Apricot Mapping Service HQ
Circle of Atlantis Marketplace

A Slice of X
by Apricotslice

An X3 TC Walkthrough/Guide/Ramble

        [Big thanks to Creston for his pre-1.3 Walkthrough for the Terran Plot, most of the bugs he outlines are now fixed. ]

Quicklinks -

          Terran Plot 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 :      Final Fury Plot 1,2,3,4,5,6,6a,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 :
HUB Plot 0,1,2,3,3a,4,5,6:      HQ Plot 1,2,3,4,4a :      Goner Plot 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 :      Aldrin Plot
Complex Building 1,2,3,4 : Universe TradersDerelict Ships : Protect Station : Deliver Factory : Sector PatrolDeliver Product :
Xenon Attack : Passenger Ferry : Gun Mounting : Terracorp : Marines 0,1 : OOS/IS : Seta : Mobile Mining : RoidsAuto-Pillok 

Incoming Transmission.

John, Its Bob.

Bob, what have you got for me !

The fleet has arrived here in Omicron Lyrae. We disassembled the HQ and its sitting in the TL waiting for you to decide where to rebuild it. I'm not sure where that is, the universe is so much more dangerous these days.

I'll find somewhere, don’t worry.

Good news, the new MT class mini carrier is ready, and the new freighter and M7M, as are the new shields and gun designs. Get yourself out of that flying piece of tissue paper and into something with some decent shielding. A Mule at least, since they can now carry 200mj shields.

Ok, I will.

We have reports of derelict ships around the place, I’m uploading the co-ords to your computer. The new jump software is ready to go, so you can jump straight to them. Take the new Mini-carrier and give it a test drive ! We’ll be waiting for you here when you get back.

Thanks Bob, see ya soon.

Transmission closed.

Bob Derr, our dependable Maintenance Chief. Doesn’t seem to think much of my flying ability ! Good man though.

Welcome to the X Universe and the Terran Conflict.

I’m John (Apricot) Slice. I’ll be talking you through this game, and this will be a combination of narrative, tutorial and general ramble. It will jump about a bit from mode to mode, so don’t get lost.

I own the Apricot Mapping Service, my in game entity. If you are using the Apricot Mapping Service Mod, welcome to my universe ! If not, welcome anyway, I will be referring to the mod a bit though, so please don’t get confused when I do.

Also, I make no apology for referring to 3rd party scripts, including some considered cheats. I use what I use, and its up to you to make your own judgement and decisions.

According to Egosoft, more than half the people who have submitted game stats to their site, have modified games, meaning they are using 3rd party mods and scripts. As such, I feel that is a validation of the work that everyone in the scripts and modding forum does to make the game more FUN for the player. Its up to you if you do or do not modify the game, and since I do, I'm writing this as I play it, warts and all. Especially where a script will improve (imo) the playability of the game, I talk about it. Just ignore anything you do not want to know about.

For how the Apricot Mapping Service came into being, see this archive material. From this beginning, the AMS came about, and even though at the beginning of X3TC, we don’t appear to be earning our name, it does describe our philosophy of playing. Friend to all but those who shoot as us, and explore to the max !

If you chose the AMS Mod, then fly up close to the MiniCar and transfer across. Now your in a ship with some shielding that can keep you alive.

Personally, I don’t know why people settle for tissue paper shields, but hey, if you’re the risk your life type, all power to you ! The ships you start in for all the starts are specifically chosen to give you a challenge to stay alive early in the game. That’s fine if your new to X, but most of us have been here a long time, and I prefer to start where I left off, and That’s usually flying an M7 or a Carrier.

Up to you. The big thing about the AMS Mod is that its designed to give you maximum choice. You make up your mind about what suits your gameplay. Want to be “balanced” (I’ve ranted about that in the past), or want to compensate for a slow computer, poor flying skills or being a lousy shot ? You choose what shields you want, what gun suits you best, how fast you make your ships. The ones you start with in the Mod are all fully upgraded, but its easy to downgrade them. Speed and rudder can be removed using Cycrows ‘cheat’ scripts, by entering a negative value if you really want to.

The Mod starts with you having top rank with all races except the Terrans, whom we haven’t dealt with yet, and all bad guys. If you started without the mod, or as anything other than Argon Patriot, your ranks are varied according to the character you chose. Be real careful in that case where you go, or some of the races will be shooting at you for no apparent reason. Pirates, Xenon and Khaak are going to be doing that anyway.

Anyway, lets get this story moving.

Derelict Ships.

All X games seem to start with some, so lets go pick them up. The good thing about having a carrier with jump capability is we can go get them, pick them up and not have to worry about baby sitting them to the nearest shipyard, since we just jump straight there. If your not playing the mod, then that’s what you will have to do.

There are 19 derelict ships in TC. If your using the mod, or installed the Jump to Derelict script, then use the nav command to jump to a random derelict ship. A word of caution though, it was designed by a software engineer who’s never left his keyboard. Use at own risk.

Here is the list of ships, in the order I found them. Sector, ship type, co-ordinates x,y,z. (Remember to find ‘y’, you need to hit the insert key on the nav map. The standard display is x-z, not x-y.)

Unknown Sector next to Xenon 534, Falcon Sentinel, -20km, 3km, 2km. (Wont specify the kms again.)
Hilas Joy, Advanced Barracuda, -33,1.5,36
Treasure Chest, Buster Sentinel, -32,-5.4,-33.5
Savage Spur, Enhanced Pericles, 44.7,9.12,-28
Oracoke’s Storm, Advanced Eclipse, 30.1,-1.5,-8
Gaian Star, Elite, 66,0,-10
Vestibule of Creation, Eclipse, -7,-13.5,37.5
Veil of Delusion, Blastclaw Prototype, 47.6,3.5,-41.5
Menelaus’ Oasis, Skate Prototype, 38.5,1,32.5
Xenon 101, Scorpion Raider, 20.1, 0, 61.6
The Vault, Harrier Sentinel, -18, 0.375, -51.6
Unknown Sector by Unholy Decent, Pericles Vanguard, 13.7, 17.3, -27
Thr’s Deprivation, Buzzard Hauler, -4.2, -0.058, 62.7
Family Whi, Iguana Vanguard, 38, 0, 35.5
Depths of Silence, Mako Raider, 2.34, 0.729, 40.3
LooManckStrat’s Legacy, Mamba, -12, 1.16, -19.3
Akeela’s Beacon, Buster Sentinel, 100, -10, 77.2
Duke’s Citadel, Advanced Perseus, 42.2, -0.250, 31
Menalaus’ Frontier, Toucan Hauler, 43, -7, 35

Some of these ships are quite valuable, since all are in top condition and more or less outfitted.

Some will make useful fleet ships for later in the game, some good wingmen, some good cannon fodder. Its up to you to decide if you keep them all, some or none.

A note about carriers, none of them dock a TS or TP ship. To do this, get the script Beamdock, which with a Transporter device in the carrier, allows you to beam ships on and off of almost any size (using cargo compression technology, which also means, don’t be in the ship being beamed or you end up very small and stuck in the ship for ever !). The mod comes with this command. Very useful for getting a claimed ship off the battlefield in a hurry, if you have your carrier in scanner range but away from the fighting.

A note about claiming. Any derelict ship (one with no speed, and no pilot), can be claimed. The X philosophy is to exit your ship, fly up next to the derelict, claim it, fly back to yours, then give it instructions. Get the order right, giving it instructions before your back in your ship can get you run down ! But stuff that ! Who in their right mind goes spacewalking ? Not moi ! Claim software is the answer. In the mod of course, installable by script if you don’t have the mod. Available to buy in all good Pirate bases. Technically illegal, but not detectable by cops. There is an in-game version, but its detectable, short ranged, and needs another gizmo to make it non-detectable. Essential which ever you choose. Not cheap, but hey, in the mod, you get them standard.

To claim with the software, map it to a hotkey in the game options section, either on the joystick buttons or keyboard. Target and press. Easy. If your using the mod, beam it direct to the docking space in the carrier your flying, and on to the next. If not, then escort it to the nearest shipyard.

Note about shipyards, they only dock a few ships, and if yours is sitting there too long, it will get booted off and then becomes vulnerable to anyone stupid enough to run it down. So if your going to keep it, you need to find somewhere to stash it. A good place to “stash” ships is a sector with very good defenses including M2's, and then a position about 100km up or down, where nothing goes. This is not perfect by any means, as Khaak will sometimes spawn that far out, but usually its safe enough.

Also, if your not playing the mod or you are but are not going to stick to using Apricot ships, decide which of these will make the best personal ship, and go for that first. Safety in speed, shields and firepower. Remember and choose wisely.

Moving right along. 19 ships, all loaded on my MiniCar, with the original Elite I started the game in. Jump back to Omicron Lyrae, it has a shipyard.

SAVE. I cant emphasize this enough. Save often. Always save the money ! Every time you claim something, save. Every time you complete something, save. The universe is a dangerous place, and it only takes an asteroid appearing directly in front of you, or some homicidal blind trader to hit you when you least expect it, not to mention bad guys shooting at you, that if you don’t save, your likely to find its game over unexpectedly, and when you restart, things don’t go the same and you don’t get the claim or whatever. Take a mission, save, do it, save again. Give yourself somewhere to go back to if you get killed or just screw up. And always, always, always, save the money !

Where were we, oh yes, beam off the 2 freighters, and send them to the shipyard. Access landed ships, choose one, and broadcast to all of them to dock at the shipyard. Once they are all off, jump out somewhere. Then from a safe place in another sector, watch the shipyard and as they dock, sell them. (Remember to keep anything you do want to keep).

Something else before you do that,(oops), is keep 3 25mj shields for later use in missions. Sometimes its useful to keep a spare ship in the bays, so that you can transfer your jumpdrive and fittings to a claimed ship so it can jump out, and then you have a spare set on the spare ship you can transfer back onto yours so you can jump out too. So think about those things before you sell everything.

Also, oops again, if you sell the ships, you get about half price on the fittings, but if you strip the fittings out, and sell them yourself where ever you can, you can get more for the whole deal. Just more mucking about.

Anyway, selling the 19 ships and your starting ship, is good for about 50 million credits. Which is well worth the effort of collecting, as this can start you off in most areas of the game that require some cash to start. Especially small complexes of stations, or Sector Traders or a decent personal ship like an M6 or M7, and decent wingmen. Up to you.

The thing about jumping out is that “out of sector” or “oos”, there is no collision checking, so “the money” gets to the “bank” more safely when your not there. Always protect the money by not being there when its moving !

The auto-pilot is a lot better since its auto-pillok days (That’s a separate and very funny story), but the AP does still slam ships into stations, it does still collide with gates and especially still crashes you into other ships occasionally. So when dealing with “the money”, safety first, be oos.

After you get the money, save again.

Now jump back in and change ships if your using the mod.

For now, I chose the Mule. This is a modified Discoverer. Lots of the new 200mj shields, and carries 4 guns of your choice. Not that fast, but for this next work, I did supertune it to about 800kph (used supertune option, then removed some of the speed as 1300 was too fast).

I decided to do the main plot immediately. After all, I have a kick arse and take names set of ships already. If you are not using the Apricot ships, you need to decide what’s safe and what’s not, for you. The first few missions of the plot are not too taxing, but then things get hairy, so I really recommend you ignore any of the plots (there are 5 main ones) until you have a decent ship and know how to fight it. At the very least, a fully kitted M3/M3+, but more realistically, an M6. In a furball, the extra turrent’s can save you from missiles and take out some of the pesky M5's.

Terran plot beginning.

If you start as the Terran, then your ahead of the rest, so ignore the next bit. Everyone else starts as an X denizen, and the plot for us begins in Omicron Lyrae.

When you enter Omicron Lyrae for the first time, you get contacted with a mission to escort some Terrans. Accept this. If you have already been offered it and ignored it, it will come back, so hang around until it does. Obviously for those playing non-Argon characters, to get the plot, you need to be friendly with the Argon. No point in rocking up and getting shot before the mission is offered. So you may need to work on your rep first. In fact, its not a good idea to start any of the plots if you do not have a good rep with all the races. Terran doesn’t matter so much, as you pick up rep as you do their missions. But you do need to jump around X space a bit and its not helpful if your fighting sector defenses while trying to do a mission.

If necessary, use the cheat to increase your ranks. The mod automatically gives you this with the Argon Patriot start. Once you finish the plots, you can always put the ranks back down again if you want. (Rolls eyes).

So, mission is pretty easy. You need to talk to someone in the EQ dock to get it going, fly to an eclipse your told about, a Terran Scabbard shows up, follow it to the Terran Orbital Defense Station in Heretics End. You get pirates to deal with in Circle of Labour, usually M5's.

Note about mission enemies. X has a history of what you take with you defining what you get. So the higher your combat rank, and the bigger your ship or fleet with you, the more baddies you get to fight. In the final mission of X2, the temptation was to take in a carrier with as many M3's as you had, but all this did was increase the numbers of enemy ships and their respawn rate making the mission impossible to complete. All you needed was an M3, or as some did it, an M6 with an M5 for the tricky bit. I’ve seen some talk in the threads about how impossible some missions are, and as yet, am not sure if this is a case in point of going in with too much, or if they are just impossible. Time will tell, keep reading.

Having said all that, taking an M5 into most missions is suicide. Don’t even think about it. 75mj of shielding is barely adequate imo. M5 wingmen are just cannon fodder.

While I think of it, the Nav map has an extra ‘section’ to it in TC. At the top of the list, is your ships and stations. Underneath, is a little section for mission ships and stations. So if your following a particular ship, or looking for it, it appears in this little section directly under your ships. Same for mission stations you need to dock at or talk to someone at. Remember that for later.

When you get to Heretics End, you get some Xenon. Take them out then watch the scabbard dock, dock yourself and talk to Erin Lovis about a job with the Terrans. You can try just comming the station without docking, I didn’t think to try that.

Official Terran mission 1.

If you started as X denizen, you need to get yourself now to Uranus to meet up with Samuel Plinter, for a patrol he will lead.

Follow the yellow brick road, so to speak. In the pilot section, missions area, you can click on the mission and activate the guidance for it, if it isn’t already. This highlights where to go by giving you a gold set of arrows to follow, and gold tints to specific mission objects such as jump gates to go through, mission stations and mission ships.

So follow the arrow north into the Asteroid Belt, north again into Jupiter, then west into Saturn and west again into Uranus.

If you started as Terran, then your already here and we have just caught up to you.

Find Plinter’s ship, talk to him, (target his ship and comm, reasonably closely or it wont connect), then follow him until something happens.

An emergency call comes in. Some Xenon will turn up. Kill them.

Now, find the Xenon jump beacon, fly really close to it and your ship will scan it automatically. Once complete, kill the beacon. Mind out though, once its identified, everyone will be shooting at it.

Mop up any remaining xenons.

A message then comes in saying several message drones got away, and you get detailed to intercept.

Fly to Oort Cloud (go west young man), and then wait for the message drone to turn up. A cutscene will happen when it does, so you cant miss it.

Follow the message drone to its destination. Its pretty fast, in the 300kph range, so if you chose a slower ship, you will get left behind, just keep after it, even if it gets out of scanner range. Note, triplex scanners are best, if you haven’t got one, your putting shackles on and making life very difficult for yourself.

You will come across a Nova and a jump beacon. Watch the Nova blow up the beacon. Then head east back into Pluto where you join up with Plinter again.

Next is 3 patrols of sectors, Pluto, Neptune and Uranus. Kill any Xenon that turn up, wait for the orders to move sectors before you do.

Once you get ordered to, dock with the Saturn Research Station and its mission complete.

Terran Mission 2.

You get ordered to dock at the Orbital Patrol Base in Asteroid Belt. Its on your nav map, so jump if you have it. Talk to General Mishsiajamama. Fly to Mars (follow the arrows) and dock at the shipyard. Here you take possession of an M5. Doesn’t matter if you sell it or keep it. I told it to go dock with my Carrier.

Back to Asteroid Belt, and then orders to talk to Mark Jackson in Heretics end. Jump, don’t walk. (Hey, walk if you want to, but why dawdle when its doing things that pays the bills !)

Talk to Jackson. (By now you should be getting the hang of this. The yellow highlights the ship or station, just com and look for 2 blue dots next to the mission persons name, and chat to that person.)

Chat, wait a bit, more chat. Finally you get ordered to Scale Plate Green where Xenon are attacking a convoy. Follow the arrows. A fast ship makes this less tedious.

Now, Jackson needs a course in how to effectively communicate orders. The order is to identify and follow the non-Xenon ship working with the Xenon to its base, and scan it. Unfortunately if your not listening very carefully, you miss the station bit and assume he meant scan the ship. To scan the ship, you have to get very close, and that makes the pilot jittery and he will jump away. So don’t. You need to scan the station, which means following the ship a good way behind so as not to frighten him, where ever he goes. If you screw up, the mission restarts after a wait, in another sector. Ignore the Xenon, just find and follow the Nova.

Eventually, you follow the Nova into the Unknown Sector next to PTNI HQ. Make sure its not in range of your turrent’s if you have any at anytime, you do not want to fire on him. Let him dock at the station before you approach it. When you get close, it will go red on you, and may or may not attack you.

Fly up to the station so close you can peel off the paint (500 meters) and your ship will automatically scan the station. When complete, the station launched an Elite after me. If your slower, kill the pirate, otherwise ignore it. Your choice anyway.

