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Fast Tracking - Catching the Phoenix Bug

Fast Tracking

So, you have read a few IGN's and maybe even played some PBM's or PBeM's in the past and have pretty much sussed out what it's all about. You may only be halfway through your first mission and not even got access to the 'create a political' mission along with the other training missions, but you are savvy enough to know you want to dive right in. In fact you are somewhat surprised that most of the literature you have read to date seems to advise caution, playing for a bit longer before committing to either joining an affiliation or for that matter, even paying money. So, following questions from a couple of people looking to leap in at the deep end, I have written a short article on fast-tracking.


The curse of the Phoenix Bug
It's easy to see that there is a lot of depth to the game just reading some the obscure questions that are posed by veteran players of five years and more indicate this. It is also easy to see that a lot of players are passionate about their affiliations. Swapping Private Messages (PM's) can quickly draw you into wanting to join them. They may have quizzed you about your background, enthusiasm and probable commitment. They may have offered you a role in their faction and even waved a reasonable starbase under your nose along with ancilliary holdings and shipping. You are hooked and eager to join. You have also been playing the game for less than a week...

So, how do you get from one ship somewhere in Halo, a bucketful of PM's and a vague understanding of the mechanics to serious player in less than a week?

First and foremost you can complete your training missions even if you have already joined an affiliation. We feel that these give you some clue to the mechanics of the game and may be worth completing after you join an affiliation. Joining an affiliation is a simple matter of going to the recruitment forum (can be found at the bottom of the forums) and clicking Join on the appropriate affiliation. You then have to wait for the affiliation to accept your join request. They may send you a PM question first, especially if you have not already discussed joining them.



Getting a Political
Yup, it's time to start paying to play. This does of course open up so much more of the game and makes life a lot easier (IGN2 Politicals - Being taken seriously). You will need a KJC Account (go to Library > KJC) and create one if you have not already got one. If you have changed email address, postal address and not used it in years, then a PM to Mica is probably your best bet. This will link your credit account (used to play all games run by KJC Games) to Phoenix.
Next pay some money into your account if necessary. It does not need to be a lot though you can qualify for 10% free credit bonus if you pay 50.00 GBP. This will prevent your account from being suspended as soon as you create your political position!
Creating a political (at a weekly cost of 2.00 GBP) can be achieved either through the Create Political Mission (if you have only justed signed up, this may not even be visible) or the order Create Political. Both amount to the same thing though the former is nice for reading material. For speed however, the order is preferable. Whichever you use, you will qualify for 100,000 stellars, a 10,000 stellar weekly income and get a few more ships.

So now you have a political and have presumably been accepted into the affiliation (possibly in less than 2 days). If you have discussed the situation with them, they will now transfer to you all the assets they promised if this was part of an agreement. A word of warning though, it is almost certainly an idea to first check that they will swap the positions if you quickly discover that they are not what you want. Just because you have charged in, you should still get to play the game you want. That's it, that's all there is to it. By joining the right affiliation, you may well have a starbase or two, a dozen outposts and 50+ ships by the end of the first week playing the game!

Disasters
Everybody makes mistakes. In Phoenix these can prove disastrous such as sending your fleet through an asteroid belt or using the Mass Produce order to set the number of factories building an item to 10 rather increasing from 200 to 210, resulting in 190 factories untooling. A quick PM to the GM begging for kindly intervention will generally work while you are still new to the game.


Benefits
The major benefit to immediately scaling up is tackling the Learning Cliff (IGN1). The more positions you control the more mistakes you will make in a shorter period of time due to submitting more orders. The important thing is, because you are doing a lot more orders you will learn how they are used much quicker. If you have a couple of ships, some orders you may only encounter every few months (maintaining, repairing, refitting etc) and as a consequence you may keep forgetting quite how they work. If however you have 20 ships, you get the initial trial by fire, but are regularly undertaking these actions so that soon you are issuing them instinctively.

There can be overwhelming frustration when you only own one position and every turn seems to come back with 'there was a mistake on your turn' and once again you seemed to do nothing. When you own a fleet, this becomes a minor niggle you will come back to once you have dealt with the rest of your ships.

