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[X3AP] CLS2 freighter not refuelling and trade competition
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ajime





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 04:22    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LSFKing wrote:
RAVEN.myst wrote:
@LSFKing, to the original question: there's a simple alternative approach you can use if/when you can't afford to set up a tanker (either earlier in the game, or if you find yourself temporarily financially committed or overextended) - simply add a "Fly to [SPP]" waypoint to your route, with the jumpdrive's autorefuel settings defined. I suggest placing the waypoint early in your route so it's checked early (usually - some routes CAN demand different placement.) This approach isn't foolproof, as for one thing it's potentially possible for the SPP you designate to get emptied and thus be unable to refuel your CLS ship on a given visit (Tim's tanker approach practically guarantees this will never happen), and if you sail close to the wind in terms of fuel amounts in order to save cargo space, that can make the wheels fall off. But it's a simple stopgap for, as mentioned above, when you're unable to set up a tanker - which, incidentally, can be shared among multiple CLS traders (just be careful to keep half an eye on it - if it seems you're starting to overload it, it may be time to get a helper to fetch ECs for it from somewhere else too.)


Hmm, interesting. I highly doubt an L or XL SPP would run out of energy cells, but regardless it's still a solid temporary fix for my problem until I can get a more permanent setup going. Thanks for your input!
They do, if your massive complex strain their production without giving any crystals.
And eventually the SSP XL disappeared. I have learned recently to give them 666 crystals to keep em running while draining 10000 energy from it. Very Happy

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LSFKing





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 04:40    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

ajime wrote:
LSFKing wrote:
RAVEN.myst wrote:
@LSFKing, to the original question: there's a simple alternative approach you can use if/when you can't afford to set up a tanker (either earlier in the game, or if you find yourself temporarily financially committed or overextended) - simply add a "Fly to [SPP]" waypoint to your route, with the jumpdrive's autorefuel settings defined. I suggest placing the waypoint early in your route so it's checked early (usually - some routes CAN demand different placement.) This approach isn't foolproof, as for one thing it's potentially possible for the SPP you designate to get emptied and thus be unable to refuel your CLS ship on a given visit (Tim's tanker approach practically guarantees this will never happen), and if you sail close to the wind in terms of fuel amounts in order to save cargo space, that can make the wheels fall off. But it's a simple stopgap for, as mentioned above, when you're unable to set up a tanker - which, incidentally, can be shared among multiple CLS traders (just be careful to keep half an eye on it - if it seems you're starting to overload it, it may be time to get a helper to fetch ECs for it from somewhere else too.)


Hmm, interesting. I highly doubt an L or XL SPP would run out of energy cells, but regardless it's still a solid temporary fix for my problem until I can get a more permanent setup going. Thanks for your input!
They do, if your massive complex strain their production without giving any crystals.
And eventually the SSP XL disappeared. I have learned recently to give them 666 crystals to keep em running while draining 10000 energy from it. Very Happy


Whoa, that must've been one heck of a complex. Luckily, in this playthrough, I'm focusing on shipping between NPC stations and keeping my own to a minimum. Knowing GoD, this will happen to me anyway Laughing

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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 17:49    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LSFKing wrote:
Luckily, in this playthrough, I'm focusing on shipping between NPC stations and keeping my own to a minimum. Knowing GoD, this will happen to me anyway Laughing


Well, you'll be interested (and likely happy) to find out that trade is more profitable than industry (though the latter is often eventually needed to meet specific shortages - for instance, a race's food production may be insufficient for all its industry; also, and this is guaranteed if you take your game far and use missile ships - universal supply of Tomahawks, Flails and Hammers tend to fall somewhat short of Armageddon requirements Very Happy )

There are some reasons for the above. Firstly, industry requires factories and (ideally) freighters, while trade only requires freighters, but that's just the initial outlay. Over time, though, industry is constrained by production cycle time + transportation times, while trade is ONLY limited by the latter, transportation times. Also, in many cases the value-add of buy-low-sell-high is greater (conditional on the market) than the value-add of converting resources into products. While I can't off the top of my head tell you the conversion rate of a mine turning ECs into ore (in terms of value added to the wares), I can illustrate with the following: until you *seriously* deplete or level the market, you can buy ore for 50 just about at any time, and sell it for 150-200. That's a trebling to quadrupling of the invested amount, so 200-300% profit, for simply moving it from one place to another, without having to invest in mines and wait out production cycles - and as soon as you've made the delivery, you are ready to make the next.

