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Tutorial Part 4: Learning The Interface

Tactical
Complete list of Tactical Commands.

Once you select your ship, you will be brought into the Tactical Interface of the game. It should look like this (with the exception of #6 and #8):

Tactical Interface Map
1 Chat Display Area of the screen where chat is displayed.
2 Velocity / Heading Indicates the speed of your ship.
3 Main Display Help / Tactical / Engineering / Chat Log
4 Ship Status Bar Shows hull integrity, ship energy, and current duration of the scenario.
5 Ship Systems Displays all the systems of your ship.
6 Systems Display Displays selected ship system in a graphic form.
7 Cargo Display Displays what your ship is currently carrying aboard.
8 Target Display Displays the selected target (i.e. ships, planets...)
9 Master Controls Help / Navigation / Engineering / Message Log / Profile


As mentioned before, #6 (Systems Display) and #8 (Target Display) will not appear on you main display once you start the game. These will be explained further.

1. Chat Display
The Chat Display appears in the upper left hand corner of the screen and will show you chat taking place during the game. The messages displayed will only appear for a short time, and then they will fade away. To send a message, simple hit Enter, your message, and Enter again.  When you hit enter for the first time to enter your message, a green box that runs the length of the screen will appear only at the top of the screen. This shows you what you are typing in. Different types of messages are denoted in different colors. Heres what they are:

Color Description
Green Team chat.  This is the default chat, so you do not have to type anything extra to talk to your team.
Orange This is using the /yell command.  These messages can be seen by either team, within a certain area.
Yellow This is using the /broadcast command. All players in the current game can see these messages. However, only moderators can use the /broadcast command.
White This will display system messages, pertaining only to your ship. It tells you when you've orbited a planet, aligned for a jump, etc.
Purple This display enemy chat. By using the /enemy command, you can chat with all enemy players.
Target If you wish to talk to a specific player in game, use the /target command. This will send a message only to a targeted player. Remember, you must target a player first before using this command.

2. Velocity / Heading Meter

The bar on the left is your velocity meter. It shows how fast your ship is currently going. The little triangle on the meter, will show you what you've set your velocity to. The two numbers above the meter show your current speed and your set speed. For different ships, the max speed will be different.

The heading meter indicates your direction and turn radius. The first number is your actual heading, based on a grid map of the entire system. This is indicated by the fullness of the meter. This is not really that important. The next number is your turn radius. This tells you how fast your ship is turning left or right. The position of the green triangle will indicate what you've set your turn radius too. Pressing "S" will stop the turn, and center the triangle.

3. Main Display
This is where all of the action of the game takes place. Your ship will always be centered in the screen. The green rings around the ship indicate the damage of your shields or armor, depending on if you control an ICC or UGTO ship. To the left of the screen, you will notice a small green triangle pointing to the left.  These little triangles will be shown on all four sides of the screen, depending on what your ship sensors detect. They also come in three colors: Green: Friendly, Yellow: Neutral, Red: Hostile.

Shield / Armor / Turn Status
You can view the shield / armor / turn status of a ship in more graphical manner by hitting backslash ( / ). When you spawn your ship for the first time in a game, only the shield / armor status will be automatically turned on. This will show a series of green rings around your ship. The number of rings depends on how much armor / shielding your ship has. When the color changes to red, with a number of colors in between, that means that part of your shields / armor has been damaged, and is no longer protecting your ship at 100%. When you have the shield / armor status on, it will also display the shield / armor status of any targeted ship. If you press backslash ( / ) again, this will turn on the turn status. This will display a green area in front of your ship when you turn, to indicate how much you are turning. To turn everything off, press backslash ( / ) again.

Targeting Objects
When you see these triangles on the edge of your screen, you can click on them to see the object.  This is called "targeting". For example, if you wanted to orbit a planet, you would "target" that planet, and click "O" for orbit. Once you target an object, your view will be centered on that object. If you do not wish your view to change when you target something, just hold down the "Shift" button while you click on that object.  This will keep your current view, but you will still be targeting that object.

4. Ship Status Bar

The Ship Status Bar will show you 3 things: The hull integrity of your ship, your ships energy, and the current duration of the scenario.

