Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

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Beginner's Guide to Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator
By Justin
( 85% complete) A guide to help new players become established with the game.
 
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Introduction
Welcome to Artemis, the game where you take up a console and guide your ship and your team to victory.

Originally designed as a LAN game, the Artemis community often hosts privately owned servers that players of all calibres can connect to and have rounds, either with or against other players.

There are six positions that will be covered in the scope of this guide.

  • Captain
  • Weapons (Tactical)
  • Engineering
  • Helm
  • Science
  • Communications

It is possible, but highly inadvisable, for players to operate a ship entirely on their own.

The main menu is spartan to say the least, containing only the ability to host your own server (which is unfortunately outside the scope of this guide) and the ability to connect to an outbound server via IP address.

Locating a server is relatively straightforward: by joining a VOIP service such as TeamSpeak or Ventrilo and asking if there are any servers active.

While intimidating, you will soon learn that unlike other games, where voice communications are highly recommended but otherwise optional, voice communications in Artemis are essential to any degree of success. It is impossible to type messages to other players in Artemis, and there is too much information to convey to your crewmates to simply type.

At the end of this guide will be a handful of VOIP servers that you can connect to. Be forewarned, however, that the authors of this guide cannot guarantee the quality of community members.

Getting Started

Once you have inputted a server and connected to the correct VOIP service, discuss with the other players who is taking which of the six stations. It is possible, but inadvisable, to double up on certain stations.

The ship/station listing is not constantly updated, so double check your ship and station to ensure you have the right one selected. Click the "Ready to Start" button at the bottom right and then wait for the game to begin.

Once you've started, you'll notice three tabs at the very top of the screen. The first tab is your console, specific to your assigned position. The remaining two are shared and are always available. They are:

  • LRS (Long Range Sensors): A sectorwide map that shows the position and number of various map elements, including enemies. This map does not, however, identify enemies by type or report on their current status.
  • VIS (Visual): Lets you see the exterior of the ship. You can't rotate the camera - it only flies behind the player ship.
Captain
Difficulty: Challenging
Responsibilities: To act as a centre for the rest of the crew by issuing clear and concise commands to the others.
Abilities: Gameplay-wise, none. It is up to the other players to follow the captain's orders.
Key qualities: A keen tactical mind; coolness under fire; charisma
Expectations from other players: To follow your instructions; to provide you enough information so as to make an informed (or semi-informed) decision.

While the Captain is the leader, the captain is not the most important part of the team. Being the Captain does not give you the rights to boss other players around. The purpose of the captain is to assess the current situation and provide instructions to the other players so that the ship acts as a cohesive whole, instead of flying apart in five different directions.

Consider this basic scenario: The ship is running low on munitions and energy and must return to base. However, several things must be assessed before a decision is made, and each of the other players has the answer:

  • Can we afford to cut power to everything except engines to conserve energy? (Engineering)
  • Do we need to replenish any casualties to our repair teams? (Engineering)
  • Is a specific type of munition in stock at the station? (Communications)
  • Is there a specific type of munition we actually need? (Weapons)

Once this and any other relevant information has been received, it is up to the captain to tell the helmsman which direction to go and how fast to go:

e.x: "Helm, proceed at bearing 285 at Warp 1".

While the helmsman may go anywhere he likes, whether that is another station or somewhere else entirely ("Let's go look at the space whales!"), it is not in his best interests to ignore the captain, as doing so would jeopardize the game (and his position).

In this sense, the captain's role is to ensure the well-being of the crew as a whole.

A captain must, at all times:
  • Issue clear and concise orders. An ambiguous command ("I said bearing 255, not 225!") may lead to the ship running out of fuel, running into enemies, or running into something far more mundane but equally deadly ("OH MY GOD GIANT ROCK").
  • Act in a professional manner that inspires confidence in the officers. No one wants to lose, and if the officers think you're not trying, they'll be less inclined to follow you - and thus make everybody have a bad day.
  • Weigh various options and make decisions affecting everybody. While the weapons officer may feel that he can just get one more shot off to neutralize that enemy, it is not his call to tell the helmsman to turn and give him that last shot. The captain must see that, for example, energy reserves are severely depleted or a key objective is under attack.
  • Be humble. You're the glue that holds the crew together and gives them a sense of direction, but you're not a component yourself. You don't even have a console!
  • Never micromanage. You're playing with other humans, not random bots. Sometimes you'll need to trust your officers to make smaller decisions, like helm knowing when to back off. If not, though...
  • Step in when necessary.
  • Never covet fame: "The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom."
Helm
Difficulty: Intermediate
Responsibilities: To ensure the ship goes where it needs to go, not where you want it to go; to ensure ship beam weapons are in arc
Abilities: To set and alter the direction (heading) and speed at which the ship goes.
Key qualities: Common sense, quick reaction times, spatial awareness
Expectations from other players:
  • A heading and speed (Captain)
  • Power at the right time to perform manoeuvres (Engineering)

The officer at the helm (aka the conn, the wheel, the controls) must ensure the ship goes where it needs to go. It is the responsibility of the captain to gather all the necessary information so as to give you the correct instructions as to where to go, and what speed to go at.

