[TC - Guide] An Idiots Guide to CLS

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Kirlack
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[TC - Guide] An Idiots Guide to CLS

Post by Kirlack » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 17:38

It seems a lot of folks have trouble getting to grips with the training and use of CLS pilots, so I've decide to have a go at writing a guide for them.

An 'Idiots' Illustrated Guide to CLS Training and Usage [TC]

So you want to set up some CLS pilots, but you're not quite sure how they work? Have no fear! This guide should cover everything you need to know.

  • Part One: Training your CLS Pilot.


Training a CLS pilot is relatively cheap and easy. You will need a small ship (TS/TP/M6/M3/M4/M5/M8 ). Personally I like Argon Discoverers and their variants, but any M5 is fine for training.

  • Equipping your CLS training ship.


Your M5 will need:
  • Commodity Logistics Software 1
  • Commodity Logistics Software 2
  • Navigation Command Software
  • Fight Command Software 1
  • Fight Command Software 2
With your ship kitted out the first thing you need to do is hire a pilot. Your CLS ship must be docked. Go into the ship command menu and select Trade.

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Inside the trade menu you should find 'Start external commodity logistics'

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Which will open this menu:

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Now, for the purposes of this guide I'll assume you own at least one factory. In my experience this makes it easier to keep track of your CLS pilots, as once they're set up I homebase them to a factory. This means they're easy to find in your property menu, but also that you can tell them to draw their wages direct from the station account. Don't worry about homebasing them yet though, you'll need to set them up first.

To set them up to take their wages from the station, go into 'Trader Settings' and switch 'Trader Salary'.

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Now go to 'Waypoints'. This is where you give your pilot a list of tasks.

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Click 'Add Station'. This opens up the universe map so you can choose a sector with one of your factories in. For the guide I'm using my Sun Oil refinery in Profit Centre Alpha.

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Pick a station for your CLS pilot in training to fly to.

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With his destination set he needs to know what he's doing. Since he's only training we'll tell him to 'Fly to station'.

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Your new Pilot is an Apprentice, so he can only have four waypoints set. As he climbs though the ranks more waypoints will become available. For now four is plenty.

Pick two more target stations for him and then set the last waypoint as your factory. If you don't own a factory don't worry, just pick another station for him to fly to. When you're done, your waypoints screen should look something like this.

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Back in the main CLS menu...

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...just click Start external commodity logistics and you pilot will go into standby for a little while and then start zooming off between the stations you selected. He'll stop a little while at each one, so don't panic if he goes into 'Standby' mode for a bit.

If you intended to have your pilot homebased, now is the time to set it.

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For some reason if you set the homebase first and then set up CLS it forgets it was homebased.

According to a thread by Kor'ah, training CLS pilots from Apprentice to Logistician takes ~10 hours. IF you only need to get them up to Cargo Messenger (rank 4 of 6), giving them access to jumpdrives, you probably only need 6-7 hours. And that's FLIGHT time, time spent docked doesn't count.

And that's the basics of training your pilots.

BE WARNED! Keep an eye on your pilots in training as they continue drawing a wage, which goes up with their rank. If you start training a large group of them and forget about them they'll drain all the profitssss from your station, or worse, your personal account!

And that's it for the basics of training your guys :)


  • Part Two: Using your CLS Pilots


So, you've trained up a pilot or ten and you're wondering how to make use of them? Trained CLS pilots can be handy for all sorts of things, automating mobile mining, replenishing your war fleets supply of ammo and missiles, keeping your factories across the universe stocked up, even just resupplying your personal ship with jump fuel!

You'll need your trained pilot and most probably a TS/TP/TL class ship with the following equipment:
  • Commodity Logistics Software 1
  • Commodity Logistics Software 2
  • Navigation Command Software
  • Fight Command Software 1
  • Fight Command Software 2
  • Jumpdrive
  • Transporter Device
  • Pilot of at least 'Cargo Messenger' level
So, with that set up, what do you want to use it for? Well, for this guide I'm setting up a refuel loop for one of my TLs.

Back in your CLS menu go to waypoints and select 'Delete All Waypoints'

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Your pilot will have bought all his previous waypoints with him, so clear the lot ready to start over. It can be a pain, but once they're set up they'll go forever.

