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, 30 November 2014

Low level bounties

Ackerman Market, Eravate. I have 4926 CR, my lucrative bounty missions have expired. Checking my reputations, I am still considered neutral despite this slip up. Options are scarce. I could try to look for an extraction site and go bounty hunting, or at a nav beacon. There is also a news which lists the top bounties flying around in the system or close to it. Or scout a bit around to find maybe more lucrative options. Before I ponder too long, I rather take a hauling contract for 3241 CR to Gidzenko Ring in Chamunda. I first want to wait a bit if more jobs for that direction come in, but then I remember that I do not have cargo space to do so! I am in an Eagle.

Lauch. Jump. I cruise towards the station (by now I am used to some stations being so far out as 2000 ls that I do not note this anymore) and spot a Dropship with wanted status. Naw, not for me, yet. Then I am interdicted. Nice, maybe an opportinity for a bounty! As I drop out, my systems suddenly go offline. WTF? I quickly check the rightmenu with the modules. Yeah, sure, I bought a torpedo pylon, that must have overtaxed the system; I quickly shut it down. As I look up again, I am staring into the laser muzzles of an Imperial Clipper. I quickly boost towards and slighty downwards in order to start a circle-strafing maneuver.

However, something weird happens, and this already happened to me in the past a few times: The Clipper does not come closer. Is he strafing backwards at a such high speed as my boost speed?? Despaired I try to break of with full vertical trust; this makes my advancement towards him slower. No use. The Clipper has opened fire and my shields are down with two shots. A precious few more seconds before boost is available again. That damn Clipper is still in front of me! With the next boost I head straight towards him in order to have all available speed from my "speed pool" on this vector. I still seem not to approach it; the Clipper must have a full power reverse!? Moments later, my Eagle dissolves into hot glowing shards and I have lost 2190 CR to the ship insurance. And my hauling mission.

- this is a Python class ship, not the Clipper which destroyed me, but I guess it would be as deadly to my lowly equipped Eagle...


Musing on wtf just happened, I assume that by coming out of supercruise, my speed throttle is reset to low speed. In that case, it is possible that boost accelerates you only for a very brief time, as the flight assisst computer quickly tries to bring you back down on the set speed. If I would have realized this, I could have put the throttle on maximum speed and would have been out of the Clipper´s firing position. Or the Clipper indeed has some faboulous reverse speed of 350 m/s, or the game mechanics are buggy. In the end, I do not really know. Unfortunately, my video capturing does not work still, so I cannot verify my theory about the throttle setting. With a joystick&throttle setup, I guess this kind of mistake could not happen. As I have the throttle set on my mouse wheel and if the system resets my throttle setting from where I left it before the hyperjump, I realize this only when I check explicitly for the speed indicator.

Got to prison, do not pass over start and do not get 3241 CR. Things could go better, you know? Welcome to Elite: Dangerous. I would not want it any other way; a week of pause and I am all noob again, I guess.

Nice new feature: The mission still shows in the rightmenu under transactions and the text informs me that I have failed this mission. I have to manually ackknowledge this by deleting the mission.

Next try. A haul to Levi-Montalcini City in Yakabugai. The board seems to nicely only offer stuff  available if it is within my ship´s range and cargo capacity. I take a haul mission and a tempting  "fetch"-mission for 14.000 CR.

I launch and forget that I should sell this useless torpedo pylon; just eats my ship´s power grid...

The flight is eventless, this time. Short before the station, I get the sound as if interdicted but nothing happens. Maybe somebody actually tried but it is buggy? Anyways, I am there. Finally, I get rid of the overpowered and empty torpedo pylon and can replace it with a third pulse laser. There is also an A1 power distributor, but with 20195 CR too expensive right now; what a pity! Uhm, just to learn from mistakes; I hope the system will gobble this one? Checking back at the outfit screen, actually the answer is, no? Or the screen there is buggy. I says "power use retracted 7,26 MW, deployed 6,43MW, available 6,40MW". Huh? I do not get it and have to test what this could mean.

