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Nick Played the game for the first time last night with 3 friends- very much enjoyed it- found it very easy to get in to, very easy to buy, download, install, get the server up and get the clients in etc. Looking forward to our next session. Welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the game, and all of us here on the forums are more than happy to help out with questions. This is a pretty enthusiastic group.
The ship selection could do with a description of each ship and a relative difficulty score. The default is light cruiser but it'd be nice to know if that is bottom of the line or middle of the line etc.
There are vessel descriptions in the vesselData file. They used to appear in game, back when the ship selection was on the server. However, this limited everybody to the same ship, and eventually Thom (the game developer) moved ship selection to the Helm or Mainscreen client. Unfortunately, the description of the ship was lost. You can look in the dat directory for the vesselData file. It's written in XML so it's readable, if a bit cryptic. I can give you a quick rundown of the ships and their relative strengths, though: Light Cruiser - This is the basic, default vessel, the one available when the game first came out and the one considered the "baseline". It is lightly shielded, fairly maneuverable, and very efficient in terms of energy use. Weapons systems are 2 forward Beams, 2 torpedo tubes, and 2 Nukes, 8 Homing, 6 Mines, 4 EMP. Scout - This is a light, fast vessel designed for long range patrols. It is the fastest ship in the game, with a maximum speed of Warp 5.33. (On a Light Cruiser scale. Speed is still called Warp 1 through 4 but it is 33% faster) It has minimal shields, but can be away from a base for a long time without refueling. It has only one forward Beam, and one torpedo tube, with 6 Homing, 2 Mines, and 2 EMP. It carries no Nukes, but can pick 2 up if it can find some as a mission reward. Battleship - This is widely considered the most powerful ship in the game. It has very strong shields, mostly in the front, for withstanding head to head weapons fire. It also keeps pace with the Light Cruiser in speed and maneuvering, so it is not slow. However, it uses energy faster than the Light Cruiser, meaning it cannot operate far from a base. It has 4 forward beams, with 2 tubes, 2 Nukes, 8 Homing, 6 Mines, and 4 EMP. (So Torps are the same as a Light Cruiser) Missile Cruiser - This more robust cruiser relies entirely on torpedoes for its defense. Its performance is identical to the Light Cruiser, with a little stronger shields, especially in the front. However, it has no Beam system. It has 4 torpedo tubes, with 8 Nukes, 20 Homing, 14 Mines and 12 ECM. A lot of folks on this board love the Missile Cruiser for its unique feel, but it can be difficult to play well. Dreadnought - This top of the line warship has shields as strong as the Battleship, but evened out, front and back. It also has a long range beam cannon doing double damage at twice the range of its regular beams. It also has a beam covering the rear, giving it a 360 degree firing arc. Unfortunately, it is also sluggish and slow, and uses energy at a much faster rate. Its Warp 4 is actually about Warp 3.2. While it has its supporters, the Battleship is usually considered better. In addition to its 4 beams, it has 3 torpedo tubes, 4 Nukes, 10 Homing, 8 Mines and 5 EMP.
The "data" view appears to be bugged. When you go into it the other views disappear and you need to go back through options to the control panel selection and remove the data view to get the other views back
This is how Data operates. When selected, it disables the tabs at the top of the screen, so the only interaction with the screen is through the spacebar, which switches between LRS, TAC and INFO. The Options tab I guess is left there so you can change console. Data isn't really intended to be used with any other console. It's more like cosmetic details you can add to a bridge, to make it more immersive. I suppose Thom could change it so the Data screen shows tabs if other consoles are selected. However, the TAC and INFO screens can be displayed on the Mainscreen, and LRS has its own tab on other consoles. If you're trying to display TAC on the same screen as your console because you are playing Helm, for instance, and want to see obstacles before they get in Helm range, I would suggest bringing it up in a separate 640x480 window. You won't be able to play fullscreen, but at least you'll have the option.
Can the engineer use the button shortcut keys from the other screens (if he has the engineering control panel) ?
I'm fairly certain he can, since this is the assumption of a joystick controls.ini file which is intended to allow a single player to control the ship. It uses an F key to switch to a preset, which is then mapped to a joystick button. However, the number keys may not work with other consoles since they have been redefined with other functions. 1 through 4 activate Warp on Helm, and torpedo tubes on Weapons. So you would have to edit controls.ini to make that work. (Probably by mapping them to F keys as above) I've actually been meaning to map out which controls must be used from that console, and which can be used from other consoles if you have switched to them. I'll also note that it's pretty freaking incredible that Artemis is actually able to play 5 consoles at the same time on one client, and make them all work properly even if they aren't visible.
The anomaly in space that provides energy... could it be made clear in F1 of the science view what this looks like and how to find them?
I think anomalies are intended to be a "mystery" for players to find and figure out. I've noticed that they could be more obvious, but they're extremely subtle and difficult to see. Given how everything else "jumps out" at Science, I think that was intentional to give Science something to do. Looking for anomalies is hard. That said, anomalies are little, almost invisible flashing dots on the Science screen and on Helm. (I think Weapons can see them too, but only Helm needs to) On the Main screen, they look kind of like a fuel tank with smaller auxiliary tanks strapped around it. (Actually, that's what Ximni ships look like, so it's probably a destroyed Ximni ship. See the Science Ship, which is also a Ximni design) I wrote a tutorial for my crew that actually showed them an anomaly and had them use it to fix their crippled ship. I never posted it, though, because it was stolen from another tutorial someone else wrote. You can probably find that original tutorial.
I think the description in game suggests that the server must run on another computer from the clients.. I believe two instances can be run on the same machine, one to act as server and one to act as client. Perhaps update the description on this.
Yes, it can, and again, you have to run them in windowed mode, not fullscreen. The game docs don't mention it, but we usually talk about it here, or in our wiki. The wiki can be found at http://artemiswiki.pbworks.com/w/page/39352315/FrontPage and it's quite useful. (I've also been helping to keep it up to date)