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

Eagle overload

Is me ship fast enough? IS ME SHIP FAST ENOUGH? Aww, man, I can do the Aulin-Fish-Run in under 5 Minutes!

 - random screenshot from the internet (who does not know the Millenium Falcon!?)

To be honest, I did not stop time. But I can proudly say that I can now dock in under 1 minute, starting from requesting docking at 7km distance from the station and leave the station in under 20 seconds. Those repetitive trade runs are good exercise. Toggling the landing gear has become second nature, I don't land helicopter-style anymore but swoop low and fast onto the landing pad like a jet, I zip-by those fat NPC-Cobras and -Lakons, which are stuck vertically right in front of the docking entrance I can do at max speed!

Despite of my boasting and probably even true above statement, I had decided to not grind at least 10 times the Aulin-I Bottis run at 10.000 Credits each in oder to be able to afford the Lakon Type 6 freighter. Instead, I am itching for some action. I Bootis offers both the Eagle and the Viper, and I have 90.000 Credits. Hmmmm, juicy Viper, I want it... 75.000 Credits... but, just a moment, what about armaments? No good to have a Viper with one loaned class-1 pulse laser, and if I get destroyed, I need, according to what I read in the forum, to have around 5% for the insurance lest my asset is gone forever. Besides, I have "Falken" in my name, so might play by style and fly a bird and not a snake. Hmmm.... juicy Viper... but, hold, you can still buy and savour it later, you wanted to try out every ship in game anyways and the Eagle seems to be the more low-level ship, so let´s be polite and play the queue. But,... Viper...? No! Eagle. Hmm, ok...

 - No Viper for me, this time...

Already at the fitting screen I am confirmed to have done the right decision. One freaking weapon costs already 10.000 Credits upwards! I want railguns! All railguns! Hmm... no; I saw that one video where an Eagle with two railguns was overheating after two shots already... better stay with two. Ok done it, add a heatsink launcher, to get rid of heat if I need to fire more than those two shots, assign fire groups. Ready? Lets fly the Eagle, baby!

- Let´s fly the Eagle, baby! #
(looks nicer, but unfortunately it seems to be inferior technical specs to a Viper. So, what!)

The mission board offers some mercenary work; it says, go there, kill that, if you can find it. No, man, thanks. Sounds like my beloved "unidentified signals" (US) clearly pop up faster than any mission goal you offer to me, thanks.

Docking bay clear, flightassist off, boost at 350 cps, that´s how the runs are done like Chetaah-Fast-Paws! In Supercruise, I go for the first US. Aww, just a freighter with "clear" status. I decide to test out my guns into empty space, instead. Extend hardpoints! Hummmmmms... I can´t see the hardpoints/guns, they must be under my cockpit´s view because they read as extracted. Ksssh-shhhh...kssshhh-shhhh.... why do I sound like Darth Vader? Life systems are off`? Drives off? Toilet not flushing (cargo hatch off)? WTF is going on?

Some 30 minutes later. I am again the wiser. Seems like the power draw of those railguns is too much and the computer shuts down all systems except the railguns. I play with the power settings in the right menu, assign priority 1 and 2 to discern how much %tage a given system component acutally takes. According to calculation, everything including railguns should read exactly 100% power draw. However, it seems that in full combination with all other system components, the railguns actually take 13% and not 12%, which then makes the system exceed 100% and shut down. I am setting up my ship without life support, frameshift, cargo hatch, pwr distribution, and I can run everything else, for 10 minutes until my Darth-Vader-air-supply is out. This would be enough for a fight, but it sure feels worse than Han Solo in the Millenium Falcon!

