Space Clouds

Tutorial

Welcome to Xantra's guide to Life, The Universe, and Everything. Continue on so that you may learn how best to rock that Zebucart and turn your enemies into quivering heaps of loot! Special thanks to Xantra for creating this tutorial!

Part One: The Basics   Part Two: Combat    Part Three: Upgrades     Part Four: Missions     Part Five: Epilogue


The Basics

Part One: The Very Basics

At this very moment, you may be logging into Star Sonata for the very first time, and your head may soon be filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful questions, like 'How does I fly ship??', 'I can has money?' and 'A Space Rat?! How the hell does that even work? ' These are all perfectly valid questions, so let us get right into it with the basics, such as the controls and UI elements.

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A quick shakedown of the controls detailed above:

WSAD These control your ship's movement. In addition you can also right-click any area of space to auto-pilot there, and pressing V will fly you to your target.
R This will dock you at the targeted Space Station. Docking requires your ship to be close to said station, and going below 10 speed in relation to it.
F Wormholes allow you to travel from system to system. Your ship's warp drives are powered by the rotational momentum of Einstein rolling in his grave.
Hotkeys These hotkeys, from 1 to 0 on your keyboard, allow you to quickly use items and equip/unequip items from your ship.
F12 This is your inventory and contains everything in your ship's hold. You can use the search bar to quickly find items.
F11 This is the radar. You can select objects and ships from it just like you would by clicking them on your screen.
Enter Pressing Enter opens the chat window. No explanations necessary!

Moving on, you'll notice I haven't mentioned the space map yet. That's because it requires a little more detail. The space map is a convenient way to see what's what and where's where. First things first, the [ + ] and [ - ] keys on your numpad will zoom in the view of your ship, whilst scrolling with your mousewheel will zoom in the view on your space map. The Page Up and Page Down keys will tilt your view up and down respectively. A further - and quite convenient - feature of the space map is that you can double-click on a system to auto-pilot there. Once in auto-pilot mode, your ship will automatically travel through the necessary wormholes until you arrive at your destination. To do this, you must train at least one skill point in Astral Travel. The number of jumps you can travel with auto-pilot is equal to your skill in Astral Travel. Furthermore, by typing /search "System Name" into your chat window, it will look through systems you have discovered for the requested location.

Other noteworthy controls:

C Allows you to scoop debris from space, so long as you are within range. Requires a scoop to be equipped.
G Activates your tractor. Tractors can be equipped after training the Tractoring skill and will drag debris to your ship.
K Activates your cloak. Cloaks can be equipped after training the Cloaking skill and will reduce your ship's visibility while active.
E This will switch between equipped weapons - most ships can equip more than one!

Don't forget the Help channel too, should you need to ask questions about anything. The help channel is monitored by moderators and greeters whom will be happy to answer any queries you might have.

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Part Two: Combat

... and How Not To Die in Space (That means you, cadet! Stop slouching at the back there!)

There comes a time in every pilot's life when he asks that all-important question. He has his Earth Force Type I Pilot License, he knows how to fly his ship without faceplanting into the nearest asteroid, and he's finally ready to take Space by the horns and blow stuff up for the hell of it. Now what? Glad you asked, recruit! See your standard-issue Zebucart? We don't just fit these things with cheese-graters these days. Take a look.

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Pressing Space will fire your weapon at whatever low-life you happen to be locked onto. Just like that failed cadet. Proving your superiority is an important part of every-day life in wild wastes of the galaxy, not just while you're recieving training here in the Academy!

That's right. Space is not a very nice place, and everyone has a gun. If you pick a fight with someone, they're going to shoot you back and it's probably going to hurt. Sitting there and letting your enemies spray pain in your general direction is a surefire way to turn your lovely new ship into a quivering mass of stasis. Know your ship and your guns, learn to lead enemies into your shots and use your maneuverability to dodge incoming fire!

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I warned you, cadet. I told you about avoiding those shots. Nevermind. Luckily for you our new line of Zebucarts come with a quick-ejection escape pod and a stasis generator that'll keep your ship in one piece while the shields recharge. Once the glow around your ship turns yellow, just fly over it and hit R to return to it. Try and make sure it doesn't happen again. These ships aren't cheap.

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Upgrades

To progress in the game you need some loot... 

All right, all right. Don't get ahead of yourself, cadet. Killing a few failed recruits and a handful of space rats doesn't make you the next adum. I hope you've been paying attention and scooping up the stuff your enemies' ships leave behind!

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Credits:

What you need to buy stuffs with! 

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Debris: 

The good stuff. These boxes can contain anything that isn't cash. Mission items will be bright green or red, while neural keysyncs in dungeon galaxies will be blue.

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Augmenters: 

They can either be sold onto other players for money, or they can be equipped onto your ship to improve it. To equip an augmenter onto your ship, the tech level of the augmenter must be below the tech level of your ship. Be careful though, once you equip an augmenter, you won't get it back!

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Neurotweaks: 

These are neuro-tweaks, and you will learn to love them. They can give you that all-important edge on the battlefield, be it a quick boost to your shields, that little bit more juice for your weapons or a speed boost in a tight situation. To use neuro-tweaks you will need the appropriate skill level in Equipment.

... and you need some skills. 

What's that? You heard raucus cheering as you slaughtered that last cocky cadet? That means you've gained sufficient experience to level up! For each level you gain, you will acquire 5 skill points to be allocated as you desire in most space stations. The skill training interface looks a little like this:

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Skills can be trained in many stations around the universe, with some more lucrative skills requiring hard-to-get commodities, or only being available in certain stations, and further along... often a combination of both! For now though, many skills that you will need can be found commonplace, provided you have the skill points necessary.


While our standard-issue Zebucart ships are laden with the latest technology, the Academy understands that the more daring-blooded pilots will seek out bigger and better ships. This can be done from the Trade tab at many space stations -- assuming you followed my previous recommendation of improving your skills, of course.


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After purchasing your new ship, you might want to transfer the equipment from your current ship. This can be done by right-clicking items in your inventory and selecting "Transfer to...". Alternatively, you can go straight to the Ships tab and transfer to your new ship and outfit it with a whole set of new gear! As you'll notice, items that you lack the skills to use will be coloured a dark grey, whilst items that you lack the money to purchase will be coloured dark green. The minimum you will need to buy for your new ship is a weapon, a shield, a radar, an engine, an energy bank, and an escape pod. Escape pods can be found under the Items tab.



Missions

As you may have noticed by now, you can find missions available at many stations throughout the Nexus. The Acadamy recommends attempting to complete as many of these missions as you can. Mission indicators are as follow;

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From left to right: Mission available | Mission in progress | mission complete.

Though the role of missions rescinds outside of the Nexus, the missions inside will play an important part in your field training, and as reward for your dilligence, we may provide you with additional equipment and ships as you progress.

Ultimately, the course via which you progress through the Nexus and beyond is up to you, however special effort should be given towards your Earthforce or Volcom mission lines, and also paying a visit to Anchor Point in Deep Space should not go amiss either! There is an agent from the Acropolis waiting there who is eager to send pilots on their way to learn how toget the most from their Augmenters!

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Epilogue

As all great things must come to an end, so must this guide. If anything it is my solemn wish as your Academy instructor that you absorb and take on board what I have taught you and use that knowledge to your advantage. We live in a huge, dangerous universe. You've no need to worry, however; The collective knowledge of the Universe is but a click away, and is ready to aid you in times of need.

Best of luck out there, cadet!

Was this tutorial helpful for you? Have any suggestions for improvement to the tutorial? Give us your feedback in this thread! 

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