Starpoint Gemini Warlords Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Starpoint Gemini Warlords RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Starpoint Gemini Warlords Beginner's Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/fq0e4/starpoint-gemini-warlords-beginners-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/fq0e4/starpoint-gemini-warlords-beginners-guide Fri, 26 May 2017 09:43:46 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Starpoint Gemini Warlords is a space sim RPG with overarching 4X elements. As such, there is a lot to learn before you can effectively construct a fleet to conquer your enemies -- or at least use as a deterrent in the case of ever-escalating tensions with an “ally”.

In short, SPGW is complex, but that’s why we here at Gameskinny went through the school of hard knocks -- so that you don’t have to. This guide will cover: 

  • Options
  • Resources
  • Research and Development
  • Boarding and Capturing Enemy Ships
  • And More

Let's get started. 

Options in Starpoint Gemini Warlords

Turning the Fog of War On or Off

In this game, fog of war refers to whether or not you want everything on your starchart (map) to be hidden from the outset or not. If the fog of war is on, then you must explore the map to see what lies ahead in the great beyond. If not, then you will automatically see all the bases on the massive world map.You can not, however, turn the fog of war off once you have started a playthrough.

Pause While In Context Menu or Starchart

You can also choose whether or not the game pauses while you are in the context menu or starchart. Personally, I preferred to have it pause in both of these menus since it reduces the chaos of the world map and strategy elements respectively. Although, seeing the starchart update in real time is really awesome.

Resources

There are three resources used for much of your research and construction in SPGW: ores, gases, and materials. However, only materials are used to craft ships for your fleet. This, combined with the fact that you receive fewer materials than other resources, means that they are highly sought after.

Research & Development

At the beginning of the game, you will not actually have access to the research facilities. You will want to change that fast, as there are many things you will need to research, some of which are mentioned below. By going to Concordia Headquarters, or by accessing your construction tab, you can build your R&D facilities.

Boarding & Capturing Enemy Ships

Luckily, there is a way to get more materials by boarding enemy ships. To board an enemy ship, you need to target them, then open the context menu and choose to board using your ground troops. Once you do this, a minigame of sorts will pop up on your radar.

To be breached, each room will require a certain amount of troops. The middle option, represented by a fist, is called pillaging. Pillaging more advanced systems, like the shield generator, can result in effective bonuses for you in combat. Once you get to the last room, you have the option to try and force surrender for the crew; this will be presented by a % symbol.

What You Can Do With A Captured Ship

Once a ship has been pacified, you are given several different options. You can scrap the ship for materials. You can add the ship to your fleet, which costs materials. You can add the ship to your personal collection, which costs credits. Or you can send the ship in for research, which lets you build more of that ship for your own fleet.

There is no best option, per se, but it is always useful to get more materials for your troubles.

How to Get Good At Space-Swashbuckling

Sadly, this is all RNG-based, which means you have to hope that the RNG gods are on your side. But there are several perks, as well as research options, that help you get better at boarding ships while also reducing boarding cooldown times.

Boarding Perks

Specifically, there are a set of perks listed under the Warfare tab that is worth investing in whenever possible. The first set includes the largest family of perks in the game (7) and goes from Privateer to Pirate Lord.

The second set of perks is the Savvy Chief perks. These are the only perks that you earn by completing specific requirements. To earn each rank, you must both capture ships and pillage them, gaining worth up to a certain number. The requirements are listed in the description of each rank of the skill.

Boarding Research

There are also several different research topics you will want to invest in for boarding. These are all found under the Support tab. Boarding Armor increases your efficiency (just like the above perks). Boarding Training reduces the cooldown for boarding. And Boarding Angel makes the med bay, which is found on each ship you are trying to capture, give you more troops.

Unlike the perks mentioned above, it will be harder to solely invest in research from the beginning of the game. However, it should be conducted as soon as possible to maximize its benefits. 

Keep Tara (and other Ships) With You

Early in the game, you won’t have many ships available except for Tara Higgs’ ship. Keep her with you. There are two reasons for this.

Tara's Ship Is Expensive

Tara levels up alongside you, which means that her ship is always getting more expensive to replace. You can be careful with where you send her, but you can never ensure that she won’t get destroyed unless she’s with you.

Case and point: Around level 20 or so, I sent her and a small detachment to protect a zone I had captured. They greatly outnumbered the enemy contingent… until they sent a lot of reinforcements from a neighboring zone. Then I was footing a ~6,000 materials bill to replace her ship. Yikes.

Tara's ship cost significantly more than any ship I could build at the time.

More Ships = Easier Combat

Early in the game, you won’t get into many large scale battles, so keeping Tara with you will ensure that you are outnumbered less often and that you even sometimes outnumber your foes. Remember, you can never outnumber your foes alone!

Find the Class that Best Suits You

Currently, there are three classes in Starpoint Gemini Warlords: The Vanguard, The Sharpshooter, and The Marauder.

