The chosen path

The way players advance is varied and many. Read on to see what options are available to you in your chosen paths through the cosmic fabric of Halcyon Online.

16 days ago

Latest Post Infoslate #9 - June update by Kirk Bushell public

In most games of the MMO RTS genre, players advance by unlocking technologies, expanding their empire and taking on other players to achieve dominance throughout the galaxy. But is that all there is to it? Not in Halcyon Online!

Halcyon Online provides a number of game systems that allow players to zero in on their preferred style of play, including galaxy modes, race/faction selection, research paths, unit advancement and much more.

Unit advancement

One of the core mechanics of the game is for players to be able to build their fleets in a manner that best suits their preferred playstyle and the targets they'll be attacking, or defending against. But there's more to it than that. Units gain experience as you use them in battles, and that experience is then used to unlock upgrades as your units level up (yes, that's right - every unit has its own mini tech tree!).

These upgrade paths are quite small - only a few options per unit, with each option selected locking players out of alternative upgrade options. This allows players to upgrade their units to strengthen their battlefield roles, and sometimes even change that unit's role altogether!

Upgrade options are varied - some allow you to reduce a unit's production costs, others improve battlefield stats like weapon damage or shield values, and others may change a weapon's damage type or even provide new abilities! 🤯 As you progress, at some point you have the ability to unlock your unit's true potential, providing an incentive to use particular units in a number of engagements in order to do so.

Units gain experience based on their involvement in combat engagements, receiving XP for each round that they survive. Therefore, using certain units constantly to improve their capabilities over time becomes another choice that players need to make when designing their fleets!

Modular structures

As part of your colony's infrastructure, nearly all structures can be expanded with modules which provide passive bonuses, or enhance those structures with additional capabilities (usually the latter and sometimes both!). Take for example the Manufactory, the first structure you will create on any colony. One of the modules you can build, is the Assembly Plant, providing the Manufactory with queuing capacity for your infrastructure projects, allowing you to plan further ahead.

Modules, just like structures can be upgraded (for a cost), which provides further bonuses. With the Assembly Plant, not only does it provide you with the ability to queue other infrastructure projects, but each subsequent level also reduces the build time for infrastructure projects on that colony.

Campaign mode

Campaign mode represents a series of linked games in Halcyon Online, coupled together to form a campaign, spread over a 3 month season. As players complete games within Campaign mode, they'll be able to select passive bonuses that apply to their empire for their subsequent games and these are cumulative! The goal is that campaigns will last 7-10 rounds (with each game lasting 2-3 weeks), with players able to select a passive bonus for their Empire between rounds, thereby enhancing their Empire's starting power in the subsequent rounds for the campaign.

Campaign mode ensures that games have a "levelling-up" aspect to them, as your Empire continues to advance between games, a marked difference and interesting game system not yet seen in the games of this genre.

Global recognition

Beyond the advancement within a single galaxy, players will be able to unlock global achievements that highlight their capability as a player. These can be as common as colonising a number of planets, to as rare as achieving 1st place in a galaxy's rankings.

These achievements unlock titles or avatars a player can equip on their profile, as well as badges and other options like borders, colours.etc. These customisation options allow players to configure their visible player profile, showcasing their greatest achievements. They don't affect gameplay in any way, but allow players to show off their achievements in a variety of ways, visible in every location the player's nickname is displayed in the game, and elsewhere (like forums!)

Because achievements don't affect gameplay, they'll be one of the last systems to implement in the game and may not actually be available until post-launch. Time will tell. However, we -will- be recording everything players do in-game, so rolling out achievements post-launch won't be a problem, and will ensure players will still unlock all future achievements, no matter when the system is launched! 🗡️

I hope that provides you a sense of the customisation, choices and paths that players will embark upon with in the universe of Halcyon Online, and I can't wait for you to experience them.

Kirk Bushell

Published 16 days ago