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)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Not sure where to start

The next few blog entries will resemble more to notes taken while playing than a good story about my adventures in Elite. So much to discover and find out about! Also, a lot of breaks because of my sickness. TV and PC can be a super pain killer, they just put your consciousness somewhere else, but they cost a certain amount of concentration, which of course is rather limited when sick.

 I definitely do not want to stay in the "starter systems", so I spend some time in the galaxy map to make myself aqcuainted and find all those locations I already frequented before. I want to see the new ship prices first, then pick a Jack-of-all-Trade type and to the new things, namely fuel scooping and mining. Wait, better try the fuel scooping first with the Sidewinder, in case I manage to blow myself up being too close to the sun...

My suspicions are confirmed. Some systems have changed. Adepti was an agricultural system, it now stands as a refinery system and no system informations are available. LHS64, my most lucrative mission site, seems to have gone. I just remember it was near Ross210, but that one is also gone, along with Dharai and NLTT49528. I feel a bit dislocated.
Oooh, there is Sol! Not far away just a bit "below" my starting location! It has no description and just borders the playable "tube" of the galaxy and I know from comm chatter in the ED forum that it is not visitable until the game goes into gamma.


- the new galactic pill (we neeed a new name for that thing...); the yellow pointer shows where some stars suddenly have been teleported to

As I search for, and find, Jurua (the system with that huge impressive brown dwarf), I notice that the galaxy map now displays all three stars, not only one generic one. Again I feel a nerdgasm coming! I so love this attention to details! But what is this? Jurua is not in the playable area!? Same for Taurawa. It seems that whole star systems got displaced! I wonder what is behind that change. There are also many many system descriptions lacking, even though the colour code shows a system type. This new set up seems to call for renewed exploration. So an advanced D-scanner would be a first good idea, and a ship with a reasonable jump range.

Aaaagh what to do what to do!?!

By chance I discover Jaitu, and this system has a station named Newcomen Gateway. That rings a bell; yes, Loga had also a station with the word "Newcomen" in it. It seems there is a random name generator at work here.

Aurea is still there, but it has changed. No stations in the system, but there are also some asteroid belds clickable. Maybe these are new mining locations? Maybe I should indeed first do some exploring and then start activities based on what I find, taking those aqcuainted systems for my compass. Without a "hold" like this, I would be so hopelessly lost in the galaxy map!

I need an explorations and prospecting ship. My Cash is handy 5,8 million Credits and I could go for the Lakon Type 6 again. But hopefully, one of the two newer ships will suit my needs, too!

After all this pondering, I need some action. Fuel scooping is the closest thing to do. The cheapest one costs 20k Credits. And off we go, to Chango Dock, I Bootis, let´s see if they have more ships than here in Aulin: Anaconda (oops, 146m Credits) Viper, Hauler, Eagle. Checking the commodity market, stuff is back in good supply and demand numbers, I am glad for that.

 - the flight is much more romantic without orbital lines cluttering my view

 On my arrival in I Bootis, fuel scooping starts kind of by accident. I just come a bit closer to the sun and it starts automatically. Heat is rising much more quickly than before, though, so I quickly have to dip out and in again. Vapour apprears on my consoles, and I am filled up and quickly out again. Cool! it surely could not be be done by dropping out of supercruise, with the quick heat up.

Chango Dock has only an Eagle and the Lakon Type 9 offered, the latter for 46 million Credits. Tough prices, but I am sure we will arrive at them soon enough once the final game is out. For checking the outfitting, there is still those annoying 30 seconds waiting time while my ship retracts on a sub level into the hangar. This seems to work faulty. Maybe due to that head tracking is now still enabled when you are in the station menu; the game hangs and freezes, which can be sometimes resolved by opening the game menu, but now it causes the client to crash.

Onwards to Asellus Prime. Dipping a bit into the sun´´s atmosphere already feels good and routine. And CMDR ships, a lot, like a swarm of birds, how wonderful. It felt a bit lonely in space during beta2!

Mere inches before touching the landing pad in Beagle 2 Landing, the client crashes. Again, lots of player ships around, so the reason seems obvious. Networking still needs some ironing.

