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X3: Mercury rising

After hours upon hours of playing X3, I finally have my Mercury trade freighter.
X3: Reunion: Mercury S
I didn’t obtain the funds for it through pirate-hunting, however. I tried many, many times to capture a Pirate Nova and failed abjectly each and every time. I tried every possible tactic I could think of but in the end, the Nova’s shields and weaponry were simply too strong for my Argon Buster. I clearly needed to upgrade the Buster’s weapons and shields in order to go toe to toe with the Nova but I could do neither as I lacked the funds.

To get funds, I needed to do major trades.

To do major trades, I needed a Mercury.

To get a Mercury, I needed major funds.


I then wandered through various sectors looking for opportunities for making money. I did the occasional station BBS mission but I found I wasn’t qualified for most of the missions. Anyway, I eventually ended up in the Paranid sector of Duke’s Domain.

I spotted some really good trading opportunities in this sector and took advantage of them by making several short runs. Each run added about 3,000 credits to the Mercury Acquisition Fund. Now, 3,000 credits may not seem like big money to X-series veterans but hey, I was stuck trading in a Buster with 100 units of cargo space.

In the midst of making these dull but profitable trading runs, I witnessed another Cool X3 Moment. The Kha’ak, the dastardly race that threatened every faction in the game, decided to put in an appearance in Paranid space.
X3: Reunion: Kha'ak attack
A Kha’ak Cluster emerged from a jumpgate and quickly split apart into multiple Kha’ak Scouts. I thought this would be a good opportunity to curry favour with the Paranid and perhaps earn some extra credits through salvage so I decided to help out.

Bad move.

The individual Kha’ak Scouts are easy enough to handle — I had previously despatched two — but they’re very dangerous in a large pack. Short story shorter, I had to reload.

Take two. This time I decided to use some strategy. Instead of charging blindly forward, I waited for the local Paranid defence force to engage the Kha’ak first. I planned to snipe away while the Kha’ak were occupied with the Paranid ships. This may have been cowardly opportunism at its worst but it proved to be a much better plan as I managed to scored a kill.

There was no salvage to be found but there was one really cool thing about this situation. I got to watch a Paranid Zeus, an M1-class capital ship, in action against the Kha’ak.
X3: Reunion: Paranidzeus
The Zeus is about the size of goddamned planet and packs weapons worthy of the god that inspired its name. Seriously, when this sumbitch opens up with its weapons, it roars like thunder.

In space.


After several trading runs in Duke’s Domain, I managed to earn 100,000 credits so I hurried to the shipyard in Argon Prime to get the Mercury. I was short of 99,000 credits but I made up the difference by selling off the extra weaponry and shield I had added to the Buster. Ship equipment apparently doesn’t depreciate in value.

Now for the next phase of the game: star taipan.

Posted in Games, X3.

One Response

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  1. DevilDog[016] says

    Here’s what got me started with the trading: Get about 1000000 credits (it’s pretty hard, but a warm “thank you” to those appreciable pirate gentlemen who decided to abandon their ships and help me in my task) and buy yourself a Mercury Freighter(not the biggest one — you can upgrade later), then hire an Argon Mammoth(hiring is free, 1000 credits per sector jump and no cost per time hired), and buy yourself a Cattle Ranch M and place it in Argon Prime. Lower the price by 5-10 credits, send the Mercury to get a s**tload of Energy Cells for the farm (Ore Belt is a good choice – cheap), transfer them onboard the farm, and let the money flow… I had a bit more money, about 1500000 credits so I got a Mercury SuperFreighter, upgraded it and filled the factory up with Energy Cells, and by the end the Energy Cells ran out I already made almost 300000 credits. It didn’t pay fully, but the next rounds the profit started to show up — buying 140000 credits worth of Energy Cells and selling 250000 credits worth of Argnu beef is good profit. Just don’t set the Mercury to auto-buy energy cells, start buying them manually when the farm reaches about 1000 EC’s left.

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