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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:18 pm 
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Grand High Clock-Tower Poobah
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Location: Anywhere I can sell Trumbles.....
Since many new players have expressed questions regarding the game, I have added an FAQ to the Oolite Wiki. It seemed the most appropriate place and is the perfect first resort for such questions as:

Will there be an On-line/MMORPG Oolite?

How do I get rid of these annoying messages that stick to the screen in-game?

What's the best place to find information about Oolite?

Actually, the last question is best answered here:

The first port of call for new Jamesons should be the Instruction Manual, which (should) detail all the keys that activate the many and various functions of your newly acquired Cobra Mark III. Incidentally, the FAQ is also accessable from the manual, but should you find your question unanswered, please avail yourself of the many minds of this august forum.

Well, some of them.

May your lasers keep cool and your profits high!

Captain Hesperus
Trumble Trader to the Rich and Famous and the not so rich and famous

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Last edited by Captain Hesperus on Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:29 pm 
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I've a template for the questions {{FAQ_Question|question=}}. If someone wants to improve this and possibly add in a layout for answers then they are free to go ahead.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:45 pm 
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I've a template for the questions {{FAQ_Question|question=}}. If someone wants to improve this and possibly add in a layout for answers then they are free to go ahead.
Go right ahead, good sir. And please, alter and add to the format to your heart's content. If everyone whacks something from the boards into the FAQ, it'll fill in not time.

Captain Hesperus

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:48 pm 
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I was going to suggest a few tips on Docking but after playing the game for a couple of hours its become second nature :shock:

That docking computer seems like such a waste of money now. Yet when I began the game it was the unreachable Holy Grail.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:16 pm 
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I was going to suggest a few tips on Docking but after playing the game for a couple of hours its become second nature :shock:

That docking computer seems like such a waste of money now. Yet when I began the game it was the unreachable Holy Grail.
Fear not, as you get on in the game you may find that after a long slog across the galaxy on a trade contract, you'll be almost poised over the SHIFT+D buttons waiting for the 'S' to flash up on the status panel.

Captain Hesperus

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:21 pm 
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Add in trumbles and how to disinfect your ship (apart from making burgers out of them :wink: ).

Docking computers are Murphy's Law Incarnate in my opinion, and best not relied upon. Apart from Hesperus' patented Butt-First Docking Procedure(tm), the Naval method is practically failproof. The DC only comes into it's own when trying to dock up with a moving Behemoth.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:14 am 
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Hmm, adding the recipe for getting rid of trumbles would be considered a spoiler by many. It used to be there on the very bottom of the missions-page, but explicitely marked as a spoiler, so every new Jameson can decide himself whether he wants to see it or not.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:50 am 
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The other day I noticed that there’s actually an “official” (but out-of-date) FAQ here. It might be useful to merge that into the Wiki one – at least questions 1 to 1.4.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:24 am 
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Have made one smaller and two major additions to the FAQ-page. Might do more of that when I'm in the mood. (Also considering the FAQs Ahruman pointed us to.)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:12 am 
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Added yet more questions and answers to the FAQ-page, also those from Aegidian's FAQ-page as Ahruman suggested. Also reorganized the order of questions.

Hope you like it.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:53 pm 
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Good Job Commander!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:31 am 
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Thanks, Commander! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:13 am 
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Added two more entries, concerning this and this frequently-popping-up-issue, to the FAQ.

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:11 pm 
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As the Oolite FAQ in the wiki is ever growing, it became a little bit inconvenient to browse through. Therefore I have re-organized it a little bit, and sorted the questions into categories. I hope this makes it more useful. I also added a question and answer on where to start if you want to go into OXPing.

All new players and/or OXPers: Please consult the FAQ page, and the wiki in total. It is a very useful resource. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:25 am 
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I've just wrote this small guide to help other starters to get going. There is so much vital information that's not covered in the FAQ, manual or even the first flight guide. I had to write it down to save others the hassle of searching the whole board for it. It's not very long, but I think it might be useful for beginners. This is based upon Oolite 1.65 without any OXPs. Feel free to mention anything I've got wrong.

