What a great game, Star Ruler!
I recently got into this genre, via Endless Space, Sins of a Solar Empire and Star Ruler 2, I ended up liking Star Ruler (1) . I certainly have a long way to go, but starting to get the hang of it (I'm a sim fanatic - usually playing DCS, SB Pro PE, Assetto Corsa etc), so I have a lot of new stuff to learn. Much I can probably gain by reading here on the forum, but trying to skip ahead a bit, I would like to ask a couple of "start-out-questions" to see if people still hanga around here (despite Star Ruler 2 being out).
First of all, welcome to the forums and the Star Ruler community
And it's always nice to see more sim fanatics joining our ranks
I guess a game like Star Ruler, with it's Newtonian movement model and all, tends to attract people who enjoy some good ol' realism.
Ok, so I should not really pay much attention to it then. Rather count the vessels by numbers and classes I guess. As I saw, the official term for the circle indicator is "Military presence", but also "Star system strength level". It would be good if the indicator actually did it's job and not cause confusion? Oh, well, I'll keep my eye on it to see what really makes it go up. The surprise was when it went down while still constructing more ships... Maybe it is relative to other (enemy) star systems passing me in military strength that shows as a drop?
To be honest I'm not sure how exactly it works, either, but I do agree that it's probably relative strength rather than absolute. As you no doubt have noticed, tech level plays a huge role in this game. I assume that as the average tech level among all factions goes up, so does the scale of the military presence indicator. Considering that you go through multiple magnitudes of order when it comes to firepower (or anything else) in this game, it's no wonder the scale changes so quickly over time.
4 quick questions:
1. Would you advise me to install the Galactic Armor mod straight away to have a better start-off experience, or should I see it as extra candy once I've enjoyed default game for a while?
No, I definitely advise you to stick to vanilla for a few games. Once you feel comfortable with the game mechanics, by all means go ahead and try the mod! One word of warning though - many mechanics are very complex, sometimes overly so, and unfortunately there's no complete up to date manual; however, the mod does provide some extra information through the in-game stellarpedia, as well as subsystem descriptions. And if that's not enough, you can always ask in these forums!
2. For the first 2-3 hrs of gameplay, do you consider it necessary to fiddle with new ship layouts/sizes? Or better build on the default?
It's maybe not necessary, but it doesn't hurt if you know what you're doing. Upscaling some designs may be a good idea early in the game, though it's sometimes better to scale things down or simplify them to reduce cost (i.e. colonizers - not sure about exact numbers, but you can reduce size to a certain point - if you don't mind having less starting population on new colonies - and make subsystems smaller if you want). Also, once you unlock more and more advanced subsystems (i.e. fusion and antimattor reactors) you probably want to utilize these in your designs ASAP.
3. To avoid economic collapse, what figures are the most important to keep an eye on?
Expansion isn't really my strong suit (especially not in vanilla
) but I'd say your rate of expansion. Slow and steady wins the race; you have to be colonizing constantly, but at such a rate that your economy can support the new, growing colonies.
4. I lost a planet in my home system after an hours gameplay and can't figure why? What are the possible reasons for that (there was no attack)? I could quite quickly re-colonize it again though.
That's a good question to which I don't have an equally good answer, unfortunately.
Been a while since I played SR1, so I may have forgotten something.
Thanks again for staying with me in Star Ruler 1. I will probably head over to SR 2 in a while, but I just like the UI and graphics in SR1 so much better - totally fell in love with the starmap and icons (more simplistic visuals).
Yeah, both games are great in their own way. Overall as a game I do prefer SR2 as I think it's more complete right out-of-the-box as a game - plus it has nearly unlimited modding potential - but for some reason it doesn't draw me in as SR1 did. Though, in all fairness, I've spent so many hours playing (and modding) Star Ruler 1 that I can't bring myself to play it anymore