Locating a safe place to either quit for the day or to place planets is very important. The only way to really locate dead end sectors is to scan for them and to travel to as many sectors as possible. Since a large number of sectors have one-way warps that connect to sector 1, players, Xannor, and mercenaries all love to find things in the low numbered sectors nearby Earth. First use the computer to randomly travel to any sector in the universe far away from sector one. Next use a wall following technique to travel around this maze of a universe and watch for a dead end sector containing a port. I’d also recommend writing down empty dead end sectors (devoid of ports) as you come across them because they have their uses as well. The wall following technique in a numeric maze is to either pick higher numbered sectors or lower numbered sectors and constantly travel in that direction scanning as you go.
Note that it is usually easier to find dead end sectors at the high end of the galaxy, roughly between 2800-3000.
See the Tools appendix concerning macros. If you have F4 mapped to S;M^M then the only keys necessary to push are:
<F4> [sector number] Enter
Repeat as many times as needed. Generally dead end sectors containing ports selling Ore or Organics are preferred because the greatest profit is made by selling Equipment to the port. Locations of Xannor, Mercenaries, or the wanderer change daily but the mercenary base, other players planets, or the Xannor HQ do not change unless moved or destroyed by yourself or other players and are worth recording.
See the missile scripts as an alternative for manually scanning sectors yourself. They are somewhat dangerous as they subject you to returning missile fire from Xannor or other players, but are generally much more effective than spies for high-level players.
Another important activity that may reveal useful locations is the newspaper. You can check the current newspaper (F2) and also the previous day’s newspaper (F3) for other player events and also nonplayer activities. Keep in mind that one event may be falsified. Mercenaries running into “sector mines” may indeed be running into mines or may have run into the Xannor HQ. An example of a very active newspaper is:
More information about the Xannor and mercenaries will be described later. For now, keep note that a planet Vandll exists and should be found, 5/20 of the wandering Xannor destroyed themselves and the player Zharous destroyed at least four other groups and also the stationary defenses of Xannoron (missile destroyed fighters do not identify themselves) and also the number of sectors mentioned which may or may not be useful.
If you do not have a danger scanner and run into a black hole you ship automatically engages emergency war. It is possible but extremely unlikely but possible that you may start the game on top of a black hole:
Note that emergency warp is available at any time. (W) If your engines “completely overheat” then all your returns are exhausted for the day, leaving you completely stranded but this rarely happens and is still not that dangerous if you have a very high level of cloak. Emergency warp is available at all times, and is highly recommended if you find yourself on top of an overwhelming number of enemy fighters or Xannor.
Occasionally a few strange artifacts will occur such as this case when a long warp was established between 506 – 500, two sectors which were already connected. Other than an interesting appearance, there does not seem to be any special use that can be made from these sectors.