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Q&A: Drake Kraken
Following the launch of the Kraken from Drake Interplanetary, we took your community-voted questions to our designers to give you more information on the recently unveiled capital ship.
Special thanks to John Crewe and Todd Papy for answering these questions.
Do the Kraken’s shields cover other ships parked on the deck?
The Kraken’s shields cover the hull of the ship and do not cover the ships or people that may be on the exposed landing pads. Ships contained inside the Hangars are covered by the shields. With the improvements to shield tech coming with Single Distance Field in the future, the projected bubble people currently see will be removed with a more hull wrapping projection of shield energy.
What are the Kraken’s refuel, restock, and repair abilities for docked ships?
The Kraken is, in many ways, a mobile base. This means it is able to refuel, restock and repair ships that have landed on it but these resources must be taken from the Kraken’s stores.
Can you quantum travel while ships are parked on the deck? What about with people on the deck?
Yes, you’ll be able to Quantum with ships parked on the deck. Quantum drives in our universe create a little bubble around the ship to move it and protects outward to cover those in very close proximity to the hull. Like other ships in our game, being outside your ship when in Quantum travel is an extremely dangerous scenario, so it’s not recommended due to the slightest misstep resulting in death or abandonment in deep space.
What are your plans for landing on the Kraken while it is in motion?
Like the Idris or other ships where you can land whilst they are in motion, we’ll provide automated landing solutions for those who do not wish to attempt a manual landing. This will provide a safe and secure landing at the expense of time, similar to our current automated landings at stations and rest stops.
Can you spawn ships from the Kraken?
When you spawn your Kraken, you will be able to spawn ships in/on it if you own them, but beyond that point no other ships can be spawned dynamically on-board. It is similar to how the Constellation will be able to have a ground vehicle within when spawned but is unable to spawn another ground vehicle in the hold, mid-flight. Players landing on the ship during game-play will have their ships permanently on the pad.
What happens to the landed/hangar-landed ships if the Kraken pilot logs off/is disconnected? And what will happen when the owners of the landed ships log off? Do their ships persist until the Kraken is despawned, or is the pad free for another one to land on?
The Kraken will follow the same rule-set as the persistent bed log off system we current have in game, if the owner of the Kraken logs off and there are no other players on-board, then it will be despawned. If there are still players on-board, then the Kraken and ships on-board will persist. If a player lands their ship on a Kraken, then proceeds to log off, their ship will persist with the Kraken until the point the Kraken is despawned or destroyed, at which point if the player then rejoins they will either have it respawn at the point the Kraken was or have to reclaim it in the event it was destroyed.
How does the Kraken’s armor compare to other ships in its size-class, like the Idris?
In true Drake fashion, the approach to construction prizes pragmatism and cost-effectiveness. Consequently, the Kraken is substantially less sturdy than the Idris and other dedicated military ships that are expected to face direct heavy or capital-scale firepower.
What is meant by “Towards the rear of the ship public accommodations can be found for visitors and associates?” Does the Kraken offer any special function or gameplay for public services like shops, bars, medical, or trading for those who are waiting for repair or just visiting?
There are onboard accommodation rooms to cover 1-2 players per landing pad. These are basic habs like you’d find at GrimHex and provide somewhere to rest, change, and sleep. There are no dedicated facilities like bars or trading areas on-board at this time.
With the Kraken being capital ship size will it have escape pods now unlike other Drake ships?
Drake sees no need to provide expensive escape pods when the Kraken can hold plenty of ships to facilitate escape in the “unlikely” event of an emergency.
How many ships can the Kraken hold and still quantum drive with?
The current design for Quantum Travel requires all the doors to be shut before the Quantum Drive can be initiated, with no requirements beyond that, such as checking for maximum ship amounts. The Kraken can therefore quantum travel with a full complement of ships, although as mentioned earlier, being on deck is a risky proposition.
Can the Kraken equip military grade items or only civilian/industrial?
The Kraken can only equip Civilian and Industrial items and comes with Civilian Grade C items by default.
The Kraken brochure talks about configuring the rear hangars to fit our needs. Does this mean that the Kraken might have some modular capabilities to outfit those hangars to suit other functions like extended medical/S&R or salvage processing?
Drake always look to maximize the use of their spaceships, and whilst these rear cargo holds are ostensibly for cargo, there is a significant amount of real estate that could be re-purposed in the future for alternative uses.
How will this ship defend against armed boarding parties or other guests who refuse to leave?
The internal layout of the ship provides quite a few choke-points from the landing pads, allowing a somewhat organized defense against boarding. There are no inbuilt mechanics within the ship to deal with guests who refuse to leave. That will be down to the owners persuasion techniques.
Can we transfer cargo between docked/landed ships? If not, can cargo be transferred between docked/landed ships and the Kraken?
Every external landing pad has access to the internal tram route via a loading hatch located within the airlock antechamber. The internal tram is primarily designed to carry cargo between the pads and the main cargo hold of the ship to facilitate cargo moving between ships and the Kraken itself.
The Kraken shows some concept of it landed in a desert, as well as parked at Lorville . How can we expect it to fare in atmospheric flight. Does it have VTOL?
As with all ships of this size, the atmospheric flight performance can be characterized as poor at best, but the Kraken does have multiple VTOL thrusters to allow it to take off and land in atmosphere. There are two located under the front “ears” that pivot to face 90 degrees down and more are built into the underside of the rear hull in a permanent down-facing layout.
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Galactic Guide: Leir System
This Galactic Guide originally appeared in Jump Point 4.10.
Leir is an unclaimed system that some once thought would develop into a major hub for Humanity. Discovered by an ICC scanning team canvassing Banshee in 2677, the pathfinders were thrilled to discover an A-type main sequence star with three mineral-rich and potentially habitable planets. The system’s initial assessment sparked interest in both the public and private sectors. Imperator Illyana Messer VI, still tightening her grip on the reins of power, decided not to commit resources to the system, leaving Leir’s official status in limbo.
Small time miners still went in droves. Many of them didn’t come back. Strange stories circulated and the system soon had a bad reputation both for danger and for its lack of basic services. There was only one settlement with any kind of longevity in the system. Located on the second planet, the settlement of Leir was a nexus of shiftless travelers, greedy miners, fugitive criminals and cold mercs looking to make a cred. Though the settlement was subsequently wiped out by the terraforming process, the name had been so firmly established in the public imagination that it became synonymous with the entire system.
In 2743, Galor Messer IX decided to capitalize on the still unclaimed system and opened the floodgates of commercial progress. He authorized the auctioning of a terraforming permit for Leir II, the system’s clear crown jewel, in an effort to fund his legacy, a complete foundational redesign of UEE government buildings. The winning bid was so high that many assumed it was a mistake. Turns out, it wasn’t.
The aggressive bid was the UEE’s introduction to Hatfield & Harding, a new venture between Clarence Hatfield, an eccentric trillionaire from Lo, and Olive Harding, a selfmade mining baron. The two had big plans for the planet. Now all they needed was someone to carry them out.
THE NEW DOCTOR Hatfield and Harding scoured the universe and eventually found Dr. Marcus Fayel. A terraforming expert at UPARQ, his peers subsequently described him as brilliant, charismatic and ideal for the position. Dr. Fayel secured the job by the end of his initial interview.
Once operations began, Dr. Fayel established Leir II’s first terraforming colony atop the planet’s largest mineral mother lode. It wasn’t long before a clandestine mining operation was up and running. For years, Dr. Fayel hid the operation from Hatfield and Harding and funneled the profits to himself and a close cadre of associates who oversaw the operation. No one knows exactly when, but the stress of overseeing a massive terraforming project and hiding an illegal mining operation got to Dr. Fayel.
In 2803, the Hatfield and Harding board of directors named Dr. Fayel the company’s “Employee of the Year.” He declined an offer to receive the award in person, and instead sent a vid to the banquet. In it, Dr. Fayel consistently repeated the phrase “purity of purpose” and spoke in grandiose terms about the world “I am creating.”
No one batted an eye, though. According to multiple banquet guests, Dr. Fayel was hard to hear over the roar of company board members, who were more focused on advancing their own inebriation than hearing Dr. Fayel.
On May 3, 2812, the company abruptly lost all communication with their operations on Leir II. A few hours later, a looped message was broadcast from the planet. Dr. Fayel, dressed all in white, stood in the foreground while rows of workers stood in perfect order behind him. He announced that the planet’s “purification” was accomplished, but control of it would remain in his hands. He spoke at length about Humanity’s hubris and declared his intention to separate his believers from the rest of society. Dr. Fayel ended by declaring his intentions were peaceful, but that his followers would defend the planet to their death if anyone attempted to overthrow their authority.
