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Vega Strike allows players to explore a vastly dynamic universe where frontiers collide and you're just a pilot trying to make ends meet. How? That's your decision. Vega Strike is designed as a non-linear gaming experience, where you choose what action you want to take.Vega Strike features a dynamic trading economy, allowing your character to operate as a merchant. Discover what trade routes bring in the most profit, what commodities make you the most money given your ship's cargo space limitations, accept cargo missions and learn to avoid areas of danger (repairs eat into your profits!).If you are tired of making money on milk runs, or want to try something different, then there are other paths to success. Vega Strike features a mission generator, providing multiple missions to the experienced (and not so experienced) pilots. Engage in bounty hunts, patrols, battles and escort missions. Feel like travelling? Explore the dynamic universe and see the farthest reaches of known space. Want a walk on the wild side? You could always turn pirate! Just be prepared for the consequences.Your ship just not doing the job you want it to? Vega Strike gives you the ability to purchase from a wide variety of ships capable of doing different jobs. Want to haul cargo? Fight battles? There's a ship for you. Your ship is fully customizable, so if you've got the credit, outfit your craft with the right tools for the job at hand.Have a chat with the bartender or view the news broadcasts to find out what's going on in the universe. While you're there, talk to the fixers, they may have a job that only you can do. But be warned, you never know where it may lead...Vega Strike uses Open GL and runs on Linux, Mac and Windows platforms. Can be downloaded from the main Vega Strike site or one of updated repositories.
This game contains examples of the following tropes:
Alphabet News Network: GNN, procedurally generated News readable on base computers, on current events mostly concerning space fights between factions, with occasional mentions of privateers' help (completed Player Character missions).
An Entrepreneur Is You: You start the game with a small amount of money, and you need to increase it to get better gear, better ships, etc.
Antimatter: Not as ship fuel, but present as AM Cells in "power utility" goods and in weapons starting from heavy fighters — Reaper shells are conversion bombs and there are antimatter-based light capship guns.
Area Ships, too: they're really, really powerful, but they're also rare outside of Area Imperial space and, like the aforementioned capital ships, really expensive.
Beam Spam: If you have enough space on your ship and enough money in your account, you, too, can have this wonderful form of overkill. With the right ship and tracking equipment, they won't escape. See above picture for more details.
Stations with a dozen or so turrets with twin guns are even more flashy.
Boring but Practical: The ship you start out with (a Refurbished Llama-class transport you inherited from your Klk'k friend in the backstory) certainly isn't flashy or nice-looking, but with proper upgrades is still a viable ship in the long run, especially if you're just going to be doing cargo runs (its cargo bay can hold 20,000 tonnes of materials, compared to the Plowshare-class transport (which is classified as medium-tier)'s maximum cargo bay capacity of 10,000 tonnes) or running small-scale bounty hunting, clean-sweep/patrol, or rescue missions (it's no starfighter but it can hold its own against most small craft), and it can be outfitted with tractor beams and autotracking with the right mods.
Cherry Tapping: You don't want to kill anything with something like, say, the Grav Thumper, because it's very short range and the explosion of anything worth firing this at and its likeliness of being hit have a good chance to destroy your ship too. So the safest way to use these is one mighty hit point-blank and then finishing off from afar with your missile-popper of choice. The same to a lesser degree applies to Ktek bolts (slow, dissipating, power-hog), Razors (obscenely expensive) and missiles (it's better to use them early on approach).
The Plasma Plume. Shields stop it cold. It's ineffective at long ranges. And it's saying something about your ability if you can score a kill with nothing but them.
Continuing Is Painful: At the beginning, at least, if you lose your ship, you can eject and escape death, but there's not much else you can do with what little money you have left. Once you have a better bank balance, this aspect eases off. Averted if you go down with your ship and load your last save (though the universe will not change with you when you load).
Defeat Equals Explosion: So far, at least, killed units invariably blow up in a fireball and debris cloud (though these look different depending on what it was). The radius is proportional to the killed unit's size and damage to maximum shields (a roundabout measure of power), so being caught in a capship explosion can be lethal even for ships with strong shields.
Deflector Shields: Stops plasma or disruptors (shield-based weapons) completely, but kinetics, lasers and particle beams only partially.
