Exodius’s GOOD Guidebook
Table of contents:
1: [So your really kind at heart?]
2: [Lets get busy.]
3: [The few, the proud, the Feds.]
4: [The trouble with bubbles.]
5: [The quick and the dead.]
6: [Advanced topics and lategame.]
7: [In conclusion.]
This is a bit of a guide, gives some strategy, and explains some ways to successfully play as a goodie goodie in Tradewars 2002. You can disagree with anything here, you might like doing things differently, and hell, ya might say it could be better. I understand this, I am not trying to make uber-goods, I am simply attempting to help the less fortunate grasp how to start, play, and be a successful good. This guide should lead you through the basics, and intermediate action, with a few advanced topics. It figures you have some knowledge of tradewars, and if you don’t, read something like tradewars for dummy’s or play the game a little while. In any case just remember, if you cant cut it on the good side, simply give the evil side a go (and you can read Exodius’s EVIL Guidebook to get you started). A bit of work, a bit of practice, and you’ll find your “nitch”, an attacker, a builder, a moneymaker, etc. As with the evil guide, this is a “passive” startup, and doesn’t involve being agressive on day 1. If you want to do something like this, then I’ll leave it up to you to come up with your own strategies for attacking.
1: [So your really kind at heart?]
Join the Federation! Join the collective cause! Fight evil ferringi and galactic piracy! Ask your local federation captain for more information on how to join the ranks.
Benefits of joining include,
1: You get to fly an ISS (typically the best ship by FAR)
2: You get exclusive rights to transwarp directly to fedspace
3: You get to fight the good fight, aiding the federation in the fight for the galaxy
4: You get to build personal planetary systems, including highly powerful quasars and credit making organics farms
5: You get to be blue instead of red
6: You get some federation protection while your young
7: You get a really sharp looking uniform
8: You get the use of the powerful photon torpedo with the purchase of an ISS
9: You get to trade products for profit
10: The ISS is a real chick magnet
2: [Lets get busy.]
Well, you’ve started out, soon you’ll be on your way to ruling your own personal galactic empire. But first, lets get you out of that merchant cruiser and into a more profitable early game trading ship, the merchant freighter. Of course, check your game’s ship specifications first, but usually a merchant freighter will be around 7% more efficent at flat out trading compared to the cruiser. As an added bonus, the freighter uses only 2 turns per warp in stock games, while the cruiser uses 3. This means you spend less turns actually moving from port pair to port pair. And if that isn’t good enough, through trading your cruiser for a freighter first thing, you will gain a few holds, and have enough cash left over from the trade to buy some fighters or shields, and a density scanner (which is VERY importaint).
Time to start trading, make yourself some cash, and get that merchant freighter decked out with holds, and a holoscanner, as well as some more defensive fighters or shields. Grab a few ether probes too, fire them to find new pair ports easier. You can decide yourself on haggling or not. It is suggested you don’t haggle, so as to stay under 1000 experience (and thus stay fedspace protected) for as long as possible. If you do haggle you’ll make a bit more profit, but will have to use a exp-loss technique to stay fedsafe. For instance allowing a evil friend to pod you a couple times. Or by guessing the password to the underground wrong several times (U in stardock, it’s a hidden area). Just remember, if you are using an exp-loss technique, deposit your cash first, or let a corp mate hold it (I believe in the underground if you guess wrong twice you get mugged and credits taken, 3 times you lose half your exp, 4 times you get murdered).
3: [The few, the proud, the Feds]
Well, by now you’ve traded down most or all of your turns and should have a sizeable sum of cash, in a loaded merchant freighter. It’s time for you to prepare for a federal comission. To do so, your going to need 500 good alignment. Theres several ways to go about getting this, but heres the fairly cost effective.
1: Cross pod with an evil. This would be basically starting with both of you around 1000 experience, you kill him once, he kills you once, you kill him a second time, he kills you a second time. This will make you decent good if he’s decently evil, and only costs a few fighters and a couple merchant freighters (all escape pod equipped ships only contain 2, so you’ll need 2 new freighters to safely do it, remember, scouts dont have pods). Also, remember you can only safely get podded twice in one day, third time is the “big sleep”. The downside to this is, it gets you over 1000 experience. Course you can always lower your exp using exp lowering techniques, and that makes this a good way of doing things. Also, it’ll leave you with most or all of the cash you made trading, for you to spend on an iss, holds, t-warp, etc.
2: Post rewards on evils. You can do this in the police station, 1 good alignment per 1,000 credits posted. Thus it’ll take 500,000 credits to make enough alignment to get comissioned. This is a lot more costly then crosspodding, but typically you cant crosspod, and this will not effect your experience.
