Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

This forum is the ideal place for all discussion relating to X4. You will also find additional information from developers here.

Moderator: Moderators for English X Forum

GCU Grey Area
Posts: 7980
Joined: Sat, 14. Feb 04, 23:07
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by GCU Grey Area » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 09:44

Koizuki wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 01:45
I'm not sure how quickly most newer players would reasonably take to get to predominantly L freighters. They're pretty pricey to start with, but I also did not dabble too much into boarding them either since I was trying to increase my relations with everyone. I imagine most (newer) players would begin with a couple M traders at best, as they're relatively cheap. I also rely on them for the majority of my trade fleet because M ships dock far faster than L ships, plus the fact that half of my Trade Stations are along the superhighway ring, so they can shuttle stuff between themselves really quickly using it. L freighters getting harrassed by Destroyers is also annoying since I would've had to wait for my own Destroyer to arrive to deal with it, assuming I disable it manually first, because I doubt the freighters would be able to survive against them on their own.
Yeah, they can be a bit pricy. Sturgeons in my current game are around 15 million each, although early on I did skimp on the thrusters to bring that down to a more manageable 10 million. Had 3 Dolphins right at the start trading around Kingdom End (no pirates in that corner of the universe). However as soon as I started expanding out into the rest of the map it's been exclusively Sturgeons. Currently have around 100 of them. Mostly find it's not essential to intervene militarily in response to pirate harassment. In almost all cases opening the map & giving the freighter a different route or new destination is sufficient - the pirates usually give plenty of warning of their intentions & they're flying comparatively slow & sluggish ships. Issues only arise if both ships start the encounter in immediate close proximity (e.g. my freighter has just flow through a gate straight into turret range of a pirate destroyer).
That said, losing 3 ships is 3 more than I personally find acceptable, and is the main difference between our play styles, really. I remember one time early on I lost an S-Courier to a random KHK ship in an adjacent sector about 20 seconds after an autosave; I ended up spending the next hour and a half reloading the save until I managed to perfectly execute the maneuvers to reach it just in time to save that poor Courier. This was before I started modding everything, though, but Mirage obviously wouldn't have helped here either. Still, it does highlight the fact that I will do absolutely everything I can to protect my ships, so the peace of mind given to me via Mirage outweighs the mildly quicker trade times for me. The turning point in my game, I believe, was one time where I had 4 different traders get harrassed in 4 different sectors, and I was desperately trying to get to all of them to save them in my single Katana.
Definitely different play styles, I prefer not to reload in such circumstances. Can understand the attraction of Mirage given your 4 simultaneous pirate encounters. However that sort of thing simply never happens with a fleet of L freighters (not once in over 10k hours of X4). Indeed, don't recall even a single case of 2 of my L freighters being hassled by pirates simultaneously. Worst I have to deal with is more than one freighter being harassed by the same destroyer in the same location, one after another. Those are the sort of situations where I respond personally, usually with a frigate full of highly trained marines...

Good Wizard
Posts: 494
Joined: Wed, 9. Jun 21, 16:51
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Good Wizard » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 12:10

Koizuki wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 01:45
<..>
Started a new game, Young Gun start. Hired the first crew I could afford (5k) then immediately set off in the dinky Elite Vanguard for Second Contact.
10 minutes apparently was too optimistic because my god, that Elite is slow. There were a few things destroyed in Second Contact already when I arrived, but was still pretty calm. Set satellites down in Second Contact and True Sight, started collecting a few drops. Went up to Hatikvah's Choice to see the situation with the Xenon there. Saw about a half dozen P/M/N's harrassing a Spacefuel factory by the highway, picked up a couple drops.

<..>

Kit out Nodan with Mk3 Engines/Thrusters/Mk2 Pulse Lasers, TEL Shields (since ALI Wharf has them) and a couple laser towers, about 1 million. Transfer Satellites from Elite onto Nodan.
Undock, find a spot nearish the BUC Lost Property Office. Drop a satellite. Immediately see 2 hostile BUC fighters spawn, beelining for the satellite. Drop Laser towers, begin engagement. About 5 minutes later have 2 purple Chassis mods, and 2 million still in the bank. Can buy 1-2 M traders and fit them with Mirage 35ish minutes after starting the game.

2v1 fighter combat was a tad rough if without laser towers, but honestly I was rushing a bit. Better idea would have been to use the Nodan/Perseus (or a Pegasus Vanguard) and rush for the abandoned Odysseus in Faulty Logic first. Capture, transfer captain from Elite/Nodan into Odysseus. Fly back to BUC space, drop satellite bait. Now it should be far easier because 1-2 fighters are definitely not going to be taking out even a poorly-generated Odysseus Vanguard, especially if you're also shooting them in your fighter, but will add up to another 15-20 minutes of time probably to get the Odysseus over into position.

New players won't beeline like this, but can be done at any point in the game inside of half an hour to begin protecting from Pirates. Less if you already have money.