The first thing to determine is the direction. The captain will provide you a heading and a direction: for example,

"Helm, set course 180, full impulse."

A good helm officer will repeat the instructions back, to ensure the order was communicated successfully.

"180, full impulse."

The helm officer will then use the WSAD keys or the arrow keys to rotate the ship so that it is facing bearing 180 - which is pointing towards the bottom of the screen (090 is directly to the right, 180 is directly down, 280 is directly left, and 000 is directly up).

To engage at full impulse, drag the yellow slider on the left of the screen until it is all the way at the top (full impulse).

The most common method to get from point A to point B, however, is with the warp drive. The warp drive is the green slider next to the yellow impulse slider. The captain will order:

"Helm, set course bearing 017, warp one."

"017, warp one."

After correcting the course, the helm will drag the green slider until a green "1" appears over it. You will now be at warp 1.

The other method of faster-than-light travel is the jump drive. This method is relatively easy for you, but more challenging on the captain. Simply enter the direction and range the captain provides into the two text boxes given, then click "Initiate", followed by "Confirm". Be advised that it is impossible to stop the jump drive once it has been started, so stay as close to the captain's orders as possible to avoid going somewhere you don't want to go.

Other things to know & Taking Initiative
The helm screen will only show you what is immediately around you; it is up to the captain to look at his own screen and ensure you don't accidentally drive the ship into a mine, an asteroid, or some random direction aimlessly.

Although the captain is ultimately in charge of where the ship needs to go, a helm officer must apply common sense as well - if your current course takes you into the surface of an asteroid, you must obviously veer around it. In combat, you must regularly turn to face opponents in your front so that your weapons officer's beams are in arc.

"Warp 1" and "Full impulse" are not absolute speeds - their actual speed will change based on how much power engineering has allocated to warp, or to manoeuvring thrusters (turning) or impulse (sublight speeds). Skilled helm officers will coordinate with Engineering to perform a variety of manoeuvres, such as a high energy turn (Engineering: 200% power to manoeuvring thrusters; the result is that the ship turns on a dime for as long as engineering has the power).
Weapons (Tactical)
Difficulty: Intermediate
Responsibilities: To protect the ship, her crew, and her allies; to provide emergency power by sacrificing torpedoes
Abilities: To load and unload torpedo tubes, to adjust beam frequency, to select targets for the ship's weapons
Key qualities: Vigilance, quick reaction times
Expectations from other players:
  • Power to the correct weapons systems (engineering)
  • Authorization to engage targets with munitions (captain)
  • Keeping beams in arc (helm)

In a nutshell, the weapons officer's job is to click on things the captain wants dead. Nevertheless, there are a few things as weapons officer that you must be aware of.

Your display is remarkably similar to that of the helm, but you have no control over where you're going. You're essentially riding shotgun for the helm, who is driving.

The number one rule is to NEVER CLICK ON ANYTHING YOU DON'T WANT TO SHOOT AT.

The ship's beam weapons (colloquially known as 'phasers', due to their similarity to the Star Trek weapon) will automatically fire on any target that is both in range and 'in arc'. Ships can only shoot at things that are directly in front of them (unless they have rear-facing guns, a rarity).

It is possible to switch to manual control by clicking on the "auto beam" button on the right hand side of the screen. Clicking on the enemy while in this state lets you aim and shoot the target yourself, with various indicators showing where to shoot to disable the ship's weapons, engines, or manoeuvability.

The target ship will always be in front of you, even if the ship itself is facing away (and thus, you may not be in arc to shoot the target). Click away from the target to return to the normal screen.

Torpedoes
For the most part, you can simply click on targets and let the auto-beams do the work. The true power behind your ship, however, are the torpedoes. Torpedoes are managed at the bottom left of the screen. Torpedoes come in four flavours:
  • Type 1 Homing ("standard", "nominal", or "photon") torpedo: A run of the mill torpedo with no advantages or disadvantages. These torpedoes can, however, be turned into energy - providing the ship with a power boost in times of emergency.
  • Type 4 "Nuke" torpedo: A powerful, destructive, long range torpedo. Has considerable splash damage; use only at the captain's permission to avoid damaging friendlies (or yourself!)
  • Type 6 Mine: While it's about as powerful as a nuke, mines will be "shot" out of the back of your ship (unlike torpedoes, which are never out of arc).
  • Type 9 EMP: Halves the target's shields. Has considerable blast radius; use only at the captain's permission to avoid damaging friendlies (or yourself!)
Warning: If a torpedo is fired without clicking on a target first, the torpedo will lock onto the nearest target and make a beeline for it. This is wasteful at best, or friendly fire at the worst!

