Beginner's Guide to Fast Progression

Cyrus Leung
Cyrus Leung
VC Mod
Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
edited 8 Aug 2020, 5:23AM

Introduction

This guide is designed to help new players quickly move up the ladder in VEGA Conflict, covering everything from a player's first day to obtaining the bare-bones technology of the latest tier in the game. Refer to the dependency graphs in the appendix for a visual overview.

Scroll to the bottom to view the changelog.

You can discuss about the guide and ask questions in this thread: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/768734

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Familiar
  2. How To Survive PvP
  3. Your First Day
  4. Training Simulation
  5. Entering Sector Space
  6. Module Token Riot
  7. Xeno Division and A.X.I.S.
  8. Entering Deep Space
  9. RPS Factions
  10. Introduction to Tier 9
  11. Footnotes
  12. Appendix

Getting Familiar

By the time you complete the starting tutorial, you should already know how to browse available missions, upgrade a module, launch a fleet, attack a target, then recall and repair it. After the tutorial is done, you should continue focusing on completing missions as they help you get familiar with the game. Here is a list of basic missions:


Name Prerequisite Objectives Rewards Guide
Truth Ore Dare -None- Upgrade a Mineral Ore Miner to level II

Helium-3 x6,000

Mineral Ore x6,000

Select your Mineral Ore Miner (if you can't recognize it, select "Find Module" from the Missions Hub) then select "Upgrade" from the pop-up menu to open the Upgrade Module menu. Then click on the gold button at the bottom right of the screen to instantly complete the upgrade.
One To Grow On Truth Ore Dare Launch a fleet

Helium-3 x1,500

Mineral Ore x1,500

Pull out the menu at the right-hand side of your screen and select the upper tab, then select "Launch" from the pop-up menu. Despite the tutorial and description, you do not actually have to have additional ships in your fleet to complete the mission.
Unwelcome Visitors One To Grow On Build a Combat Module 1 HR Module Refit x4  Select your Bridge then select "Build" from the pop-up menu to open the Modules menu. Here, you can build a Combat Module.
Resource Hunter Unwelcome Visitors Build a ship 1 HR Ship Build x3 Select your Ship Factory then select "Build" from the pop-up menu to open the Ship Factory menu. Here, you can build a ship.
Storage Wars Resource Hunter Build a Storage Module 1 HR Module Upgrade x4 Open the Modules menu, then build a Storage Module.
Autopilot Storage Wars Complete Combat Training: Autopilot Coins x5 In the Missions Hub, click "Start Mission" and follow the tutorial, which teaches you how to turn on AI (i.e. autopilot).
Recruit Sybil Autopilot -None- Sybil (Fleet Commander) Claim the reward in the Missions Hub. That's literally it.
Taking Command Recruit Sybil Assign a Fleet Commander Coins x5 Select your fleet, then select "Manage" from the pop-up menu to open the Fleet Bay menu. Select "Choose a Commander", then select "Assign" under Sybil.

[Additional Note: Defeating enemies will earn XP for the Fleet Commander assigned to the fleet based on the level difference between the enemy's level and that of the Fleet Commander (NOT your fleet level). Upon earning enough XP, the Fleet Commander levels up and becomes more powerful.]

Easy Pickin's Taking Command Defeat a level 1 cargo fleet or higher Coins x5 Click "Find Target" in the Missions Hub then click "Attack". If no target is found then you may have to wait a while before searching for the target again. If your fleet takes too long to reach its destination then you should click on empty space near the target then select "Warp" from the pop-up menu after your fleet has been launched, which would warp your fleet to that spot within a matter of seconds. Your fleet should be able to defeat it on AI.
Stay On Target Easy Pickin's Complete Combat Training: Stay On Target Coins x5 In the Missions Hub, click "Start Mission" and follow the tutorial, which teaches you how to select all of your ships as well as focus fire on an enemy.
Move in Rookie! Stay On Target Complete Combat Training: Move in Rookie! Coins x15 In the Missions Hub, click "Start Mission" and follow the tutorial, which teaches you how to turn off AI and move your ships manually. You may replay this training simulation by browsing the Controls tab of your profile - it is stored under Movement Controls > Move ship.
Miner Details Stay On Target Build a Helium-3 Miner

Helium-3 x5,000

Mineral Ore x5,000

Open the Modules menu, then build a Helium-3 Miner.
Seek and Destroy Miner Details Defeat a level 2 cargo fleet or higher

Helium-3 x1,500

Mineral Ore x1,500

Basically the same as the mission "Easy Pickin's". Your fleet should still be able to defeat it on AI.
Store More Seek and Destroy Upgrade a Storage Module to level II

Coins x5

Basically the same as the mission "Truth Ore Dare" but involving a Storage Module instead.
Why Stop Now? Store More Defeat a level 3 cargo fleet or higher

Helium-3 x2,250

Mineral Ore x2,250

Basically the same as the mission "Seek and Destroy". Your fleet should still be able to defeat it on AI.
Fleet Up! Why Stop Now? Have a level 5 fleet or higher

1 HR Ship Refit x4

Build 3 more Voyager Corvettes and add them to your existing fleet via the Fleet Bay menu. This should bring it up to level 5.
Give Yourself A Name Why Stop Now? Change your player name Coins x20 Either go to your profile and edit your name, or click "Change Name" in the Missions Hub. Warning: Each subsequent name change will cost you 1,000 coins, so choose wisely.
Finger on the Pulse Give Yourself A Name Research Pulse Ray II Coins x5 Select your Arms Lab, then select "Research" from the pop-up menu to open the Arms Lab menu. Click on "Pulse Ray" under the Ship Weapons tab and complete the research corresponding to Pulse Ray II.
A Better Ship is Born Finger on the Pulse Build a Voyager Corvette equipped with Pulse Ray II 1 HR Ship Build x4 In the Ship Factory menu, replace the Pulse Ray Is on the Voyager Corvette with Pulse Ray IIs and build the ship.
Starship Supernova A Better Ship is Born Research Coil Driver Turret I 1 HR Module Refit x4 Open the Arms Lab menu. Click on "Coil Driver Turret" under the Base Weapons tab and complete the research corresponding to Coil Driver Turret I.
Lock and Load Starship Supernova Attach a turret to a Combat Module 1 HR Module Refit x4 Select a Combat Module, then select "Manage" from the pop-up menu. Replace it with another weapon and complete the refit.
Shine a Light Lock and Load Upgrade a Helium-3 Miner to level II Coins x5 Basically the same as the mission "Truth Ore Dare" but involving a Helium-3 Miner instead.
Spectral Analysis Shine a Light Research Spectral Shield I Coins x5 Select your Tech Lab, then select "Research" from the pop-up menu to open the Tech Lab menu. Click on "Spectral Shield" under the Ship Shields tab and complete the research corresponding to Spectral Shield I.
Logical Conclusion Fleet Up! Defeat a level 5 cargo fleet or higher Coins x5 In the Fleet Bay menu, replace the Pathfinder Corvette with the Voyager Corvette you've built in "A Better Ship is Born". Then, refit each Voyager Corvette in the fleet to: Pulse Ray II x2, Plasteel I x1, Spectral Shield I x1. Your strengthened fleet can now easily take on a level 5 cargo.

From here on, you can probably complete the remaining missions without extra guidance. Note that you have a limited number of mission slots, so you should clear out old missions to keep receiving new ones.


For your information, here are annotations for each button in the main UI when the game is run on a PC:


Moreover, the four pop-up menu buttons can be selected using the Q, W, E, R keys respectively from left to right. Refer to this thread for a list of hotkeys.

The interface for the mobile application is similar, but the buttons at the bottom left and bottom right of the screen only show up when you click on "Build" and "Navigate" respectively. All buttons have the same meaning as on PC:


Also note that the chat on mobile scrolls in the reverse order, such that newer messages appear at the top.


As in other RTS games, VEGA Conflict features several queues which represent an ongoing process. Although each queue can only process one item at a time, they can be run concurrently as long as they do not involve the same module (exceptions are marked with *). Here is a list of queues in the game:
  • Ship Lab Research - done in the Ship Lab
  • Tech Lab Research - done in the Tech Lab
  • Arms Lab Research - done in the Arms Lab
  • Ship Build & Refit - done in the Ship Factory
  • Crafting - done in the Workshop
  • Fleet Repair - done in the Fleet Bay*
  • Module Refit
  • Module Build & Upgrade
  • Module Repair*
*Fleet Repair can be done when the Fleet Bay is being refitted, upgraded or repaired.
*All modules are repaired concurrently.

You may be wondering what those "X HR <Ship|Module> <Upgrade|Refit>" rewards from the basic missions are for. These are called "Time Tokens", which are single-use items that act as a fast-forward button for one of the aforementioned queues. You can browse them in your Inventory by clicking on the corresponding button at the bottom left of your screen, then swapping to the "Time Tokens" tab. The duration displayed (other than the item name) is the time remaining before each token expires. Make sure you use them before that happens!


