JoelNussbaum's blog

Normal member

X3AP » Advanced Capture Guide part 2 Fundamentals

Its been a while since I last blogged a capture guide

The first thing about these ships is that they dont give up ever. This means you have to take them by force. In order to do this several conditions need to be satisfied. First, you need at least one equipped ship that can board, second you need to work on the weapons, finally you need the marines.

Part 1 Essential equipment:
Your ship is the core of your capture efforts. The ship you are using should have several essential systems. First it should be well shielded or maneuverable enough to dodge enemy fire. You will take damage so they need to have shielding. It should have lethal and less lethal weapons on board. I also suggest you buy several "sacrificial systems" that have a chance blown up instead of your primary reload the game type systems. The list of those primary systems follows:

Cargo life support system - Every ship you take should have one of these on it. It gives your marines a place to live on board your ships. It gets destroyed bye bye marines.

Bioscanner - The ship you are in NEEDS this. This system allows you to see if there is any enemy marines on the ship you are trying to capture.

Freight scanner - The ship you are in needs this. This will allow you to see if the enemy ship has any nasty surprises awaiting your marines. These surprises I will elude to later in the guide.

Jumpdrive - NEEDED on all capture ships. This allows your ships to jump into different sectors AND allows your ships to jump to your position.

Energy Cells - Needed to run the Jumpdrives Safe bet to keep about 1000-2000 on board

Transporter Device - Overlooked by most guides but it has several useful uses. Equip every ship in your capture fleet with this bad.

Salvage Insurance - Allows you to save anywhere ex. right before you board a ship in case the odds are not in your favor.

Marines: These men and women are your only means of capturing a ship bigger than a M8. You find them at military outposts, rehabilitation stations and marine training barracks. If you have a bioscanner, you can see what they are good at before you buy them. You want to initially pick the marines that have the highest fighting skills because all other skills can be trained at the aforementioned facilities. I typically have a TP ship that is dedicated to training marines that just sits at a station. Its wise to train marines in all skills not just one. Even though it costs more lets say a boarding pod never makes it to the ship. gets blown up in route and like always, its the marines that have best engineering hacking or mechanical. Now you are down several marines and its questionable if you can even make the capture. This is the breakdown of the skills

Fighting - Gained by successfully boarding ships this skill makes your marines harder to kill once they are aboard a ship. It also makes the equipment like internal security lasers and enemy marines easier to overcome.

Engineering - This skill is trained and it affects how thick of a hull your marines can cut through. The bigger the ship the bigger hull. High enough marines can even defeat the dreaded Hull polarization device.

Mechanical - This is another trained skill. This skill is overlooked but it is an essential part of defeating the Security lasers and not destroying the ship while clearing the decks. Fighting is going to damage the hull irrespective of how high the mechanical skill is BUT when its higher they do a considerable amount LESS damage to the hull.

Hacking - This is the third trained skill. This skill plays out once the marines reach the central computer. This allows you to transfer the controls over to you. It also allows you to get through any advanced firewall software.

The capture Process happens in 3 parts Boarding Clearing and Capturing. I will explain them in detail in the following Section. Depending on the ship type you may only be able to send in a limited number of marines. A m6 you can only send 8 while a TM you can only send 5. All others you can send 20. I suggest you send the MAXIMUM number every time.

Boarding: Sounds easy, but it is the hardest part of the whole process. Once the shields are low enough your marines will get in the pods or attempt to fly to the ship and breech the hull. This phase depends primarily on the marines ability in the engineering skill. While they are trying you need to keep the shields down. If the shields reach above a certain power level your marines get baked alive and you fail the mission. If the fail here they will typically get away from the ship and attempt to return to the ship they were launched from. If successful then the next phase clearing starts.

