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, 13 August 2014


Before switching over to the Anaconda, I want to have a financial cusion which would allow me, in case I loose the Anaconda and the insurance bugs out and just offers me the starter Sidewinder, to again buy a Lakon Type 9 and have enough cash to fill its cargo hold. I estimate this cushion to have 10,5 million Credits. Which means, one more trading game session with the Lakon Type 9. I do not really mind the grind for one more game session, as I somehow like the slow and steady piloting.

As a trade route tonight, I select

Asellus Prime -> LFT 880 (advances catalysors, 388k Cr)
LFT 880 -> Asellus Prime (beryllium, 619k Cr).

Cudos to Slopey for having included data on the round trip in his trading tool! And, lift off. The flight to LFT 880 requires me to look up the system names, which I have to jump through, several times. Lots of numbers; LP 98-132 and LHS 2819. Then Baker Platform, the station in LFT 880, is difficult to reach, because very close to the sun. A direct course most of the time will drop you out of supercruise because of the proximity alert to the sun. However, the curved approach takes still less time then, e.g., the approach of Beagles Landing 2 with its 1,7 million ls distance.

- on top of being almost within melting distance to the sun, the station seems to move pretty fast; I contantly have to adjust course in order to stay on point on the last 10k km

Docking is a chore. At least a dozen times I have to repeat docking request. Very handy that I keyed this to a voice macro. Very roleplay, too, as I imagine how annoyed the real pilot would talk into the micro when refused docking so persistently.
I unload and earn only 355k Cr instead of the 388k Cr which Slopey`s tool promised. I load the cargo for my way back to Asellus Prime and swallow; this has to be the most expensive cargo I ever loaded. 440 units of beryllium have a value of 3,2 million Credits. So, better no fancy flying now, straight from schoolbook! (And no docking computer!)

Hyperjumped to LHS 2819, and it happens; interdiction. As I drop out of supercruise, space is empty and I dawdle a bit and even think about engaging combat for whatever comes. I stuffed my ship up to the brim with missile launchers, and I never had the occasion to try them out. Then I hear the warp-in of ships. Contrary to the usual, they appear VERY close to me, maybe 2 km at max. They are three. Three Cobras. I freeze in a mix of panic and confusion. Three is too much! Why are they so close, closer than ever before an interdiction? Boost! FAoff!

During those seconds until my bucket finally starts its elephant´s gallop, the Cobras already have turned red. And they are still way too close. My shield display starts to flicker. Damn. Even though I am kind of overwhelmed out of the suddenness of the situation, which had never happened before yet, my mind spools the programm I planned for such cases. FAoff, flip backwards on my flight course and give them hell!

It is close, too close for my taste. I am not used to targeting without flight assistance. Some sadist at Frontier found it appropriate that the mouse reacts much more sensitive to input when flight assist is off, so I oversteer my target and loose missile lock. Precious seconds wasted. My shield already looses power. There, lock. First salvo, full magazine. Contrary to my expectation that a salvo of six times three C2 missiles and six times two C4 missiles should kill any Cobra, the first Cobra does not explode. I assume that some of my missiles get destroyed by their cannons, because I fired the salvo full frontal on the Cobra. No time to think, I already target the next Cobra.

Then the next irritation; the missile launchers did overheat!? WTF? I am blocked from shooting for some more precious seconds. My power setup is 4sys0eng2weap. Missiles come online again, almost full capacitors. Confusing, why did they overheat then if capacitors are nearly full? No time, more confusion. My shields are already gone and sparks fly through the cockpit as I hear the impacts on my ship (congrats Frontier, the change of the impact sound from shield to hull is a fantastic attention to detail!).

Somehow I survive until the second Cobra I targeted explodes, then I can also destroy the first already weakened Cobra and then lock the last Cobra. Launchers are overheating again. However I am lucky, the Cobra decides to stop its barrage and breaks of and evades. My hull is at 44%. My missiles are almost all gone. How so? I did not realize how many salvos I was releasing in my near panicked state.
Despite of showing overheat status, I manage to squeeze off one or two more missiles, which busy the Cobra with evasion, thank god also far enough away so that I can activate frameshift without being masslocked. I would have stayed to finish this, but at this point I am not even sure I have enough missiles left for the job. So I use this first and maybe last occasion to save my 3,5 million Credit-ship plus its 3,2 million Credit-cargo.

- this is how my cockpit looked at 44%; if you do not see the cracks, rest assured that I never wanted to see them myself firsthand!

 Whew. Hyperjump successful. Somehow I had it locked, don´t even remember that and when I did this. I need a break. Next system, I immediately drop out of supercruise. Shields still down, despite four blips in systems, it does not regenerate anymore. Oi. Then I suddenly remember that for once, I hadn´t forgotten to activate the video capturing (NVidia Shadowplay) and I press the save key.

It might be that the video shows things different than I just recounted. This is the infamous in-between of memory and reality; I will leave my report here as is and do later some more accurate comments in the video (takes about 90 minutes to upload on you tube despite converting it into .mkv in H.264).

This was it; the most tense and dangerous battle I have had so far in this game. I suppose also a fitting reminder why this suitor of Elite can be called "Dangerous". I get an inclination of how this game is going to look like in its final version; clearly trade is too safe at the moment, and it is situations like these which remind me of this.

The rest of the game session is eventless, relatively speaking. Here in short summary:

- Maintenance costs me 694 Cr fuel, ~50k Cr to restock missiles, 102 Cr for module damage, ~24k Cr for hull damage.

- Beryllium sells in Asellus Prime for 634k Cr instead of 619k as projected by Slopey`s tool

- Docking again takes several requests, which made me tense especially in front of Asellus Prime, with another batch of 3,2 million Credits in my cargo hold and three player ships around me. But thank god no pirate amongst them. If they had known, maybe temptation would have been to much. At least it would have been like this for me...

- I do two more trade runs between LFT 880 and Asellus Prime, each time slight deviations from projected profit margins, but in the end I have 9,2 million Credits on my cash account. Since it is already short before midnight, I decide to log off and start prepping the video for the youtube upload. I am very happy that I managed to capture this very exciting combat on video.

- After the combat, I am rather unfocused and mange once to get even stuck in the docking entrance! Again exactly the time when I have again 3,2 million Credits in my cargo space! Thank god the game has mercy and leaves my ship intact. There is something wrong the way the entrance turns; my ship always seems to completely displace from the entrance´s height, and for all I know, this should not happen when I fly a straight line or even wait stopped in front of the entrance?

- One more run in my next session and I consider myself financially independend for the rest of this beta. Anaconda mayhem is close!

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