Drox Operative Help
An informative Guide to assist
gamers in playing Soldak's latest game, Drox Operative
Drox Operative has been released! So what are you waiting
try the Drox Operative DEMO!
on a Topic below for more information
on How to Play may provide enough to get you started
Or Scroll Down for a rather long walkthrough
of Drox Operative
I apolgize for the wall-of-text below.
game is played in a space setting. Consequently, since most of the game occurs in the darkness of space, it is highly recommended
that it be played in a dimly lit room. A brightly lit room will likely give a less satisfactory visual experience.
The idea behind the game is to achieve victory (win the sector) in 1 of 5 different possible ways. You can win by
forming relationships with other alien races and being allied with the last surviving race (or races). You can also win by
diplomacy, economic means, fear, and legend. You will need to explore and find all the races. The Relations Screen (press
R) is one of the most important screens in the game, so give it particular attention once you have discovered some races.
- Start the Game:
by clicking on the Drox Operative Icon. It may take a little while to load everything the first time.
- Set Your Screen Resolution if necessary:
The game automatically will attempt to set the screen resolution; however, you can set
it to a higher, lower, or windowed resolution if you so choose. To set the screen resolution,
Click on "Options" and then "Graphic Options". Click on the down arrow to bring up the
drop down box containing the list of available screen resolution modes. Pick a screen resolution that matches the monitor
on which you are playing the game.
the Game: Click on "Play" on the Main Menu, and then Click on "New
Ship". Click on the race's ship of your choice. Name your ship. Then click on "OK"
- Set Up Your Sector: On this
next screen you will set up your sector. For now, we will just use the defaults, so just click
on "Create New Sector".
- The Game Screen: Now your
new ship will appear in a star system. The Help system window will appear explaining
how the Help system works. You can turn it off, but it can certainly help you to get started playing. Also,
Context Sensitive Help is always available by pressing "H"! On the Game screen, you can place your mouse cursor over most things on the screen to
recieve additional information!
- Ship Stash and Shared Stash: You will see on the screen 3 structures; your Ship
Stash, Shared Stash, and a Jump Gate. A Stash is where you can store extra items you want to keep around for
later use. You can not
store items directly in the stash slots. You
can only store items in a stash after placing an empty cargo bay into one of the slots.
Once you've done that, you can open the cargo bay and place items into the cargo bay slots. Ship stash is where you can store
items that will stay with this specific ship (your ship stash will come with that character to a new game). The Shared Stash
items will be available to all new characters
you create. So if you were playing a Human ship, then decide to start a new game with a Fringe ship; the Fringe ship will
have access to all the items that were stored in the Shared Stash by the Human ship earlier. We'll talk about Jump Gastes
- Flying Around
(Movement): Either press down the Left Mouse Button to start
flying around (not recommended), or better yet, use the "W" key to thrust. First
go to Options/Game Options and turn "Thrusters
Toggle" on. Tapping the "W" key will then start
your ship moving, and it will keep flying until you left-click or press "W"
again. You can turn with "A" and "D", or you can turn on
"Thruster Cursor" which will let you use your mouse to steer.
- Shooting Enemy Ships:
Any ship with an icon above it belongs to a race and may be friendly. But all other ships are bad guys (monster alien ships)
and need to be destroyed. Shoot enemy ships by placing your mouse cursor over the enemy ship
and press the "1" key on your keyboard. If an enemy is in range your ship's laser will shoot the
enemy ship. Try to learn to use the number keys for attacking. Eventually you will have multiple weapons in slots 1, 2, 3, or maybe even more. You'll need to press the number
key of that weapon's hotkey to use or fire it. Placing a weapon in the Right-click slots (lower right of the screen)
lets you use weapons/items with a right-click.
