Build orders suck, etc. They stifle flexibility, yada yada yada.
They also give a leg up for players who otherwise wouldn't have a clue until they'd lost 30-50 games online, so all you guys who are sighing about lack of experienced online community chime in and we'll get some good games going..
I've been out of play for a few months, so please offer insight in 1.11. Previous to that here's what we had.
A simplified version of the old HuntingX model goes a lil bit like this:
1. Buy 200 Crystal
2. Simultaneously build
- Population upgrade
- Cap Factory - queue Colony Cap Ship (if you are TEC, sub a colony frigate)
- Crystal Extractor
- Scout (one for each lane out of home, 2 for each lane if you are playing Vasari and want neutrals)
3. Build Metal Extractors, scuttle Cap Factory, send cap to take nearest roid, build Military lab
4. From here a. rush missile frigates or b. get LRM to first pop cap and then tech Heavey Cruisers, Subverters, or Guardians. Continue to colonize roids, deserts, terrans, and ice planets, making sure to upgrade population at least twice on each ASAP
5. Scout actively and grab a planet at your opponent's doorstep. Build a whole bunch of frigate factories here.
So in this model what makes decent play is control of neutral resources, consolidated and strategic expansion, and creation of only one or two ship models en masse
It looks like the 1.11 patch has rendered single-ship spamming less effective (although I'm looking forward to the threads like "ZOMG Light Frigates SO IMBA!!!1!1!!") What else has it changed?