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As you know, there are sometimes M and L ships available at Shipyards. But not always in stock and I could not figure out what determines if they are available or not.

So I would like to ask what the factor is for those better equipped ships to be available.

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Usually shipyards are linked to the equipment dock (or sometimes a corporate HQ) within the same sector. If the linked dock/hq has all the equipment needed to fulfill a M or L order, then you can purchase them. You can click on the M and L ships to pull up info on what comes as standard for those tiers.

If there are enough supplies, you can purchase multiple M/L ships rather than having to bother with equipping them manually to save time.

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Actually, according to this thread on the official X series forums, the availability of M and L class ships is randomized.

http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=4007856

From the page...

Availability at a shipyard is randomised every time you change a few sectors or reload. S is always available, M sometimes, and L infrequently. Just keep trying your reloads or sector changes and keep looking in different shipyards (satellites or cheap docked ships are useful for that) until the RNG favours you. No other factors (equipment stock in local Equipment Docks etc) have the slightest effect on it. --Alan Phipps

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    Could you summarize key points of the page you link to in the event the site goes down and no one can verify your evidence – Memor-X Jan 20 '15 at 5:44

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