Just some personal notes/alterations here as a fellow Captain.tjblackhawk wrote: 3. Only communicate when it is necessary, don't clutter up the text or voice communications with non-essential information. Don't be talking about that new game that's coming out, or what happened last night on Who Gives A Rip. Keep your communication with your crew and captain informative, and direct. (This really only needs to be followed in times of combat)
1. Look at your starting store before doing anything else. If they have a shield generator that's better than yours (better as determined by captain) buy it. The chances are good that you may not be able to afford that shield generator with the generous 10k starting funds but that's alright. Look through your ship for things you probably wont use or that aren't high priority early game. In the cruiser this would be the nuke, and one of your jump drives (I usually install the long range and sell the custom), I've even sold some programs like phalanx and sitting duck. One time I was able to upgrade my shields and hull before even making a jump. And by upgrade I mean level 6 military grade hull, and a Mk3 heavy shield gen. (don't remember the level). The reason I did that: so I wont get one shot killed by a security drone that gets lucky while my pilot takes his hands off the controls to drink his precious beer. At this point in game development, early game focus should be on survival, after you've gotten your shield integrity over 1k (ball park it) you can start thinking about upgrading your reactor (which can be upgraded simultaneously with shields), thrusters and weapons.
3. When should you charge the jump drive Mr. Engineer? When your captain says so. My rule of thumb is this: don't charge it unless we're not in combat or otherwise stated. Charging the jump drive makes your EM signature, and power usage sky rocket. You don't really want to do that if you're also fighting off an enemy...unless they're kicking your butt in that case "Run like the wind Bullseye!"
Also its generally a good idea to only jump when your captain says so, its irritating when I'm browsing a store and all of a sudden I'm in mid jump. That's when I grab my engineer by the nostrils and throw them out the air lock. Make sure your captain has completed all her business before jumping, I know shops can be boring for the rest of the crew but the captain is balancing the budget and making the best purchases she can to keep you monkeys alive. Patients is a virtue.
4. Dear Mr. Engineer...I will not tolerate laziness or insubordination aboard my ship. Keep that reactor cool, and for the Love of God do not use the same lazy tactic the Eng Bot uses. Do not touch the total power bar, keep that at full at all times. Listen to your captain for what systems can be cut, and which ones are absolutely essential. You know that Aux Reactor, yeah that circuit breaker type thing, if your core is warming up pretty quick don't be afraid to shut some of those things off. Hell you can even shut off oxygen as long as you remember to turn it back on before levels reach zero. Do your best to maximize and optimize the performance of your crappy starting reactor. Yes I understand that the total power bar is far easier to use than my "prioritize critical systems" method, but this is my ship and my vastly superior method of core maintenance rules. But seriously though, I understand why people think that method is a good idea, and it does have some dependence on play style but not much. Science lab does have some passive power draw so why not cut that to help cool the core instead of cut 1/4 power to all systems? Why would you want your weapons to recharge more slowly when you can shut power to shields since you have such high integrity? This is what I mean by prioritizing critical systems, it allows for flexibility in varying situations unlike adjusting the total power....it just seems silly to me. If as my engineer you use that total power slider on my ship I'll be tossing your butt out the airlock.
7. To that green thing over there, yeah you, don't be wasting priceless materials on talents we have no points for. I recommend doing the research that decreases the number of jumps required to complete all researches. This will optimize all further research, allowing you a better chance of keeping up with that growing chaos level. Bring your scanner down to planets, and make sure you have bridge medic its a huge help on those long planet side trips. As far as other research priorities...those depend highly on what materials you are finding and what your captain wants...he's the decision maker so let him make the decisions. But there's something to be said for the advantage of always doing research even if its not something that critical. Don't let those precious jumps be wasted. Cyber warfare is also your responsibility though it offers little contribution to the outcome of a battle it can sometimes come down to that small of a difference. Emergency shield boosting is your friend, have your trigger finger ready to go for when your captain gives the order. Don't tell the engineer to burn fuel for you, that's the captains job, the captain will determine if a manual fuel burn is needed to win this battle, most often it wont be though so take your hand off that lever! FUEL COSTS MONEY DAMMIT, and your captain wants that new Lazy Boy specifically designed with space in mind
8. To all crew, make sure you level up those talent points but check with your captain before you put your points into custom DNA. I'm looking at all of you...its the last thing of the base talents that should be leveled up. Racing school, coolant mix, bridge medic, turret recharge, and scavenger are way better talents. Speaking of scavenger, if you're playing as captain level that one up first. Those extra credits may not seem like much but they add up quick meaning more upgrades to make your ship that much tougher.
3. Note I usually play with IRL friends so a lot of the time we're just talking casually. Often for the majority of the game. But I do hold to this rule as far as combat is concerned. Otherwise? Go nuts, just as long as when anyone in the crew needs to speak up about something game relevant people can put the personal conversation aside and listen.
1. I prioritize slightly differently.
Shields = Core > Hull
But in truth if I prioritize the Core or the Shields depends on the ship model.
Some have great cores but horrible shields, others have great shields but horrible cores.
By a rule of thumb though a Core needs to have at least 3000 Max Temp, otherwise it becomes my priority to replace hence it dictates the function of the entire ship.
3. This one isn't really an alteration but a "THIS YES!" addition. I occasionally have to deal with the Engineer who just assumes we're jumping because I've said nothing. Even though saying nothing should mean "Not jumping because there's no order to do so".
4. I always knock the total power bar down if we're out of combat. It just let's the temp lower faster than otherwise. If we are in combat though? Then yea, keep that total usage to full and just alter the categories. And for Gods sake DON'T USE COOLANT WITHOUT ORDERS!!! That shit is bloody expensive, and so often I see Engineers turn it on by default because the idea of cutting power to a certain system just doesn't dawn on them. Or they panic because the core temp is rising, and simply assume I'm not watching it myself.
7. Honestly I usually make the Study system a Captain responsibility. Hence it makes permanent decisions for the entire crew, it needs to have the entire crew in mind. Otherwise you'll get bias from Science putting preference on their own needs. Or simply making a false assumption on what the Captain wants. That, as early game I also make the fuel burning a Captains order. But after an hour or so in? Once Credits are common enough fuel becomes chump change? At that point I give the scientist permission to request fuel burns from the Engineer, because at that point the increase in speed/efficiency becomes worth the extra credit cost.
8. Pretty much. I always have people max out all of their class specific talents before investing elsewhere.