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Oolite Bulletins • Tales from the spacelanes... - Page 49
Page 49 of 90

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:13 pm
by Diziet Sma

:cry: :cry: :cry:

My sincerest condolences, mate..

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:45 pm
by Specialist290
Ouch! Hopefully he's happy in the Great Catnip Patch Beyond the Stars.

(Also, nice touch with the Grateful Dead "bumper sticker." That's a custom dashboard, I assume?)

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:51 pm
by Cody
Specialist290 wrote:That's a custom dashboard, I assume?
It's a slightly customised version of Fighter Hud Mk I - my skills with GIMP are minimal in the extreme! I have that bumper sticker on the back of my Cobra III too.

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:16 pm
by Mad Dan Eccles
The Grant Manoeuvre

Arriving in yet another anonymous multi-government system, with a safe full of gems and a thousand kg of platinum ingots, I fired up the torus drive and patched in a course towards the main station. Witchdrive fuel was low, but not critical, and the few bands of pirates hanging off the main space line proved no match for the Shifted Paradigm's four military lasers. Her military shields barely got warm, and her eight energy banks amply supplied the demands of the lasers and the ECM.

Leaning back in my chair with my feet up on the console, I noted the glimmer of asteroids against the bulk of the planet surface, still thousands of clicks away. There's always the chance of finding a Hermit, even in low orbit asteroid fields, and I leaned forward to make a slight course adjustment. I like those guys: they're always good for some tall tales, and I always carry a few TC of liquor on the off-chance we run into them. Everyone knows about the precious metals and gemstones they sell at bargain prices, of course; apart from the liquor that's the only thing I bother trading in, these days. Since I scraped enough credits together to trade in the Null Hypothesis, I deal strictly in contracts and what I can scoop from the remains of pirates foolish enough to engage the Shifted Paradigm.

I kept an eye on the planet. Somewhere, somewhere... And yes! The tell-tale glittering of red beams between the asteroids. And another, and another-and no flash of a vapourizing asteroid.


They hide in low orbit asteroid fields, waiting to ambush traders avoiding the main space lane; traders who within sight of the aegis are probably not paying as close attention as they should. And in this game, not paying 100% attention 100% of the time is quite possibly the last mistake a lone trader will ever make.

Another course correction then, as there's only one thing I like more than blasting into a pirate pack that is attacking a trader-and she's three galaxies and seventeen years away.

Masslock. Two, three, then five yellow blips on the scanner. I lock them up one by one, and arm my hardened missiles. The first priority is the Asp; then the two Sidewinders, the Mk I Cobbie, and finally the Python, fat and heavy with loot. The Cobbie sees me first, though, and seems to be in a hurry to meet his doom. Oh well, plans are made to be broken.

I cut my speed, cycle the target indicator, and flip over. At 10 km out I open fire with the rear laser, and the Cobbie disappears in seconds. The Asp and the Sidewinders have woken up and are coming too. The Cobbie fired a missile before dying, but the ECM makes short work of it. The trader is now within scanner range, and thanks me as the Python leaves him alone in favour of coming to the aid of his associates.

One of the Sidewinders falls to my rear laser before it overheats; so I turn and give the second something to think about. He turns away, and I concentrate on the Asp. I get in some direct hits before he too decides to back off a bit. I hit the injectors to get within the range of the second Sidewinder and finish him off, noting to my satisfaction that the trader has decided that the station looks to be a more pleasant place to spend the afternoon and is making good his escape. The Python is now close enough and I hit him several times before the Asp lines up and, let's be honest, makes me think about putting some distance between us before I manage to bring my front laser to bear. Still, 50% front shields is still enough. I open fire; the Asp turns and injects away, but not before releasing a missile at me. ECM.


Hardened missile incoming. I start weaving around the asteroids, watching the yellow blip of the Asp get frustratingly further away until it is out of scanner range. The hardie eventually explodes in response to my fourth ECM blast. The upside of this little diversion is that my front laser has cooled down, and I turn my attention to finishing off the Python who, fair play to the sucker, still thinks he can win this fight.

