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View Full Version : Trouble getting started -- advice needed


barsoomian
11-09-2013, 04:02 PM
So -- admittedly I'm a terrible player in general (too old to have quick reflexes), but I've been able to play both DoP and DC with moderate success. I just can't quite get rolling with DO. Maybe it's the lack of classes to help guide my weak building skills, and there don't really seem to be any "build guides" posted here. Anyone have a solid, easy-to-follow path to even basic success (I get to about level 7-9, then just die every 10 minutes or so)? Or should I just resign myself to the fact that I just don't quite grok the whole system (I understand the win conditions; I've read the excellent getting started site stickied here; I just feel a bit out of my depth without a little more staying power in my ship). Thanks much -- love Soldak's games, but this may be the one I bought just to support them without playing if I can't sort out a better approach.

PixelLord
11-09-2013, 08:07 PM
Just make sure you improve your ship (might take a little while) before you venture into new systems; but I think you've gotten past that. Sometimes you just have to run. Make sure you've got a mine equipped when you run into hoards of alien ships, and drop them while heading out of any system. You can go out forever, so you should survive. Also don't fly blindly into any hoards. You need to turn away from a hoard and just attract the attention of one or two at a time. Let them follow you away and then destroy them.

Hope this helps a little. :)

kizune
11-10-2013, 05:11 AM
Yes i think the best answer is a bit leveling in lower systems.:) And mines or generally area-dmg weapons are naturaly great against hoards of enemy's.;)

barsoomian
11-10-2013, 09:56 AM
First -- thanks to both who have replied. You reminded me of things I know but haven't been doing (area damage and really being careful about not getting in the midst of a big horde). That alone is helpful. I do still wonder if anyone has a "formula" for a simple build -- not a surefire winner, of course, but a relatively straightforward to at least proceed.

Thanks again.

Tyrax Lightning
11-10-2013, 01:17 PM
First -- thanks to both who have replied. You reminded me of things I know but haven't been doing (area damage and really being careful about not getting in the midst of a big horde). That alone is helpful. I do still wonder if anyone has a "formula" for a simple build -- not a surefire winner, of course, but a relatively straightforward to at least proceed.

Thanks again.
The EMP is a useful early game weapon, as is the Lightning Field.

What Race are ya playing as, & what's your current Weapon Compliment?

demoss
11-10-2013, 02:23 PM
I don't find Drox to really be a reflex game, but here are a couple little things that I find to help.

Make sure you have a beam weapon. Some monsters are very hard to deal with otherwise.

Area weapons are definitely a good suggestion.

A possible alternative is a ballistic weapon - I find it quite helpful when being chased by a horde, because it will usually hit and typically does more damage than a beam. They're also good for non-moving targets.

Carry the various surges to replenish, especially energy and shields. The mix you need will vary a LOT with your equipment. The thrust boost is also very handy when you run into something you can't handle. Slot them all in your quick use slots.

Remember, too, that you don't have to keep all your equipment installed all the time. If there's something you find that is only useful in certain situations (like a manual aim ballistic) but really helpful in those, keep it around and install it only when you need it. This takes a little more work in managing your power load, and more inventory slots, obviously, but can be worth it. I will usually carry an auto repair device (for those annoying times when I get teleported by an anomaly deep into hostile space, mostly, and can't resupply) and sometimes an escape pod (for when I'm going up against a tough boss). That's harder to do before you get decent cargo bays, though.

Oh, and don't be afraid to pause to think, organize equipment, trade, etc. You can even take shots while paused. I bind pause to the space bar.

barsoomian
11-10-2013, 05:33 PM
As for what I'm playing, I've tried both Fringe (for the bonus engine slot) and Human (for the mine slot). I've generally equipped the best beam and EMP as I find them. Beyond that, I guess that I struggle to figure out how to raise crew points -- I see some recommendations to focus on command, but that quickly leads to an extremely slow ship. Do I raise things as needed to equip components only? And I live in fear of losing a sector if I don't move on to new systems relatively quickly -- is this a problem? Again, good advice so far -- I'll give things another try and see how it goes.

kizune
11-11-2013, 05:22 AM
You dont lose a sector because you sit in only 1 system.:) You dont have to rush things.

