In my last article I talked about some of the colonization focused cards coming from the Tom Settlers Premium Buddies contract. To tell the truth, I got really excited while writing the article and I'm super stoked for colonization gameplay. I really enjoy the fast paced Evactuation but Colonization will be my main focus. I'll aim at building the largest, most prosperous colony the eXode universe has ever seen. Luckily there are some more cards to be found in the Contract so we have some more talking to do. As with the buildings we had a look at last time, there's a lot to be learned from examining these cards.
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. But now lets get back to the topic at hand!
The Little Buddy is a card unlike any we looked at last time. Instead of a building it's an actual unit that can be used to move around the planet. Lets have a look at its stats: There are the obvious Speed and Combat stats. But we also have Stealth and Resist. It's safe to assume that you won't be alone on your new home. Maybe there will be dangerous wildlife, hostile aliens or maybe even another crew that managed to escape but doesn't like your presence in "their" new homeworld. Fighting won't always be your best option, so having a high stealth rating might help you to explore the countryside without being shot at all the time. Resist is probably used to determine if the vehicle can withstand hazardous environment. Those four stats alone allow for some interesting balancing and decision making when upgrading your cards. Do you prefer a fast vehicle with great stealth? Do you need a lot of Resist because your new home is full of molten lava? Or do you ignore anything and just max out Combat as fast as possible?
Having the Autonomous trait hints at other vehicles that are not autonomous. So certain options will probably require a pilot or a whole crew to function. We also have the Can explore ability and a quality level for its radar attached to it. Exploring your planet just might be a huge part of what colonization is all about. The first thing you have to make sure is your colonists early survival but once that's secured you probably need to start exploring the landscape around you. Remember the cards with depletable resources we talked about last time? Exploring the planet might be the only way to get your hands on more of those Oxygen Crystals.
Friendly Eyes XY-6 is another autonomous exploration vehicle. As opposed to Little Buddy though it's an Air Vehicle. Notice how it has no combat rating and worse stats in Stealth and Resist as well. Its radar is also inferior to what the Little Buddy offers. Being able to fly seems like a big advantage and it only makes sense if you think about it. Most dangerous wildlife is probably not as dangerous if you fly way above its head. It should also help with exploring impassable terrain. Since the XY-6 has no combat rating at all this vehicle is probably only useful if there are no flying predators or hostile aliens with anti air capabilities around. A stealth rating of 2 also seems to be pretty bad so I'd guess Friendly Eyes will only really shine in a friendly environment.
The Tom Explorator X4 is a different beast entirely. It's autonomous like the rest of the bunch but it offers space for four crew and cargo each. Both pieces of information allow for some more deducting. First of all, with the X4 it's now obvious that there will be different zones for your colony. So colony gameplay will not be restricted to "your colony" but instead there will be several (or even a lot of) areas to explore and potentially colonize as well. I'm not sure exactly how this is going to play out. You could either have a central colony with only mines and the like spread out across the planet or you could potentially have the option to build buildings across several zones, really allowing to create an ever expanding colony. Both options have their pros and cons, so we'll have to wait and see what the developer is aiming for.
Having a cargo capacity hints at the need to manage supply chains for your colony. The stuff you find or mine on the planet won't magically materialize in your storage but instead you'll have to make sure that your resources get to where they are needed. I assume we'll see some automation there so you won't have to constantly send your transporters across the planet. Still this once again underlines that Colonization is going to a complex game where making the right moves at the right time will be paramount. You can't just start mining everywhere without any means of transportation. Thinking of transportation, you'll obviously have to make sure that your crew gets around the planet as well. Again, this shows the scope of Colonization. Not everything will be in walking distance to everything else.
Talking about scope - just have a look at that beauty! The Buddy Pinger has an actual warpdrive and it lasts (and communicates) for three days once it's launched. I see two applications for this probe. It could either be used before you found your colony - Instead of settling on the first best planet you might want to take a look around in the neighborhood, maybe there's a lovely Class M planet just around the corner? The second use case though is what's getting me really excited - you could use it to scan your part of the galaxy after your colony is already founded.
Why would you want to do that you ask? Well, you still (might) have a usable ship once you've settled in on your new home. There might be other planets of interest around, maybe a derelict space station? Or, well, maybe it's the alien armada looking to exterminate you. The existence of cards like the Buddy Pinger makes it highly unlikely that Colonization will be restricted to building your colony only. I'm positive that we'll set out to the stars again, exploring strange new worlds and maybe - just maybe - one day start building a second colony, and a third... The more I think about it the more excited I become. The possibilities are endless! If eXode follows through with everything planned, there's material for years and years of constant development without ever getting old. Space exploration could even trigger another round of Evacuation style gameplay. Think about exploring said derelict space station. Maybe there are some hostile aliens still living there so you have to scavenge as much as you can before they overwhelm you? And after all, who says we can never have actual space battles?
I'll stop right here, with both my last and current article you now know all cards that are currently dropped by the Tom Settlers Contract. In my opinion this Contract is probably the best long term investment you can make right now in eXode. The contract is sold at 50$ in their store but once you've bought it you'll get weekly drops from its loot-table for life. I firmly believe that eXode is going to have a great future so I'd obviously encourage you to get into the game right now. It's still in early Alpha with a lot of features not even close to being released though, so there's no shame in stepping back and waiting for a while if you're not sure if the game's for you yet.
Since I really like the game and want to help its development, I'm doing a litte 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. Boosters can contain beauties like this guy here:
If you wonder why he's stranded... just take a loot at that tiny explosion right behind him...
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.