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EVOCHRON MERCENARY INSTRUCTIONS This document includes instructions for installation and gameplay. It is recommended that you read this entire document before playing the game to ensure system compatibility, optimal performance, and to learn the basics of playing the game. To view the keyboard quick reference image, click here (you may want to print this image for reference). To view the game's official website, click here. To start the game, double click on the Evochron Mercenary icon ( ) that is located on your desktop after running the installer. - Section Quick Links - System Requirements Installation and Setup Getting Started Options Gameplay and Menus Multiplayer Technical Notes/Known Issues SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS System Requirements Minimum Recommended Operating System Windows XP/Vista/7 Processor 2.0 GHz AMD/Intel 2.4 GHz or faster multi-core AMD/Intel Video Card 128 MB DirectX compatible * 512 MB or more DirectX compatible ** RAM 1.5 GB 2 GB or more Hard Drive Space 750 MB 1 GB or more Internet/Network for multiplayer 128K DSL 512K DSL or LAN *** Evochron Mercenary Instructions file:///C:/Program Files (x86)/EvochronMercenary/ReadMe.htm 1 sur 24 23/01/2012 15:25

Evochron Mercenary Instructions

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Evochron Mercenary Instructions

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EVOCHRON MERCENARY INSTRUCTIONS

This document includes instructions for installation and gameplay. It is recommended that you read this entire document before playing the game to ensure system compatibility, optimal performance, and to learn the basics of playing the game. To view the keyboard quick reference image, click here (you may want to print this image for reference). To view the game's official website, click here. To start the game, double click on the Evochron Mercenary icon ( ) that is located on your desktop after running the installer.

- Section Quick Links System Requirements Installation and Setup Getting Started Options Gameplay and Menus Multiplayer Technical Notes/Known Issues

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

System Requirements Operating System Processor Video Card RAM Hard Drive Space

Minimum 2.0 GHz AMD/Intel 1.5 GB 750 MB

Recommended Windows XP/Vista/7 2.4 GHz or faster multi-core AMD/Intel 2 GB or more 1 GB or more 512K DSL or LAN ***

128 MB DirectX compatible * 512 MB or more DirectX compatible **

Internet/Network for multiplayer 128K DSL

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* Dedicated video memory exclusively, shared memory is not supported. ** Recommended for High and Ultra detail settings, shader model 2.0 minimum. *** Recommended for hosting multiplayer sessions with more than a few players.

INSTALLATION AND SETUP

To install Evochron Mercenary, run the EVOCHRON_MERCENARY.EXE program available from the game's website. The program will guide the installation and install an icon to your desktop (labeled Evochron Mercenary). The installation program will also update the game if an older version is already installed in the same folder. This way, you can update the game to a newer version by running the latest installation program while also keeping your settings and profiles. Double click the icon to start the game. The first time you run the game, you will be prompted to enter your pilot's callsign and select the starting role you want to play. When entering your callsign, choose a name you wish to use for both single player and multiplayer. You can change it later without losing your stats with the 'Rename' option in the pilot manager. Your single player and multiplayer performance will then be tracked using your callsign. You can manage up to 100 separate pilot profiles for the game. It is recommended that you back up your pilot profiles occasionally in case you need to restore them or want to transfer them to a different computer. The starting role you select determines what ship you will initially fly, how many credits you are given, and what kind of equipment you start out with. Here is a description of each role and the starting configuration they provide: Mercenary Cash: 40,000 Ship: Talon Engine: Class 1 Shield: Class 1 Cargo Capacity: 1 Equipment 1: Class 1 Jump Drive Equipment 2: Class 1 Shield Boost Primary Cannon: Flarebeam (Class 1) Miner/Trader Cash: 10,000 Ship: Talon Engine: Class 1 Shield: Class 1 Cargo Capacity: 3 Equipment 1: Class 1 Jump Drive Equipment 2: Class 1 Shield Boost Equipment 3: Mining/Tractor beam Primary Cannon: Flarebeam (Class 1) Combat Pilot Cash: 5,000 Ship: Ferret Engine: Class 10 Shield: Class 10 Cargo Capacity: 0 Equipment 1: Class 1 Jump Drive Equipment 2: Class 1 Shield Boost Primary Cannon: StarGuard (Class 4)

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Racer Cash: 20,000 Ship: Talon Engine: Class 7 Shield: Class 1 Cargo Capacity: 1 Equipment 1: Class 1 Jump Drive Equipment 2: Class 1 Shield Boost Primary Cannon: Flarebeam (Class 1)

Once you enter the callsign and starting role you want, the next screen will be the main menu. Use the mouse pointer to select menu options. If a game controller is detected, you can also select Configure Controls from the Options menu to select the buttons and axis controls you want to use with the game (see the Options section below for instructions on configuring a game controller). If no game controller is detected, the default flight control will be set to the mouse. If you use the mouse for flight control, the wheel will control your throttle (if available) while button one will fire your primary weapons and button two will fire your secondary weapons.

GETTING STARTED

During gameplay, you can save at almost any point by pressing escape or the default F9 key and clicking on QUICK SAVE PROGRESS. You can also save your progress in different profile slots by clicking on SELECT PROFILE AND SAVE. A list of the available profile slots will be displayed and the profile slot you click on will then be used to save your current progress as well as any future quick saves. You can also save your game quickly by pressing Alt-F9 and you'll be prompted to save your progress each time you exit (if you're not currently working on a contract). When you save your progress, your current inventory, position, reputation, wealth, and status will be saved under the current profile you selected/created. However, you will lose a contract if you exit before the contract is complete. It won't be marked as a contract failure on your record, but you will lose the agreement if you don't stick around long enough to complete the objective(s). You may want to save frequently which will let you quickly undo your progress to a recent point. Saving is not available while you are docked at a shipyard, completing a contract objective, or during training. From the main menu, you can select a gameplay mode, change game options, or enter the pilot manager. The pilot manager lets you load, create, rename, and delete saved profiles. It also lets you preview information about each saved profile, including location, wealth, weapons, and equipment. Single player (selected by clicking on the 'Launch' button in the main menu) will let you play the game alone with computer controlled ships while Multiplayer lets you connect to other players via the Internet or a LAN. Multiplayer includes both human controlled ships and computer controlled ships. A few other gameplay elements will also change when switching between single player and multiplayer. See the multiplayer section below for more details. Interactive training is available and provides basic instruction on controlling your ship, managing the system consoles, navigation, using the targeting and weapon systems, descending into planets, and docking with stations. It is highly recommended that you complete the training mode before starting either the single player or multiplayer mode. You can skip training stages by pressing the Enter key or recall previous stages by pressing Alt-Enter.

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OPTIONS

To set up the game for your computer's configuration or to customize your controller settings, simply click on OPTIONS in the main menu. You can fine-tune the game's settings for audio, video, detail, and other miscellaneous options. Here are the various options that you can select in the menu: Video/Effects: - RESOLUTION - Evochron Mercenary supports a variety of screen resolutions, including both traditional ratios and widescreen ratios. The game will automatically detect which resolutions your system supports. When set to 'Optimized', the game will use your desktop resolution by default. If you select a resolution lower than your desktop resolution, the game window may not fill the entire screen. You can switch to the 'Locked (FS)' screen mode (described below) to use the full screen mode so lower resolutions fill the entire screen. It's generally best to run the game in the Optimized resolution mode unless you need to run the game in a resolution that is different than your desktop. Resolutions below 1024X768 are not recommended due to loss of detail and clarity. - FONT MODE - You can select which font the game uses with this option. The 'Classic' mode provides the original Evochron font while the 'Standard' mode provides the new default font. - BACKGROUND NEBULA - Some players might prefer a more ordinary looking space background with just stars, so you can turn the background nebula on and off with this option. - STAR DETAIL - Lets you adjust the background star appearance. If you are running in a low resolution without anti-aliasing enabled, you may want to change this setting to low to reduce background sparkle/shimmering. High is the default setting and provides a detail level that works well with high resolutions. - 3D COCKPIT - You have the option of turning on or off the 3D cockpit. Some players may prefer to filter out the cockpit, leaving only the HUD and displays visible in a fixed position. When the 3D cockpit is turned off, the three lower displays will be rendered as part of the stationary HUD. This may also help boost performance slightly on slower systems as it does reduce the scene's polygon count. - SHADERS - This lets you select the level of detail for shaders. 'Off' disables all shader effects, which may improve performance and/or provide compatibility with older systems. 'Limited' or 'Full' can be selected to enable the shader effects. The 'Limited' setting will disable dynamic cube mapping for planetary water while still allowing full details for other planetary graphics. - GRAPHICS DETAIL - This option lets you adjust the level of detail for several general graphics elements that have a significant impact on framerate performance:- High - Maximum details. Explosions are rendered in full detail with frequent fire trails and smoke. This mode generally needs a fairly powerful system to run at framerates above around 20-30. - Medium - Moderate details. Explosions are rendered without fire trails and smoke effects. This mode should work well with many moderate system configurations. - Low - Minimum details. This mode should work well on many low performance systems. Minimum system requirements listed above are still recommended for playable performance.

