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- Category: Egosofts X Series Guides
- Last Updated on Monday, 12 September 2011 21:51
- Written by Giskard
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X2: Playing as Split.
Before I start I wish to express my thanks to Stormsong and Apoch for their chats about the Caiman and Mamba respectively several months ago. It was the result of these chats that first put the idea into my head to try a Split only game.
This guide is really not for the new players out there or players that like slow well shielded ships. Playing as Split requires a lot skill to get anywhere and a lot of thought to play them well. Much of this guide leaves it up to the player to choose his own way to make money but I do give you some tips in regard to Split space.
Split for the Insane.
The first time anybody suggests playing as Split or even using a Mamba the usual response is to consider the speaker clinically insane and dismiss the idea. However if you approach the game as you might an Argon game then it is insane. Yet with a few guidelines the game easily becomes more fun than than any of my previous games. Remember I am saying this after playing X2 for year, almost every week. So it must be good to keep my interest and get me to start again. After all we have all been there and done it already.
These rules could apply equally well to any race with very little modification, but for the purposes of this guide I am applying them only to the Split. Before I list the rules there is some background information to give out.
First all all I tried getting some kind of response from Egosoft about how best to play Split, I received no reply from the person that would have known the answers so all these rules are extracted from the game based on the races behavior in the game and not some mythical fact known only to a few insiders or German fans that read the German Novels. If you have a problem with any of these rules then you should speak to Egosoft not me because I am only going by what I see in X2 right now.
1) Split at not at war with any race, not even the Borons. However they do not seem eager to please any race but them selves. They are fighting a ground war with the Paranids. Accusing the Argons of spying and shooting Boron Freighters and seizing Teladi Cargo. Remember Split are not the enemy of the Argons, Paranids, Borons or Teladi. So if you become their enemy you must try and raise your ranking with that race again.
So rule one is, keep the your rankings for all other races above enemy but do not try and raise them too high. If it gets too high you know what to do to lower it back to a neutral state:)
2) You can only buy Split factories and Split ships. If you capture any ship by any other race you must sell it. Split do not use such inferior ships.
3) You may use any Equipment you can find or capture. The Split sell equipment from all over the Universe and trade with other races factories. So the way I read it, your not limited in the equipment you can buy other than what will fit to your Split ships.
Starting a new game.
At the start of a new game your in a Discoverer. So play though the campaign up to the point where you drop off that nasty Boron at Terra Corp HQ. Then earn enough cash to fit your Discoverer with the best weapons it can carry e.g. Gamma Impulse Ray Emitter.
Gamma Impulse Ray Emitter are effective against Pirate Mandalay & Pirate Bayamon. So once you get them take as many speed upgrades and extra shields as you can and head for Split space. You may want to buy some Salvage insurance first. Though real Split do it without Salvage insurance, trainee Argons that seek to become Split may use Salvage insurance since they are inferior anyway :)
You should try and get to Rhonkars Clouds since that is where most of the pirate activity is. Once there you need to become friends with the Split to dock. So fly around until you see a couple of lone Mandalay or Bayamon. With your speed and new weapons you can fly in and hit them hard and be our there before they can turn on you. You can even outrun missiles. Though if they fire missiles on you, you should keep running and wait for the missile to self destruct before turning back on your targets.
You should consider this your first taste of combat as a Split officer, since all Split combat is conducted like this. More on this later.
After you have killed a few Pirates your rank will raise from 99% to 1% and you will be able to dock at any split station. You are now ready to play as Split.
Becoming a Split
Split hate outsiders but are pretty nice to their friends. At first they will rob you blind if you try and hire a Split TL but their prices drop as your Split rank improves. Your initial aim should be to make some money and in true Split fashion you do this by shooting things. If you prefer trading, go right a head, the Split do trade too. Trading is covered later.
The ship of choice for combat at this stage is the Split Scorpion. It can carry Gamma Particle Accelerator Canons and Alpha High Energy Plasma Thrower. Just ignore the Mass Drivers, they are useless. The Scorpion is fairly cheap to buy so you don't need to earn too much to get one. It is also extremely fast and not much can catch it. Once you get Alpha HEPTS fitted to it then no M5, M4, M3, TP or TS will be safe from you. Not bad for an M4 :)
You may even question why you need a Mamba once you get used to the Scorpion.