Jump back to Heretics End, and talk to Jackson again. Mission end.

Terran Mission 3.

Find the Sabre in Heretics End and talk to the pilot. You are given 3 M5's as wingmen and suggested to form them into a wing. It sounds like a choice, but the mission wont start until you do. Target each ship and give it the instruction to join a wing, and select the same wing designation each time.

Having done that, one has to wonder why you need wingmen and if my current ship is adequate for what lies ahead.

I was still flying my Mule. And against N’s and M’s, that was fine. But it Doesn’t have the firepower for anything much bigger, not enough guns, only having 4.

So, I jumped in my Carrier, beamed out my M7 and changed ships, docking the Mule with my Carrier.

I also docked the 3 M5's. In any sort of serious furball, 3 M5's as wingmen are just cannon fodder, so why waste them ? Your choice.

Patrol Circle of Labour. Kill Xenon, both waves. Ditto Omicron Lyrae.

Then fly to Treasure Chest, where you get something different. Theres a flight of reds in there called ‘Decafs’. Easy to kill, so do that.

After, return to Heretics End and talk to Jackson again.

Terran Mission 4.

Plinter has an escort for you, so find him and talk to him. Theres a Scabbard going to Venus and you have the duty. Follow it to Asteroid Belt and then Mars.

In Mars, you get a report of a Xenon ship. The next choice is yours, if you complete the escort, or go get the Xenon. If you continue the escort, the Xenon will be there when you get back, and you do need to join that fight. However, by the time you get back, the situation may not be advantageous for you in terms of what the Terrans still have around to fight with. If you go in straight off, you have the benefit of their help at maximum strength.

As it happens, the scabbard gets home ok without you, so I went off and took on the Xenon.

There is a jump beacon here somewhere, if you find it, kill it. I never found it so I assume someone else did.

Shock number 1. They have a J. Now I know why I changed ships. I rig for 8 PPC’s, and target the J. Now the Apricot PPC’s are slightly less powerful than normal ones, but fire faster. The PPC also lets you overpower the ‘bullet’ by holding down the trigger while it builds, giving the shot a lot more hitting power. Scalp up 1 J !

If you don’t have the firepower to take on a J, keep well out of its way. Its guns have a 6km odd range, and if your in an M3 or M4, 1 shot can kill you. So engage the fighters, and stay clear of the J. Eventually, a Terran M2 will turn up and make kitty litter out of the J. Enjoy the show.

Once all Xenon are accounted for, head to Venus, and catch up with the scabbard. It may already have docked with the Orbital Defense Station, if not, wait for it to do so. Then talk to Benthami on the station. End mission.

Lunch Time !

At this point, you don’t have a new mission yet.

Final Fury Mission 1.

Head back to Omicron Lyrae. There you will find a ship called “Exterminator”.

At this point, a high race ranking with nearly everyone is essential, and the mission your about to do, makes the next set of Terran missions easier. So think about ranks for a sec, and either do some serious rank building work, or consult with Cycrows hidden menu.

Comm the Exterminator, and you get offered a place in the Final Fury Mission.

Follow him to Black Hole Sun.

On arrival, a big attack by Xenon commences, including quite a few P’s. The mission now pays C300k+ you will notice, so this is an earner mission. A huge step up from the Terran missions where they paid in peanuts and M5's (bigger peanuts).

Clear out the Xenon ! The more you kill, the bigger mission bonus you get. The P’s pay 130k each, so taking all of them out yourself will push the payout on this mission over the million mark. You need firepower and balls.

When all the Xenon are litter, follow Exterminator again, south to Nathans Voyage, west into the Unknown Sector, and south into Argon Sector M148.

Dock at the Military Base (not the Outpost which will be showing red).

End of mission, payday bigtime if you got the job done.

Final Fury Mission 2.

Take an advanced satellite into Khaak Sector 931, and drop in the center of the sector. Then go scan the station. Easy right ? Ummmm.

To get there, shift-J to get the jump map, then hit K to get the map to find the Khaak sector for you, which should be highlighted in yellow. Accept that and you jump in.

Don’t Panic. The sector is heavily red.

Punch f for freight bay, select the advanced satellite, and eject it, as fast as you can.

Now hit maximum speed and go to the station. Try very hard to get there before anything can catch up with you. If your in a slow ship, rethink your ship ! Speed helps here. Shielding is good but if you can do this fast enough, you don’t need it.

At the station, you get a warning to slow down so the scanner will work, do so, keep moving, keep close to the station, but don’t make yourself a target.

When the scan is complete, jump out as fast as you can. Anywhere that comes to hand fastest.

With luck, speed and a steady hand, you should get out unscathed.

Jump back to Argon M148, where you get a message asking you to go to another Khaak sector to retrieve a flight recorder.

Jump there, and the recorder is shown as a container on the nav map.

If you are not playing the Apricot Mod, use the ship command to collect a specific container and then select it, then wait while your ship goes through the motions of collecting it. Speed here is a pain, as the faster the ship can go, the more useless this command becomes. However, the old manual way of picking things up seems to have been tossed out the cargo bay, so the command will have to do. For some anyway.

If you are playing the mod or have the Cbeam script installed, press the cbeam slurp button, and the 3 containers showing will all be beamed aboard.

Then get the hell out before the red becomes nasty.

Jump back to Argon M148, and its mission over.

Now at this point, there is a program bug. The Split commander starts talking before the computer voice is finished, so you don’t get to hear the Split at all.

As it turns out, the mission is complete, theres no mission for now, you will get called back when the next mission is ready.

Jump back to Heretics End, as by this time, the next Terran mission will be ready.

Terran Mission 5.

Talk to Jackson, who sends you to the Free Argon Trading Station in Nathans Voyage. Jump, don’t walk.

As you approach the station, you get commed by Heywood, who tells you about how the guy your supposed to meet got arrested by the Argon. She asks you to follow her to Grand Exchange, in snail mode. I said stuff that, turned on the cheat for the full nav map, jumped straight there, then turned it off again.

At the Dream Farm Alpha, you have a chat with a Teladi. He’s not happy, but he wants you to do some dirty work for you before he will help.

Fly to Tears of Greed (follow the yellow) and in there you will find 4 freighters in the special ships section of the nav map. One of them is the target and he should be highlighted in yellow.

Target and kill. For good measure, kill his escorts as well.

Now, the 3 remaining freighters need to be scanned one by one. As you do, they should turn red, so kill them.

Back to the Dream Farm for more Teladi talk. He has set you up a freight mission in order to get through Argon security.

You need to go to the shipyard and buy a Vulture. Now for some strange reason, this shipyard doesn’t outfit ships, so this is where the spare shields come in handy. Transfer to the Vulture, with the shields, and then supertune it with the handy command in Cycrows menu (I cant be stuffed flying snails). A jump drive is useful too, so transfer it and some ecells as well.

Use the best buy key to find Taladianium, then go there and buy 200.

Now guess what, we are going back to Argon M148 !

Jump there and then you will get inspected as you come through the gate and given clearance to the Military Outpost that was red last time you were here but is now blue.

At this point its worth mentioning that this is a multi-racial sector, and if any of the races don’t like you, someone will quickly show up to kick your arse. And your flying a garbage scow, not your fighter. Hence the work on the race rankings before starting all this.

Its also worth mentioning that if you haven’t done the first Final Fury missions yet, then the whole sector will be red to you, as its actually a restricted space.

Dock with the station to deliver the goods.

Now, wait for Heywood to show up and bellow at you.

She and Pearle (the arrested one) will come flying out of an airlock in spacesuits. You need to pick them up.

Now, if your using the Mod, DON’T use Cbeam. It works fine, but the mission will fail, you get a mission completed message, and That’s the end of the Terran missions for you.

You need to use the ships command to pick up the suits. Now this of course brings up a program bug that hasn’t been fixed in TC, because if the suit is too close to the station, the auto-pilot will keep avoiding the station and never ever be able to pick up the suit. *sigh*. If that happens, all you can do is go back to the auto-save when you docked at the station and try again. (What ? You don’t have auto-save on ? What did I say about saving ????).

[Note to self : don’t give up so easy ! Half a day later I find that the reason there is no open cargo bay doors hotkey is that you don’t need to anymore. You just run the item over and the ship handles the doors now. Now they tell me !!!]

Once you have both on board, Heywood will scream at you to get the hell out of there, so jump to Heretics End and dock with the Station that Jackson’s at. Mission ends.

After a full day of fun and games, albeit lucrative, its time for dinner and sleep. Nite nite.

*    *    *    *

A new day dawns, ship time anyway.

Here is the story so far. Found 19 ships, made a lot of credits, met the Terrans, shot a lot of Xenon, Met a Split and shot more Xenon and got chased by a lot of Khaak.

Game time : 08:57:47
Credits : 53,101,490
Petty Retailer 7%
Fighter Chief 39%
Terran Marshall of Mars 47%
Operation Final Fury - Specialist 7%
76 kills, including one traffic accident.
4 Rapiers, 1 Adv. Disco, 1 Caiman Tanker, 1 Vulture SF.

Jump to the Military Base in Argon M148.

Final Fury Mission 3.

I gotta laugh. I just found that when I supertuned the Vulture, I accidently supertuned the M7 as well. I thought I’d hit a wrong key and nothing happened, now I’ve got 760 speed !

I feel the need.....the need.....for speed !!! (I like it, its staying that way).

Dock with the Military Base (again). Straight forward mission, jump into next door Unknown Sector and scan the roids for high yield ones.

So, jump and scan. Now the normal way is to target a roid, get into scanning distance and scan. So a sector full of them takes time. Who has the patience I ask you, certainly not me. One installs the show all asteroids script, and lo, jump and hey presto, mission complete.

Only ..... theres more.

They found 3 roids, so they are sending in a TL to build mines on them, the job is to keep the TL safe.

TL jumps in. And holey shit, the sector turns red with Khaak in all directions and its instant furball with Fighters all over the place and everything else pecking at you.

Then I get a message saying to take more care pilot ! Huh ? Where is the fffffing TL ? Its not there !

New TL jumps in, and before I can say wtf, its also gone. Wtf ?

Third TL jumps in and I see this one this time as I’m half way across the sector now, killing bugs like crazy, and one blink and the TL’s gone and yet another take more care message. *hair beginning to come out*

So then the Fourth TL jumps in and this time I finally notice the damn thing is jumping in by the EAST gate, and I was by the South gate, and so I put on all speed and hurry over to it.

Ok, now I get the picture.

There are FOUR, count them, FOUR sodding Khaak Corvettes by the East gate pounding on everything that comes through.

I switch to PPC’s, since I was using PBE’s for fly swotting, but these are heavy duty bugs and need the big guns !

The first 2 go down, but That’s the end of the TL. I take down the third bug, and the fifth TL jumps in. By this stage I’m in a total frenzy and the fourth bug gets the full PPC treatment and ramming for good measure and I get out of it with bent shields but otherwise no damage, then theres 2 more corvettes and  more bugsplat and suddenly all that’s suddenly left is flies and so I quickly swat the rest of them.

The TL is still there and completely intact this time. Phew ! Wipes sweat from brow. Follows in the wake of the TL and recuperates.

TL builds 2 mines without incident, and heads off across sector to the 3rd roid.

After a bit, I notice a lone scout in the distance, so bored shitless by this stage, I take off after it. Easy swat.

So all of a sudden, the next wave hits ! Another corvette, more of everything else. I head off back to the TL and follow along, allowing the Khaak to close in, but positioning myself so I’m between all of them and the TL. When almost in range, I put on some speed, target the corvette, and its on again. This time though, its kitty litter for the bugs and none of them got past me.

TL gets the 3rd mine built and its mission over. Hey I yelled, what about paying me ! Nope. Got a rep increase, but no money. I guess losing 4 TL’s came out of my pay which was supposed to be over 300k. And that furball could have been a serious drain on funds if I’d lost a shield for even an instant.

Final total, 30 scouts, 13 interceptors, 16 fighters and 7 corvettes. Minus 2 Argon and 2 Boron TL’s, RIP.

Moral of all this ? If you don’t see the ship your minding, immediately jump to the next gate and check for it there !

So end of mission, we will be in touch, piss off for now.

Okey dokey, time for lunch.

Terran Mission 6.

Back to docking at the Orbital Base in the Asteroid Belt. Big discussion and then Pearle comes aboard.

Heads up, you need cargo life support for this one. This is standard on Apricot ships, but otherwise, you need to visit a Pirate base to get one. You also need 3 satellites and there are none here.

Jump or fly to Family Zyarth. If your lucky, there are satellites here. If so, get 3. Drop one anywhere you like, although I tended to cover the gate I jumped in on one edge and as much of the center as it would reach.

Jump or fly to Family Ryk and drop another one. Then to Zyarth’s Dominion and drop the 3rd.

Now wait for Pearle to call you.

After a bit, he does, and its back to Family Zyarth. In the special section of the nav, you will get 4 freighters to scan. Do each one. One of them turns red, so ever so gently attack it since we want to capture it. If your lucky, he will bail as soon as the hull gets touched, but if your unlucky he will bail when there is orange peel left and the last bullet you fire will kill the ship. Guess what I did. Theres a laugh over the intercom and an assurance that another ship will come along. I scanned the next one on the list, and get an illegal scan message, repeated again the next time. Huh ?

I reloaded a save from immediately before scanning the freighters and redid it on the basis that the mission was buggered when I destroyed the ship, the laugh be damned. This time he jumps in the high 80's. Big relief, save game.

So next step is to claim the ship. I target and hit the claim button and its immediately apparent the mission is blown. Wtf ? I reload (see why I save save save save) and this time listen to what Pearle is saying and get out of the ship and claim it MANUALLY ? What sort of dev forces that ? The normal X3 one of course. Claim software is technically illegal and you’re the good guy so therefore you don’t have claims software. Hello, anyone home ??? Salvage is my business, who in their right mind goes space walking to claim anymore ? *sigh*. Spacewalk, yes. Eject, target ship, fly in close, watching the claim option for it to light up. It does, halt, claim, and listen as your told to enter the ship. Not a bloody chance !

Turn around, target my M7, get myself back aboard asap. Happy now, yes.

Ok, so hull damage. Mount up a repair laser (standard on Apricot ships of course), and what, you don’t have one ? Sorry, should have heads up on that one too. Oh well, as long as the hulls not too badly damaged you can do without, but if need be, you can jump out of your ship again, and use the suit repair laser. The bad news is, that only space suits and Apricot ships have repair lasers. Having a good Maintenance Chief pays off, when putting lasers on ships is as easy as scrapping a few suits !

Now transfer over your jumpdrive, ecells, those spare 25mj shields your carrying and Mr. Pearle. And then transfer yourself.

Send your ship into the next sector and have it stand by inside the gate.

Now, your looking for an Elephant. (No, not the elephant you feel like your flying.). With luck its in scanner range, if not, check SE ‘wards.

When you find it, fly casual ! You want to come up next to it so you can inspect the paintwork, while Pearle plants a tracking bug. Once that’s on, 5 decafs come after you. Run like hell and jump to the next sector as fast as you can. Then float across to your ship and retransfer everything back.

The freighter is now yours to keep, so stash it somewhere safe.

Next destination is Ocean of Fantasy, and an Odin you find there. Chat starts when you get close. You get given a Cutless. If this is better than what your flying, transfer across to it, otherwise, another ship to stash somewhere safe. I of course jump my Carrier in and collect both ships and then jump the Carrier back to Heretics End.

Theres a party been organized in an Unknown Sector, so jump or fly there. Its already started when you get there. So in I wade. Split ships and Terrans and the Split are not enjoying it.

Then, wtf, CTW.(Crash to Windows). Do you want to send Microsoft a report ? No. Reload from just inside the sector and CTW. Report ? Still no. Reboot, reload, and CTW. Report ? No, bugger off ! Log into egosoft forum and file a bug report. Back to the game, go back a save, reenter the sector and sit there and do nothing. Eventually the amount of missiles cluttering the place up tempts me into hitting the cbeam button, and CTW. No. Reload, reenter, cbeam, CTW. Nonononono. Ah ! Pattern forming.

Reboot, reload, reenter, sit there and do zip. The Terrans knock off the Split without any help, and now the real action happens. 4 Freighters sneak past the last of the Split ships and marines board the tagged Elephant. A lone astronaut flees the captured TL, and your ordered to pick it up.

In one goes, and lines up on the astronut. Ship commands, special, wtf, where is the collect astronaut command and the collect containers command ? How the hell do you get the astronut without a command to do it.

I took so long to figure that out that some Split came along and picked him up ! The yellow indicator lights up the ship, so I go after it, fire at it and destroy it, and hey theres my astronut back.

So naturally I ran him down ! “Cargo bay contains, passenger”. NOW you tell me !!!! In X2 and X3R, you had to open the cargo bay doors before you could pick up an object. If you didnt, your shields fried it. So no open cargo bay doors command and I assume you cant pick up anymore, except by using the ship commands. Doh !

Ok, so objective achieved, but what does that leave us with ? This mission has collecting containers and astronauts any way than running them down disabled. So DO NOT use Cbeam or Abeam for this mission, or it will be CTW. Its logged as a bug, but I’m not sure what they can do about it.

Once the mission is complete, then and only then can you slurp.

