Strategy information?

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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ohle
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Strategy information?

Post by ohle »

Hi.

I'm new to this game, and (unlike a lot of other newcomers) new to elite-type games
in general, since I seem to have missed the original fad entirely. Playing the game
for a few hours and browsing around what documentation I can find, some crucial
information still seems to be hiding from me. Is there a source of comprehensive tips
and descriptions of the strategical aspects of the game?

I find a lot of info about tactics, ship handling, technicalities about the stuff you can
outfit your ships with, etc, but information about how to actually go about making
money is rather sparse. I pick up the odd tip (like trading furs and computers between
poor agricultural and rich industrial planets), but I have a strong feeling that a lot of
the possibilities are still left out. What exactly is the role of the rich/poor
industrial/agricultural etc. classification with respect to prices? Do tech level and
government play a role? If I pick up a cheap load of good A, what kind of planet could I
expect to sell it on well?

Also, why should I explore such a vast galaxy if all the major planet types are
represented in a rather small portion thereof? When should I update to a larger ship,
when and why should I move galaxies, what carreer types are available, how
profitable are they and what do I need for them?

Finding answers to these kinds of (rather obvious) questions has been surprisingly
hard; in the wiki they are often hidden behind masses of fictional prose seemingly
irrelevant to gameplay (although nice to read, of course). Any pointers?

Thanks, and sorry for the long post,
Ohle

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Post by Cmdr. Maegil »

There has been some discussion on the matter, as it can be seen here and here.

However, it wouldn't hurt to make an 'HowTo' section on the wiki.
Feel free to start it... :wink:
You know those who, having been mugged and stabbed, fired, dog run over, house burned down, wife eloped with best friend, daughters becoming prostitutes and their countries invaded - still say that "all is well"?
I'm obviously not one of them.

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Gameplay alternatives

Post by Lestradae »

Hye & welcome!
information about how to actually go about making
money is rather sparse. ... I have a strong feeling that a lot of
the possibilities are still left out. What exactly is the role of the rich/poor
industrial/agricultural etc. classification with respect to prices? Do tech level and government play a role?
If you like, have a look at my OXP "Realistic Shipyards" by clicking on my signature line.

With this game alteration, you have access to more different beginner`s career paths (like courier missions for the UPS OXP, assassination missions for the Random Hits OXP or privateering missions for the Galactic Navy OXP), because it reworks the ship prices in a consistent way.

Consequently you can exchange your Cobra MkIII into a more basic ship at the very beginning and do something (buy a ship with more cargo space, more shields & weapons, a faster one, more equipment) that you couldn`t do at the game`s start without this option.

With this OXP, tech levels do also influence which ships you can buy. The more ship OXPs you also add in, the more ships will appear in the shipyards.

Cheers & have fun with Oolite :)

Lestradae

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Post by Disembodied »

Hi Ohle. Welcome to the bb, and to the game! First off, money-making tips: well, buy low and sell high, so much so obvious. Raw materials and general biological produce (food, textiles, ores, furs, etc.) come from Agricultural worlds; finished goods and technological stuff (Luxuries, Computers, Machinery etc) come from Industrial worlds.

The Rich/Poor overlay adjusts the buying and selling prices differently depending on whether the world in question is Agricultural or Industrial. Rich Industrial worlds provide the cheapest finished goods: they have the most efficient industrial plants and can undercut their competitors. Their industries and populations are also hungry (not to say greedy) and will pay top whack for raw materials. Poor Agricultural worlds have the lowest standards of living and produce the cheapest raw materials. They're also the most desperate for finished goods, and pay the highest prices for them. Therefore, the best trade run is between a Rich Industrial and a Poor Agricultural. The least promising is between a Poor Mostly Industrial and a Rich Mostly Agricultural (I think). Well, unless you start trying to ship Industrial goods to Industrial planets, obviously (although even here you might make a bit of money, if you're buying from a Rich Industrial and selling to a Poor Industrial).

The highest profit margins, on legitimate goods anyway, tend to be on Computers, Luxuries and Machinery on the Industrial side, and on Furs and Liquor & Wines on the Agricultural side. Running precious metals and gemstones is also worthwhile as a long-term investment. If you see them cheap anywhere (mid- to high teens per gram for gemstones, 36-38 Cr/kg for gold and anything under 70Cr/kg for platinum) buy up what you can afford and hang onto it until you find a high selling price. It doesn't take up any cargo space as you keep it in a safe in the cabin. Agricultural pplanets usually sell precious stones and metals slightly cheaper than Industrial ones do, but a big money payoff can happen pretty much anywhere.