Before continuing, you should also check out the official guides from the Secure Rebel Channel (top right of screen). Click on the "Tutorials" tab and start reading from the bottom up. There are also guides for the alliance system and friend management under the "Community" tab.


If you have any further questions after reading this guide, feel free to join the VEGA Conflict Discord: https://discord.gg/9UMYMYD

How to Survive PvP

Some new players may get harassed by older players, and unfortunately, this sometimes results in the former quitting the game. In fact, a significant chunk of end-game players view newbies as fresh meat. Here are some simple yet very effective rules to preventing that from happening (some may not make sense until you read further along the guide).
  1. NEVER attack another player until you complete this guide! Apart from the possibility of being taken revenge upon, this also removes your base protection, enabling enemies to steal your resources and thus preventing you from progressing.
  2. AVOID talking in Sector/Planet Chat until you complete this guide! Talking in a public chat may attract unwanted attention, and lower level players are unable to defend against higher level players because of tech difference. If you need to contact someone, send a private message instead. You can send a private message by either: a) click on the player's name in the chat box, which should open up a menu, then click on the envelope; or b) click on the player's fleet or base, then click on "Player Info" in the pop-up menu.
  3. AVOID entering Sector Space until you have completed all of the Training Simulations! Your mere presence in public may also attract unwanted attention.
  4. Do NOT use an offensive username. Not only do you risk breaching the Terms of Service, but you may also attract unwanted attention.
  5. Join a newbie-friendly alliance. Other than making it easier to obtain tips and insights about the game, you may also receive protection from high level players within the alliance.
You should also be aware of the PvP Gating and Escort Mechanics, which together determine what can be attacked by a fleet.

Your First Day

This section sets out the tasks you should do during the your first day after account creation.

[Quick Note]
Upon account creation, new players have a 15-day "Startup Bonus" which grants a massive time reduction for various queues. In addition, the base is protected by a Defense Matrix for 7 days or until the new player attacks another player (you can see the timer under the Base View or Navigate button, depending on whether you are on PC or mobile), rendering it immune to attack by other players. Missing this window of opportunity will greatly slow down your rate of progress, so it is crucial to make the most out of it.

There isn't that much to do in the first few days. You just have to obtain the following technologies within the first two days:
  • Harrier Frigate (Requires Ship Factory II, Ship Lab II)
  • Rail Driver II (Requires Ship Lab II)
  • Spectral Shield I (Requires Tech Lab I)
If you have difficulties finding a specific NPC target, you should select it, then select "Tag" from the pop-up menu. This adds an entry to the Bookmarks menu under the "Tags" tab, which you can click on in order to let the game find the next target automatically.

You should train Commander Sybil at all times to boost your resource gain.

Take note that you can remove individual ships from a fleet in order to decrease the repair time to under the 5-minute mark, allowing you to instantly repair each ship individually for free.

Once you have obtained the required technologies, build a full fleet (6 ships) of Harrier Frigates, each containing 2x Rail Driver II, 1x Plasteel I and 1x Spectral Shield I.

(Continued below...)
  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 9 Aug 2020, 5:42AM

    Training Simulation

    Training Simulation is a set of Campaigns which enable you to progress through early game content (Tier 1-5) extremely quickly. You can browse them by opening your Missions Hub and navigating to the "Campaigns" tab.

    Initially, only the first Training Simulation campaign is available. Each subsequent campaign will appear one day after the previous one. There are a total of 6 campaigns.

    Each Training Simulation campaign consists of 4 runs, as follows:
    • Run 1: Awards a large amount of resources (300/300/200 million He-3/Ore/AM), and possibly module upgrades.
    • Run 2: Awards a set of ship blueprints.
    • Run 3: Awards a pre-fitted fleet.
    • Run 4: Awards a set of equipment blueprints.
    Each run consists of encounters, which are enemy NPCs that you have to defeat in order to proceed to the next run. For the Training Simulation, each run only has a single encounter. The vast majority of them can be done on "full auto", i.e. leaving AI on with no manual piloting. If you feel that watching the ships use their AI is too boring, you may want to try focus-firing or even piloting them manually. This guide simply describes the easiest way to deal with them.

    Details of each Training Simulation can be found here.

    This section is split into six sub-sections, each corresponding to one campaign. You should complete each sub-section on the same day that its associated campaign is released.

    Rebel Tech

    The first Training Simulation campaign is titled as "Training Simulation: Rebel Tech", which unsurprisingly concerns the Miner Rebellion. Click the "Start" button to begin the Campaign. Use your Harrier Frigate fleet for runs 1-3.

    After you defeat the first encounter, return to your base. You may be shocked to see that almost everything has been upgraded many times, and your silos (i.e. Storage Modules and Antimatter Silos) have been filled beyond anything you have seen before. For a full list of what you have just earned, you should go back to the Training Simulation and check out the list of prizes.

    You should immediately begin the process of upgrading all of your silos to level XI (prioritizing Storage Modules over Antimatter Silos), in order to have sufficient capacity to store the resources required to upgrade your Bridge to level VII.


    Moreover, you should finish the following researches by the end of Day 1:
    • Spectral Shield II-V (in the Tech Lab)
    • Longbow Destroyer (in the Ship Lab)
    • Longbow Destroyer Mk II (in the Ship Lab)
    • Broadsword Destroyer (in the Ship Lab)
    • Broadsword Destroyer Mk II-III (in the Ship Lab)
    • Trident Destroyer (in the Ship Lab)
    • Trident Destroyer Mk II-IV (in the Ship Lab)
    • Liberator Destroyer Mk II-III (in the Ship Lab)
    Apart from serving as prerequisites for future tech to be used later in this guide, they also use up your Mineral Ore so that you would not waste resources upon completing Run 1 of the next Training Simulation campaign. If you wish, you can research ship weapons in the Arms Lab over the next few days to spend some of the Helium-3 and Antimatter, but for the purposes of this guide, it is unnecessary to research any of them, so it is perfectly fine to waste them until Day 6.

    It is also worth noting that various features and items have been unlocked at this point:

    Daily Missions (Requires Bridge III)
    Each day, a new Daily Mission is offered, with a completion reward of up to 20 Blood Amber. You can spend Blood Amber to buy various items in the Shop. For the purposes of this guide, it is highly recommend that you spend your Blood Amber on fleet formations and level III resistor credits. Both items can be found in the Credits market which runs on a weekly rotation - however, you additionally need VEGA Armaments to purchase fleet formations. Once you are further along in tech, you can defeat VEGA <Class> Supplies during the <Class> Supply Run sector activity (NOT <Resource> Supply Run) within your planet to earn VEGA Armaments. You may browse the list of sector activities by opening the Deep Space Navigator menu and selecting the "Sector Activity" tab. The activity runs on a rotating schedule every 3 hours. They are quite tough and require significant effort to destroy (this guide will tell you when you can defeat them reliably). It only takes a few victories to obtain enough armaments.

    Fleet Commander Missions (Requires Bridge III/V)
    The missions for Commanders Burr and Derrin Clay have been unlocked (if you do not see them, you have to complete existing missions in order to free up a mission slot). Completing these missions will award you the corresponding fleet commander. It is advised that you only start working on them after you have progressed further through the various Training Simulations (this guide will tell you when you can complete these missions).


    The most useful blueprint obtained from Run 2 is the Osprey Frigate, which has 3 special slots, enabling it to serve as a decent cargo fleet (i.e. to return excess cargo without having to recall your farming fleet, so that you may continue farming while waiting for the resources to be delivered to your base).

    For Run 3, your Rail Drivers might have problems hitting the Rancor Battleships when piloting on AI mode. If that is the case, you may have to fly your ships manually and get closer to the Rancor Battleships in order to improve your accuracy. When that is complete, you will receive a full fleet of Rancor Battleships. From now on, forget about your Harrier Frigates and use the Rancor Battleships instead.

    You may comfortably farm cargo fleets up to level 17 with these Rancor Battleships on full auto.

    During Run 4, you might notice the tiny ships launched from the Midgard Carrier in the fleet with their own health bars - those are known as "squadrons". Here are a few good blueprints you will earn after defeating the encounter:
    • Diffuser Shield (good on mid-game ships)
    • Fusion Thrusters (good on most early ships)

    The Federation


    Day 2 brings "Training Simulation: The Federation", dealing with enemies from VEGA's Mining branch.

    Run 1 will earn you yet another Fleet Bay upgrade along with another resource refill. Use them to research the following:
    • Ion Modulator I-V (in the Tech Lab)
    • Liberator Destroyer Mk IV (in the Ship Lab)
    Once Run 3 is done, use the given fleet of 2 Apocrypha Cruisers and 4 Dread Battleships until later specified, placing the cruisers in slots 1 and 6 (assuming Line Formation).

