Guide to Vehicles and Navigation Skills


TERRAIN
VEHICLE TYPES
NAVIGATING
LONG-DISTANCE TRAVEL



NOTE: Most items in this guide are unimplemented. Use it for your planning and anticipation purposes. There is NO clear date for implementation of any of the following capabilities, please do not flood the heralds with questions on when they're going to be implemented. Ideas and suggestions are welcome, however.

TERRAIN

Hmm.. Now what do I do?
Terrains and environments are the main component of missions and quests. The Heralds create multiple paths in each mission in order to reach your goal, each mission doesn't just have contraption puzzles to solve, but in order to delve deeper in the mission, you have to go through different terrains, two, three, maybe ten. Some may be a few paces each, some may be hundreds of paces long. Your vehicle may take you through several of those terrains, but in order to proceed you may have to stop your car or land your Havok jet and go afoot. Picking the right equipment for your quest is thus vital. If you get stuck in Quicksand, would you know how to get out?

Quicksand? You're joking. RIGHT?
Quicksand is probably not as horrible as what some enemy Heralds have in store for you. Remember, there are indoor terrains as well. You can go through a room of intensive magnetic fields that may rip you apart, or a lazer-infested bridge. A superpower or a piece of equipment that you may have once thought was useless may suddenly be your ticket to completing your mission. The following is a list of some indoor and outdoor terrains. And subtle clues to how you may be able to traverse them.

Clear [Clearing, Plains, Road] (Common in all cities):
Accessible to any vehicle except boats. No harm walking on foot.

Rugged [Mud, Snow Field]:
Cars (riding a turtle may be faster, however), Amphibians and SUVs. Get your boots dirty. That's what they're made for.

Water [Lake, River, Coast, Beach, Ocean]:
You need boats or Amphibian vehicles to go through this terrain. Ever swam across an ocean? No? I wouldn't recommend it. But hey, sometimes when you're desparate....

Torrent [Desert, Mountain Pass, Hurricane Path, Electro-Magnetic Overdrive (EMO) Zone]:
Weather extremities (How easily can you ADAPT to your ENVIRONMENT?) or energy-amplification zones. Slow movement, saps willpower if onfoot and without proper clothing. May be damaging. I would really really not advice you to carry an expensive laptop when going through the EMO Zone. Don't take your discs either, trust me. Hmm... EMO Zones are magnetic, Hurricane is windy... A mountain pass is really cold and a Desert is REALLY hot. Wonder if I can "control" that?

Damaging [Lava Pool, Quicksand]:
Not a good place to try your power boots. In fact, not a good place to try ANYTHING. Albeit not the Lava Pool. I'd displace over/across it if I could, but that may hurt a little. I saw a camel walk right across quicksand once. Amazing, eh? Ever heard of a Tartarian? Wonder what they can transport you across.. Hmm...?

Thick [Forest, Shrubs]:
Hit on an african tribesman's wife? Good place to hide. This is where your car, amph-vee or bike stops. No, seriously.

Dead-End [Cliff, Wall]:
Advice: Find another way. Don't wanna listen? Let's see you fly or float. You a rubber-band? That is, if there is no ceiling. Heard of the Marvel superheroes Nightcrawler and Kitty Pride? Grappling works in most movies (again, watch for ceilings). Might wanna use that rope for the cliff?

Energy Walls [Lazer Grid, Ion Grid]:
Absorb it if you want, but that won't get your team-mates through. How are the walls powered? Try phasing, but that might kill ya. Teleport an easy way out (or in?). Hmmm.. Maybe you can flick the right switch or use the right device ordered from Spy-Inc?

Sub-Terranean
Now, the question isn't how to go forward, but how to go DOWN. Your boss mind if you borrow the drilling equipment from the construction site? You know why they call Poseidon the "Earth Shaker"? Maybe someone will invent something new some day?

Indoors [Carpet, Wood, Marble, Stone]:
I don't think your planes will wanna go in here. You're wrong, size DOES matter. Some party-poopers like to use their cars and bikes indoors. Dude, take off your shoes, they're being REALLY noisy. You don't want to wake that guard up do ya? You know why museums and banks aren't supposed to have carpet floorings?

Vacuum [Space, Underwater]:
Spaceship and Submarine. Want to leave your vehicle? Two words: Space Suit and SCUBA. You don't have them, don't bother going into this environment.

VEHICLE TYPES

A short note
Vehicles hold four kinds of things: People (The Navigator and Passengers), Cargo, Weapons and finally Equipment. But note that whatever weapons or equipments you install, the external weight counts as internal cargo weight. e.g. if your helicopter's Lazer Canon weighs 150 WU, that is discounted from the total WU of the Mohawk. Examples of equipment are surveillance equipment (e.g. to get information on terrain type, on ground or under ground installations/structures and finally, man counts (how many guards, and where). Also, it's a good idea to lock your vehicles up in Piers, Garages or Hangars at the end of the day, deters thieves and people who have beef with you.

