Elite Dangerous Impressions, #2 – Finding A Fight

Continuing a short series in which I get to grips with the newly-released Elite: Dangerous and document my thoughts about the game as I do.

I’d made this pledge to myself – that I’d learn this game without help. It has not been at all easy. Elite Dangerous only wants to impart a bare minimum of information to me, and while a large part of me digs working it out for myself, often I’m hitting brick walls. For instance:

– landing in my assigned bay when docking requires me to face in the right direction. It took some time before I worked out the visual cues which informed me that I was indeed facing in the right direction. Prior to that I kept performing this hugely embarrassing 180 degree turns while essentially parked, replete with terrifying scraping and banging noises.

– When deciding to investigate an exciting-sounding signal of unknown origin, I fetched near some space debris. Amongst it was some rare art. This sounded like it would make me some money – something I am desperately in need of – so I tried to collect it. I worked out that I would need to deploy my cargo scoop in order to do this, but it took several slow-motion collisions with the artwork (floating in big metal cannisters) before realising that a new, second targeting reticule display popped up for the cargo scoop.

I was pretty damn proud of myself for figuring this out eventually, and made a beeline for the nearest space station to sell my cultural spoils. I could find no facility to sell it, which was disappointing enough, but it got worse when I clocked that I’d been slapped with an 11,000 credit fine for carrying stolen goods. What. All I did was collect some floating junk. Space fascists!

I’d happily return the art, but I haven’t been able to find out who it belongs to. In fact, I couldn’t find a single damn thing to do with the art except dump it in space. This did not relieve me of my fine, which seems to be increasing as time wears on. I need a job in order to pay it off…

– …but the only jobs I can find seem to involve finding a specific type of cargo from somewhere – which I a) probably can’t afford and b) can’t work out where has it in stock – or liberating and dropping off some slaves. I do not know where to find slaves. I figure maybe if I can find some pirates or other baddies, maybe they’ll have some in the hold, but…

– …I have no idea where to find pirates or other baddies. Each station offers a list of the highest bounties, which entails going to a target’s last known location, which is a whole system, which seems to mean floating around aimlessly in the hope I’ll run into them. I’m kind of worried they’re going to be in far, far better ships than I am, too. All I want is to practice combat with some random little goons, but…

– I have no idea where or how to find random little goons. I spent some time randomly hopping about systems, poking around in asteroid belts and trying to drop out of hypercruise if I passed someone at a hundred million miles per hour but never winding up anywhere near them, and frankly it was all becoming fairly frustrating.

Then, joy of joys, I was tooling around Eravate when an intercom message popped up from someone calling themselves Strangely Brown. He was demanding my cargo. Never mind that I didn’t have any cargo, I was delighted. There were two reasons for this: 1) Strangely was deemed ‘Competent’ and was piloting an Adder, a far superior ship to my useless baby of a craft. 2) He was labelled ‘Wanted.’ I was pretty confident this meant there was a bounty on his head.

I.e., fight, and not a piffling one.

There are no more exciting words in the galaxy than ‘enemy shield depleted.’ I heard this fairly soon on in the fight, and what they meant was that Strangely Brown was not going to be able to instantly destroy me. While this cast serious doubt on his alleged competency, it thrilled me. I could do this.

And I did. It took a while, because my Sidewinder can only fire about five shots before needing a rest, but its tight turning meant Strangely never so much as scored my hull. I won, and a nearly 5000 credit bounty was mine. I’m almost halfway towards paying off my unfair fine. By God it had taken a while, but I’d found a fight, I’d won, and as a result my blood is up: I don’t want to live a life of long-distance trading after all. Most of all, I’m chuffed to bits that I figured a whole bunch of stuff out without having to refer to third parties. Though I’m well aware that I’ve barely scratched the surface still.

But, er, where do I go next?

There’ll be more Elite impressions after Christmas.

93 Comments

  1. It's not me it's you says:

    Learning by yourself is a cool idea, but surely the in-game tutorial videos are allowed under those restrictions? They’d have answered a fair chunk of those questions right away (including how to find out where to sell a thing, why the thing you picked up couldn’t be sold in the normal commodities market, why you got a fine and why it kept increasing and where / how to find random little goons).

  2. RedViv says:

    “Yarr, it be Strangely Brown the Pirate! What? Don’t ye be laughing! It be 3300, all the good names be taken!”

    • Shadow says:

      Yeah, it was quite disappointing that my name wasn’t saved from the beta, and had to pick a new, less memorable one on the release version since the original was taken. Damn MMO syndrome.

      I don’t think it can be changed, can it? :/

      • Jeeva says:

        Oh, heck. That’s annoying – I’d assumed that my beta name would be saved, and haven’t been in a position to play since actual launch (dismayingly).

    • crowleyhammer says:

      Strangely Brown is a Blackadder goes fourth reference.

    • Durkonkell says:

      I met space pirate Eccentrica Gallumbits yesterday.

      She was in an Anaconda. I ran away.

      • GernauMorat says:

        Of Eroticon IV?

      • Moth Bones says:

        There has to be a Mighty Tharg out there too, running his spaceship on polystyrene cups.

      • gorgonaut says:

        I came across “Zap Brannigan”, flying a Sidewinder in the vicinity of Earth. Speaking of which, there’s a big honking capital ship in orbit there. Towards the back, there’s this sort of bay in it. It’s totally possible to fly and land there, if you’re careful. Not much to do, but at least the view is pretty.

    • Duke Flipside says:

      I met an pirate with the rather apt name of “Stabulon Ripper”…

  3. Hardlylikely says:

    Are you using the DK2 to play from the start, Alec? Starting on monitor to ease into the game and switching later?

    • haggismaninca says:

      ​I read this article (and a few others) and spent way too much money buying a DK2 on eBay (could not wait)
      I played it from the start on the DK2. Menus are a little hard at the beginning, so is navigation but it is so awesome!
      BTW, after spending 3 hours trying to get this thing working I found a good Elite Dangerous Oculus Rift Setup guide

      Here is what you do:

      ​Ensure your Oculus Rift is turned on and the light is blue
      ​Start Elite Dangerous
      ​Go to Graphics settings
      ​Set Vsync on
      ​Set 3D mode to Oculus headphones/speakers
      ​Set Refresh rate to 75hz
      ​Set display to “secondary”

  4. aircool says:

    I’ve only played about six hours, mainly just getting used to the game, configuring keys and buying the ubercheap Black Widow flight stick (I’m left handed and wanted a cheap one, just in case my right hand refused to learn). I’m also finding my own feet, rather than relying on the internet.

    I was dragged out of supercruise by an Asp. After about five minutes of reverse speed and thrust manoeuvres, I managed to kill him, netting about 1800 credits.

    Trying to find a fuel scoop at the moment as I’m trying to explore, but keep running into dead ends where the star systems are just single or multiple stars.

    Q: If there are any planets etc… in an unexplored star system, do they show up on the system map, or do I have to fly around to find them. I say this because I’ve never found an unexplored star system that has any planets.

    • Undermind_Mike says:

      There are two mechanics at play, discovery and exploration.

      My understanding is that the only objects that are guaranteed to appear on the “chart” (System Map) for a system are:

      – Stars (presumably because they’re big and shiny)
      – Space stations (presumably because they transmit signals)

      Everything else is not guaranteed to be shown unless you “Discover” it.

      Discovering something needs a Discovery scanner on board.

      There are two ways to discover something (which will add it to the chart and to your nav menu)

      – Fly close to it and look at it (which conveniently happens automatically with the primary sun when you drop out of Hyperspace)
      – Be “vaguely close” and fire your discovery scanner. When I fire my D-Scanner near the primary sun, I tend to discover all its inner worlds, but not, for example, any sister stars because they are too far away.

      All of this comes with a disclaimer that I might be wrong!

      • HothMonster says:

        The default Discovery Scanner range is 500LS. I’ve seen bodies in the system at 5000LS away, I’m sure they get a lot farther too. So while it’s a decent way to make money early on it’s not very accurate.

        • Duke Flipside says:

          Yep; default (“Basic”) discovery scanner range is 500ls. The intermediate has a 1000ls range, and (reportedly) the advanced will identify *everything* in a system.

          When a body is identified by your discovery scanner it will then appear in the system map as “unexplored”; you then need to target it and point your ship at it, whereupon your ship will automatically scan it; you’ll get a wee spinning progress indicator and after a while it will conclude and come up with the name and some info. This nets you more of a reward than simply leaving it unexplored. The “Detailed Surface Scanner” gives you more info when doing this, and earns you even more money.

          A nice wee trick is to do this scan for the star you jump into; once this has been scanned, when you go into the system view it will show you how many (if any) other stars are in this system (e.g. if it’s a binary system with two stars). It won’t tell you where they are, but at least you know what to look for (though it doesn’t give any info on planets :( ) This is useful as additional stars can be over 100,000ls away, so you don’t want to be running around blindly looking for something that might not be there!

    • aurious says:

      When you arrive in an unexplored system only the primary star will be discovered.

      You’ll need to assign a Discovery Scanner to a fire group and fire it… it’ll charge and then you’ll hear a horn-type noise and any orbital bodies within (x)Ls will be discovered. The range depends on the type of scanner (basic, intermediate, advanced) and the size of the orbital bodies (the bigger they are, the further away they’ll be found). I think you might start with a basic scanner. Also look for ship contacts or frameshift wakes which aren’t near anything else that you can see.

      If you want to make money from exploration you’ll also want a surface scanner which improves the value of the information you get when you scan it (i.e. target an unexplored object, keep it in the centre of your view and fly close enough that your ship starts scanning.. again how close you need to get depends on the size of the object).

    • Phantasma says:

      Sorry to intrude, but i got a question concerning the Discover Scanner as well and i haven’t activated my Frontier forum account yet.

      Back in Beta i replaced my Basic Scanner for an interemediate one without problems.
      But when i did that after 1.0 i completely lost the ability to scan any objects and gradually even lost data on surrounding systems, while the HUD gave me some “database error” message constantly.

      So do i have to hold on to the basic scanner despite having the upgrade on board or was this a bug?

      Please note, that i’m not talking about the Detailed Surface Scanner, i’m sure i bought the Interemdiate.

      Thanks in advance.

    • jonfitt says:

      Tips for finding planetary bodies:
      – Look for supercruising AIs apparently going into the middle of nowhere. They will undoubtedly be heading for a random planet and will drop from SC when they get there (so also check out any SC wakes you see).

