Greetings fellow Nomad and welcome to the Drifter Colony. It matters not what brings you here or where you come from, a thirst for adventure and the tenacity to push through any hardship is all that is required to be one of us. You will face all manner of hazards, from vicious pirates to ravenous black holes and all manner of horrors in between. Do not expect fame nor glory nor riches, you will simply exist. What you will receive is freedom, and freedom is everything.
Anyways enough of that heavy stuff! Welcome aboard my new friend, discovery and wonder await in the frontiers of space! Let’s get you familiarized with life on the Colony.
The Colony is everything to us, without it we couldn’t survive out here on the edge of civilization. It provides all the comforts of home, food, air, heat, but most importantly, protection from the vacuum of space. If the Colony dies, so do we, simple as that. You’ll be provided with your very own gravity-controlled hab unit complete with UV shower, stasis hammock, and a very adorable kitchenette. It’s a little cramped, but all the more reason to socialize with your fellow Nomads in the ballcourts or cantina, ancient terran trivia night is on Thursdays!
In order to keep all the vital systems of the Colony running we require a constant supply of energy, produced by feeding a material that we call Scrap to the plasma boilers in the belly of the ship. Our pilots are constantly on the prowl for fresh lodes of Scrap, harvesting from anything they find floating around in space. Asteroids, enemy ships, and hulking wrecks from the deepest voids all hold components and minerals that can be scrapped and recycled into energy. One of your primary jobs on this ship will be to harvest Scrap and return it to our holds for processing. In return you’ll be given credits that can be exchanged for any good or service offered on the ship. Get an octopod massage at the spa, overcharge your weapons for a little extra firepower, or even acquire artisanal jams made with otherworldly fruits grown in the greenhouses.
Every Colony is guarded by a Watchdog, a genetically modified canine bionically linked to the sensors. Even the faintest ripple in space-time is obvious to a Watchdog, who will sniff out any threats to the Colony and try to steer the ship to safety. If an unavoidable hazard is detected, all available pilots are scrambled to neutralize it before any damage can be done. When you’re out there on your own the Watchdog is your link to the Colony and since you are part of her pack, she will always bring you back safely.
One of the perks of living on the Colony is getting your very own spaceship! You can use this however you like, crack some asteroids and earn a little scrap, fly out and see the event horizon of a black hole, or just cruise around and look cool. Of course, with a great spaceship comes great responsibility. The constant threat of pirates and various other space-borne hazards means that you’ll be on rotation for Colony defense, if you’re on call when the klaxons sound you better be ready to suit up and kick some tail Nomad!
We currently offer three models, each with their own unique abilities and interchangeable sets of equipment. For now let’s get you up to speed on the base models of each and you can take your time later tricking out your favorite ship and giving it a sweet paint job.
This ship is built to fight pirates and is capable of single-handedly destroying large groups of enemies with an array of AOE and damage mitigation abilities. With twin-mounted weapon ports, heavy armor, and a wealth of offensive abilities to choose from the Ace is perfect for blasting other ships into sizzling clouds of scrap. The standard package includes laser cannons, modest cargo bay, decent armor plating, and mid-range engines, nothing fancy but it gets the job done.
In addition, pilots are able to activate several abilities to increase the effectiveness of the Ace in combat. One example is a munitions overload ability which dramatically increases the fire rate of the weapons for a short period of time.
Strengths: high ship damage, high damage absorption, many AOE abilities
Weaknesses: low asteroid damage, low speed
Engineered for construction in zero gravity, this ship is a master of towers. Able to build towers with a wide range of abilities and having access to gear which reduces construction costs, the Mechanic is the ship for defensive-minded Nomads. The standard ship is outfitted with a single laser cannon, small cargo bay, light armor, and weak engines, but the abilities and towers this ship has access to more than make up for any deficiencies.
Many of the abilities the Mechanic has access to allows pilots to deflect enemy attacks or defend their allies. One such ability allows the Mechanic to slash enemies and asteroids with its large construction claw inflicting heavy damage and sending them careening in the other direction.
