Expansions: BGS Guide Best Current Thinking

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
Collected Wisdom of the BGS community on the Expansion state

  • When: triggers when a faction reaches >75% . The faction does not have to be in control of the system it expands from.
  • How long: Usually 5 days as pending 5 days active and 3 days in cooldown, though 3-6 days active have been reported.
  • Expansion tax: Expanding factions carry a c.3tax in the expansion centre, regardless of population size, for each active day of the expansion. This can be counteracted with positive transactions and it is possible, but not proven, that exploration data counts double. This is missing in 3.3, possibly an oversight.
  • Where to: The following sequence is followed-
    • Normal Expansion - systems which have less than seven factions present, no previous retreats. Closest system within priority is chosen.
    • Second chance expansion - systems which have less than seven factions present, previously retreated. Closest system within priority is chosen.
    • Invasion - systems that have exactly seven factions present, including a non-native target faction not currently in conflict. The system with the lowest influence target faction at the moment the expansion complete is chosen (the effect of previous retreats is uncertain).
    • Long-range Expansion The expansion completes but there is no relocation. The next expansion has extended range. If this expansion already had extended range and still couldn't find a valid target, then this system will not generate any expansions at all for a while.
  • Where from: In a situation where more than one of a factions systems is over the expansion threshold, there appears to be something that makes some expansion centres preferred over others. It is not yet obvious what this is (e.g. not time over 75%, % itself or alphabetical order.) The best explanation available is that the tick runs through the galaxy system by system, in a defined order.
  • Controlling expansions: It is possible, with planning, to direct expansion through control of where the expansion comes from and either blocking unattractive systems by expanding a 7th faction in or retreating non-native factions out of attractive systems.

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As ever if there is anything to add/remove/improve - please shout!
 
Should add something about failed expansions due to no target in range going into investment and stuff about investment too :D
 
[*]Expansion tax: Expanding factions carry a 3.2% tax, regardless of population size, for each active day of the expansion. This can be counteracted with positive transactions and it is possible, but not proven, that exploration data counts double.
Has this changed recently? I see 3.0% rather than 3.2% in data from March. (Expanding faction from 89.4 to 86.4, all other three factions rise 1% each)

Is it worth clarifying that this only applies to the specific system being expanded from, not every system present?
 

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
Has this changed recently? I see 3.0% rather than 3.2% in data from March. (Expanding faction from 89.4 to 86.4, all other three factions rise 1% each)

Is it worth clarifying that this only applies to the specific system being expanded from, not every system present?
We reckon its 3.2 but its been a long time since we've not buffed one up! I'll change to c 3% and yes I'll clarify
 
Should Invasion be included in this? Still trying to get my head around when that would / wouldn't kick in, as I haven't seen it 'in the wild'....
 

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
Hmm I guess it would work here. Does anyone have a clear view as to when it occurs... my feeling is that its when there are already 7 factions present, but we've no had that happen, so I am relying on memroies of readng comments in here!
 
Should add something about failed expansions due to no target in range going into investment and stuff about investment too :D
There needs to be more research on what the expansion range is, as well. It's not 20 LY (40 with Investment) - I've seen expansions as far as 28 LY go through without Investment (but not reliably, I've seen 23 LY require Investment). I currently assume 22.5 LY as the minimum non-Investment range, and 30 LY as the non-guaranteed maximum, but haven't done any studies of what works and doesn't within that range.

I've also seen some very odd range behaviour recently in Colonia from one faction, which had the following sequence. The four nearest systems are:
A - 21.89 (invasion required)
B - 24.72 (spaces)
C - 26.54 (invasion required)
D - 26.81 (invasion required)

Their expansion order so far (all expansions from their home system) is:
A
A again following lost invasion war
D
Investment

Skipping C to D makes sense - C had no suitable target faction for an invasion on that day.
Skipping B to D does not make a lot of sense and I don't have a good theory for why it might have happened.
 
There needs to be more research on what the expansion range is, as well. It's not 20 LY (40 with Investment) - I've seen expansions as far as 28 LY go through without Investment (but not reliably, I've seen 23 LY require Investment). I currently assume 22.5 LY as the minimum non-Investment range, and 30 LY as the non-guaranteed maximum, but haven't done any studies of what works and doesn't within that range.

I've also seen some very odd range behaviour recently in Colonia from one faction, which had the following sequence. The four nearest systems are:
A - 21.89 (invasion required)
B - 24.72 (spaces)
C - 26.54 (invasion required)
D - 26.81 (invasion required)

Their expansion order so far (all expansions from their home system) is:
A
A again following lost invasion war
D
Investment

Skipping C to D makes sense - C had no suitable target faction for an invasion on that day.
Skipping B to D does not make a lot of sense and I don't have a good theory for why it might have happened.
Got an email somewhere from support from a while back (pre investment) stating that expansions are slightly over 20ly will dig it out when i get home.
also need to look back at data from the alliance faction near maia they had one of the first investment expansions and went pretty far, not many systems in the area at the time
 
Hmm I guess it would work here. Does anyone have a clear view as to when it occurs... my feeling is that its when there are already 7 factions present, but we've no had that happen, so I am relying on memroies of readng comments in here!
It would probably be good to mention it as a thing which can happen, since it's pretty common for people to claim that expansion to systems with 7 factions is absolutely impossible. Though, outside Colonia or other similarly isolated clusters, it's going to be extremely rare.