      – Use the Discovery Scanner to find anything close to the star.

      – This one is hard to explain: SC away from the star along the plane of the system (you won’t know the plane if there’s only one star and you haven’t discovered any orbiting bodies, so in that case just a random direction).
      Now pitch up or down 45 degrees from the plane so you’re either rising or falling from the flat plane of the system’s orbits. I like to align the line of any orbit I can see with the top of my cockpit so I can still see it.
      Now here’s the trick: you are looking for any dots that are moving against the background. That means that they’re closer than the background stars and hence are local planets! when you see one, head directly towards it at voila! This visual inspection is where the skill (an IMHO fun) comes in. You’re finding things with you eyeballs.
      The purpose of the 45 degree pitch is if you happen to be heading towards an object it won’t be moving and hence you can’t tell, by pitching up even items in front of you will be moving (up/down) as you move above/below the system’s plane.

  5. Dale Winton says:

    I quite fancy picking this up but the price and not on steam are putting me off the idea

    • jonfitt says:

      They have their own content delivery mechanism, it’s an MMO-type launcher deal. Don’t know about the price, but I’m pretty sure it will never be on Steam.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Pretty sure they are planning on selling it through steam, but it’s still got its own launcher.

        • Janichsan says:

          Pretty sure they are not going to sell it through Steam: they have explicitly said so.

          • PoulWrist says:

            You never know what will come down the road. They are putting it on consoles after all.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    I’m basically having the same experience as this.

    Alec one thing I learned is when in supercruise you’ll get unidentified signals popping up on your scanner when flying about. Head to those, they are usually pirates/bandits/something especially if a mission sent you to that sector.

    Otherwise I don’t understand the market, at all. I needed Non-lethal weapons for a mission, so I looked at the map and found a several sectors exporting them so headed there. None of them had any, at all.

    I checked a system importing them, they didn’t have any either. Spent 2 hours fucking about trying to find anywhere at all that sold them, and couldn’t. Had the same experience with fruit and veg before that.

    After my experience last night i’m considering putting it on the shelf a couple of months until some of the stuff is worked out.

    • farrier says:

      My process for finding goods starts with the commodities market, looking to see where they “Import From,” then pulling up my Galaxy map and looking at the commodity filters. Then when I think I’ve found a good system, I pull up the system map and pick a station. *Usually* at least one station carries the commodity that the system supposedly should have, though I’ve also run into some situations where no one has it.

      I had trouble finding personal weapons once. System A said they imported from System B. Went to System B. System B was out, said they imported from System C. I was running another more lucrative mission at the same time and that was running out of time, so I just abandoned my search and went back.

      Overall though, I like it. I enjoy poring over the map and trying to guess at what might make a good trade route, then venturing out to give it a try. I don’t mind the trial and error. Just upgraded the weapons on my Adder though, so tonight I’ll try it out with a little bounty hunting, see how it does. I like the Adder’s versatility and the fact that most people seem to forget about it.

    • jonfitt says:

      I use the galaxy map and display only the coloured trading lines that I want (turn all others off). You then hopefully will see a nearby system spidering outwards the good you’re looking for.
      Then within that system you need to go to the right kind of station. E.g. an Agricultural station won’t export high tech goods even if the system does. You need to find the system’s high tech station if it has one. Even then if there are two high tech stations, each might export different goods.
      This chart doesn’t list all of the goods, but should help:
      link to i.imgur.com

  7. TheStainlessSteelRat says:

    Alec, I feel your pain. Bought this yesterday, then had to buy a joystick to have a hope of defeating anyone in combat. I played the original (on the ZX Spectrum) and should have perhaps known better than to buy it. Hauling cargo for hours at a time just doesn’t evoke fun. What am I missing?

    • aurious says:

      There’s several strands of game play

      Trading: hauling stuff between stations as you said where knowing who needs what and how to get the best price and.. stuff.. is the fun.. I think..

      Exploring: flying off into the unknown, finding planets and such in unexplored systems and selling your data for profit

      Combat: assassinations, bounty hunting, or just shooting down the traders and explorers and taking their stuff

      Each of those has it’s own ‘Elite’ ranking and you can mix and match as you feel so inclined.

      You can also mine asteroid fields.
      I think you can also use a mining laser to salvage destroyed enemies though that may be illegal if it’s possible.

      • Commander Gun says:

        Exploration seems like fun, but can i really just keep going and explore things or do i need logistics (fuel/probes) and that kind of stuff? Exploration is the thing that actually sold me the game, so i would hate if it turns out i need a whole team for this to do efficiently.
        Also, is there like an exploration 101 guide out there? I should research this myself ofc, but unfortuantely work is a bitch and i could barely play last few weeks.

        • aurious says:

          You’ll need fuel, but you can buy a fuel scoop (it”s worth splashing out for a good one), and your ship does suffer ‘wear and tear’ damage which will gradually make you more fragile in a fight if you don’t get it fixed now and again.

          You’ll also need to land to sell your data, and exploration rank is determined by the value of the data you sell, I believe.

