ATTENTION: EVENT ENDED - THREAD NO LONGER ACTIVE
CLICK HERE FOR THE A* CHALLENGE
POS indicates current position based on submitted race time. NA Has not launched. UR Under Review. DNF Did Not Finish. DQ Disqualified. PEN Penalty.
Dots indicate number of BBR's run. Reverse dots indicate a BBR win. Asterisk indicates completion of BBRA*
Times updated weekly, or when I can manage it.
Looking for info on the previous Buckyball Runs? Click here for the Buckyblog.
The "Buckyball" Braben Star-to-Shining-Star Memorial Trophy Dash, widely known simply as The Buckyball Run, was an unofficial, unsanctioned spaceship race run from Xiaoguan Hub in Magec to the Vonarburg Co-Operative in the Wyrd system, intended both as a celebration of the Federation Interstellar Star Route System and a protest against strict traffic laws coming into effect at the time.
As it was found out, the newly imposed 9.8c relativistic limit imposed by the Federation Maximum Velocity Law (imposed as an energy conservation measure) was actually slower than the quickest average velocities of point-to-point travels of Commander Ian Buchanan "Buckyball" Braben (no relation) in the first half of the 32nd century. In 3102, Braben flew the route in a Cowell-MgRath model 57 Sidewinder, averaging greater than 12.5c, setting a 32 minute record that stood for nearly 140 years.
Another motivation was the fun involved...
So what is it?
The Buckyball Run is the name of a series of point-to-point rally races through the space lanes of Elite Dangerous where pilots record their best time from start to finish. Commanders can make the run in whatever vessel they have provided it has the jump range. The Buckyball Run isn't just about coming in first, it's about taking the dare. Sidewinders and Haulers all the way up to fully tricked out Anacondas have all made the Run.
I thought Buckyballs were numbered. Like Buckyball 5, 6, 7... What's with Buckyball A? And why the asterisk?
The Buckyball Run A* is a little different than previous Buckyballs. The A* is a reference to the finish line. Sagittarius A*. As such, it's not a numbered race like the others.
Sagittarius A*? As in the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy? THAT Sagittarius A*?
Yep, that's the one! The only other Sagittarius A* I know of is this crappy nightclub at George Lucas in Leesti. They water their drinks and charge a .10cr cover. No way in hell we're going there on a run.
That's almost 26,000 light years!!!
View attachment 30394
Give or take.
That'll take forever!!!
Or 12 hours, 58 minutes. You see, there's this commander named Anuranium who showed up for Buckyball 7, ran once, kinda shrugged as if to say "that's cute," took his bumper sticker and left. Little did we know the week before he had just come back from his own private run. He'd posted a picture of his clock at Galileo Station in Sol,then posted a picture of himself at Sagittarius A* about 13 hours later.
Needless to say we at the Buckyball Run were impressed. An endurance race has always been in the cards and Sag A* was already on the short list. Anuranium just went and did the legwork for us. So really, Buckyball Run A* can stand for Buckyball Run Anuranium as well, or the Anuranium Run, since he actually went out there for no other reason than to see how fast it could be done. And that, ladies and gents, is what the Buckyball is all about. Well, that and huge bar tabs.
Congrats on your epic run, CMDR Anuranium. Bucky salutes you! o7 The only question now is can anyone beat you?
IMPORTANT NOTE: CMDR Anuranium pulled off this non-stop feat of derring-do in a tricked out Anaconda with a long jump range and ginormous fuel scoop. Smaller ships will have to make more jumps and spend a lot more time scooping to make the trip. Get that 13 hour time out of your head unless you're in a similar ship. The jaunt to Sag A* might take you considerably longer, even several days and that's cool. Just be ready for the long haul.
Is this like previous runs where I can choose Solo or Open?
Unfortunately not. Anuranium set the bar by making the trip in Open, and splitting the leaderboards by open/solo like was done in the past will dilute the results. It also sounds like work. Bucky doesn't like extra work. So open only, no solo/private groups accepted. Sorry.
