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Thread: Buckyball Racing Club presents: The A* Challenge

  1. #2401
    News!

    Guardian FSD booster. Max level 5. One at a time, optional equipment:

    +10ly jump range for 125% more fuel use and 1.3T mass as well as a bit of power.

    Anyone done the maths on benefit-loss over long range neutron boosting? Just on paper it sounds worth it to me. That being said currently very buggy apparently.
    https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showth...=1#post6597888

  2. #2402
    Very hard to tell as although we know they are bugged, we're not sure exactly what the bugs are! I've not run the figures and probably won't until we know just what the module's stats are supposed to be, but if it's true that it requires an extra 125% of fuel per jump for the 10 LY module then my gut feel is that it won't be faster on a Sag A* run than a Conda without the booster (that would be 18T per jump). OTOH, if the total fuel requirement is 125% (ie 10T per jump) then I expect it would be by some margin.

    Edit: to add, that as things currently stand (bugs & all), the extra 10 LY is added to the range before any jumponium or neutron boost multipliers. So if you can currently jump 70 LY (140 LY with J3, 280 LY with neutron) then you would now be able to go 160 LY with J3 and 320 with neutrons. Except not quite that much as the booster module has some mass and you also need more fuel. But the key point is that multipliers apply to the increase range. Unless that's a bug

  3. #2403
    Good summary, I guess we will wait and see when they are fixed what the upshot is...

    To be honest all the changes and increases are making me want to try the Beagle run again and see if I can break 6 hours... Or the Colonia one and see if I can break the 1hr 30min mark. Not that I have anywhere near the irl time to attempt such a thing atm.

  4. #2404
    Intent to race.

    CMDR Timothy Knight
    Firebrand
    Imperial Courier
    Neutron

    "But I have promises to keep,
    And light-years to go before I sleep."
    (with apologies to Robert Frost)

  5. #2405
    Originally Posted by Allitnil View Post (Source)
    Very hard to tell as although we know they are bugged, we're not sure exactly what the bugs are! I've not run the figures and probably won't until we know just what the module's stats are supposed to be, but if it's true that it requires an extra 125% of fuel per jump for the 10 LY module then my gut feel is that it won't be faster on a Sag A* run than a Conda without the booster (that would be 18T per jump). OTOH, if the total fuel requirement is 125% (ie 10T per jump) then I expect it would be by some margin.
    OK, I have just tried running some figures. Not sure I've got things right (my spreadsheet is getting a bit complex!) but my theoretical figures for optimal neutron boosting are:

    no boost: 15,206 LY per hour
    10 LY boost, 125% extra fuel: 14,402 LY per hour
    10 LY boost, 25% extra fuel: 16,680 LY per hour

    So about a 5% reduction in speed with 125% extra fuel and about a 10% increase if it ends up as 25% extra. The break even point is around 85% extra fuel.

    nb: these are purely theoretical figures which assume perfectly placed stars. The stated speed is for 55 second neutron jumps and does take into account the need to make refuelling stops, but doesn't include any FSD repair times.

  6. #2406
    I'm kind of expecting that it'll turn out to be 125% total fuel (ie +25% usage), mostly due to the class 1H being 105%.

    So hopefully a useful module for Buckyball racers.

    Even if ends up +125%, it'll probably work out worthwhile for some some races in the bubble - and as an Asp-X pilot I'm happy that my favourite ship claws back 2LY from the evil DBX (which cannot mount the 5H module).

  7. #2407
    Originally Posted by Raiko View Post (Source)
    I'm kind of expecting that it'll turn out to be 125% total fuel (ie +25% usage), mostly due to the class 1H being 105%.

    So hopefully a useful module for Buckyball racers.

    Even if ends up +125%, it'll probably work out worthwhile for some some races in the bubble - and as an Asp-X pilot I'm happy that my favourite ship claws back 2LY from the evil DBX (which cannot mount the 5H module).
    Personally, I kinda hope it doesn't turn out to be useful for racing, because if it is, it pretty much pushes ships without Class 5 internals (Hauler, Courier, DBX) out of contention. The Courier would especially be marginalized, as it only has class 3 internals and the extra fuel requirement would pretty much kill it anyway, with the slow scooping and heat problems.

