Name: Vishal Kasliwal

State: Virginia
Country: United States
Sex: Male
Age: 38

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September 2007

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2003-2004 by the Alien Assault Traders developers. All rights reserved.


I'm Back!

Finally gotten back to AATrade after a long long time. I tried playing 0.3 when it was still in beta, but the bugs and missing features kept my level of interest low. Learning this new version is great fun. I reconnected with Shessomaru by accident and it was great! Ten minutes after creating my game profile, I run across this planet. The owner's online, so I think to myself - if I can get someone to watch the sector with a nova bomb ready, I can entice the player back to his planet by offering myself as bait! Couldn't find a suitable person online, but I did notice that my target had a very good kill tally. So I thought - Hmmm, could be someone I knew from back in 0.20. I messeged the person saying - you're probably either Shessomaru, Ak5intoe or Oakman. Turns out it was Shess!! Things don't change much, I guess.
Since I'm learning the new rules, I guess it won't hurt to share the knowledge with other people, so look back here for observations and thoughts on how to play the new version.

PS: If I've run across you before, please messege me. It'll be nice to reconnect with people I used to know.

Post Date: Sep 25, 2007 - 7:38 pm

Capital Ale House

Capital Ale house is awesome. 350 beers from all over the world, special promotions, etc..
Coyote, Maniac and I were down there last night and picked Murphy's Irish Stout because it was the beer for the Steal-A-Glass night. Good times! To anyone who decides to swing by our little town thats hardly ever in the news (well, except yesterday for the disasterous Apple giveaway!), visit Capital Ale House at Innesbrook (off West Broad St.) and pay us a visit.

Entry Edited 2 times - Edited on Oct 10, 2005 - 9:35 pm

Post Date: Aug 17, 2005 - 6:23 pm

Efficiency Rating

The effeciency rating is your score divided by the number of turns you've used up. The key to obtaining a very high efficiency rating is to maximise your credit production without sweating too much. Here are some general guidelines to follow.
1. Stop trading as soon as you can. This should be soon after you can afford your first Voyager. Trade runs are nice in the short term, but in the long run, thy use up far too many turns.
2. Now that you're no longer trading, go on the offensive. Capture some nice cash filled planets. Look especally for planets belonging to higher ranked players. They're more likely to have more cash and the player is also less likely to mind loosing them. Attack planets belonging to players who have been offline for a long time. The planet has probably maxed out as a result.
3. Once you can afford to fire off a few SG torps, start building your own SG. Hide it well. Populate each planet with only one boatload of colonists. Sure, it'll take time for the  planet to reach the maximum population level, but you can spend the time collecting interest and hanging out with your gilfriend (Get this upgrade soon, it rocks!). As your captured planets start making you the big bucks, build more SGs.
5. Keep Nova bombs to a minimum. It's easier to pay a lower ranked player to Nova a sector for you, and if you follow these guidelines well, you'll have a lot of small fish to draw on.
6. Pick your targets well. If your teammates don't care about their efficiency rating, let them do the attacking.

Have fun flying around!

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Aug 13, 2005 - 2:22 am

Post Date: Jul 25, 2005 - 5:05 am

Gameplay change.

So here's an idea that'd actually impact gameplay.
When players start the game, they'd start as merchants and be able to purchase a smaller variety of ships (primarily Super Cargos with bigger engines). They are under Federation authority and are not allowed to build planets (because that's dominating them which the Feds frown upon). They cannot be attacked without bounty either. Players make more trading in Federation space, allowing players to build a decent score (rank 20-40 overall). Warlords cannot trade in Federation space (they'd get hit by the Fed Battlecruiser). When a player wants to, they can declare themselves Warlords by building a planet outside Federation space (which would have to consist of more than just a hundred sectors). At this point, they are bounty free and can attack each other as long as they leave Merchants alone. Attacking a Merchant would result in a huge bounty. Warlords can petition to reneter the Federation but they'd have to sacrifice all their  planets and pay some tax (a sizeable sum actually). The 0.30 bounty system could be added on top by having two factions of independent Warlords (good and bad). So Warlords could be either good, bad or neutral based on what they trade or whom they attack. The purpose of this modification would be to let people build some cash without worrying about being attacked by each other.  