Contributors:
Eric Walch - Details on fugitive status, stations and mining



Table of contents

0.0 First words

1.0 Your first flight
1.1 What you should NOT do
1.2 Where to? And why?
1.3 Get moving
1.4 The fine art of manual docking
1.5 After docking party
1.6 Outfitting your ship

2.0 Getting some dough
2.1 Trading
2.2 Mining
2.3 Piracy
2.4 Contracts and taxiing
2.5 Bounty hunting
2.6 Missions

3.0 Inflight troubles / nuisances
3.1 Pirates
3.2 Thargoids
3.3 GalCops

4.0 Final words



0.0 First words
This guide assumes that you know the game controls and what those funny dots on your scanner mean. This is not a manual, this is not a quick start guide, these things are covered in the links posted above. This guide is supposed to get you going and show you the opportunities the Ooniverse offers, help you avoid some frustration and be a helping hand during your first flights.


1.0 Your first flight
Obviously Oolite is about flying spaceships, so spaceflight is what you want to do. Your first flight might not go well, but don't worry, you'll get the hang of it quickly.

1.1 What you should NOT do
In the first minutes of the game it's not a wise move to shoot anything. Keep your finger off the trigger. Shooting another spaceship within range of a spacestation or within scanner range of a GalCop Viper will change your legal status to offender. This means GalCop Vipers may attack. If you shoot the Vipers you'll become a fugitive and can't dock with your docking computers in that solar system anymore (until you reenter it). Manual docking still works, but manual docking whilst being shot at isn't exactly the easiest thing to pull of for a beginner.

You shouldn't buy slaves, narcotics or firearms at main stations aswell. These are considered illegal, if you leave a main station with them on board you are considered an offender, too. Leaving a rock hermit or OXP stations with these goods is not an offence. Don't leave stations where you can save with these goods on board. Docking with these good in your cargo bay is permitted, so don't worry if you picked them up along the way.

1.2 Where to? And why?
You start your career at Lave and you've got a quite large selection of possible witchspace jump targets. My advice is to jump to Zaonce.
At the beginning you will spend quite some time at small time trading, so try to make it as efficient as possible. Good trading routes are short and situated between a poor agricultural system and a rich industrial system. Trading on such routes is called a milkrun. Food, textiles, radioactives, liquor/wines, fur and minerals are cheaper in agricultural systems, so this what you buy there. Industrial systems provide cheaper processed goods, computers, luxuries and machinery is what you buy there. This seems to be a broad choice of trading goods, but not all net you the same. Food for example: 2.0 per ton is the cheapest price you'll find, 8.0 the highest price. Up to 300% in earnings, great! But at the end it's still just 6.0 per ton, that's nothing. So you basically end up buying always the same stuff: fur and liquor at agricultural planets, computers at industrial planets. But this will be your first flight, you've just got 100 Credits and that means you can hardly afford anything in large quantities. Get a ton of fur and may be one or two tons of liquor (depends on price) and spend the rest of your money on food. Choose a nice industrial system and off we go!

1.3 Get moving
F1 makes you leave the station. You will be rotating a bit but it will stop moments later, don't worry. What you should worry about is the nav beacon you are heading for. Hitting it is not recommended. Gently pull your flight controller (keyboard, mouse, joystick - your choice) back for a brief moment to avoid it. To leave the system via witchspace you have to be 10 kilometers away from the space station, so just fly for a moment. The nav beacon is 10 kilometers away from the station, as soon as you have passed it you can witchspace to the destination you have hopefully chosen (if you haven't a message telling you that you have not chosen a destination will appear). The witchspace countdown kicks in and you have just 15 seconds left to, errr, wait for the countdown to end. If you suddenly decide you need to use the stations lavatory or forgot anything else you can cancel the countdown by pressing the witchspace key again (h by default).

By now you have hopefully reached your chosen destination. Check your scanner, you should see a nav beacon (the witchspace beacon) and maybe other ships. If you see other ships it will cost you some time, if you jumped to an unsafe system it may be your death (if those other ships are pirates). Your destination is not only the system, but the space station. It's always close to the planet, so lets go straight for it, shall we? No, we shouldn't. The space between the witchspace nav beacon and the planet is called the corridor, you'll meet a lot of traffic here. Traffic is bad for trading, traffic slows you down. The better way is to aim for the planet and then move your crosshair (and the nose of your ship) up or down until the green dot in your space compass becomes a red circle. Move in the opposite direction until it becomes green again. Now get moving, use hyperspace (default key is j) if possible. Fly for 20 to 30 seconds at hyperspace speed in this direction, then turn to the planet. This way you will avoid the corridor with police, pirates and other traders, that will all mass block your hyperspace engines. When approaching the planet look for something rotating near the planet - it's the space station. That's where you want to go. Next up: docking!

