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Author Topic: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ  (Read 207927 times)

Kahabut

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Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« on: February 25, 2012, 03:19:25 PM »

This is an attempt to put common questions and answers in one place, along with as much wisdom as the group of us can come up with.  Please add/correct details as you can.  Thank you.  

Feel free to ask further questions.

FAQ about development and everything surrounding the game
Spoiler
I lost my game key! What can I do to get it back?
That's no problem. First you might want to check in your email client if the original email with the code is still there. Search for "bmt micro".

If you can't find it there you can send a mail directly to keys [at] bmtmicro [dot] com.
Give them your information (in particular the email you used to order the game), describe your problem and they will help you.

If you got the game still installed on a windows computer you can also read it out of the registry:
Spoiler
You open the registry editor if you type regedit in the command console (or the search function). Then follow the path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\javaSoft\Prefs\com\fs\Starfarer ->serial
Your serial number is separated by slashes ( / ).
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When will the game be finished?
The official answer is: Soontm! What that really means is that there is no officially planned release date as of yet. The game will be in development until the team decides it is ready.

When will the next release come out?
The answer is the same as for the final game: As soon as it's ready. We have learned from experience that there is no use in asking all the time or pressurize. Normally there are a few month between releases.

Can my computer run the game?
Yes! Well, it's likely, Starsector is not a very demanding game. You should have a graphics card with at least 256MB of memory, better 512MB (onboard works). Users have reported well playable framerates with specs as low as a mobile 1.6 GHz dualcore and 1GB RAM. If you bought a mid-range PC or Laptop before 2008 you should be fine. This is of course not an official guarantee, only practical advice.

Is there a demo?
No, and at the moment there are no concrete plans to release one. This might change at some point in the future, though. To get a good impression of the game I would recommend one of the various let's plays on youtube, for example by faiter.

Will there be multiplayer?
No. Fractal Softworks is a small developer team with limited capacities. They decided to focus all their energy on the single-player aspect of the game to make it as good as possible. By now there are many technical and game design barriers, too.

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FAQ about Gameplay
Spoiler
There are effectively 2 game modes.  Campaign mode, and missions, they are entirely separate.  

Missions are available from the main menu, they generally consist of a scenario battle with specific goals and specific fleets on both sides.  You can refit your fleet before combat if you so choose.  Some missions (random battle) have randomly generated fleets, you can try out just about anything this way.  

Most of this FAQ is about starting a new campaign.


What ships can I get to start with and which one is the best?
The starting ships are Wolf, Lasher, Vigilance, Hound or the Shuttle. The re-start (if you die) ships are Shuttle/Dram/Hound.  Which Ship you get depends on the second choice you make for your Characters personal history.

Spoiler
The Wolf (choose 'quartermaster') is often considered the most powerful of the starting ships, but is hard to control.  It has initially no PD, a somewhat temperamental shipsystem, and struggles against shielded foes due to its reliance on beams.

The Lasher ('adjutant in the Hegemony Navy') is much more newbie-friendly. It comes with three PD weapons, an easy to figure out system, and has the most flexible mount type (there's a ballistic weapon for nearly every role).

The Vigilance ('helmed a patrol ship') is also a good choice given the right initial skill choices and weapon loadout, but again, probably not something a newbie will be able to figure out.

The Hound ('something else') should be avoided unless you put your initial skill points into unlocking the Frontal Shield Generator hullmod. The first thing you'll want to do is get a wing of Talons to increase your survivability slightly.

The Shuttle (always a choice) is a 'just in case' ship - it says so right in the code - and outside of a bug with a custom character creation plugin, I would only imagine it being used for self-imposed challenges.
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How do I get more stuff?
You can buy ships, items, weapons, and crew from the Hegemony station (brown).  You can also get weapons, ships and items from combat (more later).

How do I pick up 1 item?  How do I pick up part of a stack of items?
Press shift and left click on the stack, this will pick up one item for each click.  Press shift and hold left click a slider will appear and you can select from 1 to 500 (max stack size).  

How do I progress further?  I'm stuck!
This can be a complicated answer, but the short version is that you need to grind small combats with mostly pirate ships (red) until you can afford to expand your fleet and take on larger targets.  

What are the different weapon types?
There are Energy weapons, Ballistic weapons, Missile weapons.  

What are the different damage types?
Kinetic: 200% vs Shields, 50% vs Armor
Explosive: 50% vs Shields, 200% vs Armor
Energy:100% vs Shields and Armor
Fragmentation: 25% to shield and Armor but often with Area damage
All weapons do 100% to hull

What are the different slots for on my ship?
Blue circles are Energy slots.  
Yellow squares are Ballistic weapons
Green squares are Missile slots
Grey multishape are "universal"

The number of shapes (square,circle, etc) represents the size of the slot.  2 medium, 3 is large, 1 is small.  