Unfortunately, my game session gets interrupted and when I am back, the new haul job I had already accepted is gone, too. Sigh.  Only a job to find 3 Indite for this station is still going. While I study the galaxy map, the game crashes into the start menu. A relog ends with an endless spinning sidewinder. Cudos to Psykokow. Then the start button is grey, playing a tutorial mission makes it available again. Being back in the game for 5 minutes and again "server error". I am a bit sore on this since my catastrophical beta2-experience.

Finally logged in, I choose my starting system LHS 3447 to look for the three units of Indite. I have to take two jumps, but it seems to be the closest destination to look for. It is a mixed agricultural/extraction systems, and three of the stations there export minerals. Although the system map does not list Indite, I have learned to not trust its data. Unfortunately, those stations are really really far out, 130.000 ls for the closest one. Sigh. But it gives me ample of time for notes and a study of the system map of this binary star system.Yaping Enterprise. Fairbarin Station. Then Worlidge Terminal. But Yaping Enterprise is an instant hit, with some low supply on Indite. Unfortunately, there are still three stolen computer components in my hold. Sigh. And I got scanned on my way in... checking my fines, I was fortunate to have avoided the scan; I was swooping into the docking area at high speed. So I launch again, but before I again make a voyage of 130.000 ls out here, I rather dump that cargo than jumping to a station with a black market.

 - nice scenery, but a bit difficult on options what to do


Dumping the stuff in supercruise, and when I turn back I also do not forget to test my weapon setup. As expected, I am again overtaxing the powergrid. The overdraw is minimal, though, easily compensated by setting the cargo hatch on second priority. Good that I tested it. Now it is just a question whether the module priorities still do reset after each exit from supercruise, as it did in beta.

And, back to Yakabugai, I guess. Some hard earned cash this was. After some pondering what to do, the server kicks me again out. Maybe Frontier included some kind of idle count down? Fortunately I am let log in without trouble this time. Since there is no really lucrative mission here, a trip to the bigger Serebrov Station is in order. No good missions there, either, besides, I want some action now. Before it is not clear whether I get to keep my data and cash, I would rather not engage in the time work of collecting trading information.

Of all the systems I have data about Kremainn is the closest system which has a planet with a metal rich ring. I want some bounty hunting, and extraction sites used to be the places to look for stuff. But then I go spontaneously to Eravate. A hauler yields 300 CR, then an Eagle 3000 CR. Much faster than hauling missions, so far. 562 CR for a Sidewinder, 2400 CR for a Cobra. The latter drops two units of battle weapons, which will increase my wealth rather nicely, too. The hauler before dopped tea, which is also not too cheap, and then my cargo hold is full. Ackerman Market has the black market here, so there I go. 6700 CR bounties, 8000 CR for the stuff. Interesting to note: Tea is in "supply" on the black market, for 1600 CR, but if I wanted to buy it there, I would have to bring something stolen here or I cannot access the black market at all.

My balance is now 30.000 CR. Checking outfit, and oooh I need to refuel since my tank is almost empty. No problem, costs only 178 CR. I want another run like this. Launch.

Long time before something "unclean" gets in front of my guns. But then it is a Viper, 5045 CR. After a while, I spot some laser fire and make hast towards it. A Cobra attacks an Anaconda, which is down to 73%. I smell an opportunity. However, as I circle the Anaconda, the Cobra seems to have let her go. No gunfire from the Anaconda while it is maneuvering away from the Cobra, so maybe this one has no turrets? Hmm... a risk. On the leftmenu, I select the Anaconda´s power plant as a sub target. If I can hit it, it should destroy the Anaconda much faster than whittling down the enormous tanked hull. Fire! My capacitors deplete and the Anaconda shows not much dents. And, worse yet, this one does very well have turrets. Multicannons from the front side catch me, and nimbly going towards the underbelly, I am welcomed by tungsten bullets, too. Damn, all wrong assumptions brought me into this. Moments later, another Eagle is space junk and I pay another 2400 CR to the insurance. 

- one of the many encounters while bounty hunting

It seems I lost my virginity very quickly in this gamma version of the game. I use the occasion to exchange my gimbal pulse laser into a multicannon. Launch!