Ship Status
Hull This shows you, in percent and graphic form, the hull integrity of your ship. Obviously, different ships will have stronger/weaker hulls than others.
Energy This shows the current energy that your ship has free. Energy is used when you fire weapons or use special ship systems, such as ECM and ECCM. Energy is also used when your main thrusters are in use. The higher the velocity of your ship, the more energy will be used. When your ship reaches 0 energy, then it will no longer recharge any ship systems.
Signature You signature reflects how easily your ship can be detected by enemy sensors. Your signature is dependant on whether or not you're using ship systems, repairing ship systems, or changing your velocity. Using and repairing ship systems will increase your signature. Traveling at faster speeds will also increase your signature. ECM, Electric Counter Measures, is the only system that will decrease your signature. ECCM, Electric Counter Counter Measures, will allow your ship to detect ships with lower signatures, but also will increase the signature of your own ship. If your signature value is less than 0, then you will be usually be undetected by enemy ships. A signature of greater than 0 will make you detectable.
Time This is the total time the scenario has been running on a server, displayed as hours:minutes:seconds vs. the total time of the scenario. This only applies to time restricted games.

5. Ship Systems


Here, you will see all the systems currently supplied in your ship. Currently, the systems for each ship are fixed, so you cannot add or remove ship systems. Right clicking on one of the systems will display that system in the Systems Display box. You will see that some of the systems have letters and number associated with them. These letters and numbers mean different things for different systems.

Ship Systems
Weapons Systems Weapons systems boxes will contain either a letter or some numbers. Numbers in the top right corner denote the amount of shots you have left with that weapon. If there is no number here, the weapon has no limited ammunition. Numbers or letters in the bottom right corner indicate "hot-keys_ for that weapon. Some weapons will display a AD as well.  This is only for beam weapons, and indicates that your ship has activated the point defense system, which destroys all projectiles attacking your ship.
Defensive Systems Defensive systems include armor and shielding. You will notice a percentage number at the top of these systems boxes. This number represents what percentage of your shields or armor and currently working. Shields and armor automaticall repair themselves.
Ship Systems On the rest of the ship systems, you will notice numbers and letteres. The letters indicate hot-keys. The numbers are the value of whatever that system has left. For example, the Tachyon drive is the main drive used for "jumping". The number in that systems box indicates the amount of fuel you have remaining to make jumps.  For repair bays, you must carry resources to repair ships. The number in the repair systems box will indicate how many resources you have availalbe to repair and rearm ships.. For engineering ships, the number value associated with building a structure is the amount of resources on a current planet needed to build that structure.


Hot-Keys
Hot keys just refers to setting a certain command to a specific keystroke, so it is easier and done more quickly. The small letters and numbers in the bottom corners of the systems boxes are the current key that is appointed to that system. If it is a weapons system, you can set different weapons to different number (1-9), so they fire when you hit that number. Setting a weapon to 0 will clear it of a hot key. Other systems, such as the jump drive, ECM, ECCM, and some weapons have letters, instead of numbers.  These, however, cannot be changed

To set hot-keys, right click on a system, and click on a number you wish to set that system to. Multiple systems can be set the the same hotkey.

6. Systems Display

If you right click on a systems box, the current system will be brought up in the Systems Display. From here, you can the systems of your ship. The systems display will tell you what the selected system is, where it is located, and the amount of damage it has taken (%). You will also notice a row of numbers at the top of the systems display. This is for setting hot-keys (see above).

For beam weapons, you will also notice a few buttons in the bottom right corner. These buttons allow you to choose auto defense, auto attack, and auto off.

Weapons Systems Options
Auto Defense Also known as "Point Defense", this option will automatical cause your ship to shoot down any projective weapons with a beam weapon. However, the projectile weapon must be within range of your beam weapon to be able to destroy it.
Auto Attack This will activate your beam weapons to attack any enemy object within it's range radius.
Auto Off This will turn off any auto settings you have previously had turned on.
Repair Now This option will only be displayed when a weapons system is damaged. Choosing this option will move the repair status of this system to the top of the repair queue.
Repair Later This option will only be displayed when a weapons system is damaged. Choosing this option will move the repair status of this system to the bottom of the repair queue.

7. Cargo Display

This area of your interface will show what types of cargo you are carrying on your ship.  Currently, ships can carry only two types of cargo: infantry and resources. Each cargo spot can hold 1 infantry, or 250 resources. Depending on what type of ship you're commanding, the number of available cargo spots will vary. For example, transport ships have 10 cargo spots available, while scout class ships have none.

