[X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

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Le Boron Chétif
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[X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Mon, 27. May 19, 21:58

Another nitty gritty question by Le Boron... Although the stupidity of X3 traders is nothing new to anyone, I'm facing a new situation which I'd love to be able to resolve (and peacefully if possible!)

I've got several complexes in different sectors, and established my Player HQ in a different one far from everything (Earth to be specific). I essentially use the HQ as a weapon warehouse and shipyard for rare ships. What happens is that the 'sell' traders owned by with my various weapon complexes keep visiting the HQ trying to sell their home complex production there, even though said HQ has 0 credit on its account and is set NOT to trade with other races. I'm talking about 10-15 of those traders visiting and hanging around my HQ at any given time.

Net result : not only am I unduly losing profitsss due to those lame traders not actually selling their cargo where it's needed, but it's also messing up with my ship production - as the traders land on my HQ, they automatically replenish their jump fuel at the expense of the energy cell stockpile I dedicate to ship building, and hoover it all up in no time at all. Not kidding, those idiots come in one after the other, like flies on a turd, and my standard ~70K cells stockpile doesn't last more than minutes. Faster than I can manually bring in new cell shipments, even with a solar plant set up just next to the HQ.

I've considered assigning an ongoing 'Buy energy cells' mission to a bunch of HQ-owned TS ships, but for this to work I first need to grant the HQ some money, which the same traders will then soak up as quickly as the energy cells, as they're finally are able to sell their stuff (my stuff) back to myself! :shock:

Ideally, I'd like my weapon traders to just avoid the Earth sector altogether, so I downloaded the Bonus Pack (800 hours into the game... never too late) and updated the so-called sector blacklist, but to no avail as it seems only to affect Universal Traders (as opposed to station-owned traders).

So, where do I go from here?
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jlehtone
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by jlehtone » Tue, 28. May 19, 00:25

By "traders" you mean Trade Mk2 Buy/Sell ware for best price station slaves.

AFAIK, there are only two configuration options for them:
1. Jump range of the station. If you are not allowed to fly as far as Earth, then you cannot end up there.
2. Price. If my home wants at least 1000cr per gun and the PHQ offers only 999cr, then I won't sell to PHQ.

Trade Mk3, back in X3R, would have both buy from PHQ and sell to PHQ. One of them one could stop with "bad" prices and the for the other "Do not trade with other races" did the trick. You said that you can blacklist Earth for the Mk3, so you can concentrate on the Mk2.


I, however, trade primarily with Commercial Agents (CAG, in Bonuspack). They replace the Mk2 ships.
You can tell a CAG ship that it is not allowed to trade with any player stations.
You can run a "Barrier" command on a station to keep all CAG out. This I do use.


A Mk2 ship is for one ware. A gun Forge has four wares (Energy, Ore, Food, Gun) and needs thus four Mk2 ships.
A CAG ship can both buy and sell all wares. One ship could serve all needs of the Forge.
However, Apprentice-level CAG cannot yet sell products. It has to fly two hours before it levels up. I might use a helper Mk2 salesman (temporarily) to give CAG enough work at the start.

High-level CAGs will not beeline for the same station, because the "co-ordinate with the colleagues".
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Red-Spot
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Red-Spot » Tue, 28. May 19, 07:49

CAG's should not suffer from this.
MK3's will sell intermediate resources, which can be cancelled by dropping the buying price on the HQ.

Anything else is, imo, not worth the use. Just too limited/stupid.
If it is an option, switch to CAG, drop the basic routines .. and profit :)
'Ignoramus et ignorabimus'

Le Boron Chétif
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Tue, 28. May 19, 09:23

Thanks. CAG's are not something I've ever used, but I understand it replaces the station-owned traders, correct? So by setting them up correctly as well as the ware buy price in my HQ, CAG's will avoid it and actually go where they can sell their stuff?
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RainerPrem
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by RainerPrem » Tue, 28. May 19, 10:52

Le Boron Chétif wrote:
Tue, 28. May 19, 09:23
Thanks. CAG's are not something I've ever used, but I understand it replaces the station-owned traders, correct? So by setting them up correctly as well as the ware buy price in my HQ, CAG's will avoid it and actually go where they can sell their stuff?
Normally, you don't have to setup anything with CAGs. They use the price and trade range of the station and synchronize themselves what to buy or sell. You *can* change the defaults but apart from allowing them to use the jump drive, they work rather well with the defaults.