Late Edit:
Spent some more time playing with that game. Took almost exactly 15 minutes from the time I undocked from the ALI Wharf to the point where I was bringing the Odysseus into position in Pious Mists XI.
It's been a long time since I started from the beginning, so I completely forgot that you need the PHQ research to even install the mods. That'll add time for a completely new player, but it seems like with the Young Gun start, you sort of just.... get the PHQ dumped on you, after you scan a signal leak. Quite a difference from the process as the Terran Cadet. After that, the costs to research the Chassis Mods and building a couple storage containers isn't too much.

You spend way more time waiting for the NPC's to deliver the resources, so you can just continue hoovering up resources in the meantime, and by the time I managed to get the research done, I had Pegasus Vanguards automatically collecting stuff at the ANT/HOP and HOP/PAR frontlines plus Hatikvah's, and ended up with somewhere near 10 million credits worth of stuff. Farm a few more BUC fighters with the Odysseus nearby to cover you and you have enough money to start a small mining/trade fleet with purple mods in about 2-3 hours.

Players who already have this running by the time they experience pirate harrassments enough to do something about it will probably be closer to the 10-30 minute length, since research will already be done and they just need to drop a satellite and laser towers somewhere in BUC territory.
Good you amended this with your edit - I was about to ask, how you get to the ship modding part in half an hour - with the Young Gun standard start...

I know the start of the game best, as a relatively new player (started with 4.0) I did a lot of regular starts (mostly Young Gun) and later a lot of balanced and custom starts. This time (in 6.2) I did a custom start (since I play with mods I cannot do a balanced start) and intentionally gave myself a good ship (Katana), 1 million in Credits and nothing more. An 'amended Young Gun' start. It took many hours playing for me just to start the (old) Boso Ta Mission.

This is something many experienced and very experienced players completely overlook and even ignore: They know all the shortcuts and tricks and tell newer player things like in 30 minutes having mods like Mirage - which is an EXCEPTIONAL mod, and requires three stages of research:
You have to supply the nanotubes (simple mission) and then (sum of the next two stages):
Claytronics - 250
Graphene - 75
Refined Metals - 350
Teladanium - 100
Nividium - 50 (which in my latest game I could NOT buy anywhere for teleportation research, had to mine it myself)
Also - for the Nividium you need to build a solid storage on the PHQ, and a container storage for all the rest too. You have to buy it and bring it to your PHQ, because if you just order it, you will wait ages. And doing this with a Nodan - I would really like to watch this 8)

So many players (including me with other game starts) just set it as finished in a balanced or custom game start, and then brag about 'having mods in 30 minutes'. What will this tell new players? We should be much more careful. It takes many hours playing to have even simple mods and many hours and millions of investment until you have exceptional mods.

I could start to do it now, with 3 stations (PHQ included), about 30 ships, and 300 millions. But before that you have much more important things to do...

Also - trading is seriously nerfed by requiring a 3 start pilot (all you can do before that is not much and you will have no income). And after that you permanently loose ships AND pilots (unmodded a 3 star pilot is something rare, which requires a lot of missions and jumping through hoops).

So your hints are valuable, as I wrote above - but please do not go overboard with these things. Mirage mods and lots of traders (for a certain station or independent) are a thing of the start of mid game, or how you want to name it.

Egosoft clearly does not want us to begin as traders. The penalties and a total lack of methods to protect these early traders (and the missing methods to acquire 3 star pilots) only allow this, if you do it yourself, as a trader. And this is quite boring, I tried it.

Probably I will in the future just set the 'research' up to a certain point as 'done', because it is a lot of grind. This time I will do it.

jlehtone
Posts: 21888
Joined: Sat, 23. Apr 05, 21:42
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by jlehtone » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 14:19

Koizuki wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 01:45
It's been a long time since I started from the beginning, so I completely forgot that you need the PHQ research to even install the mods. That'll add time for a completely new player, but it seems like with the Young Gun start, you sort of just.... get the PHQ dumped on you, after you scan a signal leak. Quite a difference from the process as the Terran Cadet.
AFAIK, the "twist" is Kingdom End DLC. If you do have it (enabled), then PHQ is practically there, while without the DLC there is the "original drill". The Terran start has always been its own thing and is not affected by the KE DLC.


When I did start (3.10), I did look at the starts. The Young Gun listed Elite as asset. A fighter. The Untested Explorer had Discoverer, a mere scout. I chose the Disco, partly because I assumed it to be worse than fighter, partly since X2 and X3R did start with it. A good choice for wrong reasons, apparently.

Koizuki wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 01:45
That said, losing 3 ships is 3 more than I personally find acceptable, and is the main difference between our play styles, really.
The economy of X Universe is based on continuous destruction of ships and stations. It is a challenge to be the one and only mogul, who never loses a ship -- unlike all the NPC factions. Not my cup of tea (which I don't drink anyway). Then again, I have reverted to some six ingame hours older save, because game had not correctly recorded successful completion of (generic) mission. I can lose a fleet, but I won't fail a mission.
Goner Pancake Protector X
Insanity included at no extra charge.
There is no Box. I am the sand.

