How To Start?
Before you dive into FOnline2, take note that there are differences between this server and FOnline 2238.
If you haven't played 2238 (or any other FOnline game for that matter), there are even bigger differences between the FOnline2 server (and FOnline in general) and the single-player games.
There is plenty of information that can be found regarding these differences, with builds and mechanics probably being the most important part for your character planning.
Be patient and remember that characters die often. All of them. When you're a rookie, you die often because you get yourself into risky situations out of ignorance. If you're experienced you get yourself into risky situations through careful planning, because surviving many of them is highly profitable. This can sometimes be a shock to a player used to single-player games or co-op MMORPGs. There are many measures to lower your respawn rate, but none of them have 100% efficiency. Luckily, death in FOnline means only a loss of carried equipment. And this can be replaced easily.
It might be a good idea to check Fonline 2 quick Combat Tutorial.
Some of the more dedicated players (@Balthasar and @paragon) have taken their time and effort to make character planners. You would be wise to use these tools to plan your character in advance:
FOnline2 character planner (third party offline tool) - made by @Balthasar - while this character planner is functional, keep in mind that it is still a work in progress, since the game itself constantly keeps changing as well.
FOnline2 website character planner (stateless) - made by @paragon
When you first launch FOnline2, the UI is self explanatory on choosing a username and password. You can have as many characters as you want, but be warned that they aren't tied to your FOnline2 forum accounts; you'll want to remember their passwords and usernames.
Now that you are in-game, you will want to learn the shortcuts. Here are some of them. To view the rest whilst playing, press F1 to toggle the hotkey display.
- F1 - Toggle screen showing majority of shortcuts
- F6 - Shows the name of the players over their heads
- Q - Shows you the vision range (green line)
- W - Shows you the range of your weapon (red line)
You can also open the FOnline 2 root folder and edit the shortcuts file. Prior to being edited, these are the default hotkeys:
- ALT + F1 - First Aid skill
- ALT + F2 - Doctor skill
- ALT + F3 - Use Super Stimpaks
If you played other servers, you already know that some towns and locations are unprotected. In these you can get killed by anyone. The unprotected towns and locations are:
- Necropolis <- Necropolis is currently (23/10/2013) a dungeon. For more information, see: Necropolis, Vault 12
- Broken Hills
- The Den
- Vault 15 <- Vault 15 is a dungeon for newer characters. Once you have a tent, some basic gear and possibly a couple of allies, it can't hurt to give it a run through.
- Sierra Army Depot <- Base controlling location and a high level dungeon.
- Glow <- Glow is a dungeon with hardcore radiation. You'll want to take your RadX before entering, and have several Rad-Aways on hand. You never know.
The last 4 of them are dungeons meaning that you can obtain valuable or rare items there easily. Most of the previous towns are set up for and support town control.
It's a good idea to buff up your lockpicking skill should you decide to give the dungeons a go. Vault 15 requires a lockpicking skill of around 60%, to get your loot in a reasonable period of time.
Town controlling means that factions can 'attack' it to own it. Faction members can get loot from the loot-box inside each town periodically.
The safe towns are:
- The Hub
- Vault City
- Brotherhood of Steel HQ
- Shady Sands -> Partially protected. The guards here can be defeated by a group of experienced wastelanders.
When you're killed in a safe town, and you were not the initiator of the combat which resulted in your death, you can talk to a guard to regain the items you had on you at the time.
Also, your aggressor won't be allowed back into the safe town.
To trade with players, you can either drop the items on the ground or go up close to the player you want to trade with, hold left click -> choose the Dollar icon. This initiates the "open trading mode" (closed trading mode is bugged due to engine issues, so most probably it won't be fixed anytime soon).
To follow a player, otherwise known as 'tagging', hold left-click -> choose the icon with multiple people. An arrow should appear over the person whom you are following. Conversely, if people are following you, an arrow will appear over their heads.
The benefits of following/being followed, is that you can go to the same areas with other people via the world map. No need to search zones repeatedly until you find an encounter with the person you want to meet up with.
It is extremely useful to get your Outdoorsman skill to 95% as soon as possible. Outdoorsman allows you to choose whether or not to engage in encounters. 95% is the maximum effectiveness. Raising the skill any higher only effects map traveling speed; i.e. reduces it.
Junktown has several quests available for players that are most effective when done as early as possible. One of the most important is getting a tent from Melsak; a tent is a personal base where you can store items. You can also take people to your tent if they're following you.
Do not engage in encounters that are in the immediate vicinity of cities.
Do not engage in encounters between cities either. The zones between cities are known as "highways". The reasoning for this, is that there are players (PKs - Player Killers) who go out of their way to hunt down others whom are in encounters near cities. And that almost never ends well.
Do not enter the encounter with player(s) you don't know, unless you don't care risking loosing the stuff you're carrying. Many people shoot strangers on sight for their own safety. Others do it because they're evil cunts.
Ruins are best places for getting resources like junk, tubes, cords, paper, metal parts or microcircuits. The most accessible in-game ruins are parts around the outskirts of a city, in the same sector as it, but not inside the green circle. They are at the same time one of the most dangerous places due to above-mentioned PKs. If you want to scavenge there, leave anything you wouldn't want to lose back at your tent. Safer ruins can be found in any sector that has some ruins marked on it.
Game generates the encounter basing on the sector you're at, not your exact coordinates. If you're entering a sector that is covered in 50% by the ruins and in 50% by the desert, you'll always have about 50% chance to land in the ruins, no matter if your character is on a piece of land marked as ruins or not. In fact it is safer to look for ruins locating your character away from the area painted as ruins, but in the same sector, as it lowers the chance to stumble into other, often hostile, players.
Make spares! It is very easy to die in FOnline2, and dying means losing equipment. Making all your gear from scratch just because you were unlucky enough to get caught by some PK, got overrun by critters, or just received an unlucky critical to the head is frustrating. Don't make one armor, one gun and a handful of bullets. Craft several of each and after your next few deaths all you'll have to do will be reequipping at your tent and heading out again. If you're starting to run out of spare equipment, take your time to restock your supplies while you still have gear to do it quickly and efficiently.
Most importantly - trust no one! Wasteland is a place of anarchy, and many players like to ease their frustration by hunting down defenseless low-level characters. Others will shoot you on sight just so you don't have a chance to shoot them. Search for friendly players and remember their characters, or mark them as friendly using the left-mouse menu, but don't be too naive and invite the first seemingly nice person back to your tent. This is the reason why tent/base raping is still an actual problem among new players.
Do remember that this is just a game. A game with unique and quite specific mechanics. Many of usual player's habits don't apply here. If you had your head blown off for the 50th time in a row after leaving Junktown, this means you're doing something wrong. Try to think about what that might be. Go on the forums and try to get some assistance, if need be. There are several people who are willing to help you get a foothold in the game.