Maelstrom is a mod for Sins of a Solar Empire that adds three new races and a number of new features to the game while leaving the existing races.
Maelstrom features three new races inspired by established science-fiction properties:
- The Norlamin are hyper-intelligent humanoids with enlarged craniums; they were inspired by the Skylark series by E. E. "Doc" Smith. They have highly-advanced technology due to their mastery of matter-energy conversions. They are relatively pacifistic, lacking a planet-bombing frigate and any weapon-damage upgrades, but have the ability to reduce the resource cost of their research topics to negligible levels.
- The Replicators are taken from stargate and a cybernetic empire, assimilating races in a manner similar to the Borg from Star Trek. Their ships are quite powerful, and many of them have a new ability, "Replicate Forces," which allows them to clone themselves at no resource cost. They have many research topics that increase the population caps on their planets, but all their research topics are (by default) twice as expensive as those of the other races, gradually reduced by researching certain specific topics that gradually reduce research costs.
- The Trade Alliance, as suggested by their name, focus on trade. Their economic upgrades are lower on the tech tree than that of most other races, and have cost-reducing topics (similar to that of the Vasari) available at very early points. Their capital ships bristle with strike craft, but their ships have fairly low HP. Though they now possess totally original ship meshes, they initially employed models from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.
Maelstrom features a number of new planet bonuses and types, including two new categories of planet--"High-Tech" and "Giant"--which must be researched before they can be colonized. It also features several new star types.
Maelstrom comes in two flavors: "Standard" and "Expansion". The "Standard" mod provides only the features described above. The "Expansion" series adds a number of extra features:
- Dreadnought capital ships are produced from a free, unbuildable structure in orbit of the player's starting planet. They cost 1 Capital Ship Supply, 1 Fleet Supply and no resources, building automatically every 45 minutes. Their Level-6 Ultimate ability upgrades them into a "Super-Dreadnought." upgrading their firepower and resilience but reducing their already-slow movement speed.
- Titan Flagships are produced from a free, unbuildable structure in orbit of the player's starting planet; they cost 1 Capital Ship Supply, 1 Fleet Supply and no resources, but only one can exist at a time. These ships should not be confused with the Titans of the Rebellion expansion, as they do not have to be unlocked; nor with the Flagship concept from the same expansion. While original Titan designs were created for early versions of Maelstrom, they were replaced with Ironclad's Titans once Rebellion was released.
- Asteroids are floating chunks of rock. They appear in orbit of uncolonized planets, supplementing whatever militia is already there. They come in Small (2,000 HP) and Large (4,000 HP) flavors and move at low speeds, but deal collision damage to any ships they manage to catch.
- Pirates have been strengthened in the "Expansion" mod. They now send out smaller attacking parties through phase lanes in addition to their standard attack every fifteen minutes, and can deploy Capital Ships and Squadron Support Cruisers.
Maelstrom is available for Diplomacy, Entrenchment and "Vanilla" Sins, and Rebellion. However some crashes with the Stellar Phenomena DLC have been reported.