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Star Conflict

Star Conflict is a 3D sci-fi themed space simulation MMO with fast paced action oriented combat. Similar to the subscription-based EVE Online, Star Conflict consists of fighting space battles, building corporations, and grinding materials and money to create bigger and better ships.

Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
Playerbase: High
Type: Shooter
Release Date: Feb 27, 2013 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Good variety of unique ships. +Customizable ships. +Polished graphics & fluid gameplay. +Varied game modes.
Cons: -Pay to win elements. -Lots of grind required to get the best ships and upgrades.

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Overview

Star Conflict Overview

In Star Conflict, players pilot dozens of different ships outfitted with weaponry and defensive capabilities and fly through PvE missions, PvP matches, or simply cruise around the stars. Players have the choice between three different factions, each with two sub factions. The Jericho faction is split into Raid and Techs sub factions, Empire is split into Legion and Wardens, and Federation is split into Armada and Vanguard. Choosing a faction only determines what ships the player starts with, and players can complete missions and gain ranks in any faction. Gameplay wise, Star Conflict is probably best described as a mix of World of Tanks in Space and Warframe with spaceships.

Star Conflict Key Features:

  • Action-Oriented Gameplay – action-oriented gameplay, similar to dog fighting in Star Citizen.
  • Instanced PvP and PvE Battles – similar to Warframe.
  • Ship Variety and Customization – over 100 ships with 9 tactical roles. Ships can also be customized.
  • Unlocking Ships – players need to grind PvE missions or PvP repeatedly to unlock new ships.
  • Varied PvP Game Modes – Detonation, Domination, Combat Reconnaissance, Capture the Beacon, Beacon Hunt, and Deathmatch.
  • Guild vs Guild Battles – where Corporations (Guilds) fight for control over sectors.

Star Conflict Screenshots

Star Conflict Featured Video

Full Review

Star Conflict Review

By Dimitri Jordan

Star Conflict is a 3D MMO developed by Star Gem Inc. and published by Gaijin Entertainment that was released on February 27, 2013. In the rising genre of space simulation games, Star Conflict is a free-to-play MMO similar to EVE Online or Elite: Dangerous. However, the game is on a smaller scale, as the free flight is instanced and the PvP battles are usually 4v4. Players initially choose their faction but are able to act as mercenaries, moving between factions and completing quests and bounties to advance through the ranks. This mobility is nearly demanded, as different modules for ships can only be upgraded through completing contracts for marks from certain factions.

The gameplay and controls are easy to understand but difficult to master. Those who don’t plan to put in the hours will find themselves frustrated as other players bank and roll and deftly avoid their gunfire. Players will have to grind in order to unlock better ships, find materials for better modules, and learn how each class of ship handles differently.

The game is available through its own website, or through Valve’s Steam platform.

Starting Up

When first starting the game, players will be prompted to complete two optional tutorial missions. Completing these missions will walk players through basic ship controls and movement, as well as basic combat and ship abilities. The reward for these missions is a sum of credits, the in-game currency used for buying ships and modules.

The controls are straightforward but take time to master. Players move forward by holding W, and backwards by holding S. A and D strafe left and right, respectively, while Alt and Spacebar shifts down and up, respectively. Shift activates a ship’s afterburners, propelling them at high speeds. Afterburners only last for a few seconds, and the speed and length of time is dependent on the ship-type. Players can lock onto targets in their sights by pressing the mouse wheel or R, while pressing T locks onto the nearest target. Primary weapons are fired by pressing the left mouse button, while the right mouse button fires rockets.

Players are able to outfit their ships with different weapons, and modules that increase speed, acceleration, cool down rate, and more. In addition to swappable models, each ship also has a class specific ability that cannot be changed, ranging from a second shield to a field of damage around the player’s ship.

The First Few Levels

The highest rank in any faction is 15, though the time it takes to reach this rank is dependent on the player. Players start with one ship and by playing PvP and PvE accumulate experience in the form of synergy. When a player reaches a certain synergy level, they can upgrade their ship resulting in a small stat boost. When the player reaches a certain synergy level, they unlock the next ship in their tree, which becomes available for purchase. There are three trees for ships: Interceptors, Fighters, and Frigates. Interceptors are the smallest ships, with weak weapons and hull, but are also the quickest. Fighters have a decent balance of speed and firepower. Lastly, Frigates are the slower moving powerhouses that have the strongest hulls.