To load a torpedo, select the torpedo type from the radio buttons on the bottom left, then click on "LOAD" for one of the torpedo tubes provided beneath the radio buttons. The torpedo will then be loaded into that tube. The fire button is on the RIGHT end of the tube; once loaded, the "LOAD" button will be replaced with "UNLOAD", which will empty the tube. Both take several seconds; advise the captain when you're loading and unloading, and try not to do it in combat!

Torpedoes to Energy

The "TORP TO ENE" button to the center-left of the screen provides you with the ability to sacrifice your Type 1 Homing torpedoes for a small energy boost. This may prove to be a lifesaver when you're out of power and need to make a run back to the station. Click the button as directed by the captain to ensure the ship has enough power.

The "ENE TO TORP" button is considerably less useful, but you can push it liberally while docked since the station will automatically regenerate your ship's energy. Stations produce their own torpedoes, but this is wholly unnecessary due to this button.

Initiative
There are a few things you can take initiative for. The most important is targeting missiles. Some enemy ships will launch brown triangles (missiles) at your ship. These, obviously, should be targeted first with your primary beams before switching back to the captain's target.

Most captains will employ a standard EMP-Nuke punch - the EMP will drain enemy shields, leaving the nuke to finish them off. Some captains give the order to fire both simutaneously; others will say to wait two or more seconds first to avoid having the EMP affect the nuke. You can take some initiative here by loading an EMP in one tube and a Nuke in the other.
Engineering
Difficulty: Intermediate
Responsibilities: To repair ship damage and enhance ship systems as needed; to inform the captain about ship status
Abilities: To direct damage control (damcon) teams to damaged sections of the ship; to redirect ship power to enhance ship systems, and coolant to prevent them from exploding.
Expectations from other players: To receive instructions from the captain to redirect power; to be told which sections to repair first in the event of multiple system failures.

The top left of the display indicates ship status, such as how much energy you have, how many torpedoes, and the status of the ship's subsystems (as a percentage).

There are two main sections of the screen for Engineering; the center (showing a massive framework of your ship) and the sliders at the bottom.

Ship Framework
This section shows you which sections of the ship are damaged (red). Picking one of the glowing triangles accesses that damage control team. Direct them to any red sections of the ship to begin repairs.

Cursoring over each of the nodes tells you which system it relies on. A destroyed node means that part of the system is offline. If all the nodes are destroyed, that system becomes inoperable until at least one node is fixed (and then at a very reduced rate).

Repair teams can only move through active sections of the ship, so they must repair the inner nodes before repairing the outer ones. This can add to repair time.

Repair teams can also take casualties, resulting in slower repairs of individual nodes. Repair teams may be replenished by docking.

Skilled engineers will direct repair teams to the middle of the ship when in combat, as it prevents them from taking too much damage early on.

It is also possible to turn off auto-direction via the menu at the top right. Repair teams will thus await your orders to repair anything.

Power management
Engineering is also responsible for altering the sliders at the bottom of the screen to change the power settings of each of the ship's systems. The more power provided, the better the system performs. 100% is normal power; this can be boosted to 300% power.

At maximum power, however, ship systems produce heat (the small rectangular gauges). If these are full, the system begins to take damage, ultimately resulting in it becoming inoperable until repaired. While it is always a bad thing, overcharging your shields to this point is less of an issue if your ship is attempting to retreat and needs to hunker down; if the shields fail you'll take damage anyway, after all.

To help combat heat, units of coolant may be applied to make the ship systems run smoothly even when overcharged. Assign units of coolant by clicking on the gauges that are next to the sliders; yellow pips mean that coolant can be applied to the system, while white indicates coolant is already in that system. While coolant can never be lost, it can be obtained if the captain is willing to direct the other officers to obtain more. Shuffling coolant around is necessary to avoid unnecessary heat buildup.

Coolant enables a system to be run at 20% additional power without heat gain (to a maximum of 260%).

Power Presets
Rather than spend a minute or more mucking around with various sliders and coolant in combat, skilled engineers have a variety of presets established so that power and coolant can be transferred immediately upon demand.

These presets are best set up while docked.

