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The New Guy Newbie Guide to Fully Non Automatic Manual Play - Distant Worlds, The Manly Man Way to P

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The New Guy Newbie Guide to Fully Non Automatic Manual ... - 12/29/2013 8:47:26 AM   


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The New Guy Newbie Guide to Fully Non Automatic Manual Play - Distant Worlds, The Manly Man Way to Play (tm).

So you watched the intro.

You belatedly have realized that this game has graphics that Commodore 64 would be ashamed of.

Fear not!

This game is awesome, and will give you many great moments and experiences, and will take over your life, and result in you getting a divorce, the taking away of your children and you losing your job, all of which will result in a new life style choice for you: the hobo-life (tm).

But we are getting ahead here.

Clicky Options.

See the Automation list and dropdowns? This means that the game will play many aspects of itself automatically. That is the wrong way to play.

But I've heard that this game's automation is awesome and that new players should just leave it on to see what's goi...
But people on the foru...
Man up! That's the pussified way to play! Are you a man, or are you a neckbeard!?
Shut Up!

Uncheck colony taxes, colony population policies, you know what? Uncheck them all!
Oh... my...

Next, see the dropdowns on the right side? Some of them say "Fully automate", others say some other gibberish. Put all of them to "Suggest" stuff. That way, the game will remind you of stuff to do if you forget it, but the choice of when, what and how to do stuff is yours. This is actually a great way for new guys to learn this game, as you will be prompted to upgrade, refit, attack, etc. Always Decline, and then if you choose to do so, manually, quickly and efficiently do the suggested action (or not). Keep in mind that you may WANT to have private ships use ion thrusters, because they are cheaper and use different resources than the more advanced Proton Engines. Similarly, you may want to have your private ships use a Gerax hyperdrive while your warships use the Magic Super Speedy Hyperdrive 2000 (which may use a frightening amount of energy gasoline).

Bottom window - scrolling Messages. Keep them all checked in. Popup messages - same, all checked in.

Later in the game, you can always change every and all of these settings to suit your needs (except the automation dropdowns- because you ARE a man, AREN'T you!?).

Hit the Empire Settings button.
For both the Default Engagement Stances - Auto and Default Engagement Stances - Manual, I pick Engage When attacked. This gives you ALL the control over your warships (in the beginning, you will get one crappy one, so a warSHIP, singular) and allow you to pick the target(s) you want engaged. Otherwise they will fly on their own all over to engage pirates, kaltors and whatnot and you DO NOT want that. Later, when you have 20 (or 200) ships, you might wish to change the stances.

Fleet Attack Settings - 30 sounds good to me for refuel. For assemble a fleet before accomplishing a task, I go as high as 50 or more (after all, why have a big kickazz fleet when only 30% of them choose to attack and the rest are spread out goodness knows where).

Discoveries - for flavor, I pick Ask What to do for both (hint - you ALWAYS investigate) but if you want, or you misclick a lot, dropdown to Always investigate for both.

For the sake of all that is holy, DO UNCHECK "Newly built ships are automated" and DO UNCHECK "Suppress all pop up screens".

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: What the **** is Attack Overmatch?

If you want, check the autosave button, you are safer that way in case this monster game crashes once your empire has 30 planets and 300 ships and that memory leak literally eats your CPU core - as always in PC gaming, save early, save often!

Close the Options window Microsoft style by hitting that big "X" symbol top right (hint: if you know Windows OS, you can navigate this game).

Hit "Play as normal empire in Age of Shadows"

Screen: Start a New Game: Galaxy

Pick Spiral Galaxy
Star Amount: 700
Medium 8x8 sectors
Expansion: Pre Warp
Aggression: Normal
Difficulty: Normal
Research Costs: Normal (120K)
Space Creatures: Few
Pirates: Few
Pirate Proximity: Average
Pirate Strength: Weak

Go to next screen: Colonization and Territory
Colony Prevalence: Normal
Independent Life: Normal
Colony Influence Range: 80% i.e. what the game suggests
DO check the checkmark "Enforce Colonization Limits". (This will keep the empires in nice geographical boundaries).
Colonization Range slider: 1.40 sectors (Again, this is to keep the empires in nice geographical boundaries).

Next: Your Race screen
Pick humans. This is an interesting pick, as they have a very varied set of racial victory conditions. Not just conquest or financial or colonization, but also tourism, trade and politics are in the mix. Great for teaching you the game. Also humans get good spies and all kinds of other characters: fleet admirals, colony leaders, ship captains, scientists etc. Humans are a GREAT starting race.

Next screen: Your Empire
Pick your color (I go with pukey orange myself) and your symbol.
If you leave your name blank, the game will pick a cool name for your empire for you; you can always change it in game.
Size: Starting
Tech Level: Pre Warp
Corruption: Normal
Government Type: I always pick republic. Slight war weariness, slight cost to maintenance, but +25% research speed
Starting location: I go with random; your choice.

Next screen: Other empires
I always auto generate other empires; go with 12 NPC empires.
Hit the checkmark for "Allow independent alien colonies to start new empires" to allow minors to become empires themselves to add to unpredictability.

Next: Victory conditions.
Everything is checked, but DO uncheck "Enable disasters and other events" to not get silver mists, plagues and earthquakes. You will have your hands full without extra worries.
Everything else stays checked.
Incidentally check the winning conditions: for each empire, it is a mix of territory, population and economy as well as each race's specific goals.
DO UNCHECK the "Allow tech trading" button.

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: What size galaxy, what size sectors, pirates, difficulty etc do you pick and why?

Start the game!

Once it loads, hit the "Start Playing" from the entry window and in the next nanosecond immediately hit SPACE key to PAUSE the game.

On top of the screen, see the white "D" button? Click that or hit F8 key.
I know what you are thinking - WTF is this, and do I have to take care of ALL of this, there is no way, this game is complicated, I am going back to GalCiv2.

Chill, homey.

This game is easy, and MUST be played all-micromanaged for maximum enjoyment. TRUST ME.

See the dropdown "Show All Designs Types"? Hit that and pick "Show State Ships".
Bit better now, eh?
Building ships manually is fun and it is a very addictive activity, as well as making your ships better than the AI's and as a bonus will teach you about the game.

Look at the table: see the "Role" column? Look at the three military ships. Click on each one and click "Delete" for each one; alternatively, like a normal windows user, hit CNTRL-each one or Shift-top to bottom and delete them all. Leave only the two ships that have the Role of "Exploration" and "Construction Ship".

These two ships are the ONLY ones you care about now.

Highlight the "Pathfinder" and hit the "Manually Upgrade Design".

Holy crap, this is complicated, this will take me ages to learn, am going back to Sins of Solar Empire!


Again, this is simple.

Right hand side - see the different pukey colors window titled "Movement".

This is an explorer ship. We want it to go fast zoom zoom and explore stuff for us.

On the left side, there is the component window.

Click at the "CAT..." column (CAT stands for category, not a smelly animal). This window is now organized alphabetically by the Category of the components. Hooray!

Scroll down windows style to the "ENG" category - ENG stands for Engine (but you guessed that already).
Hello - there are two engines: Ion Engine and Directional Thruster. The Thruster makes the ship turn faster, making for tighter curves. At this point, we couldn't care less. We want speeeeeeeed - so highlight the Ion Thruster and hit the ">" button to add more engines to this bad boy.

Notice how the pukey colors window changed? The Cruise speed (lets not burn too much gas speed) and Sprint speed (which is OMG they are chasing me ruuuuuuuun speed) have increased.


Click ">" again - now the Cruise speed is 41.

That's a roadster.

Hit ">" again.

What's that? The warnings window has now extra red lines: Habitation and Life Support needed.
In the components window on left side, under category "HAB", there are "Life support" and "Hab module".
Add one of each.
But what's this? The cruise speed changed from 44 to 43... as well as the cost of the ship increased on top (the Purchase Cost and the Maintenance Cost). The Range in the pukey colors Movement window also went down - from 211 to 193...

It's a trade off.

10 Ion Thrusters is plenty.

Click "Save".

The game will now make a "burp" sound (oddly fitting with the whole pukey colors theme et al).

Highlight the CST-1 Construction ship and hit "Manually upgrade design".

Add Ion Thrusters. At 17 Cruise speed, red warnings of habs and life needed will come on. Add one Hab and one Life.

Keep adding Ion thrusters until you get the now familiar red Hab and Life warnings again.

Ok, if you were paying attention to the speed, you have noticed that adding an extra Ion Thrust engine at 24 Cruise Speed and doing it again kept the Cruise speed stuck at 25. I.e. it had no effect on speed!

So 21 Ion thrusters results in 25 Cruise speed, and 22 Ion Thrusters results in... 25 Cruise speed (and more energy - gasoline - cost!).

