If @BeachAV8R and @EinsteinEP ever let me I plan to do a proper review of the new Elite Dangerous 1.3 Powerplay update, as the base game came out ‘pre-mudspike’ and I missed a chance to get into any detail with it.
E:D is a space sim, from 50% of the original 1984 Elite title inventors, and it has a lot of depth. It is very much a ‘sandbox’ game, in that you sometimes need to make your own entertainment, but hopefully this AAR will show some of that. I don’t play it an awful lot and don’t claim to know it fully yet, but it has some great gameplay so far.
So here I am sitting in my Cobra Mk3, chilling around the star Duamta, in the Wang City station…
The game is fully HOTAS / Track IR enabled, and the sense of ‘sitting in a decent cockpit’ is great as I look around (this is a great VR DK2 title)…
Ok, so let’s check out where we are and what is around us. The System Map brings up the local neighbourhood. A wealthy large population refinery economy eh?
Hmm, ok, nice Wang. It’s a typical Federation Space democracy, within the ‘Jet Power Commodities’ faction (think of this like local warlords/governments - each system has them, and power shifts over time as wars are waged).
So where’s Duamta in the relation to our Sol?
Pretty close. Let’s zoom out a bit more in the nice 3D galaxy map…
Ooh, lots of stars then…
So, counting from the left, that’s 400 billion to go explore!
Anyway, let’s go check out our trusty steed and see what there is to do. I bring up the Station HUD in my trackIR view.
I’ve not got a lot of money really, but the Cobra Mk3 is a nice ship as a general purpose fighter/trader - think Millennium Falcon with proper parsecs as units. Here she is with my gaudy paint job and tacky skulls! (I couldn’t hurt a fly but who’s to tell from that paint)
I went for the rust protection from the dealership, and got talked into the cheap Life Support - but all modules are purchasable and upgradable pretty much ad infinitum.
Perhaps we should do some Trading tonight? Go take a mission for an urgent delivery, or perhaps even mine some local metals? Let’s check out this system’s prices…
Hmm, I was told there was no math. Finding trade routes is a subject in itself, as is pirating those traders for profit. Let’s check the local newspaper for gossip.
Good to see George Lucas is still writing dialog. There’s a huge ongoing story arc that pits factions and empires against each other, so you can rank up in each. Even in ‘solo’ mode this story in online and evolves over time. I’ve not spent much time getting into it though. Anyway, enough Excel and local news at 11, let’s go Bounty Hunting. Some ‘protect and serve’, shoot some bad guys and claim some bounties! Take off time…
They want me out pretty quick, they’ll happily shoot you for loitering.
Some of the buyable ships are huge, but I still scrape the paint with my wee ship.
Looks like the old man got the shield generator down… (chewey aaarrgghhh)
So here’s where we just left, there are a few different station types that reflect the local system’s situation.
Very detailed, looks like a nice bit of real estate down there.
Certainly nicer up here than the local planet the station faces. Kinda looks a bit dry.
So for success in bounty hunting we need to find some bad guys to shoot at and claim the bounties. Typically they will be preying on poor miners who look for metal ore asteroids, so let’s head there and see what’s up in the local ring clusters.
Set the target for Nav…
Off into ‘frame shift’ drive we go, as we could get there in real time but that would take months (they try to keep scales/distances realistic in Elite:Dangerous). The ‘interstellar’ is another type of drive where the scales of speed change.
Man, these rings are close to Duamta! Nicest flares I’ve seen since the 70’s though.
Here we are in the belt, looks toasty, but it’s a dry heat apparently.
They’ve got some big metallic rocks here for sure - let’s find the manic miners and hopefully some pirates with bounties too.
Here’s ‘Brad Fowler’ (so sci-fi!) in a Python (which is far bigger than me) checking out some mining…
Here he is with a mining laser, that knocks off chunks that you then have to scoop up and process with the right modules equipped. It’s a lonely life for sure, but hey, it’s steady money with the right market for metals…
Hmm. No pirates about though - and I spot someone scanning me, it’s the local police force watching over us all. Howdy sir!
A lot of mining going on, but no pew pew action - let’s go look for some action somewhere else for trouble…
Let’s check out the local Nav Beacon, a place close to the nearest star where people do stellar jumps to. It’s a nexus for traffic, and we could do some scanning for smugglers while we’re here. Cool, a bit more traffic here on the radar dial.
Oh, look at that a nearby firefight, let’s see what’s going on.
I use my ‘K-Warrant Scanner’ to see what this ‘Wanted’ guy is up to. The scanner give me more info on his warrants. ‘Gowland’ eh? His ASP ship is pretty good, and his rank is way above mine, but some other bounty hunters in a Wing are already chipping away at him. I bet he shot first, eh George?
Nice, he has a 112,260 Credit bounty on his head. Not bad for a pauper like me.
Let’s join the fight and protect the law. Time to deploy the hardpoint beam laser (good for shields) and the ol cannons (good for hull damage).
He’s shooting back. Rude.
Down to the hull now…
Let’s target his Drive to stop him getting away. Law breakers, I AM THE LAW!
Doesn’t take long. Fearlessfrog, Bounty Hunter!
Ok, let’s get out of here and go spend that money. There’s no place like Wang.
Hmm, which pad is that? I have visual.
I land like an aircraft, nose first, although there’s all sorts of fancy X/Y/Z RCS style controls toom which works well on HOTAS. The physics is pretty nice, although not pure in terms of newtonian calculations - it’s definitely geared a bit towards flying with style and fun.
I wave at my Mom - she always waits in the tower, despite me getting back late.
Nice! Now let’s claim that bounty and hit the bar! Drinks on me (8oz or lower).
This short AAR only really touches in a small way what Elite Dangerous plays like. In multiplayer you can form ‘wings’, do missions together, rank up, go to war, make money exploring systems (and with 400 billion, you really can be the first to see them), or perhaps trade up for a better fighter or trade ship. It’s a game that could burn some serious time…