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

My first venture in Elite:Dangerous

When the beta 1.0 came finally online on 29 June around 22:00, I could only enter it after a very slow download of the updates, around midnight. My ship, the default Sidewinder class spacecraft, was located in Erin, floating in front of Azeban Station.


I spent some time to admire the beautiful galaxy map with the newly added trading route information. However, I found the galaxy map quite overwhelming and I wasn't really able to figure out how to use the map. A very typical thing when you enter a brand new game the first time, and I kind of cherish these moments, too.

For example, the galaxy map shows for "textiles" flowing threads from Eranin to three different worlds, which are industrial worlds. There is also a high tech world in range, but without a thread flowing to it. What does this mean?

a) The high-tech world does not buy textiles or it is not profitable enough
b) The high-tech world is in dire need of textiles because nobody trades there and a profit is to be expected.
c) The highest profit margin is selling textiles to the three industrial worlds which show threads flowing to it.
c) In fact the opposite of c), because of high competition we cannot expect any sufficient profit margin in selling textiles to those three worlds.

After some marvelling at the sheer beauty of the map and pondering about above implications, I was so confused that I decided to dock and explore the station menu. First thing which caught my attention was the new bulletin board, and after one or two tries (server did not open the mission window) I chose a mission. I have only 4 slots anyways so I figure trading too much of a grind at this stage.
The mission sent me to support the Federation and make four kills. I undocked and wondered where all those conflict zones and unidentified signals are which I saw in the youtube videos (and also during a brief exploit of a glitch during the combat missions before start of beta). I decided to systematically check each planet for activity and activated supercruise via the left menu. It took a quite while to make it work, because the transition froze up and I had to restart several times. Well, it is a beta at this point in time!
Supercruise felt cool, especially when I realized that I could see other players cruising around me, too. I was tempted to call the guy in front of me with the newly added voice communication, but I did not find the UI for this and was already approaching the first planet very fast.
Suddenly, also both a conflict zone and unidentified signals were popping up, and out of curiosity, I approached the latter on my way to the conflict zone. Dropping out of supercruise did not work, so my ship raced past all point into open space. Confused I checked my keyboard control layout; ah, there, the button for hyperjump and supercruise have been merged into one. Armed with this knowledge, I turn around and make it to an unidentified signal.
However, dropping out of supercruise into the zone led into big empty space with nothing happening. So I re-engaged, froze again in transmission - and, whooops, it was three in the morning, which led me to terminate my first ED-session in the online universe.

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