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Race Creation FAQ by Superboc
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 05/24/2003
STARS! RACE CREATION FAQ VERSION 1.0 5-24-03 Written by: Superboc (Superboc@hotmail.com) Copyright 2002, Dave Thomas. I would very much appreciate it if you contact me to ask my permission before posting any or all of this FAQ on your own site. However, if you're trying to profit from it, or if you intend to change anything about it, don't bother contacting me. ====================================================================== Version History: Version 1.0 - First version of the FAQ. When I send this to CJayC, I intend to cover the basics of race creation and what each factor does. ====================================================================== Table of Contents: I. Introduction II. What Stuff Does A. Page 1 B. Page 2 C. Page 3 D. Page 4 E. Page 5 F. Page 6 III. Thanks ====================================================================== I. Introduction This is my...fourth FAQ, I believe. Third that will be posted on GameFAQs. I got into Stars! about 4 or 5 years ago. Great game, really. I loved how open-ended the options were. Hopefully, this will be the first in a series of in-depth FAQs about the game, because I know there's plenty for me to write about. ====================================================================== II. What Stuff Does (for lack of a better title) A. Page 1 Page 1 is the most basic aspect of the race creation process. You can name your race and select from various pre-defined races, if you want. You can also set a password, choose your race's logo, and select 1 other, hopefully minor, option. Race Name: Name your race. Plural Race Name: What members of your race would be called. Usually, it's the same as the Race Name, with an 's' on the end. Password: Protect your race from being used by others. Not a really critical thing, unless you're very serious about your race. Predefined Races: The first 6 options are races that have been specifically designed for Stars!. The 7th option is Random, the 8th is to create your own race from scratch. I'll go over the 6 predefined races later, as this FAQ is primarily focused (for now) on explaining what various parts of the race editor do. Spend up to 50 leftover advantage points on: When you're done, if you have advantage points left over, you can spend them to improve your starting conditions. There are 5 options to choose from here: surface minerals, mineral concentrations, mines, factories, and defenses. Race Logo: Choose what your race's logo is. Simple. B. Page 2 Page 2 determines your race's primary racial trait, which is key. In theory, every trait can be played to win, so none of the traits are necessarily superior. Notice, also, that various traits cost different amounts of advantage points. I'd like to include the exact amounts that each primary trait costs, but as it's a very complex system, the prices change depending on what secondary (and other) traits you take later on. So, instead, I'll give the prices as they are initially. This is how much each trait costs in advantage points before you make any more advanced changes: Hyper-Expansion 63 pts. Space Demolition 0 pts. Super-Stealth 81 pts. Packet Physics 90 pts. War Monger 65 pts. Inter-stellar Traveller 100 pts. Claim Adjuster 53 pts. Alternate Reality 80 pts. Inner-Strength 17 pts. Jack of all Trades 28 pts. Keep in mind, costing more points doesn't necessarily make a race superior. If you have a good strategy using secondary traits, and can afford those traits because you choose a cheaper primary trait (which is otherwise irrelevant or even beneficial to your strategy), then it can easily compete with a more expensive primary trait, like Inter-stellar Traveller. Also keep in mind that certain traits will excel in certain situations. For instance, a tiny universe is detrimental to Packet Physics and Inter-stellar Traveller races, which are also the most expensive primary traits to have initially. In short, this list isn't necessarily enough to determine a race in its entirety. C. Page 3 Page 3 contains a list of lesser racial traits. Again, must of the minor traits can be played as a major part of your strategy. This is a list of what each lesser traits costs so far, assuming you stuck with the default primary trait, Jack of all Trades. Keep in mind that these costs will change somewhat depending on what primary trait you choose. Also, notice that some values are listed as negatives; these are secondary weaknesses which give you spare advantage points, should you need them. Improved Fuel Efficiency 78 pts. No Ram Scoop Engines -53 pts. Total Terraforming 140 pts. Cheap Engines 80 pts. Advanced Remote Mining 53 pts. Only Basic Remote Mining -85 pts. Improved Starbases 67 pts. No Advanced Scanners -95 pts. Generalized Research -13 pts. Low Starting Population -60 pts. Ultimate Recycling 80 pts. Bleeding Edge Technology -23 pts. Mineral Alchemy 51 pts. Regenerating Shields -10 pts. More in-depth analysis: Improved Fuel Efficiency - This is a nice trait to have. Running out of fuel is never good. But be careful; if you're planning on using lots of ram-scoop engines, this isn't a necessity anyway. If you do take it, I'd advise taking "No Ram Scoop Engines" to offset the price somewhat. Total Terraforming - Worth the price, if you ask me. Especially if you're a Claim Adjuster. If you're playing a short, quick game where you don't expect to get into high tech levels, move along and take something with more immediate impact, but if you're a Claim Adjuster or if you're playing a long-winded game, Total Terraforming can make the difference. Advanced Remote Mining - This trait is extremely race-dependent. If you expect to do a lot of remote mining, it's probably worth it, but if you expect to be inhabiting most of the planets that you find, or even quite a few, you might want to pass this one up. Improved Starbases - Not bad if you're worried about planetary defense. (Or if you're Alternate Reality.) If Starbases play a vital role in your strategy, this is worth it. If you want to have nearly impenetrable defenses on your planet, this is a good first step. But it's expensive to build such huge starbases, even with the price cut, so be careful. Generalized Research - You do get bonus research resources from this, but it's tough to say if that justifies cutting research on what you want in half. I've never played with Generalized Research, but I'd imagine it's best if you think you really need to research everything (in other words, make sure all that Biotech research pays off). Ultimate Recycling - Sure, getting back that many minerals can make a huge difference. But at the cost of 80 advantage points, you better really want to recycle your ships and starbases. This is great if you really, REALLY hate obsolete weaponry; if you're willing to work with stuff that's 10, 20, even 50 years old, then you probably don't want to recycle too much. Mineral Alchemy - This is probably the hardest trait to use effectively. If you expect a game to go on for an EXTREMELY long time, i.e. long enough for every planet's natural minerals to be completely expired, then yes, you'll want this eventually; if it ever reaches that point, a Mineral Alchemy race will have a 4-to-1 advantage. But games running that long are exceedingly rare, in my experience, and this trait is way to expensive for everyday use. No Ram Scoop Engines - As I said for Improved Fuel Efficiency, this is probably best used to offset that trait. Otherwise, ram-scoop engines are pretty sweet, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a reason to take this one, even with the added bonus of the Interspace-10. Cheap Engines - Not much in the game of Stars! is more annoying than an engine not working properly. I'd avoid this trait; engines aren't that expensive, anyway, and at a 1/10 chance on every ship, think of how many ships will have problems when you're big and have hundreds of ships! Only Basic Remote Mining - This goes back to what I said with Advanced Remote Mining. This, in my opinion, is a great trait to have if you're going to be colonizing most of the universe. If you really count on remote mining for minerals, this is a bad idea, but that 10% population bonus is a pretty nice bonus on top of free advantage points. In the end, it comes down to how much remote mining you'll be doing. No Advanced Scanners - I, for one, rely on penetrating scanners a great deal, both to find enemy fleets and to scout out planets. They're good scanners, and you should probably think twice before dropping them completely. You really don't get anything out of this except the advantage points, which, though substantial, may not be worth the trade-off. Low Starting Population - Don't take it. Seriously. Unless you plan on having a RIDICULOUS growth rate (like Hyper-Expansion allows for), don't even consider the population cut. You won't put yourself only 2 or 3 years behind your opponents, as you may think; you'll put yourself 2 or 3 decades behind them, in the long run. This is a substantial weakness to recover from. Bleeding Edge Technology - This isn't such a bad deal, really. Especially if you don't mind using obsolete weaponry. If you _absolutely must_ have the most up-to-date stuff, or if you're not willing to sacrifice level 26 techs, you don't want this. But if you don't mind being 2 to 4 tech levels behind where you could be, this pays its dividends gradually. Also, there are some techs that you'll use for a long time, and this makes them cheaper, faster. Regenerating Shields - This is a tough call. Armor is cheaper generally, but tougher to repair. Shields are more expensive, and this makes them easier to repair, but it also makes armor practically worthless. You'll be researching Construction no matter what if you want new hulls, so you'll get the armor anyway, which is what makes this questionable. In the end, I suppose it comes down to how often you expect to get into battles. If you expect a fight every turn, this might be worth it. D. Page 4 Page 4 focuses on habitability; where you can live, how fast you'll grow in those areas, and so forth. It has four areas: Gravity habitat, Temperature habitat, Radiation habitat, and Base Growth Rate. Habitats: for all three bars, the colored area is what is hospitable to your race. If a given planet's condition is in the middle of the colored area, then it's ideal for your race. If all three conditions are in the middle of the colored area, the planet is ideal in general, and