Wednesday, November 23, 2011

X3 Reunion update

I finally got around to completing the third mission which caused so much grief earlier. Despite having picked up a Nova heavy fighter in the meantime I actually used the Buster ship I started with in the end. A bit of combat experience earned fighting pirates made all the difference and I was able to deal with the fighter escorts quickly enough to follow the target as he jumped between systems.I think the key lesson I learned in combat is that strafing (using the A &D keys) does actually work and helps avoid enemy fire even though it is hard to notice the sideways movement against the background of the stars.

I am sure I will need to move up from my Buster eventually but for now I am enjoying its combination of speed and firepower. It is also loaded with the software I need to control a small but expanding fleet of ships. I now have three Buster medium fighters, one Nova Heavy fighter and a Mercury hauler.

Capturing pirate ships remains my most reliable means of earning money and ships but I did manage to make a few profitable trade runs in the Mercury. Remote trading requires a lot more micro management than I expected. I can control it remotely but I still have to manually give it orders to buy and sell. This could be a matter of not having the correct software installed. The documentation on what software upgrades do is poor and even web resources are often ambiguous. One point I find particularly confusion is whether you need to have the software installed in the ship you are flying or the ship you are controlling.

While my efforts at economic expansion are progressing slowly I am learning more about how the economy works. I can bring down the price of goods in a factory for example by stuffing its pipeline with raw materials and letting it ramp up production. Such lessons may prove useful later when I am able to take a more strategic view of trading.


Van Hemlock said...

I'll concede the documentation is shocking, but I think I'm treating that as part of the fun, because I'm odd like that.

Strafing is enabled by the Boost Extension upgrade, which has nothing to do with afterburners as first I thought. I have no idea if the AIs can use it.

Pirate ship capture is a solid consistent income and quite repeatable. Some of them even make for decent cheap fast mini haulers. Best tactic there is strip the shields as usual, take the hull down to 80% or so, then plink carefully at it with one single unlinked gun each time the shield starts to recover. Each hit below 80% hull dicerolls for the eject, but it might take several goes to get a specific ship. Works for M5/M4/M3 class - M6 and bigger need Marine boarding, which I'm not sure if Reunion has.

Most software needs to go in the remotely operated ship, but you'll need the Trading System Extension in your own currently piloted ship to remotely trade.

For fully automated trading, you'll need the trading ship to have the Trade Command Software Mk3 installed. Costs about 500k and is only sold at Teladi Equipment Docks - costly, but it will pay for itself fairly quickly. This allows the 'Start Sector Trader' command - autonomous trading in a chosen sector.

It gains its own xp and levels while doing that, and at Lv8 and with a Jumpdrive equipped, you can turn it into a Universe Trader, at which point it will just take care of itself. You'll need a lot of Nav Sats deployed around the universe, so it knows where to find the deals. Clever and ultimately liberating, but initially quite complicated to set up.

I've no idea how much tweaking went on between Reunion and Terran Conflict, but sounds like you're having much more of a harsh time of it than I am!

mbp said...

Hi VH. Useful info thank you. 500k for software is outside my budget just yet but I can start preparing by dropping Nav Sats.

From reviews I have read TC did allow a pilot to get started far more quickly than Re-union but I wouldn't underestimate my own clumsiness either. My biggest difficulty with capturing ships for example is killing my self by crashing into the ship in my space suit when I space walk over to claim it.

Did they overhaul the user interface in TC I wonder? I am continually frustrated by menus that have a life of their own. Reading mail for example requires a completely different path through the menus when in station than when flying.

Like you however I am actually treating my difficulties as part of the experience.