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The Newbie's Guide to the Pardus Galaxy

by Bard of Prey,
last seen flying around the Pardus universe under the name 'Brad Hunter'
added on 2004-10-21
last updated 2006-10-26

Don't Panic!

Introduction

So you've got a brand new Sabre, a few thousand credits, and you're wondering what to do first. You've come to the right place. While there are many different paths you can take in this game, they all have some features in common, and I'll touch on most of the key issues in the remainder of this guide.

At the very simplest level, there are two things you want to do in Pardus: make money ('credits' Credits), and earn experience points (or 'xp'). Nearly as important to most players will be joining a faction and increasing in rank [see Faction Ranks & Bonuses]. These things are required to get bigger and better ships, certain types of equipment, and to construct your own buildings, topics that will be dealt with in detail later in the Guide. For now, just keep in mind that the two things you always want to be doing are making money and earning xp, and it's definitely worth your while to join a faction and increase your rank.

Your ability to do these things is limited mostly by the number of Action Points Action Points you have available. You start with 5000 Action Points, and they recover at a rate of 24 every 6 minutes (or 5760 every day), up to a maximum of 5000. Moving through space also requires Fuel Hydrogen Fuel, so make sure to keep an eye on your Fuel Gauge Fuel Gauge and the remaining Fuel in your cargo. Sectors with heavy traffic (like the sector you may have started in) often run out of fuel very quickly, so be careful you don't let yourself get stranded. In an emergency, you can always buy fuel from the Black Market at planets and starbases, but it's expensive. If you're really stuck, try sending a distress call, or mention your problem in Player Chat, but be wary... not everybody who answers your call will be friendly.


Making Money

You will find very quickly that the small amount of credits you started with are not going to get you very far. If you want to succeed as any kind of character in the Pardus universe, you are going to have to start making money... lots of money. There are many ways to do this, but the most common and most lucrative are Trade and Industry. Piracy and bounty hunting can also be quite profitable, but neither is really suitable for a new player. Wait until you have a stronger ship and some better equipment before you go hunting other pilots.

Trade:

The quickest and easiest way for a new player to make money is by supplying planets, starbases and independant buildings with the resources they need. To do this profitably, you need to either harvest the resources for free [see Harvesting], or buy them cheaply from a place that produces them. The manual describes the various kinds of buildings, planets and bases, and what they require and produce. Read it carefully before you start trading. If somebody is running a Space Farm that produces Food, they aren't going to buy Food from you, or at least not at a good price.

Here's a very common example: Class M planets (like Earth) produce Food Food and Water Water very cheaply, and they require large amounts of Energy Energy. Starbases on the other hand produce Energy, but require Food and Water in large amounts to keep growing. Therefore, you can almost always make good profits buying Food and Water at a Class M planet, and transporting it to a nearby Starbase, then buying Energy and bringing it back to the planet. The Data section of the manual and the Production Tree give you all the information you need to find similar combinations that will lead to profitable trade. The Forum and Player Chat are also great places to get up-to-date information on the most profitable trade routes.

Buildings owned by players work much the same way. Not all of them are open for trade all the time, and some offer better prices than others. There is a pinned thread in the Trade Outpost forum where building owners advertise their prices.

The important thing to remember in trading is simply this: buy low, sell high. Generally speaking, you don't want to pay more than half of the 'Buy Price' listed in the manual for a commodity, and you don't want to sell for less than half of the 'Sell Price' [see Commodities & Planets]. You certainly don't want to sell goods for less than you paid for them in the first place!

As a final bonus, trading also earns you a small amount of xp with every transaction, so you can continue to advance while you rake in the credits!

Industry:

Once you've made some money from trade, and you've explored a bit of the galaxy and found a nice place that you think you'd like to settle in, it's time to start thinking about building your own money-making structure. There are a lot of choices, and the best thing to build will depend on where you are, and how far advanced you are in the game.

Constructing your own building provides you with a steady source of income, a safe place to rest and repair your ship, and a sense of accomplishment you can't get from simply accumulating huge numbers of credits. Once again, the manual provides a comprehensive list of what's available, and what you'll need to build it [see Buildings]. There are a few limits to consider, most important of which is the fact that you can only own so many buildings at a time. At 100 xp, you can construct one; at 1000 xp, you get a second one, etc. This means you should decide carefully what you want to build, where and when. You can destroy one of your own buildings to free up a 'slot', but you don't get any of your investment back, so it's always better to plan for the long term.

So, what's a good first building? It depends where you are. You will need two things: 1) a cheap source of whatever goods the building will use as upkeep; and 2) a local market that can support whatever you're going to produce. The key here is to do some research. Find a planet, a starbase, or a group of buildings that are lacking a certain commodity, and build something that produces it. Make sure you know where your supplies are coming from... are you going to bring them yourself? If so, from where, and how much will it cost? If not, you'll have to pay enough so that other people can make a profit selling to you, and that eats into your profits. For best results, once you're up and running, advertise your building in the Trade Forum.

