This is the second part of my X3 Albion Prelude Humble Merchant playthrough. See the first part here.
“Glad you could join us,” says the voice on the other end of my comms link.
The commander explains I’m supposed to help them attack the Terran sectors nearby. I don’t really have anything that would be even a bit effective againts a Terran fleet, so I use my Trading System Extension and Universe Map to see if there’s any possible good trade routes near here that I know about. Nope.
I turn the War Reports and Mission Guidance off. I dock at a shipyard, and max out the engine tuning on my ship. There’s some mission at a station nearby. I comm it, and a person there offers me a Mercury Hauler for 150k. There’s fourty-four seconds left to accept the offer. I initially think to reject it. The clock ticks down. I guess it could help me a lot with trading, and this could become my first sector trader. I decide to accept it.
The Mercury Hauler I acquire has some minor damage, and I have under 170k now. I have my new ship pull up next to me. Ejecting from my current ship, I use my spacesuit’s repair laser to fix the Hauler up somewhat, and then I jump in it. As this will be the slowest ship, even at full engine tuning and hull, this would be the best ship to be in, as with all of these dangerous sectors around, I want my ships to stay together.
I take off back for Argon Core Space, at one-thirty A.M., with my auto pilot set for President’s End. I stop at a Trading Station on the way back to save, and then continue my journey back through the fifteen-sectors-or-more journey. Backtracking through sector after sector, I’m two-thirds of the way back. In a red, cloudy asteroid field, a lot more than a few pirates pop up on my radar. They’re sitting just behind an asteroid, and it looks like they’re firing on a convoy of merchants. I turn my own small convoy around and head for the nearest ore mine.
They turn their small convoy around and head for the nearest me.
I’m about to dock with the station, and they fire more than a few missiles. More than a few missiles whack me. This disrupts my autopilot, and I try to comm the station. I probably should’ve just manually docked the first time, as it could’ve been faster. I repetitively spin my Hauler around in circles, making a missile fly past me, and then start to orbit around me. The pirate’s lasers are not going past me nor are they orbiting around me. They’re whacking me head-on. (Apply directly to your forhead.)
My shield read-out hops on a bullet train and speeds to the left. My hull read-out hops on an F-16 and breaks the sound barrier, warping to the left. The “Game Over” screen doesn’t wait to tell me the good news. I also should mention I haven’t docked with a station since the Trading Station, back near Argon Sector M148, which means I haven’t saved since the Trading Station, back near — yeah.
I reload the save. It’s now two in the morning. I make Wookie-like sounds of aggrevation. I have to do that all over again. I set my autopilot again for President’s End, and press “J”. I use my phone to read about X3. I save at a station, as I figure it’s possible for the game engine to simulate that sector the same way, with the pirates still there, or at any other sector for that matter. I take a bathroom break, then come back, reactivate SETA as I’ve gone through a few gates now; and read EgoSoft forum posts. I get a drink, reactivate SETA, and read the Argonopedia. Then I save.
I come back through that same sector. If those pirates are here that’d just be stupid, and I’d just go to sleep. They aren’t, though, and so I continue on.
Back in the sector where the battle between Southwest Airlines and the Colossus happened, there’s a battle between pirates and a convoy of merchants and their escorts. I just SETA my way through there, with my Discoverer and Mercury bobbling around behind me. I get a cool screenshot of what’s going on:
I finally make it through Split Fire, past the military outpost in Elena’s Fortune, and arrive at President’s End. Time to start trading again.
NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO DISCOVER YOUR OWN TRADE ROUTES WITHOUT THE HELP OF MY JOURNAL, SKIP THE NEXT TWO PARAGRAPHS.
I head into Ore Belt, fly straight towards one mine while my Mercury flys straight for another. I have him buy up all the ore he can, which is at minimum (fifty) price, and I load my ship up with ore, again for fifty. I then instruct him to fly through the North gate, and I do likewise. I beat him to the gate by a fair ways, and head for the first Quantum Tube Fab. He comes in, and I tell him to go to the Ammunition Factory, after I’ve remotely price-checked all of the ore-dependent stations in the sector.
I sell my ore for two-hundred-and-two, and he sells it for one-eighty. I then have him do trade runs between the Large Cahoona Bakery and the tech factories. Meanwhile, I grab ore from Ore Belt and haul it back, making a considerable amount of credits. (Please, feel free to try these routes if you’d like. Another good place to get ore would be from Herron’s Nebula, which is the starting sector if you pick the Humble Merchant start. If you trade ore and silicon between Herron’s Nebula and Argon Prime, or further South the Home of Light, you’ll be able to trade stocks in Argon Prime while you’re there. You have to own a station in Argon space to gain access to the Stock Exchange, though.)
After I’ve acquired 700k from single- and multi-sector trading with both my freighters, I switch ships and take my Mercury Hauler to the TerraCorp HQ. I have the Hauler purchase Trade Command Software MK3, and acquire my first Sector Trader. He will eventually (pretty fast actually) become a Universe Trader, seeking and grabbing profit in the all corners of the universe. Mainly the Argon Corners, at least initially.
His name is Jo Springer. Assistan Jo Springer. Someday to be known across the galaxy as Trader Jo’s, first salesperson of Rio Yeti Conglomerate. (Cool company name, huh?)
I start him trading in Ore Belt, and he starts making some good profit trading cells with the ore mines and ore with the newly-constructed Cluster Flak Array Forge.
Ore Belt is now a very lively sector, with tons of shipping, it’s high-yield mines and the Free Argon Trading Station and the new weapons forge.
But with all of these newfound trading oppurtunities, occasionally, there are also pirates.
I hope you enjoyed my playthrough and getting-pirated-of! Be sure to check back next week, as I’ll have another chapter ready for you, when I build my first station and take the first steps in building my corporate empire. Give me some feedback on good trading routes, your tips on trading, pirating, or running an empire. I will be doing many assorted guides for different aspects of X3, and I’d much appreciate any insight you have. Also, if you really liked it, I’d appreciate if you “liked” it.
- Dog Builds an Empire: X3 Albion Prelude Chapter Three (doghouseblog.wordpress.com)
- Dog Builds an Empire: X3 Albion Prelude (doghouseblog.wordpress.com)
- DERP Guides: X3 Albion Prelude Stock Trading (doghouseblog.wordpress.com)