Cars
Cars are the most common vehicles in every city. Understandable, since the terrain is mostly paved roads, which allows for clean access for these strictly paved land based vehicles. Unlike planes or boats, you can park cars anywhere as long as the terrain is accessible.

Bikes
The compact version of cars. Usually allows only one passenger (if any). May go through the shrubs that cars can't. Indoors? Sometimes. Of course, if noise isn't an issue.

Amphibians
These are cars and park in garages, but they can go through rivers, oceans, etc. Good for going through ice (oh, did I forget to mention ICE in the list above? My bad).

Jet/sonic Planes
Excellent land-surveillance vehicles because of the high ground they cover in a short time. Some vehicles have cloaking devices to be visually and/or radar indetectable. Yup, they fly. The catch is, they can only take off or land on an airstrip. Period. You know what paratroopers use? That's right. Parachutes. Just make sure you're not the pilot.

Vertical-Takeoff/Landing Aircraft (VTL's)
The Havok and the Mohawk are good examples. Yes they may need to end up in an aistrip or hangar at the end of the day, but landing them on solid terrain won't hurt.

Gliders
Experimental non-powered vehicles. Not sold in conventional aircraft shops. These are stowed for special purposes. e.g. use your hangar to glide over the cliff and hopefully across the canyon. Or tug your Condor with a plane and glide it silently over enemy territory to be undetected visually (if you can't hear it, you're not going to look up).

Amphibian Vehicles (Amph-Vee's)
E.g. the Surf-Rod. These are cars with over-terrain capability. Making them able to glide over shrubs, desert, mud and especially, water. Disadvantage is, they're just as slow on roads as they are on these terrains.

Boats
These come in all sizes, from small personal (Jet-Ski), to medium commercial (The Commodore), to large millitary (Destroyer) to extra-large industrial (Sea-Mule). Can only enter locations with a water-front or water terrain. And can only stop at these locations if they have a pier/dock.

Submarines
Same as boats, only they have the capability of diving, thereby giving you the ability to access or attack underwater installations. Great for making sneak attacks on surface vessels. Almost strictly used for millitary purposes.

Other
Researchable vehicle types, e.g. Mechs, Sub-Terranean Vehicles, Spaceships, Hybrids. Who knows what may come next?

NAVIGATING

How do I use the clutch again?
All three methods of travel, driving, sailing and piloting are the same with a few exceptions. The basic techniques of driving vehicles will be highlighted here, and extra options noted elsewhere. First of all, the navigation formula is Top Speed multiplied by the sum of a seventieth of your agility plus a hundred and thirtieth of your navigation skill.

Come again?
Say your vehicle's average top speed is 150 Kilo Paces per hour (equivelant to 250 Paces per minute/Turn). Say your agility is 30. Now if you're driving a car, your navigation skill will be driving (say 50). So the math will be: 150 * ((30 / 70) + (50 / 130)) = 150 * (0.42 + 0.38) = 150 * 0.8 (i.e. 80% of the top speed). So you'll be able to drive upto 120 Kilo Paces/hour in this particular vehicle if you have 30 Agility and 50 Driving. Note that with full Agility and full driving skill, you may go upto two times the average top speed of that vehicle. This is how the speed is calculated.

So I start the engine, set my top speed. Then?
Be careful about driving over the speed limit (60 KPH in New York City), if a police man clocks you going at that speed, he may give you a speeding ticket. But as soon as you set the speed you want, use the drop down navigation list to navigate to your next waypoint. Waypoints can be at your city borough, in your parking structure (e.g. Garage, Hangar, Pier), in your enter/exit zone (e.g. Car Yard, Airstrip, Dock) or finally, in a Travel zone (e.g. Highway, Travel Altitude or International Waters). The last one is explained under "Long Distance Travel".

Ok, I'm home. Now I wanna stop.
To stop, you need to press on "Dock", "Land" or "Park". This will automatically slow the vehicle down safely or lower your altitude and smoothly land you on a runway, dock in a port or stop in a parking space. So there's no need to manually slow down before you stop the vehicle. Note that unless the vehicle is stopped, your passengers can't leave and people can't enter the vehicle. Note that unlike boats or planes, cars and VTL crafts can park and land at any safe/solid zone.