          From what I’ve seen so far, the galaxy isn’t a small core of population surrounded by a vast wilderness.. occupied systems are spread throughout so you’ll always be a couple of jumps from a dock. I’ve only been to a hundred or so systems, so there may be a wild frontier I’ve not found yet.

          • Saii says:

            If you zoom waay out on the map the factions do run out of claimed systems eventually, but it’s a fair old number of jumps to get to the real outliers.

          • Cut says:

            “From what I’ve seen so far, the galaxy isn’t a small core of population surrounded by a vast wilderness..”

            Oh boy, are you in for a surprise… :)

            The populated area of the galaxy is *tiny*.

        • jonfitt says:

          I posted a quick set of tips on planetary exploration above.

          Also: a fuel scoop is IMHO not optional! You don’t want to have to keep stressing over fuel reserves and running back to refuel. Since you have to travel 20ly to sell data, visiting a station close to the frontier you’re exploring is pretty pointless. You won’t buy goods (unless you happen upon a rare good), and you can’t sell your data. The only thing it will do is mean that you’ll respawn there if you die.

        • ninjapirate says:

          The exploration was the reason why I ended up buying this game. I loved the idea of a virtually infinite universe, where the vast majority of star systems would be places “where no man has gone before”, filled with the promise of new discoveries and adventure.

          Unfortunately, in its current state, the game’s exploration novelty soon wears off. You fly from system to system, discovering new astronomical objects, and then you sell your discoveries to a space station that’s interested in them (which applies to any space station that is at least 20 light years away from the system you’ve explored).
          You won’t write history or make the news by discovering earth-like planets (in fact you’ll only end up getting a bit more cash for the rarer find), you won’t find alien artifacts/technology, the game offers no praise for your discoveries, no “first discovered by” mark will be left on the galaxy map. Aside from the first-hand experience of flying around and targeting unexplored objects to discover their names, all you get is cash for your efforts.

          At first I thought the exploration experience would evolve if I upgraded my ship’s equipment. But the Surface Scanner only increases the profits I make by scanning specific types of planets, and the (very expensive) improved Discovery Scanners only widen the scanner’s range for discovering astronomical objects; the Basic Discovery Scanner has a range of 500LS, the next tier is 1000LS, and the highest tier will scan the entire system, making sure that you won’t miss a single object. Unfortunately that makes exploring a system manually (i.e. flying around looking for moving specks of light to find those stars that your limited-range scanner couldn’t pick up) unnecessary, which was one of my favorite aspects of exploration, as it required concentration and practice to find those elusive objects.

          Nonetheless, I enjoy Elite: Dangerous, and I’m looking forward to the expected improvements on the exploration part of the game in future updates. But the way this aspect of the game is right now, it gets old and boring quickly.

    • Saii says:

      There’s the bits mentioned by Aurious, but the devs seem to be aiming it as more of a factions-based MMO with them acting as an overseer/dungeon master presence whipping up both big storylines and interventions where players seem to be doing something interesting.

      They’ve made a big deal about people needing to read the Galnet reports, which are basically bigging up a potential civil war in the Empire and tensions over slave ownership, so there’s likely to be a bunch of campaign missions there in the near future to kick off with.

      They’ve also left room for players to be doing something interesting of their own, for example there’s a meta mechanic where taking missions for certain subfactions will increase the chances of a system switching allegiance alongside improving your reputation. In some cases, doing that sort of work is the only way to access content, eg. gaining access to the Empire, Federation or Alliance core worlds. So you can basically be a sort of cold-war agent for one of the factions (I’m off to Alliance space to have a crack at that atm, though the content focused on by the devs will likely initially be Empire/Federation related).

  8. Undermind_Mike says:

    I’ve also been finding it a bit annoying looking for fights. My friends and I are based around a load of Democracies and when I drop into unidentified signal sources they tend to be weddings or funerals, or space-trash, or a harmless little hauler, and I haven’t yet crossed the moral line of attacking a funeral just for some dogfighting action.

    The two places I have found most reliable for fights have been

    1) The Nav Beacon which appears to exist specifically to be an “NPC Farming Dungeon”, though often there are numerous other Cmdr bounty hunters there competing for that final hit

    2) I entered a planetary ring which had Resource Extraction Sites in it (though I wasn’t actually AT one of the sites) and was pleased to be repeatedly scanned by pirates who I could then victimise :)

    EDIT: If any of you see a Cmdr de Selincourt in the Alrai sector near Eravate, send me a message :)

  9. TheStainlessSteelRat says:

    Two points of confusion (among many):

    1. Places I can dock. Can I just dock at the space stations that appear as squares on the System Map? If not, how can I tell where else I can dock?

    2. The jumpdrive, for lack of a better/correct term. Am I right in thinking that the same drive is letting me jump between systems, and allowing fast travel within a system also? The latter is the most confusing, as I seem to have to drop out of FTL travel at a predefined point (I did watch the tutorial, but have forgotten a lot of the terminology).

    • Premium User Badge

      Lexx87 says:

      Do the Travel Training mate, that’ll get you to grips with it all.

    • aurious says:

      1) yes, you can only dock at stations. There are 2 different icons in the system map, both have a square border.. one kind of looks like a crane .. those are small stations where you dock on the outside. The other icon is a Coriolis (squarish) station.. that’s a station you’ll have to fly into for landing.. more likely to be scanned and more services.

