It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about Elite Dangerous. A LOT has changed in game since then! For me though it’s passed me by as I’ve been in deep uninhabited space exploring.
After getting some moolah from the short existence of the “loot cave” like seeking luxuries I collected my ships to Shinrarta Dezhra and spec’d out my Cobra Mk III to what I thought would be a good explorer setup, advanced discovery and detailed surface scanners being a no brainer. I should have researched before, but it wasn’t too bad.
My main mistake was the A2 fuel scoop, I should have gone for a class 4. This meant that filling up took so long jumping the fastest route was impractical; an unexpected bonus of this was I travelled by economical jumps and I found lots of unexplored systems even in previously travelled areas; most people travel via the fastest routes.
Another inefficient choice was leaving a shield and armaments fitted, though this reduced my jump distance again this was quite prudent due to the tweaks in the game since I left, namely NPC toughness.
One thing I was glad of though was my Class 4 field repair unit. I ended up using more the 3/4 of it’s 4000 units and thats with me turning off and not repairing my weapons, shields, heat sinks, counter measures, and cargo hold.
The planned journey was to go to the Elephant’s Trunk Nebular, random choice but I thought a reasonable 3000lys away for my first true deep space jaunt.
I started off scanning and detailed surface scanning pretty much everything and flying in open however after researching scanning payouts, icy rocks and asteroid belts were worth naff all and to get high res screen shots I needed to be in solo which I did some way through.
I did see some good sights though:
HIP 100933 AB 1 was particularly interesting/pretty, in fact HIP or HP named systems seem to be a good choice to explore:
Again a HIP system gives up a water world
Whilst others just have a lot of objects some with life!
Then the best discovery so far, an Earth like, my first one!
Some other funky systems:
Now an interesting water world or earth like, can’t remember:
And another earth like, I think I’ve been lucky this trip!
A 1000ly in I decided to change direction towards the Cave Nebula. On the way I was again distracted and went to HIP 115424 instead to see my first black hole.
I then came across a double water world system! (now in increased resolutions)
I then worked out what the ‘anomaly’ in space was. How cool is Frontier’s implementation of the galaxy! It was another nebular far away.
Then I finally got to HIP 115424 which was very pretty, though the black hole effect wasn’t great. I believe that at the time there was a bug where some black hole lensing effects weren’t being displayed correctly. The main star though was wonderfully large and bright!
I then carried on into the Cave nebular, another water world!
I then headed back towards the Elephant’s Trunk nebular but diverted to HD 235661. Saw the neutron star and then diverted to IC 1396 Sector VY-R D4-34 which was another neutron.
Both’s 1st discovery was by same explorer! I’d worked out how to see prospective neutrons and black holes by disabling all the star types in the galactic map view and then searching for grey like blobs. So on my way back to the Elephant’s trunk nebular I again diverted to the following neutron star systems near by.
All had been discovered by someone else, not really surprising as neutrons and black holes pay out well and I guess nebulas are popular too:
Elephant’s trunk sector JM-W D1-26
Elephant’s trunk sector EG-Y E12
Elephant’s trunk sector AA-A E11
IC 1396 sector TJ-Q D5-7
During my trips to these systems I discovered another Earth like:
I also discovered the EDDiscovery program written by a fan with a cool 3D galactic map feature, someone has wayyyyy too much time on their hands 🙂
I installed that and started to log my jumps. Once I realised I also had to use the EDStarCoordinator to triagulate a system so it appeared in the 3D map I did that every 10 or so jumps (mostly of my journey home).
Just seen an update to the EDDiscovery program where the author has integrated the triagulation ability in the the program, excellent! As great as this utility is, for me, it really can slow your progress down.
Then just before entering into the nebular I see another water world and my first ammonia world:
Finally I get to Elephant’s Trunk Sector DL-Y D2 which I chose as it seemed to be deep inside the nebular. I have to say it wasn’t as thick an effect as I thought but still I got to my desired destination. I took me over a month to get here:
Thinking about my next destination as I nievely thought I could easily get to Elite rank in one trip, the Bubble nebular looked good. Bubble Sector PD-S B4-2 to be exact however my jump range wasn’t enough to go direct and cross the gap in the galaxy’s spirals, nor could I get to the NCC 7822 Nebula.
