Cheating Pirates, new information

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Scoob
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Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Scoob » Sun, 11. Feb 24, 22:03

Hey all, for some reason I cannot find my original topic on this, perhaps it was merged with a similar one? Anyway...

Pirates asking our ships to "Drop their cargo" often sees the Pirate CHEATING to get our ships to stop. How do they cheat? Well, you just have to watch and you'll see. Basically, the moment one of my ships informs me that it's been asked to drop its cargo, I PAUSE the game and go to check if my ship is in actual danger. Usually they're not. My ship is in Travel Mode, going very fast and rapidly gaining distance on the Pirate. It's NEVER in weapons range. I watch for a bit, see the Pirate disappear from the Scanner (over 40km away) and it's clearly escaped. Except it hasn't, because the Pirate cheats. I then see my ship "wobble" as if it's been hit. The Pirate has NO weapon capable of this. Period. My ship was fake hit. This fake, cheating "hit" of course does two things. First my ship stops dead, and triggers it's "flee" response. This then sees the ship faff around for a while, before making an often poor choice on how to flee. This in-turn gives the cheating Pirate time to catch-up. All I do, is CANCEL the Flee command and let my ship go on its way. It's far enough away that, now it's not fleeing, to escape with ease.

Now, I just had some confirmation that this is 100% a Cheat. I'm testing something, so have the Cheat Scripts installed. One of my ships said it'd been asked to drop cargo, so I PAUSED the game as usually right away, and went to look at the ship. Once again, it was FINE and in zero legitimate danger. As I was irked at having this happen again, I cheat killed the Pirate. Pirate is DEAD and GONE. My ship continues on its way... until that is it's "hit"...

So, this proves that this is a scripted, TIMED event when a Pirate hails you. Your ships WILL be cheat hit and it will likely make poor choices regarding fleeing. Pirates cheat. This is NOT good behaviour at all. If they legitimately catch my ship, fine, but this is crazy. People can say "Ah, but pirates are using their 'special' missile to knock your ship out of travel mode". No they're not, they have no such missile. This is a cheat.

Pirates should have to LEGITIMATELY scan a player-owned ship, and from up-close like we do. If they cannot catch it, then that's an AI improvement they need, not a cheat. I really hope this feature doesn't stick. As this fake hit, followed by a suspiciously poor choice of flee direction seem rigged to me lol.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Baddieus » Sun, 11. Feb 24, 23:40

You really expected the pirates to play the game by the rules?

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by flywlyx » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 03:49

Due to the AI's inability to effectively pursue a target, this "cheating" becomes inevitable.
I find Egosoft's decision-making regarding this game design quite puzzling.
"Cheating" is an inevitable aspect of game design due to performance limitations, but their approach seems rather rough.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Alan Phipps » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 10:51

Playing devil's advocate (and totally insincerely :wink: ), perhaps the game simulates some pirates having a jury-rigged one-time long range EMP missile (that is underslung and doesn't take up a weapon slot). The player doesn't have access to these and they are universally illegal. If the missile is autonomous once locked on, then the later destruction of the launch ship wouldn't matter to it after launch.
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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by GCU Grey Area » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 12:05

I'm generally fine with the effect pirates have - knocking a ship out of travel drive at range & making their demands, which allows sufficient time for me to give time to give the freighter new orders to hopefully get it out of danger. Usually find simply adding a fly & wait to it's order queue to redirect it around the pirate, or replacing it's trade order with a new one sending it to a different station in the opposite direction is sufficient.

Manner in which pirates accomplish this is indeed a bit scruffy (or cheaty if you prefer). Perhaps they should at least carry EMP missiles to justify knocking ships out of travel drive at long range. However it doesn't particularly bother me. If it saved dev time, which was instead used on some other aspect of the game, I'm absolutely fine with them taking a bit of a shortcut with how pirates function in practice.