So lets stick with 21 Ion Thrusters on this bad boy and hit "SAVE".


Now the Designs window has two glorious pukey orange ships which YOU yourself have designed.


QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: I have noticed that the Construction ships have to make two trips to make one gas/mine station. How many small cargo Bays do we need to make it just one trip?


Before I move to Bases, I want to make one very important point. Some components are one-off; what I mean is that you only need one PER SHIP/BASE to have its benefit, while others you want as many as possible. For example, you only need ONE commerce center, one medical unit, one recreation center, one long range scanner, one damage repair, one targetting unit in a ship or base. But you want as many pew pew lazors, torpedoes, shields, armor as you can pack in there.

QUESTION OF EXPERTS: You know, a complete list of all components which are one-off, only one needed, would be nice.

Click the "Show State Ships" dropdown and go to "Show State bases".

Delete Large Space Port, Energy Research, Weapons Research and Defensive Base and Medium Port. You don't need them now.

Designing bases has the same process as designing ships - except you don't need Engines for them.

But first, lets learn about research. (What, more stuff? OMG I am going back to Farmville... SHUT UP!).

Click the lightbulb, on top of the screen, centre, right next to your empire's flag (if you are cool and listened to me, it is a glorious pukey orange OK hit that light bulb now).

F*** that noise - click the "Research Stations" tab.

See the "Total Empire Research Potential" number in that pukey pink rectangle (manly spac empire pew pew pink!).

It is roughly 328K. This is the total research that can be done by our labs and scientists right now.

Hit Weapons Tab.
Right click whatever it is researching to cancel it. Left click on Enhanced Beam Weapons, then left click on Efficient blasters then on high power blasters.

Energy Construction.
Research Energy Collection, then Space Construction, then Enhanced Construction.

High Tech industrial.
You want medical systems and entertainment systems.

Exit the sciencey screen and go back to design (white "D", remember) and skidaddle to "Show State bases". We are done with science for now.

Highlight "Small Space Port" (with the catchy name SSP-1) and lets edit the hell outta it!

It has weapons and s***, wow. This design must be awesome! Let's leave it... hold on....

Upper right, the green number - "Excess Energy output". This is how much extra power is left after the habs and life support (damn oxygen breathing, H2O needing, people!) and other assorted crap to help us humans survive in space for weapons.

Simply put, this is how much power you have to do pew pew with stuff.

The firepower is 93 (Ooooo! Actually, this is pathetic), the Maximum Weapons Energy per use is 192 but the excess energy is 189... so whoever designed this made sure that not every weapon can be fired.

A politically motivated hiring, this designer, hmmm? Son of a celebrity or some such. Perhaps a great football player?

Now, bear with me, this will get... weird.

We are not going to pew pew in the beginning. No pew pew at all.

In the middle box, higlight the Pulse Blaster and hit "<" as many times as needed to take it out (alternatively hit "< x5" three times).

Right below is 9 Seeking Missiles - take them out.

Now, remember how much research your empire could do? 300 odd something, right?

There are 3 kinds of laboratories (LAB Category): High Tech, Energy and Weapons.

In your small port, put in as many labs so that each category will have 100 each under Size column. So all of them add up to 300! Neat, we are close to fulfilling the Empires's total research threshold!

Add habs and life so that the red warning on top disappear (that's one of each).

Excess Energy is now a green 127.

But we have no weapons you say?

Very good! Take out a few Basic Space Reactors but make sure to have at least some excess energy.

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: Do we REALLY need some excess energy? Game lets me save the design even at -9 Excess Energy? What's the penalty for this?


So we have 3 Basic Reactors, 5 Labs of each kind, 5 Habs and 5 Life.

Save this bad boy!


Hooray, pukey orange small space port!

Highlight the High Tech Research Station (HTRS-1, catchy name).

Lets edit it!

Take out the pathetic Pulse Blasters. Take out 4 High Tech Labs; leave 2. Add 2 Energy Labs and 2 Weapons labs. Excess Energy is 10, we don't need habs and life, awesome, SAVE this bad boy!

Now, why do we need only one universal station for research instead of separate ones for each category? And why 2 of each labs?

Good questions, grasshopper.

Scientists usually have 2 or more skills, which means they give you bonus research in multiple categories (race dependent, some have one skill). 2 labs of a category is just enough for that scientist's bonus; 1 lab means no scientist bonus. So if you choose to stick a scientist in a research lab, if you have 1 lab each, or 6 high tech labs, it means that a scientist's skill(s) will go to waste.

But the game is weird, because it picks the HIGHEST bonus, so usually it is best to leave your scientists in your space port (yes, where you build all those labs) because their skills/categories STACK (slight penalty to two or more scientists, but still)

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: What is the penalty for stacking two scientists in one location together? Three? Four?

ANSWER: When more than one character is assigned to the same location, there can be synergistic effects.

Scientists are assigned to a research location. They give the research at that location a bonus that should be cumulative with the existing bonuses.

Each scientist at a research station provides research bonuses to the specific research area of the station (Weapons, Energy, HighTech). Additional scientists at the same research station provide half their skills on top of the first scientist, progressively halving with each additional scientist. Thus: Scientist 1 gives full 12% energy research bonus, Scientist 2 gives half of their 10% energy research bonus (5%), Scientist 3 gives one quarter of their 8% energy research bonus (2%), for a total of 19% energy research bonus (12 + 5 + 2).

When a scientist has a trait Demoralizing (oh lucky you - it means the guy gives everybody in around him, in same location, bad vibes which results in THEM having bad traits after a while) you might want to stick him in a resarch station, away from other people, let him talk to himself (damn anti social neckbeard!).

Exit Designs window.

OMG, game is still paused, we have't started playing yet, I am going back to Animal Crossing.... SHUT UP!

OK, do I unpause the g... SHUT UP!

Your screen is filled with your beautiful starting planet, conveniently named Sol7, or DFGR%GRGRGHTRH if you picked an alien race or something equally meaningful.

Click on the planet.

Left bottom window fills up with it.

Double click on the name in that box.

Alternatively, left top screen - click the planet or hit F2. Colonies screen - you have only one planet so you cannot make a boo boo.

Right side, the name of the planet - do yourself a favor and change it to Homeworld (i.e. overwrite Sol7 or DFGR%GRGRGHTRH or whatever goofy name the game gave you). Click population tab, the taxes are too high! Yup, I agree. Lower them to 10%.

Exit out of this screen (don't worry - your name change and tax rate change are saved and in play).

Right click your mousey somewhere centre-ish of the planet.

Highlight Build on planet Homeworld Small Space Port Mk2 (yes, Mark 2 - we have changed the standard design for labs and to make it cheap, remember?). Right click on planet again - build on planet Construction ship. Do it again (you want 2 construction ships now).

One last tiny little thing...
Goto designs, choose Show All Designs on left dropdown and Show All Design Types on the right one, and make sure that everything in the Upgrade column is set to Manual and everything on the Retrofit is set to Manual also.
You change by clicking on the word itself.
Note that the Private Ships and Bases you cannot change the Upgrade to manual - this is the private sector, and THEY decide when they want to retrofit stuff to YOUR design. If you want to make sure, STATE ship and BASES are both manual, while PRIVATE ships and bases are Upgrade - manual and Retrofit - automatic.

The moment has arrived.

You are now ready to....

Unpause the game (dum dum DUM!).

Hit SPACE key to unpause the game and TA DA! We are playing this biat**!

Uh, it's going kinda slow... No worries, hit the >>> button on top left to increase the game to ludicrious speed! Uh, actually to 4 times the normal speed...

As you hear the hammering and welding (sounds... in space!) and see the spiffy special FX this game has (Oooo! This has better graphics than my favorite text MUD!) notice that the planet's population grows steadily in the left bottom Selection Panel thingamajig.

More people means more taxes - the faster you can get the pop of your planet to hit max, the better for you and your cashflow!

Top right of screen - Money (whatcha got now in your pocket), Cashflow (white is positive, red means negative - a wanky, approximate number of cash you will get in a moment, not closely approximating to actual reality) and Bonus income (trade income from private sector and the like).

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: What EXACTLY is bonus income; list everything?


Any moment now - Ding ding!

Game pauses, a weirdo in a picture shows up and says "Hello to our victims - pay us money or we kill you!".

But you told me to take all those Pulse Lasers and Missiles from the space port, you suck!

Actually, please notice that the space port is STILL building. Meaning there are no weapons on it YET. You can choose to not click the "We accept your protection", but that means that the pirate guys will happily swing by and blast your unbuilt space port to dust. And all that money lost... And when you try to rebuild, they will happily do so again, usually BEFORE it is built.

Pay them, however much they want.


Pirate Raiders window - yep, they are scum, whatever. Close it and wait for the spaceport to build.

