I usually start with the ship that I want, usually B or C. Next two are either Profession (if I want a few levels and just dive right in to test/try something) or Skills. Last two are Attributes then Contacts.
I put Contacts last since (1) they aren't as influential on my success, and (2) you can get more through the Merchant Talents and operation card games.
After picking up the basics on easy difficulties, I started a few games on Hard but always ended up getting killed by some Pirates or others (sometimes due to weird things I was trying). Now I stick to Demanding if I'm trying things out. Less punishing in the beginning.
I'm playing mostly on Hard now, demanding if I am trying something new. I start with the ship I want, usually C. I found the Dragoon Cruiser to be too hard as a starting ship -- the maintenance demands for a damaged ship were enormous and it drank fuel like a fish. When I saw that I was subsidising my ship habit with BH missions, I decided that I should just go back to making a pure BH. If my captain is going lead the crew combat, I want all his or her combat attributes to be 26, so I stick that in A. Otherwise I stick Skills in A. This covers A B C. Like athios I don't waste any starting juice on Contacts, as I can get then so many other places. Combat Captains therefore select Politician, and not Prince as their one and only Contact, because they want to hire a great Diplomat they will promote to officer and give the Merchant job to asap. If I am willing to hire 4 or 5 of them I tend to get one that is +7 Negotiate and Intimidate, and that is the one to promote.
I'm not finding it that difficult with Experience as D, unless there is nobody good to promote as doctor/combatmed/both. Some games just immediately curl up and die, but by the time that the grace period where missions are local is over, your crew is experienced enough that you aren't getting the 'understaffed position' rolls any more, which is the great value of putting experience early. If a local mission is way over the other side of the quadrant, don't fly there direct but planet hop. You are trying to get a Pilot promotion, so you can get sharp steering, so you can run away from fights which is one way a Hard game can blow up on you, with costs outstripping income, ending up in the bankruptcy court.
Post by johndramey on Mar 15, 2017 21:09:24 GMT -5
Added The Independent Trader to the op (thanks grävling for suggesting it).
I think the main reason why I've been putting my experience up so high is that I've been starting out with the bigger ships. I should think about going back down to C, as that is where I had the most success. Smaller crews and smaller ships are definitely easier to handle in the early game.
The Galtak Freighter is a much better ship than the Frontier Liner: better fuel range; more cargo space; a luxury suite; and better upgrade options (thanks to its 5 large compartments).
I reached level 19 on Impossible over 8 or 9 hours of play, starting as a Merchant, running several missions in parallel (delivery or diplomacy, no combat*) and trading between Indie worlds on the way. I never really used rumors; they never were worth giving up on cumulative missions.
A. Attributes (30 charisma; 30 wisdom; 28 fortitude; 20 resilience; 14 strength; 14 quickness)** B. Skills (10 Negotiation; 5 Intimidation) C. Ship (Galtak Freighter)* D. Contacts (Prince, Politician) E. Experience
For trade-focused profession combos, see Merchant Prince, Smuggler Prince (and, to a lesser extent, Negotiator) here.
---- * I've replaced all weapons on my ship by 1 more officer cabin and 4 medical bays (the latter making my Doctor's Generous in Service talent incredibly useful). ** 30 Fortitude and 18 Resilience would be more advantageous. Even more advantageous for me, since I never used rumors, would be to have started as a Smuggler. For a comparison of the Merchant's and Smuggler's respective starting traits, click here.
Last Edit: Oct 9, 2017 13:10:24 GMT -5 by Sinocelt
Medical: 13 Passengers: 3 max Prisoners: 0 max Jump Cost: 20
Officers: 5 max Crew: 30 max
Cargo: 72 Fuel Range: 75
L - Combat Hospital L - Luxury Suites L - Cargo Hold III L - Cargo Hold III L - M5000 Void Engine Ex1 M - M5000 Hyperwarp Ex M - Bridge 4 M - Barracks 4 S - Officer Cabin S - Officer Cabin S - Officer Cabin S - Officer Cabin S - Mass Dampener 4 S - Mass Dampener 4 S - Mass Dampener 4 S - Armored Bulkheads 4 S - Armored Bulkheads 4 S - Armored Bulkheads 4 S - Medical Chamber 2
Last Edit: Oct 9, 2017 13:13:49 GMT -5 by Sinocelt
Cumulative missions (missions that can be accomplished concurrently because they're on the same path) do pay very well, even when individual missions stop being worth the expense in fuel and ship/crew maintenance. Of course, that strategy only worked for me because of my many contacts and good relationship with all the Factions but one (and even Thulun would have finally bowed to my generous in service doctors). I also trade on the way. I could include rumors in my overall missions+trade strategy, but going out of my way to follow a rumor at the cost of giving up on cumulative missions and regular trade ... hardly seems worth it, risk or no risk. If I had high-level trading permits with several factions, maybe things would be different, but to obtain several high-level trading permits I need ... to achieve more missions.
Last Edit: Oct 9, 2017 14:49:10 GMT -5 by Sinocelt
Joking apart, fallen, when you work on re-balancing generous in service, take into consideration not just what it gives but also what it costs:
A level 8 talent.
Several ship compartments. On my Juror Class, medical facilities occupy one medium slot and three small slots. On my Galtak Freighter, medical facilities occupy one large slot and one small slot. Each time, it means giving up on something else: ship weapons, ship armor, cargo hold (more cargo, more fuel), etc.
Yup. Generous in serviceis overpowered. But when you nerf it, take everything into account.
Garner favor can be equally powerful, but since you need to already have high-level trade permits before you can regularly perform exchanges worth 5000+ credits, and since having a high-level trade permit with a given Faction suggests you already have positive rep with that Faction, I admit that, in practice, garner favor isn't as advantageous as generous in service.
Last Edit: Oct 10, 2017 11:45:16 GMT -5 by Sinocelt