- not a screenshot from my Eagle, just found it in the internet to show the menu with the power settings which I used for my tests (I have to find out how to do and then remember to do screenshots myself)

So, back to the docks, I guess railguns are the wrong choice anyways. The Eagle has three hardpoints, an I should damn well make use of it. From EVE online I learned that you should best fit the same weapon type and range ammo in order to have optimal dps in a given comat situation to strive for, everything else will gimp your overall damage output. I think this dogma fits also here. So, in order to have the Eagle make full use of its potential, I need three guns of the same type. After some pondering, I go for gimballed multicannons. This type of gun is probably best when being close to the target, as the bullets have, opposed to laser beams, a travel delay, and thanks to automatic aiming (the word "gimball" seems so cute, I don´t even know its translation), I can concentrate on maneuvering and staying close and out of gunsight.

Fitted like this, I go for patrol around Aulin and wait for US or interdictions. Security Vessel, Clear-status-freighter, there; a Sidewinder pirate. Fun it is! I effortlessly stick to his butt and my (g)-machineguns shred it apart in no time, and a 650 Credits bounty. Next! Again a sidewinder, yes. Same thing, however, suddenly my guns stop. Reload! The sidewinder is at 8% hull and before the guns are ready again, that sucker has warped away. Aww man, this is cheating! I was straight at his back and I would have been 10fold mass locked in this same situation!

Things start to go wrong again. Next interdiction is an Eagle security vessel. I am still annoyed and target and circle it while it scans me. WTF, suddenly it turns red and attacks me? I had nothing in my hold, nothing! I am confused, but do not dare attack, because I do not get a "wanted"-status. I read in the forum that they need to shoot at you first and then you can shoot back without penalty? Ok, here, I let him hit me. Can I shoot now? Uhm, I still hesitate. I certainly will not get any bounty, why should I then? I decide to boost away. Flight assist off, boost to 350 cps. Wait what is this, the Eagle grills me! Evasive maneuvers! Ai, ai, 90%, 60%, 50%, 48%... finally I seem to be out of range and mass lock and I am back in supercruise. What happened? Well, FA off and just moving the mouse/joystick actually does nothing when you fly a straight line, so the security-Eagle surely had a good line of fire the whole time I was blasting out of his range... how stupid, but lucky I was.

I am going for repairs to Aulin. Two more US tempt me on my way there, but it is again just security vessels. Arriving at Aulin, I have to realize to my dismay that my left menu does indeed show a hefty "wanted"-fee of 1200 Credits on me. No idea why this happened. Did I provoke the police officer? I hadn´t even deployed my weapons! Talk about police despotism! (However, if this should be true, I acutally like it as part of the Elite gameplay)

It is 1 am, and I have to come to a conclusion for this second half of the night. I actually like the Eagle, feels a bit like riding a motorbike instead of a van, but bugs stopped me from really enjoying it. I lost more money than I gained flying it: Repairs 900 Credits, paying off my fine 1200 Credits. On the plus side, one measly bounty of 650 Credits. I don´t like this kind of profit margin.

However, almost like a compensatory measure from Frontier, luck comes back online. Aulin does not accept my landing request, so I sit there and wait, right in front of the entrance, very tensly aware of my 1200 Credit-"wanted"-status. Suddenly, I hear a faint "ca-boom", and some white targets appear on my scanner. Freight from a destroyed ship; hail-thou you stupid AI ships (didn´t spot any player ships around, btw, payer ships seem to have become rarer these days)!
I have four free cargo slots, might as well scoop some of them up and sell them on the black market in I Bootis, since Aulin does not want to let me enter, anyways. Flipping through the targets, I realize there are four canisters with battle weapons! Bingo! Super profit to sell! However, they drift very close to the space station, like, few hundred meters, and the station´s turning fills up my view and really confuses my sense for my own speed and direction. So it comes that I indeed manage to destroy one of those valuable cannisters, damn!

Some minutes later I have FAoff-boosted out of mass lock and jumped safely to I Bootis. On its black market, selling each unit at 5000+ Credits. In the end, I have 52.000 Credits and an eagle with three (g)-multicannons, so I figure this is a bit more than the 90.000 Credits and the Hauler I started this second half of my night with. It is tempting to continue from here, since I did not really get the Eagle through his paces yet. But it is now 2 am and crazily late for having a working day pending. So I force my mouse-hand to set the shut-down. Engage! Good night!

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