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Author Topic: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course  (Read 2697 times)

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Offline Iaera

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Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« on: 12/16/16, 12:33:52 AM »
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Introduction

Galactic Starfighter is an unusual little mode, squirreled away in the bowels of SWTOR. My experience has been that a lot of people are intimidated by it, or otherwise scared away from diving too deeply into it thanks to its intense learning curve and PvP focus. I think this is a shame, because it's the deepest, and in my opinion, best thing added to SWTOR since launch (possibly rivaled by Strongholds, but that's just me!).

This guide is intended to be very basic and easy to skim through for newbies looking for quick explanations. For a more thorough instructional series, I recommend checking out Derrad's excellent guide here.



halp how 2 lock s-foils in attack position??

Well I'm glad you asked! In this guide, I'm going to focus on getting you through your first 10 matches or so - specifically, how the Tier 1 Scout and Tier 1 Strike Fighter that you start with work, and how to learn the ropes from there. I advise all GSF newbies I fly with to expect a lot of difficulty in their first 10 matches - it's a steep learning curve, and it takes some patience to get the hang of things! So don't get discouraged if you seem to do poorly at first - that's normal!

Important Settings

Before you jump in, I recommend looking at the GSF settings buried in the options menu. Somewhere in there there's a setting that enables advanced tooltips for your hangar screen - I highly recommend turning this on, as it gives you much more information about your ship's equipment and upgrades!

Also be aware that the controls are very sensitive. Unfortunately, I don't think there's much you can do about it, so be prepared to learn very smooth, subtle movements to manoeuvre your starfighter!

In terms of keyboard controls, be prepared to use a lot of keys near WASD! You'll need your number keys, the function keys above them (F1, F2, F3, and F4), spacebar, and a few other odds and ends. Some dogfights can result in a lot of frantic button pressing as you desperately try to evade incoming missiles while recharging your shields and pulling a hard turn!

Hangar

One last thing before you start blasting into the nearest furball - hangar setup! As a rookie pilot, you don't have too much to worry about yet, but if your character is high level and/or has lots of story progression done, then you'll want to look at your Crew options. Some basic crew are available to all characters, but as your progress in your class story you also get access to your class companions and even Legacy companions. Each companion has different stat bonuses when assigned to a crew position on your starfighter, and an additional active ability when chosen as your Co-Pilot.

For these rookie matches, I recommend choosing crew who boost Evasion or Accuracy where possible, and the Repair ability on your Co-Pilot - this will give you a self-repair ability on your 4 key. As you play more, you'll get a better understanding of the various crew options, at which point you should experiment and see what suits your playstyle!



This is it, boys. It's time to cut across the axis and try to draw their fire.

Hit that queue button! Sometimes the queue can be a little slow depending on the time of day. For some company - and helpful pointers - don't forget to /cjoin GSF

Hopefully, the most basic controls are mostly self-explanatory, but just in case: Holding W will make you move fast, holding S will make you move slow, and holding spacebar will use your Engine Power to boost at high speed across the map. Left mouse button fires your lasers, and Right mouse button uses your secondary weapon (for missiles, hold it down to lock your target, then release once you have a solid tone!). Press E to target an enemy in front of you.

Your Tier 1 Scout - NovaDive / S-12 Blackbolt

Scouts are fast, agile, hit-and-run dogfighters - your abilities help you get into fights and then get back out very quickly! If you find yourself getting damaged, don't try to 'tank' it - RUN! Hit your boost and BOLT! Tactically, you want to try to ambush enemies who are already engaged with one of your teammates, then zip back to safety when the enemy notices you. It's very difficult for a rookie scout pilot to successfully dogfight an opponent who's aware of them - you are welcome to give it a try, but if you're feeling outmatched, there's no shame in boosting to the nearest teammates in search of some assistance!

Familiarise yourself with your weapons:
  • Rapid-fire Lasers - Unfortunately, these are terrible weapons for newbies. They are very situational, and you should focus the first Requisition you get on upgrading these to standard Laser Cannons.
  • Rockets - These are very good but tricky weapons to use. They're actually easier than they seem - they hit anything directly in front of you, exactly like your lasers. Don't let the graphics fool you! Unlike your lasers, however, they have a very narrow arc - only shoot them at targets right in the centre of your screen.