User avatar
Hairless-Ape
Posts: 337
Joined: Wed, 6. Nov 02, 20:31
xr

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Hairless-Ape » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 16:23

Good Wizard wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 12:10
Egosoft clearly does not want us to begin as traders. The penalties and a total lack of methods to protect these early traders (and the missing methods to acquire 3 star pilots) only allow this, if you do it yourself, as a trader. And this is quite boring, I tried it.
Out of this entire post, this was the only thing that made any sense to me.
I've tried X4 about 6 times now, and each time, I try to establish an early trading network and it never works out. IMO, there needs to be a lot more security in the major traffic areas and it needs to actually respond. A casual small pirate should never be able to just appear in Argon prime and take out a simple trader without getting toasted first by the local police. I think players that use early game traders count on this protection, but it's only an illusion. The idea that Pirates can just pop up pretty much anywhere through 'magic' and start attacking stuff is a level of um-realism that makes me continue to want to play X3.
Out of my mind. Back in 5 minutes.

Flippi
Posts: 910
Joined: Fri, 21. Mar 08, 11:22
x3tc

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Flippi » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 18:25

That said, losing 3 ships is 3 more than I personally find acceptable, and is the main difference between our play styles, really. I remember one time early on I lost an S-Courier to a random KHK ship in an adjacent sector about 20 seconds after an autosave;
I too am such a player who reloads every time when losing a ship. An old habit tracing back to good old X2 from 20 years ago. Because it isn't really about the money, it's about the micromanagement and time investment needed for the replacements (despite X4 being quite a bit better than X3 or X2 in that regard). Old habits die hard.
Out of this entire post, this was the only thing that made any sense to me.
I've tried X4 about 6 times now, and each time, I try to establish an early trading network and it never works out. IMO, there needs to be a lot more security in the major traffic areas and it needs to actually respond. A casual small pirate should never be able to just appear in Argon prime and take out a simple trader without getting toasted first by the local police. I think players that use early game traders count on this protection, but it's only an illusion. The idea that Pirates can just pop up pretty much anywhere through 'magic' and start attacking stuff is a level of um-realism that makes me continue to want to play X3.
I feel you. I also got annoyed by X4 too much. And the post you quoted is also very true.

The X4 map isn't great for traders. There are barely any safe spaces anywhere. Pirates are less of an overall threat than they were in X3 (barring VIG maybe), but are infinitely more annoying to deal with. S and M trading and mining ships are effectively useless once the player advances past the first few game hours. X4's Galaxy is too compact, with too many threats directly nearby. Then there are the free spawning pirates who can disguise themselves to go attack your ships, and the Kha'ak who can teleport around. Highways and travel drive do make it easier for ships to slip past defences. Not that most regular factions have much of a defence fleet either, as you noted.

Here's my tip for everyone who got sick and tired getting harassed by pirates, Kha'ak and Xenon like me: Build in TER/PIO space. Done! Stay on the western side of Getsu Fune and The Void, and you should never have any issues. Because those two factions have actual military assets to protect their sectors and no pirate faction allowed in their area. At least not for long. Kha'ak also don't last long and can't spawn in most of the Sol System too.

Argon Space gets overrun by the Xenon, unless the player helps out massively. But at least they do take out pirates when they find them (and have military ships left). Split space is useless because of the ongoing Xenon Threat, plus FRF and FAF both raiding your stuff. And TEL Space gets visited by SCA very often to raid your stations and ships. TEL allows that to happen and might get angry when you fight back, while MIN is the only one hunting them down wIth mixed success. The Paranids have the Buccaneers raiding S and M ships, but also might get a visit of SCA, FRF and FAF at one point. So also not really safe. Being near Teladi space also doesn't help.

Another tip: Use mods. Spawn Begone and No Kha'ak take out most of the annoyances. SCA can go pound sand, as they now have to build their ships like a real faction. The Kha'ak also get changed by these two mods. No more anti player bias (2x more likely to attack player miners than npc ones according to some info on one of the mods), and longer cooldown for respawns. At least for the first mod which changes SCA, HAT and KHK (No BUC though). The second mod does what one might expect. Prevent KHK from respawning altogether, once their hives are actually destroyed properly. They should be dead since Final Fury anyway. Freely respawning enemies in a game that prides itself on its economy simulation is a no go. Especially because it actually works for the Xenon and regular factions for the most part. So why not for others as well?

Anyway, I believe the current X4 map doesn't help either. Even though I like it, it has so many flaws and is in need of fixing, and some more proper content. X3 AP and X3 TC both had overall a more enjoyable map, even if those were flawed too.

Good Wizard
Posts: 494
Joined: Wed, 9. Jun 21, 16:51
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Good Wizard » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 19:59

jlehtone wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 14:19
Koizuki wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 01:45
It's been a long time since I started from the beginning, so I completely forgot that you need the PHQ research to even install the mods. That'll add time for a completely new player, but it seems like with the Young Gun start, you sort of just.... get the PHQ dumped on you, after you scan a signal leak. Quite a difference from the process as the Terran Cadet.
AFAIK, the "twist" is Kingdom End DLC. If you do have it (enabled), then PHQ is practically there, while without the DLC there is the "original drill". The Terran start has always been its own thing and is not affected by the KE DLC.


When I did start (3.10), I did look at the starts. The Young Gun listed Elite as asset. A fighter. The Untested Explorer had Discoverer, a mere scout. I chose the Disco, partly because I assumed it to be worse than fighter, partly since X2 and X3R did start with it. A good choice for wrong reasons, apparently.


<...>
The 'new' PHQ mission with Kingdoms End - I just tried it once. As soon as you enter a certain sector you hear Boso Ta talking, as he is 'teleporting' the PHQ into the sector. It is just there, afterwards. Compared to the nice start mission without the DLC this is just lame, IMHO. But AFAIK you still need to build a dock for the PHQ. And my point was: Even if you spare around 1-2 hours of game play until the PHQ appears you still need money and time to build the dock, then - to start research - you need to build storage and probably E-cell-production. This alone takes a while, because the new sector is not very central and it will take a long time to even find a builder and have the materials delivered. The building alone will take around 30-40 minutes to finish, the materials also will take a while.

I wrote this post only to answer the claim, that 'somebody can have the Mirage mod (an EXCEPTIONAL mod) in 30 minutes of play'. This is impossible with every standard game start! It may be possible if in a custom start you give yourself the PHQ AND all the research done. Then yes, otherwise no chance at all.

And the 'new' Boso Ta mission for the PHQ is something I just do not want to play. It was such a nice and well done mission - no idea why they did away with it. So I always disable the KE DLC for a standard game start...

Koizuki
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat, 17. Feb 24, 01:29

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Koizuki » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 21:31

GCU Grey Area wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 09:44
However as soon as I started expanding out into the rest of the map it's been exclusively Sturgeons. Currently have around 100 of them. Mostly find it's not essential to intervene militarily in response to pirate harassment. In almost all cases opening the map & giving the freighter a different route or new destination is sufficient - the pirates usually give plenty of warning of their intentions & they're flying comparatively slow & sluggish ships. Issues only arise if both ships start the encounter in immediate close proximity (e.g. my freighter has just flow through a gate straight into turret range of a pirate destroyer).

Definitely different play styles, I prefer not to reload in such circumstances. Can understand the attraction of Mirage given your 4 simultaneous pirate encounters. However that sort of thing simply never happens with a fleet of L freighters (not once in over 10k hours of X4). Indeed, don't recall even a single case of 2 of my L freighters being hassled by pirates simultaneously. Worst I have to deal with is more than one freighter being harassed by the same destroyer in the same location, one after another. Those are the sort of situations where I respond personally, usually with a frigate full of highly trained marines...
In my experience, most of my pirate harrassment SOS calls have occurred right at a gate, whether it be the entrance or the exit gates of a sector, where most ships are vulnerable since they have to cycle travel drives there. My preferred L-freighter is currently a Shuyaku, and I don't think they can outrun the Phoenix and Behemoths, though the Barbarossa probably can. I have also seen a time where an SCA Phoenix harrassed two freighters in a row, and I was already en route to deal with them anyway so I was like "Oh, okay, you're double dead now," and called in a second destroyer just to make an example of them. In any case, I think this probably highlights another gameplay difference of ours: If I remember correctly, your have a megastation with thousands of modules, no? I assume your hundreds of Sturgeons are all trading for it? My setup is with about 20 different smaller, focused production stations all feeding 6 trading hubs scattered around the galaxy, and my external trade happens from there. If I were to exclusively use L-freighters in this setup, I'd end up with Shuyakus ferrying 200 food constantly back and forth, so I make greater use of the M-traders (Boas) to move a large number of smaller hauls quickly, as well as to load-balance the trading stations around the superhighway ring rapidly.
Good Wizard wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 12:10
This is something many experienced and very experienced players completely overlook and even ignore: They know all the shortcuts and tricks and tell newer player things like in 30 minutes having mods like Mirage - which is an EXCEPTIONAL mod, and requires three stages of research:
You have to supply the nanotubes (simple mission) and then (sum of the next two stages):
Claytronics - 250
Graphene - 75
Refined Metals - 350
Teladanium - 100
Nividium - 50 (which in my latest game I could NOT buy anywhere for teleportation research, had to mine it myself)
Also - for the Nividium you need to build a solid storage on the PHQ, and a container storage for all the rest too. You have to buy it and bring it to your PHQ, because if you just order it, you will wait ages. And doing this with a Nodan - I would really like to watch this 8)
Right, I did amend my post about these additional steps from a brand new start, as you noted.
That said, those really are still not particularly high hurdles to overcome. Flying into Second Contact initially to start collecting loot will already point the player toward the HAT quest in Hatikvah's Choice (and indeed, you will pass through there regardless to get to Heretic's End for the PHQ, and for the Xenon drops) which will give you a free Callisto almost immediately. It's frankly a terrible transport, but it is free and acquirable very early on, so you can begin using it to transport those few resources to your PHQ right away. The Nodan also has 700 cargo capacity, allowing you to also shuttle some yourself -- and escort the Callisto at the same time. That old Elite is still parked somewhere too, unless you sold it when upgrading to a real fighter, so you can also use it as another escort. If you advance the HAT quest a bit more, you'll happen upon the part of the quest where there is a docked SCA Pelican that basically stays docked there for the rest of the game, and can be captured at your leisure for your first L-freighter.

