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EGA Trek (WARNING: This will make the game extremely easy)
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Elign
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:27 pm     Post subject: EGA Trek (WARNING: This will make the game extremely easy) Reply with quote

When firing lasers at Mongol ships, use negative numbers (eg: -5000) to get more energy. With lots of energy, your shields should take ALL the shots.

When you see a green supply ship, fire small amounts of laser at it repeatedly (like 10, 25, or 50). It should surrender, and you might get some cool supplies.

If a Mongol fires a plasma bolt, move away as far as you can with your impulse engines (don't warp out).

If your ship is in really bad shape, go Warp 1 to a nearby quadrant, and your ship should be in much better shape, even if they tractor beam you back to where you came from.

Amount of laser to fire if phasers are over 90% working (approximate; depends on distance):

Mongol battleship (cyan): 450 close, 750 far
Mongol commander (red): 1000 close, 1750 far
Mongol supply ship: 200 close, 400 far
Mongol base: 2000 close, 4000 far
Mongol scout: 300 close, 650 far
Vandal: 1200 close, 2000 far

Energy Torpedoes:

Mongol battleship: 1 close, 2 far
Mongol commander: 2 close, 3 far
Mongol supply ship: 1 close, 1 far
Mongol base: 3 close, 4 far
Mongol scout: 1 close, 2 far
Vandal: Torpedoes do not hurt Vandals

There is no need to destroy Vandal ships, so you can save your energy.

Destroy the Scouts in one laser shot/torpedo spread, or they will go away and then you'll have to chase them down.

Always use torpedoes when the ships are close to you (save laser energy)

If 2 or more ships are next to a star, fire torpedoes at the star, if it becomes a nova, it might destroy all surrounding ships (if you're close it should only be a small hit). If it becomes a supernova, all Mongols in that quadrant should be destroyed and you should be bumped out to another quadrant.

The death ray is not very useful, it only has about 20% chance of success. Only use it as an absolute last resort.

If you are warping to a place that has no Mongols, put the shields down before warping to save lots of energy.

If you are rescuing a Union ship, you may not need as much firepower to destroy the Mongols since the Union ship may have tried to defend itself.
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smjg
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:06 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I played this game in my youth, and have recently got back into playing it on DOSBox!

Tip 1 - strikes me as cheating. Possibly a bug, but they might have decided to leave it in as an Easter egg. Does it work on all versions of the game?

Tip 2 - just happens to be one that I discovered the other day!

Tip 3 - does this mean as far as you can from the Mongol, or from where you were when the bolt was fired?

Tip 11 (or 10 depending on how you count them) - I've never seen the death ray work. I don't think I've ever even survived the attempt. Maybe I just haven't tried it enough times.

Tip 13 - I've been driving myself mad trying to rescue a Union ship! Why do they never give enough advance warning that they're about to die?
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BlackMantis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:32 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

#1 -- definitely a bug.

#3 -- I warp hop to the next quadrant and back when I get plasma torpedoes fired at me. If you move away (from the Mongol who fired it) the damage will be reduced, but if you're in bad shape you don't want to be hit by a plasma torpedo at all. And, if you're at point blank range, a plasma torpedo can one-shot you.

Death Ray -- four (five?) possible outcomes. 1) If I remember correctly, sometimes you'll fire it and nothing happens... this one I'm unsure about. 2) It explodes, destroying the ship. 3) It misfires, mutating part of your crew and leaving you dealing with goofy status messages and viewscreen displays. 4) It misfires, creating a bunch of black holes in the quadrant. 5) It works, and all enemies in quadrant are instantly destroyed.

As Elign said, it is a weapon of desperation. Use it if your warp engines and weapons are disabled, and you cannot fight and cannot flee.

If you want to successfully rescue a Union ship, you pretty much have to drop everything and sprint over there. I always crank it up to at least warp 8 when rescuing a ship. Also, once you get there, hit the Mongols hard; they will still be firing at the other Union ship, and if you don't take them out fast they might destroy it right in front of you.

