Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ahh break time. May include spaceships

Hurrah ! Week and a bit off starts here.

It does feel like I'm burning through the energy and the reserves especially quickly at the moment. Might mean that I'm more into what we're doing at work than I was in my previous post. Maybe. It is really good to get out there and see the kit that we have and do things like relate what I'm seeing on the screens to what's happening Out There.
Cue random screenshot for thumbnail and a Pink Planet. That's the Searching For Tea, after returning from a fairly short jaunt around the Elite galaxy.

There are plans for the next week, Comic Con at the weekend should be awesome and then there's the Lords day on Thursday. Looking forward to it, although I do want to regenerate a bit of energy before then.

Internet spaceships ? I have a loss of one to report ! Later. I left the story last week at one of the waystation planets and after that, it was a run through some more galactic beauty spots.
Another overnight halt saw me stop at the Conflux Abandoned Settlements above. Did they leave any tea behind ? I must return and investigate with a ship that has an exploration rover. (The Searching For Tea was a bit basic in that regard)
There were some really pretty sights along the way too, like this White Dwarf star with the faint rings and a nebula in the background. Elite is a very pretty game, especially when you see the X Ray streamers animate.
And another view, where you jump in next to two O class blue stars. O class stars are fairly young on the main sequence of stars, definitely younger than our G type. That's affected by the size of star though, if I remember right, big stars burn fast, burn bright and go through the sequence to nova or black hole quickly.
That's the effect from a neutron star with fairly slow rotation. When a star gets so old that it burns through its hydrogen, it will go through a giant phase and then explode with the remnants collapsing in on themselves. If the star is big enough (Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff limit and I am googling there), it will collapse into a black hole. Smaller stars collapse in on themselves up to the point where the protons, electrons and neutrons that make up elements are all squished together into neutrons and you get a gloopy solid mass of neutrons that's pretty much as bad as a black hole for how destructive it will be to things that get too close.

Except a neutron Pulsar tends to continually spray off those X Ray streamers which are melty microwave death for anything inside a few light years, if anything is unlucky enough to be in the beam. Black holes can make these X-ray beams too if they're eating something.
Neutron Stars make for very pretty images though.
And then there's those things ....

Black holes are scary. I think it's the very idea of them that sends my mind scurrying off to a dark corner. Where is this one ? If you look at the little neutron star over the Milky Way ribbon, the black hole is just to the left of it. You'll see its effect from how it has smudged up that galactic ribbon. You don't see the black hole, you see the effect it has on the light coming from behind it.
That's an older picture from last year of Sagittarius A*, the super massive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. What's eerie in game is how it portrays the light of the stars behind the black hole dancing around as you move around the singularity.
And then there's this place, a White Dwarf, a normal sun and the gas giant making a super pretty sight as you jump in.
There was mild panic jumping in here between the two suns and ....
Brown Alert as the hyperspace jump here literally took the ship through the red dwarf behind the orange star.
Journey's end came at the Pink Planet before going to an engineer base (bad lighting, no suitable screenshot). And a couple of evenings away from the game before trying some combat tonight. That's the Mostly Toothless which was very good at exploding.

First ship loss ! May the Tortoise Beats Hare :
last a bit longer. That'll be tomorrow's fun after its engine arrives. You can soup up parts in the game, which is exactly what I'm doing ... to one of each part and then sharing it around the ships :-D.

But yeah ! Enjoying the game, looking forward to a week off and definitely managing the RSI and exhaustion issues. Probably need to switch my diet up to something healthier. Still repairing from when I last did that !

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bugs ! And more spaceships

I gotta find more things to write about !

Feels a bit like things are going whoosh by at the moment, although I am looking forward to another MCM Comic Con in London and the Lords T20 day at the end of the month. Oh and the annual Le Mans 24 hours watching.

Actually, I'm not that sure about Le Mans these days. It's great to cheer on the Aston Martins but they are really boring races in the prototype classes. The Toyotas have so much more performance than the other prototypes and they are so reliable that they don't make the mistakes or have the breakdowns that would let the competitors in. It is good to cheer on the Aston Martins though. I've actually been preferring to watch the Imsa series where there is much better competition in the prototype bracket and there are also a couple of Lexus cars to watch in the GT class.