Players can choose to only level ships enough to unlock the next in line, or fully level a ship to make it the strongest it can be. In Star Conflict, this extra time might be very necessary. As players unlock and use higher ranked ships, they are also placed with comparatively ranked ships and players. Once players reach ranks 5-7, most players they are matched with are skilled and battles become more strategic and difficult. Those trying to get a better grip on the gameplay would do well to take their time and play with their lower ranks vessels before advancing.

Ships and missions are split into tiers, with each tier being 3 ranks. So tier 1 (Abbreviated T1 within the community) would consist of ranks 1-3, T2 is rank 4-6, all the way to T5, rank 13-15. In addition, higher ranks unlock additional PvP modes, weapons, missions, and modules.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Star Conflict is fast paced and hectic. The PvE mode is more casual, with the ship A.I. not difficult to the point of being punishing, yet still enjoyable to play against. Players will be able to practice defensive flying and coordinating with teammates while accumulating synergy and credits. However, when players begin PvP, that difficulty can increase substantially.

During the early levels, players may have issues finding games. Few players are rank 1 for long. However, after a few games players will be able to reach rank 2 or 3 in no time and that's when games begin quickly. In the early ranks, players are mainly learning the basics of flying and maneuvering, as well as how each game mode plays.

At higher ranks, however, the pressure is on. Players will have to invest in strengthening their ships through increasing synergy levels, buying and upgrading modules, and know the ins and outs of maps and game modes. When dog-fighting gets hectic as players chase one another through space station debris and asteroid belts, quick reactions and a cool head will be important tools. Players should also learn what situations warrant what abilities to make the most of their ship.

One of the more interesting gameplay features is that pilots can bring three ships into battle. In game modes where respawning is limited, meaning once a ship is destroyed it is out of play, players must choose a different vessel to spawn in. In games where respawning is not limited, players are free to switch between ships after dying, enabling players to switch roles to better fit the current situation.

Corporations

Corporations in Star Conflict are the equivalent of guilds in most MMOs. They consist of a CEO, officers, and regular members. The CEO and officers have the authority to invite and kick members from the corporation, while only the CEO has the ability to elect officers or dissolve the corporation. Corporations are also limited to a roster of 150 players.

Corporations are ranked by their participation in PvP, PvE, roster size, sector control, and Iridium amount. Corporations gain Iridium from player donations, and can also process artifacts into Iridium. Currently, there are no uses for Iridium, but they are expected to become a major crafting component for large dreadnoughts, ships only available to corporations.

Points gained by a Corporation in PvP and PvE decrease by 1% every hour, so constant participation in these game modes are the only way for a corporation to maintain their standings.

Sector Conquest is one of the largest features of Corporations. Corporations can decide to fight for ownership of a sector by challenging the current owner. They then engage in a 4v4 battle, which plays out similarly to Detonation. Each team has four pilots and three beacons, each beacon guarded by four drones. Players must destroy the drones in order to capture the beacon. Furthermore, there is limited respawn, meaning players can only take each ship into battle once. The first team to capture every enemy beacon or destroy every enemy ship wins and that corporation gains ownership of the sector.

Winning a sector battle awards the winning players with artifacts, credits, or galactic standards, depending on the sector. It should be noted that in order to participate, players must have three ships of at least rank 11 or higher installed in their combat slots.

PvP

Unlike most MMO games, the PvP in Star Conflict is basically half of the game, the other half being PvE missions and contract missions that are completed in either PvP or PvE. There are several game types for PvP including Detonation, Domination, Combat Reconnaissance, Capture the Beacon, Beacon Hunt, and Deathmatch. Star Conflict has no persistent world and PvE missions and PvP missions take place in instanced environments, similar to Warframe.

In Detonation, each team has three beacons that must be destroyed with EMP bombs that are scattered around the map. Players must fly their ships close to pick up the bomb, and then to a beacon. Activating their ship’s special ability will cause the player to drop the bomb, and the bomb can be placed on a beacon by flying close to it. When a player has a bomb, they are identified on every player’s screen, making planting the bomb difficult without a plan of action.

