When I got back from my exploration expedition I got back into the trading. A break is good. I set my sights on the next vessel. It didn’t take that long to get to 23m which is what I calculated I needed to buy my next ship. In truth it’s less than that as I would be trading in the current trader and selling some internals for the cheaper D rated stuff saves you money as well. This allows me to calculate the raw cost and no I’ll still have money spare for fuel, cargo and the insurance and then some.
So, what vessel have I gone for?
Ultimately it came down to whether I was 100% focused on trading or whether I wanted a more general ship (essentially a Cobra upgrade) that happened to have a similar size hold to the Type-6 I was currently trading with. I decided to go the focused trading route. I figured the Asp allowed me to undertake two other activities that I wasn’t overly bothered about or already had covered. Combat? I dabble, but it hasn’t really stuck as a main activity and I do have the Diamondback Scout to play around in that area. Exploring? Yeah, the Asp is a great exploration vessel but it isn’t if you’re also trading in it. I also have the Diamondback Explorer for that. I don’t need a general purpose vessel and on that basis the bigger hold was what I needed.
The Type-7 significantly changes how I needed to trade. The vessel’s vastly shorter jump range and bigger hold means I’m best taking large commodity tonnages between two locations, repeatedly, not far apart. This is significantly different to smaller, high value, rare cargo over ‘long’ distances. It also means I have to land on large platforms. It’s quite a change. It generates quite a lot of cash, but is very repetitive. In truth, trading rare goods is just repetitive but because you tend to travel vast distances picking up and dropping off as you go it doesn’t feel as repetitive. Trading rare goods involves a route, trading commodities is just hopping backwards and forwards. A bit like a lot of activities in Elite, you sort of doing it while doing something else like watching TV shows.
I’ve also invested in a docking computer. Normally I wouldn’t have bothered, it takes up space you could use for something else. In this case though there wasn’t really much else I could put in the slot so I figured I’d give it a go. It’s brilliant. It’s not slow compared to my usual docking procedure and it means I can quickly do something while it goes through the motions. It’s also a frustration save. As stated, the Type-7 isn’t the most nimble of vessels, so docking it isn’t so much but more laborious. This save me the chore. I wrote this very paragraph while my vessel docked. I can see it being a feature I keep on the larger vessels unless I am truly pressured for space.
I’ve been doing this one and off for a bit and I now have 70m credits. It’s a bit odd due to the fact I’m sort of getting the money so I can buy a Type-9 trader but I’m not overly sure why. I love the look of the Type-9 trader. Despite not being a military vessel it looks like the tough as nails USS Defiant off of Deep Space Nine. It’s also pretty, damned big. This allows me to do more of the same, very large commodity runs between close locations and earn money even faster.
The problem is: earn such large amounts of money for what?
The only vessel more expensive than the Type-9 is the most expensive vessel in the game: the Anaconda. This is the top tier multi-role vessel. It’s sort of nice to have for the sake of having it. This in itself is a bit pointless in a game which involves rarely meeting anyone else. It’s also expensive to run. I’m not really sure I want to get into that territory at the moment.
The Python is a pretty cool vessel. Great combat abilities. Still cool for rare trading (though I’m not sure why I’d be doing that). If I was in some way plugged into some sort of group-based activity, possibly linked to Powerplay, a Python is probably what I’d used to do it. The trouble is I’ve not got that sort of big, cooperative play thing going on at the moment and I don’t even understand Powerplay. It seems very dense and impenetrable. Despite this, owning a Python for the sake of owning a Python makes some sort of strange sense to me while owning an Anaconda does not. No idea why. It would sort of be my pinnacle multi-role vessel. A bit like a great sports car you keep in the garage and do little with other than drive it around occasionally with little purpose!
In a way, I think the vessel I pimp out with the cash from the Type-9 will have to be combined with some new way of playing and engaging with Elite. If it doesn’t, things will potential wear thin. This is quite exciting, hopefully I’ll find another way of engaging with the game.
I’m in no rush though. I suspect one of two things are going to happen. I’ll get bored and not actually get my Type-9 money plus upgrades and enough remaining cash to continue and set off on another exploration mission. I may also get the Type-9, not continue trading, as I’ve done a lot of it, store the vessel and go exploring.
Either way, I suspect the Diamondback Explorer will come out of storage and head off into the black for a bit before I start to fully capitalise on the Type-9. You never know, it may even mean, by the time I start to capitalise on the Type-6, other vessels may exist and play opportunities.