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When I kill an enemy ship of unknown type, I can grab a blackbox which enables me to build that ship type myself.
Do only the ships I kill drop blackboxes? Or can I get my hands on a blueprint of an allied ship by luring enemies near it and letting them destroy it in my stead, thus preserving our diplomatic relationship?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Today I found that yes, you can do it. When warring factions destroyed each other, I was able to pick up leftover blackboxes.

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Yea, one of my favorite tricks is to hang out at Civ VS UTA fights in sectors that are waaaay higher than I should be in (go go bribe!) and stock up on goons, rez, and really nice ship blueprints. –  z - Jan 2 '12 at 22:41
    
Umm... sounds good! :D Thanks. (And there I thought I'm going to sleep now...) –  ver Jan 2 '12 at 22:42
    
hah, good luck with that, this game is surprisingly addicting. –  z - Jan 2 '12 at 22:43
    
@yx. I've tried that a few times now. I'm pleasantly surprised it isn't something you can do in a few minutes and thus spoil the game. (You still need enough goons for bribes, etc.) However, when near the Civ VS UTA fights, most of the time I watched for quite a long time and no ships were destroyed; they kept shooting at each other and regenerating. Is this common? Or have I been out of luck, as usual? –  ver Jan 5 '12 at 7:24
    
sometimes, the weapon setups are quite bad and they end up in a stalemate. This isn't too common, but every once in a while you run into a few ships all running ions and leech emitters. If that's the case I usually just leave. –  z - Jan 5 '12 at 12:28
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