Spaceport constructed! Hooray!!

Go to event location and hit SPACE to pause the game.

Left Click on the space port - Build at space port - Exploration ship (you CANNOT mess this up - you can only build the Exploration ship now). Do it again, so you build two.

Star Ship constructed; it's your scouts! Awesome!

Go to event location - space to pause...

Use the middle mouse button to scroll out to see the whole system. Don't go too far, mind, because at this point I do not want you to lose your sanity...

AAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIGGGGHHHHH..... !!! Yes, told you, quickly, scroll back into the system using middle mouse button.

Crap, it scrolls into where my mouse pointer arrow is, I am lost now! Fuuuuuuuuuu!

Chill, bottom left, strategic selector thingamajig, click planet, you have only one, right bottom side, you have different zooms, click the zoom to selected. You're back, baby!

Again, zoom out only to see your system on full screen.

Left side, middle of screen - see the icons? Click the one below the hammer, one that looks like... your scout ship!

You have two, as the nice popup states.

Click the 1st one, and right click on nearest planet to your homeworld. Explore planet. Then, 2nd nearest, right click on it, Queue next mission, explore planet. I swear to gods, my first planet is named Afegovkij (hooray for ability to rename planets!). Then 3rd closest, queue next mission, explore.... catch my drift?

But wait, one (or two) planets have the weird three dots symbol on them.

Ruins... of ancient races (every space game MUST have a precursor, ancient powerful race, it is THE LAW).

Explore those three dots planets with your 2nd explorer (queue next mission - explore).

Space to let the game run!

Now, you might get a deserted ship discovered message in a few momemnts (in fact, I guarantee it). Go to event location. See the cool warship! Oh, wait, it has no hyperdrive, and its firepower sucks... or is zero. Right click, retire, at nearest shipyard. No pew pew for you!! (yet). You will get a research bonus from scrapping a alien design - no small thing. ALternatively you can keep the ship and try to fend off pirates and space creatures (space crabs and herpes and whatnot) - I do not.

Construction ship built - space to pause! (This is a theme of this game, the minigame of timely hitting of the pause button).
Left hand side - hit the hammer.

One ready construction ship, one in pukey orange (i.e. still building).

Click on the nearest to homeworld planet, explored by your intrepid scout ship. If it is a gas giant, with casion, helium, etc (you can click on each planet's resources, it will bring up encyclopedia - for ease of use, a planet is either a gas giant or a normal planet). Select your construction ship from the popup window from clicking on the left side hammer, or click it on screen and then right click on planet - build at planet (in my case, Afegovkij hahahaha.... sigh) mining station or gas station.

That's one way.

Another way, very useful when you have roughly 30 colonies or so (is your sanity going yet?) is to click on the blue square with lines next to blue planet left top screen, or hit F3.

Expansion Planner.

See the resources? Scroll through it - you are responsible for it all. You will make mines to get ALL of them, all 41 (fourty one!!) of them. Muahahahaha! Err, excuse me.

See the dropdown "Potential Colonies"?

Clicky, and pick "Resource Targets by your Empire priority".

You probably have scouted only one or two planets, so pick one (perhaps the one closest to your homeworld), and click Send <name of construction ship> to build mining station. The computer knows whether to make a mine or gas mine.

See? Easy peasy.

Space to unpause.

As your scouts will explore more planets, once the construction ships will end their jobs, you will get notified. Hit F3, and pick next in line planet to build another mine - the UI tells you what stuff your people need most, whether gas fuel, or steel, or luxury to make them happy - build as many mines as there are planets in the Expansion Planet F3 Resource Targets by your empire priority dropdown.

Now, when your scout hits upon a ruin, you have a choice to explore it or leave it alone. Tip - ALWAYS explore them (in fact, you can put that in automatic - hit "O" (that's the letter O, not a zero) key, Empire settings button, for discoveries put dropdowns on Show all results for both ships and ruins. See, the game is noob friendly! "_"

Pirates - if more pirates show up, just pay them. For now. Don't worry, you will get your revenge.

Now, wait for it, you will get a message that a mining station is built. And wow, you will see ships that you have not built going to and fro, from your homeworld to that station. In fact, other ships - miners - will go to scouted planets and mine them for your peeps even though you have not built a mining station on them yet. This economy is alive, like X-Rebirth's! Err, in fact, this economy is real time, live, unlike that flop of a game. Moving on...

The first big retrofit!
This happens when I research energy collectors, medical systems and entertainment systems.
Go to your design small spaceport, add one medical, one entertainment (they are under HAB), add as many energy collectors as you need so that (top right corner of window) Energy collection equals or is slightly greater than Static Energy Usage. That means that when the spaceport is not churning out ships or shooting at bad guys, all that fuel will not be burned but will be saved. Hooray! Cash money in your pocket. Of course, habs and life, and tweak number of basic reactors to have enough power, which results in possibly needing just one more energy collector, which results in needing hab and life units which....



Go to your planet homeworld, right click on spaceport, retrofit to the latest design!

But wait, you want ALL the control, which means that you also design private ships and bases.

No worries, Design, Show Private Bases, add Energy collector (just one is enough) to gas mining and mining station and save those designs. Burp, burp! Pukey orange, pukey orange! But hark! (hark?). You do not need to right click on each of your mining stations and retrofit them. In fact, they are NOT YOUR stations.

These are private sector - you know, Joe Sixpack working class guys (but in spaaaaaace!).

Click your empire flag, top absolute centre of screen. See that Economy box? STATE means your cash - this is in your pocket, and you can use this to build spaceships, spaceports, spacestations, etc. PRIVATE means Joe Sixpack - this is not your money, but is used by your highly intelligent peeps to make their own ships, and do trading.

Now, wait, you say - I build the mining and gas mining stations myself, and they are not mine? Yep... game is weird like that. I know.

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: Game gives me an option to actually retrofit a gas mining/mining station; I assume that it does not work as it is a Private Sector Base?


Once you get a message about hyperdrive discovered (it is on one of the ruins in your system - that is why you put one explorer scout ship hell bent to scout them ASAP) you have a choice. Many people immediately go to Research Screen, Energy and Contruction, and immediately cancel every other research and go to Warp Field Precursors. Me, I do things differently. I am a weirdo - I mean, I PLAY Distant Worlds on manual FOR FUN.

I finish Energy Collection first, no matter what (and redesign my space port and private bases to have them - I usually give energy collectors to my construction ships also, as they stand around a lot when there is no more good planets to rape the resources from). Then I make sure to finish Space Construction - this will allow my ships to be slightly larger, and make the designs so much better (i.e. better range, cargo, more ion thrusters and most importantly, once you research warp bubble/gerax hyperdrive, enough space for the hyperdrive AND reactors AND fuel to go places).

One last thing for this first lesson to end.

Left side screen, where you choose your hammer/constructors and scouts... Click the pukey yellow, third from bottom, Potential Research Locations. If nothing is available, skip to "So what have you accomplished so far?" last paragraph below.

If something is there, lucky you!

Go to design screen, State Bases, manual upgrade High Tech Research (your universal station, remember?). Put two energy collectors in that bad boy (as static usage is 36), hit save.

Now, once a construction ship finishes whatever job it was doing, click on the pukey yellow comet Potential Research Locations, double click on it from the list, the screen jumps to that location in a jiffy (magic!). Click on that planet, you will see in the description on bottom left that it has a set percentage to research of either weapons, energy or high tech. Pick a constructor from the list, right click on planet and build that research station on it (note - you can build many buildings on a planet, so don't worry, even if a mine exists on it, it won't be destroyed).

Once built, after a few days game time (a few seconds your time), you will get research bonus to that category. Hooray! This means that instead of waiting for a research to finish in 5 minutes (your time), it will finish much, much quicker. Say, 4 minutes and 55 seconds, or even faster. Hooray! Well, every little bit helps... and sometimes the boost in research is tremendous...

At this point, you usually get a scientist (or maybe you already had him, and didn't check). If you don't have one yet, skip to last paragraph. Now, to check, click on characters screen, the little person icon on top centre screen, or hit F4.

It is usually safest to place the scientist dude in your spaceport. Unless, he has a trait of Demoralizing (you can see traits by putting your mouse on his face - incidentally, there are no women scientists, because this game is realistic, it is just like reality not political correctness, pshaw!). Then stick the anti social neck beard on that station. Unless he has a Genius trait, which boosts your empire wide research. Then no matter what, stick him to your spaceport and do not ever let him get killed! I got 20% boost to all my research from a genius nerd dude my last game.

Basically, experiment where you place your scientists - whether all in space port, or some in space stations, to get the best boost in every category on the Research (Light bulb F7) => Research Stations Tab. Or perhaps you want the best boost in your newly built research space station? Then put him there, you have 2 of each labs, so each of his skill is used.

Basically, experiment until you get the research boosts you want.

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: Where do you place your scientists, if you are blessed with more than one?


Note on taxes and population growth - you want your homeworld planet's population to grow as fast as possible. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is sometimes worth it to have your STATE money and cashflow in the red, and be in a big bankrupt hole, to accomplish this. Find a happy medium where you just eek out in the beginning of the game, so that your homeworld's population grows at roughly 10%, and you are still able to build ships and stations that you want. Important thing to note is that the game does not end when you are at negative cash, it is really not a big deal. All it does is prevent you from building new ships/stations and retrofitting old ones. The PRIVATE sector has its own purse and if they are in the positive cash white color, all is good.

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: Are there any penalties to the player when cash on hand is red/negative?

When you go to your Colonies F2 screen, each planet is rated by value (which has a lot to do with planet quality - but that's for later, when you will colonize other planets (... in spaaaaaace!). Take my word for it, your homeworld is an AWESOME planet, and the value is decent, and WILL get sky high later, once trade gets going, once you get luxury resources into your planet(s). So a high quality planet with 10000K pop (that's a billion folks, folks) will pay more in taxes than lower value planet.

But that's for later. Right now, you want the tax rate so you just squeak by, and watch your folks sex it up like crazy (10% or better is very good, it is situational though). In fact, I recommend a slight cashflow loss in the beginning. That means that in a few minutes real life time, you will watch your pop grow, which results in negative cashflow, but you will watch it shrink, and then finally hit the glorious white positive money into your pocket. More, when you start colonizing other planets, your Max Pop Homeworld peeps will be more than happy to leave (especially since, once you get medical and recreation unit on your homeworld spaceport, and some luxury resources, they will be happy happy - and at Max Pop, you THEN crank the tax rate to... 20... 30... hell, I am at 55% right now in my current game, and they are still happy. I am rolling in cash).

Right now play some R. Kelly songs (I recommend "Pee on you") and watch the population number grow.

One last thing - quick check on research.

You want to research beam weapons, ultimately to Titan Beam. You also want torpedoes. As soon as I can, I am on Impact Assault Blaster (that's High Power Blasters researched) and Shockwave torpedo (that's High Energy Cohesion done).

Do NOT forget armor - ASAP get Enhanced Armor (High Density Alloys). I recommend researching armor while you are paying the pirates' protection and are defenceless, so get that done first.

Mid game, you want some troops on your worlds for some safety, so get Improved Defence Tactics and Improved Logistics (to save monies).

Energy Construction Tab:
Energy Collection, and Space Construction, ASAP. Before hyperdrive. Then Warp Field Precursors and Hyperdrive Technology (Warp Field Bubble and Gerax Hyperdrive, the one we want, f*** that bubbles noise). Get shields and improve them.

After that, your choice - but Energy Collector, Space Construction and Gerax hyperdrive is the first three, in that order. I go for Enhanced Construction (bigger is ALWAYS better in this game), Advanced Nuclear Fission, Deucalios Shield (under Intensified Shield Strength) and then go for Proton Engine for fasta speedz (I do not consider a faster engine necessary for peacetime, under pirate protection economy run - you do need fast speeds for your warships).

High Tech Industrial Tab:
Medical Systems, Entertainment Systems ASAP and retrofit your spaceport (with Energy collector also). Then Storage System (for Standard Fuel and storage, because small fuel cell SUCKS and you want RANGE for your explorers and warships). I go for Transport Systems next (no, not colony - you want Passenger ships designed and ready to go when you colonize). Then and only then do I click Colonization, Marshy swamp colonization and Continental colonization, in that order (there ALWAYS is a Marshy swamp planet in ALL of my human start games).

So what have you accomplished so far?
You have kickstarted your economy by building gas mines and mines (in spaaaaaaaace! oh, right, sorry, enough of that). You have researched warp bubble crappy crap not-hyperspace and then the awesome GERAX HYPERDRIVE, you have standard fuel and storage, you have shields, you have weapons, you are ready for... PHASE 2 (dum dum DUUUUUUUUUUM!).

Spoiler for phase 2: You will put hyperdrive in your ships, and watch in amazement as the explorer, construction and private ships which took 10 minutes (real time... not game time) to fly throughout your system zip by in one second from one planet to the next. You will put weapons and shields and enhanced armor on all your state bases, AND all your private ones too!

You will watch as giant kaltors eat up your science base and your genius scientist who's in it also, resulting in roughly 50% less research for your species!

You will design a kicka** warship, and then you will tell the pirates to kiss your a**.

All that, in the next installment of The New Guy Newbie Guide to Fully Non Automatic Manual Play - Distant Worlds, The Manly Man Way to Play (tm).

< Message edited by Timotheus -- 12/30/2013 12:03:44 AM >
Post #: 1
Reserved for more wordy words - 12/29/2013 8:47:53 AM   


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Welcome to Phase 2: THE HYPERDRIVE ERA OF EXPLORATION (and spying)

To begin Phase 2, you should have researched ALL of the following technologies, and MUST have them fully researched:
Weapons Tab:
Beam weapons branch up to the High Power Blasters at least.
Torpedo branch up to High Energy Cohesion.

Energy & Construction Tab:
Construction up to Enhanced Construction (so you can build 300 size ships).
Energy collection.
Hyperdrive Technology (so that you have the fantastic Gerax hyperdrive).
Shields, make an effort to push to Enhanced Shields so that your starter shields, Corvidian, are slightly better.

High Tech & Industrial Tab:
Medical Systems, Entertainment Systems.
Storage System (for Standard Fuel and storage, because small fuel cell SUCKS and you want RANGE for your explorers and warships).
Transport Systems (so that you can design a passenger ship, so that your citizens can move to newly colonized planets from your Max Population Homeworld).
At this point start researching Colonization, then Marshy Swamp Colonization and Continental Colonization, in that order.

Gameplay style note: Most people, once they research the first type of hyperdrive (actually pre hyperdrive), Warp Field Precursors, which gives you Warp Bubble Generator to play with, equip it ASAP on their ships. I DO NOT. I wait for the Hyperdrive Technology tech to finish, which gives me the much better Gerax Hyperdrive.

I do it chiefly because the upgrade of designs from non-hyperdrive to hyperdrive vessels is a HUGE PAIN, and I only want to do it once. Hence, I ignore the Bubbles.

Note on Research: When you put your mouse cursor over a research technology, an info popup will tell you whether you get a new component, or an improvement to an existing one, what that technnology does, and how much maintenance (if any) it costs.

Lets take a look at the hyperdrive branch.

Warp Bubbles - give you the WarpBubble Generator (a pre-hyperdrive), size 10, speed 2000 (think on that for a sec - with 10 Ion thrusters on your Explorer, the cruise speed you reach on your fastest ship is 41... this gives you two thousand speed for jumps!). Energy usage of 132. It takes 18 seconds to start the hyperspace jump.

Hyperdrive Technology - gives you the awesome Gerax HyperDrive, size 11, speed of 12500 (!). Energy usage is only 78, which is much cheaper than bubble crap. It takes 15 seconds to jump.

Mouse over to the next hyperspace tech - the Enhanced Hyperdrives.
This does not give you a new technology, but is an improvement to an existing design - in fact, it makes Gerax better. Speed is 15000 now (!!), energy usage slightly worse, initiation slightly faster.

When teching, and retrofitting ships, my strategy is to tech to new components, upgrade and retrofit your ships to include the new component and then research up to all the improvements for that component. An improvement means that there is no need for you to retrofit; it simply means that your already equipped stuff is automatically improved and better.

So the research strategy is to tech to a new thing, change your ships/bases to include it, then research its improvements, and move to another new component, change your ships/bases to include it, research its improvements, and so on like that.

Since you are an experienced 4x player, you want to put those fantastic Gerax drives on your explorers and Construction ships so that they will be 100000000 times faster than the 41 and 24 speed they are chugging along with now.

Yes, yes, lets do it, I am going to the D for desi...
Why do yo...
SHUT UP! First, design a warship.

Right, Design screen, Add New, lets begin.
See the sea of red on top under the warnings? The ship needs ALL of this stuff to be viable. The yellow warnings are useful too - they will remind you that perhaps you should add some shields to your design, so that, you know, it won't die when some weird space herpes show up to munch on them.

Right, follow the warnings to make them disappear, add a reactor (I assume Basic still).
Command Center (only 1 is needed per design, this is a one-off component).
Small fuel cell (one for now).
One each hab and lab.
Oh, the name is blank. Call it PREDATOR (all capitals, so you know this is your military ship).
For Role dropdown, pick Cruiser. Do me a favor, change the picture dropdown from the unassuming, rainbows and flowers design to something more aggressive (the one right below it is COOL!).
Right, almost all the warnings are gone, we need an engine. Add one ion thruster. And one Thrust vector.