The next hurdle then is the 50 Nividium. You are correct that it isn't sold anywhere. On the other hand, a simple Mining ship runs less than half a million, which we should still have enough money to purchase one from that first ANT/HOP battle drops. Even if not, there is a free, capturable Drill Vanguard right next to Second Contact in The Void that you can simply bring back to Second Contact for some Nividium -- that sector has a decent amount initially, and pirates ignore miners. Between ANT, ARG, HOP and TER ships constantly transiting through there, Xenon ships beelining for the highway usually won't get to the miner either, so the only worry is KHK spawns, which shouldn't happen that early with just a single player-owned miner, but this is random so it's the one part you'll want to watch out for. Still, 50 Nividium is easily acquirable with one miner. Don't forget that the Elite also starts with 5 Resource Probes.

The next problem then, is storage. You could research the storage hacking and get an EMP bomb since there's a HAT Free Port right in Heretic's End, but that research costs more resources (Most of it is energy cells though, I think?) The ARG S Storage blueprint, meanwhile, runs less than 400k and can be purchased from Argon Prime immediately. Even PAR was willing to sell me all their storage blueprints at 0 reputation. 381k is easy enough, as we still have leftover (especially if we go with the free Drill in The Void.) After that, each research step is only 10 minutes, which is bearable.

The vast majority of this time is spent waiting on the PHQ, but that's because I was specifically gunning for it. Biggest issue for me was waiting for some random TEL Tern take over 47 minutes to bring some Hull Parts to my PHQ, and I likely could've done it myself far faster instead of waiting. Newer players might reasonably not experience pirate harrassment enough until after they've established a basic PHQ, in which case all of this groundwork is already done for them, and does not need to be repeated or factored in. I suppose it is possible that a player somehow buys a fleet of Tradeships before they've even set up their PHQ, but then that just provides additional incentive to get the PHQ set up, because your early-game anti-pirate countermeasures are to escort them yourself, spend more resources buying fleets of ships to escort for you, mod them to be able to outrun or camouflage through them which requires the PHQ, or simply don't use the things they just spent a whole lot of money on and use military ships that often have far less cargo capacity (which, you can't even buy Frigates and Corvettes until you hit +10 with someone. This is trivial with a few Criminal Traffic missions, but still.) If you say that those modest research requirements are expensive, then shifting to all L-freighters as GCU does would be nearly impossible for them. Ultimately, of all those options, modding is the cheapest IMO, and can still be done relatively quickly, even if my initial estimate of 10-30 minutes was too quick for a no-PHQ start.
jlehtone wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 14:19
AFAIK, the "twist" is Kingdom End DLC. If you do have it (enabled), then PHQ is practically there, while without the DLC there is the "original drill". The Terran start has always been its own thing and is not affected by the KE DLC.
Thanks, that might explain it. I do have the four currently available DLC, but this is the first time I've tried Young Gun. As to the other comment: I don't want to lose any of my own ships, but I do want to keep all the Pirates alive so they can destroy all the other ships to keep the economy churning. That and war. War everywhere. Sounds like the Terran Cadet one I experienced is the "original" PHQ quest then, minus the signal leak scanning step, I think.
Hairless-Ape wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 16:23
I've tried X4 about 6 times now, and each time, I try to establish an early trading network and it never works out. IMO, there needs to be a lot more security in the major traffic areas and it needs to actually respond. A casual small pirate should never be able to just appear in Argon prime and take out a simple trader without getting toasted first by the local police. I think players that use early game traders count on this protection, but it's only an illusion. The idea that Pirates can just pop up pretty much anywhere through 'magic' and start attacking stuff is a level of um-realism that makes me continue to want to play X3.
I agree that SCA spawning everywhere is pretty BS, but how early and how many tradeships are you fielding when this problem arises? With only one or two I don't see too much issue with them being harrassed often enough, and is few enough that you can personally respond. If you start expanding further, is this done before the PHQ gets set up with the basics for those initial researches?

