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Structure   (16.17)   Playing the Game  >  Strategies  >  Spy
Living the life of a spy, huh? Need a few tips for getting started? Well, I (LordTonto) suppose I could try and point you in the right direction. If you haven't read my information on the Stealth ship yet, then shame on you. Go read that and don't come back till you do. If you wanna do things right you're gonna want only 1 ship, a stealth. if you have 2 ships you get kicked out've fed space and a stealth can't defend itself. If you have over level 160 tech level you'll get kicked out've fed space also, and a stealth can't defend itself. To do this right you need a place you can jump to at a moments notice without worrying about leaving a trail for others to find you or your team, and the only place like that is Sol, so keep your techs. low enough to stay under the 160 average. Generally this style of play is for people who enjoy doing it, not for people shooting for the top 10, because once you put yourself in the permanent intel spot, cash kinda stops flowing. The only way to pick up cash in excess of 100 billion is by capturing a planet, which puts you at risk. So the first piece of advice I will offer is do it because you love it, not because you think it'll make you creds easy. Second, be prepared to make enemies, people will come to you for knowledge if you are any good at the job, however they will also know that you make a profit off of selling out others. If you ever need a team you may be hard pressed to find one that trusts you. Third, stay professional. If you're gonna sell information or just collect it and give it to others for the joy of seeing them blow someone up, be sure that the buyer knows your info is up to date and accurate. When you talk to people you won't be doing business with, half-truths are fine, but if you plan to have a person come back a second time, be 100% honest. It limits the possibility they try to blow you up during a transaction too. If you've read up on the ship of choice and feel you can live with those few rules, read on, intel might be the job for you.

You wanna track someone in particular you say? Well, at the max you can reasonably expect, you're ship is at 113.63, plenty of room to upgrade some random techs. How about you start with the Torpedo Launchers. Not too much now, let's try 50. Now you've got a few mines to work with. Lay out fields of 10 at places with lots of warp links, people frequently pass through them. Then, like any good fisherman, wait for a bite. When your log says somebody hit them, goto that sector and pick up the trail. At less than 100 sensors, you can't see who was where and in what. Leave that to the Super Cargo's. At 100 Sensors you can see what kind of ship was in that sector last. Might be enough for a pioneer, but not for us. At 200 Sensors you can know who was last in the sector and what they were driving. Well I don't know about you but It's not "who" that I'm particularly interested in. Ah, 300, finally. At 300 Sensors you can tell what your prey had for breakfast that morning. Well, not really, but you can at least see who was in the sector, what ship they were driving, and where they went too. This is just too easy. If any decent player hit those mines the message you see is going to direct you to Sol. You could get lucky and it's a less than decent player, or a decent player in a rush that hits them, and you're on your way to him and his home. You'd have to be damned lucky for him to lead you to his sleeping base, in which case write that sector down because it's gonna be worth something to someone, but odds are he'll just lead you to a random planet. Now here's where that cloak is useful. You're gonna skip the whole "scan" process and go right to the "Send spy to planet" process. If you see big red letters that among which is the word "BOUNTY" back away and just make a sector note, or a personal note in notepad, wordpad, blood, whatever you write in. If it says nothing about a bounty, send a spy whose job is to jump to that player's ship. Then look at all those check boxes. The only real useful ones are "Steal Money" and "Capture Planet." make sure at least those two are selected and proceed to send 5 spies. The refresh button is your friend. If none are caught, you're golden, if even 1 is caught, a decent player will clean his planet. However even if just 1 gets on that planet you can go back to the "send spy to planet" menu and see all the planets stats with 100% guaranteed accuracy. You know, to the cent, what that planet is worth and what it takes to bring it down. People can and will pay for that information. You're done here, so get the hell back to Sol.

Now you'll repeat this alot while checking your log for one of three fantastic messages you could receive:
1) Credits Have Stolen!
and most importantly
3) Spy Infiltrates Enemy Ship!