Ok, where next ? Moon Military base. Jump......err, no, wont allow it. Jump to Asteroid Belt, and then fly the rest of the way. Dock and mission over, we’ll let you know when the next one is ready.


I need a rest ! Another day, not a dollar in sight, and actually lost a few credits for all that work !

Guess where next is ? You guessed it, back to 148 ! I need a DRINK !

Final Fury Mission 4.

Game time 11:43:34
Master Chief 36%
Flight Sergeant 4%
Terran Marshal of Mars 47%
Same ships + Cutlass.
172 kills.

Just as well I didn’t really have a drink.

Convoy duty. Only 1 sector, but my favourite one ! *choke*

Jump to East gate this time of the Unknown Sector just north, and 3 ships to escort, 2 freighters and an Osprey.

Nice quiet beginning. Then 2 scouts at long range, then a few more.


I watch the pattern forming as we move SW. A snaking wall starts to form in red on the scanner.

Ok, party time, target the nearest Fighter......wait for it.....wait for it..... select big guns,

And all hell breaks loose. I’ve no idea of time now I look back on it, just a constant string of loose groups of Khaak, attacking continuously as we move south west.

Don’t get too far from the convoy, but target any fighter that comes close. Speed run, kill, double back. Am I really glad I overclocked this ship by mistake, as the speed is really important here. Intercept, kill, double back, select, intercept, kill, double back, catchup the convoy, select....on and on and on.

Finally a break as we near the south gate. Watching freighters go through a gate is like watching grass grow and not quite as exciting.

Finally the first one is lined up for the jump, and theres a red blip almost on top of us, a Khaak Cluster. Speed, line up, kill. Stop, go back to being bored. 

First ship is through........then the second......and now the third, and....

New orders, theres a scout heading away, follow it.

It’s a damn slow scout too, so I idle along, feeling like a man being led to the noose as Khaak slowly ring around me.

Suddenly at scanner edge in the center of the sector, a Khaak station !

Cant pay attention, a corvette is almost on me. Turn, target, kill. And hell breaks loose again as the noose tightens around me. Target, shoot, on and on, and finally a break and speed towards the station.

When close enough, new orders, take it out. Surprise Surprise !

At this point I better explain my gun loadout. The M7 has 8 forward gun slots and 10 guns in 4 turrent’s. I have modified PBE’s in all the turrent’s. On the front I have 4 PBE’s and 4 modified PPC’s. Group 2 has the PPC’s and gets used for corvettes and fighters with precision gunnery, and group 3 has the PBE’s for interceptors and scouts. Switch back and forth depending on target.

Now the main target is the station. So I pull away for a bit while I unmount the PBE’s and put in 4 more PPC’s. Gee I wish the old system of gun swapping was back (that was a line of icons accross the screen, 2 clicks to select a new gun), as the new hud layout is 50 times slower to change a gun, and when your being shot at by a hornets nest, speed is important !

8 PPC’s on the front and switch to group 1 to bring them all online. Turn toward the Station and start firing at 6km, ease back the speed until the last second then turn and full speed away. Pot shots at scouts and fighters and interceptors, not hitting as much as these are too slow for scouts really, but just keeping them off my back while I line the station up again and again, until its shields are down, and I take the risk and drop the speed to almost nothing and keep rapid firing until the station blows with a lot of satisfaction for me.

Mission complete, compliment from the boss, and what no money again ? What is this ? Damn, its still a hornets nest and all the support ships have pissed off and left me with them. A few minutes later and its clear enough to think again.

Next mission is for the Terrans again. It’s the commuting in this job that really gets you down !

Its been a long day, and not a credit to show for it.

Quick jump into M148, dock at the Military Base and a nice long sleep.


Terran Plot, Mission 7.

I just knew this was going to be a bad day.

Woke up with a bad headache, so started late.

Jumped into Asteroid Belt and trekked into Mars, wishing I’d stayed in bed. In retrospect, that would have been the better idea.

Dock at the shipyard this time, just for a change.

In preparation for the coming showdown, we get to play “board the ship”. We get a Scabbard to command, with 10 marines. At least they called these bozo’s marines. By the look of them they couldn’t have boarded a barn with the door open !

Parked a little way away is a Vidar. Now theres a nice little ship. Object of the exercise is board and capture it.

Now, approach steadily in your ship, select guns to take down the shields only, and open fire. Once the shields are down, order the Scabbard to board the Vidar. Board command is on the piracy menu (of course) by the way.

Sit within gun range while the Scabbard does the business. When the marines launch, you need to keep the Vidar’s shields from regenerating past 10% or else the shields will fry the marines. I kept 1 PBE active and bopped it as soon as the shields got past 6 %. Having the shields showing in percent terms does help too.

Hint : turn your turrent’s off if you don’t want unnecessary damage to the hull.

I sent that crew of brainless thugs across 3 times, and they failed to breach the hull every time.

Here is the lowdown on marines. They have 4 skill types, and 5 levels for each. The types are Fighting (which this lot were all 2 or 3 stars at), Hacking, Mechanical and Engineering.

Fighting skills are gained by action. The rest can be trained at stations that train them, or on your ship if you get the script.

Hacking is the skill that gives you control of the ship your trying to take over. Mechanical is the skill that cuts into the hull and gives the team access. Engineering skills help to prevent damage to the ship as its taken. So you really need one of each with a high rating in each team. Mechanical gets you in, Hacking gets you control as fast as possible, and Engineering makes sure that the ship survives and as much of its loot is still intact. The rest are muscle to take down the crew with and shoot the automated defenses if the ship has any.

In each team, the marine with the highest skill level in each type is used for the boarding action to determine what happens.

In the team given for this exercise, only 1 marine has 2 stars for each type, although as I said, they are all good at fighting. So when 2 stars consistently fails to break into a ship that is dead in space and not shooting back, that says a lot about the level of training you need in the teams to make it work.

I had a look at the squad, they were all X denizens, and probably captured by the Terrans and forced into the marine corp. That would explain their total incompetence. Nothing else does.

After the third attempt, the Terrans give you the ship anyway, and you get orders to talk to Jackson in the Moon sector. More snail travel. *sigh*

A note about the Vidar. Its apparently the only one you can capture in the game, so treat it like the unique derelict ships. If you sell it, its gone for good. If you are playing without Apricot ships, it looks a good one to keep. Kick arse and take prisoners type. Anyway, stash it somewhere safe.

A note about the Scabbard. Its yours, also stash it somewhere safe.

A note about notes. Take note of them.

Jackson mobilizes the fleet and everyone jumps to Aldrin.

Finding Aldrin. Its not on the gate network, so you have to jump there. The easiest way to find it on the nav map, is press the A key until the sector is highlighted, going through the A named sectors in alpha order.

Aldrin is a strange system. You jump in by a beacon in the middle of a ringed asteroid belt around a moonsized asteroid. So instead of the middle of the sector being empty, the center is solid and everything happens around it.

The sector is HUGE. You don’t realize how huge until you zoom in enough to see ships on the nav map.

First task is checking out a station. As you approach, Jackson starts talking, and then a ship detaches from the station and heads to the Tyr (M2) flagship. I followed it along until it got near the Tyr. At which point there is a lot of talk going on.

The next thing that happens is some Xenon attack. 1 LX and the rest smaller, so I targeted the LX and took that out first, and then just went after what was left.

This sector is so huge, I had a substantial lag issue in here, especially since I’m on a borderline computer, but there is so much in here, that many will have lag issue even when normally they don’t.

There are so many Terran ships here that you don’t really need to do anything if the lag is bad that you cant anyway. Just sit it out and let them create some more space dust.

Now the task is escorting the Tyr (as if it really needs an escort), and so follow it along. Its target becomes apparent long before its actually on the scanners. I stopped about 10km away, and let the task force attack it.

At this point you are again given control of a Scabbard with marines.

As soon as the shields come down on the target, send in the marines. Again, if this is the pride of the Terran special forces, then a handful of grannies can keep them outside of a straw house, indefinitely !

Once again, 3 failed attempts to gain entrance to the target. The second time, only half of them came back, the other 5 buggered off somewhere. So the third  time, only 5 went in. They announced that they were approaching the target, and then nothing.

A while later, the other Scabbard finally moves in, seems to drop off a single marine and shortly after, the target turns blue and the battle is over.

What a let down. After a mission lasting well over 2 hours, most of it total boredom waiting for something to happen, its suddenly over and nothing you did made any real difference. Reality in the Xverse.

However, we are not finished yet. Now we get to drive some locals to Earth for talks. The ultimate snail journey. Oh joy !

We now have another Scabbard, and I set it to picking up the marines. Now of course, the commands for containers and astronuts work again, so I also slurped all the containers. When the Scabbard is finished, you need to jump it somewhere safe. By this time, you should be accumulating a little fleet somewhere where its safe. North east of the north gate in Heretics End is where my little fleet is growing. Hasn’t been a red dot in there since we started.

Typically, the M7 isn’t allowed to dock at the station to pick up the dignitaries from. So I jump in a Mule, swap across, dock, undock, dock with the M7, and then jump to Asteroid Belt.

Then it’s a long haul round to Earth.

At the Moon sector, take the time to look at both the Moon behind you, and the Earth ahead. Nice sight. Worth a picture for the snap book.

A ways from the gate into Earth, I drop back into the Mule, undock and proceed in a ship I know will dock.

On the other side, theres a sight for sore eyes. The station is so huge, it covers the horizon.

WARNING : Do not turn on the auto-pillok ! If you do, the damn thing goes crazy, since it cant figure out an approach to the dock. So it tries to go around it, and the moment you cross a line of lasertowers, your arse is new mown grass ! Don’t do it.

Crank up the speed and go straight ahead. After a bit, you start passing station on both sides. On the left you will see a nice sign saying “Dock >>>>>”. Keep going straight. When it looks like your going to start hitting something, slow right down. Now you can try the docking computer. If the auto-pillok starts up, cancel it before you hit anything, and keep going closer. Then try the docking computer again. It should by now, auto-dock you.

Theres a nice little pep talk to end with and its Terran Plot Over !

Oh...theres a nice little surprise waiting for you. Theres a Claymore sitting in the next docking bay with your name on it. Tell it to go wherever your stashing your little fleet.

Terran Plot summary :

A nice little plot, not too hard, not too easy, but boring in parts, but moves you along. Not much in monetary returns, the Terrans don’t actually pay well.

But you end up with 5 M5's, a Cutlass, 2 Scabbards (with 20 marines between them), 1 Vidar and a Claymore. The Vidar needs some hull work, and they all are short on necessary fittings and upgrades.

As a fleet beginning, That’s a good start. The sale value is probably pretty good if you want the credits instead.
You also get complete access to the Earth section of the gate network, and I didn’t spot anything in the way of pirate activity in there, so if you want a safe place to base your trading empire, this could be the place. I cant say I’ve tried dropping a station yet, but in theory, this is about as safe as it gets.

End of Plot status :

53,047,570 credits.
Militant 42%
Terran Marshall of Mars 57%
Flight Sergeant 85%
255 kills including 2 accidents.
Ships as noted.

Back to M148. 

On the way back, I stopped off at Heretics end. The cargo bay was getting full and I needed to offload some of it. I’ve been using Cbeam all the time and slurping containers every time something gets killed. Among the load is 17 silicon, 381 ore, 250 meatsteaks and 39 rimes. Plus a lot of missiles.

I then jumped both ships, me in my M7 and the Carrier, to Omicron. There I got the Scabbards out and got both ships training Mechanicals to level 5. With the cost removed btw - I don’t believe in paying for something that I consider in-house expertise. If you need some story to justify a script (or modifying someone else’s script), make it up. All that matters is you are true to your vision of the game. In this case, the ship comes with a holographic drill instructor, so training costs nothing. That’s my story, it makes the script fit my game. I’m happy.

Final Fury Mission 5.

Then its back to M148.

Death or Glory time !

Jump to Khaak Sector 931 and clean it out, because someone got toasted there recently.

Standard furball, 1 corvette, rest mainly smaller stuff. Some support, so not all that trying. When all are dust, its mission complete, no need to jump home, but I do anyway.

And we get PAID ! I clocked up about 512k, and now up to 283 kills.

Back to M148 and no missions for once.

Protect Station

Nearest mission I can comm is to protect the shipyard for 24k, so I take it. Bunch of Pirates show up, Falcons and lower, easy kills. Paid and you get the Argon bounty on kills as well, so got closer to 60k. I didn’t actually check on the exact amount.

About to take another mission, when the recall arrives.

Final Fury Mission 6.

Convoy duty in the Zone again. Oh joy.

Jump to the east gate in the unknown sector, and 6 Borons await. The standard 2 scouts show up, then 2 clusters jump in close that I take out without them breaking. Then its on. A group of fighters jump in on top of us and I manage to take them out quickly. Then I goof and get lured away like last time, and another group of fighters jump in on the convoy and I’m too far away to get there in time ! Not a happy Split.

Reload. This time I decide its time for the big guns and jump in my M2. PBE’s all round, but PPCs in the front. Off we go. Furball. Yikes, I accidently rammed a mission ship ! Annoyed Split.

Reload. PBE’s on the front, right side and top, on attack my target, rest on attack enemies. Furball, target leader gone. Unhappy Split.

What is this fighters with jump drive stuff ? Not a nice tactic development.

There are some days you really should not get out of bed and I knew this was one of them !

*   *   *   *

There is nothing like a new day to put a new perspective on things.

Looking back, what does one say the single biggest question mark was ? Tactics, stupidity ? Nope, guns. They were not firing !

Ok, why not. ...............Erk.

Note to modders : When you create a new gun, make sure you connect it to the correct projectile ! No point in making a 6km gun if your projectile only goes 1km. *sigh*

Gun Mounting

Which brings up gun mounting as an issue. In furball’s like these missions, you must be flying a ship that has some flexibility in its gun choice. The majority of the enemy are fighters, so you need fast firing quick moving guns with at least a 2km range. The further out you can kill them, the less shots they can fire at you or anyone else. Its why I dislike flaks and short range guns, if the enemy are that close, your fighting a defensive engagement, and those are too easy to lose.

As soon as you meet a Corvette or higher, you need serious firepower and you need it at a lot longer range. There is no point pecking away at a Khaak corvette with say hepts or pacs, because its going to fry you before you can get its shields down. You need the pacs/pbes etc for the M5's and M4's, but for M3's and M6's you need PPC’s and their like. Take the bugger out in as few shots as possible. Consequently, you need a ship that can mount 4 of each type at the same time, so you can switch back and forth quickly. Carry both, even if your mainly only using one of them. You never know when you come across something big you just have to handle yourself. If need be, you load in all of the biggest you can mount and go in blazing. (Or out as the case may be.)

Anyway, some slight surgery on the mod, and we are back in business.

Final Fury Mission 6. (Take 4.)

Still chosen to fly the M2 for this one. See what happens.

Jump in the east gate, and 4 Teladi already well advanced.

Usual scouts at long distance but leaving them behind this time. Front turrent on shoot my target, and the rest on attack enemies. One of the scouts slides up behind me and dies before I even knew he was there. Much better !

A cluster jumps in close, 10km away, so peel off to take it. I’ve got my PBE’s all round this time and at 6km, they break up the cluster. So then I find the guns fall silent in the break between target acquisition. I change to Attack all enemies all round. Poof, no cluster.

5 clusters in all, 1 or 2 at a time, all jumping close in, spread over the whole distance, but mainly towards the south end. By that time, there was some heavy duty help around as well, but nothing quite close enough to protect the convoy. Also 3 corvettes jump in close one at a time as the last couple of convoy ships are lining up to jump.

Now, interesting thing. No Fighter groups jumping in this time. Which actually brings up something. The program adapts as you play. So the longer you play the better it thinks you are, and the more it throws at you. This is why some people talk in the forums about impossible odds that no-one else experiences.

Solution ? Quit for a break. When you start the game up again, it reinitializes everything and the mission that was impossible before becomes relatively easy.

All through the gate, mission complete. Paid mission too, 53,906,555. Oh....and theres 800 odd meatsteaks sitting in the cargo hold.
BBQ anyone ?

Deliver Factory

No more missions again, so check the sector. One of the silicon mines wants a Drone factory delivered in Wastelands within 2 hours 9 minutes, for 3,783,750. I can do that.

Dock the TL that’s in Omicron at the Shipyard there, buy a Drone factory for 2,898,204 and jump it to Wastelands. In the meantime I jump there myself, and wait for the TL. When it arrives, I transfer across to it, drop the station on top of the beacon, and its money in the credit account.

54,792,101. As it happens, you don’t need to be in the TL, just drop the station on the beacon.

BANG and some expletives. Oops, some idiot has left a TL parked in the gate. Hehe. A border patrol goes red, so I com and apologize. Not a happy border patrol but it goes blue again.

Swap back into the M2, and jump the TL back to Omicron.

Recall message, so back into the fray we go. Jump to M148 and dock.

Final Fury Mission 7.

Another convoy. 4 ships. I jump in the east gate and they are sitting there like a shag on a rock, doing nothing, going nowhere. Suicidal Paranid apparently. This continues that way for 15 minutes until I decide it’s a fragged mission and reload.

New convoy, 3 ships, and these guys are in a hurry. All the way south, its random combinations of Corvettes, clusters and fighters, all jumping in about 10km away. SOB. (Standard operational Bullsh*t).

No real problems. End mission. 54,958,101, Ensign 84%, Warrior 5%, 486 kills.

Free again. I jump to M148 to park the M2. Beam out the M7 and swap over, its time to park some satellites for future use. I got these a while back when we were asked to get them for a mission. Instead of getting only the number for the mission, I bought the lot, so I have 5 spares.

At some point in the near future, I’m going to want to start building support stations, particularly ecell production. To that end, its useful to know which shipyard has what stations, and the easiest way is to put a satellite over them. Since I prefer Argon food, its time to do an Argon Shipyard crawl !

Since there is one in M148, I get the auto-pillok to take me to the center of the sector, about 10km above center, and drop a satellite there.

Then the same in Omicron, Light of Heart, and Argon Prime. By the time I’ve finished there, the recall is in, so I jump back to M148 and dock again.

Final Fury Mission 8.

Death or Glory again, Khaak Sector 931.

I jump in and find a couple of M6's being harassed by an entire Carrier group. Must have been them who called for help.

I caught up with the Carrier near a very large asteroid, and suddenly had the worst lag of the game kick in. The PBE’s were seriously not working effectively due to the lag, and the K’s were pounding on me while I was desperately trying to change a few guns to PPC’s. Classic case of being unprepared.

Well the Carrier got toasted, but I only got 2 PPC’s working before it blew. By that time, I’d done about 8gj in shield energy and was starting to get seriously worried. Fortunately, when the Carriers shields went down, the hull was simple.

After that, the lag improved a lot and the escorts were quickly mopped up.

End of mission, and got paid this time about 2mill. 57,841,143, warrior 20%, Commander 12%.

Once the mission finished, there were still Khaak about, and since they didn’t pay anything to kill, I jumped out to the first sector I could hit on the map. Turned out to be Grand Exchange. Nothing of interest there, so on a whim, I jumped to Family Pride.

Sector Patrol

When a Split asks you if your not afraid of death in combat, be afraid, be very afraid ! It read like a simple patrol of the sector I was in. 193k. So I took it.

Next thing a Khaak Battlegroup jumps in.

I hit the screachies and sat there for a second, then started madly changing guns. 8 on the front, and 12 on the left got changed to PPC’s. Then turrent commands for front and left changed to attack my target, and rear to missile defense.

Then I put some speed on and targeted the destroyer. By the time I got there, there had been casualties, so some nice loot to slurp up. Never forget to slurp your loot, never know what’s floating around out there until you check your cargo hold later one.

Destroyer on the port bow captain ! I madly slowed down as I was overshooting as I always tend to do. Let the Khaak slide down the left side of my ship and the 2 turrent’s of PPC’s open up and tear it to sheds. Then its target and shoot the rest of the group, and corvettes are now less effective because I can hit them harder. Should have done this ages ago. But I like PBE’s.

When this lot are bug droppings, the golden arrow points around, and you guessed it, theres a second battlegroup on the other side of the sector. Same results. Me a lot, bugs zip.

The mission now reads 193,755 + 8,161,829 !

New orders to jump into Thuruks Pride. I don’t recall this being a multiple sector patrol ! I jump anyway.

Same deal. 2 Khaak battlegroups. As I jumped in, I could see the zatting going on in the distance and just headed on in with nothing on the scanner. Two more major furball’s and the sector is clear.

New orders to jump to Family Zein ???? In I jump, and great relief to get the mission completed as soon as the jump concludes.

Total payout, 16,897,305. 29 ships killed in the mission. Killing capital ships is LUCRATIVE ! (Note : The payouts on these missions was seriously reduced in the 1.4 patch.)

74,877,448, warrior 54%.

The recall came in while I was dealing with the last battlegroup.

Final Fury Mission 9.

Dock at the M148 Military station as usual, and a harried Split tells me that the Khaak are attacking. I can see the red dots, including a capital ship.

Figures. Its kill off the Khaak capital ships day for me personally. 770k plus bounty.

Undock and straight in, as they were almost onto the station.

Khaak Carrier group this time. Same tactics, same result. Getting so gun happy I’m not even seeing what’s actually going on. The explosions continue when I close my eyes.

77,047,423. Warrior 60%, Commander 45%, 559 kills.

I stopped the ship and did some paperwork.

Recall again, and I’m only 7kms from the station so docking was quick.

Final Fury Mission 10.

The bugs are active again in the Unknown Sector, but fortunately, no convoy to deal with. 703k plus bounty.

Sweep and clean !

Another Carrier group and a lot of mosquitoes buzzing around.

All done, 80,583,779. Warrior 88%, commander 73%, 625 kills.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. No, that was me snoring.

I started this morning with some station research. No recall yet, and I cant be bothered seeking missions.

At some point soon, I will need to start laying out a complex. I like to be self sufficient, especially with ecells, and at some point, the whole combat thing is going to become boring, and at that point one will need a new income stream.

A closed loop ecell production complex, largest kind, comes out at 44,714,000 credits. That’s for an SPP XL, 2 Cahoona L’s, 2 Cattle L’s, 5 Crystal Fabs., 1 Silicon Mine and 10 complex kits. All Argon of course. That’s assuming the Silicon Mine is on a high yield roid in the vicinity of 60. If you are using 32 yield roids, you will need 2 of them, so an extra mine and complex kit. There are high yield roids around, it’s a matter of finding them in a useful place.

Next consideration for expanding, for income generation, is booze. 2 Wheat L’s, 2 Distillery L’s and 4 complex kits is another 13,873,848. In the right place, which includes it being legal, these can never keep up with demand and eventually can be expanded to 10 of each, and still not keep up with demand. In the right place.

Also, add an ore mine on a high yield roid, with 5 1mj shield factories, and 6 complex kits for another 9,712,616 and you have a nice production of shields for the locals to buy. Usually a good seller anywhere.

At that point, you need to assess if your producing enough ecells before adding anything more. But at 68 mill and change, That’s a very nice starting out complex that should supply your own ecell needs, and bring in tidy profitzzzzz.

Recall, jump and dock.

Final Fury Mission 11.

Convoy duty. 216,750. Fast group this time, mainly Dragons. Normal operating procedure, Khaak jump in 8 to 10 kms away, turn and face them, quick kills, return to convoy. Rinse and repeat.

80,800,529. Assassin 1%, Commander 97%.

Slack time again. Research into high yield roid positions. The old standbys are still there I see.

Ore Belt, with multiple 60 yields and plenty of 30's. Antigone Memorial with its 2 90 Ores and 2 61 Silicon’s. In a nice complexable bunch too.

Asteroid Belt has some nice ones too. Aldrin has plenty, but beware lag there. Setting up a complex in a lagging sector is a nightmare.

Midnight Star has a 102 Ore, which is the highest I’ve found, but probably too high.

Here is the deal with roid yields. The higher the yield, the faster it produces whatever dirt it produces, but the more ecells it consumes to do it.

Never bother with M mines, it’s a waste of a roid. Always use an L mine. Anything below a yield of 30 is a waste of time. Anything over 80 is a real problem to use, as it consumes ecells at a horrible rate. 60's are great. A 60 produces twice the product of a 30, at about twice the consumption of ecells, and is pretty good for feeding an XL SPP at the needed rate, given its got to keep 5 Crystal Fabs happy all the time. Anything short of a 60 yield, and you will need 2 mines complexed.

While mucking around looking for roids, I found an Argon shipyard in Legends Home, so dropped a satellite in there. Theres an Otas Shipyard in there as well.

Recalled, jump and dock.

Final Fury Mission 12.

Convoy again, slow one, SOB.
81,001,779, assassin 18%m 2rd Lieutenant 25%. What kind of command structure has Commander less than 2nd Lieutenant ???

Got a scare off the end of this one. The escort was an MT and 2 Barracudas’s. Well after the freighters gone through, 1 of the Barra’s docks with the MT and then the MT jumps, the other Barra jumps, and suddenly I’m left with 1 ship to escort that’s already gone ! Fortunately, a short wait later and the Split shows up to say mission complete. *Phew*

Did some messing about in the ships command interface while waiting for the recall this time, just couldn’t bothered going anywhere else.

Final Fury Mission 13.

Search and Destroy in the Unknown Sector. 2,082,500 credits, plus bounty and rated very hard. Gotta love the yellow arrows. They lead you down one end of the sector then point you to the exact opposite extreme of the sector. Hey, I was just up there !

Pretty normal patrol, the usual Carrier groups, nothing out of the ordinary for around here.

85,343,279, assassin 27%, 2nd Lieutenant 58%, game time 21:50:49.

Deliver Product

Local silicon mine wanted ecells, 25,164 of them. 31 minutes and 511,908 payment.

No problems. The Gunbus and Camel carry 20,000 each, so beam them out of the Carrier, jump them to the nearest XL SPP, fill them both up (they had some spare anyway), jump them to me, transfer to the first one, dock it, transfer to the other one, dock it, mission complete. Easy when you have ships on hand with large cargo holds.

85,536,279. Petty Retailer 31%. Profit of just over 190k for a few minutes scrabbling around, and I got about 1000 ecells over for my own ship.

To do this without the Apricot ships, you would need to have had 2 or 3  Superfreighters standing by somewhere with jump drives fitted, at least 12000 cargo capacity or better each, and known where a decent supply of ecells was. You jump the freighters to get the ecells, jump them back to you standing by the delivery station, transfer over, dock it, undock, transfer, dock, transfer, dock, which should cover the delivery. The killer is the distance between the gate and the delivery station, the nearest gate and the ecells, and how fast your ships are. 31 minutes is not a lot of time, but should be doable if your ships are standing by somewhere and ready to jump. After you finish the delivery, 2 of those ships will need ecells replaced for their jump drives to work. So you do need to buy more than you need.

Final Fury Mission 14.

Death and Glory again in Khaak sector 931. 2,247,500 and bounty.

SOB. 90,331,375, assassin 33%, 2nd Lieutenant 93%.

Just for the hell of it, I took out the station as well.

Random jump to Menalaus Oasis. Well it was supposed to be, but I ended up in the Unknown Sector next door instead. 57 Silicon roid in there, btw.

Jump on a whim to Scale Plate Green.

Xenon attack imminent, 1,623,544 to help out. Sign me up.

J’s and P’s jump in progressively through the south gate, with support fighters. Nothing I cant handle these days.

95,898,380, assassin 42%.

You get the drift of the missions by now ? On average, they have 2 enemy M1 or M2's, with corvettes and fighters. Sometimes in 2 distinct fleets, sometimes spread out all over the place. The capitals pay 1.5 to 2 mill each, and the corvettes around 150k each. So the more of the bigger ships you take out, the bigger your pay out in any sector where bounty is paid. As you can see, I’m steadily earning 4-5 mill for each such mission, because I’m taking out all the bigger ships myself. [Note: May have been changed in the 1.4 patch.]

This does vary according to your ranks, but assassin isn’t very high. The higher your combat rank, the more opposition you get.

Ironically, this works against you in the Final Fury missions, since at the lowish rank I am, the missions are already difficult for someone in an M7. If you are significantly higher in rank when you start, the numbers of enemy go up significantly. Mind you, so do the potential payouts for taking them all out.

Final Fury Mission 15.

Death or Glory again. SOB. 2,267,500 plus bounty.

101,612,820, assassin 48%m Lieutenant 25%.

Passenger Ferry

Jump to Black Hole Sun.

Someone wants passengers taken to the Silicon Mine Beta in the Unknown Sector I know so well. 229,180 in 22 minutes. Beam out the Gunbus, transfer over, dock. Jump to the Unknown Sector, dock at the mine, mission complete. Ironically, this one said it was very hard and turned out to be a cakewalk. A few fighters on the way, bu they couldn’t catch me. In a slow badly armed freighter, this might have been hard, but why take a slow badly armed freighter ? Passengers use cargo space though, so you might not have the option, as most M6's don’t have enough cargo space to do much of anything in that line of work. Hence why I created the M6 Heavy Transport in the first place.

Jump back to BHS, and just before reaching the M2, a Pirate group jump in, Osprey and Eclipses and support, and so I divert to take them out. Nice fighting in the Gunbus again. I do miss it sometimes.

Final Fury Mission 16.

Recalled and I jump directly into the middle of an attack on M148. 2,430,504 to defend the sector. I went straight for the nearest Carrier, but the lag was terrible, so had little control and just had to let the turrent’s do their own thing. I missed taking out the second Carrier, there was a M2 over that side of the sector which must have gotten it while I was bogged down fly swotting.

When they are all dead, new orders come in, as another battlegroup has jumped in directly next to the Military Base (and consequently one irate Split Commander) and your ordered to defend the base. Fortunately I’m not too far away, so it doesn’t take too much damage before I get there. But there are 2 Destroyers and several corvettes in this battlegroup, so some damage to the station is inevitable. Beware the station. The M2's are very close to it, and the last thing you need right now is to accidently fire on the station as well. If need be, pull away from the station, and come in at an angle so your firing away from it. Or get between the station and the Khaak before firing. Not necessarily easy given how close the M2's are and how much of a hurry you are in to kill them.

Note : Beware turrent scripts in situations like this. The scripts tend to be a lot more likely to hit a station by mistake, and if you turn it red, you need a pirate base to turn it blue again and the hacking costs money. The standard game turrent scripts are not very intelligent, but they are also much less likely to hit a station. The more lag you get, the more likely a hit too, so if your lagging badly, stay away from friendly stations.

All done, and a huge surprise.

118,724,635. 17 million payout for a single mission !!!

That’s worth a drink to celebrate, but theres no time. Immediate recall. I was so close to the station I just hit the autodock without moving.

Final Fury Mission 17.

“Sacrifice your life if you must” is the order, but the final offensive is at hand. Jump into Khaak Sector 926 and waste it.

There are 3 Khaak stations in here, each with 3 Guardians, which seem to be the Khaak equivalent of Orbital Defense Stations.

The orders are to take out the Guardians, and then take out the stations. Plenty of Khaak support craft around so it takes a while.

The last station has to be done last, and when its gone, you get a huge congratulations and no pay. Wtf ? Nothing at all !

I guess they thought by this time you were committed to the cause and didn’t need paying, or else the budget was depleted by that huge payout the mission before. As it turns out, after all that, one is just ready to be committed. Bring on the lads in white coats.

Its game time 23:33:33, and the Terran and Khaak campaigns are now complete.

I’m now Vindicator 17%, still Lieutenant 25%, so no rank improvement for the last mission either.

1152 total kills, including 2 traffic accidents.

This includes : 693 Scouts, 97 Interceptors, 165 Fighters, 45 Corvettes, 13  Clusters (that didn’t break up), 11 Guardians, 5 Carriers and 9 Destroyers.

After all the activity of the last few days, I took a day off !

Time for some housekeeping. I beamed the M7 and both M6's back to the Carrier, and then beamed over myself. Then checked each ship for cargo, and transferred it all to the Carrier. Ships I intend to keep got new names. Those ships needing upgrades or equipment got added to a list of what I needed (all the ships from the Terrans need something), and anything I had already, got put on the appropriate ship. The Vidar had the most need, being 200mj shields, so I took 5 of them off a Mule. Leaves it a bit vulnerable, but the Vidar has a bigger need at this point.

On a whim, I jumped to Kingdom End. What I was looking for wasn’t there, which gives me info at any rate. More about that later.

A distress call comes in from some Boron. “Hello I need urgent help”. Now who can resist a Boron in distress ? (No jokes about causing them distress please !). This ones name is Mahi Ma.

Turns out the Boron has moron friends who have gone sightseeing in the Xenon sectors. Will I go find them ? (Their remains I would think). Well....who can resist a Boron in distress ? (I said no jokes please).

Hub Mission 1.

Fly to Xenon Core 023. Figures, total other side of the universe.

So I jumped in. Not a good place to be. And I suddenly realized I was in the M1, and not the M2. Could be nasty. I started a search pattern, keeping away from the main Xenon patrols. After doing a full circuit of the sector, with no ‘guidance’, I began to think something was wrong.

A that point, I jumped in the M2, swapped over, jumped the M1 back to Omicron, and then took out the sector defenses. Why muck around ? Maybe the poor fools are hiding and wont come out until the defense is gone ?

But no, nothing. “Fly to ....”, fly to. I wonder.

Jump to Xenon 598, south gate, being the entrance to Xenon space if one was flying the whole way. Ah, guidance arrows. Follow the arrows, but deviate a bit to take out the sector defense and slurp. Through the gate into Xenon 627, same thing.

Now the gate to Xenon Core 023, and hello, what just happened ?

This is NOT 023 ! This is the inside of a small Dyson Sphere, with what looks like 6 different gates around the walls. A few Xenon ships in here, and hey, I capped an L. And shortly after, 2 M’s. Claimed them and beamed them in.

There is some sort of facility here as well, but the only other thing showing is a blue dot on the nav.

When I get really close to the blue dot, which proves to be ship debris, an automatic log reacts and sends 5 messages from Julian Gardner. Knowing his reputation, yes, he’s the sort of fool that would go exploring the Xenon sectors. No sign of him though, or anyone with him, which includes notable Boron, BalaGi.

Hub Mission 2.

Instructions now to go get Mahi Ma. Jump to Kingdoms End, one stupid Boron jumps out the airlock and then does everything he can to avoid being picked up. *sigh*

Jump back to the Unknown Sector I just found.

Mahi Ma hacks into the facility and gets docking clearance. So I dock at what turns out to be some sort of Xenon Hub. Yonder Boron scampers into the facility and then announces he needs 400 computer components to get it operational again. 400 ? That’s a serious lot of them !