Some other tips:

Orbit every planet you come across. Sometimes there are useful things. In particular, occasionally you can find Mongol supply stations that you can raid for similar supplies to what you can capture from supply ships.

If you must destroy stars, try to do it from as far away as possible. They cause more damage the closer you are, and if one happens to go supernova, and you're next to it, there's a good chance it will destroy the ship. Of course, the farther away you are, the greater the chances that your torpedoes will miss, so sometimes it's best to find a good middle ground.

Supernovas can be used to wall off the Mongol/Union border in higher difficulty levels where Mongol reinforcements keep showing up.

If you get your hands on a Mongol plasma torpedo, bear in mind that, like a nova, it has a damage radius. Try firing it into a cluster of Mongol ships. It will still go off even if you target at a point in empty space, damaging everything around it. Bear in mind that the plasma torpedoes are finicky and sometimes may not detonate at all, but they're a good emergency weapon if you're out of other options and don't want to go for the death ray just yet.

You really don't want to go flying around with your shields down. Vandal death pods can come out of nowhere at any time, and it is actually possible for them to destroy the ship -- I've seen it. Also, in later difficulty levels, Mongol command ships can snag you in long range tractor beams and drag you to their location. The Mongols often fire first, so this can mean instant death if your shields are down.

Save your torpedoes. You only have nine. Your lasers and ship's energy recharge, but you have to go to a starbase or supply depot to restock torpedoes. Pummel a group of Mongols with lasers first -- then, if your lasers become too damaged/overheated, or if you run low on energy, switch to torpedoes. Torpedoes are powerful weapons and aren't generally worth wasting on weak ships like scouts and supply ships.

If you get in a fight with multiple ships, especially if it's 4 or 5, it usually is a good idea to ignore the weak ones until the strong ones are taken out. The strong ones inflict a lot more damage, and if you're spreading out your fire on every ship, you might run out of energy before taking out the more powerful ones. If you're fighting (for example) a Mongol base, commander, battlecruiser, scout, and supply ship, take out the base first (this would be a good time to let loose a full cluster of torpedoes). Then, hammer the commander (laser bursts of 1000 are generally adequate to take out a commander in 1 or 2 shots, depending on distance) and the battlecruiser (600 is a good 1 - 2 shot average for them), ignoring the other two until the commander is destroyed. Once the base and commander are out of the way, the other three offer little threat and can generally be picked off at leisure.

If your short range sensors go down and you're fighting blind, you can still use the SCAN or INFO commands to locate the enemy ships. That way, you can still hit them with torpedoes if need be.

When repairing the ship, if life support is damaged, always, always fix that first. If you run out of air, you die.

If you're in a really bad spot, can no longer fight back and your warp engines are out, a black hole can sometimes be used as an expedient escape method. Impulse into it and it will kick you out in another quadrant. Bear in mind that the black hole itself can sometimes destroy the ship, but in a situation where you face certain death anyway, it's generally worth the risk.

If you're fighting Mongols in a quadrant with a starbase (I think of any variety, but it might just be class 1 starbases -- I'd have to doublecheck) immediately dock with the starbase. You are then essentially invulnerable, protected by the starbase shields, and can also fire ridiculously powerful laser bursts without worrying about energy cost (overheating is still a factor).

The one good thing about Vandal death pods is that they don't discriminate -- sometimes they'll take out Mongols too. Of course, this can also be a drawback -- they can destroy Mongol supply ships that you're trying to capture.

If all else fails, you can self destruct. Do this close enough to Mongol ships and the blast can sometimes take a cluster of them out with you. Generally you'll want to use this if you know you're going to die and want to maximize your score as much as possible before you go down. However, the death ray is always a better last resort option; at least then you have a chance of surviving, repairing, and carrying on the war. If weapons and engines are offline, just keep firing the death ray until it works, explodes, or the Mongols destroy you.


