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)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Meanest kill steal ever

Maine Hub. The outfit vendor sells top quality A1 (20.000 CR) and B1 (8.000 CR) power couplings. This increases power output for shields, weapon and engines; for my hauler, I do not really need the more expensive one so I settle with the B1 class.

Bringing basic medicines to Ackerman Market, the bulletin board over there offers a hauling contract of 16k CR to Portriti. Good occasion to check commodity prices over there. Which turns out to be disappointing; only low supply metals there. But at least I have found a supply of metals.

Kremainn is a few light years away and I extend my prices check to it. There is a high supply of most metals. Indium is at a very good price, and I can bring a full load back to Cleve Hub in Eravate, for around 1100 CR profit per unit. Cleve Hub offers a "fetch"-type contract for 48.000 CR. The cash temporarily blinds my logic and I accept it before I realize this mission requires "Indite", not the supply of "Indium" which I just have discovered in Kremainn. Screw!

Still cursing, I call up the galaxy map and look for systems marked as extraction economies. Indite is a mineral, coming from extraction, indium is a metal (probably smelted from indite...). There are two "red" = extraction systems; Apoyota, LHS 3479. However, the system map information I have to buy first for 100-250 CR. It then says that those systems in fact need to import indite? What is this? I don´t know how this bought data is supposed to work, this does not make sense, but I am also not in the mood anymore to explore those two systems. 

- another nice constellation, encountered during my travels in LHS 3447

Instead, I opt to go to my starting system, LHS 3447, as a lot of stations there seem to supply minerals; at least it is not stated that they import indite! Arriving there, I am reminded again why I left. The supercruise distances are excruciating! 110.000 ls is a minimum! No way I am gonna trade here! Systems like this, which could be a vital supply/demand markets (7 stations with commodity trading over there!), but so tedious to reach. This makes me want to leave this forsaken, end-of-the-world star system cluster a.s.a.p.! Not even one hightech system is reachable here. I wonder where I will ever find a better frameshift drive which could actually propel me out of here...

Finally, I find indite in LHS 3447, at Yaping Enterprise. I take the time to get data on thee more stations which are close, then I am done here. On my way back, to Eravate, I am interdicted. I am just in a hauler, but I already took down an Eagle and a Sidewinder with it, so I try my luck and let me pull out. Uh-oh, a bit overconfident: an Anaconda awaits me. I escape thanks to a better speed of my hauler, but it costs me a little bit of my hull integrity.

Finally my mistake of selecting a wrong mission corrected and fulfilled, I grab basic medicines and make way back to Ackerman Market, the main hub for Eravate. My cash is now at 199.000 CR. Having had enough of hauling, I want some action again. My cash should help me to have now a significantly upgraded Eagle.

Before I do so, I spot another juice fetch mission, for 38k CR (bertrantide). I know where... it is ...sigh... some 110.000 ls travel out there.... here I come. Since I took note of the commodity data, I know that animal meat is in high demand at Yaping Station, and it is at high supply here in Ackerman Market. Packing some animal meat, which yields me 600 CR profit per unit. Hauling back the 12 untis of bertrantide, I also cash in the 48k CR and then finally go back to flying an Eagle, which I buy at Ackerman Market. I keep my hauler stored there, since it is already upgraded with B1 power couplings and 8ton racks, aquired from two different stations.

Now it is time to upgrade my Eagle. I was content with a gimballed multicannon as a third gun, as it complements the loaned pulse lasers nicely. I can keep all three guns in one fire group and a short burst will only fire the lasers, while the multicannon needs some moments to ramp up. A full fire spread with unleash also the multicannon, which I do in a good firing position and when the shields are already down from my laser-only short bursts. Then, a new paint job from the Frontier shop. Shut up and take my money, I want this game to succeed and deliver everything they can´t at this point yet. I chose the artic blue camo design. Next, since I know that an A1 power couplings is available in Maine Hub, I make way there.

Interdiction. Oops, a Python! Rated "Novice". Of course, the Python attacks. My first reflex: Boost away. Then, I reconsider and accept the challenge! However, I am badly prepared: my firegroup is not set yet with the multicannon, and the k-scanner is not embedded into a firegroup. Try doing this while desperately dodging a quatruple laser fire spitting Python!

- a hell of a fight! a pity my shadowplay video capture does not work

I stick to his underside. No guns there. Twice he turns and shows his upper side towards me: two turrets happly wail away at my poor Eagle! But I manage somehow to get back on his underbelly´s side while we circle each other like crazy. Hull integrity at 87%. My saving grace is that the Python´s "novice" AI does not simply roll over while circling, to show me his turrets; I would be so dead. Turrets are too powerful for a light little fighter as the Eagle is.

Also, the Eagle´s capacitors are short breathed. Slowly and under very precise maneuvering to avoid the Pythons surprise twists and turns, I whittle the Python down. As I pause for a last moment to collect capacitor energy for a final sustained burst, suddenly lasers flash from upper-behind me, hit the Python and it exlodes. Stunned I stare at the screen. WTF.

WTF. This was the meanest goddamn killsteal I have had so far in this whole frakking game!! Holyshit am I pissed off. After about 10 minutes of desperate struggle, even managing to properly set my firegroups in-between and k-scanning him, some forsaken stupid security ships jump in and burn away its last sliver of hull integrity, right in front of my nose!?! Whaaaaaaaaaaa!

No idea about the bounty I would have gotten! And you know what, I do not want to know or I would probably chew on my keyboard. To add insult to the injury, I am again shown as "wanted" (did not realize when this again had happened) and the two security vessels who did this bloody killsteal also attack me!

- "wanted" myself, those kill-stealing corrupt security forces hunt me away like a rabid dog

I am without shield and so furious I would love to take them apart, screw by screw. But, no, cut your losses in time, I boost and some evasive maneuvers bring me finally back to supercruise. Docking at Maine Hub, and I need a goddamn drink after this one. ARRRRG! Cheers! Prost!

This should have been the time to go to bed, but no, the pro bounty hunter thinks he can drink and pilot afterwards all the better... So launch, I do again.

Cleve Hub should have the 4ton cargo rack and maybe some more stuff to complement my Eagle´s outfit. On my way there, an unidentified signal (US) pops up and I drop in. In there, a lone "wanted" Cobra circles lazily. I start to k-scan it, but it goes for range, even with boost I cannot get near enough to complete it. This should have warned me that a higher skilled AI is at work here.

I shoot to make it start evade so I can come close. Works. And almost immediately, the ship drops its cargo. No way, friend, you are dead! One cargo pops against my cockpit, bang. Unfortunate, hope it was not too valuable. Then another. And another. My shields are down and I am dumbfounded and drunk. Two more bangs and my ship explodes. Another long stunned stare at the screen.

This must have been mines. So, why does my scanner show them as white blips as if they were cargo??? I cannot believe this. Twice now, I have been given a big fat giant finger by the gods of randomness and unpredicability. I am so glad I grinded some money before this disaster... or I would be back to zero by now. Stay sharp, this is the best advice I can give to anyone I guess. Well, at least I learned something important about mines!

An insignificant (compared to my wealth now) insurance fee later, I roam the vast void again in order to finally make it to Cleve Hub. Almost there, I notice CMDR Toraque´s Cobra doing a weird dance in supercruise. Then I see a second faery close to him dancing with him. Ah, an interdiction. I decide to help out.

It takes a bit to turn around, get away from the planet´s gravity well, but when I arrive at the low energy wakes left in supercruise, I can still target one of those and thus drop into the same location. CMD Toraque is still fighting the enemy Cobra. I textcomm "help has arrived!" and swoop with extended claws down on the Cobra.

However, as I open fire on the enemy, it ceases all activity and just sits there. I don´t ask or discuss and destroy it quickly for 2000 CR bounty. CMDR Toraque has seen this strange behaviour too but has no explanation. A bug, most probably.
After a brief chat, the colleague then asks me about a good trade route. Hm, this is a bit like asking for the amount of my salary, you know. Besides, you have even more cash than me, riding a Cobra! But, so what, I have my policy of transparency, so tell him about the tobacco route. I am gone from here anyways as soon as I find a better frameshift drive. After a quick thanks, he is gone and I cannot chat to him anymore. Maybe he logged off? The comm system works weird sometimes.

In Cleve Hub, I find a 4ton cargo rack, but nothing else useful. I also realize that my last encounter had a double bounty. One with the faction here, one with another faction. So I have to fly to a station owned by the other one to get the second bounty. On my way to Sylvester City I am interdicted by a Cobra. This one delivers a tough fight, but in the end it succumbs, and also drops some natural fabrics. Unfortunately, Sylvester City does not have a black market, so I do the tour back to Ackerman Market after cashing in the bounty.

- another interdiction on my way, with an agressive Viper as a host, is no problem to handle

Over there, the bulleting board finally shows up again a kill contract. Has been a while! It is about an old acquaintance: Wraak. Let´s see if I find him this time! Somehow I broke a dam. While I supercruise through different systems in search of Wraak, I find "wanted" ships galore, and my interdictor gets plenty of work. The improved power coupling works wonders during fights, yielding much more endurance for weapon capacitors, speed and shield regeneration.

After some more while, I am entirely content with the exciting many dogfights I have had today and the game session has to end.

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