    Your new fleet is actually decently strong and can defeat targets up to level 40 VEGA Cargo (see example video, with the cruisers in slots 1 and 2 instead of the usual). This is when you should try to complete the mission for Commander Burr, which involves destroying a level 30 VEGA Cargo. That should be a cake by comparison.

    Do train up Commander Burr while you're farming resources as his Shield Energy bonus can spell the difference between minimal and major damage (the latter occurs if your ships' shields get depleted). When maxed, the +25% Energy Damage is a very cheap way to increase your fleet's damage output.

    Are you feeling that the Dread Battleships are turning way too slowly? Because I do! Though not featured in this guide, you may elect to swap out Rear Thrusters IV for Fusion Thrusters II.

    Here is a list of useful blueprints you will get from Run 4, which is trivial to complete using your new fleet:
    • NET Torpedo (for kiting)
    • Gemini Driver Turret (for base defense)
    • Capacitive Plates (for base defense)

    High Security

    Day 3's Training Simulation is subtitled "High Security", which corresponds to VEGA's Security branch. 

    Over the next few days, research the following in the Tech Lab:
    • AM Warheads I-V
    • Phased Projectiles I-V
    • Iridium Magnets I-V
    Once that is done, there is nothing more that you have to research for the purposes of this guide. If you do not wish to waste the resource refills, you can keep all three labs running until Day 6.

    Add AM Warheads I-V and Phased Projectiles I-V in the Tech Lab to the list of things to research.

    Run 3 awards a fleet composed of 4 Corinthian Cruisers and 2 Zeal Battleships. This time, however, don't bother with them - the reason being made clear by a quick stat comparison. Continue using the Apocrypha + Dread fleet.

    Run 4 notably grants Volatile Fuel, which is extremely popular on battleships.

    Mercenaries

    On Day 4, you will receive "Training Simulation: Mercenaries", referring to the Iron Star Company.

    Run 3 is the first base target encountered in the Training Simulations thus far, but it poses no challenge to your Apocryphas and Dreads. Completing the run earns you a Freyja Carrier, 2 Hurricane Frigates and 3 Heretic Cruisers. Replace the Apocrypha Cruisers with Hurricane Frigates, and leave the Dreads untouched.

    You may notice that some items on the new ships have a dual arrow icon. This means that the item is a Reusable Instance, i.e. only a limited number of the item can be equipped at the same time over your account. If you remove an instance, it frees up the pool so it can be equipped onto something else. To learn more about different item types, go to your Inventory and click on the button with a question mark at the top right of your screen.

    It is also worth noting that each of your Heretic Cruisers comes with a Piercing NET Torpedo II. Do NOT scrap them as there is literally no other way to obtain that item!

    The best blueprint you get from Run 4 is the Arrestor Beam, which is great for catching enemies who try to escape.

    The Demons

    The next Training Simulation, which arrives on Day 5, is "The Demons" - VEGA's military division, the Demon Corps.

    Run 3 finally gives you a good fleet, containing 3 Hellfire Battleships, 2 Damocles Destroyers and 1 Dominion Carrier. Now do the following: replace the Metaphase Shield I on your Dominion Carrier with Diffuser Shield III; replace the Volatile Fuel III and Metaphase Shield II on each Hellfire Battleship with Volatile Fuel II and Diffuser Shield III respectively. Ditch your Hurricane/Dread fleet, use Box Formation, and assign the Hellfires to slots 1, 2, 3, the Damocles to slots 4, 6, and the Dominion to slot 5.

    Using this fleet, you should be able to farm level 40 VEGA <Hull> Supplies for VEGA Armaments, as well as complete Derrin Clay's mission which involves defeating a few level 60 Iron Star Cruiser fleets. You may do even the latter on mostly auto, but try to use the squadrons on your Dominion Carrier to bait enemy fire before allowing the Hellfire Battleships to get in range. Otherwise, you risk losing shields. Here is a example video of defeating the level 60 fleet.

    Derrin Clay isn't all that useful at this stage, but do train him once you max out Commander Burr as his boost to Explosive Damage will shine later on.

    Run 4 is easily completed by this new fleet. The most useful blueprint that can be obtained here is the Antimatter Scoop, which acts much like Commander Sybil's bonus but for Antimatter, and stacks across each ship in the fleet.

    Alien Hybrids

    Day 6 brings the final Training Simulation, "Alien Hybrids", regarding the Xeno Division.

    Run 1 further upgrades your Fleet Bay to level XIV and provides the final resource refill. After this, you should conserve your resources as there will be no easy way to regain them for the next month or two.

    You should immediately start building a full fleet of empty Exterminator Destroyers after completing Run 2.

    Run 3 awards you with a full Punisher Cruiser fleet, which is very powerful. So powerful, in fact, that you should replace all but the Dominion Carrier with Punisher Cruisers. The Punisher Cruisers have one big downside though: their shield energy isn't that impressive. To remedy this, replace each Metaphase Shield II with Diffuser Shield III, and remove one of the Talonite Armor IIs for each Punisher Cruiser.

    Complete Run 4 with your new-found fleet to finally graduate from the Training Program. At this point, you should make use of the blueprints you have just obtained to refit each of your empty Exterminators with: 1x Diffuser Shield III, 1x Xeno Armored Thruster III, 1x KIAL Heavy Talonite Armor II and 2x Xeno Shatter Driver II. You may want to fit the items separately to take advantage of the combination of the 90% discount and 5-minute threshold.

    Congratulations on making it through the Training Simulations! You have reached the Tier 6 tech level, which corresponds to the Xeno Division and A.X.I.S. factions.

    It is recommended that you get started on the next section while you wait for your Exterminator Destroyers to finish building.
  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 27 Aug 2020, 3:13PM

    Entering Sector Space

    You are now ready to leave your planet and enter Sector Space. You will find yourself in one of the Residential Sectors, which are sectors that are populated with planets, and consequently, player bases. In each Residential Sector, various NPC fleets regularly spawn from planets and travel to wormholes.

    Each wormhole acts as a travel point between sectors. The most important one is labelled "Hypergate", which leads to the Hypergate sector. The other 5 with numeric codes lead to other Residential Sectors. Avoid travelling to another Residential Sector as you may be seen as invading someone else's territory.

    You can view other sectors by selecting a wormhole that leads to that sector, then selecting "View" from the pop-up menu.

    Note on Startup Bonus
    If you have followed this guide from the beginning, you should still be on Day 6. This means you have around one more week before it ends. Do try to complete as much as possible before the discount ends to take full advantage of it. Upon the final login before the Startup Bonus expires, you should start your longest queues to exploit the final advantage of this discount: queues that are started prior to the expiration of a discount will retain their discounted duration even after the discount expires.

    Module Token Riot

    Module Token Riot runs every Wednesday and provides various Time Tokens for module refits and upgrades. Completing this event will significantly quicken the development of your base.

    Note that unlike other events you will encounter in the future, you can only choose one of two prizes in each tier. Moreover, you do not spend any Intel when redeeming a prize - it is unlocked once you have cumulatively earned enough Intel.

    Your Punisher/Dominion fleet should be able to easily take out the level 55 Demon Corps Raiders (you might still lose shields if you use full auto though, so try to bait enemy fire with squadrons before going in). You only need to defeat 5 of them to claim the top prize. In general, you should choose Module Upgrade over Module Refit until you have reached Bridge VIII, Fleet Bay XVI and Ship Factory XIII.

    Xeno Division and A.X.I.S.

    Tier 6 is made up of two closely-related factions: Xeno Division and A.X.I.S. (which stands for Advanced Xeno Integrated Systems). Since this is still not considered as high-end tech, you should try to progress through it as quickly as possible, skipping all unnecessary content.

    You may find Xeno Division targets within the Residential Sectors, while A.X.I.S. targets can be found inside the Hypergate Sector.

    It is unnecessary to hit any of the Xeno Division targets for the purposes of this guide. You might want to farm them with your Punisher/Dominion fleet for resources and fleet commander training though. Start with the level 71s and hit higher levels if you feel comfortable with the damage you are taking.

    The only target you need to hit from the A.X.I.S. faction is the AXIS Outpost. Farm the Cargo variant with your Exterminator fleet on full auto until you have completed the blueprint for Xeno Eclipse Driver IV.

    It may be worthwhile to also full auto the AXIS Heavy Outpost Cargo with your Exterminator fleet to obtain the Pegasus blueprint. When fully equipped with Xeno Armored Hold III, they make a great cargo fleet, saving you a lot of time when transferring resources from the map to your base.

    Once you have completed the Liberator Destroyer blueprint from the AXIS Outpost Cargo, build a full fleet of them equipped with: 1x Diffuser Shield III, 1x Xeno Armored Thruster III, 1x KIAL Heavy Talonite Armor II. Once you get its blueprint, equip 2x Xeno Eclipse Driver IV.

    That is all you need from the A.X.I.S. faction for now. Before you can graduate from Tier 6, you still have to do two things:

    Level up Commander Burr to maximum level
    You really should have him maxed by now. If not, keep farming with him assigned until he hits level 50.

    Upgrade Liberators to Mk V and refit accordingly*
    You should already have researched the upgrade recipes in the Ship Lab. For the crafting materials, attack the lower level AXIS Outpost Supplies with either your Exterminator or Liberator fleet. They can be done on mostly auto; however, you should keep a ship at the back to shoot down incoming squadrons (instead of the turrets) as they deal far more damage than the rest of the base. Equip them with an extra two Xeno Eclipse Driver IVs, as well as one more piece of KIAL Heavy Talonite Armor.

    Every Wednesday, Alien Strike runs in the AXIS event sector accessible from the Hypergate which contains targets with the "Strike" suffix. These fleets are identical to the "Supplies" targets and drop better loot overall, so it is recommended that you attack them whenever they are available.

    *Mk V Exterminators with the exact same fitting will also suffice (you will have to research the upgrade recipes in the Ship Lab though). Do note that Exterminator Destroyer upgrade boxes drop from Xeno Outpost Supplies, and unlike the crafting boxes for the Liberator Destroyer, they are more RNG-based in that although you only need one pattern to craft the upgrade, the crafting box has a very low chance of containing it, whereas in the case of the Liberator Destroyer, while you need many patterns to craft the upgrade, each crafting box is guaranteed to at least contain some patterns. In terms of the Strike targets, the Xeno Outpost Strike has a low chance of outright dropping the upgrade credit (saving you the hassle of crafting it), while the AXIS Outpost Strike is guaranteed to drop one box (slow and steady). Also note that while unnecessary, you can actually fit yet another Xeno Eclipse Driver IV on the Liberators due to their higher maximum mass.

    Reach Bridge VII and Ship Factory XII
    If you do not have this yet, you are not ready to start grinding for the next tier, because this requirement actually still falls short of what you need to build Tier 7 ships (Bridge VIII, Ship Factory XIII). Think of this as a checkpoint of sorts.


    Once all of the above have been satisfied, you are ready to enter Deep Space, which contains Tier 7 content and above.

    Entering Deep Space

    Deep Space refers to the permanent sectors that are beyond the Hypergate Sector.

    In case you do not already know, you can select a sector node, then select "Info" in order to browse the list of NPC targets within that sector, or the sector activity that is currently running within that sector. This does not work for the Residential Sector though. You may also select "Track" to add a button just above the Sector View button, which allows you to quickly swap to that sector's view.

    Note on Base Upgrading

    You should keep up the work towards Bridge VIII and Ship Factory XIII. Afterwards, go for Fleet Bay XVI, otherwise you will not be able to launch a maxed fleet of Tier 7 ships.

    If you ever find yourself short of resources for the upgrades required to obtain the above, but want to fill up your module build/upgrade queue regardless, upgrade your Combat Modules to level X. This enables them to be equipped with Gemini Driver Turret III and Capacitive Plates III, which are highly effective while not giving too much XP. Having a high XP value increases your base's level, making it vulnerable to high level fleets, so it is important to keep your base level low while still progressing forward in the game.

    RPS Factions

    "RPS" stands for Rock-Paper-Scissors, which is the intended system for the interaction between three factions: Altairian, Umbra and Pharmakon. More specifically, Pharmakon defeats Umbra, Umbra defeats Altairian, and Altairian defeats Pharmakon. These three factions span two tiers (Tiers 7 and 8), so it is important to deepen your understanding of them. Here is a brief comparison between the three factions:

    Faction Focus Protected By Special Damage Type Resistant To
    Altairian Defense Shield / Shell Alien Alien, Plasma
    Umbra Offense Ablative Armor  Blight  Blight, Alien
    Pharmakon Piloting Phase Screen Plasma Plasma, Blight

    The Altairian faction is considered most closely related to A.X.I.S. technology out of the three RPS factions, as both share the same defense type (i.e. shields) and have similar resistances. In contrast, Umbra relies on an organic defense known as "Ablative Armor" that can regenerate based on damage done to enemies, while Pharmakon uses "Phase Screen", which allows each ship in the fleet to share "Screen Energy" as well as enter and exit a so-called "Phase State" in sync. As such, armed with A.X.I.S. technology, it is easiest to first hunt down Pharmakon targets and obtain their tech, before going for the rest of the RPS faction tech.

    In addition, all ships that are Tier 7 or above have "Overdrives", which are special abilities that are triggered by certain conditions. You can view additional info by clicking the relevant icon when viewing the ship's Modifiers tab. Familiarity with these Overdrives is key as this is often what makes the ship truly unique, allowing you to make the most out of, or figure out ways to counter that particular ship.

    While much more powerful than Tier 6 technology, the RPS factions are nevertheless outdated, so you should try to get through this quickly as well.

    Building Your First Pharmakon Fleet

    Your first (and probably only) Pharmakon fleet will consist of the following:
    • 5x Trojan Cruiser w/ 3x Spectral Screen III, 1x Xeno Armored Thruster III
    • 1x Plexus Carrier w/ 1x Plasma Screen I, 2x Node Armor I, 1x Xeno Armored Thruster III, 5x Cyclotron Beam II

    The best formation for this fleet is the Chicane formation. If you do not have its blueprint, you can farm for it by attacking level 27-33 cargo fleets within planetary orbit. It is also recommended that you assign Commander Burr to this fleet in order to boost the Plexus Carrier's damage output.

    You might be wondering why the Trojan Cruisers do not have any weapons. This is because the Plexus Carrier is so powerful that you can rely on its firepower alone; the Trojan Cruisers are just there to contribute Screen Energy.

    Now comes the part of obtaining the items necessary to build the fleet...

    Cyclotron Beams
    Cyclotron Beam is a reusable item regularly available during the Altairian Strike event, which comes every Tuesday. During the event, repeatedly farm Altairian Regiment Strike (up to level 97, click for video) using the Mk V Liberator (or Mk V Exterminator) fleet with Commander Burr assigned until you earn enough event points to purchase 5x Cyclotron Beam II from the event store. Use whatever is left on resources (Helium-3, Mineral Ore, Antimatter).

    Trojan Cruiser, Spectral Screen, Node Armor
    Obtaining the Trojan Cruiser, Spectral Screen and Node Armor is easy enough: just farm the Pharmakon Parse Cargo (inside the Pharmakon Sector, which can be accessed through the Hypergate Sector) using the above fleet, with Commander Burr assigned, on full auto (you might have to manually retarget in case they get confused and constantly switch targets though). You may already notice that Pharmakon's defenses are completely different from what you have seen in the past. Check out this link for a detailed explanation of how it works.

    Plexus Carrier, Plasma Screen
    In order to obtain blueprints for the Plexus Carrier and Plasma Screen, you have to manually pilot the aforementioned fleet against the Pharmakon Protocol Cargo. Here is a video on how to do it. Strategy: Send 4 Liberators against the right Omega and 2 against the left Omega, focus-firing them. Then take out the Daemon Battleships. Take on the rest of the ships with your whole fleet. The Plexus Carrier at the end should be destroyed with concentrated fire as quickly as possible, while your ships strafe sideways to avoid the long-range Plasma Kaon Driver.

    You may also encounter the Pharmakon Strike event, which runs concurrently with Altairian Strike. You may comfortably farm the level 91 Pharmakon Parse Strike, which should be similar in difficulty to the Pharmakon Parse Cargo, and redeem all of your event points for extra resources.

    This fleet takes up a mere 76,695 tons and can be launched with only Fleet Bay XIV (which you have obtained during the final Training Simulation). All you need is Ship Factory XIII to build the ships themselves. Believe it or not, this simple Pharmakon fleet will serve as your fast pass to Tier 8!

    Obtaining Your First T8 Blueprint

    Your first Tier 8 blueprint will be the Valrayvn - an advanced Umbra ship which combines a destroyer's range and a frigate's agility - considered to be one of the most powerful ships in that tier.

    Note that all Tier 8 ships and above have a fixed repair time, meaning that adding equipment will not increase the ship's repair time regardless of the equipment's repair time.

    In order to obtain its blueprint, find the level 96 Umbra Onyx Cargo inside the Umbra Sector, and farm it using your Pharmakon fleet with Commander Burr assigned to further boost your carrier's damage. Here is an example video. The strategy is as follows: move your Trojan Cruisers out of the way and use your Plexus Carrier to focus fire the enemy one one by one (starting from the destroyer-like ships, then the large frigate-like ships, ignoring the spawned ships, and finally the small frigates), trying to kite the enemy and dodge incoming shots as much as possible. In case you are wondering, those grey patches on the battlefield are Blight Nebula Fields, which deal Blight Nebula damage. Fortunately, all Tier 7 Pharmakon ships and their screens are immune to them. You will take significant damage to your Plexus Carrier - so much, in fact, that you can only attack one of them before having to repair it. The good news is that you only need to attack at most four of these fleets to obtain the Valrayvn blueprint!

