After a quiet month we’re back!
The team took it in turns to take some holiday time off over the last month to recharge – ready to press ahead with the rest of a very exciting year.
Starting with a new galaxy that’ll be the most fun and engaging yet…
New ‘Pre-Beta’ galaxy
We’re launching a new galaxy this Sunday August 11th at 18:00 UTC. We’ve named it the Pre-Beta Galaxy – instead of Alpha 4 – because:
- The quality of the game feels much closer to Beta than Alpha (so we’ve been told) but the game isn’t feature complete yet to consider it Beta
- ‘Alpha 4’ after ‘Alpha 3’ – starts to get confusing?
Who can join the new Pre-Beta galaxy?
All current and previous Alpha participants will be able to join the new galaxy.
PLUS we’re inviting everyone else that signed up to play the Beta but hasn’t had their invite yet! Invites (including Steam keys) will be emailed out at the same time the new galaxy is launched.
Read on to find out why we’re sending these invites now rather than waiting for Beta to officially start.
Why are we launching a new galaxy?
We need new and existing players to help us determine if:
- Recent usability improvements have made the game significantly easier to play and understand (for new players in particular)
- The early game is more engaging and fun
We’ve made dozens of changes to make the game more usable and new-player friendly and will include the new in-game tutorial in the next patch. While other changes and new features (see below for details) should improve the early game experience.
But have we done enough to be able to call an end to the usability crisis? And do enough players stick around long enough to experience the more rewarding stages of the game? It’s crucial that we find out as soon as possible.
Some changes are tied to galaxy generation e.g. distances between systems/players, resource/minor faction distribution – which is why we need to launch a new galaxy to introduce them.
Why will the new galaxy be the most fun yet?
Easier to interact with other players
- Start closer to other players (minimum distance between players decreased to 14~ LY from 24~ LY in Alpha 3)
- Private message the players around you and your neighbours
Greater starting resources
- More resources in home systems so you’ll spend less time waiting and more time playing
- You’ll start with additional ships in orbit of your home planet
- Each home system will have a valuable second planet ideal for colonizing
Exploration plays a greater role
- The new Minor factions hidden across the galaxy make exploration more rewarding (they have unique benefits that are very valuable to a colony)
Growth limitations have been relaxed
- Corruption has no effect on your empire until it reaches 14 planets – in Alpha 3 it started at 5 planets
- Control centers support more fleets (the fleet limit without building control centers has been increased to 14 fleets from 12 and level 2 control centers now support 4 fleets each instead of 3)
- * we plan to revisit growth limitations after the launch of this galaxy
In previous galaxies players were too bottlenecked by the start conditions and the game took a while to get going. With the new galaxy we’ve integrated the positive player feedback on the Skirmish galaxy start conditions (some had to be dialled down). And the exciting new features that were added only at the end of Alpha 3 or only to the Skirmish galaxy will be in this galaxy from day one. On top of that, more players will be joining the game!
When will the current Alpha 3 galaxy close?
The Alpha 3 galaxy will close two weeks after the new Pre-Beta galaxy has launched, to give those of you still playing some time to draw your current plans to a conclusion.
The Alpha 3 galaxy has been running since December 2018! But because there’ve been so many changes during that time and tweaks to balance, we won’t be looking to the leaderboards to announce any winners for the Alpha 3 galaxy.
See you in a few days for the new galaxy! (Sunday August 11th at 18:00 UTC).
– The Outscape dev team