Once you select a server, a screen should come up asking you for a name and password. Select an alias for yourself to use for your name. Or, if this is your first time playing and you're kind of nervous about trying to blast someone into oblivion, type guest for your name to just sample Paradise. If you want to know who the server gods are/have been:
|Boscoe||Jeffrey Watts||lark.cc.ukans.edu, paradise-lost.kulua.org|
|a fungusamongus||Larry Denys||pippin.ece.usu.edu|
Ok, so you've entered your name and password. Now, you should take a few seconds to look at the screen on the right hand side. Up near the top of the screen there should be four different teams you can pick from - Romulan, Federation, Klingon, and Orion. Directly right of the teams is the countdown timer; this timer counts down while you're idle. If you're idle for too long, the game quits. If you need more time, check out the Tournament Queue that is built into every Paradise server.
Directly underneath the teams is a list of server parameters. Don't worry if you don't understand them all yet; you won't need to. Of primary importance is the ship list at the top of that section. Putting your mouse cursor into the Fed, Rom, Kli, or Ori boxes at the top of the window and typing a letter corresponding to the ship that you want to use will put you into the middle of the current game with that type of ship.
Another thing of great importance is the planet limit. Check down the list of server parameters to see what the planet limit is; typically it is anywhere between 14 and 25, usually 17. This means that the combined planets ruled by your team and the opposing team can only add up to 17. Note that some servers have no planet limits. Take away!!
Now, the left side of the window shows the copyright and whatever the message of the day is. This isn't too important yet, so go ahead and select a ship on the right side of the screen, or, take a look at the Hammor's window layout for reference in the upcoming descriptions. (Editor: I need some more actual screenshots with wormholes and the rainbowdashboard and perhaps just another layout, to show the flexibility)
(1-9): Controls impulse speeds. Certain speeds are good for certain ships. Generally, 4 is about right for BBs, 6 for DDs. The rest you have to find out by from experience.
Left mouse button: Fire a photon torpedo. This fires one shot of a primary offensive weapon toward the cursor. Be forewarned, photons wobble in flight.
Middle mouse button: Fire phasers. This fires one phaser shot to the spot directly underneath the cursor. If there's a ship there, you hit it. If not, you're spewing out energy into empty space. Try again. Note that all weapons have limited ranges, and this one is no exception.
Right mouse button: Turn ship. This makes your ship turn toward the cursor. Nothing else special about it.
(s): Raise/lower the shields. Shields use fuel while they are up, so lowering them may conserve fuel. Beware a sneak attack, though.
(z): Beam up armies from a friendly planet. You need at least 0.5 kills to beam up armies.
(x): Beam down armies to a friendly or an enemy planet. Watch out for the 'Sorry, there are already xx planets in play' warning and enemy attackers!
(t): Tractor beam. Opponent got out of the way of your carefully laid torp stream? Swing him around back into it with the handy dandy tractor beams. Even useful for swinging your enemy into stars. Watch out; your enemy might use the same tactic on you.
(Y): Pressor beam. Uh oh, you're directly in the enemy's torp path and out of fuel. Apply your pressor beams to him and dodge out of the way! Then call for help.
(h): Help Window. This is the place to find out what all the other keys on your keyboard do (and almost everyone does something ;).
Dashboard: This isn't a key, but shows your status. It shows bars corresponding to how much fuel, shields, hull, speed, and armies you have. The fuller the bar, the less fuel, shields, hull, and the more speed & armies you have. Once your hull hits 0, you're dead. Once your fuel runs to 0, you stop. Once your shields hit 0, you start taking hull damage. It's pretty much self-obvious from there on.
F5->FED Ogg R2or
F5->ALL Geez, that player 6 doesn't know what the heck he's doingor... WAIT A MINUTE! YOU'RE PLAYER 6! Boy are you mad at player 5 now...
You've a few choice words for player 5, but how do you send messages to someone else or to groups of people? Ok, if you want to type, hit 'm'. This gets you into message mode. Now, select a destination for your message. If you want to tell player '5' that he is a butthead, type 5 at this point. If you want to alert your own team to the enemy's presence, hit 'T' at this point. Other teams may be selected by the first letter of their race - 'F' for Fed, 'R' for Rom, 'K' for Kli, and 'O' for Ori. Or, if you just want to trash talk in front of everyone, try the 'A' key to send it to all.
Now that you've selected a person or group to send it to, type your message. It might not all fit on one line, so you might have to send a couple of lines. After you're done typing the message, hit 'Return' to send it out.
You can also send a message to yourself. This is required when the server god has a cluecheck in effect. You will be required to send yourself a test phrase in order to stay in the game.
keymap: tTTtg--ghsshnddnjDDjv``vNote that it takes something like tTTt to interchange the function of two keys. In this, I've switched it so that tractors are 't', entering warp is 'g', shields is 'h', detting enemy torps is 'n', detting my torps is 'j', and afterburners are 'v'. This makes almost all the functions I need for playing the game fit perfectly under my left hand.
Another feature that the Brazilian takes advantage of (besides lots of experience and superb phaser locking skills) is to see everyone's tractors and pressors. He enables this by this setting in his .xtrekrc file:
showAllTractorPressor: onFinally, in order to save time typing, the Brazilian defines his own macros. These send computed messages to people with a total of two keystrokes - shift-X and the letter of the macro he wants to send. For example, at the beginning of the game, he uses the macro
macro.b.T: BOMB! BOMB! BOMB! BOMB! BOMB! BOMB!to tell people to get in an AS and bomb the enemy.
You can help your cause a lot in Paradise by making use of the .xtrekrc options and macros. Bill Dyess has written up an excellent page on the options available for use in your .xtrekrc file, as well as a comprehensive guide to macro definitions.
