Xenia's Ark

Xenia’s Ark: Taking the 4X genre to new heights. . . and depths

Xenia’s Ark -- From up and coming developers, Malicious Games, comes a 4X strategy game that seamlessly blends planetary, star system, and galaxy maps into a comprehensive, compelling, and captivating experience. After fleeing their dying galaxy, the major empires of Ousia Omina seek to reestablish their once thriving peoples in a new and alien galaxy. After founding a new capital in a strange new world, the player must explore the rest of their recently adopted homeworld, star system, and galaxy. New resources, technology, and territory will need to be swiftly gained and defended by Mechs and Ships, as all the former empires of Ousia Omina seek to make a new home in the galaxy of Xenia

Tile Improvements

In Xenia’s Ark, Tile Improvements are built by Engineers with build packs and allow for the collection of resources, defense of vital areas, instant travel between star systems, and detection of cloaked Units.

An Engineer with build packs is necessary to construct all Tile Improvements. A top priority after founding a city is to build Extractions Sites to get Ore and Energy, both on the planet and in the surrounding star system.

In order to protect valuable terrestrial areas, it will be necessary to build Defensive Turrets to ward off curious predators, and later, invasions from other unfriendly empires.

As you explore star systems, anomalies will be discovered that will require the building of Research Sites which provide bonuses to research.

As the empire expands, it will be necessary to travel long distances safely and quickly. Space Gates allow instant travel between star systems where they are built.

Eventually, Ships, Mechs and Civilian Units will gain the ability to cloak themselves. To better defend the empire, building Monitoring Stations will make cloaked enemy Units visible once they get into range.

In the quest to dominate the galaxy of Xenia, Engineers and their ability to build Tile Improvements to collect more and more resources, advance technology, decrease travel times, and protect vital territories will be essential.

Cities and Star Bases

Cities and Star Bases are where collected resources are stored and used for production and maintenance.

Cities collect all yields from every district tile within its borders. Pops are represented by Specialists who can be put on to district tiles to provide bonuses, on to non-district tiles in the city’s borders to collect the tile yield, or into building slots which have various effects. In addition, Cities are the only place Mechs and Colony Ships can be produced.

Star Bases allow the player to collect resources in a star system. Stations also have module slots that can be filled once the proper technologies have been researched, allowing for the construction of Ships, forming of trade routes, adding of weapon hardpoints and shields. Although Star Bases do similar things to Cities, they contain no Specialists and do not grow population.

The growth and development of cities on more and more planets, as well as, the strategic positioning of Star Bases will be key in expanding your empire in Xenia’s Ark.

Exploration and Map Scope

Xenia’s Ark is played on three different types of maps -- Planet, Star System, and Galaxy.

The first map the player will be introduced to is the spherical Planet Map. Players will spend a great deal of time here, especially in the beginning of the game, as this is where cities are built, terrestrial resources are collected, and predators are encountered, among other things.

The next map is the Star System map. It is here that star systems are explored, Star Bases are built, celestial resources are collected, and new planets are found to be explored and possibly settled.

Finally, there is the Galaxy Map. Here, the player is able to use hyperlanes to travel to other Star Systems once the proper technology is researched.

The primary means used to explore these maps is the Explorer. Equipped with longer range sensors and more movement points than any other unit at the start of the game, it also has the capability to explore planets and star systems, as well as, travel along hyperlanes. Later in the game, when exploring is needed less and less, Explorers make pretty good scouts.

In order to get your empire up and running in your new home of Xenia, you will need to quickly explore your new planet, star system, and galaxy as you seek to expand, exploit, and exterminate.

Research System

In Xenia’s Ark, Research is divided into three divisions: Engineering, Economic, and Societal.

At the beginning of the game and after discovering each technology, the player will be presented with a random selection of at least 3 technologies from the highest tier achieved and below.

Technologies include the ability to see different types of resources, buildings and their upgrades, Mech and Ship types and modules for them, Bonuses to resource collection, the ability to travel between star systems, and much more.

Acquiring and maintaining a technological edge is just one facet of building a strong empire in Xenia’s Ark as you seek to become the dominant force in your new galaxy.

Unit Customization

In Xenia’s Ark, once the proper building or modules have been researched and built, Mechs and Ships are able to be customized to suit the needs of the empire.

Each of the three Chassis and four Hull types have a particular number of hardpoints for weapons and slots for modules.

Hardpoints can be equipped with one of three different types of weapons: Missiles, which do AoE damage; Energy, which has arcing damage where the damage jumps from one target to another in a line; and Projectile, which does direct damage and inflicts a Shredded Armor debuff on the target, which stacks with itself.

Modules come in a few different varieties and provide shields, armor, different drives for Ships, Jump Jets for Mechs, and a wide range of utility like cloaking, drone bays, stasis fields, and other useful abilities.

A large army and navy means little if they are ineffective. Customizing your Mechs and Ships to fit various battlefield situations will be paramount as you seek to defend what’s yours and impose your will on your enemies in your quest to become the prevalent force in the galaxy of Xenia.

Edict System

In Xenia’s Ark, the Culture that is collected each turn can be spent on Edicts that give various empire-wide buffs.

Edicts are broken up into six categories: Conquest, Industrialization, Commerce, Diplomacy, Discovery, and Expedition. From providing Military Units with additional slots to the reduction of production costs to increased range and vision to improvements for Colony Ships and starting Cities, Edicts will allow for a more efficient, capable, and productive empire.

As you look to expand your empire, choosing the best edict at the right time will be key to deciding whether your journey toward galactic superiority will be a slow march, a swift rise, or an inevitable fall.

Conquering a City

In Xenia’s Ark, the conquering of a city requires an occupying force to keep the city Under Siege for a length of time.

If there is an enemy unit inside the borders of a city and there are no friendly units or defensive turrets in the city, then an Under Siege progress bar will pop up. Garrisoned units, e.g. those in the city center, do not stall or prevent Under Siege progress. While Under Siege, a city cannot send or receive trade, and is essentially sealed off from the rest of the empire.

The speed at which the Under Siege bar fills up is determined by different factors like Edicts and Leaders. If friendly, non-garrisoned units are able to establish themselves inside the city borders, the progress bar will stall. If the enemy forces are repelled beyond the borders of the city, the progress bar will begin to empty, and the city is no longer considered Under Siege. If the bar completely fills up, the city will go under the control of the attackers.

As you set out to take control of the galaxy of Xenia, it will be crucial to plan your attacks and defenses with the Under Siege mechanic in mind. Are you prepared for a long siege that will cut off a city that supplies a great deal of resources to the rest of your empire? And you will need more than the element of surprise to conquer enemy cities on your way to conquering the whole of Xenia.