Things are going well along.
Great, lets add weapons like the warning advises us to dooooo......
Shut up!
But you said to follow the warni...

Go to the Gerax Hyperdrive, in the category HYP, and add one.
Yes, I KNOW. See the pukey color palette "Movement" on the right? The blue hyper now has speed of 7400!
But wait, this Gerax thing has a speed of... something more, right?
Yes. Now watch this.

Add another Basic Generator.
The speed increased, but I think we can get MOAR SPEED!
That's the spirit! Add one more Basic Generator!
OK, 3 Basic Generators gives us the top hyper speed of 18150.
Right, now compare it to your speedy Explorer with its 41 speed.
Now lets do weapons.
Ooooooo, yes, yes, YEESSSSSSSSH!
I see you are getting into this. Good.

Weapons are under the CATegory WTP, which stands for WeaTpons, of course. Add 4 Impact Blasters. Add two Shockwave torpedoes.
You said something about shields?
Of course; under CATegory SHD (makes sense) you see Covidian Shields. Highlight them and click "> 5x".
Under ARM, you have Armor. Add Enhanced Armor (or Standard Armor if you haven't research it yet). "> 5x".

Now, the military ships WILL stand around doing f***-all, because when they move they burn fuel (err, Energy) and cost you money to operate. So why move them when there are no targets to engage? To save money, add in Energy Collector.

Oh s***m, man, the size of the ship (top left of window) is increasing, and I only have 230 size! Thank goodness we are done here!

First, I TOLD YOU to have researched Enhanced Construction for 300 size ships, right?
Oh yeah, I did that. Sweet!

Pukey colors movement time. See the Range on your first warship? 1.13 sectors. That means that it can just move once to the edge of your sector, and then it will sloooooowly (ships with no fuel energy move SLOW in hyperspace and also, note, do not fire weapons) move back to refuel.

Lets increase the range - add 6 more small fuel cells, for a total of 7.
As usual, put in enough Habs and Life modules so that the red warning disappears.

Size is now 233, and if you have not researched Enhanced Construction, you MUST take out some s*** so that you could actually build this ship to your currently researched maximum size limit (that's 230 for you losers who have not researched Enhanced Construction).

Take out 3 armor components - and we have now a size 230 ship. A very slooooooooow ship.
But wait, the hyperspace speed is maxed out!
Yes, but the way this game works, is that ships jump into a system and then use the thruster ENG to orient themselves and then the pushing ENGine (Ion, then Proton, then other improved designs) to actually move closer to their target.

So your spiffy warship will jump near your target, and then move at speed of Cruise speed 2 to attack it. Remember how slow your Constructor ships moved at speed 24? Now imagine your warship at speed 2!
Yikes! That's bad!

Lets add Ion thrusters - up to 12, so that the speed increases to Cruise speed 21.
Heinz Guderian, the guy who helped those cuddly, lovable Germans conquer half the planet has said that "The engine of the Panzer is a weapon just as the main-gun", and so it is with spaceships. I find that speed 21 is not too shabbyfor a warship bristling with weapons.

So we have the final design - 4 impact assault blasters, 2 shockwave torpedoes, 12 Ion thrusters, pretty spiffy range of 7.66 with energy collector to boot.
Pukey orange!

Building ships - you can do the right click on spaceport, OR you can go to the top screen icon of a heavy lifter (?) or press F10 to go to Construction Yards. Since you only have one, it is easy to pick where you want to construct your new

PREDATORs now. Build three.

This might take a bit - you have a small spaceport (advantage of which is that it is CHEAP, which is a BIG advantage) that does not have many Construction Yards, MNF (manufacturers) which make Weapons, High Tech and Energy components.

Also, when you double click on a spaceport or use the Construction Yards F10 screen, you see the ships being in construction and Ships waiting to be constructed. In a healthy economy, civilian ships are already being made, and your stuff is at the bottom of the queue. You can select your ships that you want to prioritize and "Move to Top" of the queue.

When they are built, should be two or three at once, SPACE! to pause the game.
Click on each ship and make it move short distance away from Homeworld.
Then, classic RTS fashion, select them all using right click and make a rectangle to encompass them all. Once they are all selected, right click on one of them, Join Fleet => New Fleet.

Hooray - you now have your first warfleet. Once all warships of this batch are built and in 1st fleet, Space to pause!
Yes, of course, now you will redesign all the ships.
Oh for f***s sake!
But first, redesign all the bases.
I feel you. This is the worst retrofit/upgrade of the game. Lucky for you, you only do it once, and not twice for warp bubble and then gerax.

Design screen, STATE bases.
Add weapons and shields and enhanced armor to your spaceport and research stations (Note that planetary bases have NO size limit, because you are building on a planet, while space stations, like your Research stations, do. Hence Enhanced Construction helps heaps here, also).

Remember your cash flow? Do not go overboard and make the small space port and research station TOO COSTLY. I will not guide you step by step - you are a big boy now and will make your own call on how many impact blasters and shockwave torpedoes and shields and armor you will have on your bases.

Once the redesign is done...
I right click on each one!
Yes... Well... No... Well... Not necessarily.

Right next to heavy crane on top screen, is the Ships and Bases Screen F11. Clicky.
Drop down action.
See all the categories of various stuff? YES! You ARE responsible for ALL of them! Muahahaha! Err, moving on...

Wait a moment... Exactly how big is this game?
You know, I want to play something simpler right now.
No, Aurora 4X.
I don't blame you. Take a deep breath. Go take a break (but hit SPAAAAACE! to pause) and make yourself some hot tea or chocolate. Go outside. Come back. All ready now?
Better. It's f***ing cold outside dude.
Right, continuing.

Right now, pick Space ports from the dropdown menu.
You only have one, so highlight it.
Click Retrofit button.
New window pops up - Retrofit selected designs.
In the Retrofit To dropdown, select your new design (Mk 3 I believe - anyway, the game will give you the LATEST modern design so there is limited chance to screw this up. Once you have MANY types, THEN it becomes easier to f*** the retrofits up).
Of course hit "Retrofit Selected Items to New Design".
In a massive empire, with 30 small spaceports, say, use this screen to select them all and retrofit them en masse. This is giving you a basis of how to control this game, in baby steps.

Design time. Have fun, dude. Redesign Exploration ships so they can explore all the galaxy. And by that I mean the 1/25 of it that is in range.
Add Gerax hyperdrive, add fuel cells (hopefully you have standard ones, and not small), add some shields, some armor, perhaps take out some ion thrusters (or not), and save. The more fuel you have, the better this will work.

Next up, Construction Ships. Again, Gerax hyperdrive, fuel cells, shields, armor.
Do not forget energy collectors for the Constructors!
Add exra storage - small or better yet standard cargo bays so that they do not have fly two times to make one mine/gas mine.

Next up, from same Ships and Bases screen F11: Exploration Ships.
Retrofit them en masse. And by that I mean the two of them...
Next up, from same Ships and Bases screen: Construction Ships.
Same deal.

Left side, pick the Exploration ships icon - pick the one that is the latest mark i.e. successfully retrofitted to latest design. You know, the ones with the Gerax hyperdrive... When selected, a ship with no hyperdrive will have a "no hyperdrive" in the bottom left Selection Panel window.

Zoom out away from your system.

Make sure to select that scout with Gerax. Right click on nearest unexplorer system.


Oh the excitement!

Your scout is now happily exploring the nearest system, planet to planet, automatically. The second scout, you can right click and put "Explore this system" to inspect all the odds and ends like asteroids, which might also have resources on them which can be mined. And the closer a resource is to your home world, the cheaper it is for ships to travel to get it.

Ding ding!

Why, hello, Mr Giant Kaltor (or two or three).

Chances are, that your first hyperspace jump results in an event spawn of Giant Kaltors. Usually, they spawn nearest your most expensive/important structure. If you have a scientist in a research station, then I guarantee it that it is THERE that they will spawn.

Space to pause! Quick!

Left hand side, the star icon - that is your fleet selection icon. Clicky.

Select 1st fleet. Then click Mr. Giant Kaltor.

Your warships will now use the FAST hyperdrive to swoop in and engage the space herpes with their weapons.

Congratulations - your first pew pew (in spaaaaaaa... sorry).

Once they are dead, chances are you have discovered that you have Mr. Space Gonnorhea (or space slug) near an asteroid field in your home system. Kill them too - otherwise your poor explorer will fly in to try to explore the asteroids, and then run away from the slugs, and then try again, ad infinitum...

Right, all clear. That was exciting. Hopefully your research station/mines are all OK - if not, rebuild with your


Select your fleet, in the bottom left Selector window, you see YET MORE ICONS on its bottom (Yay, more icons!).

