OAP Attack: Drox Operative – Invasion Of The Ancients

Drox Operative continued Soldak’s tradition of genre-expanding ARPGs. Following on from Depths of Peril and Din’s Curse, it takes the joy of looting and levelling up stats, and twins it with a dynamic world in which wars and alliances form, goods are traded, and entire civilisations can be destroyed. Along with Space Rangers 2, Drox makes me wonder whether I really need to wait for a fifty million dollar space sim before settling between the stars. There are so many worlds to experience. Obviously there wasn’t quite enough in the game though because Soldak have just released an expansion, titled Invasion of the Ancients. It contains more of just about everything, including new ancient race invasion events, new components, a new Scavenger race, nineteen subraces, and more monsters and quests. Hurrah!

I can only presume you clicked ‘Read the rest of this entry’ because you were expecting me to copy and paste a paragraph of backstory down here. You’re in luck!

Before the Drox ruled the galaxy, before they were even sentient, there were older races now known as the Ancients. Using their Operatives, the Drox crushed and enslaved most of these races. The rest fled known space. When the Drox turned on their own Operatives, the Drox were utterly destroyed. Newer races emerged and thrived in the power void, never knowing the menace waited. Seizing their chance, the Ancients are invading to take their rightful place in the galaxy, as rulers! Thirsting for revenge, the Ancients can’t harm the extinct Drox, but they can crush the next best thing, the Drox Operatives.

Wait, so the Drox were the bad guys and the Ancients are only coming back for revenge? But on the wrong people. And they want to rule the galaxy as well. Silly Ancients!


  1. Phendron says:

    I really enjoyed the first few hours of Drox Operative, when you genuinely feel like a sinister space agent who makes the universe tremble.

    It was only once I started trying to take over galaxies without getting a Fear Victory that the fatigue set in: spending 3 galaxies worth of plunder on bribe money to get a Diplomacy win or running from one side of the galaxy to another slaying big monsters for a Legend win. I always felt too harangued by quest times and impatient empires, the worst parts of RPG grinding and the rat race.

    Hopefully this expansion adds new victory avenues and enough bells and whistles to bring me back.

    • RedViv says:

      The guild quests give a bit more additional structure to the larger goals one might have. Or just wreck some of them instantly. Fun.
      Yesterday I planned to go for a military victory, allying with the Brunt to get some much needed weaponry as the final reward, but then two ancient ships were snapped out of their slumber within a minute, and the whole galaxy had to unite against them, which set my lowly Operative ship jumping from system to system, solving every faction’s problems. It really was the most space operatic Drox has felt yet.

    • Professor Paul1290 says:

      If you’re spending “3 galaxies worth of plunder” to bribe a Diplomatic Win then you might want to step back and reconsider how you are going about your Diplomatic wins.

      My first ship/character in Drox is level 84 and has had only a couple Fear wins. The vast majority of wins I’ve had on that ship/character have in fact been Diplomatic Wins, not because I go for them intentionally because I find Fear Wins to often be too slow.
      You can pull a Diplomatic Win much faster if you know how to arrange things to favor them, especially if you take the path of least resistance and try to use races that already have positive relationships.

      There are several things that can help Races build positive relationships without having to brute force them with bribes.
      Easier ship traffic between them can cause relations (positive or negative) to “progress” faster so if they’re starting to lean towards positive then clearing up systems in-between or getting them neutral or better to races that control systems in between can speed this up.
      Gift delivery is very situational and has to be initiated by one of the races as it is a quest, but taking such opportunities when they present themselves also helps quite a bit.
      Getting them mutual allies can also help though again not always. Even when they don’t, they can bind them up so they can’t fight each other as easily so you have more time to try other stuff.
      Related to the above, some races can be more agreeable than others and may have a stronger tendency to form alliances. Bringing a race into your alliance that you know has such tendencies can help things along.

      Of course, there’s often the a couple remaining races you just can’t bring into your alliance in any reasonable amount of time because they’re relations with you and your current allies are just so poor. In that case you might want to simply kill them off if you find that bringing them in would be more trouble than they’re worth, and having the allies needed for a Diplomatic Win provides you with a lot of firepower to do this.