Since a common command from the captain will be to raise beam weaponry and forward shields together when in combat, an experienced commander will have this established to a preset. To do this, establish the sliders and the coolant to where you need them to be, then press Shift-1. Now, when the captain orders combat readiness, all you have to do is press the 1 key to jump immediately to this configuration.

A few recommended configurations:
  • Normalized power: One pip of coolant for each system, and all systems at 100%. This helps cool your systems down, and prevents excess power loss. Use when travelling normally.
  • Overcharged sensors: 260% to sensors, and coolant to match; best used when docked to give your science officer super-fast scanning speeds. Since you're docked, you'll replenish the lost power rapidly anyway.
  • Right Into The Fireworks: 200% to beams, 160% forward shields. Use when your captain plans to go to guns against opponents, or when torpedoes just take too long to reload to use.
  • Swiftly and Gracefully: 180% to impulse and manoeuvring. Use against smaller, agile opponents, like fighters.
  • To Boldly Go: 260% power and all coolant to warp drive. Putting all this power to warp drive makes it more efficient. Use to get from point A to point B rapidly.
  • Artillerymen and Targets: 200% to torpedoes and 120% forward shields; use to help your weapons officer lob torpedoes at long range against targets from a distance.
  • High Energy Turn: 300% power and all coolant to manoeuvring. Use when the captain needs the whole ship to snap to a given heading in an instant.
  • Fortified Hull: 300% power to forward and rear shields: for when you need to take hits and buy your helm a few precious seconds to get away.
  • RUN AWAY!: 300% power to rear shields and impulse, 0% power to everything else. Use only if the warp drive is inoperative.

You are encouraged to establish your own configurations. Just remember that powering down systems that aren't in use means a lower energy demand, and less time spent in dock and fewer torpedoes sacrificed. On the flipside, a powered down system will do nothing!
Science
Difficulty: Easy
Responsibilities: To identify enemies and their weaknesses
Abilities: Scanning enemies
Expectations from other players: Which enemies to scan first (Captain)

Only the captain and the science officer have the ability to see the entire sector at once, and if for some reason people don't want to follow the captain, things usually come down to the science officer to step in as acting captain.

The science officer's primary duty, however, will be to lock onto targets and then scan them. Simply left click on a target and press enter to scan them. The first scan will identify the enemy's type. Scanning the same target again will reveal two additional pieces of information:
  • The enemy vessel's frequency status
  • Facts about the enemy vessel's captain
The former is used by tactical. Look at each of the bars from A to E and tell Tactical which bar is the lowest. This will let him cause additional beam damage to that target by setting his frequency to match the lowest bar. Once a target has been scanned, however, the captain can observe your scan results at any time.

The latter is used by Communications, when taunting an enemy becomes necessary. This gives the communications officer an idea as to which taunt to use against a specific enemy.

Scanning speed can be increased by requesting the captain (who will in turn request for the engineer) to divert additional power to sensors.

Your vessel will also scan any target that gets extremely close to it. Your scanning however has no range, so scan as many targets as possible (with preference to enemies your ship is about to face, obviously, or whatever the captain says to scan) and try not to sit idle.

Once all targets have been scanned, you can afford to take a breather, but don't become lazy; additional enemy contacts may appear and the captain will need your talents again.
Communications
Appendix: TeamSpeak
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18 Comments
Hnefatafl Dec 17, 2017 @ 6:20am 
A very well detailed and written guide. Thanks for this!
benfornshell5971 May 26, 2016 @ 9:01am 
A great guide, it nicely rounds out understanding the roles available. Thanks for all your hard work!
Mulan Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:25pm 
Thanks for this guide, very helpful! :happy_creep:
Justin  [author] Jan 14, 2015 @ 1:39pm 
Yes you can go against other groups.
Wraith Jan 14, 2015 @ 1:07pm 
Can you go head to head against other groups in this? Either way this sounds awesome!
Zero Tailora Dec 12, 2014 @ 9:45pm 
dont tell me you have to play it the way steam shows in the videos because then why havent they wrote that in the desription?
CautiousWheat0 Aug 21, 2014 @ 7:05am 
Scratch that, I see the 85% complete now. My bad.
CautiousWheat0 Aug 21, 2014 @ 7:04am 
I don't see anything listed under Communications or the Appendix: TeamSpeak. Is this guide not finished or are things not correct on my end?
Justin  [author] Oct 2, 2013 @ 1:16pm 
Thanks for that. Correcting now.
MIKOLA Oct 2, 2013 @ 1:09pm 
"Weapons (Tactical)
Difficulty: Intermediate
Responsibilities: To protect the ship, her crew, and her allies; to provide emergency power by sacrificing torpedoes
Abilities: To set and alter the direction (heading) and speed at which the ship goes. ..." the last thing is wrong - mistaken helm copy