What i like to do with crew points is to raise points if i need it there. Got better power plant? Raise Engineering. Found a better weapon? Raise tactical. Need more energy/energy reg? Raise engineering. It's not 100% efficent but i like it this way.;)

What i can suggest in addition, "debuff"-items like freezer item's or computer virus items. They can turn down the enemy's chances to hit you and dodge your attacks. The freezer item's also slowing the enemy down.

Oh with the crew point's you can also think about it to raise states if you "feel" it's time. Need more damage? raise tactical. And dont forget about components that raises defense and resistances. In my actual game i fly an shadow ship with shields only and i use high defense for dodge and an all-damage-resistance item + 3 items that gives me higher resistance in the damage areas kinetic, em and radiation the important resistances for a shield only ship.:)

Mrakobess
11-11-2013, 06:29 AM
First of all sorry for my English, I don't have much practice with it.
First time I tried with Human. I raised everything but structural, and sometimes had problems. Was equipped with mines, ballistic and rockets. I was 30 lvl when read forum, and understood feature with equipping crew and having a better items.
Now I'm playing Scavenger, lvl 24. Spent my points only to command with keeping my speed 180-200. I'm using beam and fighters. And now I can't equip good items due to lack of helm, computers, engineering and structural. I began dying very often.
I want to continue with my Scavenger. Can you tell what are best strategies for me? I need advise about skills, weapon and equipment.

Tuidjy
11-11-2013, 03:56 PM
Мракобес... that's a name I would not use without caution.

In any case, there's nothing wrong you putting points only in Command with a Scavenger. You are building pretty much the best possible ship. The problem is that this path is very challenging - you need to have very good crew equipment, and well leveled crew, so that you can equip passive components well above your skill level.

If you have a lot of money, you can improve at least one of your crew equipment types by scavenging at a Scavenger planet. Roll the dice until you get components with the skills you need.

As for crew, make friends with the Drakk, and keep doing their racial service quest. This will certainly solve your helm problems, and if you are lucky, it will really help with your other skills as well. Let me expand on this:

1. Create level 24 sectors until you get one with a Drakk presence. If you have exterminated them in your current galaxy, start a new one.

2. Find all the races, and choose one that gets along OK with the the Drakk. Dryad is best, but Scavenger, Human, Shadow, etc... can be OK as well.

3. Using rumors make sure that Dryad goes to war with Drakk's enemies and vice versa.

4. Using rumors improve Drakk/Dryad relationship till they start improving it themselves. Usually 65 each is enough to get the ball rolling.

5. Start taking and solving Drakk quests. Those involve killing boss type monsters. Many of them will be boardable. If you have Marines, they are a great way to defray quest costs, and to even make money.

6. While doing the above, keep an eye on the power balance. You want to stomp on anyone who looks to be doing well against Drakk and Dryad, and you want to clear any serious problems Drakk and Dryad have: riots, civil wars, diseases, raids, oppressive bosses. Complete the quests, but only turn in the disease ones, so that you do not alienate the other races. Use the fact that you are not at war with them to sell all the loot from the recruitment quest's targets to races other than Drakk and Dryad. This way, they will be poor and weak, while Drakk grows rich on your cash.

7. Eventually, Drakk and Dryad will kill everyone else. Eventually, your solving recruitment quests will give you a legend victory. But by then, you will have dozens of Drakk crewmembers. You will be able to easily raise you Helm by slotting them into the numerous light slots you have received from pumping Command.

If you do enough quests, you will receive some rare Drakk who have skills other than Helm. It will take longer, but you will get enough of them to mount any component that you can find at level 24. When you've done that, your ship will be very, very powerful for its level.

I do this at levels 24, 48, and 74... Give this approach a try, it can be made to work.

barsoomian
11-11-2013, 04:24 PM
Thanks, kizune -- I'd basically been taking the "increase to equip" strategy, but I'd doubted whether it was viable, so if it seems to be working for you, I'll keep at it. I have gotten to level 17 now with a human ship without dying quite as often (up to light cruiser -- is that typical? am I over/under-upgrading? or is that even a meaningful question without a particular goal in sight?). I'll try out some of the status/de-buff weapons. Also, is it typical to be going through a LOT of consumables (I can't tell if my perception of this v. Din's Curse is accurate or not ...) and constantly looking for a friendly planet without finding one. I guess that I just need to read randomly or thoroughly on the forum, because I don't know in a lot of cases if I am perceiving my progress correctly (maybe what I see as desperate is just the nature of the game ...).