Clearing: Once in the ship, abilities needed shift from engineering to Fighting and mechanical. The enemies will resist and the system will lock doors and hatches trying to prevent the advance. There are two main obstacles that can hinder progress. First is enemy marines that can be on the ship the second is Internal security lasers that can shred an entire boarding team. Mechanical is needed to bypass locks on doors and hatches instead of blowing them up and damaging the hull. The ship size depends on how many decks they have to clear M6/TM have 3 decks, m7 has 4 m1/st/m2 have 5. If the succeed in taking all 5 decks then the final process begins.

Capture: Once they reach the central computer the music changes and there is nothing that can stop them other than the computer. If they hack it the ship becomes yours. If they fail everything is for nothing. The hacking skill here solely plays the part in determining success or failure.

DANGERS: The x universe is wrought with dangers Capturing is a high risk high reward game. For an example a single marine that is well trained is going to run you about 1.75 million credits that's as much as a good m3. Not too bad right Okay you are boarding up to 20 marines from a ship that costs 75 million equipped. Then, the ship can be part of a fleet of ships that costs around 200 million. There are a number of things that can go wrong that's why we save frequently with salvage insurance and in different slots so we don't trap ourselves in a loss.

1) Ramming ships: Accidental collisions happen outside of capturing. In side capture it happens as well nothing much can be done bout it. Reload

2) Over damaging the ship: This happens a lot with missile captures and m7 captures. You launch too many missiles or your broadside weapons pulverize the ship. Reload and fix the problem. This is a problem you have to fix either by getting missile timing down or removing some of your heavier guns.

3) Marines not getting to the ship: launch 20 and only 5 arrive because a turret takes them out. There are two ways to defeat this. The first launch screening missiles. Second get in close or approach from a blind spot and launch. Also stay out of range of short range defenses like cluster flak arrays and phased shock wave generators.

4) Marines failing to penetrate the hull. There are a few reasons this happens. Low engineering skill, Presence of hull polarization and finally just bad luck. Use your guns to blow off the hull polarization device then try to board. If both these things fail then you need to send your marines back to school.

5) Marines being killed once they are in the ship. This primarily is because of the fact your marines have low fighting skills or low mechanical skills. Internal security lasers can ruin your day even with the best fighters. Blow up the lasers and your marines will have a much easier time clearing the ship.

6) Marines reaching core but failing to capture the ship. Hacking skill is too low your marines could also be running into the firewall software ship defense. Again blow it away and continue to board.

Posted by JoelNussbaum on Friday 10th August, 2012   ·   Comment 0 comments   ·  

X3AP » Advanced Capture Guide Part 1 Fighters

For people like me capturing ships is my primary source of income in the x universe. Now every guide I've run across is the same thing: missile boat torpedo flail flail flail. This works of course, but it has no details further than what I mentioned. In this guide I will not only discuss the capture of capitol ships but strategies on the capture of capitol ships and fighters. This guide will cover capturing fighters. Methods Strategies and dangers.

Fighter capture is much cheaper than capitol capture and some fighters when repaired can sell for as high as 1.6 million credits a pop. There are 2 strategies in the "liberation" of enemy fighters. There are things you want to avoid when capturing enemy fighters.

1 Dont use 1-hit kill weapons. If its going to drop the fighter in 1-shot you might want to consider canning the ppc for something a bit less death-happy.

2 Do not use an overpowering ship. Same concept as #1 if you are in a Terran Osaka, with its 300 batteries even if you put a low power cannon in its turrets, you are still firing several shots at it. Not to mention it handles like a school bus which makes for longer space suit trips to claim your new prize (or whats left of it)

3 Capture chances are low and random. Ive gone 22-23 ships before I got a bail out, then there are times where 2-3 pilots have bailed in a row. Be patient be vigilant the money will come.

The tools for the job: The 5 races have several weapons at their disposal while Terrans are quite limited. Stuck with their Electromagnetic Plasma Cannons which are respectable weapons but are a little overkill. Grouping is a must for EMPC.

IRE Impulse Ray Emitter (all except paranid): The cheapest of the preferred capture weapons low damage, rapid firing, rapid moving and average range of all the capture weapons.