Ok so then you're only counting time logged in the game, right? If I go to sleep or go have to go to work or take care of my family, the timer stops, right? And picks up when I come back in?
Nope. Time waits for no one. The clock starts when you launch, and stops only when you reach Sagittarius A*. Any time asleep, at work, in the can, whatever, all count towards your total time. That doesn't mean you can't take breaks or even go to sleep if you like, but it all definitely counts against your time.
You're on onionhead. This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. You expect people to sit in their cockpits, ignoring all else for an entire day making a thousand jumps and fuel scooping over and over all while trying not to fall asleep to crash exiting hyperspace or make a mistake while navigating and end up in a patch of unscoopable stars to make a speedrun to the center of the galaxy???
Nobody's holding a railgun to your head. The line leading to the ordinary is right over there. They saved a spot for ya.
Psh... Forget that greenhorn. I'm in! But what do I get out of this if I do it?
You get to sit in your cockpit ignoring all else for an entire day making a thousand jumps and fuel scooping over and over all while trying not to fall asleep to crash exiting hyperspace or make a mistake while navigating and end up in a patch of unscoopable stars to make a speedrun to the center of the galaxy. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
But... in addition to having your time officially recorded, you get the chance to have your name forever stenciled in history as the discoverer of a new system. Take a discovery scanner, and rake in millions selling cartographic data upon your return. Achieve Elite status as an explorer. If you're any type of romantic, you get to make an epic trip to the center of our galaxy and see that bright band of stars from the inside looking out, to know what it's like to be at the middle a giant whirlpool of stars a hundred thousand light years across. You get to encounter the largest black hole ever recorded, the cosmic drain around which the Milky Way swirls and have, for a brief moment, the entire galaxy centered around you.
If that's not enough, you also get a free bumper sticker.
Sweet! Everybody loves bumper stickers!
I know, right? Plus, if you're a regular Buckyballer, in addition to the regular dots awarded, you'll have a spiffy looking star next to your name as well. Pretty badass, huh?
Thumbs up! Let's do this! What's the drill?
I took the liberty of drawing a route map. I hope you find it helpful:
Dock at Galileo in Sol. Or, if you haven't sufficiently bootlicked your way up the Federal ranks or you just can't stand being in Fed space, you can start at Lomas Orbital at Wolf 359. It's a little further away but it shouldn't make a difference. (Anybody who whines about this starts at Hutton Oribital at Alpha Centauri. Anybody going to whine? Didn't think so.) Exit the station, hang a left or right depending on your vector, fly 25,800-ish light years to Sagittarius A* as fast as you can. Easy! But there are some specifics for it to count:
The Important Stuff (How to register and race)
- Post your intent to race in this thread, or if you are not a forum member, email (bucky at electricz dot net) with your info. List the following:
- Your commander's name (if different than your user name)
- Ship Name
- Ship Type
- When you're ready to start, begin a game session in Open Mode. (No Solo or Private Group runs.)
- Make sure your ship is in tip-top shape at Galileo in Sol, or Lomas Orbiter in Wolf 359. Make repairs, remove any excess mass, get it configured how you want it for the run, because it's gonna be a long trip back if you forget your sunglasses.
- Open the Outfitting screen and hit F10 for a screenshot of your ship. Be sure to capture Power Plant, Thruster, FSD and Distributor statistics as well as your ship's mass. You will send this with your race time submission.
- Make sure you are on the surface and prepare for launch. If you start your clock in the hangar you'll be unhappy.
- Hit F10 to take a screenshot or start your video capture, showing your location and time. You need it in order to qualify your run.
- Launch and get going, champ! The clock is ticking!
- Navigate your way to Sagittarius A*. Spoiler alert: it's far.
- Upon arrival at Sag A* bring your engine to a halt, fire up your galmap and take a screenshot of your position and the chronometer. Congratulations, you made it! You might want to alt-tab out and check your screenshot folder to make sure it actually got taken taken.
