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### Build (green bricks) ####

Build is obvious: build a station. IT IS ALWAYS FASTER (for the outcome you desire) TO BE OUT OF SECTOR (OOS) WHEN ORDERING LARGE SHIPS AROUND. This goes for any ship, but in this case I'm using TLs as an example: they are probably the least manoeuvrable, slowest, worst-turning space-slugs you'll ever come across*. This means that if time is a problem you'll want to have your assets ready, even if the TL is hired. ALWAYS buy the correct type of station for the mission: if a Split Large Solar Power Plant is required, it’s no good dropping a Boron Large SPP or a Split Medium SPP: you’ll fail unless you can get the correct station dropped in the right place within time.

Initially try to hire as many TLs as possible (in their shipyard sectors - remember the toll is about 1KCr per gate crossed/entered/exited/WHY, (depending upon the race you hire & race rep) - during your early exploration, & send them to their sector's shipyard. This will cost you minimal money, as they don't charge by time, but by travel (gate) distance. [Hint: to easily access the hired ships you can use 'display in monitor'; this will display a PiP if the target is IS, but a simple line if not. Try it & see how useful it is for viewing/controlling remote ships.. if you don't like it just close the 'window' & it'll never bother you again!] There is an initial hire charge (1 gate's worth); obviously this will decrease to minimum as your race rep increases. Later on you can acquire your own TL(s): make JD & fuel a priority for them along with Nav1 software & shields as they'll be doing a lot of work! Having them makes any transport job much quicker & less expensive.

Initial purchase of the mission station will come out of your own funds; however the reward will always cover the initial purchase cost, so don’t worry about making a loss (except if transport fees exceed reward + station cost). Hard & Very Hard missions always have the best rewards (as always) & the time limits are usually reasonable.. at least enough time for you to think & wonder ‘Can I really do this in time?’

Build missions require <playership> to be anywhere in the same (destination) sector as the TL. Once you’re both there, simply comm the captain of the TL carrying the station (or go to Command|Special if you’re piloting it yourself) & select ‘Drop station’ (or words to that effect), or view its freight & select 'build' for the relevant station. You will be presented with a gravidar (sector radar) display. IMPORTANT: Hit <numpad> 5 first to centre your crosshairs on what’s displayed (often the TL), then click or scroll down the list until the nav beacon is highlighted (it should be at the top of the list of ships/stations when In Sector (IS)), then hit <Enter/Return>. A short video will show you the station being deployed, & you should receive a ‘Mission Complete’ notification. Simples!

(If you’ve forgotten to hit <numpad> 5) you’ll be left with a station in the wrong spot on at least 1 axis, so it’s time to unlimber your tractor beam & tow it to where it should have been placed. If you’re unlucky it’s been placed right on top of your TL, which will promptly explode (unless you get OOS really really fast!). Don’t have the funds for a TB? Too bad; you’re stuck with a station, ‘lost’ funds (a player station can always make a profit if it’s not destroyed first; it’s up to you to see that maximised) & lost rep (for failing the mission, if you can’t get a replacement in time). Learn to live with it. Maybe the tedium & pernickety detail of towing & avoiding other ships/stations/asteroids in the area will teach you to pay more attention next time & DO IT PROPERLY! (smile)

However, as always there are several areas for misunderstanding:

1) <Playership> can't see the relevant TL when in sector (IS). OK, you can either hotfoot to the most likely gate the TL has come through, or you can scroll through your asset display ('r' is the default key for UK/US keyboards). Your asset display will show any hired TLs (you can't hire any other ship) in slate blue/grey (by the default ship sort), as opposed to the green of your owned assets. You can comm the TL from there by right-clicking, whether it be IS or several sectors away, just as you would from your cockpit or anywhere else.

2) TL contains more than one type of the same station. Hmm.. this is a problem. The problem being that once you've bought a 'Split Mosquito Missile Factory' & a 'Boron Mosquito Missile Factory' they both show up as 'Mosquito Missile Factory' in your TL, so you don't know which to place to complete the mission. I think [needs checking] the first one you buy is the first to show up in the list, so pay attention!

3) You've accepted a build mission for a place you haven't been to yet - You idiot! Don't panic, however: if you have a jumpdrive & enough cash/Ecells or a fast enough ship (think Kestrel - it doesn't matter what ship you're in at the destination) you can easily get to the destination sector in time by using jumps in-sector (ie from one gate to another) and/or simply using the yellow 'mission destination' guides. If you click on the yellow guides they'll reveal their 'destination' to you; if it's a jumpgate, you can jump straight to it once it's selected. then fly through & rinse/repeat as necessary until you reach the target sector

4) You've arrived at your (misty?) destination & don't see a nav beacon, or you see several in your gravidar. First make sure the relevant 'build' mission is selected in your mission log, then similar to above: click on the yellow 'mission guidance' arrows in the main viewscreen to 'lock on' to your target. Once they've been selected you can see the beacon in your radar no matter how far away it is. It's useful to be within scanner range of the beacon when you deploy the station, as otherwise your map won't update & your traders won't get the profit from filling an empty station.. plus /you/ won't know precisely where it is if you need to come back for its products later

5) Your (hired or owned) TL is in-sector waiting to deploy. So are you. You are both over 50Km away from nearest <satellite/ship> contact. Is this a problem? NO! It doesn't matter how far away you or your TL is from the target spot: you can communicate with the TL to place the station correctly no matter where you or they are in-sector (IS). If you can’t see a hired TL IS, you can comm it via the asset display (see point (1))

6) Occasionally in crowded & Terran sectors the nav beacon may be placed so close to another object that it will move when <playership> enters the sector, due to the way the game’s collision avoidance works. This is difficult to overcome, but a few ways around it are: 

  • a) have a remote ship drop off a few satellites before <playership> enters the sector. This ignores collision avoidance & allows you to jot down the coordinates of the nav beacon before it ‘moves’ (you can pick up the sats later if you wish)
  • b) have a ship remotely map the sector using Explorer s/w (& (preferably) a triplex scanner) to establish the coordinates of the beacon prior to entering the sector in <playership>!
  • c) use a tractor beam to tow the misplaced station to where it should go (lots of luck required here!)

[edit] If you receive a Station Build Mission for the sector that you are already in, none of this worry will be necessary. That's because the beacon will be generated with anti-collision taken into account, and you can always activate the Mission guidance arrows and the beacon will be highlighted in your field of view when you are in the sector. [/edit] Many thanks Morkonan!

Basically the whole point is to establish the coordinates of the beacon before you (in <playership>) enter the sector; those coordinates are where you have to drop the station. This may show up visually by a station drop point bouncing around the beacon. Don’t worry about the newly-placed station colliding with something once it’s placed, as a) as soon as you drop it within the beacon's range it becomes the mission-giver’s asset & therefore their problem & rep hit, not yours & b) if you want the station to remain for your & the AI’s use afterwards, simply offset the drop point from the nav beacon by a couple of Km: you’ll still get a successful mission provided it’s within 2Km radius [check range - may be up to 5Km] of the beacon. Remember you have 3 axes to work with – don’t forget the planar up/down ( y ) axis (accessible by hitting <Insert>)! Once you go OOS & re-enter the sector, the station will have been moved to a more convenient position (for the collision avoidance AI) if it’s someone else’s asset.

*I know they're not, quite, but it's a good idea to get newbies thinking that way when dealing with huge ships

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