I change into the Mule, set the M2 to patrol, and jump to Omicron. There I change into the Gunbus. Now I’ve got a head start as I have 63 computer components already on the Carrier, having been slurped up at some point in my travels. See, never pays to sell things too quickly, never know when you might need them.

Now, there are several ways of getting that many components. The first is to go find them. The second is to buy enough microchips and sit in a computer factory while it makes them, and the third is to buy several factories and make them yourself. I don’t want to do the latter, not yet, as I’m still putting off building the first complex.

So I start looking at Argon sectors looking for computer factories. Omicron had a factory with 134, good start. But no-where else around has any, but I notice from the best buys, that some of the Trading Stations stock them.

I jump to Cloud Base South West, which is one place in the universe you do not want to jump a capital ship into while your there. Its so jam packed with asteroids that navigation for anything big is a serious problem.

From there I jump into each Argon sector and check for computer stations and the trading bases. By the time I’ve covered all the core Argon sectors, I’m nearly to target, but theres no more. However, there was some microchips so I go get them, and take them to a computer factory and shortly after selling it some ecells as well, I have my 400 computer components. In the meantime while the last were made, I jumped in a Mule with some replacement ecells and jump the Mule back to the Carrier.

Jump back to the Unknown Sector, and dock at the Hub. Transfer the computer components over, and now we have full access to the facility.

Now he wants 500 Microchips.

This is difficult. I’ve already seen there are none to be had.

First jump to Omicron, as chips need meatstakes and silicon to produce and I have both I can see a factory.

Jump to Nathans Voyage as it has a chip factory.

And jump straight into a Xenon attack. Worse, a K jumps in directly behind me and damn near collides with me. I turn on it and take it out as fast as I can, being so close I’m not sure any of its guns can even bear on me. Whatever reason, it doesn’t get a shot off at me.

Not only Xenon, but pirates as well, and suddenly I have a Nova cap turned blue. I slurp the bailed pilot and keep on after the Xenons. When the furball dies down, I claim the Nova, and repair its hull while the Carrier jumps in, beam it onto the carrier and jump it out again.

Another Q jumps in at that moment, so another furball starts up. When that’s over, I dock at the chip factory, transfer over some ecells, silicon and meatsteaks and it starts making chips. (Steak and chips, mmmmmm).

The factory starts lighting up like a christmas tree, so I undock and find another Q on top of me, and the place full of Xenon again. I take out the Q, then find a quiet spot and jump in the M7, transfer over, and send the Gunbus back to the chip factory. But it takes a while to dock, as Xenon keep interrupting it, and I have to pick them off its back.

When the place is again quiet and the last container is slurped, I find that I have over a 1000 units of massom powder on board. What to do with it ? A small digression into Slit space by jumping into Family Zyarth, where I still have a satellite, and sell it at the trading station using the Mule that is still docked to the M7. Then I notice 2 chip factories, one of which has some, so I dock there and buy them, and stock it up as well.

This is going to take a long time ! Chip factories are slow producers, making 2 at a time.

118,351,005 and making chips 4 at a time. This is not fun.

Time to bite the bullet and make that complex.

Complex building 101.

There are 4 sizes of stations. Unlettered, which produce at a standard rate, M which produce at twice the standard rate, L which product at 5 times the standard rate and XL which produce at 10 times the standard rate.

Most armaments, shields and hard goods factories are standard ones. All food and mines, including spaceweed and Spacefuel, come in M and L sizes. Solar Power Plants come in M up to XL sizes and Crystal Fabs only come in M size.

The most important thing is to make sure you are buying stations that are compatible, size wise. For example, Cattle Ranches make meat for Cahoona Bakeries. So if the Cahoona Bakery is an L, and the Cattle Ranch is an M, the Cahoona Bakery is going to be running short of resources all the time.

Its even more important with SPP’s.

Now, from X2, came the term “closed loop”. This is where each factory makes for the next one around the loop, so that the final product is made solely from what is made by your own factories, and thus costs you nothing to make, except for the investment in the factories themselves and the ships to get the goods moved where needed.

In X3, the ships were replaced by piping as stations became joined into complexes, with a single complex hub for docking. TC continues with this theme.

A “closed loop complex” is a complex where everything is produced in the complex.

An SPP closed loop complex contains an SPP, secondary food, primary food, silicon and crystal fabs. The silicon feeds the fabs, the fabs produce crystals, the SPP uses the crystals to produce ecells, which get used to power all the stations, the secondary food is used by the primary food and the primary food is used by the fabs. To get it going, you need a primary infusion of a lot of ecells (in which case ecell production will occur last), or a good quantity of crystals (in which case ecells get produced first).

Food varies according to the race you buy the stations from. If you mix races stations, you may have to double up on food, as each race only eats its own food.

To make a closed loop complex for microchips, and I don’t do any other kind myself as I cant be bothered mucking around with ships darting around fetching stuff and crashing into things every time they cross a sector I’m in, one needs a good sized SPP loop, and extra silicon. I’m thinking 5 microchip factories, and the excess in meatsteaks from the SPP should be enough to cater for them too.

In deciding where to build your complex, you need to take a few things into account. Does the sector have the high yield roids to support a big complex ? Does the race owning the sector think anything you want to make is illegal ? Is there a primary market close at hand for the product you will make, and any overproduction of the secondary resources ?

The primary need at this point is microchips, but once we have 500, you cant just turn the stations off, they will keep making them. Therefore we do need a local market. The Argon, as I already know, need Microchips for all their computer components factories, and the local market didn’t have any microchips, so core Argon space is a good place.

Antigone Memorial has both ore and silicon high yield roids, within complexing distance so they don’t need to be moved.

Decision made. Jump to Antigone Memorial, west gate.

Jump the TL to Legends Home, being the best place for Argon stations. Now, most TL’s will carry 2 or 3 stations and a couple of complex kits at most. So in making a large complex, you will need to continuously jump it back and forth between the growing complex and which ever Shipyard your buying from. The Apricot TL uses compression technology much more efficiently and can store a lot more stations, so I wont need to do this.


Spend money time ! I buy a Silicon Mine L, 3 Cahoona Bakeries L, 3 Cattle Ranches L, 1 SPP XL, 5 Crystal Fab M, 5 Chip Plants, 1 Ore L, 1 1mj Shield factory, and 19 Complex construction kits.

I also bought 2 Wheat farms L and 2 Distillery L’s and complex kits.

WARNING : Argon Whiskey is now illegal in Argon Space. In X3R, it was legal to make it and sell it, just illegal to carry it, but in TC, its now illegal to make it. So whatever you do, do NOT drop a distillery in Argon Space, or any other of the Races Space. If you do, Capital ships will turn up to destroy the station. If your station is in a complex, you suddenly wont have a complex and anything stored on the hub, like ships, will be destroyed too. You then have the cost of replacing all of the complex kits and redoing all the joining.


Jump the TL to AM south gate and move it a little away from the gate.

SAVE. Cant stress this too much. Building a complex the first time has all sorts of things that can go wrong, and its best to save often, so you can reload and do it again if you screw up. The more often you save, the less you have to redo, but if you use more than 10 saves, it might be best to copy them to a safe place, before you start overwriting them, just in case you decide to go back and start again from the beginning.

On the TL’s command menu, special commands has the Drop Station command. Press that, and select the Silicon Mine.

Your nav map pops up, with a list of the roids. Choose one of the 2 Silicon roids with the 61 yield (or the highest yield Silicon roid you have available if your somewhere else). Watch the cut scene of the TL and the new factory.

Now do the same with the Ore Mine, on one of the 90 yield Ore roids.

As it happens, these 2 stations are about as far apart as we need to get with the complex, and too far away to actually join, as the join distance is 20km in any direction from the hub.

A hub is created with the first join, and can be positioned anywhere within that 20km radius of both stations, 3 dimensionally. This is the docking place for all ships, and the only reference point that shows up on the nav map.

Now we need to drop the stations. The biggest of the lot is the SPP XL, so select that on the TL.

The nav map pops up, and you will see a green flashing icon of the station appear on the map somewhere near your TL. DON’T press enter at this point, or you will drop the station where you don’t want it.

Press the Insert key. This shifts the map into X-Y mode and gives you height of the sector. 8,2,4,6 on your numeric keypad give you positioning ability, so press the 8 or 2 to get the icon to line up with one of the existing mines. I like to build a complex all in a single plane, and I do it along the Y axis. The 2 roids are slightly off, but you can select a midpoint.

Press Insert again to return to X-Z mode. Now use the 8 key to push the icon up the nav map until its around the mines. Press the Home key once to zoom the map in, and then move the icon around into the biggest blank space among the asteroids. Where it will crash into something else, the icon will jump about. While you are doing this, a ghost image of the station is moving about in space, but its hard to see through the nav map. If you get your ship in the right place, you can see exactly where the station is, but not always.

At this level of zoom, which varies according to how big the sector is, and AM is pretty small, normal stations can have the icons just touching and not be too close together. Mines need a bit more space. If you get the stations too close together, their shields grind on each other and if you spend enough time in sector, eventually the stations rubbing will explode along with the hub. Space out too much, and its much harder to join them.

Find a place where the station seems happy, and press enter to drop it, and watch the cut scene.

Keep doing this with all the stations. I made a neat row of stations from the Silicon roid along to adjacent the Ore roid, then filled in around the Ore roid, then around the silicon roid, and then in between. Theres a few roids in there that make it tricky in the middle. But I mainly got everything lined up in 3 rows. A few things are a bit close, but seem ok.

Don’t worry about big bangs, That’s just minor roids being destroyed as the stations are built. As long as the station isn’t rubbing a roid, your safe.

Now for joining. Theres an art to making complexes span big distances, and its all to do with the placement of hubs.

In the TL, select a Complex Construction Kit, and on the nav map, select the silicon mine. The nav map pops up again, and this time, select a station on the south side towards the center, to join it to, or the one furthest away it will reach.

The nav map pops up again, and this time it has a station hub icon. Hit Insert to go into Y mode, and move the hub icon up or down about 7 to 10km above or below the plane of the complex stations. The reason for this is so that your hub is well away from anything that may obstruct docking with it. In this case, it needs to be well away from the other roids as well as your stations, but not so far that nothing will join with it because its to far away. Press Insert again, and now position the hub icon about in line with the west gate, a little right of center of the block of stations, and press enter. Cut scene of hub.

Do the same with the Ore roid, and a station around the center, making a second hub, also in line with the west gate, but on the left side of center. The hubs need to be close enough to join, but far enough away so that all the stations can join with one of them.

Once its placed, save, then start joining all the stations to one of the 2 hubs, selecting the hub first, then a station. You will notice that not all the stations will be joinable to each hub, which is why we made 2 of them. As you do, look at the cut scenes of the hubs, and choose which one has the better access to it as this is the one we will keep.

When only the 2 hubs are left, select the hub you want to keep first and join the other one to it. After the cut scene you should have a single hub, stuck out from your complex, easy to dock at without hitting anything.

If by any chance this is not the case, you can move the hub by adding more stations, making a new hub for the new stations, then joining the hubs again choosing the new one first.

Its vitally important to get the hub free of obstructions. When you are in the sector, any ships trying to dock will hit anything that is around the dock and explode. The tubes themselves are a traffic menace and its best to only have a single tube rising straight up to the dock, than have the dock somewhere in the mess of tubes.

Also the docking ports are always on the south side of the hub, so having the hub in the north of the sector makes access for ships easier.

If your hub has asteroids around it at its height, has a station at the same height to the south of it, or is near a gate, then the chances are you just created a ship destroyer. It does not matter if you never go in that sector again, but you rarely get that luxury, and in this case, the complex will grow.

I cant stress enough that the hub must we well clear of any obstruction, and preferably with a clear unobstructed lane from each gate.

Congratulations, you have spaghetti and meatballs ! Your first complex.

First thing to do now is save again, then rename your complex. Now jump yourself out of the sector, which by now is probably lagging badly.

Press R and open up the complex in your properties list.

The list in U-information, will show you the products it makes, and the resources its producing to make them, with the time of each cycle for each factory.

The whole thing blinks yellow, because as yet, it cant start making anything.

If you have any silicon, crystals or meatsteaks (primary food), then jump them in and load onto the complex hub. Crystals will get things started, as will ecells if you have spare, and cahoonas allow the fabs to start as soon as they have ecells and silicon, which needs ecells.

Dock a freighter to the complex hub, make the hub its homebase. Transfer some credits to the hub, (say half a mill) and then send the freighter off to buy ware for best price, ecells. Before you do, set the number of jumps for the complex to zero (for now) (using the d command), since there are ecells in AM.

The freighter will keep buying ecells while you monitor, and should be stopped once the SPP is making enough to keep ahead of demand. (If the sector your in has crystals in it, or nearby, you can buy crystals instead, but this is the high cost option.)

I’m concentrating on a complex that achieves a few objectives, not just the microchips, so if all you want at this point is the chips, then ignore the ore and shields. They will only suck up ecells and take a bit longer for the complex to become functional. (As in, do not drop them, or even buy them, until you want them.)

On the complex hub, press D. Set the jumps to zero (if you haven’t yet), races to trade to yes, Intermediate product trading to None. Monitor the credit usage, as you may need to add a lot more before it settles down. Intermediate products are crystals and food, that are used by other products. Ecells are also an intermediate product. If you allow them to be sold, you can run out and the whole complex grinds to a halt. If you allow them to be bought, your wasting credits on something your making anyway.

Also in this menu, set the price of microchips to maximum, since for now, we do not want to sell them. If you did other products like I did, set them to Average (shown) minus 1, so that traders will start to come and buy them. This does take a while, so don’t fret if it doesn’t happen immediately. As long as traders can make 1 profit, they will come and buy, assuming there is a local market for what your selling.

When the SPP is producing happily, stop the freighter, and tell it to sell for best price, Ore instead. The ore mine will overproduce, so it’s a source of income. Set the hub to a jump range of 4. Any more and the freighter will go into pirate areas, which is dangerous. In any case, using a freighter like the Mistral is best, since it carries some teeth. The further the jumps you allow, the longer it takes to sell, and the more likely your ship will suffer some sort of demise.

The ships I left at chip plants have chips to buy, but the plants have now stopped producing again. Buy what’s there and jump them to the Hub, and then move them onto the ship you want to deliver them on. Leave it there at the hub.

23,075,269 + 837,020. The latter is the hub, making credits from ore sales. (500k of that was left in there for expense money).

Now we need some sector defenses.

I sent the Vidar, Cutlass and Claymore to the EQ dock in Omicron for upgrades. Then sent the Claymore to Venus for missiles, and the Vidar down to the M2 to collect some compatible guns I’d slurped at some stage, then sent it and the Cutlass to AM to defend the complex hub. The Claymore will join them when it gets a load of missiles.

I also sold the Nova. The Nova covered the cost of the upgrades. There is a point where adding stations to a complex overloads its logistics. I added a Silicon mine to the 2nd 61 yield roid, and that did it. The ecell count started declining with every cycle.

So I had to add an SPP L and 3 more Fabs. So had the TL move to the Omicron shipyard, buy the stations and kits, and jump to AM.

Before jumping there myself, for safeties sake, I had the sector defenses and traders dock. Any sector with a lot of piping is a death trap for fighters and freighters when your insystem.

Once jumped in, I added the stations to the complex, then changed the prices on the products again. Every time you add a station to a complex, all the prices are reset, so don’t forget or suddenly your sales stop, or you start selling what you wanted to keep.

1,386,162 + 1,602,934. As you can see, complex building is expensive when you do a big one all at once. 100 chips collected so far.

Jump back to Omicron and change into the Carrier. Activate the sector defense in AM again and get the freighters moving.

The Claymore has arrived at its destination while I was mucking around with stations, and the station is dry of missiles. Run it to the next place stocking its missiles, and that too is dry. I also notice that I don’t have the rank to buy them anyway. Pretty useless ship, with a single 2 gun turrent and no missiles available. For the moment, I jump it to AM to join the other 2 as sector defense, although its about as useful as a freighter. Maybe it will get lucky.

Having drained the account, its time to fill it up again, so I jump to Home of Light and dock at the Terracorp Headquarters.

Terracorp HQ is a very useful place. It doesn’t look it until you dock. What it does not show from the outside is what it buys, and that is all missiles and most guns. It does not buy drones, ammunition or lasertowers.

It does have limits on how much it will buy of each product at a time, but it’s a bottomless pit. So if you have 100 of something they buy in 20s, you just sell them 20, 5 times.

By the time I’ve sold everything they will buy, I’ve got a respectable total in the account again.

19,338,342 + 2,789,755. About 18 million worth of picked up oddments on various battlefields and that still leaves an assortment of stuff in the cargo hold.

Checked the complex, and now its very short on meatsteaks. So I jumped in another Cahoona Bakery and Cattle Ranch, and then changed the prices again. Its still only adequate, but no longer holding other things up.

While there, I transferred the complex credits to the ship account. It doesn’t need any anymore, so the account can be emptied from time to time.

19,708,852 + 217,660.

Jump to M148. Its time to think about using those marines, especially as I have time waiting for chips to cook.

Boarding 102.

Both Military bases in M148 stock docking pods. The docking pod is a far better way of landing troops, because it has the speed of an M5. It gets them to target very quickly, which means the shields only need to be down as long as it takes them to get in the hull. Pods are single use only, so best to stock up with a few of them.

