In the universe of Anchorage Adrift, humanity has been exploring and settling the galaxy for hundreds of years, but travel between systems has become slow and expensive. As a result, the age of information has ended. Intersystem communication can only be accomplished by high cost courier ships and probes, leading to a galaxy where territory lines are blurred and information is often outdated. The only fast way to travel or send information is to use an aging network of jump gates. Unfortunately, the network is unreliable and often sends ships to the wrong place or smears them like a fine mist across a thousand lightyears.
Four dominant factions struggle to control thousands of colonized systems, though maintaining real influence is difficult to accomplish. Small coalitions in each system or solar neighborhood fight for their own purposes, but align themselves with larger factions to gain support and protection.
Regarded as one of humanity's greatest accomplishments, the Sol Republic is a single government body claiming control over six thousand stars. After the infighting of the early 22nd century, citizens of the Republic have led relatively prosperous lives in the older systems.
Management of the Republic is accomplished by the Solarin Senate. Senators chosen from each ratified system are sent to the old worlds to vote on major referendums. The senate is led by three senators, elected by their peers, and known as the Triumvirate. They attempt to exert centralized control, but administration of an empire this large has created a bureaucratic nightmare.
A significant proportion of Republic taxes go to the development of technologies which will let them better manage the territories. Ostensibly dedicated to the advancement of the human race, many of these technologies do end up helping the average citizen. Aided by the Singularity, a self aware A.I., they have recently made major breakthroughs in warp drive technology.
The citizens of the Vorosky Contingent are descendants of the first colonists to travel to another star system. Once they were a fiercely independent alliance of colonies. However they were recently absorbed by the Sol Republic after many years of war.
While the contingent no longer officially exists, many warships and privateers still fly Vorosky colors. Many of these citizens still begrudge the new centralized system that has not yet integrated them. The extremists among them continue to assert Vorosky independence from Repbulic rule.
These dissenters are aided a history of aggressive expansion by the Contingent. They are able to hide and build power in Vorosky colony systems that are too remote to be of concern to Republic or haven't yet heard of the wars end.
The most recent player attempting to exert influence in the galaxy is the Trader’s Union, a conglomerate of the largest corporations in the Republic. It was formed to meet the significant demand for starship construction in the late 22nd century. It perfected long distance colonization by cheaply manufacturing prefabricated anchorages, mining ships, and rapid planet terraformers. By selling these fleets at remarkably low prices, the Trader's Union cornered the market for colonization technologies and was able to rapidly diversify into other sectors.
After the war, the Union led a massive effort to reconstruct the razed Alpha Centauri system. Deployment of improved nanobiotic terraforming technologies halved the time needed to rebuild the system and allowed colonization of previously uninhabitable moons. The restored worlds are now the headquarters of the Trader’s Union and the economic hub of the Republic.
The union currently has subsidiaries in most economic sectors and major control of biotech research, mining, spaceship manufacturing, and military R&D. Estimates are that it is responsible for roughly 16% of the gross product of the Republic and for the last five years it has a payed a record breaking amount of taxes.
The Syndicate is an underground trade network led by Alairan Kingston. Believing that the other major players don't value the edge systems, they operates by exploiting the risky jump gate network to bring information and resources from the more developed worlds for a price.
Since their first known activity in 2245, the organization has targeted poorly defended cargo ships and anchorages. They tend to avoid fair fights, but will often skirmish with security forces if there is profit in it. Their raiders will even attack ships in systems where they do not have a foothold.
Though the organization has high minded ideals about helping the needy, some members extort the helpless stars in the name of the syndicate giving the organization a mixed reputation. Some citizens regard them as heroes, while others see them as little better than roving pirate fleets.
Players work together to control a single ship in the officer positions of Helm, Tactical, and Engineer in a treacherous galaxy filled with mercenaries, rebels, and privateers. The potential for profit is great, but a single mistake could mean the loss of everything. Good teammates are essential for survival.
Take your choice of highly maneuverable corvettes, well balanced frigates, and heavily armed dreadnoughts. Each ship supports its own unique layout, crew complement, and attributes. Upgrade your subsystems to more powerful versions, or swap them to better support your playstyle. The loadout you choose for your ship drastically changes how it performs in and out of combat.
Using the unreliable jump gate network is risky but fast. You never quite know if you'll end up where you intended. Most jump gates are constructed in star systems near populated planets or colonies, but some exist untethered from any star. You could easily find yourself coming out of an unregistered pirate gate hidden in a dark asteroid cluster or a naturally occurring gate in a nebula where radiation creates false targets.
Wherever you find yourself, there's always someone to negotiate with, fight, save, steal from, trap, or obliterate. It's up to you to decide how you want to play and who you want to support. A system's specific history and parameters will determine how NPCs interact with each other and your ship. The system's age, native resources, distance to Sol, and powerful factions can all drastically alter how a situation unfolds.
Encounter challenging ship on ship duels where positioning, timing, and resource management determine success. Fights often last several minutes during which both crews will attempt to disable key enemy systems while defending their own. Fighting a lone opponent can be a challenge and your team will need to work seamlessly or recruit allies to effectively deal with groups.
Anchorage Adrift supports a progressive story line. Data is collected about in-game events such as weapon purchases, faction loyalty, and situation outcomes. This data informs us about the players in game choices and helps us determine everything from torpedo prices to which factions dominate the galaxy.
One of the best parts of this project is the ability we have to make frequent updates. We'll be adding new features and making constant improvements on a regular basis. We want to spend our time implementing what's important to you, so if you want a feature or find a bug, let us know. We'll start working on it right away, and let you know when the change is live.
The Helmsman pilots the ship in a true Newtonian space flight simulator. There is no up or down, only yaw, pitch, and roll. To get the ship where it needs to be, pilots make use of their keen spacial reasoning skills and the warp drive. It is a powerful propulsion system capable of transporting your ship across a solar system in a matter of minutes, or straight into the heart of a star in just a few seconds. In combat, pilots use the impulse engines and maneuvering thrusters to line up a precise volleys of powerful weapons. The most skilled pilots are able to position the shields between the enemy and mitigate their attacks on key subsystems.
Tactical officers overseers the ship's sensors, weapons, and defenses. They use use long range sensors to detect security fleets, caches of valuable materials, pirate traps, and salvage operations. Sensors can also provide valuable information about the enemy. Knowledge of their weapons, weak points, and ship configuration can drastically improves a crew's survival rate. They utilize a host of weaponry including Gauss Cannons, Lazers, Torpedoes, and EMPs to take down any ship that poses a threat or has something they want. Not every fight is worth taking though, and communication is an important tool. By communicating with disabled ships, traders, and mercenaries Tacticians are frequently able to resolve situations without bloodshed.
Engineers operate in an intense environment. They command squads of crew members and large quantities of energy produced by the ship's power core. Skilled management of these resources can give the ship the edge it needs in a fight by enabling a lazer to cut through the strongest armor one moment and a shield to neutralize a nuclear torpedo the next. A successful engineer balances the necessity of repairing damaged systems (to buy enough time to win) and keeping operational systems at fighting efficiency (to overpower the enemy).