Star Citizen: How Long Does it Take to Build a Universe?

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Created by: cloudimperiumgames.com
Game Site: robertsspaceindustries.com
ESRB Rating: not yet rated
Support: support.robertsspaceindustries.com

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You might have seen articles about how Star Citizen funding has surpassed $200 million dollars (pcgamer – star citizen shoots past dollar 200 million in crowdfunding ahead of free week). Star Citizen is the largest crowd funded project ever, and the funding is still flowing in. Why? As noted in the article from PC Gamer, Star Citizen sells the dream of the perfect space game.

Star Citizen started in October of 2012 by Chris Roberts. Chris Roberts released space games in the 90s, including the Wing Commander franchise and the Privateer series. In 2003 he, as part of Digital Anvil, released Freelancer. People who’ve played his games in the past have a faith in him regarding producing Star Citizen and Squadron 42, the single player story game from the Star Citizen universe. People like Mark Hamill have worked with Chris Roberts in the past. Because of these things, people have confidence in the projects.

But then there are the other people, the skeptics, the trolls, the haters. Those people talk about how the project is the biggest scam in the world. It’s been more than almost 6 years since the start of the two projects. What’s taking so long? I did some research regarding time taken to develop some of the most acclaimed games in the past decade.

To quote Kotaku, “CD Projekt RED recently said it cost $81 million to create and promote The Witcher 3 over three and a half years of development.” Skyrim took approximately four years, and cost around 100 million dollars according to Quora. You can check out a list of other game development costs here:

List of Most Expensive Video Games to Develop

PC Gamer didn’t get into comparing other game development costs and development times. Roberts Space Industries includes two Games, not one. Star Citizen and Squadron 42. That neither game has been released yet shouldn’t be a concern when considering the time it’s taken to develop other games, and in consideration of the scope of the games when compared to others. We’re talking about something far larger than Skyrim in both quests and exploration area – not just open continent on one world, but open universe. Conceptualize that.

No other AAA game development has been so open with process. Star Citizen project management gives the supporters the ability to pick the prioritization for bug fixes through the issue council. This is something that No Man’s Sky could have used to avoid their launch troubles. They’ve still not fully recovered from that bomb.

Some other games have tried to fill in the space game market, like Elite Dangerous, but fall short of what people want in an open-universe space game. Star Citizen and Squadron 42 open project management will ensure that the supporter enthusiasts will be able to create the exact game that so many have been looking for, or will it?

In many people’s eyes nothing stated so far justifies why it’s taken so long. People want to know where Foundry 42 / Cloud Imperium Games have spent the money that they’ve pledged. People also want to know what’s going on with Squadron 42. Yesterday that information was published in this article from wccftech.com. You can find the financial information here on the official site: historical financials with the roadmap to Squadron 42 here: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/2-Squadron-42.

This new information relieves some of those who’ve been concerned, but others might continue to hold a doubting Thomas perspective, maintaining there’s not enough empirical evidence. So, again, why has it taken so long to develop these two games?

I’ve heard rumors that Foundry 42 started with ten people working on the projects. While I’ve not found any validating documentation to that statement, I can agree that it takes time to grow a company to almost four hundred employees (established through research on linkedin.com Foundary 42 and Cloud Imperium total employees shown through linked in: 394). I’ve heard statements made that there’s currently over five hundred employees, but I can’t validate that number.

Now I’m going to take you into the complexities of development. Generally devs don’t get into the details of their development challenges because it’s often very hard to put the issues they face in relate-able terms for the audience. However, my development experience and my strong interest in linguistics has given me the ability to do a translation of sorts in that area, so here goes.

You’re sitting in front of the tv in the morning with a cup of coffee sitting on the table next to you. While watching tv, you reach over and pick up that hot cup of coffee and take a sip, only briefly moving your eyes from the tv to look down immediately when you move the cup to your lips. You looking at the coffee takes less than half a second. The rest is done almost on autopilot.

Think of all the motion that happens during the time it takes to reach for the cup, pick it up, move it to your lips, then angle the cup to pour coffee in your face. If you move your hand too far when reaching for the cup, you knock that hot cup of coffee over onto the table. if you don’t close your hand around the cup in the right place, or tight enough, then you again spill the coffee, perhaps onto yourself as you pull it to your lips. if you don’t tilt the cup at the right time, you end up spilling the coffee again. So many details to keep track of, but we do it almost without thinking.

The one thing we have that the game doesn’t is a built-in managing system. We have our muscle memory, which is essentially a ton of stored animation calls. And we have a command manager, which includes telling our muscles when to do actions, thereby tilting that cup of coffee after bringing it to our lips to drink. In multi-threaded game development, the developers must create those same managers from scratch because multi-threaded programming is still relatively new in game development.

What’s all this have to do with why development for Star Citizen and Squadron 42 has been slow? Star Citizen started off using Cryengine. Cryengine at the time still used Lua as a scripting language, which doesn’t handle multi-threaded programming, thereby sparking an internal re-write of the engine by Cloud Imperium Games while using Amazon’s Lumberyard for networking infrastructure. (Cryengine has since moved away from Lua, to move toward multi-threaded functionality using C++). I’ve done some research about Lua, finding that while Lua does have multi-threaded functionality, it’s not developed enough at this time for intense gaming.

In short, Cloud Imperium Games decided it needed to write features from scratch. It takes quite a long time to develop a well designed game engine. Look how long it’s taken Unity to get where it’s at now, and Unity started off with a focus on developing the engine. Cryengine came from Crytek needing to develop technology for the Crysis games, published through EA. They were in the business of producing games. They weren’t focused on making a well polished game engine.