Your special abilities are on your 1, 2, and 3 keys, plus a Co-Pilot ability on 4. Your defaults are:
  • Engine Boost - This is your Scout's bread and butter. Piloted well, a Scout's lifespan is measured in its Engine Power Pool, and this ability recharges it! Use it as an emergency reserve, so you can boost out of a fight or evade a missile lock.
  • Quick-charge Shield - Similar to your Engine Boost, this will zap a little extra life into your shields if they've been hit. Don't rely on it for much, though - Scouts are flimsy, and this ability only serves to buy you an extra second or two to enact a more viable survival plan.
  • Barrel Roll - AKA Newbie Asteroid Collider. This is your default evasive manoeuvre - using it will break any active missile lock on your starfighter, and thus it serves as your last line of defence if you're being dogged by a persistent missile! Beware, however, as it propels your ship directly forward at very high speed, and many a newbie has detonated spectacularly against the nearest asteroid when panicked by a missile lock. It has its uses, but you may wish to consider upgrading to a more newbie-friendly evasive manoeuvre, such as Koiogran Turn.
  • Co-Pilot Ability - This depends on your Crew assignments in the Hangar. For starting out, I recommend a Repair co-pilot if you have one available. Activating it will give you a partial (but potentially life-saving) health regen for your hull.

Your Tier 1 Strike Fighter - FT-8 Starguard / F-T6 Rycer

If frenetic, high-octane dogfighting isn't your style, you also have a basic Strike Fighter available to play. Strike Fighters are well-rounded, multi-role fighters with a lot of firepower. They don't have the engine capabilities of Scouts, but they're tougher and armed with an array of long-range missile options. As a Strike Fighter, let the Scouts zoom into the fray - you are better served sitting back and lobbing missiles into combat. Your lasers are powerful, but work best after softening up your targets with missiles.

Beware - if you zoom into a furball with no exit plan, you probably won't be leaving it alive. Strike Fighters don't have the engine power to boost in and out of fights at will, so pick your engagements carefully.

Your weapons:
  • Rapid-fire Lasers - As above, these are not good newbie weapons. Luckily, you can switch to your alternate laser set with the 1 key.
  • Heavy Lasers - These are the heaviest, slowest, longest-range lasers in the game. They're also pretty good! Thanks to their range, they combo well with your missiles, and can dish out a lot of punch to hard targets like Bombers.
  • Concussion Missiles - Solid, all purpose missiles! Like many secondaries, they take a little getting used to, and benefit a lot from the first few upgrades (which reduce the locking time required to fire). These are good against all targets, though be aware that any decent Scout pilot will almost certainly evade your missile, so Strike Fighters, Bombers, and Gunships are usually easier targets. Hold RMB while keeping your current target firmly inside the centre of your screen - too much deviation and you'll lose the lock! Once it's locked, release RMB to fire away! Practice, and soon you'll get the hang of firing off entire volleys of missiles!

Your default abilities:
  • Switch Lasers - Your Strike Fighter can toggle its active weapon system with 1. Use it to switch between lasers at will - all lasers have advantages and disadvantages, and the Tier 1 Strike Fighter can capitalise on this to use the most effective type of laser in any situation. For now, use it to toggle to your Heavy Lasers, which complement your missiles well.
  • Quick-charge Shield - As above. Your Strike Fighter's shields are slightly more durable than a Scout's, but this ability will still only buy you a brief moment to shake whatever's killing you.
  • Koiogran Turn - A relatively newbie-friendly evasive manoeuvre that performs a Space Immelmann - you'll flip around 180 degrees, flying the way you came. In addition to being your go-to missile break, it's also useful for quickly turning around and boosting the hell out of dodge! Beware, until you upgrade it, it uses quite a lot of Engine Power, so it's very easy for a rookie to get caught in a missile lock, and no Engine Power left to evade!
  • Co-Pilot Ability

Spending Requisition

After your first few matches, you should have completed your GSF intro mission and/or daily, which gives you a fair amount of Ship Requisition (plus whatever you earn in the match). Use this to upgrade your ship's existing components, or swap them out for other components. For example, you can use 2,000 Requisition to replace Rapid-fire Lasers (which are not newbie-friendly) with the much more useful Laser Cannons or Quad Laser Cannons. You can also upgrade those components, improving their stats significantly. I recommend upgrading your Evasive Manoeuvre, your Missiles, and your Lasers, but feel free to experiment!