Last edited by BlackMantis on Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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smjg
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:38 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackMantis wrote:
Death Ray -- four (five?) possible outcomes. 1) If I remember correctly, sometimes you'll fire it and nothing happens... this one I'm unsure about. 2) It explodes, destroying the ship. 3) It misfires, mutating part of your crew and leaving you dealing with goofy status messages and viewscreen displays. 4) It misfires, creating a bunch of black holes in the quadrant. 5) It works, and all enemies in quadrant are instantly destroyed.
In outcome 2, is the explosion ever powerful enough to destroy any Mongols in the process?

BlackMantis wrote:
If you want to successfully rescue a Union ship, you pretty much have to drop everything and sprint over there. I always crank it up to at least warp 8 when rescuing a ship.
Yes, that's more more or less what I do. But the success rate is still very low. As such, I think rescuing a Union ship should score more than the standard 200.

Speaking of points for rescues, if your ship is destroyed then do you lose them all? Or does it still score you for these behind the scenes?

BlackMantis wrote:
Orbit every planet you come across. Sometimes there are useful things. In particular, occasionally you can find Mongol supply stations that you can raid for similar supplies to what you can capture from supply ships.
Yes, I always check out every planet I come across if I can.

BlackMantis wrote:
If your short range sensors go down and you're fighting blind, you can still use the SCAN or INFO commands to locate the enemy ships.
In my experience, when the SR scanner is down INFO stops working. Are we using different versions of the game? Mine is 3.0.

But I never knew about SCAN before. It seems that it's an undocumented feature. Thanks - I'll see whether this still works when my scanner is down. It'll be funny if it does.

BlackMantis wrote:
When repairing the ship, if life support is damaged, always, always fix that first. If you run out of air, you die.
Agreed. FWIW it's worth noting that "repair time" in the REPAIR window means the time it will take to repair if you don't do anything. For ages I thought it meant the time it'll take to repair if you use the FIX command to repair it - and as such, that if your life support drops below 60% and you can't get to a base in time then you're doomed.

BlackMantis wrote:
If you're in a really bad spot, can no longer fight back and your warp engines are out, a black hole can sometimes be used as an expedient escape method. Impulse into it and it will kick you out in another quadrant. Bear in mind that the black hole itself can sometimes destroy the ship, but in a situation where you face certain death anyway, it's generally worth the risk.
I don't think I've ever fancied going black hole jumping, but maybe I should give it a try. Does the likelihood of the black hole swallowing you versus sending you to another part of the galaxy depend on whether you enter it head-on or at an angle?

BlackMantis wrote:
If you're fighting Mongols in a quadrant with a starbase (I think of any variety, but it might just be class 1 starbases -- I'd have to doublecheck) immediately dock with the starbase. You are then essentially invulnerable, protected by the starbase shields, and can also fire ridiculously powerful laser bursts without worrying about energy cost (overheating is still a factor).
That's my recollection - only StarBases do this. It's strange that they can make you indestructible but be destroyed themselves.
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smjg
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:15 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember that in some earlier versions of EGA Trek, you could spend time repairing while there are Mongols in the quadrant, and they wouldn't attack you. But in later versions it will just ask you what you want to concentrate repairs on and then exit the transaction.

Something else I've noticed is that the shuttlecraft never seems to get damaged. Has anybody here experienced damage to the shuttlecraft? Through random damages or through use in some way?

Also, did Nels ever make a version in which the System Status window doesn't waste space listing the Life Support (as the window is obscured whenever this is damaged) and Lasers (as the status of those is already shown elsewhere on the screen), so that it has room for Transporter and Shuttlecraft?
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BlackMantis
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:56 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In outcome 2, is the explosion ever powerful enough to destroy any Mongols in the process?

When the death ray explodes? Not that I recall, but I'm not 100% sure.


Quote:
Yes, that's more more or less what I do. But the success rate is still very low. As such, I think rescuing a Union ship should score more than the standard 200.