In Domination, there are three neutral beacons on the map. Each team starts with 100 points, and by taking control of a beacon begins to drain the opposing team of points. If a team manages to capture all three beacons, the enemy team loses points at a very quick rate. Player’s deaths also count as points lost for their own team. The first team to run out of points loses.

In Combat Reconnaissance, each team has a randomly selected captain. Player’s aside from the captain can respawn, but once the captain dies, that player is out of the game and a new captain is selected. The first team unable to respawn loses.

The set-up to Capture the Beacon is the same as Domination, with three neutral beacons. However, players are unable to respawn and once a beacon is claimed, it is claimed permanently. The first team to capture more of the beacons is the winner.

Beacon Hunt is also a variation of Domination. There are three beacons on the map, but only one is active at a time. Players will have to move from beacon to beacon to claim it. Once a beacon is captured respawns for the capturing team is turned off until the next beacon is activated.

Deathmatch is a straightforward game type, where two teams face off. Each team is given a set amount of lives, and the first team to run out of lives loses the match. In many of these game modes, teams are also complimented with A.I. companions, but in Deathmatch there are only human players on the field.

Cash Shop

The main draw in Star Conflict’s Cash Shop is buying Galactic Standards, the in-game currency purchased with real money. Galactic Standards are used to purchase Licenses, which are amounts of game time (from one day to six months). With these standards, the player receives a 50% bonus to credits and synergy, as well as a unique set of ships only unlocked by buying them with standards.

One common issue in many free-to-play MMOs is the problem of “pay-to-win,” wherein spending money gives players an unfair advantage over those who don’t spend money. In Star Conflict, however, this is mitigated severely. All the money in the world won’t teach a player how to bank their ship around an asteroid and brake to shake a fighter or two that have been dogging them through space. While players can acquire ships in the cash shop, spending money to acquire them won’t automatically make up for a lack of experience with the game. This has been termed “pay-to-advance” by some in the community, meaning a player can gain higher ranks and ships more quickly, but without the skills to back it up they will always be bested by players that have earned those ranks. Still, players that aren't willing to spend money will have a tough time competing with those that do, since it takes hundreds of hours to farm enough money to get a well upgraded high tier ship.

Final Verdict - Great

Ultimately, Star Conflict is a fun skill-based space simulator. It has no monthly fee like EVE Online and doesn’t need a beastly computer like Star Citizen or Elite: Dangerous. It offers players that fix of flying through the stars, in asteroid belts, and derelict stations and a decent amount of customization. The game is fairly simple to pick up, but mastering it requires a tremendous amount of dedication and effort. Anyone looking to feel like a lovable rogue that can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs should give Star Conflict a chance.

Screenshots

Star Conflict Screenshots

Videos

Star Conflict Videos

Links

Star Conflict Links

Star Conflict Official Site
Star Conflict Steam Page
Star Conflict Official Wiki [Database / Guides]
Star Conflict Wikia [Database / Guides]

System Requirements

Star Conflict System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz / AMD Athlon 2
Video Card: 512 MB VGA Card / Intel HD 3000 / HD 4000
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.3 GHz
Video Card: GeForce 650 / Radeon HD 5750
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB

Star Conflict is also available on Mac OS X and Linux. Mac and Linux system requirements are similar to the PC requirements.

Music

Star Conflict Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

Star Conflict Additional Information

Developer: Star Gem Inc. (Subsidiary of Gaijin Entertainment)
Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
Other Platform(s): Mac OS X, Linux
Engine: Hammer Engine (Proprietary engine)

Closed Beta Date: April 11, 2012
Open Beta Date: July 24, 2012

Development History / Background:

Star Conflict was developed by Russian game developer Star Gem and is the first game developer by the studio. Star Conflict was first announced back in September 2011 and has enjoyed quite a bit of success since its initial launch on February 27, 2013. Star Gem was formed specifically to develop Star Conflict from its parent company, Gaijin Entertainment. Gaijin Entertainment is Russia's biggest game developer and publisher.