The Scorpion should be considered a Mamba Training ship since it only has a single 5MW shield. This means you must lean the art of not being hit at all if you are to survive. This is exactly the same skill needed to be a successful Mamba pilot. Remember Mamba pilots play with the big boys and the big boys carry bigger guns so the Mambas lone 25Mw shield is very much like the Scorpions lone 5MW shield in respect to the kind of targets it is expected to take out.
What happens if a Mamba goes head to head with a Khaak M3 ?
The Mamba dies.... No Arguments or debates, it just dies because a Khaak M3 has weapons with a 3km range and can take out fully upgraded Mamba before the Mamba can get within shooting range. This is absolute fact.
So right away you need to use your brain to work out how to take out a Khaak M3 with any Split Ship. You may be surprised to know that its possible to take out even the biggest of Khaak Clusters in a Mamba if you think about it first. For example attacking an Khaak M3 whilst it is enaged with another ship is one way.
Time for some Split Combat guidelines.
1) Full Throttle all the way, all the time. Speed is worth 10 shields and any good Split pilot will not get hit at all. So never drop your speed in combat. Do not even consider it an option.
2) Mambas cannot out run Missiles even if a Scorpion can. So learn to turn and twist in combat nice and early when you fly your first Scorpion. You will survive longer once you get your first Mamba. Straight and Level flight is for those useless Nova pilots. Not the Split fighter Aces.
3) Factories make great cover, use them as cover. When your being chased by most of the Xenon or Khaak race, duck behind the biggest factory you can find and wait for them to get within your weapon range. Fly in and out of their factories super structure if you like. If the enemy hit the factory then you will get some help. If not you just need to wait until they get within 1.5kms (for BHEPTs) of the weapons you are carrying. At those ranges you can close the gap and destroy them before they can destroy you. It evens the odds.
4) Never go head to head with ship with more shields then you have. Which is pretty much all ships in the game that are not built by the Split. Use Rule 1 through 3 to get your self in a position behind them but never slow down. Just remember Rare turrets are often weaker than front guns on fighters.
Silicon is the one thing Split appear to lack but upon closer examination you will notice the central Split sectors around Family pride are actually well supplied with silicon. Almost every one of those sectors has at least 2 Solar Power Plants and all seem to have plenty of energy. The Crystal fabs appear to be in short supply in Split space until you check the Family Whi and surrounding sectors and the sectors around Thuruks Beard.
This creates a puzzle for you to solve. Do the Split need more Power Plants first or Silicon Mines or more Crystal Fabs ?
The truth is, they do not need anything but if you add a factory to their delicate infrastructure then you need to build everything. Their economy will not support your factories and the existing ones. Which brings us back to what the Split need first.
Well you cannot run a Crystal fab without Silicon and that's the one commodity that's hard to find in the central Split sectors. So depending on how desperate you are to have the Silicon close to Family pride, you should check out the following sectors.
Rhonkars Clouds (best and most dangerous sector for silicon) or Patriarch's Retreat (which as 3 good Silicon asteroids).
For Ore check out Patriarch's Keep, 2 sectors below Patriarch's Retreat.
Right between those 2 sectors is a Shipyard, Equipment Dock and Dockyard. So its perfect place to setup shop and start building your mighty Split family. Both of the sectors named above also have 150% sun so their are pretty good for Solar panels. Patriarch's Keep is one of the few Split sectors with no Solar power plants at all, so if you want to make a quick buck on Energy cells, that is the place to do it.
Silicon Mines do exist in these areas already and food is in decent enough supply so you can get that first Crystal Fab running pretty quickly and after that your own Solar power plants will not be far behind. Patriarch's Retreat is actually a fairly quiet and safe sector so it makes a good sector to use as your HQ. Just keep an eye out for the odd Khaak Cluster appearing and you will do fine there.
Split Trade using The Trader Mk3.
My preferred method of trading in my Split game for now is using the Trader Mk3 software. I have several Universe traders but only 1 Solar Power Plant and no other factories. I am also starting to put a Sector Trader in each split sector that will never leave those sectors. The result is my Split rank is rising fast. I could commit a number of hanus acts of violence against the Borons and nobody will complain for long.
Eventually I will be forced to build factories and when I do I fully intend to take advantage of the situation in Patriarch's Keep.
Split TL Elephant.