This is what happens when you don’t research, you get sort of stuck! So I went directly upwards by around 100ly and then headed back home. I guess once the decision has been made to go home, is when the space madness and impatience can kick in. I’d been distracted a few times already and had a few emegency stops due to being too close to a sun when jumping in and not throttling to zero, and poor fuel scooping controls.
I hoped to get to 1000 discovered systems for this trip by the time I get home (initial hopes was for 3000!). I had to travel back via Economical routes as my Fuel scoop is so small Fast routing felt too risky.
A couple of water worlds (one looked polluted) and an earthlike perks you up a bit:
As Powerplay dropped I felt beautifully distant from the hubbub of civilisation
I had plenty of time to contemplate who if any I may align with; I’m naturally drawn away from the authoritarian Federation and towards the less restrictive Alliance so I may sell my info there.
Still seeing some interesting stuff heading back, I really like brown stars with rings, and the jovians can be pretty:
I started to come across more and more previously discovered systems, obviously, though this sort of discovery never gets old 🙂
On the way back I visited the Iris Nebular via Iris Sector EL-Y D22 one system having lovely double hades planets:
Getting closer to home I have to admit I started to become more an more impatient and skipping some detailed scanning of planets I’d usually go far. I was certainly sticking to the 10kls limit suggested by other explorers.
I still had time to look at some pretty colours
On my way home I diverted a little bit to HIP 89327 (HIPs seem to be quite good) and though I wasn’t first there were some lovely planets, and two water worlds.
I then disabled M, L, T, Y, and PROTO stars so I can find systems that might have earth like on the journey home. Interestingly it’s showed up some more HIP systems!
I had stopped logging my jumps in EDDiscovery by this point as I just want to get home but here’s most of my return journey
Then 600ly to go and I see an Unidentified Signal Source (USS) in WREDGUIA TP-L C22-6 and I check it out…. nervous as hell!
4 ships are there who scan me but as I’ve no cargo they leave me alone. Then in HIP 75346 a number of jumps later I see a Weak Signal Source (WSS) and I missed it because I wanted to write this down. Really getting back into the bubble now!
The final flurish of pretties, one being a perfectly calm water world
At COL 285 Sector RK-M C8-8, I hit 1018 system scans so I think that makes around 800 for this trip. I was not well prepared at the start and just set off without noting down my initial number.
I just want to get back now!
Fire up the galatic map via power play view and I fast route to the nearest Edmund Mahon Alliance controlled system: Bamileng. ONLY 5 JUMPS! Just honk and jump for me now.
Second system in and was interdicted whilst fuel scooping! Arrggghhh more heat damage and an attacker, holy crap I do not want to loose all this data!
I managed to boost away and jump to my next system not before getting even more heat damage from the star again. These NPCs are more aggressive!
I docked at the outpost Russell Landing without crashing, that was nerve wracking. I then discover it was Independent aligned so I had to move on and dock at Ponce De Leon.
I had decided not to pledge to the Alliance just yet as I need to fly across many major factions’ space to get back to Shinrata.
My Stats before selling my data:
Rank = 64% Scout
Money = 538,658 CR
Wow my 1st page is 1 million credits!
I went on to sell 9.5 million credits worth of data to go from 64% Scout to 37% Pathfinder. I became locally allied so I moved on to Mereboga to sell the rest of my data as it is an exploited Alliance system. I hoped this will help more with my Alliance standing overall.
At the space station I sold another 9.3 millions worth to go from 37% Pathfinder to 0% Ranger. So that’s about 19 million to get to Ranger.
Once finished I had sold 24 million credits worth in total, in about 800+ systems and over 3000 detailed surface scanning (I guess that’s the level 3 scans). I mainly scanned metals, gaseous, stars and Earth/Water/Ammonia planets.
Overall this has taken me to 15% Ranger! So by my calculation it takes about 35 million to complete Ranger so 54 million in total to get to 0% Pioneer.
My ship was pretty worn out
To try and give an idea on how big the galaxy is and how far some CMDRs have been, whom are much better explorers than I, below is a marker to my approximately furthest travel system: