"It's your one way ticket to midnight! Call it Heavy Metal!
Higher than high, feelin' just right! Call it Heavy Metal!
Desperation on a red line! Call it Heavy Metal noise!"
Just what it says on the tin. Grats to CMDRs Cookiehole, Aken B., and Drakhyr for coming out on top in their respective classes, and for everybody who came out to sacrifice some Lakons in the Buckyball Racing Club's Heavy Metal! Hopefully, for once, you made more money than you spent.
I had a lot of fun putting this together! I've always thought that racing was the path for any CMDR to become a better pilot, and in all the races the past few years you all have pushed ships from every manufacturer to the limit. It was really cool to give the Lakon line their due. When I first suggested this race, I wasn't sure if anybody would go for it. It represented a potentially costly event with slow moving, boring as hell ships, but in the end I think it turned out exciting as hell. Seeing fully laden ships fling themselves through the slot in your videos represented some supremely suspenseful moments. A highlight reel of the best hits and worst misses would be very entertaining indeed.
But it's all about the challenge, and of course anybody who calls themselves a Buckyballer wouldn't let a rebuy or two stand in the way of a good time. I'm glad it worked out - and also that (almost) everybody made a few creds off of it.
So, from an organizer's perspective, I wanted to do a race where trading was a factor, but speed was still as important, so thus was borne the Profit Per Second metric. I couldn't come up with a good way to balance the different classes, so early on I decided to make each Type it's own class even though everyone would record times on the same leaderboard. That being said, I had to pick a route.
I set about first trying to find a nice triangle trade setup... High Tech to Extraction to Industrial, Ag to Refinery to Industrial, etc. There were lots of candidate systems, but in order to make it far for the T9 and it's horrid laden FSD range, I had to keep the systems close so every route would be one jump long max. That axed a lot of candidate systems. Furthermore, I needed stable systems with strong economies and high security. I wanted some variation in market prices and commodities, but I didn't want anyone to be able to come in and wipe out a market, or worse, have some clown come in and put a system into lockdown through underhanded shenanigans, so I was instantly looking for systems with multimillion or billion populations. And finally, I needed systems that had a good mix of stations and platforms all within range of the jump point. I found a ton of interesting systems with all kinds of neat navigational challenges: white dwarves, binary and trinary planets, ringed planets, etc... but they all had supercruise distances of 1000 ls or more. I wanted a race that could be done quickly, and without the tedium of long times in SC.
I briefly considered the Lave cluster. It had a great combination of a variety of economies and high population, but also had longer SC times as well as the potential for crashing into passers-by who were just trying to collect rares. I'm a proponent of playing in open, but smashing up some poor scrub who is trying to just make a living is kind of a jerk move, so I kept the race in the sticks.
Banapityas/Sounti/U Carinae fit the bill, minus the economics. Close in stations, systems within 12 LY jump range, and good, strong economies with high security. Not having high tech around was a bit of a bummer, but doing out-and-back runs from Banapityas actually worked out in testing, and I was really, really happy to see CMDRs like Furrycat and Polly break away from EDDB to find the higher price goods. (As well as Jak for his inventive, but illegal attempt at smuggling. Too bad no one else tried. )
Anyway, thanks to everybody who participated and made the race a success. I learned a lot about handling a trade ship and even though I don't fly Lakon myself other than my beloved Asp Shipwrecked and Comatose, seeing how to handle big fat transports in supercruise will make handing any other ship a breeze. So, if any station master or local governor ever complains about damage done by having a Buckyball roll through, tell them to chill out and think of the educational value.
As part of the creative process, I did try to think of an easy, automatic way to weight the different classes that would have involved dividing PPS by cargo capacity. I'm glad I didn't - while it might be able to adjust the numbers to give each ship a "fair" chance against one another, each of the Lakons are different in their own way and should really be only measured against themselves. But, just for funzies, here's what the leaderboard would have looked like, taking cargo capacity into account by dividing Profit Per Second by cargo capacity:
Clearly the sixes would have had an advantage, as would anybody running without shields. Aken's T7 Holy Cow came closest to challenging the T6's, but given the quality of his run, it might have been hard to catch up. Cookihole's T9 run, however, would have had to close a much smaller gap. Based on this small sample size, and compensating for capacity, ton-per-ton, the T6 is the best performer. Math and statistic nerds feel free to prove me wrong or right!
Thanks again, and it was good to see a bunch of friendly faces on the grid!
I passed it along, Raiko, and he asked me to post this specially recorded video response!
I tell ya, it gets you right here, doesn't it?