You know about the Herron's Nebula Trade Station trick?

Le Boron Chétif
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Tue, 28. May 19, 15:20

Nope, never heard of the Herron's Nebula trade station trick... Is this some sort of exploit?

Regarding CAG's : my traders won't actually need to buy any resources, as they're owned by autonomous complexes. Right now I've got 80 of them across 10 complexes, focused on selling one good each. How many MK2 traders worth of trading can a single CAG handle, i.e. will I likely end up needing only 20 out of my 80 ships?.. 30..?

At any rate, it looks like an opportunity to convert the rest to UT for more profits, which is always welcome.
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jlehtone
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by jlehtone » Tue, 28. May 19, 19:05

Le Boron Chétif wrote:
Tue, 28. May 19, 15:20
Nope, never heard of the Herron's Nebula trade station trick... Is this some sort of exploit?
Not really.

The Bonuspack Readme (that should have installed with the Bonuspack) mentions about Commodity Logistics pilots (CLS1 and CLS2) that: "If you actually start the software at the trading station [of Herron's Nebula] you might get lucky and receive qualified pilots from the very beginning." Never top level, but there is fair chance to get better than Apprentice.

Another public fact is that both Logistics pilots and Agents (CLS1, CLS2, CAG) do belong to "Pilot Union", i.e. the pilot can act as CLS and CAG. In other words an experienced CLS pilot is equally experienced CAG pilot. I'm sure you see where we the yellow brick road leads to.


Trade Mk3 pilots have nothing in common with Pilot Union. Some even claim that if you have had one type in a ship and then start the other, the level of the previous is erased. Not sure, if true. No reason to test.


Go to PHQ's menu. In the Advanced there is Command Console option that shows 10 command slots (that are similar to the 2 Aux slots in ship's command console).
If you select any slot, you get a list of commands to run on that slot. One of them is "Trader Barrier (Commercial Agent)". If you set that command to run on a slot, then no CAG will approach the PHQ.


Mk2 vs CAG ... depends.
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Red-Spot
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Red-Spot » Tue, 28. May 19, 20:34

Starting in Herron's is a good way to start with higher level traders, but they are also more expensive and will not level up again until they actually earned the 'bought' levels.
IMO best way to get skilled traders is by buying 10 M5's, deck them out, give them 20 Mosquito's and 10 Drones and have them run circles in core-space. Fire and forget until you get messages they are 'logicians' (max rank), then transfer pilots to the actual ship doing the runs.
Quick'n'dirty Herron's method is a good way to get things going though.

Standard CAG will not necessarily work though. There is a setting under restrictions(or something like it) that allows you to set the traders to not trade with player-owned stuff (or not trade in sectors without a satellite, etc).
Once enabled they will not sell to you even if you raise prices to the max (but then you may find MK3's selling to you and you need to restrict that again).

Edit:
How many CAGs you'll need to replace the MK2's is difficult to judge, but they will be much much more efficient so the numbers you give may actually work out but probably is a best case scenario.
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Le Boron Chétif
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Tue, 28. May 19, 23:13

Appreciate all the info. Somehow I had missed Red Spot's answer but caught it now - it is most useful as I had no idea how to train those pilots.

Just to clarify, when you say have them 'run circles', do you mean literally having them fly around?? I thought they had to actually gain levels by trading, starting from purchasing and evolving towards selling. Or is it really only flight time or distance that matter?
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jlehtone
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by jlehtone » Tue, 28. May 19, 23:59

Flight time. Level is based on accumulated time in flight and pilot salary is based on time in flight too. A pilot sitting idle at station will get no salary, nor experience.