    Once you obtain the Valrayvn blueprint, you should build a full fleet of blank Valrayvns.

    Setting Up Your Valrayvns

    The Valrayvn is not a true destroyer, as it lacks the 150% range modifier. Instead, it is a classless ship that has been given the "Ranger" role, granting it an effective range of 4,000-8,000 m, meaning that its minimum range is set to at least 4,000 m, and its maximum range set to at most 8,000 m, no matter what you equip on it. But wait: other than carrier weapons, none of the tech you have so far can reach 8,000 m. How can you possibly give this ship the destroyer-like range of 8,000 m? The answer is one of the best long-range Tier 8 weapons - the Nova Driver. You can obtain the Nova Driver blueprint by farming more level 96 Umbra Onyx Cargo fleets.

    Despite its immense firepower, a Valrayvn without defenses is nevertheless extremely vulnerable to attack. If you do not have it by the time you complete the Nova Driver I blueprint, farm a few more level 96 Umbra Onyx Cargo fleets to obtain the blueprint for Ablative Carapace I, which acts as ablative armor for Tier 8 ships.

    Xeno Armored Thruster isn't exactly the best thruster for the Valrayvn since it has a high strafe speed and relies heavily on it. In between weekly events, you should farm for the Sunder Thruster III, which can be found in the Umbra Carnage Cargo, which in turn spawns 24/7 within the Umbra Sector, accessible from the Hypergate Sector. It can be fully autoed using your Pharmakon fleet.

    Once all of the above is done, equip the following on each Valrayvn: 3x Nova Driver I, 2x Ablative Carapace I, 1x Thonian Armor II (obtained in the process of farming Umbra Carnage Cargo), 1x Sunder Thruster III.

    Finally, assign fleet commander Derrin Clay to the fleet for the Explosive Damage boost. Notice that you need Fleet Bay XV, which you have by now, in order to launch the complete fleet.

    Similar to the jump from Tier 7 to Tier 8, this Valrayvn fleet is all you need to climb up to the next tier.
  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 8 Aug 2020, 11:29AM

    Introduction to Tier 9

    You are now ready to be introduced to the next tier. Tier 9 hearkens back to the Tier 6 system of having one player faction against a NPC faction. Instead of Xeno Division versus Aliens, however, this season pits the Spectre Division against the Imperium Liberatus.

    The Spectre Division is the player faction for the Tier 9 season. Similar to the Tier 8 Altairian faction, Spectre Division ships use shields as their primary defense, and they can regenerate shields even after they have been depleted.

    It features a new technology - the Barricade Shield - which enables the Prime Shift mechanic, causing ships to enter a transcendent state after being in active combat for long enough, unlocking various bonuses as well as overdrives (click this link for more details).

    The NPC faction, Imperium Liberatus, also uses ships protected by shields. However, not all ships can recover their shields after being fully depleted. Imperium Liberatus ships often have capabilities far exceeding those of the Spectre Division, but that usually comes with a weakness.

    To keep up with the latest information on the Imperium Liberatus, you should regularly check the forums for official announcements such as this. If you have not already, also join the official Discord server (see the end of the section Getting Familiar), as experienced players may share up-to-date information there.

    Quick Summary of Weekend Events

    VEGA Conflict features a major event every weekend. This may either be a PvE (Player vs Environment) or a PvP (Player vs Player) event.

    PvE Events are cycled through in the following order:
    • Monthly feature event (with a unique name)
    • Mobilization
    • Decimation
    • Possible bonus event
    PvP Events are cycled through in the following order:
    • Alliance War
    • Possibly Civil War (this event usually runs on weekdays though)
    A typical 4-week month would include the monthly feature event, Mobilization, Decimation and Alliance War (in order) as weekend events.

    For the purposes of this guide, you can ignore the PvP events as they do not help you progress through Tier 9. However, you should be extra careful when these events are active as your farming fleet may randomly get attacked by other players unless it is in a PvP-disabled sector. Note that cargo thieves can still be attacked in said sectors, so do not steal!

    Obtaining Your First T9 Blueprint

    Before continuing, make sure that you have enabled the setting "Hold Formation for Grouped Ships", which can be found under the Gameplay Settings section in your Settings menu. This setting is very helpful because it prevents groups from drifting apart even when individual ships have different speeds (e.g. due to activating an overdrive). You should always keep this setting on. From this point onward, I will assume that this setting is enabled. Keep in mind, though, that giving commands to a selection made using the "Select All" button will not couple the ships' speeds, even if the entire fleet is under the same group.

    The Valrayvn fleet you have just created is the bare minimum required for reach Tier 9. However, after reading this sub-section, if you are not confident in your piloting, you may wish to further upgrade your Valrayvn fleet as detailed in Footnotes. My personal recommendation is that you upgrade them to at least Mk II, following Path B to equip Spectral Warheads on them, which would improve their effectiveness by around 2 times against the fleet they will have to face.

    If you have not already, upgrade fleet commander Derrin Clay to his maximum level of 70 - his 30% damage boost to Explosive weapons is huge and fully applies to your Valrayvn fleet.

    You should also train your skill in the circling manuever, which is basically what the AI automatically does for frigates, cutters and rangers. Unlike the AI, however, you have to maintain your fleet formation while doing so. You can practice this by attacking a low level in-planet fleet, flying well away from them, then circling around an imaginary target. Start with a single Valrayvn, then a compact box formation of Valrayvns, before moving on to the more challenging default box formation (for desktop users, you have to account for the fact that the command is made relative to the centroid of the fleet). Here is a video example of doing a full circle around a point.

    During any weekend PvE event, attack the level 110 Liberatus Scarab with your Valrayvn fleet with Derrin Clay assigned to it, in box formation. The strategy is as follows: at the start of the battle, move ships 1 and 4 to the right, and ships 3 and 6 to the left, thus forming two compact lines. Also, group all of your ships to the same number and select them by number (not using "Select All") to hold their formation. The ship with uber range (which is called the Broadsider) should begin moving to the left. If for some reason it moves to the right, then you will have to mirror everything below, and be careful not to get caught in the border of the battlefield. Then, strafe backwards and slightly to the left, allowing the Broadsider to fire at you. Once the first group of enemy spawned ships (called Pikes) enter your firing arc, strafe more to the left and kite them. If they get too close, you should begin doing the circling manuever in the clockwise direction so that you dodge their shots while keeping them in your firing arc. Be wary that your Dislocate overdrive increases your turning and strafe speeds! Do the same and take out the second group to the left. Then, reverse your strafing direction and circle in the anticlockwise direction in order to take out the third group to your right. After they are gone, reverse your strafing direction and gradually move closer to the Broadsiders, circling in the clockwise direction whenever the Pikes get close. Target the nearest Broadsider and start whittling it down with your first line of Valrayvns while the second line of Valrayvns focuses on taking out the Pikes as they respawn. Once it goes down, do the same to the second Broadsider before taking out the remaining Pikes that spawned from them. After this, kite the three cruiser-like ships (which are called Bucklers) - only one of them is equipped with weapons - and take out and Pikes that happen to get close to you. Finally, gradually move closer to the final Broadsider (circling in the anticlockwise direction if the Pikes get close) and take it out in the same manner as the first two. Here is a video of the strategy in action: note that it is unnecessary to make so many adjustments to the strafing destination, that is just an optimization on my end.

    Keep farming this target until you have collected every single blueprint that drops from it.

    Setting up your Switches

    Once you have obtained the Switch, you can begin to build a full fleet of Switches, each fitted with only 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III.

    After you have collected the level I blueprints, add the following to each ship: 3x Shockwave Barricade Shield I, 4x Graphene Armor I, 3x Rife Missile I and 1x Blaze Phantom I.

    Congratulations! You now have a functional farming fleet that can be used to work your way through Tier 9. At this point, you are no longer a beginner of the game - you should have absorbed enough knowledge to make your own decisions about how to progress further. Thus concludes my Beginner's Guide to Fast Progression.

    A guide to obtaining the rest of the Tier 9 tech is coming soon.
  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 8 Aug 2020, 11:44AM

    Footnotes

    This section includes supplementary information for the main content. Please read the main content first to get a sense of context.

    Upgrading Your Valrayvns

    In VEGA Conflict, upgrading your ships to the maximum level is highly recommended as it drastically increases their performance - you may have already experienced this firsthand when you upgraded your Liberator Destroyers from Mk I to Mk V. Thus, you should do the same for your Valrayvns and upgrade them to Mk VI (a.k.a. Elite).

