I really want to like this game, but I am very discouraged. Last night my ship was beat to crap, my crew was mutinous, and I had $13. I can't even count how many times I had to click the "Make Lucky Escape" button due to "you're dead" events.
I deleted the captain at level 8 or so & uninstalled in a childish attempt to soothe my frustration. This is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've ended up this way in as many evenings.
I get to about $130-$150k -- that's the most cash I've ever had, but I always get knocked right back down. Last night I played for almost 4 hours straight, starting a Smuggler with Javat on Normal difficulty.
What can I do differently? I am just taking contracts here and there that appear low risk, and watching rumors. I got a trade permit and warrant from Javat, but I don't like to get into combat because it's just too damn expensive to repair. I stashed once a bunch of Artifacts, Electronics, Weapons and sold off on a shortage rumor, but it wasn't enough.
Everytime I try to Explore or Harvest, my crew gets decimated.
As I went to bed all mad, I fell asleep wondering if I could hack some of the game's cache files to cheat myself up some extra cash or something...
Should I choose a different class?
Is there a skill or attribute that I should pump up right away to make things easier?
I think I quit last night with all skills at 8 or 9, except Pilot at 12 -- and attributes all at I think 12.
Post by Cory Trese on Jul 22, 2011 14:02:53 GMT -5
Here is what I played last night.
Hybrid Smuggler / Explorer, Javat.
My game was on Impossible, but it should work on any difficulty.
Our early game goal is to get to $150K credits and purchase Ship #2 (this ship we will use if the main ship gets badly damaged.)
We go to the main world, pick up 4 Contracts immediately from the Spice Hall. Javat Prime has a very high rating Spice Hall and is good for early game missions. After you have 4 new Contracts, Recruit.
If you started with money, spend it all on Water-Fuel (unless +6 Nano-Coat upgrade is available.)
Now go to Palace, complete Contract. Upon returning to space, complete the 4 additional Contracts as quickly as possible. Use Zoom Map to plot a fast course between them.
Early in the game we have to move fast -- difficulty is rising rapidly as the peace between the Factions collapses. We are going to complete Contracts Rapidly for Javat Prime, from the Spice Hall. Avoid combat, avoid missions against Rychart and Steel Song (we will use them for smuggling routes later.)
Do NOT buy a Trade Permit, Death Warrant or Promotion (YET.) Those will give the Faction the idea you want harder and harder missions for more and more money. You do not, you want to be a successful Captain, not a hero.
Complete the first 9 Contracts (you should also achieve 2 awards along the way here, go the the Hall of Records in the Palace to record them.) Go fast!
Now we switch to Explorer. Use your XP to max out your Explorer skill.
Spend your XP ONLY on specific stats. Raise Explorer, Tactics, Stealth and Pilot. Ignore Warrior and Intimidation and Negotiation. Raise them to 3 and ignore them after that. After get raise Explorer to equal the Attribute, we will not raise it again. Exploration is dangerous in the end game and our build is for survivable success, not immeasurable riches.
Do NOT raise your Attributes unless you absolutely have to. Focus 100% on skills until you cannot raise them without resorting to Attributes.
Now we leave Javat Prime -- set a course for Javat Mining Camp. When we arrive, buy full hold of water-fuel and a Trade Permit. Land in the wilderness. Stash all the Water-Fuel (save 4 units.) Now Explorer time. Never Send the full Crew. Aim for a Crew of about 21 on Javat Mining Camp.
Sell all your exploration finds at Javat Mining Camp. Stash if Javat has a trade war or if mining camp is embargoed.
If the Explorer returns start to drop to 1s, return to Javat Prime and do spice hall missions. Your reputation is getting very high and you are tempted to purchase Rank. Do NOT exhaust Javat Mining Camp by pushing your luck. You need that world.
Once you have Tactics 10, start exploration on Rift Leporis. We are nearing the end of Exploration time and you should have a ton of cash and rep with Javat. Relatively neutral with most others. You should be maxing out Pilot and Stealth and Tactics. This should be requiring you to raise Quickness and Wisdom and ignore Strength and Charisma.
Spend your money on upgrading your ship with +Crew, +Cargo, +Armor. Other upgrades are not useful to us.
Once the ship is fully upgraded, we should purchase a Javat Cutter. It will cost around $150K if we buy it during a rumor, more if we do not. Once we buy that ship we should keep it dry docked and upgrade it with our Explorer Surplus.
Once that Javat Cutter is upgraded, we start going to the end of the Rychart and Steel Song territory. We repeat this process with those two clans using missions and exploration.
I won't bore you with the specific worlds, but at this point the Steel and Rychart Contracts you get will still be Delivery missions, but should take you all over the map (in your AWESOME Javat Cutter)
Now you start trying to get to +10 Rep with everyone (sell them records you buy @ Indy worlds) so you can purchase trade permits. Enough trade permits will make smuggling life easier.
