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, 25 February 2015

Dumbfired missions

A video like this is sometimes what I need to get back into the mood for Elite: Dangerous; it features a very challenging escape of a Lakon Type 6 from a pirating CMDR in a Cobra. This guy is successful in a situation where I miserably failed during my action around Yembo, some game sessions ago. It is all about a tactic and the proper equipment, and this video entertainingly shows some good tricks.

Atwater City, Ari Hesa. So here I am in my misery about the astounding financial stupidities at the end of last session. What I need now is some venting, some target practice. Or even more immediate some moment-to-another gameplay. So I accept two fetch missions, without knowing where to source the stuff, trusting on the databases in the internet to tell me so. But, Ari Hesa is a white spot in the databases which I know (Thrudds Website, Slopeys Best Price Calculator). Grrrreat. Thank god I do find 14 hydrogen fuel very quickly in the neighbouring outpost. However 2 tons of personal weapons might be more difficult to source.

Back in Atwater City, there is another mission to hunt 5 pirates in Ari Hesa and another codified system. No idea how they work, am I supposed to drop into unidentified signals (US) and see what I get? Well, the internet tells me to try US, the nav beacon at the sun, whatever. But it does not tell me how to differentiate between just "wanted" targets and the pirates which will qualify for this mission. This was like this already in the beta and gamma versions of this game and I guess it did not change.

Wait, something interesting happens. As I travel to Gemar Station and look for the commodities for my other mission, on a hunch, I drop into an US. A lonely Lakon Type 7 is there and I start do kill scan it, because its status is "clean" so far. Suddenly, the pilot chats to me, asks to not attack and kill him and instead come to Fung Landing, claiming he was innocent. Wow. I read about these changing mission goals and am mighty pleased to finally encounter one myself. I continue my kill scan, which, completed, makes my decision to abandon my hunting mission easy: This particular pilot is very obviously one of the "pirates" sought, but it has no bounties on it whatsoever, which means I would have lost status by attacking it, incurring a fee on top of it.

Gemar Station has not the personal or non-lethal weapons or food cartridges I need, so my next stop might be as well Fung Landing. This station is not in this system, but a mission marker in the navigation menu shows me which system I have to go to: COL 285 Sector GS-J C9-5. Oh, wrong, it leads me even further, to EWE, Tong, Skegasaei, and, finally, waitaminute.. looking up the galaxy map, a course is plotted across at least 20 systems! What is this? The reward for going there and doing so is stated in the updated mission description; 1525 Credits. This is in no relation to the effort of such a long travel! Is there something more waiting at the end of the tunnel? Well, I have to find out now, but I suspect just another red herring waiting for me in the end. And in the meanwhile, the mission counter for my other missions is ticking... one hour left.

The thing is... according to the system map of the final nav point, Fung Landing does not even exist in that system. My only hope is that the mission marker will show me the right way and not just abandon me in the middle of nowhere. In the meanwhile, I use my advanced scanner on all those systems on my way. Some exploration profit at least to be made just by doing this trip. And there I thought I would have some dogfight action...

- end station of the falsely plotted course

Finally there, it happens as it must, the mission marker is gone. Last try, I will dock at every station here and see whether I can still finish in this nonsense properly. Kennedy Port; no, but at least the food cartridges for my other mission. Herjulfsson Orbital; nope.

I abandon the mission. And, clicking the "abandon" button, you know what happens? The mission updates again and now mentions also the system where Fang Landing is supposed to be!!! It is in Gabrani! This is the whole way back, right next to Hesa Ari! The mission marker which lead me here was a bug, obvious now. Way to go, way to go...

I don´t think I can keep my two fetch missions with the weapons anymore; 39 minutes left and still no idea where to source them close by. Oh, how the completionist within me does suffer! But my reputation with the Federation is screwed, anyways, so who cares.

During my trip back, in between I nevertheless search Thrudds website for close systems which could source me the commodities. Yes! 24 minutes to go and Asaro Dock in Koledo has the stuff! This is a race, now! 20 minutes left... 16 minutes as I arrive back in Ari Hesa, yes, made it! Now the same for the non-lethal weapons... 50 minutes left. Amarak is four jumps away, gogogo. And I make it again, all missions completed!
This was a very chaotic ride. Thinking about it in hindsight, I guess the in-game trading map of the galaxy map might have helped me better to locate stuff. The internet data mainly is about finding out precice price levels of commodities.

I accept a new mission: Kill Imran Jung, ~150k CR. Let´s see how I fare. In the meanwhile, I make way to Fung Landing to finally see how a "turncoat" mission plays out. Arriving in Gabrani, I have to laugh again, because Fung Landing actually is 464,700 ls out there... while travelling there I can go fetch multiple coffees (the real life one, not the commodity...), or even go to bed? Sometimes, the hickups in the design of this game are amazing. Where is the goddamn in-system jump which they inteded to do?

Once I arrive, I get the promised 1525 CR and am told that I should be grateful that I do not get a bullet between my eyes and that I can stick around and wait for the boss to have something for me to do if I want. Oh yeah well, welcome to the pirates... ARRRRRH. And my reputation with the Federation is going down again.

 - ARRR, washing my hands off innocent pirate blood

A last trip tp Mbera, which according to the galaxy trade map is supposed to sell food cartridges, to bring it back to Ari Hesa. Good to note that Litke Orbital also offers personal weapons and battle weapons, there, it was there just around the corner, but me was hopping halfway across the galaxy, thanks to incomplete data.

After this run, the game session is over. And I am over, too; this must have been the most unmotivating, non-sensical game session I ever had with Elite: Dangerous... I took missions without a clear goal or direction, like a dumbfire missile, jumped cluelessly through about 100 systems and followed red herrings, earned almost nothing in the process. Some 50k Credits thanks to regular advanced scans on my way, but that´s about it.

In order to also implement my first and last idea for this session, I go hunting for bounties in Basil, an independent system. After about five kills and 60k CR as bounties within 15 minutes, I log out close to the ring planet with the extraction site which was my hunting grounds.

- going for some satisfying explosions in this pile of dust

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