[TC] Hub Plot Walkthrough

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[TC] Hub Plot Walkthrough

Post by Spychotic » Fri, 3. Dec 10, 23:25

Hub Plot Walkthrough

This walkthrough is mostly spoilered, so that if people get caught on the common sticking-points they can read it without spoiling the story for themselves.

However, it is not expected that the replies will be spoilered, so don't read beyond the first post if you are stuck but don't want to know the plot!

As one of the original plotlines, only very early versions of the game have appreciable bugs. However, if you have mods, it is possible that they may introduce problems with the plot. As this is a Vanilla forum and a repository for information and issues regarding the unmodded game, if you have a problem with a modded game you are requested to post in the Scripts and Modding forum.

The resource requirements for this plot have been edited continuously since the original version and the current requirements are correct for V3.0. Older versions will require more resources.

The Hub Plot begins when you fly into a Boron sector with the ranks of King's Knight (Boron rank 8 ) and Apprentice Trader (Trade rank 6). A Boron named Mahi Ma asks you to excuse him, but he needs help. Turn around, fly back to him, and start chatting.
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Apparently, two of his friends went for a hike in Xenon territory. One would have thought that Darwin would have had his way with them by now but you agree to go look for them anyway. Head for Xenon Core 023. Yes, a core Xenon sector. That’s what you’re getting yourself into. Best ship for it is a Kestrel; the Xenon can’t kill what they can’t catch.

To get to your destination, you go north from Grand Exchange or south from Zyarth’s Dominion into Xenon Sector 598. Skirt around the Xenon forces and head for the East gate. In the next sector, X627, skirt round the edge again, steering well clear of any hostiles, and through this Gate to Xenon Core 023.
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… Except that it isn’t Xenon Core 023, it’s something else. You are inside a massive structure the size of a Sector with no less than six Gates embedded around the ecliptic. Only two function, however. There’s also what looks like a control node on the roof above the centre of the sector. There’s a derelict ship in the middle of the sector; moving in close to it is your objective as it causes download of the ship’s log. Turns out, Mahi Ma’s two ‘friends’ are none other than Julian Brennan and Bala Gi. They went looking for a Xenon sector and found this – the Hub – instead. Now, they’ve disappeared. Time to get back to Mahi Ma and tell him what happened. Get out the same way you got it; stay well clear of any Xenon ship using your speed.
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Before moving on, pick up 400 Computer Components and 500 Microchips. Once acquired, return to the sector where Mahi Ma gave you the job and comm. him. He asks if you found his friends; you tell him their names and that they found something big. He asks to take a look, and bails out of his ship. You have to pick him up; at this point, you can also claim his ship, an Enhanced Dolphin, for yourself if you so choose.
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Now you need to fly back to the Hub. There’s two ways of doing this; using a jumpdrive or flying there as before. If you take the jumpdrive option (recommended, given the freight you're carrying) you’ll need to find the sector in the Sector Map; it’s one place west of Argon Sector M148.

When you jump in, Mahi Ma takes a deep breath and decides that the next step is to dock with the control node. He manages to interface with the docking protocols and the node switches to your control. It will stay this way from now on. You must dock so that Mahi Ma can get on board.
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He finds that the structure is badly damaged, but still functioning. He also finds evidence that Bala Gi and Julian Brennan were here, but they’ve moved on. To find them, Mahi Ma must build an interface for the computers. His request has gone down in X-Universe legend as the very epitome of understatement;

“can you please get me a couple of things?”

This is the beginning of a long campaign of resource collection, complex building and logistics that will see you amass mind-boggling amounts of resources. In the immediate future, all Mahi Ma needs is the 400 Computer Components and 500 Microchips you were told to collect. However, as I said, this is just the first step of a very large mountain. Offload these wares into the Hub; you won't be able to offload all of them at once, you'll have to wait for one lot to be 'absorbed' before you can load the next lot in.
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Mahi Ma will then try to connect the second set of jumpgates; but he fries the system doing it. Your next job is to repair the damaged capacitors. Three objects will appear near two Gates, you must fly over, eject from your ship, and repair all the objects to full hull. You should do this all at once, because Xenon ships have been known to attack the Hub once you've gained control of it.