PRG (Argon Weapon) Phased Repeater Gun: It has a longer range and fires very rapidly so faster ships are no problem winging at the range. One of these is more expensive than a battery of IRE.

MD Mass Driver: (Split Weapon) About the same price as the Phased repeater gun, but it has 2 unique qualities. First it uses ammunition instead of reactor energy. Second, it bypasses all shields. Its very rapid fire, and has less range then the IRE.

PBE Pulsed Beam Emitter: (Split Weapon) Similar range to the mass driver, and its homicidal on shields. Not as bad on the hull so its more useful for capping ships. My opinion its the best of the ship capture weapons. It is second most expensive of all the weps in this guide.

IPG Ion Pulse Generator: (Boron Weapon) Longest range, slowest moving, slowest firing, most expensive of all the capture guns. It does massive shield and system damage plus it slows down the engines of the enemy ships.

Fighter capture shopping list:
Ship: m6 or m3/m3+ that is well shielded and fully upgraded. Having a defensive turret or a few for missile defense is plus. (2 mil to 20 mil)
Weapons: Low damage rapid fire weapons IRE PRG PBE MD IPG (20k-4 mil)
Optional: High yield missiles non area of effect for thinning out the fighter wings.
Total 2.5 mil to 25 million

Targets: M4 M4+, M3 M3+, TS, M8

Strategy: Ok its very simple here find ship you wanna capture line up on it get in range and fire. Line up then lay down an unrelenting stream of fire onto the target until they bail or the ship is destroyed. If the weapon you selected is too destructive and its killing them too quick hot-key set 1-4 of them on key 2 so you aren't firing all 6-8 of them at a time.

Targets: There are places where hostile ships are that races wont miss or ruin your reputation. If you are a Terran then go nuts. But as a member of the 5 races and being a goodie two-shoes like me you gotta look for those pirate sectors. There is one in Maelstrom which is 2 sectors south of Grand Exchange. Several sectors of typically lightly guarded ships exist north of Cardinal's domain that have few heavy ships and several wings of pirate fighters. Xenon are harder to capture BUT are very prevalent in Grand Exchange. Also the mission defend (insert factory name here) are great at grabbing ships. (nothing better then them coming to you)

Dangers: In X3 danger and prosperity go hand and hand. The more dangers and the more things that can go wrong typically the more lucrative the capture typically is. There are several things that are unavoidable that will send you to the game menu like that random missile hit that 1-shots your ship. There are other things that you can take action against to up your chances of survival.

1 M8 ships: While being a great lucrative capture target that can net 5 million a pop they do have their downsides. Those cute lumbering tomahawks can blow up a capture ship in 1-2 hits. Plus for rear attacks, they typically have twin heavy guns. The strategy is simple avoid avoid fire from the tomahawks while pounding the ship itself. With your short range weaponry. Maybe you can claim one of these gems for your collection.

2 Pyro ships: Basically ships that mount that plasma burst generator. Most pirate M3 fighters have these as their armament. They always travel in groups. The best way to deal with them is to barrage them at range to thin their numbers, then go after their reduced numbers but keep an eye on your shields. Also using PRG and IPG are preferred over IRE and PBE because they can hit the pyro ships out of range of their PBG

3 Bigger ships: We all know that a M3 cant really stand up to a battleship (M2) unless they are clip glitching. This is especially true when your little M3/M6 is outfitted to capture ships and not kill them. If you see a juicy fighter or that one you are looking for to complete your collection but its escorting a ship that makes yours look like a clown car its best to avoid it.

Conclusion: Capturing fighters is a great way to expand wealth rapidly. The investment in fighter capture can be lower than you'd pay for a space station or can easily top the most expensive station. You don't necessarily get what you pay for either. Just because you spent 25 million on a m6 pimped out capture ship does not mean you are guaranteed success. Using what compliments your skill set is instrumental learning to thrive the X-Verse.

Posted by JoelNussbaum on Saturday 4th August, 2012   ·   Comment 2 comments   ·  

« Previous | Pages 1 | Next »