Guide on Artifacts and Crews Training
Hello and welcome to Abbandon's exhaustive guide to upgrading artifacts and training the sloppy drunk bums you call a crew. Arts(artifacts) boost the stats on your ships and weapons. Each artifact can be upgraded up to 10 times by members of your crew. Each upgrade to an art can add 1-19 levels onto the art and make the bonus it gives go up/more effective. This guide is to help you learn how to maximize your odds of gaining multiple levels per upgrade so you can make insanely powerful arts and how to quickly make a group of really bad ass crew mates that will be required to do those upgrades.
Two small points before we dive into the deeper stuff. You start out only being able to use 3 arts on your ship. By spending flux you can unlock the 4th and 5th slot which will carry over to all your ships. This should be done asap. There is also artifact set-ups or trays. You start with only one and dont really need to purchase more with flux until you have more than one ship but they allow you to have/save different art set ups for different situations. Most people have a tray for each ship they use. Each tray remembers which arts it has in it and each ship remembers the last tray assigned to it. So it makes switching between ships quick and painless. Common set ups are usually for types of damage like corrosive, energy, kinetic, omni. I personally also keep a tray full of speed arts. Its not as fast as an explorer but its also a lot cheaper than buying the ship. I'm pretty sure art trays are 200 flux a pop. But like I said not something your really going to need until you have multiple GOOD ships.
The art of upgrading arts
(artifacts, stolen title from forums)Upgrading Artifacts
Artifacts normally look something like:
- +20% Armor (first line)
- +5% kinetic resistance (second line)
- +1,329 shields (third line)
The 38 is the arts CURRENT level. The (54) is the POTENTIAL level, as well as the level of whatever you killed to get it most likely. Theoretically that art above could become 228(54) (19 levels x 10 upgrades)but in reality there is no chance in hell of that happening lol. A whole lot of factors play into how many levels an art can gain...lets break it down..
First of all there is the difference between current level and potential level. The lower the current level vs the potential level the greater the odds of gaining multiple levels. For example 2(54) will have a better shot at getting +10 levels than something 50(54). But the 2(54) will rarely be able to catch up or pass the art that starts much higher but hey there is a chance. If the current level of an art is equal to or less than the potential level the upgrade chance gets checked against a crew members relevant skill/s. For my example art 38 is less than 54 so it will "Roll" against or check against my crew mates skills.
Crew skills are Survival, Diplomacy and Combat. Different stats on an artifact are checked against different skills.... Survival - Armor, Shields, HP, Individual Resists Diplomacy - Speed, Rate of Fire, cooldown, Power Combat - Damage
Your skill level in the relevant skill plays a part in the equation also. According to game devs the point at which you gain no further benefit from raising your skills is 500 for specific stats and 800 total for Omni Resist/Resist All artifacts(I dont see why Omni damage would work different than omni resist but people who have talked with devs said omni damage uses combat - 500, but I dont believe them. If your doing omni damage go for the 800). For example if you have an artifact that boosts your armor then your best shot at gaining multiple levels from it would be to use a crewmate with a survival skill of 500. If your trying to make a killer speed art than you would be using a guy with diplomacy of 500. You do not have to wait until you have 500 but that is when you will have the best chance. Dont be surprised if you get your skills that high and continue to see only 1 level gains the majority of the time though.
What happens if your artifacts current level surpasses the potential level though? If the art above was 55(54) and you were going to upgrade it your odds of success now plummet. Instead of being checked against crew skills the artifact is checked against a crew members SPECIAL SKILLS. These are the things below the main skills, stuff like heat, cold, corrosion, trade, diplomacy, .....stuff... There are 9 of them?? The more you have the better.(you will want them all anyways for exploration that we cover later on). Just know that your chances of getting multi-level upgrades on something that is over its potential will drop. These artifacts can still be quite good though.
