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)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A bit of grind and I have my Asp

Boltzman Gateway, LTT 7548. There are no news about the Yembo-project anymore. Maybe I should go there and check for mission rewards. By a mix of routine and a hunch, I update my notes on the commodity market here, and behold, the buy price for resonating separatros are very low. Running the numbers via Slopey´s Best Price Calculator, it spits out a new top selling occasion in Levi-Montalcini City, of all places! Together with bringing back gold from there, I have a new record profit round trip of about ~200k CR!

Since I feel a bit passive, a little grind along this newly discovered opportunity cannot hurt. And since the whole reason to do so is to have a maximum income, I might as well use every method available to further maximise the profit, i.e. increase my cargo hold capacity as much as possible. With my current hold of 100 ton in my Lakon Type 6 ship, only 20 tons more would mean +20% profit per run!

So, I do the daring approach and remove even my shield generator and cram in cargo racks. This ups my cargo hold capacity to a total maximum of 112 tons, which translates into +12% profit per trip.

Cruising to my target station, a hollow blip zips close by, an Anaconda at that. It identifies as CMDR Chrypher: "STOP! CONTROL!" Now, this is a bit weird, to be commanded like this while being still in supercruise. This guy is either drunk or very inexperienced. So, where did he get his Anaconda from, then? I conclude: Probably a younger child who grabbed the account of his dad for a while. So, I engage him in distracting friendly talk. I think he realizes this at some point and he tries to get close for an interdiction, but I am already well ahead and drop safely out at the station.

After three or four runs, a new possible way to maximise my cargo comes to me: A no-shield ASP can carry even 128 tons of cargo. And I have the cash by now to afford it. Before I can start musing whether I should ditch my faithful Lakon 6, I just do it. Brief sadness of goodbye, but then I am already excitetly working on the new Asp´s outfit. However, there is not much to ponder about, my cash is only enough to buy a class 5C frameshift drive, a 3A power coupling and cram cargo racks into every generic internal slot. So, now I can have +28% profit, compared to my setup at the start of this game session.

- long time since I had flown that ship during beta 2 ...

Unfortunately, once I loaded my new ship, I have to realize that the data from EDshipyard is not accurate; the 5C frameshift drive should have been sufficient in order to cross 15.7 ly to Yakabugai, but in reality its range is falling short of 0.6 ly. This makes me go back to a 2-jump route. I have no money left for a class 5B drive; 5 mio CR! I try to relieve mass by selling all guns and downgrading the fuel tank, but it is still not enough. Oh well, I guess that in comparision to my no-shield Lakon 6, 16 tons more per run will make up the time loss of an additional hyperjump.

- ... however, the new Asp does not have a sufficient jump range

Grinding a trade toute is almost like a meditation. At some point you do not remember anymore which station you are currently docking, you are running kind of on autopilot. Supercruise maneuvers become more and more refined as your subconscious analyses different actions and picks together the most efficient ones. Indeed, trying to consciously describe how I approach stations in supercruise is difficult. Here a try:

It saves a lot of time when you maintain the fastest possible approach to the station. The best indicator of your relative speed towards the station is the countdown, which shows the time until arrival, located unter the targeting reticule. I maintain a direct heading under maximum speed until the counter shows 0:05 ls. Then I slow down one notch (mouse wheel) all the while the countdown shows 0:04. This would be too fast for a direct approach so I start a looped approach, dipping a bit down until the station is in above the upper cockpit view and then I try to keep it gauged there. Like this, I can maintain a fast speed and control the risk of overshooting by contolling the length of the curved approach.

Once the planet, which is orbited by the station, is clearly visible in about the size of a small pearl, I change again to a direct approach. The countdown can accelerate to 0:03, sometimes even 0:02. With this, you would normally badly overhoot the station, however, I discovered that coming close to a planet causes a strong decelaration. Using this effect, I can pass very close to the planet and thus decelerate to the point, sometimes I even have to re-accelerate a bit when I got too close to the planet.

- this is my usual perspective while spiraling towards my target station


An indicator of the success of this method is of course the subjective feeling of being faster, plus the countless lights from the other ships headed also to the station, which I overtake on my way.

After almost 2 hours like this, I am content. My cash jumps up by at least 100,000 Credits each time I dock, on average I think every 8 minutes, and I am again comfortable with an Asp and 3 million Credits cash.

Now I would like one or two little fights and then call it a nice calm game session for tonight. Docking at my ship store in Serebrov Station, my Eagle need a little bit of outfitting since I removed the scanners. A upclass the frameshift drive from B to A, add again an interdictor... aaand realize that I probably have overburdened the powergrid with 114% of the load. So, out go the pulse lasers for some less grid intensive gimballed multicannons. The 111% grid burden can be compensated by setting priorities off for frameshift drive (6%), cargo hatch (3%) and interdictor (3%).

Like this, I start some cruising around, but there are only "clean" ships, amongst them a lot of CMDRs in Sidewinders. So I decide to make an excursion to Yembo, in order to get my reward from the community event; it is shown in the rightmenu under transactions that that over 8 million tonnes have been collected and I am going to receive 7500 Credits and a 5% discount on station services. In the meanwhile, a new news article has popped up which says that the station is being built and underway to its new location in HIP 101110. Which reminds me that I wanted to visit that system just once before the station has arrived.

 - a nice perspective on the Impereal Clipper


On my travels, I finally encounter a more valuable "wanted" ship, an Asp. It shows a bounty of about 20k Credits. My Eagle should be nimble enought to stay out of its firing arc, so I fearlessly interdict it. However, I am probably more lucky than skilled. The Asp´s piloting rank is rated "harmless", but it still achieves some twists and turns which bring me under its fire. Which is, thankfully, totally "harmless", consisting only of one multicannon. In the end, I am a bounty of 27k CR richer (a kill scan reveiled some higher worth because it was wanted by two parties from the same system).

After a pit stop for refulling in Huilliche (taking notes of the commodity prices of the outpost Lee Enterprise, you never know), I arrive in Yembo and dock at Naddoddur Terminal and turn in the community mission. Then I check whether the 5% discount on station services also includes shipyard prices. However, the Asp there seems to be still the same price, 6,6 million Credits. What a pity, I could have saved some 500.000 Credits if I sold my Asp and rebought and outfitted it here with a discount.

Time to call this session quits. I have about 2 million Credits cash and am finally, for already a second time (I still remember the grind pre-gamma to get my Asp then), have become the proud owner of the Asp.

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