This week my trusty Asp Explorer landed on the second planet of the distant start of Beagle Point. This felt momentous for a number of reason. It represents me having travelled about half way around the circumference of the galaxy. It was once the most distant, reachable star from the Sol system and is still a respected pilgrimage despite more distant stars now being reachable.
Most importantly, Beagle Point was the final destination of the Distant Worlds expedition so it holds a special place in my heart and it’s weird, nostalgic and strangely emotional being back.
Memories of Beagle Point
Last time I landed on Beagle Point it was momentous. I’d completed the Distant Worlds expedition and I’d arrived about a week before the main fleet as due to work commitments I needed to get their week early or a week behind.
It was a surreal, exciting, fun and important moment in my life.
It was surreal to think of so many ships in this cold, virtual universe sitting on this distant rock having made such a long journey together and committed so much time. It truly was a shared experience which has very little comparisons. It was fun speaking to everyone over the course of the trip and to experience the sense of achievement for having made it.
It was also important to me because I started Distant Worlds within the first year of my wife leaving me and it provided something to focus on and a group of people to chat with. It was one of the things beyond family and friends that really helped.
The Journey Around The Rim
The Circumnavigation Expedition isn’t Distant Worlds. There are less people on it. It’s a crazy undertaking even by Elite Dangerous expedition standards in terms of the time commitment. The expedition is a year long. It’s ridiculous.
It’s also being undertaken at a different time.
This combination of things means the expedition feels less leisurely than Distant Worlds. It’s been quite a hike. I had time to explore and look around during Distance Worlds, while this expedition seems to be more getting the light years travelled as best as possible. Meeting at the base camp on the day for the mass jump and repeating the whole process again.
In truth, there is not much explorations in it, it’s more there is a whole lot of travelling. This hasn’t taken away from the enjoyment. I still want to complete the undertaking.
An Embarrassing Incident
There has been one humorous incident in the last six months: I ran out of fuel on the way to base camp seven. I guess there is a first time for everything. I was jumping repeatedly, hit a run of stars that couldn’t be scooped and I was too busy watching Netflix at the same time. Bang. I was suddenly on vapours. Not you’re life support is about to run out vapours but certainly you ain’t jumping nowhere vapours.
It was a bit embarrassing.
I called the Fuel Rats who were willing to make a significant hike to get to me but luckily a fellow pilot from the expedition was significantly closer than me. He hiked back from the base camp and gave me some fuel. It was an interesting process. You need to de-power your ship as much as possible and then logout. Then at an arranged time you login and the rescuer jumps in on your wing beacon.
While it was a bit embarrassing it was a new and unique Elite Dangerous experience that was pretty cool. I’m glad it happened.
All The Wonderful Toys
The weird thing about Elite Dangerous is it’s not just about the game. It’s about a range of support tools that provide all sorts of data and use the data the game generates in interesting ways. In the past it’s largely been about websites that exposed trading data. Now it’s about how my game logs can be used in some tools.
One such tool is EDAstro which takes your Elite Dangerous logs and produces a video of your travels. This is really cool. Sadly, I only seem to have logs so far back this must have been when I had to re-install the game. I do have logs for the whole of the Circumnavigation Expedition though so the video above shows my travels on this expedition.
The other tool I’ve been using is EDDiscovery. I used it during Distant Worlds, sort of. In the sense I had it running but I never did much with it. Having explored it a bit it’s been a revelatory experience. Basically that program logs everything. Well, in truth, the logging of the Elite Dangerous client logs everything and EDDiscovery presents in ways that are useful.
This means numerous things I’ve resorted to logging manually I can stop doing.
During Distant Worlds I logged every Water World and Earth-like world that I found and scanned. I had delusions of seeing whether I got my name on them when I handed the data in. I checked a few but that was about it. I don’t need to do that as EDDiscovery logs them all.
This trip I’ve been jotting my light years travelled down, mostly for these blog posts, so I can complete the distance travelled at the top. I don’t need to do that either as EDDiscovery can provide that in an instance. Fantastic.
I’m pretty sure there is a host of other things I can pull out of with a bit of playing around.
Distant Worlds II…Is Happening!
This is the biggest news since discussing Elite Dangerous last time: Distant Worlds II has been announced. It will happen very late 2018 or very early 2019. This is amazing news. It is going to be ridiculously epic7 Fortuitously it starts not long after the Circumnavigation Expedition ends.
Nearly a thousand people signed up last time back when this sort of thing was a strange idea, this time it’s going to be multiple of thousands. At the time of writing the fleet roster has 2.3K ships on it and we’re still 7-months out from the expedition actually starting. Only 23% of them are veterans of the original Distance Worlds as well, so it’ll be great to be going with so many people who missed it the first time.
I literally can’t wait for Distant Worlds II. While this Circumnavigation Expedition has been some sort of exclusive endurance event Distant Worlds II is just going to be one grand fiesta of a journey. The veterans of the original will be all for it while those who missed the first one will be excited for the experience. If the organisers get to pull of some of the stuff they’re hoping to do (though some of it demands Frontier) it’ll be epic.
I have a feeling now, sitting at Beagle Point, that I’m going to complete the expedition as long as no unfortunate events impact on my time to put the light years in. It’s going to be really cool to be able to say I’ve done it. Especially since exploration trips are the only thing keeping me playing Elite Dangerous at the moment.
Then we right on into Distant Worlds II and I can’t describe how much I’m looking forward to that.