8. Target Display

As mentioned before, targeting objects can be done by clicking on the triangles that appear at the edge of your interface. This will bring up the Target Display. The target display will give you different information depending on what kind of object you've targeted.  All objects in the target display box will give you the name of the object and the distance away it is from you (in gu).

 Target Types
Jump Gates Targeting jump gates will tell you which faction controls that jump gate and it's destination. In scenario games, the destination will be the same system that you're currently playing in. In Metaverse games, where servers are linked, it will tell you what system that particular jump gate connects to and the admin on that nexy system.
Planets When you target a planet, the target display will show a picture of the planet and show you the following information: faction control, resource types, current resource amount, resource production, and population.
Ships Targeting ships will tell you the ships faction, name of player, ship class, armor integrity, and shield integrity (for ICC ships only)

You will again notice a few options in the bottom left hand corner. These option include Follow, Dock, Load, Unload.

Target Options
Follow
Following an object will cause your ship to set an intercept course with that object. If the object is mobile, then your ship will also move in the same direction as that object.

The Follow hotkey is "F"

Dock This option is only available when you've targeted another ship. The same as the Follow command, except your ship will also try to "dock" with the selected ship.

The Dock hotkey is "G"

Orbit

Orbiting can only occur with a planet. This will cause your ship to move in the same direction and velocity as the targeted planet you have selected to orbit. This is useful when you want to unload or load infantry or troops onto a planet, or if you are planning to build structures on the surface.

The Orbit hotkey is "O"

Load Loading can occur in 2 situations: when you are orbiting a planet, or when there are free resources floating around. From a planet's orbit, if you wish to load infantry, you need to select that infantry unit and select this command. To load resources, target the planet from orbit, and select the load command. Resources are also sometimes found floating in space. To load these resources onto your ship, you need to be within a 100gu range, then select the resource unit and then the load command.

The Load hotkey is "L"

Unload

*Note: This command is not directly listed in the target display. When you orbit a planet, the planet will display a number of empty "slots" that you can select. If you have cargo on your ship, the unload command will unload the first item in your cargo onto that slot on the planet. If you're unloading infantry, that infantry will take up that slot and you will have to select another one to unload something else. If you are unloading resources, then the slot is not taken up by the resources, and can be used again to unload another item

The Unload hotkey is "U"


9. Master Controls

The master controls include 6 options: Help / Tactical / Engineering / Chat Log / Profile

Master Controls
Help Toggling the in-game help file will bring up a window with a list of all the controls and their functions.

Toggle Help by "F1"

Navigation

Toggling the Navigation menu will change your interface into the Navigation display. From here, you can see all the planets in the system, where they are located, your faction's fleet, objectives, and more. This will be discussed in the next section.

Systems links is now only available in Metaverse games. This is integrated into the Navigation screen, and you will be able to see all the systems in the Metaverse when you scroll out.

Toggle Nacigation by "F2"

Engineering

Toggling the engineering menu will bring you to the engineering display. From here, you can view all your ships systems (primary and weaponry), and their damage percent. Also, you will notice a queue box with a list of system your ships is currently repairing. From here, you can change the order of which system gets repaired first.

Toggle Engineering by "F3"

Message Log Toggling the message log will display a box in the upper left hand corner of the main screen. From here, you will be able to look at what has been said and done in the last few minutes of play.

Toggle Message Log by "F4"

Profile Toggling the in-game profile will display a box in the upper right hand corner of the main screen. This will display your current profile status as it would appear from the lobby. In-game profiles are refreshed every 5 minutes.

Toggle Profile by "F5"


Once you toggle the Navigation or Engineering displays, you might think you're stuck in that view. To return to the Tactical screen, simple press the hotkey for the screen you are currently in (i.e. if you're in the engineering screen, press F3 to return to the tactical screen).

Navigation
Complete list of Navigation Commands.

