Templates[edit | edit source]
When creating a new template, you have five items (Experience, Ship, Skills, Attributes and Contacts), which you have to prioritize from A (highest priority) to E. The higher the priority of an item, the more interesting it will be (e.g. experience in A will let you start with a higher level captain and crew, while attribute in A will give you a lot of statistics points to allocate …).
In order to make relevant choices, you should decide beforehand which playstyle you will adopt, and what role your captain will hold (will you be a military, a merchant, a spy, an explorer… ? And will your captain stick to steering the ship or will he/she lead the crew in battle ?)
Attributes[edit | edit source]
There are six attributes, three of which are “physical” attributes: Strength, Quickness, and Fortitude, and three “mental” attribute: Charisma, Wisdom, and Resilience.
If you intend for your captain to take part in crew combat (beware: on difficulty Hard or higher, your captain can die), you might want to put your attribute in a priority at least C, or your captain’s stats will fall a little short for crew fighting.
If you want it a melee character, then Strength and fortitude are your best picks (both increase health, and Strength will also improve your melee damages). Some Quickness will also help you dodge bullets. You might also consider investing in Resilience, as it will increase your morale (morale is damaged each time you are hit, and a character with low morale may skip a turn in battle). Resilience is all the more important in difficulties where your captain can die, as it will increase the chances to successfully pass a death save.
If you want it a ranged character, Quickness will be a great asset, as it will help you dodge ranged attacks, making health a little less important (so you can invest less in strength and fortitude). If you intend to wield a gun or a precision rifle, Strength can be overlooked, while with an assault rifle, Strength will help determine your accuracy. Resilience remains a good asset for the same reasons as before.
If your character will not be part of your combat team, then “physical” attributes will have less importance, and you will require fewer statistics point overall, so you might free the high priority to something else, and keep your Attribute at C or lower priority.
If you aim for a merchant/diplomat character, your charisma will be of utmost importance, as well as resilience and some wisdom won’t hurt.
A character intending to steer a large ship with numerous crew will benefit from some charisma as well, as it will help ease up the tensions among the crew (which can lead to infighting, injuring crew and/or damage the ship)
An enforcer, who will intimidate and brutalize people, will want a fair strength, resilience and some charisma.
A spy or a smuggler, who will have to past slip security checkpoint will be helped by some Quickness, and sometimes Wisdom.
As your captain can be injured in ship-to-ship combat, Resilience is a huge asset in difficulties where the captain can die, preventing the death of your captain from an unfortunate torpedo…
Skills[edit | edit source]
Your captain, as every crew member, will earn skill points when progressing in jobs (captain can have three jobs, therefore cumulating progression in one common skill, or cultivating many, but low to average level, skills). The skills you can boost at the character creation (which are not all the existing skills) are categorized in two: “combat skills” and “personnel skills”. Personnel skills correspond to a lot of saves you will have to pass during travel and mission, the failure of which can forfeit the mission or, during travel, lead to crew injuries and/or ship damages.
- If your character is intended to battle, once again it is to take in consideration. In that case, the combat skills are obviously a great bonus, especially Evasion. Whether a melee or ranged combatant, your captain will benefit from Evasion in crew combat, as it will allow for fewer attacks to hit him/her. The rest very much depends on your intended jobs: a combat medic will benefit greatly from a Doctor skill bonus, as it will increase the potency of healing skills. (Combat medic is not one of the starting jobs, it gives a bonus in Pistols and Doctor and is quite helpful in crew combat. One of your starting officers will initially be a doctor, making that officer a combat medic will allow for a great Doctor score, and therefore potent healing skills) Intimitade skill will be good for a Bounty Hunter or a Zealot. The weapons masteries (Pistols, Rifles, and Blades) usefulness depends of your intended weapon, obviously
- If your character will remain away from crew combat, the Personnel skills will generally be more helpful than the combat skills (except for Tactics which, although a combat skill, will be regularly testing during travels and missions). A merchant will want a Negotiate bonus above all else, and an explorer can spare his crew and ship many misfortunes with a good Explore score (note that those examples are not necessarily noncombatant).
Ship[edit | edit source]
Your starting ship is very likely not to be your ultimate ship, but it will have a great impact on your early game. Some ships are initially better outfitted for battle, for travel, or for freighting. The ship’s priority determines how much budget you have for your starting ship, which is then to be chosen amongst a list (that does not include all existing ships). If your ship is cheaper than your budget, you will retain 20% of the difference as extra starting money (meaning you might purposefully start with a ship under your budget to have a head start, to either customize it or to save for a next ship). While I will present some of the ships as better fitted for travel, freight or combat, note that every ship can be customized to suit any use, although the base stats of the ship will not change, and so some ships will be more fit to one specific use.
