View Full Version : I want to enjoy this game, but an insane learning curve + lack of info really hurts

02-22-2014, 09:52 PM
After downloading the demo and having a lot of fun then buying this game, I have to say Im a bit frustrated after reaching level 19 and getting quite stuck - Either I dont have enough shields, or armor, or weapons, or energy, or energy regen, or power. Even if I spam the purchasable energy/shield boosts, it still feels like not enough. In typical RPG's this means the character is too generalized, so I started thinking of ways to specialize and optimize my build, but upon examining the stats it seems like EVERY single one of the five stats is helpful to EVERY character.

In a diablo-style game, you would expect certain builds to focus on certain stats and ignore all other a Barbarian dosen't need Dexterity or Energy at all, just Strength and Vitality. If I wanted to play a Drakk focused on the racial traits of Tactics and Helm, what do I do when I run out of power and suddenly need Eningeering for a better power gen? What about when the boss oneshots me so I need more Structure? What about when Im running out of comportment room so I need more Command?

So of course to solve this issue I started google searching for tried-and-true builds since this game has been out for years. Nothing - no builds, no guides, no nothing. The best I can do is look at old posts on this forum where people explain that leveling your Crew is actually the secret to this game -- something that is barely touched upon in the tutorial and certainly not emphasized. Then I read about choosing weapons -- some people say Beams and Lasers are great, the next person replies and says all aimed weapons are terrible. Without some sort of FAQ or Guide to follow, who do I trust? I'm pretty shocked there are no stickied posts like "best newbie builds" or "exact leveling guides".

Now what can I do about this? For the moment nothing since Im but a lowly noob. Maybe after months of playing, then I can make a guide, but what about all of the people, such as Tuidjy who obviously love the game. Can you post any "no brainer" stat leveling info and weapon choice information?

tl;dr for a game that has been out for years, theres no noob-friendly reference material and it really hurts

02-24-2014, 05:33 PM
One way to get an idea would be to look at the posted ships at different levels. But you are right, it would be nice to have a newbie guide.

I think that _you_ have already gotten the most important message: the key to the uber-ship is uber-crew. With properly leveled crew, you can mount any passive component, while spending your precious skill points on the stats that you need for active components.

Generally speaking, the most powerful builds start with ships that get Tactical from Command, and invest as much into Command as your crew allows.

For example, if you want to build the best assassin type ship, you start with a Drakk (because you want active Helm components, namely cloaks)

You want to use lasers and viruses, because you can uncloak on top of the enemy, and unload at close range, without having to worry about the beams dissipating. Because these are aimed weapons, you want good, but passive computers. Those will help with criticals, which are awesome right after uncloaking.

Because your need high Tactical (everyone does), decent Helm (for your cloaks) and Command (for as many components as possible) you will need to get your Computers and Engineering from crew.

Thus, you want to maintain good relations with the Utopians (who have the best computers) and the Shadows, because those two races provide programmers that can install your shiny new computers even if you lack the skills. Also, you want them to prosper in your galaxy, so that you can recruit them and shop from them the whole game.

So eventually, you end up with something like this ship:


Note that it has no Structure, because passive armor can be mounted by Mechanics who can then go off-watch, and no Engineering because reactors can be mounted the same, by Engineers, and the energy reserves can be raised with batteries and capacitors.

If you are wondering the attack/critical is high, it's because the screenshot is while cloaked, and the money is high because this is an old ship, since before level 175+ diplomacy fees were limited.

02-24-2014, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the response, this gives me something to work towards. I also thought about what you said in your other posts and have tried to keep leveling crew but find it difficult to sacrifice light component slots for them (I'd love to just have 4 battery rechargers so I could spam weapons all day).

With such low points in engineering and lots of slots being used by crew, Im running into energy regen problems. Could you elaborate on how many crew members to have actively slotted in your ship at once and when to swap them out for other crew members you have?

02-24-2014, 07:02 PM
As a rule, I keep crew slotted only if I am leveling them. I replace them as soon as all their skills go as high as allowed by their present level (limited by the ship's)

There are three exceptions to the rule, two good ones, and a bad one:

1. I keep a crew member slotted in the race slot, because that's the only thing that can go in there. Usually it's a gunner or a pilot, because I hardly ever play ships that have anything else as the bonus skill.

2. I keep crew slotted if I need them to use active components for which I lack the skills. The second pilot in the screenshot above is needed to get the ship's Helm over 141, which is required for the best cloaks.

3. I sometimes get temped to keep a very versatile crew member slotted even after he has leveled. In general, it's a bad idea. There is always a light component that does a better job. If you don't have one, you probably should go make one.

As for how many slots, it depends on the ship. On normal ships, I usually use half the light slots for crew. This is clearly overkill, because on my Command Zero ships I use no more than two slots for crew, and I still manage to level enough crew to mount any passive components... well, any I find before the ship dies - I still have not gotten a Command Zero ship to level 100.

02-24-2014, 11:46 PM
Early on I tend to consume energy and shield consumables as well. To save on energy, can put a thruster into heavy slot instead of medium slot that helps save on power a lot. Can usually find a fighter bay to put use early in the game. Even if the fighters are not that strong, they will help take some of the hits off of you, acting as a fighter screen.

02-28-2014, 07:10 PM
Thanks guys this is a great thread.

03-01-2014, 07:04 AM
Note that it has no Structure, because passive armor can be mounted by Mechanics who can then go off-watch, and no Engineering because reactors can be mounted the same, by Engineers, and the energy reserves can be raised with batteries and capacitors.[/QUOTE]

I attempted to create a post regarding this (but it's pending approval????). I don't understand why this type of mechanic is allowed, it seems easy to abuse. Why even have the option to place points into structure if you can equip everything that uses it as a pre-req?

I was able to get to level 33 with + 2 to monster level and it wasn't crazy difficult. I wish I hadn't realized that you could do this, it takes most of the decision making out of builds.

As far as responding to the original post, I just kept 1-2 of he best pieces of each type of gear that I could find. I would then go with builds that I felt would get the most out of my gear. I couple I used:

1 gun wonder:
Red: Heavy focused on power and one really high powered weapon
Yellow: Focused on shields and weapon amps/attack speed + 1 passive attack bonus
Green: Crew + Energy and Shield recharge bonuses
I would make sure to also have enough engines to hit 200, going slower makes it hard to dodge kinetic weapons and outrun missiles. My shield recharge was high enough to where I could dart in and out of combat quickly.

Carrier (easy with fringe):
Red: As many fighters as I could fit along with enough power to fuel them
Yellow: 1 Shield, 1 thruster, a bunch of reserve power
Green: Crew if needed, otherwise energy recharge amps OR the temporary recharge buffs
Just summon all of your ships (which can take a bit). The moment you can no longer summon ships faster than they are being destroyed against 4-5 basic monsters, this build no longer works. Besides that you can tank some ancients because they will never aggro your carrier

I try and build to sustain in combat. Running out of shields/energy/armor with no easy way to replenish can get you killed quick.