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Elite:Dangerous has quickly become one of my favorite games recently because of its amazing design wide open world (universe). Despite that I've had trouble putting my feelings for this game into words without awesome, amazing, and intense showing up as every 3rd so instead of telling you that I'm going to share my experiences in the game with you and hopefully that will get both my feelings across as well as what to expect.
Everyone who starts this game starts this game the same way, with a Sidewinder and a thousand credits to their name. From there on out it is an open game you can either start trading, being a courier, hunting bounties, mining, or pirating though I wouldn't recommend the combat ones because those thousand credits aren't enough to cover the insurance on your ship if you blow it up. I started off at a small remote outpost in Eravate that didn't even have a market or a ship repair station but they did need some data transported to a hub station in system and promised to pay me a few hundred credits for my trouble. After this I took another small transport mission that would take me to Eta Serpentis so after I loaded up the necessary cargo to meet my quota I also loaded up on fabrics because I noticed they were exported Eta Serpentis as well. After that I started filling up my little Sidewinder with as much cargo as it could carry trying to turn as big a profit as I could on each trip. After a few hours I found myself back in Eravate and I bought myself a Zorgon Peterson Hauler but I'll never forget that little ship that I started out in because its still in Eravate waiting for me to pick it up.
Once I got into my hauler I outfitted it for well hauling in space. I easily had triple the cargo capacity of my un-outfitted Sidewinder and room for a fuel-scoop to boot so that I could travel farther without having to make expensive stops for gas. In my hauler I started clawing my way through trading and courier missions trying to earn enough credits to get myself into a Faulcon DeLacy Cobra which was my dream mid-size ship. Unfortunately in my hauler I was just big enough to pique the interest of pirates and suddenly at about every third or fourth jump I was fighting to avoid interdictions trying to pull me out of super cruise. There were a few times when I was almost to a station when a pirate would hook an interdiction tether to me and pull me out of super cruise and a few of those times it was really scary when they got through my shields to scorch my hull.
Once I earned enough to trade my Hauler for a Cobra I decently outfitted it for some light trading and doubled the amount of cargo I could carry. At this point I wasn't really looking for good trades but just seeing where the universe would take me. After a few jumps I ended up in a system I'd never been in before and saw some weird signal types in my navigation panel labeled "combat zones." Being curious I stopped at a local station and outfitted my ship for combat (the cobra is an excellent multipurpose ship). Almost a million credits later I entered the combat zone and encountered two warring system factions fighting for control of the sector with the port in it. I picked a side on a whim and started picking off a few ships that were fighting on the fringes of the battle. First one here, then one there and suddenly I saw 3 red blips on my radar peel of from the main battle heading in my direction. I quickly scanned them and saw that they were 2 eagles and a viper. Figuring that I outgunned and out defended the two eagles and had a lot more armor than the viper I could handle this if played properly. I decided to take out the eagles quickly so that I could focus on the viper alone and I turned to fight. I took down the first eagle's shields with my pulse lasers only losing a ring of shields to the other eagle and the viper. I glance down at my radar to discover that while dog fighting I ended up almost in the middle of 20 or so enemy ships. Suffice it to say I didn't waste much time pulling in my guns and trying to hightail it out of there. When I activated my Frame Shift Drive I was halfway through my last ring of shields. I was spamming the boost trying to gain distance. My shields went down before I was 25% charged because the other ships were mass locking me in place. Then my drives went and I was helpless and spinning through space. It didn't take much time after that for them to finish me off. After my excursion into the combat zone paying the insurance on my Cobra took half of my credits and to add insult to injury I didn't get to turn in my combat bonds because my ship blew up.
Since my insurance took so much out of pocket I was severely set back and decided to stear clear of combat zones until I had a bit more experience under my belt, but on the bright side I was now ranked as Mostly Harmless instead of just harmless. I made contact with some friends over comms to find out they'd stationed themselves in a faraway system named Amarak. It took me a long time and many many jumps with my fuel tank at least refilled once over by fuel scooping. They offered to share bounties mad while protecting miners from pirates in resource extraction sites. After making a couple million this way I headed over to the main hub of the system and traded in my Cobra for a much more nimble Viper and with the money I'd made bounty hunting I also bought a Lakon Type-6 Transporter. The Viper was a sidegrade to my Cobra offering more maneuverability and better thrusting power due to reduced weight in exchange for lighter armor and a smaller power plant. The Type-6 is a peculiar ship shaped like a brick and made purely for transporting goods from one system to another and despite looking very juicy on a pirates radar they don't have any more firepower than a Sidewinder making them easy prey if they are successfully pulled out of super cruise. I sort of made a home for myself in Amarak protecting the local mining populace when I was on a trade run, accepting larger bounties and assassination missions from local officials with good intentions. It was a peaceful enough life for anyone living on the fringes of Federation space until the news of impending war came.