Alone this will get you an iss on day 1 or day 2, depending on your success at trading and your choice of alignment gain. However, you should be in a corp, and in that case you can pool your collective cash to buy at least 1 ISS on day one, complete with full holds, a twarp drive, and a compliment of fighters, or alternatively, low fighters, saving the cash and starting a “bubble”. At this point you could try blockaiding stardock through the use of scripts, photon rain, etc, but I am explaining a passive startup, you can explore this option on your own.
Now that you have an ISS with full holds and a twarp drive (this is the main goal to attain), it’s time to move on, to planetary building, and bubble development.
4: [The trouble with bubbles.]
For those who don’t know, a “bubble” is, it’s several sectors connected together, with only 1 exit. For example, 3 sectors in a line, the one in back has 1 exit, to the second sector, the second sector only has 2 exits, to the very back, and to the front door. The front door has 2 exits, one to the middle room, and one, back out into space (IE, a sector with alot of exits etc). Some bubbles are bigger then others, and typically they aren’t in a straight line, instead branching off a bit behind the “front door” sector. You can find bubbles like this by luck (while you were trading) or through the use of a helper (typically using zero turn mapping, and a bubblefinder script). One thing to remember though, try not to pick the biggest bubble on your helper list. These will undoubtedly be probed alot by everyone who’s looking through bubbles. Just pick one a bit further down the list and your a “bit” safer. Maybe in the 4-6 or 7 room bubble range.
Inside a bubble like this, you place planets. Good planets to typically place, in stock games that is, would be L class, H class, and O class. Some games have edited planets, you might want to ask about them first. In any case, the L classes will be your first to hit level 3 (AKA quasar level) and become your early defence. The H classes will take longer to build, but will eventually be your BADASS defence planets. While the O class planets will become your cash-cow’s. They make 1 organics for every 2 colonists on the planet working organics. This means with a decent amount of colonists, these will produce tens of thousands of organics every day, making you millions of credits worth of profit. Typically you want 1 O class in every bubble sector (at least 1). And if possible, you want as many organics buying ports in there as possible (build them in bubble sectors that are empty).
Now, to start out your planets, start blowing em in a bubble sector, and IF POSSIBLE, do it in a bubble sector with a SBX port SBS being prefered. If you dont like what they give you, detonate it and make another (this will make some navhaz, but making another planet will clean that up). Typically you can only place 5 planets in a sector without “overloading” it (overloading a sector will cause 2 planets to collide at extern). Again, try to get an L class, H class, and O class to start out with. Ok, so you’ve got your planets up now, time to get some colonists in here. But first, your going to need the all importaint t-warp resource, FUEL! To start out we’ll want to haul some fuel onto the planet we plan on colonizing. Later on this will be easier, with the L or H class making the fuel at a decent rate of speed. So, port, buy a full load of fuel, dump on planet, rinse, repeat. Use a macro or something to do this 🙂 so you can quickly drain the few thousand fuel off the port. Ok, now the port is drained and your planet has about 2k fuel on it (give or take depending on how much was in the port). I suggest strongly that you start by colonizing the H class planet. It will make fuel very very fast, thus helping you colonize more and easier in the first couple days. Now, go into your ship computer and plot the course between your planet, and sector 1. Then, plot the course from sector 1, to your sector. Add these 2 distances together (for instance, 9 hops to sector 1, 9 hops back, making 18 total hops). It takes 3 holds of fuel for every hop you travel with the transwarp drive. This means you need to take total distance * 3. So, in our example it would be 18*3=54. So, you will need 54 fuel to make a round trip flight. Grab 54 fuel, fly to sector 1 with the twarp, land, grab colonists off terra, fly back to your bubble by t-warp, dump colonists, grab 54 fuel, repeat. This will go much faster with a script or macro, and also helps if you turn off ansi cinematics. Quickly you’ll have drained your planet of fuel and stuck quite a few colonists on it. If you are working with a corp, SHARE the ISS you have with the others, help them get comissions to aid in colonist hauling, and in loading fuel etc. Now, start the planet building a citadel. For an H class I believe this takes about 1800 colonist units, and a good chunk of equipment, fuel, and organics. Try to get it started, then move enough colonists to the L class, as well as enough fuel/equipment/organics to get it started too. Then put all the colonists back on the H class. They don’t have to stay on a planet to finish a citadel, and they’ll make more fuel on the H class for more colonizing. You dont really have to start a citadel on the O class if you dont want to right away, it’s a bit helpful to have L4 O classes later on, but for now it’s no biggie.
Congratulations, your well on your way to becoming a galactic powerhouse.
5: [The quick and the dead.]
Well, now your bubble is started off, and of course, your going to want to keep it alive. You invest alot of time in populating it, alot of cash in upgrading it, and have probably started to upgrade organics buying ports, getting them ready to start selling loads of organics any day now. In any case, heres a few thoughts on early defence.
