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Design Diary - All Good Things

by Chris Lobban, Assistant Designer

11th December 2014

All Good Things was an interesting set to design a card for... because the entire theme of it was simply "fixing broken links". And it actually did a really good job of that, it didn't really leave any more broken links for us to fix! But luckily, in the time since AGT was released, Design has "created" a new broken link. With the introduction of the Facility Commander rule on Here by Invitation, there can be some argument made that Admiral Riker's lore "Commander of Starbase 247" made him a Facility Commander for an as yet nonexistant facility. And that was our hook.

Of course, actually designing a card to represent Starbase 247 was an interesting journey as well. Our first attempt was to tie it in with Here by Invitation as much as possible, and continue to make Facility Commanders a Nor thing... so the first copy of this card that went to the playtesters simply said "Seeds at any [FED] mission. Functions as a Nor." I was excited to see the expansion of the "Nor" rules to non-Cardassian/Bajoran affiliations. And it let us use the Commander's Office (and Here by Invitation) to take advantage of the link to Admiral Riker right away. And it gave us a new playground. Sure, there were some things nonsensical about it (the pictures of the station sections obviously wouldn't work), but the Nor rules themselves already took care of a lot of the obvious potential issues (so you couldn't build a Shrine or Quark's Bar on the Starbase, and you couldn't run Ore Processing because it was Fed). And most of the rest of the sites, you could easily imagine a Federation base having at least an equivelent version of, even if the picture was off because we'd never actually seen them.

Starbase 247But there were complaints that Nors are too complicated, and some people just really dislike the mechanic and didn't want to expand on it any more than necessary. So eventually the Starbase was converted into a simple Outpost, with extra game text. Except that the gametext wouldn't fit on the card (Outposts have so little room for such things), so it was offloaded onto a downloadable event. And of course, that game text also triggered off of Facility Commanders, so that it could just as easily be used by Sisko, Kira, or The Intendant if you'd like. So what does that special downloaded card do?

Well, you'll have to wait and see! Because although All Good Things at the time was all about wrapping up the loose ends and officially "finishing off" the game, we now know that is no longer the case. The game is far from "finished", it still has a bright future ahead. And so, in a bit of irony, we decided to reflect that bright future by using our All Good Things entry to actually CREATE a new broken link, rather than just closing off one. The card is designed and tested, but we'll be holding off releasing it for a little bit, until we find the appropriate place for it. Until then, we've added on the extra download option of Spacedock. So the final version of this unique Outpost is a bit beefier than your normal Outpost (with Shields of 40 instead of 30), and has the download option, but it comes at the cost that you can't build the outpost in orbit of a planet. This is a deep space starbase, so if you decide to use it you won't be able to simply beam your crew down to a planet to complete a mission, you'll need to get a ship first. You know I'd like to help you with that, but I'm afraid there's nothing I can do just yet...


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