Prior to the introduction of the shipment drone in Hades’ Star version 2018.3, trade modules could be used with shipment autopilot to increase the credits received from shipments. The drone, which replaces autopilot, comes with its own enhancement and operates independently from the trade modules installed on the transport. How can we effectively use the trade modules on the remaining shipments?
There are three trade modules that boost income from shipments.
Increases the value of shipments that are picked up automatically on the way to a destination.
Increases the value of shipments for a limited time.
Increases the value of shipments for a limited time once a preset number have been delivered.
We will step through how these can be used effectively in a specific yellow star system. Please evaluate and adapt these ideas to suit your situation.
In this yellow star system, all colonised planets are connected with warp lanes. The drone will thus take care of deliveries between planets.
There are two trade stations strategically placed near a planet and warp lane node.
This gives us two operations for delivering shipments with the transports.
- Shipments from the trade stations to the planets need to be transported to the nearby planet. The drone will finish delivering these.
- Shipments to the trade stations need to be collected from each of the planets. Since our transports take these to their final destination, this is where extra credits can be earned using the trade modules.
A few times during the day, run drone shipments. This allows more shipments to generate on otherwise full planets. As we repeat this process, the number of shipments the drone cannot deliver will increase. These are shipments destined for the trade stations and we want a decent quantity to generate extra income.
Move planet shipments from the trade stations to the nearby planet also. This prevents the trade stations becoming full and missing out on new shipments. Exclude shipments destined for the nearby planet as we will deliver these later with an increased value.
Once a day we collect the shipments from the planets to take to the trade stations. During the collection phase, instead of delivering to the trade stations, we drop the shipments at the nearby planet. They are now ready to process with the trade modules.
If the number of shipments exceeds the planet or trade station capacity at any stage, hold the overflow in a transport until space becomes available.
Shipments increase in value when they are automatically picked up by a transport fitted with the shipment computer module. This value increase remains even if we change plans and deliver the shipments later.
Starting away from the planet holding the trade station shipments, set a course to the planet. Extend the route to the warp node and then to one of the trade stations. This will collect shipments for the trade station and increase their value.
Once the shipments are onboard the transport, cancel the destination path and drop the shipments at the other trade station.
Repeat this process until all the shipments are held on the opposite trade station, ready for final delivery.
If you have lots of time, this technique can be applied to preprocess all planet shipments before activating the drone. While doing this you could also bring together shipments for a common destination, in order to maximise the drone income.
Boost and Burst
We need to deliver the required number of shipments to benefit from trade burst. Inspect the shipments on each trade station and identify the lowest value shipments to make up the required quantity. Sorting by reward makes this easier.
Activate trade boost and trade burst and deliver only the shipments we have identifed. Now continue to deliver the remaining shipments with increased payouts from both modules.
To finish off, we deliver the shipments generated for the nearby planet from the trade stations.
Optimising Drone Shipments
We mentioned earlier about preprocessing drone shipments using shipment computer and grouping shipments for each destination. To achieve this in our star system, we can rename the planets with a letter prefix, giving them an order that we can sort shipments by. Here we have seven planets with names ranging from a. Domin to g. Ixia.
The aim is to deliver all the shipments to the planet that is one letter earlier in the alphabet. For example, shipments to b. Akiko will be left on a. Domin. Since a is the first letter of the alphabet, shipments to a. Domin should be left on the planet with the last letter, that is, on g. Ixia.
In practice our transports will roughly cycle through the planets in alphabetical order. Starting at a. Domin, we would leave any shipments for b. Akiko and take everything else to b. Akiko. Here we repeat the process. Leave behind the shipments for the next letter and take everything else. So we don’t carry anything destined for the next planet and achieve our goal of leaving behind the shipments on the planet that is one letter prior in the alphabet.
Now our shipments are grouped, we can load them using shipment computer. Remember to set a nearby waypoint so we can cancel and return them to the same planet. There is likely to be more shipments than one transport load, so take a few transports and keep them onboard until all shipments have been collected from the planet.
Now our drone is ready to run. The increased reward from shipment computer will be boosted again by the drone delivering full loads. It will again roughly follow the alphabetical order of planets and the delivery time will be significantly reduced.
These techniques certainly increase the credits received from shipment deliveries. Whether they are worth doing depends on how much time you want to invest in the game. The time modulator helps, but waiting an extra day for that income also works.