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Learning Cliff

Learning Cliff
So steep is the learning curve in Phoenix that some have referred to it as a cliff. It is not so much that any one thing is particularly complicated it is rather that there are so many things that bombard anyone not familiar with the setting. So lets start with the basics:

Trainees
When you first sign up you are a Trainee. You belong to the Affiliation Trainee. Once registered with Nexus (the name of this all singing and dancing website/game interface) you can view the various Affiliations under Game>Affiliations.
Unlike other Affiliations, this one is not player controlled and is severely limited. You cannot even leave the relatively safe environment of Halo and Kastorian controlled space (Yank, Solo and Skord in the Outer Capellen Periphery.
You start the game in Agripeta (Game>Jump Map then go to Halo).
By staying Trainee you will avoid trouble as nobody bothers Trainees. Use this time to learn the basics of playing the game. Ask questions on the General Forum - either in the Discussions OOC (out of character) if it is about rules and game mechanics or if you want to introduce yourself through your captain, then try the Player Discussions IC (in character).

First Mission
The first mission is simply selecting parameters for your first ship, its crew and the captain. This leads directly onto a mission associated with the type of ship you have selected.
Don't worry about which ship to go for first as immediately after this you can use the Follow Up Mission to get more ships - the ones you didn't select first.
So within only a few days of playing the game you will have three ships quickly increasing you options.
The starter missions have been designed to be simple guides in the use of Nexus. We have purposefully included a lot of hand-holding. Apologies if this is somewhat patronising, especially if you are a returning player but if you are completely new to this style of gaming, we appreciate there is a lot to take in.
So initially your orders are written and added to the order editor as you make your option choices. In the follow up missions however you will be given the information of where you need to go but will have to create the orders yourself.

Don't worry about making mistakes - once registered look at the medals awarded to players. Quite a few proudly display their bronze asteroid awards. These are granted when you smash your ship into an asteroid belt, blowing it up. Fewer display their silver and golds - for sending a fleet of ships to their doom and doing it again with the replacement fleet - respectively!

Moving About

There are three types of movement in Phoenix - Jumping which is moving between star systems, ISR or micro-jumping which is moving around a star system between worlds and finally Thrust which accounts for landing on planets and moving in and out of the orbits of worlds. Each uses a different sort of engine - but don't worry about this, your starting ships have all the appropriate engines.


All you need to do to get anywhere is use the following movement orders:
Move to Starbase
Move to Planet Orbit
Move to Planet XY
The orders all have explanations.
At some point you will need to leave Halo. You can do this by moving to the appropriate wormhole (use move to Planet Orbit) followed by Enter Wormhole.


Trading
At least one of the missions deals with moving items onto and off your ship. The mission deals with all this, however you might want to deal directly with a starbase market. You can find markets available in system by looking on maps. There is one mission where getting some alcohol to hand over to farmers results in a bonus. To trade with a starbase you need to be in orbit (if it has a hiport - basically a lift) or docked in the base. Hiport availability is listed on the market. Use the 'move to starbase' order. You can check your ship manifest to determine how much cargo space you have.


Getting items onto and off a ship
As well as buying and selling you can pick up and deliver. You will notice that there are two types of each order, one for Item Types. The latter covers a range of items that fall into the same class.
So for example, if you wanted to pick up Human Crew, you would use Pick Up with Human Crew as the item. If however you wanted to deliver Food, Consumer Goods and Luxury Goods from your cargo, as all these items fall into the Item Type 'Trade Goods' you could use Deliver Item Type 'Trade Goods'.
Note that you have two sections to your ship, a cargo section and an installed section. Items that are installed are active in the ship. Certain items such as quarters and cargo bays provide space for people and cargo while other installed items such as drives, sensors and shields define the sort of ship it is.




Completing Missions

It is not essential to complete the starting missions rather these are there to give you some guidance if you need it and tell you a little about the game universe. Some incur losses other give boons. It is more about teaching you how to submit orders, how to find your way between worlds and markets and give you the tools for determining your own direction in the game.
We anticipate that it will take you around six weeks to get through the training missions, though some have done it faster. Others have simply binned them off, having worked out what they intend to do generally by joining an affiliation.


Essentially a ship consists of the following
  • Hulls - lighter hulls have more internal space but are easier to destroy.
  • Armour - heavier hulls can support more armour.
  • Bridge - makes ships crew more efficient
  • Senors - used to detect things and gives upper limit to weapon targeting computers
  • Engines (thrust, landing) - provide ability to move in orbits and land. Determine highest gravity world ship can land on
  • ISR Drives - for moving around a system. The lower the number the better.
  • Jump Drives - for moving between systems
  • Quarters and Cargo Bays - provide space for crew, passengers and goods
  • Weapons - Don't worry too much about weapon systems and shielding at this point.