    As someone who really doesn't like flying big ships, that would push me out of most races.

    Not to mention the absurd grind to unlock it.

  8. #2408
    As a quick point of order following recent discussions, I have updated the rules to clarify that Guardian modules are not allowed in Classic class (or Neutron class). The use of Guardian technology is only permitted in Unlimited class entries.

    The same applies to all modules that are only available from technology brokers, because they require Horizons.

  9. #2409
    It's done.




    (Yes, that does say say "!aucoks!", I thought I should pay homage to the classics)


    I've already sent the evidence to Drakhyr, but it's here if anyone is interested: https://imgur.com/a/Uhkje

    This was definitely the most greuling of my Challenge runs, if not quite the most difficult (I still think trying to beat my own 9:36:19 in the Hauler in Classic was more difficult, simply because the target time for that run demanded something very close to perfection; this run definitely had a higher skill requirement, but didn't demand the same degree of precision). This run took more out of me than any before it, even more than the thirteen-and-a-half hour marathon that was my first one.

    There's a reason for that, though, and it was something... well, I didn't want to talk about until after the run was made. It's the same reason I chose that bit of poetry when I announced my intent.

    I haven't been playing much Elite (really, any at all) for the last few months. Normally, I would not just dive right into an A* Challenge plot and run immediately like I just did. There's something to be said for easing oneself back in, right? But in this case, I felt that I needed to do it. I did have promises to keep, for one... the promise I made, when Drakhyr created the Neutron class in spite of his reservations about the number of people willing to compete in it, that I would put up an entry in that class as a show of support for its existence. I've now fulfilled that promise.

    But that's not the only thing implied by that bit of poetry. Y'see... there's a very real chance this might have been my last run. I hope that it isn't. I really want to make a run at the Unlimited Imperial Courier record in Joyeuse, for one. I'd like to get Excalibur up on the Unlimited board, too. Unfortunately, circumstances are not entirely in my control there.

    I've been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. This is no shock - my mother has MS and my sister has lupus... it runs in the family. Exactly which disease I have is a subject of some disagreement between my regular doctor and my rheumatologist. Mostly, though, the difference is one of prognosis - one of them is likely to be unpleasant and could eventually be life-threatening, and the other is just likely to be really unpleasant. Either way, though, one of the symptoms is arthritis. Most days when I wake up, my body doesn't really want to move. And some days, it really doesn't want to move. Yesterday was one of those days... if I'd felt today like I felt yesterday, I wouldn't have been able to make the run today.

    The bad news is that neither of these conditions can be cured. The good news is, both can be treated... and the treatment is with the same medications, either way. The stuff that I'm on (and have been on for three weeks) doesn't really start to show benefits for 3 months. So... in a couple of months, things are likely to get better. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that things will get better. And they could just keep getting worse.

    So, in this run, there was a certain amount of, "keep my promises while I still can". If I hadn't gotten this done, well... that would have bothered me. A lot. So I decided I'd best do it now.

    That said, as grueling as it was? It was also pretty fun. And in the process of plotting and practicing, I finally reached the point where I can make neutron jumps without getting vertigo most of the time. I'm still not sure what was causing that. It's still a little unsettling at times, especially on the really energetic ones, but I seem to have tamed it to the point that I can handle it, at least. And the really energetic ones are the EASY ones, so being a little unsettled doesn't slow me down so much.

    I went into this run with a target time of 9:45:00. It was about halfway into the run that I realized that I had a shot at coming in under 9 hours. Then, around 17k ly I had a bad stretch where I couldn't stay in a neutron cone for the life of me and had several 70+ second jumps... I thought I'd blown it. But then I had a really good stretch and with 8 hours on the clock and 3,000 light-years to go, I knew I still had an outside shot.

    I'm pleased to say that I made good on it.

    8:57:19. I'm pretty darn proud of this one.

