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    Thread: [DiD] Born Again Noob

    1. #1
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      Default [DiD] Born Again Noob

      I am returning to the X series after a long break, and I have forgotten much about the game. As such, I thought this would be an ideal situation to start a Dead is Dead game. This thread is the log of my journey back into the X Universe.

      Game: X3 Albion Prelude
      Game Start: Suicidal Squid
      Rules: Dead Is Dead (enforced by Steam). Since I'm re-discovering the Universe, anything else is Fair Game.
      Mods: I will start Vanilla, and add on mods from the Bonus Pack as they become relevant. The addition of a mod will be mentioned and/or rationalized in the narrative. Other mods may be added if I think they'll add to the story, or make the game more fun for me.
      Quests / Plots / Goals: Uhm... yes? I don't have anything specific in mind. I would like to see the new War that comes with X3AP, so surviving that long would be nice. I'll likely restart this DiD as many times as necessary to pass the time until XTC 2.0 comes out... at what point I'll wrap this one up, and use my newly reacquired knowledge to start a new DiD in that setting.

      Welcome to my re-education.

      -----

      Last week I was a Research Engineer on an AoS (Academy of Science) sponsored MIRV Ion Torpedo project. I'd spent years earning my place in an Academy, and many more years developing and refining new technology. I specialize in bio-electronics, and reverse engineering foreign technologies.

      Two days ago, I became a scapegoat; someone was tampering with the research data while spoofing my AoS Security Clearance. Only my years of excellent R&D work kept me from prison, or a trial for treason. I was discharged with no severance. I liquidated my assets, and began my own search for the perpetrators, using some less-legal avenues.

      Yesterday, I found a lead. There was no grand conspiracy; it was just a bunch of pirates that saw an opportunity, and took it. I spent the last of my credits to hire a team to collect evidence, delete the stolen data, and perhaps detain them. I joined the team. I will admit to being a little hopping up on Battle-Stims at the time. I'm an Engineer, not a Soldier. The job did not go well.

      This morning, I woke up on a spaceship. I woke up on a Spaceship! I think I stole it from the pirates... it appears to be a small unarmed Octopus. I've also got a couple kegs of Space Fuel, 1000 credits left in my bank account, and a nasty Stim-Crash headache. And I'm in space. I've never flown before; I was always a passenger. This should be interesting.


    2. #2
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      That flight trainer was useless. Ok, he wasn't useless... but I have no guns! How am I supposed to target and destroy his silly crate? I ran it over a couple times, but he was not amused.

      Autopilot seems intuitive. Guess I'll start there.

      It appears our home sector is called Queens Harbor. I am in need of credits if I'm going to survive, but this ship isn't exactly a Super Freighter. I stopped by a shipyard and picked up a couple upgrades to the engines and cargo hold. I also explored some nearby sectors, but without guns, I'm nervous about picking up any job postings. It appears I'm going to be doing Energy Cell runs to the local BoFu labs for a bit.

      Too bad I'm about 30 seconds behind a Split Super Freighter who's buying up all the Energy Cells. Why do we even let them trade in our sector? Time to come up with another plan.

      Veil of Delusion... pirate sector. Pirates have BIG SHIPS, with BIG GUNS. I've worked on Photon Pulse Cannons before, but never seen one in action. They are infinitely more terrifying when you're dodging balls of plasma that are bigger than your ship. Barely made it out, and I'm not going back there any time soon. I know where to go hunting if I ever come into my own.

      A stroke of luck! Maybe. A Split Fleet passed through Faded Dreams, laying waste to anything and everything. The local military base responded, and there was a firefight. Sadly, I think the Split Fleet won. I have salvaged some missiles and sold them back to the base for 20k+ credits. I'm going to shadow this Split Fleet and see if there is more salvage to be had. Queen's Mercy; I'm a scavenger. How far I have fallen.

      The Split Fleet was intercepted by another Boron Fleet, and I was pleased to see the warmongers destroyed. A few more salvage runs, and I had earned about 6 months pay! Sadly, some missiles were too big to fit in my cargo hold. Still, I now have 4 Impulse Ray Emitters, and some Fight Software (Mk 1). I don't feel quite so helpless. Time to go get some cargo hold upgrades.

      Last edited by Poseidon; 13-01-2012 at 11:49 AM.

    3. #3
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      The cockpit computer terminal chirped, and I cringed. It'd taken me a couple days and a few credits, but I'd finally managed to get my planetside messages routed to my ship through an anonymous proxy. I thought it'd be a good idea to maintain some contact with my old life, and reached out to a few people with varying levels of detail regarding my circumstances. The responses have been mixed.

      This morning had been the worst. My mom all but disowned me, berating me as a traitor and a failure. The cc to all my immediate and distant family members was a nice touch; she always was a bit zealous. My old coworkers responded with everything from polite dismissal to poorly masked disgust. It appears the bureaucracy told everyone I quit the project to join the private sector. It's probably better to leave them in ignorance. Seri Ca was displeased, but she said she'd wait for me for now. It's hard for her to keep faith in a relationship that spans light-years, not to mention not knowing if or when I'll be coming back.

      My dad, on the other hand, was exceptionally understanding. Frighteningly so. He told me he'd do damage control on my mom's outburst, and then he forwarded me a biometrically encrypted data package. Inside was a name and a location: Bennett, Grand Exchange. My dad used to do intelligence for highly public military operations before he retired; I'm guessing he called in one of his contacts for me. I should make my way over sometime in the next few days.

      The computer chirped again, and I trudged over to examine it's concern. The job search script had found something that didn't require combat or flying through dangerous sectors. 46 minute deadline, retrieve an abandoned ship, 4k payment.

      With my recently upgraded engines, the job was no problem. The target ship was an Octopus Vanguard, in poor condition. A few minutes of repairs, and it's autopilot was taking it back to it's owner. I will admit to some temptation to keep the ship, and sell it... but I'm still nervous about the fallout from the failed job on the pirates. No reason to get more people mad at me. I did find some more salvage, which allowed me to max out my cargo hold, buy another 1MJ shield, and upgrade the engine output and vectoring.

      I don't quite know where to go from here. Missile salvage is lucrative, but I'm missing out on the good missiles due to my small cargo hold. I'm going to need to upgrade my ship soon, but do I go with a Mako or a Dolphin? There are an abundance of combat missions, but I'm no mercenary. That said, I've witnessed an excess of combat and warfare since I left planetside. It may be wise to equip myself accordingly, regardless of intention.

      For now, I think it's time to make some more credits. This new ship won't pay for itself.

      Last edited by Poseidon; 13-01-2012 at 08:30 PM.

    4. #4
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      You expect the plasma explosion incinerating all your worldly possessions to come with a sound... a bang, or a boom, or the hissing sizzle of matter fleeing its covalent bonds. You'd be wrong, as there's no sound in space, but it doesn't stop the expectation. My instinctive flinch made the incoming shockwave's impact more tolerable, however.

      I had been doing well... I had credits, and weapons, and a fully upgraded ship. I was saving for a Mako. A mixture of salvage and non-combat jobs had been turning me a decent profit... although the salvage jobs had been drying up. One of the espionage missions took me to the sector Bright Profit. I identified the target's conspirator, forwarded the info along, and got paid. On my way back, I was jumped by pirates! I am getting so sick of pirates; this is twice they've ruined me. I took out the M5s, and one of the Elites before the other one got behind me and launched a missile. If he was in front, I could shoot down the missile, but from behind? Nothing to do. I hit eject. 3 seconds later, the missile impacted, destroying my ship almost instantly. The pirate continued to pump plasma rounds into it for a couple more seconds before flying away.

      The next few hours was leap-frogging from one station to another, attempting to conserve air. I will admit to some apprehension about going through a Gate in nothing but a Spacesuit. However, nobody was stopping to give me a lift, and I only had so much air. I would rather die torn apart at Faster-Than-Light than by getting run over by a Freighter or from Asphyxiation. Fortunately, the Gate treated the Spacesuit like any other ship. Queen's Retribution wasn't too far away, and I barely had enough money to purchase another Octopus, but nothing else. No weapons, no upgrades. Back to square one.

      Frustrated with my attempts to wring credits from the same few sectors, I explored a bit. I stopped by the Teladi Shipyard in Grand Exchange, and met with my father's contact, Bennett. He didn't have much to offer at the moment, but he did show me how to configure Missile Defense Software. Of course, I have to go buy it myself, but once I do, I won't have to worry about missiles from behind anymore. He mentioned I could come back to him in the future if I needed more software training. I'll likely take him up on the offer.

      I continued on to Belt of Aguilar, and started my search for work and salvage again. It was about this time that I saw a Xenon N fly by. Weaponless, and still using the stock Octopus, I was in no condition for combat. I fled behind a nearby asteroid, but it was unnecessary. There are THREE Argon Colossus patrolling the sector, all owned by Jonferco. Which is good, becuase that Xenon N was the first of wave after wave of Xenon invadors. It wasn't a full invasion fleet; there were no ships larger than M3. But they were numerous, and I was able to profit from a number of salvage runs. Of course, it wasn't without some risk. A stray shot would likely crush me, and the Xenon did occasionally turned their weapons on me. I can't count the number of times I hid behind an asteroid to do repairs.



      But, I'm back in the game. 100k credits, and my naked Octopus. And I'm not dead yet. Let's see if I can keep it that way. I've still got pirates to kill.

      Last edited by Poseidon; 15-01-2012 at 04:18 AM.

    5. #5
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      There is nothing quite as frustrating as an undersized cargo hold.

      The three hammerhead missiles taunted me with their lazy drift across my video screen. 240k credits, if only I could find some way to lug them back to a trading station. Size: M, 6. Stupid Octopus. I couldn't even strap them to my ship; they were bigger than my ship. I guess it says something about my mental state when I'm considering jury-rigging 3.6 Megatons of death onto this scrap heap.

      Salvage in the belt was lucrative, but intermittent and dangerous. Every few hours, another small squad of Xenon ships would make their way from Xenon Sector 598, across Grand Exchange, and into the waiting jaws of Mr. Jonferco Colossus. And then I'd sift their remains, and sell the missiles back at Jonferco HQ. Sometimes I would get lucky, and find a Remote Guided Warhead or two. Most of the time I would be stuck ignoring a Cyclone while picking up the errant Wasp or Dragonfly.

      Days? Weeks? I don't know. I do know that the emails from the Galactic Trade Commission seem to indicate an advancement in rank (Entrepreneur). The Argons have started to trust me as well (Argon Confirmed Friend). Eventually, I had 400k credits. Time to go shopping. Or so I thought.



      It appears my story leaked, and I'm not trusted to purchase a proper Boron spacecraft. Do I go buy an M4 from my new Argon friends, or do I try to repair my reputation with my own race? I'm going to go back to salvaging the Suicidal Xenon Conga Line for a bit.

      Last edited by Poseidon; 16-01-2012 at 11:55 AM.

    6. #6
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      Apologies for the delay. Had to put out a couple fires at work (not literally), and I didn't get to play until tonight. Also, thanks for your patience while I sort out the simple stuff, and play around with formatting. Feel free to offer suggestions of things you'd like to see reported, changed, or otherwise different. I write so you guys can read, so if there's something that'll make this more enjoyable for you, speak up. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

      -----

      If I didn't know better, I'd think the entire known universe is on the brink of war.

      Before I left Boron space, I upgraded my sad little Octopus as much as I could... which wasn't much. I couldn't buy weapons, or even a better M5. I was stuck with what I had.

      I took what I could get, and attempted to return to the Belt. About halfway there, a pirate harrier decided I was easy pickings. He was right; I still had no weapons, and he was faster than me, even with my engines fully upgraded. I dodged around a couple stations, and finally requested emergency docking at the Trade Station in Bright Profit. I swear this sector hates me. I attempted to take off a couple times, but the harrier was waiting. I settled in, and eventually the damn pirate went away.

