Can't wait for the android-compatible Artemis.
On another note, I opened an account at tsn.eochu.com and sent them a message requesting a ship, but haven't heard back yet. I haven't seen any new ships either. Are they even paying attention?
So I got v.1.661 and tried it out. Among the updates includes the ability to have different ship types in a squadron and the ability to rename your ship. There's also a few changes to the inferface. Warp Drive requires you to accelerate and decelerate, so you can't just pop out of warp. Which means you can overshoot your target if you don't slow down before stopping. Also diverting power to missiles speeds up the reload time throughout the entire reloading process. Previously the reload speed was determined by the energy input at the time you pressed the "reload" button.
Just played a quick internet skirmish with my usual helmsman. We did it solo just to see how it worked over the net, so he ran comms and helm, I ran weps and science. Naming ships is indeed cool. He recorded the tail end of the session, where we laid a string of mines for a cluster of enemies that was heading for a station, took them all out. Oddly, a singular enemy avoided an already-in-place minefield and we had to take it out manually.
Manual gunnery mode is nifty, too. We didn't mess with Engineering at all, so this was just a refamiliarization skirmish after not playing it for the last two months or thereabouts.
We'll probably take over a room in Church on Thanksgiving and turn it into a bridge...
The Steam Greenlight vids are hilarious.
Played a series of low-difficulty games (level 2 to 4) with someone over the internet. She got to run Science first, then we let her do weapons, helm, and then finally, command.
It was two of us locally, with me commanding and running weapons, while the other guy ran helm most often than not (he did run science and Engineering when she flew helm).
Our only big mistake was me firing an ECM, quickly followed by a Nuke and finally a standard torp without a lock by a starbase. The weapons all locked onto the starbase and blew it all to hell, we took internal damage and an enemy attack force (carrier, battleship and three cruisers) bearing down on us from 270 about 4k away. We retreated along 090 to another starbase to rearm, repair and recharge. After that, we dealt with the battlegroup readily enough.
Difficulty 4 has the cloaked ships begin to appear, fortunately, we were able to deal with that one quickly enough.
Had another game tonight, but due to complications it was just me and a friend. We ran several with the big badass ships, and a low-level one with the scout.
Among the features, is that only one console can use Helm, Weapons and Engineering, but any other station can be on any and every console. What we did was use my laptop's split-screen feature with the TV as the main viewer, my computer was Weapons and Engineering, while his was Helm, and each of us also had access to Science and Comms. It gave a very good sense of having a skeleton crew, or maybe a small cockpit.
In my opinion, you need a minimum of three people to have a fully-rounded game. Helm, Weapons, Engineering, with each station also having access to Science and Commms. Without a Captain, one of the three can also be the Captain.
I was talking with a friend of mine last night and he told me that the largest number of people that most of us can coordinate with is 3 people. That's why fire teams in the US military have 4 people; a team lead plus three others.
That got me thinking that there could even be a good role for a First Officer. The Captain works directly with Helm, Weapons and the XO, while the XO coordinates Comms, Science and Engineering. The main role of the XO would be to control the flow of information to the Captain and give more hands-on attention to the running of the ship so that the Captain can focus on telling the ship where to go and what to do.
In the past, when I'm captaining, I find that the amount of information coming in and orders I need to give can get overwhelming, since I tend to micromanage a little bit. Having an XO would allow for smoother operation.
Artemis is now up to version 1.7. It seems to have improved a few things, the best of which is that you can now fly in reverse! Only at impulse, no warping backwards. I tell you, being able to go in reverse really improves combat. You can close distance with somebody, then back off and keep them in your front fire arc. Also it's great when dealing with fighters; those little bastards keep swarming around you.
Haven't done this in awhile - friends tend to be fickle about the Game Flavor Of The Week, and they end up playing something else. Artemis was a hit for a time, then it was TF 2, then it was CS:GO, then it was GW 2, now it's Ultima Online. Of all things.
However, I can vouch that having an Executive Officer seems to help. Captain fights the ship, XO controls flow of information and works with the CO to gain and retain a better situational awareness.
But at this point, it's been months since I've played. Probably horribly rusty. Too busy playing KSP, so I probably make a DARN fine helmsman...
First, the graphics and soundtrack are vastly improved.
There is 3d movement, sort of. You can dive and ascend, but it's more like a submarine than a true starship. Nevertheless, it adds a great new dimension. You can go over or under minefields and asteroid belts.
The enemy AI is much better. Enemy ships will move up and down to match your elevation, and they will go around minefields rather than straight through.
Also different types of ships use different tactics. Some will keep their distance and shoot at you, some will run away if they get too damaged.
The multiplayer is much enlarged. You can have cooperative, 2 or more sides, or just a free for all. You can also limit the choices of weapons and ships. So it's possible to do an all Missile Cruiser with Nothin' but Nukes scenario. You can also have an "escort fleet" of up to 11 ships, but I haven't tested that yet.
I would highly recommend using a programmable joystick for helm control. I got a Logitech Extreme 3d Pro and mapped most of the helm functions to its various buttons.
I've tried a few. My favorite is the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro. It has a lot of buttons and you can program it for optimum functionality. I've used mine on many simulations and I've managed to helm the ship almost entirely without using the keyboard. To put it shortly, it has a trigger, a thumb button, four on the back of the stick, a thumbstick, and six buttons on the base. I've programmed mine so that the first four buttons control the warp drive, two of the buttons control the helm viewscreen, the thumstick controls the external view, and the base buttons control the main viewscreen, shields, reverse and docking. The programming application is very easy and intuitive and Artemis itself has built-in keyboard commands that make it easy to map to a programmable joystick.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you. You need to Get Known to get one of those.