Government type and Tech Level don't make any difference to trade prices -- at least, not in the unmodified game. Some of the OXPs, such as Dictatorships and Your Ad here, add extra trading possibilities based on other factors, e.g. population size (which is linked to wealth), government type and so on. Government type does make a difference as to how much trouble you might run into on your way in, though, with Anarchies the worst, moving up through Feudal, Multi-Government, Dictatorship, Communist, Confederacy and Democracy, with Corporate State being the most peaceful (or cop-infested, depending on your point of view).

Exploration of the galaxy... well, there's the search for the perfect milk run, there's the getting out town until the heat dies down -- and there's also the fulfilling shipping contracts (hit F8 twice to bring up the contracts screen). Most of these require a large cargo bay, but there are a few which will squeeze into a Cobra III. Successful contract fulfilment can lead on to much more profitable runs, so they're worth persevering with. And, of course, there are the OXP and native missions, which all add spice to the game.

Upgrading to a larger ship is a matter of taste, as much as anything else. Well, not as much as actually having the cash: that's the first thing! It depends on what you want to do. If you want to be a successful Bounty Hunter, then I don't recommend setting your heart on an Anaconda: you'll want something fast, and mean and combat-oriented. If you're thinking of a piratical career then it's worth considering something with a large hold for loot, as long as you can find something tough enough to get you the loot in the first place. Many pilots move up and down in ship size, using a big barge to build up the cash before buying something smaller, sharper and faster, and more expensive too.

Career options: well, without any OXPs, you can be a Trader, a Bounty Hunter, a Pirate, or any combination thereof. I don't recommend becoming a taxi driver, at least not until the scandalously low rates for pasenger transport are increased. For all of them you'll need weapons, defences, cargo capacity and skills. You can vary the quantities and qualities of these to taste, but skills are the most useful and are generally the same for all careers. There are OXPs, such as Random Hits, Galactic Navy or UPS, which add substantially to these career options.

When and why to move Galaxies: well, there are missions which only take place in some Galaxies. Most of these missions also require a certain number of kills on your account, so it's best if you check the wiki for more information to make sure you're not shooting off to a new Galaxy before you've exhausted the missions in the current one.

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Post by TGHC »

Hi Ohle, and welcome, as you have found out there is a very large following for the Elite space trading game, it was revolutionary in it's day, and many here still insist that it's still the best game ever written.

In the original box set it came with a short and very informative novella called the Dark Wheel, which sets the scene and gets you into the spirit of the game. I reccomend everybody who is new to the game to read it before playing.

You can read it online here.
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Post by Captain Hesperus »

Cmdr. Maegil wrote:There has been some discussion on the matter, as it can be seen here and here.

However, it wouldn't hurt to make an 'HowTo' section on the wiki.
Feel free to start it... :wink:
Maegil! You're slipping! Whatever happened to 'Stop nicking my catch-phrase!"?

Tsk. :roll:

Anyway. Welcome to the Friendliest Board This Side of Reidquat™, Ohle! As Disembodied says, Galaxy One does have many benefits for the young Jameson, but there are missions that take place over the width and breadth of the rest of the Ooniverse that can't be completed from Galaxy One. And besides, Galaxy One is still under threat from the Thargoids!

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Post by Dr. Nil »

With either the Kruger or the Dannebrog Ore Processor connected to your fuel scoops you can mine asteroids for a living (rocks don't hit back).

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Post by Disembodied »

Dr. Nil wrote:rocks don't hit back
...except some of the big ones, which can have miners -- "Rock Hermits" -- living in them, and who will object to any attempt at claim-jumping. These miners are pretty self-sufficient, but are always on the lookout for booze and will pay good prices for anything alcoholic. Machinery, too, can be sold to them at a premium, I think. And because you're buying direct from the source, you can get very cheap ores, radioactives, precious metals and gems. Their orbits tend to wander, though, so you can't guarantee meeting one, even if it was there the last time you were in that system.

