|Burnard Silkwind, Explorer Extraordinaire says:|
"The Nanotrasen Exploration team welcomes you, hallowed employee; down the dangerous and prestigious path of exploration, to explore a bold new frontier that none have before.
Hold on, though - before you go down that path, there's a few important things to remember. That each and every misstep, every misaligned entry, and every miscalculation, could be the difference between you living, or sliding in too the void. This'll help you make sure to avoid those mistakes. And remember - you'll rethink exploitation of natural reserves, and extinction of species, when your neck is on the blockchain."
At roundstart 3 members of the exploration team will spawn in, each with a different role. All exploration crew members start with a discovery scanner which is used to generate discovery research points for science.
As the scientist your job is to locate research disks. You start with a research disk locator which, when used in hand, will say a direction and distance to the nearest research disk on the ground. These disks are required for advanced technologies such as combat implants and will unlock the research node when given to a scientist.
- Make sure you don't forget to use your research disk scanner to fetch research disks. - The research disk scanner doesn't point towards the objective, only the research disks. Use your GPS to locate objectives. - If you find a particularly interesting place and you might want to come back to establish a permanent colony, deploy your bluespace beacon to prevent the station marker from being deleted.
As the medical doctor you start with: A crew pinpointer; a handheld crew monitor; a medical kit that contains vital resources for tending wounds and a roller bed. Your job is to maintain the health of your crew and ensure their survival. It is important you don't forget to take care of yourself, as if you go down there will be nobody to heal you.
- Save the ointment and bruise packs for larger wounds, minor full body wounds can be healed by the medical bay on the station. - Allow your teammates to go into the line of fire first. It may sound selfish, but you are the only one that can help them! - Some medical equipment may be found on ruins. have a look around
As the engineer you start with 3 breaching charges and a detonator. The detonator can be linked to the breaching charges and activated when not on the station. You are in charge of getting the crew into the ruins and fixing any issues that arise with the exploration shuttle (of which there will be many).
- It is not recommended you connect a power cable to the SMES terminal on the corg shuttle. This can cause issues with charging. - Use the breaching charges to destroy the harder to deconstruct walls or doors that you can't access. - You can purchase more breaching charges from the exploration vendor, however consider your teammates as points are shared.
Before the Shuttle
Starting off, you spawn in the Science dock, next to your shuttle - with three hardsuits available. In addition, you start with -
- A standard energy pistol, with two firing modes - a cutting mode, and a laser mode. The cutting mode will deal 70 damage to structures, such as windows, and mines rock akin to a plasma cutter, but only 5 damage against mobs, while the laser mode does 30 damage against non-human and non-silicon targets. In addition, it comes with a pre-installed firing pin that only allows for it to be fired when not on station.
- A full suite of basic medical tools for performing tend wounds, treating burns and other injuries, along with extracting other injured miners. In addition, a handheld crew monitor and pinpointer will be present; useful if an explorer is lost and has max suit sensors.
- A survival knife in your bag, for close range hostile encounters.
- A GPS in your first pocket.
All of these are extremely useful tools, and you should familiarize yourself with all of them if at all possible. You may think this is all, but wait - before boarding the shuttle, take note of the two consoles before it. This is the supply bounty console, and the shuttle control console on station, allowing you to check for what work you will have to do before boarding, and allowing people too recall the shuttle if needed through autopilot or manual control.
The Bluespace Shuttle
The bread and butter of your job - the most important part of it all. It comes equipped with three bluespace engines, an airlock, a spare shuttle control console board, a navigation and bounty console, and most importantly of all, a PACMAN generator and plasma tank. Before you do anything, grab the mechanical toolbox in the cockpit of the shuttle and wrench the PACMAN on top of the exposed wire knot, along with the plasma canister on to the connector. A nearby crate contains five plasma sheets, useful for emergency fuel or to generate power in aforementioned PACMAN.
One whole canister will give you around 1245 mols of plasma fuel, and the shuttle will consume around 0.72 mol's per second - although this is subject to change depending on the size of your shuttle, and how quickly it is accelerating. Now that your fuel and engines are set up, head back to the cockpit and take a seat at the shuttle control console, your primary way of getting around. Upon opening it, you will be greeted with an interface - a variety of grid squares filling your screen, an array of coordinates, and a bunch of buttons.
- The orbital body tracking panel will provide information in regards too the tracked orbital body - telling you what it is tracking first, before providing its X and Y coordinates in space, which you can use as a means of locating it, and its current velocity along these vectors. An object at the position of X and Y 0, 0, with a velocity of 1, 1, will move at a diagonal angle - at a unit of one X and Y coordinate per second. Its radius is the area that you have to be in, within a set speed, to be able to land or dock at it.
- To change the tracked object, click the grey box and, in the dropdown menu, select the body you wish to track, or GPS.
- Present below that is Flight Controls - starting off as the Initiate Launch button. To begin your flight, press the Initiate Launch button, during which it will be replaced with a myriad of other, complex buttons to allow for flight.
- Autopilot Target will provide a body to be tracked by the autopilot function of the ship - useful for locating marked areas, such as the station itself, Phobos, or Lavaland. When used in conjunction with autopilot, it will automatically fly the shuttle and land it for you, along with managing angling.
- Throttle will enable the control of the ships thrusters, and they will accelerate at a given speed - be careful, however, as at max thrust you will rapidly consume fuel and, in order too land, you will have to burn just as much energy to get a low enough velocity to land.
