I realized that I hadn’t yet written about the LAN party we here at FUC got together after my discovery and announcement of Artemis a couple weeks ago.
Skitch fell in love with the demo just as much as I had. Unlike me, though, he actually had money. He bought it almost instantly and we were organizing a LAN party for the very next weekend.
Once you have every station covered, the things you can do get really neat really fast. The three stations that weren’t in the demo are interesting in that they can be as intensive or boring as the person running them makes it.
Our crew was one short, so I was doubling up as captain and comms officer, a doubling that works quite well given that comms really only ever needs to communicate with the captain (and perhaps the weapons officer to a small extent, but not really). If you want, you can completely ignore comms. But comms has some powerful abilities that can make your mission a lot easier. Intermittently they’ll receive missions. Every mission is always just “Pick up this at this place, drop it off at this place, and you’ll get a bonus”. Those bonuses really add up, especially in a long high difficulty setting game. To ease the acquiring of these bonuses, the comms officer can wrangle all the friendly ships into one place, while keeping them away from dangerous things like minefields and asteroid belts and enemies, so that those transport missions can be completed very quickly. Comms also is valuable in communicating with the various starbases and telling them what to build for you. If you’re not using that many mines, it’s dumb to have a station building more mines. This amount of communication can get to be pretty heavy in the late game, and while comms *is* the least intensive station, it’s still more interesting than it sounds.
When it comes to science and engineering, we were waiting for our 5th crew member to show up so Skitch started by doubling the two. He spent most of his time on Science and just let Engineering auto run. When we did a swap and gave people chances to try other stations, I took over at the Sci/Eng computer. I spent all my time on the engineering screen, much to the annoyance of people who wanted science info. Then again, it was Phil captaining so it wasn’t a big deal :p.
Science is most valuable when you’ve got the game set to use a jump drive instead of a warp drive (think Battlestar Galactica vs. Star Trek) and when you’ve got your sensor settings set to low. No matter how low the server sensor settings are, science can see everywhere on the map. This is actually a little overpowered and is being looked at being changed by the developer, but it’s how it works for now. Science can then click on any space or mobile and get bearings and range to them. Navigation can input those numbers into the jump drive and you can end up right where you need to be. Science also can scan ships to get their shield frequencies so that your weapons officer can maximize damage. I actually find science to be the most boring station, especially when the ship is set to use a warp drive. I’m expecting that when the sensor changes are made, that will fix it, as the science officer will need to be constantly scanning space to look for interesting things.
Engineering on the other hand is the most hot/cold station. You can leave everything on the center and on auto and just forget about it and really, you’re going to be fine on most difficulty settings. But once you get to some of the harder missions, oh man. By shifting power settings, Engineering can triple your impulse speed, bring your jump countdown from anywhere between 30sec and 3sec. Drastically reduce the reload time of your missile tubes. Make your ship able to turn on a dime rather than a dollar. And save you a ton of energy when you’re stuck for time and can’t get back to a station before you make your next attack.
The other stations, weapons and helm, are the most used, and the only two necessary to operation of the ship. If you want to know more about them, check out the demo: http://www.artemis.eochu.com/
Yeah, I’m not even going to give you the deets, because I want you to play the game. It’s amazing, and we had an incredible time both online and LANing it up.
I would have no hesitation in saying this is my favorite video game ever made. Better than Shadow of the Colossus. Better than Super Mario Bros. Better than Tetris. Better than Final Fantasy VI. It’s that good, at least to me and my crew.