As mentioned, though, TER space is super safe for early traders, assuming the player has CoH available. Only problem for most starts is probably having to shoot enough criminals to unlock the ability to dock on their stations. I don't know if the Solborn Militia quest triggers that early, but if it does, all those Xenon swarming that outpost should give a good chunk of reputation as well. The main issue with early trading is lack of 3-star autotraders, but even local autotrading is fine at the beginning. There's also repeat-orders trading (you can select a specific ware to buy and sell in two specific sectors instead of just specific stations,) and this just requires a 1-star pilot.
Good Wizard wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 19:59
The 'new' PHQ mission with Kingdoms End - I just tried it once. As soon as you enter a certain sector you hear Boso Ta talking, as he is 'teleporting' the PHQ into the sector. It is just there, afterwards. Compared to the nice start mission without the DLC this is just lame, IMHO. But AFAIK you still need to build a dock for the PHQ. And my point was: Even if you spare around 1-2 hours of game play until the PHQ appears you still need money and time to build the dock, then - to start research - you need to build storage and probably E-cell-production. This alone takes a while, because the new sector is not very central and it will take a long time to even find a builder and have the materials delivered. The building alone will take around 30-40 minutes to finish, the materials also will take a while.
Speaking at least as of v6.20, which is what I ran for my test last night, you no longer need to actually build the dock -- one is already built and attached to the PHQ when it teleports into Heretic's End, allowing you to land and talk to Boso who transfers control to you immediately. I was also surprised because I remember having to build one during the Terran Cadet version of this. Additionally, it seems you are now automatically provided the blueprints for the dock, the E-pier, S container storage, and even the Energy Cell production, although building this is not necessary to get the research done. The only thing you need to do to get the PHQ running from Young Gun (with KE DLC, anyway) is to immediately land, talk to Boso, then go buy the S-Solid storage blueprint and queue up 1-2 S-containers and a single S-solid storage at the PHQ, then run the resources over. The cost of 2-3 storages isn't too high, and each takes about 4 and a half minutes to build, I think. At least the S-solid one does.

Again, if a player already has their PHQ set up with even just these two storages, the vast majority of the "wait time" is already through, and provides a permanent way of handling pirates.

GCU Grey Area
Posts: 7980
Joined: Sat, 14. Feb 04, 23:07
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by GCU Grey Area » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 23:01

Koizuki wrote:
Sun, 9. Jun 24, 21:31
If I remember correctly, your have a megastation with thousands of modules, no? I assume your hundreds of Sturgeons are all trading for it?
It's a bit more complicated than that & not quite so many Sturgeons (just over 100 rather than 'hundreds').

I do indeed have an HQ with over 1k production modules, however it's primary function has been for terraforming. As a consequence it has spent a good chunk of the game in remote sectors (e.g. Scale Plate Green, Atiya's Misfortune, Ocean of Fantasy), where it's been poorly positioned for trading with several of the NPC factions I want to help with their various wars & Xenon-related troubles.

To mitigate this have built 6 Shipyard Supply Bases to support friendly NPC factions while HQ was too far away to help. Each SSB has around 400 production modules & a fleet of between 10-20 Sturgeons to handle sales, precise number varying depending on how many shipyards & wharves each one's intended to supply. Incidentally, there's also a network of 7 Mining Outposts to supply HQ & the SSBs with basic resources.

For most of the game HQ had a similar number of freighters to the SSBs. Although it has a significantly greater production capacity it often had far fewer opportunities for trade. However a couple of days ago it finished the last terraforming job & is now back in a more central location (Black Hole Sun IV), so I've been increasing it's freighter fleet - currently has 39 Sturgeons assigned to it.

Koizuki
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat, 17. Feb 24, 01:29

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Koizuki » Sun, 9. Jun 24, 23:43

Ah, I see. Though, even one of your smaller SSB's 400 production modules exceeds the combined module count of every station in my current empire combined, haha. My highest module counts are probably 77 Medical Supply factories, and 48 Advanced Electronics factories, and even then they're split into two smaller independent stations each.

I also assume your stations are set up to basically be self-sufficient (setting aside the import of ores/gas) such that all your trade ships pretty much only run outbound exports. With that many modules, I can see the value in using mostly L-freighters since you'd likely be shifting significant capacity per run. Attempting to do that with my station setup would result in a lot of the L-freighters being mostly empty, and importing things like 200 food/meds, 40 scanning arrays, etc. This is why I rely more on M-traders, and subsequently have a need to prevent pirates from harrassing them.

TheDeliveryMan
Posts: 721
Joined: Sat, 10. Dec 11, 03:10
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by TheDeliveryMan » Mon, 10. Jun 24, 00:05

There are plenty of ways how to deal with pirates. This is my approach
  • Smuggler's Paradise gamestart, getting VIG rep from +5 to +10 is very easy.
  • Yaki are only problem during the first few hours, then there wharf is lacking supplies
  • A few signal Leak missions for FAF will get me to +10 rep, finding those missions requires some grinding in Free Families space.
  • BUC are limited to a few dead end sectors which can be mostly avoided.
  • Stations will be built in Windfall where VIG deals with SCA.
  • Last but not least, I use fully crewed Tethys Vanguards and Hermes Vanguards with PAR Combat Mk2 Engines from ALI Wharf in Trinity Sanctum. Setting them to escape from pirates and to ignore attacks works really well since 7.0.

