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)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Some interdiction practice

Back from another long weekend, and the backlash of having gone too quickly back to work after - better: during - sickness. Back to bed, it is.

The internet whispers and shows things to me. Many new and old games pass by and I do not have the time to visit them. There are upgraded versions of both Baldurs Gate epics, playable on today´s rigs. Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming out on 20 November, and it includes, alongside single player campaign which advertises as very Skyrim-eque, also a multiplayer mode which should be able to rival the marvelous multiplayer from Mass Effect 3. The old Dragon Age: Origins is for free. Some games I never have the time or committment to play through have nevertheless an exciting story. For example, Assassins Creed. I played just the first one, but I watched all the cutscenes on youtoube. Sometimes I wonder why normal cinema movies cannot be that exciting! The story arc about Ezio is fantastic, and Edward from Black Flag equally fascinating to follow around through the cutscenes.

Elite: Dangerous has evolved to patch 3.05. Release date is 16 December, an incredible soon date. Sooner even the end of this beta, as on 22 November we will get into the gamma phase, now named preview edition. This will mark the end of my beta travels in this blog and I cannot help and noticve how this realisation is strangly sapping my motivation to still make something out of the beta game...

Log on. Where am I? A huge beautiful blue marble planet hangs in front of me. My nav system denominates Ross 318-7. I have got a small fine and some bounties in Federation space. My balance is 874.853 CR. 608 kills. My firegroups are a mess, brain needs to adapt again.

 - the magic of Ross 318 7

First thing to do: Go to Volkov Station, cash in the bounties, clear the fine. I always only visited Koch Hub, the system´s commodity market. On my way, a "wanted" ship distracts me and I try to interdict. Somehow, that thing does not fire. Then, an unidentified signal (US) distracts me. The first sidewinder in it is wanted. Then there is also a "wanted" Cobra. Jeez I am bad; I shoot it down to 1% and then it manages to evade me for 2 full minutes and bringing me down to 81% before I can finally destroy it! Somehow, I do not get well along with a mix of gimbal and non-gimbal weapon. OTOH, I would not want to relay on one weapon type exclusively.

I switch "report crimes agains me" off in the rightmenu; I would not want any system vessels to arrive and steal my kill while I hunt for bounties.

Next US has an Asp close to me. Scan: Wanted. Fire! Another ship quickly joins my attack. Which makes it easy. A bounty of 16.084 CR is mine. Cool! Bring it on!

There is a wanted hauler; an occasion to try out the hatch limpet controller. Unfortunately; I am interdicted myself before I can get close to it (it was 1200 ls out and approaching).  Then I am at the six of a wanted Cobra. My interdictor fires off only when I get very close, around 0,4 ls. The combat is fierce. This Cobra sports turrets, and for a while, I fly in a bad position and they whittle my shields down. Then I am back on my firing position and another 3000 CR bounty voucher is mine, but not after loosing 5% hull to those damn turrets.

My voice attack gets worse everytime I switch from Elite to my blog notes, which I do take in parallel to playing. So I am basically back to a full keyboard control. Annoying.

It is time to dock, to repair and cash in. Repairs cost 6000 CR, reloading ammo 5000 CR. Couting this against 26.000 CR of bounties, and it is a good deal.

There is that bug again; a wanted Asp comes into target an I can interdict it. After some hassle I got it destroyed, for a bounty of 10.000 CR. But at the same time, I suddenly am marked as wanted, too. I try to make a video with shadowplay, but somehow shadowplay does not work. Maybe because I play in windowed mode? Alt-tab was not working when I played full screen last time (which in fact was beta 3.02, so things could have changed).

 - "wanted", and I do not know why

Having cleared my bounty at Volkov Station, I want to scan an also departing Cobra. Damn, i knew it; these firegroups! Instead of the scanner, I activate the cargo hatch breaker. With a freshly stamped wanted upon me and three angry red blips behind my, I hyperjump to Anlave and dock at Suri Park. The bounty is only 300 CR, thank god. But I should really practice my skills in order to avoid such mishaps in the final game.

Launch. There is a hollow square on my radar. A CMDR in a hauler. He jumps before I can identify him. His wake trace is 14 km out and I want to scan it. Then a second hollow blip launches from the station; a Lakon Type 6, and I turn again around. I manage to identify CMDR Smacker, but the cargo scan fails because he boosts out of range and jumps. I scan the wake, he is on his way to LP 30-55. Jump! Arriving at the sun, I quickly flip through targets. There he is, on his way to Reis Station. I have difficulties approaching him, as he flies maximum speed. Then suddenly I see him veer off. Another blip is close to him, which means he is probably being interdicted. Indeed, that other blip is a security vessel. Great, this gives me enough time to approach CMDR Smacker until he manages to disentangle himself from the security vessel´s interdiction.