Travel ship: an explorer, or a diplomat, will have to cross the cluster constantly, therefore it is a nice asset to have a ship that can travel some distance before needing a refuel. In that aspect, the Scout Cutter is number one, but its little crew and few components will quickly limit your Skills pool and carrying capacity. Better recommended for a diplomat, who will not carry more than a few passenger or diplomatic packages, and avoid fights. An explorer might want a little more cargo hold, making the Paladin Cruiser a more interesting pick, with a better endurance when shot at too. The Scout Cutter retain the advantage of being available with the Ship set in the lowest priority though, while the Paladin Cruiser requires a priority C at least.
A merchant ship, the two previously quoted ship can also be used as starting merchant ship. The Frontier Liner, requiring a B or above priority, offers a stout and large ship, better suited than the previously quoted. The default outfitting of the ship offers a fair storage and armament. This ship is well balanced between cargo and armament (base and potential), making it interesting for pirates, explorer, or merchants who’d rather defend their goods than run from every pirate (still, run from the ones with really big ships though^^). The Fidelis Cutter offers the same kind of compromise, for a higher price (Frontier Liner requires a C priority, while the Fidelis Cutter requires B), but better armor and shield, making it more adequate to ship combat, especially for a pirate who can rely on the ship’s endurance to rush closer for a boarding. The Cautela Heavylift is the bigger possible starting merchant ship, with huge storage and some pretty guns too, but the armor and shield values make it very unfit for battle. Also, such a big ship makes for a hard early game: big crew means costly wages, and big ship mean a lot of components that can, and will, be damaged and need fixing, can be expensive too. Additionally, crew share experience, so larger crew means slower progression. At last, this ship requires setting Ship in A priority.
Combat Ship: The Paladin Cruiser offers an average battleship, but quite affordable, requiring a C or above priority, will let you fend off the occasional pirate or target. Although if you aim for intense and repeated ship combats, it will fall short quite soon. The Guardian Interceptor, requiring a B priority, offers a good starting combat ship. If improved strategically throughout the game, it can even be a decent late game ship, making it a top pick as a starter for a gameplay-oriented towards a lot of ship battles. The Dragoon Cruiser, larger possible starter combat ship, shares the same drawbacks as the Cautela Heavylift (see above). Moreover, it has fewer armor and shields than the Guardian Interceptor.
Experience[edit | edit source]
Setting the priority of Experience will determine the starting level of your captain, your officers, and your crew. Basically, the smaller your crew, the more experienced you want them. If you intend to ride a Scout Cutter, for instance, you might want to set your experience a priority A, B or C. Note that the wages of your crew increase with their lv, so having a huge crew with a high priority Experience means expenses, but in the same time, since big crew level up slower, starting them already experienced is interesting. In any case, your crew, officers, and captain will gain experience through the game, so a high starting experience is only useful is you want to take lots of risks very early (like going on explorations right away, for example).
In this item, you will also choose the initial job of your captain. Not all jobs are available at this the character creation, but they will when you level up and will be able to choose more jobs (up to three). Which means, whatever you initial job is, you can make what you want of your character thanks to the other jobs (the initial job does not have to be leveled first, you can keep it low lv and making another job your main one). Therefore I call your attention upon the unique traits your initial job will provide.
First of all, the smuggler: since its traits are stat bonuses, to almost every stat, save charisma, this class is a good pick for any type of character, without being the best pick at anything. Kind of an allrounder.
If you are looking to make a fighting character: Zealot is a very good pick for melee, since it gives you some Blades skill, and the trait fearsome increases your damage done. Pirate can be a viable fighting character melee or ranged, especially if you also invest some skill points in Tactics, allowing a nice critical chance for every hit (the trait gives 15% and every Tactics point gives 1%). You can then choose a job corresponding to the weapon you wish to crit with^^. As for ranged character, Bounty Hunter is the best starting job, as their trait gives you +10% ranged accuracy, and the class increases both Rifles and Evasion skills.
For noncombatant characters: Those ones are actually pretty obvious, Merchant is good for a merchant, Explorer well-fitted best for an explorer and to manage a fighting crew, the Military Officer is a good call.
Contacts[edit | edit source]
This is the thing RPG adepts might overlook at first because all the rest can be assimilated with RPG classic mechanics (Experience = experience, Ship = Stuff, Attributes = Stats and skills = skills). Do not. I am not saying you need a lot of contacts, but the choice of your initial contact(s) can simplify your life a lot. If you wish to secure quickly a few specific services or type of recruits, and your build allow you to give Contacts a priority C or above, it is judicious to cover as many services as possible with your contact. Regardless of your amount of contacts (minimum is one with priority E), it is wise to have at least one contact with the service “Introductions”, which means that they will get you another (or two) contact, so basically you improve your contacts pool, which cannot hurt. Contacts will allow you to buy specific gears, receive missions (to earn credits and reputations), recruits special crew (with jobs that cannot be found in the spice halls all over), improve your military ranks (better missions, better rewards, better recruits, discounted ship upgrades), improve your hunter rank (better bounty hunter type missions and rewards), buy trade permits (allow for buying and selling of restricted goods). They will be useful regardless of your playstyle (although not all will be useful to every playstyle, every playstyle will have a use, or need, of some contacts). You will be able to make more contact during your roaming in the cluster, but they will be randomly selected, thus not necessarily providing the services you need, hence the advice to choose contacts with the service you absolutely need during the building of your template.
Many more could be said about contacts and how to choose them, but the simpler and truer fact is that you will discover, with your first captain, what contact abilities you need the more according to your play style, so I rather not expand to much theory about it when practice will be faster and more accurate.
Captain Finalization[edit | edit source]
Once your template is created/selected, you will still have to set a few things.
Cosmetic choices include 14 or more outfits between both sexes, as well as armbands, headgear, and facial features.
Post-Finalization Screen[edit | edit source]
- The map: A default map is proposed, or you can generate a map by setting some of the parameter. This will allow you to make a smaller/larger clustered/scattered map, according to your taste. The main point here is replayability.
- The affiliated faction: You will have to choose which faction you are acquainted with at the start of the game. This does not bind you, your allegiance can change and you may make yourself a friend or an enemy of any and every one. The starting faction, though, will provide bonuses for the worlds of said faction, therefore helping you accessing some services when landing on those worlds. Each faction will also have different control zones, and not all have the same amount of controlled worlds and quadrants.
- If you mean to outfit a combat for space fighting, you might want a faction that has bonuses in military and/or starports; Alta Mesa, Cadar Syndicate or Steel Song are strong choices here.
- If you aim to trade, factions with high economics will be your best friends, such as Mocklumnue, De Vastos Syndicate, Clan Javat or House Thulun.
- For spy or diplomat, high government faction will be welcome, Richart Syndicate, or Mocklumnue would be quite indicated.
- For an explorer since you plan to travel a lot and sell your diverse findings, Clan Zenrin would be a fine choice, they are usually well spread (may change in each map you generate) and they give bonus to everything, simplifying you the task of finding needed services all over the cluster. The most important point for an explorer’s affinity is to be well spread. You might want to look (in the description) for a faction controlling landing zones in as many worlds as possible.
- The difficulty Setting: There should be the possibility to fully customize the difficulty settings at some points. As for now, the developers still provided us with a wide range of difficulties, allowing for us to go from a nice and easy exploration game, to a harsh space-survival game. If you like to keep your characters around, you might stick to difficulties where the captain and the officers cannot die (up to “normal” – included). Note though that some game mechanics do not come into play before “challenging” which is right above normal (captain still immortal, officers can die). Also, if you like a bit of a challenge, playing under “demanding” might bore you as both world difficulty and enemies are impaired (demanding is one rank up from challenging). Above that– “hard” and over , the world and enemies are boosted and your captain can die, if you do not feel like you can bear the frustration of your captain death after several hours spent into it, I would recommend to avoid those settings, but if you can handle that, and if you are looking for a challenge, these difficulties are the way to go.
- “Basic” is fitted for player not used to this kind of game and willing to ease into it progressively.
- Automatic or manual crew’s talents picking. For player discovering this kind of game, the autoselect is a good way to discover things progressively, as you can focus on that on a further playthrough and simply discover more general mechanics with your first captain. Autoselect is also well fitted for those who do not want to micromanage everything and pace the game somewhat faster. Although in the high difficulty levels, it can be lifesaving to select crew’s talent yourself, allowing you to optimize them according to your play style and strategy. Autoselect is not recommended if you keep a tight crew (by choice or because you run a small ship) as it may lead you to miss up on something you might want. For large crews, on contrary, you will have all the talent diversity automatically selected, and manually selecting is very time-consuming.
[edit | edit source]
- Star Traders: Frontiers Steam Guides "A journey begins - character creation" by Alinoria