- PLANET DETAIL - This option lets you adjust the level of detail for several planetary graphics elements that have a significant impact on framerate performance:- Ultra - Maximum details. Planets are rendered with full detail. Terrain includes an additional layer of high resolution detail mapping. Water effects include dynamic cube mapping and terrain mesh detail scales to its highest level. This mode generally requires a powerful system to run at framerates above around 20-30. - High - High details. Planet terrain mesh detail scales to a high level and water effects also include dynamic cube mapping. Detail mapping is reduced to one layer. This mode generally needs a fairly powerful system to run at framerates above around 20-30. - Medium - Moderate details. Planet terrain is limited to medium detail, a static cube map is used for water effects, and other details are reduced. This mode should

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work well with many moderate system configurations. - Low - Minimum details. Only a basic texture is rendered for planet surfaces and mesh detail is low. Water is rendered with just a basic texture. This mode should work well on many low performance systems. Minimum system requirements listed above are still recommended for playable performance.

- SCREEN MODE - This option offers four modes, Optimized (WM), Optimized (WM) Max VSync, Locked (FS), and Locked (FS) Max VSync mode. The Optimized modes run in a window and are generally considered the best modes to run the game in. The locked modes force the game to run in a full screen mode, regardless of what resolution you select. The Optimized modes let you see any Windows dialogue boxes that might open and supports alt-tab to toggle between the game and other applications. Running the game in a Locked mode may cause unpredictable behavior if alt-tab is used, but can allow the game to run in a lower resolution in full screen (although the performance benefit will likely be minimal compared to the Optimized modes running at a higher resolution). The Max VSync options remove the framerate limit so the game can run at framerates up to the refresh rate. Audio: - MUSIC - This option lets you turn the music on or off. If you select 'On', a 'Volume' option will appear that will let you adjust the volume as desired. - IN-GAME VOICES - In game voices are optional. If you would rather not have radio chatter, turn this option off. This setting also effects in-game voice chat in multiplayer. - EFFECTS VOLUME - Lets you adjust the volume level of the in-game sounds. Control: - CONTROL TYPE - You will notice several modes for controlling the ship. Here are the various settings and the recommended uses:- KEYBOARD - Uses arrow keys for ship control. Best for players who want to use the keyboard only or do not have a game controller connected to their computer. Some form of mouse control would still be recommended though, see below. - MOUSE DIRECTION NORMAL - This lets you use the mouse as if it were a joystick. If you move the mouse in a particular direction, the game will respond by how far the mouse is moved. Once you stop moving the mouse, the game will re-center the movement, just as if a joystick control was centered. This option works well with laptop touch stick mouse controls. A sensitivity control option will appear when either this or the REVERSE Y mode are selected. - MOUSE DIRECTION REVERSE Y - This reverses the direction on the Y axis channel. In the NORMAL mode, moving the mouse/touch stick down lifts the nose of your ship as though you were pulling back on a joystick. REVERSE Y will change this control so that moving the mouse/touch stick down will drop the nose of your ship and moving the control up will lift the nose of your ship. - MOUSE POINT - This option lets you move the ship with a mouse pointer. You can place the pointer in a certain position and the ship will continue moving in a direction until you center the pointer. This option works well for players familiar with mouse pointer control. An adjustable deadzone/sensitivity option will appear when this control mode is selected. You can also fine tune the sensitivity setting further by editing the first line of the file in the game's default installation directory entitled mdeadzone.cfg. A value of 1.0 will give you a very wide deadzone/low sensitivity, a value of 4.0 will be the default setting which is a small deadzone and moderate sensitivity. Values above 4.0 up to 10.0 will offer an extremely small deadzone and high sensitivity. - JOYSTICK - This option uses the default game controller for ship movement. The controller that is listed first in your Windows game controller's list will usually be the default controller for the game. It is recommended that you enable a joystick as the default game controller for this option. If you would like to use multiple control devices, see the Technical Notes section below.

- SENSITIVITY - Selects the stick sensitivity. Some controllers may cause undesired sudden movements in gameplay. To reduce the effect of this problem, you can decrease the sensitivity setting. For digital controllers with optical ('no contact') technology precision you may want to set this option to HIGH as that setting will provide maximum responsiveness. - DEADZONE - When the joystick or mouse point control mode is selected, this option will appear. It lets you expand the deadzone, or central response area for your game controller. If unwanted yaw, pitch, or roll rotation occurs when you center your controller, increasing this setting will help prevent the problem. - JOYSTICK HAT - You can set the HAT option to ON, STRAFE, PAN, or OFF. When set to ON, the HAT allows you to control the pilots viewing direction (up, left, right, and rear views), if your controller is equipped with a HAT option. When set to STRAFE, the HAT will control your vertical and horizontal strafe thrusters. When set to PAN, the HAT will control the pilot viewing direction by panning. The PAN mode does not auto-center itself like the ON mode does when you center the HAT, so you will need to manually re-center the viewing direction. The HAT can also be used to pan around your ship in the second external view mode. - 3D HEAD TRACKING - This option enables support for the TrackIR view control system, which will let you control the pilot's view by turning your head. Updates: - CHECK FOR UPDATES - This option will periodically check for updates to the game when set to ON.

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- CONFIGURE CONTROLS - This menu lets you customize the functions of your controller's buttons, keyboard, mouse buttons, and flight axis controls. You can click on the axis control option to assign axis channels on your controller to the various flight controls. The flight axis settings will appear with each available input channel you can use to control your ship. Follow the instructions to set a particular axis channel to control each flight rotation. If your controller doesn't support a particular control, simply select NO AXIS and use the keyboard or mouse option for the control. The input can be reversed for any configured axis channel by clicking on 'Invert' to the right of the signal indicator. An 'X' will appear in the box next to the word 'Invert' when active. The throttle axis will also have an 'Afterburner' option next to its signal indicator, which when enabled will let you activate the afterburner when the throttle axis is moved to its near maximum limit. The keyboard/button configuration menu option lets you quickly locate the function of a particular controller button by simply pressing the desired button on the controller (the button number will show at the bottom and a green box will appear next to the button control, if it is mapped to a function). To assign a button or key to a function, simply click on the function you wish to change. The game will prompt you to press the button or key that you want to bind to the function. Once you press the desired button/key, it will be assigned to the selected function. Any adjustments you make are saved. If there is a conflict caused by one button or key being assigned to two functions, the game will solve the conflict for you automatically by swapping the function's old button or key with the conflicting one. You can also clear the assigned key or button with the options near the bottom of the screen. You may want to test each button to verify what it controls before exiting the menu. A few keys (such as the escape key) are locked and can't be altered, but you can change nearly any other key function as desired. For joysticks and game controllers, Evochron Mercenary supports up to 32 controller buttons. For mouse input, the game supports up to 8 buttons. Both the axis menu and key/button menu also let you change the current device in case you have more than one game controller connected to your computer. Use the left and right arrows at the top to change the control device while you are mapping axis channels or buttons. To test which device is currently active, simply press buttons on it or move it around to observe which input signals are responding. You can select a different device while you are mapping controls, so you can bind each function to a different device as desired. The game supports up to 10 control devices simultaneously. The first seven axis channels available in the menu are matched with the device you select, channels 8-10 use a separate input system that provides additional input options for some devices. You can manually control input selection for channels 8-10 using the method explained in the technical notes section below.