- Shields, Armor, Structure, and Energy: At the top left of the screen (and above your
ship), you will see bars indicating the status of your ship. Each time you shoot,
you will lose some energy (indicated by the yellow bar). It will regenerate
pretty quickly, but if you shoot too often and too quickly, you may run out. Each time you get shot by an alien ship (or encounter
some other damaging force) first your ship's Shields, then your Armor (if equipped), and finally your Structure will be decreased.
If your ship's Structure (the green bar) reaches zero, your ship will be destroyed.
Stations: Occasionally you will encounter a Recharge Station.
if you click on one, your energy and shields will be replenished.
- Repairing Armor and Structure: If your ship's armor (if equipped) and/or structure have been
damaged, repairs can be made at an occupied planet. Click on the occupied planet and then select "Trade".
Near the bottom of the planet vendor screen will be a button for "Repair/Heal all"
for a fee. You can also purchase Emergency Nanite Repair kits to repair armor
and structure from planet vendors.
- Loot Items: Destroyed enemy ships may drop items that you can collect or use yourself.
Just click on the item's name tag to pick it up if you have room in your cargo
bay. You can sell these items for credits (money) to planets that are occupied by a race if they have enough money to buy
them from you. You'll want to collect as many credits as you can. You may need this money later to buy items to enhance your
ship, negotiate with other races, or buy the friendship of an alien race. Sometimes destroyed ships drop technology.
Items: Some items you find will be labeled Technology. These are items comprised of technical information that you can sell or trade to other alien races. If you pick
up an item labeled Technology, you need to open your cargo bay and then simply right click on
Technology icon in your cargo bay. The item will vanish as the information is stored in your ship's computer
for later use when you are negotiating with a race (talked about later).
- Cargo Bays: You start with only one cargo bay which can hold 16 items. Press "I" (or click on the "cargo bay door" icon on the bottom of the screen) to bring up your ship
components and cargo bay. You can also bring up just your cargo bays by clicking on the up arrow
next to your Cargo indicator in the menu bar at the bottom of your screen. Your cargo bay will appear near the bottom right
of the screen, and this is where any components you pick up will be stored. At the bottom
of your Ship Components screen you will see slots for an additional three (3) cargo bays. You can either buy
cargo bays at a colonized planet (if they have any), or find them while exploring the galaxy. Any
items you want to keep must be stored in cargo bays! You must first put an empty cargo bay into a cargo bay
slot, and then you can open the cargo bay and put items into the new cargo bay's slots. Cargo bays cannot be moved or sold unless they are
Using items for your ship:
Your Ship Components screen (press "I"
if it's not already displayed) shows the items your ship is currently using. It has three levels of items: Light, Medium, and Heavy components.
Each item has color-coded edges to help you identify which type it is. In addition, when you pick up an item by clicking on
it, the type of component it is will cause the icon's border to flash as well as the items equipped of the same type. So if
you pick up a laser, a heavy component, the laser and all of your heavy compoment slots will display a flashing (orange) border.
If you want to use a component, you can place it into a slot on your Ship Components screen.
New Weapons and Items - The Skills Bar: If you add a new weapon, such as an EMP (medium component), to your
Ship Components, the EMP will automatically be placed into the first available empty slot in the Skills Bar at the bottom
of the screen; in this case, slot 2, right next to the laser in slot 1. If you
want it in a different slot, move it there. Now you will be able to use the EMP in battle by
pressing the "2" key on your keyboard. You can put weapons and other items such as energy spikes
in any of the 10 empty slots at the bottom of the screen. If the weapon/item
is in slot 5, you press "5" to use it.
- Right Click Slots: In
addition to placing weapons in the main skills bar at the bottom of the screen, you can also place them into one of the 3 right click slots at the bottom right of the screen. Then to use that weapon (or
item), you just click the Right Mouse Button. Only the bottom weapon/item will be active when
you right click.
