There has been a small problem with people leaving the server, or the game, due to the PvP in Empyrion and the steep learning curve. We’re all sad to see this, and there have been a lot of commendable efforts to improve this, both by the devs and the admin here. For my part, I would like to share a few helpful pointers that I’ve picked up over the last few months. I play exclusively in PvP zones, except for when I need to visit trading areas, and whilst challenging, it is one of the most enjoyable ways to play this game.
Some of these tips will be obvious, some less so. Some of them are personal taste, and you will probably develop your own tactics too.
[li] Your only defense is to hide. Bases on planets are the stuff of dreams, and they are really fun to try out. But be under no illusion, planetary bases are easy to take out (yes, even without exploits!). Your ammo will run out quickly. People can also dig to avoid the turrets. Underwater bases are more difficult, but they will fail too. You should build your main base deep in space, at least 30km from the planet (preferably more). If you are just starting out (particularly on a PvP planet), try to build an SV without building a base and move into orbit as soon as possible. Build your starter base in space.[/li]
[li] Even if you are playing solo, make a faction for yourself. If you are not in a faction, everyone can see your location in the player menu (press B), the map and the radar. Similarly, you must set all your ships and bases to your faction. You do this in the bottom right of the control panel (press P). Private or Public ships are visible on the map, even in space. It’s VERY easy to forget to set the faction. Be careful when you spawn a new ship next to one of your factioned bases, because the turrets will shoot it. Turn your turrets off first, or spawn the ship away from your base.[/li]
[li] Destroying a ship by removing the core will immediately turn the wreckage to private, and it will show up on the radar. It will disappear after 1 hour or a server restart. I recommend not destroying your ships unless you are leaving the area. If you must, destroy them right before a restart or relocate afterwards.[/li]
[li] Build lots of bases. It gets confusing to have multiple bases/ships in the same orbit, but as you explore the universe you should lay small bases or CVs with basic supplies in them. If you get stranded somewhere, it acts as a last resort. Also, if any of your bases get discovered you have redundancy. Try to put these bases a long, long way out. You won’t be going there often. I have 4 bases at 70km in different areas. Always make sure there is one in your starter orbit that you can reach if you need to do a fresh start.[/li]
[li] Use the blueprint factory. Create (cheap) spare bases, SVs and CVs and leave them in your library. I currently have 6 SVs, 3 CVs and 2 bases in my factory. If I get defeated somewhere, I just need to find a place to spawn a new ship (set to faction) and buy some fuel from the market. If there’s no fuel, look for enemy O2/water generators, you can steal fuel from them.[/li]
[li] You can accelerate the factory. Instead of putting ingots into the factory, you can drop in intermediate/complete parts. Anything will work (it doesn’t need to be an actual part of the thing you are building). When you put these items in, you will be credited the ingot-value of those items, and the construction time will decrease. You can get any construction down to 1 second, even a CV that would take 3 days. Some of the best items to create are Reactor Cores (gives mostly Iron) and Power Coils (Eres/Zas). In my main bases I usually dedicate 4 constructors to reactor cores. The time bonus does not carry over to the next project, so try not to over-supply your factory.[/li]
[li] Constructors stop working when you are offline, if you have offline protection. If you have saved up a lot of resources, it can be useful to make a small base inside your main base (so that it gets the offline protection shield) but without its own OP. This way, it will continue crafting overnight. You can easily make 1000’s of parts/ammo in this way, if you have the resources. This is how people seem to have an endless supply of SVs. A small blueprint with just 4 constructors is useful, just spawn it and tear it down when you move on.[/li]
[li] PvP planets are better for resources. Meteorites fall when the deposits on a planet are low. On PvP planets the deposits all get mined out and they are never regenerated (because the PvP planets don’t wipe). This means that PvP planets usually have lots of meteorites. They are quick to mine and each one will give you about 3.5k ingots. Take your SV to these planets and go crazy for an hour or two.[/li]
[li] Pay attention to the playfield notifactions. If you see “Player X has entered Y”, assume player X is there to kill you. If you’re not prepared to fight, get out. Remember though, that they probably don’t know you’re there. If you are prepared, you can sometimes get a surprise kill. Likewise, remember that everyone can see you entering their playfield. The first 10 minutes entering a planet are the most dangerous.[/li]
[li] If you are running back to a space-base, or you just warped into your home orbit, be careful that nobody is following you. The most effective way to locate enemy space-bases is to follow them. Try not to fly direct if you are in any danger.[/li]
[li] The draw radius is about 3km in space, you are invisible beyond this range.[/li]
[li] CVs are useless in combat. Their turrets won’t hit anything in space (they can’t track an SV at 110m/s), and their decent guns don’t work on planets. If you are voyaging to other systems, park your CV in space and take an SV down to the planet. If you do get jumped you stand a much better chance of getting away; and in the worst case at least you’ve only lost a cheap SV. A large amount of turrets also causes lag in combat.[/li]
[li] CVs do make fantastic space bases that you can travel in. Don’t put too many thrusters on though, because they will eat your fuel even when turned off. If that happens your constructors will stop and respawning at the medic station won’t work.[/li]
[li] Decide where you want to set your “home” base. You have the option to respawn here if things go wrong. If you use the option to respawn at home, you need to reset the base as your home afterwards. It’s a one-use only kind of deal.[/li]
[li] Experiment with SV designs. SVs can use a maximum of 21 weapons. They use very little fuel so don’t be afraid to make them big. If you want to be competitive, cover up your cockpit and fly in 3rd person (press V). Explosive weapons work well on planets, but are hard to hit with in space. Rail guns are good for space fights but the battles will be long.[/li]
[li] The control panel (press P) is very powerful in a big base. You can sort parts into groups and give them unique names (like “Flak Constructor”), then you can access them from anywhere on your ship or base. You can also refuel SVs without leaving the cockpit, and allow much more compact designs.[/li]
[li] You will be wiped out. Just accept the fact that you will make mistakes, and reveal your bases or get caught. People may even have a space base near you and accidentally find you. With the HWS features such as autominer and OCD, combined with the factory and marketplace, and bases spread around the galaxy, your losses will be small and you will be back to fighting very quickly.[/li]
[li] The game is buggy. Your weapons will shoot yourself in the face, combat will lag, ships will spontaneously combust upon hitting the atmosphere, and your offline protection will probably fail. This sucks, but its getting better.[/li][/ul]
Once you’ve got your empire ticking over, you can start to get involved with whatever antics you like – whether that’s trying to maintain a planetary base, trade, avenge allies or simply kill everything you see.
I hope this helps people survive more easily in Empyrion, and levels the playing field between the veterans of the game and the new guys. At the end of the day, its not fun wiping people out if they are never going to come back.
If you have other tips feel free to share.