To continue, you must then talk to Mahi Ma on the Hub.
You now need to pick a Sector with lots and lots of asteroids with good yields; this should be located somewhere safe, a place that you call your own sector and can defend well. This just became your home sector.
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You can now connect the first set of Gates (which, confusingly, is Gate Set 2), but you only have one shot as the Hub’s power generator is not working. You should connect the Hub to your home Sector; to do this, in the Hub’s menu, select ‘Gate realignment’ and select one of the Gates that you want to be connected to. The Hub will disconnect that Gate from its opposite end in the next Sector, and place itself between the two Gates (for example, if you select the North gate of Argon Prime, then the Hub will connect one of the gates to that and the other to the South gate of Herron’s Nebula. You then have to fly through the Hub to get from Argon Prime to Herron’s Nebula).
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When the realignment is completed, you have to get the next set of gates working. Mahi Ma needs more resources, and this time, the numbers are astronomical.
It is suggested that you begin complex building. The suggestions in this Walkthrough will stand you in good stead for future plots as well. I will only ask you to build complexes that you will find useful in later plots as well as this one; as such, you may want to build more factories than I suggest. The factory complexes that you should build are as follows (you might want to start on another plot in the meantime);
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Your first priority should be to buy a TL or several large Superfreighter-class TSs (the superfreighters are more cost-efficient) to start stockpiling resources.

Second priority is to build a self-sustaining complex producing Microchips in your home sector, which should comprise at least 15 Chip Plants. A second complex of 15 Chip Plants somewhere else would be good; this second Complex will be switched to production for profit once the Plot is complete.

Third priority is to build two Teladianium Foundries in your home sector, and a couple more dotted throughout Paranid space would not go amiss to bring your total up to five. Start stockpiling Teladianium from all five foundries in your freighters. Don't sell it off.

Fourth priority is to build a large Ore producing complex, this should also be in your home sector. Use every Ore ‘roid you can. Stockpile all the Ore you can in your freighters. You may wish to bolster this with an OOS mobile mining fleet; walkthroughs on mobile mining exist on the forum.

Fifth priority is to build a large Silicon producing complex, using all of the Silicon ‘roids in your home Sector. Attach a large number of Crystal Fab Ls to this; you’ll want at least 6 and more likely 10. You need to stockpile both Silicon and Crystals. Having a second mobile mining fleet working on Silicon wouldn't go amiss.

You need to stuff the output of all of these into your freighter fleet; yes, this will need a thundering lot of cargo freighters, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
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First up is 150,000 Teladianium. If you're already sobbing then I have bad news for you; it gets worse. Much worse. I told you to pick up another plot in the meantime.

Your Teladianium foundries based in your home Sector will contribute all of their output. Your Teladianium Foundries in Paranid space are a good buy because after this is over, they can be set to money making, as Paranid factories eat Teladianium and there’s few if any Teladi factories producing it close by. For now, though, these are dedicating their entire output to your Hub. Set up a freighter loop such that your freighters continuously shuttle resources from the Foundries to the Hub; CLS2 is a good software package for this. Keep stockpiling your other resources whilst you’re at it. And you might want to pick up another plotline in the meantime; this will take a while.
You can offload wares at the Hub more easily using CLS2; set a freighter to unload all wares at the Hub twice over and it will continuously loop through.
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Next comes the Ore. 450,000 of it. Again, keep your CLS2 freighters running between your Ore complex and the Hub (and from the mining fleet if you have one). Keep stockpiling the other resources you are collecting. The Teladianium Foundries in Paranid space can be switched back to normal trading, making you some money. Those in your home Sector can be deactivated for now but keep them as you’ll need them again in the future. Then get back to your other plotlines.