- Power Load: This
is critically important! Many
of the items you use for your ship consume additional power. At the bottom of your Ship Components screen, you will see a
green bar reflecting how much power your ship is consuming. For instance, if you add additional shields to your ship components
that you find or buy, it will require more power. As you approach your power limit, the green bar will change to yellow. If you go above your power limit, the bar will then change to a flashing red
color; and you will be penalized!!! Penalties are a 20% reduction in regeneration and thrusters (movement)
for every 5 units of overload. Equipping a power plant might be in order. Equipping Items
an Alien Race: Winning the game is based on meeting one of the 5 "Win"
conditions. Click in the "Win" button on the Skills bar to view them. Races will balttle for supremacy during each
game. You need to interact with them during the game to buy and sell, for diplomatic reasons, etc. So the first thing you
need to do is explore the star systems and make contact with as many races as you can. One thing to which you'll often need
to refer is the Star System and Galaxy Maps.
- The Star System Map: To determing where you've been and (eventually) how to get somewhere
you want to go, you will often need to refer to your two maps. Press "M" to bring up the map of the star system that you are
currently in. You will see an oval gray area where you are likely to find planets (some may be occupied by alien races). As
you explore, some of the gray areas will turn black showing where you've explored. When you explore the areas near
the edges of the circular area, you will often find gates to other star systems. Once you identify a gate by clicking on it,
it will appear on your star system map for future reference. Many other things that you discover in a star system will show
on this map as well (like planets and Jump Gates). Once you find a gate to another system (a star lane or a wormhole), click
on it to travel to a new star system. Now you'll want to check your Galaxy Map.
- The Galaxy Map: (Note:
this has been changed to "Sector Map" as of version 1.007) Once
you're in a new star system, press "M" to bring up your star system
map. If you've just arrived for the first time, most of the map will be gray. At the bottom
right of the screen, click on the button marked "To Galaxy (or Sector) Map" (or press "Tab").
Your screen will switch to a starfield that will show the two (or more) star systems that you've been to and how those two
systems are connected. Once you've discovered many systems, you'll need to refer to this galaxy map to see where you are in
relation to the other star systems. For example,
if you've accepted quests that are in the "Sol" star system, you can refer to your galaxy map to get an idea of
how to get to that system so you can complete those quests. (Click here for an Example)
Star Systems' Maps from the Galaxy Map: If you right click on any star on the
Galaxy Map (or Sector Map), that star's System Map will be displayed
so that you can view that system's planets and other information. This can help you identify a specific planet's location in any explored star system. You can even place
waypoint markers to guide you.
markers: are markers you can place on a Star System's Map to guide you to a given point while in that system.
If you bring up the Star System Map (press "M"), you can place a Waypoint
marker on the map by right clicking on the Star
System's Map where ever you want to place a marker.
After placing the marker and exiting the map screen, the marker will be displayed as a colored
star on your Minimap. This can be used to guide you to a planet, back to a recharge station, to a comet that
needs to be destroyed, or any other destination you choose.
- Quests: Your first
quest of the game will be to discover another race. Simply explore until you locate one. After discovering a new race (or races), they may offer you additional quests. If
you complete that quest for them, you will gain favor with that race. You will also gain experience and often be paid money.
However, another race may or may not like you helping them depending on whether they like that other race. If you help
a race they dislike, you'll suffer poorer relations with that now angry race. After completing a quest, you'll need to solve
it. You can solve a quest by going to any of that race's planets, or (better yet) go to the Relations Screen to solve it.
Solving Quests is only one of many tools to influence relations in the sector.
- The Relations Screen:
After you've met one or more alien races, you can observe each race's progress, see what they think of you, and even negotiate
with them using the Relations Screens. Having met at least one race, press "R" to bring up the
Relations Screen. You will see some icons in a circular area. The line between you (Drox Operatives) and that race is color
coded. The key on the left tells you what each color means. Also, on the left it shows you the Power rankings of each race
you've discovered. If you place you cursor over the icon for a race on the screen, you will see a description of that race
as well as what your relationship is with them. You can interact with that race by
clicking on their icon on the Relations Screen. You can get and solve most quests here as well.