Fun stuff. Oh and there's Formula 1 as well, although that has its own frustrations due to races being affected by the very poor quality of some of the cars and about half of the drivers.

Bugs ? Yep. Bugs erupted on Sunday, I probably should have dipped out of doing a business road trip on Monday and have been keeping the bugs at home today and yesterday. It's only light manflu. Notdedyet.

Still bugs though. I've been putting a dent in the coffee supply ...

Internet spaceships ! I had a session on Sunday (and very nearly put big dents in the ship with a rather too rapid landing at the end ...) but stayed out cos of those bugs yesterday and Monday. That's after pretty much being in there for sessions all last week. What's the pilot been up to ?
I'll come back to this one. (Wanted a good thumbnail pic !)

Let's see. I left the last post with pictures of the Needs More PewPew. It was unarmed, like all of my trading ships up to now. It's not really worth arming them because it puts too much of a dent in the jump range and cargo capacity. With the class of ship I've gotten up to so far it's better to run than fight. But I'll be showing those random pirates what for soon.
The Empire's Bounty followed the Needs More PewPew. This is a Type 6 freighter and it allowed a little more cargo room enabling faster progress through the missions. My character is now Baron iceangel of the Empire, which lets me own the Imperial Clipper. Here's the last one I had :
A little photoshopped in that pic. The next one will be in a black paint job, be called Black Sheep and do missions for the Federation, enemy of the Empire. That's in a little while though.
Next up after the freighter was the Dolphin class Porpoise Prospector, seen there looking at the abandoned Dav's Hope settlement. The lore says that it was a mining settlement abandoned after the tunnels collapsed in on themselves, the settlement was then evacuated in a hurry with the inhabitants leaving all sorts of goodies behind. Stuff that's good for modifying your ship for things like extended jump range.

That let me pick up this one, the Searching For Tea :
I'm off on a little jaunt with that one at the moment. I'll update the link on the right with this EDSM link to my commander, which has a track of where I'm at currently in the game. The plan is to follow the route given by the Norma Arm Expedition, which will see me get most of the way to the galactic core. I'll then head East for a while and then return in a generally triangular pattern. I'll do the Galactic Core later in a different ship. Oh and Beagle Point too, which is the given name for the furthest point from Earth you can get to.

It's good to have plans for the various ships. Like I intend to never to passenger carrying in the specialist passenger ships. They complain too much :-D. Exploring is good though and they've massively improved the exploration tool. Previously, you had to fly to each planetoid individually to scan them. Now, you can fire up the discovery tool and instantly see if there's anything worth hanging around for. Like metal rich planets, earthlike planets, water worlds, ammonia worlds. Stuff that we'd be interested in knowing about as a culture looking to expand throughout the galaxy. Places with materials, places with life.
Places with an amazing view. They call that place "The View" in game and it's an incredible sight with those rings illuminated purple by a dwarf star combined with the funnels of the neutron star in the distance. This is the place from the first picture from a little further away. I didn't land at this one because even in low orbit, the gravity was cranking up to 3g+ and .... that old saying of "Any landing you can walk away from is a good one" doesn't really apply in 3g when you'd be having issues breathing let alone walking !

The commander is currently sampling the tea at Eagle's Landing :
A place with another pretty nebula view.

I've definitely been enjoying being back in the game since restarting. Going up the ships without cheating by skipping ahead with a few of them has been really good. In games like this that can get really grindy, it's good to have goals along the way that break up that grind. Next ship will be a little combat racing ship, after that it'll be a Keelback armed freighter that I'll use for a spell of mining.

And there will be a few ships after that which my pilot should already have the credits for. Good times. That's after I get back from the jaunt in Searching For Tea.

Maybe another explorer ship will be called Searching for Coffee. Or ... I got one ! Searching For Mini Eggs.

Searching For Lego ?

Monday, May 06, 2019

Books ! And Spaceships !

11 days since last post .... oops. What have I been up to ? Let's allow the non game stuff to be first up :

Mum trip ! Good trip. Nicely chilled out and good to see the mum and sister again. (There may also have been bonbons, sherbets and marshmallows raided too). Those away trips always wipe me out though and I've enjoyed chilling out this long weekend.