So far as I can tell - and I'm going here on single-figure instances of it happening and a few more of it not - the requirements are as follows:
  • there are no suitable systems with <7 factions in range
  • the expanding faction does not have a pending or active conflict (confirmed by FDev in changelog) {EDIT: as of 3.3 and system-specific states, this is no longer a requirement}
  • there is an otherwise suitable target faction with exactly 7 factions in range (does not work to systems with 8 or more already)
  • at least one of the factions in the target system is
-- not native
-- not pending, active or recovering any form of conflict
-- not the controlling faction of the system (?)

Successfully invading leads to an immediate (no pending period) War with a faction in the target system, with the loser being expelled immediately from the system [2, 3] (in the event of the war fizzling out to a draw, both factions stay). The invasion conflict is always a War, even if the factions would normally conflict by Election.

[1] Controlling factions can be attacked directly by invasion. Previous theories that they couldn't were due to a miscalculation of expansion ranges prior to the acceptance of the "cube" theory.
[2] It is not clear whether this counts as a Retreat for the purpose of deprioritising the system.
[3] In 3.3 onwards there is a bug which means the loser does not automatically leave the system, though they will likely end up on a low enough influence to enter a conventional Retreat state, which might cause them to leave anyway
 
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Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
It would probably be good to mention it as a thing which can happen, since it's pretty common for people to claim that expansion to systems with 7 factions is absolutely impossible. Though, outside Colonia or other similarly isolated clusters, it's going to be extremely rare.

So far as I can tell - and I'm going here on single-figure instances of it happening and a few more of it not - the requirements are as follows:
- there are no suitable systems with <7 factions in range
- the expanding faction does not have a pending or active conflict (confirmed by FDev in changelog)
- there is an otherwise suitable target faction with 7 factions in range
- at least one of the factions in the target system is
-- not native
-- not pending, active or recovering any form of conflict
-- not the controlling faction of the system (?) [1]

Successfully invading leads to an immediate (no pending period) War with a faction in the target system, with the loser being expelled immediately from the system [2] (in the event of the war fizzling out to a draw, both factions stay). The invasion conflict is always a War, even if the factions would normally conflict by Election.

[1] The most obvious explanation for a particular invasion skipping a closer system, and it would certainly make sense as a requirement ... but "within a certain range of influence" could also explain it, so I can't be certain.
[2] It is not clear whether this counts as a Retreat for the purpose of deprioritising the system.
Cheers Ian - I've linked it!
 
Do we know what "harder" means in terms of permit-locked systems? Based on Ian's comment you linked earlier, I am guessing that the game treats these systems as blocked until there are no other options.

power capitals (impossible)

Sovereign Justice Collective expanded to Synteini two days before 3.0 launched, so if this rule is correct it is brand new!
 
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Do we know what "harder" means in terms of permit-locked systems? Based on Ian's comment you linked earlier, I am guessing that the game treats these systems as blocked until there are no other options.


Sovereign Justice Collective expanded to Synteini two days before 3.0 launched, so if this rule is correct it is brand new!
So in other words we're the only ones who managed to open up, expand in and take over a Power capital? All other PMF in Power capitals were placed there by FD?

Would be nice if someone could verify / debunk that, assuming the necessary information is available.

Edit:

Looks like only one other PMF ever managed to pull that off: the 8th Dragon Squadron Wing expanding into Harma (Archon Delaine) (Source: Inara.cz).

Still a difference to try to get into a 27.53mil System or a 12.76bil one ;)
 
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Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
It might just be Sol and Alioth that are protected... the former saddened me a bit, since flying the Red Flag over Earth was my end game!
 
Interruption/cancellation If a conflict state becomes active during the pending stage on an expansion, it will be put on hold and the countdown will continue once the war or election completes. There are examples of expansion being cancelled entirely when a conflict goes pending in the same tick. We are waiting for confirmation if this still occurs in 3.0
Can confirm that an Expansion going live on the same day as a conflict killed it clean off (before 3.0). Since this was an accident and not planned I doubt we'll recreate it anytime soon.

Currently we're waiting to see if a pending Expansion (2nd day) will be truly put on hold during a conflict going live beforehand. Should know more about that in 2-3 days from now.

It might just be Sol and Alioth that are protected... the former saddened me a bit, since flying the Red Flag over Earth was my end game!
Sol (Federation) and Alioth (Alliance) only? I guess Achenar (Imperium) is up for grabs then ;)
 
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So far as I know, the systems which are fully protected beyond whatever a permit does are:
- Alioth
- Sol
- Achenar
- Shinrarta Dezhra
- Colonia
- Ratraii
- all detention centres
...and it might be worth checking the three starter systems as well to see if it applies there now.

You can also never have conflicts between factions already in those systems, which may be an easier way to test for the restriction.
If a non-native faction does somehow get into one of these - either through having been drawn there ages ago when expanding caused a swap, or during a temporary lifting of the restriction - it can be made to Retreat under the normal rules.



Iridium Wing's faction lost an expansion to a war going live the same day post 3.0, so that appears to still be possible.
 
Can confirm that an Expansion going live on the same day as a conflict killed it clean off (before 3.0). Since this was an accident and not planned I doubt we'll recreate it anytime soon.

Currently we're waiting to see if a pending Expansion (2nd day) will be truly put on hold during a conflict going live beforehand. Should know more about that in 2-3 days from now.



Sol (Federation) and Alioth (Alliance) only? I guess Achenar (Imperium) is up for grabs then ;)
Can confirm that a conflict going active before election will put election on hold, pending days still count down during conflict and expansion goes active once conflict recovery is over.

Happened recently and got this happening at the moment, our conflict ended today
 
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