Hyperlane Switch Day

Daily hyperlane commutes extended by an average of 4 years, survey finds

Image: Commuting times via hyperlanes have increased significantly - it's now common to see heavy build-ups of space traffic around hyperlane entrances and exits.

Image: Commuting times via hyperlanes have increased significantly - it's now common to see heavy build-ups of space traffic around hyperlane entrances and exits.

Galactic United Nations HQ, Anward Space Station, Paravox System

New figures from the Galactic Fact Office (GtFO) show that almost 35.6 trillion galactic workers have had their daily commute extended by at least four years.

The survey of 1.8 million commuters was commissioned in the wake of the galaxy's universal switch to hyperlane transport last week.

It found that:

  • 98% of commuters are now using hyperlane transport, compared to 45% before, with the remainder using isolated forms of natural wormholes (1%), artificial gateways (0.7%) or jump drives (0.3%).
  • Of those using hyperlane transport, average commute time increased by 2916%
  • Those working in military, scientific or construction jobs were most likely to be affected
  • 94% of those surveyed stated they would not be keen to travel a distance of more than one system in one commute

Snur Nursnur, space transport minister for the Ubaric TechnoUnion, has called on the Galactic UN to do more to prevent "excessive" transit times, telling Xenonion:

"This has been a direct result of the galaxy switching to hyperlanes, although the problem does not lie with the hyperlanes themselves. This is actually caused by new traffic restrictions on ships traveling within systems at sub-light speeds. We can't ignore this - while four yearly commutes are perfectly feasible in the short term, over time it may start affecting commuters' well-being, and will probably even have an impact on work efficiency too."

Image: Snur Nursur wants the Galactic UN to ease sub-light speed restrictions.

Image: Snur Nursur wants the Galactic UN to ease sub-light speed restrictions.

Lengthier commutes are now becoming an accepted part of many xenos' routines.

Xirk Zenmar, a power plant worker from the Urseni Confederated Worlds, told Xenonion;

"I live on Urseni Prime, but I visit several power plants across our core worlds. Before I could commute with ease, but now I spend at least 3 years a day travelling by hyperlane. It's a mild inconvenience."

Image: Xirk Zenmar works at power plants or something. Presumably, however, he spends the majority of his time being really cute and adorable.

Image: Xirk Zenmar works at power plants or something. Presumably, however, he spends the majority of his time being really cute and adorable.

Other commuters are going to great lengths to avoid long journeys.

Jane Smith, a Blorg scientist, told us her trick:

"I'm often sent on far-flung projects to the outer reaches of the galaxy. My commute can take a whole lifetime, and sometimes before I even get to my destination I'll get called back to my homeworld to investigate something inane. I've found the easiest way to get round this is to simply dismantle my science ship, and somehow I auto-teleport back to Blorg Prime. I'm really not sure how this process works, but it's great and I can't fathom why it's not been introduced everywhere."

Image: Jane Smith, a gross fungoid, talks about some gross fungoid issue.

Image: Jane Smith, a gross fungoid, talks about some gross fungoid issue.

The Galactic UN has yet to comment on the survey from the GtFO.

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Xenonion Answers: Everything you need to know about Hyperlane Switch Day

You're on your morning commute to work. You're running a bit late. Traffic looks pretty heavy. You're grateful you own a top-of-the-range wormhole enabled corvette. You pull up to the wormhole station in Omicron Persei. But wait? Why is the station being dismantled? What did that billboard just say about wormhole FTL engines not being legal anymore?

It sounds like you might have forgotten about Hyperlane Switch Day. It's been an entire galactic cycle in development, cost 150 trillion energy credits to implement, is expected to cause interstellar travel chaos - and comes in to effect later today.

Feeling unprepared? Don't fret. Xenonion Answers: Everything you need to know about Hyperlane Switch Day.