He doesn't, of course: maybe he overestimated the damage the Asp did; maybe he thought the hardie hit me. I didn't think to ask when I scooped his escape pod; if you're interested you could ask GalCop. If you can be bothered going through my logs and finding the name of the system, that is.

After picking up the Python's cargo and circling a bit to see if there's anything I've missed I find that I'm within the station aegis. But there, on the edge of my scanner range, is a little yellow blip. A little, motionless yellow blip. I do declare, it's my old friend the Asp.

I alter course, and get in a missile lock just in case. I have to admit to a little nervousness; I'm quite proud of my legal bill of health, and I really don't want to give the cops any reason to take a closer look at my passenger manifest than my passengers would like (given the number of apparent assassination attempts I've had to fight off, I do wonder about the various passengers I carry. They don't tend to volunteer any more than basic information, and I don't ask. That way, even if I do get pulled over I should be clear. But I'm not in the mood to risk it).

But then, at about 5 clicks from the Asp, the 'S' on the scanner disappears. I grin. The evil bastard is waiting, 5 km from the aegis, for the sub-100% trader. Who will be coming from the direction of the witchpoint course. I've seen this behaviour before, and it makes me livid. Well, not that livid: I just blast my way through and scoop the bounty. But this time, coming from the station I have-unwittingly-sneaked up behind the scrote.

Well, well, well.

I hit the injectors, using up the last gasp of fuel, and at 1.5 km opened fire.

He didn't even have time to arm a missile.

Yes, I was out of fuel, but I just turned around, put my feet back up on the dash, and activated the docking computers. I like this manoeuvre. I shall make it my own.

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:52 am
by Diziet Sma

Nice little tale..

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:01 am
by rayner
There I was, sitting in the station bar at Zaonce with less than 200 credits to my name and a Cobby Mark III with no gear besides a front-mounted laser pointer, when this wild-eyed red furry feline sidles up to me and hisses, "Psst. Megaweed."

Yeah, I know, shouldn't even have made eye contact. Hindsight's like that. She goes on. "Yeah. I'll make you a real good deal. Best you've ever had."

I must have looked doubtful, but still just enough of a sucker to go for it. And she was obviously desperate. "Look, the fuzz saw me dock. I gotta get this stuff off my ship right now. One credit a tonne, anything. Make yourself a fortune, I don't care."

Well, now the credit symbols were starting to flash in my eyes. I could clear a couple of grand in one trip, with a bit of luck. Make enough to expand my cargo hold, upgrade my lasers, get kitted out with ECM and witchfuel injectors... that'd get me set up for a real career, none of this hauling a few tins of food around and running from every wannabe gangster with a beam laser. I can't have been thinking straight, because I let her tap the order into my portable trading console and in a couple of minutes the loading droids have stuffed my ship to the gunwales with contraband.

Well, I hop on over to Isinor, and first thing I do is pull up the system price book. 2.4 Cr per tonne? I'd have been better off hauling the food. But I've just got enough fuel to try Bemaera instead. It's got to be worth a look. As soon as I drop out of witchspace and log into the trading system, an offer of 97.2 Cr per tonne pops up. Jackpot!

I zip out of the spacelanes and take the long way round to the station. Shouldn't be too many cops around a backwater world like this, but I'm not exactly a seasoned criminal and I don't feel like taking chances. The guard patrolling the station aegis gives me the hairy eyeball, but his scanner is off and I slip into the docking port with no hassle. The droids get busy unloading, and I order a cargo bay extension and a full hold of liquor to take back to Zaonce where I can get the injectors fitted. I treat myself to a few bottles of the local brew to celebrate.

I engage the witchdrive as soon as I clear the docking port. Lucky I was quick on the button - the new guy on patrol is a bit more awake and tries to hail me as the countdown starts. I leave him spluttering into his mike and dive through the wormhole.

I drop back into realspace and... exactly what I didn't want to see: two purple dots on the scanner, sitting right there at the witchpoint. Maybe I can just edge away all nonchalant and they won't bother me... nope, not a chance, I barely get two klicks before they flip on the blue lights and open fire. I'm not going to stand and fight - I'm outnumbered, and besides, if I blast a cop I'll have my face on "Wanted" posters all over the galaxy. I can't run either. I'm at full throttle but they're still gaining, and my witchfuel tank is full of nothing but fumes. Only one thing for it. I pull around hard and start weaving in the general direction of the planet. Maybe, just maybe, I can shake them off on the way somehow.