GAMEPLAY AND MENUS

- YOUR QUEST BEGINS -

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Evochron Mercenary gives you the freedom to play the game in a variety of ways. Its freeform design lets you travel where you want and complete the activities you want. You can complete the quest offered to new mercenaries for benefits or you can focus on exploration, combat, mining, racing, trading, or a variety of other activities. You can also switch between the quest objectives and other activities when desired. To retrieve a past quest message, simply click on 'View Last Quest Message' in the news console and the last message will be displayed. It's a good idea to have a well equipped ship and enough credits to survive the quest as you'll pass through many of the most challenging areas of the game's universe. So just what can you do as an independent mercenary? There are many ways to make money and survive in the game's universe. Some involve combat, such as contract fighting and attacking other ships. Others involve exploration, such as mining asteroids or planets, locating high paying stations for commodities, finding upgrade hotspots, and hunting for hidden benefits. You may want to design your ship for speed and compete in either timed or ship-vs-ship races. Race courses will be placed at the waypoint and each box you need to fly through will have a white border around it. Fly to the waypoint to begin the race. For quieter objectives, simply clean nearby solar arrays for some quick credits or retrieve lost items for local factions. You can also trade with other ships and stations or deliver items under conditions of a contract. You may bribe other ships to alter your reputation in a system or to avoid a risky fight. Each of these gameplay aspects have many additional elements which require practice and knowledge to master. Combat alone requires substantial skill and training to survive in more hostile areas of space. It can pay in the long run to spend the time and money to improve your abilities and ship so you can survive later on when you reach more advanced areas of Evochron.

One of the most important activities in the game is designing your ship. This is done in the shipyard, which is available at stations, carriers, and planet cities. Note: Stations and some other objects in space have their own gravity protection field to prevent ships from ramming into them. Your HUD will display a pathway that will help guide you to the docking area. The pathway will be red if your approach is outside of the required docking angle and it will be green when you are approaching correctly. Line up your ship with the flashing docking lights to approach at the correct angle. The 'Landing and Docking' section below will provide more information on descending into planets and docking with stations. To access the shipyard, fly to a docking zone near the top of a station, a carrier hangar, or in the middle of a city with a landing zone on a planet. The automatic tractor beam will engage and your inventory console will be opened. Simply click on 'Enter Station/Carrier/City' then 'Shipyard' to open the menu shown in the image above. Descriptions of each frame and ship component are available on the bottom two displays of the menu. Use the scroll bars to toggle through the available options, then click on one to read its description. To design a ship, select a frame from the right side menu then drag and drop it to the middle display (click and hold the mouse button to move the frame of your choice). If you're designing a civilian ship, the Frame Config menu will open automatically and lets you adjust the available frame's configuration capacities for crew members, equipment hardpoints, countermeasures, and secondary weapon hardpoints. Just click on boxes under the capacity number you want to increase or decrease each limit. Next, select the parts you want for your ship. You can toggle through the 5 different ship components by clicking on each one on the bottom left display. Each frame provides a certain level of assembly resources that you use to design your ship. Larger frames provides more assembly resources and offer better shielding/armor, but aren't as maneuverable or as fast and use more fuel. If you design a ship that exceeds the assembly resources available for the frame you selected, the 'Assembly Left:' value at the top will turn red and you'll need to reconfigure your design to stay within the resource limit. Each component will use a certain amount of the assembly resources and will effect various aspects of your ship. Larger fuel tanks will give you more range, larger cargo bays will let you carry more items, more powerful shield cores provide better protection, more powerful engines provide higher speed, and better wing/thruster systems improve agility. You will need to carefully prioritize your design for the features that are most important to you and the role you want to play in the game. Once you've selected the frame and components you want, you can further customize your ship's appearance by using the position and scale sliders on the middle display. If you make a change you don't like, simply right click on a slider to reset its value to center. For visual enhancement while editing your ship, you can highlight the component you're editing and paint your ship a different color. You can also stop the rotation, and/or remove the direction planes. Once you've designed your ship the way you want, simply click on 'Trade and Build'. You will be given credit for your current ship, then any additional amount will be deducted from your account. The difference between the value of your current ship and the cost of the ship you want to build will be shown at the top of the middle display. If the ship you are trading in is damaged, the total cost for repairs will be deducted from its trade-in value and the adjusted amount will be displayed in red. You can save the current ship design with the template option. Click on Templates near the top of the shipyard menu, then click on 'Save Current Design as Template'. You can reload a design later to rebuild it, although you will need to be docked at a station that can build the ship saved in the template. Templates are saved in the game's data folder using the filenames shiptemplateX.sw where X is a number from 1 to 10. All of your profiles will have access to the ship templates and you can even

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share them with other players. A Hangar option is also available near the top of the shipyard menu and it lets you store a ship and up to 5 containers of cargo. The option is only available at trade stations and you are required to pay a fee to rent the space. There is a limit of one hangar per pilot at each trade station, but you can rent as many individual hangars from trade stations as you want and can afford. Hangar fees will be charged on a common billing cycle and will apply for any hangars you are storing ships or cargo in (a list of the station names will be displayed in the message system each time you pay the fees). To remove the fees for a hangar, you'll need to either sell or remove its contents. If you want to store the ship you are flying at an empty hangar, you'll need to rebuild your current ship so you are never left without a ship. This will be done automatically for you when you select the Store option in the hangar if you have the funds to build another ship of the same design. You can then change the design as desired once you've stored the original. To recover a stored ship, simply use the Swap option that will appear once a ship is in storage. Your stored ship will then be exchanged with the ship you are currently flying and the contents will attempt to be transferred between the two so you still have the weapons, equipment, crew, and cargo you currently have. If the ship you are swapping to can't carry the same items, they will be discarded or sold. So make sure you sell or store them before you change ships, if you want to recover the credits for them or use them later. If you have crew members and swap to a military ship, they will be dismissed. If you want to keep your crew, make sure you swap to a civilian frame that can carry them. The game will autosave your progress any time you make changes to a hangar.

REPUTATION AND RANK

You should always consider your own survival, wealth, and reputation when making any decision. Remember that many actions you make effect your personal reputation, which in turn effects how you will be paid and treated in the future. Make enemies and you'll have to fight harder and more often just to survive. Make allies and you can often pass unharmed through a system, but you may find it difficult to acquire a contract if no one wants to hire you to fight off an enemy who is an ally of yours. You may want to balance your reputation between systems so you have contract and combat options, but still have friendly systems that you can escape to for repairs, trading, mining, and upgrades. The overall reputation levels are good, fair, moderate, and hostile. A good reputation level generally means you won't encounter hostile ships, unless you attack friendly ships. A fair reputation level generally means you will likely encounter hostile ships on some occasions. A moderate reputation level generally means you'll encounter many hostile ships and have to pay docking fees to be given permission to conduct business at stations and planets. A hostile reputation generally means you'll encounter mostly hostile ships and have to pay docking fees. Fair and moderate systems typically offer the widest variety of contracts. For docking fees, different systems will likely charge you different amounts and your reputation can also effect how much they expect you to pay. Consider this in your expenses when trading and accepting contracts. In addition to the overall reputation level, you also have individual reputation levels with specific factions in each system that are divided into 5 categories, energy companies, militaries, rebels, guilds, and miners. Each of those reputations effects the contracts offered to you, your overall system reputation level, individual ship reputations, and economic/market conditions. You can change your reputation by selecting and completing contracts for particular groups and/or attacking ships that are hostile to them. Contracts are faction specific, meaning objectives will be offered based on your reputation and will involve objectives related to the interests of the faction offering it. Completing contracts for energy companies and militaries can lower your reputation with rebels (aka pirates) and guilds (aka clans) while completing contracts for rebels and guilds can lower your reputation with energy companies and militaries. Your overall system reputation will likely increase by staying on the legal side and completing contracts with company/military factions who are generally part of the system's economy and government. Completing contracts with rebels and guilds who often work against the other groups will likely decrease your reputation. There are advantages and disadvantages to aligning with one group or the other. Your reputation with each faction in a system will be displayed in the news console along with the other stats. A series of bar graphs is presented, including color coding, to help make the various levels easier to read. Individual ship affiliations are displayed on the target detail MFD next to the ID indicator. The game will report to you when there is a change in your overall reputation in a system and will auto-save your progress if you're not currently in the middle of a contract (if you are, it is recommended that you save once you've completed the contract since it can take a lot of effort to make major changes to your overall reputation). Long term loyalty to a faction can provide overall reputation benefits, while short term contract completing can result in losing progress you've made in building your reputation. If you leave before you achieve an overall reputation shift, then you've pretty much abandoned the reputation you were working toward and your reputation can fall a bit. Not always, but it can return to more average values because the faction's interest in you will quickly diminish if you stop working for them and they'll be on to hiring the next, possibly more loyal, long-term mercenary to work for them. If you want to use contracts as a way to shift your reputation, be consistent, work for them long enough to make it worth their time and investment to know they can count on you, otherwise, you'll just appear like a system hopper who only works a few jobs, then moves on, which won't help your reputation much. Loyalty and consistency is rewarded with the game's reputation system. When in combat, remember to use your allies. If your reputation provides some friendly ships in the area, you may want to fly near them for assistance. Green level ships may decide to help you out if they see you are fighting a hostile ship and are nearby. Combining forces and using your reputation can improve your success in combat. You can also recruit other ships to join you in a fleet for improved combat protection. Recruiting other ships will require paying each ship a repeating fee for the time they are part of your fleet. When you are not in the game, fleet ships are free to pursue their own interests and the fees won't apply. They may also change their ship designs and will reload their weapons while you are away. Next time you return to the game, the ships in your fleet will rejoin you. Establishing a fleet can offer substantial protection or assistance in combat. Fleet ships will generally avoid wasting fuel and expensive missiles, so don't rely on them entirely to always be there or to provide a

