I've been ill over the past week and when my eyes haven't been streaming and my head not pounding, I've found some solace in Elite:Dangerous. White screens (and daylight FFS) give me a headache prettily readily at the moment and E:D is mostly dark. Which is nice. Here are some thoughts and pics from my travels. Not really a guide but some tips en route.
E:D has it's own kind of grind. In Planetside 2, you grind up your ranks to unlock stuff that makes you better at the thing you love doing. In Gauntlett and Torchlight, you grind up your class. As long as the grind is fun and a challenge, it doesn't feel like a grind. At first, E:D felt like a crazy-hard grind with very little payoff. However, it gets easier and more fun if you multi-skill.
You start with a Sidewinder, which is multi-role. More like Multi-Balls. Too small to be profitable in cargo runs (Room for only 4 cargo) and too weak to survive battles with big ships. You're going to want to upgrade. For Commander Brainwipe, I decided to work toward a Cobra Mk 3, which at 300k (ish) was going to take me forever even maxing out the cargo bay for 3000 profit a run. The Hauler, with its voluminous 8 cargo slots at 50k was a good choice. I called it Whiney because of the terrible noise it made:
I sort of miss Whiney. It was light, easy to fly and the upgrades were easy to come by and cheap. I also quite liked the less-than utilitarian interior and that it only had one seat.
I also decided that I wanted to go to Sol. To see Earth and all the planets and pay my respects to ex-planet Pluto. Poor thing. As I moved across the wonderful star map (it really is brilliant), I realised that I was making just as much money selling star data I'd collected en route. Holding onto it and going a bit further made it much more profitable. Trade wasn't going to get me to 300k very quickly, though.
I started taking missions on the bases I stoppped off on. Go to X, collect Y and then smuggle it back in. Oooooh. Suddenly I was transformed from boring older trader-explorer into a smuggler. Perhaps scruffy. Perhaps a nerf herder. Sadly, Whiney didn't have it where it counts. This got me over the 300k mark and I bought The Cock Goblin (name courtesy of Pete on Facebook), the Cobra Mk III of my dreams.
Except the stock loadout is a bit shit, so I gave it bigger guns shortly after this photo. The upgrades I'd made to Whiney had resale value, so I actually had quite a lump left over. I found myself operating from Daedalus, an orbital around this dirty little rock:
It's cool and slightly odd to be flying around Sol but I do enjoy it. I've been doing missions for the Mother Gaia faction, which is a local outfit that I'm helping to wrest some sort of control. It's simply stats and percentages but it gives a sense of something larger. I also started hanging around anarchy systems and taking out pirates (people marked wanted) because you get a bounty. Not immediately, you understand, you have to go back to base and claim it. I lost count at one point and headed back to see this:
That looks quite a lot when you've scraped together 300k for a new ship but the thing is I risked quite a lot taking on those pirates and fighting them one after another. More risk = more reward. If you solely want to play E:D as a trade game, you're going to be at it for a very long time!
Sooner or later, you're going to go bite off more than you can chew. And if you get away before being completely destroyed, your canopy breaks and you start to run out of oxygen. If you can get inside a base or dock then you'll be OK. However, on one trip back, I got interdicted by the rozzers:
Thank you very fucking much. I managed to charge to the nearest outpost but ran out of oxygen just as I was lining up. Another 10 seconds and I would be in. The rozzers didn't need me for anything, either. Fuckers. I quite like to see NPCs fuck up while inside a docking bay. This is a shot of a HUGE freighter thing loitering too long and being taken out. I didn't have to hang about, I just wanted to chuckle a someone else's misfortune. HA HA.
Best thing about fighting at resource locations is that you're not on your own. The Feds are there too to help out, although they tend not to do a lot of damage. They do take the heat off you a bit and get in the way like bees around a flower. Here's us taking down an Anaconda called Lozvare, which is huge compared to everything else you tend to fight.
Ten minutes of weaving, dodging and narrowly hitting massive rocks, BOOM! 93k?! Thank you very much, I'm off to a station to claim that right now.
The names of captains are quite fun. Here's one that made me chuckle:
Thanks, Dwain, your death pocketed me about 12k.
I enjoy my time hooting around in the asteroid belts (before my headache comes back and I go and lie down). I think it might be a good place for some team-based combat. I can't remember where I'm at, something like WISE 0855-XXXX, which is near Sol. I'll put it in the comments. I hope that it might be a bit like this: