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, 19 October 2014

Columbus hopping

Vogel Port, Andjeri. Nothing to see here, move on. A brief scouting in the galaxy map, I do not want to spend hours there again, just cursory travels until I have a better idea. Loga is 18 ly away, a high population refinery system with 7,4 mio population. I recognize it from my research during last session. Launch!

There are three stations in Loga. Newcomen´s Claim, well the name is an invitation, so I dock there. Interesting, the station is close to a double-planet configuration, one I saw already in another system and thought it special. Apparently not. Elite teaches a little bit of astronomy, too, it seems!

Having docked, I immediately press launch, because that crappy menu choses to place my cursor on that option instead of the station menu. Grrrr....

Three minutes later, Newcomen´s Claim let´s me dock again. The bulletin board has some missions, and finally, bingo, there is a "fetch stolen goods" mission and a hauling mission which has matching commodity of fruits! There, dear Order of Loga, here we go. What happens now? Nothing? Uhm... I notice no change... I notice that the outpost has a black market. And that I have somehow 34 stolen copper in my hold. Did I forget to turn in a >50k Credit hauling mission at the end of last session? Seems so. Oh my!

There are overall 12 hauling missions to Adepti, 5ly away. Ok just to have something to do I accept them. Aaand, after a quick check back with the galaxy map, Adepti is that 1,5 billion population agricultural system. My research last session was not fully in vain, I feel a bit more aquainted with my environment. Should be able to make some profit there? But first, I once more have to battle versus an endless hyperjump. At least the client manages to squeeze off a crash report. Aand repeat, crash again. Hey, it´s my job! Bit of confusion on my next relog; I am already in the target system. Lysenko Ring is 1200 ls close. Good, some time saved.

Lysenko Ring is orbiting a gas giant. I spot several whirlwind-spots in its atmosphere and suppose this is the simulator Frontier spoke of in one of its newsletters; apparently, there is a procedural generation which makes every gas giant unique and models it close to what reality should be. Well, I noted that it looks as a bit more substance than just a generic skin.

The station is one of those with a luxurious white-orange interior and palm trees; hallmark of a rich world. Good. Let´s see what they offer! Hrrm, no 64 ton cargo racks, already. But there is a class D4 frameshift drive, which would again propel my ship´s optimal mass range from 438 tons to 525 tons. Whew, 1,6 mio Credits, should I afford it? What do I need it for? Hey, and there is one of those seemingly rare advanced discovery scanners! The commodity supply is sup-par; only algae and fish in supply, what is this? But almost everywhere high demand. Could I make a trade route with this?

High value goods are: terrain enrichment systems (5500 Credits), indium (6500 Credits), beryllium (8500 Credits), gold (10200 Credits), consumer tech (7500 Credits). Coupled with a high range jumpdrive, I should be able to link this to some according high supply worlds? If I would have taken notes of all worlds´ commodities, but that was too tedious, together with this blog I would probably write 80% of my time instead of play... Welllll, some systems I indeed took note from. Dharai, for example. And they had terrain enhancement systems in high supply. I wonder if they still have. Worth a try, I believe.

First, I buy the advanced scanner, because I am curious of the improvement to be expected. Damn, that leaves me only 230k Credits for trading... and the frameshift drive is out of reach now... maybe better not? I reverse my decision, thankfully the outfitting screen also sports a basic scanner!

First I want to try to find Indium in Loga, if that does not work, I try out Dharai with the terrain enh. systems; consumer tech would also be a choice. In Loga, I decide again for Newcomen´s Claim, because I forgot that they do not have a commodity market. So I pick some hauls to Wegener Station and make way there. Wegener Station is directly behind the orbited planet, so I have to circumvent at low speed and take some time to reach the 110 ls-far station.

Yeah, well, as I check the commodity market there, I realize Loga is actually an extraction and industry system, not a refinery system. So no indium in supply, which is a metal produced by refinery systems. I never get it, always confusing those minerals with metals, do I?

Ok, I could search now for a refinery system, but I do not want to deviate from my plan, as tiny as the plan is. So onwards to Dharai! I chose to go via 59 Draconis, an empty system, and hope it is not a too high risk of interceptions. Ok, I get through without problems. Did HE Vision or Gelfand Survey have that commodity market? Ah, the system map shows the station type. Ok it is the latter, change course.

Arriving and doing a crash docking maneuver (those lateral thrusters seem to be without the ineratia of the throttled vectors), I am very curious about the commodity market. No consumer tech in supply, so this is probably an industrial product. Terrain systems are only on medium supply, what a pity. Still, about 700 Credits of profit is still possible. I also note a high demand for agri-medicines here. Maybe I can do a round tour like this. I fill up terrain enhancement systems and fly back to Adepti.

