Well, initially I was fairly excited about SG2, for a while I had my hopes up that they would overhaul the combat system (and because there were so many major content updates, I felt optimistic), but sadly, that did not happen. Therefore, it looks like this will mainly be a distraction to keep me busy while I wait for other games to progress.
Anyway, I am having a brutally hard time turning a significant profit in this game. I just cannot seem to get enough to afford even a second ship. I have played one hell of a lot of Elite-type games since 1990, but this one has me stuck. This game makes getting a financial start in X3 seem like a cakewalk.
So, what do I do? I'm guessing the only thing you can really do to make money in this is trading, but they don't exactly do much to make that very fun, so I haven't done much, not to mention that the starting ships have painfully small cargo holds. Mining is dreadfully boring, so I've also tried to avoid that, though experiments seem to reveal that mining isn't a hugely profitable profession anyway (at least initially).
I got up to lvl 17, hording money all the while, only to wind up with barely 1M credits. At this point my ship was too obsolete to fight, and I pretty much gave up.
Any suggestions? Maybe more boarding operations? More salvaging (making much salvaging is rare, but sometimes you get something pretty valuable)?
Any help would be appreciated.
First i did some story missions, pirate killing and mining. Until i had about a million to get a cyclops.
Then I did some bounty hunting and killed 3 npcs with a value of about 7 Millions. Then i bought myself an apollo-destroyer. Then i did some more bountys and pirate killing and bought myself a nice Bishop Battleship. After a while of grinding more bountys, captured ship and killed pirates im sitting in a helios dreadnought now. This thing has huge firing arcs, nice battery regen, cloaking and can take quite a lot. I don't think i need any other ship.
I did the priate killing especially near munich or waldeburg-station. Just stay close to the station and kill every pirate/enemy that comes close to it. If you get a pause, just loot, dock, loot, dock... and use the nano bots on the wrecks to get more loot. This turrets bring good money.
So i would say bounty hunting and pirate-killing/plundering was the way to go. If you can't find your targets with the sector description and get annoyed, just set the game to easy. Then you see the bounty-npcs as little heads on the map. You could put the difficulty back up the moment you've found the npc. With the apollo and some nice plasma guns i was easyly able to take down every level 70 npc in the bounty list. huge amounts of money in a relativly short amount of time.
Hmm... I seem to have a very hard time getting past the early levels. I cannot even get to the point of bounty hunting, my first ship is obsolete before I can afford another. I'm rather puzzled as to why others aren't having similar troubles, I feel like I'm missing something. For the time being, I've edited my save file and reduced my level back to 1. I'll now certainly be able to afford a second ship before mine becomes incapable of dealing with all of the rats. Perhaps at that point I'll be able to go bounty hunting, and not have to restart again.
Still, I have absolutely no idea how you managed to do what you said you did, I always hit a point where I can't destroy anything before I can afford a better ship.
TLDR; Capping ships.
Set-up: Always pick the ship with the biggest troop count. (My path was starter < Wolverine < Abeja < (enough creds to skip destroyer) < Hydra. I don't really worry about transporter size... you can just keep sending more troops within seconds anyway. For perks, obviously get troop efficiency capped first. Look for officers that add to troop efficiency. If you find stations that sell viral torps, stock up... they really help if you are making an attempt on an equal size or bigger crew.
How to (newby version): It's literally as easy as targeting an enemy ship, open radial, click send troops. I see no evidence that attacking in anyway (other than viral torp) has any benefit. I suppose taking out the shield can help if they have bio-shield attachments, but i don't think they ever do. On the pop-up, you simply hit the green arrow to send more troops. Not sure if grapple helps? But i usually get that active asap anyway. Don't go for ships with a crew bigger than yours, unless you got viral torps, rank 3 perks, and a good officer boost. Even then, it's a gamble.
Mission Strat: just run any missions. You will usually trigger rats to spawn at least once during a mission, and they will usually be equal sized ships. Start capping the biggest one, and kill the rest. Make sure you are getting missions near stations, dragging them back can be a pain. Anchor to a station, hit sell. Don't bother garaging them, i believe they made it so that you sell their equipped items in one click now. Of course, assassin and capture missions will be most profitable.. every now and then a VIP taxi mission will spawn a LOT of good cap-able ships... not sure if it is a bug? but is most exploitable, but hard to trigger.
If missions are too hard: Hang out near a station near trinity, or a fairly safe sector. Gunships, and rarely, corvettes will show up randomly.
I am at the point right now where i am all the way South east, near Tortuga bay... Lots of cap-able pirate cruisers there, but easy to get overwhelmed. They cap for almost 2 mil a piece... and Im still in my Hydra (cruiser.) Once I finally found this routine out, I got to this point in maybe 5 hours?
Side note, kinda scummy... If you need more troops, just save then reload your game to refresh a station's available troops.