Now i’ll briefly talk about the complexities of creating 3d models. These videos show the process for Blender Character Modeling. As you can see from this, it takes quite some time for just the 3d mesh itself, without texturing, mapping, animation rigging, weighting, and texture unwrapping. And again, even more time for the animations themselves.

You might think, “but a space ship doesn’t take that much to make.” Yes, it does, and more because you’re making many many moving parts that interact with each other through physics in some cases (like elevators, chairs, doors, etc). The scale of some of the ships both games include is staggering to consider. And then we get to the big thing called space. Thinking about what goes into rendering a universe in real time for game play at sixty frames per second without any loading screens can be staggering, and requires multiple skill-sets to create.

If at this point you’re still stuck on “Why isn’t Star Citizen done yet?” or “You’ve still not proved to me that it’s not a scam.” or “I still don’t see enough details showing that they didn’t use the finances only for the game,” you’re being cautious, which is fine. You want to see the Universe unfold. I was that person until recently. I remember where they were when I first created an account. I remember where they were when I checked in last, almost a year ago. I see where they are today. We each decide what risks we’ll take in life, and I decided I want to be a part of helping shape the future of Star Citizen while I can.

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Borderlands 2

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Created by: Gearbox Software
Game Site: Borderlands 2
ESRB Rating: M for Mature

Hellcat5 Connect: n/a

Borderlands 2 is an intense stupidity shooter. Containing much adult humor / slapstick, if you’re tired of the boring old shooter game, and you want to play a shooter game with humor, this is it. Borderlands series has a unique art style, an rpg leveling system, and a huge area you can wonder around. Tons of side missions, tons of loot, tons of cash. Sure, you pay to revive, but you never really run out of money, and if you do happen to die so much that you don’t have any money left, you won’t be left to start over. Get your friends (because you’re going to need them for Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode) and have a blast shooting your way through the storyline many many times, because like potato chips one just isn’t enough.

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Warframe: Eidolons Easily or Trinity or Oberon Only?

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Created by: Digital Extremes
Game Site: Warframe Website
ESRB Rating: M for mature
Support: Support Website

Hellcat5 Connect: Hellcat5 on Official Forums

Yet another tumbler of a tale, the stories I’ve heard about what’s necessary to successfully do all three Eidolons. In this article I’ll cut down to the meat and bones of Eidolon hunting – what you need versus what others might have told you the requirements are. To do quick runs, possibly getting two full runs in one night cycle, you’ll need the archwing launcher in your gear wheel.

archwing launcher in gear wheel

To obtain the archwing launcher segment, join a clan, and access the dojo’s Tenno Lab menu.

tenno lab

tenno lab menu

I suggest you have a look through the warframe Augment mods to see what your frame might have that could benefit the party, such as Smite Infusion for Oberon or Shock Trooper for Volt. Thanks to Arogorth for bringing this point to mind.

Upon entering the Plains of Eidolon at night, to begin the Eidolon hunt, search for at least two Eidolon Lures. The first Eidolon, Teralyst, only requires two charged lures to capture it. To charge the lures, shoot and kill vomvalysts near the lures. The Vomvalysts have two forms, so make sure you kill both forms to energize the lures, and when stopping them from healing the Eidolon.

Vomvalyst first form:

vomvalyst first form

Vomvalyst second form:

vomvalyst second form

Your Eidolon Lure icons will turn blue once you’ve charged them. After you’ve charged your Eidolon Lures, then you can work on capturing your Eidolon. To start this process, you need to remove the Eidolon’s shields. Do this with the operator’s amp. If you’ve not charged your lures, then the Eidolon will run after you destroy one of its appendages, thereby costing your team time and or more archwing launchers.

It doesn’t matter what part of the Eidolon you shoot when taking down the shields with the amp. If you see blue numbers coming off the Eidolon instead of grey zeroes, then you’re shooting a valid point on the Eidolon to damage the shields. You can see the shields remaining in the purple bar in the image below.

shields

After you take out the shields, you want to switch over to one of your Warframe weapons to work on a specific joint in the Eidolon. Teammates should co-ordinate this effort so everyone shoots the same joint to make the Eidolon Capture go fast. Otherwise, you can waste a huge amount of time here without team coordination. Shoot the same Eidolon joint. This is one of the biggest stop points for Eidolon runs. If you have a 4 person squad, you don’t need a critulous Riven mod on your weapon of choice, although you definitely want to have your weapon Orokin Catalyst installed, and maybe a few forma. I suggest you check out warframe-builder.com in the links below for a build specific to your weapon, or at least to give you ideas for how to build.

Eidolon Joint Shot:

armor shot

Teralyst has four joints to destroy, then ultimately the head. You need at least two fully charged Eidolon Lures to capture it. Click the link to learn more about the Teralyst’s skillset.

Gantulyst has 6 joints to destroy, then ultimately the head. You need at least three fully charged Eidolon Lures to capture it. yes, I said it twice because why not save time and just copy paste? Click the link to learn more about the Gantulust’s skillset.

Hydrolyst likewise has 6 joints to destroy, then shoot it in the eyeballs. You also need at least three fully charged Eidolon Lures to capture it. Click the link to learn more about the Hydrolyst’s skillset.

