Frameshift Drive Charging

Man, I missed that voice. Followed by the sound of my FSD charging, the loud *boom* sound as you enter hyperspace, the stars racing by… Elite: Dangerous at its best…

FDL Frameshift

This was supposed to be my first post after a long break from blogging and from the game itself. However, the event happened. An event that will change Elite: Dangerous forever. First contact. We’ve all been waiting for this moment to come. Now, we don’t know how to react. Some are preparing for war. Others are trying to study the aliens. One single event changed our world forever in more ways than one.

Alien Ship

But this post isn’t about that. I have some info on the Thargoids here, here and here. This post is about my long absence from the game. What happened? Well, the most important event in my life so far…

Yup, I’m a father. As you can imagine, time has not been my closest friend lately. I even forgot to pay for the domain renewal and almost lost it forever. But now it’s all good. I’m back! And I have to admit it took a while to get back into the game. A lot has changed since last time I played. The interface, engineers, AI improvements, passenger missions, etc.

White Dwarf

So, I tried a bit of everything and I have to say I’m impressed. I love it. I agree the engineers are a bit overpowered and tend to create a rift between commanders who decided to invest a lot of time to get those grade 5 upgrades and those who either don’t have the time to do it or just don’t feel like doing it. As it is, a grade 5 engineered ship will destroy an identical A-class equipped ship without the upgrades. No player skill involved. It’s just that much of a gap.

Then there’s the new AI. It responds better to player actions, it actually offers a real challenge. I almost got my ass handed to me the first time I went back to a HazRES. They turn better, they use Flight Assist OFF, they use heat sinks and more of what you’d expect from a good pilot.

Passenger missions are a great addition and they pay really well. Of course, there are new modules involved, the passenger cabins, which will allow you to carry them. Economy class, business class, first class, etc… it’s all there.

Guardian Ruins

Then there are the ancient ruins which everyone is investigating these days thanks to the reward of 100.000.000 Credits. Not exactly the most fun I’ve had in this game, but a nice change of pace from the daily bounty hunting. All in all, I feel Elite: Dangerous is doing great and it’s heading in the right direction right now. I see an aflux of new players thanks to the recent media attention the game got since the aliens made their appearance early this January. That’s definitely a good thing for the game.

Well, that’s about it for my comeback post. Although I won’t have the same amount of time I used to, I know I won’t be leaving again for a long time. Let me just conclude this post by saying: “don’t turn your game into a grind. It’s what you make it to be. Just have fun! There’s a lot to be had…”

CMDR Ghost Raven, signing off.

Fer-de-Lance – first impressions

Ever since it got added to the game back in patch 1.2, I thought of buying one. The Fer-de-Lance. Elite’s heavy fighter. Back then, I ended up getting the Python for its’ extraordinary multi-purpose capabilities. And I don’t regret that decision one bit. The Python was exactly what I needed. I was able to trade, bounty hunt, do all sorts of missions… It was the perfect ship for me. Meanwhile I even got an A-rated Anaconda which I use for HazRES and Combat Zones. The problem is both the Python and the Anaconda are multi-purpose ships. They fit many roles, from trading to combat… even exploration. I wanted a ship that was built for combat. So, after a few days of “studying” (hardpoints, placement, power plant, etc.) I ended up buying a Fer-de-Lance (the Federal Assault Ship was an option, too).

Fer-de-Lance   Fer-de-Lance-2

Having bought the ship at Diaguandri (for the 15% discount you get in Li Yong-Rui controlled systems), it was time to think of a proper way to fit it for Assassination missions. I used Coriolis.io and ended up with THIS build. I then found some high-pay assassionation missions and went out to test my new ship. Let me tell you… it’s AWESOME! Even the new Federal Corvette doesn’t stand a chance against the highly maneuverable FdL. Then I thought: “I have to see how this ship does in a HazRES. I switched all my weapons to Pulse Lasers (just because I hate having to go back to stations for ammo) and jumped in. Best fun I’ve had in this game for a long time. Anything from an Eagle up to an Anaconda is a victim for this ship.

I just bought the ship yesterday so this isn’t a review. Just thought I’d share my first impressions with everyone. To sum it all up…

PRO:

  • very fast and agile, turns very well;
  • weapon placement is perfect for gimballed (PVE) OR fixed (PVP) weapons;
  • the class 4 hardpoint can fit some really heavy weapons (like the Plasma Accelerator);
  • you can fit one for ~ 100 million credits;
  • can destroy any ship if flown by a good pilot.

CON:

  • the jump range is awful (but that is to be expected of a combat-oriented ship)

Here’s a video showing the outcome of 2 of my encounters with Federal Corvettes in assassination missions.

I hope you enjoyed this post and the video. Fly dangerously, CMDR! See you in space!

My thoughts on Powerplay

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve always hated politics. However, in a game like Elite: Dangerous, being able to get involved in power struggles sounds great and it got my attention right away. Thus, when Powerplay hit the servers, I joined Aisling Duval (yeah, ’cause she’s hot… some even call her “Space Khaleesi”). Problem was, I didn’t feel like doing stuff for her. Not even for the Prismatic Shield Generator you get when you reach Rank 3 with her (and you’ve been her supporter for more than 4 weeks). I just continued my daily routine. Some bounty hunting, some assassination missions, some trading, smuggling… anything BUT doing Powerplay.

I then realized that I may have pledged with the wrong power. So I decided to study the intricacies of Powerplay and, before long, I decided to defect to Arissa Lavigny-Duval. This time it was the promise of better bounty rewards that convinced me. And the fact that she’s the new Empress. But mainly for the bounties. I enjoy combat quite a lot in this game so I thought “why not?”. Continue reading