1. Hyperlanes will be the standard mode of FTL travel

As per the Galactic UN's Apocalypse Act, hyperlanes will now be the universal type of FTL travel for the galaxy, with basic warp drive and artificial wormhole technologies being banned. The switch is seen as a more permanent solution to the galaxy's transport woes of clogged hyperlanes, overused wormhole stations and warp-drive induced galactic warming. It is hoped that by redirecting existing infrastructure funds exclusively to hyperlanes, the network can be expanded. Hyperlanes were selected as they offer speedy point-to-point access, energy-free maintenance and natural chokeholds - giving the perfect locations to build space-tolls. Psychic diplomats are currently trying to convey the new legislation to the Prethoryn Scourge to avoid accidental acts of criminal space travel.

Image: Communicating the GUN’s demands is rarely easy.

Image: Communicating the GUN’s demands is rarely easy.

2. Expect more time traveling at sub-light speed

As part of the FTL rework, hyperlanes can now only be accessed at specific entry and exit points within systems. This means no more accessing hyperlanes from anywhere within a system when in transit - if your ship is not at a hyperlane gate, you'll need to travel at sub-light speed to get to it. This means a longer commute, but you're doing your bit for the galaxy as there's absolutely no way of getting around those space tolls.

3. Jump drives still exist - at a price

Mature space empires will still be able to fit ships with conventional or psionic jump drives, but will need to pay special taxes to the Galactic Department of Licensing for Conveyance (DLC). Otherwise they could just jump right over those space tolls. Newer jump drives also impact on the overall efficiency of a ship, requiring a longer recovery time after use - so try not to jump into unfriendly territory.

4. Ancient gateway structures are up and running

In a bid to encourage public transport use, the Galactic UN has repaired parts of the ancient Gateway Network for empires to use at a discounted rate. These mammoth relay nodes, believed to have been constructed by an ancient precusor race, effectively allow for hyperlane transport but over huge distances. All outlying relays converge directly on the Galactic UN Citadel-space station, and definitely weren't built to facilitate the end of the cycle. We have dismissed these claims.

Image: Promotional poster persuading empires to utilize the gateway network

Image: Promotional poster persuading empires to utilize the gateway network

5. Keep an eye on SpaceWeather alerts

With more traffic using the hyperlane network, it's likely more ships will be affected by environmental factors. Expect gridlock around black hole systems as gravity wells will slow down sub-light travel, and watch for hull scratches near neutron stars as they're known to interfere with shields. You can keep up to date with this through Xenonion SpaceWeather.

6. Update your map

As all space-nations shift to hyperlane use, the galactic map will be redrawn. The Schedi Nebula will stay where it is, but just be aware it may now be controlled by some ravenous Hive Mind rather than those cute xenophilic felines.

Instead of border pressure via colonisation or random frontier outpost construction, each individual system that a space-nation wishes to hold will now have to build a starbase directly in it. These new generation of frontier outposts can be upgraded to military or economic starholds, which inevitably means while you're queuing to use that new space toll you can get a drive-thru TacoBell.

Your map UI is also in for an update - the Galactic UN hired the Artisan Troupe Liberal Arts Space Station to develop a more aesthetic representation of empire borders, and the results look pretty pleasing to the eye. It's now much easier to get to a destination, being able to distinguish one amorphous blue blob empire from another.

Image: The Artisan Troupe have developed a more aesthetic representation of empire borders.

Image: The Artisan Troupe have developed a more aesthetic representation of empire borders.

7. Doomstacks no more

For the novice admirals among us, don't forget part of the Apocalypse Act includes banning the practice of space-nations merging all their fleets into so-called 'doomstacks'. Inspired by the Prosperous Independent Leader's Ensemble Faction (PILES) movement, the Galactic UN has recognised that an admiral's ability to efficiently command a fleet may perhaps be in direct proportion to the size of said fleet. Empires are advised to split their fleets into several smaller fleets under the command of multiple admirals. Don't worry, two-corvette households won't be affected.

