What is The Ship?
The Ship is a combination first person shooter, simulation, and stealth game. In the traditional game play mode of "Hunt" (What the server here runs), each mini-round you are assigned to kill one person of an unknown identity within a set point of time. You are provided with a map of the ship you're on, and the location of your "quarry" updates every 30 seconds. In order to kill this person, you need to find a weapon laying around the boat, ranging from obvious things like guns and knifes, to something a little more subtle like a frying pan or pool cue. If you manage to kill that person, you are rewarded.
However, it isn't as easy as it sounds, as there are four separate elements to the game that make it difficult and require skill as opposed to just a run-and-gun philosophy:
- You need to kill your quarry secretly. Not only are there security guards and security cameras watching your every move, but the very people on the same ship as you can work against you. If you pull a weapon out while in a spot watched by guards or cameras, then you're automatically sent to jail, fined, and you lose all your weapons. As well, if two fellow shipmates see you pull out a weapon for the duration of an entire second, then you're also sent to jail, fined, and stripped of weapons. This is where the element of stealth comes in.
- You're not immune while killing people. If your quarry gets suspicious that you're their hunter, then they can attack and kill you in self-defense. As well, there is also someone else on the Ship trying to murder you at the same time you're trying to kill someone, so watch your back!
- While all this goes on, you have needs to fulfill similar to a game of "The Sims". If you don't stay on top of your needs, then you can become slow, tired, and possible even die if you don't satisfy those needs as they come up.
- Weapons are rarely located in the same place, and weapons have a variable scoring system. You can't just find a gun and expect to win with that, as once you've used a weapon once, the value for killing someone with that weapon essentially becomes worthless. This means you always need to be on the hunt for new, more "expensive weapons".
Where and how should I get the game?
The game is on Steam, but it is a little on the pricy side at $20. Sadly, with the developers out of the picture, the odds of a free weekend or even sales are slim to none (Hence why the game wasn't on sale during the Holiday Sale). However, you're best best is to go to a place like Target, Wal-Mart, and stores like that and take a look in their bargain bin. The game was released retail, and anywhere that has it now will most likely have it marked down to around the $5 mark.
If you happen to see multiple copies too, be sure to let everyone here know so that deals can be worked around that way. It's always nice to help each other out!
New to the game?
With as many complex gameplay elements as this game has, it does have a relatively steep learning curve. It's fairly common for new players to feel frustrated on their first game as everyone else on the server kills them before they get a chance to figure out what's happening. The best way to get better at the game is simple practice, but there are a few things you can do beforehand.
-Play the tutorial. It's basic and won't teach you everything, but it will teach you about what keys to press along with general concepts.
-Play a game with just bots first. A game with six bots will teach you basic strategies as well as help you learn the map a bit.
Ignore the single player campaign. It's not only unhelpful towards online play, but a little on the lame side.
Tips for everyone:
- You should always be carrying a weapon at any given point in time for self defense. I always recommend hanging onto a gun if possible, and failing that a weapon with high damage and good range like the axe. Axe is good because they can be found anywhere.
- Knowing the map will always give you an advantage, but even the most knowledgeable people still refer to the map consistently. Not only will it show you where your quarry is, but it will help you find places to fulfill all your needs.
- Don't feel like you need to get a kill every single round. It's good to once in a while focus on getting your needs met and to find weapons that are high on the Money For Kills table.
- If you're quick, you can take quick shots at your quarry even with two witnesses watching you. Pulling the weapon out, hitting someone, and retracting the weapon can take slightly under a second if timed well.
- Changing clothes is one of the most unused, yet helpful features in the game. Changing clothes will not only cause hunters who have already met you to forget your appearance, but is pretty much the only way to successfully kill you quarry after they have killed you once. Being unidentifiable in the game is most certainly a good thing.
- Remember that the cash you have on hand is both a blessing and a curse. On average, most people don't even use $50 per life, and the only time you need more cash than that is to either bribe a security guard or heal yourself in the sickbay. If your cash on hand ever goes about $400, find a bank or deposit box and put some of that money in there.
Aside from the usual Ville rules that apply on the server, there are a few other specialty rules that I like to keep in place to prevent trouble.
- Repeated innocent killing.
- Dropping below about $-6000 (Usually a result of innocent killing, but repeated jail time and fines can get you there.
- Griefing via blocking people in, pushing them into a corner, etc.
- Excessive antagonizing (Whacking an innocent person to make them think you're their hunter). It's okay in small doses as a small tactic, but doing it to everyone gets annoying and would easily be griefing.