In general upgrading your arts and improving their stats is a relatively standard increase in power. Gaining 1 level is going to give you the same +0.7 damage improvement every time. If it gains two levels you just get +1.4. Different stats have different baseline improvements. I think there can be a slight variance in the amount but I think it probably averages out. If you gain 1 level with only 100 skill it would probably be the same result if you gain 1 level with a 500 skill. Still the same +0.7 (the number is just an example). I think skills should give bigger improvements for each level gain but that's not how it works. I'm just telling you that the only reason you raise your skills to 500 is so that you have the best chance at gaining multiple levels PER upgrade. That's where a character with 500 skill will beat out a guy with only 100.
There is one more point I would like to make about upgrading arts. Each line on an art gets to roll the dice and try to level up. In the example art above it has 3 lines. I guess I made a crappy example they would all roll against Survival, but what would happen if one of those lines had to do with weapon damage?? Which skill would it roll against?? The answer is both! For the survival stats it would roll against the chosen crew mates survival skill and for the weapon stat it would roll against the chosen crew mates combat skill. This is why in the next section I will go over how to attain a bad ass crew of 500/500/500 which will let your crew mate handle any art you throw at them. But one last thing about multi-line arts. Keep this in mind when looking for arts. The max amount of lines on an art are 5. If you are super lucky you might find an art with x3+ of the same damage type on it, this will make a very powerful art as your chances of gaining multiple levels go up drastically. I actually don't know if each line can get 1-19 or if that's the total allowed..
I could probably make a list of arts to keep an eye out for and what circumstances to use them but that feels like it belongs somewhere else, like its own guide or under ships or weapons(own guide would probably be best). If anyone has a desire for this I could do it.....
Accelerated Crew Training
The purpose of this guide is to help you shave a massive amount of time off maxing out your crew skills. By the time most people read this it might be to late for you. The first and foremost thing to do to quickly max out your crew is to NEVER DO EXPLORATION!!!!!!!! Screw exploration!!! Morons will tell you oh yeah go ahead and do it now!!! You get flux for ships and unlocks and you get minerals. But you only get to do exploration once and if you WASTE IT at the beginning of your career it will most definately cost you TIME later on. Towards the end of maxing out a crew mates skills it will begin to take 40+ hours to train. If you follow my directions you will never have to experience that.
You start the game with 2 crew and 3 crew slots. You can unlock 2 more slots though with flux and purchase 3 more crew mates for yet more flux. This is fairly expensive flux wise. You don't HAVE to unlock the 4th and 5th guy. But if you choose not to unlock them at the beginning they will most likely miss out entirely on the accelerated training method. To unlock all 5 crew its going to take 1800 flux. 300 for the 3 crew members, 500 to unlock the 4th slot, and 1000 to unlock the 5th.
Your talking about enough flux to get you a really nice ship that could last you a very long time in the game. That's going to be something you have to decide for yourself. Is it worth spending real life money on??(yes) Can I live in my crappy newb ship forever?(no). Whats the purpose of getting 5 crew mates?? The amount of crew you have is how many arts you will be able to upgrade at a time. Later on you will find nice arts way faster than you can max them out. I would really advocate getting 3 more guys now so they can take part in this training method. Also and maybe more important is that the more people you send into an exploration site the less time it takes to complete.
You pick up crew from cantina's (yellow dots on your map/radar). It DOES matter where you get them from, just in terms of later systems have more skilled crew right off the bat. I'm not an expert on cantina's but I think the best guys come from Vibrillion?? If you can hold off on training or getting crew until then that would be great. I think those guys can start with a skill in the 200's and some in the others. But its probably better to just go ahead and pull the trigger and pick up crew as fast as possible so you can start training them. I wouldn't really suggest training 2 guys and then picking up the rest later... you kinda want them to be in sync...
But lets get down to business. This method is to get your crew to 500/500/500 as fast as possible so that they can make bad ass arts AND so that any one of them can handle any kind of art you throw at them. This process will require some discipline and I know once you max out individual skills you will wanna take a break from training and work on arts to make your ship better but try to keep it to a minimum. If you didn't know you can train you crew to gain skill points without sending them to do exploration. Just press X, click on manage crew in the lower right of that window, then click on one of them and you should see the TRAIN button at the bottom of their screen. That's what you will be using for most of this.
Step 1 - Get everyone to 20/20/20 and unlock all the SPECIAL skills. This is the easiest step and is necessary to upgrade artifacts that are over their potential level and to explore planets. Just dump points into special skills and it will unlock the next one and the next one etc.