8. No more corvette scouting

Henceforth only qualified personnel will be allowed to venture into unexplored space. Scientists have long since complained about so called “corvette scouting”, wherein military vessels probe unexplored systems to reveal any potential threats before manned science ships are sent there. Top scientists have long argued that corvette scouting takes away much of the excitement from their jobs, as they rarely are faced with any lethal hazards.

9. Watch for crime

Security analysts warn that the imposition of hyperlanes may cause a spike in crime. Traditional warp drive and wormhole technologies are expected to flood underground black markets like the notorious Steam Workshop. With border changes coming into effect, it is expected many more systems will be left unclaimed, creating ideal breeding grounds for space pirates.

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Upheaval as galaxy prepares to universally adopt hyperlane transport

Image: The Galactic UN has begun distributing leaflets in preparation for the universal switch to hyperlanes.

Image: The Galactic UN has begun distributing leaflets in preparation for the universal switch to hyperlanes.

Galactic United Nations HQ, Anward Space Station, Paravox System

The Galactic UN has issued a bulletin reminding the stellar expanse that 'Hyperlane Switch Day' on February 22nd is approaching.

The date is when the galaxy is set to formally adopt hyperlanes as the primary mode of interstellar transport, and is expected to trigger major upheaval as empires reconsider how they view transit, political influence and warfare.

The switch has been in development for a number of months and is hoped to be a definitive solution to the galaxy's crumbling transport infrastructure, as Galactic UN spokesperson Mn'O'Rel told our newsteam;

"We are no longer the transit envy of the multiverse. Over time, the number of empires, ships and fleets in our galaxy has expanded exponentially, but transport options have not. Hyperlane routes are clogged. Wormhole stations are in disrepair. Warp drives are contributing to galactic warming. And we couldn't invest in any of them properly as our resources were being split among all of them. We needed to do something radical to solve our transport woes. Our first idea - planet destroying superweapons - was stolen by the Galactic Security Council, so our next plan was to pick one form of transport and just dump all of our resources into it."

As per the Galactic UN's 3,477-page report on interstellar transport, 'So You've Got Nothing Else to Read', hyperlanes were chosen as they offered speedy point-to-point access, energy-free maintenance and natural chokeholds giving perfect locations to build space-tolls.

Warp drives were also seriously considered for universal adoption, but discounted after the Public Institute for Space Health (PISH) discovered compelling evidence that prolonged use can lead to long term health problems, including Genital Warps in organic species, and data corruption in synthetics.

Image: The view most galactic transport users will likely experience when they engage their FTL

Image: The view most galactic transport users will likely experience when they engage their FTL

Artificial wormhole stations will be dismantled, although pre-existing natural wormhole routes will remain operational.

Other more advanced forms of transport, including Jump Drives and Psi-Drives, will remain available to technologically advanced nations, but use will now be taxed directly to the Galactic UN's Department of Licensing for Conveyance (DLC).

The Council of Overseers, a loose association of militarist empires, have long called for the abolition of non-hyperlane transit. Avian spokesperson C’luck told our newsdesk:

“We have been pushing for this since the collapse of the previous Galactic UN. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to have a near-invulnerable hyperlane fleet but not actually get to use it on invading a smaller neighbour because you have to spend your whole time chasing their six wormhole-enabled corvettes around the local cluster? Or when you perfectly position a defensive platform in what's clearly the only hyperlane entrance to your empire, just for some warp-drive whippersnapper to whizz around it?”

Critics have argued militarist empires have pushed for hyperlane-only transit to provide a more suitable galactic terrain for warfare. Guff, leader of a one-planet spacenation with six wormhole enabled corvettes told us:

“Lols the Overseers are just rage quitting because we wormhole jumped one system over their fleet and destroyed a colony ship.”

The Galactic UN were unable to be reached to give a comment on the situation. We think. We didn’t try.

> More accurate reporting from Siitharian Collective Drone 96 could not be possible.
> More accurate editing from Ashley Easterbrook could not be possible.