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, 11 August 2014

Nomad trader

As it is when you reach a milestone, it requires defining or picking the next. I have seen enough of Surya and Asellus Prime and I am proud owner of a Lakon Type 9 spacecraft. But what to do next? Considering the play strategy, which I decided for when I started the beta:

- [looking for fights as a cheapster in my starter Sidewinder and switching trade runs after five runs at the latest]: checked

- [hauling and mixing in the exploratory element thereby also changing systems regularily]: hauling is checked, exploration only partially.

- [trying to earn and try out the available ships and equipment so that I do not waste time and money when the game is ready]: partially checked.

So, basically, there are only two milestones left: Anaconda, and some ship equipment I haven´t used yet, and a bit of exploring, maybe some more combat in order to remove the stain of embarassment, left by my Viper splashed across the windscreen of a random NPC Cobra. The Nomad trading I mentioned briefly at the end of my last post would be ideal to explore and still have a nice profit and experience in trading, too.

The only ship now left to try out is the Anaconda, and in my opinion, while it looks good from afar, close up and the cockpit view are kind of "meh". This is mainly because of the cockpit position, making the ship look more like a ridiculous overpimped racing car of the 60s and making it look smaller. If the cockpit would be more in the front, the ship would look larger and more regal, more, like, Battlestar Galactica. So, yes, I am going to fly it, but not today.

 - waiting for an NPC Anaconda to enter; but they did give me docking clearance, did they!? What exactly are they paid for?

Trying out equipment and things not done yet includes more than ships; basically I could scout now for the things which are left which I did not do yet. From this point of view, the current beta suddenly seems fairly limited. Besides flying around, landing and trading, some random encounters and fighting zones, that´s about it. Not much more game aspects to explore before I can say that I kind of "finished" the beta.What is left to explore? Some equipment: docking computer, turrets, armor, cannon. A station in an asteroid belt, where I read that NPCs are placehoder-mining and some NPC pirates ("rats") show up regularily. Some station designs I did not see yet. Social aspects (I will postpone this until communication and instancing works better).

So, enough thinking about a game, off I go exploring and trading, nomad style! Itching to go out with my new cute elephant, the Lakon Type 9, I fired up Slopey`s trading tool.

I have 1,4 million Credits, still not enough to fill up 400 units of cargo space with some more expensive commodities. This is going to change now. LFT 880 offers a profitable run to Nang Tan Kang (Gallium, 532 k). Since I start in Asellus Prime, I do not fly empty to LFT 880, so advanced catalysers (332k Cr.). Lifting off, I notice a NPC Cobra stuck vertically in the entrance. Ramming (I read that the in this elephant you hardly notice when flying through small ships) or trying to pass sideways? I stay cautious and squeeze sideways. With a lot of creek and clank scraping the dock walls, I manage to get through. Despite the scary noise, my ship is unharmed and at full shields.

The galaxy map was again wrong and I need two jumps instead of one to LFT 880 and again from it to Nang Ta Kiang. From Nang Ta Kiang, and for the rest of the evening, I follow a route which is dictated by the profit indicated via Slopey´s trading tool, not more than two jumps away. Like this I do a nice little circle tour through some systems where I haven´t been before, and I profit on the side:

- to Wyrd with personal weapons (226k Cr)
- to Acihaut with Tea (240k Cr)
- to LFT 880 (Gallite 275k Cr)

I repeat this once more, and at the end fly back to Eranin from Nan ta Kiang (personal weapons, 212k Cr). I wanted to end the session in Eranin, but then I realized that I had bought a docking computer and hadn´t tried it out yet. So one more tour to IBootis (Coffee, but I don`t write down <100k profits anymore). Where is the button to activate the docking computer? Nothing, not even in the keybinding-menu. A short visit of the search function in the ED forum tells me: Just throttle down to zero after having received docking permission. Violà, here we go. 

Scary, scary. Since I am not one of those geeks who played the original Elite way back in the 80s, I appreciate to get to know to the infamous melody of a Danube waltz during a scary docking maneuver. Basically, what the docking computer tries to do, is to fit my 3,5 million worth of a Lakon Type 9 vertically through the entrance. As I already fiddle with the rightmenu-modules to shut that damn thing off, the last moment before collision, it turns my ship horizontal again and slips through. Whew. After some more shuddering shaking and spiraling, the computer sets my ship hard and unceremouniously down on the landing pad. Whew. This was like watching from the passenger seat my wife driving. Remind me to never do this again.

It is 23:30 pm, which promts me to stick to my promise to end a bit sooner and get some sleep before monday. I have now 4,1 million Credits, they really accumulate very fast with doing bulk freight, and saw some nice station models, including the luxurious interior of Wyrd (see picture above). The trading&exploration part seem now largely covered and I think about doing a more combat oriented game play in the next session.

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