I’m curious why the first ship upgrade appears to be less "up" than "down".
I had finally earned the 2000 echos to buy a new ship and I was ready to hit the commit button, when I thought to look at the stats on the new ship.
Unless I’m misunderstanding something, I almost paid twice the cost of my starter ship to get one with less hold space, less crew quarters, a penalty to Iron and 2/3’s of my starter ship’s hull. The tradeoff seems to be that it’s lighter and has a small Mirrors bonus.
So, what’s the deal? This looks like a mistake waiting to happen. Does the lighter weight give it a faster turning speed and/or greater fuel efficiency? I have enough problems with full holds already. I can’t justify cutting my hold by 25% just to gain a half-second of turn radius. Money is dear to a starting captain (though after ten deaths I’m learning the ropes of "go here, do this, get paid, on to the next thing…" Unless this "upgrade" is somehow a formidable combat opponent, I can’t help but feel that it really exists to be a trap for the unwary, overenthusiastic captain.
I’ve written elsewhere about how the game punishes incompetence - this looks like another example of it.
Short answer: the game doesn’t so much have "ship upgrades" as "alternate ships."
Longer, more nuanced answer: there are some ships that are popularly regarded as better than others - the merchant cruiser is often put forward as a favourite - but I think it helps to think of buying a ship as a matter of specialisation rather than linear progression. So, in this case, the cutter is very fast and efficient, and cheap to run, but does prohibit large-scale trading. Instead, you’d have to make money through espionage, which the bonus to Veils helps with.
Certainly not ideal for a new captain just learning the ropes, but, as you said yourself, a quick glimpse at the stats shows that the cutter’s not a straight upgrade.
The starting ship is actually great, easily one of the best ships for general use. I really don’t recommend switching ships until much much later in the game. (Eventually you’ll probably want something that can fight the 200+ HP zee monsters. But that can wait.)
If you have 2000 echoes, you should not even be thinking about buying a new ship. If you really want to spend some of it, buy a good weapon, or WE ARE CLAY. Both of those are great investments (and you can carry them over if you do eventually buy a new ship).
In general, it’s a good idea to always have a comfortable stack of cash lying around. Almost all of the best ways to make money require a hefty initial investment. Takes money to make money.
edited by Acrolith on 4/3/2016
I think the game really needs some balance changes for the ships. It’s absolutely ludicrous to pay money for the first two ships. I mean sure, you can argue that they fit a certain playstyle; in this case a combat playstyle. Then you realize that combat in the game doesn’t really pay off. (except for lifebergs)
After buying that ship, you need more money for a forward gun (unless you get one from a quest). It just doesn’t seem worth it. The starting ship is pretty good compared to the corvette and cutter(can’t really remember the names). Might as well get the merchant cruiser and start trading stuff. Then you’ll get the frigate in no time.
edited by Salt on 4/15/2016
Eh… they’re not moneymakers like the cruiser, sure, but you can finish the game with them. I grant you that combat and its rewards could use some tweaks - it’d be nice if pirate (or pirate-hunter) and/or whaler/monster-hunter were clearer and more viable paths. But, hey, at least part of that seems to be on the cards for Zubmariner.
Combat seems pretty profitable to me, actually. Life-bergs are probably the most profitable, but grinding Behemoustaches for Tomb-Colonists got me quite a few thousand echoes while killing Lorn-Flukes for Secrets is pretty nice as well. And though the game doesn’t say so, killing enemies gives a hefty terror reduction.
edited by Optimatum on 4/16/2016
[quote=Optimatum]Combat seems pretty profitable to me, actually. Life-bergs are probably the most profitable, but grinding Behemoustaches for Tomb-Colonists got me quite a few thousand echoes while killing Lorn-Flukes for Secrets is pretty nice as well. And though the game doesn’t say so, killing enemies gives a hefty terror reduction.
edited by Optimatum on 4/16/2016[/quote]
Does it really? Perhaps I should look at trying to grind some money to get the Maenad after all then, even if only to grab myself a Lorn-Fluke core to give to the Principles.
Yep, killing most enemies seems to give -10 terror though some easier ones give less. I usually avoid fighting bigger things until I get the Memento Mori, but with that and a decent engine I always seem to outpace Flukes enough that they can’t ram. And with 200 hull, two damage isn’t really a concern so the ranged attack is basically irrelevant when above half hull. They can hurt the first couple times, but finishing the Principles quest and progressing the First Curator without needing an Eyeless Skull is very profitable to the point of much better equipment for fighting. Plus those three secrets per fluke on pages check are so nice…
And honestly I don’t find myself needing any of the more expensive ships right now; they’re not at all necessary for completing Ambitions. I’m not going near Mt Nomad in my corvette, but there’s not much reason to fight the biggest monsters. With the Memento Mori and best deck gun I found myself killing the Eater of Names today without taking much damage, and I’ve even killed the Tree of Ages in a corvette once or twice. The sheer investment needed for any large ship just isn’t worth it when I’m not trying to do all the stories or make a ton of money.
edited by Optimatum on 4/16/2016