CLS2 (the external logistics) requires configuring waypoints. A short list of "fly to station" waypoints with no trade steps makes the pilot "fly around".
I prefer to set a new CAG to buy resources for a station, because for my business that is more profitsss.


Mk3 pilot's experience is based on profits they make.
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RainerPrem
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by RainerPrem » Wed, 29. May 19, 05:34

Le Boron Chétif wrote:
Tue, 28. May 19, 15:20
Nope, never heard of the Herron's Nebula trade station trick... Is this some sort of exploit?
Since it's described in the manual, here's how it goes:
Spoiler
Show
You need to start as CLS2 (not CAG). You get a Lvl 2, 3 or 4 trader. Lvl 4 traders are able to use their jump drives from the beginning. It's purely random, so you can save before trying and load if you don't get a Lvl 4. Switching to CLS1 or CAG afterward they keep their rank.
The only problem is when you roleplay. All those pilots are Argons.

Have fun
Rainer

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Red-Spot
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Red-Spot » Wed, 29. May 19, 07:40

Le Boron Chétif wrote:
Tue, 28. May 19, 23:13
Appreciate all the info. Somehow I had missed Red Spot's answer but caught it now - it is most useful as I had no idea how to train those pilots.

Just to clarify, when you say have them 'run circles', do you mean literally having them fly around?? I thought they had to actually gain levels by trading, starting from purchasing and evolving towards selling. Or is it really only flight time or distance that matter?
The way I do it is by buying 10-20 Disco's early on (will not set you back much and you love yourself for it later on), give them the needed software (I include fight command and such but it is not needed). If possible (often not available early on) fight drones and some mosquitos which fills up their cargobay.
Then set CLS2 to fly to Antigone Memorial - Trade Station, then Cloudbase South East - Trade Station, Cloudbase South West - Trade Station and end the route at Three Worlds - Trade Station.
They will fly to a station, dock there, sit idle for a short while and move to the next station ... and so on until I get confirmation they are Logician then dock them at Argon Prime - Trade Station until I actually need a skilled pilot.

Save the route, which makes it easy to just load the data when you set up trader#2 and so on.

Herron's method is nice but it means your pilots will be at the 'bought' level for a long time which is ok when you get Cargo Messengers (first rank that uses jumpdrive and a bit more efficient logic) but that means you have a crap trader fly around in a ship worth millions. I rather, if I can, have the crap pilot fly around in a crappy Disco until he/she earned the right to a more capable ship. I am then again that guy that gives pretty much all my ships pretty much all the software available.
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Le Boron Chétif
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Le Boron Chétif » Wed, 29. May 19, 17:15

Thanks all. Flight distance it is then.

@Red Spot - money isn't gonna be a problem here, in the current game I'm already X-Trem trader and relatively well-off. It's just that I always did everything the vanilla way (and was happy to keep it that way), until I decided to complete the various plots, got the player HQ and developed a whole bunch of new personal objectives - some of which are now being impeded by my idiotic MK2's :)

But since this was going to be the perfect play-through, it makes a lot of sense to at last become familiar with the Bonus Pack. And the increased revenue will help me achieve some of my last goals (e.g. buying another 30 M2's so I have exactly 100!)
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Red-Spot
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by Red-Spot » Wed, 29. May 19, 17:21

Have the same thing going on. Over the top empire to simple do it all in an 'unmodified' way :)
Only have 18 Boreas' though. Do have 2 fully loaded Colossi and 4 fully decked out M7M's (not to mention the fleet of M8's on my 'Response Aran' ....)
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jlehtone
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Re: [X3AP] Stopping my traders from selling my own goods back to myself...

Post by jlehtone » Wed, 29. May 19, 22:10

What action do those all Destroyers see?

Have you ever tried Protect Two Convoys mission strictly OOS? :teladi:


Note: The Xenon Hub and the Company HQ can serve as trade hubs too.
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