Moon Breakers

Imagine: WWII in space. Had a guy in test alliance show this to me. Long story short, you fly your little internet space fighter about asteroid fields, fighting over something or another, which is to say, shooting other internet space fighters.

Free-2-Play indie game; about a 250mb download. You can either install it via Steam or Chrome. Mac OS X, Windows. Prob Linux.

Few basic gametypes, which can basically be summed up as if you are not choosing to fly a bomber, you hunt and kill their bombers, before they torpedo your home base (“carrier”). If you are flying a bomber, your goal in life is to survive to launch your torpedo at the enemy carrier, without it being shot down.

Overview first, then Conclusion and reasoning. At the very bottom, screenshots.

Controls: A/D roll ship, space for go-fasta (afterburner). M1 dakka, M2 for rokkit. I’m told there are throttle controls, but flying at any speed below WAAAAAGH is tantamount to cowardice. Mouse is for steering and aiming.

Maps: Two carriers, and rocks between them. Variations on a theme. About it.

Matchmaking: You click play, and get put in a match. Usually one or two super high ranked players who were in beta, with a few learning players, and then a few outright noobs. Unable to switch teams, join a match with friends, or join a different match.

Ships: Your noob fighter, the Mamba, is pretty decent, not exceptional, but it can kill things just the same as anything else. Fairly nasty when upgraded. Turns well and has a high burner speed. Slow acceleration. Good durability. Primarily a brawler. NEVER STOP MOVING. EVER. You get a bomber, too. Edit: They’ve added rotating free ships as well.

Afterburner: This is your GTFO button. It can kick you up to about 2.5x your normal speed for a short time. Use it to escape, only. Combat maneuvers are fine, but don’t use too much…. Bombers use it only on their final approach to bomb.

Primary weapons: Machine guns. These fire rapidly for 3-4 seconds, then fire slowly after that. You are better off firing your burst and waiting for the heat to dissipate rather than continuing to fire, unless the target is about dead. For the love of everything that is holy, lead your shots. One on target burst is enough to end an enemy light fighter – so don’t fire until you can see the whites of their eyes. Firing at ranges above 500m just advertises your presence.

Secondary weapon: Dumbfire rocket. 5 second reload time. Useful for distracting/killing turrets and hitting ships at short range.

Bombers: These are slow and not agile, but have potent forward guns and 10x your durability. Don’t play chicken with them, you WILL loose.
Unless they are on a firing run at your “carrier” (home base), fire a burst or two then run off. Don’t follow behind them. Otherwise, anyone in the region who isn’t occupied will murder you for an easy kill.

Bomber secondary is a torpedo, which is the primary method of damaging the enemy base. Takes 5 seconds to arm, and travels fairly slowly. Can be shot down both by carrier’s NPC guns or by players (does not detonate). Does massive damage if it does hit. Unknown effect on player craft. Probably instagib if too close. Fire it before you have a fighter zooming in from the side/front, as they can easily rake their fire over the torpedo to blow it up (without big explosion).

Ships can basically be summed up in 3 tiers. Tier 1 are “cheap” to unlock, but only have one weapon system they can use often, the other tending to be niche usefulness. Also tend to be deficient in some stat category. Tier 2 are more expensive, and tend to have a different weapon system than the tier 1 craft do. Generally well-balanced. Tier 3 are stupid expensive and are essentially way overpowered in their current state.

Currency: ‘Credits’, which are earned by participating in battles, and can be used to unlock everything but not buy boosts. ‘He-3’, which you pay real life money for at some pretty horrendous rates. You buy either fighters or credit boosts, but not upgrades. Boosts – 2x,4x,10x, for 1 day, varying He-3 prices.

Ship upgrades: These provide up to about a 10% increase in the stat they affect, in 5 levels. About 2% increase per level. Upgrade Categories: Base Speed, Burner Speed, Burner Capacity, Burner Recharge, Shield Capacity, Shield Recharge, Main weapons ROF, Secondary weapon Range. You really only want to upgrade weapon RoF on the Mamba; the other upgrades aren’t really worth it.

Other weapon types: Cannons, hard hitting, slow moving projectiles. Low RoF. Fast Cannon. Less damage, faster RoF than cannons. Beam Cannons: Very high projectile speed. Long cooldowns. Tracking missiles: After a lock on period, a missile can be launched which reactively (not pre-emptively) tracks its target until it collides with target, runs out of fuel, or hits a roid.

Bottom line: It’s a fun game/timewaster, but lacks some polish. Unique gameplay and graphics. Quick to get in to, and no consequences to quitting in the middle of a match. The major deficit at the moment is how severely it’s biased towards pay2win, and the tier 3 fighters.

PAY 2 WIN NUMBERS: With no boosts, assuming you win half the time and play averagely, you will take 120 games to unlock the cheapest ship in the game, which is a medium fighter. For most ships, it’s about 250 games. Tier 3 (OP tier), 600 games. In terms of real life money, ships cost from 5$ to 13$ to 40$. It’s a better idea to invest in a boost instead, but those are still crazy numbers. If they don’t sort out those numbers and balance quick, after initial interest fades, the game will die and it will die quick. Average loss reward is about 1000, average win about 2500.

 

Tier 3 Light fighter gets tracking missiles – only heavy fighters get these, besides this, highest boost speed in the game, highest normal speed, nearly highest turn speed and acceleration, and it’s the most durable light fighter. People who know how to use these simply rush the flag in CTF matches and boost away with nobody being able to do *anything* about it. Broken.

Tier 3 medium fighter I have not run into, but it seems to be an improved version of the tier 3 light fighter. Ugh.

Tier 2.5 & tier 3 heavy fighters are basically the same ship; which is to say, nasty. Incredible damage, though at a shorter range. Tracking missile. Turn rate, acceleration, burner speed, and max speed comparable to light fighters, and 2x the heat capacity. Ugh.

Tier 3 bomber gets the main weapons of the tier 1.5 heavy fighter, with the boost speed of of a medium fighter, while keeping the intrinsic durability and burner capacity of other bombers. On top of that, the torpedo it mounts is something absurd, that I don’t quite understand. One of these things solos carriers with ease.
Currently, due to the low game pop, there is very few of these tier 3s in the wild that are owned by competent players, but the ones that are can literally walk all over everyone else.


Cobra Fighter: Firing the beam cannon.


More beam cannon. A bit fiddly to hit with, but extreme range and accuracy, good damage. The Cobra is a Tier 2 fighter; machine guns are its main weapon with the beam gun as secondary.

Heh, this thing is fun. Basically a Mamba with 20% less shielding, but better acceleration. 10% less boost speed. More heat capacity, but slower heat dissipation. Well balanced.

Beam cannon requires 0% heat to fire and sets you at 100% heat when you do fire – 5s RoF, in total. Very high range (2km, when upgraded), superb accuracy and projectile speed. Does about 450 damage in one shot. Not for use in close combat, but when you need to, reach out and touch someone. Anyone in a predictable flight pattern, beware.

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