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)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Conquered the elephant!

Jeez, the ramp-up to this evening´s game session started weird. I updated Slopey´s trading tool and suddenly found that Elite: Dangerous had been uninstalled. I have no idea how this happened. Did I misclick when uninstallng Slopey`s programm? Did I misclick when I integrated the new folder for it into old one in the ED folder (I like to keep things together)? Whatever, the client is gone, I had to re-download the whole thing anew.

On a nice note, in the drabble-thread, they made an audio of all entries, including mine ("Dangerous Wildlife", starts at 3:50). In a total seizure of vanity, I have to say: Well done, I really like the interpretation! It is funny to think that I created these lines because it exactly happened like this in one of my play sessions, and it was totally by chance that they seemed to fit so well as a sarcastic remark on the topic of the drabble-contest "opportunity": I found it ridiculous how little profit there is in combat, compared to the damage you have to pay repair costs for, and of course, compared to what you can earn by trading. And to top if off, the trade goods dropped by the second Cobra were so low-value that I did not even bother to scoop them in. Mineral oil and sugar, nothing better available from combat for having a Coffee!

Well, it is the beta, and Frontier already announced that they would provide for a better balance soon.

All in all, I started my game session late but the end I could call myself a proud owner of a Lakon Type 9 freightship. All I did was to grind those last pesky 1,5 million Credits. I spent about half an hour to try to find an alternative, maybe even better, traderoute, but it seems I have already found the top no. 1; Assellus Prime (load advanced catalysors, 87.000 Cr.) - Surya (load superconductors, 129.000 Cr.). So I went back to grind this one. Despite this route having been mentioned in the forum as well as here in my blog, it still seems rather deserted. Both commodities were still in high supply and medium demand, as the night before. I encountered but one colleague in a Lakon Type 6 during this night (and we barely managed to avoid collision in the docking entrance!).

The next best alternative I managed to find via analysis of Slopey`s trading tool, was a ring around between Ithaca (load Paladium, 164.000 Cr.) - LHS 417 (load cons. electronics, 82.100 Cr.) - LHS 3262 (load, uhm, forgot to write it down, 81.500 Cr.). However, it was at the other end of the cluster and the galaxy map was not very clear how many jumps I would need and I doubted that the time to fly with the same overall average profit all three combined (~320k / 3 = 110 k) would yield me more than what I gained already (~210k Cr. / 2 = 110 k). I decided to prioritize grind over experiment, in order to be able to buy the Lakon Type 9 still in this session.

When my cash was finally around 3.4 million and I had loaded 550.000 Cr. worth of superconductors, I encountered a tense situation. In the middle of the docking exit, suddenly a Cobra appeared litteraly out of nothing, and it was amazing that we did not collide. I know I was so surprised because I had just reminded myself to get used to checking the radar in preparation of flying the Lakon Type 9; this ship is so huge that it blocks the whole entrance/exit and not watching out for traffic would guarantee a collision. With the smaller Lakon Type 6, there still is enough wiggle room so it is not so paramount to wait to let others pass first and I guess this saved my ass and my cargo when that Cobra appeared from I presume a faulty instancing (a know bug in this beta).

After I had reached 3,8 m Credits, I was finally ready to buy the Lakon Type 9 and have enough cash to fill its voluminous cargo cave of 440 units. I had estimated to pay 3,5 million Credits and was pleasantly surprised then the ship dealer at I Bootis only demanded 3.338.992 Credits.

 - Lakon Type 9; achievement granted!

For a proper virgin flight, it was only appropriate to load fish, which I brought back to Asellus Prime, and, thanks to the bulk of 440 units, netted me already 76.000 Credits. Nice! I did two more trade routes to Surya to get a feeling for this elephant, could only fill the cargo hold by half, but this still meant double the profit as with a Lakon Type 6 (which has only 100 untis of cargo space).

Here my observations on the Lakon Type 9:
- looks really cool;
- very slow turning, to be expected and not an issue after getting used to; landing this jumbo jet-style feels extremly cool;
- less range than the Lakon Type 6; can not jump from Styx to Surya due to fuel limitation (says the ship computer, however, weird enough, on my way back from Surya, I can jump to Styx);
- fuel for the same route costs 500 Cr instead of the 94 Cr I paid with the Lakon Type 6;
- heats up like crazy, about 70% for one jump, and is less heat tolerant (only up to 150%, whereas the Lakon Type 6 could tolerate over 200% without damage); before I realized this, I was already down to 83% hull (which costs 8000 Credits to repair);
- feels really uncomfortable to fly without any weapon loadout; having to supercruise longer in order to let the ship vent its heat means a higher risk of interdictions (dropping out of supercruise to avoid interdictions would loose even more time);
- boost speed is very low with 200 km/s, so I am not sure if I could really escape an interdiction (especially if I have to also vent heat before I can do so)
- absolutely needs a heat sink launcher to alleviate the above issues
- do not dare to use a docking computer and trust a crappy AI with such a high value under my arse, but I do not need one; entrance area is still big enough, I still was able let an NPC Eagle pass by sticking slightly away from the middle (was one of those tense situations again, though, because I was not sure at first).

- I like the view!


I am looking very much forward to try out other cash-intensive aspects of the game; the Lakon Type 9 covers the problem of having sufficient income! Should I milk my trade route to death or do a more nomad style of trading, now that income does not matter so much anymore at this high level of yield?

- I may do english figures wrong; is it 164.000 or 164,000? German uses the former format, US English the latter? EU-English probably, too? No matter, I stick to what I am used to, I think the context makes it clear what it is, anyways.
- Session ended 3 am; ok it was saturday. However, since my daughter does not really care and wakes up at 8 am the latest, I really should grab some sleep before monday.

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