Thanks for this post jake and your reply @cory. I was having a similar in game experience. Mutinous crew with +1 health , 2 water-fuel and $9 was common enough for me that i just stopped play on Normal... I'd rather get game over than have an imputent Captain .. or so i thought.. so i gave up on explorer.
i played a few games on Challenging as Merchant .. i was really focused on making sure everyone liked me early on. Wow not possible.. i ended up sacking faction with House Thulan. Spying on them was the only way i could afford records for the others..
Hi Jake, I understand your frustration. My strategy is two fold. First I downloaded the free Titanium backup to save my games. So if I totally mess up I can reload the backup data and not start from zero. Second, I choose my captain and difficulty level and play the game in the NON-elite version. I have found that difficulty normal and higher there are lots of shortages/surpluses. Also, the map is smaller (less planets) so I less traveling on missions and everything is closer and it's easier to remember what is going on. After I've got a lot of money and the ship/ships I want I import this Captain into the ELITE game. Much easier for me this way. I was getting annihilated in Elite....now I am at 900,000 in cash (normal difficulty), I have an awesome ship and exploring the galaxy in style ;D
fyi...I eventually purchased the full version of Titanium backup.
You've had an exceptionally detailed strategy from the master himself, along with some great hints/tips from others.
For me, there are two distinct approaches you can take with this game ... one is the "bite the bullet and dive straight into STRPG Elite". The other is "use STRPG Free as your captain nursery". The former approach has a steeper learning curve, but you come out the other side actually understanding the game mechanics properly. The latter approach lets you have higher ranked captains, but many aspects of Free are quite simplified compared to the Elite version. That means when you get your nice highly ranked Crazy-difficulty captain out of Free and into Elite, you tend to be pasted by enemy ships because they are so much higher in difficulty in Elite.
What other guides are out there Doing it from the beginning, I'd still take the first approach of diving straight into Elite, and taking advantage of the numerous class guides within this forum and the Wiki.
The two classes that I found matched my playing style were the Explorer (you tend to be able to find more on a planet without dying so much), and the Smuggler (you may get additional records when you sell restricted goods).
Cut to the chase - just help me already As an Explorer, I'd sign up to Javat and focus on the following planets:
(All but the last planet is close to your starting point.)
The first planet in particular is almost perfect for budding explorers. You can simply stock up on W-F in the city, then go straight to the wild to do exploration. - Between every exploration, save your spoils in your cache. - It would help to have some records when you explore. - Finding a scout will certainly help you avoid dead crew - When pickings become slim, definitely stop milking that planet. Go to one of the other ones on the list above.
skills and stats Focus purely on Pilot 33% (higher pilot allows you to change ranges in combat more easily - ie, you can get away from guys trying to shoot you) Stealth 33% (higher stealth allows you to avoid encounters and dodge enemy weapons fire) Explorer 24% (less pain when exploring) Tactics 10%
Get explorer up to at least 15 and then focus primarily on pumping XP into Pilot and Stealth. You'll soon get to the point that enemy ships just can't catch or hit you. Having pilot/stealth levels of 20+ is more than a good start.
Don't spend any XP on physical stats unless you hit your limits on the corresponding skills. For example, only up your Quickness stat when you have maxed out both pilot and stealth.
Reputation There have been a number of threads that say "It's really hard to get all factions liking you", but in reality, if you do things carefully, it's pretty straight forward. - NEVER ever ever trade with a faction - If you do have a negative RP with a faction, go and buy a pardon as soon as possible. -- always try and keep factions to less than -10 RP - Avoid combat unless you really have to, and even then, only fight aliens and independents. - Avoid any contract that involves another faction. Sure if you do contracts against independents, your crew morale drops, but buying lots of spice in the halls is a good way of keeping them at least moderately happy.
In the last half-dozen games I've played, I've managed to get 100+RP on each faction.
Permits I'd get a trade permit from Javat as soon as possible. You can survive the first part of the game just exploring and selling to Javat, especially if you go to Javat Mining (-2,-5). As soon as possible (ie, when you have built up around $50k - $100k), go out and start schmoozing with other factions and buying
Focus on getting RP of other factions to more than 8. That will get you enough to at least get a trade permit. - Steel Song would be great as a second faction because they are close to Ghactlli (13,-9) and that's a sweet planet for exploration. - De Valtos is also useful as a 3rd permit place because they are very close to Javat Mining
Ranks When you get the chance, get a military rank of at least 1 with each faction as you build up reptutation. This will allow you access to the military section of the star port. There you can get access to better ships (eg the Javat Cutter - which is AWESOME as a first replacement ship).
Abandon your first ship as soon as you can - you'll get the Javat Cutter and be grinning at how much better your survival changes leap up
Encounters If you are travelling without permits, avoid carrying restricted items (weapons, artifacts, electronics), and records for long distances.
Don't attack anything at all at the beginning. You will only get negative RP with factions, and often get more expensive damage to your ship than you gain in stuff seized from other ships. That means: - Acknowledge/Surrender to any non-pirate ship - Retreat from any pirate ship.
