Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

It´s a hard life of a bounty hunter

Hartsfield Plant, Potriti system. Comm chatter from the ED forum informed me that trying to look for either Wraak or Black Crow for those juicy assassination contracts could be a rather unsatisfying and unsuccessful effort. I should choose easier and less elusive prey in order to have fun.

4800 CR if I go to Volta Station in Kremainn and deliver 2 untis of scrap. Gladly so, dear sir. Done, next stop, Wohler Terminal in the same system. Outfits, maybe finally a better frameshift drive? Well, nope.

On my way, an unidentified signal. A wanted sidewinder and a clean viper. Goddamn Viper does a kill steal on me. Hmrp. To be fair, it opened fire first on that sidewinder, ah so what.

Then a visit to Kremainn´s rings. There should be extraction sites, maybe a good source for "wanted"ships? Well, that venture does not go well.

- the ring system looks a bit glitchy like this

First, I spot what you could call "phat loot", a Lakon Type 9 which is "wanted". I also k-scan it. Thing is, that ship is accompanied by two system security ships. But hey, they are the law, they won´t stand in the way of some rightful bounty hunt, right? Right.

- a "wanted" freighter with security ships, of all, as an escort? Right.

As I attack the freighter, those security ships indeed stay neutral. Satisfied, I wail away on the hapless freighter. But then I am hit by laser fire, and it is not coming from the freighter. Irritated, I check the radar. Two sidewinders opened fire on me. Probably some kind of additional protection service for the freighter? Right. I spin around and return fire. Bam, I am "wanted". Right.

Two ships, no matter even if only sidewinders, can give you a hell of a problem, and those two here are of that kind. I loose shields and large chunks of my hull (50%) before I can destroy the first of those two. The second follows quickly after. But in the meanwhile, the security ships apparently got wind of my "wanted" status and open fire, too.There are two security Eagles, and while I almost manage to destroy the first, down at 15 % hull myself, unfortunately, it is time to bail out. Only problem is, no asteroids close to find cover behind (I followed the freighter far out above the ring). And, it is actually three Eagles. Moments later, my ship is gone, as in, scrapped.

You know there are moments where I wonder when Frontier can finally get some game mechanics finally working without bugs? Unfair, I know, but this is just frustrating. This encounter was again so random and unpredictable that I hardly felt in control of what transpired. Yes, I am a bit annoyed.

 - dirty dustball and chunks of rock. Romantic, kind of.

Launch. I want a revanche. On my way to the planet´s ring, there is an unidentified signal. A nice yield awaits in there, a wanted Eagle, wanted Hauler, wanted Cobra. The last drops 5 units of marine equipment, which will sell for around 2000 CR each on the black market. I manage to destroy one container by noobish piloting, but my cargo hold can only fit four untits anyways.

On my way back to the station, shortly before docking, some security vessels come dangerously close. I want to activate silent running, but hit the landing gear button instead. Slowed down and non silent, the ship has an easy job scanning me.... yep, I had it coming this way. 18.000 CR fine for illegal goods in my hold. And I am "wanted" again. 5000 CR for bounty vouchers, 8.000 CR for the goods on the black market, minus 18.000 CR fine. I started this evening with roughly 100.000 CR, I am down to 88.000 CR. Sigh. Life in Elite is a bitch sometimes.

Plus, I cannot undo my "wanted" status in my contacts. A relog solves this and the "wanted" vanishes.

Another try. Goddamnit! And, finally, I am also lucky. One wanted Cobra after another appears, and the last one even drops some gold! Now it is only a matter of getting into that station without being fined...

 - finally, some happy fishing for "wanted" Cobras

On my approach in supercruise, I shut down every module not needed. I drop in, boost towards the station. Uh-oh, this does not look good. As I am almost at the docking entrance, security vessels appear on my radar, very close range already. It would be probably worth it to invest in a better scanner in order to time a better arrival. I hit silent running, but to no avail. Moments before I enter the hatch, I am scanned again.


22.000 Credits is the fine this time. There goes a large chunk of my profits. On the plus side there are bounties worth 32.000 CR and the loot for 10.000 CR. Minus, again, 4.000 CR for the ammo and repair costs. Overall not a minus business, but the unsucessful attempt at smuggling for sure hurts. I wonder what I could do better to sneack in here? Next time, I will try to wait until I am sure that the security ships are on the far other side!

Next time, that means, next session. Over and out.

Addendum: Finally, a very enlightening post from Frontier´s lead designer explains how and why some "wanted" situations appear so wrongly. Basically, you always need to have your target in scan position and wait until as if an initial scan has finished, even when the ship (wrongly) shows alreadyd and immediately as "wanted" because it shot you. Very helpful, thank you!

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