Space Rangers HD: A War Apart – Shuniverse Guide (Mod Pack)

Introduction

Still waiting for SR3 release? Remembering HD with a kind word, but want something new? Ready to rally a mass protest under publisher windows, so they would sponsor a new content-patch? Well, then you’ve came to the right place.

The Shuniverse modpack presents you a whole tonn of innovations, balance corrections and even brand new independent faction! And this guide created especially to explain it’s large content stack for rangers of any range of experience.

Project is presented as a separate unofficial addon, which balance-setup was tested and guarantees maximum immersion and fullest impression. But it’s not all – it’s divided by multiple separate modules, which most of them can be combined in tons of variations, and after the first playthrough the game will become even more replayable.

Modpack has a complete english localization, implemented in order to revive and popularize this unfairly forgotten game in world community, so don’t hesitate to invite your english-speaking friends all over the world to give it a try.

The mod continuously receives technical support, leading by content volumes by far, and everyone, who’s interested in activity around this modpack, we invite to our Discord residence, where besides of announces, first-hand patches and direct contact with developers you can find cozy communication and opportunity to discuss your current playthroughs, while participating in different local championships.

Shuniverse on Discord: https://discord.gg/uHmtfs7

Difficulty

In the first place, authors reccomending you to play on fair 200% difficulty, with exact setup of advanced adjustment, chosen due to balance and technical reasons. Modded game on fair 200% pace is similiar to 150% back in original game. You probably can hold 2-4 sectors on start, if won’t remain indifferent to what happens around you.

However, because of peculiar properties of the old game’s engine and mods construction – it’s far more senstitive to difficulty adjustments, than the original HD, and contains whole lot of random events. In the first playthrough, it’s highly recommended to use exact recommended parameters, or you are risking to miss a huge bunch of content out there.

Keep in mind, that enemy will evolve faster than the Coalition, and without Ranger’s intervention do not expect anything good coming out of the situation. Though situation on start depends on right Ranger’s decisions – there’s always a risk to be surrounded in prolonged and apocalyptic siege of the homeworld system for good ten years or more, before you’ll receive relative freedom of movement.

Introduction in calm, measured gameplay will be presented by this guide. It doesn’t encourages for specific tactics or game style, but rather announces main mod’s features.

Mercenaries

In the first year in random system, except for those with 3 stations already, a Mercenary Center (MC) will appear. In time, it will spawn ~50+ ships. Part of these ships will dissipate around the neighboring systems, while part will remain in immediate MC’s vicinity. Part of them can be hired.

Mercenaries are working for money, so they do obey that side in the first place, under which control is the system that contains the MC. However earlier spawned mercenaries will remain commited to the side that payed them first.

In case it appeared under pirates control – you better morally prepare for some fun playthrough. In case of urgency you can destroy it with quark bombs, dominators, or simply try to forcefully evict all the pirates – the MC itself will simply change it’s side. Moreover, even in MC under Clan’s control you can freely hire mercs under Coalition’s affiliation.

Mercenaries have their own three separate unique factions, with their own reputation parameters. It is better to keep an eye on your relationships with them, otherwise all faction pilots can gang up against you, and there can be a lot of them. You can either choose your favorite, either try to keep the stable reputation with all of them simultaneously, as sometimes these factions have an open and full-blown competition on the market.

However, in especially urgent case you always can arrange negotiations with one of the leaders, and either bail yourself out, proving your good intentions, either find out something more creative. Search for EMP-bombs in your cargohold, for example…

Remember, that cooperation with mercenaries – one of the key methods of achieving your goals in early and mid-game, because in the Galaxy, sieged by merciless machines and returned-out-of-nowhere-klissans there is no place for idle waiting, when Coalition’s budget will finally reach it’s military. Sometimes you have to take control of the situation by yourself.

You can also use the services of freelancers, who have no affiliation to any kind of faction or even ranger’s network. A good method to announce a bounty on someone’s head, while avoiding mercenarie’s internal struggles.

Technological Center

Another important station in the beginning will be a technological center. It’s defined by two main features: probes upgrade and focused equipment upgrade (specialists from TC will not waste resources for overall upgrade, focusing them strictly on the parameter chosen).

And the main thing – TC will allow you to refit your ship, creating access to opening and closing equipment slots with the cost of overall structure and hull’s resilience.

Technological center is identical to medical center’s spawn mechanism and can appear both in Coalition and Clan systems, but it also cannot be built via the business centers network.

Unihabited Planets

On uninhabited planets you can find tons of new loot, that can help you in siege times, boosting your starting capital, while containers with random quark, stun and EMP-bombs can be a powerful weapon in the right hands, capable of easily clearing out through even the situation, when all your surrounding systems guarded by bertor units.

You can also find lightweight artifacts there, including unique ones, that cannot be looted from black holes,. Unknown equipment can be handed over for the full price on the Research stations, via the “Black Holes research” dialogue.

Also, with uninhabited planets are connected methods of finding a few unique hulls, each having their adepts and critics. Means, whatever the situation – researching the unknown will eventually pay off.

