I just made it to a Cobra Mk III for the first time since 1986, so I came here to post something.
My path from 1000 to 400,000 credits was:
- Own the game since 2015, but barely play it. Buy a better PC in 2017, and finally give it a real try. Quickly get hooked like I was on EverQuest 1 and the original Elite.
- Follow a tip to install a fuel scoop and do a long series of jumps away from my starting system to a high-tech system before doing anything real (this made me realise I could travel a long way via short jumps and a scoop).
- Find my own back-and-forth trading routes for my Sidewinder's 6 cargo slots.
- Upgrade the Sidewinder to D-class equipment (lightweight = bigger jumps).
- Follow a tip to do a community goal if possible, as the minimum rewards are big for a newbie - I did a 30-hop journey to qualify me for a 200,000 community goal reward that will arrive in a few days.
- Start out trading again from the next system to the community goal system, and keep moving till I find a good back-and-forth route.
- Accidentally discover a "buy this and deliver it" mission 7 jumps away to earn 150k (and avoid interdiction).
- Accidentally discover a "buy this and deliver it" mission 1 jump away to earn $350k (and avoid interdiction - I was already landing inside the Coriolis station when they warned me that someone was being sent to hunt me).
So basically the last two steps got me there, and I've got another 200k coming from the community goal that I don't actually need now. I'm happy I chose my own adventure rather than following any defined set of moves. It's how you learn the game.
Then again, I've yet to try combat.
What type of sun was it ? Bear in mind some of them, especially the new Neutron ones and shit, are just large flamey balls of death that you really, really need to stay away from.
Also, the Frame Shift Drive throws the heat up by huge amounts, so it's not an optimal escape plan. By the sounds of it, you found the shortcut key to silent running though. Which is kinda funny.
I was basically just clueless.... flying too fast around a sun, not realising I could stop and still be scooping, spinning uncontrollably while trying to fly forward, and actually not moving away from the sun. It was a long time before I actually found a sun that I couldn't scoop (seen them all now).