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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.

 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Wimbles Crisis Solved ***

The Wimble Crisis of 217 has come to an end with the human Baron making way to the wimble Grandfather Paden Mastaak. Celebrations were held in Wimbledon upon the news with crack teams of Wimble security staff guarding all the pies.

It’s unclear how long the Wimbles will enjoy this new era of peace and self-determination.

Vocal Wimble Dinasha, one of Paden’s early backers, has chosen this precarious moment to bait Dewiek, Flagritz and humans who were initially disposed to be friendly to the new administration. Whilst the Wimbles' history with the former-slave-loving Flagritz could be understood, their animosity towards the Dewiek and humans was more mysterious. One insider alluded to a rise in the number of cases of foot-and-mouth across the herd as being a likely cause.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Storm in a Teacup *** Yahn Bares All * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door ***

The stargates are closed! Reports from multiple sources indicate at least three of the stargates, all within Dewiek controlled systems, have been closed.

Two different sources have indicated that the TCA have been spotted recently in a number of systems and may be behind this turn of events. A scan sent to the SSS indicated eight TCA ships were recently spotted first in the Faery system and later near the Kasmer stargate.

Another source, suspiciously put the blame on the ARC, suggesting the ARC and DEN were working together because they “need to trap [the TCA] and try and finish them off after the DEN bodged their operation to protect the ARC while they incinerated the MEK homeworld, which ended up with several ARC ships being destroyed and the job only being half done."

However, with no public statement from the Dewiek themselves, its hard to know whether these rumours are reliable.

Lord Igor of the Dominion and Erasmus Andersen of the Garcia Family both offered public apologies at the delay in meeting their trade commitments because of the recent closures. The not-so-subtle subtext being that someone will pay with blood for this interference in their business. Or at least with a stealthy price rise.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Wimble Civil Strife * Who Sniffs the Sniffers? * Largin’ It * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Videtis quantum scelus contra rem publicam vobis nuntiatum sit? ***

The Flagritz Empire is no more! The Flagritz Republic is reborn! Quick on the heel of the collapse of the Empire, the Fessin caste declared a new era of foreign and economic policy with a rapid withdrawal behind the Black Gate.

The new ecologically-friendly Prime Minister Kayxaer, asked for patience as “economic” reforms were undertaken. It remains to be seen whether there will be any price to pay for the dramatic changes being made by the reclusive Flagritzi or whether it will all be sunshine and rainbows going forward.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Large at Large * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Bravo for Freedom ***

Naplian Forces have attacked three human pirate outposts in the Morroglyph system. A spokesperson for Naplia HQ told the press that the plucky duct-tape loving free people would continue their war against slavers and pirates in their home periphery.

One salty Naplian libertarian told the SSS, “The people of the Naplian Home Periphery are sick and tired of human criminals coming here just because their homeworld is an overcrowded hell. It’s time for them to go back home.”

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Igor of Fang and Horns * Admiral Loves Dick Turpin * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

.What is It?
..a wOrmhOle?.
…No.. worse..
….the KANG singularity!…
…..It pulls us IN…..
……lOOks sO familiar……
…….yet so strange…….
……..what is……..
………that?……..

*** Flagritz Liberalise Economy ***

In good news for all the galaxy the Flagritzi have vowed to liberate all slaves across their Empire. Furthermore, the hectapods have given up eating other sentient species; taking up a strict diet of veganism and soy chai lattes. Sales of turtle neck sweaters and Forbidden Fruit laptops have skyrocketed.

The news was cautiously welcomed by the benevolent Felini Tyranny who looked forward to reducing the War phase of their daily Nap-Lick-Nap-War-Nap-Eat-Sleep cycle to a perfunctory forty winks.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Baron Womble * A Short History of the DPP * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Empire Strikes: Solo ***

A massive fleet of some 1600 warships, including large numbers of super-heavy capital 300 and 400 hullers, attacked the DEN in the Solo system, catching them with their metaphorical pants down. The DEN gate platform and some two hundred DEN freighters were subject to antimatter missiles amongst other high tech ordinance.

Jack the lad, Viceroy of the Empire, claimed a victory for freedom and the Imperial (right of) way leaving the sullen Dewiek unusually unresponsive.

With DOM platforms firing on CIA ships, will the IMP now demand the DOM add them to the Do Not Fire lists as well? And what exactly is the nature of the DOM and DEN alliance in light of the sustained attack from the Empire? And will the DEN’s alien friends stand idly by as the Empire fleet camps in the vital gate system of Solo? How will the DEN retaliate for this action or are they ready to roll over and have their bellies rubbed?

All this remains unknown. All that is certain is the “feel good” factor across the DTR has increased, with citizens reassured that for some time yet, they may continue in their slumber with the easy assurance that their number is not coming up anytime soon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * New BHD Guy * DOM Statement * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** To Ur Is Dewiek ***

Dewiek forces had a hefty smackdown against the mysterious living ships known as the T’Cath (TCA). Seven adult TCA 400 hull capital ships, each firing eight of their notorious plasma cannons, were killed by a DEN and DOM fleet of some 700 ships.

Of the minimal losses suffered by the DEN / DOM, one-eyed Magnus and Nevets Motnhap of the FEL were amongst the dead.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Caribbean Congo Continues * Ur Witness Report * * Hive Briefing * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** The Long Quiet Season ***

Listen…
There’s no sound of anger or of annoyance,
There’re neither cruisers racing on the jump lanes
Nor there jump lanes for them to race on,
There’re neither monks chanting on the battlegrounds
Nor bells calling us to the True One.
There’s neither the lightning cracking of the sky
Nor the persistent Naplians pattering on my roof.
There’s no Dewiek arm in arm to admire the magnificent view
There’re no war drums to feed Human ears
Nor Hive sirens to steal the boredom away
There’s no unfamiliar wing creeping underneath the Falconian sun
Nor floods to enshroud the Aquaphid grounds
The land lies lonely out here
On this lazy summer’s day
There’s no pollution to poison the airs of Inversion
Nor forests to give them life
All I hear is the hushing sound of the wind
Assisting the sand to fall into beautiful undulations.

Whilst we’ve been away: * Operation Giantslayer * Naplian Liberation * Back in the DTTR * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Falconians Saved ***

The Imperials have cunningly saved the Falconian Republic from being consumed by the Dewiek Elder Nation and at no small cost to the DEN either. Whilst the new pro tem Consul crowed about the “victory”, all former FCN systems besides Acropolis have been taken over by the two warring Empires - Human and Flagritz.

Was it all worth it? For the IMP / GTT it clearly was, for the movement of a few hundred thousand troops is surely nothing to the cost they endured trying to and failing to knock the DEN out of Solo after the fact. The FCN now plucked off most of their navy and wider assets are a tiny nothing of their former self. The DEN may have resorted to some dirty namecalling but can the costs endured to save an enfeebled FCN have really been worth it? Time will tell.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * INDignation * FELicitous Caribbean * Nah Plan for Naplia * Mercs Trouble DEN * &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