The bases carry 2 each. But they are made on demand at the base, so if you shuttle between the 2 bases, you can basically buy as many as you want. I get 8.

19,062,004 + 384,870.

I jump to Loomanstrats Legacy looking for a pirate to board. And yes, theres a Galleon near the pirate base.

I go after it, take out the escorts first then go for the shields of the Galleon. And suddenly its dust. Oops.

Lets run that again. Save, reload, take out the escorts. Turn the turrent’s off except for the front turrent, lower its shields, fire the pod, and ......the front turrent kills the Galleon. Reload, ditto, use the rear turrent to bring down the shields, fire the pod, dust. Huh ? The rear turrent did not have a bead on the target, and still, it killed the target after the pod was fired.

Reload, get out the M7, ditto the escort, take down the shields, fire the pod, and the turrent’s kill the ship.

Conclusion : The only ships supposed to be able to fire a boarding pod is the M7M, M6 and selected TP’s. In order to stop people from modding ships to use the Pod, the devs have built in that any active turrent on a non-standard boarding ship will fire on and destroy the target. Doesn’t matter if the turrent cant actually fire in that direction, it fires anyway !

Which explains the M7M and the TP’s, which have no forward firing guns.

Reload from the save after galleon dust and jump into Mi Tons Refuge, and find a Brigatine by the south gate.

I move well away from it, and beam out my M7 and my M7M. I shift to the M7 and go take out the escort, and lower its shields. Then race back and swap into the M7M, which has Ion disrupters in the rear turrent. Run back to the Brigatine, and race past so it cant get a bead on me, and allow the Ions to bring its shields back down so I can fire a pod at it. Except the shields don’t come down, and I’m getting hammered. The Ions are either not firing or totally ineffective on shields on cap ships.

I go back to the M7, swap everything over, turn off the turrent’s and go back. I fit an ion to the 4 group, and start firing it at the Brigatine when in range, and it’s a bit like pissing on a house fire for all the effect it has. Drop that out, go back to 4 PBE’s. Drop its shields and do a bit more hull damage, get close and fire off the pod. Then get out of range asap.

The Marines, all fully trained, break in, I hear the running commentary of the takeover and suddenly I own a Brigatine with absolutely nothing on it. I transfer over a few shields and a jumpdrive and ecells, and jump it to AM for safe keeping. At some point, its worth fixing up.

I lost 2 marines taking it.

Overall, the M7M looks dead useless. If you don’t have a missile load for it, its basically defenseless and as a ship for boarding operations, you don’t want to be in it. Like the TP’s, it’s a remote vessel for boarding, useless for bringing down shields and keeping them down long enough for troops to get in. I wont be using mine for boarding, but may consider using it as a bomber. The rate I pick up missiles, I can keep it stocked up, but its real use is probably as a sector defense. Without missiles, its pretty useless.

All Apricot ships can fire Pods though, as long as you turn off the turrent’s first.

Still in the M7, I did a run around the sectors in that region looking for Pirates. I found a few fighter groups and capped a Blastclaw, but not much else. Loaded the cap on the Carrier and moved north.

In Napilios Memorial, I found an assassination mission for 6,921,665 with 11 minutes to do it, in Dannas Chance. The target was in a big group of Pirates, so identified him, targeted and blew him away before he knew he was targeted. He was flying an M6 in a group of 4 of them, with fighter escorts. The group wasn’t much of a challenge.

25,983,669 + 2,511,092. 200 chips done.

Feeling bored, I jumped into Xenon 101.

Nice old furball, took the shields down and did some damage to a J, and then left it alone for later. When everything else close was dust, I took its shields down again, and sent over a pod. They got inside, up 2 decks and got wasted by the defenses. Obviously needed more than 5 marines, and I didn’t scan it first to see if it had internal defenses or marines. Makes note to do that next time.

So I’m down to 12 marines now, with only 1 capture. Just for good measure and a bit of payback, I took out the shipyard, then cleared the sector.

At the end, I was even more bored, and still more than half the chips I need are still to be made. *sigh*

Jump to M148 and buy another 8 marines, 2 boarding pods and the 2 advanced sats that are sitting there doing nothing. Start the new marines training.

Its 1-12:36, 25,468,340 + 3,164,463 credits and 230 chips made.

Petty Retailer 50%, Warlord 36% and 1439 kills.

I jumped the carrier to AM and topped up its ecells from the complex using a mule. Just a suspicion the Hub will need some, so laying in the stores since the complex now has spares.

I also then jumped the Mule to M148 to top up my M7 with ecells and take back some beef I’d picked up. On its way back, I got it to stop in the middle of AM and drop one of the sats I just got, giving me complete coverage of that  sector now.

Xenon patrol in the Hub sector, so I jumped in and dealt with them. The M2 undoubtably would have taken them, but such is OOS fighting, it was losing shields that IS fighting it would not have.

OOS by the way is Out Of Sector, ie, your not there.
IS is in sector, or you are there.

The way the game is designed, these are very important to combat. When you are in the sector, the combat is much more realistic.

When you are OOS, the combat is a set of mathematical equations. Basically speaking, the enemies are weighed up and then applied against each other. Biggest shield last longest, but biggest guns hit harder. So it comes down to what’s loaded on your ship and what its facing. For example, a single M2 with PPC’s all round will kill a ship each time it fires in OOS combat, but if its facing 6 ships, then each ‘round’ sees them hit the M2 with their heaviest guns, and while they wont kill it, cumulatively, they will damage it, as each ‘round’ they lose another ship. The M2 only fires at a single ship, where in IS it might be firing at several at once.

Loading your ships has to be done on the basis of if they will mainly fight oos, or is. If oos, you always put on the heaviest gun it can mount. IS, you put on the gun that will kill the ships it will mostly face.

In OOS, PPC’s beat HEPTS. So in a 1 to 1 clash with equal shields, the ship with PPC’s will win over the ship with HEPTS. (All other things being equal.)

But in IS, PPC’s have a really hard time hitting an M5, and so enough M5's with light guns can still take down any PPC loaded ship, as long as they can cumulatively hit it faster than the shields recharge.

So even if your M2 is facing M5's, it can take damage, and enough of them can kill it. This is more likely in OOS, since they all get to hit at once, where in IS, the shields get a chance to regenerate as ships move about.

OOS combat is all mathematical, and has little to do with reality.

Hence me jumping in and taking them out myself.

The other issue with IS is of course collision avoidance, or lack thereof. Anything that moves in the sector your in, is vulnerable to the auto-pillok, especially the bigger ships. So out I jump as soon as the xenon are toast, so my M2 wont collide with anything.

Also, there are issues with avoidance IS by your own ships trying to fire on something else. The larger your target, the more likely the auto-pillok on your ships will try to avoid the target before it is in range of the ships guns and so it will never actually fire on the target. Alternately, the AP may get it get it wrong and your ship will simply collide with the target. The joys of wingmen !

Which brings up another issue. DON’T DON’T DON’T dock or undock a capital ship with The Hub, while you are IS. The auto-pillok cannot handle it. The hub looks great but as a dock, its not well designed, and its non-standard, so the normal dock/undock ship action is actually terminal for big ships. They will collide and explode, particularly undocking. So be elsewhere when you do this. For that matter, docking any capital ship M7 and above should be done while oos, if your not on it or you are and do not have a docking computer on board.

At this point, I’m totally bored with combat. It usually happens to me at some point, and the plot missions so far dictated a lot of fighting. But now it has no real purpose, its boring. Many people just keep fighting because that’s the game to them and the ultimate goal is being Xtreme Combat ranked, but that’s not me.

I actually like to sit and watch my complex tick over !

While I do, I do little things. Like load the Apricot Sirokos with slurped missiles and attach it to the defense wing with 100% fire orders. It’s a good way of wasting missiles, but it might actually keep the other ships alive if it kills enemies before they get in range. And I can always go slurp some more to top it up at any time.

250 chips, half way there. Silicon is building up, so I set the Caiman we capped to selling silicon for best price. Looking at the landed ships list, it appears Boron weapons dealers are buying all the 1mj shields as fast as they can be produced.

At this point, there are 2 options that a lot of people will think of.

Letting the program run for a long period without you, and doing this with Seta on.

I actually think running the program without you being there is like sleeping. While you sleep, the world keeps doing things, so the X3 universe should also. So in 24 hours of game time, 8-12 hours of it, should be without you interacting with the game.

The devs don’t agree. They believe you should be hands on all the time, and that real pilots never sleep.

So, they built in a penalty. When the program detects that there has been no player interaction for a specified period, it starts decreasing your combat and trading ranks. Trading rank decrease may not be noticeable, because if you have stations or ST/UT traders operating, then your commerce will increase your trade rank faster than the inactivity will decrease it. But your combat rank will drop, and continue to drop as long as the program is left without interaction.

Now personally, I don’t pay any attention to combat rank (other than documenting it here). Combat rank defines the enemies you will face in missions, number, type of ships etc, and it defines how much you get paid. The higher your rank, the more you get against you, and the bigger and better their ships are. But you get paid more for taking them out.

So if your combat rank drops enough, your payments go down, and the ships you face will grow weaker than you were getting.

Which of course, belies the stupidity of combat rank. Your rank should be based solely on your ability, ship and kills, and not be reduced by anything. Its silly to suggest that doing no killing for a whole game day, reduces your ability to kill, but in the eyes of the ‘missions’, it does exactly that.

And yes, even with constant interaction, if you go long enough without a kill, your combat rank will drop.

The next issue then is Seta. Seta slows down the players ship in a way that allows the rest of the universe to appear to speed up. So normal time passes for the player, but everything in the universe around speeds up and goes faster at the speed you set up in the game options, default being 6 times faster.

The effect of seta is to allow game time to pass faster, so if your waiting for chips to be made, putting seta on will get it done faster, and so less waiting. This is a constant argument on the forums, where many people believe this to be cheating. My view is that it’s a legitimate part of the game, especially when you are playing a Trading Mogul game where combat is to be avoided, and there is nothing much to do while your complexes make enough credits for the next expansion phase.

However, you have to read the fine print. The devs really don’t like you doing this, and so in addition to the non-interaction penalty, they also built in some nasty surprises.

Somewhere in the program code, is a little test for how long Seta has been running. Since Seta use by definition is non-interactive, because as soon as you interact, Seta is turned off, then while seta is on, your ranks are being reduced. BUT, at some point, your assets start being attacked as well.

Most people who report using long periods of seta, also report losing their Universe and Sector traders as well. Its not uncommon for people to have a 50%, or more, attrition rate on UT traders. Particularly any lone ship, seems to be targeted for destruction. But also, its possible to come back to the game and find your complex hub is destroyed and even a number of the stations are gone.

Even without seta, the longer you go without interacting, the more likely you will hear “One of your ships is under attack, xxxxxx), and if your not there to jump in and save it, theres a good chance it will be destroyed.

If your UT is not destroyed, you may come back and find it was cowering in some station most of the time you were away and so earning nothing. Or worse, it was cowering in a station that the God-engine subsequently destroyed and was destroyed along with it.

The longer you run Seta for, the more vulnerable your assets seem to become.

So if you choose to run seta for long periods, or simply leave the program running at normal speed for long periods, save first before you leave, and be prepared to have lost something when you get back. Also be prepared to find the loss is too high to pay, and a reload is necessary, losing the entire time you were gone.

While making chips, I’ve actually been sitting in front of the computer letting it run itself, reading a book, with the sector music playing in the background and an ear out for warning announcements. I leave the complex info up, and periodically move chips to the Gunbus. Sometimes have seta on, sometimes not.

So fast forward to 1-19:00 and 500 chips are now complete and on the Gunbus ready to deliver. 24,828,692 + 10,867,157. The drop in ship credits is misleading, as that was the effect of transferring ecells from the complex to the Carrier earlier. The Mule had to buy them from the complex same as any other ship, and this lowered the player account and raised the complex account. There is no money lost, just moved.

Change the price of chips to avg - 1, so npc ships can now buy them.

Jump the Gunbus to the Hub in the Unknown Sector, dock it, then jump in myself and also dock. Then transfer the chips to the hub, 250 at a time.

Hub 3.

Maha Mi has stuff to say after that and then asks you to repair 3 capacitors with your suit repair laser. So undock, target the first and fly to it, eject, get into range of the capacitor and fire your laser until its hull is repaired. Get back in your ship, go to the next, repeat, then repeat. Just be careful of Xenon, since they still have access to this sector.

Fly back into com range of the Hub and talk to Maha Mi again.

You now get 2 tasks to do, but 3 appear on the mission list.

The first task is to realign the working gate pair. This will effectively stop the xenon from getting in, because your moving these gates somewhere else. However, as you get told, this is permanent, so choose wisely where to move them to. With the Hub targeted, there will be a Gate realignment option available. Select the gate you want to ‘redirect’. It takes about 2 minutes to complete, and during that time, I had Xenon jumping in to deal with, and in fact capped an N and repaired its hull.

I selected the south gate of Antigone Memorial, so joining the Hub sector with where my complex is. Its also a fairly busy jump gate with a lot of Argon and Boron ships going through. So the other side of it is The Hole north gate.

The next task is a bit of a shock. Deliver 150,000 Teladianium.

But on the mission list, theres a worse one : Deliver 450,000 Ore.

The whole point of this is obviously to ensure you are building a pretty big complex. And that the full hub isn’t available to you until well into the game. Nothing for it, but to get on with it.

First I transferred all credits to the ship account.

Now, there are 3 ways of doing this. You can send ships out to buy Telad and Ore, you can make it yourself, or you can get some on the Hub, then offer an above average price for it and let the npc ships bring it to you.

All of them cost credits.

I jumped the TL to Siezewell and docked it at the shipyard. Then bought 5 Teladianium foundry’s and complex kits. Then jumped it to Legend’s Home, and loaded on 4 Ore mine L’s and 2 Silicon mine L’s and kits. Then jumped it to AM and docked all the small ships there for safety. Then followed myself. 23,550,007.

I added all but the Silicon mines to the complex, and then rechanged the prices, putting the Telad on max. Then jumped out again, and reset the defenses.

I didn’t add the silicon mines because I first want to monitor the ecell production, as I suspect its again not enough. And yes, sure enough its now slowly decreasing again, although being in the 70k range, it will take a while to run out.

I set a Mule to running Telad from the complex to the TL, being as the Mule can actually dock, and the TL had more than enough room for all the Telad I need, which means I can dock it at the Hub and transfer it all in one go. Not really necessary, but hey, I like delivering in one go. Also set another mule to do the same with Ore. Once the Telad is delivered, I’ll switch the Mules to running Ore direct to the Hub. In the meantime, the complex is using the whole ore stock of the sector to produce it for me, while we first wait for and deliver the Telad.

Just got to keep my eye on the ecells. At some point, and especially before I can complete the complex by adding the 2 silicon mines, I’ll probably have to add another SPP L loop. So need to ensure I have the credits for that when I need them.

The other thing to do is start thinking about Mobile Mining. That’s such a huge lot of ore, that just waiting for it to be produced is going to take a really long time. Unless one was to complex most of Ore Belt that is and I don’t even want to go in there for lag reasons. Mobile Mining will take a bit of pondering. In X2 it was hugely useful. In X3, it was totally useless. The next step while waiting for Telad to be produced is to see what they have done with it in TC.

Mobile Mining Options.

Manual mobile mining requires you to be in a TS capable of mounting a Mining gun. Theres only 3 or so that can do this. You also need an Ore Collector fitted.

The procedure goes like this. Find a sector filled with the smaller chunky asteroids, that do not show up on the nav map. Target one. Fire the mining gun at it (at very close range) until it breaks up. Target each piece, and see if it is collectable. If not, fire at it to break it up further. Target the next piece. And so on until all the roids around you are collectable. Then collect them as you would a container or Astronaut by running them down.

Easy in theory. In practice, you end up destroying more than you will collect, and if you hit anything still big enough, it could destroy you.

So, you can use an M5 and small guns to break up the roids, then jump out and give a TS with an Ore Collector, collect orders on the mess left behind. Then get it out of the way, while you jump back in and break more. Don’t get a TS to collect dirt while you are IS, as it will collide with the first uncollectable roid and explode. Murphy’s Law.

All in all though, its long hard work for very little, since the act of breaking up the roids inevitably destroys too many of them.

The next option is “Mine Minerals” on the Special Menu, assuming you have special software 1 installed on a ship with a mining gun and ore collector. You tell it a sector to mine, what to mine, and a station to deliver it to (your complex ?).

I set the Camel that was on patrol, to Mine Minerals instead, specifying Ore. At least, it will clean up AM a bit, and make it less of a traffic hazard. Cloud Base South West, Kingdom End and Ore Belt are all good sectors to mine this way, CBSW especially as it’s a nightmare to navigate in anything big.

The other alternative is a script called Prospector. It needs a TL, TS or M6, Fight 1 & 2, Ore Collector, Mineral Scanner, Mobile Drilling System in a turrent, Nav 1, Special 1 and optionally a Jumpdrive and Transporter. It has a lot of options, and you pay a pilot to mine for you, and what he can do grows as he gains experience.

I’m still watching my complex, and ecells are going down again. So I need to put another SPP L, with its supply stations into the complex.

That reduces me to 1,529,217 + 3,581,902.

