Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Cody »

dybal wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:25 pm
... is there a better way to deal with them?
You could lead them out of the aegis, then set about them. Remember, even though you are beyond the cops' sensors, they may not be (I think that still holds true). If the odds are stacked against you, make a wide loop and lead them back towards the aegis. A stray shot may stir the local Vipers. You could let them follow you through your wormhole, then take them down (if no cops are hanging around), though there may be more assassins waiting at the WP. Or let them follow, but switch your hyperspace destination to the shortest available, then misjump yourself into interstellar space. The results are unpredictable, but often entertaining. Then there's ramming, which I believe is still not illegal. I've known them to jostle me while I'm queuing to dock - jostle them back, but a little harder.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by dybal »

Cody wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:53 pm
dybal wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:25 pm
... is there a better way to deal with them?
You could lead them out of the aegis, then set about them. Remember, even though you are beyond the cops' sensors, they may not be (I think that still holds true). If the odds are stacked against you, make a wide loop and lead them back towards the aegis. A stray shot may stir the local Vipers. You could let them follow you through your wormhole, then take them down (if no cops are hanging around), though there may be more assassins waiting at the WP. Or let them follow, but switch your hyperspace destination to the shortest available, then misjump yourself into interstellar space. The results are unpredictable, but often entertaining. Then there's ramming, which I believe is still not illegal. I've known them to jostle me while I'm queuing to dock - jostle them back, but a little harder.
I will try some of those next time I have some leeway in my deadlines :D

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by dybal »

Rekrul wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:58 am
dybal wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:51 pm
I still carry around an energy bomb and keep it primed when I jump into witchspace... got rid of a few large pirate gangs that way... even made a profit on their bounties once! :P
The thing I hate about energy bombs is that innocent ships often appear on the radar right as you press the button, then you get blamed for destroying them. At least you did in Elite if I remember correctly.
I read the scanner range in Oolite is larger than in Elite... the Energy Bomb range is less than the scanner range - I've had innocent bystanders unaffected at the 20km range... anyway, I usually head away of any bystanders until they are near the limit of the scanner range before letting go... with assassins, since they are clean and there are no bounties, is a financial loss, but very satisfying :P , but with pirate gangs sometimes you can turn a profit... yesterday I got around 2k from a particularly large pirate gang (kill count went up by 19) :D

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Cody »

dybal wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:14 pm
... next time I have some leeway in my deadlines
<grins> Deadlines can be tight. I once joined the docking queue at a drop-off station with only one minute fifty on the clock!

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

dybal wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:17 pm
I don't thing it's viable to follow any of the contract-based careers and avoid getting into dangerous systems - it takes too long to go around them (and it might not even be possible...)... you would have a hard time figuring out which deadlines you can meet, and which you can't, if the fatest-route ANA feature isn't enough (and it isn't if you need to avoid the more dangerous systems...).
As I recall, the first passenger wanted to get there in 556 hours and the fastest time was like 402 hours. At a couple points, there were systems close to the anarchy systems, but that were just a little out of the way. The lines didn't look significantly longer than the ones chosen by the ANA, so they would have added some time to the trip, but I don't think it would have been 154 extra hours total. However, that's one of the things I was looking forward to seeing. Sure, I could have made the trip without the passengers just to see, but I'm not that motivated.

I did look for a map online that showed the distances between each system, but couldn't find one. Maybe that could be a feature of the ANA; You press a key and it labels all the distances between systems. I'd say to add it to the information displayed when you press "I", but that might get a little crowded and the numbers would distract from the tech level numbers.
dybal wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:17 pm
That said, based on my experience bounty-hunting and parcel-running, I don't think Anarchies (at least the low TL ones... it looked like everybody was out there pirating in the neighboring systems and there was nobody home :P ), Multi-Gov and Dictatorships are so much more dangerous than Democracies with bad neighbours (at least with the OXPs I have installed).
Last night, I wanted to increase my rating, so I jumped to a nearby anarchy system (with enough fuel left over that I could jump out) and I didn't get attacked once. I even made a trip to the star to refuel. It was busy though. I kept running into packs of ships, but when I scanned them, they were always clean. I traveled to the station, docked, then traveled back out to the Witchspace buoy. Nothing! I got attacked in a supposedly safer system though. A whole group jumped me and I wasn't even carrying anything.