All of these are pretty self explanatory. The first means you got paid at someone else's expense. Could be thousands, could be billions, whatever it is, "if it's free, it's for me." The Second is an improved version of the first. That whole planet is yours to do with what you wish. Generally this means go there, clean it for spies a million times (don't be stupid and fall for your own trick). Then you can take all the money off of it. Use the planets own defenses to set up SD's. Trade goods off the planet to a nearby port. Maybe just blow the damn thing up. It's your call, because it's your planet now. Lastly is the most magnificent message you'll ever receive, this means someone made a transfer with a planet you had a spy on and that person is now unknowingly working for you. Go to your spy menu on the main command list. You'll notice a new box, it's titled "Spies on Enemy Ships." Damn that's beautiful. First is the player's name, good info to have, let's you know how golden that spy is. Next is the ship name, which you'll notice is a link. Click it. What you're looking at is 100% accurate information about anything you could need to know about that ship. You even know if the poor bastard has his seat belt (Read: Escape Pod) on. You know if he has a fuel scoop, if he has energy to launch a sector missile at him. You know what level the ship is on every tech and what cargo he's hauling. It's, for lack of a more elegant way of putting it, boner inspiring. Ready for more? It's not even the greatest part. Go on and hit the back button and take another look at that box. Third bit of info is the ship class (well we already know all about that, don't we?). Last piece of info worth mentioning though, is the holy grail. IF this player is logged on, it will display the exact sector he's in as a link (otherwise it will say unknown.) That's right, this spy is really putting forth the extra effort, I'd say he's earned a nice long retirement already, but this little guy isn't through yet. At the top of your page you'll see "Click here to see what your spies have detected." By all means do what it says. Now you see why it's beautiful to be a spy. That is a list of who owned what planet in what sector at what time. This player who accidentally picked up your spy might as well be on your team, because he's selling out the whole universe to you now... and that little spy of yours is logging every minute of it.

Now what to do with the info you just gained. Well, if it's a personal vendetta, I've always been a fan of using Sector Genesis Torps to link to where the ship is at a given moment and Sector Missile them. Sector Missiles can't be traced and they most likely won't realize it's because of a spy after the first shot. Watch your spy menu from sol and wait for them to repair their ship and build back up on energy, then do it again, it's funny. If it's an ally, save the info until they aren't an ally and then sell it to someone who could potentially become an ally. If it's not an ally or a personal grudge, then you've got a prime candidate for the free market. First look through shouts, try and remember if anyone else has a vendetta, someone who would pay a bounty and then some just to see them podded. You can make a bit off planets, a ton off ships. If nobody wants the person for personal reasons, look for someone who has high capture and kill numbers, they obviously enjoy it and will pay almost as much as someone with a personal score to settle. Check the Good/Evil rating too, if a level player will get no bounty from the kill they are more likely to buy the info. Remember to be flexible on prices, in a stealth the info is near valueless to you, so whatever you make is profit. If you still can't find anyone, look for people below them in level eager to move up, if the planet is worth a damn, someone might buy it, if not, go see if you can drop some spies on it yourself and capture it on your own, maybe get a spy on their ship and just keep the cycle going. Worst case scenario you just hold onto the info and eventually a time will come when it might be useful. Or you can give it away for free to someone and watch a random guy get blown up, just have fun with it.

Spies can do other things as well, though they are less commonly used for it, a spy can:

Destroy Fighters
Destroy torpedoes
Steal Interest (though I'm not sure how this works these days)
Reduce Birthrate
Sabotage Production

I usually don't use most of these because they rarely benefit me. Most of the time if I have a spy doing one of those 5 actions it's because someone took my planet that had 5 spies already on it that haven't been told specifically what to do.

Other than that there really isn't much more to say. Don't try and cloak past SD's, you'll only lose a very valuable ship. Keep a friend with a decent fighter ship to bust defenses if you're that desperate. And keep your info up to date... nothing ruins credability like telling someone you have info that is outdated and inaccurate.

Created by: system. Last Modification: Tuesday 17 of June, 2008 03:47:06 CDT by Lordtonto.