      I made it to Grand Exchange, and stopped at the Shipyard. The Teladi would sell to anyone, right? Turns out, no. Fed up, and still sitting on almost 400k in credits, I flew through the Belt, and continued into Argon space. They trusted me enough to sell me weapons or a ship, if I could only find the appropriate station. The next 4 sectors had locations to purchase IREs, and they would gladly have sold it to me if they had any in stock. Nobody had IREs, the only weapon this ship could equip. I finally made it out to Black Hole Sun, where there was a Shipyard waiting. They offered me a Buster for 600k, but I didn't have the cash. In the end, I traded in my Octopus for a Discoverer Vanguard. It was a little slower, but it could hold M size cargo, it maxed out at 47 cargo space, and it came with weapons and an extra shield slot! Best 70k I ever spent. I mean, the ship was a wretched nightmare of mined and processed ore, harsh lines, abrasive gray colors, and the least intuitive interface I've ever seen... but it was better in all the places that mattered. I could deal with learning a new interface if it meant I didn't have to ignore Hammerhead missile salvage anymore. I named the ship Vulture.

      Excited to earn some more cash, I headed back towards the Belt. As I gated into Treasure Chest, I became aware of a rather heated conflict in progress. Argons vs Terrans!





      I quickly Boosted to safety, and the fight was over soon enough. I don't know what was going on, but there was a rather intimidating Argon armada guarding that gate.



      I salvaged what I could, and moved on.

      Sadly, the belt was mostly quiet. The only thing of interest was a Split War Party moving through the sector, and nothing came of it. I moved over to Grand Exchange to see if I could find better salvage. I found something, alright! A Xenon Q, in combat with a Teladi Rapid Response Condor.



      It looked like we might have an interesting fight on our hands, until the Q collided with the Condor's shields and disintegrated. For some reason, I think the Xenon piloting school might be cutting some corners. In response to the crushing defeat, the Xenon sent another ship to finish the job... a Xenon J!!! The Condor quickly went down, but a Peregrine started peppering the J with missiles from behind the gate.



      Despite the carnage, I was still unable to find adequate salvage. Now that I can loot them, hammerhead missiles are no longer stocked.

      In a moment of frustration and stupidity, I start looking for pirates to hunt down. My first is a Pirate Buster. I snuck up on him just as he was about to jump through a gate, and start pummeling him with IRE fire. In a matter of seconds, his ship is debris. My heroic first kill: a sneak attack from behind while lining up to go through a gate... not my proudest moment, but at this point, I've stopped caring. I will note, however, that even with so little risk, the adrenaline really started pumping.

      It takes me a while to find another target. Pirates appear to fly in packs, and I certainly can't take a party of Buzzards in my little Discoverer. Eventually I spy a group of 2 Elites, and a Buzzard. I'm about to ignore them when I see one of the Elites, and the Buzzard, fly face first into a station and explode! That leaves a single Elite. It's still more than a match for my ship, but if I play this right...

      I take position behind him, and catch up to him, and match his speed. I program in evasive maneuvers into the lateral thrusters, to avoid any fire from his potentially equipped rear cannon. I take a deep breath, and open fire.

      He dodges to the left, and his rear turret starts popping off shots at me... I slap the button to execute the evasion routine, and the energy bolts fly harmlessly by. He tries to turn his main guns towards me, but I kick up the speed, and maintain a steady broadside. The Laser Energy Low warning sounds. His shields have just barely been stripped. I hit the Boost, buzz his cockpit, and flip my ship 180 degree on 2 axis. He is disoriented for a few seconds, which gives my energy banks time to recharge. I unload. After a few hits, he curses at me through the comm, and bails from his ship!

      I quick eject, and claim it. I send it off to a quiet corner, and proceed with repairs.



      There's not much left of the ship... no shields, all the upgrades got destroyed... but I manage to salvage 2 Phased Repeater Guns! Oh hell yes. Also, Large cargo size, 114 cargo space, 6 weapon bays plus a rear turret, and the heavier shielding? Nothing but good here.

      In the end, I transferred all my gear from my old ship to the Elite, and sold off the Discoverer. I renamed the Elite to Fool, since it was blatant stupidity to attempt what I did. I still need a 1x25MJ shield, some better weapons, and that Missile Defense Software... and it's going to take some time to get used to the slow speed of an M4. I wont lie; this ship is even more disturbing than the Discoverer, and it's going to take some time to adapt... but I feel much safer in this ship.

      Now, I just need to decide what to do next!

      Last edited by Poseidon; 21-01-2012 at 04:53 AM.

    7. #7
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      Why is the Pirate Elite so slow..?