Why is my fleet so slow?
Your fleet speed is based on the slowest ship in your fleet + the number of ships in your fleet.  The more ships, the more you slow down.  This applies to fighter wings as well, but for them the effect can nullified if enough hangar space is available. See "travel speed" in ship stats.  

How do I repair my ships?
Your ships will automatically repair themselves outside of combat.  You must have CREW and SUPPLIES for this to happen.  Fighters will only repair if they are in a hangar, if your fleet has no hangar space, your fighters never repair.  Additionally, fighters can be repaired in mid combat if you have any ship with a flight deck.  You can not currently buy repairs at the station, or anywhere else.  It's just a matter of time.  You can install a hull mod to cut the time in half, if you are badly damaged.  

How does the capture mechanic work?  What is boarding?  What are marines for?
After combat is over you get a wrap up screen, it shows the state of your fleet, and the enemies.  If you disabled any ship in the enemy fleet, and you WON the combat as well, you have a chance (say roughly 10%) of being able to board the enemy ship.  If this happens you are presented with buttons on the ship, which are, Board/Scrap.  If you mouse over the ship, you can see how much crew remains, if it's more than you have marines, you probably don't want to try and board the ship, in which case you can scrap it for salvage.  (2:1 Marines:crew is suggested)  ALSO: If the enemy surrenders, (surrender is written across the ship), you can board it for NO COST (IE: you won't lose any marines, no matter how much crew they have).  

Inventory, what is this stuff for?  Why doesn't my inventory ever show 0 units?  
After combat you will get a chance to loot the dead ships.  You can get weapons, fuel and supplies.  Currently fuel is not used and is therefore a resource just to sell for credits.  Supplies are used by your ships to make repairs.  Weapons are rather obviously used on your ships to blow things up. If you go over your maximum you will have increased maintenance cost, if you surpass it by more than 50% you get the risk of having accidents in your fleet. You can of course sell anything you aren't using, if you want.


Who are these other ships?
Brown fleets are Hegemony.  It is not wise to start a fight early in your progression.  
Blue fleets are Tri-Tachyon.  Also not wise to start a fight early on with them.  
Red fleets are pirates.  They start aggro to you, and pretty much everyone else.  This is your main fodder early on.  Find small single/2-3 ship fleets and cut them up.  
Grey fleets are Independents.  They start neutral to you and are another possible source of explosions and loot.  

How does faction relations work?
You start neutral to everyone except the pirates.  You can't increase your standing with anyone, but if you attack any faction you lose standing and they will fire at you on site (if they can catch you).  The station will trade with you no matter what your standing is, but it can be tricky to get past the fleets nearby if you aggro the Hegemony faction (brown).

I saw some ships do weird things in combat, suddenly becoming faster or teleporting or spewing lightning. What's that all about and how can I do it, too?
You probably saw a ship use a special System. Every ship has a System, but they do very different things. What System a ship has is listed in its description, to know what it actually does you have to go to the codex and look it up. Or you can just try it out.  To activate a system you have to hit F.
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Tips & Tricks
Spoiler

Manual
If you find something unclear in the game, read the manual! It can help to clear up a lot of questions. It also contains tips and tactics for combat and background information about the game lore. The inofficial manual is actually more up to date at the moment. Here's a link.

Mods
There are some top notch mods with beautiful graphics available for this game already. Take a look at the mod index.

Dev Mode
Dev mode gives you several extra features.  It removes the limit on zooming out, so you can get a view of the entire battlefield/solar system if like.  It also allows you to CTRL+click and take direct control of any ship in the game, including enemies.  (don't cheat now)
To turn on Dev mode go to this directory Starsector\starsector-core\data\config\ and open the settings.json file.  Near the top, find "devmode=false" and change it to "devmode=true". Use textpad or another Text editor.  Do not use Word, excel or Wordpad, the file will most likely not save properly.  

Resolution
The menus inside the game have a fixed resolution of 1024×768. If you have a screen with a very high resolution (say 1920x1080 and above), they might appear small. If you have trouble reading small text it might be worth a try to lower the resolution a bit, for example to 1600x900. That makes the menus appear bigger without degrading the graphical quality of the game noticeable.

Blogposts
There are a lot of very interesting articles in the development blog. For example there are articles about the lore, the art and the thought process behind many gameplay aspects. You can filter the posts by category.
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Please ask/answer/correct anything you see here, or that you can think of.
Thank you to Fractal Softworks, and the community.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 02:19:44 PM by Gothars »
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Dreyven

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2012, 03:34:43 PM »

What are the different damage types?
Kinetic: 200% vs Shields, 50% vs Armor
Explosiv: 50% vs Shields, 150% vs Armor
Energie:100% vs Shields and Armor
Fragmentation: 25% to shield and Armor but often with Area damage



just to add something usefull


/vote for sticky
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ArthropodOfDoom

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2012, 05:05:51 PM »

You will want to include the damage types and their percentages against the hull, because armor and hull are separate.
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Iscariot

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2012, 05:10:21 PM »

You can start with pretty much any frigate I believe. I've started with the Brawler and the Tanker before.
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The idea is that the various tech levels represent different - not "better" - ways to do things.

arwan

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2012, 05:12:56 PM »

the start ships are different than the re-start ships and you cant start with any ship..