Step 2 - Get one crew to 500 combat, one guy to 500 survival and one guy to 500 diplomacy(if you have the 2 extra guys make them combat or survival guys also, you only want one diplomacy). AKA something like 500/20/20 or 20/500/20 or 20/20/500. Those crew members will now have the best shot at upgrading specific stats on artifacts. You will have a guy for offense, a guy for defense and a guy for....well diplomacy's kinda suck but you might want speed/RoF arts...... after you reach this goal, it is probably where you will want to stop and take some time to make some killer arts for yourself and really get an increase in your effectiveness.
Step 2.5 - Along your path to step 3 you should reach this goal. Gaining a TOTAL of 800 skills will ensure you have max odds of upgrading the almighty RESIST ALL artifacts. These puppies reduce ALL damage to your ship by a % and protect your shields and HP. Having 75% resist all should help you survive and make you tougher than ever. Definitely take the time to stop and upgrade some of these.
Step 3. Time to finish 2/3rds of your training to max out your crew. In this step your combat/survival guys needs to train up the opposite skill to 500. If you have combat 500 then u do survival 500, if you have survival 500 then you do combat 500. Avoid diplomacy like the plague that it is. Your poor schmuck diplomat should train either survival or combat to 500, truly either one doesn't matter although I would lean towards combat for the simple fact those are the types of arts that get backed up the most in my art list.
I need to take a break here and tell you some things. I had completed 11% of the exploration sites in the game before I tried doing this training method myself. And my people began maxing out around Zergilin/Hozar. The main concept behind this method of training is to use exploration to gain the last 500 skill points you need except I have no freaking clue how many skill points you can actually gain from exploration. I might update Step 3 later with facts but you may be able to start the final step even sooner than what I write here. Instead of getting 500 in step 3 you might get away with only going for 400 or 350 and using step 4 to get all the rest.... But I don't know how low you can go yet. The lower you can go the more time you can save!!
Step 4. As you begin this step your crew should look something like 500/20/500 or 500/500/20 or 20/500/500. This is where saving those exploration sites comes into play. You now cease training your crew and you start exploring the planets. It is worth pointing out that the more people you have exploring the less time it takes. So again I really encourage you to get that 4th and 5th crew mate. For me personally this is where i unlocked them and they got to tag along for part of the exploration sites which helps on speeding them up but it doesn't really benefit those crew mates because it wasn't their last 500 skill points they were earning.
What you wanna do is start in Hyperion and send every crew mate to the SAME combat or survival exploration site(whatever the stupid diplomat has). You clear out all of those types of site on a planet and u move on to the next one and do the same. When all of those kind of sites are gone in a system you then move to the next map. You systematically wipe out every survival or combat site on every planet of every map for as far as you can(not Fulzar heh?). During this time you are earning skill points that you use to continue to max out your opposite skill OR begin maxing out your final skill to make your guy 500/500/500.
After you finish wiping out all the survival/combat sites on every map you then go back to Hyperion and begin to wipe out all of the opposite sites. If you wiped out all the survival sites in the galaxy you then do the combat, If you wiped out all of the combat sites you then begin to wipe out all of the survival sites. After this second pass on the galaxy you should be making decent progress on maxing out your last skill.
Once you finish the second pass you can then start in on doing diplomacy sites and 100% planets and maps for flux. Somewhere along this third and final pass you should definitely max out your crew.
As an example if you did exploration first and tried to train your crew up to max them out your final 500 pts would all take 40+ hours to to get 5 skill points. If you do my method and save exploration for last you get 1-3 skill points in seconds to 18 minutes. There were a few that were 2-6 hours long(with 4 people). AKA you just saved yourself a buttload of time and get to max out your crew extremely quickly. Getting the last 500+ skill points probably takes way less time than getting the second 500 points.
Step 4 might require some number tweaking. To ensure crew can do all 3 types of exploration it might be wise to limit the second skill to 400(or 300 something) and then begin working on diplomacy for the third pass through the galaxy. Only going back to finish the 2nd skill when you know you have enough diplomacy to finish exploring all the planets.
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