- Thrust Angle will enable the vectoring of the engines, and thus directional control of the thrust - this will be your primary way of navigating towards targeted bodies, along with slowing down or accelerating. The smaller grid below the Autopilot Target area will provide a visual gauge towards the angle that the ship is moving along the map. The range available goes from -180 to 180, and the shuttle will slew itself to face towards the area - this can be seen on the primary map by the line coming out from the middle of the exploration shuttle, denoting its velocity and direction. It is drawn relative to the velocity of the object being tracked.
- Fuel remaining will document how much mols of plasma fuel is left, and can be refuelled with plasma sheets in the plasma refinery, or by adding another plasma tank to the connector.
- Toggle Autopilot is involved with Autopilot Target - upon selecting a location, the shuttle will automatically adjust the throttle and thrust angle until it reaches the location. Landing will have to be manually done, either at a custom location or at a predefined one, upon reaching the radius of the object.
- The interdictor is useful in the event of a rogue ship piloted by another player - it can be used, upon getting within range of aforementioned ship, too forcefully pull it out of hyperspace and initiate docking procedures. Keep in mind that you must catch up to the ship first.
The shuttle itself, and more technical aspects such as player built shuttles, is covered in the Guide to Shuttles and Shuttle Building.
As an exploration member, you have a variety of goals and missions - the most clear cut being from your Station Objective Console. This will allow you too accept an extremely high paying bounty that will be distributed throughout the budget cards of all departments. These missions are varied, and include -
- Blackbox recovery - Contact with the outpost has been lost and Nanotrasen need answers, and they need them fast. Enter the outpost, locate the blackbox, and return it to the main station's bridge to complete the objective. Has a relatively small payout but is very easy compared to the other objectives and can be completed quickly if you don't mind missing out on finding some extra goodies. The blackbox can be located via its GPS signal.
- Nuclear Decommission - The press can't get wind of what happened on that outpost. A nuclear bomb will be delivered to the bridge, and the outdated nuclear authentication disk must be located in the ruin. Once inserted into the nuclear bomb, the station will be destroyed, granting an extremely large payout. Both the blackbox and nuclear fission explosive can be located via their GPS signals. The nuclear bomb can only be detonated on the target ruin.
- VIP Recovery - A VIP has been located on the outpost and must be recovered. The VIP will either spawn as a dead body with a diary, or controlled by another player. If controlled by a player, the mission will fail when they die. Keep in mind enemies can be present on the station. The VIP can potentially be hostile towards the people trying to recover them, and must be non-lethally restrained. On top of that, they do not have a GPS beacon so have to be located manually. Pays out a large sum of money, however the VIP may be extremely difficult to recover at times (or more likely dead from spider venom).
- Artifact Recovery - An alien artifact has been located on a ruin in deep space. These artifacts have a variety of different effects some of which can be lethal. It is recommended that you handle the artifact with extreme care, so much as picking it up could give you an eldritch curse. The artifact can be located via its GPS signal and only needs to enter the station level to have the mission complete.
These missions may also take place on a variety of different types of outposts - ranging from abandoned stations, lacking anything except a large amount of trash, a station that has been infested by a blob and has blob monsters roaming the halls, a station of great evil with a hellish cult that has summoned entities from the netherworld and left their pylons among the wreckage, and one suffering a good old fashioned xenomorph outbreak. Make sure to keep your energy pistol by your side, and communicate with other members of your exploration team with the .q or .h prefix.
In addition too the myriad of money-making opportunities, you also have uses to science; more use than to your parents, anyway. It is relatively common, spawning in derelict loot rooms, which are present on all derelict stations, and having a small chance to spawn on any given tile within the ruin. Who knows, though? Some things beyond the know may exist; those that fall more within the realm of xenoarcheology than within the realm of science, and something the Curator may take great interest in.
In Case of Emergency
Oh no! The shuttle ran out of fuel, and has fallen out of the skies! Upon running out of fuel, the shuttle will randomly dock at an asteroid - generating it. In the event this occurs, run down back to the cargo hold and open the grey crate, and retrieve the mining scanner. The primary thing you will be looking for is plasma - this can be refined in to plasma sheets with your gun, or it can be placed directly in the plasma refiner for 50 mols of fuel. While not the most efficient, it is useful in case of a jam. Your energy gun in CUTTING mode possesses the ability to cut through rock and ore, akin to a plasma cutter, so make use of it if possible, or the pickaxe if the shuttle has no power. You will get around 20 shots out of it in this mode, compared to only 15 in the lethal LASER mode.
So, you're a traitor. You have a variety of tools at your disposal - the shuttle can fly around the station z-level, your gun can be emagged to work on station, albeit with a greatly reduced ammo capacity, and your mobility and escape potential is second to none. The first few tips would be to throw away your GPS tools, and to get rid of your other explorers. All they will do is call you out, unless they themselves are on your side. Gibtonite can be obtained from lavaland or asteroids, your science access means you can get any gear they can get, and if you get creative, you could even revive the simplemob xenomorphs using xenobiology, to create an army of them and give people a real scare, diverting attention away from you. The possibilities are endless, and the stars are yours.
Oh and don't forget all the guns you get in ruins. The vortex gun while slow can hit multiple targets, and on average you would find at least one laser weapon on a ruin. Alternatively bait the pandora into the station and watch everyone else panic.
&E#P ! A% L0$7
Where the hell am I?...