Over the course of a game, pilots have access to four main types of craft: Scouts, Fighters, Bombers, and Capital Ships. All craft are equipped with some form of ammo-based or energy-based cannons. As the Commander/Investor researches new technologies, the weapons, engines, hull, and shields on the vessels are upgraded. In addition, the different factions allow for different technologies, such as cloaking, to be added to these craft:
Scouts - Equipped with long-range sensors, scouts are used to explore uncharted territories in search of resources and enemy outposts. By default, Scouts come equipped with deployable Probes that can provide useful information, especially for the Commander. There are also other available deployables, including mines and "repair kits".
Fighters - These make up the bulk of a fleet, and are involved in most of the combat during a game. There are many flavors of fighters, ranging from the sleek Stealth Fighter to the tank-like Heavy Interceptor.
Bombers - Too small to be considered capital ships, but they serve a similar purpose. Bombers have the ability to take out a base, yet also serve well in fighter-battles. These craft have extra turrets that can be manned by other pilots who board the ship.
Capital Ships - Because of the need to build up a tech-tree, Capital Ships usually aren't available until the latter part of a game. These are the behemoths that carry the firepower necessary to take down multiple outposts in a single run. Like the bomber, they also have multiple turrets for other players to operate. The gargantuan Cruiser can have up to *4* turret gunners in addition to the actual pilot of the vessel... whoa. As a teammate of mine once humorously noted, "A fighter trying to take out a cruiser is like a fly trying to take out a Volkswagen". For real.
When your ship is damaged or depleted of ammo or booster fuel, you can return to a friendly outpost at any time to repair, refuel, and re-arm. However, if your ship is destroyed, you are automatically ejected into a Life Pod - a very slow, small, and weaponless vessel. Once you are in a Pod, there are three ways to get out of it and back into action: Be destroyed, get picked up by a friendly craft, or navigate back to a base. Newbies take note; many players will scold you for destroying enemy pods. Why? Because an enemy who's in a Pod is harmless, and if they are far from a friendly base, it can be a lengthy ride back home, rendering them temporarily out-of-commission.
All of this sound a bit complicated? Well when you have a game with this kind of depth, there's little way around it.. you're going to have a learning curve to overcome. Not a problem. The updated training missions that you can download at The Zone (http://www.zone.com/allegiance/) provide an informative overview of all the main functions within the game, and there's an easy access help window that can provide you with the specific info you're looking for. Still, there's no substitute for experience. You just have to get out there and mix it up on the servers to really get a feel of how the game works. If you need a quick answer, ask your teammates. There are plenty of friendly pilots out there that will be glad to help you out.
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Overview | The Hardware | Graphics/Sound | Final Analysis
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