      2) Inter-system jumps will always land you at supercruise speed near the primary star, but if you don’t slow down and turn away quickly you’ll do an emergency stop and be dropped down to sub-light speeds.
      You can exit supercruise at any time, but you risk damaging your ship if you’re going too fast (more than 1Mm/s). I believe that in theory you can use supercruise to fly between systems … but it will take days in real time if you’re lucky.

      • TheStainlessSteelRat says:

        Thanks. It’s Supercruise that I seem to have more problems with. I’m guessing it adjusts the velocity on the journey, because that’s basically what’s happening. Seems to take a lot of time to get between places, more so within a system than between systems.

        • Yargh says:

          Your speed in supercruise is directly affected by how close you are to any massive objects (stars, planets, moons, etc) – the deeper in space you get, the faster you can go.

          Some locations that are technically within a solar system can be really far away and will take a looong time to reach. The worst example I’ve seen so far being the trip to Proxima Centauri from the nav beacon in Alpha Centauri, that flight takes over an hour in real-time!

        • aurious says:

          In supercruise your speed is affected by gravity.. so the nearer you are to a planet or sun the slower you’ll travel. As you fly close to a station it’ll slow you down.

          I’m not sure what the max speed is out in deepest space.. but I think I’ve clocked >2000C (avoid missions to Hutton Orbital)

          When you lock onto a smaller thing (unknown signals, frameshift wake or such) then you’ll also automatically decelerate as you get close to it, so I think there’s a degree of auto-pilot involved too.

        • neotribe says:

          It takes a few hours to fly from Los Angeles to New York City — it takes a lot longer to drive to Chicago.

          Both intersystem jumps (wormhole displacement) and supercruise (FTL/warp drive) are purportedly accomplished using the same drive, according to the in-game fiction, but it’s really best to think of them differently.

          Frame shift jumps are basically fast travel, in metagame terms. You instantly shift from one system to another, limited by the range of the FSD engine you currently have slotted, and your ship’s load and fuel capacity. The wormhole animation is your loading screen. The game limits this by forcing you to jump to a system’s nav beacon, located in proximity to the most massive star, and then transit the system to your destination in supercruise, rather than jump directly to a spaceport. (Without that need to actually fly around, we might as well be playing Tradewars on a WWIV BBS.)

          Supercruise is actual travel through a (simulated) 3D space. It deals with huge distances and light speeds, which can make things feel sort of elastic as you shift between scales, but it’s not teleportation like jumping is. (Elite doesn’t deal with temporal relativity in simulating FTL supercruise, so no wrinkles there.)

          Distances to a target/destination in supercruise are shown to you in Ly (Light-years) or Ls (light-seconds) while your speed is shown as KMS (kilometers per second, the same scale as used in standard flight it would seem, when travelling under 1 MMS), MMS (megameters per second, used when travelling under 1C), and above that in C — multiples of the speed of light (or, Cochrane, if you prefer :P).

          Thus, an object 60Ls away will take 60 seconds to reach at the speed of light, or 1C. An object 1Ly away will take one year (!!) to reach at 1C. If it makes it easier to conceptualize, just mentally substitute “L” for “C” when reading your supercruise speed.

          To exit supercruise safely, you need to be traveling under 1MMS / 1000 KMS (i.e. your speed needs to be displayed in KMS) and your distance from the station needs to be less than 1MM /1000KM. That’s when the “safe disengage” prompt shows up (it lags sometimes).

          A popular way to do this (especially if flying with the KB+Mouse) is to start reducing speed such that when you’re about 20 Ls away your ETA reads between 7 – 10 seconds (which means a bit over 2C @ 20Ls) , and decelerate steadily (or exploit the gravitational drag of nearby planets/objects) to keep it around 7 seconds (which should be the lower end of the ‘blue’ part of the throttle indicator). If done right this will result in a safe disengage prompt before overshoot.

          You can get down to <10C from much higher speeds quickly, but after that things get a bit more sensitive.

          Some folks prefer the less fiddly approach of overshooting their destination and then looping back around while decelerating, especially if there's a local gravity well to brake with.

          Returning to the metagame aspects for some brief idle speculation, when you do exit supercruise you get what appears to be another loading screen before being presented with the local environment around one’s destination (spaceport, planet, beacon, etc). We know the local environment is instanced, if only from foibles related to grouping and docking. For me, that begs the question, to what extent is the system supercruise environment instanced? Are those larger instances?

          –CMDR Amitskaw

      • Snakejuice says:

        You “can” supercruise between systems, but not really. You get to the watypoint in space eventually but the system contents doesn’t load and the game still thinks you are in the system where you started your supercruise journey.

  10. TheStainlessSteelRat says:

    Oh, and if anyone wants to add me, I’m SSR. Not that I’ve figured out how having friends in the game works.

  11. Reebar says:

    Drop in to a Nav Beacon for a spot of random combat. Pirates and smugglers will be dropping in at regular intervals. You can also turn off ‘Report Crimes Against Me’ to help delay the space cops from showing up and stealing your bounties. Once you can afford an interdictor, you can hang around in Supercruise and pull over any felons you spot passing by.