Save your Fleet Requisition (the purple points) - for 2,500 or 5,000, you can buy a new ship, which then benefits from your daily and weekly reward - the more ships you have, the more points you get from your daily/weekly! Using your Fleet Req, you can try out the Tier 2 Scouts and Strike Fighters, which are very effective, or experiment with Bombers or Gunships (ew).

Switch all power to front deflector screens!

I mentioned the function keys - F1, F2, F3, and F4. These are very, very important, but might be too much to think about for your first few matches. Once you're ready to start boosting your effectiveness, it's time to start paying attention to Power Settings.

Each key correlates to a Power Setting:
  • F1 - Weapon Power
  • F2 - Shield Power
  • F3 - Engine Power
  • F4 - Default
Toggling to a given setting will prioritise that Power Pool - so hitting F1 will recharge your lasers faster and make them do more damage, but at the expense of your shields and engines. F2 will supercharge your shields, at the expense of your weapons and engines. F3 maximises your engine power and speed, but sacrifices your shields and lasers to do it. F4 is the standard, neutral setting.

Precise usage of these Power Settings is vital to mastering GSF, but is beyond the scope of this simple rookie crash-course. For your first few matches, try using F3 to boost around the map, then swap back to F4 once you get in a fight. Once you start feeling comfortable with that, experiment with F1 and F2 to suit your current needs.

Conclusion

GSF is a very deep and intricate game mode - there's a lot to take in, but hopefully this guide makes the bare basics more palatable. Although I'm not as active as I used to be, if you see me online, feel free to ask me any questions you might have! And I always love to fly with wingmen, especially rookies, so if you're looking for a partner for GSF and I'm online, don't hesitate to ask!
« Last Edit: 11/12/17, 05:44:39 PM by Iaera »
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Offline Niarra

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #1 on: 12/16/16, 02:25:57 AM »
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This is a great intro for folks looking to fly their first matches. Thank you for posting it, Iaera!

Like many lovers of GSF, I wish more people could discover this delightful mini game and learn to love it as I do. Of course it cannot be for everyone, but I do feel the steep learning curve is what drives most people away, even if they might otherwise have found the game enjoyable. But in this, as in most things, knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have going in, the higher the chance you will enjoy yourself... or at least be a little less discouraged when engaging in the uphill slog of the learning process.

The guide I wrote, which Iaera linked to in her post above, goes over a lot of the mechanics that are at work both behind the scenes and in front of them. There's a lot going on there, some of it pretty arcane, and while a working understanding of all the nuance is not necessary in order to dive in and start having fun, it might help to demystify some of a new player's most common frustrations, such as: 'Why can't I hit anything?' (the answer to which is not as straightforward as it might seem) or 'What does this glowy green light mean??'

The guide has 13 lessons to it, and while I do recommend them all, if you can't stomach that much reading but do want to give GSF a try I suggest reading at least Lesson 1 (Settings), Lesson 2 (Weapon Ranges), Lesson 6 (Firing Arcs), and Lesson 7 (Targeting).

Although the flow of the overall tutorial was meant to introduce those topics naturally, they can still be taken in isolation, and those particular lessons cover some absolutely crucial stuff for understanding how things work in the midst of what can otherwise be a frenetic, chaotic jumble of death and disorientation.

In the past I've considered hosting some GSF events for our RP community (even went so far as to decorate an entire Command quad for GSF school), and with Galactic Command making GSF more relevant I am seriously thinking of revisiting that idea. In the meantime, I am happy to answer any questions about GSF, or to group up with fellow RPers should I happen to be flying. If you get into a match and see Derrad in the lobby, and would like a wingman for the next match, shoot me a whisper! Sometimes I may be in a maxed group and unable to invite (once you've got thousands of matches under your belt the queueing system starts to skip you unless you're in a group), but a lot of the time I am trying to solo queue and could gladly spend the time between matches talking the ear off new players, to provide more GSF detail than people might actually want.  :grin:
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook

Online TrickyNick87

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #2 on: 12/17/16, 01:41:44 AM »
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Thank you to both of you for your guidance on this topic. I plan to become more engaged in GSF. With almost 42,000 prestige points in the Legacy achievement system, GSF is the only place I have a limited amount of time. This is due, like you said, to the seemingly intimidating mechanics and learning curve, but I'll soldier through it to hopefully become moderately adept at GSF.