    In case you are initially unable to handle the Liberatus Scarab with Mk I Valrayvns, you should upgrade them until you feel confident to take them on. This section will walk you through on how to achieve just that.

    In between weekend PvE events, continue farming the level 98 Umbra Onyx Cargo with your Valrayvns to obtain the level II blueprints for Nova Driver and Ablative Carapace. Here is an example video: kite the enemy as much as possible, and focus fire the enemy Valrayvns. This method is much more sustainable than the Plexus Carrier trick.

    During any weekend PvE event, locate and attack the level 103 Altairian Skirmisher target with your Valrayvn fleet (click for video, not the best strategy ever but it is really simple to execute - just watch), and upgrade all of your Valrayvns to Mk II. Note that you can also buy Valrayvn Mk II patterns from the event store to reduce the amount of farming you have to do.

    Next up are Mk III and IV upgrades for the Valrayvns, which require defeating level 105 and 107 Altairian Skirmisher targets respectively. Unfortunately, using your Valrayvn fleet against them isn't ideal even at Mk II. 

    From here, there are two different paths you can choose. You should preview each path (open the spoilers below) before choosing, as they are almost fully independent of each other.

    Quick note: due to issues with recursively embed spoilers, no ship fitting images will be displayed for each path.

    Path A
    [Summary] Set up a Mk V Sovereign Carrier and Mk V Zeus to farm the Mk III-IV materials. Then use a full fleet of Mk IV Valrayvns to farm the Mk V-VI materials as well as the reusable items required for the final fitting.
    [Pros] Need to build fewer ships. Can collect reusable items without manual piloting
    [Cons] Higher skill requirement, and more time consuming, to farm Valrayvn materials.
    If you choose this path, equip an additional Ablative Carapace I to each Valrayvn upon upgrading them to Mk II.

    To make use of the Sovereign Carrier and Zeus, farm the following targets (use your Valrayvn fleet on full auto for the Altairian ones, while the AXIS ones can be done by your Pharmakon fleet on full auto at the same time):

    - AXIS Reaper Cargo (for the Harmonic Chase Thruster III blueprint)
    - AXIS Renegade Cargo (for the Harmonic Beam Capacitor III blueprint)
    - Altairian Brigade Cargo (for the Shockwave Shell III blueprint)
    - Altairian Mothership Cargo (for the Sovereign Carrier blueprint)
    - Altairian Lieutenant Cargo (for the Xeno Shell III blueprint)
    - Altairian Marquis Cargo (for the Zeus blueprint)

    All of these targets spawn 24/7 and can be farmed at any time.

    Build a Sovereign Carrier with 2x Xeno Shell III and 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III; and a Zeus with 3x Shockwave Shell III, 1x Harmonic Beam Capacitor III and 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III.

    During next Altairian Strike, you should farm Altairian Mothership Strike to obtain a set of upgrades for the Sovereign Carrier Mk III-V, as well as Altairian Marquis Strike for the Zeus Mk III-V. Using the event points you have earned, redeem the following:

    - Enough Sovereign Carrier Mk II Boxes for one upgrade
    - Enough Zeus Mk II Boxes for one upgrade
    - 6x Cyclotron Beam II
    - 3x Shockwave Resonant Armor III
    - 2x Xeno Resonant Armor III
    - 1x Explosive Stasis Resistor I
    - 1x Alien Stasis Resistor I
    - 1x Enguard Overdrive Generator
    - Complete blueprint for Glance Cannon III
    - Complete blueprint for Regeneration Converter III

    Optionally, you may also want to farm the Altairian Admiral target (do NOT use full auto or you may be defeated; kite the enemy as much as possible and be sure to focus fire) for a Sovereign Carrier Elite upgrade which greatly speeds up your fleet on the map. An Elite Sovereign Carrier performs the same as a Mk V in combat though. Same goes for the Altairian Banneret target for the Zeus Elite upgrade.

    Upgrade your Sovereign Carrier to Mk V, then refit it to have 6x Cyclotron Beam II, 2x Xeno Resonant Armor III, 3x Xeno Shell III, 1x Regeneration Converter III, 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III, 1x Enguard Overdrive Generator, 1x Alien Stasis Resistor.

    Upgrade your Zeus to Mk V, then refit it to have 4x Glance Cannon III, 1x Arrestor Beam III, 2x Shockwave Resonant Armor III, 4x Shockwave Shell III, 1x Harmonic Beam Capacitor III, 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III, 1x Regeneration Converter III, 1x Explosive Stasis Resistor.

    Using Loyal Battalion Formation, place the Sovereign Carrier in slot 1 and the Zeus in slot 4. If you don't have it, you can substitute this with Chicane Formation (reverse the slot configuration), but you may have to move your fleet further backwards at the start of battle. Assign Commander Burr to the fleet.

    Use this fleet to attack the level 105/107 Altairian Skirmisher (video for level 107). At the start of battle, move your Sovereign Carrier towards the bottom right and focus fire the Valrayvns one by one. Now comes the most difficult part: intercept as many shots as possible using the Zeus, while still keeping the enemy Valrayvns in range of the carrier. Afterwards, move your Zeus away from the Sovereign Carrier (to eliminate Chaining) and use the Sovereign Carrier alone to take out the Bastion Cruisers one by one. If you ever mess up on the targeting, you will suffer lots of damage from the Bastion Cruisers' Firestorm overdrive, so don't mess up! Keep moving your Sovereign Carrier in a slight curve, anticlockwise relative to the Inquisitor Destroyers in order to dodge the their drivers. Don't worry about the Alien Nebula Fields because both of your ships and their shields are immune. Meanwhile, circle around the Inquisitor Destroyers clockwise with your Zeus, maintaining a large distance so you don't accidentally aggro the enemy away from your carrier. Once all of the enemy ships are down, you can move both ships towards the spawners. Use your Zeus to intercept incoming missiles and use your carrier to destroy the spawners from afar. The spawned ships barely deal damage and are taken care of by the Alien Nebula Fields and/or your Zeus.

    After a few weeks, you should have farmed enough to upgrade your entire Valrayvn fleet to Mk IV. Before refitting, make sure you have Fleet Bay XVI, otherwise you will be stuck with only being able to launch a 5-ship fleet. The new ship fitting is: 3x Nova Driver II, 3x Ablative Carapace II, 2x Thonian Armor II, 1x Sunder Thruster III, 1x Explosive Resistor III.

    You should also advance fleet commander Derrin Clay to his maximum level of 70 to further improve the efficiency of your fleet, if you have not already done so.

    You are now ready to further upgrade your Valrayvns to Elite status, also known as Mk VI, the highest mark level available for the ship. In order to do so, you have to attack level 109 and 111 Altairian Skirmisher targets for Mk V and Elite upgrade materials respectively using your Mk IV Valrayvn fleet in Chicane formation with Derrin Clay assigned. Fair warning here: your skills will be tested to a much greater extent than anything you have encountered previously!

    The strategy is as follows: decoy the enemy Valrayvns using your lead Valrayvn. By strafing your lead Valrayvn to the left without changing its direction, they will engage it and strafe towards the right, at which point your remaining Valrayvns will all open fire and swiftly destroy them. Subsequently, regroup your fleet in a line formation and kite the Bastion Cruisers that are moving towards your right. If any open fire on you, just move away for a bit - despite the fact that they are homing, the projectiles will expire before reaching your ships.  Afterwards, ignore the Bastion Cruisers on the left for now and advance your fleet towards the top right of the battlefield and take out the group of Bastion Cruisers there, rushing into them if you do not have enough space. Just make sure that you do not trigger the Bastion Cruisers at the bottom right! Taking care to stay out of range of the spawner at the top right, you can now easily kite the Bastion Cruisers on your left. Next, take out the aforementioned spawner, dodging its missiles to reduce incoming damage. Finally, kite the Bastion Cruisers at the bottom right and take out the spawner there as well.

    Throughout the battle, many Altairian Corvettes will spawn and attempt to disrupt your formation. To get rid of them, simply fly your ships into the Alien Nebula Fields - you are immune to them while they are not.

    Click here for a video of the strategy in action.

    You have to repeat the above well over a hundred times just to gather enough materials to upgrade your entire fleet. But that is not all: various reusable items are also required in order to properly equip them, as will be explained below. On the bright side, it takes much less piloting to do so - feel free to grind for these items whenever you feel mentally exhausted from attacking those pesky Altairian Skirmishers!

    You might notice that Valrayvn Elites have much greater mass modifiers than Valrayvn Mk IVs. In order to fill up that extra space, you have to get a full fleet's worth of level III Ablative Carapace and Nova Drivers. Their fragments are available in level 104 and 106 Umbra Zircon fleets respectively. Simply attack them with your Mk IV Valrayvn fleet on full auto (micromanage if you want to save repair time), then combine the fragments into reusable items.