    From my time playing, it seems to be of benefit to find a nice high-tech, high-population system to call home and learning the surrounding systems. Pretty soon you’ll start to get “The Knowledge” of that local bubble, and will have learned a few trade routes, bounty hunting spots, and fences for the goods you find. You may even build up some friendly factions who’ll offer choice jobs and discounts.

    However, all that info will need to be in your head or scribbled on paper. In-game bookmarks of favorite places, or ways of noting down choice routes would be a great addition.

  12. BigBadB says:

    There is an official manual now, which surely falls under ‘learning the game yourself’:

    link to hosting.zaonce.net

  13. Commander Gun says:

    – landing in my assigned bay when docking requires me to face in the right direction. It took some time before I worked out the visual cues which informed me that I was indeed facing in the right direction. Prior to that I kept performing this hugely embarrassing 180 degree turns while essentially parked, replete with terrifying scraping and banging noises.

    This is so painfully familair :)

    • Cleave says:

      I stopped trying to turn round using the yaw while hovering above the pad, much quicker to fly out a bit, turn round and come back. I still can’t figure out which is the right way when I’m flying up to the station though..

      • HothMonster says:

        There is that takeoff pad thingy, when you launch it’s a slanted steel thing in front of you. That is always behind you when you land.

        But this whole correct angle thing is so stupid. The fucking pad spins! If they want me at some other orientation just spin me when I land just like you do when you launch my ship if I have not entered the hanger.

      • PoulWrist says:

        The right way is facing the large hovering numbers.

    • aircool says:

      The simple addition of landing lights and the particular landing pad being highlighted on the target display would help an awful lot.

      • TheJimTimMan says:

        Those are both already in the game. Your designated landing pad should be lit up with its number floating above it as you’re coming in to land (although I’ve seen it bug out and vanish occasionally) and the target position indicator on the left of the radar will point towards your pad.

        • Asurmen says:

          Sometimes pads light up that you’re not landing at.

          • ninjapirate says:

            They do, but they’ll be marked by numbers, indicating whether or not it’s the landing pad you were assigned to. Once you’ve received permission to dock, there will be a blue message above your radar. It tells you how much time you have left until your docking permission expires, and which landing pad number you were assigned to.

          • Asurmen says:

            They do yes, but they shouldn’t be and it takes time to read when you’re orientated the wrong way.

      • Yargh says:

        Note that your compass (the smaller reticule above and to the left of the radar) will indicate your designated landing pad once you have been assigned one. Very useful inside the larger stations when your pad doesn’t light up all the time.

  14. Velko says:

    Rare Artwork can be sold at Black Markets, in the stations that have those. If a station has a Black Market, it is found from the Contacts menu in the Starport Services. Because Art is illegal and you stole it (yeah, from empty space, but still stolen…), you better find a station with Anarchy (instead of Democracy or something like that) so that there won’t be any nosy authorities slapping fines on you.

    TL;DR: find an Anarchy station which has a Black Market, sell Artwork (or other stuff scooped from space) there, profit.

    • Velko says:

      Also, the best place to find NPCs with bounties are Resource Extraction Sites. Those are usually found at the rings of a Gas Giant or somesuch. You jump in there like any regular station, then fly around for a few minutes and suddenly there’s ships everywhere: innocent civilians mining away at rocks, system authorities patrolling, and lots and lots of nasty pirates (these are marked “Wanted”) for you to shoot!

    • Chaz says:

      Oh and to add to that, if you go to black markets at outposts instead of stations, the likely hood of being scanned and fined is very low.

    • Duke Flipside says:

      I’ve only found two of the non-scanning “outpost” stations that have actually had black markets so far; Wohler Orbital in Yavapai (Federation) and Walters Refinery in Shotep (independent) for anyone who’s interested!

  15. WinterborneTE says:

    I’ve been doing the bounty hunter/mercenary thing but with some self imposed rules:

    1) Never pirate or do nything else illegal.

    2) Help players whenever possible.

    Currently I am rolling in a fully decked out Viper mkIII near the starter systems and I have been flying escort for a few folks who do mining and trading. In exchange, I request 1t of whatever they are hauling per sell run if there is no action as compensation for my time (if there is action, no charge, as the bounty is enough). Been lots of fun showing some folks the ropes and protecting haulers that eschewed shields for more cargo space or a refinery. I even got two kills on player pirates who interdicted my employers.

    In the meantime I have been learning about trading by seeing what routes they fly and what products they buy, so that when I decide to give trading a whirl I am not completely clueless.

    Feel free to look up CMDR Starlear if anyone wants to hook up.

  16. Brian says:

    Seems like this is the type of game that needs a LARGE time commitment. Is this true, or can you have fun/make progress out of just an hour or so of play time per day?

    • Saii says:

      From playing so far you can make progress but the top-tier craft will be a big commitment to get at, as would really engaging with the meta content which seems to have take a lot of lessons from EVE.

    • fredc says:

      The game doesn’t actually require any sort of meaningful time commitment, unless you treat it like an awful MMO and insist on “grinding” your way into the most expensive possible ship.

      You can drop in on Elite for flying around the universe shenanigans an hour a week, it probably just means you will be flying the starter Sidewinder for a while. Larger ships just let you make more money (more cargo space) and carry more guns – it’s not like you “have” to grind your way to a larger ship to get access to the game’s content, which is basically the galaxy plus this whole player-shaped, procedurally generated economy / political system.

