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A common sad tale

  • During A Faction Alert, you join a Fightgroup.
  • Your merry band overwhelms the defenders and takes out the enemy outpost.
  • Nobody tries to build the Outpost which you’ll need to win, so you proceed
  • In some sectors, though, instead of cheers, your FG is upset and facepalming

All around are losing their heads and blaming it on you, because:

  • you’ve just started a 2 minute countdown to hell.

Royal Guard sectors

In PvP-Areas, purple non-player character (NPC) ships known as Royal Guards (RG) appear. Most Royal Guards are relatively easy to kill, and they are loyal to whichever Faction built the outpost.

However, the 4 PvP sectors closest to each Faction’s territory are called "Base" sectors in this wiki, and are often called ‘Royal Guard’ sectors in the game. Whenever an Outpost is completed in those sectors, at least 4 RGs appear. These RGs are much tougher than regular RGs, and they are always loyal to the same Faction.

  • Sano, Dione, Nosmo, and Forest -- always loyal to the Varians
  • Quanta, Skoll, Pandora, and Orbita -- always loyal to the Shards

In an Enemy RG sector, the NPCs will attack you and your outpost, and immediately replace it with a BattleFleets outpost, if they are near your Outpost when it is destroyed.

Losing Strategy: Shoot the NPCs

The instinctive response to RG attacks is to shoot them, but this is the worst thing you can do. Yes, they will stop attacking your Outpost, but instead they will vigorously chase you to the ends of the sector, until:

  • You leave the sector (dead or alive)
  • Someone else shoots the RG, and becomes the new target of the chase

The reason this strategy is so bad, is that up to 4 ships in your group are getting damaged and distracted in a pointless exercise.  When the real enemies show up, your ability to defend the sector is substantially reduced, and your Fightgroup can easily get eaten up.

How to Win Alerts in RG sectors: Build the outpost at 2:10

You will need a completed Outpost to win the Faction Alert. The smart strategy is to start building with roughly 2:10 left in the alert. Never speed the build unless it won’t complete before the alert is done.

You won't have any RG ships while the outpost is destroyed or rebuilding, so your Fightgroup(s) can focus on the primary mission of defense until the last few seconds of the alert. The NPC ships will spawn once your outpost completes, but they won’t be around long enough to present a major distraction.

Best General Strategy: Manage the Enemy RGs at the Outpost

A completed Outpost is needed for mining.  The best general strategy for dealing with RGs is to post one healer ship at the outpost. Anybody being chased should either visit another sector, or temporarily enter the Jumpgate. Their RGs will stop chasing them, and head back to the Outpost .

A single Engineer ship can easily heal all of the damage inflicted by the RGs, and collect some decent space bucks in the process. Now all of your other ships are available to defend and/or mine. Your Outpost is actually a little safer this way, since your Engineer is proactively countering an unexpected stealth Tank attack.

Alternative Strategies

From most to least effective:

  • Let the RGs destroy the Outpost, and build it at the proper time (2:10). This is actually the most effective strategy for alerts, but it is hard to do, because there is usually some player who insists upon "saving" the Outpost, or another who starts building too soon again
  • Drag the RGs. One player shoots all of the RGs and then leads them on a low-speed chase around the edges of the sector. If done correctly, only one offensive ship gets involved, but it’s really easy for other ships to get involved -- and distracted from job #1.
  • Kill all of the RGs but one. This reduces the distraction, but takes time and is hard to coordinate. No one knows if they are supposed to keep shooting at their pursuer. If every RG gets killed, a new wave of RGs spawn, and the distraction resumes at full power.

Conclusion

Enemy RG sectors are like a chinese finger trap. The winning strategy is extremely simple, but it is the exact opposite of your instinctive response. Learn how they work, and how to deal with them.