The Split Elephant is perhaps not the best value for money TL you can buy. It is under gunned and low on cargo space, but if you are going to play Split you have to take the good with the bad and learn to adapt accordingly.
The Elephant has 3 things going for it.
1) It is well shielded.
2) Can carry 30 ships.
3) Is very fast.
Which makes it perfect for deploying a lot of fighters right into the heart of an enemy fleet if you need too. It can also carry Ions which may be used to negate the shield advantage other races have over the Split. Exactly why a Split ship is carrying Ions is a mystery to me.
Split M6 Dragons.
Many players under rate these because of the low shields but lets look at some facts.
1) The Dragon is the fastest M6 Ship Available...Period. Even the mighty Osprey cannot kill a ship it cannot keep within range of its guns, so the old Split full throttle trick also applies to the Dragons. Since the Dragon can do 324.32 and the Osprey can only do 171.17, the Dragon Pilot need not even rush. You are the Cat the the Osprey is the mouse, so stick around and play a while.
2) It can carry a Alpha Photon Pulse Canon on the main guns which should out range most weapons mounted on other M6s and is available from Patriarch's Retreat which is handy since I recommended you set up your HQ there. This means you can shoot the Osprey at ranges of up to 2725.25 meters and all the Osprey can manage is to shoot back at 1722.96 meters using Beta Phased Shockwave Generator. That gives you a good 1000m range advantage. I am sure to can imagine how frustrating this will be if a player flown Dragon ever comes head to head with a player flown Osprey and the Osprey cannot even get into range of the Dragon to cause a single hit. Remember which ship is the fastest here :)
3) It is the cheapest M6 available so you could take 3 for everybody else's 2 M6's if you wanted.
So as you can see, if you fly a Dragon like you fly all Split ships then you have no reason to worry. Even the Khaak M3 has problems hitting at these kind of ranges so you can take on clusters at max range and run away if need be.
One point should be mentioned, if your in the same sector as your AI controlled M6 and a Khaak Cluster attacks it. You will lose your M6 Dragon just like you will lose most other M6s under the same conditions. This is true for Centaurs, Ospreys and the Nemesis too.
Split Capital Ships.
The Python and Raptor Captains have a shoot first policy and given the fire power and speed at their disposal anybody facing them had better make sure they do not annoy the Split. Once you own a Split M1 or M2 then you arguably own the best M1 and M2 ships in the game. Sure they do not carry PSGs but they do carry weapons that almost double the range of most PSGs e.g. GPSGs = 2700 range, GPhotons = 4054.032 meters. So again you can out range your opponents.
What is even better is you can also out run the few ships that can carry PSGs of this class too. Only the Xenon K and Boron Ray can catch you and the best they can do is match your fire power blow for blow.
Clearly as a Split Combat Pilot you have to plan your attacks before engaging most enemies, but the shear speed of the Split ships means you can get out of trouble almost as fast as you can get into trouble. So they are very forgiving race to play if your truely playing the game the split way. If not then its more akin to suicide.
The Caiman is perhaps the best Freighter you can buy once upgraded, it is certainly the fastest and least likely to fall prey to a Khaak Cluster. Split Caimans have even been known to fight several Khaak and win before today using only their rear turret.
To successfully play the Split you have to learn a straight line is not a friend you should embrace. Split pilots need to twist and turn, use stealth, cover and anything they can find to their advantage. They have tools to do it, the firepower and speed. To use a split ship as you might use Nova would be suicidal and wasteful considering the ships advantages.
People often compare ships and say what is the best in combat but consider this. What ship is the best at flying low around an asteroid or speeding around a factory to come out on the enemy's Six ? How quickly can any other races ships chase a Split ship around cover in order to kill it ?
What is the best ship under those conditions ?
Let us not forget that any good strategy involves facing the enemy on your own terms. Going head to head is to take on a Nova or Osprey on their terms and if you did that in a Split ship all you would be proving is that your useless as a Split combat pilot.
Like wise, who is to say Head to Head is proof of a good fighter ?
Dog Fighting is a skill recognised as something a combat pilot needs yet the best shielded ships are usually worst at Dog fighting.
These are design limits each pilot of each ship has to be aware of or take advantage of. As a Split player you cannot afford to enter battle without a knowning this. You have to know your ship and the ship your facing. Which makes Split ships more about Pilot skill than about the ship them selves and thus more fun to use.
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