Starting out in X3TC

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Triaxx2
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Post by Triaxx2 » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 02:54

Why would you need to recharge shields? Just don't get hit. It's surprisingly easy. Though honestly, if you get some Terran Rapiers and fit them with Poltergeists, they'll act like a poor man's M7M and splatter entire Xenon Invasion.
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Post by RAVEN.myst » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 07:58

Good advice all-round from ubuntufreakdragon.
Triaxx2 wrote:Why would you need to recharge shields? Just don't get hit. It's surprisingly easy.
That's a rather elitist thing to say, innit? A newcomer to the game may not find it quite so trivially easy to pull this off. Hell, even with years upon years of X2, X3R, X3TC, and X3AP (and XR, but irrelevant here) experience, I sometimes get into furballs where incoming damage is downright unavoidable at times, and being able to perform a fast combat docking at my TM in order to refill my shields is crucial - or perhaps to jump into an alternate fighter (my preferred option these days, as I eventually decided that instant shield-recharge is "exploity" hehehe.) ;)
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Post by Monkspeed » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 10:21

Guy's I need some help, a couple of my freighters in Split Space keep getting attacked by what seems a randomly spawning group of pirates. 3 of them I can defeat, but one of them is a bigger ship, much bigger than me and goes through me like a hot knife through butter if I try to engage it 1-on-1, even my 17 wasps wasn't enough..

Pirates don't usually attack me, but this group does, and always targeting my Caimen Super Freighter or Caimen Miner (yes I bought a Miner :D ).

My freighter is currently parked in a solar panel factory in Tharka's Sun with the pirates outside waiting. And my miner in another split sector Patriarch's Retreat, can't do an uninterrupted run from gate to gate, I'm currently docking in each station along the way. It's really bringing me down :(

Any advice greatly appreciated.

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Post by RAVEN.myst » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 11:36

Monkspeed wrote:Guy's I need some help, a couple of my freighters in Split Space keep getting attacked by what seems a randomly spawning group of pirates. 3 of them I can defeat, but one of them is a bigger ship, much bigger than me and goes through me like a hot knife through butter if I try to engage it 1-on-1, even my 17 wasps wasn't enough..

Pirates don't usually attack me, but this group does, and always targeting my Caimen Super Freighter or Caimen Miner (yes I bought a Miner :D ).

My freighter is currently parked in a solar panel factory in Tharka's Sun with the pirates outside waiting. And my miner in another split sector Patriarch's Retreat, can't do an uninterrupted run from gate to gate, I'm currently docking in each station along the way. It's really bringing me down :(

Any advice greatly appreciated.
OK, time for a primer on "indirect handling of enemies", let's call it :D This may or may not be possible in the place where you are, depending on the precise current situation (if not, you MAY be able to wait for circumstances to become more favourable.) The basic idea is to make those pirates someone else's problem. Here are some thoughts:

- If you are able to outrun the bigger ship that you can't fight off, then deal with the ones that you can, then make the bully chase you into the main traffic through the sector. If you are lucky, you may get passersby to engage them (though trade ships tend not to aggress first - however, their escorts sometimes do.)
- A variation on this theme is to lure the nasty into the local law enforcement, if any is present. So, police or military.
- Once you have done this, it's up to you whether you entirely wash your hands of the affair, or whether you participate. So you either totally foist the problem off onto some others, or you stick around and help (carefully!)
- A more limited version of the above is to engage the group, deal with the ones that you can, and draw the remainder away somewhere - just lead them on a merry chase. While that's happening, you've opened the way for your freighter/s, allowing it/them to make a getaway.
- You can combine both approaches, of course - lure the pirates into a trap, and in the meanwhile, get your trucks clear.

Happy hunting! :)

EDIT: If you apply the decoy approach and it looks like your freighter may get intercepted, just order it to dock at a station appropriately (and note that if you are not in the sector at the time, the docking goes more smoothly - however, you'll need to evaluate whether your presence running interference is more valuable on a case by case basis.)
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Post by Triaxx2 » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 12:11

It sounds elitist, but it's actually the simplest trick to learn and use, because you see the AI use it all the time. Watch the M5's and you'll see them attack you, and then race away at top speed until they're well out of reach, then turn and come back. Those sorts of long, sprinting attacks make you hard to hit and keep you from being killed by other ships that get behind you, if you stick close in a turning fight.

