Following up some of my confusion from the last session, this thread in the ED forum explains how reputation losses work and clarifies some points for me. However, this still does not explain why I got "wanted" by shooting the "wanted" Anaconda from the assassination mission. The prospect of obscure mission or boutny mechanics is not very appealing, so I´d rather do something else.
Considering my exploration stories, an also very helpful guide has even more thourough information, e.g. on scanned profit, than I managed to gather myself.
- a look at the star color and classifications can help to determine the chances to actually find some valuable planets
During the last sessions I kind of instinctively followed the options I had outlined some time ago. Trading, community events, exploring, missions; check! The action-y last session has a pull of attraction on me, but also showed, this can cost me dearly. While I still have a financial cushion of about 4.4 million Credits (and my Cobra being worth ~9 million Credits), I feel I am closing in towards a point of "spiral of downgrading". I am looking at economic losses over my last seven sessions, whereas the gains where mainly due to three intensive trade sessions. Those trade sessions where only possible with a financial input (ship value plus liquidity for commodities) of about three million Credits (Lakon Type 6) respectively eleven million Credits (Asp). I have to be careful to not cross that line and maybe I should already start to earn again some savings via trading.
Thanks to Colin´s hint, I know now I could sell my Cobra with only little loss if I first manually downgrade it in the outfitting screen. Which liberates enough cash to be back on a comfortable level of trading with an Asp as a 128-ton long range freighter. With it, it should not take long to pile up money for a long-range explorer, for my goal to reach the outer end of a galaxy arm; most explorers seem to go for the galactic center or some nebula, so I want something different. Same thing for a truly specialized combat Viper or an almost equally capable mission Cobra.
As I log in, in comes also the spontanity effect. The first thing I want to do is to participate in the explorer community event Lambda Andromedae. It is still in the News so I should make haste. I am thinking about this in order to get a little bit cheaper Asp later on. Also in the news is that this story about the dead pilot with the ore in his hold actually pointed to a pristine gold site and the gold rush was on in LAWD 26. Well, with the current mining game mechanics, they can do without me. But what is kind of cool is that those community events indeed give me the feel of following a story that matters, whether I participate or not.
Before I launch, out goes the heavy mirrored armor, back a lightweight alloy sheathing, in order to get back to a jump range of >20 ly. I want to grab some exploration data and then travel to Lambda Andromedae. My planned course this time should lead me "up".
- up, upwards, to see the galaxy extending its spiral arms for me at some point... (ahem)
Some systems out I am interdicted by a particular Adder, the first ever NPC ship which I see uses chaff. I first do not get it and wonder why the gimbals buzz around like crazy and my kill scan does not complete. The chaff can be recognized by a kind of confetti trailing the ship. I even have to waste a shield cell because I am so confused that the Adder almost manages to disable my shield.
Systems I pass through like Balie are a typical borderland; one station is fara out there, a pirate station by its faction´s name "Hand Gang of Balie". It seems that at the borders of civilised clusters, many such outlaws have established themselves.
There is another giant star system, Izar, which are nice lightning house systems to aim for. Onwards, upwards, and, yes, my plans went out of the airlock, I am now here purely for the view; I want to see the galaxy´s disc from above.
My experience from previous trips as well as the above guide made it much more transparent and easy for me to determine as to what to surface scan and what not. I pass by a lot of systems and can easily recognize systems with high metal planets, water worlds and hopefully, once upon a time, also earth like worlds. COL 285 Sector OT-Q D5-47 is such an example; I know from the looks that it could provide some yields. And indeed, it has two water worlds of half the size of our earth which are in a twin orbit, both "ready for terraforming". And it is interesting that the outermost planet is also a water world, and terrestrial and of considerable size (6times earth radius) at that. With the rest of the planets being high metal content, this system is more valuable than anything I found ever before! The next system, very close, again is similarly valuable.
- one of three water worlds in this system
However, I am not so enthusiastic anymore as before. First, I am not the first one to discover any of those worlds, but this should not yet diminuish the value of the data too much, as I learned from my last expedition. For the final profit, it is now just a matter how often it has already been scanned by passing-by CMDRs, I guess. Second, I let myself be spoiled by all those reports of incredible frequent earth like worlds; so, water worlds just feel just like second hand now. Indeed, the first thread popped up in the ED forum which lists some discovered earth like worlds. Part of me regrets this; reminds me that I did will to write this blog, in order to capture my initial enthusiasm, the exhilaration of newness, of my "first contacts" with the game´s experience.
I think this is the reason why I just skipped all planning and just went out there again; at some point, all of it will be discovered and bland, and I would like to savour the spirit of true discovery while it lasts.
Besides, I think water worlds look nicer than earth like ones.
Before I can succumb into a too moody mood, a "master" ranked Viper decides to shake me up. It attacks also with a bunch of missiles! How glad am I that I installed one point defense system. However, I still need to use up another shield cell; two are left. And I am not really far out yet. Hrm, at least a good bounty of 21k CR is attached to the final explosion.
- boom, with credits attached
I am close to Upsilon 5, another giant star, and pay the obligatory visit. Big stuff seems to lure us in, does it? Exploration has me in its gríp again. My original plan was just to take a quicky tour out there, grab the data, and arrive in Lambda Andromedae to turn it in for the community event. However, the prospect of going back now, or hasting onwards with just some advanced scans feels like gobbling some fast food. But this, this is a fine filet steak, and it has to be savoured!
Since I am a bit tired today, I decide to quit here and rather savour these bits afresh in a new session.