Steambirds Alliance General Guide for Beginners

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General Guide for Beginners

Game Objective

Like many mmos, the final objective is not clearly defined, but most players aim to get maxed level fully geared characters and doing the hardest content.
Or just making friends and looking cool.
A good start is unlocking all the classes, or getting T7 or T8 gear and joining high level player groups at events.

Star rule, Revive, Scaling

Game mechanics that aren’t explained anywhere in particular.
Any plane hit by many hits in a short time will become invulnerable to further hits for a small time, and they will show up as stars coming out of the plane.
Any plane that gets healed during the death animation (by a medic, paladin, health pickup, or level up) can be brought back from death (although it seems there’s a cooldown on further saves).

Bosses have defense scaling based on number of player planes close to them, although the damage numbers display the same in all cases. It can be imagined as hp scaling, even if it technically isn’t.

Rebel City

The main player hub of the game. Contains various buildings that the player can enter for different functionality.
You can switch between Rebel City instances from the the options menu.
A list of buildings and their function can be found in the Annex

Classes and weapons they use

There’s currently 14 classes. Some are planes, some are hovercraft. The list and their unlock requirements can be found in the Annex and also ingame when creating a plane or in the skills menu.
Each class can use only some types of weapons. The game is quite bad at providing this information, so we provide a list in the Annex

Some notable information about weapon types:
Snipers: They deal more damage up close
Shotguns: They deal more damage up close
Wasps: They deal more damage if you can sit on the enemy to hit with all shots
Swords: The bottom half deals more damage than the top half

Item tiers

  • T0-T10 are your usual “linearly scaling” items, although patterns may change a bit.
  • Elemental (ELEM) weapons deal elemental damage and have unusual patterns, some are better than T10s, some are quite bad. Generally they are good in the dungeons where the enemies are weak to the element. They are drop only from elemental bosses of elemental dungeons.
  • Ultra Rare (UR) weapons are either rare drops or crafts. They are very varied in pattern and power, some are better than T10s, some are situational, others you wonder why they even exist.

The drop table for items can be found in the Annex.

Inventory, storage and death

All your planes/characters share the same inventory (called “cargo” by the game). Death will mean losing that plane with its equipment, but also all that is currently in the cargo. Items can be put in storage, where they are safe from death.

Spare items

Spare items can be put into storage for future use, traded with other players (see Trading), or as is most often the case, thrown into the ground if they aren’t valuable. They can’t be sold / scrapped / etc.
If you have an item you don’t want but is used in a crafting recipe (see Crafting), you can “deposit it” in the recipe, in case you later want to fulfill the recipe.

Structure of the Island Map

It’s a round island, divided into different areas in the form of rings or ring segments.
The center of the island is the starter area, and is a circle. The first ring is the next in difficulty area, and so on. Some of the lower level rings have various themed subareas.
The edge of the map contains the hardest enemies, and flying way past it teleports you back to rebel city.

Teleporting

Whenever you’re in the same map as another player, you can teleport to them after a 3 second delay. You’ll be invulnerable for 3 seconds after arriving, provided you don’t shoot, or use items/abilities before/after the teleport.
There’s various methods for teleporting:

  • Looking at a player’s green portrait and pressing the hotkey
  • Clicking on a player’s green portrait
  • Using the /tp “playername” chat command
  • Clicking on a player from the friends menu

Upgrades and upgrading your plane

Upgrades are consumable items that boost a certain stat on your plane. All upgrades applied are unique to that plane, and lost if said plane dies.
Upgrades are obtained from particular bosses and enemies, you can check at the loot table in the annex for more information.
There’s a cap to how many upgrades you can use on a given stat.
If you press “esc->stats” you can see how many permanent upgrades you have spent on that plane, and the cap.
You can consume upgrades past the limit, but it’s just a waste as it does nothing but still spends the item.
Some upgrades are more common than others. The hardest to get are “Fusion Capacitor”, “Armor Stiffener”, “Barrel Dopant” and “Self-Repair Juice”. Armor stiffeners, fusion capacitors and barrel dopants are among the most useful upgrades, and are also used as trading currency between players.
The current list of upgrade types and values can be found at the Annex.
The drop table for upgrades can be found in the Annex.

