By default, the Pilot skill is needed to launch the various craft in the Daedalus bays. People without the pilot skill can only launch if the NERON admin turns the BIOS Crew Lock off "piloting". However, besides allowing any Mush to hijack a craft, having a non-pilot fly makes them a danger to themselves and the ship, so it usually not recommended.
Patrol Ships are the most effective way to deal with the hunter threat. These are small piloted fighters with powerful cannons that can take out hunters with ease, should your character knows how to operate the ship ( Pilot skills). There are 3 patrol ships in both Alpha Bay and Bravo Bay, and one patrol ship in Alpha Bay 2.
It costs 2 to launch and land the patrol ship, for a total of 4 .
If you are not a Pilot, you are likely to damage yourself, your craft, and the of the Daedalus when taking off and landing. The damage is taken directly from the Daedalus , regardless of the presence of a Plasma Shield.
Once launched, you can shoot your ship's weapon for 1 per shot (intially 3-6 damage at 80% accuracy for pilots, 40% for non-pilots). You can click on a specific hunter to only shoot at that one, usually to shoot down wounded hunters, Aracks or Trax. Just clicking the 'fire' button will fire randomly, which is usually worse, as it might mean you hit transporters or spread your shots around too much to take down any one hunter. Each miss will increase the accuracy of the next shot, so you will eventually hit the target. A patrol ship has 10 shots before it has to dock and reload. The Teslatron Reservoir project increases this to 16.
Because of the costs inherent in launching and landing a patrol ship, it is recommended to save up at least 10 before piloting one, barring emergencies. As firing all 10 shots in one flight costs 14 , pilots without Shooter will need some kind of boost (coffee, food or a mission) in order to be most efficient.
If you are outside when a hunter fires at cycle changeovers, it has a chance to hit you instead, dealing its damage to your ship and also damaging you for 1 . A patrol ship has 10 durability points, and once this reaches 0 the ship will explode, effectively removing you from existence. For this reason it is not usually recommended to stay outside in a patrol ship beyond the amount of time it takes to use your current AP/shots. A Pilot can affect how often they are hit by spending 1 to change flying stance.
- Stance: Bait - Seems to indicate that hunters will be more likely to fire at you instead, but there does not seem to be a consensus that this stance works as advertised.
- Stance: Neutral - Offers no benefit or downside.
- Stance: Retreat - You will no longer be hit by hunters, but you cannot fire back either. Perfect if you run out of ammo/action points and there are still plenty of hunters alive.
- Stance: - Standard flight stance. Offers a great chance of correctly hitting the hunters.
If the Daedalus jumps between planets while you are in a ship, you will be left behind, essentially killing you. - Unless you have the Magnetic Net, in which case you will be automatically landed at no cost. So with good coordination between pilots and the Commander, this can be very useful.
If you are wearing a Spacesuit while piloting a patrol ship, you will have the (questionable) option to Eject for 1 , marooning both you and your craft in space. You will not be able to re-board the patrol ship and it will be lost, but you can be rescued by the Pasiphae . When you do this, the game shows you flailing in space in a fashion that people have described as "space dancing"
If a patrol ship or Pasiphae breaks randomly on cycle change while you're in it, you have only three actions available: Examine, Report, and Repair. It's recommended to hurry up with repairs in this case, because you'll be ejected elsewhere on the next cycle change, no matter if you have a spacesuit or no.
The Pasiphae is located in Alpha Bay 2. It also costs 2 to launch and land, for a total of 4 .
As with patrol ships, non-pilots will probably do damage to themselves, the Pasiphae and the of the Daedalus when launching and landing.
Collecting yields varying amounts (1-3) of Scrap Metal, Plastic Scraps and Space Capsules, and possibly other items from destroying a trader.
After all scrap floating at the current location has been collected, the pilot will receive a message saying that there is nothing left to collect.
As with patrollers, it is recommended to have at least 10 before launching in order to get the most value out of the fixed takeoff/landing cost. And as long as there is scrap, more is better. Andie using Devotion or a Chun with Lethargy are especially effective in this situation.
Also, as opposed to fighting, non-pilots have no disadvantage when collecting once they are out there. So it can be worth it to send them rather than the professional pilots, who can instead conserve their . Especially with an Oscilloscope, the extra scrap gained that way can make up for the accidental damage.
If Daedalus moves, all potential scrap from dead hunters at the current location will be lost. And so will the Pasiphae when still in space, though as with patrollers, it can also be pulled in for free by the Magnetic Net.
Launching and collecting sometimes makes hunters do immediate damage to the Pasiphae and its pilot.
The Icarus is located in Icarus bay and used only for expeditions. When the Daedalus is orbiting a planet, an Expedition can be launched. The only cost is 4 for launching, from the person who launches. Everyone else in the bay is brought along automatically, and more is not needed to return.
By default the Icarus has space for 4 crew members, or 6 with the Large Bay Upgrade project completed. Once the crew member cap is reached, any other players who attempt to enter will be blocked from doing so.
If the pilot lock is off, anyone can launch an expedition. As long as there is a pilot on the expedition, the team will not take damage regardless of who launches, so this is another case where non-pilots can help preserve the pilots' for fighting.
If there is no pilot in the expedition team, however, landing on the planet can become rather unpleasant. If the Icarus is equipped with Anti-gravity Thrusters, accidents become less likely, but are still possible.