Contract hauling question

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Albee
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Contract hauling question

Post by Albee »

I thought I should start a new thread as we've wandered some distance away from "Newcomer getting slaughtered in combat". (The joystick has proved brilliant in that regard, I have to say).
The thing that puzzled me originally about contract hauling was that I was expected to pay big money up front for the privilege of shifting some other bloke's cargo half way across the galaxy, all for a measly few hundred creds profit at the end. As an alternative to the admittedly somewhat boring out-and-back repeat runs between a pair of compatible planets, it looked a pretty hopeless way of earning a living, to be honest.
I took Diziet Sma's advice however, kitted myself out with Display Reputation, and started accepting cargo contracts. After a mere dozen or so, I'm now (allegedly) the most renowned cargo carrier in the galaxy! Hard to believe, I know, but I've just grabbed a contract for hauling platinum that's paying way more than I've earned to date, so who knows -- maybe it's true? :wink:
Here comes the question: can my rep go higher than this?
If Diziet Sma is reading this, thanks! I've checked out the thread you linked and it's clear there's a lot more to contract hauling than I imagined. Time to download more OXPs, I'm thinking! (Though the idea of trying to run multiple cargo contracts simultaneously -- with passengers thrown in for good measure -- scares the hell out of me).

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by SandJ »

Many years ago a friend got a job (despite being in the UK) delivering a car from the East coast of the USA to the West Coast. He was given two weeks to do it and some pocket money. He spent four weeks doing it and the owner reluctantly gave him his pittance.

My friend had slept in this huge car and spent the money on petrol - sorry, "gas" - and burgers. I thought my friend was an idiot.

Since then (25 years ago), he has seen every continent on Earth (except Antarctica) usually at other people's expense. I have never left Western Europe.

It's funny how these noddy transport contracts earn one a reputation.
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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Cody »

SandJ wrote:It's funny how these noddy transport contracts earn one a reputation.
That tale reminds me that Cmdr. Maegil was last heard of when about to deliver a yacht across the Atlantic.
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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Commander McLane »

Albee wrote:Here comes the question: can my rep go higher than this?
No. Seven successfully fulfilled contracts earn you the highest reputation. (Same goes for passenger contracts.) To keep the highest rank, you have to take more contracts every now and then, though, because your reputation degrades (random driven) over time.

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Albee »

Commander McLane wrote:Seven successfully fulfilled contracts earn you the highest reputation. (Same goes for passenger contracts.) To keep the highest rank, you have to take more contracts every now and then, though, because your reputation degrades (random driven) over time.
Thanks for that, Commander -- I'll be sure to stay on it. I've just picked up a nice double contract, actually, hauling gold and platinum with a route that looks viable. I can almost hear the credits chinking into my account! :D

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Diziet Sma »

Albee wrote:If Diziet Sma is reading this, thanks! I've checked out the thread you linked and it's clear there's a lot more to contract hauling than I imagined. Time to download more OXPs, I'm thinking! (Though the idea of trying to run multiple cargo contracts simultaneously -- with passengers thrown in for good measure -- scares the hell out of me).
I am reading this.. and you're most welcome! 8)
Albee wrote:I've just picked up a nice double contract, actually, hauling gold and platinum with a route that looks viable. I can almost hear the credits chinking into my account! :D
Good to see you taking on the 'scary' world of multiple contracts.. :D

Here's a tip.. when I'm contemplating (for example) a tight triple-contract run, I'll buy the first contract, save the game as Dizzy1, buy the second, save as Dizzy2, then buy the third and save as Dizzy3.. then I'll play on with the Dizzy3 game.. if it turns out I've really bitten off more than I can chew, I can revert to the Dizzy2 game and try again.. after a while you'll get a feel for what you can and can't manage, and won't need to do this so often.. (using a calculator to convert hundreds of hours on the long-range chart into days and hours can help work out your chances of pulling it off, as well)
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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Albee »

Diziet Sma wrote:Good to see you taking on the 'scary' world of multiple contracts. :D
I'm not being all that brave, actually, as I'm only taking a second contract when it's pretty well on the route of the first.
Diziet Sma wrote:Here's a tip.. when I'm contemplating (for example) a tight triple-contract run, I'll buy the first contract, save the game as Dizzy1, buy the second, save as Dizzy2, then buy the third and save as Dizzy3.. then I'll play on with the Dizzy3 game.. if it turns out I've really bitten off more than I can chew, I can revert to the Dizzy2 game and try again.. after a while you'll get a feel for what you can and can't manage, and won't need to do this so often..
Good idea, thanks.
Diziet Sma wrote:using a calculator to convert hundreds of hours on the long-range chart into days and hours can help work out your chances of pulling it off, as well
Not sure the old brain's up to that, to be honest. At present I'm relying entirely on the 'shortest route' utility on the long-range chart, following the pale blue line religiously except for the necessary minor diversion at the first drop-off point. The chart didn't let me down with my first double (I had days to spare at the end) but I appreciate that some contracts will be tighter than others. I've just taken on another gold/platinum double, so we'll see how that works out. (There was the possibility of making it a triple, but the third contract -- for machinery, as I recall -- only paid 500 and I didn't think it was worth the risk of blowing the valuable ones. Besides, accepting just gold & platinum contracts obviously leaves the hold virtually empty for nice earners such as computers and luxuries along the way).