As for pirates needing to get close to a ship to scan it, I don't particularly consider this to be essential (indeed would prefer pirates to continue to use their long range tactics, otherwise it would be far harder for me to do anything about it). Logically a ship could be scanned at any point in it's journey by a pirate scout which retains it's cover ID & relays info about the target to the raiding group which intercepts it.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Scoob » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 13:26

Remember how things worked before? The simple act of a Pirate Hailing your ship would usually cause it to instantly exit Travel Mode. That was changed to this new cheat. It's a little silly. I mean, before I realised what was happening here, I'd get a notification of the piracy attempt, and go and check on it. When I could clearly see that my ship was perfectly safe - in travel mode, moving away from the Pirate at speed - I'd switch back to what I was doing. Then to notice that the ship is dead a few minutes later is rubbish.

Pirates have ample valid opportunities to accost ships, they should not need a cheat to do so, it's game-breaking. Now if they actually had a long-range disruptor missile that had its own travel drive to stop such ships, PERFECT! That's great and something the player could perhaps utilise too. This scripted fake hit however is NOT the answer.

Every single instance of Piracy ends the the same way. Every one of them. I get the message, my ships is in no legitimate danger and leaves the area (40km+ away) safe and clear. Then there's the scripted "hit", and exceptionally broken flee behaviour triggers. I say exceptionally broken as ships DON'T flee so badly in response to regular attacks. My ship can be just about to dock (safe) or just about to traverse a gate (safe) literally seconds away from doing so with the Pirate still over 40km away. However, they ALWAYS faff around, and make REALLY bad choices. Ignoring that station they were docking at anyway, ignoring that Gate they were seconds from going through anyway. They often prefer to fly back towards the pirate.

So, in essence, what happens when one of our ships is asked to drop cargo? Well, it's SCRIPTED to stop and SCRIPTED to wait around for the Pirate OR fly towards it. This happens time an time again. Every time I get a notification, I go and check. EVERY time I watch until the fake hit, then I CANCEL the Flee. My ship, after a short delay, then proceeds on its way. We've asked for a while now for an "Ignore" response to piracy, we haven't got one.

I did, optimistically, think that this fake "hit" would perhaps allow the ship to be set to ignore attacks, but that does not appear to be the case. The Flee response is to Piracy, ignoring Attacks changes nothing.

There is no valid counter to this. If you want your ship to survive, you MUST handle it manually. You MUST watch the ship after the event, you MUST wait for the cheat hit, you MUST cancel the flee response. I've tried telling my ships to submit to such things, but I've not had it work even once with the default setting. It might work 30% of the time if I manually eject some cargo, but it's far from guaranteed. So, every single piracy event, I pause the game and stop what I'm doing to watch that one ship. I then have to wait for the cheat hit, then cancel flee. Great gameplay, I'm soo immersed lol.

Basically, this is not good enough. The Piracy mechanics need to be better fleshed out, no more cheating.

If we're talking fake Lore here, well, if the Pirate is using their super-secret missile to knock my ship out of travel mode and scramble its navigation so it does silly things, MY ship is using its super-secret anti-pirate virus missile, which causes the Pirate ship to blow up. Lore lol.

Look, we all need to play by the same rules here. No magic, no cheating. There's enough to deal with without this. Pirates need to get better. They cheat far far too much. From magically spawning in where they please, to magically stopping a ship they're interested in.

I proposed, a long time ago now, that the act of traversing a Gate disrupts travel mode. This'd have a huge impact with no more freely blasting through Xenon space (for example) using travel mode. If ships always slow after passing through a gate, that presents opportunity to pirates. Ships do legitimately slow coming in to dock of course, but that leaves the Pirate prone to fire from the station. For a ship to have scripted behaviour to move AWAY from that station in such situations is silly.

Give the pirates some legitimate tools, actual disruptor missiles, actual tactics, actually have to buy / steal their ships. A more complete pirate experience that the player can partake in. This scripted behaviour is nothing short of terrible. My ship escaped! I gave it good drives for a reason! What other option do we have? It's not like escorts are capable of sticking with their target. Even if they could, it's not like we can define Fight / Flee Parameters based on what's hassling the ship. I mean, A Transporter with a couple of Fighter escorts (if they stayed close) would be more than a match for that single Pirate Discoverer, not so much for that Pirate Behemoth. We cannot define an appropriate response. Also, while we're at it, why would that lone Pirate Discoverer challenge an escorted Transporter? That's just silly. They need to be smart, pick their targets more carefully.

There are many issues with the current implementation of Piracy. This cheat is just one of them. Pirates will attack ANYTHING, even harassing Battleships if they have a few units of cargo. They can occasionally be seen selling any loot they gain, but they leave so much just floating in space - often not collecting ANY after destroying a ship. Let's face it, X4 is great, but the Piracy implementation is certainly a weak point.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Alan Phipps » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 13:46

Just picking up on this statement: "Pirates will attack ANYTHING, even harassing Battleships if they have a few units of cargo." There may be some further debate over this; see what blackphoenixx said here and with some support in others' later posts too.
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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by GCU Grey Area » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 14:10

Scoob wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 13:26
Now if they actually had a long-range disruptor missile that had its own travel drive to stop such ships, PERFECT! That's great and something the player could perhaps utilise too.
Already exists. EMP missiles fly at over 57km/s (an order of magnitude faster than most travel drives). Incidentally, have occasionally fought NPC ships armed with them. Always an interesting encounter. EMP also disables boosters which, as discussed elsewhere, I make quite heavy use of in combat...

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Scoob » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 14:13

Alan Phipps wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 13:46
Just picking up on this statement: "Pirates will attack ANYTHING, even harassing Battleships if they have a few units of cargo." There may be some further debate over this; see what blackphoenixx said here and with some support in others' later posts too.
Just read your linked comment. All I can say is that's not my experience. It's rare, but it certainly happens. Destroyer-class Pirate ships will certainly harass combat ships, up to a Battleship, but I have had the lone Pirate in a scout ask an Asgard to drop cargo before, really quite comical as the Asgard was part of an even larger fleet lol . I'd also refute the later point of L-Class Freighters not being harassed by S and M-Class Pirates, again, that's not my experience. It's rarer, sure, but it does happen. I have perhaps twenty Auto-traders in total roaming around, 30% are L-Class the rest M-Class. M-Class does indeed get hassled a lot more, but L-Class aren't immune. Perhaps, while it's an S-Class Pirate I can see, there's an L-Class off-scanner somewhere that actually hailed?

Note: I wonder if "Flying it yourself" truly means that, or "player is aboard" is enough? I ride around on my larger ships quite often...

I'll continue to watch, I do gradually migrate over to using solely L-Class Freighters - I can build them now - so while I do expect Piracy to reduce, I do still expect the odd attempt by smaller ships. Of course, L-Class Pirates in Destroyers are the major threat. They're slow of course, but can still exploit the cheat to stop my ships dead in space, and have them struggle to flee.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by flywlyx » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 16:29

Scoob wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 13:26
So, in essence, what happens when one of our ships is asked to drop cargo? Well, it's SCRIPTED to stop and SCRIPTED to wait around for the Pirate OR fly towards it. This happens time an time again. Every time I get a notification, I go and check. EVERY time I watch until the fake hit, then I CANCEL the Flee. My ship, after a short delay, then proceeds on its way. We've asked for a while now for an "Ignore" response to piracy, we haven't got one.

I did, optimistically, think that this fake "hit" would perhaps allow the ship to be set to ignore attacks, but that does not appear to be the case. The Flee response is to Piracy, ignoring Attacks changes nothing.

There is no valid counter to this. If you want your ship to survive, you MUST handle it manually. You MUST watch the ship after the event, you MUST wait for the cheat hit, you MUST cancel the flee response. I've tried telling my ships to submit to such things, but I've not had it work even once with the default setting. It might work 30% of the time if I manually eject some cargo, but it's far from guaranteed. So, every single piracy event, I pause the game and stop what I'm doing to watch that one ship. I then have to wait for the cheat hit, then cancel flee. Great gameplay, I'm soo immersed lol.

Basically, this is not good enough. The Piracy mechanics need to be better fleshed out, no more cheating.
What you are asking is way more than pirate AI itself.
For example https://youtu.be/6AALHFKTjJ8
The Behemoth ST boasts an 80% speed advantage over the Tokyo (110 compared to 60), yet it remains ineffective in pursuing a fleeing Tokyo due to the AI's inability to chase it adequately.
Without a substantial improvement in the AI, pirates will remain incapable of intercepting the trader.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by blackphoenixx » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 17:20

Scoob wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 14:13
Just read your linked comment. All I can say is that's not my experience. It's rare, but it certainly happens. Destroyer-class Pirate ships will certainly harass combat ships, up to a Battleship, but I have had the lone Pirate in a scout ask an Asgard to drop cargo before, really quite comical as the Asgard was part of an even larger fleet lol . I'd also refute the later point of L-Class Freighters not being harassed by S and M-Class Pirates, again, that's not my experience. It's rarer, sure, but it does happen. I have perhaps twenty Auto-traders in total roaming around, 30% are L-Class the rest M-Class. M-Class does indeed get hassled a lot more, but L-Class aren't immune. Perhaps, while it's an S-Class Pirate I can see, there's an L-Class off-scanner somewhere that actually hailed?

Note: I wonder if "Flying it yourself" truly means that, or "player is aboard" is enough? I ride around on my larger ships quite often...

I'll continue to watch, I do gradually migrate over to using solely L-Class Freighters - I can build them now - so while I do expect Piracy to reduce, I do still expect the odd attempt by smaller ships. Of course, L-Class Pirates in Destroyers are the major threat. They're slow of course, but can still exploit the cheat to stop my ships dead in space, and have them struggle to flee.
I didn't test if it's riding along or flying it yourself specifically, i just noticed that i got pirate harassment in a Nemesis while my other non-trader ships never got any.
I was using dozens of Guillemots as trader substitutes at the time specifically to avoid those so i should've definitely had some if it happens at all.

I did go through dozens of ship logs spanning hundreds of hours searching for pirate harassment to confirm that one so as far as i'm aware that's how it works in vanilla.
Do you recall if any of those harassments happened while you were OOS or were they all IS with you riding along?

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Scoob » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 18:52

flywlyx wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 16:29
What you are asking is way more than pirate AI itself.
For example https://youtu.be/6AALHFKTjJ8
The Behemoth ST boasts an 80% speed advantage over the Tokyo (110 compared to 60), yet it remains ineffective in pursuing a fleeing Tokyo due to the AI's inability to chase it adequately.
Without a substantial improvement in the AI, pirates will remain incapable of intercepting the trader.
Well, yes, there's a bigger picture to this sure. As a ship that can catch another should know not to stop when it's where the target ship was when it first engaged travel mode. However, what if ALL ships starting cheating to catch up with others? What a mess that would be. SCA don't deserve a pass on this. It's the very weakness of basic behaviours - follow, stay in formation with while in travel mode etc. - that are the problem here. The Pirate cheating thing is a band-aid. Ship navigation AI needs to be much better, to both legitimately catch up with a target - not cheat - and legitimately stay in formation for long-range travel mode distances.
blackphoenixx wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 17:20
I didn't test if it's riding along or flying it yourself specifically, i just noticed that i got pirate harassment in a Nemesis while my other non-trader ships never got any.
I was using dozens of Guillemots as trader substitutes at the time specifically to avoid those so i should've definitely had some if it happens at all.

I did go through dozens of ship logs spanning hundreds of hours searching for pirate harassment to confirm that one so as far as i'm aware that's how it works in vanilla.
Do you recall if any of those harassments happened while you were OOS or were they all IS with you riding along?
I don't actually have any military ships moving cargo at the moment, so only the Transporters and Freighters are targetted. I notice that my Carriers never seem to be targetted by Pirates, despite having cargo for resupplying their subordinates. I do think that Military are far less likely to be accosted, but it does happen. In a recent game, a friend of mine switched to using Destroyers to move certain wares around as, while they were still being attacked, they could readily fend off the attacker. He had more issues with Pirates than I did in that regard. However, he'd gone more than a little nuts with auto-traders.

Pretty sure most harassment is OOS. Generally, at the current game stage I'm at (own ship production, large fleet movements) I'm either standing on a Station - usually the HQ - or on the deck of one of my more active carriers. I did have one where I was riding on one ship, and another in sector with me got harassed.

As I'm doing it anyway, I will continue to migrate to using Freighters over Transporters, and we'll see how often they get harassed. There's no doubt it's generally the Transporters that get harassed, but not solely them. Like I said though, while I might see a Small or Medium Pirate near the harassed Freighter, perhaps there's a Large Pirate ship nearby. I do sometimes see groups of Pirates, so perhaps a large ship being present in the group is enough that any can harass a Freighter?

I'll keep an eye on things for general behaviour. My point about Pirates cheating to stop ships stands though, I really don't like that.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by GCU Grey Area » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 19:56

Scoob wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 14:13
I'd also refute the later point of L-Class Freighters not being harassed by S and M-Class Pirates, again, that's not my experience. It's rarer, sure, but it does happen.
Rare as hen's teeth from what I can tell. Just did a log search for 'accost' in my current game. Not even a single log entry for attempted piracy on one of my L freighters by anything other than a pirate destroyer.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Scoob » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 21:28

GCU Grey Area wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 19:56
Rare as hen's teeth from what I can tell. Just did a log search for 'accost' in my current game. Not even a single log entry for attempted piracy on one of my L freighters by anything other than a pirate destroyer.
Really? Ok, it's fully possible I'm confusing what was a Modded behaviour with a vanilla one. Perhaps, as I mentioned, I'd assumed something was Small Ship vs. Freighter Piracy, because I saw the small ship, but a Large Pirate ship was also present and that was the actual initiator. I don't tend to check the logs - I clear them down periodically - but do jump to any piracy "event" and see what's going on.

Still, my initial point re: the cheat remains, what harasses what is something I need to monitor more closely.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by GCU Grey Area » Mon, 12. Feb 24, 23:04

Scoob wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 21:28
Really? Ok, it's fully possible I'm confusing what was a Modded behaviour with a vanilla one. Perhaps, as I mentioned, I'd assumed something was Small Ship vs. Freighter Piracy, because I saw the small ship, but a Large Pirate ship was also present and that was the actual initiator. I don't tend to check the logs - I clear them down periodically - but do jump to any piracy "event" and see what's going on.

Still, my initial point re: the cheat remains, what harasses what is something I need to monitor more closely.
Yep, really. Main reason I use them. Really cuts down on the amount of piracy I have to deal with. This for example is ALL of the piracy attempts in the last 19 hours or so, for a fleet of around 70 Sturgeons: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/ier361vp ... 0qqn6&dl=0

If you like a quiet life can highly recommend L freighters. Also means I don't feel any particular need to respond in person to every incident. Most of the time all I need to do is give the freighter new orders to evade the pirate (as outlined in my earlier post above). Behemoths & Phoenixes are slow, cumbersome ships which my freighters can easily outrun, particularly with the sort of head start the pirates usually give them.

Only times I do feel the need to respond in person is if the same pirate has hassled several of my freighters in rapid succession (usually means they're on an important trade route). Then I take a bunch of marines with me &, after they're painted the interior in a bright new colour, I give the pirate's ship to one of my stations, to discourage other pirates from trying to hack storage.

May be why I have an entirely relaxed attitude to piracy - even if they cheat they never get anything out of it.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Scoob » Tue, 13. Feb 24, 19:13

GCU Grey Area wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 23:04

Yep, really. Main reason I use them. Really cuts down on the amount of piracy I have to deal with. This for example is ALL of the piracy attempts in the last 19 hours or so, for a fleet of around 70 Sturgeons: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/ier361vp ... 0qqn6&dl=0

If you like a quiet life can highly recommend L freighters. Also means I don't feel any particular need to respond in person to every incident. Most of the time all I need to do is give the freighter new orders to evade the pirate (as outlined in my earlier post above). Behemoths & Phoenixes are slow, cumbersome ships which my freighters can easily outrun, particularly with the sort of head start the pirates usually give them.

Only times I do feel the need to respond in person is if the same pirate has hassled several of my freighters in rapid succession (usually means they're on an important trade route). Then I take a bunch of marines with me &, after they're painted the interior in a bright new colour, I give the pirate's ship to one of my stations, to discourage other pirates from trying to hack storage.

May be why I have an entirely relaxed attitude to piracy - even if they cheat they never get anything out of it.
Here's the thing, I almost always migrate to using solely L-Class Freighters for auto-traders, with M-Class Transports reserved for inter-station logistic within one sector - they rarely roam further.

I do spend considerably effort to secure the various regular trade routes, certain Xenon-threatened choke-points like Hatikvah's Choice I. However, due to how Pirates just spawn in, it's not really possible to secure fully against them. I mean, Pirates will appear in places they've not travelled to. By passing blockades.

