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Distant Worlds – The Journey to The Lagoon Nebula

Distance: 4.5K LY from Sol, Hull Integrity: 100%

The location of the second way point was announced today as the fleet was due to set off. They took an interesting tactic, or it was always the plan, hard to say, and instead of having a launch date and time the rule is the official landing date for way point two is Friday. This leaves people free to leave exactly when they want, which is a good set-up I think. It allows people to decide how they distribute their time between way points.

I set off today, hitting some sites along the way, and passing my own personal 4K LY from Sol line. I am now the furthest out I’ve ever been.

First a few other things.

An Awesome Video

I said in the last blog that some of the potential for awesome live footage was ruined a bit due to the difficulties in coordinating reliable people into the same instance and then the fact we broke the servers and the instances many people came back to weren’t ideal.

This sort of thing is all in the editing though, right?

As you can see from the above, we have one video that has been produced that is pretty cool. It merges some pretty good footage, music and a voice over. The best bit is the short countdown to launch and the satellite like view of at least one instant launching.

The Near GTA-Style Crash

Now back to yesterday, when an Imperial Cutter nearly piled into me while I was sat on the mountain that is the prominent feature of way point one. I was looking away from the TV that I use for the gaming computer, then suddenly I saw something flash over the top of me and my shields ripple but I missed what it was. A few other people not on the mountain said an Imperial Cutter just missed the mountain and then impacted on the surface.

Luckily, the guy had the re-buy and was back at the base camp quite quickly. I even managed to get some photos as he landed relatively close and I moved on up. What’s great about the photos above is they give a sense of scale.

dwwp1cuttercrash-2-1

I’ve singled the above one out, as it is a range of ships from a satellite like view. We have the Imperial Cutter, two Anacondas, two Asps and then a Hauler. Have to admit, I didn’t even realise the Hauler was in the image until someone pointed it out on Skype. It looks great though, as it adds that third level of scale as the Hauler is one of the smaller vessels.

It’s good that all worked out well, other than the Imperial Cutter pilot being potentially circa 20M credits down. What did I learn? Don’t necessarily land on what might be prime, alpha real estate as the last thing you want to happen is to be wiped out in a crash at some vast distance out.

The Journey to Lagoon Nebula

I didn’t take a direct route back. I decided to hit a number of points but one of them proved to be in the opposite direction so I had to drop it.

The first stop off point was the nebula at IC 4604, I didn’t even know that existed, but thanks to the fleets Skype conversations someone had been there and said it was worthwhile. It’s a very colourful and violent looking nebula. If it has one problem it’s the position of the stars, they surround it rather than exist within it so you always feel like you’re looking at it from the outside. It’s certainly worth a look if it’s a short hop off your route. I should have probably landed on some worlds and tried to see how impressive it looked from the surface.

I’m in a bit of a dilemma about how much exploring to do while travelling, but I am quickly checking for water worlds and Earth-like planets. Miraculously, I found another two water worlds that weren’t discovered yet. It’s a bit sad, but it’s already getting a bit tame. These didn’t have the haunting power of the first ones, purely because they aren’t the first. I guess it doesn’t take long to get a bit jaded. I suspect Earth-like planets will hold out a bit longer due to the variation in continents, etc.

Final stop was 46 Epsilon Sagittarii, which is a massive blue, super giant star. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was something more spectacular. It’s weird isn’t it, but I’d obviously built something up in my mind, like being able to see it’s awesome size from halfway across the system. It doesn’t actually look much bigger than other stars and it’s colour is the bright white which I’ve seen before. I was expecting something more exotic.

That was it then I was off towards Thor’s Eye, but after a few jumps I decided I was getting a bit lazy and you never fly lazy so I just ran straight to the Lagoon Nebula and the way point. Thor’s Eye isn’t that far away from base camp so I’ll put on the list of activities for the week I have at way point two.

Explorer Guilt and Will I Be Elite?

The journey to way point two is the first ‘long’ journey, bringing us closer to the 5K+ distances between way points that will exist once we start making our way to WP5 (I believe). What I found in this trip, which admittedly wasn’t direct, is I started to make very aggressive efficiency decisions with respect to the detailed scanning of planets.

I ended up only scanning systems with undiscovered carbon-based life supporting planets: water worlds and Earth-like worlds. I encountered only one on this route, plus a couple of others already discovered. There is a certain amount of guilt in this, as while that approach is good for speed, it leaves a lot not scanned.

I’m only going to get to Elite in explorer if I scan stuff and then survive to hand it in when I return as it’s based on the financial worth of your data. Okay, I admit it, there are a few big variables in there, the elephant in the room being getting back without an accident or problem ‘exploding me back’, which would mean I’d lose my data.

I’m beginning to think I’m probably not going to get to Elite explorer from the trip, which is a bit disappointing. If I do great, but I was thinking it was something guaranteed and ‘in the bag’ but I don’t think so any more.

Spotify…..I May Stay Subscribed!

I’ve finally found a use for and a good use profile for Spotify. I managed to get a 3-month free subscription, which it turned out I wasn’t allegible for, but I didn’t really catch the clause. Anyway, thanks to the miracle of being nice on Twitter I did get the deal. As usual, I’ve left it pretty fallow for the first month as I’ve never found a way to easily start to curate it.

It needs curating, otherwise it never reaches its maximum value.

Anyway, I wanted to music to pilot to as I made the relatively long journey, via a view scenic spots. I put Spotify on and though, let’s give this Rock radio channel ago. Pretty damned good. I think I added 80% of the tracks I heard to my library, and that’s probably a conservative guess. I then tried the Katy Perry radio channel, which isn’t really all Katy Perry, it shoves in other stuff somehow linked in a ‘you might also like this sort of way’. All good.

I ended playing everything from Britney Spears to Guns N’ Roses over the course of about 2- 3 hours or something. It was a great way to pass the time, as it wasn’t exactly just being Elite neither was it just sat listening to music. Worked really well.

The curation has also kicked in enough that I see the value. As while I might say to myself it’s easier to buy the tracks I want I know I want, but more importantly, I’m finding stuff I’d never really have bought even if I was buying the odd track, etc.

What’s Planned Now?

Well, I’m at way point two which I didn’t need to reach until Friday. This means I effectively have seven days to do things from the base camp rather around two. In principle I know what I’m going to do: find the ‘local’ sights and give them a visit and also get some exploration scanning in. What’s not decided is how long I actually spend doing that.

I’m thinking I shouldn’t spend every single night playing Elite. I should probably use the time I’ve got, in that I don’t feel like I’m putting in the hours just to keep up, to take things easy. I’m sure the expedition will start feeling like work for a periods, so I should take the opportunities when they come.

It’s going well so far though. We even nearly had a Fuel Rat rescue as one of the fleet put a call in that he was stuck and low on fuel, but he managed to hop to a scoopable star. It was exciting for a brief moment though.

About Ian O'Rourke

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