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)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Missions: Thumbs down.

I am back from a nice, a little stressful, but overall very nice weekend. Driving back, singing loud and false for my 2-year old daughter in the back (this usually keeps her patient, don´t ask me, it just works), I was already wondering at the back of my mind how to continue in Elite:Dangerous. I have 50.000 Credits and my strategy so far was to
1. get a feeling for PvE missions: so far, the mission board did not work but I did some unidentified signals instead, so: partly check.
2. get into trading and combine it with a bit of exploring: did the trading thing and got caught up in it ("just one more  run, just one more run, ooops, it is 2 a.m. ..."), so: partly check
3. trying out each available ship in order to know what to go for when the game is out: so far, I fly a hauler, but I could now switch to an Eagle or with a few more trade runs to a Viper. Also, I did not spot or research into the Lakon-type freighters.

It is probably most efficient if I continue trading (I also have still a lot of fun just flying around, so no danger of being bored). I should therefore continue trading and earn Credits to try out the other freight ships first. Once I have earned enough credit to be able to buy every ship, I can stop trading and start becoming a kind of soldier of fortune. So, all in all a slight adjustment of my playing strategy, I delay the exloration part in exchange for working to have more ship- and thus also playstyle-options available as early as possible.

This Viper is very tempting, though. However, I have read in the forum that heavy armaments (Viper has 2xC4, 2x C2 weapon mount points) severely gimp jump range. So it is probably not a good idea to try to explore in a heavy-duty Viper. Well, let`s see how the game is going to develop for me.

Before starting, I update to beta 1.03 and also Slopey`s trading tool in order to find the juicy trading routes a bit earlier. I already know what and where to analyse, because Fontier themselves hand out some hints in the latest newsletter by mentioning the most traded goods, the most traded stations and some stations which are supposed to have some not yet discovered "trading jewels".

And an interesting night I will have. Straight four hours of enlightenment.

Starting in Asellus Prime, I feel somehow bored with the prospect to restart my last profitable trade run of bringing catalysators right next door to Dahan. I study the mission board; it works, for starters. They list hauling contracts. A long range contract wants to send me to ... a complicated system name with a lot of numbers which I forget the moment I read it. Ah, screw it, I ll do it. This way I finally come to the exploration part of trading! I study the galaxy map to find out where to go; the left menu only allows to lock on one-jump waypoints. I get much more comfortable already with the map. So, Dahan, Morgor, Targetsystem, is the order. Which means that I add some catalysators to drop off on my way at Dahan. Off I go, and all goes as planned; until I arrive.

As I drop off the cargo in my target system, I do not get the reward. Where is the cash, baby? Most probably it is what I read in the forum:You have to go back to the system where you received the mission in order to get the money. Damn. So much for mixing mission transports with exploring. 
I don´t want to go back empty, what a waste! So I load up Cobalt because I know already that Asellus Prime pays good. I launch and want to lock Morgor, but it does not appear in the menu. Yep, another thing I read about in the forum: Too much cargo is too much mass, which reduces your jump range. Great. Dock again, sell off 7 units, check back with the galaxy map´s navigation panel and the cargo slider, ok, launch, lock, jump. I guess this is learning by doing.

It continues this way; I forgot to fuel up and have to dock in Morgor for doing so. Another waste of time, and time is money. For Slopey´s fans, I check the commodities so that his programm gets the data, and I discover that Cobalt was much cheaper here to buy. Why did I look it up?

Finally I arrive in Asellus Prime, check the mission board, click... did I get the cash? Hm seems so; some 7.000 Credits more; after 30 minutes of gameplay. I could have made much more just doing three Asellus-Dahan trade runs for 10.000 Credits. Maybe I give it another try. I check the mission board again. Ok, another long range haul, to another number-spelled target system, but not soo many numbers; LF 3006 (I think ?). 5 cargo units of computers. I accept. Fueled up? Yes. Launch. Have to go via Eranin. In Eranin, my left menu tells me there is no LF 3006. I check the galaxy map; indeed, no line goes there, even though Eranin seems to be closest. It seems I encountered the galaxy map bug which I read about in the forum; ain´t this scheme getting repetitive?

The galaxy map´s slider tells me that in order to actually have the range, I can carry exact and only one of the five units required for the mission... uhm, no; it would be too boring to do this 5 times in a row. I decide to check whether the bug consists only by showing wrong lines or if I am indeed below the required jump range. I eyeball that LF-something or Aulin seems also to be close to the target system. Travelling there to LF-something... no. Travelling to Aulin again makes me stop at I Bootis because of fuel issues. Time to fill up some fish, at least some costs to be covered! Arrival at Aurin, .. no, target system not in range.

I am annoyed with the mission system, it seems a waste of time if you want to make money and it is not useful for exploring or traveling somewhere else and making money on the road. I decide to do a few I Bootis -Aulin runs (agri-medine - fish). I suffer through some freezes when entering hyperspace and once, cannot land on my assigned landing pad; the guidance system displays my ship topside-down and the game apparently does not recognize that I am acutally positioned correctly (maybe I should not swoop in so fast and steep, next time).

After some runs back in I Bootis, I check for the next bigger freighter, the Lakon Type 6. Whew, 193.000 Credits they want from me for it, and I have right now 90.000 Credits. I decide that continuing trade runs have a too grindy feeling to it. It is time to change my playstyle.

- No Lakon type 6 for me, this night!

This evening is to be continued... in the next post!

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