    Moreover, you should replace each piece of Thonian Armor with Parasitic Armor, the Tier 8 Umbra armor. Though you may obtain the blueprint for level I-II Parasitic Armor from level 104 Pharmakon Disorder fleets, what you need now is the level III version, the fragments of which drop from level 104 Altairian Joust fleets. Again, use your Mk IV Valrayvn fleet on full auto. If you already have Mk V Valrayvns, be sure to equip Spectral Warheads III to trigger the enemy Ajax's Fortify overdrive less often - this will make the battle much less tedious.


    Path B
    [Summary] Set up a Mk V Sovereign Carrier and two Mk I Renascence Battlecruisers to complement your full fleet of Mk II Valrayvns in obtaining the Vector and its related equipment. Then use a full fleet of Mk I Vectors to farm the Mk III-VI materials, as well as the reusable items required for the final fitting
    [Pros] Easier to farm Valrayvn materials. Vectors are better generalists than Valrayvns once upgraded
    [Cons] Difficult to obtain the Vector and related equipment. Reusable items can only be collected through manual piloting.
    If you choose this path, equip an additional Spectral Warheads II to each Valrayvn upon upgrading them to Mk II.

    To make use of the Sovereign Carrier and Renascence, farm the following targets (use your Valrayvn fleet on full auto for the Altairian ones, while the AXIS ones can be done by your Pharmakon fleet on full auto at the same time):

    - AXIS Reaper Cargo (for the Harmonic Chase Thruster III blueprint)
    - AXIS Renegade Cargo (for the Harmonic Beam Capacitor III blueprint)
    - Altairian Vanguard Cargo (for the Spectral Shell III blueprint)
    - Altairian Mothership Cargo (for the Sovereign Carrier blueprint)
    - Altairian Lieutenant Cargo (for the Renascence Battlecruiser blueprint)

    All of these targets spawn 24/7 and can be farmed at any time.

    Build a Sovereign Carrier with 2x Spectral Shell III and 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III; and two Renascence Battlecruisers each with 1x Arc Missile III, 1x ECHO Ray III, 2x Creeper Torpedo III, 2x Spectral Shell III, 1x Harmonic Beam Capacitor III and 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III. The weapons for the Renascence Battlecruiser might seem random and ineffective, but all they need to do is land hits on as many enemies as possible in order to spread Phase Hacking while the ship's Feedback Loop overdrive is activated.

    During next Altairian Strike, you should farm Altairian Mothership Strike to obtain a set of upgrades for the Sovereign Carrier Mk III-V. Using the event points you have earned, redeem the following:

    - Enough Sovereign Carrier Mk II Boxes for one upgrade
    - 6x Cyclotron Beam II
    - 6x Spectral Resonant Armor III
    - 1x Energy Stasis Resistor I
    - 1x Enguard Overdrive Generator
    - Complete blueprint for Regeneration Converter III

    Optionally, you may also want farm the Altairian Admiral target (do NOT use full auto or you may be defeated; kite the enemy as much as possible and be sure to focus fire) to grind for a Sovereign Carrier Elite upgrade which considerably speeds up your fleet on the map, though limited by your Renascence Battlecruiser.

    Upgrade your Sovereign Carrier to Mk V, then refit it to have 6x Cyclotron Beam II, 2x Spectral Resonant Armor III, 3x Spectral Shell III, 1x Regeneration Converter III, 1x Harmonic Chase Thruster III, 1x Enguard Overdrive Generator, 1x Spectral Stasis Resistor.

    Add 2x Spectral Resonant Armor III to each Renascence Battlecruiser.

    Use Line formation for this fleet, with the Sovereign Carrier in slot 6 and the Renascence Battlecruisers in slots 4 and 5. Assign Commander Burr to boost the DPS of your Sovereign Carrier.

    Use this fleet to attack the level 96 Pharmakon Malware Cargo (see example video) until you have earned the full blueprint for Mesh Screen I. At the start of battle, turn on AI mode and move your entire fleet towards the bottom right of the battlefield, such that at their destination, your fleet forms a line against the first wave of enemies, with your Sovereign Carrier between the Renascence Battlecruisers, facing towards the enemy. After the enemies enter Phase State again, target a Trojan Cruiser with your Sovereign Carrier (be aware that the primary target is reset if it enters Phase State). At this point, your Renascence Battlecruisers should have almost reached their destination. Afterwards, they will automatically turn around and spread Phase Hacking on the enemy fleet, enabling your Sovereign Carrier to take out the Trojan Cruisers easily. Meanwhile, your Sovereign Carrier should attract the attention of the Trojan Cruisers while shooting at them one by one, since its shield regeneration is much better than that of the Renascence Battlecruisers. Ignore the Operators until there are no more Trojan Cruisers in range because your shields are extremely resistant to their Energy weapons. If you do this correctly, your fleet will only receive around 10% damage.

    Advance fleet commander Derrin Clay to his maximum level of 70 to make your Valrayvn fleet more effective before continuing.

    Meanwhile, during the same weekly events that spawn the Altairian Skirmisher target, find the level 104 Altairian Trinity target, and attack it with your Mk II Valrayvns until you have obtained the Vector blueprint (essentially the Pharmakon counterpart to the Valrayvn) as well as that of Astral Driver I (similar to Nova Driver but with Piercing instead of AoE). Move your ships into a compact box formation at the start of battle. Then, assign them to the same number and select them as a group (do not use the Select All button!) Move forward until you open fire, then strafe your fleet towards the anticlockwise direction relative to the first wave of the enemy fleet, maintaining sufficient distance so that you remain out of range of their firing arcs, adjusting the direction of your ships to continue firing upon them. If the Ajaxes get too close, be sure to shoot at them in order to trigger their Fortify overdrive, which drastically slows them for a moment. Continue kiting the enemies as such until you have destroyed the first wave and bottom portion of the second wave. Then, kite the top-left portion of the second wave in the clockwise direction. Finally, kite the remainder of the fleet in the anticlockwise direction. Ideally, the enemy would not even get a single shot off. Here is a video of a perfect run.

    You now have all you need for your Vector fleet: 3x Astral Driver I, Mesh Screen I x2, Binary Thrusters III x1, Phased Magnets III x1 for each ship.

    The advantages of the Vector over the Valrayvn is twofold: its superior speed in Phase State, which enables it to kite the vast majority of ships that lack the Fighter role; and its 100% screen defence in Phase State, preventing it from taking any health damage as long as it has remaining Phase Energy (the dark blue/grey bar). We will make use of this to defeat the Altairian Skirmisher target all the way up to level 111, despite the fact that Altairians supposedly counter Pharmakon, not to mention that we are only using a Mk I fleet.

    The strategy is as follows: go into a compact line formation at the start of battle, then split the fleet into two groups along the middle. Select your entire fleet and move towards the enemy Valrayvn(s) when you enter Phase State. Once you are almost in range, strafe backward and adjust the horizontal component of your strafing direction so that your speed moving backwards almost matches that of the Valrayvns moving forwards. Go barely in firing range, fire one volley, then increase your speed so that the enemy exits your range. If done correctly, the enemy Valrayvn(s) will run right into your shots. Turn around and run away just before you exit Phase State, then repeat the process until all of the Valrayvns are gone. Now, use a similar tactic for the first wave of Bastion Cruisers as well as the Inquisitor Destroyers, except that you can afford to get even closer to the enemy (even if the Bastion Cruisers open fire, the projectiles will reach maximum range before hitting your ships as long as you begin retreating once that happens). If the enemies are no longer lined up with respect to your formation, place one group in front of the other to convert to box formation. Take out the second, and third, waves of Bastion Cruisers in the same manner (note that the third wave is only triggered when your ships get close for the level 109 and 111). Ignore the tiny Altairian Corvettes until there are no other ships remaining as they do very little damage. Once all of the non-spawned ships are gone, shoot at the Altairian Spawners while in Phase State to mitigate the damage caused by their missiles, retreating when it is about to end. You should be able to take out each spawner after one or two cycles. Here is a video involving the level 111 version.

    Keep farming the Altairian Skirmishers until you have obtained sufficient materials to upgrade your entire Valrayvn fleet to Elite.

    In order to use up the mass of your Elite Valrayvns, you have to farm a full fleet's worth of level III Ablative Carapace and Nova Drivers. Their fragments are available in level 104 and 106 Umbra Zircon fleets respectively. After many hours of practicing against those Altairian Skirmishers, it should be trivial to kite the Zircon target with your Vector fleet.

    Moreover, you should fill each armor slot with Parasitic Armor, the Tier 8 Umbra armor. Though you may obtain the blueprint for level I-II Parasitic Armor from level 104 Pharmakon Disorder fleets, what you need now is the level III version, the fragments of which drop from level 104 Altairian Joust fleets. Again, kite them using your Vector fleet.

