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X3: Pirates!

My adventures in X3 space continue.

Having completed the storyline missions, I was free to set my own goals in X3’s sandbox. I had an automated merchant fleet scouring the universe looking for profitable deals and it was adding a million or so credits to my account during every game session. Money, once so hard to come by, was no longer a pressing concern.

I decided to try my spanking new M3 class Argon Nova heavy fighter in combat and so went looking for trouble, fully confident that the Nova could handle it when I found it.

Compared to the starter craft, the M4 class Argon Buster, the Nova is slower, tougher and deadlier. Equipped with triple 25MJ shields and six Alpha High Energy Plasma Throwers, the Nova makes a formidable opponent in a dogfight. It’s capable of taking more than a few hits and when it hits back, the target will know it’s been hit. The Nova also has a turret capable of firing rearwards. I slapped on a fast-firing Beta Particle Accelerator Cannon on the turret and set the turret AI to missile defense.

I took on several Pirate patrols with Pirate Novas and Falcons with little trouble and was soon capturing M3 craft left, right and centre.

Things didn’t always go my way during the course of my Pirate-hunting, of course, and it soon became evident to me there was only so much aggro an Argon Nova could handle.

Case in point:
X3: Reunion: Pirates!
Let me describe the above sector map screenshot. The white object was me in my Argon Nova. The red objects were hostile Pirate craft, which were also listed on the right side of the screenshot. Eagle-eyed readers would note that there was only one of me and approximately a jillion Pirates around me.

I was a little concerned but I knew I could deal with the faster M5 and M4 ships which caught up to me thanks to my rearward-firing turret. (By this point, I had changed the turret AI to attack all enemies.)

The jillion or so M3-class Pirate Falcons and Novas, on the other hand, were a genuine threat. Fortunately, they were some distance away and wouldn’t be able to catch up to me or hurt me as long as I kept performing evasive flight manoeuvres. These manoeuvres involved pushing the mouse to the left, waiting two seconds then pushing the mouse to the right. Immelmann and Boelcke would be proud, I’m sure.

So there I was, mousing this way and that, moving smartly towards the South jump gate. I could have simply activated my jump drive and escaped to a safe sector but I figured I was relatively secure so I decided against wasting energy cells by jumping. So I spent the next few minutes getting ever closer towards the South gate. I was almost there when a Pirate patrol jumped out from said gate and promptly blew me to itty-bitty bits.

Word of the day: chagrined.

Lesson of the day: if you’ve got a jumpdrive and you’re jumped by pirates, jump or feel like a chump.

Posted in Games, X3.

6 Responses

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  1. MCJomar says

    Just a heads up, but the WASD keys run the strafe drive. AI doesn’t know what strafe drive means it seems, so that should solve a lot of combat problems no matter what ship you’re in (even that pesky buster).

    Just keep rolling round the different strafe directions (up, left, down, and right respectively) and you’ll avoid most if not all fire. Except Beam lasers from Kha’ak. Very sucky, that.

    Also, there is a list of freebie ships available if you want to hunt it down for free money/ships. Failing that just watch your scanners for ships without a racial tag on them, and go get ’em.

    As for that Duke’s Domain thing, I’m going to have to go investigate that myself as I’ve never seen it there.

    And thanks for solving my question on what size ships the Hyperion can dock in you other more recent posts.

  2. Gobi says

    Thanks for the recommendations, MCJomar. I haven’t touched X3 in a long while but I will eventually get back in as I’m keen on checking out capital ship combat. I was about 30 million credits shy of a Titan the last time I played.

  3. DevilDog[016] says

    Well, I’ve never had problems with my Nova Vanguard, apart from the relatively low speed of 125. Here’s a weapon config that I personally reccomend, I have tried several configs and this one came the best:
    1) Beta Impulse Ray Emitter
    2) Alpha High Energy Plasma Thrower
    3) Beta Particle Accelerator Cannon
    4) Alpha High Energy Plasma Thrower
    5) Alpha High Energy Plasma Thrower
    6) Beta Particle Accelerator Cannon
    7) Alpha High Energy Plasma Thrower
    8) Ion Disruptor
    Missiles — Hornet Missile

    Also at some times I replace the Alpha IRE with a Mass Driver.

    The Ion Disruptor drains the shields in 1 to 5 seconds on most ships from M5’s to TS’s, helped by the a-HEPT’s, then the a-HEPT’s and the b-PAC’s do a quick job of turning any enemy into a beautiful explosion followed by space debris.

    The config works pretty well on the M6-class cruiser ships too, I once saved, just to go berserk afterwards, and took down 3 Centaurs in Argon Prime, then I got pwned by a cloud of M4 and M5 fighters.

    Here’s some advice: M6 Centaur + Firestorm Torpedoes = MASSIVE PWNAGE. Hammerhead torpedoes, the same, although I never used them, I saw them at one of my friends. Those torpedoes are mass destruction, I once fired one at Argon One for fun, I was 1.8 km away and the blast cut Argon One’s shields by 1/4 and wiped out my shields and damaged my hull. Backed away, and 5 torpedoes later, Argon One and about 40 of its 60 fighters got obliterated. Here’s a comparison from wikipedia:
    Mosquito Missile — 200 dmg.
    Hornet Missile –(my main missile)– 49000 dmg.
    Firestorm Torpedo — 1000000 dmg. LOL.
    Just don’t forget to fire it when NOONE is shooting you and RUN AWAY! It’s pretty slow so it might catch a drifting laserbeam or something, and having it blow in your face will ruin your day. Heh, I’ll be taking those things with me from now on…

  4. DevilDog[016] says

    Oh forgot something: In fights where you have a lot of neutral ships flying around, I strongly suggest you carry a spare b-IRE or b-PAC to replace the Ion Disruptor… the ID has a VERY bad habit of chain-linking the beam to other ships apart from your target (that’s if there are 2 or more ships close to each other like from 100 to ~1km, the ID will chain-link to them, no matter if they’re friendly or neutral or enemy). And most people don’t like to have their shields drained in the middle of a big fight by a stray ID beam. And they will probably call in a nebula of small ships to kill you, and the big guys will join in too, and it gets bad.

  5. DevilDog[016] says

    Ye, update 2: Don’t use the Firestorm’s or Hammerheads in a battle with lots of friendly units… Had a HUGE Kha’ak invasion in Red Light last night, 2 Kh’aak Carriers, 2 Destroyers and over 100 Scouts and Fighters. Messy. I used a Firestorm Torpedo and I vaporised some Argon ships along with half of the tightly-packed swarming Scouts and Fighters. Then I noticed my bases in Argon Prime were attacked by argon ships, and hailing them and apoligizing didn’t work. So yeah… use those big guns only if noone other than enemies are in range.

  6. Dylan says

    Man… good memories. I still remember the day I beat the arena mod on XTREME using nothing but a Buster Sentinel fitted with Mass Drivers.

    Good times.

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