Summoning the Gantulyst and Hydrolyst
Once you’ve defeated the Teralyst, you’ll need to summon the other two Eidolons. To do this, be sure to pick up the Eidolon Shards after the Eidolon Boss Disappears then drops loot.

eidolon shards

Next, find the Summoning Platform in the middle of Gara Toht Lake:

gara toht lake

Place your shard by pressing x:

shard placement

Let the summoning begin:

summoning

How to Survive or Void Walk OP
So you watched a video that showed a team composition with Harrow, Chroma, Trinity, and Volt, and it said that comp is what you should use. Well, maybe, depending on current state of the meta they’re right. But, they’re far from right about what WORKS to successfully and quickly get Eidolons done. The only essential warframes are either Trinity, Oberon, or Limbo with his Banish skill augmented with Haven to heal the Eidolon Lures. After that, just use whatever your best frame is, or what compliments the group the most if you’re playing with friends, and bring your biggest damage weapon. If you all shoot the same joint, kill the vomvalysts, and use void walk to avoid Eidolon skills, you’ll be able to to finish with time to spare.

So, what’s all the talk about Harrow? Harrow has the ability to nullify incoming damage to the party if everyone is close enough to him. This eliminates the necessity of having to run away from the Eidolon when it uses some of its skills. However, there’s a much easier alternative. When the Eidolon sound and animations play their tells (tells are what lets you know it’s going to use this or that skill depending on movement and sound) just go into Void Walk using your operator. To enter void walk while using the operator, press [ctrl] on the keyboard.

Yes, it’s that simple. You can dodge so much damage, and learn to time the waves of damage to where you don’t need to hold the [ctrl] key down during the entire skill, but only during the damaging waves. You can walk up and heal your teammates who’ve not read this, and walk away in the middle of massive destruction, leaving them scratching their heads.

Steps for Capturing Eidolons
To recap, I’ll give you a little list of steps here that I’ve covered in detail in the article.

  1. Archwing Launchers are a must on the gear wheel for fast travel.
  2. get Eidolon Lures then charge them first.
  3. be sure you have enough lures to capture the Eidolon depending on what tier it is.
  4. use your operator and amp to take out the eidolon shields. You can shoot almost anywhere on the Eidolon to drop shields.
  5. Focus fire on the same Eidolon Joint to take it down fast. THIS IS THE BIGGEST FAILURE AREA. COORDINATE FIRE.
  6. Kill all Vomvalysts racing to heal the Eidolon or restore its shields. Just kill them.
  7. Collect the Eidolon loot drops to get the Eidolon Shards to summon the next tier of Eidolon
  8. Use void walk while using the operator to dodge the Eidolon’s skills.
  9. No, you don’t need Harrow. No, you don’t need Volt’s shields. I don’t care what grand master pubah said.

Comment below what crazy party combination you used to take down the Eidolons. I hope I’ve helped you gain mastery over capturing Eidolons. If you learned something, please share this with your friends.

captured eidolon

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Warframe: Tips for Kuva and Kavats for Riven Cycling

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Created by: Digital Extremes
Game Site: Warframe Website
ESRB Rating: M for mature
Support: Support Website

Hellcat5 Connect: Hellcat5 on Official Forums

As I’ve been learning Warframe, I’ve ran across conflicting information for how to do Kuva runs. Here I’ll give you solid tested information so you can successfully and easily get through your Kuva missions quickly. This will be short because I don’t like to blabber more than I think I need to. If you’re reading this, and you haven’t finished your Second Dream quest, know that there are spoilers within.

To begin gathering Kuva for Riven cycling or weapon building, you must complete the War Within quest. Afterwards the Kuva Fortress will move around the starmap, dropping Kuva on planets it floats near. To run a Kuva mission, find a planet close to the fortress that has Kuva icons on it, then click a mission with the Kuva icon. There are two types of Kuva missions – standard, and one called Kuva Flood which is harder, but also yields twice the Kuva.

Kuva Fortress on Starmap – it moves
kuva fortress

Kuva Icon on a planet (the red teardrop looking thing):
kuva icon

Kuva Flood Icon on a planet (Kuva Tears in the shape of a triangle thing)
kuva flood icon

Common Misconceptions about Kuva Siphons

  • Using Void Dash through the Kuva Siphon damages it. FALSE. If you happen to dash through the Kuva Siphon while a kuva Cloud is close enough to enter the siphon, this could give you the idea that dashing through the siphon damages it. The only way to damage a kuva siphon is by destroying the kuva cloud with either your amp or void dash or other damaging void skill.
  • Void Dash is the only way to damage the kuva siphon. FALSE. You can use any damaging void skill including Void Blast, the amp or Void Dash to destroy Kuva clouds, which destroys each kuva braid.

Kuva and Kavats

  • If you have a Smeeta Kavat, take it with you during the Kuva run. Make sure you have the Charm mod equipped.
  • If you can, wait until you hear the Smeeta’s signature sound when it blesses you with Charm before you shoot the Kuva Cloud.
  • In the least, shoot at least one Kuva cloud with the amp(or other damaging skills while the Smeeta’s Charm skill is activated.

This is what a Kuva Siphon looks like (it’s the hot air balloon with arms):

kuva siphon

This picture shows the braid up, vacuuming the Kuva:

Kuva Braid

This image shows the red and black kuva cloud in motion toward the kuva siphon:

kuva cloud

Tips for Kuva and Riven Cycling

  • Listen for the Kuva Siphoning sound. It’s very unique. Follow the sound to find the direction of the kuva, or look at what direction the kuva braid is pointing in.
  • Remember Smeeta can give double the kuva if you get a charmed shot.
  • Kuva Floods give twice the amount of kuva, so if you smeeta and flood, you get 4x Kuva.
  • This might be a bit obvious, but resource boosters effect how much Kuva you get because they’re a resource. If you have this, then you’ll get 6x Kuva compared to normal. (Thanks to CheezyLama for reminding me to mention that.
  • You get 8 tries to stop the kuva clouds.
  • You must successfully finish the mission goal to get the kuva reward.
  • The minimum amount of Kuva you need to cycle a Riven is 900.
  • The maximum amount of Kuva necessary for a Riven cycling is 3500.