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high level of combat effectiveness. They will be linked to your navigation system, so when you use the jump drive to travel, they will arrive with you at the jump point. Another way you can use nearby allies is to issue attack orders in war zones. When you accept a mission in a war zone, other military spacecraft will meet you at the waypoint to assist you. If your rank is high enough, the other ships will likely follow your orders. In multiplayer, you must also be the flight leader for the mission to issue orders. The player who is the flight leader in the sector is usually the highest on the player list, other players will see a '=' flash next to the flight leader's name while the flight leader themself will see a '-' next to their name. Your performance as a mercenary is tracked with two ranking systems. The first is your civilian skill and proficiency rank. This rank is a combination of your contract completion record/achievements, kills, wealth, and equipment acquired. When you earn a higher rank, you command a higher fee for your services, so you'll see your pay start to climb as your reputation for completing contracts improves. Failing or canceling contracts can prevent your rank from increasing. The next is your military rank. This rank tracks your military combat record for missions completed in war zones. The more missions you complete for the Alliance, the higher your military rank will be. A higher military rank gives you access to more advanced military spacecraft. Here is an image showing the various ranks:

MINING, EXPLORING, AND HIRING A CREW

One of the first items you might want to purchase is a mining/tractor beam. It is an extremely valuable piece of equipment to recover cargo left behind after a battle, recover fuel when used with a converter, recover items from cargo containers, and as a tool to mine from asteroids and planets. The beam has a range of about 100 meters for cargo recovery and can be activated by holding the default B key down. To recover lost cargo, fly to within 100 meters of the cargo and hold down the default B key until the beam reaches full strength. The cargo material will be transported from its location and deposited in your cargo bay. Any material you don't have room for will be discarded. Use the same technique to recover items from cargo containers. If a container is holding a weapon, the tractor system will attempt to install the device directly onto your ship. If your ship doesn't have room to install the weapon, it will be placed in your cargo bay automatically. To mine material from asteroids, fly very close to one and hold the default B key down while panning the beam through the inside of the asteroid. Press Alt-B to lock the beam on until you press B again to turn it off. You will see bright red pieces of heated rock spark from the asteroid as the beam cuts into it (if you don't see this effect, then you aren't close enough to the asteroid to mine it). If any material can be recovered, it will be deposited into your cargo bay. Some asteroids may not offer much, others might offer very valuable material. The ship's auto-sorting system collects compatible materials in each cargo bay and blocks incompatible material types. Each unit of a material is a specific shape and size and they are only compatible with each other within individual cargo bays up to the 25 unit limit, so you will need to pre-sort your cargo bay(s) if you want to recover particular materials. You can sort through it by selling or discarding (click on a cargo bay while in open space) what you don't want to make room for what you do want. The auto-sorting system can be useful when mining by helping you quickly sort through what you recover. To recover photon particles for fuel with a fuel converter, simply activate the beam while you're inside a nebula cloud or flying close to a star. Don't forget to explore. There are numerous weapons, upgrades, and commodities that you can purchase and transport. Generally speaking, more distant systems pay higher prices for items, although you can alter your reputation in a system so that you can be paid better prices for certain items. There are also many storage containers/stations scattered across the Evochron quadrant. These containers are used by shipping companies, military forces, and manufacturers as storage stations for the items they build and recover. The container owners prefer to keep the locations secret, so they are not logged in your navigation map database. If you want to find them, you will need to search visually. Some are kept hidden in nebula clouds, others are simply placed in distant corners of systems away from most traffic. If you locate a container, you can scan its contents by getting very close to it (with the nose of your ships facing the container), then activating the tractor beam, the container's stored contents will then be displayed on your Heads-Up-Display. If you let the tractor beam reach full power, one item of the container's contents will be transported to your ship (if your ship has the necessary cargo space or weapon capacity

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available). If you locate an item you want, but don't have space for it on your ship, you can sell an item to make space available, discard it by clicking on it, or jettison your cargo bay, if desired. Exploring can also result in discovering hidden solar systems and planets. Many distant locations offer unique equipment not found in the more charted regions of Evochron. You can find experimental weapons and technology that will greatly enhance your ship's capabilities. They also often pay much better for contracts and commodities. It's a good idea to save such locations in your map log for future reference. As you increase your wealth, you may want to hire a crew. Hiring crew members can enhance the capabilities of your ship and its systems. An engineer can help repair your ship systems (engine/propulsion, navigation, and weapons) and armor much faster than an automated repair upgrade can. A navigator can help alert you to important objects in space, such as wormholes and hidden cargo containers, at a much greater range. They can also help protect you from making dangerous jumps too close to planets or moons. A weapon operations specialist can tweak your primary weapons to improve their firing capacity (also improving their long term yield). A science operations specialist can alert you to important benefits in a system as soon as you arrive, including asteroid field locations, planets that have material to mine, wormhole locations, hidden containers, and dense nebula cloud locations. They can also improve the efficiency of your mining beam, letting you mine materials more quickly when stationary. You can also deploy temporary objects or build permanent stations. These options are selected with the 'Deploy' and 'Build' buttons at the top right of the HUD and require you to have the needed Deploy or Build Constructor installed on your ship. The deploy system lets you place temporary energy stations, repair stations, refueling stations, sensor stations, shield arrays, and mining probes. They can offer important benefits for deep space exploration, resource harvesting, and hidden item hunting. In combat, they can also provide significant advantages from tactical information on the battlefield to front line support. If you abandon items you've built by leaving the sector or are destroyed, those items will be scuttled and you will need to rebuild new ones. Also, only one type of station is allowed per sector at a time. You can also scuttle items by clicking on the 'Scuttle Deployed Station' button that appears when you fly close to them. Energy stations fully recharge your main power cells and shield arrays. Repair stations restore your ship's subsystems and hull integrity. To use one of these stations, fly near the center structure and come to a complete stop. Sensor stations provide the location of all ships in the area with twice the range of probes and broadcast data too all ships within range rather than being limited to only the ship that deployed it. Fuel processors convert energy from your ship into fuel in 5 unit intervals. Shield arrays can be used to protect large regions of space. Mining probes can automatically mine material from asteroids and planets. The build system lets you construct space stations, dynamically expanding the game's universe with new trade routes, docking points, and economies. There are 5 different types of stations you can build. Trade Stations are the main trade locations in the game. They provide additional AI threads for new traffic patterns, ship docking, inventory changes, market values, contract objectives, and more. When holding the mouse pointer over the option to build a Trade Station, you can optionally specify a name for it, just use the keyboard to enter the name you want (you do not need to press enter when finished). Constructor stations let the player construct items from raw materials. Research stations provide valuable R&D for increasing the level of technology in a given area. These can improve availability of items while also offering more advanced technology. Energy stations help support the local energy and navy factions by producing critical energy related items such as power cells, batteries, solar arrays, and direct capital ship refueling. Ore processors take raw materials from a nearby trade station (which in turn receives the materials from local freelance mercenaries) and converts them into machinery parts, electronics, and other simple items. These stations can help boost local inventories and provide a better range of items. Certain activities will auto-save your progress. If you transfer items to or from a station hangar, the game will automatically save your progress. Building or destroying stations as well as deploying items will auto-save your progress. Some online activities will also auto-save your progress, including player-to-player trades and jettisoning cargo.