    Thanks as always to Hanekura Shizuka for encouragement. Thanks also to everyone who's gone before, for the inspiration. That goes double for Allitnil (to whom I have been less than gentlemanly in the past; please allow me to apologize again for that!), and Alot. And special thanks to Drakhyr for running this crazy challenge, and for putting up with some of the ornery folks like me who participate in it.

    EDIT: Didn't like the way I'd phrased some things initially (was kinda clumsy), so I tried to clarify it a bit.

  10. #2410
    Originally Posted by Rankaze View Post (Source)
    It's done.

    https://i.imgur.com/Yd5Emle.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/78P5FXz.jpg
    (Yes, that does say say "!aucoks!", I thought I should pay homage to the classics)


    I've already sent the evidence to Drakhyr, but it's here if anyone is interested: https://imgur.com/a/Uhkje

    This was definitely the most greuling of my Challenge runs, if not quite the most difficult (I still think trying to beat my own 9:36:19 in the Hauler in Classic was more difficult, simply because the target time for that run demanded something very close to perfection; this run definitely had a higher skill requirement, but didn't demand the same degree of precision). This run took more out of me than any before it, even more than the thirteen-and-a-half hour marathon that was my first one.

    There's a reason for that, though, and it was something... well, I didn't want to talk about until after the run was made. It's the same reason I chose that bit of poetry when I announced my intent.

    I haven't been playing much Elite (really, any at all) for the last few months. Normally, I would not just dive right into an A* Challenge plot and run immediately like I just did. There's something to be said for easing oneself back in, right? But in this case, I felt that I needed to do it. I did have promises to keep, for one... the promise I made, when Drakhyr created the Neutron class in spite of his reservations about the number of people willing to compete in it, that I would put up an entry in that class as a show of support for its existence. I've now fulfilled that promise.

    But that's not the only thing implied by that bit of poetry. Y'see... there's a very real chance this might have been my last run. I hope that it isn't. I really want to make a run at the Unlimited Imperial Courier record in Joyeuse, for one. I'd like to get Excalibur up on the Unlimited board, too. Unfortunately, circumstances are not entirely in my control there.

    I've been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. This is no shock - my mother has MS and my sister has lupus... it runs in the family. Exactly which disease I have is a subject of some disagreement between my regular doctor and my rheumatologist. Mostly, though, the difference is one of prognosis - one of them is likely to be unpleasant and could eventually be life-threatening, and the other is just likely to be really unpleasant. Either way, though, one of the symptoms is arthritis. Most days when I wake up, my body doesn't really want to move. And some days, it really doesn't want to move. Yesterday was one of those days... if I'd felt today like I felt yesterday, I wouldn't have been able to make the run today.

    The bad news is that neither of these conditions can be cured. The good news is, both can be treated... and the treatment is with the same medications, either way. The stuff that I'm on (and have been on for three weeks) doesn't really start to show benefits for 3 months. So... in a couple of months, things are likely to get better. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that things will get better. And they could just keep getting worse.

    So, in this run, there was a certain amount of, "keep my promises while I still can". If I hadn't gotten this done, well... that would have bothered me. A lot. So I decided I'd best do it now.

    That said, as grueling as it was? It was also pretty fun. And in the process of plotting and practicing, I finally reached the point where I can make neutron jumps without getting vertigo most of the time. I'm still not sure what was causing that. It's still a little unsettling at times, especially on the really energetic ones, but I seem to have tamed it to the point that I can handle it, at least. And the really energetic ones are the EASY ones, so being a little unsettled doesn't slow me down so much.

    I went into this run with a target time of 9:45:00. It was about halfway into the run that I realized that I had a shot at coming in under 9 hours. Then, around 17k ly I had a bad stretch where I couldn't stay in a neutron cone for the life of me and had several 70+ second jumps... I thought I'd blown it. But then I had a really good stretch and with 8 hours on the clock and 3,000 light-years to go, I knew I still had an outside shot.

    I'm pleased to say that I made good on it.

    8:57:19. I'm pretty darn proud of this one.

