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Vega Strike allows players to explore a vastly dynamic universe where frontiers collide and you're just a pilot trying to make ends meet. How? That's your decision. Vega Strike is designed as a non-linear gaming experience, where you choose what action you want to take.
Vega Strike features a dynamic trading economy, allowing your character to operate as a merchant. Discover what trade routes bring in the most profit, what commodities make you the most money given your ship's cargo space limitations, accept cargo missions and learn to avoid areas of danger (repairs eat into your profits!).
If you are tired of making money on milk runs, or want to try something different, then there are other paths to success. Vega Strike features a mission generator, providing multiple missions to the experienced (and not so experienced) pilots. Engage in bounty hunts, patrols, battles and escort missions. Feel like travelling? Explore the dynamic universe and see the farthest reaches of known space. Want a walk on the wild side? You could always turn pirate! Just be prepared for the consequences.
Your ship just not doing the job you want it to? Vega Strike gives you the ability to purchase from a wide variety of ships capable of doing different jobs. Want to haul cargo? Fight battles? There's a ship for you. Your ship is fully customizable, so if you've got the credit, outfit your craft with the right tools for the job at hand.
Have a chat with the bartender or view the news broadcasts to find out what's going on in the universe. While you're there, talk to the fixers, they may have a job that only you can do. But be warned, you never know where it may lead...
This game contains examples of the following tropes:
- Alliance Meter: Long, long list — see some in "Factions" below.
- Alphabet News Network: GNN, procedurally generated News readable on base computers, on current events mostly concerning space fights between factions, with occasional mentions ofprivateers' help, that is completed Player Character missions.
- An Entrepreneur Is You: You start the game with a small amount of money, and you need to increase it to get better gear, better ships, etc.
- Antimatter: Not as ship fuel, but present as AM Cells in "power utility" goods and in weapons starting from heavy fighters — Reaper shells are conversion bombs and there are antimatter-based light capship guns.
- Arbitrary Maximum Range: Mostly for performance, since non- shell based weapons have dissipation anyway.
- Attack Drone: 3 major space races have drones launched from some stations and large ships: Humans' Seaxbane, Rlaan Hellspawn, Aera Porcupine "mines".
- Beam Spam: If you have enough space on your ship and enough money in your account, you, too, can have this wonderful form of overkill. With the right ship and tracking equipment, they won't escape. See above picture for more details.
- Stations with a dozen or so turrets with twin guns are even more flashy.
- Bottomless Magazines: It varies.
- Continuing Is Painful: At the beginning, at least, if you lose your ship, you can eject and escape death, but there's not much else you can do with what little money you have left. Once you have a better bank balance, this aspect eases off. Averted if you go down with your ship and load your last save (though the universe will not change with you when you load).
- Cool Ship: The beginning Llama ship is not a bad-looking ship at all.
- Lancelot is state-of-the art in all senses. The price is fittingly outrageous, of course.
- Anything from light fighters to utiliary capships a Shaper developed — or will deign to fly at all — is bound to look pretty cool.
- Naturally, most playable sub-capships and capships (except Kierkegaard and Mule) give you several on-board beam weapons and turrets dealing with missiles or other gnats — and typically look well too. They are among the coolest ships around by definition.
- Unless, of course, you manage to score one of the Aera's ships (pictured above)...
- Rlaan assault ships aren't bad either. Look cool, have good maneuverability and can carry lots of equipment and big weapons. Lancelot is quite fanciful, but if you don't mind lack of missiles, Taizong has same two Heavy main guns and a few lesser mounts, but with more than twice its lateral acceleration (to dodge what shields can't stop), twice its upgrade space (for better shields and reactor they need), more than time and half of its hull durability in case all this was not enough — and is cheaper at that.
- Copy and Paste Environments: Base screens seem pretty... identical, regardless of race or faction. Though the development continues.
- Correspondence Course: One of taunts.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: So far, at least, killed units invariably blow up in a fireball and debris cloud (though these look different depending on what it was). The radius is proportional to the killed unit's size and damage to maximum shields (a roundabout measure of power), so being caught in a capship explosion can be lethal even for ships with strong shields.
- Deflector Shields: Stops plasma or disruptors (shield-based weapons) completely, but kinetics, lasers and particle beams only partially.
- Dialogue Tree
- EMP: Present, but weak — at least until a better repair system is implemented.