1.4 The fine art of manual docking
Your first try at docking may be a bit like a woman parking a car: a lot of scratches and screetches, but you'll eventually pull it off. If you are a woman: please don't feel offended and accept the facts. ;)

When you approach the space station you should look for the nav beacon, it's between the planet and the space station, always 10 kilometers away from the station. Fly to the beacon, but again: don't hit it. The scratches, remember? Stop in close vicinity to the beacon. Now face the station. You should see the stations port. Aim for the lights in the middle of it. Take your time at this, better aiming now means less stress later. And later means a few seconds later. As soon as you are satisfied with your aiming accelerate again. You may fly at full speed, but remember to slow down when getting closer. Choose your speed wisely, it's possible to dock at full speed but it's not recommended. When the station almost takes up your full screen it's time to match your ships rotation to the rotation of the station - now you'll see if your aiming was good or not. Try to keep the blinking inner lights of the port in your crosshairs whilst moving into it. Once inside the automatic docking starts, as long as you are not a fugitive you can't hit the back wall of the port, so don't hesitate to fly into it. Congratulations, you made it!

If you find docking difficult you can practise docking right at Lave (or any other space station). Leave the station, turn around and try to dock.

1.5 After docking party
"Cup of tea then, Bruce! Let's celebrate!" - Meg White
Usually you should refuel first after docking, but this time you won't have enough credits (hopefully, having enough credits for refueling means you are a crappy trader ;)). So sell your stuff first at the market. Profit! Enjoy your first ferengi moment and then forget about it, wrong universe. Now refuel before you forget about that. I recommend you save your game as well, you can rename your commander while saving. Back to the market: computers should be your choice. You can't buy a lot of them but you'll make 30 to 40 credits per ton on a milk run. Choose your destination and the milk run continues. A good milk run close to your position would be trading between Isinor and Ensoreus. It's a long jump but that doesn't matter for your first flights, more important is that it's a safe route, close to your game entry and it makes you money.

1.6 Outfitting your ship
After a couple of milk runs you will be able to fill your cargo bay with computers and still have some credits left, so it would be wise to spend it on your trusty Cobra. What to buy first is much discussed, but for a beginner I strongly recommend the cargo bay extension. A 75% increase in cargo space equals a 75% increase in earnings as soon as you can afford to fill it with goods. Because making money is a slow process at the beginning I would recommend investing in make-time-go-by-quick-items. Docking computers may be expensive at the beginning, costing a hefty 1500 credits, but they are worth the money. As soon as you are in the safe zone around a space station (represented by the green S below your scanner) you can just hit shift+d and dock immediately. This saves you real world time, but costs you 20 minutes game time. But at the moment you aren't on a schedule so your real time is more important than your game time (this may change at some point witch is specified under 2.4 Contracts). Furthermore witchdrive fuel injectors are a very good investment. When stuck in traffic you can use your afterburners (this is what the injectors basically are) and fly away until you are not mass locked anymore and they can help to flee from pirates and their missiles. After these time saver items you should invest in safety, specifically an ECM system and better lasers (beam or military). What you do from this point on is up to your likings, but the said items are the best choice for rookies in my opinion.


2.0 Getting some dough
Oolite is an open world game, so there is obviously more than just a bit of trading. The various options are described in this section.

2.1 Trading
The most basic form of generating income. As I have already stated good routes to perform milk runs are situated between rich industrial systems and poor agricultural systems. Ship computers, luxuries and machinery to agricultural systems and buy fur and liquors there to ship them to the industrial systems.

You may have noticed that I've left out gold, platinum and gem-stones. They are very nice to trade because of their high value and the small amount of space they require. But here's the catch: whilst you always know that computers are cheap in rich industrial systems and that furs are cheap in poor agricultural systems you can't be so sure with this high priced stuff. They are often cheaper in agricultural systems, but it may not always be the case. Sometimes you visit five different space stations and you can sell nowhere with a profit. The most simple thing ist to get a limit: buy below and sell above. You may not make maximum profit this way but it's easy and you will still make some money. I would suggest 40 for gold, 70 for platinum and 20 for gem-stones. These values can be easily remembered and are all somewhat in the middle of the usual price ranges.

