Looking for faster money-making in a post 2.2.03 galaxy

I'm only a few weeks into the game, and loving it so far. However, I'm hitting a wall with money-making that is starting to make me wary of continuing on.

I've managed to carve out a good reputation in my stellar neighborhood, with a few local systems in which I am allied or friendly with most factions residing in those systems. This gives me access to some reasonably good sources for hauling missions. I don't often engage in combat missions because these don't seem nearly as lucrative for the potential risks (lower rewards than hauling a load less than 20ly). I tend to hang around in systems with RES sites near friendly starports for some stead bounty-hunting when I get bored of hauling, or vice versa. However... whether hauling or hunting, I'm capped at less than 5mil credits per hour, and it is often less if the mission selection or hunting is bad.

I have an A-grade Asp Explorer and a wide selection of modules that will let me fill just about any role, as well enough cash on-hand for trading if I wanted to... but mining seems better for engineer materials than money-making, passenger transport is too hit-or-miss, and trade routes seem to be less lucrative than simple hauling (especially at my tonnage capacity).

As I'm pretty new, I've been reading up on various ways to boost my income per hour, but most every method I can find in searching is more of an "exploit" than a legitimate way to optimize the game systems in your favor - and most (if not all) of these seem to have been patched out of the game at this point because of how extensively they've been abused.

So, I'm looking for a legitimate source of good income that will help me progress from that Asp to Python and beyond that actually WORKS in a post-2.2.03 game environment. I don't need a 40mil-per-hour exploit, but I'd be much happier if I was able to make several times the amount I'm used to in the same amount of time - especially if it's a perfectly legitimate way to earn money.

I've heard that finding two inhabited planets in near proximity with no other inhabited systems around can help to "focus" hauling and passenger missions between those systems, which can help increase the steady number of high-income missions you can stack. Previous patches had systems like Sothis as a target for this sort of optimization. Are arrangments like this still lucrative (even if not as much as they were)?
 
define fast. here are some numbers from another thread:

Some quick calculations, I posted this some time ago.

CostCost + UpgradeCargo SizeTrip ProfitTrips to UpgradeHours to UpgradeDays to Upgrade (2h/day)
SidewinderFreeFree880001021
Hauler527207908018180002752
Cobra37971856957744440002342
Type-6104594515689171041040002373920
Type-717472252262083782162160002744623
Python5697817985467268284284000103179
Type-9765558421148337635005000002113518
Anaconda1469694512204541765005000001863116
Imperial Cutter208969451313454176800800000n/an/an/a
Total: 179Total: 89

Based on a trade route of Cr2000 for the loop and being able to do 6 loops an hour (each loop takes 10-12 minutes) it takes roughly 180 hours to progress to a well specified Imperial Cutter just using trading.
i think, the fastest income rate at the very moment is state depending trading.

trade medicines fom boom systems to systems in outbreak or war/civil war, trade between a boom industrial or hightech to a boom extraction system. you'll easily find a 1-2 jumps route netting 3000 cr/t a-b-a. this can go up to 6000 cr/t a-b-a....

here is a list i made for myself in 2.2. when i attempted elite in trading:




that list isn't complete - today i learned from a PM that CMM coposite can generate >4500 cr/t alone...
 
5 mil an hour is nothing to sneeze at in an Asp. If you really need more, start looking at passenger missions.
This^^

Plus look out for easy delivery cargo missions.
I got paid 1,840,000cr to transport 108t of cargo 12ly. Lol

On top of that, if you come across Kill Skimmer missions, they can be fun, and pay well.
I currently have 2 on the go, valued at 4,000,000cr each.

I'm currently at Pemoeri, and Empire controlled system, with Federation presence, in the border of alliance space.
It's an excellent place to go bounty hunting with a Kill Warrant Scanner.
As you can cash in the Empire and Federation bounties at the local station (3ls from a High and Low RES, but 1800ls from the star), and cash in Alliance bounties about 7ly away.
And it offers plenty of interesting missions for both major factions
It's also neighbouring Delkar, a system with a pristine metallic ring. :)

Plenty to do, not much traveling involved!
 
5 mil an hour is nothing to sneeze at in an Asp. If you really need more, start looking at passenger missions.
I've kept an eye out on passenger missions within the local systems I'm friendly and allied with, and I'm unable to find ones that have better income ratios than simple hauling missions. The only truly lucrative ones are the 20kly ones... but calculating the ratio of pay to time invested, even those come out worse than grabbing whatever local hauling missions I come across. I suppose because I'm in heavily-inhabited space still, that destinations for hauling and passengers are very unfocused, making it difficult to stack missions or plan routes. I was hoping that more experienced players could suggest ways to better optimize the process - like if the Sothis/Ceos routes still offered better returns on time invested even though they've been nerfed (if I understand the situation correctly). Or if there's something I could be doing that I haven't tried yet. I'm afraid grinding out a 250mil ship at 5mil tops per hour is not quite fast enough for my tastes.
 
