Journals

Trial by Toxin - Io's Campaign

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 By Zultar327

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Jupiter’s Forge is the first major expansion to Offworld Trading Company and it certainly wouldn’t be complete without additions to the campaign. Io has come to OTC, bringing with it significant changes to to resource tree, specifically centered around water. This means that simply adding to the Martian campaign was never going to be enough, and Io therefore has received its own separate campaign.

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Every CEO in Offworld has received a new set of engineers that will be available when they begin an Io campaign. Obviously, the lack of water on Io requires different tools, and each CEO will be prepared for that challenge. These CEOs will all retain their old bonuses. This means that some CEOs will likely be better prepared for Io than they were even for Mars, such as Joji with their starting space elevator or Silas with his free Optimization Center. Others, meanwhile, might suffer a bit. Paulo Rubini in particular - with his Cold Fusion bonus - could prove to be a challenge for any player to bring to the finish line. Perhaps our biggest winners will be the Indie Devs Mikhail and Anastasia. Their access to all factions is sure to be even more powerful with Nomad and Elite headquarters available.

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New blood will be entering the arena on Io as well. First up is Ezra Hoang, leader of the Penrose Collective. He brings with him the new Nomadic HQ and Geothermal Borehole. However, Ezra does not have access to any dedicated power production on Io, and will need to carefully consider each found in early scenarios until he’s able to hire those crucial engineers. Our other new company is the Diadem Trust with Philippa Ndiaye at the helm. As an Elite focused company, the Trust is dependent on advanced buildings. Thankfully Philippa brings with her an advanced building discount, halving the cost of hiring their requisite specialists. Philippa also has a host of powerful engineers and is the only CEO to begin an Io campaign with 100% basalt platform production.

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The new CEOs bring with them new stories for the Offworld universe. Both seek the stores of Uranium that are available on Io, though each has their own purpose to turn it toward. The success of these expeditions will depend on your ability to guide them through the gauntlet that is an OTC campaign. The stories are told through each campaign length (4, 7, and 10 weeks). Once these are all completed for either CEO that leader’s final mission will unlock. This is a one week campaign which concludes the story of either Ezra or Philippa. While the new stories are focused on Io, Ezra and Philippa will be available on Mars for those seeking a fresh challenge on the red planet.

We’ll be back next week to talk more about Offworld’s imposing new faction, the Diadem Trust.


The Diadem Trust - Elite Entrepreneurs

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 By Zultar327

The Nomads of the Penrose Collective aren’t the only ones throwing their hats into the ring. With them comes the Diadem Trust, known quite simply as the Elites. Led by Philippa Ndiaye, this faction is not looking to be sneaky, crafty, or clever. Their plan is to overwhelm to competition with the raw strength of their corporate empire.

Every last bonus the Trust brings with them comes from their superior advanced buildings. Some of these bonuses are straightforward, and easily exploitable. Easily fitting into this category is the Elite Pleasure Dome, which gains a bonus to income when compared to other factions. However, the enhancements made to the dome do require small amounts of chemicals to stay operational. In addition to this, Elite faction headquarters themselves are well populated and wealthy; they contribute more to the Pleasure Dome’s income than any other headquarters. This already makes the Trust a tempting choice in matches with large numbers of players.

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The Hacker Array, Patent Lab, and Offworld Market/Space Elevator also receive bonuses under the umbrella of the Trust. The Hacker Array’s increased efficiency allows it to execute shorts and surpluses simultaneously. This ability takes a skilled CEO to exploit, but can certainly be useful to tip the scales of a shifting market. The Patent Lab is arguably the home of the Elite’s most ostentatious power; their lawyers can duplicate patents that are already owned by other players. While this ability is certainly powerful, players must take care when using it. Many have already lost their fortunes by giving into greed and collecting every patent they can, rather than choosing precisely what they need and moving on. Along with these bonuses, it’s important to note that Elite infrastructure is better equipped to support advanced buildings than other headquarters, meaning they can build these buildings one level earlier than their competitors. While this can be useful for claiming the best colony locations early, the greatest impact of this is seen in the Offworld Market. Elites gain access to the Market at HQ3 and can support one more for each level they gain after. This means that at the end of a game players who choose to work with the Trust can field three Offworld Markets, while everyone else is still stuck with two.

