I use the spy class almost exclusively, but am sure I am not getting the best out of him. However, this is what I take advantage of:
Reasons why spies rock 1) You start with Stealth, Pilot and Tactics right out of the box. That's enough to get you through the initial encounters, AND have some initial success with surveillance/blockades, etc 2) You get some free electronics and weapons, which help you with the low cash levels (be careful though because don't forget at the beginning, without a TP, you're likely to get these things confiscated if you don't sell them or cache them. 3) Discounts for buying Death Warrants, which in turn gives you nice bonuses for kill/capture missions 4) bonus records for surveillance actions - you can never have too many records. Okay, actually you can, but that's a good thing. 5) You get a discount for buying electronics (useful for surveillance).
Starting out: So the great thing about the spy is that you get a nice starting character. Able to handle him/herself in the initial combat while you start to sink XP into Pilot, Tactics and Stealth, and you get some goods to sell in the market if you want to have some additional cash for other activities.
First stage of game (sub-2000 turns) Continue investing in Stealth, Tactics and Pilot, and you'll be able to get around the galaxy with relative ease (dependent on your difficulty level). With some Tactics skill up your sleeve, you're able to accept surveillance missions right from the start too. You get a bonus to your surveillance actions, so they are a little easier, AND you get some additional records. These records not only earn you cash, BUT they earn you RP too. In Spy Wars, they earn you even more RP.
Focus on keeping relations up with maybe four factions, and abuse the other two (pretty much the same as I would do with most other characters). Surveillance on Xeen Prime, is an easy option if you are friendly with Rychart and DeValtos because both are within a few AU of Xeen Prime, so you can zip back and forth.
Longer term game play As with most other classes, you dont' have to commit the captain to a dull future of spying on one or more factions. The high pilot, and stealth levels you may have will help you with getting goods hauled around the galaxy. high tactics will let you hit enemy ships, do surveillance and blockades, etc ... you end up being a very efficient captain.
I would agree with slayernz on all the advantages of a spy. They're probably the best out-of-box captain type. With that said, you'll still have to spend some time building them up, raising cash and getting a good ship.
If you want to do specific spy things, I think the spy makes a good "everybodies best friend." By spying on a planet and then selling the records back to that same planet, you can gain rep with both sides in a spy war without even moving your ship (just in and out of orbit). If you have rep with everybody and maybe 2 or 3 ranks with each, you can pretty much do whatever you want. You won't lose rank if you keep it low by taking a contract against them, only by destroying their ships. If you don't buy high rank it's not too expensive to buy it back to keep their military ships off your back, should you happen to assassinate one of their military officers or something.
Have a couple of different ships for different types of contracts/activities. A hyper-freighter with Advanced Sails and the Omni-Stealth upgrades is great for surveillance. If you have a spy officer and some electronics on board, you'll be able to fill it with records on a half-tank of W/F. It can get monotonous but if you have one of those and somebody gets into a double or triple spy war and you just camp out surveilling them for years you will gain massive amounts of xp. Have you got the level 50 on insane award yet?
Post by Bamf 'DE Elise on May 5, 2013 11:17:31 GMT -5
these are all good words. i certainly use the spy on faction A then resell records to faction A(whilst faction A and B are in a spy war, hopefully we can get faction C and D involved as well!!!)technique and just monitor my rep with everyone. i don't start until maybe level 10 or so have a good amount of stealth a spy officer and negotiate which will increase your profit from records and i believe it affects the rep you'll get. don't forget to repurchase your death warrant before you sell your records
a good boost from level ten to thirty or so on some of my previous captains, very fast and profitable.
"All will be well" - Saint Bro-Dee Walker of the Blue Lantern Corps
Having Spy as a profession is great, because a Spy can blockade with sucess, while no other profession can Spy with the success rate of a Spy, even with 30 electronics and a Spy officer. As solar wars and spy Wars are the main XP generator on this game, granting 1-3 XP every turn on Triple wars, the Spy has a massive advantage in the "level up fast" part of the game.
Post by Cory Trese on Dec 15, 2015 13:41:19 GMT -5
However, Surveillance is very risky and you have a higher chance of encountering enemies at the upper level of your challenge rating. No only that, but it is highly susceptible to Rumor events like high level Pirates or Xeno. Spy can turn over the Rumor table and you might suddenly find yourself in an open war or xeno infestation sector.
Lots of things to think about. With great Risk comes great Reward =)
Ooooooooooooooo ... so doing surveillance might actually trigger a Xeno encounter? I've been trying my hardest, with a cargo of 150 Artifacts, in red zones, chasing Xeno rumors ... and nothing. nada. nyet. I don't know how many tanks of WF I've burned through doing patrols.