***edit***

...The starting ships are Wolf/Lasher/Brawler/Vigilance, and the re-start ships are Shuttle/Dram/Hound. ...

i edited parts of the quote out to just show the point i wanted it was originally a response to me saying i started with a shuttle.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 05:19:02 PM by arwan »
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Alex
You won't be able to refit fighters and bombers at all. They're designed/balanced around having a particular set of weapons and would be very broken if you could change it. Which ones you pick for your fleet -out of quite a few that are available- is the choice here, not how they're outfitted.

Dreyven

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2012, 05:35:52 PM »

You will want to include the damage types and their percentages against the hull, because armor and hull are separate.

well... every weapon deals 100% against hull, so i don't know if that's necessary... but yeah, might aswell
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Iscariot

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 05:49:35 PM »

the start ships are different than the re-start ships and you cant start with any ship..

***edit***

...The starting ships are Wolf/Lasher/Brawler/Vigilance, and the re-start ships are Shuttle/Dram/Hound. ...

i edited parts of the quote out to just show the point i wanted it was originally a response to me saying i started with a shuttle.

Yeah, I figured as much. Oh well. The Brawler should still be on the list though. Still by far the worse starting ship.
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The idea is that the various tech levels represent different - not "better" - ways to do things.

Kahabut

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 06:00:30 PM »

Updated with new info.
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Spaceman

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 06:34:38 PM »

Feel free to delete this.

I know this sounds stupid but.... how do I refit my fleet before a mission?

I can do it in the campaign, there's that awefully handy button that says 'refit' on it. I can also press R but for the mission's I can't for the life of me figure out how to do it. The first post says you can 'if you choose'

If it's possible that is. The last hurrah is giving me a headache I can't get a good score on it and I'd like to try out swarmers on my vigilance frigs to sort out that early fighter spam
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arwan

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 07:29:06 PM »

can we get a sticky up in here. LOL... and possibly have the moderators help keep it updated if they see things that should be added in the comments.. would be really sweet.
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Alex
You won't be able to refit fighters and bombers at all. They're designed/balanced around having a particular set of weapons and would be very broken if you could change it. Which ones you pick for your fleet -out of quite a few that are available- is the choice here, not how they're outfitted.

SeaBee

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 08:42:28 PM »

can we get a sticky up in here. LOL... and possibly have the moderators help keep it updated if they see things that should be added in the comments.. would be really sweet.
I don't see why not. Great information here!

Kahabut

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2012, 12:28:22 PM »

Feel free to delete this.

I know this sounds stupid but.... how do I refit my fleet before a mission?

I can do it in the campaign, there's that awefully handy button that says 'refit' on it. I can also press R but for the mission's I can't for the life of me figure out how to do it. The first post says you can 'if you choose'

If it's possible that is. The last hurrah is giving me a headache I can't get a good score on it and I'd like to try out swarmers on my vigilance frigs to sort out that early fighter spam
Once you have selected the mission on the left side of the menu, the right hand side starts filling with a breifing.  If you left click in the briefing window, it will finish instantly, and at the bottom, it shows your fleet, and the enemy fleet.  Along with a button that says "refit".  Clicking it takes you to the fitting window for your fleet.  When you are done making changes, just hit the exit button (upper right), and play the mission.  You can also reset the configuration with another button. 
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Spaceman

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2012, 12:39:57 PM »

Thanks
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Catattack998

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 01:34:54 PM »

With regards to slot type, missile slots have diamonds to represent them, not squares (I know that geometrically it is the same, but we generally think of diamonds as having vertices facing up, down, right, and left, while squares have edges facing those directions).

Also, I think you should mention that hardpoints turn slower than turrets, and that they are planned to have things like range and accuracy bonuses in the future.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 01:36:36 PM by catattack998 »
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Iscariot

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Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 04:18:44 PM »


Once you have selected the mission on the left side of the menu, the right hand side starts filling with a breifing.  If you left click in the briefing window, it will finish instantly, and at the bottom, it shows your fleet, and the enemy fleet.  Along with a button that says "refit".  Clicking it takes you to the fitting window for your fleet.  When you are done making changes, just hit the exit button (upper right), and play the mission.  You can also reset the configuration with another button. 

I'm not a noob, so this is particularly embarrassing, but I see no such button on my screen. I've been wanting to mess around with the Conquest's loadout, but I can't because in my campaign it isn't available for purchase. I've disabled my old 0.35a Junk Pirates mod, but that doesn't seem to have made the button appear.
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The idea is that the various tech levels represent different - not "better" - ways to do things.
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