Faster-Than-Light Travel: The SPEC drive drive will multiply the engine speed at a rate inverse to the area gravity. Around wormhole anomalies and gravity wells of planets or stations you are limited to your thrusters, but as you move away, the rate of multiplication increases geometrically until you zip around at 100 c.
Hyperspace Lanes: Inter-system travel is practicable only via jump points scattered around each system. These are stable wormholes that open between solar systems if a ship is equipped with a jump drive.
No Warping Zone: SPEC gradualy grinds to x1.0 speed in vicinity of massive objects and wormhole anomalies. Which is the only reason you can approach capships in the middle of nowhere in reasonable time with current autopilot — as long as they doesn't SPEC themselves. Some ships (such as pirates' destroyer) and stations have enhanced interdiction effect.
Humans Are Special: Several factions. Luddites has distinct Manifest Destiny vibe. Shapers see in a very different light dominating with pre-spaceflight aliens and designing human-based slave species.
Hyperspeed Escape: Averted. Better hope your engines are fast enough; if you upgraded them and they're not damaged, then you've a good shot of getting away. As long as a planet or jump point is not too close. But don't count on any of the hyperspeed escape routes for a clean getaway — the enemies will follow you, in SPEC, and through jump points, and their mass may be enough to suppress your SPEC drive. With slow enemies it's possible to fly by and get away before they accelerate enough, but they can pursue anyway.
Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Depending on the ship and purpose. While heavy beams are better for sniping, "warhead-assisted" kinetics (Razor, Reaper and variants of Photon) can be devastating, and even "normal" autocannons and rocket packs are very good in close encounters. Mass drivers are relatively weak, but cheap.
Lead The Target: There are ITTS radars and even mount Autotracking to assist with this. They help a lot, though not always.
Loading Screen: Appear only on start, but lots of them. Some give the setting's flavour, some are funny, and others are concept art.
Macross Missile Massacre: Rocket packs are fairly widespread. Interceptors and light fighters have them because this gives respectable firepower (at least for some time) without a good reactor, Pacifier have a pair perhaps just for extra punch.
Hull hits have a chance of semi-random (e.g. the main thrusters are hit only from behind) Subsystem Damage.
Nuclear Weapons Taboo: None as such. You can fire little (0.17t equivalent) fusion devices at 300 RPM if you have a Medium mount and enough money — one Razor shell is worth more than a good fire&forget missile. Of course, there's also a Reaper for Heavy mounts that shoots at 100 RPM smaller, more powerful and more acceleration-tolerant conversion shells. "Fraternal War" loading screen is one Set The World On Fire image — granted, it's called so because no one's particularly happy about it, and "clean" fusion blasts, while leaving some induced radioactivity, are not nearly as bad as a nuke's fallout.
Organic Technology: Mostly Rlaan, and they use it anywhere short of hermetic enclosures and high-energy devices. They also like "organic" look, so their bases tend to resemble fun-sized starfish or radiolaria.
Wetware CPU: Everywhere. And your little repair robot too. Because true AI is just too expensive and computers without it tend to be dumb appliances. Also, Hellspawn.
Painfully Slow Projectile: Projectile velocities are averaged by default. If you turn this off gun_speed_adjusted_game_speed, some are really fast and some are really slow. The slowest of them all is Crippler (allows to incapacitate a ship without making a kill), disruptor and Ktek (Rlaan disruptor) bolts. The latter also dissipates very quickly, but by raw Rate of fire X Damage (at point blank range) is the most powerful weapon a light ship can mount. Rlaan "Mini Grav Thumper" weapons are even slower (400 m/s!), but hideously devastating.
Scripting Language: Python definitely adds a lot of possibilities. Also, currently a ship can be launched with a special Python script AI, but only from XML mission profiles (it's too slow to have many instances all the time), but the stock hard-coded AI, as well as missiles, use XML-based behaviour scripts. Obviously, this makes the engine more mod-friendly, if too convoluted for an easy start.
Attack Drone: 3 major space races have drones launched from some stations and large ships: Human Seaxbane (disabling weapons), Rlaan Hellspawn (strong beams), Aera Porcupine "mines" (shield-piercing shells, explosion).
Cool Ship: The beginning Llama ship is not a bad-looking ship at all.
Lancelot is state-of-the art in all senses. The price is fittingly outrageous, of course.
