We recently reported on Farsite’s upcoming alpha release, originally slated for June 21st. But, the Farsite team decided to delay the alpha until July 7th so that they can include an important feature release, Pilot Academies. Pilot Academies are basically a rental system for starships. This rental system, along with the other planned features will make this alpha release a first, true test of the game economy.
Rental systems in play to earn games are quickly becoming a new standard. We’ve seen very successful rentals in Axie Infinity, Splinterlands, and most recently, Riot Racers (to name a few). Farsite will be joining the list, and decided to delay the alpha launch so that their rental system, known as Pilot Academy, will be ready to go at the same time.
Farsite Pilot Academy
Anyone can open an Academy, but if you don’t own any ships, there’s not much point. And though we haven’t been given any glimpses of the interface for Pilot Academies, we have received a few details about the rental system on Discord.
Apparently, it works along these lines. Ship owner puts ship up for rent. Pilot rents ship for set amount of time, and goes out to mine asteroids. At the end of the rental period, pilots can either auto-sell the resources mined from this ship, from which the owner receives a cut of the proceeds, or keep the minerals and pay the commission with their own Credits. Presumably, any mined minerals sold before the rental ends will also have a percentage sent to the owner. This system seems like it would be kind of complex code-wise. Each unit of mineral has to know how it was mined. And then, if it was mined using a rented ship, use that information to backtrack and find out who the rental owner was. I will be interested into see it in action.
It will also be interesting to see if the Academies end up being run more by guilds, or by individuals. I’m not sure that there is functionality to allow multiple players to rent ships through one Academy, though that may be a feature for the dev team to consider in the future.
What else to expect in Farsite Alpha
In addition to the Pilot’s Academy, the Farsite Alpha release will bring several other new features to the game. The main one, of course, being the ability to find and mine asteroids for resources. The Pilot Academies would be kind of useless otherwise! But, starting on July 7th, anyone with a ship and a Mining Laser or an Extractor can head out to deep space in search of resource rich asteroids.
This is a big jump from where we are now, as at the moment, only Sector owners can harvest resources. Opening up resource gathering to everyone will really shake up the markets! But, with all these additional resources, we need a use for them. And so, alpha will also include shipbuilding facilities, and the means to use Blueprints to create modules and ships!
On top of this alpha introduces Gate fees. Traveling between star systems is no longer free. Each jump costs Credits, paid in advance. Coupled with the Gate fees will be a new route planner. This allows players to plot out the jumps needed for moving from one system to another to find the shortest and/or safest path.
And so, with these additions, we have the foundations for a much more complex economy. We have resource extraction, we have factories and shipyards to use those resources, we have an in-game market for buying and selling, and we transportation costs in the form of Gate fees!
PvP, including ship destruction and losses of resources, is scheduled to be included in the Beta release.
What is Farsite?
Often compared to Eve Online, Farsite is a space-themed, blockchain-powered MMO game with a complex, virtual economy. Players own starships and sectors, build facilities to harvest and process resources, create parts, components, and even starships. Players own and produce all the items in the game. Building items requires a blueprint, components, a base on a planet, and Credits to pay for services. Establish a base on a Planet in a hunt for rare materials to craft powerful Ships and Modules, trade on the open market, and fight for loot and honor to govern the entire Constellation!
Resource production varies from planet to planet and even among plots on the same planet. With localized markets, logistics such as transportation and storage become important. Players take on various roles as part of a galactic community. Players could be a hauler, completing contracts to move goods between stations. They could also be a miner, gathering resources from asteroids, or a manufacturer creating components, modules, and starships. The universe of Farsite offers space for governance over stars, as well as room for mercenaries, pirates, politicians, and, of course, traders.
Farsite boasts an interesting feature called Credit-backed NFTs, or cNFTs. Every Ship and Module is a cNFT. This means it is backed by a certain number of game Credits. At any time, players may burn cNFTs to destroy the NFT and receive the Credits. This feature guarantees that every cNFT always has a minimum value and provides a useful burn mechanic for excess NFTs.
The game is currently in pre-alpha, with alpha scheduled to start in early July 2022. Pre-alpha is PvP free, allowing players to accumulate Resources and build up infrastructure before conflict is unleashed upon the galaxy.