Next thing this poor commander knows is another interdiction attempt, this time by me. It works! He hardly veers out of my focus, probably because the Asp is much more maneuverable than his Type 6. Once we drop into normal space, I immediately scan him. Wow, 48 autofabricators! Before this can really sink in, I already have opened comm channels and send him greetings, together with a promise that I did not want to harm him. Moments later, he is again in supercruise. I am a bit annoyred about myself; this would have really been a cool occasion on some real player pirating! Why did I not use it? However, I also wonder how on earth I could have made it through his shields in time; the brief time before he was so quick again away would probably have not sufficed at all. Maybe I was just too far and should have mass-locked him by sticking close to him? Too late now to test! Damn, such a perfect occasion will not come again so easily. The only problem is that I still struggle with activating the right firegroup and click the correct mouse button. I need much more practice!

A devious plan flashes in my mind. Didn´t I write about a high profit gold route coming from Alrai? How about I start to lie in wait there for some unsuspecting CMDRs? Ok, engage hyperjump!

Arriving in Alrai, at first I see no ships. Then, a surprise; the security vessels are green! I must have risen in reputation. Just by buying gold and selling some goods here. Cool. The rightmenu shows four factions, and I am "friendly" with "Alrai General Inc". Hopefully, my pirating attempts here do not screw my reputation! But first, there is a deadly wanted sidewinder beckoning me. It proves to be no problem, but yields only a 214 CR bounty voucher. Aaaand; I am wanted again!! For 200 CR. Sigh.

 - station is green; the surrounding security ships only when actually in range of my scanner

An US is my next stop. Cargo floating in space; domestic appliances. I scoop them, but do not remember if Becquerel Station here in Alrai has a black market. Will check when docking.

Again in supercruise, a Type 6 is wanted. Interdict! I shoot his shields down and fire the cargo hatch breaker. With some patience, I manage to hit him with one out of six tries. Apparently, you have to be very close to the target and at a course, which allows the limpet missile to get close and actually dock with the target. A pity my shadowplay is not working, as I had a wonderful perspective on the process of one of my limpets docking as such. The result, however, is underwhelming. One measly can of cargo gets dumped, bertrantide. As I try to scoop it, the Type 6 is even so stupid to attack me instead of jumping away. Some more tries, inclusive a cargo scan, and I see also 15 battle weapons in its cargo hold! I want them! But nothing makes the Type 6 relinquish them and he finally blows while I still try to shoot down the cargo hatch. Mission failed. 524 CR bounty voucher, and this time no increase on my own wanted status.

I wonder if pirating practice in the current beta still makes sense. This experience showed me that there are still some bugs which impede a proper use of the "tools of trade", or at least still some fine tuning to be done. Hrm, maybe also the quality level of my breaker was not up to the task? Questions, questions.

An US pops up. Enter. A system vessel (green blip) and a Cobra which identifies as "wanted". Fire! Frameshift charge detected. Quick! But, too late, the Cobra jumps away. Before I can scan the frameshift wake, a scan message pops up and I am fined for 5.032 CR. Damn, I had totally forgotten my "stolen" cargo! And to top it all off, the security vessel, an Eagle, is opening fire! I make a hasty retreat and am once more grateful to have invested in vastly improved thrusters and power couplings, for a near permanent boost. I wonder if that interlude also cost me reputation from my precious green-friendly faction.

I check the commodity market at Becquerel. Gold is still in high supply, but not as high as it was last week (now at 9013 CR buy). So, somebody finally found out about this route here? To finish this session, I do one last run, to LFT 1446 again. I also want to see if my reputation has increased over there, too. On my way there, I jettison the 8 stolen domestic appliances; they are not worth the hassle and won´t pay for the fine I already incurred for them, anyways. Cut your losses in time. A lesson I once did not heed in real life and payed for it very very dearly.

A "wanted" Cobra is in my sight, and I finally reach it shortly before Bosch Settlement. I interdict it right at its six. However, I am kicked out of supercruise because our little dance brings us too close to the planet and my target is lost and away.

 - blinding to stare right into the supercruise exhaust of my target during an interdiction attempt


Well, guess what. Gold is down to 9596 CR in Bosch Settlement, so my route has almost dried up. Still some money, but just a third of the profit which used to be last week. Ah well, I do not really need to trade anymore, anyways. Also, I am not with "friendly" status here. Load superconductors, still high supply and fly back. They sell at 7028 CR; also not the high profit I used to have. Things change quickly. Or I have more readers of my blog than I thought!

This is it for me tonight. Not sure how to continue. Trading is checked, mining and exploration I did a bit, interdicting and frameshift scanning I did, bounties I hunted a few. Maybe I downgrade or buy a second ship, a Viper, and go back to around Eranin and do some combat missions? We will see, next time.

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