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)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Gamma starting

"Disconnect from server" is the first message I get when I finally can start the gamma 1.01 client and choose my only starter option "new commander". A second try lets me in, and I am somewhere in space, namely Threvithick Dock, system LHS 3447, a democratic governed agriculture economy. It is a huge system, the largest I have seen so far; two suns, twelve planets and at least as much moons and overal seven stations.

The system map has become quite informative. Dominating faction as well as all other large relevant factions are listed, with %tage of influence, government type, adherence to which major faction and my status towards them. "Future of LHS 3447" is with a share of 55% the dominating faction, alleged to the Federation. There are four other factions around. Mind boggling, if something like this is the case in every one of the myriad possible larger systems!

Three types of personal ranking are established on the rightmenu: Combat rank "harmless", trade rank "peniless", explorer rank "aimless". This is going to be so much exciting! However, this, 100 CR and a measly Sidewinder leaves me not much to do than to check to bulletin board for some possible income. There is a 133k CR kill mission. I am very sure the target ship "Wraak" will just obliterate me, but the potential jump in wealth is so tempting. And I like challenges, so I accept.

Three locations to look for the ship. Off I go. Wish me luck... First stop: Eravate, 4,17 ly away. Launching, I note that the planets must have again gotten a graphical upgrade. Very detailed clouds to be seen. Being back on a standard monitor with EDtracker seems so weird after my epiphany with the Oculus Rift on the premiere event. Jump!

Uh oh. Endless hyperjump. Almost, but finally, I am spit out. I guess it is now time for going through all unidentified signals I can get hold of! One star, six stations and over a dozen planets, again. Whew. Cruising around for a while, I wonder if it makes sense to waste time like this or rather take a more reliable source of income in smaller bits. Wham, interdiction. I let myself getting caught, maybe it is the cuprit I look for himself. No... a freaking Anaconda!! Do I give boost omygosh, no way I tackle that ship with a starter Sidewinder! Some stray shots get to me until I am back in supercruise. Hull is down 82%.Uff.

After a while without any incidents nor unidentified signals (US), I want to move onwards to LHS 15613. But before I can do so, I am interdicted, and I let it happen again. An Eagle approaches me, "clean" status, and I make sure to maneuver out of his point blank range. I am correct with my hunch as it opens fire. Some frantic maneuvering and my guns not firing, until I check the rightmenu and realize that I am in the wrong firegroup. This remedied, I finally return fire, and some 30 seconds later, that Eagle is toasted. First blood! And a handy bounty voucher of 2069 CR is mine! The voucher is on "Independent Eravate Free", so I check the system map to make sure I am going to land at a station which is actually owned by this faction. Ackerman Market is one of those, so I set course. Wait, wait, an US finally pops up. Enter. A "clean" Orca. Nice to see this new ship type! But onwards I need to go. No possibility to communicate or trade with it.

Ackerman Market has a black market. And suddenly I see that CMDR Finn Lazereyes from my friends list is online. I text chat and try also the overhauled voice comm. It works! And it sounds as awesome as it did in the demo on the premiere event. We agree that everything is super cool and that the friends list probably made us spawn at the same location. And I have this juicy kill contract, maybe we can tackle it together?

We quickly verify that we can drop into each others low energy wakes, which appear as soon as one of us drops from supercruise. (There is only a bug sometimes, which makes the wake target pass by while it still should be way out ahead.) Like this, we can follow each other into US or when one of us interdicts or is interdicted. Finn conveniently already has bought an intderdictor himself. He also states that he has the same kill mission, but has not encountered Wraak for a long time, his mission running out in about an hour.

Instead of going on an extended search, which would probably end with our destruction anyways, we drop into the nav beacon close to the sun and scan for some wanted ships. Unfortunately, the bounties are not shared between us, so whoever lands the killing blow gets the bounty. However, I am lucky when a "wanted" hauler drops some cargo before being destroyed. Finn gets the bounty voucher, I get to scoop 3 units of personal weapons.

After a while, we dock again at Ackerman Market and I can cash in about 2000 CR bounties and 6000 CR on the black market for the three personal weapons. Finn has a bug, his bounty vouchers have disappeared. He wants to restart the game but never appears again online. I also not that server response is very slow and I also get disconnected a few times while browsing the station menu.

You know, I start to wonder where my mercenary pack with the promised Eagle ownership is? Coincidentally, when I stare at the galaxy map, I notice a little ship icon at my starter system. Accessing the ship yard in my current station, the tab on "ship locations" indeed shows me my Eagle! Wohoo!!! I think I am going to fetch it there. But not before I take note of all high and demand  supply commodities here. I might want to do some lucrative trading on occasion.

I still do not know whether another wipe is landing before the final release, so I am not in grind mode now. However, you never know and I just want to act as I see fit and feel fun. Trading is fun if not overdone. Looking up the system map, I see that LHS 3447 imports amongst others hydrogen fuels, the only commodity which is also here in supply. So I load up 6 units. Better than flying with an empty cargo hold, I guess. Before, I also re-outfit my Sidewinder to have an additional 2ton cargo rack instead of the basic discovery scanner.

Arriving in LHS 3447, to my dismay I have to note that Dalton Gateway, the station with the commodities and also my Eage stored there, is 110.000 ls out! Definitely not a good route to take, at least until Frontier has implemented the in-system hyperjumps. This gives me time to study the system map again. You know what? There can be now several stations in a system which have a commodity market. Three other stations import animal meat, something which is in high supply in Ackerman Market. With a bit of luck, this already could pose for a very good trade opportunity!

But first, the Eagle. I want some action before I commit to trading, I need the cash to affort high priced commodities anyways.

Aaand, yep, that´s what I feared. The system map is totally inaccurate concerning the imports and exports. The hydrogen fuel I have loaded is exactly at the same price as in Eravate. Sigh. I hate this, Frontier should know about this bug since long time, and this here is supposed to be the gamma client!

I modify the Eagle´s outfit and exchange the D-scan for a cargo rack, so it has overal 4 tons capacity. I can still upgrade it to 6tons, but the required equipment is not listed here. Then I check the bulleting board and find another assiassination mission. Whopping 184k CR.

In Eravate, an US is scarce, and I am soon interdicted. A competent Cobra opens fire after a short while. Somehow, this Cobra is no match for my Eagle. It used to be more difficult if I remember correctly. A bounty voucher of 5.082 CR is now mine. Good cash, at this early stage! Aaand another interdiction, this time a "master" Eagle, and quickly, I earn a 2782 CR voucher. Keep it coming, I say!

But then I realize that the "wanted" bug is still there, too. I am suddenly "wanted", for 198 CR. I better remove it before anything bad happens to my bounty vouchers and me....What is also still there is the "reversed direction landing" bug, where I have to turn my ship in the opposite direction before the landing pad actually accepts me. Should I ticket it? I doubt they do not know about this, no?

With my now 16.000 CR, I decide to buy a weapon for the still empty third mount. But, no pulse laser is available. I never tried a torpedo, and it is probably the best second option, just in case my assassination contracts should turn out to be larger ships. Unfortunately, I discover then that the ammunition, one freaking torpedo, costs 15k CR! I really hope this thing packs some punch and one shots bigger ships, or all this money for that ammo is not really worth it.

Unfortunately also, my time for this game session is up. As usual when a new build is out and I need to re-orientate myself, I forget to make screenshots, so this blog entry will be a bland one forever.

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