X2: The Threat (How not to suck)

TyeDyeBoy

Spaceman
If any of you haven't checked out X2 yet but have the funds to do so, I recommend getting a peek. It's not quite the same as our beloved Privateer, but it's entertaining nonetheless. That said, the early game can be tricky, so as a service to all of you, I present:

Tye's Guide To Not Sucking So Bad Early in X2

There are a couple of simple things you'll need to know before you get started.

1) In your starter ship, you're not a threat to anything. I'm going to repeat that, because it bears repeating. You. Can't. Threaten. Shit. I don't mean that in the form of 'you're not a threat unless you're a good pilot or until you get some nice upgrades.' You can pay out the nose for VERY expensive midrange missiles, in which case you can destroy ships of the same size if you're lucky, but 1300 credits for a kill that nets you more or less nothing isn't the best trade off.

2) Not all hostiles are out to get you. Having red blips that weren't even remotely interested in me threw off my WC reflexes in the worst possible way. In some of the early 'safe' sectors you'll see pirates, who will be red and hostile, and they'll fly right past without batting an eye. SOME might go after you, but unless you make them mad, the ratio is around 1 in 500. So don't panic. It's quite possible to sell your shields and guns and be safe, if you have half a brain in there.

You start the game with a lowly scout ship, an Argon Discoverer. To explain these I'll use Priv equivalents. This would be a Talon, with all missiles removed, stripped down to a single laser cannon, with shields that wouldn't stop BBs thrown by your little sister. No, thats not exaggeratting. As soon as you're in the game there are storyline missions to run. Don't panic, just take them. The second or third, depending on your point of view, will loan you a new ship for a long run. It's more or less unarmed, but don't worry. Just don't. Yes, I know what just happened. Wait a minute. See? All better. Anyway.

Once you land, your employer will give you a second ship, her old trading vessel, an Argon Mercury. This would be like a Tarsus, but slower and with only one gun mount, that being in the single turret. Stop with the story missions right here, because anything past this will get frustrating in the dumbest way. Switch to the freighter and leave the Discoverer behind. DO NOT SELL IT. You'll see why in a bit.

The best way to make good money is with energy cells. They're created at Solar Power Plants for anywhere from 6 to 16 credits each, and can be sold at almost any other kind of station for 16-25 credits each. They're the cheapest good in the game, they're in the highest demand, and the profit margin can be sickeningly large. Once you've sold them somewhere, CHECK THE BULLETIN BOARD. With alarming frequency a station will have some mission along the lines of "We need cells, we'll pay 25 credits each for XXXX number of them (you're allowed to make multiple trips on this type of mission), and once we've got them all you'll get XXXX stupid large bonus." Let me spell that out. You keep doing what you're doing, they'll guarantee the highest possible price, and pay you a bonus on top of that, anywhere from 1000 credits to the hundreds of thousands. They do have time limits, but those are mind-numbingly large. A 'Stazura' is an hour and a half, for example, and most of these missions will give you several stazuras to do it. You're on your way to being rich.

When you hit 200,000 credits, you can afford your own station to start producing goods and making you money. Don't, under any circumstances, go for that yet. You'd be much better served by buying a second transport ship and using the command console to trade with two ships at once. The tutorials cover how to do that. Unless you have two transports, a station is a monster pain in the ass. Think about it for next time.

I'll leave this at that for the time being. That will cover most of the stupid mistakes that can be inadvertantly made in the early game. By the time you have two transports and can afford a station, you're in better shape (set them to auto-trade for it and cruise about in the Discoverer, hence saving it... best to upgrade that if you can afford it afterwards though).
 

TyeDyeBoy

Spaceman
Well my preferred forums are down at the moment, so I'll expand upon my previous lessons.

First I need to correct something. When I described the starting ship, I was describing what you get when you start the game with 'normal' difficulty. There are four: easy, normal, hard, and X-TREME or some such. I'm told that the ONLY difference between each is your starting gear. In the interest of science I started an easy game and was amazed to find that my Discoverer was not only armed with two mildly larger harmless laser pointers and triple the strength in shields, it was also maxed out on speed and cargo space expansions. You MIGHT be a threat for the weakest pirate ship, but only if you manage to stay behind him for a good five minutes. Everything else will continue to own you in the most unholy manner.

Lets get into what I can share in regards to combat. The first batch of guns are alpha/beta/gamma impulse emitters. Gamma is the strongest of these, and are relatively cheap. If you start the game on easy, these are what you have. If not, they're about 6000 each, and therefore not difficult to afford. They won't do you any real good, but if it makes you feel better then install them. There are other guns your ship can mount at this stage, but many of them cost more than a new ship (a single mass driver cannon, without ammo, could buy you one of the smaller stations). Better to get a small trading empire going before bothering with them.