Will see how I get on going forward, I started a fresh game last night, giving myself some starting ships and stations via a Custom start. In my prior game, I used the Cheat Mod at one point, in an attempt to fix a frozen / stuck ship issue and, apparently, just that act of installing in can break the save. So, any subsequent weirdness might be due to that mod. I didn't really use it before, but will avoid it like the plague now.

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by dtpsprt » Tue, 13. Feb 24, 20:59

Scoob wrote:
Tue, 13. Feb 24, 19:13
GCU Grey Area wrote:
Mon, 12. Feb 24, 23:04

Yep, really. Main reason I use them. Really cuts down on the amount of piracy I have to deal with. This for example is ALL of the piracy attempts in the last 19 hours or so, for a fleet of around 70 Sturgeons: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/ier361vp ... 0qqn6&dl=0

If you like a quiet life can highly recommend L freighters. Also means I don't feel any particular need to respond in person to every incident. Most of the time all I need to do is give the freighter new orders to evade the pirate (as outlined in my earlier post above). Behemoths & Phoenixes are slow, cumbersome ships which my freighters can easily outrun, particularly with the sort of head start the pirates usually give them.

Only times I do feel the need to respond in person is if the same pirate has hassled several of my freighters in rapid succession (usually means they're on an important trade route). Then I take a bunch of marines with me &, after they're painted the interior in a bright new colour, I give the pirate's ship to one of my stations, to discourage other pirates from trying to hack storage.

May be why I have an entirely relaxed attitude to piracy - even if they cheat they never get anything out of it.
Here's the thing, I almost always migrate to using solely L-Class Freighters for auto-traders, with M-Class Transports reserved for inter-station logistic within one sector - they rarely roam further.

I do spend considerably effort to secure the various regular trade routes, certain Xenon-threatened choke-points like Hatikvah's Choice I. However, due to how Pirates just spawn in, it's not really possible to secure fully against them. I mean, Pirates will appear in places they've not travelled to. By passing blockades.

Will see how I get on going forward, I started a fresh game last night, giving myself some starting ships and stations via a Custom start. In my prior game, I used the Cheat Mod at one point, in an attempt to fix a frozen / stuck ship issue and, apparently, just that act of installing in can break the save. So, any subsequent weirdness might be due to that mod. I didn't really use it before, but will avoid it like the plague now.
One thing I can not understand Scoob... and that is why on earth have the trader/miner inform you of pirate attacks.

As you have well established the pirate call is made in quite a distance. I always put as default "flee" and no player notification. The result is that my ship will stop and flee but as I'm not involved it works 90% of the time... For the rest 10% I get notification (mandatory) when the ship's hull is at 50%, where the pirate is actually on my ship. In that case I pause, drop 2-3 lasertowers to keep the pirate busy and cancel the flee command (maybe I have to cancel it twice if I happen to pause the moment the pirate shoots....

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Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by GCU Grey Area » Tue, 13. Feb 24, 22:03

Scoob wrote:
Tue, 13. Feb 24, 19:13
I do spend considerably effort to secure the various regular trade routes, certain Xenon-threatened choke-points like Hatikvah's Choice I. However, due to how Pirates just spawn in, it's not really possible to secure fully against them. I mean, Pirates will appear in places they've not travelled to. By passing blockades.
Don't tend to do much in the way of blockades these days. Did in earlier versions, but not so much in recent years.

Instead of blockades I blacklist particularly dangerous sectors for my freighters (mostly to minimise Xenon encounters) & do a LOT of trade with the factions so they have the ships to do blockade duty in Hatikvah's (etc) instead. Closest I come to that is if I've taken a build mission near a Xenon gate. In such cases I do bring in my demolition fleet to defend the building site, while a defence platform is constructed behind them. However, as soon as it's been handed over to it's new owners my fleet is withdrawn (have a strict policy of not fighting battles that I'm not being paid for).

I certainly don't bother running patrols or blockades against pirates. Again that's a job I prefer to leave to the factions. I guard my stations with at least one destroyer on Protect Position (often ex-SCA), but my freighters have to look after themselves while out & about trading. I do however mod them (Polisher chassis + Reaver engine is typical) to improve their chances of outrunning hostile ships. Improving travel speed also has the additional benefit of increasing the number of trade runs they can make each day. They also get 50 mk2 laser towers & the appropriate setting to deploy them as needed.

Scoob
Posts: 9895
Joined: Thu, 27. Feb 03, 22:28
x4

Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by Scoob » Tue, 13. Feb 24, 23:13

dtpsprt wrote:
Tue, 13. Feb 24, 20:59
One thing I can not understand Scoob... and that is why on earth have the trader/miner inform you of pirate attacks.

As you have well established the pirate call is made in quite a distance. I always put as default "flee" and no player notification. The result is that my ship will stop and flee but as I'm not involved it works 90% of the time... For the rest 10% I get notification (mandatory) when the ship's hull is at 50%, where the pirate is actually on my ship. In that case I pause, drop 2-3 lasertowers to keep the pirate busy and cancel the flee command (maybe I have to cancel it twice if I happen to pause the moment the pirate shoots....
Simply put, because if I don't there's a high chance that ship will be destroyed. I started watching my ships because I was losing too many of them. That's when I observed what was happening. The ships were escaping free and clear, never actually in any danger, until that fake "hit" from well over 40km away stopped them dead. They then seem to get REALLY confused, taking a long time (far longer than it'd actually take the player) to face their chosen escape vector, and that escape vector was often a VERY poor choice. This faffing around would regularly mean the Pirate - even from over 40km away - would be able to catch up to them and engage. It became exceedingly frustrating. I of course don't want to be micro-managing these ships.

Even with this fake hit, if Flee worked properly, it'd not be a problem. All I do is cancel the flee and the ship is fine. I'd say that over 90% of the time, the ship just continuing it's current order is far FAR better than the random flee behaviour.
GCU Grey Area wrote:
Tue, 13. Feb 24, 22:03
Don't tend to do much in the way of blockades these days. Did in earlier versions, but not so much in recent years.

Instead of blockades I blacklist particularly dangerous sectors for my freighters (mostly to minimise Xenon encounters) & do a LOT of trade with the factions so they have the ships to do blockade duty in Hatikvah's (etc) instead. Closest I come to that is if I've taken a build mission near a Xenon gate. In such cases I do bring in my demolition fleet to defend the building site, while a defence platform is constructed behind them. However, as soon as it's been handed over to it's new owners my fleet is withdrawn (have a strict policy of not fighting battles that I'm not being paid for).

I certainly don't bother running patrols or blockades against pirates. Again that's a job I prefer to leave to the factions. I guard my stations with at least one destroyer on Protect Position (often ex-SCA), but my freighters have to look after themselves while out & about trading. I do however mod them (Polisher chassis + Reaver engine is typical) to improve their chances of outrunning hostile ships. Improving travel speed also has the additional benefit of increasing the number of trade runs they can make each day. They also get 50 mk2 laser towers & the appropriate setting to deploy them as needed.
I do make good use of Blacklists also. If a sector is under threat, I'll add it to the list. If I manage to secure it again - or and AI Factions manages to push back - then I'll remove it. Xenon are an easy threat to deal with, as you can generally avoid them, or counter them with force if you have the assets. Pirates are the magical bad fairy, appearing where they wish, not subject to the game Universes laws. That's why they're irksome.

blackphoenixx
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon, 31. Jan 22, 14:43

Re: Cheating Pirates, new information

Post by blackphoenixx » Tue, 13. Feb 24, 23:52

GCU Grey Area wrote:
Tue, 13. Feb 24, 22:03
I certainly don't bother running patrols or blockades against pirates. Again that's a job I prefer to leave to the factions. I guard my stations with at least one destroyer on Protect Position (often ex-SCA), but my freighters have to look after themselves while out & about trading. I do however mod them (Polisher chassis + Reaver engine is typical) to improve their chances of outrunning hostile ships. Improving travel speed also has the additional benefit of increasing the number of trade runs they can make each day. They also get 50 mk2 laser towers & the appropriate setting to deploy them as needed.
If you're modding them anyway why not just give them Mirage mods? It's not like exceptional nanoweaves are hard to farm.

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