ArcElite Hints

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SpaceStations Police Combat Missiles


Space Stations and Docking

Docking procedure is, to all intents and purposes, identical to docking in the BBC version, and is not going to be repeated here. The only addition is the Rent-a-Dock facility available at high-tech planets (tech level 10 or greater). This allows docking computer functionality when you don't have a docking computer, but at the extortionate fee of 40 cr. Be careful not to disengage it and then re-start it, otherwise you will be charged again.

Ramming other ships during docking is no longer as serious an offence as it used to be, and the only reason for not charging through all other vessels near the station entrance (apart from guilty feelings, Mr. Mad Hatter) is shield damage. Even if you do your best to blow the station up (pretty impossible without cheating, as it has a shield strength of 25000) then you will still be allowed to dock.

The Galactic Police Force

For once the police are actually helpful at times. The arrival of half a dozen Vipers during a heated battle when you are surrounded by pirates and your shields are down is a great relief. They are very efficient at taking out enemy vessels on a first attack run, but less so at dogfighting (as with most computer-controlled craft), when they tend to end up circling their opponent. If you are rated Fugitive the arrival of half a dozen Vipers during a heated battle when you are surrounded by pirates and you shields are down is a great nuisance, and you could be in serious trouble. At least they don't have any preference over shooting you or the other pirates, so the chances are they won't all go for you at once. If you are on your own when they arrive you are looking at a seriously savaged shield.

Police in the safety zone behave in a similar manner to those in the BBC version, although the space station authorities no longer seem quite as interested in using the station's ECM system to protect them. It is fun to see the police respond to other ships attacking the station, although in such a battle both sides seem to have a depressing tendency to ram it.

[Cobra and Vipers]


The general techniques are similar to those in the BBC version (see the BBC combat section). Speeds are greater now, though, and enemy vessels are much more difficult to hit (especially other Cobras). Having said this, ships are in general easier to destroy.

Splitting the pack is still the first goal, and usually involves running at the enemy as fast as possible whilst trying to shoot as many of them as you can. Once engaged in a free-for-all melee the usual method of concentrating on individual targets applies.

You usually find that your front shield goes first, and if another group of hostile craft enters the area it is good advice (but not always that easy) to turn your back to them until they have reached you.

There are a couple of other useful techniques that have been suggested by various people. These are:
Turn off the damping (CapsLock key) and through the mouse over to the side. You will be rather difficult to hit, and this might allow your energy a little time to recover, or at least give you time to hyperspace out.

When being pursued there is a spot where the enemy is just too far away to fire at you, but you can blast them with a rear-facing laser. Due to the odd way ArcElite works its speeds out you can outrun any vessel which is too far away to fire at you, but if they get close enough they will close on you (and take your shields out rather quickly if you stay sitting there like a pudding).


Fortunately enemy ships do not use missiles quite as often in ArcElite. Unfortunately missile fly much faster in ArcElite. They are, for all intents and purposes, impossible to shoot down, and often hit you before you can find the ECM button (with Yaw Boosters present your spare hand should be by the cursor keys).

The most pressing problem is when to use missiles. The best time is still large battles, but they are also useful against very manoeuvrable targets such as Sidewinders and Cobra MkIIIs, where targeting a missile is a lot easier than scoring several laser hits. The Missile AutoLoc system is handy for targeting a random enemy vessel at the start of a battle. You can then avoid gunning down this ship in preference to the others, so that if you end up in a bad way then the missile can be used instantly without you having to try to target someone.

The ECM provides an interesting dilemma. The energy system in ArcElite is far less sophisticated than it used to be. Lasers take no energy, and the energy banks themselves are merely an extension to the shields (shields will not recharge until the energy banks are full). This means that the ECM will take energy from the (strongest) shield. Another problem is that activating it when your energy is almost non-existent will now kill you. Having said this, the ECM is a useful item to have.

If you don't have an ECM try to target an enemy which may do. As far as pirate vessels go, Geckos, Fer-de-Lances, and Cobra MkIIIs often have ECMs. The latter is a problem as a missile would be the easiest way of taking out this overly manoeuvrable ship. Traders quite often have ECM systems, and you could target one, but this will just make you an extra enemy, and bring any police in the area in against you.


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