Some buildings are easier for new players to construct than others. In most cases, it is probably best for a new player to start with a simpler building, something that collects raw materials (Energy, Fuel, Gas, Ore) in large amounts, usually using Food, Energy and/or Water for upkeep. In the right place, a Brewery, Chemical Laboratory, Medical Laboratory, Space Farm, or something of that nature, can do very well also. Some of the more advanced buildings will require either greater xp, a larger ship, or more careful placement to be effective, so keep it simple for now, but plan for the future. Once again, if you want specific advice that takes current conditions into account, ask other players in either the Forum or the Player Chat.

Piracy and Bounty Hunting:

As mentioned before, while there is money to be made both in raiding and stealing from other pilots, and hunting down those who have violated the law (or merely offended the wrong person), hunting other pilots is a dangerous and uncertain business. At the very least, you will need to upgrade your ship and your equipment before even considering it [see Ship Upgrades], so you should focus on the methods described in the rest of the Guide, at least until you are richer and more advanced in xp and skills.


Earning Experience

Harvesting:

Harvesting resources from various types of fields in the galaxy is by far the simplest way to earn xp. As an added bonus, if there are buildings, or a planet or starbase nearby with a need for that resource, you can also make quite a nice profit filling up your hold and selling what you've gathered.

The amount of resources you can harvest from a given field depends on the Field Value, shown in the upper left of the screen. In fact, the maximum you can get per try is a percentage of that value equal to your Skill in the appropriate type of collecting. In practical terms, it's usually not worth trying to collect resources if the Field Value is less than 10. Check the manual for any other restrictions on resource harvesting before you set out. For instance, gathering Fuel requires that you have a Fuel Scoop installed on your ship, and gathering Ore requires a Mining Laser... but don't worry, both items are standard equipment on every new ship.

Highly developed sectors, with a lot of traffic, usually have very low Field Values. This is especially a problem with Fuel, as you can get stuck very easily if you run out of Fuel. For this reason, you should gather resources in out of the way sectors, with high Field Values, and always carry extra Fuel on board when traveling through more developed regions. Field Values drop as you successfully gather resources from them, and replenish at a faster rate when they are higher to begin with, so in the long term it doesn't pay to keep mining a given field down to the lowest possible level. Find a less over-worked sector, and do your collecting there.

Hunting:

Another good source of experience is fighting the numerous hostile creatures that litter the galaxy. Sometimes these creatures even provide a small amount of loot, in the form of cargo that appears in your hold when you defeat them.

The easiest creature to start with is definitely the lowly Space Maggot. You still might want to wait until you have a better ship and/or better equipment though, as even a weak creature like this can be dangerous to the ship you start out in. Also, the better your ship and weapons, the quicker your battles will go, and the better your armor and shields, the longer you will last without having to repair. Try to leave at least a few tons of cargo space open when fighting Space Maggots, as they often leave behind a ton or two of Ore, which is usually in high demand.

When you feel you've done all you can to rid the galaxy of Space Maggots, perhaps try your luck against a Young Space Dragon. Always be careful when attacking a new creature for the first time, as they can surprise you with their abilities.

Hunting creatures also has the benefit of increasing your combat skills, which you will need not only to hunt stronger creatures, but also to protect you from pirates. It's a dangerous galaxy out there after all.

Working:

The different planets and starbases in the galaxy maintain Bulletin Boards, where various types of jobs are posted. Just land on the planet, or enter the base, and click on 'Bulletin Board' to see them. In addition to the posted reward, you also receive xp for each job you complete. If you can get more than one job to do the same thing (e.g. 3 different jobs, each to kill 2 Space Maggots), then completing the task will count for all of them. In the previous example, you would only need to kill 2 Maggots total, not 6, to fulfill all three jobs.

By accepting one of these jobs, you commit to completing it within the time limit... otherwise, not only will you not get paid, but you will have to pay a fine as well. The fine for non-completion is listed at the very bottom of the box for each job.

Joining one of the main factions in the game (Federation, Empire, Union), grants you access to more and better jobs at planets and bases of that faction, which get even better as you rise in rank. Click on the name of the faction below the Bulletin Board at a faction planet or base to join, or just to learn more about that faction. Complete these faction missions (hint - look for the name of the Faction in the title of the job), and you can see your rank increase through the status bar on your Stats page. Fail these missions, and your progress toward the next rank will decrease... and it will take you 3 more successful missions to make up the difference.

With careful planning and coordination, you can earn a lot of credits and xp completing these missions, and rise quickly through the ranks of your chosen faction. Always watch your Action Points remaining though, and don't take any jobs you're not sure you can complete on time. This goes triple for faction jobs!


Using Money and Experience

Ship Upgrades and Equipment:

Now you've filled up your credit account, and earned a ton of xp, and you're wondering what to do with it all? Don't worry; it will be a very long time indeed before you run out of things to buy! One of the first things you'll want is better equipment for your ship, or even a better ship.