I agree, it should score more than 200. In all honesty, I usually crank all the way up to warp 10 and just suck up the potential engine damage. And anything below warp 8 is unlikely to get to there in time.


Quote:
Speaking of points for rescues, if your ship is destroyed then do you lose them all? Or does it still score you for these behind the scenes?

It should still score them? I think? Might have to doublecheck that one.


Quote:
In my experience, when the SR scanner is down INFO stops working. Are we using different versions of the game? Mine is 3.0.

But I never knew about SCAN before. It seems that it's an undocumented feature. Thanks - I'll see whether this still works when my scanner is down. It'll be funny if it does.

Okay, now that I think about it, I seem to recall that INFO does stop working when the scanners are down. I had forgotten -- been awhile. But I'm pretty sure SCAN does continue to work (which I suppose is probably a bug).


Quote:
Agreed. FWIW it's worth noting that "repair time" in the REPAIR window means the time it will take to repair if you don't do anything. For ages I thought it meant the time it'll take to repair if you use the FIX command to repair it - and as such, that if your life support drops below 60% and you can't get to a base in time then you're doomed.

Yeah, if your life support is only slightly damaged, you can ignore it and carry on about your business, as it will be fixed before you run out of air anyway.


Quote:

I don't think I've ever fancied going black hole jumping, but maybe I should give it a try. Does the likelihood of the black hole swallowing you versus sending you to another part of the galaxy depend on whether you enter it head-on or at an angle?

If there's a difference, I'm not aware of it (this doesn't mean there isn't one). In my experience though, black hole jumping in general has a survival rate somewhat over 50% (never done tests to try to figure out the exact odds), making it a better option in a bad spot than facing certain destruction via Mongol.


Quote:
That's my recollection - only StarBases do this. It's strange that they can make you indestructible but be destroyed themselves.

Not so strange. Starbases can be destroyed, but usually only after they have been under seige for extended periods of time (sometimes for weeks). It stands to reason then that they can soak up a huge amount of firepower, so it makes sense that over the short span of a ship to ship battle, they'd appear essentially indestructible. (Union shields in general appear to be far more powerful than their Mongol counterparts, although the Mongols do possess some technologies the Union does not, such as plasma torpedoes and long range tractor beams).


Quote:
I remember that in some earlier versions of EGA Trek, you could spend time repairing while there are Mongols in the quadrant, and they wouldn't attack you. But in later versions it will just ask you what you want to concentrate repairs on and then exit the transaction.

I've never seen the earlier version. As far as I know I started out on the finished product.


Quote:
Something else I've noticed is that the shuttlecraft never seems to get damaged. Has anybody here experienced damage to the shuttlecraft? Through random damages or through use in some way?

I seem to recall it can get damaged in combat, but it doesn't happen often.
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smjg
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:19 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackMantis wrote:
Quote:
Speaking of points for rescues, if your ship is destroyed then do you lose them all? Or does it still score you for these behind the scenes?

It should still score them? I think? Might have to doublecheck that one.
It happened to me the other day, looks like it doesn't. Sad

BlackMantis wrote:
Okay, now that I think about it, I seem to recall that INFO does stop working when the scanners are down. I had forgotten -- been awhile. But I'm pretty sure SCAN does continue to work (which I suppose is probably a bug).
Yes, I've now found that it does.

BlackMantis wrote:
Not so strange. Starbases can be destroyed, but usually only after they have been under seige for extended periods of time (sometimes for weeks). It stands to reason then that they can soak up a huge amount of firepower, so it makes sense that over the short span of a ship to ship battle, they'd appear essentially indestructible.
But even after a StarBase has given a distress signal, in some cases even after the date I was told it would last till has passed, it seems I can still rely on its protection.

BlackMantis wrote:
Quote:
I remember that in some earlier versions of EGA Trek, you could spend time repairing while there are Mongols in the quadrant, and they wouldn't attack you. But in later versions it will just ask you what you want to concentrate repairs on and then exit the transaction.
I've never seen the earlier version. As far as I know I started out on the finished product.
Thinking about it, they were probably still Klingons back then. But what version number do you mean by the "finished product"?
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:46 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...did Nels ever make a version...