you will achieve your Base Growth Rate; otherwise, you'll only get a certain percentage of that. The single arrows on the left and right sides of each bar move the colored area left or right. The [<< >>] button increases the size of the colored area on both sides, the [>> <<] button decreases it. Obviously, the bigger the range, the more advantage points it will cost. You can also choose Immunity to any of the factors, but it's extremely expensive; you'll have a hard time affording even 1 factor's immunity, and the setbacks it causes could destroy any race. Notice that there is a difference between immunity and simply increasing the size of the habitable area to full. That is, immunity means that variable is perfect anywhere, not just in the middle of the range. Base Growth Rate: How fast your population will grow, given ideal conditions. The higher, the better. At the very least, shoot for 10%; any lower than that, and you'll be committing suicide. Realistically, you should make an effort to get to 17%, even at the expense of secondary traits and other details. It's that important. Also, keep in mind that Hyper-Expansion races can double this value. E. Page 5 Page 5 is all about efficiency. Efficiency of mines and factories, to be precise. This is the real meat of the race creation process, if you ask me; it's the backbone of your race. One resource is generated each year for every [xxxx] colonists: the lower this value is, the better, obviously. But if you drop it below 1000, it gets expensive really fast, so you probably (almost definitely) don't want to take it past 900, if that. Every 10 factories produce [xx] resources each year: the higher, the better. The cutoff point here seems to be between 12 and 14, but factories can be very important to your game. The more resources you have, the better, so push this value up if you couldn't push the last one down. Factories require [xx] resources to build: the lower, the better. Again, factories will probably be very important to you, so you want to get them for cheap. This one could easily be the most important thing on the page. The cutoff is between 8 and 7 resources; after that, the prices get steep really fast. Every 10,000 colonists may operate up to [xx] factories: the higher, the better. This is nowhere near as important as the last two. You might consider taking this value down to 9, if you're desperate for advantage points, but don't take it too low; you won't get much out of it, and you need to be able to use those factories.  Factories cost 1kT less of Germanium to build: take this. You'll like it. It means you can get 4 factories for the price of 3, which means you'll be 33% more efficient. More than that, as the bonus factories will generate additional resources, making you even stronger. Every 10 mines produce up to [xx]kT of each mineral every year: this is the most important mine-related bonus you can get. The cutoff is somewhere between 12 and 14. Note that you can get more minerals by increasing this bonus from fewer mines, and the more mines you have, the faster the mineral concentration will decrease. In other words, the higher this is, the better off you'll be, and you won't be as harmful to planets' environments, which means you'll get even more minerals in the long term. Mines require [x] resources to build: the cutoff is between 2 and 3. If you plan on building tons and tons of mines, this is nice, but it's cheap for a reason. You probably won't need it that much. It's nice for immediate help, though. Every 10,000 colonists may operate up to [xx] mines: the higher, the better, of course. It remains fairly constant up to 25, but be careful, because you don't want to build too many mines too quickly, as it will damage the mineral concentrations, and you might lose out on some minerals in the process. Better to focus on the first mine-related bonus if you can. F. Page 6 Page 6 deals entirely with research. For each of the 6 research fields, you can determine whether it costs the regular amount, 175% of its regular cost, or 50% of its regular cost. Most races will probably have very little use for Biotech research, so that's probably the most popular choice for 175%. Otherwise, it depends on what traits you chose earlier. War Mongers will want cheap Weapons research; Inner-Strength will want cheap Energy. If you took Improved Fuel Efficiency, or if you're very focused on engines, you'll want cheap Propulsion. You can also set all "Costs 75% Extra" fields to start at Tech Level 4, which is nice, but not really necessary. The idea here is that you won't really need them, so why bother with them in the first place? At a fairly steep price, it's better spent elsewhere unless you don't intend to do any research, and you expect the game to be over in about 30 years. ====================================================================== III. Thanks Well, this was quicker than I thought it'd be. There's still plenty more to do, though, so this should keep me occupied for awhile. CJayC - for making GameFAQs. I still enjoy it after all these years. The makers of Stars! - it's a fun game, no doubt about it. The reader - as always, I'd like to thank you. If you have any questions or suggestions, e-mail me at Superboc@hotmail.com and I'll get back to you. Thanks again!