As to the RP aspects of GSF, as GM of <Imperial Wild Space Command>, I'd be happy to bring on a Flight Training Officer and explore the potential of this idea. I have a fully unlocked/decorated flagship and the Hangar Deck has a sort of pre-flight briefing area if either of you would like to check it out and offer suggestions for improvements. I can usually be found in-game Imp-side on Nicohlas if you want to find me.

Offline Iaera

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #3 on: 12/17/16, 10:34:21 AM »
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Awesome! Although I rarely play him, I RP my Sith Lord as a skilled fighter pilot in his own right - I'd love to come check out IWSC's hangar deck!
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Offline Sebrik

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #4 on: 12/17/16, 10:54:20 AM »
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I'd be interested in your idea about the decorated command quad, Niarra.  If someone hosted a " gsf school", I'd attend.

At the moment I hate GSF, but I want to like it.
« Last Edit: 12/17/16, 10:58:19 AM by Sebrik »

Offline Niarra

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #5 on: 12/17/16, 05:32:08 PM »
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What ended up road blocking my idea for a RP GSF School event (for which my GSF tutorial was actually written, not to mention the decorated flagship) was that I couldn't figure out a way to make it both a useful "school" for the actual in-game mechanics of GSF and also a RP event. I couldn't think of a way to balance IC and OOC in a way that would still be OOC educational and that wouldn't take 80 hours to complete.  :think:

If anyone can think of a good way to balance that for an event, I'm all ears! The idea was always more OOC than it was IC, with the RP clothes on a game-mechanics frame only meant for entertainment value. Folks who want to RP starship stuff don't need to touch GSF at all to do that, so a GSF school isn't really about starship RP per se. Rather, it's more about providing a comfortable way for RPers to be introduced to GSF. (Of course, if you're not interested in twitch-shooters or arcade style games to begin with, then there's no reason at all to worry about GSF anyway.  :grin: )

Currently the only realistic way I can think of to do an event like this would end up putting some onus on the participants to actually read tutorials (I'd go with Iaera's and mine, from this thread) before attending the event. That way they have at least been exposed to the basics, at which point we could use the "school" of the event to answer questions OOCly in a custom chat channel (already created) in real time as we group up and wait for matches to pop, all the while RPing on the side. It would require folks to multi-task in two channels, but then I think that's something all of us are familiar with at this point!

I have 1 and 1/2 cargo bays full of GSF items to give away as prizes that I've been holding onto ever since I started brainstorming the idea, and I'd love to have a reason to use them!
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook

Offline Imazi

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #6 on: 12/17/16, 05:38:40 PM »
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Would it help if you broke your idea into several events?

The first part could be an IC covering of the basics a more involved classroom aspect, like how Bling did Jedi night history lectures. The second part could be practice runs where everyone actually hops into a seat and practices on an aspect/lesson. I'm not fully sure how that would work with the Post-KOTFE lore, but I could see it being as fun as Hyse's History lectures if it works mechanics wise.
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Offline Niarra

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #7 on: 12/17/16, 06:00:09 PM »
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Would it help if you broke your idea into several events?

The first part could be an IC covering of the basics a more involved classroom aspect, like how Bling did Jedi night history lectures. The second part could be practice runs where everyone actually hops into a seat and practices on an aspect/lesson. I'm not fully sure how that would work with the Post-KOTFE lore, but I could see it being as fun as Hyse's History lectures if it works mechanics wise.

If there was a way to actually control the GSF queue or have a custom lobby to match-make, this sort of thing would be exactly how I would wish to go. Unfortunately in reality we would be at the mercy of the fickle queue, mixed in with the overall population, and there's no guarantee we'll even get a match pop, much less be able to control any aspect of the gameplay once we're in there.

