Ultimate Trading Guide

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It is always good to start with the negative. You are here because you are an evil entity incapable of role-playing whatsoever that is set to destroy the server and everything within it. Wait, what?

It is a rather terrible opinion and one highly echoed by ignorant clods who either stick to low-end fighters or those who boast of setting up entire fleets of battleships by pirating in a starflier. Needless to say, for the rest of the normal population who work, go to school and have a life outside a game over half a decade old this is just not viable. Hence, we trade. Or mine, but this is the trading guide so we do not cover mining.

One thing before all others needs to be acknowledged. A trader wants to make the most money as possible in the least amount of time. Completely ludicrous? If you think so you have not gotten into character enough, or are role-playing poorly. That or your role is rather weird. Maximum credits, minimum time and minimum risk make a successful trader. This however, does not excuse you from role-playing in other ways.

Knowledge is power

Preparation is essential. I cannot stress this enough. The more knowledge you have the more likely you are to survive a pirate encounter.

Your ship

To be successful, you need to know your ship. Inside out. Specifically:

  • Firing arcs
  • Hull points
  • How much the armor that is equipped increases your hull points
  • The damage your ship can inflict per second
  • How fast and how much it turns
  • How fast and how much it strafes

Knowing your limitations allows you to counter the use of them by your enemies, giving you a time advantage. Every second counts, as it keeps you alive longer and gets you closer to help or safety.

The pirate's ship

Know thy enemy. Inside out. The more information you have on the ship pirating you, the better; so you can work out it's weaknesses and exploit them, giving you time to escape or, in an extremely unlikely scenario, destroy the pirate. The most important should be:

  • Firing arcs
  • Hull points
  • The damage their ship can inflict per second
  • How fast and how much it turns
  • How fast and how much it strafes

The route

Some people still do not know their route. By this, I mean you should know every object in every system your travel through, as well as the distance to each object in the system at any point in time.

You should also pre-plan alternative routes in case you know a pirate is in one of the systems in your normal planned route and you want to avoid them.

Also, picking a less populated route with no-one on it may decrease total profit statistically, but it significantly decreases pirate risk. This is very important and highly recommended.

You should also take care to note any embargoes or other notices that may affect your route.

The cargo

The chat list

Considered by some to be meta-gaming. To the successful trader it is irreplaceable.

Using the chat list, you should be able to work out what systems the pirates are in. Further experience tells you where they will be in that system. As said in the route section, fly around the pirate. A good trader seeks to avoid danger than try to blast their way through it.

Escorts

Highly controversial, and in this articles evaluates them as useless. A successful trader who has picked a good route and has pre-planned all scenarios will find escorts to be a waste of credits. However, this is the ultimate guide, so it will cover them.

The most successful way escorts are used are in scouting mode. The escort, preferably a low level VHF with a Freelancer ID or Mercenary ID, takes the tradelane before you or flies 20k in front of you in space, depending on how you, the trader is traveling. This allows them to warn you of a pirate beforehand so you can avoid them by exiting the tradelane or turning around in space. Avoiding the pirate is essential, I cannot stress this enough.

The encounter

It happens to the best of us. It happens to the best of us less.

There are two approaches to take, and depending on your affiliation, cargo, location and hostile, you will end up using both of them. They are both as valid as each other.

The stay approach

The run away approach

Feedback

Place any feedback on the talk page, please. This includes suggestions for what to add, as this would be most helpful. Thank you.