Yes, it does take real time to travel in Elite. I’ve spent hours doing this, here and there. Depending on the ship, I’m between 5 minutes and 1 hour from Sol, most of the time.
My issue with Elite multiplayer is that it’s sort of paper thin. Every mission on the board is designed for a single player. If you are Winged, yes you do get a small bonus reward (IIRC, when I last was doing Winged cargo hauling for a CG, I got a 5% payout when the other cargo ship landed and sold the goods).
But for most gameplay roles in Elite, in a COOP sense it’s just players doing their own thing… together.
Then some CMDRs may not have ships or money or rank to really do well at the task others want to play.
Last night while discussing this, saghen said that I wasn’t doing a good job selling Elite. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, played more than 2 years now, am active in the current beta, and am eager for 2.4 to come on down. These things I mention are, IMO, quite real in spite of that.
As far as Saturday night, I’m still good for DOI. If we continue with it, I might submit some experimental Stronghold server settings to test with, one night, if Linebacker is good with that.