Stellaris Dev Diary #4 - Means of Travel

Stellaris Dev Diary #4 - Means of Travel

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Jormungandur

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Jan 14, 2015
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Hey all!

Today’s topic will further explore the subjects of fleet movement, FTL-travel and the general wonders one might happen upon when ripping holes through subspace. As the writing of this is a bit sudden the dev diary came out late today, our apologies!
The galaxy is a pretty huge place and to get anywhere in a timely manner you’ll want to travel faster than the speed of light, or use FTL-travel for short. Stellaris will have three methods of FTL that players can use; Warp, Hyperlanes and Wormholes. They all have distinct advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the strategic movement of ships and fleets causing expansion paths, diplomacy and wars to be quite different depending on the method used.

Warp
Warp requires each ship in the fleet to be equipped with a Warp Drive. These are quite costly to build and cause a major drain on each ship’s available power, but allows unconstrained travel to any system within range. When travelling to a system outside the range of a single warp-jump, the fleet has to make a sequence of jumps through a number of systems. Any jump puts a considerable strain on a ship’s Warp Drive, causing the fleet to not be able to jump again for a short while after arrival. While this can be reduced by more advanced technology, it does remain a weak point throughout the game for any species using this method.
Fleets using Warp Drives to travel will need to do so at the edge of a system to lessen the gravitational pull of the local star. This in combination with the fact that warp-jumps have the slowest FTL-speed of the three methods means that the arrival point of an incoming warp-fleet can be identified, and possibly ambushed. The cost of freedom is potentially high!

stellaris_dev_diary_04_01_20151012_2.jpg


Wormhole
Some species have decided to sidestep this whole business of blasting through the void at ludicrous speed. They prefer to open up a temporary wormhole that a fleet may use to instantly travel to a distant system. These wormholes can only be generated by a Wormhole Station, a type of space station that can only be constructed on the outer edge of a system. Any fleet wanting to travel will have to use the Wormhole Station as a connecting point, passing through it whenever they leave the system. The station may only generate a single wormhole at a time, forcing all ships and fleets to wait while one is being prepared. The larger the fleet, the longer it takes for the Wormhole Station to be ready. The wormhole generated does allow two-way travel, but will collapse almost instantly after sending a fleet through.
Constructing and maintaining an efficient network of Wormhole Stations is vital to any species using wormholes, as it will allow sending huge fleets from one part of the galaxy to another in very short time. It also allows striking deep inside enemy territory with little warning. This great strength can also be a great weakness, as fleets are left with no means of further offense or retreat should the network be disabled through covert attacks by enemy strike-fleets.

Hyperdrive
The galaxy in Stellaris has a hidden network of hyperlanes connecting the systems, only visible for those who know where to look. Ships that are equipped with a Hyperdrive can access these lanes and use them to traverse the galaxy at incredible speed. They are however bound by the preexisting network, and has to path through each system connecting their current location and target. Galactic voids lacking systems are in effect huge movement-blockers for any species using hyperlanes, having few systems allowing possible crossings. An enemy could potentially fortify these vital systems should they become aware of their existence, creating strategic choke-points. As the hyperlanes exist in subspace, fleets may access them from anywhere within a system and does not have to travel from the gravitational edge as Warp Drives and Wormhole Stations do. As such, catching a fleet using hyperlanes can be tricky. Correctly identifying the paths to intercept and interrupt their somewhat long charge-up is probably your best bet.

stellaris_dev_diary_04_02_20151012.jpg


All methods of FTL-travel can be improved by researching more advanced technologies. While their exact effects differ some they all improve the speed, range, efficiency or cooldown of FTL-travel. However, being able to casually bend time and space with increased power does not necessarily mean using it with more responsibility. As additional species bend the laws of physics to send larger and larger fleets through the galaxy, there is always the risk of something, or someone, noticing...

Next week we’ll talk more about the different species in the galaxy. Look forward to it!
 
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mant123

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Looks great. I think that I will go with warp drives my first playthrough though since it seems less limiting
 
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TruckFeet

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This looks really cool. I especially like the way wormholes work. Not sure if I'll be using them, but they're still cool.
 
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Ezzezze

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Two questions popped in my mind:

Do we have to choose one of the space travel methods at the start of the game and stick with it for that game? Or can we change?
And are there ships which can use more than one technology?
 
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qer

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Nice diary . Can we use more than way of FTL traveling after some time or are we force to the same system though all the game?
 
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Kaiser Timo

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Awesome information!!!!!

I can see great potential of a Warhammer 40k mod to this, and that someone noticing, made me think of Tyranids or Zerg, or some kind of bio-mass destroyer race from outer space...

or even creatures that dwells in the empyrean! Hahah DEMONS!!!!! Wahahahaa!!
 
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Jerree17

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I this a lot, a whole lot. I have to ask, though, what's each dev's favorite FTL method so far?
 
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grandad1982

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Very nice. Like that FTL is affected by the gravity wells of stars. Also like that not everyone can see the hyperspace lanes. Makes it more interesting to play against!
 
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Time Emperor

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if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you
 
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echo2361

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I really like what you've come up with here, especially when it comes to the minor details and nuances.

For example, requiring a warp-capable fleet to move to the of a system to FTL out has huge tactical and strategic implications. Same goes for wormhole stations. Hyperdrive-capable ships might seem more limited by the lanes they must follow, but being able to FTL out from deep within a star system is a serious advantage for them.

Regarding wormhole stations, why bother making them two-way at all? If they are just going to collapse instantly after letting a fleet through, and the travel itself is instant, would there ever be a chance for a very alert enemy to send ships back through to attack the wormhole station? I like the idea of having to commit all-or-nothing kind of by sending a fleet out without a way of quickly getting it back though.
 
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DeveronMagi

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nice DD. like the differences between the styles.


looking at the screenshot i am worried now that we only have 4 ships classes.

corvette (1 block),destroyer (2 blocks), cruiser (3 blocks)....so the fourth would be battleship (4 blocks).

i am wondering if there are more 'blocks' then 4.
 

CassCD

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How exactly does a wormhole-based traveler navigate the galaxy, anyway? Do they have to bring some sort of constructor vessel with them in to simply return to where you came from? To have a constructor vessel create a relay in every system you pass through?
 
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Jormungandur

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Two questions popped in my mind:

Do we have to choose one of the space travel methods at the start of the game and stick with it for that game? Or can we change?
And are there ships which can use more than one technology?

You do choose a single type of FTL at game-start and stick with it for the majority of the game. Ships can not mix or use several FTL-types at the same time. That said, what ancient fleets may lie buried and forgotten amongst the stars, sleeping and ready to be found?

I this a lot, a whole lot. I have to ask, though, what's each dev's favorite FTL method so far?

It honestly varies week to week as we play MP. I have a love-hate relationship with Wormholes, being awesome when they allow me to deep-strike enemies but less awesome when my fleet is stuck in nowhere as another player raided my exposed connection-point.

Looks great, thanx for being a replacement DD composer Jormungandur :)

Happy to serve! I'm leaving the office now but I'll pop back in tomorrow to possibly catch up on some questions.
 
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valergain

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Huh very interesting, Wormhole travel is actually viable and Warp is not as good as I thought it would be. Interesting.

I still wish we had the option to set everyone to use only one type of FTL. Ah well there will be mods if you guys don't.
 

Jormungandur

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How exactly does a wormhole-based traveler navigate the galaxy, anyway? Do they have to bring some sort of constructor vessel with them in to simply return to where you came from? To have a constructor vessel create a relay in every system you pass through?

A fleet in range of a system with a functional Wormhole Station may request a wormhole to be opened to their system, allowing them to get home. It still takes time and occupies the Wormhole Station of course.
 
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Harle

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Regarding warp drives and all ships needing to have them, I wonder if it will be possible to build huge 'motherships' that are basically little more than a massive hangar and a warp drive, to tuck warp-less ships into.

I kind of doubt it, it's been a while since I've played a game which allowed you to put ships inside other ships, outside of the typical carriers/fighters/bombers.

But that would be some rad functionality. It allows you to move warpless ships around and get around the whole power and space cost for smaller war ships, but it also means that if your mothership is destroyed, your ships are stranded until you can send another mothership, which I think would be an adequate drawback for such a work-around.
 
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mwyeoh

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Always good to have multiple methods of travel
Will a nation be stuck with only one method? Or can you research the others later on?
What about federations? Will you then be able to pick and choose which FTL travel to install on those ships?
 

Korashy

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I'd probably go Hyperlanes just impose more order on the map and make it easier for me to know what parts of the space clay I should look to owning first.
 

drakeheath

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I would imagine federations would get interesting if the federal fleet can get a mix of different styles of FTL.

And what planets are owned where will probably be heavily effected by the FTL, with hyperspace empires going along the routes, warp empires sort of being a blob of nearby worlds and wormhole empires being all over the place.
 
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