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Some advanced Complex Building Tips by Apricotslice.

Positioning stations is something you will need to get a feel for yourself. Practice makes perfect. Before you start, SAVE. As you place, save again, but keep the first save available so that you can reload it if you really cock up the first attempt and want to start again.

My own 50 plus station complexes are placed for safety, not for looks.

If you place a station too close to an asteroid or another station, they may damage each other. If they actually touch, then the friction will tear the factories apart. If the shields touch, then eventually they will go down and then the hulls will be damaged. At some point well after the complex was built, a station will suddenly blow up quite spectacularly. And when a single station in the complex is destroyed, the complex hub and all the tubing is destroyed as well. And with the hub, goes any ship docked there and all the product its storing. Your left with a close group of isolated stations. You can if you want, reposition them with the new Tractor Beam, just to make certain the remaining ones are safe. Then you will need to rejoin all the stations back into a complex with a new hub. Before you do, check the shields and hull of each station and give some time to ensure no more are about to blow. Best strategy is not to build them too close.

My complexes look like Spagetti and Meatballs, and I love them !

                            (Antigone Memorial, 59 stations, including all minable asteroids. Notice the complex hub well above the plane of the stations.)

If you really want to get a complex lined up as neatly as you can, there is plenty of help in the forum available. But I think this is too difficult for first time complex builders to worry about. Hey, its fun flying your fighter through the middle of your complex and watching a pirate ship smash itself to pieces on a tube !

However, the less neat you are, the harder it becomes to find somewhere to put them, which brings up a problem.

Eventually, everyone building a large complex gets to the point where a station is no longer in range of the complex hub after placement, and therefore cannot be joined to the complex. This fools everyone as to the reason why, as the first impression is that it should join to its nearest neighbour.

The distance variable for joining a station to a complex is from the new station to the HUB and seems to be about 15km cubic. So once you have exhausted the area around the hub, suddenly you have a station you cannot join.

It is vitally important not to place stations ajacent to the hub. Doing so makes the task of docking exponentially more complex and results in ships being destroyed, including yours. The universe is dangerous enough without you making it worse.

What this means is that a lot of space that could have been used for adding stations, cannot be.

And so we have a station that cannot be joined.

Wrong !

There is a feature of building hubs that comes in very useful now. The placement of the hub can be almost anywhere, and so far, I have not found a limit to where it can go.

So, what we do is add another station adjacent to the one you cannot join.

Then we join these 2 stations to form a second complex hub, AND position this new hub in range of the first hub. This is usually easy, because you can place it on the same level as the first hub, since it wont be remaining there.

Now we join the two hubs.

Only ONE of the hubs will remain afterwards, so the first one you select should be the one you wish to keep. Select the one thats the best positioned for docking purposes.

After the join, you will have one hub where you selected, with the contents and ships that were in the first hub all safely where you left them, even though the position of the hub may have changed if you selected the new one.

This technique can be used to build really huge complexes. As long as you can get a new hub placed in range of the old hub, and the old hub has available nodes, then you can keep joining groups of stations almost indefinitely. Even spread out over large areas of space, if you leave key stations unjoined in certain places, you can later use them to join a whole set of complexes into one giant one. It may take some planning, but it can be done.

                                                                            (Complex in Antigone Memorial formed in 4 complex joins.)