StarQuest Online: Getting Started, Part Two
Allen Richardson, our StarQuest Online Correspondent, writes this second installment of his "getting started" guide to the game.
While Fleet is great for getting started, teaching the ropes of the game, and having a lot of PvP action, sometimes you just want to build your own empire. The civilian side of StarQuest Online is much more complex than Fleet. You can do anything: exploration, colonization, bounty hunting, pirating, corporation, even empire building. Everything in the game is player owned, mainly by civilians, including the main game factions. This second part of the getting started guide will help you get your feet wet in the civilian side of the game.
WARNING: If you don't start as Fleet first, the mechanics of the game are probably going to overwhelm you. The learning curve is steep, but if you skip out on Fleet, it will be even steeper.
While I suggest you join a player crew as soon as possible, this guide will give you a solid start while looking for a crew to join.
With a civilian character, you start out on whatever planet you set as your current home world when making the character. There is no simulation to teach you the basics as there is with Fleet. I started my character on Terra. For my skills, I rolled my reverse engineering, fabrication, and mining as high as I could. Then I rolled my marksmanship to 51. This skill set will set me up to do practically anything. The first thing I did was wander around finding out where all the buildings are. You start in North America. There is a shopmart, medical center, immortrax facility, Fleet Headquarters, Seattle Spaceport, and four or five apartment buildings in North America. The second thing I did was get myself an apartment so I could have a safe place to store all of my stuff. Apartments are available on core worlds in apartment buildings. Apartments cost 1cr (1 credit) per day.
To rent an apartment you need to have credits deposited in the ATM (there are 2 ATM's in every shopmart). Go into the apartment building and find an empty apartment. Left click on the lock panel next to the door, and if the apartment is available, it will say "for rent" at the top of the lock interface screen. Enter a new lock code, and the apartment is yours. You will need to enter the door code, each time you want to enter the apartment, so write down the code, or use a number that you will remember. Make sure you note the location of the apartment, so you will remember how to get back to it. If you have more than one character, they can use the same apartment, or if you have trusted friends that you game with, they can use the apartment, if you share the door code with them.
Now that I had a apartment, I tried to figure out the fastest way to reach my first goal: To get a starship. The smallest starship in the game for noobs is a Duchess.
It’s actually a rather nice transport ship that a lot of older players still use, because of their cheap price, speed, and low sensor profile (good for smuggling or covert ops combat, that could be useful for bounty hunting). A Duchess costs 1.2 million cr from the spaceport.
There are 3 main ways to get money when you’re first starting out:
- Mining (You will need a EV suit, sonic pick, hand smelter, backpack, and 2 powercells)
- Fabricating (Much faster way to make money than mining, but requires high skill in Reverse Engineering and Fabrication, don't worry, it doesn't take long to level these up. Grinding is cut to a minimum, so you can level up pretty fast compared with other games, it took me about 4 hours to get both skills up to 95, which will allow you to fabricate everything short of starship systems. You will also need a plasma welder, molecular bonder, circuit tracer, backpack, and 3 powercells.)
- Playing the Casinos in the Spaceport bar
Mining is simple, pick up your sonic pick in your right hand. You can mine any rock or crystal you find, select the rock, then press Control-K to open your skills window. Double click "Resource Harvesting" If you succeed, you will get a pile of ore/crystals in your left hand. Drop these into your backpack for now. To smelt the ore to make it more profitable, put a powercell in your hand smelter (get the smelter in your right hand, and the powercell in your left, then press Control-C) and then pick up all the ore in your left hand. You can "batch smelt" as much ore at once as you want. Hit Control-R to activate the smelter. Crystals do not need smelting, and are worth much more than metal ingots. You sell your ingots and crystals to the Assayer that is located on the second floor of the spaceport. The mining is slim pickings on Terra, so I used the public transport system to go to Mars, where mining is much quicker due to the high amount of resources. I bought a ticket from the spaceport, used the teleporters in the back to get to the Orbital Transfer Station, and rode the Olympus Mons shuttle to Mars. There are other ways to mine, but they require a starship.
Fabrication is harder, requires more money to get started, but is much more profitable. Buy a disruptor pistol, hold it in your hand, and double click Reverse Engineering. When your skill is high enough, you'll get a schematic.
If you get a fail, keep clicking until you get a success. Remember, even failures will improve your skill and generate experience. When you get a schematic, put it in the locker and double click it to open it. A screen will open, showing what parts and tools that you need to build that item. You can buy metal ingots and trycene crystals at the assay office in the spaceport, and electronics components in the shopmart, along with all the tools. I skipped disruptors, and worked on building up my skills up to do personal shields and Laser Swords. You'll need 95 Reverse Engineering skill to make the schematics, 80 Fabrication Technology to build Personal Shields and 95 Fabrication Technology to build Laser Swords. Make a backpack load of whatever you're building, and go sell it at the shopmart. At current prices, figure about 5-6 batches of Laser Swords and you'll have enough cash to buy a Duchess If you get bored clicking on the skill to level it up, try building some easier gear first. It'll improve your Fabrication Technology skill, but you'll still need to get to 95 Reverse Engineering and Fabrication for the high dollar stuff. Stuff like powercell chargers brings even more money, with 3-4 batches being enough for a Duchess.
By now, you will have the basics of the game pretty much figured out. The guy in the spaceport sells Duchesses, and shipping contracts. After you get a Duchess, do a couple cargo runs to core worlds (Terra, Xanadu, Xanadu, Avalon). You won't get much money for them, since the Duchess isn't a cargo ship, but it will help you get familiar with the ship. I suggest bounty hunting or cargo hauling as the next step. If you want to do cargo hauling, I suggest working your way up either through fabrication or trading for player colonies until you have enough to buy a Icarus or a Atlas. If your more interested in bounty hunting, as I was, you need to have at least 51 Marksmanship, and a little tracking skill. You get a bounty hunters license from the big Alliance building in Europe on Terra, and some type of weapon from the shopmart.
Then you can get a bounty mission from any spaceport expect the ones on Terra. Start with low paying ones, since they will be closer, and the targets will be easier to kill. After you buy a mission, use the mission panel (Control-M) to complete the objectives. Once you reach the planet where your target is, open your personal contacts (Control-P), select the targets name, then use the Tracking skill to find your target.
There is much more to civilians, like exploring, colonies, pirate hunting, pirating, shipbuilding, and generally becoming insanely powerful and filthy rich, but I see I am running out of space to write again. The galactopedia will be a tremendous help to you in your journey, I suggest you use it and the forums, your trip will be so much easier. Until next time!