I've been dragging my feet with this game, mostly because I was under the mistaken impression that you could only use the three starter ships in single-player mode. It was an easy mistake to make, however, seeing as how the icons to select the ships had a tiny, closed padlock in the corner, which is the universal symbol for "you cannot use this thing yet." I had real mixed feelings when I found that one out - yes, there was relief that I wouldn't have to play with the same three ships for 20 hours (possibly getting a fourth or fifth ship with my earned credits), but also annoyance that it had taken me so long to figure that out.
It's not that piloting the starter ships is unpleasant, exactly. It's just that, at least when it came to facing off against the AI bots, I knew everything I need to know about them by the end of my first two hours. Obviously, there's still a lot of skill involved in knowing when to use my abilities and how to track targets while still avoiding fire, and so on, but I have a 100% win percentage against the AI, and I've become confident that nothing would ever disturb that.
And while I don't mind grinding towards some particular purpose, the thought of playing 37 matches to be able to unlock a single new ship, without having any clear idea about whether the new ship would be fun or powerful or offer a novel tactical challenge, was one that did not thrill me. I more or less wrote off my potential future unlocks as a non-issue.
Fortunately, I don't have to do that anymore. I can try all of the ships over the course of the next few hours. At about ten minutes per match, with 34 possible ships means that I have about 6 hours of pure experimentation, before I have to decide on another course of action. That will take me to about the halfway point on the blog. Then, I'll probably have no choice but to try . . . multiplayer!
That's in the future, though. In the meantime, I'll be playing around with a wide variety of fancy spaceship designs, which is really the best part of playing a science-fiction game that his been stripped of all exploration and plot.