If you're attempting to punch above your weight class, there are two options:

Option 1) The Wasp Shotgun. this is extremely dangerous, but if you can close to less than 800m on the target you can fire your Wasp as a single mass missile. It only splits into swarm mode if fired from more than 800m away, and that vastly increases the damage done giving the target less time to shoot them down.

Option 2) Fighter Drones. Go load up as many as you can carry, and as soon as the enemies turn up, drop them all and use the commands to say Attack My Target (You'll have to go into the options and set a hotkey, I like Numpad +). Point at the big ship you can't hand, tell the drones to hit it and they'll start wearing it down while you deal with it's friends. If you're lucky, they'll have the shields down by the time you're ready to deal with it. If not, they'll have done damage enough that you should be able to finish it off.

If you're feeling suicidal and have the ability to outrun it, you can lure it into following you, and drop a SQUASH Mine in it's face. That should kill anything short of a capital ship. Or at least cripple it by doing hull damage enough to slow it and destroy equipment.
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Post by RAVEN.myst » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 12:31

Triaxx2 wrote:It sounds elitist, but it's actually the simplest trick to learn and use, because you see the AI use it all the time. Watch the M5's and you'll see them attack you, and then race away at top speed until they're well out of reach, then turn and come back. Those sorts of long, sprinting attacks make you hard to hit and keep you from being killed by other ships that get behind you, if you stick close in a turning fight.

If you're attempting to punch above your weight class...
Yes, but all this assumes that the player is flying a M5 or fast M4 - anything heavier and it stops applying. If you review the OP's chronicle, you will see that he is flying a Perseus variant, and hence the above doesn't apply - he is not generally "punching above his weight", and thus subject to being pecked by smaller, faster, more nimble ships. Granted, "run away to fight another day" (or minute, heheheh) is also doable in heavier ships equipped with a Turbo Booster - but that's a pricey piece of hardware for a brand-new player to invest in (Monkspeed is focusing, correctly in my opinion, on trade ships - of course, a combat pilot's priorities would lie elsewhere.) Context - it has been said to be "everything" ;)

However, pointing out and explaining ('putting in context') this approach as you have done is, in my opinion, VERY useful to a new player - whether it be relevant now, or at some later point (as the same principles do still apply all the way into capital ship combat, when there is a "weight class" difference) :)

Happy hunting!
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Post by jlehtone » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 13:51

Triaxx2 wrote:It sounds elitist, but it's actually the simplest trick to learn and use, because you see the AI use it all the time. Watch the M5's and you'll see them attack you, and then race away at top speed until they're well out of reach, then turn and come back.
Oh yes, that is how I can kill them. Me in slow and sluggish M6, they in fast M5/M4 doing boom and zoom / Lassie (how the dog fights a man in the novel) / joust. They come in, head on, into my burst of shots and die.

What the player, and only the player, can do is the use of Strafe Drive. To not fly straight forward. Barrel roll. The fast M5 is the easiest way to learn those moves. There is no question about shield recharge in M5, for being hit is fatal. One has to dodge and one has to hit consistently, for weapon energy is in short supply.


Bigger, slower ships can dodge too, but not as much. Assuming one already knows the moves.


Xenon M4/M3 do use PBE a lot. That hits and eats shields of almost everyone. Dodging is not effective.

That leads to "know thine enemy". The "one of them is a bigger ship, much bigger than me". Target it from distance. Look up its class, model, shielding, hull-strength and top speed. You can see all that from safe distance. (From within 4km range you can Scan a ship to see what weaponry it has onboard.) Everyone here has their (more or less elitist) opinions about how to fight enemy type foo.
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Post by ubuntufreakdragon » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 14:40

What class is the undefeatable ship of?

Distraction like RAVEN.myst mentioned is one of your best options.
But I want you give you some more:
- swarm the enemy with terran keris (they are cheap an 10 can take out an M6 if you are lucky)
- buy an M8 and bomb the hell out of them, costs about 4mil
ships: opt for terran claymore(only if you manage to get enough phantom missiles the can prove to be quite rare) or paranid hades, the main points of m8 are speed and cargo.
take the other ships out first as M8 missiles are quite expensive.
launch enough missiles+2 to kill them (as fast as possible) and activate seta so they can't shoot them down effectively. the M8 class has an extreme range so keep a decent distance of at least 2 km.
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Post by Imgran » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 16:46

If you're having trouble facing a heavier ship in an M3, you can get some mileage out of numbers. Invest in a Zephyrus TM which has 600mj shielding, and a couple cheap escort fighters and fill your bay with fighter drones and Wasps.

