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4) Tricks of the Trade

4.1) Good trading

  • 4.1.1) Original Elite
  • 4.1.2) Frontier & FirstEnc

4.2) Good combat

  • 4.2.1) Original Elite
  • 4.2.2) Frontier & FirstEnc
  • 4.2.3) Archimedes Elite

4.1) Good Trading

4.1.1) Original Elite

Fly Furs and Liquor & Wines from a poor agricultural to a rich industrial and Computers and Machinery back. A convenient start (though not the best possible) is between Lave and Zaonce, but Lave is rich. The poorer the agricultural and richer the industrial, the better. And always be on the look out for dirt cheap narcotics at the industrial end. You can make a killing!

Any time you see gold at less than 39.0₢/kg, buy. Ditto for platinum at 72₢ and gems at 19.5₢. Sell when they go over. These volumeless goods can make a nice bit of profit on the side if you have the cash. Note that prices may be less favourable at other world combinations, but that poor agriculturals tend to export these mined precious goods and rich industrials have a great demand for them.

Remember also that the cheapest "buy" is to scoop after shooting up a pirate - do this when you're good enough. Go out and scoop a holdful then come back and sell it.

Ever tried mining traders? They jettison a cannister every time they're shot, and mining lasers do the least damage so you get the most loot. Bad for the reputation, though.

4.1.2) Frontier & FirstEnc

A large number of trade routes exist. However, a fairly immediate one from the default starting place on Gateway in FFE is this: Nerve Gas, Battle Weapons and Animal Meat from the Gateway system to Titican (go to the ground port, not the station - the guard on the ground can be bribed for 250cr if necessary) and Robots and Farm Machinery back. You should find a trustworthy black marketeer and stick with them. You will soon find you have to visit many starports to load up to maximum before doing your run!

Note that Gateway _does_ exist in FE2 - but it's called Oltiqu instead.

In the first two months in FirstEnc, just run medicine to Sohalia from anyhwere (preferably somewhere that exports it). This is _far_ more profitable than the Wiccan Ware race.

4.2) Good Combat

4.2.1) Original Elite

The trick is to get them while they're distant. Target a missile. When it locks, you're aiming dead on. Kill. Repeat. An analogue joystick works wonders too. Missiles from close range are rarely ECMed before they hit the target but beware because the blast frequently damages you too.

When fighting thargoids in witch space, selectively take out the thargoids (octagonal). When all are dead, the thargons (pentagonal) will fall inert. Scoop them up as cargo and sell them as alien items!

4.2.2) Frontier & FirstEnc

Combat has become a bit of a jousting match, with ships flashing past one another too fast for a real dogfight to take place. The best trick is to pause, aim a turret, fire, and keep firing while unpausing. So it's cheating. Anything else is pot luck and just as monotonous. However, if you do play fair there are tactics that will give you the edge. Fight at low speeds (1000km/h or so) relative to your reference body. Although this shouldn't make a difference, it does - the enemies find it easier to match veloc ities and then you have the edge as they are poor at rapid turning and direction changing, which are easy when velocities are well matched. Also, turn your stardreamer up to max briefly after each kill, before the next ship comes in range. They will skip in one at a time instead of all at once, and will act dazed for a few seconds before they "spot" you.

4.2.3) Archimedes Elite

Mastering Yaw Boosters is the key to success. With these in one hand and the mouse in the other, you have the most manouverable ship in space. Get in amongst the pirates then orient so your chosen target is flying more or less vertical relative to you. Keep him in the sights and fire! He must be in them when the laser blits reach the centre of the screen, _not necessarily at the moment of firing!_

If mobbed by a second bunch of pirates while halfway through the first lot, charge straight into the midst of the second. Either you let them have free shooting while they close with you, or you let the one or two ships remaining from the old pack have a go at you while you move over to the new. I know which I'd prefer.

I play it squeaky-clean. There's more than enough pirates to go around, so don't bother attacking innocent ships. They take too long because they run away. You're better off getting out of jump range and finding some more baddies.

Beware the sudden increase in reinforcement likelihood two Right On Commanders after deadly, and the increased tendency of Copperheads to use missiles.

Concerning thargoids, see (4.2.1). Also note that in ArcElite ramming a thargoid will destroy it but will not inactivate its associated thargons. Active thargons can, however, be scooped quite happpily.

I have had response to this section to the effect that yaw boosters keep your hand too far from the ECM. What can I say, but "If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space". Oh - and I can stab any key without looking, just like that (*snaps fingers*) so it's not really a problem for me. I guess that's personal preference then.

Further points:

Shots to an enemy's thrusters do no damage.

Before ships enter from the edge of radar, they will flicker on briefly somewhere near the centre. If you catch this extremely rapid flash of green it can act as a reliable early warning system.

It's fine by the police for you to shoot pirates in the station zone.

If you're a fugitive, vipers attack you on sight unless there're pirates in the area in which case they go for them first. If you're the cautious type, you can run for it now.

Fer de Lances behave like vipers in that they attack pirates or the fugitive player. Naturally, they respond if attacked themselves. Armed with front and rear pulse lasers, they are far less fearsome than the Cobra Mk3 bounty hunters with military lasers all round. Many's the time these guys have shown up and joined me in polishing off a pack or two.


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