That’s it! With this info you should be walking down the yellow brick road of easy Kuva farming for your Riven rolls! If you’ve learned something from this article, please share it with your Warframe friends!

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Warframe: the Game that Spawned Destiny and Anthem?

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Created by: Digital Extremes
Game Site: Warframe Website
ESRB Rating: M for mature
Support: Support Website

Hellcat5 Connect: Hellcat5 on Official Forums

This game is hot. You might not know about Warframe, but it’s been growing exponentially. Warframe came out March 25, 2013, the first in a stream of games with guns and specialized suits with skills. While Warframe doesn’t have much of an active pvp element, Warframe excels with PVE play, which has a skill system similar to Overwatch.

Warframe crosses the boundaries of ARPGs like Vindictus through matches set up with a variety of goals, from extermination where you kill everything, to defense where you defend a point as long as you can, and get greater rewards the longer you can hold out because the NPCs become harder and harder.

While Warframe started off with smaller match-based gameplay, the developers have expanded into a more open-world element with the new Plains of Eidelon content, which gives players a wider sandbox based gameplay. On the Plains of Eidelon, you can do anything from fishing to destroying or capturing Eidelons, the massive guardians of old.

When I first saw Warframe, I thought there would be no way I could possibly play it because of how fast it moves and all the colors flashing. I have a hard time with sounds and lights after my strokes, like an autistic person going through sensory overload. A friend of mine encouraged me to give it a shot, and so I did.

I found that if I didn’t try to think when playing it, I could mostly keep up with other players in movement, and I close my eyes if the colors get too overwhelming. I wish they had a feature that helped people with similar conditions like me, but I don’t know of any way to tone down the colors. So, I don’t usually run many Infested areas due to the coloring.

Overall the Warframe community has been very welcoming, and rarely do I run into trolls, which is great. The experienced players are very willing to help the new guy, and you can easily find groups or help for anything in the chat channels.

While Warframe does have its bugs and quirks, the developers are very active and communicative about what they’re doing, and what they’ve fixed. They focus a lot of energy on bug squashing. Patches come during gameplay. You stay in whatever match you’re in when the patch hits, then finish up after you get a notice that it’s safe to finish and restart the client. A nice feature to not get kicked when fighting a boss battle.

So, if you’re looking for a new action-packed game to try out, that’s free to play, and not pay to win, check out Warframe. And, if you need a hand, shoot me a message in game @h3llcat5. Hope to see you there!

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Hellcat5’s Guide to Star Conflict

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Created by: Stargem Games
Game Site: Star Conflict
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Support: info@stargem-games.com or Gaijin Support

Hellcat5 Connect: Star Conflict Profile || Hellcat5 on Steam

Hello!

I started playing star conflict back towards the end of april of 2017.  Since then I’ve spent 678 hours playing the game.  When I started out, I had a hard time finding solid resources for playing the game, and the information I read seemed mostly outdated or poorly written.  In fact, it wasn’t until I started playing the game that I actually understood what genre Star Conflict gameplay fits.  I wrote about that here:  Star Conflict – Moving up in Space Moba

After having read the old wiki “about” section for star conflict, I quickly ascertained that no one has been able to clearly explain the gameplay in terms of genre or relative games, so I wrote a new introduction paragraph on the wiki so that people can get a better idea of what Star Conflict core gameplay is like: Hellcat5’s revised wiki about section you can check the history of the wiki front page to see exactly what I did.

Other players have more hours than I have.  Some might think they’re more qualified to write guides about the game than I.  But, hours spent doing something doesn’t make one more qualified to teach others.  Having a higher pilot rating or more efficiency points doesn’t make someone more qualified.  Someone can take a destroyer with maxed out modules using g’thar’du into pve to make their pilot rating go up.  Same thing regarding efficiency points in battle.  Again, it’s easier to get high efficiency playing a maxed out, best in slot, destroyer than it is to play an interceptor or fighter (unless you’re playing the tai’kin or thar’ga).  That’s one of Rules: if you don’t know the exception to the rule, you don’t fully understand the rule.

I am the exception to the rule “a player must have x amount of hours in game and own all the rank 15 manufacturable ships (some players tell me they call them secret projects at one point) to fully understand the gameplay.”  Am I special?  No.  Other people with similar gaming experience as myself could see what I’ve discerned.  In fact, I’m less than special because I’m not an amazing flyer.  I have bad reflexes.  Does my lack of physical ability detract from my ability to completely understand and be able to convey to others how Star Conflict teamplay and gameplay works?  Does a general in the army have to be the best shot of all his men to lead them?  No.  And I’m certainly not a general, but you get the idea.

So what did I figure out?  Star Conflict is not an MMO RPG, yet many of the players have the MMO RPG mindset that they must have the top ship with top gear.  But, that just doesn’t work with Star Conflict.  Star Conflict is a space MOBA.  If you’ve played League of Legends, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, or other similar games, then you’ll understand what I talk about in this article: Star Conflict – connecting the dots for people who’ve played league of legends or other moba games  If you’ve never played any of these games, maybe you should so you can gain a foundation from which to better understand Star Conflict teamplay.

I’ve had guides thrust at me, which I’ve not read through yet due to wanting to create this guide without any cloudy muck from past guides, or poorly formulated ideas.  If you’re reading this and you’ve written a guide for Star Conflict in the past, I’m not saying your guide is bad.  I don’t know.  I’ve not read it yet.  I will say if you spend much time in your guide talking about story elements or explaining the concept for why a certain faction has a specific attribute, you’ve clouded the issue, written with too broad a scope.

