Early Game Tips

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Early Game Tips

Post  DumbMarine on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:36 am

I am writing this list of early game tips in the hopes of helping people get past the hump of early game strategy in order to start seeing more late games where one team's BC doesn't just steamroll the other BC at minute 20. I've noticed that some good players actually don't know what to do after the asteroids are all mined out and respawning, hopefully more late games means people get more exposure and understanding of what to do. Also I'm tired of arguing with people about not having 3 people on the BC and refining all the minerals.

Note that these are early game tips, not lategame tips. I consider the early game that period of time up to the Kerm spawning. After the ~15 minute mark, you should have most upgrades completed, mining and power management become this way different beast.

Miners:

  • Early game, you must have 3 miners launched. Not 2, 3. It's more important to have 3 launched than it is to have both the corvette and wraith out, or to have someone refining.
  • Don't launch AI miners to meet this goal. AI miners don't have a good survival instinct-- they will die quickly. Assuming they don't bug out.
  • Don't rely on pings. They're a luxury, not a necessity.
  • Watch the pings, don't assume someone else is watching for you. Try to park your miner so that any attacking ships are blocked by asteroids-- mine these asteroids last. Fleeing early is not shameful if it means you don't lose a miner. Do not rely on turbo jump to escape, losing a miner to ramming asteroids is still embarrassing.
  • If you lose a miner, it's ultimately your fault. Not the lack of pings, not the asteroids, not the teammate who rammed you for half your hp, you. Own up to it, learn from your mistake. Good players don't lose miners to uncertainty.
  • Play cautious if you have to, but don't lose a miner, ever. The only recovering from losing a miner is killing an enemy miner, which will never happen if your opponents are sufficiently cautious.
  • An early destroyer can one-shot miners if they get a good angle. Don't risk waiting till you see the ship before starting to flee if you don't have an asteroid wall covering you. The bombardment will hit you before turbo jump can finish. This one is kinda rare, but losing a miner is a game ender, so don't get caught unaware!
  • It does not matter what you mine, as long as: you mine more than one color (besides Kerm), and you always mine the flying Kerm asteroids. If you're only finding one color in the starting asteroid fields, stop mining and go to the center and look for more colors. I will explain more on this below.
  • Don't hoard resources in your cargo hold, send them back ASAP. Resources in your cargo hold can't be spent, and are useless. Sending back ~40 is a good number.
  • Always use the miner overcharge. Holding out for a flying asteroid is okay, but don't let your energy get above 400.


BC Power:

  • Set the reactor to 105% ASAP, it doesn't cause any core stability damage.
  • Neither BC starts battle ready. Don't prepare as if you're going to rush.
  • Moving the BC takes a ton of energy, especially without upgrades. Don't move it without a good reason. As the BC doesn't start battle ready, there's really no reason to move the BC at all. I highly recommend setting engine power to 0 to charge up the battery.
  • Moving the BC with 5 power to the engines is practically the same as moving it with 0 power, except you're wasting 5 power per second. You're not going to keep up with miners moving at 0.7 m/s. Anything less than 60 GW is half-assing it.
  • Having a large deficit in power consumption is okay if there's a purpose for it. BC hunting miners is okay. BC flying in circles is not.
  • If the BC is going to the Kermiculite field with 20k weapon power, it is practically out of weapon power. You're gonna run out mid battle. Charge it up as early as possible. I highly recommend setting weapon power to at least 100. Weapons are extremely hard to charge up during a battle.
  • Shields don't need to be very high when the BC is not in imminent danger. Shields do need to be very high when the BC is in weapon range of the enemy BC. As to not waste power, don't fly around near the enemy BC unless you plan on engaging it. If you don't turn the shields on when near the enemy BC, you will get clobbered when it attacks-- turning up the shields during combat is too late.


Crewing:

  • As stated earlier, you need 3 miners. Not negotiable.
  • The other roles you need to fill are: miner offense, miner defense, nav pings, weapons, power, refining, upgrades. Note that in a full game, you only have 3 people to fill all of these roles. You will probably need to shift roles a lot.
  • Don't be a role when it's useless. You only need to set power once. Upgrades are useless if there's no money. Don't sit on weapons 'just in case', if there's nothing immediately to shoot at then there's no point.
  • Nav pings are very helpful. Ping as often as possible, but do not sacrifice upgrades to do so if there's no danger. Enemy wraiths aren't that fast.
  • The job of miner offense isn't to kill miners, it's to disrupt mining, killing miners is only a plus. Time miners spend not mining is time your team has an economic edge. It's not worth it to sacrifice the wraith, always be ready to flee. Don't try to take on the enemy BC or the miner defense unless you have an upgrade advantage. Winning a battle with 15 hp means you'll probably die on the way back to the BC.
  • Note the wraith is way better at offense than the corvette. The wraith has sideways afterburners and an engine disabling pulse. It's a lot easier to run away from a corvette.
  • I personally prefer if one person does miner defense, one person does miner offense, and a third person takes on all of the rest of the roles. Miner defense is not needed if miners aren't threatened, and can handle refining/upgrades during downtime. How the roles are split up doesn't matter though as long as they're all covered and nobody is wasting time doing nothing.


