Ok three more questions from the Newbie and I'll try to get along without harrassing you....
1. As I am in the market for a starship I'd like to know if pirates can board and steal my ship.
2. Can I communicate with my captors if I am arrested (maybe bribe them not to execute me?)
3. For a owner/operator just starting out with shallow pockets would it be better for me to (A) buy raw materials, transport them and sell them or (B) contract out as a owner/operator to a larger operation?
1) A star ship has a hefty price of about 4-6 months salary you would accumulate working for one of these groups. You can also collect CP (Combine Points) for about 7-8 weeks and get a small ship that way. People can only board a ship if they are Owner, Commander, Pilot, or on the crew list. So that is the only way they could get in and to you.
http://www.swcombine.com/members/cp/ and then "support the Combine" for more info
2) Communicate how? I don't know if Darkness messaging or room messaging become disabled when arrested. Only combine factions would become blocked if arrested. [Email, ICQ, mIRC chat would all still be options.]
3) The ship you would be able to get (cheapest about 200,000) would only carry a few materials if any. The big Material haulers hold thousands. You are best applying to a faction having them help you as you provide your services to them. Most assign a ship or vehicle for your task, pay monthly or bimonthly and provide friends and people willing to help you through all the first times you will have in the combine.
Market with ship prices can be found here:
Recommend figuring out your character is and then looking for a group who’s direction is similar to yours.
The list of groups is here if you haven't crossed it yet:
“You are part of the Corporate Alliance and a trader. Trade this you may.” -Satisfied Customer #3528.
As the lead pirate in the game, what they said. Just don't try to "sell" the ship to anybody, therefore not sending/assigning it to them, and they won't be able to take it over.
The RM market is kinda crappy for small amounts, so my suggestion would be to talk to a mining or transport group to hire yourself out to fly their ships (You'll need a ship that costs about 150xmonthly salary, to transport anything of note) for their clients, and you receive a stipend for your work.
Alternatively, there's usually a lot more work out there for somebody willing to simply transport ships, and fly my Dreadnaught to Tatooine for me - though that avenue is also more dangerous, since you're aboard *their* ship, they could in theory board it and kill you - if they had any reason to.
He *could* dock the ship inside another one, thereby preventing you access to it. Eventually real theft will be implemented and then they'll take possession.
Just check the reputation of the person transporting it for you.
Sure, there might be people that will think less of you for joining faction A, but there's also people that will trust you more for being in faction A.
If you stay freelance you won't gain any enemies/friends, but neither will you get a steady paycheck, transportation or contacts.
Very few people are killed in the game at this point, one a week or so. And enemies don't tend to simply kill people in opposing factions (especially new players), but instead focus on hunting down really annoying/stupid/sociallyretarded players :)
Marcus, there are alot of factions that don't hire freelancers. I know I'm one of them. Why? I trust them far less. They're typically less devoted and more of a mercenary mindset. "Oh, hey, this other faction will give me a million credits to dock this fighter onto their ship to screw over my boss! Alright!!!"
Those aren't who I like to recruit. :p
The only way people will know you're in another faction are:
a) If you tell them
b) You mention it on public boards/IRC chats
c) You use an official avatar of that group (if they have one)