I previously alluded to the fact that the most common form of death in the X-Universe is death by incineration from plasma burst generators. Well the second most common death is due to overconfidence. In a regular style game, if you die, you can curse a few times and reload an earlier safe, hoping you didn’t lose too much progress. In a dead is dead game, if you die, its game over.
So here I am, hugging a space station for dear life while deadly combat drones buzz and swarm nearby trying to get some pot shots at me due to a moment of weakness and me being over confident. Look on the bright side, at least I’m not dead yet.
Having completed the outfitting of my scout ship, the Octopus, using money I gained from corporate spy missions and ship retrieval missions, I started to branch out into combat quests. The Octopus is not the fastest or the most well armed, or shielded M5 class ship. In fact, the Octopus is entirely average in terms of all characteristics. However, its the only ship I got, so I have to make do with it. Now that I have some baby teeth, I decided to partake in some station defense missions to gain some money and combat ranks.
Everything starts out quite well. Since I’m in Queen’s Retribution, which is a Boron core sector, there are plenty of Boron firepower nearby in case I need some backup. My first few defend the station missions spawned only a single scout ship due to my pathetically low combat rating. And because they were mostly pirates, which means they were dumb and stupid, I easily out flew them and blew them to bits. I quickly shot up from harmless, to nuisance, to greenhorn, then novice. Each combat mission got me between 2-5k a pop, which isn’t that bad. Then, I ran into another Teladi offering me a mission.
A very hard combat mission, my very first assassination, and the pay is over 40 thousand credits! That is the same amount of money than I spent outfitting my ship. Greed triumphed over logic at that point and I decided to give it a shot. I scooted over two sectors to where my target is, and I got lucky this time: it was a single M4 interceptor. I slid up right behind him and blasted him into bits before he could even blink. Easiest 40k ever.
Now I’m psyched, I go and find every assassination mission I can get my hands on, slowly building up my cash flow so I can buy an interceptor class ship (usually costs 300-400k). Next thing I know, these assassination missions had led me far to the north and west, deep inside Argon space. And I found my first storyline mission. Apparently some Terran diplomats needed an escort back to Terran space, and the Argons want me to join the escort flight. While that sounds easy enough, I was warned that there might be Xenon ships during this mission. The Xenon are rogue AI ships that are extremely cheap and plentiful due due to the fact that there is no life support function whatsoever aboard. My biggest fear about the Xenon right now is their pulsed beam emitters. Those things are on every Xenon ship except the smallest. Hopefully those are the only ones I’ll be facing.
Since steam cheevos were my ultimate goal, and completing each storyline mission gave me one, not to mention doing it in DiD mode also gives additional cheevos. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity. The escort mission turned out to be fairy straight forward, there were a bunch of Argon heavy fighters tagging along, and when the Xenon did show up, I just used them as shields. However, something interesting did happen, one of the pirates, flying a M4 class interceptor, bailed when I was plinking away at his ship. Although it is much slower than my speedy Octopus, it had a bay size of 158 AND could carry up to medium sized cargo. Definitely a worthy upgrade for a cash strapped assassin.
I claimed the Buster, patched it up with my repair laser, and sent it off to the nearby Argon Equipment Dock for upgrading. In the mean time, the Terran diplomat had reached her destination and my first Terran mission was complete. Having done that, I decided to go take a closer look at my new acquisition.
I was feeling pretty good at this point, having survived the early stages of being weaponless and moneyless, and now I am about to get a first major ship upgrade to a Interceptor. This is the point where I got a little cocky. I was finally getting tired of all those passing Paranid and Split transports whom I’ve been avoiding up to this point, and I decided that the next one I see I’m going to attack and see if I can get the pilot to bail so I can obtain another ship. Everything started out quite well, before the transport could even react, I was through the shields and chipping away at his hull. Then BAM, next thing I knew, my shields were gone and I was down to 80% hull. What the hell just happened? Apparently the transport had a few fighter drones aboard and decided to launch three of them. Being in a dinky scout, my ship is barely an improvement over a single fighter drone, and these guys were just as fast as me. Scratch that, I’m now at 70% hull and they are now faster than me. I immediately throw my ship into a corkscrew maneuver, attempting to evade any more of shots while giving my shields time to recharge. In the mean time, I’m rapidly scanning the nearby area looking for some way to get out of this mess. Luckily, I spotted a nearby factory that was within 5 KM of my current location and I immediately flew towards it, dodging incoming fire the entire way. I barely managed to make it to the safety of the station before my shields failed again.
I’m now surrounded by three fighter drones who are buzzing the station looking for a way to take pot shots at me. In the meantime, I’m sitting here considering my options. I could either wait a LONG time until they ran out of fuel and self destructed, or I can speed things up and figure out a way to take them out. I decided to go with option two. First, I got out of my fighter to do some quick patch work on my ship, hoping that the drones don’t shoot me while I’m doing this or else I’d be instantly vaporized. Two extremely tense minutes later, I’m back in my fully operational Octopus. Next, I waited for an opening when two of the fighter drones were on the far side of the station while the third was to my front trying to get a shot off at me. At that instant, I darted out of my hiding zone and blew that drone into bits. After that it was a simple matter of cleaning up the other two.
Take that, Lam Laminaus lives to fight another day. Now I’m ready to sell this scout ship and start taking some bigger fish with my newly obtained interceptor.
Next Entry: Getting my first Cheevo