    Thanks as always to Hanekura Shizuka for encouragement. Thanks also to everyone who's gone before, for the inspiration. That goes double for Allitnil (to whom I have been less than gentlemanly in the past; please allow me to apologize again for that!), and Alot. And special thanks to Drakhyr for running this crazy challenge, and for putting up with some of the ornery folks like me who participate in it.

    EDIT: Didn't like the way I'd phrased some things initially (was kinda clumsy), so I tried to clarify it a bit.
    Hey Rankaze, that's a tough break man, really REALLY sorry to hear this news. I have my fingers crossed for the better of the two outcomes but let's not dwell on that eh? (sounds like you've been aware of it for a while) so ... that's a hell of a good run, especially under the circumstances and DEFINITELY one to be proud of. Awesome to break the 9 barrier, really well done!

    Oh, and hey ... I look forward to seeing your unlimited imperial courier run. Where there's a will there's a way!

    o7

  11. #2411
    Originally Posted by Alec Turner View Post (Source)
    Hey Rankaze, that's a tough break man, really REALLY sorry to hear this news. I have my fingers crossed for the better of the two outcomes but let's not dwell on that eh? (sounds like you've been aware of it for a while) so ... that's a hell of a good run, especially under the circumstances and DEFINITELY one to be proud of. Awesome to break the 9 barrier, really well done!

    Oh, and hey ... I look forward to seeing your unlimited imperial courier run. Where there's a will there's a way!

    o7
    Yeah, the diagnosis was... not unexpected. I'd long since come to the conclusion that it was more a matter of "when" than "if" the family history caught up to me. And, well... these things are vastly more treatable these days than they once were. Hopefully I'll respond as well as my mother and sister have; they both live reasonably full lives in spite of their conditions, so that gives me cause for optimism.

    Two good observations I can make, though:
    1). I'm less sore this morning than I expected to be after how I felt last night. I can only interpret that as a good sign.

    2). By their nature, Unlimited runs are less grueling than Classic or Neutron runs, simply because faster ship = shorter run. So, as long as I don't get worse, those are still probably on the table for me. I can say from last night that ~9 hours is about as far as I can go right now... I was so sore toward the end that I was starting to make mistakes because of it (fortunately minor ones), so much longer than that would be too much, I think. It'll take some significant improvement from the treatment before I can, say, bring Firebrand back out for a shot at the Classic Imperial Courier record, though. Or bring Haulin' A* out for another shot at that elusive sub-9:30 run (which I still very much want to do!). But I think it's fairly likely that Joyeuse will get her day, at least.

    EDIT:

    Now that the heavy stuff I needed to get off my chest is out of the way, I wanted to add some of my observations from the run.
    1). This was my second run using EDDiscovery in the background - having a voice to tell me my fuel levels after each scoop/jump is really nice. So is having the # of light-years to my next waypoint. For some reason I couldn't get it to use the correct jump range for my ship, so I couldn't get it to give me an accurate count of JUMPS to my next waypoint (and the neutrons would have messed that up anyway), but I can always get that from the left panel if I really need it - and comparing those two numbers makes it easier to tell when I have a neutron coming up.

    Total jumps was ~575. I haven't pulled the exact number from the log. It's actually fewer than my original plot, for reasons which are... slightly complex.

    My method for plotting the route was to take the route from Spansh, and then at each waypoint plot routes to the next five waypoints and see if the route plotter would give me a more efficient route to those points than Spansh was giving me. In many cases, I found that it could - Spansh's route would go out of the way to hit a neutron star when there was a more convenient one it didn't know about, or in some cases it would use a neutron star to go a short distance when a regular jump would do just as well, enabling me to get fuel. As a result, Spansh's route would have been some 598 jumps, and my plotted route was 578. More importantly, when Spansh would have required 225 waypoints - meaning, I would have needed to open the galaxy map 225 times - I was able to trim that down to 116. Considering that during the run the galaxy map was taking two seconds to open and two seconds to close every time, that's a lot of time savings. What I learned doing the actual run was that having full fuel when I plotted would cause the route plotter to use more neutron jumps than if I didn't have full fuel, and so my actual route run was a couple of jumps shorter than what I plotted... I think.

