May 27, 2016 at 8:47 pm #6824obitKeymaster
I’ve been paying close attention to the latest crop of new players, and I’ve come to the realization that our current newbie guide at http://mtrek.com/guides/ is probably way off.
Granted, it’s incomplete, but the part where it steers players towards the br5 and dy600 (as does the game itself during the new-player login sequence) might be the wrong approach. What was likely true in the 1990s when many of us learned how to play, doesn’t exactly apply in today’s game. Particularly since there are now robot ships that don’t “take it easy” on new players as a lot of human players did back in the day, and of course the newly available additional ship classes swing the DY and br5 into a not-quite-so-easy category…or at least when compared to another class: the Borg Sphere.
The Sphere… The more I ponder over this class, the more I realize that it probably *is* the best ship for a new player to get started in. In terms of raw survivability, the DY and br5 might still be a little closer to “immortal” when compared to the Sphere, but not by far- and because it can actually kill things without either being a vulture or flown by a pro player, the Sphere offers less boredom/frustration and more time learning how to blow stuff up.
In no particular order, here’s a short list of some of the merits for pushing the sphere as the newbie go-to ship:
- With a max Cruise of warp 13, the player maintains some initiative in choosing what ships to attack and which ones to avoid. It’s not too slow, but it also isn’t so blindingly fast that it’s hard to control like the br5 or br6 is.
- It has xwarp (albeit non-tracking) and cheap (30 power to activate) cloak, both of which give the newbie a chance to run away when things get hairy- with a proper “panic button” macro, newbies should be able to survive much longer in this class.
- This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the warp 13 thing, but the 1450 torp range is long enough that there are several slower, shorter-ranged ships that would present “easy targets” for the sphere. The obvious DY comes to mind, but CV-97, CL-13, Excel, D-10- and a handful of others should, after a little practice, be worthy of consideration as potential targets.
- The Sphere regenerates all of its weapons and can heal to full power. This is nice for two reasons. (1) The newbie can concentrate on the mechanics of flying and fighting and spend less time hunting for supplies, and (2) the newbie doesn’t need supplies, so he(/she) can heal in the safety of deep space between fights, without risking a ship by taking it into a dangerous area of space. Most ship classes need supplies, so supply planets and bases get crowded, which means newbies often *die* when they need supplies 🙂
- It is equipped with photons, the most common type of torpedo in the game, it carries both mines and drones, and it has cloak- all of which means that the skills gained while flying around in a sphere, will transfer into flying more classes once the player becomes comfortable with the Sphere. AVG-IX would make a nice transitional ship, for example.
So unless someone has a better idea, I’ll write the Sphere into the newbie guide. I’ll also include a simple but full playable set of macros and I think I’ll tack Mike’s Sphere guide from the strategy page on there as well.
Any thoughts or suggestions are certainly welcome.
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