Having done that, its not enough. The balance of the complex is off, too many stations needing ecells and the supply cannot quite keep up. There is now a slow decline, and eventually, it will grind to a halt. Probably before I have enough to add the extra stations to keep it running.

It’s a little hard to judge, but I suspect there is not quite enough meatsteaks being produced to keep the crystal fabs at full production, and so not enough crystals to keep the SPP’s at full production. At a guess, I’d say it needs another cattle, cahoona, 1 or 2 fabs, and probably another SPP L with a cattle/cahoona/3fabs. All that is over 25 mills worth, and not a happening thing at the moment.

1-22:18 and the first 5000 telad is ready. 145,000 to go.

At this point I took a chainsaw to the script running this plot.

I guess I can understand the reasoning of where this is going. Ultimately, the player ends up with an HQ capable of building ships, by the time you finish the next main plot. What this plot is doing is forcing you to put together the industry to supply your HQ with materials to build your own ships. And consequently making you become a trading enterprise in spite of the fact that the majority of players prefer to just fight and not trade. But if you want your Hub, you first have to think about trade and then build a huge trading empire, to get it.

Fair enough. Yank, BuzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzz.

I’ve done two alternative scripts. A Very Easy Plot that means you can gather the resources needed very quickly. And a Medium Plot for those who do want to make it harder, but not take a century to achieve. Your choice if you continue with the vanilla plot, or use a cut down version. If you go for the cutdowns, you are stuck delivering whatever task your up to, but the new version will be used for the next mission on.

So at this point, I scripted in 150,000 Telad into my Apricot TL (in 3 goes), docked it at the Hub and transferred it over.

Hub 4.

Note : The following requirements vary from patch to patch, these are for v2.1.

You then get asked to deliver Ore. (450,000).(In brackets being what the vanilla plot asks for).

When you have delivered the Ore, Mahi Ma continues making repairs and you need to wait to be contacted again.

At this point I put a satelite in the Hub sector, so I had coverage of the whole sector all the time.

Next you need to deliver Nividium. (500).

Then Crystals. (250,000). (At a guess, if you mined most of Ore Belt for the ore earlier, and added in 100 fabs now, you might have the crystals ready for christmas in about 5 years. *sigh*)

When you do deliver the Crystals, Mahi Ma suddenly realizes he needs some help. So you need to jump to Priests Pity and talk to a Paranid called Otmanckstras. After he gives you the standard Paranid insult, he further insults you by demanding credits. (15 mill.)

When you pay him by comming him again, dock at the Trading Dock, and then take him to the Hub.

Once at the Hub, Mahi Ma then ask for a delivery of Silicon. (400,000).

Safety Tip : Never undock with your joystick throttle full on !

When you deliver the Silicon, you will be asked for another lot of Microchips. (75,000). (Given how long it took to make the last lot of 500, one could realistically expect to be senile before you finish delivering these.)

Once you deliver the chips, the work is finished and the other 2 gate pairs are ready to be assigned.

Mahi Ma wants a lift back to Kingdom’s End, and when that’s done, the Plot is complete.

The only outstanding thing for me at this point, is deciding which gates to assign the hub gates too. One should choose the 2 gates that deliver a good stream of traffic through them, that cover all the major races, and effectively join your production facilities to the entire universe. Happy choosing.

There is a wait before setting the last gate pair.

One of things you can do with gathering all these resources, is to deliver 1 of each product to the Hub, set the price to average plus 1 (or anything up to max), and wait for the npc’s to deliver it for you.

However, this isn’t going to happen if what you need, isn’t being produced, because the stations don’t have some critical resource. Especially Microchips.

Universe Traders.

Now, something I haven’t tried in TC but used in X3R a lot, is Universe Traders. The advantage of these is they are a ‘fire and forget’ tool, that after a while can cover the entire universe, and jump all over to make a profit selling everything.

These can help in two ways. First, they supply those missing resources to the stations that are not producing. Second, they will sell to your Hub and in effect, they will be out there buying what you need for you. The higher the price you set on the Hub, the faster they will gather it for you.

To Universe Trade, you need a TS with Trade 3 software, Fight 1 & 2, at least one of the largest shield the ship mounts (usually 25mj), and as large a cargo bay as you can afford.

A pilot is assigned, and he learns from experience. He needs to be set to Sector Trade until he gets to level 8, after which you set him to Universe Trade. After a few more levels, he will begin to use the jumpdrive, and by the time he is level 25, he will be jumping everywhere. He learns by cargo carried, so the bigger the cargo bay, the faster he learns. If a jumpdrive is not fitted, the pilot will buy one himself. Likewise cargo extensions and defense drones. And will keep himself topped up with ecells. Once set going as a UT, you need only worry about them when they get attacked. If you use Seta a lot, you can expect them to be attacked quite often. They will run out of trades in some sectors. The best sector to set them in is one with lots of ecells and many stations wanting them. However, once they all have their ecell quota, and everything else deliverable has been delivered, the Sector trader will stop. You will need to reassign it somewhere else until it can begin Universe trading.

There is a script for making more ships UT capable. With this script, most ships can be used that will dock with normal stations and complexes, allowing modded ships to be used where the mod gives them far more cargo space than normal. Ie, Apricot ships, and especially the Camel and Gunbus M6's which were designed as Heavy Freighters.

The more UT’s you have running, the faster the universe starts producing, and the faster (in theory) they should bring in whatever you want. Make sure you remove any product you don’t want the hub to buy, or set them to minimum so nothing will want to sell them to you. You do need to keep the Hub stocked up with credits to allow it to buy.
But this is still a long period course of action. Even a dozen UT’s are going to take a long time to deliver what is asked for.

Still, at least its an option if you have the credits. And even a few of these, will bring in big bucks over time, and increase your trading rank.

If you homebase your UT’s to the hub, they will use the credits in the hub to trade with. This makes that account a bit volatile, going up and down as they buy and sell, but the profit goes into the Hub, giving it the credits to buy the resource your trying to deliver. Enough UT’s will finance the Hubs buying indefinately.

My complex is not doing very well at this point, and I’ve let it run the ecells down too far.

I bought another Cattle L, Cahoona L and Fab, but it is still not stable for ecells.

I remembered I hadn’t yet sold that Blastclaw I capped, so I sent it down to the nearest shipyard, and sold it for about 12 Mill. No idea why, but very welcome.

I’ve also noticed that the complex is almost up to its maximum in Ore. So I’ve stopped the ship selling ore, and transfered some excess ore back onto the complex. Very shortly after, the mines stop producing.

Now this is reducing the call on ecells and should give it a chance to stabilize. However, its still slowly going down. I transfer 15,000 ecells back to the complex that I had in storage for ship use, to give me more time to solve this.

Its still not making enough crystals to keep the SPP’s fully producing.

I’ve still got those Xenon caps as well, so I repair the hulls and sell them. And theres some guns scattered around the M1, M2 and M7, so I collect those as well and send them to Terracorp.

Now I’ve got enough to buy 2 SPP M’s, 3 Fabs, 1 Cattle L and 1 Cahoona L.

By the time these are added to the complex, its almost out of ecells again. But after jumping out again, I spend some quiet time just watching the complex functioning.

And it seems to now be holding its own. Crystals is still very low, but the SPP’s are now producing to capacity without any hold ups. And slowly the ecell count begins to rise.

The complex now has 1xSPP XL, 2xSPP L, 2xSPP M, 7xCattle L, 7x Cahoona L, 5xOre L, 4xSilicon L and 14xFab. 42 stations and 41 complex kits. And that in no way is sufficient to supply the Hub Plot requirements, and in this configuration, will not add a single Crystal to the Hub.

But its now ticking over very very nicely.

So, why did I add 2 SPP M’s the last time ?

All the SPP sizes produce at about the same rate, but each size produces a different amount of ecells in that cycle time. The larger the size, the more resources it needs on hand to start the cycle, and the more likely that it will be delayed from starting the next cycle by a momentary shortage of Crystals. So while the XL produces the most by far, it also needs the most Crystals on hand to begin a cycle, and is the most likely to be delayed from starting a new cycle. Any delays in a finely balanced complex, can be disasterous, because the moment you run out of ecells, everything stops.

This more or less applies to all stations. And it is why most stations are not available above an L size. The XL stations simply need too many resources on hand to get producing without delays.

This especially applies to Crystal Fabs. They come in an M size only for a very good reason, and that is that the M is the most efficient size for them. Any delays in producing crystals can mean your SPP’s stop working for enough periods to cause you a serious problem. The more Silicon, Meatsteaks and ecells a Fab needs to get started, the more likely there will be a serious delay in producing Crystals, which delays your SPP’s.

I tried XL Fabs in X3R once and found them extremely difficult to get processing the first cycle, and basically had to be seriously overproducing Silicon, Meatsteaks and Ecells to keep them running non-stop. After that exercise, I went back to using the M ones, even though the station count is a major pain in a large complex.

So, problem solved, at least for now. Also a large stock of Ore that can now be sold.

Fury Additional.

I have not been checking ranks for a while, but for some reason, I’m now Fury Captain 25%. So something I’ve been taking out recently has added to my Fury rank. I did figure out why my Fury rank wasnt as high as it might have been. I was targetting K’s and J’s first, and fighters after. Apparently if you leave the J’s, they keep respawning fighters and so some of the missions can go on for a very long time and where they are in sectors where bounty is paid, they can clock up a very large payout. The longer you fight and the more you take out the higher your rank goes. So doing it capital ships first actually lowered how much I would make, and how high my rank would get.

Hub Additional.

Anyway, back to the Hub. I connected the Hub gates to the north gate in Thurok‘s Beard. This is a nexus point between Argon, Split and Teladi territory, with Boron presence as well. So now my Hub has a good stream of traffic through it, and only the Paranid and Terrans are missing. Next one maybe should be a Teladi-Paranid nexus, as Teladi are under represented so far. It wasnt long before I had a Split M2 and support around one gate, and a Boron M2 and support around the other. Not at all sure why Boron battlegroups are staking out the end of Teladi space.


Looking for something to do, I thought I’d check out the Goner Temple in Cloud Base South West. Only when I got there, there wasnt a Goner Temple there. Looking up the encyclopedia, the only listing for the Goner is Elysium of Light. Since I’m still tootling around in a Mule, I jump back to the Hub first to transfer to my M7. Then on to Elysium.

Jumping in there, I find no temple there either. The Goner appear to be under hard times at the moment, like everyone else.

Goner 1.

Theres a Goner Ozias here with a mission symbal so I fly up to it. Theres a Osamu Avens who wants to talk.

Mission : Deliver 2000 Ore. Take one of the ships selling ore for the complex, jump it back to the complex, load up with ore, jump it here, change ship, fly to about 3km of Ozias, and its autodelivered.

Deliver 200 Silicon. Back to M7, swap ships, jump the Ore carrier back to complex, transfer over 200 silicon (took a little while to make, as the complex is only just being supplied enough), jump back, change ships, nose up to Ozias, autodelivered.

Which was actually when I noticed they were paid missions, but not how much.

Goner 2.

Next talk to Jani Hall on one of the stations. He also wants 2000 Ore and then 1,200 Telad. Change back to M7, send the Ore carrier back to the complex, load up with both (if yours wont fit enough, make several trips, or use several ships), jump back, change ships, deliver to Ozias.

To be contacted.

Goner 3.

Dock at the Teladianium Foundry M in Bright Profit and talk to Jako Rider. He has 625 Telad Pannelling to be delivered to the Ozias. 265,394

Jump to Bright Profit and dock. Goods autotransfered, order to deliver, but no chat. Jump back to Elysium. RV with Ozias. Mission complete.

Note : At this point, it occured to me that flying these cargo runs might have resulted in being attacked somewhere en route, but as I always say, jumping’s quicker !

Goner 4.

Talk to Hall. Deliver 3 X Argon TS to SPP M alpha. The destination shows up in the guidance, not the orders. 20,000 plus the cost of the ships.

I’ve got a sat in Omicron, so call up the Shipyard, buy 3 Mercury Tankers S, don’t bother outfitting them, and give them orders to dock at the SPP. To speed it up a bit, I supertuned them.

As each docks, you get a message with a “turn them over” bar, click to do so. When all 3 are docked and turned over, mission is complete.

Next, talk to Avens on the Ozias.

Goner 5.

You are asked to build a Telad. Foundry in Elysium. 2,639,414 payment with a 1 hour 50 minutes time limit.

Jump the TL to PTNI Headquarters. Buy foundry M (they did not specify which size to get)for 325,008, jump it Elysium, drop the station right on top of the navigation beacon and your done. Jump the TL home again. Easy money !

Goner 6.

Orders to fly to Wastelands and protect the Goner Truelight Seeker which is under attack.

Jumped into Wastelands west gate. No sign, but follow the arrows. Its about half way accross the sector and is under attack. Its best not to dawdle about getting there. I have a fast ship, but I did something else before jumping and by the time I got into firing range, the Seeker had already lost shields. Took out the attackers as fast as possible. Don’t look for caps, just shoot to kill.

Now, also in there was a squadron of Xenon. Ignore them if you get them, ignore everything except whats attacking the Seeker.

As soon as the last one is toast, you get ordered to Bright Profit to protect a Telad foundry. I jumped in there, flew to the foundry but there wasnt actually anything there to shoot at.

When close to the foundry, new orders come in to jump to Company Strength and protect a Goner Mercury Tanker. As I get there, a whole heap of Pirate Syndicate Discos appear. These are followed by Busters and Harriers, then by several Centaurs. All jumping in the West gate. Things got to the point I was just shooting them as they came through the gate. Getting Teladi bounties as well.

At some point I figured out I’d lost sight of the Mercury and it wasnt on my navmap. So I jumped through the west gate, and found more M6's on the other side. I kept killing them until I ran out, at which time the mission completed message came through. I’m still not sure what happened to the Mercury.

In the meantime, the Truelight Seeker has been captured by the Pirates, so you jump to Midnight Star east gate to start looking for it so you can capture it back.

Needless to say, you now need to be in a ship that can send boarding marines, and preferably one with boarding pods and fully trained marines.

Before doing anything else, I loaded up the Pod into the missile tube.

Nothing at Midnight Star east gate, and the arrows point through it, so turn and jump back. Nothing on the other side and the arrows point to the gate to Grand Exchange. Speed over there and jump through.

The Truelight Seeker shows up as blue, surounded by a sea of red. I counted at least 8 Pirate M6's, but I must admit I lost count, and there could have been more.

Fortunately, the Seeker is indestructable, since at some point I collided with it and got stuck inside it. (M7 stuck inside an M6, now theres a mental picture !). Eventually I got out, and it sat there with no shields and 93% hull.

So I fired off the boarding pod. No problems for the marines, and soon the ship is captured.

At which point I get an immediate new mission, and am pretty narked that I don’t get my marines back !

Hall who was on the Seeker the last time we saw it, isnt now. Jump to Merchant Haven to look for him on a Blastclaw owned by one Hurtis Tertasobas Yoganis IV. (Paranid of course.)

Theres a time limit to find the ship, but the arrows make this simple.

Once found, your told that Hall isnt on the ship, so ordered to follow the Blastclaw back to base, then get the Meeting Details (not told how).

This begins a slow trawl through 3 sectors, so get yourself positioned to follow about 12 km away and then go get some refreshments. At this point, I sent my M7M to M148 for new marines and started them training.

Now, I’d left a good margin, being about 18km behind, well within triplex range, and going just a tad slower, and suddenly I get a message that I’ve lost him (huh ?). I close up a bit to around 12 km, and he jumps into Maelstrom. I put on speed and jump after him, and once I’m through, I’m about 7km behind now.

At which point I get a message saying he’s been spotted in Maelstrom, and then another one saying I’m too close he might spot me.

Which kindof suggests that 10km is too close and 18km is too far away, so I tried keeping about 12km from that point.

Dawdling along accross Maelstrom, the scanner starts picking up groups of red and blue pirates, but nothing particularly close. Just fly casual but don’t look like your flying casual. As long as you don’t get battle music, your fine.

Eventually, target jumps through the west gate. I did a save here just in case. At which point, some red pirates jump in and I’m forced to take them out, before jumping.

12.5 km behind still and heading for the west gate again. At this point, I picked up a red well SW, and decided to head north. So I turned to a NW direction, added some speed and moved to a position parallel to the target and about 12.5 km north of it.

And just as well I did. In quick succession, I got 5 different pirate groups on the scanner, all traveling the west-east corridor, or south of it. Although once past, several of these groups turned back, as if they were patrolling.

Nothing bothered with me until nearing the gate, a Caravel freighter and its escorts decided to take a shot at me, so I had a bit of a furball that delayed me to just under 18km away, but I got back to a closer range in time to hold the mission together.

Mr. The IVth Paranid, didnt seem to notice anything and continued on and jumped.

At this point I get a message to meet a Boron named Humi Wi in Ocean of Fantasy. It will have to wait.

Target jumps without incident, and I’m lining up on the gate when a new group of reds jump in. These are Xenon ! Take them out !

Jump into Gaian Star and right into a Xenon P. So I start taking it out.

This is interrupted by a cutscene of Hall in his space suit and orders to pick him up.

Finish the P. Hall isnt on scanner, but the arrows show where he is, and its well SW in the sector. By the time your half way there, a Pirate base pops up on the scanner, with a sea of red around it, and him. This sector has 2 pirate bases. One in the center, thats blue, and the one near Hall thats red.