There are two missiles you can mount: mosquitos and wasps. Mosquitos are extra cheap, about 100-200 credits each. The problem with them is that it does something to the effect of 1/10th the damage of the Wasp. I took out an AI Discoverer just screwing around with them: it took four of them to bring it to half shields, and I was very lucky that it was armed with Alpha emitters while I was bedecked with Gammas. Five minutes of pea-shooting later and she was gone. She dropped two Wasp missiles, which gave me my first taste of those.

Wasps are great little suckers in the early game, especially if some small craft drops them like cargo. You can suck them into your bay and load them up for combat immediately. Wasps can be bought for anywhere from 1000 (rarely) to 1800, often around the 1300 mark. They're fast, long distance (around 10k), and WILL destroy a fully decked out Discoverer in one blast. Yes, yours too. Luckily, most Discoverers drop them as cargo, so you can earn kill ranks doing this over and over. Generally not worth the time.

One Wasp will take out: an Argon Discoverer, a Pirate Mandalay (in some cases it takes them to around 15% hull, so pay attention in case you need to get in there with those guns... shields recharge FAST). Three Wasps will take out a Pirate Barasomething, I forget. Starts with a B, shaped like a cross. A Wasp will take out about 5% of most transports' shields, so don't waste your time.

Tips for missile use: DON'T SPAM THAT LAUNCH KEY. If you launch them too close to one another, they'll both blow before they're 100m away from you. If you're firing a spread, launch one every couple of seconds. They impact fast enough not to let their shields start recharging. Most appear to be able to hit from 10k away, but it's often wise to be in closer than that. Against a Mandalay I try for 5k, and by the time they hit I'm almost in firing range. Be careful if you're picking up missiles (or any cargo). When your bay is open to retrieve them, your shields are down. Best not to attempt a pickup in the midst of heated combat, no matter how badly you need them.

If you're lucky enough to cause a pilot to ditch the ship, then it belongs to you. It's usually best to remote console it to tell it to fly back to some station or other. You can go extra-vehicular to fly it back yourself, but that sucker is probably riddled with the holes you just put in it. Sometimes you have no choice. A Mandalay at around 10% hull left sells for a bit more than 2k. It's also somewhat nicer than a Discoverer: slower, but twice the potential cargo space. Plus it looks cool, being a big skull with engines. Sorta Darth Vadery.

If you get into severe trouble in combat, target some nearby friendlies and comm them: they will often be happy to render assistance, and a Nova or a Buster is WAY better armed than you, plus they carry missiles so you won't need to waste yours.
 

mcjomar

Spaceman
ok. heres the deal. i'm new to these forums, and i'm afraid i know squat about privateer. sorry folks.
however i do know a fair amount about the X-universe, and definitely X2 as thats the first game of the series i got hold of (i know own all of them from X-btf all the way up to and including X3).

so. lets get started shall we?


now, you start off in a discoverer (lovingly called the disco by those who like the ship). the only thing you can kill with this is other ships in the M5 class... if you're lucky. trust me... anything above this class, and you must be stupid/suicidal/ very lucky in combat. so dont bother, and do as the other guy said and stay the hell away from hostiles at this point.

ok, do the story missions. simple. now at mission two you'll be transporting some people about.

you'll be given a ship by elena kho (the person giving you missions at this time). do the mission, and before you go talk to elena on completeion... sell all that you can off their ship... yes thats right. all of it. shields and guns. the lot. you should get roughly 400k in profits... HOWEVER... the mercury trading ship you get given will be of lower quality if this happens... it will only have 5% hull, no shields... and will go at 30-50mps... which is pretty bad, you'll agree....

but with 400k in your pockets, who cares?

now, if your following my pointers so far, you'll have those 400k in credits. so... what do i do? i hear you cry. "i have a cruddy nearly destroyed freighter, and a next to useless scout ship! what am i supposed to do with that??!?"

well here's the answer. ignore them. leave the mercury at terracorp HQ and keep flying that disco. now, you need to go to Kingdoms End. basically, keep heading West from home of light. then once you cant go any further West, go North (this is in connection with the directions given to gates. north/east/south/west)

eventually, you should get there. now, search the sector until you find a shipyard. (by the way you are now in Boron space;) ) dock there, and buy a ship.

there are two decisions to be made here.

Decision 1: buy a Boron Mako - this is a medium level fighter class, which you can use to target those annoying pirates and hostiles. sounds good right?
well, unless you're real good, it wont be. with this ship go for the pirate transport ships, and anything up to M4 class (which is what the Mako is). dont go for heavy fighters cos you havent a cat in hell's chance of capturing them without missiles... and with missiles you'll be lucky to capture anything at all...

yes thats right i said capture... you CAN capture other ships. and then sell them for lots of creds... however this route is tough and only for the gamer who wants to be really involved and have a pilot challenge.

now, onto...

