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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happy Dilemmas

It occurred to me that those of you who read this blog but haven't played Elite: Dangerous might not know what it's really like - and therefore why I spend so much time (relatively speaking) playing it. So I decided to make a little video while coming into Lave on one on my latest rare cargo runs. In the video, I've used annotations to describe what I am doing and why. It's my hope this will give you an idea how playing this game is the next best thing to being there. Just remember this as you watch: the video is compressed and therefore there are compromises in graphical quality. The game itself makes no compromise in graphical quality. It is 60 frames per second gorgeous without the banding and other compression artifacts you sometimes see in this video. Also, if you already play Elite: Dangerous this video will do you little good unless you are a complete rookie. Nevertheless, enjoy!


As for myself, I've been a bit busy IRL and didn't make the progress I'd have liked toward purchase of my exploration ASP. I'd hoped to show you the new ship today, but alas it will be next week before I have enough credits to safely purchase the ship. What I mean by that is you should not purchase a ship the moment you barely have enough credits to do so. That will get you the ship, but it will be the most basic, least capable ship for that model. If you are planning on doing anything even remotely dangerous, as innocuous as flying outside corporate or democratic space (the safest of areas for those of my reads who don't play Elite: Dangerous) even, you will want more than the basic modules. If you cannot out fight or out run even the lowliest of pirates, you have no business spending your hard-earned cash. Delayed gratification can be difficult, but it is the most rewarding sort.

Also, something came up which has me rethinking the ASP - namely how long it will really take to get one and what I'll get for the wait. What I mean is I currently have a very capable ship. My Cobra Mark III has 3.5 million credits worth of system upgrades already. It has an unloaded jump range of over 20 light years and it would not take long to convert it back into being an exploration ship. And... I've underestimated the cost of a well outfitted ASP by a goodly sum. I recently started using E:D Shipyard to run the statistics on different load outs, and have discovered my "perfect" exploration ship will cost more than 17 million credits; not the 10 million credits I'd assumed. Here, see for yourself.

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On the left is my projected load out and the cost for the Asp. I get a 10 light year increase in jump distance, but it is like resetting me at the beginning as I'll need a further 10 million credits PLUS insurance and financial padding. So my net worth is currently sufficient to purchase an Asp. But as I said, I need to think about whether I want to delay my gratification long enough to purchase it and the modules I want for deep space exploration. As the alternative, I am toying with the idea of keeping the Cobra Mark III, as it is fairly well outfitted at this point. I recently upgraded the Frame Shift Drive to an A rated drive, and good gods does that make the trip between Lave and Fujin go quickly. Fully loaded I have just under a 20 light year jump range as it is currently outfitted. If I drop the weapons as with the Asp, and downgrade non-exploratory modules to least mass D rated components, I'd have enough credits to purchase a Class 4 A rated Fuel Scoop, a Class 4 D rated Auto Field-maintenance Unit, the Advanced Discovery Scanner and the Detailed Surface Scanner. If I do these things, I will have a 25 light year jump range fully fueled. You can see all this in the third image above. That's only 6 light years less than the Asp but the ship itself is smaller and faster. But this is a happy quandary and mostly depends on how long I want to run the same route over and over.

And speaking of that route, after I'd installed the A rated Frame Shift Drive, my fastest route took me to a system I'd never visited before. There I found my newest most favorite station name: Bacon City! Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, BACON! I can't help but think they should create a new rare trading item and call it the Bacon City Cheeseburger. You can see my approach to Bacon City as the featured image underlying this post. And speaking of underlying the post, you may have noticed I changed my layout some... okay, a lot. The old layout was looking a little old around the edges and I wanted something fresher. Let me know what you think. Now back to the current happy dilemma.

If I were more impulsive, I'd have already reconfigured my Cobra as above. That would leave my more cautious nature alarmed at the cash depletion it would cause. I might not have enough left to cover the estimated 359,209 CR insurance cost. I'd also like to be able to cover it at least twice. So there is without a doubt one more Lave to Fujin and back runs in my future. And they way my time has gone lately, that may take me most of the week to come. So I have time to think about the ship reconfiguration versus more grind. I'll let you know what I decide next post. Until then, I leave you with my customary ranking update. Other than the bank balance, there isn't much change from last week - though I did get one hell of a sweet sale of some Leestian Evil Juice which popped my highest single transaction up another notch. :)

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Fly careful.


  1. Looking at your exploration setup, you might think about using a 3A powerplant instead of the 4C. Your power consumption with that configuration is low enough that the 3A will power everything, and the 3A will seriously improve your heat efficiency - slower to heat up, faster to cool. Going down a size on certain components is one of those tricks that aren't in the manual.

  2. I have read about the size drop method and actually used it on the Asp configuration as I've got a Class 4 module in a Class 5 bay. Here's my dilemma. According to E:D Shipyard the Asp configuration needs 12.53 power units to power everything. The 4C gives me 13, so everything can be on all at once. The 3A provides only 12, so something will have to be off. I know the surface scanner will only consume power when active, so in normal flight mode there is enough power. What I haven't been able to determine is if the Fuel Scoop only consumes power when scooping. If that is the case, the 3A will work as I'll only consume 11.93 power max as I can't scoop and surface scan at the same time. However, if the Fuel Scoop always uses .59 power, something will go offline when I start a surface scan. I could manually turn the scoop on and off, but that's tedious. Do you know if the Fuel Scoop draws power when not active?

    PS: If you mean the Cobra exploration setup, yes, I should do that. For the post I just did a quick convert of my current setup for jump range comparison.

  3. Are you serious, exploration in totally uncharted regions without weapons?  They haven't put the Thargoids in then? Beowolf Shaeffer

  4. Correct, no Thargoids yet. There are NPC pirates out to about 200 light years, but after that you only need watch out for close binaries and white dwarfs. However, that will be changing sometime in the future through I don't know when. Even then, I'm more tempted to just run. There is no profit in combat when your exploring.

  5. Whoops - sorry it took me a week to respond. Yeah, I was thinking about the Cobra - the 3A will power your whole setup with room to spare, and be both lighter and better-cooling. You can either use the better range, or pop on a couple of heat-sink launchers for emergencies (say you come out of hyperspace too close to a star or something).

    Another way to manage your power is to turn off the auto-field-maintenance units unless/until you need them. That frees up over a megawatt on your Asp setup - more than enough to keep your fuel scoop online.


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