SHIPS: Advice - Some Basic Outfitting Rules For Ships - #00042

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What quality where how when why?

There are two things in your ship which should - if your budget allows - always be of "A" quality:

- Power Plant - "A" quality is the one that produces the least amount of heat. This will help you not overheating in combat or near main stars. It's always advisable to use an "A" rated power plant, even if it is of a lesser size. Just make sure it can power your ship.

- Power Distributor - "A" quality is the one providing the shortest intervals between thruster boost and the best fire duration. It is essential to use an "A" rated power distributor, no matter if you're a more defensively acting cmdr (boost interval) or someone not shy of defending himself (damage done to your opponent over time).

Then there are two modules in your ship which are usually kept in "D" quality:

- Sensors - "D" does provide enough range for all PvE situations and most in PvP. Only when fighting silent running ships or ships engineered to lowest heat production you might consider using an "A" rated sensor package.

- Life Support - "D" does provide 7 1/2 minutes of survival time once your canopy breaks. It's plenty of time to limp back to a station while in the inhabitated parts of the galaxy. Far out? The 25 minutes of an "A" rated life support's endurance won't save you.
(Caution: That's my usual oversimplifying thing. Of course an 'A' rated life support can save you. Just don't panic. Use 90% of time provided to travel toward some station. Synthesize 'life support' using iron (2x) and nickel (1x). Rinse. Repeat. Pray. Good luck.)

In the end, you need to decide on every single module:

Either go "D" on modules you don't really desperately need. This keeps weight down, power consumption down and it lowers your possible rebuy. On a Cobra, going "D" reduces your investment from 10-15 million credits to 2-4 million credits. That's 6-13 million less investment or 300.000 to 625.000 credits less rebuy per oops. The weight is making your ship agile, which will make you dodge more incoming fire and increase your jump range. Win-Win.

Choose "A" rated modules only, when you really really really (did I say REALLY, yet?) need maximum performance. In combat you might consider using an "A" rated shield generator and possibly "A" rated thrusters. In exploration and trade you will almost always go for an "A" rated Frame Shift Drive.

Outfitting ships is immensely complex and the above given rules can only be a first hint. Especially when using engineering, there are lots of deviations to formerly strict rules. For now... make it light. Make it cheap. Make it fun.

Fly safe, CMDR!

PS: CMDR F99 reminded me of another important thing I forgot. ALWAYS carry a fuel scoop if you travel outside your current system. If you're going places, get the biggest one you can get - with the 'mother of all scoops' 8A being explorer's dream ;-)
(Consider using a fuel scoop of lesser quality and bigger number if you plan to die a lot. A "4D" fuel scoop for the bargain price of ca. 45.000 credits does the same job as a "3A" fuel scoop for ca. 900.000 credits. If you got room, opt for the bigger as these wonderful things magically got no weight.