Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Adventures of Commander Sleepy

I've been really enjoying being space pilot guy in the new Elite game.

And I have to admit, it's actually Cmdr Iceangel in game, not Cmdr Sleepy ! But before we dive into fictional spaceships, here's (not quite) a real one :
Looks like a successful launch today ! SpaceX are doing something new. It's their second attempt, hopefully it works this time. What are they doing ? They're attempting to land and therefore recover, the first stage of their latest rocket but having it do X marks the spot on the barge above.

They called it "Just Read The Instructions". Gotta love ship names which have character. I've been trying to carry on that theme with the Elite ships. More of that in a bit. Looks like they have repairs to do to JRTI. The launch went off well, hopefully the Dragon spacecraft it's carrying will rendezvous with the International Space Station in a few days but the first stage rocket landed too hard to be recoverable. They'll learn and figure out how to do it.

Thought I'd better say that it's not all games ...

Been back at work for 2 fairly hectic days now. It's been tiring but we've been getting stuff done so that gives its sense of reward.
Bathroom needs sorting out. I know there's a leak under the bath but when I've had the chance to try and find the leak (i.e. using the bath!), no fault find. That'll drive me nuts for a while but ...
I think I want to get that bathroom changed and sorted out anyway. Must investigate options.
Skin is steadily getting better but it's ridiculously easy to damage it. Especially when I'm trying to get to sleep and fidget-reflex takes over. But it's getting there.
Feeling older. I've put the weight back on (meh). I think it's due to the Cetirizine anti-histamines I was put on by the doc's a while ago. Those have had positive effect in the past but also side effects - taking one before a game would give me slightly better breathing but would also take all the power out of my legs and make them feel heavy. We'll see what happens when they run out in a week, plus I'll hopefully get the munchie discipline back again. I don't like being too heavy.

But that's all banalities. I'd rather think about fun stuff :

Meeting up with Cupid's Gift ! May that not be long before it happens again. She's fun and we can really open up to each other with the natter. And she gives Great Hug too.

And the gaming. At the moment, the favoured game is Elite Dangerous (when the next Deus Ex game comes out, it'll be that). In fact, Elite is sufficiently good that it's verging on addiction again. It's not - I recognise the signs of addiction and to be honest, I think I've broken gaming addiction. Although I should really be reading more than I am. I do suspect I may end up playing Elite more than I should over the next week or so.

Adventures of Cmdr Sleepy ?

I've done most of what Elite has to offer now. It lets you be a space truckin' hauler guy, a bounty hunter and it also lets you do exploring. I started out doing the space truckin' thing, before making a decent amount of cash smuggling rare stuff around. I've done a bit of exploring, although I'm yet to do the excursion to the galactic core. There's a super massive black hole there ... And I'm currently doing the bounty hunting thing.

I've had the various thoughts while playing it. Excited, bored, playing it to avoid being bored, risk/reward cycling and just plain enjoying escaping this mundane (see banalities above) world to be that space pilot little boys dream of being. I think that's why I'm still playing it, despite having seen most of what it has to offer.

So which of its toys have I been playing with ?
(click to enlarge and legibility !)

You start off in the humble Sidewinder. It didn't take me long before I could upgrade that to an Adder and after that, the Cobra Mk3 from the first game. The Cobra is a marvellous ship, nimble, cheap and with a cargo hold that's starting to get usable.

But then I switched to the get rich quick scheme of running rare items around and that meant downsizing the hull to get a Bigger Engine. So it was back to a small unarmed hauler, then upgrading through Adder, Cobra, a Type 6 Lakon and finally an Asp. The haulers aren't much fun to fly. They get you from A to B but they're slugs to maneouvre. So in a dogfighting game, they can't get the hits in. Pirate people will run rings around you and your only option is to run away. It was great fun in the Asp because I could start firing back ...

However, a Community Goal came along and the Asp was suddenly not big enough ... I like these in Elite. It feels like you're in a living galaxy and then they add in tasks for you to help with. I've helped twice so far, once was an exploration effort with the premise of finding colonisation sites. The second was to get as many metals as possible to a station to help with the building of a fleet of Imperial Clipper ships :
Pretty ship, although that cockpit and forward fuselage does look a bit airlinery.

I don't have one of those though. Due to a lesson learned ...

If your ship is blown up while trying to Run Away Bravely (Not screaming - honest), then it's a good idea to throttle back to zero when next leaving a space station. Yep. You guessed it. Throttles were still set to full forward and I didn't help matters by hitting the afterburner booster button while looking for the "up" button on my stick. And I ended up immediately following my first loss of a ship in the game by pancaking a second into the side of a space station.


I kinda had enough of hauling stuff at that point, so I sold the Type 7 hauler (name - Has All The Cookies) and replaced it with a Vulture fighter.

This a small instrument of death and destruction via pew-pew and boom-boom. I have it set up to have one laser (good for shields) and one Big Cannon (good for putting holes in hulls). And this is where the game scores. If you get bored with hauling stuff, then you can go bounty hunt for a while. If you get bored with the pew-pew, you can go exploring.

I'll be doing the pew-pew thing for a bit, hopefully to earn enough reputation (and cash) to let me buy one of those Clippers.

I'll see you in the spacelanes. Mine will be the one with Pink Furry Dice hanging from the cockpit mirror and a line of dwagons on the dash.

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