I suppose because I'm in heavily-inhabited space still, that destinations for hauling and passengers are very unfocused, making it difficult to stack missions or plan routes. I was hoping that more experienced players could suggest ways to better optimize the process
best passenger missions are found in tourism economies, which don't produce a lot of other missions. tourism economy in boom is a goldrush. pick a tourism economy, and get allied with the local factions.

i personally stack longrange missions (> above 1000 ly), but for shorter once, i simply fly single VIP missions. they don't stack well, but with an aspE they also don't take long.

I'm afraid grinding out a 250mil ship at 5mil tops per hour is not quite fast enough for my tastes.
see above ;-)

elite is a game where many players don't clock 50 or 100 hours, but 1000 hours and more.
 
I've kept an eye out on passenger missions within the local systems I'm friendly and allied with, and I'm unable to find ones that have better income ratios than simple hauling missions. The only truly lucrative ones are the 20kly ones... but calculating the ratio of pay to time invested, even those come out worse than grabbing whatever local hauling missions I come across. I suppose because I'm in heavily-inhabited space still, that destinations for hauling and passengers are very unfocused, making it difficult to stack missions or plan routes. I was hoping that more experienced players could suggest ways to better optimize the process - like if the Sothis/Ceos routes still offered better returns on time invested even though they've been nerfed (if I understand the situation correctly). Or if there's something I could be doing that I haven't tried yet. I'm afraid grinding out a 250mil ship at 5mil tops per hour is not quite fast enough for my tastes.
Must be a bad area for passenger missions then. I regularly come across missions with 4-6 mil payouts for non-fussy passengers that can be completed in a 30 minute round trip with an Asp. If you're lucky, you can double or triple up and make it a 45 minute round trip if they're heading in roughly the same direction.
 
best passenger missions are found in tourism economies, which don't produce a lot of other missions. tourism economy in boom is a goldrush. pick a tourism economy, and get allied with the local factions.
I'll keep this tip in mind and explore around. I've been beginning to see some of the depth in the various market/mission systems as they relate to economies and states that had previously escaped me as a rookie CMDR, so this is a good tip to add to the pile.
 
define fast. here are some numbers from another thread:
As you can guess, I'm currently trapped in that middle region below Python where ship costs and cargo capability are still quite low. It's such an odd gap... basically going from 6.6mil (for my Asp) to 17.5mil for the next larger cargo ship... and then all the way to 56mil for the Python. I have no real interest in picking up the middle-of-the-road Type-7 on my way to the Python, though, as I'm not sure even that capacity makes it significantly more lucrative than simply bounty hunting when you consider the significant initial investment. And I suppose I could merely sell my existing small fleet of ships and buy a Python outright with the cash, but seems a bit of a waste. On the other hand, I imagine with the Python, it'd be a lot easier to earn enough to rebuy the other ships in short order. Who knows.

The mission structure is a bit irksome as well... entirely too random to be practical. From my limited time with the game so far, I'm of the opinion that the mission system could use an overhaul to be a bit more predictable and sensible. You'd figure they'd be a bit more formulaic in nature for how they set rewards.
 
I have no real interest in picking up the middle-of-the-road Type-7 on my way to the Python, though, as I'm not sure even that capacity makes it significantly more lucrative than simply bounty hunting when you consider the significant initial investment.
state depending trading in an AspE= roughly 1,8 mio/h. i can beat that by bountyhunting (even in one of my small ships).
state depending trading in a t7= roughly 4,7 mio/h. i can't beat that by bountyhunting (in my FDL...).

anyway, i recommend doing what you enjoy :) i own a lot of ships, including the big three, but mainly fly my courier, DBE and DBS. CR isn't what the game is about.

in your situation, i first went to the center in my AspE, than sold my small fleet and purchased a python for ~90 mio, and started trading all 130 rare goods which are ingame, trading on the way, running missions, doing CZ and RES... used the python as a mobile living room.
 
How fast would it need to be for you to feel it fast enough is really the question, how fast do you want the python fully fitted e.t.c.?
Difficult to say, specifically. I can tell you that at let's say an average of 3.5mil per hour (to balance good sessions with mediocre ones thanks to the utter randomness of the ED universe when it comes to missions, etc) and a cost of 256 mil to fully kit out the Python (purchase price included, all A-grade modules, etc), you're looking at around 73 hours of play time for that Python. For perspective, most people will fully complete most AAA-title RPGs in that amount of time. You could do damn near everything there is to do in a game like Skyrim in 200 hours.