    Speaking of the galaxy map, whatever FD may think, the bug with the galaxy map not responding to joystick controls is alive and well, I'm afraid. I had several 65+ second jumps at waypoints due to fighting with the bookmarks tab. Ultimately I resorted to using the mouse in the galmap, which certainly contributed to my soreness by the end of the run as my mouse is positioned for my usual working position, not my flying position (which is considerably farther back from the desk due to the Monstertech table mounts I use for my HOTAS. I think overall galmap problems cost me something like 10 minutes over the full distance. If I had missed 9 hours because of that, I would have been seriously annoyed.

    I had a very close call toward the end of the run, when one of the jet cones pitched me almost 180 degrees to point directly at the neutron star, just as I was pushing the throttles forward to escape the cone after getting my supercharge. This was on my fourth-to-last neutron jump. It was a very scary moment, and if I'd gone over 8.5 hours only to blow up at the very end, that would have been pretty crushing, but it was certainly very exciting as I narrowly wrested Firebrand out of the jet cone and away from the looming catastrophe. Then, on my second-to-last neutron jump, the cone was continually trying to turn me back toward the star the entire time - it wasn't as forceful as the previous one had been, and so wasn't quite as close, but it was very tenacious in its efforts to kill me; I had to fight with it the entire duration. Very nerve-wracking. I doubt I would have survived either of those before my efforts to prepare for this run - especially the first one, as I likely wouldn't even have realized what had happened.

    (On that subject of jet cones: I actually am coming to the conclusion that part of the trouble I was having with them before was a panic reaction of some sort. I have had markedly less problems with them since the incident in Beta Sculptoris where I got interdicted in a jet cone, and the only conclusion I can come to is that after having survived that experience, I'm simply not afraid of them anymore - very cautious of them still, but there's a difference between caution and fear. It wasn't entirely that, obviously, as I still get a little dizzy from them sometimes, but the effect they have on me is greatly decreased. I think it was a combination of that bit of dizziness and my anxiety about the risk involved pushing me into panic... and without the panic, the dizziness is something I can overcome.)

    I had another close call earlier in the run where one of the jet cones was seemingly very determined to push me into the neutron star's nearby binary partner. If I'd had a ship with longer jump range, I would probably have replotted to avoid that particular system, but with a 28 ly jump range, I pretty much had to take any neutron jump I could get, especially in the sparser regions.

    I took a cue from Allitnil's Hauler run and ran 5000 ly conventionally before I began plotting neutron jumps (though not entirely conventionally, as the route plotter actually gave me three neutron jumps during that stretch). This avoided the frustration I'd had in my previous attempts to plot a neutron run, and I'd definitely recommend this approach to neutron runs in ships with <30 ly jump range. One nice thing was that with all the extra fuel capacity, I ran most of this section at < 50% fuel, meaning I was 5T lighter than I had plotted for. As a result, I was only using 1.3-1.4T of fuel instead of 1.8 on most of these jumps, which meant I could consistently make 45-second jumps even with the Courier's slow scooping.

    I carried 5 jumps' worth of fuel (10T), as my math had suggested this was the best balance between jump range and successive neutron jumps. In practice, I'm not sure that was the right call, and I wonder if I could have done a little better with 8T and a bit more jump range. Once I got into the core I could sometimes get 5 successive neutron jumps, but even then there were usually a couple of less than max range, so it still came out to only about 4 jumps' worth of fuel. I think only once did I actually jump to my fueling star without at least a full jump's worth of fuel remaining. Also, filling up even 5T of fuel in a Courier requires either accepting less than max scoop rate or making two passes at the star if you don't want to overheat, so carrying so much fuel is... difficult to manage in this ship. Then again, looking at my final time, I find it hard to imagine I could have cut much off of that.

    Make no mistake, slow scooping and heat are the primary limiting factors on any Courier run. I helped myself by filtering out everything but M stars and non-sequence once I hit the neutron fields - on an M dwarf, I can stay in max scoop rate territory as much as 3 seconds longer than even a K. Filling the tank on anything but an M would have been a severe challenge.

