January 31, 2006

The Empire begins ..

So here I have it .. a whopping great freighter with a massive hold (the largest ship I had has about 160t for cargo, fully upgraded .. the freighter has 5,700t before I upgrade it .. then it gets to 7,500..
So I start off trying to fill it with energy cells .. which at 12 a unit I figured I could manage a decent load .. but no the ship proved to be a bottomless pit - and all my credits half filled it with energy. So the situation being rather dire, I set out looking for somewhere really needing energy to send it there, sell and return. After a few loads of selling at 18-19 and buying for12-15 I was at least able to fill it each time I sent it.

Luckily there's 2 power plants in the sector so one usually has a decent stockpile when it gets back. so I can reload it and send it off again. Since I can't afford the software to automate the process (it ain't cheap at 501K that's for sure) while I was doing this I wasn't that occupied, so at first I had some fun escorting my new freighter and once I realised how boring that was I spent time exploring and avoiding combat with anyone.

Well ! This worked out to be quite a bonus because in a sector I was peeking around in, I found the most bizarre thing - an unowned Buster, kitted out but sat there empty. So being the true space pirate that I am I decided I'd borrow it and "left a note for the owner" but hey.

Inspired by this (and having a whole day ahead of me to do it .. gotta love flexes) I kept going.. Over the course of the day I found another freighter, a passenger ship, 75000 credits and about 100K worth of space weed. So I got 2 freighters going on the energy run. It's not that lucrative but it's easy work, every station wants energy regardless of what it makes, whereas if I was to pick something like cloth, not everywhere uses it making the job much harder.

Obviously I'm doing my best to keep the distillery full and I'm taking as much from it as cheaply as I can. So far I've made a couple of nice runs so my bank balance is 'tidy' even after kitting out all my ships. I now have 5 fighters 2 freighters and 1 passenger vessel. Things are looking up :) Gotta feel like a big man when there's 4 escorts no matter where you go .. that's what I reckon !

More fun to come .. believe me !

January 29, 2006

X3 .. Chapter 4 .. More biffo

For some reason I decide to head out and kick some butt. This time after taking out about 15 pirates in groups of 3-4, I managed to capture 2 healthy M3s and an M4. These I just sent to the space station without any dramas.

*Dramatisation : Me capturing a falcon
I then decided to do a story mission at the Goner temple. All well and good I talk to the guy he tells me where he wants to go .. but not what sector it's in. Lovely.. got some exploring to do.

I strip all the useful stuff off the 3 recently captured ships and sell them. Suddenly I have over a million credits. Now I definitely feel like a capitalist pirate pig. (re the post below I don't think that'll help global warming). I purchase myself a nice big TS class freighter with a healthy 5800T capacity, upgradable to 7500. I even have enough money to fill it and while I'm exploring the Paranid sectors way to the south, it's in the upper part of the Argon areas trading away happily under my direction with the M5 flying as a rather pathetic escort .. but if you only carry energy cells you're less likely to get robbed .. they're cheap !

January 28, 2006

Odd stuff ..

I recall a while back hearing about creationism being taught in Septic schools with some bizarre reasoning of opening people's minds to alternate theories or some shit, which to me is stupid. . teach the currently accepted facts or don't waste the poor student's time. They have enough true stuff to get their head around instead of including rubbish.. but hey this site tells/lampoons the idea of it so much better than I ever could.

I really enjoyed the hate mail section as well as the flash presentation.

Take a peek.. you know you want to !


X3 .. Chapter 3 .. 'Biffo at the OK Space Station'

Anyway as I was saying I went to bed with the shits but woke up pretty cheerful. That's got nothing to do with it though, so on with the story :)

Previous experience as I may or may not have mentioned showed me that I had to take a Nova out very fast otherwise I was in the shit. So my first move in most cases was to lay into that with as much as I had available before taking on the others. So after several attempts at leading them away I decided to leave the pussyfooting around and try to stick it to them.