Another benefit is getting to know the universe - both in terms of knowing where affiliation bases are, how to get from one end of the Peripheries to the other and to some extent the distribution of other affiliations. The latter is especially useful if you intend to moonlight as a pirate.
Having more positions also brings you into greater contact with other players which in turn immerses you into the game a lot quicker and at the end of the day, gaming is all about escapism and entertainment.

 
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***** Inter Galactic News THE MUSICAL *****

*** Norozov, No More ***

Kantner: No more do I see the starlight caress your cyclops eye
No more feel the tender kisses we used to share
I close my fists and clearly my heart remembers
A thousand goodbyes could never put out the embers

Chulainn: Oh the power is mine now!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before
Please, come back to my arms; we belong together
Come to me; let's be sweethearts again and then let us part no more

Chulainn: Oh all the Stellars mine now!

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Kantner: No more do I feel the touch of your hand on mine
No more see the love-light making your dark eyes shine
Oh, how I wish I never had caused you sorrow
But don't ever say for us there is no tomorrow

Chulainn: Oh all the ladies mine now!

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Chorus: The power is in the eye!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before
Please, come back to my arms; we belong together
Come to me; let's be sweethearts again and then let us part no more

Sylvansight: I will have his eye!

Chulainn: Oh the power is mine now!

Chorus: The power is in the eye!

Kantner: Norozov, I love you so, and my heart forever
Will belong to the memory of the love that we knew before.

Lanner: So, old cyclops has finally met his comeuppance
Maybe its time for a comeback

Chorus: No, no one wants you back!

Lanner: I always did like that chair of his…

Chorus: The power is in the eye!
The power is in the eye!
The power is in the eye!

Continued in this special edition of the SSS...

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** ALIEN CRIMINALS BROUGHT TO JUSTICE ***

FILTHY AND DISHONOURABLE Dewiek mercenaries have dared to attack HONEST AND HARDWORKING GTT warships in the Coptuv system.

THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

The Dewiek commander’s lengthy response was appreciated by xenophile and philanthropist HQ Manager Tom Krieger but this does not change the facts.

FURTHER JUSTICE IS EXPECTED AT THE EMPEROR’S PLEASURE. LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

Inside this issue of the SSS: * SEDITIOUS FET CHARGED * LIES OF THE FAILED REBELLION * TERRORIST PLOTS FOILED * ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE CRITICISED * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Voice of the Naplian Liberation Front ***

We are the Naplian Liberation Front. We have commandeered this station to bring you important and vital deprogramming. You are a slave of the Galactic Trouser and Tussles Imperium of Unspecified Services! We have witnessed the press ganged upon by Imperial thugs. Rounding up reporters by the thousands and throwing them in weasel dens. Mocking the Great Uncle of the Flagritz. Manufacturing consent out of a lust for imports of wheat cereals! We poor Naplians(*) are given no training and substandard equipment when preparing your nutritious breakfasts. We are sent forward by the Imperial snack commissioners with threats of triple-filing tax returns on unreasonable deadlines! Death would be preferable. We are allegedly paid a wage but have you ever tried to buy anything with just $1? Strangely none of those politicals earning $10,000 or more a week seem to care about our plight. Not to mention that the Imperials throw perfectly good meat into the grinder instead of slow cooking it in black bean sauce. They have no respect for a classic burrito! We are left grieving for young families who have never tasted quality ranch sauce. You don’t need to be a dead Naplian to know the value of a good guacamole.

* No actual Naplians included.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * GTT vs USN * GTT vs NLF * GTT vs IND * GTT vs KAS * GTT vs FET * GTT vs SSS * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Stellar Empire On Warpath ***

The newly re-united Stellar Empire continued to wage war against the Flagritz Empire to bring about galactic peace and freedom for all. The latest system to fall to the inevitable tide of history was Morroglyph in the Coreward Arm. Dewiek intransigence reached fever pitch as the FLZ facilities changed to DEN paws and subsequently became targets of Imperial truth and justice. Despite putting themselves between the past and the future, the DEN seemed to lack much will for an actual fight with Dewiek military commanders adopting “meh” as their watchword.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * GTT smacks NLF * DEN whack MRC * Slaves Liberated * FLZ Retreat * ARC in Orion Spur * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Stellar Empire Re-United ***

Celebrations were held across the vast territories of the Stellar Empire as the two-halves represented by the governments of the Imperials and Caliphate determined to unite. This followed almost inevitably from the assassination of the Caliph, a crime that has gone mysteriously unresolved. The old Caliphate ministers were ‘retired’ and at first it seemed the Imperials had managed what had alluded them for decades.