Unfortunately, I still have trouble dealing with relatively large groups of enemies. I target one ship and while I'm trying to concentrate on it, the rest of the pack sits right on my ass and drains my rear shield. Then I have to go into a spiral and avoid their fire while it recharges. I find this is the only viable strategy because no matter which way I turn, there is ALWAYS at least one ship behind me who will start firing the millisecond I stop spiraling. Once the rear shield is fully recharged, I start chasing the targeted enemy again and ten seconds later, I have no rear shield and have to spiral again. At one point, even the group of enemies got bored with this and all but one of them jumped away. A Sidewinder was left behind and I killed him.

I also managed to chase down a fugitive Fer-de-Lance. I was never in any danger, but I used up almost all my fuel chasing him. I'm still playing with an old joystick, so I don't have all the control at my fingertips. I was working the joystick with one hand and the keyboard with the other. I'm actually surprised I managed to do it because he kept zooming away from me. Then I screwed up and accidentally rammed his escape pod, destroying it rather than scooping it. I haven't had much practice scooping escape pods.

Am I correct in assuming that if you scoop the escape pod of a fugitive, you always get a reward? I did it once and it showed as slaves, but I got a reward once I got to the station. I'd like to keep my record clean, but there's no indication when you scoop an escape pod that it will be treated as anything other than slaves. Also, if you scoop the escape pod from a clean ship that was destroyed by pirates, will it be treated as slaves at the station, or will it take into consideration that you weren't the one who destroyed their ship and that you're just rescuing them? Or are you supposed to not touch escape pods from clean ships?

I also had something strange happen; I attacked a lone fugitive and he quickly jumped. I followed him through the wormhole and I was only a few seconds behind him, but when I emerged, he was nowhere to be found. I suppose he could have used injectors, but I didn't think he'd be able to get clear of my radar that quickly.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Cody »

I did look for a map online that showed the distances between each system, but couldn't find one.
As suggested above by dybal, the Oolite Interactive Map is your friend.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

Cody wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:47 pm
I did look for a map online that showed the distances between each system, but couldn't find one.
As suggested above by dybal, the Oolite Interactive Map is your friend.
After playing with it for a while and reading the entire help text, I can't see that it does anything more than the ANA in the game. No manual route planning, no showing of the distances between systems. In fact, by not being able to display the government and tech level of each system across the map at once, it does less than the ANA. It's also significantly slower. It would great if the ANA didn't exist, but since it does, I can't see any reason I'd use that site over the ANA.

I mean sure, you can view all eight galaxies and even enter a different seed, but I'm more concerned with planning routes in the galaxy that I'm in.

Please let me know if I'm missing something.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Nite Owl »

If you are looking for Galaxy Maps try HERE. Written in HTML5 so it has to be saved as you would any web page with proper folder hierarchy etc., you can add your own notes on specific planets and they will be saved, planet lists, sector lists, space lane lists, functions much like the in game maps but with even more options, and it is done up in living color. phkb's work if memory serves me correctly or perhaps he is just the current maintainer, in any case a nice bit of work that will allow you to easily find that ever elusive "safe" cluster of planets. Enjoy.
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by phkb »

Nite Owl wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:56 pm
If you are looking for Galaxy Maps try HERE.
There is still no route mapping as such, but as mentioned, you can mark planets, which gives you a basic form of route plotting at least.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by dybal »

Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
I did look for a map online that showed the distances between each system, but couldn't find one. Maybe that could be a feature of the ANA; You press a key and it labels all the distances between systems. I'd say to add it to the information displayed when you press "I", but that might get a little crowded and the numbers would distract from the tech level numbers.
If you try any of the contract based careers, use the Oolite Interactive Map: you can experiment route variations off-game-time (just pause the game)... it doesn't do what you are asking, but you can "anchor" the route start and move the route end around and see the times and distances.
Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
dybal wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:17 pm
That said, based on my experience bounty-hunting and parcel-running, I don't think Anarchies (at least the low TL ones... it looked like everybody was out there pirating in the neighboring systems and there was nobody home :P ), Multi-Gov and Dictatorships are so much more dangerous than Democracies with bad neighbours (at least with the OXPs I have installed).
Last night, I wanted to increase my rating, so I jumped to a nearby anarchy system (with enough fuel left over that I could jump out) and I didn't get attacked once. I even made a trip to the star to refuel. It was busy though. I kept running into packs of ships, but when I scanned them, they were always clean. I traveled to the station, docked, then traveled back out to the Witchspace buoy. Nothing! I got attacked in a supposedly safer system though. A whole group jumped me and I wasn't even carrying anything.

