The Ranx Empire

The Ranx are the good guys in the Outer Realm. At least from their point of view. They started as settlers, building tiny mining colonies to exploit the rich pteracnium and ithalium fields. There was enough work and credit for everyone to prosper, and the dream of a true commonwealth with fairness for all was within reach.

But the treasures of the Outer Realm could not be kept secret. The Ringers came next, their bodies genetically optimized for space, and possessing technologies far beyond those of the Commonwealth. The Ringers brought the Ferians—zoanthrope miners who felt at home among the asteroids in a way that humans never could. How could the settlers compete with such efficiency?

After the Syrtis War and the devastation of Mars, Ares refugees poured into the Outer Realm, looking for a new home. Around the same time, the unpredictable Teratons, a genetic off-shoot of the Ringers, began aggressively building their nests. At first the human settlers looked to the Commonwealth to help them keep out the neo-human invaders, but they were exhausted from war, and anyway the Sung Slavers posed a more immediate threat.

And so the settlers took matters into their own hands. Karin Nordlin, a mining colony leader in the Anhalt system, formed the Ranx Coalition to unite the human stations. They learned their lesson: you can’t count on help from a far. If you want to keep what’s yours, you have to be ready to defend it.

The Ranx in 1.9

The Ranx were introduced in version 0.9 (2005), and since then, they’ve been one of the most fearsome enemies in the game. They’re less deadly in modern versions due to player equipment catching up, but they’re still a formidable opponent.

1.9 makes a few changes to the Ranx:

  • Ranx stations now have defenses; they fire Akan 30 cannons.

  • Ranx dreadnoughts now repair their interior compartments (they repair their armor with patch spiders).

  • Ranx freighters now resupply stations with ammunition.

In this video I fight against the Ranx in the Outer Realm:

Future Ideas

Here are some ideas for future expansion:

Anhalt: The Ranx have their capital in the Anhalt system, which does not currently appear in the game. Perhaps we can add a set of secret missions that lead to Anhalt.

More ships, stations, items: We added a Ranx freighter in 1.9, but there should be many more ships and items. For example, we should add Ranx mining colonies. Similarly, there’s a gap between the level 6 Ranx gunships and the level 9 dreadnought. Perhaps a future version can introduce advanced gunships, bombers, and cruisers.

Mission arc: Conflict with Ringers/Ferians: Ranx and Ringers fight over the same asteroid fields. Sooner or later, their competition will decay into open warfare. Perhaps the player can play a role, either as mediator or as champion for one side or the other.

Mission arc: Conflict with Teratons: The mysterious Teratons pose a threat to the Ranx because of their high-level technology. If the Teratons could reverse-engineer the ancient alien weapons they’ve collected, they would be the strongest power in the Outer Realm. In the face of such a threat the once unthinkable might be possible: an alliance between Ringers and Ranx.

Mission arc: Ranx Resistance: The Ranx weren’t always an empire. They were a democracy once, responsive to the needs to individual stations and citizens. A tiny resistance movement rejects the militarization and centralization of the empire and wishes to restore the values of Karin Nordlin’s original Coalition.

Development Update

This week I’ve been working on 1.9 Beta 4. I’ve made the following changes since my last update:

  • Stations now reload ammo to their ships when those ships are docked. [Still need to handle reload for patrolling ships.]

  • Decoupled rotation from rotation frames. See: Suggestion: decouple ship facing angles from number of graphics frames.

  • If player has smuggler’s cargo hold, allow them to not free slaves at Commonwealth stations.

  • Fix problem with Centauri occupation stations not responding to friendly fire after being rescued.

  • Add dualPointOrigin property for weapons.

  • Add more locations to Point Juno so expansions can insert additional stargates.

Join the Universe

What do you think of these ideas? Let me know in the comments below, or write to me:

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