- Relations - Trade Screen:
If you click on a race's icon on the main relations screen, and then click on Trade/Negotiate;
you can interact with that race. To sell a technology you have, click on the technology, and then click the "What
would make this trade possible?" button. An amount will appear under their Offer header. If you agree,
click on "Offer Trade" to finalize the deal.
- Leveling Up: As you
explore a star system, you will encounter and destroy enemy ships. You will gain experience,
which is shown by the blue bar on the Skills Bar, each time you destroy
an enemy ship. You also recieve experience by solving quests and in other ways. Once you have obtained enough experience,
you will "Level Up" which will give you
5 crew points that you can use to improve your ship by allocating those points in the Character
Character Menu: Once you Level Up, bring up the Character Menu
by pressing "C". You will see information about your ship. At
the middle right you will see your 5 crew points highlighted in green. Above that are categories
to which you may allocate these points by clicking on the red "+"
signs next to each category. You add points so you can use better components.
Don't add them until you need them.
- The Command Category: By allocating crew points to Command on the Character menu,
you can upgrade your ship to the next level. Often upgrading your ship will give you an additional
slot in your ship components. However, each ship is heavier than the last, so
you'll need to improve your thrust components if you want to go as fast as you did before. I'd advise not
upgrading your ship until you have a lot of thrust.
- Starlanes, Wormholes and Jump Gates: Each sector of the galaxy is made up of many
star systems. You can't fly directly between star systems (don't even try; you can't). When you encounter a Starlane
or Wormhole (located at a system's edges), you can click on it to be transported to another star system. There
are also Jump Gates which can transport you as well, but you must first find/buy and
activate another Jump Gate in another system before you can jump from one to another often for a price.
- Buying and Selling:
When you click on a colonized planet, you can click on "Trade" to sell your excess inventory from your cargo bays to them or buy needed items. The planet's inventory is shown
on the left. You can sell an item from your cargo bay by placing your cursor over that item
and pressing "spacebar". Likewise, you can buy an item from the colony
in the same fashion. If you don't have enough money to buy an item that you want, you can place into one of the 2 "Held items" slots near the bottom of the vendor's list of items, and it will be
held in lay-away for you until you return.
- WAR!! On the Relations Screen (press "R")
you can see how each race is relating to one another as well as with you (Drox Operatives). If you let your relations sour
badly enough with a certain race, they may declare war on you! Alien races are more powerful than most monster ships, so be
careful or you will be quickly destroyed. By going to the Relations Screen,
clicking on that race's icon, clicking on Trade/Negotiate,
you can try click on "Peace treaty". They may decline, so click on the button which says,"What
would make this trade possible?". The race may then define an amount of money you can pay them to obtain
a peace treaty; or, if they are mad enough, they may say it's impossible. Also, and this
is very important, if all races are at war with you for 10 minutes, you lose that sector!!!
- Challenge Sectors: After
winning your first standard sector, you will probably have leveled up several times and improved your ship's capabilities
quite a bit. Now might be a good time to play your first Challenge sector. After
winning and leaving a sector, you will be returned to the "Set Up Sector"
screen. If you want, you can choose to play a Challenge sector by clicking the Challenge button at the bottom of the screen.
You will see a galaxy divided into sectors. Each Challenge Sector can be unlocked by your ship/character reaching a certain
level of experience. You must first play and win the first sector which will unlock the second sector if you have reached
a high enough experience level. Once any Challenge sector has been unlocked, you can also choose to play it over again if
Sectors and Winning the Galaxy: The Galaxy in the Challenge section of the game is divided into 4 quadrants
each composed of 4 sectors. After winning the first 4 sectors, you will have won the first Quadrant. You will have also unlocked
"saved the first quadrant" on the Achievements screen which can be
seen by clicking the Achievements button on the main menu. After saving all four quadrants, you will be given one last challenge
to win and Save the Galaxy. It will be quite a feat if you can achieve that!
Enter supporting content here