Hit the stop sign. The fleet stops what they were doing. A good sign.

Hit the icon next to it - the one called "Refuel and Repair Fleet". Guess what this will do?

If some of your ships were damaged (a possibbility), then they will be repaired. All of them will be refueled.

Once that is done, select your fleet, and move your mouse cursor near your Homeworld planet - make it so that it changes to a planet icon (Move to planet homeworld). Do not tell them to patrol (planet icon with yellow arrows around it) as that will lead to them moving AROUND the planet endlessly, burning up fuel for no reason. Tell to Move to Planet and park their butts there, using no fuel.

Never patrol, always park their butts using Move to Planet (to do that, click on edge of planet when fleet/ship is selected, not on a planet proper).

Once everything is constructed that you need from Expansion Planner Screen, do the same with your Construction ships - park them near homeworld.

As of this moment, you should have at least a three (or more, if you can afford it and are so inclined) small fleet of warships with Gerax, decent fuel range (7 systems or more), some weapons, shields, armor on them also.
All your STATE bases are also weaponized, with shields, weapons, enough reactors to pew pew continously.

Now, go to Design, and add shields, armor and weapons to PRIVATE bases - gas mining and mining bases. Add weapons, shields, armor, don't forget Energy collectors if they are not there, save the designs for both.

The computer should start to retrofit both your STATE and PRIVATE bases at this point so they are all weaponized, shielded and armored.

And for PRIVATE bases, you know at this point that you personally do not pay for their upkeep - the PRIVATE sector does... and they have a shi*load more money than you, the pauper government (apparently, in the future, the government does not print as much money as it wants, imagine that).

Select your explorers. Right click on it, choose "Explore the whole sector", which is the quadrant it currently is in.

Instead of tediously guiding it yourself system to system, the intrepid explorers will map the whole sector for you. Neat!

Like I have said, this game is very noob friendly. "_"

Once they are done with a system (starting with your own home sector), they will tell you in a popup message. I usually refuel them (right click - refuel at nearest) and click on an unexplored system in a nearby sector, and do the "Explore the whole sector" again. Off they go.

Once that is all sorted out, the constructors are building (or are parked at your homeworld, all done), your explorers exploring all over, you have a choice.


Click the two flags, Diplomacy screen F5.

Your empire's name, The Kickazz Awesome Radical Empire of Cool Peeps, or whatever the computer named it for you or whatever YOU renamed it, is there. Shows your capital (Homeworld... duh), your gov type, tax revenue... f*** this noise.

What you care about now is Military Strength. Check that number.

Click on the pirate faction(s) which extorts money from you. Check how many military ships they got and what is their firepower.

Is their firepower MUCH greater than yours?

Then it is wise to continue paying the ransom every month.

Is it close? Are they weaker?

Tell them to f*** off - Speak to them and Cancel the Protection agreement.

When they inevitably try to attack your stuff, your STATE and PRIVATE bases are now weaponized, and should hold them off a bit. Select your fleet and fly to the rescue - you can either target an enemy ship with your fleet or do the Move to command with your fleet, which I personally prefer doing.

Note that pirates are enemies of other pirates, and cancelling a protection agreement with one does not impact other pirates. So pick the weakest group of pirates that you are paying and cancel only the deal with them - and see if you can manage, survive and thrive.

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: When do you break the protection agreement with the pirates?


Once you learn of other empires, they will populate this Diplomacy F5 screen, and it behooves you to check your population, number of colonies, Tax Revenue, GDP, but especially MILITARY STRENGTH and compare them to your empire.

I recommend that you TRY to keep up with your weapons research to try to not be TOO WEAK, as military weakness invites economic blockades, attacks (and in this game, a few attacks and ship destruction DOES NOT NECESSARILY result in full blown war) and even planetary invasions (again, taking over an enemy planet MAY NOT RESULT IN FULL BLOWN WAR).

You should have gotten in contact with a race of mechanoids, called Ancient Guardians. They are... super strong.

No worries - they are the good guys and will never attack you (mostly true).

But they have been in this galaxy far longer, and know a bit more about it.

As humans, you have spies. Spies are spiffy, a game exploit and literally break this game.

Goto Open Characters screen F4.

You should have at least one spy at this point. Pick him (they are called Intelligence Agents).

His skills are a mystery - all you see is question marks. We will fix it by kickstarting his career post haste... I mean now.

Hit "Cancel Mission". All spies when not on specific missions do Counter Intelligence for you - which means they prevent enemy (or friendly but jelaous) NPC empires from spying on you, blowing up your bases, assassinating your genius scientists, sabotaging construction, inciting rebellion or even revolution... You know, the usual boring Civ style crap "_"

Target Empire dropdown - pick the pirates you know.
Mission type - steal Galaxy map.

Uh oh - chances are... slim. Your spy WILL get caught, the pirates WILL get angry and they WILL cancel protection and start shooting at you. Talking to them to renew the agreement will cost you more. Don't do it.

Target Empire dropdown - pick the Ancient Guardians.
Mission type - steal Galaxy map.
Is the chance of success 80% or more? Then yesh, DO IT.
Chances are, it is not. DO NOT DO any missions with chance of success lower than 80%. Ever.
At 80%, what happens in failure is that your spy is detected and you take a reputation hit with the spied on faction - but

the spy survives, and gains skills and traits. At lower than 80%, the spy is caught and executed. And depending on luck and your total empire population, to get a new spy might take hours... yes, of real life time, not game time.

But to kickstart an agent's career, we need him to do a mission. Target the Ancient Guardians, and do the mission Steal Territory Map.

Time to complete - the longer you give him, the better the chance to pull it off. One year game time.

Do this for all your spies. Remember , 80% chance of success or above.

Once they complete the mission, then they will become better at that spying stuff.

Try to steal the Galaxy Map from the Guardians. This is gamebreaking as instead of exploring with your Explorers, tediously, system by system, a huge chunk of the galaxy will become immediately explored.

Once that happens, try to find your explorers (whom you should have set to map whole nearby sectors wholesale) and move them to any ruins (that's the three dots, systems with ruins show the three dots symbol, zoom in with your mouse, find the planet with the ruin, set nearest explorer scout to explore that planet ASAP).

Ruins usually give you goodies and bonuses, GalCIV2 style, so hop on this quick.

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: How do you explore the galaxy? How many scouts do you have? Do you explore whole sectors or manually guide them?


At this point, you should have broken the protection agreement with the pirates, and then either promptly reinstated it (OMG they are killer, please don't hurt me space mobster!) or somehow managed to survive and thrive without paying the ransom payments.

You should have all STATE and PRIVATE bases weaponized, shielded and armored (don't forget the energy co.. well, you know).

Your small warship fleet is poised to defend your people and your territory.

You are researching:
Weapons - Beam and Torpedoes.

Energy - Shields, Fission reactors, Proton Engines, Manevrouing and most importantly, bigger size ships in the Orbital

Assembly Branch. Do Damage Control also

High Tech - Colonization, Marshy Swamp and Continental and then do Proximity Sensors and Long Range Scanners.

Note: Long Range Scanners are crucial - put them on EVERY PRIVATE and STATE base, and eat the costs in extra reactors needed, energy collectors, and maintenance. This is your radar - without it you are blind and vulnerable to raiding parties

and worse - full blown enemy invasions. Saturate the coverage of your empire.

You have the base for expansion.... Next up:

Spoiler for Phase 3: Expansion!
In the next episode, you will colonize your first planet. And then another! You will design better and better warships,

with better engines, thrusters, weapons and shields (while keeping PRIVATE ships cheap, sticking with Gerax and Ion).

You will hunt pirate bases! In spaaaaaace! But also - hidden pirate bases ON YOUR PLANETS! On your freaking planets!!

You will steal galaxy maps from EVERYBODY and get into galaxy wide politics!

You will build a large Homeworld spaceport, and then marvel at how much it costs you in maintenance!

And you will reload from the last save, as it all comes crashing down in ruin, as the pirates murder you mercilessly, your weak warships are vaporized, space spiders and ants invade your planets and effortlessly take them over and you say f*** this s*** and go back to Farmville.

On the next episode of....

The New Guy Newbie Guide to Fully Non Automatic Manual Play - Distant Worlds, The Manly Man Way to Play (tm).

< Message edited by Timotheus -- 12/29/2013 11:27:50 PM >

(in reply to Timotheus)
Post #: 2
Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 8:48:10 AM   


Posts: 313
Joined: 12/13/2013
Status: offline
Reserved for more wordy words

Note that I want this to make an interactive Guide, and so there are sections which have the

ANSWER: <left blank>

That's where YOU come in.

Answer in the thread and you will get a reward. Plus, you will help me play this game better, as well as help other new guys who are learning it or better yet, those who are scared of this game's learning curve and are on the fence for buying this great game.