These GalCop goons are good shots. I'm corkscrewing towards the planet, roll indicators wedged at max, twitching and dodging like Yossarian on his tenth coffee of the day, and still the hits mount up. Aft shields at 50%... 20%... 10%... then the hollow boom of my newly-installed cargo bays depressurising, tonne after tonne of vintage Soteraian Evil Brandy flash-vaporising into the vacuum.

A ship glints in the darkness up ahead. For once I'm actually hoping I run into a pirate. Maybe then I can slip away while the cops have a bigger fish to catch. But the blip that pops up on my scanner is another purple. Reinforcements?! This just isn't fair; I'm barely staying alive as it is. I've already got my eye on a huge asteroid up ahead. If it's a Rock Hermit, I can give them the slip by ducking in there, or at least buy time to recharge my shields. Boom... boom... boom... as more canisters explode down in the cargo hold, but right now I haven't got time to worry about my profits. I centre my sights on the asteroid, the IFF locks on, and... it's just a regular rock. A long scream of frustration, and I'm pinwheeling through the darkness again, the Coriolis station my only remaining chance. Somehow I evade their fire long enough for my shields to charge up, but soon they're hammering me again even harder than before. I'm at full throttle but every inch between me and the station feels like a mile, and I don't know how much longer I can stand seeing the stars whirl dizzyingly around the cockpit.

At long last the station crawls onto the radar. I barrel in straight towards it, still dodging laser fire all the way, then pull a hairpin turn and scream straight into the docking bay at full speed. Soon I'm trying to blend into the crowds as repair droids weld what's left of my ship back together. But it's not that easy to evade the law, and when I get back I see my witchdrive has been clamped, pending payment of an 800-credit fine. Painful on the wallet, but it certainly beats sucking on vacuum. And I'll have no more trouble from the authorities for now; as it's a first offence, they've been lenient and cleared my record.

Well, I'm still in the game. I've offloaded what's left of my liquor and bought a few tonnes of computer gadgets that those Isinorean amphibians seem to love. iFrog, or something. A quick jump across to the neighbouring system, an uneventful trip from the witchpoint, line up with the station docking port nice and straight and slow... yep, that's it... one last-minute adjustment to straighten her up... and as I gently adjust the stick I kick the rudder by mistake and yaw straight into the side of the dock. Crunch, kaboom, and eat space, commander.

So that's how I'm sitting in this bar wearing a full-body plaster cast and sucking Leestian evil juice through a straw. Speaking of which, this glass is empt... hey, wait, where'd he go?

(TL;DR version: got chased from the witchpoint to the station by three cops, dodging lasers all the way, miraculously made it through alive, then on the very next cargo run hit the wrong key and ploughed straight into the side of the space station. *facepalm*)

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:06 am
by Diziet Sma
A well told and cautionary tale.. 8)

Life sucks sometimes, eh? :lol:

(unlike when docking, yaw is your best friend when it comes to dodging incoming fire during a chase)

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:33 pm
by Rogue7414
Ok, picture the scene, I'm currently in Galaxy 2, and I've just jumped into Onatbeza, a Corporate State system of tech level 14. Now I'm piloting a Cobra MkIII that's got military lasers fore and aft with mining lasers on port and starboard, shield boosters, extra energy unit, ecm, advanced space compass and a few other gizzmos and gadgets so I'm pretty much tricked out. Also I've got over 2000 kills to my name so I'm pretty dangerous and I can hold my own when half a dozen pirates decide they want to play 'let's see what cargo you've got'.

So as I said, I've jumped into Onatbeza, and I'm thinking this should be a fairly nice and quite run to the main station, in fact I think I'll just pop into the RRS post and top up my fuel, always good to have a full tank, just in case. So after paying the service station hiked up prices I set off on my merry way to the main station once more, suddenly my escape pod locator chirps up and lets me know that there's multiple escape capsules need rescuing.