Hatfield and Harding were furious. The company had been hemorrhaging money for decades and were in desperate need of a revenue stream. Quietly, they scrounged together credits and hired mercs to retake the planet. Archival records would later reveal that the company’s executives doubted the workers would stand with Dr. Fayel when push came to shove. They had no idea how wrong they were.
Though no one knows exactly what happened the day the mercs struck, scattered comms between them paint enough of a picture. The invading forces entered atmosphere and landed to find the population center deserted, only to be ambushed after they separated into teams to search for Dr. Fayel. The attack was designed to draw the mercs away from their ships and allow the craft to be taken intact. Some believe those ships constitute the backbone of the fleet that still patrols and protects the planet to this day.
Word of the failed operation spread fast, and Hatfield and Harding were brought before a Senate subcommittee to discuss the events. Investor confidence plummeted along with their stock price. It wasn’t long before the company folded and the fate of Leir II was left in Dr. Fayel’s hands.
Meanwhile, the UEE kept their distance since the system was officially unclaimed. Hatfield and Harding’s attempt to retake the planet only proved that the residents were willing to fight to the death to protect their new home. And after only recently ousting the Messers from power, the UEE had no stomach to use military force to impose their will upon more people.
To this day, many have theorized, but little is truly known, about Dr. Fayel’s tactics to convince the workers to stand by him for this grand experiment. Some believe it was decades of masterful information manipulation and brainwashing. Others have wondered if some unknown event triggered a mass psychosis upon the workers operating in an extremely stressful environment. Records turned over by Hatfield and Harding did show that no workers had requested to leave the planet in the project’s final five years. It is unclear whether everyone truly believed Dr. Fayel or whether dissenting voices were imprisoned or faced a worse fate. Following the merc invasion, Dr. Fayel and his disciplines were effectively cut off from the rest of the universe, earning the name that is still used to describe them — the Outsiders.
So the Leir System has subsequently languished. It doesn’t receive updated infrastructure and still lacks traditional trade routes and opportunities, all of which makes Leir one of the most fascinating systems around.
LEIR I This small, rocky planet is naturally habitable, but not an ideal place to live due to its lack of infrastructure and amenities. A small mining population does call it home and is happy to trade with haulers.
LEIR II (Mya) Descendants of the original Outsiders still control Leir II, though they call it Mya. Some of Dr. Fayel’s hardline stances have been softened since his death, but most residents still treat visitors with contempt and most of the planet is deemed ‘off limits’ to visitors. Some are willing to sell items, but all refuse to buy anything.
Some visitors find the lack of commercial hustle and bustle unsettling, while others see it as soothing. Even without the appeal of trade, the planet is worth a visit solely for its stunning mountain ranges. It’s easy to see why so many believed this was a paradise worth protecting from the greater universe.
Purporting to be a “pure” planet, its population centers are unique. Due to the lack of building supplies from the greater universe, many structures use the same type of rocks, or are even cut directly into the mountainsides.
LEIR III The third planet in the Leir System is a rocky orb teeming with resources. Early scans detected an abundance of graphite and crystals, encouraging many miners to risk landing on the planet despite the deadly storms that plague the surface.
Today, the planet has no permanent settlements since the large indigenous sandworms, known as Valakkar, seem to have a predilection towards destroying them. Some brave miners and outlaws do live in temporary encampments around the planet, but most embrace a nomadic existence and move regularly to stay ahead of the storms and worms.
Though the Outsiders shun external influences, don’t assume they aren’t equipped to protect themselves. A local militia patrols the planet in reliable yet aging ships, and they are not afraid to engage those seen as a threat.
HEARD IN THE WIND “As I stood, gazing upon what I had perceived to be Humanity’s magnificence, a thought struck me, piercing my skull like a nail of light. It is only through purity of purpose that a planet such as this can be created to not only survive but thrive. I had been led astray. I had believed that I was righteous. I was not. But I will be.”
– Dr. Marcus Fayel, Hatfield and Harding “Employee of the Year” acceptance speech, 2803
“There’s a potential for greatness in this system. The second world, in particular, features stunning landscapes, appears to be overflowing with resources, and is ripe for terraforming. If easy access to the system is ever attained, the UEE needs to ensure everything is done to bring it into the fold.”
– Katherine Oliver, ICC Stellar Surveyor’s initial assessment, 2677