However, just as orders to claim systems for the IMP went in some places, conflicting orders to claim for the CIA came from Laton. In other systems, it seems overwhelming civilian support lies with the defunct CAL government and there are a number of CIV and CAL bases that seem to have not heeded the CIA nor IMP orders. With all the Caliphate's armaments now in the CIA’s hand and no political leadership in the old government, it seems inevitable that the civilians will be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

A muted and cautious response from the rest of the galaxy was only to be expected given the formation of a new unrivalled superpower. The chilling effect on public discourse as the Imperial war machine taps into the substantial, if stunted, economies of the former Caliphate will surely be felt for years to come. Does this mark the 'end of history' as we know it?

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * KAS v IMP/GTT v FLZ * DEN v MRC * FOCed by IMP * BHD v DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Imperials Declare War Against Flagritz ***

A declaration of war came last week after an unsatisfactory reply to Imperial ultimatums that the FLZ accept resolution of the previous war. J. Jones issued the following proclamation, "We hope this reminder will prompt them to rethink the status they removed them selves from and come back to more peaceful co-existence.” Doublegood, Viceroy, doublegood!

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * Species Guide * FEL Barter With GIants * High Times &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Orion Spur Special Edition ***

Explorers of the galaxy rejoiced as knowledge of a new periphery became common knowledge, revealing charts to forty star systems. The Orion Spur is connected to the massive Coreward Arm with rumours that the locals of the Monument system at the heart of this new periphery may have been responsible for the collapse of the HarCorp civilisation.

We have in-depth analysis and information about the new periphery inside this special issue of the SSS.

Also inside this issue of the SSS: * Naplian Liberation Front Reality Show * FLZ v FEL * Mercs in Graydown * DOM Scare Stories * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Hoedown in Graydown ***

Wimbles in the Graydown system have come under repeated attacks by mercenaries. The Wimbles having already lost two outposts have had their ships come under attack by boarders. The Wimbles are pointing a hairy finger at the GTT whilst the DEN are itching to get their paws in.

Pleasantly rotund Wolf Lord Lyceum reported the destruction of one mercenary ship, a Corsair class explorer called "Eye of the Chosen" which had earlier dropped off ground forces flying the banner of "God Hates Wimbles.” Which God and why he or she hates Wimbles has yet to be revealed. We suspect its corporation-loving Mammon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Sargasso Update * Wakerians * Naplian Liberation Front * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Breaking News: Caliph Samuel Assassinated ***

The nominal head of the Caliphate, Samuel has been murdered in broad daylight at the starbase CAL Sidon in the Fortress system. The allegedly mad zealot was on his way to meet representatives of various civilian factions when a shadowy figure *cough*CIA agent*cough* shot him dead.

The CIA issued the following statement to the SSS with a customary nudge and a wink: "In these difficult times, as we come to terms with the loss of Samuel, we are taking things one day at a time.

"Samuel was not only our Caliph, but our leader during the Second Civil War which laid the foundations for the Confederacy after he left the Human Empire and settled in the Darkfold. It is truly a sad day and one that will be marked in history as one of many great leaders who were cut down in their prime.

"We will strive now to look to the future, whilst remembering our past”

Speculation is rife that this is the first step towards a unification of the two-halves of the Stellar Empire. Others are more hopeful this is a return to the Confederacy or the mark of greater separation with the Imperial bloc. Time will tell what nebulous motives the shadowy puppet-master Laton turned out to have had and which alien faction will be blamed for the Caliph’s murder.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * HEX / FET Invade Sargasso * Magnus v Nevets Fight! * Dewiek Black Hole Disaster * FLZ Correction * &etc

 

Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
Dedicated human moderators
Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
Over 20 years of content development
Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic