Sit back, relax, and let me tell you the story of how a perfect storm of tragedy ruined your perfectly conceived starter plan…
First, I did everything I was supposed to, and more. I read all the signs in the starter station and followed the instructions very carefully. I saw all that lovely food, loaded up the food processor, and had it make all the good eatins I could, while I searched for the secret door and pieced together its code. By the time I looted every chest, the security bot, called down my supply package, and grabbed my food, my inventory and hot bar were completely full. (Though, being fairly new to MP, I was sadly not aware of the virtual backpack.)
So then I went to the “Very Easy” Federation-Cryo-X Swamp, thinking “I’ve been to swamps in Empyrion before - they are full of nifty bio-resources!”. Teleported there at night, then immediately took it in the wrong end by an alien something or other, and contracted an endo-parasite, which my huge collection of stuff had no cure for. “But hey, I crafted 100 snack bars, so I can just keep hopping along and eating bars and drinking juice while I look for the ores to make a Portable Constructor, right?” Well, 10 minutes later the endo-parasite upgraded to something much worse, and I promptly died.
“No problem, I’ll just spawn nearby, and get my stuff!”, the naive optimism in my inner voice reasoned. There was just one problem: the backpack the player drops when he dies does not have room for a full inventory, plus a full hot bar. So I lost that full stack of 999 Iron Ingots and all the Pentaxid, among maybe seven other less critical items.
So I’m desperately looking around for an Iron Deposit that hasn’t been completely defiled, when another player comes on and explains I can use egs:spawn (or some such) once, to grab me a free starter ship, complete with warp drive. Hazzah! I’m thinking, maybe I can get out of here without reaching level 20 or being lucky enough to find the materials for the SV warp drive, which I’d be even luckier to do before the Friday wipe.
So I spawn the thing and it lands upside down, making it inaccessible - but no big deal, I just dig it out, hop in, and flip it over. So then I’m thinking maybe I should stick a detector on it, when I realize the inside is HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE. So, knowing I’ve no Pentaxid to fuel the thing anyways, I decide to rip out the radioactive warp drive bits and stick them in its storage until I do.
Big mistake - cuz the guy who designed this did it in Creative mode, rather than Survival, and willy nilly mixed CV and SV parts. One of the warp drive bits I ripped out was a CV part, and thus could not be reattached.
So, fine, stick a detector on it, and go back to searching for Iron. I’m not entirely back to square one, right? Oh by the gods, so wrong. The thing has like 8 CV up thrusters and one SV down thruster, or some silly such, and thus is all but completely unpilotable in an atmosphere.
So, no Iron, no ship, not enough usable bits on this ship to make a proper one. Yeah, back to square one. Probably not gonna make it off world before the wipe.
Now, this tale of tragedy could have easily been prevented if any number of things had been slightly different. For example:
• One could supply new players with basic Ores instead of Ingots.
• One could simply give them a Portable Constructor outright.
• One could provide them a few of the “sacred four” medical items to prevent their unfortunate demise at the hands of alien STD’s. (Detox Kit, Decon Kit, Trauma Kit, and Bandages.)
• One could provide a starter ship that wasn’t designed in Creative mode.
To that last proposal, I present to you, “The Inflatable Space Raft”:
• Seats five full-sized Americans comfortably. (Or perhaps seven Europeans.)
• Completely unarmed and looks very innocuous (though I suppose there’s plenty of places to put guns on it, IF YOU’RE A DIRTY PIRATE).
• 10 Cargo Containers and 10 Ammo Containers, with suggested sorting, so yes, you CAN take it ALL with you.
• Eight refrigerators (similarly sorted), and eight oxygen tanks, for the hungry, breathing, and/or paranoid food hoarder.
• Fully oxygenated cabin with automated doors, ramps, and access to the cockpit.
• No radiation in the cabin (or anywhere around the ship, lest ya climb on top of the warp drive).
• Easily modifiable interior.
• Lights and spot lights, for those of us sick of living a universe constantly bathed in green.
• Zero to 50 in less than 7 seconds.
• Fairly maneuverable for its size and fuel efficiency. (~1hr flight time/4hrs hover @ 1G)
• Easily accessible, even if it happens to spawn upside-down.
• Looks silly enough that ya probably won’t wanna keep it!
• To add to that effect, literally made of cardboard!
• However, it does have two fuel tanks spaced well apart in “nacelles”, so it still likely will not be 1-hit by a stray rocket.
• Designed in Survival Mode, so no surprises.
(Downside: A bit big. Probably fit inside a starter CV though.)
So yeah, just thought I’d stop by and share all that. Wish me luck escaping nub land before Friday!
Though, I dunno. Should I fail, maybe I’ll just live on the starter world and make public helper bases with supplies to prevent a repeat of this tragedy once a week.