Koizuki
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat, 17. Feb 24, 01:29

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Koizuki » Mon, 10. Jun 24, 20:12

Just to point out, Smuggler's Paradise does start you positive with VIG, but it's not really required. I think VIG is typically at -5 to begin with for most other starts? The difference between -5 and +5 isn't very drastic, and both still provide docking privileges, so it's fairly trivial to trade your way up to +10 with them to get them off your back.

On the other hand, building stations in VIG would be a mild pain if you use ARG Habitats, because food/water/ice(?) is illegal there until you get VIG to +20, I believe, which takes a fair bit longer than simply getting to +10. Just want to point that out in case new players think they can just safely set up everything in VIG space.

I hear 7.0 Flee behavior was adjusted and made a bit more robust, but I'll have to see how it works when it drops to public. 6.20 behavior usually results in the ships immediately stopping, then turning in a circle before deciding to fly into the pirate to get away from them, because that makes sense.

Good Wizard
Posts: 494
Joined: Wed, 9. Jun 21, 16:51
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Good Wizard » Tue, 11. Jun 24, 13:54

A bit OT, but I am a slow player - that means I often are satisfied with watching as things unfold...

That said, I have a very busy station in Second Contact VII, producing Silicon Wafers, Micro Chips and Advanced Electronics.

Here are some things I saw, regarding pirates:

1) I often bitched and ranted, because in 4.2 and 5.1 I saw cases where a SCA Phoenix (clearly flagged as SCA) changed its identity to something else, i.e. masked DURING a fight with a station it just robbed, while the police already was moving toward it. The fight ended immediately, police turned around and the now masked SCA ship proceeded to sell its loot at exactly the same station. This was fixed in 6.2! The masking behavior is now entirely okay, it needs to be out of sight and all SCA ships try to fly out of sight/range and return later masked. Also, if a pirate does something nasty, it automatically unmasks it, and in an ANT sector it then is attacked by sector guards and police. I saw a lot of this going on (without doing something myself).

2) The claim that a destroyer near a station makes the SCA ships flee (especially the 'hacking' SCA Phoenix) is clearly true, I watched it several times. A SCA Behemoth which came near (not near enough to hack, it may have targeted a nearby ANT station) immediately fled, when my forces came near and surrounded it. (I will capture it soon, I think). But just positioning forces (Phoenix (former SCA), Gorgon and a Katana) was enough to make it flee.

3) I used the Geometric Owl to scan the SCA Behemoth (masked as ANT), it immediately started to flee, since police and sector guards where starting to move. Even more, it returned later masked as PIO, and as soon as it entered my stations range, it lost its mask! I will watch this further, but logically, if you actively unmask a ship, and it uses another mask out of sight, there seems to a chance, that you 'recognize' it?

4) The behavior of M-ships (SCA Minotaur Raiders) is identical to the destroyers in regards of masking: I flew towards a masked Minotaur, and since it did something nasty, it was unmasked without a scan. I followed it a while, and it tried to leave my range, ans stayed unmasked - as soon as I turned around and left its range it returned masked again.

5) I seem to remember that 'hacking' of a station was only done by SCA destroyers, and SCA Minotaurs did harass M traders. This seems to be now different, I saw several times the SCA Minotaur hacking a station and then (without drones obviously) picking up the loot. (This surely unmasks them now).

All in all I have to say: 6.2 seems to be greatly improved in this regard, and pirates can be fun this way. All of the things mentioned above are true for stations. If you have 'real' trades, things are different, it is not easy to protect them. But stations can be fairly save now, if you do it right. Yet my busy station I mentioned above uses 8 traders (4 x Kestrel Sentinel and 4 x Minotaur Raider), they do not have problems. And - I think smaller traders are an advantage, as they are much faster and travel always fully loaded.

Koizuki
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat, 17. Feb 24, 01:29

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Koizuki » Tue, 11. Jun 24, 20:08

Good Wizard wrote:
Tue, 11. Jun 24, 13:54
1) I often bitched and ranted, because in 4.2 and 5.1 I saw cases where a SCA Phoenix (clearly flagged as SCA) changed its identity to something else, i.e. masked DURING a fight with a station it just robbed, while the police already was moving toward it. The fight ended immediately, police turned around and the now masked SCA ship proceeded to sell its loot at exactly the same station. This was fixed in 6.2! The masking behavior is now entirely okay, it needs to be out of sight and all SCA ships try to fly out of sight/range and return later masked. Also, if a pirate does something nasty, it automatically unmasks it, and in an ANT sector it then is attacked by sector guards and police. I saw a lot of this going on (without doing something myself).
I wasn't aware this was "fixed" but I do still see this happening in v6.20 in my game. Specifically the ships re-masking after forces are already en route to attack them, and then the attack gets called off and they get away.
Additiionally, I had one case of an SCA Phoenix recently threaten one of my traders near my HQ in Getsu Fune (was terraforming) and I ordered all of my defense forces to converge on it after telling my trader to flee. This flags the Phoenix as hostile, but then it immediately remasked as PIO. Of course my own ships will not drop their attack order in this case. They began their attack but it stayed PIO until I eventually teleported over and manually scanned it mid-battle.
Good Wizard wrote:
Tue, 11. Jun 24, 13:54
3) I used the Geometric Owl to scan the SCA Behemoth (masked as ANT), it immediately started to flee, since police and sector guards where starting to move. Even more, it returned later masked as PIO, and as soon as it entered my stations range, it lost its mask! I will watch this further, but logically, if you actively unmask a ship, and it uses another mask out of sight, there seems to a chance, that you 'recognize' it?
I have not noticed this particular behavior; The only times I ever see a pirate unmask is when it's attempting a plunder of some sort, or get scanned, though I can give this another shot by mass-scanning every SCA in a sector, and leaving them alone afterward. They definitely do immediately attempt to flee when scanned, though; this has happened 100% of the time I've scanned them.

