Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Starting to play Elite: Dangerous

This post is about how I started to play and set-up Elite:Dangerous.

Edit/Insert: Here some more beginner´s info I could find in the meanwhile! I wish I had seen them earlier. Cudos to INaeem to point them out in this forum thread!

Beginner´s manual, by David Essential

Game design overview, in pretty colours.

ED head tracker as a means to pass the time until the Oculus Rift is consumer-ready.

This is my second day into the Elite:Dangerous beta 1.0. While I had already bought the game some days ago, I had already the occasion to practice piloting with the offline combat missions which were kindly provided by Frontier to alleviate the waiting. I ran against a wall with the most difficult mission "Incursion", but I got a very good feeling for the flight model by doing so. There was also a little problem with making the railgun work properly, but it turned out that I had double-assigned the mouse2-fire key, which caused the charge-up process to interrupt all the time.

I started to participate in the ED forum. I try to link here the search result with all threats I posted into and hope it works. If not: Search for username Falkenherz and you should find some interesting posts. I always try to comment in interesting posts only, so when I search for my username, I have a nice little inventory of useful forum threats. (Well, sometimes I am inconsequent and also post some nonsense...)

I pilot with a keyboard&mouse setting, but I quickly added Voice Attack. Voice attack seems so natural that I wonder why they did not manage yet to include practical voice commands in the OS. I mean, you can also use voice commands in Windows7, but it is so cumbersome because the UI is not created for this kind of usage. In Elite on the otherhand, it just feels natural. It is like commaning a crew. Concerning how to use it, there is a very useful threat in the ED forum.

Here are my settings:

Mouse: Absolute yaw+pitch, sensitivity is set roughly at a quarter from the left of the bar.
wasd - Forward+lateral strafing, used for positioning on the landing pad
zghj - Vertical strafing+rolling, main keys used beside mouse

Other keys are distributed randomly over the keyboard, it does not really matter to list them all as I use them only in connection with Voice Attack. My Voice Attack commands are as follows:

- "full speed", "half speed", "zero", "half reverse", "full reverse" and feel truly like Mark Brandis commanding the pilot (famous teenager sci-fi from the 80s in Germany).
- boost
 - "combat shields" (3/0/3), "full shields" (4/0/2), "travel speed" (2/4/0)
- "landing gear", "cargo scoop" (especially cool because the ship voice-confirms, a StarTrek-like experience)
- "target", "target threat", "next target" (feels like commanding your ship's gun officer)
- evade, which is basically a 4,5 second barrel roll, i.e. left strafing plus left rolling
- assist (toggle flight assist)
- flip (FAoff, 180 turn, FAon)

I still have the following ideas but did not set them up yet.
- launch
- go hot/cold
- engage warp
- hyperjump
- eject cargo
- heat sink
- left/right (for menus)

I also have further plans to expand control. My main incentive to buy ED, and also the reason how I discoveres this game, is the Oculus Rift. I also discovered this neat little gadget named "buttkicker" to enhance VR-experience and plan to buy it some time; it basically makes your chair rock according to the sound-output and it apparently is surprisingly accurate in simulating all kinds of shaking and impacts. Also, I feel that once I play with the Oculus Rift, I should probably switch my controls to a flightstick setting. From the forum, I gained that the Hotas X might be the right tool to use for me; the possible settings are nicely described in this threat here in the ED-forum (first page).

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