Unfortunately, I still have trouble dealing with relatively large groups of enemies. I target one ship and while I'm trying to concentrate on it, the rest of the pack sits right on my ass and drains my rear shield. Then I have to go into a spiral and avoid their fire while it recharges. I find this is the only viable strategy because no matter which way I turn, there is ALWAYS at least one ship behind me who will start firing the millisecond I stop spiraling. Once the rear shield is fully recharged, I start chasing the targeted enemy again and ten seconds later, I have no rear shield and have to spiral again. At one point, even the group of enemies got bored with this and all but one of them jumped away. A Sidewinder was left behind and I killed him.
I did that a lot (running cork-screwing till they gave up) when I got over my head...

If you got into contracts you usually can't afford to stop to fight, you just run (and snipe with the aft weapon). Try to get out of the main lanes, press 'j' and keep 'i' pressed while in Torus Drive so you don't slow down too much when masslocked, and go back into Torus as soon as you get green condition - with the DTT Planet Express (absurdly fast ship) when I do that the ships that decanted me from Torus go past my scanner range in around 3s - it would take several groups of pirates spaced 25km apart to force me to engage.

And until you feel confident, don't install DeepSpacePirates... but SpaceCrowds provides some variety and take out the boredom from long lane travels between planets, Kiota Stations, etc.

That said, when I was bounty-hunting the largest group I successfully fought was around 8 - got 6 of them, the other two run (mixed pirate gang group: python, fer-de-lance, mamba, sidewinder scout, krat, gecko, gnat). If the group was larger than that, I would use the energy bomb - I remember a group of ~16 flying in formation, a frontal V of offenders and a line of fugitives close behind, I got between the two groups and let the bomb go.

But I've had my head handed to me by single opponents too (by a D.T.T Wraith) , and I remember a group of 5 Cobra Mark III, all fugitives, that I could not even approach to get on somebody's 6 - my shields, military enhancement and all, were gone in around 5s...
Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
I also managed to chase down a fugitive Fer-de-Lance. I was never in any danger, but I used up almost all my fuel chasing him. I'm still playing with an old joystick, so I don't have all the control at my fingertips. I was working the joystick with one hand and the keyboard with the other. I'm actually surprised I managed to do it because he kept zooming away from me. Then I screwed up and accidentally rammed his escape pod, destroying it rather than scooping it. I haven't had much practice scooping escape pods.
I don't use the joystick buttons that much in a dogfight, but I use the "throttle" lever a lot to quickly adjust my speed and stay inside the loop.
Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
Am I correct in assuming that if you scoop the escape pod of a fugitive, you always get a reward? I did it once and it showed as slaves, but I got a reward once I got to the station. I'd like to keep my record clean, but there's no indication when you scoop an escape pod that it will be treated as anything other than slaves. Also, if you scoop the escape pod from a clean ship that was destroyed by pirates, will it be treated as slaves at the station, or will it take into consideration that you weren't the one who destroyed their ship and that you're just rescuing them? Or are you supposed to not touch escape pods from clean ships?
I always got something... from my understanding the core game will "inspect" your cargo hold as you dock and pay bounties or insurance... sometimes quite substantial ones (I've had a few in the 500₢ range), but often times in the 50₢ range, with some jokes (on you!) now and then...

You can scoop scape pods whatever the means they came to be... I just don't know if you can get a trumble infection that way, and there is a OXP (EscapePodSlaveFix, I think) that guarantees all scape pods have insurance attached - from its existence I deduce there could be escape pods with only slaves inside and no bounty or insurance.

Don't load the cargo bay into HyperCargo if you scooped escape pods, they will be handled as slave cargo when you dock and you will loose the bounties. If you install EscapePodTweaks OXP the escape pods will be handled only in GalCop stations, and not in Rock Hermits, Linners, DSD, etc. And the next version of HyperCargo will know those "slave pods" are escape pods and will not load them into the bubble if you have EscapePodTweaks installed (I just need to test it a bit more).
Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
I also had something strange happen; I attacked a lone fugitive and he quickly jumped. I followed him through the wormhole and I was only a few seconds behind him, but when I emerged, he was nowhere to be found. I suppose he could have used injectors, but I didn't think he'd be able to get clear of my radar that quickly.
That's the handwavium... I don't know what the code actually does... it's like the handwavium about derelicts being salvaged or destroyed while you were away, but the OXPs that spawned the ships removed them as you got too far away to see them.
Last edited by dybal on Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