Your first waypoint should always be for the CLS to refuel his own jump energy. Pick a station, just like you did for his training and select 'Refuel Jump Energy'.

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Ok. Now you're going to tell your pilot to pick up energy from your factory and give it to your TL. Add another station waypoint and select your factory again. This time you're Loading him up.

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So your pilot knows what to collect, but how much of it?

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'Manual input' is a single set amount, I don't use that. 'Maximum cargo space' will fill the CLS ship, I don't really use that either. 'Manual input up to' I find the most reliable way to set up CLS. You give a figure:

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And your pilot will attempt to collect up to that many units. If your factory only has 500 cells when he gets there, he'll collect those 500 and be on his way.

So, now your Waypoints screen should look like this:

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Now you want to shift them to your TL. Click 'Add Ship' and select the sector you're target is in.

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That's a list of every ship in that sector which you own. It doesn't matter to the CLS pilot if that ship is in space, docked to a station, or docked to another ship which is docked to something else. All the CLS pilot cares about is that it's owned by you and it's in that sector. When your pilot makes the drop off he'll do it by transporter beam if the ship is in space, or station transfer if it's docked.

With your target selected your tasks page opens again. Select 'Unload'

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Now you decide your threshold for the receiving ship. Because I'm using a TL I'm setting it at 4000.

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So my CLS will keep the ship topped up with energy, but it will never transfer more than 4k. If my TL sits around doing nothing for ages it won't suddenly fill up with energy cells.

So that's the basics of setting up CLS pilots to actually do stuff. Before I move on though, here's a taste of what else you could do.

With the above example, let's say I want my TL to stock Mosquito Missiles as well. If I have a factory for them I can just load from there, or alternatively tell him to buy them. You can use the 'Generate Waypoints' tool in the main CLS menu to help you find sources. You have to select a buy price and a number to purchase, but the same basics apply as with your own factories.

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In this pic my CLS is set to collect jumpfuel and energy for the TL. Then he'll fly to my Mosquito factory and collect some missiles, before jumping to whichever sector my TL is in and delivering. The TL will never be stocked with more than 2k Mosquitoes and 4k energy because those are the thresholds set.

Ok. So you're confident setting up waypoints. What about making sure your pilot jumps across the universe and doesn't wander into X-347 and get eaten by a Q?

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'Use Jumpdrive' is a simple switch yes or no. You can manually set JD energy and minimum range. This is where your 'refuel jump energy' from your waypoints is taken into account. Every time your pilot carries out that command he'll top up to this many energy cells.

The only thing left to cover is saving and loading set ups.

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See how I've already saved my CLS training programme? Whenever I'm hiring a fresh pilot I just load that and start him on his way. No more mucking about setting up waypoints! To save, just select a vacant slot and name your set up.

All that's left is to start your trader,

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and he should happily carry out your commands.

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And that's it! You should now be armed with the knowledge to set up and use CLS effectively.

Just to give you an idea of how useful they can be, in one of my saves I have built quite an empire. I have a huge crystal plex which I built for the Hub plot and use a CLS freighter to ship those spare crystals to smaller 'plexes all over the universe, meaning they need less resources. I produce all kinds of missiles for my war fleet, and use CLS freighters to distribute them amongst my ships, making sure they're always stocked and ready for battle. And of course I use them to keep the fleet topped up with jump fuel.

Hopefully I've not over simplified this and insulted your intelligence, but so many people seem to struggle with it I thought this was the best approach :)

I hope at least some of you find it useful :)
Last edited by Kirlack on Fri, 1. Mar 13, 13:42, edited 4 times in total.

Eisenkalle
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Post by Eisenkalle » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 18:02

Thank you very much.

This guide is really detailed and impressive.
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Post by Triaxx2 » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 18:15

Excellent guide. One suggestion would be to enlarge and bold the section text. So Part Two would be Large and Bold.
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Post by Kirlack » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 18:44

Thanks for the feedback.

Triaxx2, changes made as suggested. It should be a bit clearer now. Thanks mate :)

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Post by Nanook » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 20:06

Nice guide. You should submit it to Graphil for inclusion in the Ultimate Guides sticky. :)
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Post by Morkonan » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 20:11

Nicely done. I'll read through it with an eye for detail later, just to see if I can offer any suggestions.