The ruling faction of the Federation system of Lugh was in dispute between the current Federation allied party (Lugh for Equality) and an Independent party native to Lugh (The Crimson State Group). The conflict was the first of its kind. A war for independence brought about by the actions and encouragement of certain members of the Pilots Federation (laymans terms: Players acted in such a way to bring the CSG's political and economic power to be equal if not greater than that of the LE's causing war in the system). I dragged my feet for several days before leaving my viper behind in Amarak and setting out for Lugh in my Type-6 because it would cross the 150 light year distance faster. On arrival in Lugh I signed up for active duty for the Federation aboard Hartsfield Market and exchanged my Type-6 for a Core Dynamics Vulture. The Vulture is a small ship made up entirely of 2 large guns, a shield generator and a pair of thrusters. Its a ship designed for one thing and one thing only, to blow other ships up.
I arrived in Lugh around the same time the Federation sent military aid to the Lugh for Equality faction in the form of a Federal Farragut Battle Cruiser (a capital ship). I headed out for Lugh 11 where the Farragut had decided to make its stand. I warped into the High Intensity combat zone and had just enough time to lock onto a Python affiliated with the CSG before my ship ai came to life saying "Warning capital class signature detected." Then suddenly a giant tear opened up in space with the sound of metal groaning as slowly the nose of a giant ship crawled out. I took part in 4 days of fighting around Lugh 11 earning slightly more than my fair share in combat bonds. Then suddenly almost as soon as it started the CSG fleet was in retreat and the Federation started handing out rewards to individual pilots who showed up to help them in their cause and I headed back home to Amarak. The trip back took about 3 times as long in my vulture as it had when I used my Type-6 and bad news awaited me when I finally docked. The Federation's final attack on the only remaining CSG outpost was repelled, and the Federation's President Halsey ordered an attack on a refugee rescue convoy full of Federal citizens on a rumor that the CSG's leader was among them. There was major political whiplash from these actions that gave the CSG a foothold that they didn't really have to get a step back up in the war and in the confusion of the suddenly sturdy enemy facing the Federation Hartsfield Market fell to CSG covert forces effectively ending the war by putting the System Defence System under CSG control. The Federation withdrew support after that and the CSG started "peace talks" with Lugh for Equality without Federal interference.
While I learned all this I traded in my Viper deciding instead to stick with my battle tested Vulture and turned the money made from my Viper and the War into a new Lakon Type-7 Transporter. Its built on the same principles as the Type-6 but twice as big and twice as much firepower (equal to 2 Sidewinders but still less than a Viper or a Cobra). My life almost went back to normal but I redoubled my effort to keep pirates off the natives of Amarak. It turns out that caused me more problems that it was probably worth. If you fight for a cause long enough you're bound to make enemies.
My efforts to keep pirates out of the resource extraction sites earned me a reputation in Amarak, the major federal factions in the region considered me a valuable ally and The Silver Family (Amarak's pirate faction) put me on their list of people to kill on sight. This made it both easier and more difficult to police the resource extraction sites because fights would come to me sometimes when I wanted them and other times when I didn't.
Another faction I encountered was the Ronin of Amarak (a PC faction) on my back to port. My first encounter with them was far from pleasant, a member of ROA interdicted me and I assumed it was to scan me for illegal cargo or to "tax" any cargo I was carrying. But I wasn't carrying cargo, in fact he never even scanned me. He shot my shields down before I even knew what was happening. My attempt to run was cut short by my ship telling me to eject as I watched my hull integrity drop to 0%. After paying out insurance on my ship I attempted to contact the ROA's leader and discovered that they have a shoot to kill policy on any combat vessels in system but we negotiated an exception for me and my group. The truce lasted all of a week and a half before I warped back into Amarak in my Type-7 to be interdicted once again but this time knowing I wasn't in a combat vessel I wasn't worried and submitted to the interdiction. The Type-7 didn't last half a minute. A few days later I jumped into a resource extraction point to discover 2 members of the ROA already there and as I turned to leave they opened fire. I opened comms and told them about the truce but it was no dice. After once again paying out to the insurance agent I decided enough was enough, I started to hunt the ROA. In my quest for vengeance I've only encountered Anacondas which are the biggest combat ship available to the public and they carry about 6 vultures worth of fire power so I was a bit reluctant to start my vengeance there.
With constant rubs at Amarak's ports and more than 1 avoided interdiction I've started making plans to call a tactical reverse advance for a short while. After I wrap a few loose ends in Amarak and take down at least one ROA member to send a message. While in reverse advance I'll build up my funds using anything at my disposal until I can afford a Zorgon Petersen Fer-de-Lance and come back to Amarak with a bigger bang than I left with.
TL;DR: Elite:Dangerous is an amazing game that you should seriously consider buying if you like space ships and/or flight sim games.
Make your own story (see above)
Flying feels good
HUGE UNIVERSE (As exact a replica of the Milky Way as anyone can make and they update it with new information that gets published)
Pirates are dicks
Still under development (Frontier is actively adding features to the game ex: Wings)
In-game comms are more of a novelty than useful
Tutorials could use some more depth
War in Lugh Long Version: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=71699 (and I mean LOOOOOONG)
the GOOD trailer:
Elite Dangerous Store: https://store.elitedangerous.com/ (no steam copy but all money goes to devs)
Popular people to look up and watch play the game if you're on the fence: Fanatics34, Isinona, BadNewsBaron, BarbarossaSC2
Sorry for half a book but I had a lot to say about this game.
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