dybal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:26 am
I did that a lot (running cork-screwing till they gave up) when I got over my head...
I'm saving up for Military Shielding. It costs 47,xxx and I'm currently at 30,xxx. Of course I'll need a little extra to make sure I don't leave myself broke, but that's my next purchase. I need all the help I can get.
dybal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:26 am
If you got into contracts you usually can't afford to stop to fight, you just run (and snipe with the aft weapon).
If I have cargo (haven't taken any contracts yet) I usually try to avoid fights unless I come across a lone offender or fugitive. Once in a while I'll join a fight in progress if there are vipers already attacking the offenders. Although that's often a lost cause as the other ships destroy the offenders before I can. Since I'm already "clean", I don't know if helping out the cops does anything for my reputation at this point.
dybal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:26 am
And until you feel confident, don't install DeepSpacePirates... but SpaceCrowds provides some variety and take out the boredom from long lane travels between planets, Kiota Stations, etc.
I still haven't installed any OXPs that change the balance of the game, just graphical enhancements. Although I ended up removing Cinematic Skies. It made distant ships too hard to see. Also, the increase in stars and nebulae combined with the wide field of view kind of made it look like I was flying around inside a giant ball with the stars and nebula painted on the inside. This happens with the default sky too, but it's less noticeable. I know it's because of the wide field of view, which produces sort of a fish-eye effect, but it really made it look to me like I was seeing the skies painted on the edges of the map.
dybal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:26 am
I always got something... from my understanding the core game will "inspect" your cargo hold as you dock and pay bounties or insurance... sometimes quite substantial ones (I've had a few in the 500₢ range), but often times in the 50₢ range, with some jokes (on you!) now and then...

You can scoop scape pods whatever the means they came to be... I just don't know if you can get a trumble infection that way, and there is a OXP (EscapePodSlaveFix, I think) that guarantees all scape pods have insurance attached - from its existence I deduce there could be escape pods with only slaves inside and no bounty or insurance.
I haven't tested this too much because I haven't seen too many escape pods, but my feeling is that if you grab one from an offender, it will just end up as slave, but if you get a fugitive one, there will be a reward. Not sure what happens with a clean pod. Early on, I came close to a pod that ejected from a fight and got warned off by the police.
dybal wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:26 am
That's the handwavium... I don't know what the code actually does... it's like the handwavium about derelicts being salvaged or destroyed while you were away, but the OXPs that spawned the ships removed them as you got too far away to see them.
And yet the time I've followed clean ships through wormholes, they seem to be there on the other side.

I always wondered if it was possible for other ships to follow you through your wormhole. I know it seems to dissipate pretty quickly behind you.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by dybal »

Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
Last night, I wanted to increase my rating, so I jumped to a nearby anarchy system (with enough fuel left over that I could jump out) and I didn't get attacked once. I even made a trip to the star to refuel. It was busy though. I kept running into packs of ships, but when I scanned them, they were always clean. I traveled to the station, docked, then traveled back out to the Witchspace buoy. Nothing! I got attacked in a supposedly safer system though. A whole group jumped me and I wasn't even carrying anything.

Unfortunately, I still have trouble dealing with relatively large groups of enemies. I target one ship and while I'm trying to concentrate on it, the rest of the pack sits right on my ass and drains my rear shield. Then I have to go into a spiral and avoid their fire while it recharges. I find this is the only viable strategy because no matter which way I turn, there is ALWAYS at least one ship behind me who will start firing the millisecond I stop spiralling. Once the rear shield is fully recharged, I start chasing the targeted enemy again and ten seconds later, I have no rear shield and have to spiral again. At one point, even the group of enemies got bored with this and all but one of them jumped away. A Sidewinder was left behind and I killed him.
Yesterday I completed my parcel contracts... since I had a few contracts in my route that I couldn't take because my combat rating is too low (Competent, 260 kills), I decided to go back into bounty-hunting in the current system [Leritean, G1, Poor Agro, Feudal, TL3], since apparently the reputation decays not by time but when you jump around, and I noticed some things...

When bounty hunting I usually choose a long lane, to another planet or a far away Kiota Station, and let SpaceCrowds and/or DeepSpacePirates provide the pirates... I do that because several times I tried the Main Station - WP lane in a low tech Anarch system I didn't find anything.

