This Wednesday was another big day for eXode with Contract opening finally being possible. Beside the rush of ripping open those packs and getting the first epic and legendary drops the event gave us access to plenty of new cards to speculate about. Last time we were looking at the newly released weapons and ammunition giving us a better understanding of what to expect from Evacuation. Today I'll highlight some of the cards that will be used for Colonization gameplay. So far we don't have any information about that second part of the game but by looking at these cards we'll be able to find some clues about what might be waiting for us.
In case you haven't heard about eXode I'd advise you to first read the articles analyzing their games manifesto or their first playable Alpha version. You'll find all the basic information about the game there. In short words, eXode is a decision making game powered by the Hive blockchain. It's made up of a fast paced Evacuation and more laid back Colonization stage. The game is strongly focused on tradable cards that can enhance your playthrough in many ways. Let's have a look at what to expect from Colonization!
There's so much to be learned from that card alone. It produces Energy, Life Support and Water for your colony. So, obviously, you'll need to at least take care of these three resources. The quantity produced being displayed in units per day hints at a way more laid back gameplay than what we've seen in Evacuation where it's more about making decisions in seconds rather than days. It also seems like Colonization will be a lot about making sure that you run a positive total on all your resources, balancing out what to build or get next.
Another interesting point is that the WHC Unit comes with 50 Oxygen Crystals and it's burning two of them each day. So once it runs out of Oxygen Crystals it will probably stop producing Life Support. I assume that you need to find a way to produce new Oxygen Crystals or find another way to generate Life Support before you run dry. This hints at Colonization being a lot about settling in on your new homeworld. You can bring all the Prefabs in the world with you but if you don't manage to adapt to what your planet has to offer your colony will ultimately fail once you run out of the resources you brought. As it will take 25 days to run out of Oxygen Crystals it's safe to assume that you'll be able to spend months if not years building a colony.
The Strategic Foodie-Moodie (love the name by the way) is a first example what Energy is needed for. It takes an input of one Energy and provides the colony with Recombined Food and Happy Soda. So you will not only have to provide Life Support and Water to your colonists, they'll also need some kind of food to survive. The Happy Soda is an interesting addition as well. Without knowing what it will do exactly, this seems to be some kind of space beer. I assume that you'll have to manage your colonists happiness and that Happy Soda is going to help you with doing so. Balancing content and well being of your colonists promises to be a pretty deep gameplay aspect on its own.
Also notice that all these Prefabs come with the Droppable trait. So if your colony is running low on food and you can't get your hands on a new source fast enough you can always burn one of your additional copies to drop a unit to your colony. This will create some interesting decision making. Do I sacrifice a permanent asset to help my currently established colony or do I accpet the colony's failure and try to establish a new one, starting from scratch?
Things are not slowing down here. The Smooty All-In-One takes Energy and turns it into Atmospheric Shielding and Habtitat. So your colonists don't only need water, food and life support, now they also want to live somewhere? Bunch of space snobs you brought with you! On a more serious note, colony management seems to turn out as a rather complex endeavor. I'm all for it because I enjoy complex strategy games and we don't have anything even close to that on the blockchain so far. At the same time it'll be important to balance this all out. Establishing a colony needs to be possible without bringing all these prefabs in my opinion. It's fine if its harder (and it should be), but you still need to have a fighting chance even you barely made it out of Evacuation alive without much to show for.
The TOM Custom introduces another interesting feature. It can either provide you with Habitat or Laboratory. So if you didn't manage to bring any scientists with you it can just be used to house some of your colonists. If you did though said scientists can get to work in your Laboratory right away. We'll have to wait and see what a Laboratory is doing for you exactly. I see two possible ways to implement it. A Laboratory could either be mandatory in order to start any research or it could simply provide a boost to any research done. Either way, TOM Custom showcases that there will be more to manage than your colonists basic needs. I assume we'll see a lot more cards like this with different Grants - think of workshops, mines or even entertainment - you do need a place to consume that Happy Soda after all.
All things considered, colony management is looking to be complex, involved and a lot of fun. It seems to focus a lot on making all elements click. You'll struggle to provide your colonists with everything needed to make a living in their new home. At the same time you'll have to plan ahead and bring in replacements for your Prefabs before they run out of resources and cease to operate. You'll have to closely balance out your gains and expenses in order to grow your colony over time. Talking of balancing, there's another very interesting aspect to all these Prefabs we just looked at. When you start a new Evacuation you are choosing what Prefabs you want to take with you. As a matter of fact though you can't just go ahead and take what ever you like with you. You also choose the ship you want to be on and every ships will have a limit to the cargo it can bring.
So if you start your journey on the Orwell 1 you'll be restricted to seven pieces of cargo. That would just be enough to bring everything we've seen above. Considering there most likely will be dozens of Prefabs more to choose from though you'll probably spend a lot of time thinking about what to bring with you when planning for the start of your next colony...
If you follow anything I've written about eXode in the past you'll probably already know my conclusion so I'll keep it short this time: I'm in love with eXode and I'm deeply impressed with the speed of its development. If the stars align this game could become a huge success and it might one day even manage to establish a presence in the mainstream market. Like I said last time, if you prefer to only eat the cake instead of touring the cake factory first, it's probably too early to jump onboard but if you enjoy being part of the journey from the very start then now is the perfect time to join the eXode universe.
As always, here's my Referral incentive program: All you need to play the game is an origin pack which is currently sold at 8$ each. If you join using my referral link you'll get 2 boosters for free from eXode and I'll send an additional booster your way. Each booster contains 5 random cards chosen from more than 200 unique cards in the Alpha collection. They are currently sold at 2$ each.
As always, thank you all for reading and please let me know what you think about the game in the comments. See you all next time.