By the way, despite being a base resource, ore is one of the most lucrative wares to trade - it's a good one to start with, make good profits to launch financing expansions to your trade operation. However, as industry typically requires mineral+food+energy, you will need to move into those markets, too, otherwise your client factories will be sitting flush with ore/silicon but not consuming it, stalling your trade.

Since you are familiar with both CAG and CLS2, here's a quick outline for something I do early on to make huge initial profits. It's a hybridisation of CAG and CLS2 made possible with a small complex (no more than 2 member factories are needed at first - you want the complex mainly for its greater docking capacity, which is very important.) The following is not all hard-and-fast, I'm just using an example to illustrate the principle (and I REALLY should make a separate post of this so I can just link to it whenever it's relevant - this is literally the 4th or 5th time I'm explaining this scheme, hehehe)

- Set up ore mines on two ore-bearing asteroids near each other, and link them into a complex. Face the complex hub toward the nearest gate, and try to set this up close to a gate, as gate-to-plex travel and vice versa is a factor in your turnaround time.
- Initially, turn off both mines. Later on, when things are flowing amply, you can turn them on and contribute their production for added profit.
- So if the mines are turned off, what's their point, you might ask. Well, what you want here is the ore storage and the docking ports, to create a makeshift ore and energy trading station.
- Use CAGs to buy energy, and sell it using CLS2s
- Use CLS2s to buy ore, and sell it via CAGs.
- The above means that you are inverting the conventional flow of goods - you are buying products (which CAGs can only sell) using CLS2, and selling resource (which CAG is only allowed to buy) also using CLS2.
- Your CAGs will autorefuel when docking here (technically, the way the script works, it makes sure the ship is fuelled before it sets off), and if you include 'load X energy cells at this station' waypoints to your CLS2s, they will also be refuelled here.
- The reason not to run the mines at this point is that they will consume ECs and you will be constantly finding yourself out of balance, short of ECs for refuelling, your CAGs prioritising EC purchases, while your ore is full and not being exported. Later one, when you have enough freighters operating from this base, you can tweak things such that you get a surplus of ECs, allowing you to turn on your mines, and make extra profits via production (small compared to the trade income you will generate, but every bit counts, yes?)
- An ore mine's (or other factory's) dock can accommodate up to 5 ships, while complex hubs have four such docks, so can handle up to 20 ships, hence why it's a good idea to plex a couple of mines, though the system will also work with just a single mine, though you will eventually (once your trading fleet grows to a certain point) run the risk of a serious jam, which will bring the whole thing to a halt. Now, while the plex dock-port can cope with 20 ships, when everything's running smoothly your freighters will be spending little time docked, mostly they'll be flying to or from. Oh, by the way, I STRONGLY recommend barring NPCs from docking at that station/plex - they will sell ECs for more than your CAGs will be paying and buy your ore for less than your CAGs charge, but worse than that, they will loiter and clog up your parking lot.

A very good place to try the above is in the Argon Prime neighbourhood - you're looking at a 3x5 grid of densely settled and highly industrialised sectors, with more markets not far from there. This has become my standard way and place to get started whenever I am playing as an Argon (at least, if starting in the Argon Prime region - though I use the same principle with any race and in any location.)
Spoiler
Herron's Nebula is well situated for this, as it's almost central, just 1 North of Argon Prime, or if you prefer to set up on richer asteroids with a view to the long term, there are 2 ore asteroids in range of each other with yields of 90-something in Auntie's Gone Memorial Razz
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LSFKing





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 18:44    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@RAVEN.myst That is an excellent explanation! I already have an ore mine in Senator's Badlands, I reckon if I attach a wheat farm to it and then follow your method, I'll have a perfect mid-way depot for all the ore, energy, and wheat I'll need for the industries in Weaver's Tempest Very Happy
Very interesting to discover that trade is the most lucrative vocation. I would regularly read threads on this site about how people would build complexes of 100+ chip factories and never have to worry about money again. This never quite made sense to me because I could never find enough stations that bought chips to justify THAT much demand Confused
So if building running factories is really only practical for supplying a pronounced production deficit, couldn't jumpdrives theoretically replace them? For example, if rastar oil was in surplus in one cluster of Split sectors, but had a shortage in another cluster of Split sectors, couldn't you just set a CLS with a jumpdrive to balance the supply?

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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 19:13    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LSFKing wrote:
I already have an ore mine in Senator's Badlands, I reckon if I attach a wheat farm to it and then follow your method, I'll have a perfect mid-way depot for all the ore, energy, and wheat I'll need for the industries in Weaver's Tempest Very Happy

Yes, that is also a very viable, and more diverse approach (which is good - generally speaking, in business it's safest to diversify one's portfolio; multiple baskets for the eggs, so to speak. Smile ) I've in fact used that same combination (Ore Mine and Wheat Farm or Cahoona Bakery) to accomplish this setup (Cahoona Bakery is also good as it then additionally opens up Meatsteak trade as well - something to consider, but it IS a lot more expensive, of course.) I also recommend going with the L variants of factories whenever possible, as they have much larger stock capacities.