Strengths: diverse tower selection, AOE healing, can build powerful temporary towers
Weaknesses: low damage, few damage abilities
Fast and light with a large cargo hold, this ship is the ultimate in scrap harvesting technology, with strong anti-asteroid abilities and a focus on economy you’ll never want for cash with a Scavenger around. The stock ship includes a mining laser, large cargo bay, light armor, and powerful engines, everything you need to get the scrap flowing back to the colony.
The abilities this ship offers focus mainly on survivability and enemy disruption. One example is the magnetic mine which the Scavenger can leave behind when escaping. It will follow the nearest pirate until it makes contact and explodes, dealing massive damage and disabling ships in the immediate area.
Strengths: high speed, economy focused, disruptive abilities
Weaknesses: low range weapons, low ship damage
The Escape Pod
This can either be your salvation or your coffin. If your ship happens to get destroyed in the course of the day you can launch the Escape Pod and avoid your cremation. It doesn’t really do much except fly around, basically the purpose of this ship is to get you back to the base in one piece. Once there you’ll be able to get a new ship, but these things aren’t free! You’ll either have to pay for a new ship with money earned from selling scrap or wait until the hangar master feels bad for you and waives the fee.
Strengths: you’re not spacedust right now
Weaknesses: you can’t really do much in this ship, except wait for rescue
The backbone of any successful defense, every ship has access to three different towers which complement their role on the battlefield. Each tower can be upgraded once it is built, upgrading will increase damage, fire rate, armor, etc. based on the focus of that particular tower. The mine tower, for example, can deploy a larger minefield with more powerful mines as it is upgraded.
Towers can only be upgraded twice but each increase will hurt your wallet, should a tower be destroyed on your watch you’re out of luck. There are no refunds for broken gear, so take care to defend your towers well once they are upgraded!
“What’s so dangerous out there in space that would require all this gear?” you might be asking yourself. Well space is filled with all kinds of hazards, and not all can be avoided with the same strategy. Some require a simple volley of lasers, while others need a little more finesse, and there is the occasional threat that should be avoided entirely.
Hazard is a catch-all term that refers to anything that has the potential to harm the Colony. These hazards can range in threat level ranging from small space rocks that might knock out a relay antenna to entire swarms of pirates with no other goal than to destroy this colony and take our scrap for themselves.
These rocks endlessly fly through space, flung this way and that by various gravity wells and celestial bodies. Generally they are not a threat to us, but more than once an unwary pilot has been crushed to spacedust by a rogue asteroid. Few are large enough to deal catastrophic damage to the Colony, although even the smallest rock can be more than an annoyance, but every repair we have to make is just more scrap gone.
Asteroids come in several flavors, rocky, molten, icy, and radioactive. Rocky asteroids are the least threatening, they simply cause damage by colliding with something. Molten asteroids, when destroyed either through collision or by a dose of laser, will split into several smaller rocks and continue upon different paths. Icy asteroids do much less damage if they ram something, but will completely coat their victim in ice, disabling many vital systems until the ice is cleared. Radioactive asteroids are highly volatile and upon destruction will explode in a cloud of radiation that damages all machinery caught within.
Drifters gone bad Pirates will stop at nothing for a little scrap, even if it means vaporizing someone else to get it.
Pirates travel in large fleets centered around one massive flagship which sends out tentacles of scouts in all directions looking for scrap. If a scout stumbles upon a lode of scrap the rest will descend upon that location, if you see one pirate you can only assume many more are on the way. Pirates fly many different classes of ship which range in size from small fighters with a sole pilot to hulking capital ships with hundreds onboard. Each class is tiered by hazard level, those at the lowest tier are rusting antiques and the ships at the top are some of the deadliest in space.
The only way to escape a band of pirates is to fight your way out. So when the klaxon sounds that a pirate has been sighted, prepare to scramble!
Space is unpredictable, and almost anything can emerge from the darkness. We’ve sighted sector wide electric storms, colonist ships that were completely empty, and even wormholes leading to warp knows where.
Just remember, be ready for anything. It’s a huge, beautiful world out there, let’s explore it.
- Stilts, Watchdog of the colony Driftstar