The Vanguard concentrates on close quarters combat and receives a damage bonus the closer you are to your target. The Sharpshooter concentrates on long range combat and receives a damage bonus the further you are from your target. And The Marauder receives a critical hit increase while also using a tactical cloak to pick and choose when it strikes.

But Don’t Worry If You Don’t Love Your Class

At the arena, called the Gladiatrix, you can respec your character. This will allow you to mismatch abilities from various classes. For instance, you could grab The Marauder’s tactical cloak, The Vanguard’s pull ability, and The Sharpshooter’s push ability to ensure that you always have control over the battlefield.

The Gladiatrix is found between Concordia Headquarters & Phaneros.

Respecing your skills will cost roughly 100,000 credits per level. This can be a decent amount later on, but even around level 20, this won't take very long to earn. Respecing your perks will usually cost about a third as much as this. You can also swap your class for 1 million credits.

Freelancer Perk

Another perk that you will want early in the game is the freelancer perk. This increases the rewards you earn from tasks you receive from the job board. It’s really straightforward. You get more money for less work. This ensures this perk always stays relevant as long as you need to keep getting more money.

Managing Your Ship

 

The Rev Plays has made some great tutorials that
help players learn the strings when starting out.

Your ship has a lot going on at any given moment. Even your first ship will have about six or more equipment slots, and this will only drastically accelerate as you get into larger ships, like Cruisers.

Equipment

You can purchase equipment, which is set to your hotkeys. Some equipment is used for non-combat activities, like borehole torpedos (mining) and scavenger drones (scavenging), while other equipment is used for combat-related purposes, like various repair drones and mines.

Weapons

You can upgrade your light weapons and heavy weapons. The placement of each of these on your ship does make a difference since guns that are on the front of your ship can not shoot enemies that are behind you.

On top of this, each battlement can have multiple turrets. You should see a fraction underneath your battlement when equipped, such as 1/5. By highlighting the gun and clicking configure, you can buy all the turrets available for that particular battlement, which obviously makes the gun much more powerful.

Enhancements

You can also enhance your light guns and heavy guns, as well as your shields, propulsors, and all of the other parts of your ship. In particular, I recommend enhancing your propulsors. These enhancements can make your ship faster and/or more maneuverable, which is not only helpful in combat but is also a quality of life upgrade.

Note: If something already has an enhancement on it, buying a new enhancement and placing it on that item will destroy the previous enhancement unless you first unmount the original one.

Swapping Ships

You should also know one tip about ships: remove all your equipment from a ship when you swap it or sell it. This will either save you from having to swap back and remove it or from having to rebuy said equipment later on.

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Surely there is still a lot of learning left to do in SPGW, but with these tips, you should now be well on your way to conquering Gemini the way only a true warlord ever could. Don't be the warlord Gemini needs, be the warlord it deserves.

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Starpoint Gemini Warlords Review- It's A Long Way To The Top https://www.gameskinny.com/1e4vs/starpoint-gemini-warlords-review-its-a-long-way-to-the-top https://www.gameskinny.com/1e4vs/starpoint-gemini-warlords-review-its-a-long-way-to-the-top Thu, 25 May 2017 12:04:05 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Starpoint Gemini Warlords is a space flight sim, RPG, 4X strategy game developed by the Croatian-based studio Little Green Men Games. It serves as a sequel to the previous two Starpoint Gemini titles. However, Warlords seeks to add in 4X elements, which drastically increases the game's scope. 

The game starts out with you taking up the reins of Tara Higgs during a brief tutorial prolog. Shortly thereafter, you are allowed to create your own character. And well, that’s about it for story since the build I am playing is the early access beta-build. The final release, however, features the full story/campaign mode.

Once done with the tutorial, you are thrown out into the world to fend for yourself. And when I say fend for yourself, I mean it in the purest sense of the phrase. While part of my struggle stemmed from an unfamiliarity with certain aspects of the genre, a significant amount of my struggles were due to the game itself.

Anything I say that betrays the fact I know what I am talking about has been hard-earned knowledge.

The game does a really poor job of explaining much about itself. There is a 35-page "Quick Start" guide, which, while moderately helpful, was also out of date on some key topics, such as classes. There’s also several in-game tutorials, but while these are helpful, they are also tucked away in the “Geminipedia,” which took a while to stumble upon.

One Genre Too Many?

If the combination of so many, complex genres doesn't make it immediately apparent, let me soothe any worries: there is a lot going on here. And this can make SPGW feel a little sloppy in some regards.

For instance, the space flight simulation inherently has action oriented combat. But this betrays the fact that most of your impact on the world will be through your fleet and not through your actual combat exploits.

Despite being able to make an impact in combat, you are ultimately just another cog in the larger machine when it comes to combat. This is made exceptionally clear by the fact that you will often be battling multiple enemies on multiple fronts.

This is made worse by the fact that the part of the game you spend the most time interacting with -- the space sim part -- is not the core of the overarching gameplay loop -- the 4X part. In fact, they're only loosely connected. Little of what you do in the RPG and space sim aspects of the game -- which largely focus around upgrading your ship -- really feel meaningful because there are so few uses for that ship which actually further the larger war effort.