- PM me links to your screenshots, three total: your outfitting screen, start time on the dock, gal map showing end time and location at Sag A*. Feel free to post supporting evidence, your Sag A* Selfies, etc, in the thread. In fact, take a few for insurance purposes, in case you are called out by another racer.
- With your screenshots, include the following information:
- Your Commander's Name
- Your Ship's Name
- Your total race Time. Use a site like Time Duration Calculator for easy calculation. Please include your time because I guarantee I will mess it up and you will be unhappy.
- A short quote (40-50 chars) upon reaching the finish line! It can be anything you like. Something inspirational. A dedication to someone. Just keep it clean and your words will go down in history.
- PM me your real-world, earthbound mailing address and you'll receive an official real-world Buckyball Run A* bumper sticker at no cost to you! You earned it, sport!
(while supplies last. One per CMDR. Offer applies only for BBRA* and not any other Buckyball event.)
- Head back with your head held high by whatever route and at your own pace. You're a galactic hero! Your name and time will go on the leaderboard with the next update.
CMDRs who make the trip will have their times posted on a leaderboard by time. But in addition to the main leaderboard for all times, but there will be a separate board for the top time in each ship class. So fly what you want, or what you have. Take an Orca. Take a Viper. Shoot, one CMDR circumnavigated the entire galaxy in a Sidewinder. Be the first to do it in an Eagle, or a Hauler. Just getting on the board is an achievement.
As usual, screenshots will verify the racers' times. Screenshot your clock before launch and of the galmap at upon arrival for your run to count. CMDRs recording video can still do so if they have the terabytes to do it, but you still have to send me the screenshots. You can take screenshots from the recorded video after the fact. Important note: we're on the honor system here, but events may arise requiring you to send the actual .bmp files from your screenshot directory. If you can't produce them if asked by the racing staff to do so, you may face disqualification. So don't modify the originals, and keep them in a safe place!
Crap. I've already been to Sag A*. But I really want that bumper sticker.
You can always go back again for time. For a while we were taking down names of visitors on an "unofficial" list, but that's really just duplicating the fine efforts of Kancro Vantas's excellent and much more comprehensive Sagittarius A* Visitor's list. Head on over there if you haven't already and get on the list.
Just so you know, astronomers abbreviate Sagittarius A* as "Sgr A*"
Oh who invited you back to the conversation? Anybody who knows Sagittarius A* personally calls him "Sadge." Only people who peep through telescopes from 26,000 light years away call him "Sgr." Perverts.
So What's to keep me from faking my screenshots or lying about my ship's configuration?
I can't stop you. Not at all. There are all kinds of ways you can cheat on this. Faking screenshots, using exploits. Note that even using the Wingman Nav Lock function, even though it is built in to the game, should be avoided. Iin the real life, earth-bound Cannonball Run, there was "a gentlemen's agreement that the vehicle entered would be driven the entire distance, not having it transported on another vehicle, nor having an identical second vehicle hidden near the finish, etc." That's the spirit of this little exercise. How fast can you make the run, using only your piloting skills the ship you've got? There's no need to cheat because what would that get you? There's no prize other than doing it. The competitors did it just for the hell of it. Besides, cheaters make Bucky sad. Do you want to make Bucky sad? Don't be that commander. Nobody likes that commander.
Thanks for the lecture. Anything else?
Nope, that about does it. If you have any questions at all, either post them here or PM me before you take off. You don't want to get all the way out there and then ask. The rules may be amended or changed as time goes on but I will do everything I can to keep the core challenge the same.
And finally, the Shotgun Shine won't be waiting at the end of this run, but CMDR Ortilano says that anybody returning with a Sag A* asterisk next to their name gets the steak gaucho dinner plate (or a meal of the racer's choice) on the house and their picture behind the bar.
Wait, what about Buckyball Run 8?
It was originally planned to kick off 18 Jul but BBR8 is on hold until further notice.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! You may launch at any time.