Fairly early in your career, you should decide whether you want to focus first on trading and building, or on combat. This will determine the kind of ships you want to get, and what you'll want to equip them with. Since ship equipment is sold back at half its value whenever you upgrade, you don't want to pile expensive equipment on a ship you don't intend to keep for very long. Once again, research (especially from the manual) and planning are the key.

If you want to be a wealthy trader, you might look at the Rust Claw, or perhaps wait for an Adder if you want a little more firepower. Belligerent types who want to dive right into combat will get good value out of the Wasp, and will really appreciate the Interceptor when it becomes available. By that point, you should have a pretty good idea of what ship types you want next, and why.

Most players find that the xp requirements are more important in restricting their choices than the cost in credits, but a heavily combat-oriented pilot might have the opposite problem.

Your choice of equipment will depend entirely on how much money you have, how much firepower or defense you need, and how long you intend to keep the ship for. Combat ships obviously need more weapons, armor and shielding than traders, but an under-equipped trader is highly vulnerable to attack, so balance your choices carefully. Also remember that there is no 'Undo'... once you've bought a piece of equipment, all you can do to get rid of it is sell it back for half price. For monster hunting, Titanium Armor and a Small Shield are very helpful, and should become standard equipment on just about any ship you buy. Weapon choices are largely a matter of taste and budget, but unless you have a good reason, you probably shouldn't pay more for weapons than your ship itself is worth.

Buildings and Building Upgrades:

The other most popular thing for people to spend money on is constructing and improving their own buildings, as mentioned before. Getting the 100 xp required to build one building will happen almost right away, but you'll want to have a fair bit of cash on hand to get started. At the very least, you want to budget for the cost of construction materials, plus the cost of enough supplies to get started, plus anywhere from 5000 to 25000 credits for at least one defensive module. That last is important to remember, as undefended buildings are easy pickings for pirates. You will also probably want to upgrade your building at least once before the real profits start rolling in, so that's an additional cost as well.

Your second building will be available at 1000 xp, which is often right around the time you're able to afford one anyway. Ideally, you want to keep your buildings fairly close together, for easy upkeep and maintenance, and if possible, try to arrange your production so that one building feeds into another, thus reducing your upkeep costs.

After that, it will probably be more of a struggle to get the xp to build more than it is to get the cash and materials. The practical limit is probably around 5 buildings, at 1.000.000 xp, and it would take a very long time to reach that point. Expect that you will have at most 2 buildings at first, and eventually 3, and maybe someday you'll find that you have enough xp for a fourth.

Parting Thoughts:

Well, that should be enough to get you started. The most important things to remember:

  • Watch Your Action Points Remaining. Always try to put your ship in dock at a friendly planet or starbase, or one of your own buildings. If you just close the browser window in open space, you can be attacked while you are away!

  • Watch Your Fuel. Never travel without at least enough Fuel in your hold to refill your engines once. If you are in a sector with low Field Values for fuel, carry several refills.

  • Buy Low, Sell High. Be careful when buying and selling, especially when you first start out. Move slowly, and if you're not completely sure what you're doing, only buy and sell very small amounts. When you buy something, make sure you have a place in mind where you'll be able to sell it. Do NOT accidentally raid a building rather than trading with it... some owners are less understanding of that sort of thing than others, and it will get you talked about.

  • Watch Your Newbie Protection. New players are protected for their first 50000 Action Points. The 'Ship' panel in the 'Overview' tab will show you the details. While your protection is still active, you cannot attack other players, or be attacked by them, nor can you trade goods with other players. However, you can be attacked by NPCs, so be careful!

  • Pick Your Battles. The Statistics screen will give you a good idea of which monsters are tougher than others, and there is more specific information available on the Forum. When it comes to other players, you should choose your friends carefully, but your enemies even more so. Don't attack another player's ships or buildings unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences.

  • Don't be Afraid to Retreat. If you are fighting a monster you just can't handle, run away. You can go back to a friendly planet or base to repair, and if you're lucky the monster will still be there, and still be wounded, when you get back. Dying hurts! See the manual for details, but it's never pleasant. If you expect to be doing a lot of fighting, consider investing in an Escape Pod, just in case.

  • Do Your Research. Before spending a lot of time and money on your ship, or your buildings, make sure you know what you want. It is incredibly frustrating to have to scrap a misplaced building, or an expensive piece of equipment, just because you failed to think things through.

  • Ask Questions. The players, moderators and developers of this game are very friendly, and always willing to help out. If you have specific questions, search the Forum first, it may be that somebody else already asked and the answer's there. If not, post a new thread with your question, or ask in the Player Chat. The one thing that people could ask though is that you...

  • Read The Manual. No, really. While most people are more than happy to answer questions, if the information's already in the manual, they may not be very nice about it.

  • Have Fun! This is the most important point. Above all else, remember that it's just a game. If another player makes you angry, attack his ship, or put a bounty on his head, or just wait and plot your revenge. Don't let in-game disputes carry over into real life upset and hurt feelings though. It's just a game.


Last modification on this page: 2010-02-07

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