Yesterday I did both, and I noticed that the pirate gangs spawned by SpaceCrowds and/or DeepSpacePirates are significantly easier than the pirate gangs spawned by someone else (the core game?) in the Main Station - WP lane (I know the more difficult ones weren't spawned by SpaceCrowds adn/or DeepSpacePirates because the derelicts vanished after I got some distance from them during combat - I run tweaked SC and DSP to avoid that), they are much less aggressive and more passive... I could even snipe out a group of 5 without them charging me...

So my impression that the systems expected to be dangerous not being that so much is probably biased by the fact that I don't travel by the main lanes and meet primarily pirates spawned by those OXPs.

I was soundly trashed several times in the WP-MS lane... I had to tackle some groups in lonely lanes before getting back into shape to tackle the non-SC/DSP pirates... the final group in the WP-MS lane had so many that I used the Energy Bomb... 5 of them were far enough to survive (the energy bomb... 5 I could handle...), but my credit increased by 4700₢ from the bounties on the ones destroyed by the bomb :shock:

I went from 263 to 287 kills, salvaged 10 ships and got around 124k₢ from bounties, escape pods and salvage (ships and parcels to the Main Station)... there were 3 lonely fugitives and two pirate gangs - 2 derelicts exploded when towbar connected...

But some scooped escape pods were loaded into HyperCargo, but not all of them, there is some debugging to do...

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by dybal »

Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
Last night, I wanted to increase my rating, so I jumped to a nearby anarchy system (with enough fuel left over that I could jump out) and I didn't get attacked once. I even made a trip to the star to refuel. It was busy though. I kept running into packs of ships, but when I scanned them, they were always clean. I traveled to the station, docked, then traveled back out to the Witchspace buoy. Nothing! I got attacked in a supposedly safer system though. A whole group jumped me and I wasn't even carrying anything.
Happened to me too... it looks like every pirate is out there looking for prey in the neighbour systems and there is nobody home :P

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

I'm only at 46 kills. Every time I take on a pack of ships, even if it's only 3-4, it follows the same pattern; I use the injectors to get close and cut my speed to a little less than half to increase my turn speed. I target one ship and start following it. While I'm doing that, the other ships are chipping away at my rear shield. I get a good, sustained burst on the targeted ship, and it hits the injectors and retreats into the distance. While I'm trying to follow and get it into the crosshair, the other ships completely drain my rear shield. I go into a spiral and my shield SSSSLLLLLLOOOOOOOWWWWWWLLLLLYYYYYYY recharges. Finally it's full, I go back to concentrating on the one ship while the others chip away at my rear shield, I get in a sustained burst, the ship flees, I try to follow and my rear shields disappear, I go into a spiral... Repeat this about a dozen times.

It's really frustrating that the very instant you stop twisting, your rear shield starts dropping like a rock. No matter which way you turn, there's always at least one ship there ready to start firing.

I've noticed too that the NPC ships almost never miss. When a ship gets 7-8km away from you, it's a struggle to get them centered enough in the crosshair to hit them, even without a pack of ships camped out on your ass. But even at that distance, they can easily hit you with every single shot, even if they're using a rear laser. You try to hit something at a distance with the rear laser! It's damn near impossible with the front laser and normal controls. And if they're not at a distance, trying to switch to the rear laser and center a ship in the crosshairs is a recipe for disaster because it means you're not twisting and turning and if you're not twisting and turning, it mans your rear shield is being drained.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

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Rekrul wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:37 pm
Am I correct in assuming that if you scoop the escape pod of a fugitive, you always get a reward? I did it once and it showed as slaves, but I got a reward once I got to the station. I'd like to keep my record clean, but there's no indication when you scoop an escape pod that it will be treated as anything other than slaves. Also, if you scoop the escape pod from a clean ship that was destroyed by pirates, will it be treated as slaves at the station, or will it take into consideration that you weren't the one who destroyed their ship and that you're just rescuing them? Or are you supposed to not touch escape pods from clean ships?
Always scoop escape pods, is my advice: there's often a decent reward (usually more for Clean pilots, who have insurance; pirates are often whisked away by the cops and all you get is a quite measly bounty payment). The worst thing that can happen is that the occupant doesn't have any insurance or bounty, and you end up with a slave. There is no law against selling slaves (or narcotics, or firearms); you can bring as much of them as you like into a station and nobody will bat an eyelid. What's very definitely illegal is *leaving* a station with slaves, narcotics, or firearms on board.

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