When all 450,000 Ore is collected, Mahi Ma gets to work repairing the generator, so that you can start linking Gates again. It’ll take a few minutes, even at full SETA. When he’s finished, you can now realign the first set of Gates again. But I recommend that you keep them where they are; after all, they’re currently connected to your resourcing operations, why move them?
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Now that your Ore mining complex has done its work, it can be switched to producing Ore for weapon production. When you have some spare cash, you might want to start connecting new weapons fabs to this complex, so that you can outfit your own capital ships.
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Next on the list of Mahi Ma’s priorities is the get the second gate set fixed, but the power conduits are shot. He needs 500 Nividium to repair them. This is the easiest resource to acquire; find a Nividium ‘roid, get a ship with an Ore Collector and Mobile Drilling System and let loose. There is a useful set of three Nividium ‘roids in the northern part of sector Perpetual Sin. You only need a small amount from one of these. Once you’ve got 500, drop it off at the Hub.
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The next bit is stuff that Mahi Ma needs to repair the conduits is Crystals. A quarter of a million of them. You should have a load stocked already; you can also borrow some from any other self-sustaining complexes you may have. The good news is that upon completion, the second set of gates (still confusingly, gate set 1) is active and ready for linking.
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Your next task is to get Mahi Ma some help repairing the final set of Gates. He needs someone with expertise in multi-dimensional topology to help him out; the likely candidate is a Paranid chaplain named Otmanckstras.
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Otmanckstras is to be found on board the Paranid Communications Facility in Priest’s Pity, and comes with a price tag of 15 million Cr. Once you’ve got the credits in your account (it may be immediate) comm. him again and offer it to him. He will board your ship when you dock and you need to take him back to the Hub to continue.
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Your storage freighter fleet will have been particularly struggling with the Silicon, which takes up a huge amount of space. Now is the time to dump it into the Hub. You need a total of 400,000 units. Again, get your CLS freighters doing the rounds for any that you havn’t already stockpiled (likely most of it, that’s a thundering lot of Silicon and is arguably the hardest thing to acquire in the whole Plot). Keep stocking the Microchips from your Chip Plants throughout this.
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Because we’ll need them once the Silicon is finished; specifically, 75,000 of them. This is why you built so many Chip Plants. Offload all the chips you’ve stockpiled into the Hub, and then you can finally dispense with your freighter fleet. Sell them or set them as traders, your choice; one possibility is to outfit them with jumpdrives and build several XL Solar Power Plants onto your Silicon/Crystal complex. You can start selling Energy Cells across the whole X-Universe from one secure location.
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Once all 75,000 chips are in, Mahi Ma’s work is done. He can find no trace of Bala Gi and Julian Brennan anywhere in the structure. You’ve probably forgotten that you were looking for them, it’s been that long. Mahi Ma feels that he should personally report their disappearance to the Queen, and your final mission in the Hub plot is to taxi him to the Military Outpost in Kingdom End.
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Your rewards for this plot are the Hub, an extraordinarily useful structure, and Mahi Ma’s Enhanced Dolphin. But in addition, you will have spent some hard earned but well spent Credits on the infrastructure required to feed your own fleet, as well as make some serious cash. It is unlikely that after the conclusion of this plot, money or equipment will be a worry again; you’ll have more money than you know what to do with and can manufacture your own equipment faster than the rest of the Commonwealth combined.
That concludes the Hub Plot.
Last edited by Spychotic on Fri, 7. Jan 11, 02:53, edited 7 times in total.
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Post by Spychotic » Fri, 3. Dec 10, 23:25

Reserved.
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Post by Spychotic » Fri, 3. Dec 10, 23:25

Reserved again.
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Post by Snafu_X3 » Sat, 4. Dec 10, 02:42

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Spychotic wrote:you can also claim his ship, and Enhanced Dolphin, for yourself if you so choose.
Excellent walkthrough! A minor point: the above should read /an/ Enhanced Dolphin, not 'and'

Regarding the Enhanced Dolphin: I read somewhere here that it's invulnerable (I suspect not after you've claimed it) & unique - can anyone confirm/deny this?

