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, 27 August 2014

Lost in the multiverse

My EDtacker seems to have lost calibration; when I look straight, it turns fully right. That is where I remember the button on its circuit board. I reach up and press the button on the top of my head. Click. My view centers, all is well. I just wish I had such a button at the top of my head also for some certain situations in real life. Click. All centered again. Sigh.

This session´s plan was slim. Get out there, try to do some pvp in a group. But first, I want to get a bit practice on my own. However, while I was rather jubilant yesterday about the raised frequency of encounters, tonight I am back and stuck in an empty lonely galaxy again. I supercruise a bit around Freeport and drop back, repeat. Some CMDR Backer# in Sidewinders appear now and then, but it would be downright unsportive and no challenge at all to attack them with a heavily armed Anaconda.

For a change, I decide to jump to Styx and figure out whether there is any difference to a system without any souvereignity. After some cruising and uncovering unidentified signals, I concede: No. Engage hyperjump to Eranin, looking for some combat in the high conflict zone close to Eranin 2. I tackle a Federal Anaconda. It is largely a matter of keeping on its tail and tickle it down while the Anaconda is busy with an Ernanin Sidewinder harrassing it. I get bored.

So I join the "TEST: mostly harmless" team speak again and find my bunch of people from last session. They, of course, hang out in Freeport, and just as I join, some serious PvP seems to evolve against two or three other CMDRs. I make haste back to Freeport. However, the multiverse is not on my side this night. I enter and just find one TEST colleague, CMDR McBane, who also tries to join the fray, but we are in a wrong instance of the multiverse. We try several times to get entrance into the right instance; he by save&quit and re-entering, me by supercruising and dropping back. It is fruitless. At some point we also loose each other. Needless to say, the original PvP situation had been dissolved already long ago.

In one or two instances, I re-encounter CMDR Rand Haginen, but he is blinking through the multiverse, too, then another TEST CMDR in a hauler, just as I chased away a CMDR Viper, so he has a safe passage to dock, then we loose each other quickly again.

So I fly alone again. Some sporadic encounters with other CMDRs occur. As usual, I leave the Sidewinders and "Backer#" players alone, as they are obviously not ready for PvP or no challenge to begin with. To not die of total boredom, I attack any CMDR Viper I meet. CMDR Birdawg´s Viper launches from Freeport and I am ready for him. However, he boosts away and, as if this was not enough to escape a slow-as-a-slug Anaconda, chickens out into a different part of the multiverse (i.e. saves&quits).

My only relief this game session comes with CMDR Kingkins, and a heartfelt thank you, dear CMDR, for having the courage to attack my Anaconda on sight. We had a nice little duel and I hope you earned some experience.

CMDR Kingkins sported beam lasers and railguns but did not manage to get through to my armor. With 7% hull, he boosted and jumped away. Good fight! The only weird thing; the CMDR was back after some 5 minutes and approaching Freeport in a straight line, even firing at me again. With 7% hull. Maybe he speculated on a quick pass due to his superiour speed, and indeed, my pulse lasers did not manage to fully get through his Viper´s shields. However, I send two missiles after him, which did not hit very well but at least took his shields down. After he was past, I turned after him, but my bottom turrets already had done their work and he exploded.

IMO, if a Viper wants to persevere against an Anaconda, it should not do jousting runs, as this only results in equally long, resp. short, firing positions for both sides and the Anaconda has more firepower. A better tactic would be to outmaneuver and out-turn the Anaconda from near close range. And for optimal damage, have at least a pair of cannons, which should have an easy aim agains such a big and slow target. Good flight next time!

I captured this little tussle on video, but there was a little accident. While the capturing software does not capture my constant voice commands via Voice Attack, it very well captures the ongoing chitchat from the Teamspeak client. The whole video with its dramatic combat scenes is covered by manly chitchat about gun sizes, probably bugged newtonian flight mechanics or not, instancing philosophying and justifying why one or the other let himself blew up in PvP while he graciously let escape the opponent. So, unusable, I have to find a way to shut it off for video capture, lest Teamspeak will be a no go again for me.

CMDR Nads in a Sidewinder captures my interest, as his Sidewinder shows off some nice colour scheme from the Frontier shop. I toyed with the thought to buy one, too, but they do not offer paint for Anacondas yet. I do not mind giving a little bit more profit to Frontier, as long as it does not intrude into gameplay mechanics. A choice for ship paint does not intrude and I think it is a good balance between merchandising and keeping a game intact. We have a brief chat via the ingame system; he is hunting criminals, me is hunting griefers, but we both admit, the time to search for some is excruciatingly long and the search is mostly not successful. After a while, I want to move on into the next instance of Freeport in the multiverse, to finally encounter more action.

On my supercruise, I am interdicted by three Cobras, and they pop out at very close range. They also launch close range full volleys of missiles. Déjà vu. This or similar setups had almost destoyed me two times in the past; once while I was still in a Lakon Type 9, once against four Sidewinders in my Viper. But at this occasion, I realize how much more experienced I have become, respectively how powerful a well equipped Anaconda is. Dispatching the Cobras happens almost like an afterthought and seems routine. I maneuver with FAoff/on until I have a Cobra showing its top-down profile and then empty my pulse laser´s capacitors. This is already sufficient and the Cobra is no more. While I am assaulted by two or three missile volleys, the numerous point defense systems do a top job and I do not even loose my shield.

Back in Freeport, I encouter one last CMDR Viper, but it makes away in haste before I can get through its shields. I then call it a night. My plan to find some group PvP and maybe even train some fleet combat maneuvers failed because the game was not able to make me stick together with none of my colleagues. The beta game utterly fails with regards to co-op multiplayer.

In the end, I wonder what is left for me to explore in this phase of the beta. I should probably reduce my game sessions, in order to not "burn out" or get bored from overuse. As it happens, the holiday period is ending, so some more RL obligations will get hold of me, anyways. Three more days, and a full month has passed since I started this blog and in addition to 2-5 hours gametime, I have created at least one blog entry per day since then. This means I have spend a huge amount of time with the game; considering my life situation, it is actually a crazy amount of time. However, it was a nice little holiday on the side, I can confidently say that I have suceeded in my game goals as far as possible and I know every aspect of the game in this beta phase. I am very much ready for the full game. Now the long wait starts, lost in the multiverse, until the "World of Elite"is ready for us.

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