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Cody »

Diziet Sma wrote:using a calculator to convert hundreds of hours on the long-range chart into days and hours can help work out your chances of pulling it off
Diziet Sma has an autonomous combat drone to do this job. How is S-A, Diz? (Cool avatar, btw!)
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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Switeck »

...Just my rant about Cargo Contract Cruelty:
http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.ph ... 63#p161763
(ignore the 1st paragraph, it's questions about how Save Anywhere OXP works.)

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Diziet Sma »

El Viejo wrote:
Diziet Sma wrote:using a calculator to convert hundreds of hours on the long-range chart into days and hours can help work out your chances of pulling it off
Diziet Sma has an autonomous combat drone to do this job. How is S-A, Diz? (Cool avatar, btw!)
Skaffen-Amtiskaw (lately it's gotten a little huffy when I call it S-A, so I have to be careful) is doing fine.. still gets upset at times about having to hide its' abilities when around other sentients in this Ooniverse, though. I generally just point out that if I have to have extra toes, less finger-joints and a nose & ear job, simply to be accepted as human, it can damn well put up with occasionally having to appear a lot slower and stupider than it is. To cheer it up, the other week I let it take out a pair of side-by-side Pirate Coves we came across, all by itself. The combat lasted almost 15 seconds.. (not too bad, I guess.. there were about 50 ships all told, and who knows how many inhabitants inside the asteroids) but I don't even want to know how it came to have blood on its casing when it returned. I'm pretty sure it left it there on purpose, just to see how I'd react..


Re the avatar.. thanks.. I think the highlights bring out the colour of my eyes quite nicely!
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Albee »

Diziet Sma wrote:using a calculator to convert hundreds of hours on the long-range chart into days and hours can help work out your chances of pulling it off, as well
I certainly need to do something different, for a fact! I've just had a disastrous voyage in which I lost my rep, lost a small fortune, and totally lost confidence in my ability to 'eyeball' a route on the chart to determine if it's viable.

It's nobody's fault but my own, of course. I had a nice triple contract going, total value 70k+ (gold to Diquxe alone being worth 46k). It wasn't my first triple, either -- I'd had two prior to this, both successful. Trouble is, this time I couldn't leave it there, could I? After delivering the first load, I took on three more, all minor detours, nothing too radical (ha ha!). A quintuple, no less! The guys would be proud of me, I thought.

I wish I could claim I made a gutsy judgement call, but truthfully it was recklessness fuelled by greed. Needless to say, I paid the price. Though I managed to meet the first two deadlines okay, I defaulted on the last three, despite sun-skimming for fuel to save time. At journey's end, I'd lost everything. My rep was gone, no one would offer me even a semi-decent contract, I had a hold full of stuff nobody wanted to buy, and my confidence was shattered.

Fortunately, I'd taken Diziet Sma's advice and saved the game at various stages, so was able to go back in time. I suppose the purists will stay I should stick with it, swallow the loss and start to build my rep back up. I did think about it, in fact, but I was curious as hell about that 46k Diquxe gold run and just how viable it really was it at 20D 7H. I accepted the contract again -- but definitely no 'detours' this time -- and sun-skimmed exclusively along the way. I made it with 2 days to spare.

I suppose the safe way with contract hauling is to stick to singles (I've just picked up a 60k platinum run to Inines) but that's not very adventurous, is it? I do need to get more scientific about routes and times, however. One thing that didn't help was the fact that there were several >6.5ly jumps to contend with on my way to Diquxe. I know that several short jumps are faster than one long one, but I've never seen it quantified. Can anyone point me at a table that shows elapsed time vs. jump distance?

Anyway, must dash, sorry. Time's a-wastin' and I've got platinum to haul.

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by SandJ »

Albee wrote:One thing that didn't help was the fact that there were several >6.5ly jumps to contend with on my way to Diquxe. I know that several short jumps are faster than one long one, but I've never seen it quantified.
That's what did you in. Deffo.

From my short range chart:

2.4 Light Years --> 5.8 hours --> 2.4 hours per light year

1.2 = 1.4 = 1.7 hours per light year
2.0 = 4.0 = 2 hours per light year
2.4 = 5.8 = 2.4 hours per light year
6.0 = 36.0 = 6 hours per light year
6.4 = 41.0 = 6.4 hours per light year
6.8 = 46.2 = 6.8 hours per light year (only 0.4 light years further yet takes 5.2 hours more)

Looks like time = distance^2 to me

Edit: It ain't rocket science... 8)
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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Cody »

General advice: short jumps are best wherever possible (for several reasons). If a long jump can't be avoided, look for ships going your way and hitch a lift.
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Re: Contract hauling question

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Re: Contract hauling question

Post by Commander McLane »

SandJ found it out the hard way by doing the maths: distance in LY squared = travel time in hours. It's really a very simple rule.

May I suggest you invest in an [wiki]Advanced Navigational Array[/wiki]? And then simply follow the fastest route to your destination. No reason to calculate anything yourself. :)

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