Camouflage

On the pirate base, and also from coalition’s flagmans starting from the captain rank you can purchase dominator camouflage. There’s always reason to buy a bunch of copies at the beginning – there’s always a risk for pirate base to be destroyed, while you still have to survive until receiving the neccessary rank. To avoid losing infinite possibilities of stealth-probing and looting in captured systems, better to stuff up in advance.

Use camouflage before entering the system – or the enemy won’t be deceived. Generally, camouflage have it’s uses during the whole playthrough, so you probably will again and again return to the thought of using it.

Inhibitor

At the rangers center, if you are not a part of the Pirate Clan, you can retrieve a hyperspace inhibitor. On activation, this device is being deployed as a stationary weapons platform, that protects the system from massive incursions, redirecting and damaging huge masses of hostile ships.

Inhibitors still vulnerable to Keller and klissans, but as a protection from Blazer and Terron it works for all 100%. If used wisely, in certain circumstances you can easily hold up to 2-3 sectors, but of course, noone cancelled such thing as the random.

After deployment, inhibitor takes up to a few months to activate – until then, it remains critically vulnerable, while the working one will be temporarely disabled if took considerable damage. However even while offline, it can stand for itself, equipped with multiple stationary multiresonators and a nuclear missile launcher.

You can simultaneously deploy 5 working inhibitors, while the homeworld one’s will rebuilt itself automatically in a year.

Nuclear Weaponry and Physics Gun

Starting from Captain or Skipper rank, on military base (or corresponding dominion) you can purchase a nulcear missile launcher, firing one slow homing missile with damage, close to that from quark-bomb, also having a small EMP-effect (for a short period, enemy losing control of his radar and shield, while suffering overall subsystem damage). Count of charges that you can buy is limited – at the beginning, it’s just 2 nuclear missiles per half a year. But in time you’ll see upgrades available, that will free you from ammo supply shortage and expand your missiles hold limit. Also, you can buy Absorber – a protection from that particular type of weapon, that can dissipate nuclear explosion in ariless open space – but even better is to get an a’Egis, artifact, capable of shooting down or even redirecting missiles.

In your playthrough, you can also find such an interesting thing as a physics gun – device, capable of throwing asteroids and items into the enemy.

Implants

With GTL (Galactic technological level), from the bridge (a button under the hull’s central image, or B hotkey) will more and more special devices appear, installed from medical center or pirate base, capable of permanently increase multiple skills, parameters, or grant equipment and weapon bonuses. It is especially useful on game’s start, when all the technological wonders are yet to be researched.

Biomodules main con is their limitations: maximum amount of simultaneously installed biomodules is heavily restricted depending on your endurance (depends also on race), otherwise you are risking to caught an exhaustion and augmetic fever, more powerful than any other illness in the game.

You can find out more in Galopedia (from the bridge mentioned), and from the installment places themselves.

Having high pirate rating (~80+), you can receive up to 70% discount, which is especially relevant due to toys high prices. But keep in mind that pirate biomodules requiring one more point of endurance each, so reduced price is also reducing maximum count of the “upgrades” you can apply to yourself.

Dominator Acryn

Starting from 5th GTL, you can access a research station’s option of unlocking dominator acryns, that can be especially usable when dominator equipment is still far more advanced than Coalition’s ones. Besides, dominator acryns are usually having quite minor debuffs.

But remember that your enemies can use the same acryns for their own advantage, turning into unstoppable war machines. This process can be canceled by destroying dominators’ bosses.

Acrynation

Especially useful is the acrynation feature, accessible from any research base with active black holes research – if you are actively handing over unknown equipment to them, you can use gained nan-points for acrynation experiments, turning standart equipment into more useful ones. After a few first experiments you even unlocking access to selective acrynation, available to choose the acryn type for yourself.

Pirates

Some good news about them:

  • With the modpack, you don’t even need to join the Pirate Clan to deal with them.
  • Pirates have interesting unique gear, acryns and micromodules, making pirate playthrough much more interesting experience than the original HD could provide.
  • Multiple unique hulls, as top-tier, as well as intermediate and alternative ones. Now pirates even have adequate rebel military ships defending the systems. They are still cannot hold position against infinite dominator swarms, but already won’t dissipate from a few small toasters, fully equipped with tretons.

Keller

Good old tactic – “kelleroid fence”, can be fully functional here as well. But not in every playthrough. Should you count Keller as a friend, or an enemy – depends on different circumstances and your personal choise. What you have to remember is:

  • Keller won’t attack Coalition systems directly via hyperjumps, while Terron or Blazers can easily send unending waves up to from 30 parsecs radius.
  • Keller himself actively coming out to reinforce his systems and attacking Blazer and Terron forces, if there’s too much of them stacking up in neighboring systems.
  • Dense Keller fence can appear quite reliable and streched out quite far, unintentionally expanding Coalition borders. But if you will accidently provoke Blazer, he can smash that fence alongside with Coalition.
  • Up to 7th GTL Keller isn’t so polite, he loves to intrude into systems, especially low-defended ones, launch torpedoes and heavy ballistic nukes into stations and inhibitors. But after 7th GTL he stays near his black hole for a long time, becoming more vulnerable.