Possibly emphasise getting the first gates aligned ASAP to avoid Xenon randomly wandering into the Hub sector? & to kill (or lure away if possible) any said Xenon /just before/ realigning the first gate set?

Would it be possible for you to at least /link/ to some complex-building guides? The Hub plot is so easy to just walk into that many newbies may accept it just to get rid of the annoying Boron, & after a bit of a grind with 500 uChips (it's not that difficult - done it myself in a couple of days RT) may give up after the serious amounts of crystals & uChips become obvious (Teladinium, ore & silicon are plentiful in the X-verse; if you've got the income there's no reason not to build a few standalone mines & trade for the rest). uChips & crystals make things a bit more.. umm.. complex, though ;)

You may also like to mention that at the end of the plot /any/ gates can be realigned anywhere there is another gate; the first thing that damn squid said to me about the gates was that the first set was a permanent setting - this caused be quite a bit of concern as to where I'd put it. Now I know it can be put anywhere I want when I complete the rebuilding this is considerably less of a worry.
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Post by Morias » Sat, 4. Dec 10, 14:05

You mention early on to manually transfer resources that are stockpiled into the hub, but when you get to the final resource, transferring all your stockpiles (12 XL freighters for me) 250 at at a time would be soul destroying.

There's a trick with CLS2 to stop this. Make sure at least one of your storage TS has the software, then set the waypoints as

Hub, Unload, Resource, Max Cargo
Hub, Unload, Resource, Max Cargo

So that's the same waypoint twice. Set it going and the TS will now automatically unload 250 at a time without having to move.

If the pilot is an apprentice then you will need to transfer across from your other storage TS. If the pilot is high level then just add all the other storage TS as Load waypoints and go away and do something else.

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Post by Spychotic » Sat, 4. Dec 10, 15:51

Thanks for the tips, both of you. Updating...
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Post by jwigeland » Thu, 9. Dec 10, 23:48

I would recommend that players build several self-sufficient microchip complexes. This is a great strategy as the stations in these complexes can be turned on or off to produce Silicon, extra Crystals, or Microchips depending on what stage of the plot you're in. Plus, afterwards these are some of the most profitable complexes around as the NPC market for chips is endless.

If you stay with only 15 chip plants, that's going to be 5000 hours of game time before you're done with the HUB - even at 10x SATA that's about 21 real days.

When building a chip-plex, a good rule of thumb is to plan on needing 10 yield off a silicon rock (L mine, of course) and it costing 10 million for each chip plant. So, a Silicon rock of yield 64 can support 6 chip plants and it will cost you about 60 million to build the complex.

Thus far, I have an 8-plex in President's End, a 12-plex in Herron's Nebula, and three 6-plexes plus in Ore Belt.

Give me a bit and I'll post some links to a complex calculator as well as my planned HUB plexes for other players' reference.

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Post by jwigeland » Fri, 10. Dec 10, 00:16

http://tinyurl.com/34s9y4q

Okay, here is a link to a complex calculator. This design is one I drew up in the Unknown Sector south of Menelaus' Oasis. It's a self-sufficient complex that produces the food, energy, and ore to support 48 weapon and/or shield factories running at the same time. If you turn off the weapon factories, the food factories that supply them, and the power plants that power them, you will be rolling in extra minerals like crazy!

http://tinyurl.com/22rn7c2

Here's a scary one! This is a 183-station microchip plex in Barren Shores that includes 75 microchip factories!
Last edited by jwigeland on Mon, 13. Dec 10, 21:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Eternall_00 » Sat, 11. Dec 10, 06:06

I would suggest ditching the spoiler tags and just noting it in the title. Too much reverse text is bad on the eyes. Very well put together though.