When you get trade permits with factions, their ships will typically allow you to acknowledge, and pirates from that faction will retreat as well.
Rumors At EVERy opportunity, listen to rumors. At the beginning of the game, there seems to be more shortage rumors relatively close by (within 15AU). To get cash safely, buy/sell non-restricted stuff during shortages. Don't respond to shortage rumors that take you too far away at the beginning stages of the game. Stick to the upper-left quarter of the map (effectively emulating the free version). For me, the two best parts of the map are upper-left and bottom-right anyway, so you definitely are still able to make money without straying too far away from home.
Hauling cargoes of crystals or clothes is not glamorous, but in a ship with a water-fuel tank and even a moderate hold of 50 will get you $50k - $100k per haul.
Leap on any rumor that says there is a scout available in some wilderness area. They are invaluable for the wannabe explorer. Mechanics are also fantastic, and a political officer makes your life that much easier when doing the trading thing.
Don't worry too much about military officers or alien hunters until you've progressed a little more.
Contracts Sure you get offered slightly more challenging missions if you did contracts, but given you are just getting yourself set up, feel free to reject any contract that sounds risky. That means reject any execution, capture, blockade or surveillance contracts. For now, you want to survive causing minimal ripples. You can always create a new character down the track to go for the contract rewards.
The Smuggler Same as the above really except de-focus the exploration portion. Skills focus should be 40% Pilot 40% Stealth 20% Tactics
Good luck ... hopefully what I wrote above will help. There may be a little bit of repetition throughout the response as I was feverishly brain-dumping and the sections and section order got changed a lot.
I have been playing explorer and have a couple of things to add.
1. Get trade permits as soon as you can. Once you have a permit for a faction, you can surrender to a pirate of that faction and they won't steal anything. And you get XP points for surrendering to a pirate. (They seem to act more like privateers than pirates, IMHO) 2. In order to get a trade permit, you need some rep. There are only three ways to get rep if you do not have a trade permit with that faction without dropping rep from another faction. a. Fulfil a contract. - Slow and risky. Half the time, you are working against another faction and your rep will go down with the other faction. Plus, you only go up a couple of rep points, but you can go down a bunch in the other faction. Even when you think you are acting against independents, you may be acting against another faction disguised as an independent. Right now I have a caption with over 100 rep in every faction without accepting any contract (Other than the very first one I started with, of course.) b. Trade alliance. Gives the most rep, but you have to wait for the right alliances. If two (or more) factions have a trade alliance, and you have a trade permit with one of them, you sell weapons, electronics, and artifacts to one and your rep will go up in both. Be very careful about trade embargos, however. It is possible that one faction can have a trade alliance with one faction and an embargo with another one at the same time. c. Records. You can sell records to any faction without a trade permit. It raises your rep a little slower than "illegal" goods, but faster than taking contracts. Be very careful with Spy Wars, however. Selling records during a Spy War can drop your rep with the other faction very, very quickly.
Be careful who you acknowledge before you have trade permits with every faction. Military will steal your "illegal" cargo and your records if you acknowledge them without a trade permit. Run from them if you can. Your rep will drop, but not too much unless you hit several in a row while carrying illegal cargo or records.
Once you have trade permits with everyone, your encounters will be a breeze. Simply acknowledge anyone that asks you to acknowledge, and surrender to all pirate factions except independent pirates. It seems backwards to surrender to a pirate, but if you have a permit, they wont steal anything, and you actually get XP for it. Independent pirates do not care about trade permits, so they will loot you if you surrender, so you can run or fight as you see fit. Never surrender to an alien, they don't bother with looting, but go straight for killing.
Has something changed? I been playing a level 2 game and got as far as 129 for the date and picking up most hated awards all good. But last night I played normal difficulty star trader and at year 86 I ran into an alien. Now I'm running around in his ship.
I've played at level 3 as well but no alien is this new and why so early
It was really easy on easy. On Normal, failed the three first games..
Now to my forth. I start out doing missions, avoiding battles. I realised these are costly if you do not win it fast.
After a while, I get captured and released, by my own(!) I think. A bit later however, I face a #2 ship attacking me. I noticed, this ship has only 2 torpedos but in all other ways was better. So I fire my torpedoes, trying to stay at range and win! Take his ship and now the game looks a lot better.
However, being new to the game, saw it some 20 years ago maybe only, I do not know how it unfolds. I'm trying to stay friendly with the Thulun because they have the best ships the game says, then trying to be friendly with 2 syndicates.
I've not made up a plan to move on but harvesting and exploring both seems interesting choices aside from missions.
i guess its abit late i get the game now. But i think i run into trouble as well. I played as a bounty hunter and try to kill, beat people up as much as i can. Somehow, in the end, i m a fugitive of royal justice, most wanted head and enemy of state and all syndicate. Guess i did it mindlessly.