Having speed, I blew through the pirates around the pirate base, and went straight for picking up the suit. If you do that, I recommend you jump as soon as you have him, as whats coming after you is nasty !

I stayed to fight of course. By the time there was only toast left, the station was down to less than normal hull. The temptation was great to take it out, but no, orders say take Hall back to Elysium. So I did. At about 5km from the Ozias, he transfers over and its mission complete.

Note : Your standing with the Pirates will affect your ability to do this mission. If you have been seeking them out and killing randomly, or taking a lot of kill Pirate missions, then your standing with them will be very low, and so you may find all pirate ships are red. In this case, the mission becomes very difficult to complete, since you will have to fight you way to the target, and will face M6's, M7's and M8's. Possibly even an M2 or M1. On the other hand, if you have been playing a pirate game or doing lots of missions for the Pirates, then your ranking with them will be better and so you may not get any reds at all.

Goner 7.

Orders to go back to the Pirate station and take it out. So jump to Gaian Star.

Immediately you jump in, theres a stop order and please talk to Hall who is now on a Goner Heavy M6 in sector. Well I say immediately but I had time to half kill a pirate I found at the gate. I figured the stop order didnt include that pirate so I killed him anyway.

Apparently there is a Terran agent on the Pirate base, and we need to extract him before taking out the base.

So to get the Pirates freindly enough to dock we need to take them something they want.

Deliver 35 Spaceweed to the Pirate base. Getting the weed isnt too difficult. The other pirate base will likely have some, and if not, the nearest Teladi sector with a Bliss Place will have.

Once you have the weed, theres the minor problem of the pirate base being red and not believing you if you com them and tell them you have an urgent delivery for them.

So fly to the other Pirate base, staying well clear of any red pirates, since if you shoot them that close to a pirate base, it may turn that base red as well, com and look for someone offering to hack stations in the vicinity. Pay whatever he asks, making sure you get the right station hacked, and you can now dock.

Deliver the 35 Spaceweed.

Then deliver 60 Squash Mines.

Once done, the agent comes aboard, you scedadle out of it, cutscene of the base blowing up, and then Jump back to the Ozias in Elysium. At about 4km, the agent beams over, and its mission complete, Plot complete, and a place in Goner history books.

HQ 1.

Remember we got a Boron invitation ?

Jump to Ocean of Fantasy. Talk to Humi Wi on a Boron Ray. BalaGi is now declared missing (remember he went with Julien Brennen and you found their ship wreckage in the Hub) and the Yaki have been taking advantage.

Ordered to Menelaus Paradise. You jump into a whole heap of Yaki, and need to take them out.

Back to the Boron Ray in Ocean of Fantasy, about 5km away to get the next orders.

Jump to Cloud Base South West and talk to a Tomes Brano.

Goner 8.

Just before jumping, I get a message from the Goners saying they are giving me the Truelight Seeker. Its sitting in a factory in Elysium, with nothing on it. I got a jump drive and ecells to it and jumped it to dock at the Hub.

HQ 2.

Jump into CBSW south gate. Tomes is on an Argon Cerberus.

Orders to scout Ocracoke’s Storm and take out any enhanced ships you find.

I jump into the north gate. Theres a few Yaki in here, all blue, 1 with enhanced in its name, and another a prototype. Theres also a station in here I cant target.

When I get within a few kms of the station, looks like a Military Base, it turns red and orders come through to return to CBSW. No need to shoot anything.

Back to CBSW and talk to Tomes again. Prelude to an attack and theres a minefield around that Base, please go and take it out.

Jump to Ocracoke’s Storm south gate, right by the base, and theres a whole heap of mines on the nav map now.

However, you cannot target them, and they wont show up using find nearest enemy.

All you can do is follow the guidance arrows until you run them down. That means you need a ship with sufficient shielding that mines wont be a problem. I did shoot a few by manually guessing where they were, but its complete hit or miss and mostly miss. Just run them down as fast as you can.

When most are gone, the fleet jumps in, and you get orders to take out the base. No problems for me, but if you not able to, then protect the capital ships that jump in so they can.

When the base is toast, you get told that Humi Wi wants to talk to you again in Kingdom End, so jump to the KE south gate.

HQ 3.

Some Boron scientists have been captured by the Yaki and need rescuing.

First we need to dock at the Military Outpost in Atreus’ Clouds.

Bugger. Too slow out of the gate, and another traffic accident. Slurp.

Orders to fly to the Pirate Base in Olmancketlot’s Treaty and prepare to protect the Boron scientists as they escape.

I jumped to the North gate, flew towards the Base, taking out any reds on the way and at about 4km from the Base, you get told some scientists did escape.

Then your ordered back to Kingdom End.

HQ. 4

The Yaki have located BalaGi’s Command Ship. Its an Orca with registration TLNS-43.

Now, ironically, since in the order I did the plots, this mission is the last main plot mission, and its also got to be the worst put together mission of the lot. Remember trying to board the Xenon ship in Aldrin. Sigh now and get it over with.

The voice over says we must not let the Yaki capture BalaGi’s ship. I’ve no idea why, because you cant stop it.

The most important thing here is to ignore the voice instructions, ignore the mission briefing which says nothing anyway, and once we get going, only follow the guidance arrows.

However, the guidance is well and truly broken to start with.

First thing, find the Orca. If you don’t have any guidance to leave Kingdom End, then the Orca is still there. Locating it is not difficult with a triplex scanner. You will find it does not have a pilot, but is slowly meandering around the sector. You cannot claim it, and you cannot board it, so not worth trying.

Note : If all the ships in the sector disappear, don’t panic, its just that you went too high or too low. Gave me a real shock it did !

Hub 6.

While waiting for something to happen in the expectation that some Yaki was going to show up and steal the ship, I connected my 3rd gate pair in the Hub. I chose the south gate of Trinity Sanctum, which joins Paranid and Teladi space. And sure enough, my Hub is now full of all species except Terran.

HQ 4a.

Nothing continues to happen in Kingdom End. And it can continue that way indefinitely it seems.

The voice over mentioned Shore of Infinity and Light Water. The former is on the way to the latter by direct flight.

Jump into the west gate of Shore of Infinity.

This should generate a voice over that says that the Orca has been located in a different sector captured by the Yaki, and the mission briefing should now specify Kingdom End and the arrows point to it.

If you jump into Light Water first, the mission appears to break, so don’t go there, unless by some chance your still being guided there.

Jump back to Kingdom End and re-find the Orca. It should now be in the Mission part of the nav list, and be red. Once you have found it, the mission should change to board the Orca.

Boarding pods do not work (you lose your marines and they don’t even get started), remote control of a boarding ship does not work. You have to be on the ship that will do the boarding, and it has to be a ship capable of boarding. I tried an M7M and it would not work. In the end, I used a Scabbard TP from the Terran Plot.

The problem with Kingdom End is that its full of roids, stations and ships. It is almost impossible for the auto-pillok to get a line up on an Orca at the best of times, but in Kingdom End it seems to be impossible. I had 2 Boron capital ships pounding on the Orca (invincible), plus a whole heap of fighters, and the AP on the Scabbard gave me a great view of the guns firing on both capital ships as we scraped the paint off going past.

The first 10 marines launched as I was about to give up, and then got left behind, as their suits were too slow to catch the Orca.

I had to get another 10 marines brought to me. This time, the auto-pillok sat 4km behind the Orca and did nothing at all for 10 minutes except follow it.

In sheer desperation, I used Cycrow’s autoboard script hotkey instead. This involves some balls, since you aim directly at the nose of the Orca, get as close as you are prepared to play chicken with it, and then hit the launch marines hotkey and then speed away.

This worked, the marines hit the hull, and the Orca jumped out.

So.....The Borons lost a capital ship in the process, the sector is filled with angry Borons, and I have 20 marines spread accross the sector.

While I am picking up the first 10 marines, I get the message that the Orca has been spotted in The Hole. (This could I gather be almost any random sector).

Once I have manually picked up 10 marines, I transfer them to the M7 the second group came off, transfer to the M7 myself, jump to The Hole west gate, and then instruct the Scabbard to collect the rest of the Marines. Collect marines command is best used OOS. Being in the ship using the command can be hair raising, especially if you use seta, especially in Kingdom End. Its also quicker OOS, as the ship does not have to worry about colliding with anything.

When the marines have been collected, jump it after you.

By the time that’s done, you should have found the Orca and removed its shields again.

The difference now is that The Hole does not have a defense force. So this time you have to take care of the shields yourself, and the Orca only has 2 targets to aim at. You and you.

Switch to the Scabbard again. Give the M7 attack shields Orca command, and it will now happily play misquito and keep the shields down. But beware, if your using a ship with weak shields, it may not last long.

I again used the AP for boarding, and again, it sat about 3km behind the Orca doing nothing but follow it, in a sector with nothing at all nearby. Something seriously wrong with the auto-boarding.

By this stage, I was in serious danger, as the Orca was firing on me, and the Scabbard shields were going down 3% for each gun hit and 60% for each missile hit. I was using the restore hull and shields cheat at this point while swearing at the auto-pillok to get on with it.

Again in total disgust, I turned the pillok off, and did a hotkey launch of the marines. They went straight to the Orca, and went straight in. After the usual sound effects, the ship is mine, except for the last 2 missiles still on their way to me. For a ship with only 6 missiles on board, the mission obviously makes them unlimited.

Once the ship is yours, you get the usual end of plot thankyous.

The plot reward is in the cargo hold of the Orca. I renamed the ship, installed a jump drive and ecells and then jumped it to the Hub. Then jumped the Scabbard in as well, had them RV and swapped the marines back to the Scabbard, then docked it at the Hub.

My suggestion then is to drop the Headquarters somewhere in the Hub sector, where it does not obstruct traffic, and is below the gates level so you can easily jump in and dock from any direction.

Once you have your HQ deployed, dock all your ships there and have a party.

The HQ has 2 main uses.

First as a Player Headquarters, where you can dock all your ships safely. It docks 8 capital ships, 16 freighters/M6 size, and unlimited fighters. It becomes an ideal place to send capped ships to wait for you to want to do anything with them. It repairs ships if you give it resources. I will reverse engineer any ship in the game and allow you to build it. And it has a spray shop if you want to give your ships all the same colour scheme. It makes an ideal base for ship fitout.

But it is also useful as a Superstore. It has a single large cargo bay, with no restrictions on how much of anything can be stored there. (The bay is small by my expectations, so there is a mod out to greatly increase the cargo space. However, the mod must be installed before you drop the station to get the increase in space.) As such, this is a perfect place to store all the stuff you slurp up. At average price minus 1, all the basic stuff will sell itself. It’s a good place to put any oversupply of secondary resources from your complexes, where you do not want to sell them from the complex itself. Some stuff wont sell from there, but that is good because it makes a great place to store all the stuff you don’t want to sell, and do not want to have to carry around in a ship.

At some point in almost every game I play, I end up with 2 HQ’s. One is my base where npc ships are not allowed to dock. The other is a Superstore for selling everything I don’t want.


Aldrin Plot.

You get a message from Craig Armston of the Terran Resource Evaluation Commission asking you to dock at the Orbital Patrol Base in Asteroid Belt.

Mission 1.

Use the unfocussed jump drive to scout for valuable or abundant minerals. Pays 20k + resource worth. No time limit. You will need a Mineral Scanner before you start.

Scan 8 asteroids. Khaak nearby, including a lot of corvettes. Run around the asteroids as they are targetted by the mission arrows, and scan each one when you come in range. Target roid, click I, then when ‘scan’ lights up, click ‘scan’. Done. Move on.

A slow ship needs to be able to fight M6's. A fast ship may not need to fight at all.

Once all are scanned, you are asked to mine and deliver 100 Nvidium.

When you have mined your Nvidium, engage jump drive and it will automatically take you back to the Asteroid Belt. Dock to complete the mission. The Nvidium is taken off the ship automatically.

Mission 2.

Fly to the Earth Torus to meet Gen. Don Hammond of the ATF. You will need a jumpdrive as the mission will take you to Aldrin.

Follow the yellow arrows.

When you get to the Torus, remember, DON’T use the autopilot !

Deliver a data storage device to Lt. Jake Griffith at Aldrin Energy production Base XL epsilon. 30K.

Undock and jump to Aldrin.

The destination is 283 km away (or thereabouts), highlighted by the yellow arrows, so click your mouse on it to target it, then fly to it.

Mission 3.

Take Griffith to the USC Orbital Supply Base in sector Aldrin 2 in orbit of the planet Armstrong. Pays 20k.

If your using a larger ship that could not dock with the station you just left, make sure you remember which ship you leave Griffith in !

Fly to the trans-orbital accelerator for Aldrin 2.

Dock the ship carrying Griffith at the Supply Base.

Mission 4.

Fly to the Gate, following the guidance arrows. It’s a normal gate, but as yet not connected to anywhere.


Patrol Aldrin 2. Pays 750,221 plus. Xenon targets.

When all Xenon are chip dust, you will be told to fly to Terran Unknown Sector 1, through the gate.

This is a Xenon sector with capital ships and jumping J’s. What you get will depend on your ranks, but go in here in something that can take on a lot of enemies.

The actual mission is to scan 8 asteroids, following the arrows. But there is good credits in taking out the Xenon first. I was paid an extra 4.5 Million.

Once you have scanned all the asteroids, it’s a good place to save.

Next, escort the highlighted ship, Terran Science Ship Katana, to an unknown object.

When the object has been picked up, there is a cutscene.

Now fly to Terran Unknown Sector 2.

After transition, there are 2 quick cutscenes, then your ordered to fly to the Terran Tyr, back through the gate. Before I could do so, a Khaak fleet jumped in. Your choice if you take them on, or get out. You don’t get paid extra though.

At about 7km from the Tyr, you get orders to wait for new orders. Don’t go anywhere, it wont be long to wait.

Mission 5.

Recon of Perpetual Sin, for evidence of super weapon use or a destroyed Khaak stronghold.

Jump to Perpetual Sin south gate. Mission is to find evidence of the Khaak. There is ship debris in the distance. Looks like an old Titan. And another. Your looking not for ship debris, but an unknown object. When you get within a few km of one of them, you get told to scan it. Go up to about 500 meters, and you will hear “scanning........scan complete”. You then get a new message.

Mission 6.

Deliver a Nemesis to the Teladi Trading Station in Spaceweed Grove. Buy one from a Paranid Shipyard and get it to the Trading Station. You get the value of it back when its delivered. If your not flying it yourself, dock ahead of it first, so you are on the station when it docks.

When the Nemesis, you get a message and are asked to turn over the Nemesis. Click on “Your Nemesis” to deliver it.

You then get 2 messages, one from the Paranid, and the other from Griffin.

Tasks complete for now. Just wait for the next message.

Mission 7.

Time to shoot some Paranid ! The mission is to run interference while some Terran captives of the Paranid are rescued. 20k pay.

Fly to Unknown Sector by Unholy Descent. On entering the sector, everything Paranid is red. Take out all Paranid objects.

When the last is gone, you get asked to escort a Terran Yokohama which is going to board a prison transport. Follow it until its boarding is complete. They leave the Paranid crew floating in space, so its up to you what you want to do with them.

Mission 8.

Fly to Terran Unknown Sector 3. I didnt get any guidance, so I jumped to Terran Unknown Sector 1, and the guidance then showed up with a new East Gate. Fly through that.

Search the sector. You will find a Boron Angel TP, piloted by BalaGi somewhere there. Fly close and you get a message to escort the Angel to Aldrin 2. A Xenon J and K jumped in almost on top of us, in TUS1. Then a second group of J, P’s and fighters. This will vary of course according to your combat rank. A speed of more than 94 is needed to keep up, and decent firepower to protect the Angel.

When the Angel jumps into Aldrin 2, the mission is complete. No further mission is offered immediately.

Mission 9.

Repel Xenon in TUS3. Jump into TUS3. Go to the aid of the mining base ship. Take out the Xenon patrol.

Tow the Mining Base ship to Aldrin 2. You will need a ship that can mount a Tractor beam in the rear turrent, and of course, a tractor beam. There was a Khaak Battle group by the west gate in TUS1, so you will need to deal with whatever enemy you find there before you get the tow anywhere near there.

Once you get it inside the gate in Aldrin 2, tow it towards the Base. After a couple of km, you will get a message from Griffin. The Mining ship is now yours.

Mission 10.

Dock at the Orbital Patrol Base in Asteroid Belt for new orders.

Transport a Glowing Crystal to the Gate Production Complex in Neptune. A fast ships helps here.

Fly to within 5km of the Gate complex, and you will get a new message.

Now jump to Kingdom End to talk to BalaGi on the Royal Boron Trading Station. When in range, com. Next, dock at the Trading Station to pick up BalaGi.

Transport BalaGi to your Hub in the Unknown Sector.

Connect the hub to Terran Unknown Sector 1 and Terran Unknown Sector 2. Before you do, I recommend you ensure you do not strand your own ships using the hub in other sectors, thus endangering them when they try to fly home the long way.

Fly into TUS2. Find an inactive Gate. Its about 60km away. Should be visible to your naked eye, if you look around a bit. Fly up close to the gate. You get a new message and then a cutscene.

The gate is connected to Neptune automatically and the Plot is complete.


All material on this website is copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008 by Timothy Ellis aka Apricotslice.

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