Well me being the decent chap I am and also thinking of all the credits for the rescues I'm about to do head off on full burners to save the day. Once I'm clear of the RRS station I initiate my jump drive and I'm on scene in a few moments. So my radar is showing about twenty flashing green and white blips and a load of solid white ones as well plus a few purple ones, so it looks like the local Police have dealt with the attacker/s. So I go about scooping up the escape pods before any other SAR ship shows up and starts stealing my credits, I mean undermining my good dead. I scoop up one pod and my ships computer tells me that I've captured someone, so I start thinking this must be the guy that vaped the freighter in the first place and the Vipers in turn vaped him and he punched out and now irony's of irony's he's now being rescued along with everyone else!

It's about this time that I notice a yellow blip appear on my scope, and I dismiss it as probably as a SAR ship turning up on scene to help out. Moments later alarms are sounding and the yellow blip is now a red blip. I'm not worried though, like I said, my ship is pretty tough, so bring it on mister pirate I'll have your cargo in a minute. What's the saying, pride comes before a fall, how right they are.

So my mystery and uninvited guest turns out to be flying a Rattle Cutter, so my shields take a heavy hit, at this point I think time to get my game face on, and start blasting away at the bad guy and blowing his weapons to hell, yeah I'm kicking arse, go me. So intent on patting myself on the back I fail to see the other yellow blip that had also turned red and was closing in on my location. All of a sudden my screens filled with loads of laser fire, my shields are down and my ship's taking damage. I manage to role out of the firing line for a moment and lock onto the new bad guy. My computer locks onto to the new hostile, it's a Hydra, at this point my screen fills with laser fire.

Next moment, the message we all know and love is on my screen, press space Commander. I'm left watching all the escape capsules I've rounded up fly off towards Onatbeza once more, no rescue bonuses for me this time. Sheesh! As for the Police, well they'd bugged out and headed back to the station for coffee and doughnuts, glad we pay our taxes for their service! Oh well, maybe next time I'll keep a closer eye on the scanner and I.D. new contacts just to be safe instead of sorry!

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:41 pm
by Mad Dan Eccles
Can we say "Situational awareness"?

I think we can...

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:56 pm
by Commander McLane
Wow! Coming across a Rattle Cutter and a Hydra at the same timeā€¦ That's really tough luck.

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:32 pm
by CmdrLUke
While engaging a medium difficulty random hits assignment, I sucesfully got in some good hits on the mark, then I got to use my favorite trick when the mark escapes through a wormhole -- energy bombing (IMO it's just not *lite without the energy bomb) all the henchmen and then leisurely making my way through the wormhole -- with visions of 4K+ CR coming my way soon, I emerged and quickly swore a foul oath. The moron mark had chosen to flee to a Navy sector command system! Hoisted on his own pitard. Before I could orient on the red lollipop lost in a sea of purple at the witchpoint and finish him off, the dutiful Galactic Navy flyboys vaporized my mark! A "more worthy bounty hunter, " indeed! Hmph!

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:53 pm
by StarTrader
Just encountered this fella.. nice to know He's alive and well out there in the Ooniverse!!

There was a right furball going on around it, too..


Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:12 pm
by Diziet Sma
StarTrader wrote:Just encountered this fella.. nice to know He's alive and well out there in the Ooniverse!!
Like Elvis, he didn't die.. he just went home.. :wink: :lol:

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:32 pm
by Bugbear
A Fortunate Beginning?...well one out of three ain't bad

(Don't know why I gave this little story a title...seemed like a good idea at the time)

On a whim I decided to try my hand at an Oolite Iron Man challenge. There are other posts that outline the rules, mine are:

Saves allowed but no resurrecting pilot from a save (obviously).
Start at Lave with 100Cr and a standard Cobby III (so not the hard core Iron Man challenge).
Stay in the space lane (unless taking evasive maneouvers).

My objective is to make my way to the eastern edge of Gal 1.

So off I go.

