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)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Trading can be an experience

Blekinsop Landing, LHS 3479. Going to worlds with more population and being richer means better options for trading. Getting there requires a better frameshift drive (FSD). Getting a better FSD means having more money. Having more money means more trading. There we are. So back to Yakabugai and do some superconductor-cobalt trading.

Unfortunately, demand has considerably fallen in Levi-Montalcini, so that this route is nowhere near a profit of 1000 CR per unit. Trying Aristotle Gateway, I am lucky, 1237 CR per superconductor, for a total of 59k CR. Route back: 274 CR per cobalt. After a while I realize that tantalum is in high supply at Aristotle and check for profit at Serebrov. Strange, it has a sell price which indicates a high profit of 957 CR per unit, but there are no figures on supply or demand. Bug? I decide to test it with one unit. Aaand, yes, my sought good trade route has been all along in front of my nose! 54428 CR +42548 CR = 96977 CR for a round trip of total 2000 ls in a Cobra, 44 tons cargo capacity.

One thing I learn very well during those trips: How to brake in supercruise. Planets are gravity wells and slow your FSD down, so the best way so far for me is to approach the station in an arc and when close to the planet initiate a circle. The goal is to spend the most of your deceleration time in close vicinity to a gravity well. The longer your time close to the planet the stronger the deceleration effect. Like this, I manage to stick with my speed to the "upper blue range", which would make me dramatically overshoot on a direct approach, thereby arriving a bit quicker. I just need one large loop when closing in to the planet, and a smaller one closing in to the station.

This route offers fast profits and I wonder already if I should now aim for a fully outfitted Cobra or "level up" to a Type 6 instead and multiply my profits again by roughly 2,2? However, what comes after the Type 6?

My thoughts are rudely interrupted by one of those interdictions. They became a bit rarer since I improved my approach piloting. Usually, when they happen, I let them happen and profit from the additional bounty I get. But this time, I face an Imperial Clipper! One without shields, rated harmless. This is why I decide to take my chances and engage, which evolves into a very tough fight. Well, by hindsight, I probably would have had no chances hitting boost and trying to escape, anyways...

 - tough as nail, those Clippers

With a high engines power setting, rest on weapons, I manage well to outcircle it and land frequent hits. That thing has the thick skin of a rhinoceros. What feels like 100 hits, its hull has just lowered to about 80%. Then it happens, the Clipper launches an advanced maneuver, going into reverse speed and thereby getting a firing solution. Some powerful guns gently stroke my shields and they happily dissolve. Hitting boost dissolves the situation, but then I am too far away, which gives the Clipper a second chance to fire away. Pooof, suddenly my canopy gets sucked into the void, along with large part of my HUD. Breathing helmet shows, along with a warning of my oxygen supply being worth 5 minutes. Ohlala. And the Clipper still has over 50% hull! Somehow, I stay cool and continue my assault. A lot of switching of the power settings, so that my shields come back up faster, my weapon capacitors stay available and my maneuverability is optimal. At 40%, I note additional blips on my radar. Cavallery has arrived in the form of three security ships, thanks to "reporting crimes on me" in the rightmenu. Man, never have I been more happy to see those kill stealers on my scanner!!!

The Clipper decides it is enough and flees. With my two loaned pulse lasers, no chance to stop him, and I do not mind. The Clipper had a bounty of only 2100 CR in it. Plus, my oxigen is at 3:40.

Supercruising to the station is a bit trick; I cannot see it on my HUD, except on the upper outer part of it. The feeling is incredible. Sounds are muffled, the canopy not there, I am exposed to open space. With under one minute left on my oxygen timer, I finally set down on the landing pad. Who said trading was boring???

- a little bit, uhm, draughty?

This episode makes me think about upgrading my loaned pulse lasers into some class 2 weaponry. But when I see the prices, 300.000 CR upwards for one of them, I reconsider.

On my next trips; I still dare and let myself interdict when I happens. From the ensuing fights I learn mainly two things: First, do not put fixed weaponry on a Cobra´s class 1 weapon mounts; they are so far spaced apart that even another Cobra can lazily dive through between them. Second; apparently, when your wealth rises, also the quality of the enemies. No more Sidewinders or Eagles, here are Vipers and Cobras, and, as I had to learn, even the occasional Clipper.

After a while, I have passed the 1.000.000 CR mark. My trading rank as shown in the rightmenu is now "Dealer". Consequently´, I should now upgrade to a Type 6. Or do I have enough and finally go to having a full class "A" Eagle? How would it fly, compared to a Cobra or Viper? But then, I would not be able to trade anymore. It is true, the Cobra is the best ship if you want to be a Jack-of-all-Trade. Maybe the Asp later would fill this multi-purpose, too, like it did for me in the last beta.

After a long time being the only human player in this system, besides CMDR Wheeljakk on my friends list, I encounter one other CMDR Mancoon Crest in a hauler and also CMDR Calibban in an Eagle appears on suprecruise scanner. The former welcomes me in German; I guess my name is a pointer! However, I did not realize that you loose communication when dropping out of supercruise, so my first chat attempt was rudely interrupted by this. Even taking him on my friends list does not help; he appears, but with a loading wheel. Yes, I know this bug already. Ah, well, I have nothing but trading today on my list, so no need for team work, anyways.

I finally decide to go for the Type 6. Now I am very thankful for the notes from my very boring last session. I do not need to search long and can just look up that Giszenko Ring in Chamunda offers a Type 6. I jump over there and equip immediately two 32ton racks, for an overall capacity of 82 tons. I do not have enough cash left to fill it with superconductors, but any number above

Arriving with a load of 53 units at Aristotle Gateway, my docking requiest is denied. Oh noes! Is this an outpost which does not have landing pads for the bigger Type 6? I totally forgot about this! Thank god I am persistent and try it 5 or 6 times, and asI have almost given up, I finally get the blue light. Uff. It would have sucked to not be able to work this trade route with a Type 6. By they way, Frontier seems to have improved the graphics on this ship; when decelerating, I can see now the engine´s fire left and right from my cockpit. A little detail, maybe, but it makes piloting a space craft all the more immersive!

- finally, I get assigned a landing vector on Aristotle Gateway; it is those views which make even mindless hauling an experience

After a while, the bug in the comm system disappears and I can finally start a chat with CMDR Mancoon Crest. Turns out he is doing haul contracts. I give him the tip to try trading with a good route and point him towards the "tobacco route" in Eravate. I do not need that route anymore, so why not share it.

After four more trips, I have enough cash to finally upgrade the Type 6 to its fullest cargo capacity at Gitzenko Ring, Chamunda. First, I want a shieldless Type 6, as I think I am good enough at avoiding interdictions. But then I realize the difference is only 8 tons, and I still remember how difficult it was in beta2 to again find a shield generator of the proper classification. So 100 tons is now my Type 6´s capacity. My superconductor-tantalum trade route now brings me a profit of 123.700 CR + 96.700 CR = 193.400 CR. Five trips make a million. I can already see the next big thing, the Asp, affordable soon. 

Getting a bit sloppy, the last trip would have almost ended in a loss of  100 tons of tantalum... An interdiction goes wrong, I don´t see the escape vector and the Viper has my ass pulled out really quickly. I starts firing almost immediately and I try to run for it. However, the cooldown of my frame shift drive is too long. I am at 11% as I have to break and try to outmaneuver him. Slowing to blue speed, after those repeated boosts before, confuses the Viper pilot, but not before I have to swallow another salvo of multicannons. With some healthy portion of luck, my shields come back online right in this moment, and at 7% hull, I finally get out of his firing position. Lucky again, I manage to stay out of his gunsight until my frameshift drive finally kicks in. Looks like keeping that shield generator was the right call! Whew. This was a pointer. Time to get out of this game session!

 - a very close encounter; 7% hull left as the shields finally kick back in

The overall tremendous trading success tonight makes me see this corner of the galaxy in a more friendly moot. I am owner of a Lakon Type 6 Freighter and have 1.009.300 CR cash. Whereas until now I felt like being in a backwater place with no possibilities, the same quality makes it now my secret trade place. Feeling compensated for the last, boring, session, I am content as I now log out at the end of my game session.

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