Final note - this is how *I* play this game, and the guide is designed to make a completely new guy, first time in game, deer in headlights look of fear in the eyes look guy NOT turn off the game and go back to Farmville but to stick around and discover how awesome this game is.

< Message edited by Timotheus -- 12/29/2013 11:15:53 PM >

(in reply to Timotheus)
Post #: 3
RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 11:43:18 AM   

Posts: 399
Joined: 12/8/2013
Status: offline
Holy freaking kaltor-shagging hell, Tim. That's one heck of a way to make me feel like I'm not writing excessively long posts. :-)

I've collected all your questions below. I can't quite answer them all just yet, at least not with the authority that I'd like, but I'll have a go at some of them.

QUESTION 1 FOR EXPERTS: What the **** is Attack Overmatch?
QUESTION 2 FOR EXPERTS: What size galaxy, what size sectors, pirates, difficulty etc do you pick and why?
QUESTION 3 FOR EXPERTS: I have noticed that the Construction ships have to make two trips to make one gas/mine station. How many small cargo Bays do we need to make it just one trip?
QUESTION 4 FOR EXPERTS: You know, a complete list of all components which are one-off, only one needed, would be nice.
QUESTION 5 FOR EXPERTS: Do we REALLY need some excess energy? Game lets me save the design even at -9 Excess Energy? What's the penalty for this?
QUESTION 6 FOR EXPERTS: What is the penalty for stacking two scientists in one location together? Three? Four?
QUESTION 7 FOR EXPERTS: What EXACTLY is bonus income; list everything?
QUESTION 8 FOR EXPERTS: Game gives me an option to actually retrofit a gas mining/mining station; I assume that it does not work as it is a Private Sector Base?
QUESTION 9 FOR EXPERTS: Where do you place your scientists, if you are blessed with more than one?
QUESTION 10 FOR EXPERTS: Are there any penalties to the player when cash on hand is red/negative?

ANSWER 1: From the Galactopedia: Attack Overmatch controls the level of firepower your military ships consider adequate to attack an enemy target. When a space battle takes place, this setting will be used to determine how many military ships are assigned to each enemy target.

ANSWER 2: I'm not quite ready to call myself an expert yet so I'm still cruising on normal, 700-1000 systems, 10x10 grid, loads of average or strong pirates at an average or close distance, usually with as little space critters as possible since they're kind of boring.

ANSWER 3: A typical mining station probably costs 350-400 resources all in all, depending on design choices and whatnot. This means two small cargo bays for the needed materials but then the constructor might be hauling more stuff with it, which means more cargo space is better. Personally I prefer capacity overkill so my constructors have a cargo capacity of at least 2000.

ANSWER 4: Yeah, I know. I'm working on it. Most of the components are fairly obvious, though.

ANSWER 5: Excess energy is what you have left after the static energy drain is covered. Negative excess energy means you've got no energy left for your guns and engines. I haven't tested yet but I wouldn't be surprised if certain components also only work if there's energy for them. I think I vaguely recall having seen shields draining due to power loss as well. Regardless of what happens, I can't think of any situation where it would actually be useful to have negative excess energy.

By the way, in the section where you asked this question, I think you also made a minor mistake. You said that if weapons use up to 192 energy per second while the excess is only 189 then every weapon can't be fired. I believe what actually happens is that the energy storage will be drained like a battery and then things switch off once the storage is drained.

ANSWER 6: Haven't looked into it.

ANSWER 7: I believe "bonus income" is every type of income that isn't either tax or tribute. The main generators are tourism, trading fees, and civilian ship purchases.

ANSWER 8: I haven't looked into whether this button works. I think it does, though.

ANSWER 9: Until I find a great spot for a research base, I keep all my scientists at my homeworld's large spaceport. It's pretty safe and it has labs. Once I have a research bonus of the right type at a reasonably safe location, the relevant scientists go to that base instead.

ANSWER 10: I don't think you can't buy stuff unless you've got the money for it so having red cash on hand would not be a good situation to be in.

(in reply to Timotheus)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 2:34:53 PM   

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"Are you a man, or are you a neckbeard!? " ROFL!!

As numbered by Spidey;
#2 - 15x15, 1400, 19 other major empires, Pre-warp, Hard, Pirates no respawn/average distance/Weak-normal (been gang raided by too many pirates to pay off at times)

#3 - Add a cargo bay or 2 to your constructors and be a lot happier.

#4 - Targetting, Countermeasures, Damage Control, Hyper Deny, Command, Commerce, Recreation, Medical, Scanners, Hyperdrive, All are unique and while a second may provide backup, two do not add.

#5 - Excess Energy should be equal to or greater than the energy cost of your weapon systems if you want your weapons to fire at max rate. Energy collectors should exceed Static energy usage to avoid fuel consumption. Also note, until late game, you need more than a single reactor to reach max FTL speeds.

#8 - As best as I can tell, the button works for all bases/facilities.

< Message edited by CyclopsSlayer -- 12/29/2013 3:43:06 PM >

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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 10:18:42 PM   


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Woot, Phase 2: THE HYPERDRIVE ERA OF EXPLORATION (and spying) is up.

If this helps out even one total newbie who is terrified of this game, then it is worth it.

Note that I will put in the experts' answers in the ANSWER: line, once I get pretty much confirmation and broad agreement on said answer.

We all know that it helps to add extra cargo to construction ships - but EXACTLY how many small cargo modules do we need in a Constructor so that it makes only ONE trip to build a new mine?

(in reply to CyclopsSlayer)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 11:04:56 PM   


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Found expert answer!

QUESTION FOR EXPERTS: What is the penalty for stacking two scientists in one location together? Three? Four?

ANSWER: When more than one character is assigned to the same location, there can be synergistic effects.

Scientists are assigned to a research location. They give the research at that location a bonus that should be cumulative with the existing bonuses.

Each scientist at a research station provides research bonuses to the specific research area of the station (Weapons, Energy, HighTech). Additional scientists at the same research station provide half their skills on top of the first scientist, progressively halving with each additional scientist. Thus: Scientist 1 gives full 12% energy research bonus, Scientist 2 gives half of their 10% energy research bonus (5%), Scientist 3 gives one quarter of their 8% energy research bonus (2%), for a total of 19% energy research bonus (12 + 5 + 2).

(in reply to Timotheus)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 11:37:16 PM   

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ORIGINAL: Timotheus

We all know that it helps to add extra cargo to construction ships - but EXACTLY how many small cargo modules do we need in a Constructor so that it makes only ONE trip to build a new mine?

Nice work, Timotheus.

To answer your question above, if you want to make the pre-designed mining stations, then you need two small cargo modules. One cargo module will leave you three components short.

However, you can redesign the mining stations such that you only need one small cargo module. From memory, if you halve the cargo modules on the stations (from 20 to 10), remove the pulse blasters, use only one fuel cell, and reduce the life support and hab to two each, then you should find a constructor with one small cargo module is sufficient. You can probably get away with removing fewer components from the pre-designed stations, but I haven't tested the exact limits. Anyway, it's not a big deal to put two small cargo modules on the constructors - I normally use four, and they're still very quick to produce.


< Message edited by Osito -- 12/30/2013 12:42:56 AM >

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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 11:42:03 PM   

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QUESTION 8 FOR EXPERTS: Game gives me an option to actually retrofit a gas mining/mining station; I assume that it does not work as it is a Private Sector Base?

I don't know whether I've understood this question. You certainly can manually retrofit gas mining stations and mining stations, but I don't know whether that's the question you were asking.


(in reply to Osito)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/29/2013 11:56:01 PM   


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"Nice work, Timotheus."

Well, uh, you know, gosh (face all red).

I forgot to add good proven ship design to the guide - will do so later. Things like 3 gas extractors on gas miners, 3 mining engines on mining ships (3 is the optimum number I read somewhere with proof on this forum), and adding more gas extractors and fuel cells and docking pads to gas mines (i.e. your fuel stations) and more mining engines and storage space to mining stations.

I am more curious (desperately so) as to how much cargo space is necessary to NOT be required to make two trips to build one mining station. Then we can calculate how many small cargo/standard cargo that is.

For simplicity's sake, I leave the mining stations as is, with only adding energy collectors, and then weapons/shields/armor/long range scanner plus odds and ends like habs/life/reactors to make them viable.

QUESTION 8: Sorry for not being clear here.

What I am asking is that if I retrofit a PRIVATE mining/gas mining base by right click => retrofit or by doing it on Ships and Bases screen, will the game do it.

I am under the impression that this is PRIVATE sector and you, the player, should have no say as to when the AI chooses to retrofit those bases. You the player ONLY provide new designs which the AI then CHOOSES to retrofit to.


(in reply to Osito)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/30/2013 12:26:24 AM   

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While the game may or may not update on its own, you can always force the update manually.