Attempt 1: Traded down to an Adder (for a laugh), upgraded what I could at the Lave shipyard, which turned out to be a Beam Laser and an ECM. Jumped to Reorte (probably not the best choice). Lined up the planet and engaged torus drive. Saw some asteroids a little way off the space lane, curiosity got the better of me so I diverted to take a look and pick up some easy credits. Lo and behold, three ships were loitering. Turns out they were pirates - two Geckos and a Moray.

Suprisingly I was able to take out one of the Geckos (at close range, the beam laser is quite a tidy weapon) before my lone energy bar gave in and offered me up to the universe...

Attempt 2: Thinking that a little bit of extra hardware couldn't be a bad thing, I decided to stay with the Cobra III, but sold my missiles instead. There's nothing worthwhile for sale at the Lave market so my jump to Reorte beckoned. Arrived in system and engaged torus. The planet was slowly growing in size then, ping! Five yellow lollipops. I could just tell from the formation of the ships that this was no trading convoy. Wouldn't you know it, three markers turned red and two were obviously injecting towards me.

I tried my best but before long, that three had turned to five. A Cobra III with a pulse laser, no missiles, keyboard control and my piloting skills were no match, so once again I woke up as if from a bad dream at Lave, with a Cobra III and 100Cr in my pocket.

Attempt 3: Getting ever more cautious, I decided to keep my missiles this time, and figured that Reorte was a bit too unstable for a paper bag arsed Cobra III. Popped over to Zaonce instead.

Arrived in system, once again it was lonely at the witchpoint marker, lined up the planet and engaged torus. Pretty soon was masslocked by a Galcop vessel. Okay, this ain't so bad. At least he won't shoot me and I may even be able to use him as laser fodder if the need arises. No injectors so it was just a waiting game. And I waited...for 6 flashing green and red markers to appear. Thargoids! You've got to be kidding me!

Cowardice is the better part of valour in this situation, so I made a beeline for that Galcop. Rather him than me (and anyway, isn't that what he's getting paid for). But no! I was starting to take hits. One of the 'goids was on my tail. Armed only with standard missiles, there was no point in firing them off, they'd just get ECM'd. I probably could have outrun the alien but it would have been a long chase with him licking bars off my rear shield. The only thing for it was to turn and fight.

As luck(?) would have it, it was a warship after me. I started firing my pulse laser at it, some hitting, some missing. Man, I'm screwed, I thought. These bastards need a mil laser to take them out with efficiency. Time was what I needed, and time was wht I didn't have.

Then for some reason, my luck changed. Was that plasma I could see spitting from the enemy vessel? Hey I might have a chance after all. 6 hits later and it exploded and I was 100Cr richer!!! Nice. That Galcop ship must have softened him up for me. Even better was the fact that the tharglets had already been deployed and I had just destroyed the only mother vessel. Meaning that there were another 5 or 7 inactive tharglets floating around waiting for me to collect the 50Cr each bounty. Certainly the cops weren't interested in the cleanup effort.

And so it was that I arrived in station with about 450Cr in the bank. Not bad for a first jump. An auspicious beginning perhaps?

Still, there's a long way to go, and it's a nasty galaxy out there.

Re: Tales from the spacelanes...

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:53 pm
by CmdrLUke
snork wrote:
Kaks wrote:I must confess I like the 'must use eyes' feature... :)
Well, there is still this thing with the station :
a ) vanishing from eyesight at a certain distance-range, will reappear when coming closer, or getting farther away.
b ) the station being visible through the planet.

combined, those effects can lead to "press space", were it not for the alert-condition-sensitive HUD, that finally makes me aware I am trying to fly through the planet and better perform an instant u-turn. :|

But I do not know if this isn't because of my (very) old hardware/ drivers @ openGL 1.5.3 or so -level.
My stations disappear upon final approach when viewed in front of a planet. I suspect the station is rendered behind the planet for a little while. My main playing system is a few-years-old laptop with integrated graphics -- I have to play with shaders disabled (difference between 1 frame per minute [felt like] and 60-90fps), and there are all sorts of hidden surface removal artifacts, especially on seedy space bars and on the 4 orange diamond "space dock lights" fading in/out of the polygon behind them.