      • Phendron says:

        Ha, I guess I never connected the dots on what it took to get certain goals. Generally I would just fly back and forth to various colonies spreading rumors over and over about how great the other guys were, not very efficient. I usually went with Fear because it was easy and straightforward: blow up these guys until everyone respects you.

        So what’s the best way to get a Legend win? I almost always end up getting fear first even when I’m trying for legend.

        • Professor Paul1290 says:

          I haven’t done many Legend Wins yet so I haven’t toyed around with them enough to give a really sure answer on that.

          I do know that Legend points come from quests, scanning anomalies, and scanning unexplored planets. There could be more sources, but those are the ones I know of.
          Not all quest give Legend points however, whether they do is usually in the description. Quests that give Legend Points tend to be the ones that involve helping out without harming another race.

          I suppose “in theory” there might be a way to set up for a Legend Win using race relations.
          It seems to be like you’d want to find a powerful set of allied races that control enough planets to make internal crisis (and therefore quests that give Legend Points) more frequent. For this purpose I suppose the ideal (though unlikely) situation would be to have a race that controls a relatively large number of planets, but has poor resources and technology compared to the number of planets they control. This would mean that they have a lot of space for stuff to go wrong but not many resources to deal with such problems themselves. Theoretically this would generate the greatest number of opportunities to get Legend points.
          That’s “in theory” though. I can’t say I’ve ever tested that myself, but it would be a fun thing to try.

  2. PopeRatzo says:

    Drox Operative is a great game, but it will suck up tons of time if you’re not careful. Several times I sat down after dinner to play for an hour and looked up to see that it was almost midnight.

    I still haven’t figured out how to properly use the technology stuff and how to leverage alliances into greater power.

    Does anyone know if there’s a forum or something where I can get more info on the game. I bought it off the Soldak website, and there’s very little handholding. It takes a while to figure out what you’re supposed to do. For the first several sectors, just flying around shooting stuff and collecting loot seems to be enough, but later on, there’s clearly more needed to get a proper win.

    • Professor Paul1290 says:

      Soldak does have their own forum, and while it can be rather slow going if you ask a question you’ll generally get some kind of answer pretty soon.

      As for your specific question, I’m not sure Technology affects relations themselves much, if it does I haven’t found a way to exploit it yet.
      What I do know is that Technology affects the quality and power of a race’s ships, which can affect how things play out, including relations though indirectly. The better tech a race has the more effective their each of their ships are. When it comes to race ships and/or fleets, generally “Technology = Quality” while “Resources = Quantity”. There are other things that can affect that but that’s a nice simple way of putting it.
      With that, giving your allies better Technology is usually a good thing as it helps them reduce losses due to mobs and helps their military power by having more firepower in general.

      On a related note, the “Relations” screen also has a screen called “Power Comparisons” that graphs known races by Planets, Ships, Resources, and Technology. It’s a great way to see who’s more powerful in what way, and it’s also a nice way to see what causes what as you experiment with the game.

  3. Enfuego says:

    This was one of the few games I didn’t uninstall after I stopped playing regularly (a modern day steam luxury) because I knew that although it got stale after a while, coming back to visit was always nice. Just played another scenario yesterday, and it didn’t disappoint. Expansion? Icing with sprinkles, ty.

  4. Renevent says:

    I like most of Soldak’s games, especially Din’s Curse, but for whatever reason couldn’t get into Drox Operative. Glad to see those who do enjoy it are getting more content though. Enjoy!

  5. Cross says:

    I liked Drox Operative to start with, it was unique, engaging and dynamic. Soon enough, though, it turned into a real grind, with visuals and sound being samey enough to worsen it. Game also suffered from some occasional bewildering spikes in difficulty. You could be cruising along, practically owning galaxies, and then suddenly get instafragged by a flock of random critters.

  6. BenA says:

    Drox populi, drox dei?