Choose the single ship icon on the top shortcut bar. (toward the far right of the top bar)
Click on the 'Role' header to sort by role, also such things as all of a type. Small freighters/Mining station/ etc... grouped together.
Select all the units in a category, ie. all Mining Stations.
Select Retrofit, and choose the appropriate design name.

You can also seek out each and every base and target it, then click the 'up arrow'.

< Message edited by CyclopsSlayer -- 12/30/2013 1:27:39 AM >

(in reply to Timotheus)
Post #: 11
RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/30/2013 12:33:58 AM   


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So you can force the AI to upgrade the PRIVATE sector bases ASAP.

We pretty much have a consensus here that indeed this works.

Good to know!

Thanks all.

< Message edited by Timotheus -- 12/30/2013 1:35:16 AM >

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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/30/2013 1:02:14 AM   

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Good thread Timotheus, I'll comment at a later date, as clearly some time will be needed to read it all!

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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/30/2013 1:11:07 AM   


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"Good thread Timotheus".

Gosh, shucks

"I'll comment at a later date, as clearly some time will be needed to read it all!"

I set out to make a newbie guide to help potential new players jump right in and not be too confused. Looking at this monstrosity, I think I may have achieved the opposite result

Still, there was no total newbie no idea what's going on step by step guide, and am rushing in to fill the void.

Oh yeah, best guide for advanced players who know what they are doing and want to improve is this one:

Best Guide for Advanced Players

< Message edited by Timotheus -- 12/30/2013 2:12:16 AM >

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/30/2013 10:35:52 AM   

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ORIGINAL: Timotheus

Looking at this monstrosity, I think I may have achieved the opposite result

Best Guide for Advanced Players

I wouldn't say that. Anyone who is interested can make the effort to read the document. That's not to say you couldn't improve it with some headers and additional formatting (admittedly, the formatting capability of the board is quite limited).


(in reply to Timotheus)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/31/2013 10:57:17 AM   

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this is a great thread, even if you have some experience in the early game. I find the more advanced guides daunting but you've done a great job picking out the essentials.

Now if you could write a short guide to how to recover your economy in the early mid-game after you've trashed it doing too many upgrades that would be fantastic

thank you


WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/31/2013 11:52:01 AM   


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I think I will stop at part 3 - colonization, as this is where the full blown game happens. It will have spying, tech stealing, sabotage, which planets to colonize etc.


Rather, build colony ships and always have 1 parked at your homeworld, and when a new juicy planet shows up on your scanners, run that already built colony ship there.

Tip 2 - sometimes it is better to build troop transports, load up some cheapo infantry and invade an independent instead of trying for colonization. This is faster, and if not done too much, the reputation hit is manageable.

(in reply to loki100)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 12/31/2013 11:03:06 PM   

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I can see the need for this Timotheus so have added to the Guide to Guide Mk II, would be good to see the thread continue to expand on tips for newbies.

(in reply to Timotheus)
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RE: Reserved for yet more wordy words - 1/1/2014 1:16:55 AM   

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ORIGINAL: Timotheus


Rather, build colony ships and always have 1 parked at your homeworld, and when a new juicy planet shows up on your scanners, run that already built colony ship there.

Go into the construction screen, select your homeworld, build X amount of colony ships.
You find a suitable planet, go into the expansion planner and select that planet and you can now send any of the colony ships you have queued to be built.

Independents and colony ships.
Even if you have not researched a planet type you can still colonize it using the expansion planner, for example you do not have Desert world researched but have a colony of ex-independent Mortalens on a Desert world that you sent transports to and conquered, you can now select to pay and build Desert capable colony ships from that Desert world, just be sure that the independent is of sufficient size in population to ensure a good building speed.



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(in reply to Timotheus)
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Thanks - 1/13/2014 12:19:45 AM   


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I'm a noob (just bought the game and xpacs today) and this is a great guide (and fun to read). I figured I'd check this out between tutorials as part of my pregame windup. Good stuff. I want part III!

(in reply to Timotheus)
Post #: 20
RE: Thanks - 1/25/2014 7:44:27 PM   


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I've had Distant Worlds for a few years now, but when I first picked up the game I found it to be kind of boring. I knew I could have turned off a lot of the automation but I felt intimidated about doing so because of how many things it appeared that I would have to juggle controlling. I enjoyed the game for a while, but soon it felt like I was just watching my empire grow itself with limited input from me so I moved on to other games.

Last month I decided to pick up the Shadows expansion during the holiday sale to see if it added enough to keep me interested in the game and I came across this thread around the same time. I started out a game following the directions above exactly and now I'm having a blast since I've learned a lot about running my empire myself without feeling overwhelmed. So thanks very much to Timotheus and I really hope to see the third and final part of this guide completed soon. Having the guide expand just a little bit more to cover colonization, spying, and tech stealing would be great. I've already figured some things out for myself when it comes to these subjects but it would be to see my decisions either affirmed or corrected and it would leave both new players and returning players like me with a good grasp of everything they need to jump into the not-so-deep end of the pool that is full manual control :)

(in reply to voqar)
Post #: 21
RE: Thanks - 1/26/2014 5:51:25 PM   


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Wow, thanks everybody

Echo2361 you are exactly the person I wrote the guy for, and am very happy that it is working as intended. I was in exactly the same position as you, playing with automation on, and watching the game play itself with myself becoming progressively more bored.

Am very happy that this guide works for total noobs like voqar (no offense - I was one too when I started this game) and gets folks up to speed.

I will write the 3rd part, pinkey promise, but my busy social life (Skyrim and its mods, actually - it is a full time job, this is!) and busy professional consulting life (read - drinking too much and not enough sleep) are getting in the way.

Thing is, in the 3rd part there are politics, different races and many out of my control factors which would make a step by step guide iffy, so I think in part 3 I will forgo the step by step approach and just put in guidance for dealing with various races and colonizations.

< Message edited by Timotheus -- 1/26/2014 6:53:43 PM >

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Post #: 22
RE: Thanks - 5/24/2014 4:34:53 AM   

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Timotheus! I just bought DW on Steam, and am getting ready to dive in. I found your posting, and it looks very awesome. I plan on going through it very carefully over this holiday weekend.

So, are you still planning on continuing with this?

(in reply to Timotheus)
Post #: 23
RE: Thanks - 5/24/2014 5:25:36 AM   


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Haha, your avatar reminds me of that free golden birdies in warthunda.

Thing is, by that point game becomes incredibly random (and interesting!) and won't follow a nice scenario path...

I can post general guidelines for when your empire grows a bit...

(in reply to jglazier)
Post #: 24
RE: Thanks - 5/24/2014 10:08:52 AM   

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Welcome back! Where've you been, man?


P.S. Don't waste time answering that: get on with completing your guide :-)

(in reply to Timotheus)
Post #: 25
RE: Thanks - 5/24/2014 11:01:50 AM   

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Please continue this guide. Would also be better if someone could provide screenies to go with the guide. Please make this the guide to end all guides!!

(in reply to Osito)
Post #: 26
RE: Thanks - 5/24/2014 11:35:20 AM   

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Well, not me, but I imagine everyone needing this as a guide who doesnt have a second monitor/machine...


DW:U BalanceMod v0.9 (extended TechTree)
compatible with DW:U Extended, StarTrek and XPanded

(in reply to towerbooks3192)
Post #: 27
RE: Thanks - 5/24/2014 3:07:52 PM   
Erik Rutins


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Thanks for posting this, Timotheus.


Erik Rutins
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For official support, please use our Help Desk:

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RE: Thanks - 5/24/2014 4:14:11 PM   

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Independents and colony ships.
Even if you have not researched a planet type you can still colonize it using the expansion planner, for example you do not have Desert world researched but have a colony of ex-independent Mortalens on a Desert world that you sent transports to and conquered, you can now select to pay and build Desert capable colony ships from that Desert world, just be sure that the independent is of sufficient size in population to ensure a good building speed.


I DID NOT know this!!!

Timotheus,this is absolutely brilliant, I LMAO while reading the entire thread and picked up quite a few things. Speaking as a former total n00b myself, I really, REALLY wish I had seen this post earlier in my DW career. Thank you!

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 29
RE: Thanks - 5/25/2014 1:13:21 PM   


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The opening post has a question about attack overmatch.

This is about what the game should do when for instance fleet attacks fleet. If for instance it is a 10 vs 10 with identical ships. 3:1 attack overmatch will make 3 of your ships attack each single opponent ship.

I prefer to put i to the max, as I prefer ganging up and killing fast.

The most annoying side is if I got a large fleet, and there is a single enemy. A few ships tries to get in range for a shot, while the rest sit idle. Until I tell the whole fleet to attack...

(in reply to FingNewGuy)
Post #: 30
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