Elements

The game has an elemental damage system.
Player weapons can deal elemental damage of certain types, it’s detailed in the tooltips.
Players can gain % elemental resist, either from certain UR armors or consuming upgrades.
Some enemies are elemental, meaning they deal either none, partial or full elemental damage, and have elemental resists and weakness. Elemental enemies are resistant to their own element.
An enemy resistant to an element will only take half damage from said element (and in rare cases, resist all damage), while an enemy that is weak to an element will take double damage from that element.
Elements and properties:

  • Fire : Weak to water
  • Water : Weak to shock
  • Shock : Weak to ice
  • Ice : Weak to poison
  • Poison : Weak to fire

Missions

Mostly explained after the tutorial.
Some missions (starting as early as level 7) also give scrap, which is a game earnable currency, and copper, which can be crafted into T8 items.
Daily bounties and daily login rewards are also missions that need to be acquired at the Pilot’s Pub.
Missions can be automatically obtained while at the island, but the details of how this works are unclear. It seems being close to the mission target or next to a player with the mission are relevant factors.
For missions that require you to kill certain enemies, the trigger is proximity based, so don’t wander too far when the enemy is about to die or it won’t count, even if you still get loot.
While the ingame store sells “special mission plans”, those aren’t actually missions, but consumable items that spawn a dungeon entrance.

Crafting

At the rightmost building of Rebel City you can craft. The system is such that you accept a crafting recipe, you then can deposit items in the recipe. You don’t need to have them all at once to craft.
Recipes can’t be cancelled, there’s no downside to accepting extra recipes, but expect some visual clutter if you do so.
Note that if you have an item that can be used in a crafting recipe, the crafting recipe will turn yellow and move to the top of the menu. Items currently used for crafting are copper, colored steels, and UR/ELEM guns.

Treasure chests

Treasure chests spawn in various places in the game, and can drop some decent loot depending on which chest is it. Chests are on a timer, so after anyone hits it, the chest will open after a few seconds. It’s common courtesy to try to call other interested players to chests before you start hitting them, although some high level players only care about certain particular chests these days.

Bosses and setpieces

When an island is spawned, it has a considerable amount of setpiece bosses in it, each in a corresponding setpiece (a fixed shape part of the map, shows as a red square in the minimap).
If all of the high level ones are killed, everyone who was in the island gets sent to the final boss, who is as deadly as rewarding.
Bosses weaker than Doctor Octo are not needed to close the realm, and will actually respawn if nobody is around the setpiece area for 10 minutes or so.
Also killing any setpiece boss has a chance to spawn a random event boss.
Also there’s some chance that an island will spawn with an unmarked treasure setpiece. This setpiece is not part of any quest markers, and contains a treasure chest in the center, which becomes vulnerable after completing a small mission that you obtain when you hang around it. The reward of the chest is deposited directly into your inventory if you fulfill the mission, a random T9 item.
The current list of setpiece bosses can be found at the Annex
The current list of event bosses can be found at the Annex

Dungeons

Dungeon entrances drop from certain enemies randomly, but can also be bought from the shop using gold. Their name in the shop is “Special Mission Plans”
The dungeon entrance looks like a dropship and the number displayed in the front/deck of it is the tier of the dungeon. The number displayed at the top is the timer until it disappears.
The current list of dungeons can be found at the Annex.
The drop table for dungeons can be found in the Annex.

Exp

Anyone who is near a mob as it dies is given exp, even if . Everyone gets the same exp, nothing is divided.
A plane may never get more than half the exp it needs to get to the next level. So for example, if you’d level up with 3000 exp, a single mob will only give you 1500. This number can be checked at the stats screen.
At level 20 however, the constraint is lifted, and you can obtain any amount of exp from a single enemy.
The amount of exp each enemy gives can be found in the Annex

Loot

To qualify for loot on an enemy you need to deal an small amount of damage on it, somewhere around 1 to 3%.
All loot dropped by enemies can only be seen and picked up by you. You can tell because the loot seems to be drifting away.
All loot dropped by players can be seen and picked up by anyone. You can tell because the loot stays in place.
Items that have a description of “soulbound” can only be seen and picked by the player that has them, even if dropped. You can tell because the loot seems to be drifting away. They can still be exchanged between players using the trading feature.

Pilot skills/levels

Your plane’s lifetime exp gets transformed into “training points” when you die. Said lifetime exp is displayed at the exp bar after a plane reaches lvl 20.
With enough training points you’ll gain a pilot level. Certain levels will unlock certain pilot skills. At the pilot school in Rebel City you can assign skill points to skills.
Respecs are free.
You can buy more “skill loadouts” if you want to quickly switch between skillsets.

