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Author Topic: Surviving the Early Game  (Read 9294 times)
Ishamael
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Surviving the Early Game
« on: December 26, 2002, 06:54:57 am »

After a long time away from Star Control, it's great to be back.  But I have a serious problem.  I'm _constantly_ under attack by Slylandro probes, and I can't seem to defeat them with any ship I have early in the game.  Even escaping immediately wastes valuable crew and fuel.  I almost ran out of fuel in deep space just now, managed to get away and get some from the Melnorme, and was then destroyed by more Probes.  What can I do?
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Captain Smith
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2002, 07:29:29 am »

Have you practiced in the melee game (set the computer to awesome, that's what it plays against you on in the game)with the ships you have available?  That would be the direction I would take.   Speaking of that, what ships do you have available at the moment?  Also, try putting a gun in the 2nd position on your flagship.

Not giving away too much of a spoiler here, but the probes CAN be stopped - several aliens you meet will talk about them and give you ideas where they come from.  The question here is if you get good enough to fight them and consistently win whether you want to stop them or not (550RU a shot helps).

Hope this gets you in the right direction.
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2002, 07:33:31 am »

You shouldn't be under attack by THAT many probes in the early game.  If this really is the case, your best bet is to head to the Centauri system and pick the ~10000 RU of valuable minerals in that vicinity, and then equip your main starship with enough thrusters to outrun the probes in Hyperspace.

With ships available in the early game, the Earthling cruiser can generally kill Probes with a loss of only 6-8 crew, which is not bad considering you pick up 550 RU.  As soon as you enter combat fire two missiles then turn around and run.  The second you've got enough energy turn around and fire the third missile to bake his ass..

The Spathi Eluder can do even better but it's long and tiresome to use it against a Probe.

The Zoq-Fot-Pik don't even rate a mention, the useless little tongue-flappin' worms..  FLAMING DEATH TO THE ZOQ-FOT-PIK!
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Ishamael
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2002, 08:17:37 am »

Thanks for all the assistance.  Some years ago I played Star Control II for several weeks on a friend's computer, but the game had been borrowed and was lost when his hard drive crashed.  It's been great to have it back again Cool, but the problems I've been having are frustrating.

I know about how to clear away the probes, having somehow found the way to do it back then (and found the Arilou too...I'm kinda puzzled how I got so far away).  I don't remember exactly where the Slylandro are, though.  (Don't tell me!  I'm not that desperate yet.)

I'm really not all that far into the game in terms of getting things done, but almost a "year" has passed.  Minerals that I can get without wasting landers are hard to find.  I had managed to ally with the Spathi, but not a great deal else; I wasn't even out of Spathi space.  There are not that many probes, but the situation is complicated by the constant stream of Spathi ships wanting to chat.  Every time we met, my ship was spun away from Earth and I had to turn around again while more ships closed in on me.  (Shame the Spathi won't attack the probes themselves.)

I guess I really do need to practice space melee.  I never was very good at it; my ships tend to spin in tiny circles when I try to maneuver.
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2002, 08:42:53 am »

You should be able to kill probes pretty easily with earthlings.  Like someone said, it only takes three missiles.  Practice in super melee.  One trick you may not know yet is manipilating the enemies movements by dodging back and forth over one of the screen boundaries and threatening with your ships facing.  If you arrange things right you can get the probe far away and confused as to what direction to attack from.  

Remember you can transfer crew around in hyper, so always keep the ships you prefer fighting with topped up.  I usually have no weapons at all on the flag ship and sell the one you start with immediately.  Its just a crew carrier with several spathi full of crew to back it up when it runs out.  This also lets it take some hits while warping out if it comes to that.

Okay, now more spoiler oriented hints which you may or may not know already.  So stop reading if your one of those weird sensitive people.  You can get a spathi ship before you even leave the Sol system the first time, just search all the planets for energy signatures.  Also, one of the first races you should "solve" is the Arilou.  You get something that lets you travel in encounter free quasi-space from them.  They are also quite close to the Sylandro and a couple quick rainbow planets.  The Melnorme have the details as usual. ^^
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Ishamael
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2002, 10:25:14 am »

 Huh

But Sun, the missiles never strike.  The probe dodges around until they vanish, then closes before I can shoot more and tears me to bits.
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2002, 05:46:58 pm »

Use a Spathi Eluder. I never lose a crew in Spathi vs. Slylandro. Fly away from them and BUTT missile the hell out of them.
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Casey
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2002, 11:22:31 pm »

I think I read something on either this forum or the PNF forum that said that the code was written so that each game day there is a certain chance of a probe being generated--something very low, that increases as the game continues.  However, until you complete the first set of quests--getting the radioactives, restoring the space station, destroying the base on the moon, killing the Ilwrath ship, and convincing Commander Hayes to devote his starbase to aiding you in your quest to defeat the Hierarchy--until all those things are done, the percent chance of a probe being generated per day is 100%.  Usually the probes are pretty few and far between--annoying, but not crippling the way you describe--unless perhaps you waited a long time and did a lot of exploring before you completed Hayes' quests?  If that's the case, I recommend you start over and try again.  It won't take long, and as soon as it's done, the probe generation rate calms down to acceptable levels.
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2002, 08:56:08 am »