Decision 2: buy the Boron Dolphin - this is the Boron trading ship, and as such is also the ship with the largest cargo bay in the entire game (that isnt a carrier or Very Large Tranport ship (which are used to transport station construction packages, not wares))

so, with the Boron Dolphin, you can now do a lot of trading missions.
so... where do we go from here as the trader?
well, you COULD follow that guys advice, and transport energy cells... but that takes ages, and if you're like me, you'll be wanting that empire of yours up and running quickly, so... what do we do? i hear you cry...

well we go back to argon prime (the sector you started off in) and then head east from there. this should bring you into a sector called The Wall. this is where you want to be. now, dock at a cahoona bakery, either one will do (in X2 there are two here". search the BBS (as it is called) for missions. if you see a mission wanting delaxian wheat, take it. trust me, delaxian wheat transport missions give you lots of creds in this game... once you reach a certain point, you'll be earning roughly 100k for each wheat mission you do.


so there you have it... two options for you to follow.


now heres some other pointers...

one you have made a decision, remember to fit up the ship you have chosen with a lot of upgrades. engine first, then with scanners, then other software and stuff... unless you choose the transport, do NOT use maneuverability upgrades (cant remember what they're called). and in the case of the Dolphin you will NOt have enough cash to fully upgrade that cargo Bay so ignore that for now.
as for other upgrades get what you can. if you have time, head west until you reach a teladi sector. i cant remember what it is called, but it has a bright pinkish purple nebula in it. and if you're heading east from Kingdoms end you should eventually find it. with luck. once there, dock at an equipment dock (this is where all the ship upgrades are) buy the upgrades you're looking for. in the case of the teladi equipment dock, you'll be wanting the best buy, and best sell upgrades.
now i know when you bought whatever ship you chose you might have wanted to find what shields to choose... well in either case you'll be wanting 1MW shields...
why? cos you cant afford much else. so it really is better to choose the trading ship tbh. that way hostiles will leave you alone and you can trade to your hearts content (or until you can afford that Nova L over in argon prime's shipyard :D )

oh, and if you want to put together enough cash to repair that mercury you were given, then go for it. just dont sell any ships yet. the disco is useful as a scout ship, and the mercury is useful as a spare trading ship (ships cost a lot to buy, if you can get anything cheap or for free, do so). you should keep these ships.

so there you have it... you now have the basics to get started... now you dont have to follow what i've said to the letter... far from it... it's your game after all, not mine.
just think of this a guidline. nothing more...


anyways... thats about it. the rest is up to you.... now eventually you may have more questions... well i know a site that will help you to solve those questions, and it isnt the egosoft forums...


www.x2source.com


this community site has a lot of info available about anything in the X universe from X2 onwards, and is rapidly branching out into the other games - X beyond the frontier, X tension, and X3 reunion. this site will be able to help anyone who needs an answer about the X games. our forum boards are a well knit community. and we will help any new player that asks.

hope to see you guys over there sometime.;) :D

M.C.Jomar, signing off.
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
Well, his post was actually pretty cool, so I wouldn't mind the digging up. If only all ressurected threads had so much information.
 

suicider

Spaceman
well, x2 combat system is really really bad. no iam not talking about the ai, that often turns on a dime faster than u can say fuzzball.

its about the weapons. only 5 types of missiles, which are not even that strong. and then the guns. the projectiles are so slow that it is impossible to hit. even a drayman could outrun them...

its impossible to hit.


go the the sequel which is tons better.
 

mcjomar

Spaceman
well...

actually, if you upgrade to fight/combat software mk2, then it will give you a targeting icon so you can see where to aim and shoot at if you want to hit. best place to start gunning from is roughly about 300 metres from target if you sneak up behind them (i do this with the pirate TS ships).

other than that, follow em and make sure to keep up speed.

side note, but i fought an M6 (corvette class) with an M3 (heavy fighter) and there were two M6 and 3-5 M3s... and i still won, and got a load of credits and stuff.

you CAN beat higher class ships, but its very tough to do, and you have to know your way round the game.
bear in mind, when it comes to combat skills on the X universe games, i'm still pretty nooby.

as for x3, thats pretty true. cobat against higher class ships has been redesigned so lower class ships can win for a change.
overall X3 is an improvement, but considering its actually supposed to be a sequel, thats kind of to be expected really.

so if you try to appreciate X2 for what it is, then you will admit that its an ok game for what it is.

but X3 does totally rock:D
 
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