There is one activity you can do with your ship to impact the 4X loop -- boarding and capturing enemy ships. Once you do this you can either add them to your fleet or scrap them for materials -- the resource used to make your own ships. This was an epiphany. The sort of epiphany that completely changed the game for me.

I went from solely depending upon a small stipend of materials received at intervals to being able to actively accelerate my progression. But I just learned this absolutely essential mechanic through trying out all of the various options available to me.

A little direction would have gone a long way.

A lot of people might say,”Oh I don’t want tutorials jammed down my throat!” and “Games like this are supposed to have a steep learning curve.” But tutorials don’t have to be ham-fisted and while the steep learning curve is inherent, it can be lessened. XCOM: Enemy Within explained its similarly complex systems without ever feeling overbearing, which consequently helped lessen the learning curve.

On top of that, SPGW already has a slow build up to the larger 4X elements of fleet management, trading, etc. which would make it easy to slowly introduce new concepts as the player expands his influence, gains resources, etc. If nothing else, the beginning of the game needs rebalancing.

This leads me to perhaps the biggest problem I had with the game -- pacing

I know RPGs and 4X games are inherently slow progressing genres, but the amount of grinding on display in this game is absurd. Just building up enough resources to be able to make your first push to capture an area can take an extremely longtime.

I spent hours upon hours playing through procedurally generated missions -- more on that later -- to earn money to build up my ship. I then got into a small fight and lost a couple ships, which took hours to recuperate since materials takes so long to build up.

This was all prior to learning about capturing and scrapping enemy ships. But even now that I have heavily invested in the research and perks that allow me to board and capture enemy ships more easily, I still can’t reliably capture enemy ships. Even now losing a couple ships from my fleet can leave me in the red for an hour or more. Once I finally captured an area using vastly superior fire power, I quickly faced retaliation from a nearby zone that nearly decimated my fleet.

It’s worth talking about the procedurally generated missions for a moment since you spend so much time doing them. I do think this is the best implementation of procedurally generated missions I’ve ever seen; although I'm not sure that's saying much.

While there are some duds since RNG leads to some odd twists-- I once had a convoy escort mission last for about 10 minutes once with nothing happening along the way-- I’ve also had a ton of unique experiences from seemingly identical missions.

For instance, Seek and Destroy missions allow you to put your coercion to the test, which can force enemies to surrender prior to battle. Once I even captured a destroyer that I had only a 2% chance of capturing, which felt great. It’s still in my fleet even now.

To make all of this slog worse, after each mission you must return to your base so that you can pick up a new mission (Why the hell do I need to go to a mission board when we have intergalactic travel?!). This results in you going to and from your base A LOT! Thankfully, there is an autopilot feature in the game. All you have to do is click a location on your starchart (map) and your ship will automatically fly there. It’s actually really handy.

However, There are Some Great Things About SPGW

I do have a few more thoughts to add that don’t fit into the larger narrative. The art is really nice, especially the ships, although I found it easy to confuse the front and back of many of the vessels. I also hope to see the particle effects for some of the abilities gain a little more oomph, but that’s nothing huge.

I also had no notable bugs during my time with the game, which is great. In fact, the game ran really smoothly and that was on a less than optimal rig. I’d also like to give a shout out for great controller support. Although it currently says that the game only has partial controller support, I can confirm that the complete game is playable with a controller.

The option to have the game pause while in the context menu or starchart was another nice touch that helped you customize your experience. You can also decide whether you want the map to be slowly revealed as you play, or completely revealed from the beginning. It’s always easy to complain about wanting more options, but some of the options on display currently are really useful.

I may have had some major to moderate gripes about this game, but I also enjoyed it a great deal. There is something great about flying around in space destroying other fleets on your own while getting your hands dirty and developing your own empire that is just so attractive to my inner nerd. While that helped me hang on through the rough early hours where I literally couldn’t tell the ass of my ship apart from its face, it eventually stepped aside to an awesome, rewarding experience.

While I hope they add more ways for you to affect the world as a pilot, I truly did enjoy the combination of genres. Whenever you make a crossover like this, you sacrifice bits and pieces of the constituent genres to create something entirely new. And that's true here too. The real question, however, is whether this game made something that was better than, or at least as good as, the genres it was inspired by.

Personally, I don't think there's an easy answer to that question, which is why I don't give this game a 7 lightly.

I also don’t want you to think I am knocking it for not having a story mode. That being said, I do think that the addition of a campaign, and the mission structure that goes along with it, could potentially greatly help with this game’s two biggest problems -- teaching the player and pacing/grinding. I think that with time and future updates (or through the modding community which the devs have more than vocally supported) this game could very easily become a 8 or 9. I’m definitely looking forward to what the devs are able to pull off in the near future.

A review copy of Starpoint Gemini Warlords was provided by the developer.

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