Gameplay: Backyards - The first steps
  The first meager steps everyone takes into the world of Rubi-Ka - the backyards and training grounds. We've all been there, and most of us will always come back at one point or another. For new and old players alike, the backyards have seen a bit of glamour lately with new features and more content, and here's the lowdown.      
Once you pass the character creation, choose a side and enter the shuttle down to Rubi-Ka, this is where you'll end up - a holographic trainingground connected to all backyards (or highrises - the apartment complexes in the large cities where you can live). This is where you'll take your first steps and learn how to move about and how things work. Initially rather stripped, the new backyards have seen some improvements and is now a much more giving experience for the first few levels. We will show you all there is to it in this little quick-quide.

The training ground, or holoworld, or junkyard - or whatever the specific side calls their training programs - all share some similar elements you should familiarize yourself with first.

  When you first arrive, you'll be in a small enclosed section - similar for all sides. This works like a sort of safe-zone, where nothing will harm you. A couple strong guards make sure nothing hostile gets within.

Besides respawn/reclaim pads here, you'll have 2 shop-like terminals like in the image to the left. They might not like exactly like this as the differ from side to side, but you'll recognize what is what by their symbols. One is a basic shop terminal that sells only the most basic of equipment, like nano/health rechargers - everything of quality level 1. The second terminal is a new "Random Name Generator".

Using the Name Generator will change your first and last name and pick something new for you each time you use it. This service is free until you pass a certain level where it starts charging you a small fee. This service is usable by anyone though, so you can freely come back here 100 levels later if you want to change your name for a small fee.

Next we'll look at the new trader, the one you'll want to visit for equipment other than the basics of the start-up shop, as well as the various loot and rewards, and a distinct look at the sided backyards along with their new bosses.

The Secondhand Peddler
Each Backyard area now has a distinct trader in addition to the start-up shop, the "Secondhand Peddler" who deals in quite the useful stuff for beginners. Armor, weapons, ammo, clothes - even some rare ones like the Electron pistols that add to NCU, the old Freedom Arms pistols, Nova Flows, and other assorted goodies levels 1-4 that are usually coveted in the higher levels. For clanners, the Secondhand Peddler is also known to sell a few pieces of the Omni-Med suit usually only gotten from the fine stores of the Omni-Tek cities.  

The Loot and Rewards
Loot being the rewards you can hope to find while 'adventuring' through these backyards, have seen a good increase, and it's now possible to actually make a small fortune that will help you once you are ready for the big world out there. The 'monster' class mobs usually drops pieces of monster parts, but also gems and jewels (see the Jewelry Guide for more info what to do with those). The humanoid mobs can now drop weapons and armor too, wich is quite useful when you have none. In addition, all mobs in the backyards can drop a token aptly called "Take me to the Shop" - a token appreciation I guess, one that will net you in the excess of 160 credits when sold to any shop, in the backyards or outside.

Then of course we have the new bosses - if you can best one, you'll be rewarded with a handsome reward based on level, just like you would taking down any other type boss. That is, 5-8 items of value, even some rares here and there, and usually netting several thousand credits. The bosses come in level 3 or 4, so the loot they drop will be of similar quality. Very good for nacking a few pieces of Kirch Kevlar, Dillon, Sekutek, even Headskin Chips and similar early on.

The Omni-Tek Backyard
The Omni-Tek Backyard, or Holoworld, is a lush and vibrant forrest scenario with rolling hills and a mountainrange encompassing it all. A quarter of the area also house a swamp enviroment with a river running around it, crossable by a bridge. The local wildlife here, apart from the occasional humanoid bandit, consists of Leets, Reets, Snakes and Lizards as well as the occasional clan.

In the swamp area, you'll find the head honcho here, a rather unique swamp dwelling creature, a "murk dweller" with a knack for swimming (you'll discover that when you try to run from him by jumping in the river). As with all these backyard bosses, don't try him out solo before you're atleast level 5 or higher as they do throw quite some damage if you get them started.

The Clan Backyard

The Clan backyard, or Entertainment Park, portrays much of what you'll find in the northern territories - sand, dust and deserts, lined with the occasional crowd of trees or oasis. The whole area is split into 4 walled in section, and besides a lush artificial waterfall in the first area, the enviroment is pretty similiar all over. Surrounding the whole playground is the distinct sandstone view of northern cities.

As with the other backyards, the Entertainment Park is littered with Leets, Reets, and Lizards, but also the dreaded Rollerrats that usually drops the useful tails (see the Quest with Tirbo Ratcatcher what do with these), as well as some Blubbags and the occasional Bandit. The big bad boss who runs the whole deal is a big salamander "Mudpuppy" that hangs out in a dump furthest away from where you enter.

The Neutral Backyard

Neutral Backyards, or Junkyards, are just that - mostly junkyards. It is also by far the largest of all backyards, twice as large as any of the others, with unique terrain covering everything from the piles of scrap, run down buildings, to rolling hills and caves, light forrests, a small lake and plains. Everything surrounded by a large mountain range. The inhabitants of the Junkyard differs a little from the others, as you'll find mostly mutants and robots here, with the occasional leet and rollerrat. Far to the left, in what appears to be a run down fortress of sorts, a giant hulking robot resides wich is also the thing in charge here similar to that of the Junkyard outside Athens.

And Last...
Starting out in the backyards are now a much more rewarding experience, and if you are a new player, there's a lot to learn here. Earlier you couldn't get out of the backyard fast enough to get some real action, but now I personally prefer staying until around level 8-9 simply because the xp is fast, the rewards are good, and everything is just laid out plain and simple. The only thing lacking is a more proper integration of the beginner mission crawls as they are now almost obsolete, hidden outside with the apartments and rather useless once a player feels he or she is finished with the training.

Last updated 1. April 2003