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, 5 October 2014

Elite conflict zones and other combat

Three pages of scribbled notes, but not much time to write down all my adventures, I am too busy with playing! :) Instead of protocolling all I did, I will do a summary report instead.

I assume this beta2 is for testing somethings very specific. In terms of choices of gameplay, it is less than beta1 which again was less than alpha (hearsay, wasn´t in alpha, but at least you could work as a team there). Basically, all you can do with resonable financial success is to fly missions or to roam an extraction site and get some bounties. There is also exploring, but my first few tries last session, I found it pretty repetitive and boring.

 - focus of my interest in this game session (and, as always, just beautiful to behold)

My second session in beta2, I concentrated on combat. Boy, those combat zones sure have been beefed up! Whereas in the beginning, I still spotted some Sidewinders, once I had switched myself to an Eagle, I encountered only Vipers, Cobras and Anacondas in there. And they are tough as nails. I need to empty three or four pulse laser capacitors alone to get through shields, and they for sure have military grade armor, too!

Combat is very hard, especially when focused by 2+ ships. Also, those "elite" or "master" rated ships are not to be trifled with even when solo. Especially when you are in an Eagle and they in a Cobra or Viper! The Eagle has become better in terms of range, but its weapon loadout is still inferior, hardly better than a Sidewinder. After I had the cash a bit later in my session, I bought a cannon for the third back-mounted slot, for extra punch at point-blank situations. Worked well!

While roaming for those "kill civilians" mission, I repeatedly was victim to flagging bugs. It seems that "wanted" ships show up red when you target but before you scanned them. Do not shoot them or you are fined. You have to complete the scan before able to shoot without penalty. I got attacked by security vessels galore and had to learn this the hard way. Also, when you incur a bounty, it is not shown properly. And after paying it of, you are still wanted sometimes. I got killed quite some times because of this.

In my last entry, I was rather frustrated that I was focused and destroyed so quickly by multiple ships, almost simulatenously. This challenged me. They sure must be doable somehow! After many unsuccessful tries at combat, my financial advancement was -2300 Credits after roughly three hours of combat gameplay. Then I started to get better, or simply more lucky.

I discovered that the bulletin board sometimes changes its offers when you go into the outfitting screen. I lost some good potential missions this way, but when used to it, I use this to "reshuffle" the supply. Some missions are buggy ("failed to perform server transaction").

There were three cargo transport missions to LP 98-132, which netted me 68k Credits. This was when I discovered I could stack missions. So I went out through multiple stations until I had two or three warzone-combat missions collected (usually to kill 6-8 ships, which then counts for all missions simultaneously) and I went at them. This way, rewards easily stack between 20k-60k Credits. And failure does hurt so much more...

Then I went into the conflict zones, and I can say I got by butt handed to me quite some times. And every time to add insult to the hurt, my carefully collected/stacked missions were gone. After four such tries, I finally go the trick. It is about avoiding being focused. So far I always tried to pick up stragglers at the border of the skirmishes. This was not very successful, because those enemies tend to fly back in the middle of it and then you are done. So I copied this tactic. I always made sure I had at least two allied ships close to me, best thing was us attacking always the same target together. It became much more easy like this, even though my allies stole also a number of kills from me. But better less kills than being killed, right? Every time when multiple enemies tried to focus me, my allies would target them and I was quickly left alone again. Perfect. Finally, I could cash in about 60k Credits from those combat missions!

After this successfuly completed combat challenge, in my newfound ego, I decided to collect some hunting missions. I was incredibly lucky to have two "Mistral" missions and two "War Essence" missions. Unfortunately, the board reset itself after I accepted the first mission and the other ones were gone. For one hunting mission, I did not want to go out, besides, it was already crazily late, so I ended my second session in beta2.

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