Combat - An Overview.
Combat is just one of many activities you can participate in while playing Core Exiles. It has its advantages and disadvantages when compared to other activities. Most players that are reading this already know that there is really no “right” or “wrong” path or way to play the game, just different paths to your goals and what game activities are more more enjoyable to a particular player than other activities. If you are a new player reading this, you'll find that out quickly as well.
What it ain't and what it is
One thing that should be explained right off the bat is what combat in Core Exiles is not. It is not a way to get the upper hand, extort, intimidate or dominate other players. The game system is strictly you versus the computer NPCs. Aside from an automated Mech Combat System used by players to have Mech fights, there is no Player versus Player( PvP) combat at all. You can't steal, destroy or damage another player's in-game possessions and they can't do it you. There are some in-game events that can cause damage to your ship, settlements, equipment, ect., but they are random or semi-random and computer generated and affect all players at some point. They are not caused by other players.
What combat in the game is, is simply another way to gain XP, resources, or loot if you prefer, and credits, one of the in-game currencies.
The advantages to choosing combat as a main activity in Core Exiles are many. Combat has on of the best [fuel used:XP gained] ratios in the game. A single combat takes only 3 units of fuel. 1 unit to scan and 2 units to fight. Unlike some other activities in the game, you get to collect the loot afterward at no fuel cost. The Bio Engine Type 1 you start the game with is capable of regenerating fuel at a rate of 6 units per 15 minute tick or 24 units of fuel per hour. That equals 576 units of fuel regenerated in any 24 hour period. Add the 200 units of fuel you can get by voting every day and that adds up to 776 units of fuel you can use daily. A quick calculation shows that you can conceivably get 258 rounds of combat per day with that fuel. When you first start the game, and your skills and such are low, that is still likely to generate ~100K per day or a bit more once you level a bit. Early leveling comes easy. Once you get up a bit in level (Level 40-50 depending on how you developed your game) 2.5K to ~3.0K XP per ship kill is possible. That is a potential of ~650K to 750K XP gained per day. Enhance fuel regeneration through getting a better engine or even the the 2 extra fuel you get through having a Premium Account and that figure starts going up. Another advantage is the variety and type of loot that you can get. Virtually every resource in the game can be manufactured, refined, mined or extracted but there are those that can only be found with any regularity by doing combat. They will show up while doing other things but since combat gives so many loot opportunities, the odds of getting these rare items is somewhat higher than while doing other activities.
The above also illustrate two of the the disadvantages of combat. Since combat isn't very fuel intensive it becomes time intensive. You have to spend quite a bit of time per day or week using up the fuel you regenerate if you don't want to have your fuel tank get full. There are ways around that but using your daily fuel allotment for as much combat as possible is likely to take 3 or 4 hours of your time per day. If you have a good connection speed and a fast mouse hand, you may get it done a bit quicker. Probably not by much though. Combat loot is random as well. By that I mean you don't get to choose what falls out of ships you have blown up. You have to take what it gives. This isn't a problem except if you are trying to target a specific resource or item. The short version is you can't do that with combat, it is impossible. Fairly quickly though, you will be able to collect some of almost everything that is available in the game. You will have a good range of resources and items to sell, trade or use. Unfortunately, if you rely solely on combat you will likely never have a great quantity of anything. An example might be an item you want built that requires 20,000 steel to make. It is almost a certainty you will have some steel but not anywhere near that amount unless you have been collecting steel as combat loot for a long, long time. Finally, while very rewarding, combat is expensive in game terms. You won't be poor by any means but early on, you will likely be living hand to mouth. Using kill bounties and selling loot just so you will be able to repair your ship on a daily basis and squirrel away enough credits for needed upgrades and such when you need them. Also, with combat as a primary activity you won't excel at doing anything else but combat. Until you have leveled enough that you start getting extra IP that isn't earmarked for combat skills, usually player level 45-50, you will probably have some secondary skills but they will be at only a very basic level.
Most of what follows in the rest of the Combat section on this Wiki will be geared towards a player that wishes to make combat a primary activity but any player who wishes to engage in combat, even on a casual basis, should find at least some parts of it helpful.