Early on, your bubble is very vournerable. Pretty much everything can be photon’ed and disabled, making any potential early quasars rather ineffectual. Sector fighters will also be rendered useless. And you can’t defend level 0-1 planets with figs (they have to be level 2 before fighters on the planet will defend, below level 2, and the enemy can simply land and take the fighters for himself). Your best bets for survival through this crucial stage are as follows,
1: HUNT FOR EVILS! Use grimy trader, track them down, kill them ruthlessly. Left alone evils will very very quickly make the cash to search the universe, find your sector, and to overtake it in it’s infancy. Or alternatively they will make their cash, hand it over to their mega-corp teammates (goods) and let THEM find and take out your sector. In any case, evils will have the resources available to take down basically any young sector, kill them off as much as possible, and you in turn protect yourself.
2: CHANGE YOUR SHIP NAME REGULARLY! Since you will be porting in ports inside your bubble occasionally with your iss, change your ship name every chance you get. Otherwise, people will simply use the grimy trader on you and be given an exact location. On the same note, if you are going to sleep overnight in a ship OTHER then the iss (IE, to let others use the ISS) make sure NOT to port in any ports, in the ship you sleep in. So if you get a tholian to sleep in or something, simply bring it in, and never port it, then your safe from grimy for as long as your inside it.
3: Keep an eye out for other goodie bases. Just as your bubble is vournerable, so is theirs. And if you have an evil working for you, it is even easier to overtake.
4: You can try out tholian sentinels. They do work in current versions of TW. Long as you are inside one, in a sector with corporate planets, it’ll take a decent amount of power to kill. This wont save you from well funded iss users, but it should be enough to keep some people away if they do find your area.
5: Always check for limpits before flying your iss home. It only takes a few seconds to make a quick t-warp stop at SD before t-warping home, it might save your life. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen moronically drag limpits home. Even worse, they all deny they did it. Don’t let this happen to you, port at SD regularly.
6: [Advanced topics and lategame.]
Well, now your making cash, organics farming many oceanic planets, have fighters coming out your ears, and a very good home sector defence. So, what do you do? Kill everyone of course. This is the point in time when you go out and kill everyone in your power. Take out enemy bases, kill those evils, try to get your alignment up (through killing of evils) enough to kill goods without problems. Play your cards right and you (and your corp) will be competetive, or even winning. In any case, you should be fairly ruthless at this point, kill first, answer the stupid whiners later.
Another little topic would be further advanced bubble defences. Usually you move your larger bruiser planets (and any others you take) to your front sector or two. Obviously you can only have 5 to a room, but a couple L5 H classes and a few L class’s (which would be level 5-6 at this time) makes for a fairly killer front end. Just remember to shield them well, to keep them protected from photons. Also, turn the first planet in the room (the lowest planet number in the room) to a LOW sector cannon. Depening on the amount of fuel present on the planet, 1-7% should be acceptable. Basically your trying to make the first planet that fires, fire a small shot of 1k damage through 2k damage, to kill small ships. Set the second cannon for around a 4k-10k shot, and the rest as you like (though usually your trying to do enough damage to pod a decked ISS). This will prevent “mothing” a technique used to drain enemy planets of fuel to make them easier to kill. People do this by flying small “cheap” ships into the room, to take quasar hits. If you set all your planets real high on the sector, people are simply going to fly in and blow hundreds of thousands of your fuel for the cost of a few merchant freighters. And remember, set atmosphere shots high enough to blast anything that attempts to land. Considering the sector shots damage, this should only have to be 20k damage through 40k damage (depends on ship edits, plus now and then people will try hitting you with a decked intradictor, 100k figs). Also, don’t turn on military reaction on the planet. This will cause wasteful use of fighters on the planet offensively, which will only get 1.0 offensive odds. Compared to letting them stay on the planet and defend at 2.0 odds, making it twice as effective to let them defend. Besides, if your quasars are set right on those level 5+’s you shouldn’t have to worry about much of a ship surviving the blasts.
One more thing to mention about planets, though known to most people, is planets have maximums on their colonists production rates. For instance, on unedited L class planets, you can put 20k colonists on fuel ore production “maximum”. Any higher and it actually begins to LOSE fuel ore production capacity. Just play around with the pop numbers and find the max’s on your particular game, to maximize effectiveness of your production.
7: [In conclusion.]
Anyway, that should give any goodie goodie a fine start on the road to victory. Sure, some things were deliberately left out, and I stayed vague on agressive early game strategies. But these things are beyond the scope of this guidebook. This will get you going, and with any luck will help you become very successful. If you really want to learn how to write agressive scripts like auto photon to tripped fighter, or the old attack tricks, it will take some practice, a knack for fighting, and perhaps a mentor willing to share. As far as more advanced lategame strategy, this too is a bit beyond what I’m trying to get across here. But if you survive that long, you shouldn’t have any trouble figuring out what to do.