Players have created a pilot exp calculator and a skill simulator, they can be found in Annex

Bounties

Bounties are special daily missions that appear on set days and give colored steels as rewards. They can be anticipated in the “upcoming events” menu which is show on login and can be accessed from the options menu.
Colored steels are used to craft/upgrade elemental and UR items.
Bounties can be picked up from the Pilots Pub every day. They refresh at 5pm pst.
The current bounties and their rewards can be consulted in the Annex.

Where to powerlevel?

High level dungeons, if you can find a group that clears them instead of rushing them.
The Dig can’t be rushed, so it’s a nice place if you can survive.
It’s recommended that you wear at least a T8 armor and have some decent understanding of enemy patterns if you’re attempting powerleveling.

Trading

Trading is done using the command /trade, or clicking on a player on the friend list. The player initiating the trade will show a circular pulsating effect on the screen of the player receiving the trade. Said player can then move into the circle (or also try to start a trade) to commence the trade.
Certain items have a trading fee associated, which is “spent” in the trade. It can be paid either in gold or scrap, and either have one player pay all of it or pay half and half.
You can also trade gold.

Currency

Gold: Purchased with real $
Scrap: Obtained ingame for doing certain missions, killing meowza, and at plane death based on your total exp

Shop items

Some of the things for sale in the shop get automatically applied, others are given as an item and put in the player inventory, then the player needs to consume them to use them (or can trade them with other players or whatever else you can do with a normal item)
Be careful of not dying while carrying shop items, they will be lost!
Special mission plans (dungeon keys) are tradeable one use items
Skins (plane variants) are tradeable one use items. After using one you permanently gain the ability to choose the skin on plane creation. Also the “epic” versions of skins (15k gold cost) currently also come with special fx for the plane abilities. For a preview check the Annex
Trails are tradeable and come with unlimited uses. It used to be that if you used them once you couldn’t trade them anymore, but apparently that restriction has been lifted.
Paints are tradeable and come with 5 uses, however, using them once makes them untradeable.
Storage/Hangar space/Emotes gets automatically used.

Class tier list?

These are the most popular classes as of April 2019, according to a player run survey: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10yiVBKHheP-yKNcb39he-xryg6deW8l57j_12hbgBzE/edit#gid=1690891209

Why do I see people spamming “Rally to me!” in dungeons?

The rally system doesn’t call to anything that isn’t your quest objective or a setpiece. This means in a dungeon it can’t differentiate between treasure chests/mid boss/boss. So some players use the amount of rallies to signify the type of thing they are calling.

Terminology / Acronyms / Slang

A lot of lingo comes from RotMG, and some acronyms have developed, here’s a few.

  • Rebel City = RC = Nexus
  • Island = Realm
  • Stiffy = “Armor Stiffener” upgrade (+1 max armor)
  • Dope = Dopant = “Barrel Dopant” upgrade (+1 damage)
  • Juice = “Self-repair Juice” upgrade (+1 armor regen)
  • Cap = Fuse = “Fusion Capacitor” upgrade (+1 max steam)
  • Rare upgrade = A stiffy, dope, cap, rarely also a juice
  • Special mission = Dungeon
  • UR = Ultra Rare = Untiered = UT = Refers to ultra rare equipments (not to be confused with upgrades which the game also marks as URs)
  • Fire/Water/Elec/Poison/Ice <weapon> = The purely elemental variant of a weapon, for example, “fire wasp”
  • x/y = Used after a boss to say what loot you got, for example, “2/0” would mean you got the guaranteed two upgrades and nothing else.

Important known bugs / issues / interactions

  • When the game first starts up, keys are captured, so switching to a different window before it finishes loading may result in you doing unexpected things in the game (as terrible as accidentally buying hangar space)
  • Shop oddity: Buying the starter pack cancels the “first hangar/storage slot purchase” discount of a new account.
  • Can’t enter a dungeon: Sometimes the dungeon server breaks and the dungeon entrances fail to activate. If the broken dungeon came from a key, you’ll get it back automatically. Supposedly.
  • White spider minions divide after any damage is done to them, but won’t divide if one shot. It’s a good idea to let the people who can one shot the minions do so during phase 2, if you’re unable to do so. This also sort of applies to the enemy “pleasure drone”, although someone may be intentionally trying to spawn a lot of them for exp or to fulfill a mission.
  • You can shoot and damage enemies that end up “elevated” on walls, but loot may drift away if you do, so it’s not advised to do so at some dungeon outer walls.
  • The first time you enter the hangar, the game crashes.

