Tuesday, November 30, 2010

‘Mine Mystery’

The preceding story mission was: ‘Component Upgrades’
The following story mission is: ‘Ore Smuggling’

Now this is a proper story mission. Characters to meet, a mystery to solve and a multi-ship dog fight. Lovely.

Before I started this mission I went back to the surface of Kalabesh and filled up on Energy (E). Even though you should be about level 3 by now, your cap is still 1,000 E. You could fly around the surface and explore, or kill defenceless drones before you accept this mission, but that’s just boring. There are still no white missions, so get in there and find out what Cassius Rock wants.

Cassius is the mine manager and he wants you to find out why his ore transporters have a habit of vanishing. You, along with Bill Darius, accompany some ore ships as they move across the surface of the planet. As you do, the pilots let drop some interesting titbits of information. The miners don’t like the Colonial Guards and the Star Gate’s not working. Interesting, already there’s more of a story than the original Vega system had. Another benefit of this mission is that you get to explore some of the planet and fill out your map, which is always satisfying.

After tying up with the second ore carrier, things start to get hairy. From out of the heavens comes a big nasty looking ship, with three smaller escorts. You and Bill naturally take a few shots at the big guy but he’s too tough. What you have to do is frag the escort, which are a new type of ship called Eliminators. It’s a pity because they’re lovely to look at, however they don’t fancy you much so best to start shooting.

One problem you might encounter here for the first time is targeting the right ship. While all seven of you spin and dance about, finding and clicking on one of the Eliminators can be tricky, especially when you get to the last one. This where you learn the value of the ‘End’ Hot Key. Pressing the ‘End’ key selects the nearest target, which could be Darius, the ore ship or the big enemy ship. If it is then press ‘End’ again and the next target is selected. Keep pressing ‘End’ until you get an Eliminator, blast him and move onto the next. The ‘End’ shortcut is one you must get comfortable with. I wish I’d known about it at the start of my pirate career, it would have made everything so much easier. It selects targets quicker than a mouse click, and your victim does not have to be in view.

While there may be a chance of getting blown back to the hangar in this fight, you’ll probably kill the Eliminators with Darius’s help. As soon as you’ve done this the pilot of the big enemy ship reveals himself to be Vicius the Mutilator, a Mantis who’s not happy with your interference. He sulks off into the above and beyond leaving you and Darius to chaperone the ore carrier home. Cassius speaks ominously about the Mantis threat while you nod wisely and pocket the 45 crystals.

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