      • Shadow says:

        Well, that’s a particular definition of “require”. By the same logic, EVE requires no commitment since you can go pretty much anywhere with a starter ship. Steady progression does require a significant investment of time.

        • Asurmen says:

          I think you miss the point. By significant time they mean multi hour sessions to progress. That isn’t required in Elite. Yes, the overall yime you spend will be a lot, but any amount of time adds to that progression. Compare that yo end game Wow for example.

  17. Asurmen says:

    I’ve been making a lot of money doing bounty hunting in my pre order Eagle at Nav Beacons. Most vital piece of equipment is a warrant scanner in the utility slot. When you see someone with Wanted status, it’s a bounty placed by that system’s authority. However, anyone can also be carrying bounties from other authorities that you can’t collect.

    The warrant scanner allows you to collect any and all bounties on a ship regardless of where you are. It works like the discovery scanner except you need the ship targeted.

    It’s allowed me to upgrade all aspects of my Eagle. Most recently it was.jump drive going from 7ly to 10ly range which seems to have put every system into a plotable distance.

    Federation have now been giving me.missions so might start doing those.

    Question: does upgrading thrusters increase speed or just changes maximum tonnage? It’s the only thing I haven’t upgraded.

    • Karomsir says:

      The Eagle is the most agile craft in the whole game at the moment and it is also made of paper. Thrusters are your best friend in the eagle – or any other craft you fight with – they make you turn, accelerate and break faster. Upgrade thrusters on your eagle and you’ll be able to outturn a great many enemies. Cobras are faster than you though and tend to boost away to charge you like a knight. careful witth that.

      I wrecked 3 cobras after leaving my eagle because I couldn’t move out of npc’ way. Collisions are dangerous. Buy thrusters.

      • Asurmen says:

        As long as there’s a benefit beyond maximum tonnage it’ll be my next purchase. I’ve upgraded shields and armour so I don’t feel so paper, but I stick to my targets backside so I rarely get shot at. Also with upgraded power couplings I can stay in almost permanent boost so if my shields go down I out run anyone to let my shields refresh (again helped by the power coupling).

        I will at some point but in terms of bounty hunting I can’t see myself moving away from the Eagle for some time.

        • JohnnyPanzer says:

          Increasing maximum tonnage IS the speed stat in a sense. The lower your current tonnage is compared to your maximum tonnage, the faster and more agile your ship will be.

          This means that there are two main ways of improving your speed and maneuverability:

          1. Lower your current tonnage.
          2. Increase your maximum tonnage.

  18. Arithon says:

    This might help you:- link to elitedangerous.com

    You probably overlooked the link on the launcher each time you ran the game :D

    It did include video tutorials initially, but now there’s a full manual as well and a quick-start guide.

  19. aircool says:

    I hope there’s aliens ‘n’ stuff further out. I think it would be far too dull if there were just human factions out there, all using the same space stations etc…

  20. JohnnyPanzer says:

    I haven’t even made the same masochistic pledge, and I’m still confused as hell by the game. I keep alternating between angry frustration and joyful bliss, but it’s a great game, no doubt about it.

    One of the hardest things to get to grips with is the fine/bounty system, as mentioned in the article. I keep getting myself into trouble with the law simply because I’m unable to keep track of the myriad of conditions that decides whether it’s okay to fire on that ship or not. Is he wanted or not? Is he wanted in this system? Is this the sort of system that enforces things like that, or is it just total anarchy? Is the whole system anarchy, or just a certain station? At least once per night I notice that I’m wanted and have managed to gather some fines and more often than not I have no idea when it happened.

    But all in all, I keep playing it. I’ve started to realise that the frustration is just a logical side effect of just how complex the game is, and that I’m better off for it. Yaaaaahr!

    • Asurmen says:

      Most systems have an overall controller. This can be seen on the System/Galaxy map IIRC. You can also see it in the bottom left when in the system. They are the ones who issue most bounties. However, individual stations can have different controllers and they control the space around their stations and issue bounties as well.

      You can only fire at someone without becoming a criminal if your target has a Wanted status.

      • JohnnyPanzer says:

        Thanks for clearing that up. I get the feeling it’ll take me a long time to learn everything there is to know about this game, but that’s a good thing. Like I said, I’ve almost started to enjoy the frustration, since it often indicates yet another game system that’s way deeper than I originally thought. :)

        • Asurmen says:

          Obviously so, seeing as I’ve told you about this and you’ve helped clear up the thrusters issue :)

          • JohnnyPanzer says:

            Haha! Yeah, it’s one of the things I just learned yesterday.

            I was shopping for thrusters and ran into the same problem you did, thinking “tonnage? But what about the speeeeeed?”. So i docked and alt-tabbed to my web browser and read up a bit on the subject. My initial reaction was that of frustration; couldn’t they just give you a goddamn speed number? Huh?! But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It provides a much more realistic simulation, sort of like changing the engine in your car. Sure, you’ll know if it’ll make it go faster or slower, but you wont be able to just go “now it’ll have a top speed of exactly 222,1689 km/h”, since it all depends on many different factors, most importantly the power of the engine compared to the weight of the car…

  21. geldonyetich says:

    Learning for yourself is a good way to enjoy the game fully. That said, if you find yourself stumped, here’s a cheat sheet that I deemed from learning the game myself:

    * Selling “stolen” goods (e.g. absolutely everything besides mineral shards you cargo scoop) – Some stations have a black market contacts on the “contact” menu of station services. (Stations ruled by “Anarchy” usually do, and they won’t bother to scan you, either.) They will be more than happy to take those off your hands.