Alternatively, you may find some people attack the WB that usually pops up at the beginning of a game. You may find it very difficult to bomb the armies out from underneath a tough WB. So, help the players out that are trying to do this by getting a BB or a FR and attack the WB while your teammates bomb his planet!
An somewhat important thing is to also fire at incoming oggers for your base. Your base can only fire so many plasmas, torps, and phasers, and while your base may be good enough to hit with most of them, a well-synced ogg may result in more ships coming through than he can handle. So, help your base out and fire at those enemy ships to destroy them.
So, you want to have your name feared throughout the Netrek galaxies? You want to have your name up there along with KL - 1, RICKER, and the Brazilian? Never! :) But if you want to try, here are some of the things that the Brazilian has picked up on...
Photon strength also varies with ship type. Bases and BBs have the strongest torps. PTs and SCs have the weakest. To become effective, you must learn to kill even the biggest ships with the smallest ones, and vice versa.
You can hurt yourself with your own torpedoes! Getting too close to an enemy vessel will result in damage to you from the torpedo explosions. The Brazilian has been known to get burned by this on several occasions.
If you get good enough, you can hit cloakers with your phaser locking skills. It's generally easiest to place your cursor over the galactic map on top of where the cloaker is and fire. If you lock, hit him over and over again. If not, it's generally better to fire a photon spread to find him.
Phaser energy is fairly costly due to its large damage potential at close range. It also has a moderate weapon temp cost.
Plasma lobbing is a difficult skill to learn. As a base, lobbing plasmas is a fun thing to do, but watch out! They consume a great deal of weapon temp. This weapon can actually be used with high accuracy on cloaked oggers, since it tracks just enough to hit incoming enemies in warp. Generally, a well placed plasma and a couple of short phaser shots will take out any type of enemy. If they're running with shields down, the plasma will completely destroy any ship it hits, except for an AS, WB, SB, CV, or UT. Of course, if you're lobbing plasmas odds are it's at enemy oggers, and people almost never come screaming straight in with a WB, SB, CV, or UT to ogg a base. It's the AS's that you have to be careful about.
Missiles actually do a fair amount of damage for the limited weapon temp and fuel they consume, if they hit. Missiles can be detted by clued players for almost no damage, though.
Special Brazilian note: It takes exactly 6 PT missile hits to kill a fresh BB.
Tractors and pressors can also be used for non-agressive purposes as well. For example, you can push the person you're escorting out of the way of an enemy torp stream. As a base, you can drag a wounded teammate into safety behind you from enemy oggers. As a JS, you can use them to help your teammate take planets and to hold off enemies.
Another special Brazilian note: If your enemy is using a JS and some other ship to take planets, and the taker doesn't cloak while docked on the JS, tractor the taker off the JS (yes, this can even be done when the JS warps by) and plaster the taker for an easy doosh. This causes damage to the JS as well.
Phasers: Can fire one burst about once per second. Damage decreases with increasing range. Range and initial damage varies per ship. Moderate fuel and weapon temp cost. Cannot be detonated, but a fairly precise strike is needed to hit an enemy. Do not cause damage to yourself, even if you are directly on top of an enemy (although an exploding ship resulting from your strike can damage you considerably; best bet is to pressor, then shoot - Jeffrey).
Plasmas: Can fire exactly one at once. Damage is constant over entire flight path; but they are useless on anything smaller than a FR or a BB. Heavy damage, but high fuel and weapon temp cost. Cannot be detonated, but a direct phaser strike will neutralize them. This weapon tracks enemies slightly, even if cloaked.
Missiles: Can fire up to four at once (two on a PT) on standard Paradise servers. Damage is constant over entire flight range, and is dependent on ship type. Moderate-heavy damage. Moderate-high fuel and weapon temp cost. Can be detonated for little damage. This weapon tracks enemies very well, even if cloaked.
Tractors and Pressors: Only one beam at once. Not damaging, and range is dependent on ship type. Can be used to yank enemies off of bases, or bases off of planets. Does not work on cloaked players.
First off, you're going to need some critical keys under your fingers. Find the special weapons key, the afterburner key, the shield key, the repair key, the tractor key, the pressor key, the phaser button, and the torp button. Next, zoom the galactic map (default: <Tab> key) so you can see incoming oggers. Now you're ready to base.
Most good players that go to bomb a planet do not come straight in. They know that's a sure way to get picked off, waste a ship, and give away a kill. They will come in to the sides of the planet and go toward it after that.
Also, the ones that can really bomb a planet clean actually take several afterburner passes at the planet, depending on how aware they think the defenders are. If they think the defenders are sleeping, they'll afterburn straight toward the planet. If they see torps and plasmas flying everywhere, odds are there will be some serious twisting and dodging, possibly multiple times, past the planet before they enter orbit.So, now how do you pick them off? There are a few ways, including:
There is an exception to the no-shipyard rule, of course. First, you may have to rebuild your homeworld's shipyard if it got bombed off. Second, if you want to move your entire armada closer to the enemy worlds, you will want to build a forward shipyard where your teammates can get to enemy lines faster and will be able to defend you easier. Finally, you may want to build an alternative shipyard for your teammates that isn't in the way of a star or other large deadly object on the map.
If there's more than you can handle, do the same beginning steps as above, but don't hesitate to fire or attempt phaserlock on any of them, even if they are cloaked. Use a lot of afterburners (again, watch the etemp). If you are starting to get slowed down, call for help! You need at least one good teammate detting enemy torps for you. Call for help if you wtemp too; generally, though, if you wtemp, you should be able to hold them off for long enough to get another few shots off.
Basic concepts overview