If you want to try your hand at mining, you are strongly advised to get a mining laser (don't fit it on the front, though -- it's a lousy offensive weapon). It is possible to mine asteroids without one but most of the time you'll just end up vapourising your rock. As Dr Nil says, you'll need Fuel Scoops (vital for Pirates, too, and hugely desirable for anyone else) as well, and an Ore Processor if you want to get anything out of your rocks other than gravel.

Which reminds me: some dockable objects provided by OXPs offer reduced prices for ship upgrades, most notably the Dictatorship AstroFactories and the Communist SLAPUs and CZGFs. To navigate around all these with confidence you should think about getting an Advanced Space Compass, too.

And I realise I didn't mention another important piece of equipment earlier: the Witchdrive Fuel Injector. This is immensely handy, for avoiding trouble, making strategic withdrawals, or just for getting through a long series of mass-locks.

Tech Level comes in to play here: the higher the TL, the more nifty pieces of kit you'll find available to buy. A final word of advice here, though: every so often you'll need to service your ship (if you don't, things will start to break down, usually at exactly the wrong time). Always get your ship serviced at as high a tech level as you can -- ideally 13+. Low-tech scutters will just poke your high-tech gear with a gibbon-spanner, look confused, and charge you for a full service anyway.

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Post by ohle »

Thanks a lot for all the advice. Some of the tips I'd already picked up. What's missing, mainly, is a general feeling for the economics, but I guess that comes with time. BTW how rare, roughly, are rock hermites? I haven't found any yet.

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Post by Disembodied »

Oh, they comes and goes, you know... actually, I have no idea. You can make a dozen or more jumps and never see one, then hit two in the next system. That's pretty rare, though -- I think I've only ever seen that on a couple of occasions. Maybe, at a guess, the chance of meeting a hermit in the main shipping lane is one chance in ten? One in twenty? You can increase your chances if you buy a Rock Hermit Locator, to work in tandem with an Advanced Space Compass. Offhand I don't know how much this costs, so I couldn't say how long it would take to pay for itself.

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Post by Commander McLane »

Hi, ohle, and welcome to the boards and of course to this great game! :D

I don't really have much to add. Perhaps my usual recommendation that the net profits for the goods you sell tends to be higher, the less you have paid for obtaining the goods in the first place. In the ideal case, if you have paid nothing, it's all profit.

Just think about it for a while. And then think about what you can do with a "fuel scoop", after you have used a laser. I think you will get the idea. :wink: :twisted:

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Oh, and I almost forgot: You have stepped in here at the ideal time. Thank you very much for your question! :D Because it's exactly what we need in order to figure out what kind of questions the Rough Guide to the Ooniverse should deal with.

@ Disembodied: Great answers to ohle's questions! This seems to be exactly the information that should be contained in the rough guide, so please put it aside somewhere safe. Probably it doesn't need to be one article, but can be splitted into fictional encyclopedia entries, a short interview with a veteran trader and other stuff like that.
Last edited by Commander McLane on Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Cmdr. Maegil »

Pirates, tsk! :x
You know those who, having been mugged and stabbed, fired, dog run over, house burned down, wife eloped with best friend, daughters becoming prostitutes and their countries invaded - still say that "all is well"?
I'm obviously not one of them.

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Post by Commander McLane »

Cmdr. Maegil wrote:Pirates, tsk! :x
I have to reject your wording as politically not correct. Why are you so biased against an, errm..., free enterprise style of living? 8)

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Post by Captain Hesperus »

ohle wrote:Thanks a lot for all the advice. Some of the tips I'd already picked up. What's missing, mainly, is a general feeling for the economics, but I guess that comes with time. BTW how rare, roughly, are rock hermites? I haven't found any yet.
I don't know about everybody else, but since installing the pirate coves OXP, I see Rock Hermits quite regularly. And not just the ones that dump pirates on you, I mean....

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Post by TGHC »

As far as economics are concerned, you've hit the button on the furs/computers trading thing, but there are other trading options too, as Disembodied said there are other dockable objects you can check prices on ( they are also handy for fuel purchasing, which even at double price in some places is still ridiculously cheep), don't forget the casinos, either for luxury goods and alien items.

Precious items/metals are not subject to cargo space restrictions, so stock up when prices are low and sell when high.

And finally, if you have a large enough cargo hold and a fuel scoop, you can leave some space for collecting space flotsum which can be very profitable. Sneaking right up the exhaust pipe of a Boa and warming up his shields with your laser, will prompt him to jettison his cargo which will stream straight into your scoop
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