Another challenge would be that there isn't really much in the way of lore that could fill an IC lecture. While we could try to give an IC rundown of the ship types (which was precisely what I set up the classroom on the flagship for), the unfortunate truth is that this just wouldn't really prepare anyone for the game's version of those ships and what it means to be trying to fly them within a GSF match. There's too much of a divide between concept and gameplay reality.

All of that being said, I have to try to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good (a common problem of mine), so maybe there's a way to meet halfway. I do like the suggestion to make it several events... so your suggestion is definitely giving me ideas!

Right now I'm thinking maybe it could be broken up as follows:

Event 1: IC RP event, in which a IC rundown (that I will work to make as "true" as possible to how it might actually play out in game) of ships is provided. This could easily be an event that anyone could attend, even if they don't plan to play GSF, as long as they were patient and understanding about the fact that GSF is still the main impetus behind the event.

Homework: After the above intro event, folks who are interested in learning and playing GSF would need to take the time to read the tutorials offline before the next event.

Event 2: OC event, in which we gather in a chat channel (and can gather avatars in-game at the school location if desired). GSF does have an in-game tutorial... but one of the long-standing complaints from the GSF community is that this tutorial, in isolation and without any further supporting information, is all but useless for actually preparing people to play GSF. That being said, I think it could be useful as part of a guided lesson. So we could provide a quick intro, then everyone launches into their tutorial and tries to execute a few very basic things. Then we leave the tutorial, and people can ask questions. We have a robust QA back and forth in chat channel for a while, and try to cap off the event by queueing for our first actual GSF match.

Event 3: OC event, all about trying to queue for as many matches as we can, while still continuing our QA in our channel to give folks support and help.

Event 4: IC RP event, in which we can graduate people from the flight academy, and maybe go so far as to set up IC squadrons and other such things.

And scattered throughout in there, I could give away prizes!
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook

Offline Sebrik

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #8 on: 12/17/16, 06:10:23 PM »
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I change my mind about wanting to like it.  Just played a game and remembered why I don't play it.

Offline Niarra

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #9 on: 12/17/16, 06:26:46 PM »
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I change my mind about wanting to like it.  Just played a game and remembered why I don't play it.

Haha!  :grin: What was the poison?

It can be brutally unfun to hop into a GSF match for the first time, because it's so much night and day from anything else the game provides, and because experience trumps everything else in GSF (don't believe anyone who tries to spin the line that upgrades are what matter most), so that a veteran pilot (even in a stock ship) is going to completely obliterate new pilots no matter the circumstances - and that's never a fun experience as the new pilot. Because the tutorial and the interface does a very bad job of actually preparing you for a match, the common frustration of most new pilots is that they just have no idea what's going on, and that a match allows you no safe space or breathing second in which to figure it out. It's just explosions and self destructs and gunships and mines and an overwhelming sensation of WTF:nuu:

But the same things that make GSF such a pain to jump into and learn in trial by fire are also what make it so rewarding once you've emerged from the gauntlet into the calmer zone of more comfortable playing. Realizing how deep the game can be in terms of options and strategies and flexibility, and how much it really does hinge on skill and creative thinking and good tactics, makes it very rewarding.

Of course, all of that being said... it's just not some people's cup of tea. Even my GSF cheerleading heart has to accept that.  :grin:
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook

Offline Noth

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #10 on: 12/17/16, 06:42:49 PM »
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I really, really like GSF but the queues have always turned me away. I'd be up for some IC starfighter lessons! I always wondered what people did in GSF RP... do you type while you're flying? That seems like it would be tough.
The Jedi: Bren (Archaeologist), Iirim (Healer), Zorru (Recruiter), Orans (Master), Aybekk (Padawan)
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Offline Imazi

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #11 on: 12/17/16, 06:50:46 PM »
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Maybe it would help if someone made a suggestion in the main forum for allowing people to form their own GSF training instances so they can get their friends in on GSF. Right now Bioware is hurting for a way to reuse old content so they may be inclined to try it.