If you think that Star Conflict is a third person space shooter (I think that’s how the wiki about section classified it before) you don’t have enough experience with the different genres of online games to clearly denote what genre Star Conflict’s core gameplay fits.  Confusing though it is, I will say that third person and first person shooters today seem to be incorporating more elements of RPG and MOBA, but they don’t have enough of these elements to take them fully into the RPG or MOBA genre.  Star Conflict is a space MOBA.

The lack of a well-defined statement of gameplay (at least in English) is core to these poorly formulated guides that might leave the new player going, “wtf did I just read?”  Without a clear statement of gameplay, this brings players to try to define Star Conflict gameplay based on their personal gaming experience.  And you have the players who try to put themselves into a position of knowing just by saying, “oh, you can’t understand because you’re not max rank, and you don’t have x amount of hours like I do, and you don’t have the customizable ships,” etc.  But, if you ask those players solid questions about the structure of gameplay, they can’t answer.  But, more often than not, will try to convince you that they answered your question and that no one has a better answer.  This creates a bigger gap to bridge toward establishing a well-defined statement of gameplay.

I’ve started three video series regarding Star Conflict.  The first covers a series of simple build and gameplay guides to successfully win playing the pve mission Defense Contract:

The Second covers daily contracts through which you can gain a variety of ship crafting resources:

The third covers gameplay tips:

Over the next few weeks, I plan to clarify the statement of gameplay through my guides, and I plan to continue to add new guides going forward.
when you get blown up, remember to scream.

Click Here to go to the Post on the Official Star Conflict forums.

Related:
Star Conflict: Connecting the Dots for People Who’ve Played League of Legends (or other MOBA games)

Star Conflict: How to Level Ship Mods Quickly and Free

Star Conflict: Genre Wars

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Star Conflict: Genre Wars

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Created by: Stargem Games
Game Site: Star Conflict
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Support: info@stargem-games.com or Gaijin Support

Hellcat5 Connect: Star Conflict Profile || Hellcat5 on Steam

In these days of Trump, people seem more interested in being right themselves instead of asking others “why?”  They jump up and down declaiming how “this goes against everything I know, this can’t possibly be right or good – it’s too different.”  This resistance to inquiry sometimes goes into “How dare you compare my beloved game to a genre I can’t stand.”   So, I’ll start this out by saying this – from what you know, you’re 100% right that it’s not a MOBA.  But, you’ve not asked me why I call it a space MOBA.  What relations do I see between elements of MOBA gameplay and Star Conflict?  I’ll get to that, but I’ll start with a few differences between third person shooters and Star Conflict.

Third person shooters don’t require much about character build.  You don’t have to think about how you can supplement your resistances to different types of damage, you don’t have to think about the ratio for survival that occurs between damage reduction and damage pool.  Everybody gets x amount of hit points, life, health, whatever, and that’s that.  Unless the third person shooters pulls in gameplay elements from other genres.

With third person shooters, your character wasn’t designed for a specific role on a team.  You get no benefit from sticking together except cover fire from team mates, or another takes out someone targeting you.  You just grab your gun and go.  This is great for people who want to relieve stress from a long day at work, and who might not enjoy what they consider tediousness of other gameplay genres.  And, yes, some third person shooter games have team roles, but they’re not complex, and don’t require planning out a build for that role.  If this is the case, that a third person shooter has roles, this mechanic comes from team battle arena games.  Remember the rule of exception?  Team battle arenas took it from RPG games.  But my point isn’t to talk endlessly about my knowledge regarding the origin of different game mechanics.  Roles on a team did not originate as a third person shooter mechanic.

In third person shooter games, you might play on a team, but the teamplay doesn’t go beyond positioning tactics in the gameplay.  You might hide around corners, behind cover, you might see someone about to take down your team mate, but instead you take that player out, you might communicate to your team to call out location of an enemy player,  but you don’t have a tank (destroyer), a healer (engineer), characters that can slow or stun enemy characters(tackler and ecm), characters that disable enemy character’s abilities (ecm), etc.  This gets into teamplay mechanics that general third person shooter fans consider too complex.  Unless, of course, the person enjoys mobas and rpgs.  And yes, there are people who can’t stand RPGs and MOBAs – who only play shooters.  I call these people core shooter gamers.  I could talk about how third person shooters don’t give players gold to use later, or experience points, but enough about third person shooters.  Lets talk about the differences between Star Conflict and MOBA.

In MOBA games, you have creeps.  For those who don’t know, creeps are NPCs that walk or run in a line towards each other to go have a mini battle between themselves.  They don’t have tactics, they just beat on each other until they die.  If your strike kills the creep, you get gold – except in Heroes of the Storm.  Always an exception.  Star Conflict doesn’t have creeps.  All the ships you fight against in the different game modes have an AI, albeit a simple one.

In MOBA games, your character starts at level 1 every match.  Each level you gain grants you an increase in stats, and sometimes gives you the option to level character abilities.  Leveling is usually rather limited, and greatly effects team power during the match.  Star conflict has a limited permanent ship leveling system.  For the exception, I played a MOBA game years ago that had a permanent character leveling system, but unfortunately I don’t recall the name.

MOBA games have a base to defend.  The primary goal of MOBA gameplay is to destroy the enemy’s base, and one doesn’t have to be on the team with the most kills, or personally have the most kills to win.  Personal kill score (PKS) is a mentality that third or first person shooter gamers carry into team games that can actually cause the team to lose. Players who focus on their own kill score ignore the necessity of team power.  In Star Conflict, you don’t have to defend your base against the enemy player team.