Annex: Rebel City Buildings

  • Hangar : Change planes/characters
  • Storage : Store items safely. It’s also present at the entrance of most dungeons.
  • Store : Buy things with currency
  • Pilot’s Pub : Get / turn in missions
  • Pilot School : Assign skills
  • The workshop : Craft
  • Entrance to the island(s) : Enter the world

Annex: Class weapon table

BlasterWaspLaserShotgunMachine GunSniperArcSword
Old Faithful✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Medic✔️✔️
Assault✔️
Raptor✔️✔️
Duster✔️
Engineer✔️✔️
Paladin✔️
Hog✔️
Quad✔️🔧✔️🔧✔️
Shieldmaiden✔️
Merlin✔️
Bandit✔️✔️🔧
Dagger Knight✔️🔧✔️🔧✔️
Siege Tank✔️🔧✔️✔️🔧

🔧 Indicates there’s a skill requirement

Annex: Class unlock requirements

Double circles are used for hovercraft classes

 

If a class has two requirements, they are both mandatory, it’s not “one or the other”.

ClassRequirement
PaladinQuad 5
ShieldmaidenQuad 15
Paladin 5
Dagger KnightShieldmaiden 15
BanditDagger Knight 20
Hog 15
Siege TankBandit 20
Old FaithfulPalain 15
MedicOld Faithful 5
AssaultOld Faithful 15
HogMedic 15
MerlinAssault 20
EngineerHog 20
Assault 15
RaptorMerlin 20
DusterEngineer 20

Annex: Upgrade types

UpgradeEffect
Armor Stiffener+1 max armor
Barrel Dopant+1% damage
Self Repair Juice+1% armor self-repair
Fusion Capacitor+1 max steam
Steam Turbocharger+1% steam recharge
Cowl Lube+1% super speed
Rubber Sealant+1 % shock resist
Transformer Coil+2% shock damage
Heavy Caulk+1% water resist
Wetting Agent+2% water damage
Heat Stiffener+1% fire resist
Department formula+2% fire damage
Poison Filter+1% poison resist
Diatomacius Solution+2% poison damage
Whale Oil+1% ice resist
Nucleation-active Protein+2% ice damage

While resist upgrades list as giving 1% resist each, the number is actually slightly lower as it takes 25 upgrades to get 20% resist.

Annex: Setpiece boss list

Vaguely ordered by difficulty. The events needed to trigger meowza are T7 and up.

  • Big Dog
  • Fisher Crab
  • Time Ghost
  • Temple of Ra
  • Berserker
  • Pharaoh (T5)
  • Gargantua (T5)
  • Doctor Octo(T7)
  • Jester (T8)
  • Lobbyist (T10)
  • Noble Politician (T10)
  • Ra Generator (T10)
  • Ambassador (T10)
  • Dr Notra (T10)

Annex: Event boss list

  • Mysterious Black Box (harmless enemy, spawns a dungeon 100% of the time, T10)
  • Judge Chariot (T7)
  • Great Trawler -> Kraken (Water, T10)
  • Jinn (Fire, T10)
  • Kai (Water, T10)
  • Rei (Lightning, T10)
  • White Spider (Poison, T10)

Annex: Dungeon list

Current list of dungeons (and their main element):

  • Bomb Factory
  • Laser Playground
  • The Arena (T5)
  • Home for Special Children (Lightning, T6)
  • Crypt of Cathulu (Water, T9)
  • Temple of Bast (Water+Fire?, T10)
  • Corrupted Egg Temple (Poison, T10)
  • Super Secret Base (Ice, T10)
  • Iron Lair (T10)
  • Frozen Owl Monastery (Ice, T10)
  • Elder Arena (Lightning, T10)
  • The Vaults (Poison, T10)
  • The Dig (T10)

Annex: Drop table

Be warned that this list is maintained by players and may not be accurate in the future:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10QGzfzvRaEVRPzzIHAKgsiz6JCI2Et0XIPdZxYZT5Zk

Annex: Pilot exp table

There is a website maintained by a player with the info and a calculator http://tiffit.net/SBAInfo/

Annex: Bounty list

DayBounty targetDungeon where it’s foundWhat spawns the dungeonSteel type
?Dr. GeckelstonHome for Special ChildrenChariot Judge / Dr. Orcto / JesterYellow
?ReiSpawned in islandYellow
?High Priestess TiffanyTemple of BastKaiblue
?KaiSpawned in islandBlue
?Poison GodCorrupted Egg TempleWhite SpiderPurple
?White SpiderSpawned in islandPurple
?Traitor PhoenixRe-education CampJinnRed
?JinnSpawned in islandRed
?Doomsday MechanismSuper Secret BaseAmbassadorWhite
?Frozen HorrorFrozen Owl MonasterySN-ZWhite
Saturday 1The Dig MissionThe DigDoctor NotraDark
Saturday 2The Vaults MissionThe VaultsDoctor NotraDark
Sunday 1SN-Z aka “sneezy”Iron LairMysterious Black BoxDark
Sunday 2MeowzaKill all setpiece bossesDark