      Nobody would sell me 25MJ shields, so I bought a 5MJ, and settled in to earn some rep. I stopped back at Atreus HQ to buy a Jumpdrive, and now I don't know how I lived without it. It saved my life more times than I can count. Jobs are tricky; they don't tell you where some of the jobs are. I had a ship retrieval job in Cardinal's Domain. So I'm supposed to just walk into central Split territory, as a Boron, hop out of my ship, claim another ship, then somehow make it through 4 hostile sectors with a slow, unshielded ship in tow? Funny.

      In the end, I resorted to some combat missions. These are terrifying, and never fail to make me second-guess the decisions that led up to the fight. [ooc: I actually get a slight adrenaline rush in real life before every fight. DiD does strange things to a player]. The first couple missions were simple 'kill the pirate' missions. I was fine with that. Jump in, wait until they were near an object in case I needed to dodge behind something, fire off a looted Wasp, and strafe them until they died. I always tried to talk them into Surrendering, but only one Elite accepted. I netted 3 more Pulsed Beam Emitters, and the cash from selling the hull.

      The next couple missions involved Terran criminals, which made me a bit cautious. Weren't the Argons in a recent war with the Terrans? I don't know much about Terran technology, and this could have been a misinformation campaign from the Argons... but this was in Boron space, and so it was better to deal with it than leave them alone. The first mission was easy, but the second had 2 Rapiers against my lone Elite. Some creative dodging around the gate solved the problem, but it was pretty tense for a while. My shields got stripped, but I didn't take any hull damage. All those flight combat simulation video games as a kid must have paid off.

      Finally, I had the rep to buy 25MJ shields. I stopped by the local Boron equipment docks, but they didn't carry them? I stopped by the Medium Shield Fab in Menelaus' Oasis, and they were out of BoFu. Grumble.

      I now had the money to invest in peaceful moneymaking opportunities, so I bought a Dophin, upgraded it, and sent it to the BoFu factories in Queen's Harbor. By the time he made it back to Menalaus' Oasis, the need had been met by some other trader. Whatever. I sold where I could, for a profit, and continued to survey asteroids in various sectors while looking for trading opportunities. Bright Profit finally made amends for it's previous inhospitably, and I made a killing on Sun Flower shipments to Tears of Greed. I stopped back at Menelaus' Oasis; they had 25MJ shields in stock, and I was allowed to buy them! Finally, a fully upgraded ship!

      My surveying brought me to Distant Clouds... a nice safe sector with only one entrance, a trading station, a solar power plant, a couple decent ore and silicon asteroids, and Nividium! And a pirate base. Hrm. How do you gather bare minerals? I know I need an Ore Collector, and maybe a Mobile Drilling Platform? But only Argon TS ships could equip that. I hopped back to Omicron Lyrae to start my new mining operations.

      Omicron Lyrae is a War Zone(tm). Every hour, on the hour, another Terran fleet collides with the waiting Argon armada. It's a massacre, and highly profitable salvage. However, the corridor from Black Hole Sun through Treasure Chest to Omicron Lyrae is a death trap. Xenon and Pirates from the East, Terrans and Argon Flak Cannons from the West. I lost four (4!!!) Mercury's in that corrider, just trying to get them back to Boron space. Over a million credits lost to friendly fire or bad timing. Oh, and those 25MJ shields paid for themselves. A Split War Party decided to take a couple pot-shots at me with missiles on their way by. I shot down the first, and juked the second into a building, but the 3rd hit my shield. Exactly 25k damage to my shield; not a single point of hull damage. With under 10k points of hull integrity, if I'd had my old 5MJ shields, that would have been a one-hit kill. (shiver)

      After some more salvage to recover my losses (including a rather harrowing fight with a Pirate Nova who finally ejected), I bought an Argon Magnetar, transferred the Jumpdrive from my Elite, docked the Elite, and jumped out of there. I considered keeping the Pirate Nova, but it was way too slow for my tastes, and I needed the credits. The Magnetar's 400KJ shielding feels nice, it can use the Mobile Drilling Platform, and carry 1k XL Cargo. I also purchased a Dolphin, equipped it a Jumpdrive and Ore Collecter, and told it to meet us in Distant Clouds. Between the 3 ships, I should be able to make quick work of the Nividium in the sector, and even break down the less useful large asteroids. I'll need to avoid the Pirates for the time being, but I wouldn't mind making this place my safe haven in the future.