Also, how important are those "recruit X crew" quests? I'm starting to think they're more important than I thought (dense, I know ...)

Tuidjy
11-11-2013, 05:05 PM
I'd basically been taking the "increase to equip" strategy, but I'd doubted whether it was viable, so if it seems to be working for you, I'll keep at it.

It works fine at low levels, but simple math shows that by itself, it is completely inadequate at high levels. At level 100, you will have collected 495 extra skill points, but may want to equip components requiring 153 in five different kinds of skills... even assuming that you never get a bigger hull than the starting one, you will have about 500 where you want about 750.

You can do a lot of things to deal with this.

One approach is to use crew equipment and crew members to mount passive components with requirements way beyond the ship's skill levels, and then remove the crew. Such passive components work fine, but when they take damage, they pretty much immediately break. This approach also denies you active components that require skills you do not intrinsically have.

Another approach is to focus on only a few skills. Command, Tactical and Engineering can, by themselves, leave you with a pretty decent ship. It won't be the best, and it will not stand a chance at sector levels 150+, though.

A third approach is to install mods, which nearly double the number of effective skill points. The "Balanced Command" gives you about 200 extra points by reducing hull costs, and "8 skill points per level" adds about 150 more. Many of the regular posters use both to maximize their enjoyment of Drox.

My own approach is a combination of using crew extensively and of focusing on a few skills. Some very effective combos are:

Command (on a Tactical focused race)
Command + Tactical (works for every race, although some work much better)
Command + Tactical + Helm (great for stealthy ships, works best with Drakk and their subraces)

barsoomian
11-13-2013, 04:46 PM
Sorry for the delay in thanking people for the feedback. Tuidjy: I appreciate your clear run-down of the options -- this was the kind of thing I was looking for (though I'll admit I wasn't very clear in the OP because I was really at sea as to where to begin). I assume you mean races that get a bonus for having high tactical scores in your list at the bottom, with Blunt being the prime example?

Up to level 20 with a ship now, though I still feel like I'm JUST squeaking by and staying alive by the skin of my teeth -- is that typical for the game? Restricting my crew points has also left me really short on attack, defense, and (because of engineering limits) energy -- is the solution to just cobble together enough components that improve these (in which case I'd need a much bigger ship, which requires higher command ... argh!)?

Tuidjy
11-13-2013, 05:13 PM
I assume you mean races that get a bonus for having high tactical scores in your list at the bottom, with Blunt being the prime example?

You are starting to get the idea, but there's more to it.

First, yes, Brunt gets a very nice bonus for having high tactical, but there is one more thing: when they advance command, Brunt get extra tactical points that directly increase damage.

Second, Brunt are not the prime example, because the Ultimate Weapon get a slightly higher bonus AND much better racial slots. The Pirates also get the damage bonus, but their racial slot strongly encourages a un-aimed build.

Up to level 20 with a ship now, though I still feel like I'm JUST squeaking by and staying alive by the skin of my teeth -- is that typical for the game?

It's typical if you are playing a Command Zero ship, but not if you are playing without home rules. One way to make sure you have a very powerful ship is to start a Scavenger (or Infection) and mount NOTHING but powerplants, engines, armor, computers, leechers and beams.

Restricting my crew points has also left me really short on attack, defense, and (because of engineering limits) energy -- is the solution to just cobble together enough components that improve these (in which case I'd need a much bigger ship, which requires higher command ... argh!)?

It's a balance. It's not easy to get a feel for it. Let me try to give you some pointers. I doubt I will do a good job in one post... but no one ever got anything done without trying.

I'll do it in a later post.

DarthNihilus
11-14-2013, 05:27 AM
barsoomian, you can read 9001 posts, but it's YOUR playing style, not someone elses. It's not Neverwinter Nights where you can start as a warrior and then became a warrior/mage/rogue/paladin/plumber.
first you shoud decide for yourself what kind of tactics do you like - attack or defence or stealth or hit'n'run. Then you should RTFM, I mean, the races' ship description. And then focus on something particular.
IMHO.

barsoomian
11-14-2013, 04:25 PM
DarthNihilus:

A good reminder, and I understand what you're saying -- it's how I approached Din's Curse, but in this case (maybe because I just can't devote quite the same time to learning the system -- all the varieties of components, for example) I was hoping to short-cut the learning curve a bit instead of just giving up on the game as not for me. Thanks, though, for keeping the individual part in front of me.