-----

In an unrelated update, I tested another run of Young Gun with some changes to my procedure, prioritizing getting the HQ up quicker.
Gist was to scan a leak immediately after hiring a random pilot for the Elite, then head off to drop 5 satellites in the ANT/HOP and HOP/PAR gates, plus Hatikvah's, at which point the first major battle should be underway and you go back to harvest drops.
This time it was ANT invading HOP, but drops were a bit unluckier this time; still got 3-4 million by the end at around 30 minutes, and the factions remained fairly passive after that. Once it died down, go to Argon Prime, buy S-solid BP and hire 3 more cheap crew, stick them in the Nodan.

Rush to Heretic's End, unlock HQ, queue 2 S-container and 1 S-solid immediately, begin Chassis research. Pick up the item, then switch to the HAT mission to get the Callisto after the first cutscene. Set one of the 3 crew as Captain and send Callisto to deliver the Medical Supplies while Nodan returns with the Chassis research item to begin it. Send Callisto to begin picking up resources for later research stages afterward while we go pick up the Odysseus in Faulty Logic, setting the second of the 3 crew as Captain. Elite should be exploring a bit en route to the HQ.

Once Odysseus is secured, there's a chance Boso may contact about the start of the Segaris plot (if CoH available.) Pick up 10 Antimatter cells along the way back to the HQ to begin it. First step requires 3 ships for Long Range Scan... incidentally, we have an Elite, Callisto, and Nodan there, so send them all to do the scan, then back to their tasks while Nodan docks and transfers Antimatter when requested. Next step is go to The Void. Do the Nav Beacon thing (turn off your weapons) and take the Geometric Owl. Nodan can now be sent to carry resources with the Callisto.

Fly Northwest to locate and capture abandoned Drill Vanguard. It's very close to the damage zone, so I don't know if there's any RNG in its placement, but for this run I was able to capture it in my spacesuit without issue. Move it away from the danger zone a bit, assign the last of the 3 crew as Captain of this, and head back to the Geometric Owl. Send the Drill to Second Contact (Antigone Memorial is OK too, but then it'd have to cross The Void all over again to deliver to HQ.) It comes with its own Resource Probes (if not, the Elite had some to start with) so set up and start Local Automining Nividium in Second Contact. Should take about 10 minutes to get something like 150 Nividium, way more than we need.

Total time from start to endpoint here is about 1.5-2 hours. At this point we have Elite, Nodan, Callisto, Drill, Moreya, Odysseus at our disposal, 2+ Pegasus collecting drops for income, and purple Chassis mods unlocked, and enough money to start buying Traders. Geometric Owl isn't great at Combat, but is perfect for exploration and Criminal Traffic missions for reputation grinding, which is what you'll presumably be doing for a while at this point. Owl will also let you clear the Engine Research race pretty easily, allowing you to start slapping Reaver on your Tradeships as well (we should have a bunch of basic engine mods by this point.) Odysseus can handle the Shield Research damage tanking easily.

This should make for a very strong start... I might try this on a more "permanent" second game at some point.

Good Wizard
Posts: 494
Joined: Wed, 9. Jun 21, 16:51
x4

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Good Wizard » Tue, 11. Jun 24, 21:16

@Koizuki

Interesting, that we seem to watch completely different behaviors.

Since you mention terraforming - did you start the save where you see the 'old' behavior from SCA ships earlier in 5.1? The save I am talking here was started in 6.2 around 6 weeks ago. Usually saves are upward compatible, but AFAIK script data is stored in the save. Could it be, that older saves have script data 'sticking' to the ships and jobs involved? Just speculating - will continue to watch it.

Koizuki
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat, 17. Feb 24, 01:29

Re: Tip for you to prevent pirate harassment.

Post by Koizuki » Wed, 12. Jun 24, 04:29

I only purchased the game and began playing last October, so it's only ever been v6.20 for me. Shouldn't have anything from "old versions" mucking with my behavior. Am completely vanilla as well, of course, so no AI mods messing with it either.

Post Reply

Return to “X4: Foundations”