In Vanduul Swarm, the best I could do was wave 8'ish. Drove me crazy. I told my wife that it was impossible! But the leaderboards implied that other players were able to do it.
I use a joystick (X52). The forum told me that aiming was better with a mouse. OK, that's not going to happen, says I. The immersion factor is more important than excelling as a mouse player. Others in the forum used a stick and did well stating that it was just a matter of more practice and excellent hardware. Well, I can do the more practice bit.
It soon became obvious that my poor performance was all the fault of my guns. Maybe not all, I admit, but I did need to upgrade my guns as much as possible. To do that I needed rec. Rec is the currency that lets one rent ships and hardware.
The fastest way to earn rec is to run a few races in the Arena Commander module. Racing is not my style. Don't really cotton to Mario-style space sims but sometimes one simply has to bight the bullet and get the job done. To earn rec all one has to do is complete one lap but I would always drive on to the end.
It didn't take too long before I had enough rec to buy anything I wanted. Took a little while to discover how to convert my rec. One has to go to the RSI Electronic Access store. Not too intuitive that name, I must say.
I started trying out weapon combinations. Weapons change all the time so don't get all huffy-puffy if characteristics change on you. Experimenting with the various combinations and options was sorta fun but I ended up asking Youtube for the best loadout. For my Sabre it was four Panther 227s. Then it wasn't. Now it is again.
Outfit with improved weaponry made a huge difference immediately. I was able to get up to levels 16 or 17 almost consistently. An investment in time and intensity finally got me over the top. Level 19! Yay! Vanduul Swarm (solo) conquered. Then I tried it with people.
|It can be done.|
It's hard getting a full complement of people. Most games are just with one other. But even then Vanduul Swarm can be done ... sometimes. Sometimes a really good player joins you and you're practically carried all the way to the end.
Solo play drops by the wayside except maybe to quickly test a loadout. Playing with people is more fun and interesting.
Graduating from Vanduul Swarm one moves to Pirate Swarm. It's a little different as the enemy ships are more varied. But it is just as doable. It has more tension as who wants to die in wave 17 or 18?
One thing I discovered is that the weapons one tries in Arena Commander often don't work in the Persistent Universe. Always a bit of a shock to realize, too late, that you are shooting blanks.
There are other PvP modules in Arena Commander. I have never played them. I don't plan on playing them. They are for the PvP people who seek to habitually kill other players in game. Not my style. I'm sick to death of shooters and pew pew. I'll learn how to fly but I'm not supporting PvP with my attendance. And I don't play Star Marine, either. Run'n gun not to my tastes. Maybe if they had a me against an NPC squad module.