Ummm the early game isn't too hard, but if you're having troubles, just save and load, save and load. I never played the original SC2, and I just downloaded this version a month or so ago, but I found the early game to be pretty easy. I don't know what all these people are talking about when they say use Earth cruiser or Spathi. Just use your freakin mothership it takes like 3 shots to blow them out of space, at an average loss of 0 crew per battle.
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Ishamael
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2002, 09:09:59 am »

I still haven't gotten the hang of using either the Eluder or the Earth cruiser, but after getting a few upgrades I'm usually able to take out a probe with my mothership with minimal loss of crew.  I can barely use an Eluder at all--I think I read something about bugs in the alpha, but it's probably just me--and with the Earth cruiser the missiles loop around and around and never come close to the probe because they're not quick enough.

I did indeed fulfill the early quests, but I do think I know what was wrong.  I wasn't getting my mothership upgraded fast enough.  I was running on one set of thrusters and it was taking me forever to get anywhere.  So I was still barely started and the probes were multiplying like rabbits.  I'm still not getting started fast enough to win the game, I think, but I'm getting better.  People have suggested I hop over to Alpha Centauri to pick up minerals, but it's just too hot.  The planets are so dangerous I lose landers there like mad.
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Captain Smith
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2002, 09:40:09 am »

If it helps, at the beginning make sure you have an extra planet lander and 60 units of fuel and an extra storage bay.  Throw everything else you have to the thrusters.
Start by gathering everything in Sol.  Throw all of this towards your thrusters...then take the trip to Centauri - the key to the tip given is look at the planets and look at the values of what you could have on each planet (some elements are worth the possibility of losing the landers, pick and choose)....you deal with the fire and everything by zipping down and right back.

In truth for mass gathering of minerals, your landers are insufficient, but the Melnorme can aid that for you greatly.
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Ishamael
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2002, 01:05:52 pm »

 Grin  Grin  Grin

Things are looking up.  I still am probably too late to win this game, but I've been to the Slylandro homeworld, and they told me of the locations of two rainbow worlds.  I've sold the info to the Melnorme on one already.  Also, I stopped by an innocuous star system on the way to Beta Corvi; it was large and I thought maybe it would have a lot of planets, but they were too hot.  Nonetheless I scanned the first one, and lo and behold...an Ur-Quan Warp Pod.  So now I have the portal spawner.
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Jimmy C
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2002, 09:54:52 am »

Quote
People have suggested I hop over to Alpha Centauri to pick up minerals, but it's just too hot.  The planets are so dangerous I lose landers there like mad.


The key is knowing when to leave. Try to land as close as possible to the mineral deposit, pick it up and leave immediately. Don't linger and try to cross a planet full of hotspots to get another deposit. If you lose too many crew, call it a day. Also, you may notice that your lander does not land exactly where you selected. The landing site is shifted depending on the planet's rotation, axial tilt, and latitude of the landing site.

Quote
make sure you have an extra planet lander


I never waste resources on an extra lander. If I'm careless enough to lose a lander in the first place, I reload the game. Also, I almost always save a game before conducting a planetary mission.
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Captain Smith
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2002, 10:34:30 pm »

Quote
With ships available in the early game, the Earthling cruiser can generally kill Probes with a loss of only 6-8 crew, which is not bad considering you pick up 550 RU.  As soon as you enter combat fire two missiles then turn around and run.  The second you've got enough energy turn around and fire the third missile to bake his ass..


The missiles must be a HELL of a lot more accurate for you than they ever are for me...

I only hit ANYTHING about half the time with them if I have the ship pointing directly at whatever it is...and I ran a little test with the probes...that goes down to about 7 hits on missiles when I try to use those against the probes in melee (out of 16 probes).  Usually if I *have* to fight the probe with the cruiser, I use the point defense...

Needless to say, I got completely pasted when I tried to fight the whole melee game with the missiles.
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Ishamael
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Re: Surviving the Early Game
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2002, 04:55:04 pm »

Once I had upgraded my ship sufficiently, I stopped using the other ships almost entirely.  And it didn't take long--I quickly located two rainbow worlds and bought out the Melnorme's entire technology stock.  (A third rainbow world and a few organisms later, all they had left to sell me was fuel.)  When you have three hellbore cannons, three targeting scanners, and three Shiva furnaces, other ships fall apart quickly even for a poor fighter.  The only things that still worry me are Ur-Quan, Kohr-Ah, and Ilwrath (since my cannons won't target properly.).

I still haven't figured out how the point-defense laser is supposed to work.  It didn't seem to be doing anything, so I removed it.

It's looking as though I may win this one (or at least come as close as the alpha will allow) after all.  Once I had the portal spawner, the game sped up dramatically.  I'm in contact with everyone but the Yehat and the Kohr-Ah and pretty much everything has been done but the endgame.  It's not even 2160 yet.  (I think I will go start the Yehat civil war just for kicks; I have time.)  I admit, however, to using the fuel cheat more than once.
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