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Jun 20, 2005 - 7:18 pm

Post Date: Jun 20, 2005 - 7:06 pm

Resource Issues

I don't like the way Power is set up right now as a tech level. It doesn't make sense that you'd collect more Energy than you spend Real Spacing. IMO from a realistic standpoint, it'd be better to be able to either buy Energy at ports or collect it while the ship is lying in a sector. Ships with a higher Power level would accumulate Energy faster and be able to hold more Energy. That way there'd be some bonus for the poor newcomers who sleep in their capital ships!!!
For that matter I don't like how you can have an Organics port in the middle of nowhere.
So here's how it'd make more sense (to me anyway). The Feds set up Upgrades at regular intervals through the Galaxy in Fed sectors. That way newbs don't get stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Upgrades can also generate in random sectors that are not in Fed space. The same applies for Devices and Spacedocks. So instead of the Feds controlling the first 100 sectors (or whatever), they'd control sectors at regular, predictable, easy to get to intervals  so that players can't hog Upgrades ports (which is what happens now and sucks for people starting the game, especially when the Universe is small).
Ore and goods ports can spring up at random, corrosponding to miners mining asteriods for Ore in space or industrialists producing Goods in zero-g factories. Energy ports should be called Fuel ports and should only spring up in systems with stars corrosponding to Hydrogen collected from those stars. Organics should not have a port, but should only be produceable on planets.
The only major change in gameplay that this would prompt is that players would have the option of producing either cash on planets or Organics and trading that for cash based on the prices that they find at ports.

Post Date: Jun 20, 2005 - 6:57 pm

Server Reset

It's like old times again!! There's nothing like the thrill of building up from scratch and attacking planets held by stronger players. Debris and Embezzlements have helped tremendously, all part of the game I suppose. They've changed the settings so that there are more people per planet, and I think it now takes fewer people to produce credit.
This is exactly as version 0.30 should be set up IMO. There's talk of it becomming harder to upgrade ships to prevent people from taking planets too easily. IMO this will only hurt the little players. Large players will (once credit farms get rolling) be easily able to earn enough to upgrade, while smaller players may have to stick to trade routes. I think a faster paced game where planets trade hands more frequently would be more fun.
Comming back to Main, for now the goal is to grow and attack targets of oppurtunity. I think it'll be a good idea to leave people in my score range alone and aim for the bigger guys out there.

Post Date: Jun 19, 2005 - 11:08 pm

Some more thoughts

Recently I made a fairly stupid mistake. I clicked on Fight instead of Attack & Run because I was sleepy or something, I don't know. Ayway, although my Excel escaped destruction, I've a whopper in repairs. In the long run, it's a good thing, because my Excel's hull(which was never higher than 25 anyway) went down to 4. I no longer hit mines, it's like being in a super stealth! Then Big signed on just as I was reinforcing a SlowPoke SG gate that I had taken. One Nova later, my repairs list had built up even higher. Thanks to my Lvl 4 hull (Lvl 3 thanks to the Nova), I ost just 1-2 levels on each tech.
I'm in the process of rebuilding my Excel, so don't expect much action for a while.

Post Date: Jan 4, 2005 - 11:16 pm

About Time

It's about time for a blog entry. I'm on vacation in lovely Santa Fe, NM and am having a great time.
The key to not suffering too much in the event of an otherwise disasterous attack lies in spreading one's assests over a wide range of investments. Someone on the Main server chose to take 25 planets belonging to me as an X'Mas gift, and even shouted to that effect in the ShoutBox. The result was a measely drop in my score of 200,000 points! The reson was because none of the planets taken from me were particularly important to me. True, they were sources of income, but negligable sources.
  This was because they were planets that I had in turn taken from other people. The moral of the story is - do not bank upon captured planets very much.