* The Nova and exploding pilot
It seemed a little easier than I had expected and I cleaned them all up on the first attempt at it, I was quite impressed, so I put the other ship back on follow planning to escort it once it caught up with me. Whilst it was coming into the sector I checked the map for any nice cargo that had been dropped and something caught my eye in the ships .. there was an unowned Nova with hulls at 40%. So while I was waiting for the M4 I went and shot the pilot who had bailed then drifted up close to the disowned Nova and hopped into my trusty space suit, claimed it and jumped back into the Buster. Suddenly all that crap and hassle seemed worthwhile !

Anyway I set the Nova off to land at the spaceyard too. Much to my disgust the cheap bastard flying it had spent nothing on upgrading it .. so with the damage I had inflicted its max speed was 22 as compared to my 175 :)

During its journey I managed to capture another M5, so I had one of each class again heading to the shipyard.

* Some whinger in a Falcon. If he doesn't want to get shot he shouldn't be in front of me. I mean .. really..
2 gaming sessions later the Nova got there. It, like the other ships I'd captured were too damaged to be salvaged by someone with a paltry bank balance like mine. After paying for all of it, including selling the ships I'd caught, I had just over 40K .. a far cry from what I'd had when I set out.

Needless to say when all seems lost .. try the same thing over again :)

Using my 3 ships, and having a good deal of fun confusing the shit out of myself with the menus, I had all 3 ships trotting off to get supplies for the distillery, so it could get some goodies made and have some stock, which took it a while.

Waiting for it, I decided to do a little work on the side and started doing a few missions on the bulletin boards of the stations I land at - these are pretty random and include news and items of interest, as well as jobs. The higher your standing with whatever race owns the station and a few other factors also influence what goes in there. I chose a simple 'fly someone here' mission twice then a delivery mission and by this time there was some space fuel to sell so this distracted me for a while.

So you know what comes next don't you .. since I'm repeating myself and all :)

January 26, 2006

X3 .. Chapter 2

Anyway so here we are with a captured pirate M4 sat outside a sector gate. It's following me so I head out of the sector, into some pirates so I send it away from me and engage the pirates .. and die ..
So I leave it behind and head through the gate solo to take on the pirates .. and die ..
I try to head to another base in the sector .. and the ship gets destroyed before it gets to land.
And so on.
So I decide to sit back and wait for a while .. credit to the AI here the pirates did not always follow the same pattern even though I was starting from very close to them each reload. After 5 minutes there's no activity so I check the map for the sector to find that I don't have a satellite in that sector so I can't see much unless a ship's in there .. so I go in. expecting the worst.
The pirates are just out of range but spot me and start coming .. so I run the other way and lure them out away from the gate so I can bring my other ship in when they're out of range. This brilliant plan of mine works and I now have the ship close to a gate and safety so I take on the pirates .. mere seconds before I start firing I realise I ain't saved it yet so I do.
Soon as it loads up there's an M3, 2 M4s and an M5 in your face. And I managed to overwrite the wrong save so I couldn't go back one. bleh.

As you can imagine the pirates gave me multiple deathgasms and I got the shits and went to bed.
I'm going to bed now too, but that's 'coz I'm tired.

More / some excitement to follow. Honest.

January 25, 2006

X3 .. Starting out

I suppose I should start the story at the beginning.
Suffice to say you start with naff all money, a small poorly equipped ship. Your aim really is to do whatever the hell you like, or to go with the storyline missions. The gap between each story mission is as long as you make it .. 'coz you -do- need to prepare for whatever's coming.

So anyway here's me the pauper in the crapheap tooling around sectors looking for an easy profit. Needless to say it took me some time to find anything. There's a distillery in Herron's Nebula which when full sells its stock at around 650/700 but the trading station in the same sector will buy them for 1252 flat rate - the price increases at the distillery / factory though as stock dwindles .. so you need to time it. Well I did time it just right - I spent my measly 5K on whatever I could buy at 737 and then headed off to sell them. On the third run I had enough cash to actually fill the hold on my shoebox and my trade rank improved.. Ah what a moment .. So after an hour or so of peering around I found a nice place to make some cash and the next place I headed to was the trading dock for a nice spree.