Which included books .... the Book Barn have been running a sale this weekend and I may have paid a visit. Almost didn't because I woke up yesterday with a huge headache. Like one of those headaches that's definitely interfering with rational thought. I'll blame that for these being liberated :

Robert Heinlein - Podkayne of Mars and I Shall Fear No Evil
Kim Stanley Robinson - 2312
Greg Bear - Hull Zero Two
Larry Niven and Steve Barnes - The Descent of Anansi

The two Heinlein books are a couple of rare ones I don't own yet, KSR wrote the excellent Mars series, always been curious about Greg Bear and I've enjoyed everything I've read from Larry Niven. I've finished off Embers Of War, more coming about that at some point.

It was also great having a lunchtime catch up with someone who's been an amazing friend over the last few years too. I hope that the headache wasn't making me too dour company :-).

I've definitely been enjoying being back in Elite though. Yesterday's session was pretty awful for making progress (my combat ships were outclassed in the fights I was putting them in) but it did melt away that headache. I have more ships now. Many more ships ...

Warning - picture spam incoming.
That's the most spectacular though. This is a gorgeous game when the planets literally align. Here we have the Greater Dragonbug emerging from the space station when the orbiting planet was in total eclipse. Oh and look at that ring eclipse too.
That's Greater Dragonbug, the Adder class sister ship to the Hauler.
That's a smaller Viper 3 class ship, called Mini MagPew. There will be a lot of references appearing in these names. My last character had a Viper called Space Viking .... and the obscure reference follows from there.
Before finally escaping the new starter zone in the Cobra Mk3, Keelas Wings. A handy ship which got upgraded for early mission running, raising the cash for the next two. Trading and courier missions got very lucrative, especially for the smaller ships. However, it does help to know where the best systems for it are. Usually, the missions from one station will have their destinations distributed across the local area. Unless .... the local area only has a couple of stations in it. For those, all of the missions go to a couple of stations so you can do loads of courier jobs at the same time for more profit.

Oh and click for bigger in the screenshots !
Not completely aimless now. There is a plan ....
The plan may involve coffee.
It didn't involve a new paintjob for this one after scraping across the landing pad down there. That's Long Sight Base, which is on a higher gravity world (1.3g) which puts much more strain on the thrusters.
More ships ! That one's the Dauntless, an Imperial Eagle named for the other Eagle I had (Undaunted). A nice little ship, nippy and packing a punch from the railgun I had in there. But outclassed by pretty much anything else out there. It did better than the replacement :
That's the Mighty Magpew, which was .... anything but. Odd, because I seem to remember this ship being better for my last character. Could be those headache issues. This one nearly got blown up a couple of times as I ran away very quickly from bigger ships that totally outclassed it.
This one got me back on the right track though. That's a Diamondback Scout called Day Tripper, which let me learn the new exploration system. Previously, you'd ping the system to find out roughly what was in it and then would have to fly to everything to scan it. Now, you still ping the system but have an analysis system that's like having a telescope and spectroscope. So instead of guessing whether a planetoid is worth scanning, you get that from the spectroscope now and then check them out further via the telescopes.

It's so much better. Anyway, that ship earned me almost 19m credits which was a great return on its 3m investment. But I'm on to the next one already :
That's the ... have a look at the next pic. :-D It's a Cobra Mk4 that I'm going to use for some more intensive mission running to unlock the Imperial ships. Oh and for fun and profit too.

One plan for this time around is to go up the list of ships available, from cheapest to most expensive, finding a useful purpose for each one. The Cobra 4 is for mission running, I'll run the first freighter until I go up another Trading level and then it's a Dolphin totally misused to do planetary landings for prospecting.

I've definitely been enjoying back in Elite. It feels like my hands have been agreeing too. I haven't had the physical issues erupt like they do with Skyrim or WoW.

Oh ! What's the ship called ...
There we go. Zoom in for name. One thing about this picture though, there's some really daft design in the Elite world. That's an Outpost, which has all of its landing pads on the outside. Some of them are in really odd positions, with obstructions on the landing pathway. So for this one, you have to come in curved (or from above). Whereas if the landing pad was reversed by 180 degrees, you'd be coming in from the space side instead of the station side.

A small criticism :-D.