Information is power. In some cases more literally than others. The most valuable commodity in the galaxy is technology, in the form of Universal Template Construction schematic-cores which allow standard manufacturing technologies to produce the most powerful and advanced cutting edge ships and modules Maelstrom has ever seen.
It will come as no surprise of course that the data in these files are also some of the known-universe’s most closely guarded secrets. Obscured by deep encryption, segmented and stored in distributed archives, the desire to secure it has driven generations of revolution in software engineering and hardware security alike.
The acquisition of blueprints would be simple if not for the extraordinary security measures employed to protect them. Q-String based encryption renders them all but impossible to simply copy and at the same time all but impossible to destroy, forcing those who would acquire these technologies to physically capture them from their enemies.
Players have a chance to acquire a blueprint fragment whenever they win a battle, though the chance of finding one is reduced (to as little as zero) if the winning fleet has a significantly higher rating than the losing base or fleet. When attacking a base, players can increase their chance of finding blueprints by destroying their base completely, with each length of bubble granting a slightly higher chance. Each research lab also grants an additional bonus. Getting an enemy base below 25% and destroying all of their labs grants the highest chance.
Some blueprints are more common than others - the Advanced, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary rarities are routinely color coded throughout the game for your convenience - and players are significantly more likely to find fragments of more common designs. Owing to their complexity, rarer designs are also composed of more parts, and rarer parts can only be found on more advanced bases and fleets:
- Advanced Tech I items have two parts and may be found on enemies rated 0-9
- Advanced Tech II items have two parts and may be found on enemies rated 10-19
- Advanced Tech III items have two parts and may be found on enemies rated 20-29
- Uncommon items have four parts and may be found on enemies rated 20+
- Rare items have eight parts and may be found on enemies rated 30+
- Epic items have twelve parts and may be found on enemies rated 40+
- Legendary items have sixteen parts and may be found on enemies rated 50+
Players can have a maximum of eight partially complete blueprints at any given time, and once they reach that limit they will receive only fragments of those already in progress. Though some parts are rarer than others, this will not affect the overall chance of finding a fragment however, it only influences which fragment will be recovered when one is found.
Additionally, once a player has acquired one or more fragments of a particular blueprint, they can tap their palladium reserves to acquire the parts they're missing, one at a time or all in a batch. Acquiring all the remaining parts of a blueprint as a batch offers a modest discount as compared to buying them individually.
Once acquired, blueprints work much like the technology you research in your labs, and like research, they may require you to complete other, related upgrades to use, but once you’ve acquired the parts and met the prerequisites, you’re all set. They don’t require any research time, so once you qualify you can immediately start using them to outfit your ships and base.
Your progress on any given blueprint can be tracked in your lab’s research windows, where they are listed with the standard modules they derive from. Once unlocked, your new ship hulls will automatically appear in the ship selection screen, and new modules will show up on the appropriate module selection lists in the ship fitting view. A filter has also been added, for your convenience, allowing you to show or hide your blueprint tech.
In addition to the other bonuses they provide - greater basic benefits and special bonuses specific to each blueprint - blueprint modules use more power, so in order to outfit your standard hulls with blueprint gear you’ll have to make some tough choices. Blueprint ship hulls offer a higher power allotment however - along with their other bonuses - so they’re critical to developing the maximum potential of your fleets.
Each rarity of blueprint requires a player to research a specific level of that blueprint's base item class. A player is not required to have the research already completed to acquire the blueprint, only to use it. They are as follows:
- Advanced Tech I blueprints require completed Level 1 research of that item class
- Advanced Tech II blueprints require completed Level 3 research of that item class
- Advanced Tech III blueprints require completed Level 5 research of that item class
- Uncommon blueprints require completed Level 2 research of that item class.
- Rare blueprints require completed Level 3 research of that item class.
- Epic blueprints require completed Level 4 research of that item class.
- Legendary blueprints require completed Level 5 research of that item class.
In addition, each blueprint has a lab requirement. Unlike the research requirement, the lab requirement must be met before the blueprint can be acquired. The lab requirement is one level higher than the lab requirement for the prerequisite item.
In regards to ships, a player must have the base ship hull researched to unlock the blueprint initially. Also, a player will not acquire pieces to the next rarity of a ship hull until they have fully completed the rarity below it. For instance, a player will not receive any pieces to the Rare Heavy Fighter until they have completed the Uncommon for it. This requirement is unique to ships.
When a player finishes a battle that meets the criteria for a blueprint drop chance, they will be presented with a Deep Scan option on the battle report screen. This contains one of two options:
- If the player qualified for a blueprint drop but did not win one, they can pay 1 Palladium for a second chance at a blueprint. This re-scan has identical odds to the battle before it with no penalty. It does not guarantee a blueprint.
- If the player did win a blueprint but wants a different piece, they will have the option to spend 5 Palladium to be granted another blueprint (sacrificing the initial piece won) of the same rarity. This method will always grant another blueprint.
One of these two options will be provided after qualifying battles, and can be done only once per attack. If the option is not shown, the battle did not meet the criteria for a blueprint.
In the event a player skips the battle report screen, they can participate in a Deep Scan for a duration of five minutes after completion of the battle. Pending Scans can be viewed through the button on the utility bar to the right of chat.
For a complete list of blueprints, their respective item classes and bonuses, visit the related article: Blueprints List.