This is ironic, I got too taken up with playing the game to write more of the guide, and yet I'm seeing people are needing one.
I also did all the missions which meant playing with some different ships, though I'm back in my Gecko now and just getting enough cash for the ull regen system before I start slaughtering my way to elite rank and purchice of a moon .
to answer Ironcross comment about firing.
Basically, one thing to remember is all lasers in the game are continuous beams. when you hear a low thrumming pulse, it means the enemy is firing on you and doing damage, so if you hear that you need to do something pretty quick.
I admit the spawn rate takes a bit of getting used to but after playing for a good while now, including a while playing with the worm and some low end ships like the krite and the moray I actually don't think its too bad, particularly since you can always overdrive or jump out of trouble.
One slightly confusing thing spawn rate wise, is that ships will always come to get floating cargo canisters, in low danger systems this isn't an issue, but in high danger systems unless you've got a ship with a good turning speed and laser, you'll end up bighting off more than you can chew.
Also since your more likely to end up with unprovoked attacks in high danger systems, if your going to need to head to a star to refuel, choose somewhere safe to do it, same goes fore asteroid mining and so on.
Speaking of navigation, there is also a handy trick I use when I'm trying to find a particular thing on the other side of an object.
if I'm looking for a freeport on the far side of a terran planet, obviously going through the planet's atmosphere where anyone can target me is a bad idea.
I could fly around the planet using conventional engines, but that takes time. So while I do is first turn so it tells me the planet is on my right, then give a quick blast of overdrive, then turn to the freeport.
This also works if you have an auto pilot destination programmed and it wants to fly you through a giant or something, just get the giant to your right, give a quick burst of overdrive, then hit f twice reengage the auto pilot, if you have a straight line, then just use the overdrive to get there quickly.
Using this method I've got to a lot of points I need to go in dangerous sytems without running into too much trouble, though I still try to be careful when refuelling.
Armour and the hull regeneration upgrade are a must if you want to do serious combat, though obviously the faster ship you've got and the better your flying the less you get hit.
As to combat itself, the first thing to remember is that your laser isn't too precise. As soon as you hear your ship's scanner bean change from the usual sound to a higher pitched foe indicator, you can hit and hold the i key to do continuous damage. pay attention to distance, since the closer you get to your target the less likely they are to damage you. I believe lasers do more damage at close range too, but don't quote me on that.
pay attention though since you don't want to overshoot, though if you blast the ship before it gets away from you and your running along at full speed you can pick up any loot rather easily.
Also bare in mind, ships will sometimes eject cargo canisters, so the high pitched foe indicator will suddenly change to the normal scanner beam and you'll be told the distance and type of the cargo, If this happens, then target the enemy again, find the high pitched sound and keep firing since while some fugitives will try to drop cargo and run, others will come after you while you pick up the goods, so better safe than sorry.
The second thing to pay attention too is the enemy beacon which tells you if a ship is ahead or behind. If its ahead you can usually keep moving and target it with your laser, if its behind, you need to immediately stop and try a quick spin round to get it, then throttle up again.
The last thing to take note of is the status indicator which tells you a fugitive is entering the area. You can centre this sound directly and start blasting immediately they pop up if your quick, especially if your ship is travelling at a low speed.
indeed as a rule of thumb, unless a ship is immediately in front of you, your better off throttling down to target, and throttling up to chase, which will also make it harder for enemies to target you.
I'll try and get the guide finished today.
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)