Long shot, but does this mean you might know the author? Any chance he could be politely pestered for source code, or to see if a modern version could be adapted and compiled? It's one of three my favorite games from that era, along with Sopwith and Trek.

I still love playing it in dosbox, so happy to have that. But you guys obviously exceed me in every way regarding playing and loving it, wow. Good on you. Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:36 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
Quote:
...did Nels ever make a version...

Long shot, but does this mean you might know the author? Any chance he could be politely pestered for source code, or to see if a modern version could be adapted and compiled? It's one of three my favorite games from that era, along with Sopwith and Trek.
I wouldn't say "know" personally, but he was a prolific writer of shareware games for MS-DOS back in the day. Still, I'll try and remember to try and make contact when I've a bit more time.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:42 pm     Post subject: Re: EGA Trek (WARNING: This will make the game extremely eas Reply with quote

Elign wrote:
If your ship is in really bad shape, go Warp 1 to a nearby quadrant, and your ship should be in much better shape, even if they tractor beam you back to where you came from.
This trick backfired when I tried it yesterday. Basically, my life support got damaged to 0% en route, and by the time I arrived and was able to do anything about it it was too late.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:26 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But even after a StarBase has given a distress signal, in some cases even after the date I was told it would last till has passed, it seems I can still rely on its protection.

Yes, if you're physically present in the quadrant the Starbase will persist indefinitely, even past when it would otherwise be destroyed. Probably an oversight.

Quote:
But what version number do you mean by the "finished product"?

I mean the last version produced. Specifically, I have version 3.1, which as far as I know is the final edition. If I am wrong, please let me know.

Quote:
Long shot, but does this mean you might know the author? Any chance he could be politely pestered for source code, or to see if a modern version could be adapted and compiled?

I do not know the author, but I've thought of doing this. Even lacking the source code, I still think it'd be worth attempting to craft a more modern "clone".
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:02 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackMantis wrote:
Quote:
But even after a StarBase has given a distress signal, in some cases even after the date I was told it would last till has passed, it seems I can still rely on its protection.

Yes, if you're physically present in the quadrant the Starbase will persist indefinitely, even past when it would otherwise be destroyed. Probably an oversight.
But this happens even if I arrive late into the quad. I thought maybe StarBases will sacrifice themselves to save the Lexington. But what you say does explain why I've never seen a base destroyed right before my eyes.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:28 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackMantis wrote:
I do not know the author, but I've thought of doing this. Even lacking the source code, I still think it'd be worth attempting to craft a more modern "clone".
Depends how true to the original you want your clone to be. I suppose the overall game mechanics would be quite easy to implement, but the maths would take some working out, and the random elements you'd just have to guess or make something up.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:37 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But this happens even if I arrive late into the quad. I thought maybe StarBases will sacrifice themselves to save the Lexington. But what you say does explain why I've never seen a base destroyed right before my eyes.

As far as I can tell, the "destroy" date is approximate. Starbase is giving your their best guess how long they can hold out. Due to the inherent unpredictability of combat, it's actually probably more realistic that the projected date not be 100% accurate.

Quote:
Depends how true to the original you want your clone to be. I suppose the overall game mechanics would be quite easy to implement, but the maths would take some working out, and the random elements you'd just have to guess or make something up.

Pretty much. I was thinking that it would be cool to have it as close to the original as possible in terms of gameplay, but with expanded features (and of course better graphics).
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:08 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, there are lots of startrek games out there, fun to play. But there is something special about EGATrek, though I can't put my finger on it. Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:02 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Further tips:

Mongol battlecruisers can fire plasma bolts too, not just commanders. Beware.

