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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Elite: Dangerous Update - "Patience My Ass."

"I'm gonna kill something." Isn't that how that old cartoon went? More than anything I think this saying has ruled my thinking since getting back to so-called civilized space.

Currently CMDR Mabrick is a Merchant trader and a Pathfinder ranked explorer. However, when it comes to combat skills he is still ranked as harmless... correction, mostly harmless now.

Elite - Dangerous Ranks CMDR Mabrick
I decided my combat skills needed a bit of sharpening and have therefore sold my trusty exploration Cobra Mark III for a brand new Core Dynamics Vulture heavy fighter.

The Vulture is an incredible ship. It is quick and nimble as hell. It has one of the highest maneuverability ratings of any ship available. It only has two hard points, but makes up for lack of numbers with the ability to mount large weapons on those hard points. It has good armor and excellent shields. To highlight its capabilities, I recorded the first three kills I scored while flying her. It took less than 10 minutes to obliterate two Vipers and a Cobra Mark III in a High Intensity Conflict Zone.

Before I bought her, I read through a lot of the literature available from other pilots who have or are flying it. Based on their recommendations, I decided to mount two large pulse lasers and upgrade the power plant, the power distributor, and the shields. Other modules are fit for bounty hunting and rare trading if the mood strikes me. Here is the load out flown in the video above.

ED Shipyard - Vulture
The most obvious issue with this load out is the power consumption. In the video you can see I had trouble taking the hull down once I overcame the shields. This was partially because I was using lasers, but mostly because I was running out of power. Power distribution in the Vulture is dynamic when in combat. You will need to reset your distribution appropriately. For example, when my shields go down I stop powering weapons and dumb all extra power into regeneration. It's a derp, but it's also new to me.

The consensus recommendation for fighting this ship is to prioritize your modules so your combat systems get first dibs on power. I am still working on these settings to fit this load out. I have set to a priority of 5 my Frame Shift Drive, Frame Shift Interdictor, Cargo Hatch and Standard Docking Computer. I have set the Frame Shift Wake Scanner and the Kill Warrant scanner to a 3 priority. I have left everything else at a 1 priority.

Another recommendation was to use a large Beam Laser and a Fragmentation Cannon. This has a larger power consumption than the two pulse lasers, but not individually. They each consume slightly less. By using the laser against the shield and then switching to the cannon for the hull you will get a net increase in power. Personally I've enough to worry about remembering without having to switch between weapons so I just put on the Pulse Lasers.

The one thing I was really surprised with is how long the shields last with this beast. If I were to drop the Cargo Rack for a Shield Cell Bank I might never have my shields go down. That would of course but more strain on the power systems, but this ship is all about making compromises in one system to get excellent performance out of another. One of the tests I'm thinking of trying is to add a Shield Cell Bank and reduce my Pulse Lasers to medium size. Shedding 0.64 power consumption from my weapons might actually allow them to do more damage as they will keep up a high intensity barrage longer.

So, is anyone else reading this flying a Vulture, or has flown one? What to you think of it? How do/did you fit it? Let me know in the comments, and until we meet out there - fly careful.


  1. Medium guns in a Vulture? You might as well put a 2-liter inline-four in a Corvette or dismount the Gatling gun from an A-10 Warthog. The heavy guns are the whole point of the Vulture.

    You've got a lot of room to work with on the shields, though. The Vulture's fine with a C5 or even a D5, from my experience.

    This is roughly my setup:

  2. Yeah, the medium lasers are a lark for sure, but I'm terminally curious. The web site you used is one I hadn't seen yet. Very nice! I'll certainly be using it from now on. Thanks!

  3. Woops - that link could lead you a bit astray. The B5 thrusters might overload things unless you do some juggling - like dropping the shield cell bank's priority so it won't power up unless you stow the guns. C5 thrusters seem to work better for power.



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