Thing is, about 500 Credits profit times 100 tons is 50k Credits, which is a bit more than one hauling mission (and if I am lucky, I can even stack them). So, if trading a full 100 ton cargo hold of commodities should be better than just dumb mission board farming, I need higher profit than this. Missions are one jump only, this trade route here would be 2 jumps. As it turns out, agri medicines are in medium demand in lysenko Ring, so, scratch the idea of a round trip trading route. Ack, it is tedious and annyoing! Where is something like Slopey´s trading tool? Back to missions, then? Naah, I cannot bear this brainlessness anymore.

Fu Haiting, it is then. Some 10 ly away and a refinery systems with some 56 mio population. If no worthwhile trades available there, I go on to Jurua, an industry system and see if I can find some good priced consumer tech. On my way there, hyperjump is endless once more.

I tip for the right station with the commodity market, Melvill Station. Damn, low supply only, which would mean, two trade routes to dry it up and only a meager profit of 200 Credits per unit. No chance.

Onwards to Jurua, then. last try, then I change play style, this attempt at trading is a bit too less productive so far. Wow, I am rewarded with a rare sight. A very much rare purple star, almost invisibly dark. I have to drop from supercruise and take time to study this. A large brown dwarf, says the description, merely a bit more than a super large gas giant. This trip was already worth it.

There are four stations in this system. I wonder what purpose do serve those many stations for gameplay. Only one has the commodity market, and in-system mission farming seems to be ineffective. Strekalov Settlement has food cartridges and basic medecines and cobalt in supply. Sigh. I simply cannot make something of trading like this. And the bulletin board is empty. I sell all exploration data; four or five systems have accumulated, but it is only smallish sums, all in all 800 Credits; there are about 20 new data to buy. I wonder if Frontier will still make data more attractive beyond knowing planet numbers and names.

For once, I want to see all stations in a system; maybe I find something out. So onwards to Musgrave City. Bulletin board empty. Onwards to Rutherford Terminal; nothing there. Cenker Depot; nothing there. Last one, Glashow Landing; nothing I suppose, and I am right, except for I remember to check for a black market and here is one. Space is big and boring sometimes, I guess.

Checking the galaxy map, I note that I have indeed crossed the galactic pill´s broadside, and almost all of its length. There is not much left at the end sides, and I am bored just to fly to find out exactly this. It also seems that the side where I came from is a bit more lucrative in terms of missions, at least.

Titicate should have, according to a post in the ED forum, class A equipment. I want to see. I do not have enough money but maybe one A class equipment as a souvenir? Plotting a course is difficult, since the system is still far away. On to LP 29-188 and then to Hsini, BD+67 1409. Oh, a white star, for a change, nice! Tsetan. Iota Cephai is near that system. That rings a bell. I was once in a system called Eta Cephei, but is is far away from here. A search in the ED forum tells me then that this system presumable has one of the largest stars. Worth a sight, I believe. Hyperjump is endless, for once again. But at least those happenstances seem to become rarer and rarer.

Yep. Huge and orange it is. You can guess sizes by the distance their masslock-orbital line has. This one is very close to the star, so it is a big star. Although I already have seen more interesting colours. Onwards, upwards! Titikate is on the nav list. My fuel tank is huge with its 16 tons; I haven´t even scratched the 75% mark.

Well, Titicate, at least Griffin Ring, has no special outfits. Maybe the other stations? Special here is only that I see, for the first time, a high supply of reactive armore and non-lethal weapons. And they have consumer tech. I fill my cargo hold 30/30/40. Those three items are frequently asked for in missions. At least some profit to bring back from the edge of the galactic pill! I also check in Pelt Terminal and Petaja Platform. Nothing. Hm, probably a joke in the ED forum, then.

Back to more civilized worlds. Killke, Macomaleleng Mu, Pemede, where I take a stop at Goeppert-Mayer-Gateway. I can sell my cargo here for overall 40k Credits profit. Nothing new to state that those >50k hauling missions are more efficient in terms of money making.

With my next jump, I am back in already known space. Auea, with Evergreen and Ao Shun close by. I start a mission routine to Evergreen, but wonder if I could find more efficient employements. An endless hyperspace later, both stations in Evergreen are about 1800ls away. I also re-encounter the docking bug, where you have to land the other way around. And then back to Aurea. Endless hyperjump again. And that weird blue circle after relog. I thought that problem was gone already, after a long session without too many crashes. Are certain areas of space more prone to crashes? I try a tutorial mission again in order to reset this crappy client. No use, third endless hyperspace. And a fourth time. And a fifth time, everytime with that blue circle floating in space, a sure sign that something is very wrong. Trying a solo play; no, also a blue circle of crash. Grrrrr.... It is until I play and finish the first wave of the tutorial mission "incursion" until I can finally come back into open play. Hastily I drop off my missions, but two have expired and I think in time of jettisoning the now stolen cargo while approaching Boas´ Claim in supercruise.

It is time to end this marathon game session. After trying for two full game sessions, I failed to make something out of commodity trading. At least I can say that I now have crossed known space on its full length and I am quite a bit more aquainted with some of those 500 stars.

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