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The Xsotan are a unique faction in Avorion, whose origins and purpose are shrouded in mystery. Their ships appear all over the galaxy, becoming stronger towards the centre.
It is impossible to affect the player's personal diplomatic relations with the Xsotan. No matter what is done, their relations with the player always remain at 0 (neutral). However, groups of Xsotan ships may become aggressive. They start neutral in any given sector, but if the player fires any turret, whether armed or unarmed, the xsotan ships become aggressive. If new xsotan ships arrive into the sector, regardless of hostility level of the other ships, the new ships are neutral towards the player until a turret is fired again. It is possible to escape hostile Xsotan ships by simply jumping to another sector. If the player returns quickly enough, the ships will still be present but no longer hostile.
Alliance relations to the xsotan differ from players, however. In this even, a player in an alliance attacking Xsotan ships will cause the Alliance's relations with the Xsotan to deteriorate. The only effect this has on gameplay is preventing a player flying an alliance ship from proceeding undetected through Xsotan territory, as the negative relations will cause the Xsotan ships to attack on sight.
It is possible, and inevitable, to encounter the Xsotan through random events which occur roughly every 12 minutes. These are announced with a message: "Your sensors are detecting short bursts of subspace signals" then, a few minutes later, one of the following:
- "More strange subspace signals, they're getting stronger"
- "The signals are growing stronger"
- "There are lots and lots of subspace signals now"
- "The subspace signals are getting too strong for your sensors, brace yourself!"
A group of Xsotan ships will appear shortly after the second message, the size depending on the message.
If the first or second message appeared, a group of 3–4 Xsotan ships drops out of subspace, along with the text "A small group of alien ships appeared!" or "A group of ships warped in!".
If the third message appeared, a group of 6–7 Xsotan ships appears, along with the text "A large group of alien ships appeared!".
If the fourth message appeared, a group of 10–11 Xsotan ships appears, along with the text "Danger! A huge fleet of alien ships appeared!".
The strength of Xsotan ships depends on their distance from the centre of the galaxy. Near the starting sector, they have 0.5k health, no shields, and roughly 10–20 Omicron in firepower. They quickly gain strength from that point inwards. At around 175 sectors from the centre, the ships can have 35k health, the same or more in shielding, and firepower of around 200–800 Omicron.
Xsotan ships can bear one of the following classes:
- Scout / Hunter: typically lighter ships, with good agility and little firepower and health.
- Corvette / Frigate / Destroyer / Dreadnought: slower, bulkier ships with larger firepower and stronger shields and health.
- Summoner: uncommon ship that opens wormholes for very weak Minion ships to warp in (usually up to 6). When a minion dies, it is quickly replaced by another. Minions do not die when the Summoner is destroyed.
Like Pirates, Xsotan vessels have a chance to randomly spawn with the Tough / Savage / Hardcore prefixes, gaining a large bonus to their hull, shields and firepower.
Very rarely, Xsotan vessels with the Quantum prefix will spawn. These ships have a short-range vector warp drive that enables them to take evasive maneuvers by sidestepping incoming projectiles and blasts.
The labels indicate the size of ship, but not necessarily the strength; a large ship has a higher volume (shown in m3)–thereby increasing its health–but it may still be outgunned by a smaller ship. For example, there may be a small Xsotan ship with only 9k health and no shields, but its firepower can still be around 600 Omicron, whilst a large ship in the same sector only has 300.
Xsotan ships come in a diversity of shapes with differing maneuvrability. Mostly, the small ships are quick and ball-like. They are the fastest, and so may reach the player first. The medium ships mostly have a cross-like shape and moderate speed. The large ships are very long, thin and slow–they tend to travel at roughly 30 m/s. Since the large ships are very long in proportion to their mass, they can spin out of control when fired upon (with shields down). This makes them hard to hit, especially with chain gun turrets.
Xsotan ships may possess any type of armed turret, though each ship can only possess one type. The selection appears to be random, and is not based on the size of the ship.
In the middle of the galaxy, a large Xsotan vessel named Xsotan Wormhole Guardian resides, serving as the final boss of the game.
When The Barrier is crossed, the player will encounter the resistance. The player will be told how they're a part of the remaining factions after the Xsotan and The Barrier first appeared, and they will be deliriously happy to hear the news about a person crossing The Barrier.
The resistance will tell the player everything they know about the Xsotan:
The Xsotan are not believed to come from the galaxy the game takes place in. They consume matter from the inside out, and they ignore anything that does not have a strong energy signature, which is why they only attack when a turret of any kind is fired. When the Xsotan are consuming something, they will turn it into "breeders". The breeders bear a shocking resemblance to some of the Xsotan ships, which can mean that the Xsotan do not build their ships, they grow them. Other than this, everything about the Xsotan is unknown; Origin, purpose, etc..