    I mentioned soreness being a problem toward the end - during the final run from my last waypoint to Sadge, I ran into a star due to not pulling up hard enough because my shoulder just didn't want to move. The adrenaline spike from that event did a lot to ease the pain for the remaining jumps, though! Also, I think I'm going to have to replace my X56 soon. It's developed that "Saitek stiction" problem they were so insistent they had fixed from the X55 (obviously they haven't). I'm seriously considering a VKB Gunfighter (with MCG) or Gladiator Pro II. Anyone have experience with the durability on VKB sticks?

  12. #2412
    Congratulations on yet another awesome A* run Rankaze! o7

    I'm terribly saddened to read your news, that's why it's taken me a couple of days to manage to reply. I hope that whichever condition it turns out to be the treatment will manage to allow you continue doing things you enjoy indefinitely. Things like racing headlong 26K towards oblivion! (again and again)

    To be honest standard A* runs are about the limit of my endurance despite having no physical ailments myself, so much so that:
    a) I'm unlikely to ever run anything slower than an Asp or DBX in standard, and
    b) I'm more likely to stick to unlimited or at least neutron class for any future runs (especially now that engineering is balanced and not down to luck).

    I would like to attempt a sub-9 hour Asp run sometime (my last run is nearly 3 years old now) but that's my limit, so I've always been staggered that you've managed so many great runs with more difficult ships, even before your sad news.

    I hope that CDMR Timothy Knight and all his favourite 'little-ships' are speeding to Sagittarius A* for many years to come.

    Best wishes and fly safe commander. o7

  13. #2413
    Originally Posted by Raiko View Post (Source)
    Congratulations on yet another awesome A* run Rankaze! o7

    I'm terribly saddened to read your news, that's why it's taken me a couple of days to manage to reply. I hope that whichever condition it turns out to be the treatment will manage to allow you continue doing things you enjoy indefinitely. Things like racing headlong 26K towards oblivion! (again and again)

    To be honest standard A* runs are about the limit of my endurance despite having no physical ailments myself, so much so that:
    a) I'm unlikely to ever run anything slower than an Asp or DBX in standard, and
    b) I'm more likely to stick to unlimited or at least neutron class for any future runs (especially now that engineering is balanced and not down to luck).

    I would like to attempt a sub-9 hour Asp run sometime (my last run is nearly 3 years old now) but that's my limit, so I've always been staggered that you've managed so many great runs with more difficult ships, even before your sad news.

    I hope that CDMR Timothy Knight and all his favourite 'little-ships' are speeding to Sagittarius A* for many years to come.

    Best wishes and fly safe commander. o7
    Thank you; I sincerely appreciate it.

    On my best days right now, it's only really bad for the first hour or two, and then after that the biggest thing I notice is that I wear down faster than I used to. The day I made my run was one of those days... I didn't feel wonderful at first, but I didn't feel awful, either, and on days like that I can usually count on feeling better as the day goes on. The only real effect it had on my run is that I wore down a little faster than I usually would. I'm very glad the run wound up faster than the 9:45 I was counting on... I ran out of neutron stars right around the time that I was starting to really worry about my ability to wrestle with them!

    On the bad days, playing much Elite at all is too physically demanding.

    The nice thing that I'm discovering that not being able to play every day is less of an obstacle than I always thought it would be. For a long time I didn't play simply because I felt like I couldn't commit enough time to it - like I really needed to play every day for the game to be worth playing. Now... I'm finding that I can play a bit more casually and still enjoy it. I don't make a lot of [I]progress[I], but, well... I just accomplished my main in-game goal anyway- completing the engineering work on the monster racer/blockade runner that is Joyeuse
    (Spoilered for blatant off-topic boasting )

    • Maxed out her FSD at 61%
    • Got the new Grade 5 Engine-Focused distributor (which is total overkill, but with no weapons and minimal shields, where else am I gonna use the power?
    • Went to Grade 1 Low Emissions power plant (with Stripped Down, so it's both lighter and cooler than stock),
    • Finally got Grade 5 Enhanced, Low Power Shields
    • Replaced her already insane legacy thrusters with even better ones (more speed, less power draw, less heat? Yes, please!)


