LIFE ON TITAN
Here's a typical scenario for a pirate: You're Downtown carrying a couple of Ore and decide to cruise to Riverside hoping to pirate some contraband. On the way, you pirate a couple of Pure Water and a few Chemicals. You're Pod is full, but you're about to unload it in Riverside.
Then, coming out of the Riverside tunnel in Gamma is Sister Magpie, or someone, with a load of Alcohol and Narcotics. You desparately want to pirate them, but your Pod is full. Rats!
If you try to duck into the nearest buyer, say Gamma Trading Post, Sister Magpie will almost certainly get away. If you jettison your current cargo to make room, the game may freeze. What to do?
You should attack immediately. Even if you don't have room in your Pod, you still have a good chance at getting the big cargo. Anytime you see a truly righteous cargo just waiting to be pirated, attack. I generally start off as usual with Plasma Kannon blasts.
I'll strip their shields and then make a crucial decision: Have them follow me or kill them on the spot.
AI pilots will defend themselves when attacked. An attack is registered with the second weapon's hit. You can use this to your advantage by stripping the target's shields and "leading" them to a place where you can sell your current cargo.
The biggest advantage of this is that it takes the AI pilot off of their intended course. This will buy you enough time to sell some of your current cargo and return to pirate them. In short, it keeps them from getting away and selling their cargo.
To get this to work, you must make sure your victim has you targeted and is following you. You must also make sure not to run off too fast. You don't want to lose them. Keep them well within your radar range. Make sure they're still following you.
There are some things that can go wrong. First there are two circumstances where the victim may not target you: 1) They need to power up in a Light Well. And, 2) They're in or entering an air lock.
You can't do much except hope if they've made it to a buyer's air lock. Attack them anyway. They may come out firing without having sold their goods. This happens more than you might think.
If they're charging in a Light Well, you may well have enough time to get to the nearest buyer of your goods and clear your Pod. Then return to the Light Well and blast them.
Another tricky circumstance occurs when another pirate attacks your target. Their dogfight will give you enough time to quickly sell your cargo and clear your Pod, but you may lose track of the cargo.
If you see your target turning quickly in your "Target View" (bottom left of HUD), use Radar Range to see if there are any pirates around. If so, target the pirate attacking your target. Now run off and sell your goods. If your original target has been killed, target the pirate. Even if he doesn't have the cargo, he'll be near it trying to salvage it.
Finally, your target may be better armed than you think. This is especially true when your target is a pirate. They'll follow you alright, but they may kill you in the process.
If "The Follow" isn't working well, or you've got a long way to go, kill the target in a tunnel. AI pilots won't pick up cargo well inside tunnels, so it will be fairly safe until your return.
It takes a little skill to do this. Begin by stripping their shields and leading them into the nearest tunnel. When the target gets well inside the tunnel, bump them into the wall to stop their progress. Now kill them and the cargo will be safely in the tunnel awaiting your return.
Sometimes a target is hesitant to follow you in a tunnel. This often occurs if you're waiting inside the tunnel. Fly to the other end and exit the tunnel and the target will generally enter it. Now meet them in the middle, bump them into the tunnel wall, and kill them.
If the cargo is dropped outside the tunnel or near the entrance, follow the "Grounded Cargo" instructions below.
Sometimes the target will stop following you or they just won't enter the tunnel in which you're waiting. On other occassions, you may come under attack and need to resolve the situation quickly.
If all else fails, kill the target and let their valuable cargo fall to the ground. That's right. Just get the cargo grounded. You still have a chance to sell off your goods and get the cargo later.
Look at it like this. If you just give up, you'll never get the cargo. At least when it's on the ground, you stand a chance of finding it later or finding whoever snagged it.
To be successful at working grounded cargo, you need to target every Moth in the area. Don't attack them yet. Just get them in your Pilot Menu by targeting them. Finish your targeting by maintaining a lock on one of the grounded cargos.
Now run to the nearest buyer of your current cargo and clear your Pod. Return to collect as much cargo as you can. If you don't get it all, go through your Pilot Menu to see if any of the pilots in the area have picked it up. Kill them and take the cargo for yourself.
Sometimes, you can see a scavenger collecting the grounded cargo. Target him and quickly sell your cargo and return to kill the scavenger. Same goes for pirates scavenging your hard won blag.
In short, you're always better off with the cargo on the ground. The time it takes someone else to scavenge it will allow you to sell off your cargo and return.
Working Loaded Craters
The above techniques are particularly valuable in working "loaded craters". By loaded crater, I mean a crater where several Moths are carrying valuable cargo. This often occurs in Riverside and Downtown.
When you see that several Moths are carrying valuable cargos, kill them all and get the cargo on the ground. That's your only hope of getting it all. Kill quickly and move on to the next. Don't stop to salvage anything yet.
If a lot of Moths are involved, go on a killing spree. This has made me over $100,000 in only minutes. Kill off everyone carrying cargo to get it on the ground. Then kill off any scavengers in the area to prevent them from snagging your blag. Finally, kill off any pirates to keep them from the cargo and to get amnesty for the previous killings.
Now you'll be alone in the area for a little while. Start picking up everything you can and go for the nearest buyer. Don't worry about getting a couple of bucks more somewhere else. Time is of the essence here. Go for quick sales. Remember that it's all profit to you.
If you need to recharge, just grab what you can and sell it first. Recharging takes too much time to allow you to get everything. Target all remaining Moths in the area and monitor them while you charge. If they snag any of the cargo, kill them when you can.
Also you can target the scavengers (and possibly pirates) picking up cargo. Just target them and try to remember their names. While you're selling cargo, you can go through your pilot's list and target them. You've got a good chance to catch them if you get to it.
Keep in mind that scavengers will go to the nearest trading post and that pirates fly around carrying cargo for a long time. So, if you're after a scavenger, expect him to be heading straight toward the nearest trading post. This will work even if you don't have them targeted. Just fly toward the trading post and target what's around you. You'll find him if he hasn't made it inside.
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