After all, you wrote "An Idiot's Guide" so, naturally, I showed up... :D

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Post by Mrreg » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 20:25

Fantastic guide. Very nice work.

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Post by jkjklkl » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 20:42

I think you should include a small section on CLS1, as that is preferrable to CLS2 in some situations

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Post by Morkonan » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 20:53

A note on CLS Pilot Training:

CLS Pilots should fly multiple sectors in order to reach their next dock station. This is especially true if they are flying fast ships. (Typically, CLS pilots being trained are assigned an M5, in my game.)

This is because the Pilot will spend one minute docked at every stop, regardless if they are transporting cargo or not. If the CLS pilots being trained have all their stops in the same sector, they will end up spending an inordinate amount of time sitting in the dock instead of flying their ship and accumulating training hours.

For that reason, it's best to spread the docks they will visit over several sectors, as far apart as possible, as long as those sectors are relatively safe.

For my own CLS training program, I run pilots through a course that takes them from the Asteroid Belt, to Saturn, to Pluto and then to Earth Torus. They spend a maximum amount of time in their cockpit, training, and I have a constant supply of logisticians.

However, I do not know how much this really matters to most people. But, if they're spending 30% of their time in the dock with four docks to visit in a small sector when flying an M5 trainer, they're definitely wasting time if the player is concerned about efficiency.

Note: Also, if you're running a bunch of these trainers, which most people do, entering that sector could end up wiping out half of your CLS pilot training cadre... :D With collision detection on, M5s have a bad habit of painting themselves all over the bulkheads of factories and stations... But, a cadre of 15 or so M5s, all training CLS pilots, tends to get spread out after awhile and you will rarely have more than 3 all present in the same sector at the same time. (Depending on how you rotate them out of training, that is.)

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Post by Nanook » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 21:03

The simple answer to the docked issue is to use very slow ships. If you want to use M5's, Teladi Harriers with no engine tunings will work just fine, especially if you spread your training factories out over a large sector. Putting one in each corner of The Hole, for example, they will probably train up several levels with just one circuit. :wink:

If you're not hung up on using M5's, buy up some of the used TS's floating about. Those are generally very slow due to hull damage and you can get them extremely cheap. They should make excellent trainers, with the added benefit of keeping the trained pilots in them if you repair the hulls. Even doing so at a shipyard will mean you get a freighter for potentially a lot less than you would buying new. :D
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Post by Morkonan » Thu, 14. Jun 12, 21:38

But, any equipment dock will do. You don't have to own any of them for the CLS pilot to train effectively. Besides, how many people have multiple factories/docks spread over one sector anyway?

I'd rather have them flying something fast enough to get out of trouble as fast as it got into it, rather than some slow TS trawling around one sector, waiting for a random pirate flight to come by.

Now, something a bit more substantially shielded/armored, like a Taledi Harrier, would be OK in a sector, as long as it was a relatively safe sector.

Anyway, I suppose it's largely up to personal preference, as long as the disparity between dock time and flight time is managed with either ship selection or location selection.

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Post by Triaxx2 » Fri, 15. Jun 12, 00:18

I use the four Trading stations in Argon Prime, Herron's Nebula, Cloud Base North West, and Ringo Moon. That means I can put ten M5's in the air, and have no worries about docking at any station. And since those are in TC at least, relatively safe sectors...

But it's true, training as CLS2 means you don't have to own any station.
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Post by Hanover_fist » Fri, 15. Jun 12, 00:33

Outstanding work. Helps a ton!

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Post by Libelnon » Fri, 15. Jun 12, 01:40

I spy the Goshawk IV... Is this from Peace(s) of Eight by any chance Kir? :wink:

Also, don't the levels between CAG and CLS share? So if you use CLS to level a trader up a bit and then stick him on CAG duty at a station, his levels transfer over?

I think they do. At least in AP. Dunno about TC, not played that [TC] much.
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Post by Nanook » Fri, 15. Jun 12, 01:51

Yes, CAG's and CLS's share the same training. They're interchangeable. It's common to train up CLS pilots for the express purpose of using them as CAG's.
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