Resources & Upgrades(A huge pain point I've found):

  • Don't sit on resources waiting for refining to finish. I've had a lot of people tell me "such a waste", but it's not a waste at all. The point of resources is to be spent, and there are a lot of helpful upgrades that can accelerate your early game besides refining. Having twice the resources of your opponent by minute 15 is useless if they have all the upgrades already-- their BC outclasses yours despite you having more money. They're going to dominate the Kerm fields and then Yamato you to death with their full capacitors because they got the reactor upgrades 10 minutes before you did.
  • If you have 3 good miners out and they're not getting harassed, you will get money faster than you can spend it, even with 0 refinery upgrades. Refinery upgrades grant you very little in this case. That said, refinery is still a good upgrade, just not one to sacrifice 10 minutes of teching for.
  • Lots of upgrades boost your economy, not just refining. Any two mineral colors can be used to upgrade your miners, not just yellow and blue.
  • Scanner sweep (yellow and blue) helps your miners find the right color rock.
  • Small ship hull (yellow and blue) significantly helps your miners stay alive when being harassed, and being bombarded by asteroids. This upgrade also lets your miners kill enemy wraiths by ramming them. This also gives your miner offense an edge in combat.
  • Mining laser (yellow and red) makes your miners mine faster, enough said. This helps a ton in mining the fast moving asteroids. Don't skip this.
  • Engine power (blue and red) means your miners move between asteroids much faster. Less travel time = more mining time. In addition, it helps out miner offense and defense a ton.
  • Small ship core (yellow and blue) means your miners can overcharge mining faster, and turbo jump to get to asteroids faster. It also helps out miner offense and defense.
  • Also, don't neglect the BC upgrades if you have spare money:
  • Early broadsides means your BC will crush the enemy BC when Kerm comes up (unless they get it as well!) To put this in perspective, ramming with the engine booster does like 5 DPS to both ships for a fair amount of energy. The 5 shot does ~70 DPS, for a huge amount of energy. Broadsides do ~120 DPS, and they're crazy cheap to fire.
  • 3 and 5 shot means the BC can contribute to miner defense, and put pressure on the enemy BC when Kerm comes up.
  • One shield upgrade lets you shield boost, a large advantage early game.
  • The BC engine upgrades make your engines more efficient. Basically, you need less engine power to move the BC, which is a bigger deal than it seems. These upgrades will generally give you more power than the core upgrades will, as long as your BC isn't standing still.
  • Engine boost gives you a lot of flexibility with positioning. Be aware, when the enemy has engine boost, their threat range significantly increases!
  • Core upgrades are good too. The earlier you get these, the more power they generate over the course of the game.
  • Don't buy a rep if you don't have the core upgrades, you won't have the power to use it. And don't buy the rep if you've got a fully economy churning, it's redundant. Spend that money on upgrades instead.
  • Don't buy missiles in the early game. Spending your kerm on merculite missiles instead of core or shield upgrades is a good way to run out of power when you're in a fight.
  • Don't buy a chomper for the kerm field if you can't defend it. Upgraded miners are much safer for mining.
  • Note that moving the BC affects the location that Kerm fields spawn. The field spawns between the BCs. If you want a really close Kerm field, wrap around the map next to the enemy BC (don't forget to raise your shields!)
  • Don't bother trying to mine the kerm field if you don't actually need kerm. If your upgrades are waiting on red, place priority on getting red first. Your team's other vessels can still fight off enemy miners trying to mine the Kerm fields.


This is kinda longer than I wanted, if I had to put it in succinct terms, what I would say is this:

Launch all the miners.
Don't lose miners.
Mine more than one color, besides green.
Mine green.
Refine everything.
Spend all the money.
Don't waste power.

DumbMarine

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Re: Early Game Tips

Post  LordDragon on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:34 pm

I just wanted to say that this is really well covered, and presents what I've been calling 'the standard operating procedure.' That's opposed to the 'rush procedure' which still has most of the same.

3 miner launch
Offense: wraith
Defense: Corvette
Skip the normal upgrades and mining strategies - broadsides and triple burst ASAP along with Hardened Shields lvl1
Use remaining red minerals on laser upgrades, then whatever is left on core while approaching the back corner.
Wrap map and attack an enemy who has a higher economy advantage but little in the way of defense.

Of course there's counters to this (Constant pings, for one!) but it provides an alternative to the 'way things are done.'
Try it sometime; guaranteed to work on newbs, most likely will catch a few reputable players by surprise if they aren't ready for it.

WATCH YOUR POWER!
And happy hunting ;p
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