Starborne is a novel space MMORTS in which individual games for galactic supremacy take place over a set time period, namely 10 weeks. This 4X grand-strategy take on the sci-fi genre was designed by ex EVE Online developers and is not without its similarities. Players can forge their own destinies as industrial moguls or cosmic fleet captains on the frontline, with their choices and skills carving the road to victory or defeat for their chosen alliance.
The game has been playable as an open beta since April, and recently developers Solid Clouds have been hard at work crafting a brand new game mode dubbed Dead Zone. This mode condenses gameplay to a 4-hour bout – just 3% of the time that a regular Starborne game takes – and last weekend was previewed in the form of a tournament with the victors being given the opportunity to contribute to the Starborne lore.
The preview showed off the following features and innovations:
- 4 hour game rounds
- Four new playable factions; Nightcorps, Les Apaches, Surpasum and Gatos Fritos
- Claiming special hexes now gives unique empire-wide bonuses
- New much smaller map featuring 25-player starting locations
- New cards and overhauled card pool
- New Nebula
- New Station Planner with new buildings and organizations
- Sprawling Radiation pools now appear on the map and must be contained
Commenting on Dead Zone, Stefan Gunnarsson, CEO and Lead Designer on Starborne said, “We have been playing Dead Zone a lot in the office and we are incredibly excited about its potential. We have spent the last few years building up our own framework to make large-scale strategy games and Dead Zone is a showcase of how powerful that framework is becoming. Our community has been the cornerstone behind our success so we are excited to reward the victors of this first Dead Zone Tournament with a unique opportunity to contribute to the history of the Starborne universe.”
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