Anything from light fighters to utiliary capships (Cultivator!) a Shaper developed — or will deign to fly at all — is bound to look pretty cool.
Naturally, most playable sub-capships and capships (except Kierkegaard rocket barge and huge shuttles) give you several on-board beam weapons and turrets dealing with missiles or other gnats — and typically look well too. They are among the coolest ships around by definition.
And then there are Aera's ships (pictured above)...
Rlaan assault ships aren't bad either. Look cool, have good maneuverability and can carry lots of equipment and big weapons. Lancelot is quite fanciful, but if you don't mind lack of missiles, Taizong has same two Heavy main guns and a few lesser mounts, but with more than twice its lateral acceleration (to dodge what shields can't stop), twice its upgrade space (for better shields and reactor they need), more than time and half of its hull durability in case all this was not enough — and is cheaper at that.
Bomber * (big, sturdy, 4-sector shield, usually multiple Heavy guns, heavy missiles and some lighter weapons) attacks Base/Capital/Carrier > EscortCap > Mine >> turret (any) > Bomber > Interceptor/Fighter/Scavenger >> Shuttle.
Fighter: * (fairly durable and fast, carries mostly Medium weapons and missiles; superiority fighters lean toward Glass Cannon type more — much the same with 1-2 Heavy weapons) attacks Interceptor/Fighter/Scavenger > Bomber >> turret (any) >> Shuttle.
AI Pilot: "They say paint job is a structural component."
Sometimes literally so — design of some ships (e.g. Plowshare, Thales) is clearly inspired by Starship Troopers (compare with ships in the trailer) — the one that was clearly made as an insult to Heinlein. This provides "gritty" side just fine.
Variable Mix: lots of these, depending on who owns the place, threat presence, or type of the host unit when docked...
There is the "plot" line of quests — given by non-random fixers (starting with that unshaved lad in the first station's bar). But it can wait until you have a better ship, or be ignored altogether. Though so far not all is scripted anyway.
Would Not Shoot a Civilian: ISO shoots at most Confed subfactions, but ignores civilians. Rlaan see the difference between civilians and combatants since they have them as different subspecies. The Aera don't — they just don't trust anyone.
Purists: Borderline Space Amish — highly conservative especially about non-medical body modifications, but generally keep up and are sort of cool. Their vessels tend to be large, powerful, but have aesthetics and maneuverability of a brick with thrusters. The brick trend is exemplified by Plowshare, square box with cabin and thrusters welded on. The Mighty Glacier trend is exemplified by Pacifier and Admonisher: other folk build superiority fighters by moving from basic fighters up and equip them with a pair of Heavy weapons and one torpedo, but not Purists. They shrink a bomber for greater maneuverability to 1/2 equipment and 1/4 hold volume, yet only slightly decreased hull durability, remove rocket pods, but leave all four Heavy mounts, both Light guns, bays for 3 of 4 torpedo — and triple medium missile magazines.
Luddites: Evil Luddite. "Interstellar Church of True Form's Return" whom everybody else calls "Luddites" are extremist offshoot of Purist faction.
Ludd Was Right subverted with the Luddites-they're called that-it's about the way of life—as far as technology itself goes, they don't mind it at all.
Pirate: Space Pirates. There's really not much to say about them. Mostly ride Hyena or Plowshare. Sometimes manage to lay their hands on an old frigate, sometimes a bulky, but almost hapless transport.
Transhuman / Human Subspecies has whole factions composed mainly of them (while e.g. Hunters by all accounts include lots of cyborgs, it's not the defining trait):
Mechanists — Homo Sapiens Cyberis ("It goes the way of all flesh!")
Pro-Human Transhuman — They tend to stick with the rest of the humanity about as much as other factions. In VS history, when Lightbearers uplifted and oppressed aliens, Shapers were indifferent and held them as at least better than Andolians, but the moment variant human (Spaceborn) slavery was discovered, switched from support to hatred.
Rlaan: A borderline case Hive Caste System—they have "worker" and "warrior" subspecies, with administrators mostly being sterile hybrids of these. Sometimes can be goofy. Surprisingly, some lines in Rlaan communication are of the Warrior Poet sort.
"Roll your eyes again, it looks so funny!"
"Hulls pop like vibrant seeds. Splashing photons in a void. I am sticky."