Incidentally, I forgot to mention this, kinda took it for read, but here it is, just in case: the income derived from the above system is proportional to the number of freighters you have - the static infrastructure can remain unchanging, but as you grow your fleet operating from there, so will the trade-plex's revenue stream grow proportionally.

Oh, incidentally, since you will be servicing the Yaki production, you will gain access to IBLs should you want to use them - if not, you can buy them up when the factories are full (thus getting best purchase price) and flog them off to equipment docks. Also, keep in mind that that particular market is rather limited, but don't let that discourage you - all your freighters should be using jumpdrives, so you are not limited to serving the factories in Weaver's Tempest; you can take your trade far afield (you'll get to passively improve your Paranid reputation quite nicely, since they are your next-nearest neighbours.)

LSFKing wrote:
Very interesting to discover that trade is the most lucrative vocation. I would regularly read threads on this site about how people would build complexes of 100+ chip factories and never have to worry about money again. This never quite made sense to me because I could never find enough stations that bought chips to justify THAT much demand Confused

Well, chip superplexes like that certainly are profitable, but have a few disadvantages:
- LOTS of work and investment to set up - at something like 5 mill a pop (if I recall correctly), you already need to be very rich to begin with (of course, there's nothing to stop you from starting small and adding to it as you can afford it - it will still consume a lot of time and tie up revenues)
- LOTS of infrastructure required: they guzzle energy, food, and silicon, all of which not only needs to be produced or procured, but also delivered
- Large complexes hammer game performance, causing significant slowdowns even when you are not in the same sector (a forum user named, iIrc, 'glenmcd' researched an excellent way to reduce the processing impact of large plexes and posted his findings somewhere on this forum quite some time ago - if/when you decide to go with large plexes, have a look around for it, or drop me a PM, I can explain the method, and it works beautifully.)
- As you point out, how to deal with market saturation? This requires using something that some (me included) consider somewhat of an exploit: you load up a freighter with a full bay of chips, and sell it a shipyard (or keep such a freighter docked and filling up with a CLS2, then buy a new one, transfer the goods to it, and sell it back.) You don't get maximum price for it, but you get somewhere close to market average or just less, still extremely lucrative with such high-tech goods. However, besides the inelegance of what is essentially an exploit, there's also the fact that it can't be fully automated, which to me is an even greater inelegance.

LSFKing wrote:
So if building running factories is really only practical for supplying a pronounced production deficit, couldn't jumpdrives theoretically replace them? For example, if rastar oil was in surplus in one cluster of Split sectors, but had a shortage in another cluster of Split sectors, couldn't you just set a CLS with a jumpdrive to balance the supply?

Yes, absolutely - but I was referring to global (well, technically "universal", I guess) shortages - where (to use your Split example) all of the Split nation's production of rastar is unequal to its demand. For me, this is usually an obstacle that I learn to live with to some extent, as I only ever own assets of my chosen starting race (a personal role-playing choice and constraint, to make the game more interesting for me - this way, whichever race I play with I have to make do with whatever they offer, be it good or bad, instead of always simply using that which I find optimal) - so if I play as any race other than Split, I will never produce rastar oil or massom powder myself. However, I can alleviate the shortage by accepting station build missions that require me to build a corresponding factory on the mission giver's behalf (ie. I don't end up owning a smelly Split factory, in this example, but help to expand production of that ware, as well as adding another supplier/customer to my trade network.) I have no problem trading in alien goods, though, so when I get my Xenon Hub and convert it into a trade hub, I can move all the racial foods I want (which is as much as they will eat, heheh.) (A primarily CAG-based trade hub is my next step, whether I use the Xenon Hub or a Trade Port/Equipment Dock to accomplish it - the latter option is inferior, though, because of much more limited parking space - so those I only use for servicing a specific region if my chosen game path delays my Xenon Hub acquisition.)


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LSFKing





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 21:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Quote:
Oh, incidentally, since you will be servicing the Yaki production, you will gain access to IBLs should you want to use them - if not, you can buy them up when the factories are full (thus getting best purchase price) and flog them off to equipment docks. Also, keep in mind that that particular market is rather limited, but don't let that discourage you - all your freighters should be using jumpdrives, so you are not limited to serving the factories in Weaver's Tempest; you can take your trade far afield (you'll get to passively improve your Paranid reputation quite nicely, since they are your next-nearest neighbours.)