Post Date: Dec 27, 2004 - 2:32 am

Attacking Planets

A SOFA attack is the equivalent of an A&R attack for a sector. To attack a sector, first scan repeatedly until you're fairly certain you know how many fighters there are in the sector. Mines are not as dangerous as fighters, and as long as you have more mine deflectors that the number of mines in the sector, you can enter any sector only defended by mines. Fighters are an entirely different story. Fighters can really hurt your ship, and there are no 'fighter deflectors' that you can purchase. what you have to do is judge wether a Nova Bomb is called for. This depends on how many fighters there are in the system, what level planets there are, wether you expect to make back the money you spend Novaing, etc... Once you've decided that a Nova is called for, get a Lvl 16 Endevour, and use it to Nova the sector. After that keep performing A&Rs until the number of fighters left in the sector has dropped below the number of fighters you carry. At this point, you can fight your way in.

Post Date: Dec 5, 2004 - 5:31 pm

SG sector - Introduction

   After reaching Lvl 30, it becomes increasingly harder to maintain the same rate of upgrading the ship if the only means of income are trades, and captured planets. At this point, it is time to start thinkg in terms of an SG sector.
   A SG sector is a sector that cannot be RSed to. SG sectors have a link to a RS sector that must be used to enter the sector. The tactical value of this is that an SG sector is essentially like a mountain valley, accessable through just a single pass. A city built in the valley can be easily defended by defending the pass itself, ie. the RS sector that links to the SG sector. Such RS sectors are known as SG Gate sectors. Usually, there isn't just one single SG sector hiding behind a SG Gate, but many, each containing planets. The strategic beauty of the setup is that all these planets may be defended by simply defending the Gate. The inner planets may then be used for credit farming. Another important tactical result of having an SG Gate is that all defences may be concentrated at the gate itself, allowing for much higher SD levels that if the same SDs were to be spread over an equivalent number of RS sectors. When building an SG sector system, it may be helpful to follow these guidelines.
   Choose a system with an upgrades port (very important), and preferably a blue sun. Failing that, a green sun, or an orange one will do. Populate the sector with as many planets as it can hold (blue = 5, green = 4, orange = 3). Populate the planets to the best of your ability and put ten spies and ten dignitaries on each planet. Keep credit production, torp and fighter production at zero for now, and raise Goods, Ore, Organics and Energy to 25% instead. Dismiss any dignitaries that become Birthrate Reducers. For now, you don't need them. Start laying as many SDs as you can. If you turn the planets into Team Planets, then your friends can lay SDs in the sector as well. This sector will become the gate of your future SG sector. Wipe out all warp links from the sector, and try to delete ass links from other sectors as well. The key to defending a SG sector is keeping it secret. With the right number of credits and turns, any sector can be taken.
Upgrade gradually, The first thing to do is to let the colonists build enough of the four key commodities to allow you to build a base. Transfer 10 mill credits onto the planet and construct your base. At this point, you should divert some of the production towards credits. Planets make credits with great speed once they're 60% full of credits. So wait until the planets reach 100%, and then upgrade the planet, making sure that you upgrade the planet just enough to make the credit levels drop to 65% or so. This process must be repeated a number of times, until a satisfactory level is reached. What this level is, depends on your ranking and score and the scores of your enemies. Remember, these planets are the gate to your SG sector, so they must be a strong as possible. Don't divert too much production to credits on these planets, thats what the planets inside will be doing.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Dec 5, 2004 - 5:24 pm

Post Date: Dec 3, 2004 - 6:48 pm

More guidelines

So, I had briefly reached a score of 5 mill on the Main server before I lost my Voyager. I've managed to make it back to around 4.2 mill, so I'm going to list a few of the things I've learnt along the way.