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While an additional Offworld Market (or Space Elevator) can certainly help close out a game, experienced CEOs will tell you that isn’t the linchpin of the Trust’s success. That title instead belongs to the Optimization Center. Most players consider this structure vital for almost any faction in a longer game, and the Elites’ upgrade to structure will only support that opinion. This is because any optimization that is perfected under the Trust grants them one additional claim. This certainly is not as flashy as gaining patents that have already been taken or building an additional Offworld, but it is the power that cements the Diadem Trust as a true boom faction. They start small and are relatively weak at the start of the game. However, once the right investments have been made and given time to flourish, no one can compete with the Trust.

Join us again next week to learn about how Offworld’s campaign is being brought to the moon of Io.

Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge is now available on Steam!


The Penrose Collective, Nomads of Io

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 By Zultar327

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The promise of a new theater of capitalism has brought new competitors with it. The first of these is The Penrose Collective (also known as "Nomads"), a ragtag community brought together under the unifying leadership of Ezra Hoang. This group’s atypical practices have allowed them to find a place in the still young solar economy.

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Much like our other abnormal corporation - the outcast Scavengers - the Nomads don’t rely on steel to form the foundation of their structures.  Instead, they look to exploit the often underused silicon on Mars and Io as a base for their buildings and headquarters. This opens up new opportunities for players in regions that are flush with silicon, and alleviates the race to get the best iron on maps that have few metal deposits. Also like the Scavengers, using such an easily quarried material allows the Nomads to hit the ground running, moving through headquarters upgrades very quickly, despite having to rely on electronics rather than the standard glass. These quick Nomad starts are only enhanced by their remaining abilities.

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Once you know what you’ll need to found a Nomadic corporation offworld, it will be time to start looking for those spots. However, there’s one more detail you will need to consider before you get started. Because of their ability to coordinate and cooperate with each other, the Nomads are able to maintain two headquarters in the same region. Once the first is placed, a second will also need to planted anywhere else on the map. Both of these headquarters function just as any other faction’s would, able to collect resources and send out buildings or MULEs. Nomadic headquarters also share one resource pool, so securing silicon near one and aluminum near another typically allows them to begin additional development while everyone else is still waiting for their shipments to arrive. Be warned though, Nomad headquarters are small and have no space to bring any resources along to the start of a match.

The final bonus Nomads bring with them only enhances their ability to exploit quick starts. Each time you upgrade your headquarters as a Nomad you receive two “return a claim” actions, which are stored in your Black Market tray until they are used. This can allow you to be more reckless with claims early, either flooding yourself with upgrade materials then returning the land later or claiming high value resources to make a quick buck before transitioning to strong late game production. You can even use the action to return an auctioned tile, so any and all scraps of land have value to you as long you still have a claim return.

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Nomads are always quick off the block, but converting their fast start into a win isn’t usually a simple matter. Oftentimes you’ll be looking to pick off a weaker opponent, and use the profits from acquiring them to stay competitive in the late game. If you’re up for the challenge of relying on fast, early decisions to carry you through a match, The Penrose Collective is the faction you’ve been waiting for.

Next week we’ll move on to the other new competitor, the Diadem Trust, a bold faction that embodies everything the Collective is not.

Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge is now available on Steam!


OTC's Anniversary, an Update for Returning Players

Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 By Zultar327

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Dev Journal. Jupiter’s Forge development continues, but this week we’re going to take a break from talking about it. This is because we’ve seen many returning players coming back to OTC, and given that we’ve just celebrated Offworld’s first anniversary this past week it seemed like a good to time to catch them up on some of the major changes we’ve seen this year.

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- Balance -

OTC hasn’t seen many major balance changes, but there have been a few worth noting since release.

  • Scavenger Black Market cooldown increased to 40 seconds. Reclamation Inc. was feeling just a bit too punishing with a 30 second timer, so this change was made fairly early on.