That's the idea! My overall scheme- er 'business plan' is to create a company called Pirate Sector Exports aka Pirsex (which may sound similar to Bowex from Freelancer, which is intentional Wink ) which primarily monopolizes the Space Fuel, IBL and PBG forges in Yaki and all pirate space for maximum profitsss. I'm going to have a TM per forge that buys the guns at minimum, jumps to the closest equipment dock, off-loads to a 'tank', and then jumps back so I can manually sell them at my convenience.


Quote:
Well, chip superplexes like that certainly are profitable, but have a few disadvantages


Those are some potentially very damaging disadvantages Surprised But I must say, I'm glad to see that spamming factories isn't nearly as OP as it could have been. Kudos to the devs for this bit of balance!

Quote:
I only ever own assets of my chosen starting race (a personal role-playing choice and constraint, to make the game more interesting for me - this way, whichever race I play with I have to make do with whatever they offer, be it good or bad, instead of always simply using that which I find optimal)


I like this! I personally roleplay according to 'companies'. In this one, as ive said, I'm taking over the pirate economy and that's all I'll be doing.The challenge will be in securing these high-risk high-reward shipments as they traverse the sectors in between jumps. Looking forward to building my 'defense force' Twisted Evil

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MrFiction



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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 22:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@OP: maybe I'm missing something but what's the point of having three ships? Buying, transporting and unloading can be done with only one ship.

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LSFKing





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 22:19    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

MrFiction wrote:
@OP: maybe I'm missing something but what's the point of having three ships? Buying, transporting and unloading can be done with only one ship.


Elementary, my dear Fiction! This will ensure that the prices I want to buy and sell at are ALWAYS fulfilled. For example, if I wanted to buy energy at 12 credits per e-cell (which is minimum price) I won't have to worry about my single all-purpose freighter being otherwise occupied while some sly Teladi with her super-freighter comes by and buys it up when it hits that price. I always have a freighter there who can fill my order the second the price is agreeable.
Same goes for selling, if I wish to sell ore at slightly above-average price, I can leave an auto-seller 'tank' filled with ore who will sell the second the price is met.

Now you might be thinking "Is this really worth all the extra expensive freighters?" In the long run, absolutely. But if you're a 'live in the present' type of chap, you'll be happy to know that for the more enterprising individuals there are 'free' freighters readily available courtesy of Duke's Buccaneers Pirat

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Timsup2nothin





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 23:05    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

MrFiction wrote:
@OP: maybe I'm missing something but what's the point of having three ships? Buying, transporting and unloading can be done with only one ship.


A graduate of the Trapper Tim School of Trading.


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LSFKing





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 23:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Timsup2nothin wrote:
A graduate of the Trapper Tim School of Trading.


Proudly so Very Happy Sorry I didn't give you credit in my explanation. Until today, I didn't realize there was a forum member who doesn't know your famous CLS strategy

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Timsup2nothin





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PostPosted: Tue, 12. Sep 17, 23:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

No apology required. Smile


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HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
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jlehtone



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PostPosted: Wed, 13. Sep 17, 21:52    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LSFKing wrote:
Until today, I didn't realize there was a forum member who doesn't know your famous CLS strategy

* Some users are much older than the Trapper Guide. They might not pay attention to "recent" events.
* Some users are still new. Do they find the stickies, guides, links in signatures, and other "old stuff"?
* Some might be aware, but chose to ignore, i.e. not really know.


PS. When TV news says "world-famous XYZ has died", I usually ask who? to show that the fame was assumed.


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LSFKing





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PostPosted: Wed, 13. Sep 17, 21:58    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

jlehtone wrote:
LSFKing wrote:
Until today, I didn't realize there was a forum member who doesn't know your famous CLS strategy

* Some users are much older than the Trapper Guide. They might not pay attention to "recent" events.
* Some users are still new. Do they find the stickies, guides, links in signatures, and other "old stuff"?
* Some might be aware, but chose to ignore, i.e. not really know.


PS. When TV news says "world-famous XYZ has died", I usually ask who? to show that the fame was assumed.


A fair point Very Happy


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Timsup2nothin





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PostPosted: Wed, 13. Sep 17, 22:10    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Wait! What? I'm not famous?

How about infamous?

Laughing


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On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
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LSFKing





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PostPosted: Thu, 14. Sep 17, 04:33    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Timsup2nothin wrote:
Wait! What? I'm not famous?

How about infamous?

Laughing


A thousand unemployed Universal Traders drunkenly curse your name at every Argon bar's last call


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