Annex: Crafting list

List detailing the amount of steels needed. You always need the previous version of the item too except for lvl I crafts.
Be warned that this list is maintained by players and may not be accurate in the future:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19V6R55IvQuJnbf6trVnXlKGkOQzX3avC_ha6X927WaM/edit#gid=1944206129

Annex: Formulas

We don’t know much about most of them, but here’s a few we have some idea of:
Each 1% attack increases the attack stat by 1.
Each 1% steam regen increases the steam regen by 0.004 (due to planes having a base regen of 0.4).

Damage dealt seems to follow a formula like this, with some variation in rounding:
[ physical base damage * (attack/100) + elemental damage base damage * ((attack+elemental damage bonus)/100) ] * multipliers

Annex: Useful links

Official links

Main website and mailing list signup: http://www.steambirds.com/
Blog: https://community.steambirds.com/news
Forums (soon to be eliminated): https://community.steambirds.com/forums
Steam Forums (replacing the old ones): https://steamcommunity.com/app/386010/discussions/
Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/spryfoxgames
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiBF7Jj9i8-k_f7M2m_N-pQ
SBA Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteambirdsGame
Spryfox Twitter: https://twitter.com/spryfox
Support page: https://support.spryfox.com/hc/en-us/categories/202699708-Steambirds-Alliance

Community run links

Deprecated Wiki: https://steambirds-alliance.wikia.com/
Up to date Wiki: https://sba.wiki/wiki/Main_Page
Subreddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/SteamBirdsAlliance/
IRC: #steambirdsalliance on irc.sorcery.net (quite dead)
Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/KF4vyDC
Skill simulator: https://meowzadb.com/skill-builds/
Exp calculator: https://tiffit.net/SBAInfo/

Annex: Skin/trails preview

Preview of all the epic skin fxs and trails in the game, see video description for easier navigation:

Annex: Crafting list

List detailing the amount of steels needed. You always need the previous version of the item too except for lvl I crafts.
Be warned that this list is maintained by players and may not be accurate in the future:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19V6R55IvQuJnbf6trVnXlKGkOQzX3avC_ha6X927WaM/edit#gid=1944206129

Annex: Formulas

We don’t know much about most of them, but here’s a few we have some idea of:
Each 1% attack increases the attack stat by 1.
Each 1% steam regen increases the steam regen by 0.004 (due to planes having a base regen of 0.4).

Damage dealt seems to follow a formula like this, with some variation in rounding:
[ physical base damage * (attack/100) + elemental damage base damage * ((attack+elemental damage bonus)/100) ] * multipliers

Annex: Useful links

Official links

Main website and mailing list signup: http://www.steambirds.com/
Blog: https://community.steambirds.com/news
Forums (soon to be eliminated): https://community.steambirds.com/forums
Steam Forums (replacing the old ones): https://steamcommunity.com/app/386010/discussions/
Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/spryfoxgames
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiBF7Jj9i8-k_f7M2m_N-pQ
SBA Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteambirdsGame
Spryfox Twitter: https://twitter.com/spryfox
Support page: https://support.spryfox.com/hc/en-us/categories/202699708-Steambirds-Alliance

Community run links

Deprecated Wiki: https://steambirds-alliance.wikia.com/
Up to date Wiki: https://sba.wiki/wiki/Main_Page
Subreddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/SteamBirdsAlliance/
IRC: #steambirdsalliance on irc.sorcery.net (quite dead)
Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/KF4vyDC
Skill simulator: https://meowzadb.com/skill-builds/
Exp calculator: https://tiffit.net/SBAInfo/

Annex: Skin/trails preview

Preview of all the epic skin fxs and trails in the game, see video description for easier navigation:

Alpha exclusive trails:

Trails that were given during the alpha period of the game.

Annex: Trivia

The names of the islands are puns using the surnames of the developers.
Meowza is the nickname of the main artist, much like Oryx provided the sprites for RotMG.

This is the ending of the guide. I hope it will help you. If there is wrong or you have suggestions, please let’s know and comment us. Have fun.

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Written by BNeutral

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