    Note that you need Fleet Bay XVI to launch your Elite Valrayvns after fitting them (the build is shown below).

    ----
    The two paths converge here, where you fit each Elite Valrayvn as follows: 4x Nova Driver III, 3x Ablative Carapace III, 2x Parasitic Armor III, 1x Sunder Thruster III, 1x Spectral Warheads III, 1x Explosive Resistor III. As a reminder, you can obtain instant credits for the Explosive Resistor from the Credits market every now and then.


    The Elite Valrayvn fleet is quite powerful and certainly will give you a leg up in obtaining the rest of the Tier 8 content. In case you are interested, this guide walks you through achieving that without using any Tier 9 technology.
  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 27 Aug 2020, 3:17PM

    Appendix

    Dependency Graphs
    These graphs neatly summarize what you need for each stage of progression in the guide (just follow the arrows). Grey boxes are optional items, while circles denote checkpoints. The shortcut from Tier 8 to Tier 9 is highlighted in yellow.

    1. Progression during the Startup Bonus period
    Note: Time costs have been discounted according to the Startup Bonus.


    2. Progression from Tier 6 to Tier 9 (+ Footnote: Upgrading Valrayvns to Mk II)



    3. Footnote: Upgrading Valrayvns from Mk II to Elite




  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 27 Aug 2020, 3:20PM

    Changelog

    Dec 26, 2019
    • Corrected error where the first Training Simulation is offered on Day 3 instead of Day 2.
    • Corrected major error that relies on the Startup Bonus including a 90% discount to module construction/upgrade times when, in fact, it does not. Pushed back module upgrades as a result.
    • Polished guide for Training Simulation.
    Dec 27, 2019
    • Added paragraph about farming Pharmakon Strike for extra resources when entering Tier 7.
    • Added that you need to farm for Zeus Mk II-V upgrades as well during Altairian Strike when going for Valrayvn Mk IV.
    Dec 28, 2019
    • Added dependency graphs.
    Jan 16, 2020
    • Added note that you can afford to waste Helium-3 and Antimatter when obtaining the resource refills from the Training Campaign.
    Jan 26, 2020
    • Considering the release of Umbra Onyx Cargo fleets, the path to obtaining the Valrayvn and its associated blueprints has been simplified.
    Feb 9, 2020
    • Added Mk IV Exterminator Destroyers as an alternative to Mk III Liberator Destroyers.
    Feb 11, 2020
    • Updated the Training Simulation section with respect to the mid-January downtime, which changed the time of appearance of each campaign.
    • Updated content related to Altairian and Pharmakon Strikes, since the Tier 7 Strikes now run weekly instead of every 3 weeks.
    Feb 13, 2020
    • Expanded guide to include the process of obtaining an Elite Valrayvn fleet.
    • Split dependency graphs in the Appendix into smaller sections in the hopes that it would solve the issue of blurry images.
    Feb 25, 2020
    • Realized that Umbra Onyx Cargo is not easier than its event version (i.e. Umbra Onyx). In fact, the two targets are identical. As such, it is now recommended to fight the level 96 instead of level 98 Umbra Onyx Cargo.
    Feb 27, 2020
    • Updated guide with respect to the late February downtime, which buffs Screen technology and therefore Pharmakon as a whole. As a result, Mk V Exterminator or Liberator Destroyers are now required to farm Pharmakon Protocol Cargo (94), while the Pharmakon fleet has a considerably easier time dealing with Umbra Onyx Cargo (96).
    • Added small note on how to send a private message under the How to Survive PvP section.
    Mar 4, 2020
    • Added images of ship fittings in the form of "spoilers".
    • The timing of the final batch of Antimatter Silo XIII->XIV upgrades in the dependency graphs has been moved from the Mk I-II to the Mk II-VI Valrayvn section.
    • Added remark that Valrayvn Mk II patterns can be bought from the event store.
    • Added note about the setting "Hold Formation for Grouped Ships".
    • Updated guide with new path for upgrading Valrayvns from Mk II to Elite which involves the early acquisition of the Mesh Screen (from the newly-released Pharmakon Malware Cargo), Vector and Astral Driver.
    Apr 25, 2020
    • Updated dependency graphs with respect to the new build and upgrade times for modules.
    Aug 8, 2020
    • Added progression path from Tier 8 to Tier 9.
    • Revamped many parts of the guide to take into account the release of Tier 9. Due to the massive amount of changes, it is recommended that you read the guide all over again.
    Aug 10, 2020
    • Added paragraph about potentially using Alien Strike to upgrade Tier 6 destroyers faster.
    • Added temporary alternative to farming Altairian Regiment Strike (97) due to a bug with the Barrage Overdrive.
    Aug 28, 2020
    • Updated dependency graphs with respect to new drop rates for Tier 8 tech.
    • The Barrage Overdrive has actually been stealth-buffed. As a result, you now need Mk V Liberators or Mk V Exterminators to farm Altairian Regiment Strike (97).


  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 8 Aug 2020, 5:36AM

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q1: I am an existing player who wants to follow your guide. Where should I start reading?
    A1: If you have not completed the Training Simulations yet, go to the section "Training Simulation". If you have reached the Xeno Division (Tier 6) level but have yet to advance to Altairian, Umbra or Pharmakon (Tier 7), refer to the section "Xeno Division and A.X.I.S.". Otherwise, you should start reading from "RPS Factions", as this guide follows a rather unique path towards obtaining Tier 8 tech.

    Q2: Where is the Player vs Player (PvP) content?
    A2: This guide does not cover PvP because it is utterly pointless unless you are at the apex of the game. Higher level players always find a way to troll lower level players by using fleets of similar level yet superior tech against them. If you run into problems against other players, do not bother with retaliation. Instead, conduct your farming in one of the PvP-disabled sectors so you do not get attacked.

    Q3: Why Plasma Screen on the Plexus Carrier?
    A3: The Plexus Carrier's Network Sync overdrive sends it into Phase State (a brief state of invulnerability) whenever it takes a certain amount of screen damage. By mismatching the Plasma Screen's resistances against the damage types dealt by Umbra Onyx Cargo (mainly Energy and Explosive damage), the screens take more damage, thus activating the overdrive more often. Although Phase State also inflicts a penalty to the Plexus Carrier's offensive ability, it has been tested that the Plexus Carrier takes less damage when using Plasma Screen compared to Spectral Screen. You are welcome to use Deflector Screen as an alternative, but that would require more farming if you do not have it already.

    Q4: How do I get the Javelin Flagship? I would like to be able to warp my fleets from one place to another!
    A4: Research the corresponding recipe in the Ship Lab. During the event Decimation, which runs once per month on a weekend, you can directly buy a Javelin Flagship Strongbox from the event store, which would grant you all the materials required to craft the Javelin Flagship. Be sure to also grab the Wormhole Drive DS-1 in the event store as it enables your Javelin Flagship (and its escorts) to travel directly between sectors. If you want to upgrade the ship (even though it is useless), its materials can be obtained by defeating level 98 Reaper Harvester co-op fleets, which can be tackled jointly by up to two players. If you are following this guide, do not fight it by yourself until you get a full Valrayvn fleet.

    Q5: Why are the dependency graphs in the Appendix so blurry?
    A5: It may be due to online file compression issues. If you want a full-resolution version, refer to the original dependency graphs (link). They have to be opened on Google Drive using draw.io Diagrams.

    Q6: Is there a way to reduce the amount of grind required to progress?
    A6: Yes - you can directly buy ship and modules upgrades using real money in the Store, and spend Coins to instantly repeat an attack on NPC targets that are marked with a lightning icon (i.e. Blitz fleets). If, instead, you are looking for a way to grind less without spending real money, you are out of luck: paying to grind less constitutes a central part of the game's business model.

    Q7: Is there a way to reduce the waiting time without having to spend real money?
    A7: Unlike grinding, yes. For ship build/upgrading, you can buy Silver and Gold Prize Boxes that contain instant credits of various items during most weekly events. Whenever you start a ship build or refit, fill the relevant slots with those credits. Afterwards, replace them with the items you actually want to fit on the ship. Under the current system, replacing an item in the same slot reduces the refit time by 80% of the original item, thus potentially saving you days of build and refit! For a more universal solution, you can complete daily missions for Blood Amber (you may also farm Alliance War targets in your residential sector and use the event points to redeem Blood Amber, but take care to never actually set foot in the Alliance War sector unless you want to be attacked by other players) and use them to redeem Time Tokens in the Time Token market that appears occasionally.
  • Cyrus Leung
    Cyrus Leung
    VC Mod
    Joined Jan 2013 Posts: 3,664
    edited 8 Aug 2020, 5:36AM
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