This Ask Cryptic contains answers on power management, exploration and small ship tactics. A big thanks goes out the development team for taking the time to provide these answers!
Can you provide us with any new information regarding shield/weapons systems? For example, will both shields and weapons drain power from the main power supply, and if so, will the main power supply "recharge" gradually over time, or will it be a more instantaneous recharge?
We’re not using anything like a traditional MMO “mana bar” for energy. Your ship’s Warp Core provides power, and you allocate this power to individual systems – shields, weapons, propulsion, etc. But you won’t “run out” of energy and have to wait to fire phasers. That’s not fun. The more power you allocate to weapons, the more effective your phasers become.
Will diverting power to various systems such as shields detract from the ships offensive capability, or reduce the ships handling/speed characteristics, i.e. unable to attain maximum impulse?
You will be able to divert power to different systems, and that will affect how effective those systems are – diverting power to weapons, for example, means that you can fire phasers longer and do more damage. Increasing power to shields makes them stronger. But to get those boosts, you’ll have to reduce power to another system, which will decrease its effectiveness. It’s up to you to balance those systems throughout combat – you’ll never be able to have both shields and engines at maximum power, but you may increase shields to absorb a hard hit, and then boost your engines so you can maneuver quickly for the best counterattack.
Will there be unique items and equipment to find in the galaxy?
Yes! There will be new items to find during your adventures as well as the ability to create new items or improve existing ones. Sometimes you will need to unlock skills to be able to use a piece of technology you have found. Or if you acquire a new kind of alien technology you may need to study it before you can use it. But if you’re asking about super-secret, super-special items of which there is only one in the entire universe, if we have items like that they will be revealed during play.
When one player charted a previously unexplored system, will it be instantly updated in other players' star maps?
Although we’re still working out the details, we’re expecting that players will have to explicitly share their discovered locations.
Will a gang of smaller ships, say, several Bird-of-Preys, be able to take out something like a Warbird using superior tactics and numbers?
Yes. Since we’re not using a traditional level-based system, smaller ships with good tactics and teamwork can take on bigger ships with a solid chance of success.