Navigation: Am I missing something?

Ok, just got the game last night and I’ve been playing now for about four hours or so. Four hours and I either run out of fuel and/or supplies with no means of acquiring more, or I get destroyed by something. I still haven’t found the Iron & Misery Company Funging Station; the only notable places (I think) I’ve found is Venderbight and Hunters Keep.
None of the few quests I’ve accepted give me any indication of where I’m supposed to be heading, and &quotnear home waters&quot seems to be the only clue I’m ever given.

Am I missing something here? Some compass or feature I’m not realizing? Or is exploration just a shot in the dark?
I find I’m becoming quite bored with the game, despite how much I want to love it.

Have you been using your zee-bat sonar? That’ll send out a bat that tells you where the nearest undiscovered settlement is, within a certain radius. And, as a piece of general advice - you’re far, far, far better off just setting a course off into the unknown and sticking to it until you (or your zee-bat) discovers something, rather than noodling around close to London trying to find something you’ve missed. It’s very hard to overlook a major port, but very easy to waste fuel by going in circles.

Definitely use the zee-bat. Also “near home waters” is not on the coast, you need to go out to Zee.

I would say go East 1 square, south 1 square, east 1 square, north 2 squares and west 1 square. From there head SW back to London via Hunters Keep. You will find your first Admiralty Comission somewhere in there, don’t forget to get Port Reports whenever you can and give them to the Admiralty for fuel and echoes. After that things get more tricky but once you have played a few games you get to know more or less where places are, some never move (the Western and Southern coastlines and the place in the far NE corner of the map.

Here’s some general advice for the early game:

[ul][li]Do not hug the western coast. There is roughly one major port per map tile (some have two or three, but others have none), and you want to find lots of them as quickly as possible. You get a message in the log at the lower left whenever you cross a tile boundary. East-west tile boundaries are visible on the map (the vertical lines); north-south boundaries are not, but the tiles are square, so you can learn to eyeball it. The map is six tiles square.[/li][li]In the starting ship, you’re in trouble if you get in a fight with anything that can do more than 20 points of damage to you before you can kill it. Until you have significantly upgraded your character and/or equipment, a good rule of thumb is: do not attempt to fight any enemy with more than 50 hit points (in other words, only fight the Auroral Megalops, the Zee-Bat Swarm, and the ordinary Pirate Steam-Pinnace). If they notice you, run away with the lights off; use Full Power if necessary.
[/li][li]Keep the lights off as much as possible. It attracts enemies, and with the starting engine, it also doubles your fuel consumption. You have to keep a close eye on your Terror gauge, but if you turn around and head straight for London when you hit 50 you will usually make it.[/li][li]Most of the ship equipment upgrades sold on the London docks are not cost-effective. Save for the very best deck gun, and either the Merchant Cruiser or the Frigate. Don’t bother upgrading the engine until after you’ve upgraded the ship. If you get a piece of ship equipment from plot, it is probably better than anything you could buy.[/li][li]While you still have the starting ship, you should leave London with your hold at least three-quarters full of fuel and supplies, and you should be aiming to make up your fuel costs for each voyage entirely on Port Reports (1 fuel each).
edited by zwol on 5/27/2015