MOBA games have a top down camera view.  But, some newers MOBA games incorporate a third person view, such as Smite.  It’s arguable that camera view defines a game genre.  I consider third person and first person shooters to be sub categories of shooter games.  For me, the defining elements fall with gameplay, and not camera view.  I think you get the idea, so now I’m going to get into similar elements Star Conflict has with both shooter games and MOBA games.

Star Conflict basic gameplay includes shooting at and destroying other players’ characters.  In some modes, this is primary focus, while in others it’s secondary.  This is similar to games like Quake, CS:GO, call of duty, etc.  The same similarity exists in MOBA games (shooting enemy players), except that in MOBA games basic attacks aren’t skill shots, they’re selected shots.  The basic attack in star conflict requires skill to hit the target like shooter games, unless you’re using one of the auto aim weapons or gravity weapons, which require much less skill.

So, why did I say “Star Conflict is a space MOBA” ?  If you’ve read my previous articles about space games I’ve been exploring while waiting for Star Citizen, you’d know that I defined space MOBA to cover these arena battle space games.  Sure, they don’t have all the elements that the standard MOBA does, but these games have many similar elements.  I’ll talk more specifically about why I classified Star Conflict as space MOBA now.

Star Conflict focuses on using roles in team play to win, similar to MOBA games.  In Star Conflict, we have the support classes, the tanks, the fighters, the crowd controllers, and disruptors just like in MOBA games.  Playing complementary roles using team play tactics has a much better chance of giving you a win in game instead of rushing off to find the closest enemy alone.  A fighter class tackler ship with an interceptor class ECM going after a tai’kin have a much higher chance to take down that pesky tai’kin Than a gunship running with a covert ops.

Star Conflict has a similar item system to MOBA games.
  In MOBA games, you can customize your character’s items according to what you’re facing.  Star Conflict allows you to customize, but requires you to do so outside of the match, but gives you options in battle by allowing you to select from a set of different ship roles and customizations to fit the match instead of doing this in the match itself.  RPG games have a much broader range of items your character can equip.  And, typically RPG items don’t level up.

Star Conflict has a separate character level and player level.
  Ships have their individual synergy level, and players have their rank.  Like League of Legends, as the player levels up, he gains access to more powerful mods to boost his ship with.  This is similar to leveling up in League of Legends because summoner level gives you access to more powerful runes and masteries.

So, after all this, there will be some who will say, “it’s still not a MOBA.”  And that’s all they’ll get from what I’ve written.  They want to be right, and that’s that.  Others will instead see my point, that Star Conflict has elements from MOBA games, and to attract more people to play, needs to be re-branded with emphasis on the team play mechanics, and so that the developers can create a better match making system from having a solid statement of game play.  Otherwise, no true meta game can ever manifest.  But, that’s another topic for another time.

If you want to read the comments on the official forum that inspired this response, click here.

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Star Conflict: How to Level Ship Mods Quickly and Free

on Twitch
  • All streams are currently offline.


Created by: Stargem Games
Game Site: Star Conflict
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Support: info@stargem-games.com or Gaijin Support

Hellcat5 Connect: Star Conflict Profile || Hellcat5 on Steam

One person commented on Star Conflict: Moving Up in Space MOBA stating that it takes two weeks to level a ship mod to max. If you’re playing two hours a night, maybe that’s true if you’re not doing the daily Loyalty quests from each faction’s hangar. However, each faction (example: Empire) has two different sub-factions (example: Wardens and Legion), and a daily contract (given by the Contract NPC – example: E. Hoist in Empire the hangar) for each, totalling 7 daily faction missions. Currently Ellydium doesn’t have sub-factions.

Leveling ship mods requires two currencies:

Loyalty – an experience point type for leveling ship mods.

Credits – standard currency used for buying ships, ship mods(including weapons), and with crafting elite ships (example: gargoyle, Dart, etc.)

One of the two sub-faction missions is generally harder. One mission generally requires you to kill a certain number of ships with one of your top rank ships. Example: If you’ve reached rank 7 with Empire, then you need to use rank 7 ship to complete the mission. You don’t have to use the same faction’s ship to complete the mission. You can use one of your top rank ships from any of the other factions.

The second mission would be something like Gain 5000 effectiveness in battle with a top rank ship. Again, you can use a ship from any faction, as long as it’s in your top rank. These missions change each day, but you can’t get to the next one without first completing the one you’re working on. This way, you don’t lose any of your hard work by accidentally clicking “cancel.”

At rank 15, Empire faction Wardens gives around 131625 Loyalty vouchers, but requires you to kill 200 enemies in pvp. You don’t have to win these pvp matches for the ship kills to count toward this, and you don’t have to get the last hit on these kills (other players can help destroy these ships) for these to count toward the total. Looking at a mod I have at mk3 (blue color) on my rank 15 thar’ga, I can see the entire level from mk3 to mk4 is 131700. So, with this in mind, at most it would take 4-5 days to max a mod from mk1 to mk4 completing one of these quests a day. Remember to set the mod you want to level fast into the research slot also. This will give you loyalty vouchers from the battles you fight while doing the loyalty voucher contracts.

If you compare that progression to other online games, you’ll see the progression isn’t bad at all for a max rank ship. (example: League of Legends takes quite a while to get to level 30 summoner, unless you pay for an experience booster, same with DOTA 2, or Overwatch, etc.) Keep in mind, this isn’t a solo play rpg game, nor is it an MMO. This is a MOBA type game, designed for using the ships’ roles with tactics and teamwork to win matches. You can’t expect to level as you would in Fallout 4, or witcher 3. Having a maxed out, max rank, ship doesn’t mean you’re absolutely supposed to in.