Where there are rules, there are exceptions: they are called rock hermits. If you meet somes asteroids on your way through a system look out for a really large asteroid. It may be a rock hermit. You can dock with them, too. They always pay high for booze and food and have raw materials for really shocking low prices. This is often a good place to buy gold, platinum and gem-stones! Rock hermits are usually inhabited by former CEOs of major oil companies, so they charge you more than necessary for fuel. Better fill up at the regular station.

Note: a space station or rock hermit can only hold up to 127 units of a given item. The variable to save these things seems to be only 7 bits long.

2.2 Mining
"There are many things I'd rather be doing than mining. Including waiting for Bernard Manning to come off stage in a sweaty nightclub, and then licking his back clean." - Jeremiah Clarkson on mining

You'll need a mining laser (others work, too, but they tend to vaporize the asteroids, making them worthless) and a fuel scoop, some free cargo space and a really boring life to go mining. Find some asteroids, shoot them repeatedly with your mining laser until there a just some splinters left and pick those splinters up with your scoop (the scoop ist located on the underside of your ship, they should be below your crosshairs when you approach them). Asteroids will first break up in boulders, you can't scoop them. Shoot the boulders to get the actual splinters you can collect. Use your scanner and its zoom to find them all. Go back to a space station and sell the mined materials. And that's it. Mining sucks and doesn't make a lot of bucks. Period.

If you really decide to go mining it is suggested that you fit it to one of side mounts of your spacecraft. Aiming gets a bit more difficult but you won't waste your front and aft mounts which you'll need for combat.

2.3 Piracy
The next step up from trading. Sort of. As soon as you've got a fairly well equipped ship you will have become quite bored with milk runs. Now it's time to make things go boom, and I'm not talking about asteroids nor your own ship!

Piracy is the funny act of finding lone trade ships, poke your nose up their bottoms (your ships nose, that is!) and give them a warm, fuzzy feeling with your lasers. After that you'll scoop up their cargo (you need a fuel scoop for this, too) and then you sell their stuff at the nearest space station. Always remember to sell slaves, firearms and narcotics before you leave the station again, otherwise you may be awarded with a cool new legal status that reads offender.

The dangers of piracy are escorts that may kick your unsayable word if you don't kill them fast enough, police vessels and sometimes bounty hunters. Rookie pirates should therefore avoid traders with escorts and not attack anyone as long there is any other vessel within scanner range. That keeps your legal status clean so you won't be bothered by bounty hunters and GalCop Vipers. Other pirates may still attack you!

But where do you find these lone traders? In the corridor! Fly directly to the planet and you will meet someone. Maybe pirates. Maybe police. Maybe escorted traders. But often enough you'll find lone spaceships heading for the planet. Kill them fast, scoop their cargo and carry on. In less stable systems (i.e. those with anarchy) you'll find less police craft, but you'll find more 'colleagues' that won't hesitate to make you their next victim. Be careful if you see stationary groups of spaceships, they are pirates!

Another easy way to pick targets is the act known as camping in the world of first person shooters. You can camp by the witchspace nav beacon and wait for traders to jump in or you can wait near space stations for them. Wait for them to make their witchspace jump and then fly into the blue disc - this way you travel through their wormhole. You will have still all the fuel you had and will be near the ship that just performed the jump. Handle the case the usual way. The only downside to this is that you don't know where he jumps to, so this not a good idea if you have to complete a contract.

Besides the cargo a ship loses after destruction there is sometimes an escape capsule launched from the ship. If you pick it up you can get a reward from the poor guys insurance. If you are too much of an offender you don't rescue them, but you get a ton of slaves. A full ton! These guys in the future seem to be really fat.

2.4 Contracts
I ignored them at the beginning. Then I've started reading in the friendliest board this side of Riedquat. Then I stopped ignoring them. That was a satisfying decision.

Contracts work this way: You get some goods, you pay for these goods. You are given a location and some time. If you get there on time you will get the goods paid and some money on top, that's your payment. If you are familiar with economics: these contracts are basically a kind of futures and should be called forward contracts.