Post by johndramey on Dec 15, 2015 20:08:31 GMT -5
Yup, as with slayernz, I pretty much exclusively use the spy. The spy has great starting stats and gives you decent little bonuses for everything, and as pointed out, if you play both sides in a spy war (spying on a faction and then selling the records you gained right back to them) you can usually keep both sides happy. Well, maybe happy isn't the right word, but not murderously angry!
One bit of advice I can give for the spy, it's nice to get your initial ship set up as a stealthy merchant. I like to roleplay as a bit of a deep-cover agent, making money by plying the star lanes and selling my wares, while occasionally taking advantage of spy wars. Getting the spy/merchant ship up and running early will insulate you from most economic problems, as the political situation will inevitably lock you out of either trading or spying but rarely both.
I tend to boost up pilot and stealth to start with, then work on pilot and tactics. Don't put your stealth up too high, as you will eventually want to shift over to a more assassin styled spy. Once you reach that level, though, you are pretty much free to play around with your captain as you like.
Post by xdesperado on Dec 15, 2015 23:09:06 GMT -5
Spy is pretty good but I personally think Military officer is best Captain profession.
With Spy you start with those restricted goods that can get you killed or be lost before you ever have a chance to get something for them.
That leaves the bonus for engaging in spying as only real benefit of class.
MO gives you reduced cost for promotions which is a big boost. Also gives you the Surveillance ability which means you don't need to install special upgrade on your ships if you ever plan to do bounty/destroy contracts.
Guns! We need BIG Guns! Then again what do I know I'm crazy!
Yeah but even when I did buy the upgrade for the surveillance ability, I kept forgetting to do it and therefore I just killed/captured whoever it turned out to be. I'm not sure if the faction flag can be switched with that ability or not - you know, where you are attacking a Steel Song flagged ship and after the contract is complete, it says "Oh, the bastards were actually Cadar - you're in big trouble now" (or words to that effect).
Post by mandomaniac on Dec 16, 2015 0:06:48 GMT -5
I greatly prefer the pirate class...
no morale loss for attacking/looting/salvaging independants
Discount on weapons (yay blockades!! )
Double rep bonus in trade wars
This way my general strategy is (and u can definately tell that i put sooo much time into this) beef up pilot/tactics then blow up anything not flying syndicate colors, excepting of course for stupid alliances then we must be choosies about our target practiceees
I have my doubts of the benefit of using electronics for surveillance: -It increases signature -It increases enemy rating and chance to encounter. -Once you have tactics and stealth above the planet security/palace ratings, things go smooth enough -Chance for bonus records only means that i stop spying sooner to go back and sell the records -spybank takes the upgrade slot of advanced sail system, which decreases signature and improves water fuel and chances to retreat/ignore.
I have been spying on insane with a Merchant. No spy officer, no electronics.
I originally had doubts about electronics. I'm playing a spy right now on my first attempt at Crazy difficulty. I noticed that there is a very exact point of diminishing returns for electronics for me. If I fail a surveillance attempt, I add another couple units of Electronics until I get to the point where I no longer fail them (10 at low level and need to hide from encounters and up to 25 if I really want to haul in a lot of records midgame game when encounters are not a problem).
I find that with a moderate cargo hold and the upgrades to hold additional records, Electronics, and water fuel, I can gain about 100 rep during a spy war in a single surveillance voyage before I need to re-supply. That's without a contract and before I sell records. I use a Spy officer too. Even if it does boost signature, with trade permits and good rep with all factions, it isn't a problem if I have an encounter every 10 attempts.
The duration of the Spy War makes it a limited opportunity. But much more importantly, Trade Embargos, Alliances, and secondary Spy Wars interfere with your ability to buy and sell fuel and records at the planet closest to your target. So I find that you only have a tight window to Spy productively so using Electronics to maximize record generation is a good idea for me. This is early to midgamd when you need to use record sales to boost faction rep to get promotions.
Now that I'm rank 20 with all factions I'm trading without fear of Embargos to make money for the $10,000,000 trader award.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.
Meant to add: spying during a war basically comes down to [records created per rep lost by spying]. If you lose 10 rep and have 20 records, then your net rep gain after selling them is higher than if you lost 10 rep but only generated 10 records. That alone makes electronics worthwhile IMHO.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.
Do not forget to rebuy your death warrant before selling records during a spy war. Double reputation gains from both factions helps a lot. On higher difficult levels. I fear that electronics do not help: more encounters, higher rating captains means i face harder rolls in both surveillance and Negotiation.