So with the proceeds of my raiding Paranid ships and having a few ships working for me I managed to raise a couple of million credits and bought myself a Wheat Farm, Cattle Ranch and MeatSteak factory, then joined them up in a complex. Essentially this joins all the factories together with "tubing" and adds a docking bay to them. The advantages are many, including the fact that you only need to transport items outside the factory. So if all 3 were separate I'd have to have 2 ships for each .. one taking Beef from the Ranch to the Meatsteak factory for instance. Now the items are automatically transferred and I actually only need 3 ships, 2 buying energy (until I can add a Solar Power Plant to the complex) and one selling Wheat .. I leave the beef to be collected by ships other than mine .. I don't need it :)
Even though I've spent about 3 million credits on my complex I have not taken a photo yet. You'll have to make do with the one above.. which is me kicking a Paranid's arse.
Since the patch it seems pilots are much happier to bail from their ship and indeed I've managed to capture about 10 ships, most of them M3 and M4 class which means there's a nice little earner in there. I've already made my money back from the complex pretty much including the ships. The main concern I have is that a medium sized power plant costs about 4.5million credits then I found a large one for sale at 29million.. so I felt a little better. The thing with a power plant is that's the main bottle neck in the economy, energy cells can't get around fast enough, so supplying your own power is a big bonus. You do need crystals to make power but they seem to be easy enough to obtain.. and if not it's easy enough to manage. A Crystal Fab needs Energy, MeatSteaks and Silicon. I have a Silicon and Ore Mine, a Wheat Farm and the complex ('Wombat Alpha' : Wheat, Cattle, Meatsteaks). I have started maxing my transport ship's holds now too. Since it costs 516K to fill out a ship properly, that's where a lot of my credits are going.
Me ? I'm kicking back and letting all that run itself at the moment. And playing Pirates and Paranid. Fun game :)