73 hours for a single high-mid ship is a bit long, I'd say. Somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 of that time seems more reasonable... and of course I'm assuming fairly efficient but not optimal money-making. But who knows... I'm still new so I know I don't have the time invested to render a proper opinion on the matter.

- - - Updated - - -

state depending trading in an AspE= roughly 1,8 mio/h. i can beat that by bountyhunting (even in one of my small ships).
state depending trading in a t7= roughly 4,7 mio/h. i can't beat that by bountyhunting (in my FDL...).

anyway, i recommend doing what you enjoy :) i own a lot of ships, including the big three, but mainly fly my courier, DBE and DBS. CR isn't what the game is about.

in your situation, i first went to the center in my AspE, than sold my small fleet and purchased a python for ~90 mio, and started trading all 130 rare goods which are ingame, trading on the way, running missions, doing CZ and RES... used the python as a mobile living room.
I currently own the Sidewinder, Viper MkIII, Viper MkIV, Diamondback Scout, and Asp Explorer. As the Asp is the most overall utilitarian ship I have, the others have been collecting dust, but I've enjoyed flying them all. Python is my big goal, currently, as it seems the short of ship you can do pretty much anything you want in. It seems about the ideal ship to get stuck at for long periods while you're working to upgrade to the big-uns. There's quite a lot I enjoy doing in the game... of course it seems all of it is done more effectively from the seat of a Python, from what my limited time in game shows me.
 
There's quite a lot I enjoy doing in the game... of course it seems all of it is done more effectively from the seat of a Python, from what my limited time in game shows me.
the pthon is definetly a ship which can do it all (if outfitted for it), and a lot of things at the same time! i really enjoyed flying only a python for a month or two.

sidey, both vipers and your DBS each cost less than pythons thrusters ... you'll have them earned back in no time. and the AspE .... you could strip it down to its hull.
 
Do you have engineer access? The Python has magic unicorn dust hull and vastly oversized core modules which makes it the single best candidate in the game for undersizing your modules which saves cost and lightens the ship for more speed/agility/jump range. This is not a combat build. It's a range/utility build with serious teeth. In my opinion the Python was nerfed too heavily by FD and it will never be as good as cheaper alternatives in a REZ or CZ. This is why I feel that A-rating a python is a waste of credits and a case of "wrong tool for the job"

Here's an example of a multirole Python that costs just 67m (with the Li Yong Rui discount) and has great jump range and survivability. I've not used any engineer mod higher than grade 3 but it will vastly outfight and out-trade an A-rated Asp. I use a similar spec myself despite an infinite budget because the Python's appeal is a long-range ship that can do anything. I have a dedicated 'exploraconda', 'traderconda', and a couple of PVE and PVE dedicated combat ships but I still spend most of my time in this Python. Mine's optimal-roll, G5-engineered all over for 36LY jumps and 425m/s boost speeds but the free internal compartments are used for mining/collectors, SRV bays & scanners, or interdictors/limpets depending on the missions and my mood.

67m long-range Python build on edshipyard

You don't actually have to engineer anything, but it makes such a huge difference, especially to the thrusters and FSD.
The things you should look to undersize/underspec are:

  • 5A powerplant in the class-7 bay - this runs very heat efficient and provides enough power even without the mod.
  • 6D thrusters. The lower mass actually makes up for the lower speed without modding, DD tuning is just icing on the cake.
  • 6D power distributor. (1/5th the mass of 7A!) - just make sure your charge-enhanced roll leaves enough ENG capacity to boost!
  • 5A shield generator instead of 6A. Cheaper, lighter and the optimal mass of 405T is still way higher than the Python's 350T hull.
  • 3D Module reinforcement package: more than makes up for all the integrity you lose by undersizing for just a 4T gain.
The spec I've just linked can fight off interdictors 1-on-1, or it can flee with 370m/s boost even when fully laden. Although I comfortably take on elite anacondas, I can get into trouble fighting wings. 370m/s isn't the fastest ship in the game, but when it comes to running away, it's MUCH faster than the ships that can mass lock you, and the highest threat PVE ship you'll face will be an engineered FdL which isn't actually scary because it can't mass-lock a Python. Just leisurely pick another system to jump to and high-wake without interference.

If the shield drops your module-protected powerplant has an effective integrity of 171 and you have 1200 hull integrity so you don't have to flee immediately, especially not with the Python's insane 65 hull hardness.

30LY jumps empty, 22LY jumps with 192T cargo and most importantly of all, those numbers leave two bays free to tailor the ship to specific roles including REZ and BH as long as you are comparing to your Asp and not an FdL or FAS.
 
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