All the contracts at the beginning are not worth the money. But you have to take them to get some reputation and the good contracts. Sometimes there are contracts small enough for your Cobra to take them, it's a good idea to do it. After some fulfilled contracts you will get the opportunity to transport gold, platinum or gem-stones. Remember that it will take a lot of credits to buy these precious items. You'll later get contracts where you'll transport severals tons of gold or platinum, so the initial investments are higher, but the profit is worth it and will soon go into quintupel figures making milk runs seem very unprofitable. The good thing is that you will have a lot of free cargo space so you can occasionally jump on the piracy bandwagon, but that's not really making you the kind of money you get through contracts. Blowing stuff up is still fun and helps your towards your elite ranking, though.

You may have noticed that you will not always have lots of time to arrive at the target system, so now you need to save ingame time. This is archived by making more but shorter witchspace jumps. A 1 lightyear jump will cost you roughly 30 minutes (ingame time), a 7 lightyear jump takes more than 30 hours! Keep your jumps short when on a tight schedule. Remember you don't have to dock in every system you visit, you may instantly choose a new destination and jump again if you have got enough witchdrive fuel. If you are on a really, really, really tight schedule you can even save more time by not docking. Docking with docking computers takes 20 minutes, launching takes 10 ingame minutes. To save time head straight for the sun and scoop your fuel from the sun. If you don't know how to scoop fuel: RTFM!

The taxi contracts are never worth it. When I bought my second ship it came with two passenger berths so I've did quite some taxiing and it wasn't any good nor was it making notable amounts of money. Stay away from it.

2.5 Bounty hunting
Bounty hunting is like piracy, but with other targets. This time you attack the pirates and the vessels fighting with GalCop Vipers. This doesn't affect your legal status in a bad way and you don't rescue the pilots if they use their escape capsule, you capture them. Capturing means the police gives you a reward and you get nothing from the insurance. That's not so good, because the police is the police and they don't pay well. But other than that it's the same as piracy.

2.6 Missions
There are some handwritten missions in the game. They will reward you some special items and some cash. See the FAQ and the Oolite section of Elite wiki for details.


3.0 Inflight troubles / nuisances
Obviously we are not alone in space. Well, at least you are not. Here is a brief description of enemies you can meet. One trouble you might get into isn't listed: a fuel leak. Right after a witchspace jump this might occur, even if you ship ist perfectly maintenanced. You'll rapidly lose all your witchdrive fuel. These leaks repair themselfs so you can immediately pick up new fuel if you are near a rock hermit or sun.

All your opponents use pretty similar tactics. If they are closer than one kilometer they fly evasive manouvers, so let them get away for a moment and then shoot them. Sometimes they approach you with their witchdrive injectors on, be careful not to get rammed by them, because that may be the end.

3.1 Pirates
Pirates are bad guys that wan't to destroy you and take your cargo. Even worse, they sometimes attack the ships you've already chosen as victims of your piracy and steal their cargo before you can. They often appear in groups, so having an e-bomb at bay may be wise. If you are well equipped you may take them on without using bombs or missiles, but you may get destroyed as well. They can often be found in the corridors between the witchspace nav beacon and the planets of unstable systems.

3.2 Thargoids
Thargoids are creatures that are evil, destructive and trying to conquer everything. A bit like commies in the 60s. ;)
Their ships (the thargoid ships, not the commie ships) spill smaller remote controlled ships that attack you. Kill the mothership with all the thargoid nerds who remote control the smaller crafts onboard and the smaller craft become inactive. Most thargoid attacks happen during witchspace jumps, you suddenly find yourself in the middle of nowhere but with thargoids approaching. Simply jump away. Or kill them. Your choice. But don't try to kill them with a badly equipped ship. You'll fail.

3.3 GalCops
GalCops are like real cops: always there when you wan't to be a little naughty, never there when you need them. I found them to be sursprisingly weak (in Oolite 1.65). Avoid them to save time.


4.0 Final words
Whats left to say? Enjoy yourself, enjoy Oolite! If you want to you can expand the games endlessly with OXPs, but you don't have to. And that's the whole point of Elite and it's faithful remakes: you can, but you don't have to.

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