Certain commands can be shortcutted. Examples:

One does not actually need to enter the (m)ove command, open the movement box, and enter coordinates. If one wishes to travel to, for example, sector 4, 1 in quadrant 5, 3... one can simply type m5341 in the main command console. The command is accepted and the movement box is skipped altogether.

Similarly, the (w)arp command box can be circumvented. Instead of entering "w" and then entering the warp factor in the popup box, one can simply enter (for example) "w4" and the speed factor is automatically set to warp 4.

If the impulse engines are too damaged to use, you can still move around in the quadrant using the warp engines. You simply add the coordinates of the quadrant you are in to the move command (just as you would if you were moving there from another quadrant), instead of the sector coordinates alone.

In high difficulty mode, after the rest of the map has been cleared and the Mongols are reinforcing the border, use one or both of the following tactics:

1) Set off as many supernovas as possible along the border. This gives you fewer quadrants to worry about.

2) First knock every quadrant down to one ship, the weaker the better. Mongols will not reinforce quadrants unless they are empty. Once this has been done, it is much easier to make a speed run from quadrant to quadrant, knocking out the remnants of the fleet.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:09 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackMantis wrote:
As far as I can tell, the "destroy" date is approximate. Starbase is giving your their best guess how long they can hold out. Due to the inherent unpredictability of combat, it's actually probably more realistic that the projected date not be 100% accurate.
Yes, that's what I reckon. I would also hope that they give pessimistic estimates so that you generally have at least as much time as you're told to come to their rescue.

That said, have you ever had a communication telling you a base has been destroyed when you never had a distress signal from it in the first place? This seems to have happened to me a small handful of times.

BlackMantis wrote:
Pretty much. I was thinking that it would be cool to have it as close to the original as possible in terms of gameplay, but with expanded features (and of course better graphics).
Yes, that's more or less what I was thinking. Keep the gameplay the same, implement a modern GUI, and then look at adding more features. Better graphics would certainly be good - do you have the artistic skills?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:27 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Have you ever had a communication telling you a base has been destroyed when you never had a distress signal from it in the first place? This seems to have happened to me a small handful of times.

I'm not sure. What I do know is that sometimes you get a flood of messages (more than three at once) and the starbase distress message is knocked off the screen before you have a chance to see it. Then later, when you get the "destroyed" message, it seems as though you never got the distress signal.

In this event, you can attempt to confirm using the "msgs" command and scrolling through previous messages. Even then though, if the distress signal was too far back in your history, it will no longer show up in the message memory -- at that point there's no way to know.

Quote:
Yes, that's more or less what I was thinking. Keep the gameplay the same, implement a modern GUI, and then look at adding more features. Better graphics would certainly be good - do you have the artistic skills?

I've got the artistic skills. My programming experience, on the other hand, is much more limited. That being said, I could learn.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:20 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackMantis wrote:
Similarly, the (w)arp command box can be circumvented. Instead of entering "w" and then entering the warp factor in the popup box, one can simply enter (for example) "w4" and the speed factor is automatically set to warp 4.
Indeed, it's worth noting that Warp doesn't work - it has to be just W by itself. There used to be a bug whereby F9 was mapped to Warp, invariably giving an "Invalid warp factor setting" message when it's used. Indeed, in my version (3.0) there's still a bug whereby the help gives it as Warp even though Warp doesn't work.

BlackMantis wrote:
If the impulse engines are too damaged to use, you can still move around in the quadrant using the warp engines. You simply add the coordinates of the quadrant you are in to the move command (just as you would if you were moving there from another quadrant), instead of the sector coordinates alone.
Wow ... obviously that's a bug. It appears that it still does an impulse engine move (and as such, takes energy from the impulse engines) but magically enables them to function however damaged they may be.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:02 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wow ... obviously that's a bug. It appears that it still does an impulse engine move (and as such, takes energy from the impulse engines) but magically enables them to function however damaged they may be.


Oh.

Well, it made sense to me that you could do a quick hop with the warp engines, so I never thought to investigate where the energy came from.
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