The Navigation Screen gives you an overall view of the entire system. The Navigation Screen can be accessed by pressing F2. Your display should change to the following screen:

Navigation Interface Map
1 Objects List A list of all planets, stars, planets, and other non ship items.
2 System Information Displays the system name and the number of planets controlled by each faction, as well as the total resources.
3 Ships List Shows all friendly ships and detected enemy ships, as well as their current hull status.
4 Navigation Commands List of the Navigation Commands.
5 Orders List List of available orders that can be given to other players.
6 Ship Status Bar Shows hull integrity, ship energy, and current duration of the scenario.
7 Master Controls Help / Navigation / Engineering / Message Log / Profile / System Links

Items in the Navigation Screen are indicated by small icons. Here's what each icon represents:

Ship Icon Item Icon
Fighters Asteroid
Scout Hazard
Transport Jump Gate
Supply Ship Nebula
Engineer Platform
Frigate Planet
Destroyer Star
Cruiser Resources
Dreadnaught 1 1
Station 1 1

1. Objects List
The Objects List shows all the objects (excluding planets) that are in the current system.  This list varies depending on how big the system is. Usually, this list consists only of planets, jump gates / wormholes, and stars. However, when a scout has successfully tagged an enemy ship or planet, these beacons will also show up in the objects list.  Clicking on any of these items will highlight that object on your navigation screen. These objects also have a color associated with them. Red objects mean they are controlled by the enemy, Green objects are controlled by your team, and Yellow objects are neutral.

2. System Information

The System Information displays 3 things: The system name, the number of planets controlled by each faction, and the number of resources avaiable to each faction. You will notice two number next to each faction name. The first number indicates how many planets that faction controls in the system, and the second indicates the total resources available to each faction. So in this example, the UGTO has 10 planets, with a total of 35,269 resources.

3. Ships List

The Ships List displays all the friendly ships on the right, and all the enemy ships that are detectable to the left. You will detect enemy ships depending on your scanner power and their ships signature. On the bottom of each ship, there is a hull status bar. If the players ship is at 100% hull, then there will be no indication. However, as their ship starts losing its hull integrity, the bar will start from green at the right and go towards red to the left, until their ship is either being repaired or is destroyed.

4. Navigation Commands
The Navigation Commands allow you to manipulate what is shown in the Navigation Screen. Here's an explanation of what each command does.

Navigation Commands
Orders Toggles orders on / off.
Ships Toggles ships on / off.
Planets Toggles planets on / off.
Grid Toggles grid on / off.  The grid displays color areas, depending on the control of planets.
Orbits Toggles orbites on / off.
Jump Activates jump drive, jumping to a targeted object.
Full Moves the camera to the furthest zoom.
Focus Moves the camera to the closest zoom.
Center Centers the screen on a targeted object.
Zoom Out Zooms the camera out.
Zoom In Zooms the camera in.

5. Orders List

Orders can be given by any player, and can be given to any other friendly player. There are currently 5 orders available:

Orders Options
Attack Sends the order to attack a location.
Capture Sends the order to capture a planet.
Defend Sends the order to defend a location.
Cancel Cancels a given order.
Move Sends the order to move to a position.


Orders can be useful when you are planning a strategic attack. When you send an order, the Navigation Display will show a line connecting the player with an order to the objective they recieved. For example, if you order a player to capture a planet, then a line will connect that player to the planet you want to be captured.

Engineering
The Engineering Screen will give information pertaining to your ships systems, as well as the repair status of any damaged systems. This is what the Engineering Screen should look like:

Engineering Interface Map
1 Systems Information Displays you current ship status, as well as the status of your ships primary systems.
2 Repair Queue Displays any damaged systems, it's repair status (%), and location on the ship.

 

1. Systems Information

The Systems Information is displayed in the top right hand corner of the Engineering Screen.  This will tell you your ships hull %, its available energy vs. total energy, its velocity vs. max velocity, and its signature. It will also show you all your primary ship systems, and at what percent damage they are at. 100% means that system has taken no damage.

2. Repair Queue

The repair queue gives you a list of all the damaged systems on your ship. It is listed by the system name, its integrity %, and its location on the ship. Your ship will automatically repair the first system that is damaged. However, if you are in a dangerous situation, and you need your jump drive repaired right away, you can change the order in which your ship systems are repaired.  To do this, select the system you want to move around, and use the four buttons available in the repair queue. Here's what they do:

Repair Options
Top Moves the selected system to the top of the repair queue.
+ Moves the selected system up 1 position in the repair queue
- Moves the selected system down 1 position in the repair queue.
Last Moves the selected system to the bottom of the repair queue.

Tutorial Part 3: Helm Controls < Tutorial Part 4: Learning The Interface> Tutorial Part 5: Planets

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