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Post by Spoonikle » Mon, 13. Dec 10, 21:04

ahhh! the microchips are maddening! i used a huge mobile mining op for the silicon but, GOD DAMN micro chips!! why why why why why!!!

i built a 24 station food-plex in Pluto and that took all freaking day...
how the hell am i supposed to make a 75 micro chip complex! and i cant even begin to imagine all the E-cells i would need to buy to keep it running.

and the clean up... i do not want to pollute an entire sector of silicon asteroids
to make more micro chips than i know what to do with. i would end up self destructing them all... or firing 100-200 shadows.
Stargate is better....

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Post by Triaxx2 » Mon, 13. Dec 10, 21:36

It's possible to pull them out of the economy, or just use a mere 15.

And mobile mining works well enough to get the Silicon you'll need.

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Post by jwigeland » Mon, 13. Dec 10, 21:52

Spoonikle wrote:ahhh! the microchips are maddening! i used a huge mobile mining op for the silicon but, GOD DAMN micro chips!! why why why why why!!!

i built a 24 station food-plex in Pluto and that took all freaking day...
how the hell am i supposed to make a 75 micro chip complex! and i cant even begin to imagine all the E-cells i would need to buy to keep it running.

and the clean up... i do not want to pollute an entire sector of silicon asteroids
to make more micro chips than i know what to do with. i would end up self destructing them all... or firing 100-200 shadows.
Fear not - Microchips are one of those products that the Commonwealth NPCs just can't get enough of. I.e., you will always be sold out. So, a big plant to produce them is not a bad investment and you'll definately keep it running (heck you might even build another one).

The 183-station complex I drew up is self-sufficient - meaning the asteroids involved produce enough silicon to feed the energy loop needed to power the chip plants, as well as all the silicon for turning into chips. So, you won't need to do a darn thing to keep this running.

You can build large complexes in stages as time / patience / funds allow. If you like I can break up that 183-station plex into six smaller pieces that you can build over time (all of which will be self-sufficient when done but still fit within the overall plan of the ultimate complex).

I think the overall idea behind the HUB is to force you to develop the infrastructure you'll need to:
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Build you own ships once you have the Personal HQ - which is the reward for the plot that comes rigth after the HUB.

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Post by MarvinTheMartian » Mon, 13. Dec 10, 22:19

Spoonikle wrote:how the hell am i supposed to make a 75 micro chip complex! and i cant even begin to imagine all the E-cells i would need to buy to keep it running.
with the station-in-station technique it's manageable. the number of chip plants only determines the speed you complete the plot so if you've got other things to do you can set up fewer and leave it to run in the background.
Spoonikle wrote:and the clean up... i do not want to pollute an entire sector of silicon asteroids
to make more micro chips than i know what to do with. i would end up self destructing them all... or firing 100-200 shadows.
Why would you destroy it? make it a self-sustaining loop/complex (that takes care of the e-cells) and 75 chip plants will make 10,814,250 credits per hour every hour! Why would you want to blow that up?

I'm at the ore stage myself and using 16 mobile miners plus a MSF CAG buying at 50Cr while I'm busy building NPC stations to pay for the whole thing! Should have got my UTs trained up earlier in the game :(

Planning on building a large crystal complex for the next stage with intention to ship crystals to (future) complexes in Si poor areas after the plot is complete. Just haven't decided where yet. I built a 5 chip-plex early on but it's taken days to fill just one MSF (approx 6000 chips) so will expand that complex, Spring of Belief can self-support 40 chip plants (http://tinyurl.com/326ffzx if anyone's interested).
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Post by Smacksim » Mon, 13. Dec 10, 22:36

Eternall_00 wrote:I would suggest ditching the spoiler tags and just noting it in the title. Too much reverse text is bad on the eyes. Very well put together though.
I agree. Maybe a big warning block of empty Spoiler at the beginning so nothing is accidentally read by someone.

Great guide by the way. Nice and concise and outlines not only strategy but the reasons why such a strategy is worthwhile. That is important.