I actually took out a Xenon Q (smallest grade of Xenon capital ship) using that strategy with a trio of Nova Raiders and a Chokaro. The result was very spammy, I'm not normally a combat pilot, but I had to settle that Q's hash before I could get where I was trying to go. I popped my fighters, popped the drones to serve as chaff for the fighters, and lit into the Q with every wasp I had while closing to point blank range to give his big old IBL less play and bring my own pewpews into play.

Once my fighters stripped his shields, I rammed with the Chokaro, using my TM's 200MJ shields as a primary weapon. I still had more than half shields because I was in the fastest TM in the game and was doing my best to jink, I think the Q only squared me up with his IBL once. Still took some hull damage doing that, but I survived at the cost of my cargo of fighter drones and 1 Nova Raider. Got the job done though.

I guess the lessons I'm going for here are:

1: numbers serve where raw power fails
2: Shields can be weapons if yours are vastly superior or theirs are down
3: Missiles are a great equalizer. I was using Wasps against a goddamn capital ship and it was still an effective strategy because I used enough of them
4: Don't be afraid to spend resources to win a fight. I burned tons of consumables but that's OK, I had to beat that Q and I was punching WAY above my weight to do it.

BTW I tend to prefer a pacifist start strat. My first stop tends to be for the Iguana Vanguard in Split space, especially in TC. Sell everything to max out the engine tuning and then grind transport missions for awhile. The Iggy Van is the fastest TP in TC, and it's fast enough to be relevant in AP. So since there's a free one out there. go for it. Doing the bus thing is a great way to build reputation and trader rank while fleshing out your map and making money at the same time. it's my default way to grind money after the very early game.

Once you've invested in a jump drive and Docking Computer and learned how to budget your E-cells which is absurdly simple, most of the bus missions are very easy and the money scales up pretty quickly, you can easy get millions per mission once you've got your rep up, and the starting scales are still more than enough to quickly get the drive and comp and a hold full of power to run them.

The Iggy Van is particularly useful for this because its top speed if 186 is more than good enough to complete missions even without some or all of these upgrades. Makes the grind far easier. One word of caution, the Iggy Van almost looks like a fighter with its high top speed and its laser array. Don't be fooled. The laser battery is pathetic. You have enough juice to spray some fire at a fighter that gets too close and make it back off. That's just about it.

I actually did things differently this go-round exactly because I kinda feel like the Iggy Van is easy money. I went up to Power Circle north of Herron's Nebula with the Mercury, and started out as an E-cell trader. It worked well enough. Fightering around the galaxy is fine if you know how, but for a rank beginner who just wants to get on with the game rather than spending his time getting punished by the learning curve, e-cell trading is the most stable way to make money there is. And as you move e-cells between factories, if you're paying attention, it's not that difficult to figure out how the economy works in general and start taking riskier and more profitable trades.

And after awhile I got bored of that and figured I'd learned all I cared to, invested in an Argon Express (since I'd banned myself from the Iggy Van) and did the bus thing for awhile.

BTW since you seem to like the Caiman freighter, Monkspeed, do have a look at the Mistral. It's a little more expensive but superior to the Caiman in literally every category. A little faster, a little more maneuverable, 4 turrets to the Caiman's 1, hull is a bit tougher, and about twice the shielding. The Mistral is also the most escapable freighter in the game between its max speed and shielding. I use the basic Mistral and the Chokaro for my automated trading needs because those two ships are really good at not getting caught by anything they can't kill and because due to their speed they can make more stops faster and therefore more money faster than anything else in their respective categories..
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Post by Bill Huntington » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 17:13

There's some good advice above. I prefer the Viper if there's a choice but any M8 will do. Tomahawks from a distance will kill the bigger ship without a problem. There's even a way to kill an enemy without any rep loss.

But you shouldn't be in your situation to begin with, Monkspeed. It can be a dangerous universe unless you get yourself a high pirate rating. I'd guess you've chosen the UT option for your traders. They usually kill themselves before too long as UTs.

Another choice is giving them a local area to trade in that's safe, more or less. Like Argon Prime with a 3 square radius. They won't enter a pirate or Xenon sector that way. They can get trader level 20 rather than level 25 with UT but they're dependable. I divide up the TC universe into those 3 square trading areas. This also has the effect of keeping the God machine from deleting stations in that area for inactivity. Anyway, we call them LTs, local traders.

I don't usually kill pirates in my games unless I have to. When I do I also do a few pirate missions to rebuild my pirate rep. It's better to keep it high.

Good luck.
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Post by Triaxx2 » Sun, 11. Jun 17, 23:16

It's entirely workable in a Perseus. It's surprisingly fast for an M3, with good quality shields. The only couple of ships that may give it trouble are Teladi ships which it can handily out run (barring the Kestrel but that'll splat itself) and the Kea in particular which is firmly over shielded. If that's what you're fighting, you're going to have to get a Hammerhead.

The other worrying option is a Pirate Eclipse, which means it's probably spitting fire at you yes? If so it's armed with Plasma Burst Generators. In that case, go find some squash mines, or lure to a law enforcement capital ship. Or just wait them out. Even M6's will occasionally go boom to PBG's.

Pfh. Q's are simple. Tuck yourself into one of the three blindspots, and shred them with Mass Drivers. Busters can do it no problem. :D
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Post by Imgran » Mon, 12. Jun 17, 00:15

Triaxx2 wrote:It's entirely workable in a Perseus. It's surprisingly fast for an M3, with good quality shields. The only couple of ships that may give it trouble are Teladi ships which it can handily out run (barring the Kestrel but that'll splat itself) and the Kea in particular which is firmly over shielded. If that's what you're fighting, you're going to have to get a Hammerhead.

The other worrying option is a Pirate Eclipse, which means it's probably spitting fire at you yes? If so it's armed with Plasma Burst Generators. In that case, go find some squash mines, or lure to a law enforcement capital ship. Or just wait them out. Even M6's will occasionally go boom to PBG's.

Pfh. Q's are simple. Tuck yourself into one of the three blindspots, and shred them with Mass Drivers. Busters can do it no problem. :D
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OK then...

See above about "not a fighter." I am a trader first and foremost. I recognized a long time ago that I just don't have the head for fighter flying, I can't really think in three dimensions which means I can't track the enemy's location in my mind while I'm moving that fast, I just wind up confused and that isn't fun for me, so I'm smart and don't play in a way that is not fun. I'm a merchant, not a mayfly, so I don't play the game like a mayfly. So when I do fight, and occasionally I do fight, I tend to bring something in the party that's heavy enough that the fight tends to develop around it. In the playthrough in which I had to Chokaro the Q, my usual ride was a Paranid Deimos in which I'd sometimes hunt Xenon J's for sport, I was in the TM because I was doing the Hub quest and wanted something a bit more versatile.

My version of training for battle is having the best equipment and consumables I can so that when I spam them like a noob they win the battle for me. Fight like a smart man with all the advantages, or die like a stupid man to prove a point, and see how many times I can reload the game before I uninstall? it's an easy choice for me usually. Let the AI fighter pilots take the stupid risks, I can always buy more. And let other forumites worry about e-peen points on an offline game.

The only reason I wound up having to take on the Q is because it was in the Xenon Hub sector just as I was trying to switch the sector to where I wanted it. I made it to the hub, but couldn't make it back out because it was too close to me, and while I could have jumped out, I didn't think that dropping a Xenon Q on Argon Prime was particularly neighborly.
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Post by Triaxx2 » Mon, 12. Jun 17, 03:32

No worries, the Q thing wasn't aimed at you. Also, Argon Prime is protected by an invincible super carrier. I doubt they'd have noticed. :P

If you're not a fighter, then I have to say, going with capitals is indeed your best option. I suggest acquiring yourself a TL. The Yaki Ryu if you're friendly with them, or the Split Elephant are both fast, agile ships and are more than capable of swatting anything up to an M6 out of the sky with minimal piloting skills. (Literally in the case of the Elephant, get up close and ram the buggers.)

If you're not yet ready to move up to the capital classes yet, I suggest the Boron Hydra, which isn't a bad dogfighter if the situation calls for it, but is much more suited for flying in a straight line and launching missiles. You don't have to be facing ships to launch missiles either. Use the exterior camera and look around, and fire at enemies as they pass by. It also has enough spare cargo for personal trading of high-value goods like Microchips or Computer Components.

An interesting alternative is the Heavy Centaur, which I hate flying because it cannot dogfight, but has full turret coverage and dual gun mounts in each so you don't have to do more than fly in more or less a straight line.

Terran Rapiers armed with only Poltergeist missiles are extremely effective as a poor man's M7M, because like the Flails, they'll automatically acquire a new target once the old one is destroyed, and Rapiers armed with only them will have to use them, instead of trying to fire guns.

---

On the other hand, what are your feelings on mods? I can think of one or two that would vastly improve your experience, while not requiring you step too far outside your comfort zone.
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Post by Monkspeed » Mon, 12. Jun 17, 10:19

Guys, I just loaded my saved game and now the group of pirates has vanished?? WTF is going on?

I was thinking to buy a bigger ship like some of you suggested but only have about 4mil left over after the super freighter and miner purchase so need something within the budget?

Also, I noticed a laser tower in the sector my freighter is in, maybe I can lure them over there with my Advanced Perseus if they show up again.

Also, I'm not opposed to mods if it's going to improve my experience of the game, but I don't want to turn to mods just to cheat. What mods do you have in mind and will they mess up my current saved games?

Cheers.

I'm not too sure what the big ship is, I loaded up just now to see but as I mentioned, they've just disappeared?

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Post by RAVEN.myst » Mon, 12. Jun 17, 11:09

Monkspeed wrote:Guys, I just loaded my saved game and now the group of pirates has vanished?? WTF is going on?
The X games are to some extent based on emergent gameplay rooted in random generation - thus, it is possible that those pirates didn't spawn this time around, or went a different route, or got distracted along the way - perhaps a police/military patrol took a different path and they encountered each other - all sorts of things may have happened.
Monkspeed wrote:I was thinking to buy a bigger ship like some of you suggested but only have about 4mil left over after the super freighter and miner purchase so need something within the budget?
Well, in my opinion (others may differ, bear in mind), I would try to hold some operating cash in reserve (not too much, as unused funds are idle funds that aren't growing - but enough to serve as operating capital for buying stock, as well as a safety net in case you need to replace something, and also gradually growing it for future ship upgrades.) However, you definitely want to spend some (perhaps even most) of that nest egg. You have two main options as I see it: expand your fighting capabilities, or expand your trading; well, there's also a sort of third option, upgrading your quality of life, which is what I would choose. Personally, what I would do is invest in a TM and outfit it decently: jumpdrive, full shields, full turrets (go with something basic like PACs, so that it can fend off missiles and back you up with modestly decent shots when you are in your fighter), max speed and turning, cargo space if you can afford it, docking computer, fighting command software 1 and 2 - and pretty much anything else. :) Also, at this point I would star (if you haven't already) buying up Advanced Satellites (some players prefer the standard and cheaper Navigation Satellites, but I prefer to go the whole-hog, so I can get on-map 3D visuals when I need them, as well as better vision coverage) and start placing them in all the sectors you are active in.
Monkspeed wrote:Also, I noticed a laser tower in the sector my freighter is in, maybe I can lure them over there with my Advanced Perseus if they show up again.
Yes, that's definitely valid. Don't expect the LT to kill ships very quickly, but it certainly helps - and if the LT lands enough hits on the ships, it may take their aggression off you and onto itself.
Monkspeed wrote:Also, I'm not opposed to mods if it's going to improve my experience of the game, but I don't want to turn to mods just to cheat. What mods do you have in mind and will they mess up my current saved games?
Sorry, can't help you here, as I don't do mods (I'm also anti modding for "cheating" purposes or making the game easier, and simply find it easier to avoid all of them in order to not accidentally get one that will corrupt my game experience - well, that and I'm something of a purist, hehehe.) However, I'm sure you'll get some good suggestions here - not sure whether asking the question in the Scripts & Modding forum would be appropriate (it's possible that forum is more for nitty-gritty specifics about how mods work - I wouldn't know, not my world ^^)

Happy hunting! :)
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