    End results: 45.6 ly jump range with shields, a half-size tank, and an empty cargo hold. 47.6 ly range with the same equipment and minimum fuel. 34 ly jump range with 18T of cargo. And 653 m/s military with 885 m/s boost speed with up to 5T of cargo aboard. She's so fun to fly that I take courier missions purely as an excuse to fly her.

    My baby is all grown up now! :D



    And with that project completed... the only things I have to "progress" on now are getting Elite combat (I'm a little past halfway to Deadly now), engineering the hell out of my other toys, and maybe someday getting Elite trading (but I wouldn't really bet on me ever accomplishing that).

    And without any compelling need to progress, I can play at whatever pace I feel up to at any given time.

    As for the rest of how I'm doing...
    (Spoilered for off-topic discussion of illness)

    Outside of Elite, well... it's causing me some serious difficulties at work, but my boss has been incredibly patient with me while I work through all of this. You never really understand how valued you are in an organization until for some reason you can't contribute at your top level... the fact that my boss has been supportive through this (at least this far, and I really do believe he'll continue to do so) has really made me feel good about how he feels about my work when I am at my best, because clearly he believes I'm valuable enough to the organization that he wants to keep me around. That's a nice feeling, and helps mitigate the stress.

    And of course, my family has been great. My sister has been very helpful, including helping me get an appointment with one of the best rheumatologists in Dallas (the same one she sees) almost a month sooner than I'd have been able to otherwise, and for that reason I'm a month into treatment today instead of just getting started. Plus she's helped me with modifications to my diet which are helping lessen the inflammation and other things. My dad has always been my go-to for advice, and he continues to be so. My mom remains a great encouragement to me - especially since I can see in her (through her battle with MS) a model of how it's possible to live with these conditions for 20+ years and remain active and productive and most important, truly enjoy life.

    My friends, also, have really helped me deal with a lot of the little things that have cropped up when this condition has impaired my mobility at times, whether it's moving stuff for me when I just don't have the strength, or taking over some of my household chores when I'm too sore or too tired to do them, or reminding me to do the little things I need to do if I want my treatment to be effective.

    One of the reasons, I think, that I am optimistic is that I can look at my mother and sister and see that it can be done... and I can look at the support I'm getting from people around me and believe that I can do it, too.

    So, yeah. I think I'm gonna be OK. If this treatment doesn't work, there are lots of others we can try. Doctors know so much more about autoimmune diseases even than they did when my mother was diagnosed with MS. And I've got good ones - my doctor and my rheumatologist may not agree on what's wrong with me, but that hasn't stopped them from coordinating on my treatment plan - one which should address either of the possibilities. I might not ever be rid of it, but I do believe I can live with it.

    I just have to hold on to that optimism, and my determination to see this through, until we find the answer.


    I can say, I've already started doing research for an Unlimited run for Joyeuse. I haven't started plotting, because I haven't quite recovered from the last run yet. But just talking about this is stoking my competitive drive. And my back-of-the-envelope numbers suggest that such a run will be a whole lot less physically exhausting than this one was, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do it. Maybe around the time my medication is supposed to have really kicked in a couple of months from now.

    I'm a lot less certain that I'll ever feel up to the 12+ hour marathon that running Firebrand in Classic would be, but... hopefully if the treatments work well I'll be ready for that again somewhere down the line.

    Plus, my doctors agree that a game like Elite which requires me to work my large joints (shoulders/elbows, hips, knees) as well as small ones like my fingers (I play with a HOTAS and pedals, so Elite becomes something I do with my whole body, not just my hands), is actually good therapy, so that gives me reason to keep it up, too. It's no substitute for exercise, but it makes a good supplement to it.

    Anyway, let me say thank you again, both for your compliments on the run and for your well wishes. Both are greatly appreciated!

  14. #2414
    Commander Crotalus
    Ship Type Asp Scout
    Ship name Hecla
    Rule Classic
    Time 10 hours 55 minutes 56 seconds





    Seven jumps less than the Type 6

  15. #2415
    Nice work! And another ship under the 11 hour mark in Classic, too.