How about fuel?
Turning on the engine of your vehicle uses up 1 fuel Percentage, moving it from location to location (regardless of speed) also reduces your fuel by 1 percentage. The only real variation comes with long distance travel. The reason why it costs the same amount of fuel to go from A to B if you go at 50 KP/h or 5 is that the faster you go, the more fuel you use but less time it takes, but the slower you go, the less fuel it takes but the longer you have to wait, so in the end, the variation is almost the same. So it's rounded to 1 fuel point for simplicity's sake. You refuel cars at a gas station. Aircrafts are refueled at your air strip and boats are refueled at your harbor. Airborne refuelling is not going to be supported for the time being.

So again, what's the point of going fast or slow?
The faster you go, the less time penalty you're charged. For example, if your car's moving at 150 KP/h (or 250 Paces per Minute, or 250 Paces per TU) then to move from Brooklyn to Queens will cost you 4 TU (there are 1000 Paces from one location in a city to another, except waypoints).

What's the breakdown of the different waypoints and how far apart they are?
Travel between locations: 1000 Paces. (e.g. Brooklyn to Manhattan)
Travel from a location to an entry/exit waypoint: 100 Paces. (e.g. Long Island to the Air Strip)
Travel from an entry/exit waypoint to a travel waypoint: 5000 paces. (e.g. The Harbor to International Waters)


LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL

So the travel waypoint is my ticket out of the city?
Exactly. Of course, getting a ticket at the airport or the sea port and jumping on a boat or plane will save you the need of all these technicalities, but still, these are the basics the game is built on (oh yeah, the formula is part of the code, so that's copyrighted too, so if you'd like to re-use them for yourself, let me know and I'd be glad to give you permission).

So how does it work?
Well from your travel point, you have three choices:
1- Go back to the city. (5000 Paces)
2- Go to a chartered location. (X Paces calculated by the distance between the two locations).
3- Go to an uncharartered location. (X Paces calculated by geo-positioning, to do this you need the coordinates of the point you want to go to. If the points do not exist in the game penalty, you stay where you are and get 5 time units penalty).

Ok. Coordinates?
The earth is geometrically divided into two axes: The Prime Meridian/Longitude (a.k.a. Greenwich) and the Equator/Latitude. The Meridian determines the Y of the coordinates (North to South), the Equator determines the X of the coordinates (East to West). Each X or Y is determined by three numbers and a letter: The Degree, Minute, Seconds and Direction of the long/lat. For simplicity purposes, the game database only stores the Degrees and Direction components of the coords. So it's 40N, 70W instead of +4015'00", -7038'00" The Z of the coordinates are determined after arriving at the X, Y. Coordinates. Altitude for aircraft (+Z) and Depth for submarines or subterranean vehicles (-Z).

What's New York City's Coordinates?
Varies, but the closest rounded number is 40N, 73W. And that's how it's saved in the game database.

So that means if I want my own plot of land in say 38N, 60W, I can have it?
Yes, people who donate $20 to the game will get their own plot of land (The game already has three proud owners of coordinates land as of the date of writing this tutorial). Note, however, that 38N 60W will put you in the Atlantic. So unless you're planning to have a completely underwater installation, it is not recommended to get coordinates in the ocean. Also, if Heralds have reserved coordinates for Quests or Missions, those cannot be taken. The same applies to the cities we have planned for the game.

More cities than just New York?
Feast your eyes:

Toronto - 43N 79W
London, England - 51N 0W
Cairo, Egypt - 30N 31E
Athens, Greece - 58N 43E
Los Angeles, CA - 34N 118W
Lima, Peru - 0S 2W
Chicago, Illinois - 41N 87W
Moscow, Russia - 45N 36E
Tokyo, Japan - 35N 139E
Beijing, China - 55N 25E
Halifax, Canada - 44N 63W
Paris, France - 48N 02E
Amsterdam - 22N 53E
Tel Aviv, Israel - 32N 34E
Gaza, Palestine - 31N 34E
Sydney, Australia - 33S 151E
Istanbul, Turkey - 41N 28E
Vienna, Austria - 14N 20E
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - 22S 43W
Capetown, South Africa - 33S 18E
Bombay, India - 18N 74W
Vancouver, BC, Canada - 16N 07W
Seattle, Washington - 27N 18W
Miami, Florida - 48N 16W
Kansas City, Kansas - 39N 94W
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 25N 55E

(Courtesy Adam Flint, our city-coordinates expert).
Each of these cities will be implemented as the population of TKOS increases and as quests and missions need them to be up. But hopefully by the Alpha phase, all of these cities should be available.

So going back to the subject at the beginning of the tutorial, these cities will each have a different terrain?
No. Terrains are only used in Quests and Missions. All cities have roads and water-fronts by default. Heralds construct buildings (say the Museum that Tetra built to secretly house the Holy Grail in its basement) or coordinate locations that are complex and detailed down to the paces and the terrains in them. This is because the In-City Game Console differs in look and feel from the Adventure Console. Look out for the Quests and Missions Tutorials coming up within the next few months to get more information.