      Last edited by Poseidon; 22-01-2012 at 06:37 PM.

    8. #8
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      Nividium mining sucks.

      I started by telling my XL-class ships to harvest rocks, while I used the Elite to break up the Asteroid chunks into smaller pieces. It was tedious business. The up-side was, I learned how to control my ship, and hit targets while moving in strange ways. Flight training that makes you wealthy; that's a good deal.

      But it doesn't make you wealthy. Nividium is nearly impossible to sell. The station in PTNI will buy six at a time. What am I supposed to do with 2700 units of the stuff? In the end, I discovered that the shipyards will take it as scrap and give me minimum price for it, if I leave it in the hull of a ship I'm selling. Whatever. I found someone who was willing to sell me a freighter for less than market value, fixed it up, filled it up, and sold it.

      Now sitting on 22 million credits, I got confused. That's enough capital to do... well, a lot of things. I started by buying a Nova Raider. It seemed prudent to buy a fast M3 with some extra shields, gun, and a rear turret... so I named it Prudence. Nice ship, but slow. It handled itself well in a couple combat missions, but I wasn't enjoying flying it.

      [ooc: Boron Defend Base from Attack missions are currently bugged in the latest version of X3AP. You get the rep, but you don't get paid, and the video of the Boron in the top-right corner loops until something else displays there. Weird]

      I refuse to do 'fetch my ship' missions anymore. They are always in strange places, and the ships are often too slow to meet their ridiculous time requirements. I'm not going to bounce a Jumpdrive back and forth between ships just because you can't keep track of your fleet.

      Tired of flying slow ships, I did some rep missions for the Teladi, and purchased two Kestrals. Wonderful ships. Fast, big enough for a Jumpdrive and some Energy Cells, and a rear turret for defense. I used them to scout out the Pirate Sectors south of Grand Exchange. It wasn't until my wingman collided into a gate and instantly exploded that I realized my stupidity. I worked my way back to Queen's Retribution, purchased an Advanced Barracuda, and sent the Kestral to dock with my Magnetar. It never arrived.

      I named the new ship Genesis. It's not my favorite ship... only M size cargo, and no rear turret... but Mosquito Missile Defense is adequate, and I'm not doing missile salvage runs anymore, so no need to collect L size cargo. Also, 227 m/s is pretty fast for an M3. It's no M3+, but I'm not finding any of those that appeal to me.

      Speaking to that subject... there are very few good well-rounded ships for a freelance pilot. I'll admit, I've only seem Argon and Boron technology, but the Eclipse is ugly and slow (although it at least has 200MJ shields). The Skate is slow, under-shielded, and only has M cargo class. Pirate versions are worse. I've dug through some recent tech journals, and it appears the Eclipse is the best M3 available, in terms of survivability. There's rumors of a Terran military M3+ called a Fenrir, that has good speed, shields, and cargo capacity, but they can only use the odd Terran weaponry. There are other rumors of a specialty Argon M3, but nobody can put a name on it, other than it looks like a refined Nova. Do I have to go up to an M6 to feel safe in this increasingly dangerous universe?

      Anyway, my capital dwindled down to 14M after all my ship swapping and losses. I'm not even sure how I burned through 8 million credits. This is BAD.

      I've decided to start looking for station construction jobs. This will get me familiar with station construction, and may help stimulate the local economies a bit. The Boron sectors are a bit sparse. Also, I need to start making friends with the Paranid and Split (gag). I can't afford to be fighting a war on 3 fronts, and Pirates are my only true enemy right now.

      Last edited by Poseidon; 23-01-2012 at 03:57 PM.

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      I had just captured a Xenon LX, and simultaneously repaired my reputation with the Split. Things were going great! I docked at the local Ore Mine, hit Save and Quit.

      Steam ate my save. My game is gone. The End.


      I may have lost my taste for Dead is Dead.

      :-(

      Last edited by Poseidon; 24-01-2012 at 02:13 AM.

    10. #10
      Spammy the (spacefl)Eye in the sky... stemardue's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
      Steam ate my save. My game is gone. The End.
      doh... death by 'acts of God' was not initially considered into DiD rules. That sucks... sorry to read that.

      Steam is Death ^^

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