- Escape Pod
- Escort Mission
- Bodyguarding a Badass: ...to protect superiority fighters.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: The SPEC drive drive will multiply the engine speed at a rate inverse to the area gravity. Around wormhole anomalies and gravity wells of planets or stations you are limited to your thrusters, but as you move away, the rate of multiplication increases geometrically until you zip around at 100 c.
- Hyperspace Lanes: Inter-system travel is practicable only via jump points scattered around each system. These are stable wormholes that open between solar systems if a ship is equipped with a jump drive.
- "No Warping" Zone: SPEC gradualy grinds to x1.0 speed in vicinity of massive objects and wormhole anomalies. Which is the only reason you can approach capships in the middle of nowhere in reasonable time with current autopilot — as long as they doesn't SPEC themselves. Some ships (such as pirates' destroyer) and stations have enhanced interdiction effect.
- Game Mod: Vega Trek, Star Wars Universe, Elite Strike (frozen, probably until the engine improvement) and several Wing Commander/Privateer Universe mods (some are still going, some not). Rather mod-friendly engine, if you don't mind interstellar travel currently having only wormhole implementation, or plan to script around it anyway (e.g. via being based on a carrier like in Wing Commander).
- Humans Are Special: Several factions. Luddites has distinct Manifest Destiny vibe. Shapers see in a very different light dominating with pre-spaceflight aliens and designing human-based slave species.
- Hyperspeed Escape: Averted. Better hope your engines are fast enough; if you upgraded them and they're not damaged, then you've a good shot of getting away. As long as a planet or jump point is not too close. But don't count on any of the hyperspeed escape routes for a clean getaway — the enemies will follow you, in SPEC, and through jump points, and their mass may be enough to suppress your SPEC drive. With slow enemies it's possible to fly by and get away before they accelerate enough, but they can pursue anyway.
- Hypocritical Humor: Luddites and Homeland Security are pretty funny guys. GNN positions on shooting at escape pods.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Depending on the ship and purpose. While heavy beams are better for sniping, "warhead-assisted" kinetics (Razor, Reaper and variants of Photon) can be devastating, and even "normal" autocannons and rocket packs are very good in close encounters. Mass drivers are relatively weak, but cheap.
- Lead the Target: There are ITTS radars and even mount Autotracking to assist with this. They help a lot, though not always.
- Loading Screen: Appear only on start, but lots of them. Some give the setting's flavour, some are funny.
- Nuclear Weapons Taboo: None as such. You can fire little (0.17t equivalent) fusion devices at 300 RPM if you have enough money (one Razor shell is worth more than a good fire&forget missile) and a Medium mount. Of course, there's also a Reaper for Heavy mounts that shoots at 100 RPM smaller, more powerful and more acceleration-tolerant conversion shells. There's Set the World on Fire image of Fraternal War loading screen — granted, it's called so because no one's particularly happy about it, and "clean" fusion blast, while leaving some induced radioactivity, is not nearly as bad as a nuke's fallout.
- Old School Dogfighting: Possible, but far from obligatory.
- Organic Technology: Mostly, Rlaan, and they use it anywhere short of hermetic enclosures and high-energy devices. They also like "organic" look, so their bases tend to resemble fun-sized starfish or radiolaria.
- Our Wormholes Are Different: Jump points are effectively locations in space that a jump drive can use to create a wormhole.
- Painfully-Slow Projectile: Projectile velocities are averaged by default. If you turn this off gun_speed_adjusted_game_speed, some are really fast and some are really slow. The slowest of them all is Crippler (allows to incapacitate a ship without making a kill), disruptor and Ktek (Rlaan disruptor) bolts. The latter also dissipates very quickly, but by raw Rate of fire X Damage (at point blank range) is the most powerful weapon a light ship can mount. Rlaan "Mini Grav Thumper" weapons are even slower (400 m/s!), but hideously devastating.
- Scripting Language: Python definitely adds a lot of possibilities. Also, current implementation of AI uses XML-based behaviour scripts. Obviously, this makes the engine even more mod-friendly, if too convoluted for an easy start.
- Shiny-Looking Spaceships: In some cases — especially Highborn whose interceptors are built in the ways usually reserved for luxury yachts. In others... much less so.
- Shout-Out: A lot. For one, the term "ITTS" (and some other stuff) is from Wing Commander. And most of robotic barman sprites are from Paradroid (may give you a jump if you played Freedroid RPG recently).