Just a short note on ship classes so you don't think WTF ?? There are several - in increasing size - the first 3 are all 'single seaters' if you like .. M5 (scout), M4 (fighter), M3 (heavy fighter), TS (Transport Ship), TP (Transport passengers) M6 (corvette, can carry one scout in its hangar), M2 (destroyer .. huge) and M1 (carrier .. frigging enormous). You start with an M4.

Even with my nice shiny bank balance I had bugger all chance of getting another ship.. not even an M5.. but my ship is now pretty well equipped.. so I headed off to get me a couple of extra ships.
The easiest way is to have the cash, and go to a shipyard.
The most entertaining way is to go scare the crap out of someone so they bail .. then get in theirs.
So off I head to a nice pirate sector to kick some ass. I managed to get 2 M5s and a bit later, an M3.

* an sorry .. MY M3 Falcon letting fly with its 8 front mounted weapons.!
So I sent them off to the shipyard to wait for me to see what their status is - you can either repair the damage you caused in combat or sell the ship. Suffice to say repair ain't cheap. After quite a bit of hassling pirates I got another M5 and was satisfied with my efforts. I went back to see what I could salvage at the shipyard. I wound up with just the additional M3 by the time I'd repaired and equipped it but no hassle I now have 2 ships and a tidy 250K !

I sent it off to buy some energy to replenish the distillery and after about 6 trips it was happily chugging away and I managed to haul another 150K from it. I decide this piracy jig's quite the fun pasttime so off I go to pirate land again to kick some ass.

Welll .. let's see. The only ass I kicked was my own. Most of the pirates were travelling in groups of 3 or so now, sometimes 5 so great care was needed to get in there and survive. Tactically I've found it good to get in close and run for a bit to lead the scouts (if any) away from the main group then try to take one of them out with a full energy bank before the bigger buggers catch up. That worked fine. What really screwed me though was that another type of M3 has a rear mounted cannon with a hemispherical firing angle. Needless to say you often wind up with that thing in your face and usually it was the last thing I saw. Little bastard in question is an M3 Nova.

With a bit of practice and some luck I found running straight at them firing as soon as they're in range I could often take one out before it did too much damage but it took a while to clean up the scout ships.. but they couldn't break my shields without me screwing up so I was pretty safe, once the Nova went down.

In light of that I ventured a little further into pirate territory and was lucky enough to find a lone M4 and capture it reasonably undamaged. Another Buster like you start with. So I set it to follow me and lead it back to the sector gate. The first time I did it I wandered off from the PC and came back to see some pirates enter the gate and clean us up. I'd saved early enough that I could avoid them so that was cool.

Call me a typical nerd but here's another pretty picture of lasers being fired. mmmm ... lasers .. glarrgh. The grid is an 'ecliptic projector' which is very handy when you forget which bloody way is up.

How about we cover getting the buster back to a shipyard tomorrow ? :)

January 24, 2006


Well basically GW is still lots of fun but I'm pretty captvated by X2 which I just finished, and X3 which I just started. If you're old enough to remember Elite or Frontier it's in essence those 2 games with much added to the point where you can build factories and power plants, food farms in addition to having carrier class ships with multiple weapon turrets at your disposal (ooh the power .. do ya feel that baby ?).
The picture is my little beastie copping a missile hit.

One of the more fun but difficult pasttimes is capturing enemy ships which are generally pirates funnily enough. In general terms you shoot the crap out of the ship in such a way as you scare the pilot into bailing before it's destroyed.. and you shoot them then hop into your spacesuit and board and [automagically] take over their ship.

Anyway normally there's some ships you just can't take out without some dramas .. eg those that have a rear (or any) turret for instance .. they kinda suck, and are usually the death of me. Luckily today in a recently captured ship (with lotsa guns on the front) I took on a ship like that and made the pirate bail.

Even tho it was only a single energy bank, and he had decent shield it's still pretty damaged and crawling back to the shipyard to see whether it's worth fixing or selling :)