Tuidjy
11-14-2013, 05:41 PM
OK, instead of advice, you get an example, because I don't feel I'm up to making a guide.

This is a picture of my current ship. It's a level 22 Command Zero challenger, i.e. as a home rule I will not increase Command. This is a handicap, by the way, not a specific build. The build itself is high attack+vampirism+debuffing. The chance to hit a level 22 ship is 95%. The chance to be hit by it, 17%. The energy regeneration is over 15 per second.

http://i.imgur.com/d6ZI6Qy.jpg

This particular ship does perfectly well at sector level 24. You may want to look at your own ships around level 22, and see how they compare on attack, defense, total hit points, DPS and energy regeneration - this way you could identify areas of weakness.

The base stats are Tactical 50, Helm 50, Engineering 25, Computers 10. The Tactical was incresed for damage, the Helm so that I do not need a slot for thrusters, the Engineering so that I could mount my powerplant and recharger, and the Computers so that I could mount the Computers.

The components themselves require 33 Tactical, 28 Structural, 40 Engineering, and 34 Computers. How did I manage to mount them with low basic stats? By collecting crew equipment, and crew members, and by allocating two very valuable spots to leveling crew members.

The crew equipment, combined, can add 13 Structural, 8 Engineering, and 15 Computers. The crew members, combined, can add 14 Structural, 13 Engineering, and 12 Computers. As you can see, I could mount much better components if I had them. It's even easier to do so if you have more slots, because then you can use up to five crew equipment components, and nearly a dozen crew members. But it takes quite a bit of effort to keep leveled a crew that can deal with everything, and note that the only active components are the weapons.

By the way, the armor is so high because it has been enhanced at Lithosoid planets every chance I have had.

barsoomian
11-14-2013, 05:51 PM
Ok -- I think I'm getting a better idea of this. Can you clarify, though, the distinction between crew equipment and crew? I'm sure I'm just being dense, but I don't quite understand what you mean there (is it just that some crew are equipped?).

Again, I appreciate the time you're taking with all the posts. I'm already enjoying the game more, which was the point for me!

Tuidjy
11-14-2013, 06:55 PM
http://i.imgur.com/ckQEM1z.jpg

Crew equipment are components that help the crew perform better: neural interfaces, artificial gravity, automated chefs. In game terms, those:
- occupy a medium slot
- can be stored anywhere
- require power to function
- provide a basic bonus to all skills
- can provide extra bonuses to specific skills
- come in five different types, and only one of each type can be mounted at the same time

Crew members are sentient beings that can enhance specific skills, and can have extra abilities besides. In game terms, those:
- occupy a light slot
- cannot be stored in stashes
- have morale which reflects your actions
- can refuse to work or even permanently leave the ship
- can be of at least four significantly different types: Specialist, Generalists, Marines and Droids, and of every player or monster race
- can provide zero or more skills and various abilities depending on their type
- can improve their skills and abilities by leveling
- can take damage and die, which at least in hardcore is permanent

PixelLord
11-15-2013, 12:03 PM
(possible spoiler alert)

You can equip some crew that have, for instance, engineering stats which will, of course, increase your overall engineering stats. This may allow you to equip a better power plant. After you add the new power plant, you can actually remove that crew member (put him back in the cargo bay) which will then reduce your engineering stats and put a red "X" on the power plant if it required those extra engineering stats, but the power plant will still work as designed. That's why you see so many crew members in the first image above in the cargo bay. He's sometimes equipping certain crew members to equip better items, and then he removes them to equip other light components after he's added the component. Requires some juggling to do this. This doesn't work on items that require tactical components though.

Yindo
11-15-2013, 07:21 PM
- can take damage and die, which at least in hardcore is permanent

There is a fun little bug I reported a while back. Had a crew member with 0 health, aka dead. Amusingly I could still raise their happiness up.