 
News
GTT step forward to control protection and peace in the Stellar Empire.

With the retirement of Jack Johns and various lower-level IMP officers from public life, the Imperial Services were left on the verge of being unable to fill their role as protectors of the Stellar Empire. Due to the serious nature the Imperial Services found itself in, the Emperor recently travelled to GTT HQ to attend a board meeting with the directors of the GTT.

With Galactic Trade and Transport being one of the few remaining loyal Imperial Chartered affiliations, who also supply well over half of the war material to the Imperial Services, the Emperor sought the position of the GTT with regard to the Imperial Services becoming overburdened with bureaucracy and lacking effective leadership. Effectively the Imperial Services were at the point of collapse. A position highlighted when an opportunistic supposed ally subverted four Imperial Outposts in the Inner Empire, thinking their asset grabbing would go unnoticed.
 
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  Star Date: 221.30.5

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RAGNAROK COMES

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A Forlorn Hope

The seat of Dewiek Government has fallen. What began as a small group of Architect ships picking up retreating DEN forces, amalgamated into a much larger force. The bombardment fleet comprised dozens of Adult ARC ships plus several Planet Killers. The force made short work of the impressive fortifications of the planetary orbit of Newstart. Multiple heavily armoured and maximised deflector shield platforms crumbled. They did so only after releasing their volleys of antimatter and nova weapon batteries. Any DEN warships that remained from earlier encounters also stood the line. But within the week, the last defence was gone.

Bombardment of Wolf Lair starbase proceeded without further resistance from the Dewiek. ARC Plasmas ripped through starbase shields. They demolished tens of thousands of factories and research facilities. The ARC demolished the huge military recruitment and training facilities on the planet. Over half a million trained troops evacuated from deep bunkers, leaving a token ground defence.

The ARC were not satisfied to burn the facilities and murder the workers. They deployed repeated salvos of their Virus Bombs on the wider population. Reports began to arrive of civilians of the world regressing. Leaving settlements and returning to nature. Much as the Dewiek found themselves some decades ago when they started to recover from the First Great ARC-DEN War. This time there was no High Lord Magnus willing to obliterate the world to save a remnant of the people. Newstart was already lost.

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Newstart is lost

 
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  Star Date: 221.27.2

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RAGNAROK APPROACHES

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End Game Lost

A short-lived period of peace followed the Dewiek Elder Nation’s historic and Saga-worthy defence against the Architect Planet Killers. A handful of the more typically encountered ARC ships were spotted picking off DEN support ships in Forlorn Hope before more than forty of them appeared back in End Game.

While the ARC “Adult” class ships, as the DEN had previously classified them, were eight times smaller than the “Planet Killers”, they were still as big as the largest ships any other species has managed to produce. Including the otherwise technologically advanced Dewiek.

Forty-four of these Plasma armed organic vessels smashed through the DEN forces left circling the orbit of Beacon, End Game. The mass of ARC weapons bombarded the DEN Shipyards at Ragnorak with their superheated ionized gas, razing the entire outpost to the ground.

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ARC Plasma weapons devastate End Game

 
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  Star Date: 221.22.5

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RAGNAROK BECKONS

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Assault on End Game

The ancient Architects have declared war on the Dewiek Elder Nation. The first sign of the conflict was subspace transmissions in a remote system in the Pocket Periphery. This followed reports that the ancient Ragnarok shipyards on Beacon were malfunctioning. In response, the Wolf Mother sent urgent orders to several Dewiek scout ships to patrol the End Game system.

The Konungr Smidamadr was the first to encounter the gigantic, “Planet Killer” class ARC ships. Measuring in at thirty-two hundred heavy hulls and armed with a hundred ARC plasma weapons, the ship was more like a mobile armed platform. It is certainly the largest vessel ever recorded. The scout ship was vaporised instantly.

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ARC Planet Killer dwarves largest DEN warships

 
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  Star Date: 221.11.4

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Caste Apart

The Flagritz Republic is (very nearly) no more. In its place, a single Hexamon and Flagritz power has arisen. The new Collective has absorbed much of the Flagritz holdings with only a handful of Clique-caste Flagritz systems choosing instead to align with the other Elder species, the Dewiek.

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Flagritz and Hexamon Hybrids - A hope for the Future?

 
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  Star Date: 221.3.3

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Meklanmania

Meklan scout ships continue to be seen around the Orion Spur periphery. These cyborg creatures in service of hidden ancient masters appear to be terrorising the Wimble Nation in particular. Despite public lamentations against the hardship of defending themselves, the Wimble leadership have not yet responded to our request for comment.