- Space Is Noisy: Averted. Even when you take damage, what you hear is the hull ringing from the impact.
- Space Mines: Aera mine Porcupine, in fact a small and sluggish Attack Drone that explodes if anything approaches too close.
- Space Trucker: A lot of these.
- Tractor Beam: Used to pick up salvage / dropped cargo or Escape Pod — the latter is a part of Rescue missions. Also, the reverse version — repulsors. Either way, needs a reinforced hardpoint.
- Troubled Production: Only now that things finally moved on with proper review process and constant fixes, it became clear just how much. For one, most of the coder team changed, meaning lots of obscure code remains so until completely overhauled. The developer forum now got threads "Odd code of the day" (the same condition checked or complex formulae calculated twice in two following lines aren't odd enough) and "Laughable code comment of the day" (lines merely ending with "for great justice" and/or "Buco!" don't even qualify). For the content, artists having bad understanding of simulation are only one tip of an iceberg. It's mostly fixed soon upon discovery now, but there's a lot.
- Used Future: Very much.
AI Pilot: "They say paint job is a structural component."
- Wide Open Sandbox: Can become a Quicksand Box, since there is no specific plotline to follow; it really is completely wide open.
- There is the "plot" line of quests — given by non-random fixers (starting with that unshaved lad in the first station's bar). But it can wait until you have a better ship, or be ignored altogether. Though so far not all is scripted anyway.
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian: ISO shoots at most Confed subfactions, but ignores civilians. Rlaan see the difference between civilians and combatants since they have them as different subspecies. The Aera don't — they just don't trust anyone.
- The Alliance: League of Independent Human Worlds (LIHW) — variety of independents banded together upon the founding of Confederation to avoid being overrun or assimilated.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Uln ("You and I should beat each other up some time. It'll be lots of fun.")
- Bounty Hunter: Hunter ("It's getting harder to make a killing making a killing these days.")
- Dirty Communists: ISO. They aren't aggressive toward civilians and factions they don't see as parts of the oligarchy (such as Privateer), though.
- Doing It for the Art: Shapers, In-Universe and out, exist to add good art. As the whole faction of superhuman and borderline Mad Artists.
- Evil Luddite: "Interstellar Church of True Form's Return" whom everybody else calls "Luddites" are extremist offshoot of Purist faction.
- Ludd Was Right: Subverted with the Luddites-they're called that-it's about the way of life--as far as technology itself goes, they don't mind it at all.
- The Federation: Confed.
- Feudal Future: Highborn ("You seem like a good chap — drop my name at Avalon, and they'll let you park further from the servants.")
- Hive Caste System: Rlaan are a borderline case: They have "worker" and "warrior" subspecies, with administrators mostly being sterile hybrids of these.
- Intrepid Merchant: Merchant Guild has guts to supply planets under blockade. Player Character, if you chose to.
- Lightspeed Leapfrog: Forsaken faction is formed from pre-FTL colonists who arrived only to discover their destinations are already claimed and developed, and Nanoplague is eating much of their equipment. They didn't receive help, and now really don't care about Confed in turn.
- Mental Fusion: Andolians, brain-networked from before birth.
- The Missing Faction: Lightbearers. And good riddance.
- Privateer: Player Character is one of these.
- Pro-Human Transhuman: In VS history, when Lightbearers uplifted and oppressed aliens Shapers were indifferent and held them as at least better than Andolians, but the moment variant human (Spaceborn) slavery was discovered, switched from support to hatred.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Aera have more "stand against the Universe" survivalists with hair-trigger attitude than "proud warriors", but the result is much the same ("A superior display — may we both be remembered...").
- Highborn like to play Knight in Shining Armor ("Ah, isn't war glorious? The front is where I belong."), though grew too opulent ("Oh, bother. What a chore to be in a cockpit that can't fit my entire entourage.")
- Space Amish: Purists are highly conservative in the area of non-medical body modifications, but generally keep up and are sort of cool. Their vessels tend to be large, rather powerful, but have aesthetics and maneuverability of a brick with thrusters — Pacifier, Admonisher, Plowshare.
- Space Pirates
- State Sec: Homeland Security. IntelSec is Secret Police.
- Straw Vulcan: Unadorned ("Your emotional arithmetic is flawed." <BLAZ>).
- Transhuman / Human Subspecies
- Warrior Poet — Surprisingly, some lines in Rlaan communication are of this sort.