  • Colony growth increased. Food and Oxygen value Offworld decreased. These changes had a combined effect of making Offworld Markets slightly less valuable, as the most commonly launched resources weren’t worth as much and the colony’s consumption was increased; together these changes pushed the late game away from a straight Offworld Market rush.

  • Debt threshold increased in games with five or more players. Debt was a bit too punishing in large games, so high interest rates kick in a little later.

  • Two MULEs granted per purchase. MULEs simply weren’t being used. Granting two per purchase helps bring them in line with the value expected from a Black Market purchase.

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- Quality of Life and UI -

Once again, some noteworthy improvements have been made to OTC to help players manage their companies.

  • Majority Buyout Vulnerable. OTC now warns players when they are at risk of being acquired in a Majority Buyout.

  • Tab/Shift-Tab can be used to cycle forwards and backwards between HQs and the Colony.

  • Turn Off Unprofitable Buildings. This player option does as it says, automatically disabling your buildings if the game decided that they aren’t making money.

  • Show Revenue. Pressing “x” (default) now displays the net income per second of each of your buildings.

  • Show Core Sample Odds. Pressing “shift-z” (default) now shows core sample percentages, and indicates a location where each resource is likely to be found.

  • Patents can now be transferred (one-way) in team games.

  • In Campaign, worker promotions can now be skipped.

- The Ceres Initiative -

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Ceres is the first celestial body we’ve visited after bringing capitalism to Mars. This DLC adds Ceres as a map in OTC, which brings with it several new gameplay changes.

  • New Terrain: Salts. Farms and Glass Kilns have 50% more production on salts.

  • New Terrain: Caves. Caves can be used to mine resources adjacent to them.

  • New Resource: Uranium. Primary resources acquired with a Metal Mine.

  • New Building: Nuclear Power Plant. Ceres has no significant atmosphere or source for geothermal energy, so nuclear power has been made available. These plants receive adjacency bonuses from Chemical Refineries.

  • New Patent: Transparent Aluminum. Glass costs are replaced with Aluminum.

  • New Patent: Liquid Batteries. Solar Condensers and Solar Panels remain on at night. Along with these patents being added, Superconductor and Carbon Scrubbing are unavailable.

  • Diminishing Resources. All resources gradually reduce to ‘low” level on Ceres.

  • Ice is always present on a Ceres map.

  • New option in Campaign mode to include Ceres locations.

Hosting a Ceres multiplayer lobby requires the Ceres Initiative DLC. Anyone, whether they own Ceres or not, may then join this lobby. In addition, during multiplayer games that use Offworld’s matchmaking there is a 25% chance that the map will be Ceres, regardless of whether or not the DLC has been purchased.

- The Patron and the Patriot -

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This DLC enhances the Campaign experience of OTC.

  • Two new CEOs. Manuel Valencia is an investment banker who came to Mars seeking a fresh start. He takes on less debt from interest and is skilled at finding new resources. Mikhail Nekrasov is the inventor of Transparent Aluminum, and as such begins his Campaigns with that patent. As an independent developer he has access to any type of headquarters.

  • New Campaign Lengths. Campaign can now run for 4, 7, or 10 weeks.

  • Story-Driven Campaigns. Each new CEO has 3 stories to explore, one for each Campaign length. These stories will shift around the specific scenarios each player encounters in the course of their run.

  • New Scenario Mode, Wholesale Orders. Up until now, colonies have only awarded shares for new development projects. In a Wholesale Orders match, the colony will request resources directly rather than depending on the player to build them new structures. Some of these requests are constant, while others can change with each shipment.

  • Colony Class. Neutral Colonies now specialize into many different types, changing what buildings are available.

  • Various New Staffing Perks.

- Blue Chip Ventures -

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This DLC adds 17 new singleplayer scenarios to Offworld Trading Company. BCV scenarios are designed to test your knowledge of many OTC mechanics and strategies, and the final 5 will only be completed by those with true mastery over these systems. Even if you aren’t already a top Martian CEO, taking on the BCV challenges will help you identify gaps in your play, and shore up your ability to take on the competition. Managing monopolies, reading resources trends, Black Market bombardment, and many more skills will be crucial to conquering the Blue Chip Ventures.

We'll be back on track next week to talk about The Penrose Collective, Nomads of Io.

Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge is now available on Steam!


Water Water Nowhere, and Yet You Need to Drink

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 By Zultar327

Last week we covered what’s available (and not available) on the surface of Io. The schedule says this week we’re going to have a special journal entry for OTC’s anniversary. That’s still coming in a couple of days, but for now we’re going to talk about all the new buildings available on Io and how you can use them to survive on this truly barren rock.

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- Water -

Finding water on Mars is not easy. Buried far underground or in ice that has to be melted, special structures are needed to extract this precious resource. But, at least it can be extracted. On Io there is no such luxury - you’ll have to create the water you need yourself. Thankfully, some new buildings have recently been developed to help you thrive in your new home.

Ion Collector - This building can be placed anywhere and will passively gather Fuel (hydrogen) from the Io Plasma Torus for your corporation, shipping it back to your HQ for whatever use you might require.

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Solar Condenser - While not truly a new building, the Condenser has been refined to work with the Oxide Ice found on Io, extracting pure Oxygen to support your workers.

Water Processor - Once you’ve got your Collectors and Condensers online, it’s time to finally get some Water production started. The Water Processor consumes both Fuel and Oxygen, but will convert these resources  into the Water you need for life-support and Food production. It even provides a small trickle of power in the process, easing some of the strain of maintaining the power-hungry Ion Collectors.

- Basalt - 

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Basalt Platform - This building is how you’ll manage to get resources out of those dangerous lava flows all over the surface of Io. An incredibly potent structure, Basalt Platforms breakdown the lava into two parts Iron, one part Silicon, and one part Uranium, before sending it back to you. Despite the exceptional output of these structures, take care when building them, as the Basalt you place them on won’t be usable for anything else.

- Advanced Buildings -

While the Hacker Array, Pleasure Dome, and Optimization Center will all be familiar on Io, the Patent Lab has been adjusted to be more useful on this new moon. Also, the Offworld Market has been replaced altogether.

Space Elevator - The Launchpads of Mars have been replaced with a massive tower on Io, allowing easier transport of resources off-planet. By default, the Space Elevator costs 200 Aluminum, 200 Steel, and 200 Glass, making it significantly easier to construct than the typical 400 Steel, 100 Glass, 100 Electronics Offworld Market. In addition, the Elevator consumes power rather than fuel to send its shipment, and combos well with some of the Patents that aren’t available on Mars.

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Patent Lab - The Lab now has a few new Patents available that we haven’t seen before, as well as a couple that were only available to those companies that have ventured to Ceres. We’ll cover the entirely new Patents first.

  • Nuclear Engine: Allows your Ships to use Uranium if it is cheaper than their standard resource.

  • Geothermal Borehole: Buildings on or adjacent to a Geothermal Vent produce +0.2 Power. This also eliminates their standard Power consumption, if the building has any. In addition, Geothermal Vent tiles no longer have building restrictions, meaning you can place any building you’d like on them.

  • Synthetic Meat: Greenhouse Farms ignore input if built on Oxide Ice. Clearly a powerful tool as claiming an Oxide Ice tile is significantly easier than producing Water to make Food on Io. Still, best not to think too long about how this one works.

Patents previously exclusive to Ceres include:

  • Transparent Aluminum: Build with Aluminum instead of Glass. Potentially far more powerful on Io with the new Elevators.

  • Liquid Batteries: Solar Panels and Solar Condensers are always on. Given that Condensers are your only way to get oxygen, this one is sure to be sought after.

Other available Patents:

  • Superconductor, Energy Vault, Financial Instruments, Virtual Reality, Nanotechnology, Slant Drilling, and Thinking Machines (That’s right - no Teleportation or Carbon Scrubbing here).


With that, we’ve covered what you'll need to know about the buildings available on Io to turn a profit. Next week we’ll be taking a break to recap what's been happening in the first year of OTC with OTC's Anniversary, an Update for Returning Players.

Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge is now available on Steam!

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