I'd second also the notion of mobile mining as an alternate route. Normal mobile mining or 'collect rocks' - with CLS2 harvesters can significantly bolster almost all aspects of the HUB manufacturing scenarios. Some things to keep in mind:
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1. Having lots of mines is helpful for storage, even if the bulk of minerals come from mobile miners. You'll need at least one mine of the type being added to a complex just to make it run, but 10 or 20 mines can help significantly with buffer storage concerns.

2.0: CLS2 makes mobile mining fun and interesting, but some setup is required to be effective. Training CLS2 pilots up to Cargo Messenger is very useful. (see guide to training CLS2 and CAG pilots for suggested method) Trained pilots can be simply converted to CAGs to support the HUB directly, or any complex, so having 10-30 of these is not overkill.

2.1 CLS2 can be used to shuttle minerals to various operations:
Trained Cargo Messenger pilots so they can use the jumpdrive
Waypoints: Mining operation, Destination, Refuel jumpdrive.
Jumpdrive Settings: Double the distance * 10 for TS's

2.2 CLS2 for harvesting is straightforward:
Logistician rank helps as you can have infinite waypoints
Transporter device is required on the harvester and the TL (I think the latter is true)
Waypoints: Each Miner, A TL. Depending on how spread out your miners are, you may want to harvest 5 or 10 at a time between dropoffs.
Waypoints for dropoff run: TL, Complex
Put the TL amongst the "Collect Rocks" miners, don't go back to this sector personally without stopping the miners and probably moving the TL out of the way. Otherwise you'll have both collisions and rock-despawn (permanent).

2.3. Setup, for those new to "Collect Rocks":
Find a debris field containing the desired mineral (Silicon or Ore in this case)
Or blow up a map asteroid with either a Mobile Drilling System laser or a Hornet missile. Use a PAC, PRG, IRE, PBE or similar to break down the medium bits into small bits.
Drop a satellite in the middle of the debris field. Name it "Ore" or something similar so you remember what it is for.
Leave the sector.
Command your miners to "Follow "Ore"" or whatever you've named the satellite.
Once the miners (and TL) are on station, command them individually to "Collect Rocks in Sector"
Designate a trained pilot or two to be CLS2 harvesters. You can use any old TS or TM, provided it has decent capacity.
Setup their waypoints and start 'em up.
Now setup an additional TS or 2 to grab minerals from the TL dropoff and deliver to your complex.

Add additional miners as required.

Because you'll want to remain out of this sector as much as possible, it is recommended that you build your entire complex first and account for the fact that you'll be supplementing your minerals later. IE, if your complex calculation calls for ~ 15 Silicon mines, you can double or treble the factories and account for the silicon with mining you'll add later.

Also, to keep down on needing to visit the sector a few other things will help: Choose an out-of-the-way sector. Unknown sectors are ideal as very few missions will require you to enter them (Thinking of Return Ship here). Plan out your sector defenses ahead of time. A few M6s on patrol with an M7, or even a fleet of armed TLs will help unless you build somewhere like Scale Plate Green ;) Finally, have a plan in place in case you do choose to enter the sector. Grouping the miners in a wing could help. Having all CAGs and CLS2's jump away or dock will also allow you to issue sector-wide commands to all miners: "Follow TL", for instance.

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Post by MarvinTheMartian » Mon, 13. Dec 10, 22:56

Smacksim wrote:I agree. Maybe a big warning block of empty Spoiler at the beginning so nothing is accidentally read by someone.
Actually, I rather appreciate being able to dip in for help on one part of the plot without spoiling a later stage. It's a little ironic that the majority of your post was spoiler tagged after saying that though :P

As for the ore stage, I would have to say that I would not use my own mines to provide for the plot, I have only 3 Ore mines at the moment but they are happily selling to NPC for at least 150Cr which is 3 times what I am buying it for from the NPC, in terms of efficiency I'd say that's the way to go (plus a bit of mobile mining to add some "free" ore to the mix)

Thanks again for the guide.
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