1. Pioneer: The basic ship. It is useless for all purposes except one once you have the money to buy a better ship. The one use that it retains throughout the game is to clear your ships of spies. If you've just taken a large planet or two, and you aren't sure if you've managed to get rid of all the spies on the planet, buy a Pioneer, and with the help of a friend, find your way to a sector with a few mines and fighters and commit HaraKiri! This kills all the spies on board. DON'T forget to buy an escape pod before commiting HaraKiri!
2. Stealth: The Stealth is a very very useful ship to buy once you have a Voyager, or even an Endevour. Initially, use the Stealth to 'sleep' in. Once the Stealth has passed Lvl 26 or so on all the upgradeable stats, you should stop using it to sleep in, and use it as a scout when you have turns and want to find planets. Level 30 sensors on a Stealth are extremely useful. Once you've passed Lvl 26, it should be your primary workhorse along with your high level ship.
3. Heavy Munitions: It's fairly useless until your Stealth becomes too expensive to sleep in. Once that happens, buy a Heavy Munitions and upgrade the engines to the point where you can RS everywhere in 1-2 turns (about Lvl 27 or so). Don't upgrade anything else on this ship. So far, I've never felt the need to use it for it's intended purpose.
4. Super Cargo: A terrific ship to invest credits in (Hull only of course). Never take it out of SG space because the engines are very weak. This is the ship to use to set up SG credit farms.
5. Columbus: Once you've made some money with your Stealth, you have to choose between this ship and the Endevour, if you can afford it. It's a decent ship to use before you have the cash to buy a Voyager, but after that I don't see a use for it, so trade it in when you buy your Voyager.
6. Endevour: The Endevour is an extremely useful ship. You first use it as a stepping stone between a low level ship and a Voyager. After you have the cash for the Voyager, I feel that it's best to temporarily trade the Endevour in to buy the Voyager. Later on, it's the best ship to use for Nova bombing. Buy a fresh Endevour and upgrade it to Lvl 16 across the board. Equip it with an Escape Pod, EWD and Fuel Scoop. Then use it to Nova Bomb! You may feel the need to upgrade sensors slightly (about Lvl 25) as well.
7. Razorback: The Razorback is useful as a supporting ship once you have a high level Excelsior or Voyager. When A&Ring SDs, you will find that your Voyager/Excelsior will not reduce SDs beyond a certain point, higher than the maximum safe level for you to fight your way into the system. At this point, bring the Razorback out and lower the SDs further until you can waltz into the sector in your Excelsior/Voyager. The Razorback may also be used as a Nova bomb platform if you don't raise the levels too much.
8. Voyager: You are garunteed to spend a fair amount of your AAT life in this vessel. Voyagers are extremely versatile, acting as extremely good primary ships until you can afford an Excelsior. You should attempt to maximize all the Lvls on this ship, since it is an excellent backup to your Excelsior. If you do loose your Excelsior, your Voyager, if you've been upgrading it) will prove to be a good enough platform until you can buy a new Excelsior.
9. Excelsior: The Excelsior is the best ship that you can buy. Your strategy should be to try to turn your Excelsior into a super Razorback by leaving the Hull at Lvl 25. For trading, and colonizing planets, use your Voyager instead.