One unidentified signal on my way has just three security vessels. At the nav point, I identify a wanted Cobra, which is worth 9000 CR. It also drops cargo, and as I look for it after the fray, they are three units of technical blueprints. No idea what they are for, but back at Ackerman Station, they are woth 1800 CR each; and that´s the half value you get only at black markets! As I check the bounty vouchers, to my pleasing eye the voucher from before my destruction is still there! So Frontier alleviated the draconic punishment for getting your ship destroyed. Cash balance: 40.125 CR. Minus 1450 CR, that is, for the ammo from the multicannon. Expensive, at this point in my career.

There is a fetch-contract for 33.000 CR, nine indite. I know where I get it from but I do not have the cargo capacity. I toy with switching to a hauler, but when I check outfits, there are no cargo racks to upgrade even the Hauler to this capacity. Damn. So, launch!

Some two bounty vouchers later, I have somehow caused a security vessel to be a red blip on my radar, but thankfully it does not attack. A bit later, a Sidewinder, no, two of them, attack me. I shoot back and, bingo, I am wanted. Hrmpf. I guess another bug then?

40.000 Credits, the board shows no more bounty missions, so I guess my reputation to do them is screwed since last week, when I let those four lucrative ones slide. Well, I wanted action, so I better look for it. But my impression right now is that it is paramount at first to just travel araound and get a clear picture of all options. I am still looking for some measly 4ton cargo racks!

My cash is enough to afford an interdictor, and with it I launch and hope to catch "wanted" targets already in supercruise. Travelling around in a nav beacon is a bit tedious. And, yes, a wanted Eagle is on counter course, so I adapt my heading. Firing it at long range does not work and I remember from last beta that you have to be pretty close for it to work. Before I can interdict tghe Eagle, however, I am interdicted myself and I let this happen. Strange enough, already in the interdiction phase, two blips on my radar are red. As I drop out, the red Viper attacks without hesitation. I return fire after I confirmed this target being wanted, too. It happens as it does; the instance I shoot it, I am wanted again. Hrrmmm. This Viper delivers also quite a fight. After I am a voucher of 3125 CR richer, I set course back to the station. No sense to bounty hunt around with a bounty on my head as well; I would just be attacked by "clean" targets and probably incur even more bounties on my head.

- boom, and a little bit richer

Another interdiction. A system security vessel. Run. From a Viper? It stays effortlessly at my six and scans me. Then it conforms in the text commlink, "criminal detected, starting attack run". The only way I get away from it is to slow down to "blue" speed, do a U-turn and boost like no tomorrow. Like this, the frameshift drive gets enough distance to quickly engage.

At the station, I check my rightmenu. A little red triangle pointing downwards on my status with the faction "Eravate Network" tells me that I lost repuation with them. So, in conclusion, attacking "wanted" targets nevertheless screws your reputation with the faction the target is affiliated with. In consequence, I guess I should never hunt bounties in Federal systems on federal factions, or I un-welcome myself very quickly from my host system.

Bulletin board again has no missions for a tiny Eagle. I need a better income or this game will be a bit too onesided for my taste. There are hardly any options without some reasonable shopping. Or, more precise, I am so totally clueless on this whole new reputation thing.

As I study the galaxy map, the jump lines form a closed off cluster; at some point the jump distance seems to long for my current ship´s range. And there are no high-tech systems in this cluster, but a lot of industry, refinery and some extraction systems. I think the bist thing would be to find a cluster of rich worlds and start from there. So, first task is: Get the hell out of here. Which means I have to scout around, find a better frameshift drive andm incidentally, earn the cash to afford it.

A bit more of a study, plus google search, and it seems that I am within a huge area of Federation space. If you take Sol as a center, to its south-eastern direction Empire space finally appears. Alliance space is to the north and seems to be the smallest volume. Mind boggling. Totally overwhelming on the scope of the game. But, what to do there? We will see what Frontier is going to offer once the game actually launches.

More has to wait until next time. This session took now almost four hours, anyways.

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