Begin Rant – If you’ve played Dota 2, Overwatch, League of Legends, Smite, Heroes of the Storm, or other team based battle arena games where characters have roles, you know that if you happen to max out your character’s items, you can still lose. Look at how many Vaynes (a carry champ in League of Legends) lose because teammates don’t know how to play the role they pick. For the love of god, stop thinking you need to have the newest champ (ship) with level 30 masteries and perfect runes to win.End Rant

About Cache Containers

Cache Containers – after battles you get to scan for rewards. Sometimes you’ll uncover different caches. These caches contain parts for advanced weapons or ships, or blueprints. The list below in Core Resources shows you what each container has within.

Unlocking Cache Containers requires a green crystal currency called Iridium. You can get iridium in the daily missions in the “Launch” menu marked by a purple dot. You are guaranteed an iridium drop from the purple drops after the match. You must win the match to get this purple drop. You can keep playing the match type until you win to get the iridium reward.

Cache Containers give a random reward from 5 possibilities. If you don’t like the time it takes to get lucky rolling what you need, you can, of course, pay for the item from other players through trade. Since all trade items are for elite blueprints, weapon parts, or ship parts, you pay Galactic Standards (cash shop currency) for these trades. If you don’t want to spend money on the game, you can sell parts you don’t need to get Galactic Standards. None of these items are necessary to win.

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Star Conflict: Connecting the Dots for People Who’ve Played League of Legends (or other MOBA games)

on Twitch
  • All streams are currently offline.


Created by: Stargem Games
Game Site: Star Conflict
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Support: info@stargem-games.com or Gaijin Support

Hellcat5 Connect: Star Conflict Profile || Hellcat5 on Steam

The info I’ve found for Star Conflict doesn’t do much to connect the dots between gameplay from other games. I’m going to do that here so people with experience from these games can get a head start. Star Conflict has 10 roles split between 5 different ship types. Below I’ll give you the relation between the ship roles of Star Conflict and roles from other MOBA games.

Primary tank – Destroyer – This ship is the hub around which all battle should occur between players in kill count games. These ships have massive firepower, and can deal a ton of damage. They can have shield walls or repair drones. If the player ops for repair drones, he can also repair teammate hulls. Weakness – small ships can get close to this beast, and be almost untargetable, while doing damage to this ship. Also, the active ship modules (skills) are destructible. Yes MOBA player, imagine players from the other team being able to destroy the tank’s skills for a period of time. These don’t come into play until at least rank 7. Until then, use the guard frigate as tank.

Healer – Frigate: Engineering – These ships can give passive hull and shield regeneration, along with team movement with warp gates and small shield walls. Also, at later ranks, these ships can use a weapon that heals teammates while hurting enemies. Weakness – they don’t have many escape options, and don’t do a lot of damage, so they need some protection from other teammates.

Secondary Tank – Frigate: Guard – Defensive Crowd Control – These ships can guard an area, shooting down missiles almost every second, slow all ships within a given range, damage all ships in a given range, make their allies disappear, and take a TON of damage. Weakness – once the enemy does manage to take out the shields, the hull is usually pretty weak. They’ve MEGA slow turtles, best to hang out around the destroyer and Engineer frigate.

Attack Damage Carry (adc) – Frigate: Long Range – Snipers – what else is there to say? These guys sit way out, and pick off whatever ships happen to fall into their sights. They have the ability later to hide themselves from your targeting system and scanner, and they can do an escape backwards jump at later ranks. You’ll usually find these guys alone way out at the edges of gameplay. Sometimes they sit with the other frigates and destroyer, but not often. Weakness – they have the general weakness of all frigates – a lack of speed. They can be deadly up-close with the right weapon equipped, so don’t try to go alone to take one out. And, they can jump backwards to put you back in range of their all powerful scope of death.

Crowd Control – Fighter: Tackler – you thought you could move? nah – This ship has many disabling abilities and it can mark your ship to take more damage from all sources. it’s not fast like the Interceptor ship, but it can stealth and sneak up on those pesky little quick interceptors, and completely destroy frigate and destroyer rotation and movement. Often overlooked at how powerful they can be, players who know usually destroy many hopes and dreams. You can kill destroyers with a single tackler. Weakness – they’re not very beefy nor fast. Stealth can be revealed by recon role. Damage is mediocre, but consistent.

Support – Fighter: Command – Buffs Galore – These ships buff all other ships around them with resistances, movement speed, and attack damage – depending on what active mods the command player takes. They have the ability to rush into battle with other fighters and interceptors, taking a ton of damage while giving buffs to allies in range. They can deal steady damage. At later ranks, they can destroy the shields of a guard in under 10 seconds. Weakness – Once their special shield ability runs out, they’re not hard to destroy. They don’t have any escape mechanisms, relying more on other teammates flying around them to help peel off attackers.

Melee – Fighter: Gunship – Brawler With a Gun – these guys are mobile and deadly. Up-close they can take out destroyers. Everything they have has to do with destroying other ships quickly. They can remove disablers from themselves. Weakness – they’re not as fast as interceptors. They don’t do well alone, unless they’re only facing one other ship that’s not fitted to destroy them.

Assassin – Interceptor: Covert Ops – Sneaky ship with a laser blade on the front – Yes, a huge laser blade. right on the front. Great for doing massive damage in a short amount of time, through a variety of ways, including death. They can sneak across the battle field, not invisible but don’t show up on the radar, and can’t be targeted for 20 seconds. They are very hard to hit because they can turn almost on a dime. Weakness – they don’t have many options for escape, other than the ability to turn almost on a dime.

Support (Warding) – Interceptor: Recon – teemo? nah. thank god. – No, these guys don’t follow the scout’s code, and drop tons of explosive mushrooms. They can drop one mushroom though. Don’t be close to it when it explodes. recon ships give vision of the battle field, and of specific ships. They have many escape options because they’re expected to go deep into enemy territory to give vision and get back to the team without dying. Weakness – not much here for hull and shield. catch one and kill it like a bug. Tackler and ECM food.

Disablers – Interceptor: ECM – do you feel stunned? – these ships can really screw up destroyers because they can turn off their shield walls, and they can do it at considerable range. These are fast like the other Interceptors, hard to hit because of maneuverability , but they’re weak if caught. They can be a distraction when going into stasis because they can’t be damaged for a short period of time. This gives other ships time to shoot at ships targeting the ECM. If you fly around wondering why you lost control of your ship, or you can’t target other ships, or you can’t jump or use afterburners, this ship is probably the reason. ECM combined with tackler is crowd control death. Weakness – fragile. Not many escape options from groups of ships.

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Star Conflict: Moving Up in Space MOBA

on Twitch
  • All streams are currently offline.


Created by: Stargem Games
Game Site: Star Conflict
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Support: info@stargem-games.com or Gaijin Support

Hellcat5 Connect: Star Conflict Profile || Hellcat5 on Steam

I’ve been searching for space warfare games while waiting for Star Citizen’s release. I first explored a cruiser class war game called Dreadnought. Then I checked into Fractured Space. While both games have their own merits, they didn’t satisfy my desire to dogfight in the middle of heavy cruiser battles in space.

I had marked a few games on my Steam wishlist to research. Among those, Star Conflict. I watched a few videos of “lets play” from a guy who didn’t leave much of an impression. I looked for more about it, but didn’t find much except the Official videos on youtube. I also checked Twitch, but not many people streamed this game. So, I decided to download it myself.

I found it very easy to start playing. Stargem provides a great tutorial through which you can easily learn the controls for the game. For those who’ve played other space games, or mmo games generally, the controls will be mostly familiar.

After losing myself to the gameplay for a few hours, I started to want to research more about the game. I wanted to look at other people’s ship builds, and experiences with teamplay. However, I didn’t find much about it. At least, not in English.

While Star Conflict seems to have a small following in the United States, it seems to have a noticeable following internationally. You’ll see the trade chat filled with Russian. If you want to make trades in game, you might want to get familiar with Google Translate to help you get what you need.

Star Conflict has a strong teamplay mechanic, similar to League of Legends, Dota 2, and other Moba games. At high ranks, successful combat relies on knowing ship types, roles, and how these interact. I’ll cover these roles and ship types below in the info.

So, why did I write this? Simple. The gameplay for this is extremely exciting. Dodging slower moving shots from the Halo Launcher or Singularity Cannon, while trying to evade the fast interceptor ship on your tail, and while targeting the guy who’s coming right at you with a sliver of hull left (hull is ship health).

This is NOT the slow pace of Fractured Space or Dreadnought. This gets the adrenaline pumping. If you love the idea of dog fighting in the middle of bigger ships firing back and forth at each other in PVP (player vs. player), or fighting with a specific goal in PVE (player vs. environment) or practicing your skills in co-op vs. ai, you’ll probably love the gameplay you’ll experience in Star Conflict.

Now, I’m going to talk about free to play, because this game is free to play. I’ve read some complaints in game about “this game is pay to win.” Those people are idiots who themselves want to bypass the natural progression that happens in the game. In fact, spending money on ship upgrades cripples the player experience and advancement.

To connect the dots between the business model of Star Conflict and League of Legends (as example), you can buy paint jobs (skins in League of Legends) in Star Conflict. Skins in League of Legends are permanent. Skins in Star Conflict are permanent as long as you don’t change to a different paint job. The developers of Star Conflict need to make the skins a permanent purchase to give players the ability to switch back and forth with what they’ve bought before.

While it’s against the Terms of Service for League of Legends, people sell high level and rank accounts. In Star Conflict you can buy advancement of the same sort directly from the developers instead of doing something against the Terms of Service, and thereby illegal. But, there’s a key element people who complain about “pay to win” miss.

People who think of this game with a mindset of the mmo, of getting to the highest rank, and having a decked out ship, don’t understand the gameplay. They focus on personal glory, and not teamplay. any one person flying around in their maxed out high rank ship can get blown to hell by ships that are designed to take them down. Star Conflict is not an MMO. You don’t win by getting to the highest level with the best gear because Star Conflict is a Battle Arena game. In Battle Arena, the right combination of ship types and roles wins, if they use the tactics.

Battle arena type games have common modes. If we think of games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Dota 2, Smite, Heroes of the Storm etc., we think of player vs. player arena battles or the ability to go into co-op vs. AI to practice pvp skills outside of real competition. Star Conflict has these modes, adding a PVE type mode and open space, where you can fly around a huge space map doing whatever you want outside of the battle arena, including trolling other players who’re trying to do their daily missions by destroying the cruiser that they’re trying to escort, or directly destroying the other players. It is open space after all.

By good design of the developers, it seems, if you die a certain number of times to other players griefing, you get put into a different instance so you can finish your daily quests. So, when you do happen to run into someone in open space who’s trolling, there’s a way out. It’s here, fighting against these trolling players, that I’ve placed the Katmandu Corporation. We help players who’re working on their missions get through to the other sectors.

If you’re up for the challenge of MOBA in space, of dog fighting in the middle of destroyer battles, or playing the destroyer yourself, then check out Star Conflict. You can find resources here to help you with learning and improving your teamplay.

Related:
Star Conflict: Connecting the Dots for People Who’ve Played League of Legends (or other MOBA games)

Star Conflict: How to Level Ship Mods Quickly and Free

Star Conflict: Genre Wars

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