Klissans

Klissans, as well as Keller, can be a pretty cuties. And not quite. About the basics:

  • Klissans rarely attack via the direct hyperjump. They can easily clean up neighboring systems from bertors as well as jump out near your favourite base, where you’ve decided to store all your loot altogether.
  • Klissans are using unique weapons, relatively weak in earlygame, but extremely deadly closer to the late one. If you don’t like to fly on the big ships, take a look at their equipment – it can easily fit your tastes cuz of it’s extremely low weight. However it also don’t have such powerful bonuses as any standart acryn could.
  • Klissan equipment is completely compatible with artifacts – as if you gained it from black hole, while also having it’s own special bonuses.
  • Klissan weapons, including WMDs, don’t need nodes for repairs.
  • Protoplasm can be handed over on ranger center 3 times more expensive than the nodes.
  • Klissan remains, on the average, are more expensive than the dominator ones, except the beginning of the game.
  • Klissan research will bring you it’s own storyline, explaining how and why that iconic faction from the SR1 has returned.

Black Holes

Black holes can be looted for equipment with technological level up to 2 times higher than the current total GTL. With BH-engine better works psi-accelerator, soplanator and hypergenerator. With all of these, including acryn bonuses, you can gain an ability to jump more than for 50 parsecs in the very first years of the game.

Acquiring Scanner Cash and Probabilistic Analyzer, in arcade battles you can see which enemy which artifact holds – to loot exact one you want, you have to kill that particular enemy last. Having the same artifact equipped or in cargohold severy decreases the chanse of it’s drop.

Star Maps

The profitability of visiting black holes and government jobs depends on opened star charts. Sometimes it’s better not to rush to open the sector while you are still going through the initial siege times.

Fight for Territory

  • Population numbers on occupied planets are almost freezed.
  • The more Coalition or pirates having large industrial planets (especially gaalian ones), the more chanse to increase your GTL level.
  • Hulls and equipment of the military ships depends from GTL and technologies of the planet where they were spawned.
  • Planets in full sectors with large population numbers are researching technologies much faster.
  • The calculation of the Coalition resources was redesigned, and now they are correctly correlated with the number of systems under commonwealth’s control. More systems – more militaries, in contrast to the concept of antagonistic factions, where the fewer systems – the greater their aggressiveness.
  • For the automatic construction of new stations, the whole sector must first be liberated.
  • Military bases also generating a small fleet that patrols the sector, participates in operations, and often consists of well-equipped acryned ships.
  • As you reach high ranks both in the Coalition and in the Pirate Clan, opportunities are opened to call for reinforcements from the bridge, as well as give orders to military bases.

Pay particular attention to the 3, 4, and 5 articles. It follows from them that the sooner the Coalition receives and holds complete sectors, the faster they will be fortified by combat-ready warships. But keep in mind that liberated systems still require a certain amount of recovery time and will not be able to instantly issue a full-fledged capable combat fleet.

The Steel Has no Pity

There is no guarantee that your home sector will withstand the pressure – everything may turn out so that all three sides of the dominators may decide to attack Coalition systems first. While nearby free pirates will surely take an advantage of defensless system, capturing it via shooting down a bunch of transports, establishing a dangerous and annoying foothold, while later klisans will join the party, and it will become especially fun.

You have to choose wisely which systems to protect with inhibitors, and which station to upgrade. Always be ready to retreat and settle in a new place, decide how to expand fast. There is tough choises to make, remember that you cannot save everyone. Or use the dark magic of saveload if you have already made a deal with conscience and switched to the dark side of power.

First of all – keep targeting bosses. Without them, the remaining dominators will either self-destruct, or the new generations of their series will lose acryn power, becoming easy targets for, basicly, everyone. Beware of dominators nuclear spam – in the early years it can be especially deadly. Stay vigilant, actively trade (even in one system you can make decent capital), and try to turn any dire situation to your advantage.

The game is designed so that in the beginning it may seem like a real apocalyptic experience – it’s difficult to kill even a single small dominator, but over time, step by step and year after year, you will find new ways to confront existing obstacles, and, over time, you can dominate over’em all.

Remember that in the Space Rangers it is almost impossible to lose – sooner or later power will accumulate and resources will be gathered, enough to get out of almost any hopeless situation, so even with the loss of the last research station, you should not give up immediately, since the dominators will not attempt to send permanent punitive flotillas to the last Coalition system. Of course, the modpack corrects this too – over the years, the klissan faction, for example, loses the limit on the number of captured systems, but we rely on the player to have enough intelligence and imagination to be able to withstand circumstances before this moment comes.

A long, but rich for content and memorable experience playthrough is waiting for you, which itself is sufficiently replayable for at least a several times, with new impressions and plot variations each. Further replayability of manually adjusted mods will only further increase it’s potential.


Written by: James Maxwell



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