So this is a few pointers to get players who have no knowledge of Outscape from making some of the more common mistakes I've observed in the near two years I've been Alpha testing it
There IS a wealth of info for the game on the main forum and on the wiki plus the games built in Wiki link feature but if you want an idea without being in the game read this through to get a head start.
At present there are four Player Races each have their Pro's and Cons of course and its important to play to their strengths.
- Syntis especially look easy but have a few “Gotcha's” Notably slow early growth and fixed Taxation income. But in the end they are very powerful.
- Mankind are fast growth specialists but their ships are weak until you get to the point where you have an abundance of Materials then you can simply Buy extra ships as needed.
- Ripchee are kinda Glass Cannons at first glance but there is more to it than that, they can muster a Lot of troops and their later game stealth ships are the best.
- Peoples Realm are slower growing than Mankind but doggedly tough. Suitable for folks that like to play a defensive game perhaps.
Scout Your Neighborhood!
You will start the game with 1-2 scouts and 2-3 Basic Coloniser vessels already available. use them wisely!
These general purpose scouts can do a bit of cargo transport and have limited fighting power in the form of a couple of small guns. To build more go to to the shipyard and click on the new blueprint Icon. Ripchee be aware your starter scouts may not have every weapon slot filled by default. Make a basic scout design right away for practice. Remember Fuel!
I recommend you use your colonisers to grab colonises from Outside your home system as early as possible. You can always colonise worlds in your home system easily later. Expand as much as you dare early as you can.
When you have the Tech (its an early one) to design and make Colony vessels make a very cheap one up with the minimum features for inter system colonisation.
Colony ships are consumed when they colonise so to a degree they are one shot items. But the larger ones (Syntis & Peoples realm) have some facility to be used as personnel transports and courier light freighters.
Cargo on a Coloniser that is expended founding a new world is added to the new colony's stock pile with the exception of Olzine. Leftover fuel is lost for some reason?
Colonizing New Planets
When you visit a new system you will need to asses what's a good potential colony.
Larger planets are always more desirable as a general rule. Over 15 Kkm diameter are extra desirable, lower than 10 Kkm should be avoided unless very rich indeed in resources..
Watch the temperature and landmass indicators. If red you WILL die off unless you have climate modification Tech researched! You will get a warning popup if the planet will kill you so if you die off coz you misjudge its really your own fault. Check Beron levels can you build enough Climate stations to make it survivable? In marginal cases have a second ship nearby to ferry extra materials ot the struggling colony till it stabilises
Naturally a planet with a decent deposit of Resources is of course desirable. The resources a planet has is further refined by Density levels. This is how much per hour each mine of that type will extract from the surface deposits of that type
Only Resources of 60% Density are really worth long term. So don't plan on too many level 2 buildings on those worlds if you use them at all.
Planets may have a secondary Population of a Minor Race see hereafter. Generally these are very useful to most races but Syntis may struggle initially till they research the tech that will allow the bots to make frail Organics Happy...
A viable strategy is to colonise two or planets that between them have High or Better resource density levels for each resource between them.
In addition to density there is a larger number showing available surface resources. Once those have gone Only “Deep” Tech level 3 Mines will be able to keep extracting that material. If the resource is not listed it cannot be mined on that planet. You will soon see your home-worlds are quite excellent (and thus desirable targets later on!)
Planetary Set Up
First up attempt to raise output of Beron to 500+/Hour on one planet in any system you colonise ASAP to make sure you have a constant supply of building material that will not easily run out.
If you can use a steward type ship/fleet can be used to strip free resources from other less inhabitable planets in the system to your colony(s)
Consider a role for each planet, some will be great Resource producers, others may be better off making Economic or Troop production centres if they have High Pop limits.
Large populations = More Tax revenue, so on your biggest worlds consider lots of City Centres to boost growth and keep taxes lowish till you get to 100% Happiness (if organic) then build up the Tax as much as you can. Syntis don't benefit from Happiness effects though nor do they riot if unhappy but they will still need large worlds for troop production so founding one of these early is also to their advantage.
Science & Tech
Getting your science building as rapidly as possible is highly advised!
Look at the Tech tree, and get all fast techs in the queue right away. Always toggle “Auto research” so you never fall too far behind.
As a practical target aim for 10+ Sci points as soon as possible and research colonisers and Freighter ships early. Climate changing tech is a must have after coloniser Hulls.
Also there is not much point in getting larger ships till you have Medium weapons to mount on them ether, so make sure you have at least one medium class weapon available before you go for destroyers or Frigate class vessels.
All techs have their use with the exception of Advanced colony Models they do not seem to be worth the expenditure in testing but your circumstances may be the exception, but I doubt it!
Science building take a big investment so budget wisely. This is where a planet with an excising population can speed progress as they can serve as manual labour in such buildings. Naturally if you have already got Climate modification Tech then a Arokken World is very highly desirable early on as they give bonuses to science early on.
Pirates and Preparing for Battle
Pretty soon your home-world will have a visitor. This is a Pirate drone do not be alarmed! They are appear in all starter systems and in fact can be a sign that you have discovered an abandoned home-world later on.
The early Pirates are basically cannon fodder so Kill and eat as often as you can – but only if you have freighter vessels to take back the loot! They will become harder eventually but early they are essentially a resource that fights back very weakly.