Hm, same as in Aulin. Eagle, Viper, Hauler, Anaconda. Not what I want. Maybe the hauler, as a first time prospector? I´d rather get my fully pimped up Lakon6 again.

LHS6309 (agriculture) and G 180-18 (industry) seem to be the only star systems reachable, with a high population of 3 billion respectively 53 million. Let´s see what they got! While checking the outfitting screen, I get disconnected. I ticket it and attack the NetLog.log as I learned. However, I realize quickly that my internet connection is laggy; this might be the true reason. Sigh.

Finally, I opt for a test prospecting and by a Hauler, put one 8 ton rack in it and a refinery, replace the one loaned laser with a mining laser. LP 98-132 is advertised as a good mining system, but I want something off from the mainstream; LHS3006 should do nicely. Unfortunately, I get stuck in station without a menu; the hangar is really buggy right now. Save&Exit, relog, and what a sight, I am somewhere merged in the station. A pity I forget to make a screenshot. Ah nervermind, just a standard glitch/bug.

Turns out that the asteroid belt in LHS3006 consists of white asteroids which yield nothing. They must be ice. So, back to LP 98-132, planet Anahit, an old friend of mine. I supercruise in too fast because I hope to shake any interdictions from players and force-drop into Anahit´s ring, far away from the regular extraction points.

 - for sure the view is getting more and more gorgeous!

 The next 90 minutes I spend by with my mine laser, my cargo scoop, and me. Most asteroids yield hybrid chunks of metal, and my cheap refinery unit has exactly two slots, once for each metal. You have to determine the slots for each metal via the rightmenu, cargo, or the scoop is blocked after the first. Each chunk has a certain %tage of metal, and it is stuck in your refinery until you reach 100%, after which it is transported into the cargo hold. It is tedious. Every asteroid has a different metal combination, and they deplete so quick that I almost never can finish one metal to 100% in the refinery. Which means you have to spend time searching for another asteroid with the same metal combination. Or, maybe the more expensive refineries have more slots available?

 - laser mining has impact

Anyways, the result of a long evening are 1 silver, 1 indite, 2 lepidolite, 5 uraninite, all in all roughly 10k Credits at Dahan Gateway (has high demand in every mineral, as a refinery system). Ok, enough for me, it is a bit too tedious and monotone. Maybe with a scanner and some idea where to find the more expensive stuff, faster? Indite was the pricey one, with 2635 Credits.

Fuel scoop, check. Mining, check. Now on to the new ships! Set course for G 180-18. On my jump into Eranin it happens. I get interdicted by another commander. It is all very confusing; the interdictions for sure have become more flashy. I tumble and spin around into normspace, and before I regain control, a red blip has opened fire on my and I am down to 17% hull in no time. Finally I get the blip into my target and scan. It is CMDR Backer#3955 in a Cobra. No chance to escape this I guess, but I am resolved to make it difficult. Cobras turn slow, so I try to stick to him, out of his front guns. It works only so-so, and the reason I stay alive is mainly because I get scanned. At some point, he text-comms me "leave". I send a polite thanks back; there wasn´t really anything to gain from me I guess. Only later when I dock in Styx, Gerst Port, for repairs I realize that there was still 1 silver in my hold and it is gone now. I suppose he got it out via a cargo hatch breaker. I did not even realize this, things happened way to quickly for me. I wonder if that one silver made up the price for interdiction and cargo breaking? In the end, it does not matter. This was a perfectly executed piracy from a CMDR and I was witness to how it works and feels to a victim. Great experience. And I even got to keep my badly shot up hauler, what more to wish for.

Gerst Port. Rep costs are 2000 Credits. It sure has become more dangerous to fly an expensive ship. Certainly, the times of unarmed and unarmored ones. Maybe I should stick to the cheap ships until I am more aqcuainted with the new rules of the game?

Two last jumps to G 180-18, Alexandia Gateway. On my supercruise in I spot the holo form of the Empireal ship. However, at the ship yard, there are only all of the "old" ships. Well, something to quest for tomorrow then, I guess.

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