By training instance I mean a large sandbox level maybe with stationary or strictly pathed enemies  which can be used by players to ease their friends in. I see it working like bringing your friends with you on a flashpoint. You group up then enter the instance.
« Last Edit: 12/17/16, 06:57:31 PM by Imazi »
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Offline Sebrik

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #12 on: 12/17/16, 06:51:33 PM »
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I change my mind about wanting to like it.  Just played a game and remembered why I don't play it.

Haha!  :grin: What was the poison?

It can be brutally unfun to hop into a GSF match for the first time, because it's so much night and day from anything else the game provides, and because experience trumps everything else in GSF (don't believe anyone who tries to spin the line that upgrades are what matter most), so that a veteran pilot (even in a stock ship) is going to completely obliterate new pilots no matter the circumstances - and that's never a fun experience as the new pilot. Because the tutorial and the interface does a very bad job of actually preparing you for a match, the common frustration of most new pilots is that they just have no idea what's going on, and that a match allows you no safe space or breathing second in which to figure it out. It's just explosions and self destructs and gunships and mines and an overwhelming sensation of WTF:nuu:

But the same things that make GSF such a pain to jump into and learn in trial by fire are also what make it so rewarding once you've emerged from the gauntlet into the calmer zone of more comfortable playing. Realizing how deep the game can be in terms of options and strategies and flexibility, and how much it really does hinge on skill and creative thinking and good tactics, makes it very rewarding.

Of course, all of that being said... it's just not some people's cup of tea. Even my GSF cheerleading heart has to accept that.  :grin:

The ships don't feel like ships to me.  One example is when an enemy is coming at you head on, guns-ablazing.  For a moment it's fun, it's aim vs. aim.  But then the enemy ship of course at some point has to go past you, behind you.

It's at this moment where I hate the game, because the ships don't move how I want them to.  Ideally, I could flip around or turn quickly to keep track of that ship.  But currently, if a ship flies behind me, I've lost them.

Offline SquigglyV

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #13 on: 12/19/16, 02:00:10 PM »
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While I don't think i'd actually take part in the GSF matches since i'm not a fan of PvP in any form, I think the IC training course could be quite interesting. I think I retained at least the basics of GSF from when I played on Jedi Covenant and I love the lore around starfighting so let me know if you'd ever want help fleshing out the RP.

Offline Niarra

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Re: Galactic Starfighter: Rookie's Crash-Course
« Reply #14 on: 12/19/16, 06:48:47 PM »
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I really, really like GSF but the queues have always turned me away. I'd be up for some IC starfighter lessons! I always wondered what people did in GSF RP... do you type while you're flying? That seems like it would be tough.

I don't believe I've ever seen anyone really do GSF RP, nor do I think it's actually feasible, just like PVP RP isn't really feasible. There's a difference between wanting to RP combat (which you can do anywhere at any time and at any length you wish) and wanting to RP in a PVP Warzone... which sounds untenable at best, and at worst extremely inconsiderate of the players who are there to play that zone as intended. There's certainly less time or opportunity to take your fingers off the controls in a GSF match than even in a PVP match.

I imagine that 'GSF' RP would really just be RP revolving around pilots and starfighters, which I'm sure some folks do already, and which again we can do anywhere at any time. The only real reason to tie it to GSF at all is if people actually want to play GSF.  :grin:

That being said, I personally don't know of anyone who is doing purely starfighter pilot focused RP in an organized way, so it sounds like there might be an opportunity. The very first Stronghold I decorated when SHs dropped, even before any of my personal ones, was a GSF/starfighter themed guild stronghold, not to mention the GSF school deck I did later on a guild ship... so I suppose I'd better try to make use of them eventually...

Maybe it would help if someone made a suggestion in the main forum for allowing people to form their own GSF training instances so they can get their friends in on GSF. Right now Bioware is hurting for a way to reuse old content so they may be inclined to try it.

By training instance I mean a large sandbox level maybe with stationary or strictly pathed enemies  which can be used by players to ease their friends in. I see it working like bringing your friends with you on a flashpoint. You group up then enter the instance.