MENU AND MESSAGE CONTROLS

All in-game menus can be managed with the mouse. If you've selected joystick or keyboard control, move the mouse to make the pointer appear. When a console or other menu is open, simply move the pointer to the option you want and left mouse click. The mouse pointer has two modes for these options, flight mode and selection mode. The first image below is the flight mode and the second in the selection mode:

Flight Mode

Selection Mode

While in flight mode, the pointer is used for controlling the ship (if using the Mouse Point flight mode), selecting targets, and selecting options on the HUD. To select a target, simply left click on it when it's in your forward view. HUD options are displayed at the top center of the screen. You can open the navigation, inventory, or trade console as well as activate the jump drive and autopilot functions. Hold the pointer over a HUD option to display its description. If you're using a mouse flight control mode and don't want to change direction when clicking on a console button or targeting a ship, hold down the ALT key to temporarily disable flight control response. When the navigation, inventory, or trade console is opened, the pointer switches to selection mode. Simply left click on an option to select it. Additional options are sometimes available by right clicking, such as transferring an item from your ship to the cargo bay instead of selling it. When a console is closed, the mouse returns to flight mode.

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Your ship will display warnings, activity prompts, and other information in white text on the left side of your HUD. This information can help guide you with important information, alert you to a problem, or prompt you when a system activity occurs. Multiplayer text chat messages will also be displayed using the same system. If a series of messages appears, it may obscure your forward view slightly. If this happens and you want to remove messages, simply press the numpad / key to remove one message at a time. If you miss a message, you can retrieve old messages by holding down the ALT key and then pressing the numpad / key. You can clear the screen of all messages by pressing the default numpad * key. You can also use the controls to the left of the messages. The message controls will appear any time a message appears. If no messages are visible, you can bring up the message controls by moving the mouse to the upper left corner of the screen. If you are using a mouse flight control mode, you'll need to hold the ALT key to bypass flight control. Once the pointer is near the top left of the screen, the controls will appear along with the last logged message and the mouse pointer will change from the flight control mode to the selection mode. To remove the message and controls, simply move the pointer away from the controls until it changes back to the flight control pointer, when the last message fades away, the controls will also disappear. Here are details on each of the control options: This button works just like the numpad * key to clear all messages from the screen and it will also remove the controls from view. However, if you do not move the mouse pointer away from the controls within about a second, the last remaining message will continue to be displayed. Once you move the mouse pointer away from the controls, the last message will eventually fade away and the controls will disappear from view. This button works like a 'Page Up' key. It will scroll through the history of logged messages 20 lines at a time. This button scrolls through the history of logged messages 1 line at a time (same as ALT-Numpad /).

This is the scroll bar. This control gives you quick access to the entire message log from oldest to newest, just left click anywhere on the bar and hold down the button, then move the bar to scroll through the messages. This button scrolls ahead 1 line at a time (same as Numpad /). This button works like a 'Page Down' key. It will scroll ahead 20 lines at a time until the last group of 20 message lines are visible. You can trim away any remaining messages by using the 1 line button above. In multiplayer, this button is available and lets you select the voice chat mode. Voice chat lets you talk with other players in multiplayer using a microphone. The 'Sector' mode lets you broadcast to all other players in the same sector. The 'Clan Only' mode keeps your broadcast private and only players with the same clan ID tag in their callsigns will hear you.

NAVIGATION, INVENTORY, AND TRADE

Your ship is equipped with 3 main system consoles to control inventory, trading, and navigation. You can use the F1, F3, and F4 keys to open the various consoles (F2 activates the jump drive), or use the mouse to click on a console button at the top of the HUD (remember that holding ALT down will temporarily disable mouse flight control when using a mouse flight control mode). To close a console, press the same F key or mouse click on the X at the top right of the console display. Here is a description of each console:

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- Navigation Console (default F1 key and first console button): Lets you quickly determine your position in a system and also select jump points for traveling to different areas in space or to other systems. Use the mouse pointer to select a jump point, zoom in/out on the map, view the map log, engage the jump drive, or to highlight a coordinate option. For the navigation map, the game's universe is divided into cube sections called sectors. Each sector consists of 200,000 units of width, height, and depth using X, Y, and Z values as coordinates inside each sector. The center of each sector box is 0,0,0 XYZ, left of center will be -X,0,0, right of center will be +X,0,0. In the TOP VIEW mode (the default mode when opening the Nav console), up from center on the map will be 0,0,+Z, down from center will be 0,0,-Z. So the far left of the sector will be at X -100000 and the far right of the sector will be at X 100000 (200,000 units total with a range of 0 to -/+100,000 units in any direction from coordinates 0,0,0). The Y coordinate is the 'height' position and you can adjust that with the REAR VIEW option. When the TOP VIEW is displayed, a green arrow will indicate your current position in the sector box and it will point in the direction you are heading. Your direction is displayed on the compass at the top of the screen. 0, or virtual 'North', is moving forward/positive on the Z axis. 180 is moving backwards/negative on the Z axis. 90 and 270 are negative and positive on the X axis respectively. Pitch determines your direction on the Y axis, below 0 is negative, above is positive. Pitch is indicated by the ladder displayed with the gunsight in the middle of the screen. You can manually enter coordinates or use the pointer to select coordinates by clicking on a point on the map. To mark important location on a map, click on ADD TO LOG, the current nav point on the map will be saved and you'll be prompted to enter a text description for the entry. Click on MAP LOG to view the list of locations you've saved. Clicking on the arrows to the right of the list let you scroll through them. Click on a location to set the navigation marker to the point listed. Click on NAV MAP to close the map log and return to the navigation map. Click on QUADRANT MAP to view all of the charted systems in Evochron Mercenary. You can also view the territory and economy maps. The territory map gives you the status of Alliance, Federation, and Vonari territory while the economy map displays the level of wealth and technology each system has. Your reputation for your current location is displayed on the right side of the console display. 'Friendly' indicates you have a positive reputation and will mostly encounter friendly ships willing to trade. 'Fair' indicates you have a mostly positive reputation, but you will likely encounter a few hostile ships. 'Moderate' means you have a mixed reputation and may encounter ships that are either friendly or hostile to you. 'Hostile' indicates you have a bad reputation and you'll likely encounter mostly hostile ships. In systems where your reputation is moderate or hostile, you will also likely have to contend with docking fees, which can greatly reduce your profit. Once you select a navigation point, a yellow X will mark the spot on the map and your radar will indicate the direction you need to turn to face the point you selected. You can select points either in the current sector box you are in, or you can zoom out to select a point in a nearby sector box. To zoom in and out on the map, use either the mouse wheel or the ZOOM IN/OUT options on the left side of the console display. You can also zoom in on a nearby sector box by right mouse clicking anywhere in the box. When zoomed in on a sector, blue arrows will appear at each edge of the map that you can use to scroll the map one sector at a time. You can select a navigation point directly to an object in space by right clicking on its icon on the map. This option will set the X, Y, and Z position to the object for you automatically. Obviously, you'll want to avoid jumping directly into a planet or moon, so you'll want to manually fine tune your jump point to avoid colliding into certain objects. Right clicking on a station will automatically set your jump point to the docking hangar of the station. Once you select a navigation point, you can quickly jump to the point you selected by pressing F2 or clicking on LAUNCH. Upgrade your Fulcrum jump drive to travel farther with each jump. Also, keep in mind that selecting a jump/navigation point on the system map only sets the X and Z coordinates, since the map displays data in 2 dimensions. So if an object is above or below the arrival position vertically, you may need to adjust the Y coordinate value to fine tune your jump position. To select a Y position, click on REAR VIEW to view the map from behind, or click on the 'Y:' entry box at the top of the display and manually enter a value. The Navigation system will place you at a distance from your arrival point so that as your speed decreases to standard cruise levels, you will gradually approach the position you selected. Your jump drive can also be used for directional travel in addition to precise coordinate navigation. This method is not generally recommended unless you need to make a quick escape or travel long distances quickly. Some jump drives will be able to let you travel farther than your navigation sensor range, making such jumps much more risky if you don't know where you are jumping to. To activate the direction mode, press the default Alt-F2 key combination. The computer will calculate the maximum possible sector-to-sector distance you can travel, then set the sector coordinates to that location. The computer will place the in-sector jump point to the same XYZ location you had originally entered. So the destination waypoint may not always appear directly ahead of you, but setting the destination this way gives you more control over the jump point/direction. You can fine tune your jump direction by entering or clicking on a different XYZ location. It will take some practice to become skilled with this technique, but it can be a very useful time saving option. The AUTOPILOT option is available to the left of the map which lets the computer fly your ship to a selected navigation point at cruise speed. The default Alt-F key combination will also activate the AUTOPILOT mode. You can also activate the autopilot with the HUD option when the navigation console is not open. You can change your navigation waypoint with the AUTOPILOT active

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to plot a course around a planet or other object in space. Using the Navigation system will take some practice, so you may want to spend some time and fuel to practice using it in Sapphire before traveling to other systems. In multiplayer, the TRANSMIT POS option will appear, which lets you broadcast your position to other players with a text message. Click on SET LOC to set the navigation point to your current location. Click on PING to broadcast your position to other ships in the area using a visual marker on the nav map. This can be useful in multiplayer when you want to locate other members of your clan/squad that are in the same sector. Other players will see your position appear on their nav map as a green box. Your navigation system will display objects in space that are within sensor range. The default text mode will display details about an object when you hold the mouse pointer over its corresponding icon on the nav map. You must be zoomed in on a sector to view an icon's details (remember that right click lets you zoom in on nearby sectors). Click on TEXT ON to display text details for all nearby objects on the map. In this mode, location details about the object are displayed below each object's icon. Warp gates will also usually indicate their destination below their icon, including both the sector coordinates and the name of the system. Some of the text may overlap, making it difficult to read, especially when zoomed out. To reduce this problem, you can click on the text mode button (default setting is 'All') to display text for specific object types only. Flipping the map with the REAR VIEW option can also make viewing description text easier. When you zoom out on the map in the navigation console, you'll be able to see a larger area of space around you, but with less resolution (remember that you can right click on sector boxes that are on the same SY position for top view mode or SZ position for rear view mode as your ship to zoom in for higher resolution). Once you zoom out far enough that your sensors can't pick up any nearby objects, a gray bar will highlight the edge of the map indicating the limit of your sensor range. You can still jump beyond your sensor range, but you won't have the navigation data needed to make a safe jump. There is a higher level of danger if you choose to make long range jumps beyond sensor range, something recommended only for experienced pilots who are familiar with the space they are traveling in.

- Inventory Console (default F3 key and third console button): Displays and manages on-board inventory items. When you are docked at a station, you will be able to buy and sell items by simply clicking on them. Auxiliary equipment is displayed in yellow, commodities are displayed in purple, and weapons are displayed in green. To sell and unload an item, simply click on it from one of the sections of the console showing loaded equipment/commodities. The selling value (displayed when you hold the mouse pointer over an item) of what you sold will then be added to your account. Selling items on a planet or station will give you full market value for the system you are in while selling to other ships usually results in lower values. To buy an item, click on the one you want from the Items for Sale section. You can use the slider bar on the left side of the list to scroll through all of the available items. With the mouse pointer held over the list, you can also use the mouse wheel to scroll through the list. If your ship can store or load the equipment/commodity item you want, it will be loaded and the cost deducted from your account. Each item will be automatically routed to the default installation option. Commodities will be loaded into your cargo bay while equipment and weapons will be installed onto your ship. Right clicking on an item provides alternate functions for buying, selling, and installation. To load upgrades, weapons, and equipment into your cargo bay instead of installing them on your ship, right mouse click on the item(s) you want instead of left clicking on them. This way, you can use your cargo bay as a storage point for items other than commodities. You can later install desired items in your cargo bay onto your ship by right clicking on them from your cargo bay list. Likewise, you can transfer installed items on your ship to your cargo bay by right clicking on them instead of left clicking on them. If you only want to buy or sell one unit of a commodity at a time, simply right click on the listed item. To consolidate commodity cargo, dock at a station or city and use the ALT key with either the left or right mouse button. Left click to combine matching commodities up to the limit of 25 per cargo bay. Right click to transfer one unit at a time. For the list of equipment installed on your ship, you can also use the slider bar on the right side of the list to scroll through all installed items, if your ship has more than 5 equipment slots. You can also hold the mouse pointer over the list and use the mouse wheel to scroll, just like the items for sale list. The inventory console also lets you refuel, search for contracts, or buy a new ship. If you buy fuel, your countermeasures will also be refilled free of charge. A description of items you highlight with the mouse pointer is provided at the top middle of the console display. Most of the descriptions are self-explanatory, but when you highlight a weapon, the Y: stands for Yield, S: stands for Speed, C: stands for Cycle rate, and R: stands for Range. This console also provides the shipyard and crew management consoles. The shipyard lets you design a ship by selecting a frame and then installing the various components for fuel capacity, cargo capacity, engine, wing design, and shield capacity. See the Gameplay and Menus section above for more information on using the shipyard. You can further enhance the design parameters of your ship with additional upgrades and crew members. Crew members can be hired for various roles and you need to pay them based on their loyalty, trade, and skill. The fair wage for each crew member is displayed in the crew management console. If you pay them less than the fair wage indicated, their loyalty to you will likely drop, which increases the chance they will leave your ship. Pay them well and their loyalty will increase. The longer you keep your crew, the more loyal and skilled they will become, which also increases the amount of money they expect to be paid. Checking and adjusting your crew's pay levels each time you dock is a good habit to get into for improving loyalty. Your crew's loyalty will also increase if you successfully complete contract objectives and their loyalty will decrease if you fail contract objectives. The news console is also available in the main inventory console display. The news console give you local news headlines which

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provide details on market conditions and recent events specific to the system you are in. Your statistics are also displayed at the lower right while market prices for commodities and fuel are displayed in the two lower columns on the left. The 'System Information' option gives you a brief background on the system you are in and details on local factions/groups. The inventory console will automatically open when you enter a hangar at a station or carrier. When the inventory console opens, the hangar's tractor beam will engage and hold you in place until you close the console. You can disable automatic inventory console control by pressing the default Alt-F3 combination You will then need to manually open the console when you dock to engage the hangar's tractor beam and access docked options available in the inventory console.

- Ship-to-Ship Trade Console (default F4 key and fourth console button): Lets you arrange commodity and money trades with other ships. Commodities and other items in your cargo bay aren't part of your ship, so they can be exchanged with other ships in flight. You can also exchange credits, so you can arrange to sell or buy items if the pilot of the other ship agrees to the terms. You can try to bribe other hostile ships with this console by just sending cash. However, the other pilot may not agree to open the trade console if they want to attack you for something in your cargo bay. So the best time to bribe another pilot is when your cargo bay is empty. When you've selected the items or money you want to trade and agree to the offer from the other pilot, click on SUBMIT to accept. In multiplayer, both pilots must click on SUBMIT for the deal to be finalized. Pilots can also exchange small 30 unit fuel pods in multiplayer as well as challenge each other to races using the trade console. When a race challenge is submitted and accepted, the race course is placed in front of the player who sent the challenge at a heading of 0. You can also link with another player as a gun turret operator for their ship. Simply click on the CONNECT GUNNER BINDING button in the trade console to activate. You will then be in control of a ball turret that surrounds the ship you've linked to while the receiving player will continue to be the pilot of their ship. Either you or the pilot player can click on the DISCONNECT GUNNER BINDING option to terminate the gun turret mode. When that happens, or if the pilot ship leaves the sector, you will be returned to your ship.

FLYING IN SPACE

Your ship is controlled by 2 main engine outlets and 8 maneuvering thrusters mounted on the hull. All of them are managed by an inertial dampening system (IDS) to help simplify the complexities of space flight. The IDS computer will automatically activate each thruster as needed and modulate the control to keep the ship moving in the direction it is facing. Sharper turns at higher speeds will require longer adjustments before the ship's course is adjusted for the new heading. If you want to bypass the system at any point, simply press the inertial system on/off key (default space bar). You will then continue in the last direction you were headed until you re-engage the system or manually alter course using the maneuvering thruster controls. For main engine control, the IDS throttle scale is also adjustable and the current scale factor is displayed next to the 'IDS' indicator on your ship's status display (ranging from X1 to X5). When the IDS is off, you can manually control each thruster. This can be helpful in combat when you want to drift/slide while

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firing at a target. High speed drifting can make you a hard target to hit. Evochron Mercenary lets you control all maneuvering thrusters variably, if the control device you are using supports enough axis channels to take advantage of that option. When performing maneuvers, you will need to plan your course objective in advance, to avoid sliding into objects in space or reducing your speed to low levels that could potentially make you more vulnerable. The engine outlets provide main thrust for moving forward and in reverse while the maneuvering thrusters provide rotational and strafe control. The engines offer two modes of power, cruise (also referred to as 'military burn') and afterburner. At cruise, the engines will provide a similar level of thrust as the maneuvering thrusters and offer the most fuel efficient maneuvering mode. At afterburner, the engines will burn a lot of fuel in exchange for rapid acceleration and deceleration. The performance of the maneuvering thrusters is determined by the wing and thruster set you select. In space, there is no atmosphere to provide lift, friction, and drag. An object can simply drift indefinitely once speed is imparted to it. If a ship is travelling forward and turns right 90 degrees, it will still drift in the original direction it was headed due to inertia. If its original forward velocity was 1000 MPS, it will be drifting to the left at about 1000 MPS when it turns right 90 degrees and its forward velocity will drop to 0. The IDS system isn't able to compensate for strong gravity fields, so you may need to engage the main engine and/or maintain a certain velocity to evade such gravitational forces. Maintaining moderate forward velocity is especially important in planetary atmospheres where flying too slowly can result in flight instability and dangerous drops in altitude. The ships in Evochron Mercenary are optimized for space flight and don't handle very well in planet atmospheres. Avoid making rapid maneuvers which can result in loss of speed and keep your altitude high until you're close to a docking station. You'll want to be ready to escape back into space if attacked. You may want to spend some time practicing both space flight and atmospheric flight while you're still in the Sapphire system where there aren't any hostile ships. In addition to your navigation console and jump drive to travel from sector to sector, you can also fly through gates which are linked together to form a network that connects the various charted systems of the quadrant. A gate's destination sector is displayed below its icon in the navigation console. The quadrant map provides the gate coordinates for each system and indicates which systems are connected to each other with white lines.

LANDING AND DOCKING

To get access to a system's available inventory, you will need to land on a planet or dock with a space station. Each planet and station can have its own unique inventory. Planet's and stations are indicated on your navigation map, look for a large sphere or a blue station symbol and hold the mouse pointer over the icons for coordinates to guide you to where you need to go. To land on a planet, slow to about 700-900 MPS before you enter the atmosphere and watch for guide boxes to appear that will help you determine a safe descent path to the planet's primary city. Try to remain at a high altitude until you get close to the city so you have a quick escape if you are attacked while descending. Otherwise, you risk being stuck in an atmosphere environment that makes it difficult to evade an attacker. If you haven't yet reached a close distance to the city, the descent guide boxes will remain red in color and will provide you with a high path to reach the city. Once in a close proximity, the guide boxes will change to green and will point directly to the docking station. Fly to the top of the docking station and the station's tractor beam will secure your ship and open the inventory console automatically. A flashing docking light will be visible to help guide you to the docking station. Reduce throttle to 0 to prevent wasting fuel. When you're ready to leave, press the default F3 key to close the inventory console and instruct the docking tractor beam to disengage. Add throttle to safely depart the docking station and climb back into space. To aid in planet descent navigation, your navigation map will provide a green '+' symbol highlighted with a box to help guide you to the primary city. Other cities will be indicated by just a green '+' symbol. There are often several cities on the surfaces of the planets in Evochron, which also offer docking/trade options. The guide boxes will switch to the nearest city if you approach one close enough, otherwise they will focus on the primary city. Stations that support docking will be indicated on your navigation map and will provide guide boxes to the docking area. Your inertial dampening system will attempt to keep you at a safe altitude, but won't be able to prevent high speed descents.

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Evochron Mercenary Instructions

file:///C:/Program Files (x86)/EvochronMercenary/ReadMe.htm

Once your altitude drops to below about 5500, you will receive a vocal warning and alarm if your speed is high enough to risk damage upon crashing. Your inertial thrusters will engage at an altitude of about 2000-3000 to try and keep you from slamming into the ground. If your speed is low enough and you aren't flying too fast toward the ground, your inertial system will be able to safely hold you in place. You can also drop your throttle to 0 and hover in level flight, but this will burn fuel at a moderate rate. To mine a planet, descend to its surface and activate the mining beam when you are just above the terrain. If you didn't find something you wanted at a planet, be sure to check nearby stations as well, if available, since each location will likely have different inventories of items to buy. To dock with a station, simply fly toward it. When you get close enough, a blue direction indicator will appear to help you visually spot the station. Stations and some other objects in space have their own gravity protection field to prevent ships from ramming into them. Your HUD will display a pathway that will help guide you to the docking area. The pathway will be red if your approach is outside of the required docking angle and it will be green when you are approaching correctly. Line up with the flashing docking lights to approach at the correct angle. Once you reach the docking port, the station's tractor beam will engage and hold you in place and the inventory console will open, just like on a planet. Turn off the inventory console to disengage the tractor beam and depart. If you still aren't able to find something you want to buy, you can also explore the system for a while to allow other ships to continue docking and trading items. After several ships dock and trade items with the planet and station, their inventory will change and you can search again for new items. The entire trade system and economy works in real-time, so as trade events occur, item inventories and pricing will adapt. Your reputation in a system can also effect the pricing on those items. Each planet and local economy can specialize in a particular industry. There are 5 sub categories and a general category. A general economy planet has a market structure that typically includes many different types of commodities and pricing is largely based on the overall economic conditions of the system. An agricultural economy creates an abundance of food, so the prices are generally very low for that commodity. An industrial economy will often pay a premium for raw metal ore and provide low prices for machined components. A technology economy will usually pay very little for electronic equipment, since they create most of what they need themselves, but will pay high prices for materials needed to produce them, including diamonds and platinum. A bio-research economy can be a good place to buy meds at low prices, then sell in other economies for profit. An energy economy can be a good place to buy hydrogen cells, solar cells, anti-matter cells, and fusion cells at low prices. The type of economy for each planet will be displayed after its name on the nav map, G is for a general economy, A for agricultural, I for industrial, T for technology, B for bio-research, and E for energy. Once you become wealthy, you might want to consider purchasing a station license. Once you buy a license, you can grab anything you want from a station at a discount of 25%. You'll still have to pay full price for fuel and items you give to the station will be sold at the reduced price. But getting weapons, commodities, and equipment at a discount can provide a major financial benefit in the long run. Owning a station license also removes any docking fees you would normally have to pay in that system due to a moderate or hostile reputation. The station will also protect you from hostile ships in the area while you are docked. You can cancel a license later, but the price you pay is not returned to you. Choose the station carefully when investing in a license, make sure it carries the items you will be most interested in and/or is in a location you need a safe docking point in. Buying a station license will prompt you to save your progress to apply required changes to your profile. If you purchase a build constructor and create a new station, you will automatically have a license to the new station you build.

ACCEPTING A CONTRACT

If you accept a contract, a waypoint indicator will appear on your HUD, the radar, and on the navigation map. Fly to the indicator to begin the contract objectives. Use the jump drive to quickly travel to the waypoint. For some contracts, you may want to reposition the waypoint slightly to avoid colliding into a ship or other object when you arrive. For contracts involving capital ships, it is recommended that you travel to the destination quickly to avoid giving the ship time to get away or call in reinforcements. If you successfully complete the objectives, you'll be paid immediately. Read your contract details carefully, you can sometimes just complete the main objective and still receive full pay. For example, if a contract only requires you to deliver some cargo to a waiting ship, you don't have to destroy any intercept ships. Simply fly to the waiting ship and stay inside the green guide box located below it, then click on the item you need to deliver in your cargo bay list. You can also jettison your entire cargo bay, but make sure to sell off any other cargo you have before accepting the transport contract, otherwise the waiting ship will be happy to take whatever you jettison from your cargo bay without compensating you for it.

ANSWERING DISTRESS CALLS

Emergency situations can occur in numerous locations throughout the game's universe. For example, a severe food shortage on a planet could result in a distress call that would pay very well for delivery of food units to that planet. A failed atmosphere processor can result in the emergency need of oxygen. A ship may run out of fuel far away from the nearest planet and send out a distress call for rescue. The closer you are to the emergency, the easier it will be to respond, providing opportunistic options. You can also prepare in advance for such emergencies as a 'first responder' by carrying full cargo bays of the items in need before the distress calls are made. This lets you simply fly to the location in need rather than trying to recover the items on route. For multiplayer, the server operator can trigger emergency events manually or turn them off entirely. The default setting will provide events at random intervals. In multiplayer, all players will receive the distress call alerts. The first player to answer the call and complete the objective receives the reward. When a distress call is received, an alarm will sound and a multi-line

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Evochron Mercenary Instructions

file:///C:/Program Files (x86)/EvochronMercenary/ReadMe.htm

text description will be displayed detailing what is required to answer the distress call. You can optionally mute the alarm, turn off the distress calls entirely, or enable them in the NAV console with the 'Mute DC', 'Disable DC', and 'Enable DC' button options.

THREAT LEVELS

The threat level of every ship in range is color coded. Green level ships are friendly, yellow are moderate, and red are hostile. The threat level color system helps you determine how a particular ship will react to you. Green level ships usually agree to review trade offers and won't attack unless provoked. Yellow level ships may agree to trade offers, unless they are carrying something they don't want to sell. Yellow threat level ships are also much easier to provoke and may switch to hostile level threats quickly if you hit them with weapon fire. Red level ships usually refuse trade offers, unless your cargo bay is empty and you want to attempt a bribe to get them to leave you alone. Red threat level ships are usually ready to attack you if not already engaging another ship. The target status display will also indicate if a targeted friendly ship is part of your fleet or a member of your clan (in multiplayer). If the ship is part of your fleet, the letters FLT will be displayed in the 'THR' line. If the ship is a member of your clan, the letters CLAN will be displayed.

TARGETING

To target a ship, simply click on it with the mouse pointer when it's in your forward visual range. You can also use the T key to target the next ship in sequence or R to target the nearest ship. To target the next hostile ship, use ALT-T. To target the nearest hostile ship, use ALT-R. The target's damage, orientation, cargo (if your ship is equipped with a cargo scanner), velocity, and range will be indicated on the lower right cockpit display. The default target display mode shows the damage levels of the ship being tracked. Each of the ship's components will be colored coded based on levels of damage. If the component is gray, it has sustained little or no damage. If a component is yellow, it has sustained moderate damage and if it is red, it has sustained critical damage. You can press the default U key to target specific main subsystems and view the percentage of damage (see the SUBSYSTEM DAMAGE AND TARGETING section below for more information). Press the default G key to switch to the list mode which displays up to 10 ships in the area sorted by distance. The ship you are currently tracking will be highlighted by brackets. You can switch back to the target status modes by pressing the default G key again. When engaging a hostile ship in combat, keep an eye on the target status display and direction indicator. The shield array levels of your target are indicated in the middle of the target status display. The hull damage level of the target you are tracking is shown as a yellow bar at the lower right of the target status display. As your target takes damage, the yellow bar will reduce in size and a green bar will begin to appear behind it. The more green that is visible, the lower the hull level of your target. Once the target is destroyed, your HUD will automatically track the next closest ship. If there are hostiles in the area, the HUD will automatically track the next closest hostile ship.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY WEAPONS

To obtain a missile lock, keep the target inside the outer gunsight boundary until the target box secures a lock. When you are within missile range and have acquired a missile lock, the indicator will switch to the target lock indicator (a rotating box will display around the target direction indicator). The distance the lock will be obtained will vary depending on which secondary weapons you are currently carrying. Once locked, the target can move anywhere in your forward visible range and still remain locked. If the target leaves your view or reaches a distance beyond your missile's range, the lock will be lost. When you are in gun range, the target lead indicator will appear which will help you aim manually. When the lead indicator appears and the MDTS (multi-directional targeting system) is active, the target must be in the outer circle of your gunsight to automatically fire towards the lead indicator. The MDTS helps simplify aiming your guns at a moving target, although at greater ranges, its accuracy won't be as high since a target will be able to maneuver out of the way of your gunfire at longer distances. You can turn off the auto-aiming MDTS system if you want to try and fire your weapons manually. The weapon system will also fire beam weapons directly at the target whether the MDTS is on or off. Since they move at the speed of light, beam weapons do not need to lead the target to hit it and they must 'harmonize' at the point of impact to inflict significant damage.

HEADS-UP-DISPLAY AND COCKPIT

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Evochron Mercenary Instructions

file:///C:/Program Files (x86)/EvochronMercenary/ReadMe.htm

A - Ship status and loadout display B - 3D radar display C - Vertical and horizontal slide indicators D - Missile lock indicator E - Target status, cargo, and direction display F - Heading indicator and console control buttons G - Inbound missile alert indicator and range display H - Navigation direction indicator I - Gunsight, auto-aiming boundary, and warning indicators J - Mouse Pointer K - Inbound missile direction indicator L - Cargo direction indicator M - Current target (can be red, yellow, or green) N - Target lead indicator for particle weapons O - Friendly level ship direction indicator P - Moderate level ship direction indicator Q - Hostile level ship direction indicator R - Incoming message audio display S - Landing pathway indicator T - Messages and controls The radar screen on your Heads-Up-Display shows information in 3D. To face a target or other indicated object, you must align the corresponding radar blip with the light blue box in the middle. The ship you currently have targeted will have a highlight box around its corresponding radar blip. If the blip is large, the target/object is behind you, if small, it's in front. Radar blips are also color coded to indicate the threat levels of nearby ships. When red blips appear on the radar, a warning sound will help bring the threat to your attention. Blue blips indicate stations, medium yellow blips with brackets indicate inbound missiles, white blips indicate nearby cargo, and purple blips indicate unknown or miscellaneous objects. The blips include an attached line that points away from the center of the radar sphere, which helps you determine if an object is behind or ahead of you. Imagine viewing the combat area from above and slightly behind, that is the perspective of the radar. Once you've learned how to interpret the radar screen, you will be able to quickly determine the exact direction a ship is at. When flying in space, it's important to maintain situation awareness and the 3D radar combined with other information displayed on the HUD will provide the information you need to make good decisions. Learn to use the target display options and HUD directional indicators so you can make quick and effective decisions. Also, watch the vertical and horizontal speed indicators to monitor the level of sliding you are at. When performing turn and pitch changes, it takes time before your maneuvering thrusters can adjust your actual flight course to the direction you are facing. Watching the horizontal and vertical speed indicators along with visual awareness can help you prevent a slide into an asteroid or other ship. Other important items to watch for on the HUD and cockpit displays include your warning indicators, energy and shield levels,

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Evochron Mercenary Instructions

file:///C:/Program Files (x86)/EvochronMercenary/ReadMe.htm

speed, and target direction arrow. After a few flights, you should become familiar with the position of each of these items so you will be able to react accordingly. Keeping your shield levels high will help prevent specific system failures caused by direct hull impacts from enemy fire. You can also boost power to both main energy systems on your ship. Energy based weapons and your jump drive system share a common power source, boosting power to them provides faster recharging and lets you fire more rounds. Boosting power to your shield system will increase its ability to resist weapon impacts and improve its recharge time. Use the inbound missile direction and range indicators along with the 3D radar to track the range and direction of incoming enemy missiles. When a missile gets dangerously close, the proximity alarm will sound which is the best time to launch countermeasures. It usually takes 3-5 units of countermeasures to effectively evade a missile, so you will usually want to hold the countermeasure button down when the proximity alarm activates. How you use countermeasures is critical to their effectiveness. CM's are basically an ECM type device that drops behind and below your ship slightly. Missiles will usually travel fast enough to get very close to you before the CM's can trick them into exploding. It usually takes 3-5 CM's to bombard a missile with enough radiation/energy to get it to explode before it hits you. CM's can point their focused energy signals at any missile in a 360 degree range, but they need time for their beam of energy to cut through a missile. If a missile is heading straight for you and you're moving forward at it, then you're leaving less time for the CM's to work. Best advice in that situation is to launch the CM's early (before the proximity alarm rings) to give 3-5 units enough time to hit the missile with focused energy and cause it to explode before it