After battle your ships can be repaired if in orbit of a planet with shipyards, look for the spanner Icon on that fleets control wheel.
Pirates rarely attack Armed ships but will swoop on undefended fleets so escorts or armed freighters (if allowed by race) are a good idea. Unarmed ships need ot exercise caution when orbiting an apparently abandoned or empty world just in case a pirate is in orbit!
Pirates extensively use Energy weapons so researching shields to equip Anti Pirate squadrons later is a fine idea. They never move beyond Warp one at present and so are fairly easy to catch. They also have the ability to circumvent certain defences like minefields so be a bit wary.
Minor Races: a Primer
All the minor races have their good points, but as noted, Arrokken are recommended to grab early for the Science boost. Then perhaps the Evolvians for rapid growth of workforce, if these are on a large (15Kkm) world they are very desirable!
After that try Mountain Giants if they are positioned on a Largish world (At least 12Kkm) with average to good resources. They will make a good shipyard planet later. This makes thenm especially invaluable for Peoples realm and Syntis players as they have the biggest and longest to construct ships.
Skregons have limited utility except for Syntis, they favour worlds that Syntis would consider great locations and speed mining of any available resource. Its very challenging to adjust a world so both Skregons and Ripchee can co exist. Possible but usually not worth it.
The Harpy are the least useful early game so only grab one of their planets if especially rich, or they are strategicly sited. Their Super scanners will be helpful later in play.
All native races have a separate tolerance of happiness (IE you can Tax them like you can your race!) Evo's breed like locusts but are useless in a fight and HATE to be Taxed so you'll need a lot of effort to make them you cash cows, though it can certainly be done in time.
Fleets and Ships
I think its best to organise your fleets early, Outscape is deceptivley slow at the start but you will always find that if you stay organised you'll prosper faster.
So as you build more ships do so in an organised fashion, Make as many blueprints as you need of any given hull as you can always upgrade to a new blueprint so truly obsolete ships are rare. Ships can be upgraded at Shipyards in the fleet view (look for a small up Arrow next to the recycle icon).
If you plan to raid players go for Frigate class vessels early. Only Hulls in that Tech branch can carry Assault troopers as well as a variety of the more specialist equipment later on – such as Mine layer modules.
Group ships together in ways you can easily recall the purpose of that fleet. IE Scouts, Cargo transports, Anti Pirate, etc.
Early on spend most of your Farsu on Colony ships get that rapid expansion at least to a dozen planets. If you can get 10-12 worlds in less than a week you will be in a strong position. If you can grab 6+ Star systems in that time even better!
Currently there is no automation of freight routes so plot these out and asses how much of your combined fleets will be merchants and how much War machines.
A Scout fleet is a good idea so when they arrive at a new system they can split and detail scout worlds a lot faster and move on.
Bread & Circuses: Keeping the Population Happy
Syntis players can ignore this early on.
Prepare for discontent, many buildings add to the population discontent or happiness. Thus Entertainment centres are a must have early tech (different races may have slightly different names),
Build them often and build more than you immediately need so you can raise taxes to gain more cash faster. As Tax is the only practical way of getting cash at present, a high Tax rate is pretty much mandatory from time to time at least.
City Centres & Entertainment centres are what you need to maximise cash and population growth. Peoples Realm also gain a small happiness boost from building military barracks so that's a viable extra route.
Likewise once you have Climate Tech consider bringing worlds closer to the ideal for you race. This will boost population growth as well.
You can Tax Organic races at 100% if you need to though this will slow growth if the taxation level makes then unhappy. The danger threshold for unhappiness is quite Low <40% so you wont get riots before then. If a planet does riot its buildings all stop doing whatever they do plus Tax revenue is greatly reduced. If it goes on for more than a day then you run the risk the riots will destroy utterly a building that gives unhappiness every 24 hours or so.
Riots can also be caused by over working the population (IE the labour shortage percentage is exceeded)
Remember to Tax new colonies and secondary populations, as when founded they will be at Tax rate 0.
After 14 planets have been colonised a mechanic called “Corruption” come into play directly affecting each worlds happiness. Basically this is a capping mechanic to prevent unlimited and untamed planetary colonisation or conquest. To prepare for it make sure you have extra happiness being produced even if your populations are at 100% Happiness. Corruption affects every planet in your empire simultaneously so before you go much above 15 worlds be ready with extra entertainment centres on every world!
Meet the Neighbors
Well sooner or later (especially if they are also following this guide!) you will met your fellows in the next systems over from yours...
A good move is to see whose where. At the top of the interface is a spiderweb like icon that is the Colony scanner. This will detect player colonies in a 150 LY radius always use often as it can change as folks creep closer towards you!
Currently ships sharing the orbit of a planet Auto engage unless under a non Aggression treaty, so when scouting fly through a planet where possible before just stopping in orbit to look at its stats.
This will reveal other players ships in orbit without enraging them, you will then find that player on your Private chat list. Then you can attack or attempt negotiate a treaty at your discretion.
Don't get too upset (especially in Skirmish Galaxy's) if you loose the odd scout. It may not have been a deliberate attack – just an AI response while a player was AFK.
Test your fleets against your Pirates. If you can Kill the pirates without losses you will have a chance against a comparable level player. Just recall players are Much smarter than AI pirates...!