1. Always have a secondary ship at a slightly lower tech lvl to support your primary attacking ship. For example, if you have a Lvl 32 Excelsior, have a Lvl 28 or 29 Voyager to help reduce the SDs in the sector that you're A&Ring to the point where your Excelsior can fight it's way into the system.
2. The order in which you should upgrade your capital ship (other than Excelsiors) should be
Hull->Armor->Fighter Bay->Torpedo Launchers->Beam Weapons->Sensors->Shields->Cloak->ECM->Power->Engines
3. The order in which you should upgrade your Excelsior should be
Fighter Bay->Torpedo Launchers->Beam Weapons->Sensors->Armor->Fighter Bay->TorpedoLaunchers->Beam Weapons->Shields->Cloak->ECM->Power->Engines
This will allow you to have a fairly capable ship that can lay good SDs and is fairly effecient at taking SDs out as well.
4. Once you hit about Lvl 28 or so on your capital ship, you will find that trading does not rake in cash as it used to. This is because of the maximum level of tradeable material that a port holds, 1 mill units. Upgrading your hull further will reduce the number of turns used for trading, but will not bring in significantly more money per pair of ports. Therefore, it is important to build money sectors at this point. These money sectors, heavily gaurded of course, will provide income for regular upgrades.
5. If you are a builder, spread your money out amongst your ships. This will result in your ships being a little weaker than if you concentrated your efforts on one ship, but you will find that if you loose a ship, it will not damage your rating as much as if you loose your single investment ship.
6. Join a team as soon as you can get a team that you like to accept you. Pick your team carefuly, you do not want a team that looses members on a regular basis as this will lower your security.

Have fun, and remember, it's just a game!

Entry Edited 3 times - Edited on Jun 22, 2005 - 6:12 pm

Post Date: Dec 2, 2004 - 5:02 pm

Some Stuff

A few things to complete my introductory guide.

1) Never attack a ship or planet blindly. You may just pick up a bounty.

2) Never attack someone while they're online. If they're more powerful than you are, they can come back and attack and kill you, even if they're much higher ranked than you are since all rules go out of the window when you attack a sector.

Post Date: Nov 1, 2004 - 11:51 pm

A newcomer's guide to AAT

    People like Ramasi and Brango have written nice blogs about thier views on what it takes to succeed in AAT. While I have little doubt that they're correct, it may be that thier advice only applies to higher level players.
    It has now been roughly a week since I started playing AAT, and obviously, while I don't know everything about the game yet, I think I know everything that a beginner needs to know. Therefore, I'm writing this for the benfit of newcomers to the game.
    Generally, follow these guidelines and you'll be ok -
0) Read the game rules before you start playing to check for things such as the initial amount of credits you recieve, etc...
1) Don't waste thousands of turns Real Spacing in the initial part of the game. Use Warp Links as far as is possible.
2) Scan ahead of you before you go through a Warp Link. Scan each sector individually since the end result is better and the game adds the sector to your map.
3) Upgrade your Pioneer's hull as soon as you can i.e. in Sector 1. To be on the safe side, upgrade Engines too, since you may find yourself stranded in some lonely sector with no idea of what Warp Links to take to get back to Sector 1. Don't bother upgrading anything else on the Pioneer.
4) Use Trade Routes. It'll make the process of getting money much easier.
5) Go straight from a Pioneer to a Columbus or an Endevour. Don't consider the intervening classes until after you have atleast a Columbus/Endevour or, better yet, a Voyager.
6) That shiny new upgrade you bought doesn't mean squat until you're atleast at level 27, so don't try entering sectors with anything more than the lightest Sector Defences (0k mines -> ~100k mines, 0k fighters -> ~ 10k fighters).
7) Warp Editors are your friends, so learn to use them and like them.
8) Buy yourself Emergency Warp Devices (all 3 as soon as you can afford them) and the Escape Pod. You will get your ship wiped out atleast a few times before you know what you're doing, and these 2 items will make your return all the more easier.
9) The FNN isn't a joke. It's very very useful.
10) I've generally found it more useful to trade my ship in when buying a better one and then buying the old class back later, than keeping both simultaneously. The price differances between the classes are high enough so that, for example, if you've a level 24 Endevour and you're buying a Voyager, you can trade the Endevour in, buy the Voyager and the, just a few days later, buy another Endevour for backup or nova-bombing or whatever. Be warned that trading your old ship in does lower your effeciency rating and score, so it's up to you to decide what you need.
11) Leave yourself a few in the IGB for a rainy day. By few, I mean enough to atleast buy an Endevour.
    Thats all I can think of for now. I'll put more stuff up as and when it occurs to me.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Oct 21, 2004 - 5:13 pm

Post Date: Oct 20, 2004 - 5:34 am