Your ideas would be wholeheartedly embraced by the GSF community. We've long been asking for the ability to create custom matches, and failing that at least an improved tutorial (because the current one is awful). But unfortunately, for all that lots of different player groups like to bemoan that they are ignored, as someone who regularly plays every content this game has to offer (Story, PVE, Operations, PVP, GSF) I can say unequivocally that absolutely no part of the game has been so thoroughly abandoned as GSF. Which is a real tragedy, because it's also the most unique (in the MMO sphere) game-within-a-game that SWTOR has to offer, and has a fantastic degree of depth to its gameplay. Which I guess is just all a way to say... the GSF community has tried to suggest this and countless, countless, other things over the last three years, to no avail.

Interestingly, as a result of being so spectacularly ignored, the GSF community actually is a community in a way I just don't see with any other aspect of the game (RP excepted obviously). The GSF community is the only community that regularly organizes itself to do not just server-wide events, but cross-server events. GSF pilots seed characters on multiple servers and routinely transfer characters around in order to have the opportunity to participate in events that the community puts together. The amount of tutorials and videos and streams and schools the GSF community has is astonishing, considering all of it is purely home grown in the vacuum of developer neglect. There are GSF conquest guilds on other servers that pilots from many servers fly in when they can, and special events and contests with all sorts of prizes all the time. Elaeis did one here on BC that he posted about on these forums that gave away Unstable Arbiter Lightsabers, as an example. The community has built custom parsers and crunched numbers and put representatives out to community cantinas to carry the message to the devs (I did that myself at the Anaheim cantina).

And through it all we have bugs that have gone not just unfixed for years, but that haven't even been acknowledged. :( Most have long since given up the hope of ever seeing anything new in GSF at all. At this point we'd be happy just to have some of our gameplay-affecting bugs fixed even if we never got anything else.

But yes, in a perfect world, your idea of a sandbox level that you could take groups into would be wonderful:aww:

The ships don't feel like ships to me.  One example is when an enemy is coming at you head on, guns-ablazing.  For a moment it's fun, it's aim vs. aim.  But then the enemy ship of course at some point has to go past you, behind you.

It's at this moment where I hate the game, because the ships don't move how I want them to.  Ideally, I could flip around or turn quickly to keep track of that ship.  But currently, if a ship flies behind me, I've lost them.

I definitely can understand the frustration of not being able to do the cinematic flip around to keep track of the ship; that was something I, and I think all players, had to get accustomed to as part of the 'learning the limitations' learning curve. But to be fair, outside of Babylon 5's gee-force defying Starfuries, really almost no ship even in our SciFi epics can flip like that. Classic Star Wars X-Wings are always shown needing the wider arcs and curves (and inability to flip around and shake off the TIE on your tail) more reminiscent of the real-world dogfighting on which they were based. GSF is certainly more arcade shooter than it is flight simulator, but in things like turning radius it's got some simulator roots.

That being said, there are of course tricks you can learn in GSF to close that gap and pursue and track more quickly. Part of it comes down to ship choice; some ship types have terrible turning radius and will lumber in a dogfight while others turn and move more sharply and quickly. Part of it comes down to learning the controls - how to speed up, slow down, and dead stop, and which combination of all those controls will get your nose turned around quickly. Part of it has as much to do with learning to track a ship based on the targeting indicators and their distance, because often the fastest way to re-engage with an enemy who is, like you, constantly moving, is not just to flip around, but to cut them off in their own arc. That's where the free-range three-dimensional open space battlefield becomes the most fun to play with, at least for me - because you don't just have to turn around laterally to track an enemy, and the freedom to move vertically as part of trying to outmaneuver someone is great.

Basically, I would be tempted to qualify frustration or uncertainty over how the ships move as part of the learning curve, and would suggest giving it more time and experimentation. But even so, I know everything I say comes from the point of view of a fan, so I am obviously biased in all of my suggestions.

While I don't think i'd actually take part in the GSF matches since i'm not a fan of PvP in any form, I think the IC training course could be quite interesting. I think I retained at least the basics of GSF from when I played on Jedi Covenant and I love the lore around starfighting so let me know if you'd ever want help fleshing out the RP.

Thanks, Squiggly! It's interesting to see there is some interest in RP around this. Still not sure how to balance things since, as mentioned, the whole point is about the game mode, and people can RP starfighter pilots at any time with no need for GSF. But I'm encouraged by these replies to give it some more thought.
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook