Construction is a term used to categorise the creation of cities, facilities and stations and can be considered separate from production. This article attempts to cover the construction of such entities in brief.
Facilities can be either built on the ground or in space, with each having a different set of requirements and restrictions. They will therefore be discussed individually.
Space stations are large structures built only within systems. These can serve a variety of uses, some act as defensive structures such as Golan class (see above), designed to attack enemies nearby. Others can be used for trading, production or recycling.
Before construction can commence on a station, various things must be gathered before the user can proceed.
- Station Blueprints - The user must get hold of blueprints for the station they wish to build. Station blueprints are distributed primarily to factions, with different factions holding station blueprints. Government factions have the widest range of stations, holding many of the defensive and support station designs, while Smugglers and mercenary groups have facilities such as Asteroid Hideouts. The user may be able to join one of these factions in order to make use of the plans.
- Raw Materials - The user will need raw materials in order to construct their station. These must be located on a ship at the site of the project. Be aware that large stations such as Golan II or Shipyard IV will require dramatically more resources to build. Also the user will need credits.
- NPCs - Builder NPCs are required to construct stations. These need to be at the same system location as the planned station. A user may have anywhere between one and 25 NPCs working on a station.
- Privileges - If the user is building the station for a faction then they require the relevant materials privileges to use faction resources and the relevant construction privileges.
- The area of space the user wishes to build in must not contain another station, star or black hole.
- Build Permissions - Users may build a station in orbit of a planet however in order to do so, the request must be approved by the sector owner. Before construction can commence, a build request must be submitted to the owning faction stating the precise nature of the project for the factions consideration. If approved then you may build only the requested facility.
Once the above has been considered, the user is ready to build. Proceed to the entrance room of the ship to find the option for Station Construction. The preview will show the intended location of the station and a time estimate will be provided. The user may then assign any number of builder NPCs to the project, with more builders decreasing the time taken. Additionally the users management skill will reduce the financial cost and time requirements.
Once accepted the project will commence. The station foundations are placed in the system and will be noticeable effective immediatly. All raw materials and NPCs involved in the project transfer onto the station, at which point the user is free to move along and come back at a later date. Note that stations will take a long time to produce, some can take several months to build. Once completed, an amount of experience is provided to the user as well as all NPCs.
Once a construction project has started it can be halted through the stations management section. The project will then be stopped. A project can remain halted indefinitely without problem.
Alternatively the project can be cancelled remotely by anyone with sufficient privileges to do so or the original builder. When the project is cancelled there is the option to return any used resources to any ship at the same location. The amount of resources returned is equal to the percentage of the project remaining minus 10%. It will also take a few hours to take the station apart, the closer it is to completion the longer it will take to dismantle.
All NPCs will finally leave the station remains once completely dismantled and can be collected in a specialist escape pod.
Ground facilities are structures based on a planets surface and are built in mostly the same way to stations also having similar requirements and limitations.
A user cannot start construction on a planet straight away. First any space on the ground which needs construction must be developed into a city. The person must descend to the planets surface to perform what is known as "slabbing". This converts the empty surface tile into a city ready for construction.
The process costs an amount of credits between one and three million credits depending upon the terrain type being used and will take an hour. It may also cost an extra half million if the planet is of a particularly dangerous atmosphere. This cost can be paid by either the individual or, if built for faction purposes, faction credits. The user does not need any NPC for this task.
Alternatively the user may opt to make the city a hidden city. Hidden cities do not appear on planetary maps and are not visible from above unless a character is in the atmosphere directly above.
Caution, if the city is empty for more than three months the city will be removed and the slabbing costs will not be returned.
Facility Construction Requirements
Once a city has been founded, the user is able to construct facilities. Before building though, it is adviseable to use the Combine City Designer. This will allow the user to plan out their city and identify if their design is valid, whether it will have sufficient power etc. The designer will also show the amount of materials required.
Before a user can construct there are requirements, many of these the same as space stations such as the need for facility blueprints. Again various faction types have the ability to create such buildings. Otherwise the user still needs raw materials, credits, NPC builders as well as permissions from the city owner to build.
- Validity - A facility has slightly different requirements in that it MUST have two completely free sides to build roads along them. Note that the edges of the city do not count as free space.
- Power - Once completed, a facility will require power to function. This can be provided from any Power Generators in the same city. Without power it cannot perform the majority of its functions.
The resources to commence construction must be available in any ship or pre-existing facility in the city. Once again faction privileges are required to use faction resources.
The user must have builder NPCs in their party and must enter the city. In order to start construction, the user must stand in a square adjacent to the planned facility.
The user may then name the facility, select a type of facility and the ownership of the finished object. Note that some items MUST be owned by a faction, such as religious or defensive facilities. The user may select the orientation of the finished city, either horizontally or vertically.
The next step will be to see how the city will appear with the finished building, which is demonstrated on the preview. The design may also be changed by the user to suit the planets environment or design, finally the number of builders can be assigned to the project. The maximum number of builders which can be assigned is 10, with more reducing the time slightly as well as the Management skill. It is possible to start construction with a number of Builders and later add more Builders (within the maximum 10 NPCs per facility limit). NPCs are added through the Party command menu.
Once the project has been started the user is free to move somewhere else and allow the NPC to work. Once completed the builder and manager will receive experience points.
Construction work can be halted on a project by removing NPCs from the project. Most commonly this happens when an NPC is arrested. If the number of active NPCs reaches zero, production stops. NPCs can then be re added if necessary. Construction can also be halted through facility management options.
Additionally it is possible to abort the production, materials may be returned to any ship, vehicle or suitable facility. As per before, resources returned equals the percentage left on the project minus 10 percent.