    * Finding pirates and other baddies – It’s random, but here’s three good places to look.
    1. While running around the solar system with your frame-shift drive on, the other contacts you encounter. Interdicting them is hard, though.
    2. At nav beacons, there is a constant traffic of ships to investigate. They’ll jump out, more ships will jump in. If you’re not that patient, just leave and come back, there should be a fresh batch of ships waiting for you. (It’s also a good way to shake those security forces you somehow angered.)
    3. (Quickest, in my opinion:) Just keep investigating those unidentified sensor anomalies, sooner or later you’re bound to run into pirates. They’re the friendly chaps who want to know what you’re carrying in your cargo bay.
    Use a Warrant Scanner on them to make sure you are getting the full bounty, but be aware that shooting up pirates who are clean in a lawful (not anarchy) sector will still get you fined for assault and murder even if they have a fine in another sector.

    * Making oodles of cash – Personally, I find it’s a bit of an art in Elite: Dangerous.
    1. Grab missions. This is because they can give you supplementary extra income and reputation benefits for things you were probably going to go do anyway! (Beware assassination missions, though: your target is almost invariably in an Anaconda.)
    2. The quickest ways to make money are also the most random. For example, investigating every sensor anomaly is a good way to go about it. Sometimes you’ll come up empty-handed with some fellow in a freighter you don’t want to bother (unless you’re a pirate). Other times you’ll drop in an empty sector with ten canisters of palladium floating around, just waiting around for somebody to helpfully convey them to the nearest black market contact. (That would be about 150k credits for doing absolutely nothing.)
    3. There are slower, more reliable means as well. Finding a good trade route is easy money until it dries up. Exploring is reliable cash if you have the equipment and time, the more you’ve explored the sector the more it’s worth. Mining generates credits from nothing, but takes the most patience.

  22. Fiatil says:

    So the important question here is, can I play it with a steering wheel and pedals? Because I feel like approaching this as space Euro Truck Simulator is going to bring me by far the most enjoyment.

    • oohshiny says:

      Racing pedals are fine as extra buttons, or (if they are analog axes) throttle.

      Using a wheel will leave you with a distinct lack of axes – roll (or maybe yaw) would make sense but you’re stuck for pitch – unless your pedals are axes and you can map them to pitch and get your brain to tie it all together properly.

      For the full “flying a truck” experience you should try a flight yoke: http://saitek.com/uk/prod/yoke.html

      Saitek are also advertising their sticks especially for Elite: Dangerous.

    • TheStainlessSteelRat says:

      I LOL’d

    • Fiatil says:

      Yeah, I was thinking pedals for pitch and yaw. I hold no illusions of this being a particularly viable dogfighting setup, but if I can be a space trucker with a steering wheel I’ll feel pretty awesome. I bought it, we’ll see how it goes!

  23. EricD says:

    Avoid Elite if you are into pvp, the community is very heavily against all of its forms and pvp players gets stalked and bullied, even death threats against pvp’ers playing as “good guys” has occurred

    • Asurmen says:

      Can’t say I’ve seen that happen. Most of the pvp that I’ve seen has been people who have accidentally got Wanted status and killed for the 200cr. I tend to leave them alone but everyone else swarms them. Those that I went for before I realised it’s not worth never bullied me.

      Unless you mean PC pirates.

  24. Jediben says:

    EricD, it depends if there is any context behind the “pvp” you sludge to: pulling a clean ship out of Frame Shift which you massively outclass and then proceed to kill for no bounty isn’t “pvp” it’s being a prick for the sake of it. If you are chasing down a player with a bounty or engage in a faction opponent battle then it won’t be a problem. Justify it and it won’t be frowned upon.

    • Dean478 says:

      Why does he need to “justify” it? Even the game itself features ‘psychos’ who will attack your ship for no probable cause other than simple murder.

      So the AI can be a “prick”, but players in a multi-player game cannot? This is everything that’s wrong with the community behind this game. This act of selection allows for complete bias in player beliefs…

      • Snakejuice says:

        I kind of have to agree here, and this is one of the reasons I’ve only been playing solo and treating this as a single-player game so far. I really think they should remove “CMDR” in front of player names so you can’t be sure if you’re fighting an NPC or human, that might make people a little less butthurt about involuntary pew-pew?

  25. Sunjammer says:

    I don’t see why you’d splash on a flightstick for this thing. It plays more than adequately with a 360 pad. I have a Thrustmaster warthog stick/throttle/pedals setup and I still prefer the 360 pad for the 2nd analog stick. You’d be WAY better served buying a TrackIR. The idea that money is being spent on a flightstick when it could go to immersive freelook around a cockpit designed to support it is agonizing.

    As for the game itself, I’m mostly pleased with it. Things it needs though: Clans and deeper player interactions, station dock queues, stock market/banking, more cap ships. Oh yes.