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Artist's impression of a Meklanised Wimble

However, Xavier Fox, CEO of Galactic Transport and Trade, did give us the following statement:

“We have engaged several Meklan ships, although currently the source has not been identified. GTT Directors have been running patrols and have engaged and destroyed numerous ships that have attacked outlying outposts belonging to different affiliations. The pattern of ships encountered leads us to believe there is a central source, but until that is found we would suggest any affiliation with assets in the area provide adequate defences.”

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Doomsday On Pause

At the site of the Thete anomaly, the Dewiek Nation has sent media sensation Sharon Aleman to the scene. Aleman, whose cybernetic enhancements allow her to directly interface with her ship’s sensor array, led her hardened crew into a dive of the outermost “edge” of the anomaly. After spending several days collecting and analysing data (mere minutes to the rest of us outside the anomaly), Aleman reported her shocking discoveries.

 
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  Star Date: 220.50.5

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Veil Lifted on Flagritz Home Space

As the Hellcadium ISR field continues to fluctuate, one of the newly exposed systems is Junista inside the previously hidden and inaccessible home periphery of the Flagritz Republic.

Over the past few weeks Flagritz Republic patrols and platforms have dealt with a number of scout ships from the Human Empire as the IMP wasted no time in exploiting this opportunity to poke around in their old enemy’s backyard. It is understood that at least one of these unarmed scouts was destroyed with no one willing to estimate how many more might be buzzing around.

Coincidentally, suspected IMP lackey, SSL TOAD, has also been overheard showing an obsessive interest in the Flagritz periphery. However, we have received no reports of this being anything other than his usual drug-fueled, barely decipherable mutterings at this stage.

Either way, this sudden, uninvited interest in the Flagritz Periphery has left the FLZ leadership muttering darkly about appropriate measures being taken. Defensive fleets and supporting structures are being deployed in the Junista system and beyond in expectation of further uninvited guests.

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When You stare into the Flagritz Periphery...

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Thete's Timey-Wimey Tease

Investigation into the Thete anomaly continued in the Dewiek Pocket Periphery. The anomaly was scanned from all angles by a number of the Dewiek Nation’s best sensor ships and officers. The data, collected over several weeks, was sent to one of the DEN’s most advanced scientific laboratories for analysis.

What they found will shock you!

 
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  Star Date: 220.45.1

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Perfidion Reached

Long speculated by theoretical Stellar Cartographers, Perfidion Reach finally opened in the last few weeks. Immediately, the Detinus Republic boldly staked a claim on the first accessible system, Hellcadium. Only time will tell the true value of this strategic move but their much-taunted bureaucracy may have finally proved its worth.

Early reports from scans of the system reveal a wildly fluctuating ISR field. Rumours suggest that at least one ship was destroyed as it was forced into an asteroid belt chasing a stable jump field attempting to exit the system. Casual travellers are warned away from the system at this time for their own safety. Leave it to skilled explorers and navigation officers.

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Mathematical model of Hellcadium ISR Field.

We spoke to Captain Zakiyah Ummahi via subspace link. Zakiyah led the first DEN expedition into the Perfidion Reach. "Spirits remain high but this is largely down to the extended R&R we were all forced to take immediately prior to jumping into this hole. Initial scouting reports show at least one planet with plenty of forests and grasslands which might help if we're going to be stuck here for Folkvar knows how long waiting for this damned ISR field to stabilise."

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Valhalla Stargate Reopens

Dewiek engineers and scientists have finally managed to re-enable Stargate Valgrind this week and the protective Exclusion Zone is to be lifted. If DEN investigators discovered who caused the gate to malfunction, or why, they were not willing to share it with us. Military sources, however, have announced a project to provide a significant boost to the already formidable defence platform in the stargate’s orbit.

 
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*** Inter Galactic News ***

Empire - DEN action grinds to a halt

After months of tension relations between the Empire and the Dewiek Nation, which rose to several large scale fleet actions ending in the DEN losing over 60 Direwolf warships in Solo, things appear to have moved from antagonistic to unfriendly. With the Solo system being a particular issue an agreement has been reached between the Wolf Mother of the DEN and Xavier Fox of the GTT. Since this things have become very quiet, not just because the shooting has stopped, but also because my reporters have been on their summer holidays.
 
News For Discerning Naplians!
---- Special Galactic Edition ----



(The Host sits at his desk as the studio lights dim, and a single spotlight bathes him in light. He looks straight into the camera and begins to speak: )

Host: Naambta!
Good Greetings, and welcome to the show.

This is News for Discerning Naplians, and i’m sure you are all showing much impatience to see this week’s Panel Discussion. We will be discussing religion with the Lady Ghadir of the Temple of Ya Zoon, renowned neo-naplian spiritualist Chairman TonTon, and a very special guest from our imperial neighbours, Bishop Samantha Porteus of the Brotherhood. But before we get to that...

(Looks demonstratively at his digital wrist watch. )

... it is time for a word from our sponsor.
 

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