represents a peaceful yet powerful group of vegetal based sentient beings, which some believe to have been created artificially. Like humans, they are newcomers to the sector. They had a first contact war with the Freudalim Hold, that quickly stripped them of any naivete about interstellar affairs.
The Terran Republic represents the last known group of humans who survived the Exodus from Earth, thousands of cycles ago, by coming through the Great Eye (a colossal wormhole that collapsed behind them). They have focused on rebuilding until now, as they set out to find their lost brothers and the history behind their ancient exodus.
The Followers of Kala are a secretive and highly advanced, yet deeply spiritual organization, and they are almost as ancient as the Freudalim Hold. Not much is known about them, as any probe into their territory is hardly ever heard from again. What little is inferred however from contacting them, is that somehow the Kalin are all females, or so it seems at least.
The Okli-To Consortium is a corporate based government of winged beings, who suffered a massive accelerated technological advancement in a very short period of time thanks to the interference of minor smuggler factions in their homeworld. This quickly changed their ethics: they got rid of old idols and replaced them with worship of wealth. This reflects on the freighter-like look of their starships.
The Ilumina Starnation is a utilitarian, authoritarian and collective government of aquatic sentient beings who used to be ruled by the Potermi Dominion until they rebelled in a series of conflicts now known as the Great Patriotic Revolution. They are renowned for their industrial and physical might, having been used by the Dominion for centuries as their elite shock troops.
The Freudalim Hold represents an ancient and honorable (or so they claim to be, at least) race of sentient marble-skinned mammals. Ages ago, they used to rule much of the galaxy, with the permission of the Precursors. Once they left however, the Hold faded into inner turmoil, thanks to its self absorbed senate and lost power on the galactic stage rather quickly, becoming a mere shadow of what they used to be.
There is a lot more to be found out about the lore of Astra Exodus and its factions, but that it’ll be up to you to learn by playing.
This will be our last dev diary in 2019, but we will be back in January to resume our series of dev diaries. As mentioned, don’t forget to follow us later today on Twitch for the first Astra Exodus preview stream. Furthermore, on Friday we are going to announce something which I’m sure will excite all those who are waiting for Astra Exodus!