Elite / Frontier Frontier: First Encounters - or: how I learned to stop worrying and shove the Mouse

Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy!

A quick fffffftt of ozone, a spritz of dihydrogen monoxide, and a gentle wipe with chlorophyll - and the cradle of Humanity is once again looking a bit healthier. But more importantly - check out my sweet-azz front mounted lasers oh yeah! 😁
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Many thanks to the Engineer AndyJ once again!
 
I’m slowly getting a handle on combat - my Elite rating has reached the heady heights of “Poor” already 😅

Thanks to some handy info on Alioth.net I’ve been able to get through a few single-ship engagements without taking too many hits - full burn towards the target to minimise their initial fire on you, then quickly flip & burn just as they are going past to get on their six, adjusting speed as necessary to stay behind them as long as possible.

Cargo scooping the defeated pirates is pretty much the same as FE2 but without the sound effect (there’s just a “target lost” message in FFE) and I can’t really tell if the cargo tractor beam actually does much - I still have to scoop in the same manner as far as I can tell. Might have to check the manual 🤔

One thing that’s still making me smile a lot is the various news sources - particularly R.I.G. 😁 It’s like the red-top tabloid of the future and has some wonderful humour that’s sorely missing from the modern game (though there are brief flashes sometimes in GALNET, like the recent free drinks offer at the top of the Galaxy). For example, there’s a war breaking out in one of the systems and compared to the rather po-faced reports of the Imps & Feds newspapers, R.I.G. is all, “guys, guys, get your holds full of handguns and you’ll get minted!” 😂
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I’ve had a pulling-hair-out session this morning 😅

Making my way down to Tiliala, I jumped into a system that was just jam-packed full of pirates - saving after each engagement (with many deaths + retries) I finally met a brick wall after about an hour, a wing of four Eagles with naval missiles that destroyed me almost instantly. My three shield generators and 12.5% remaining hull just couldn’t endure any more.

I reverted back to the previous docking save, sacrificed some cargo for extra shields, then jumped back into the problem system.

Autopilot all the way to the Station without a single interception.

And then exploded a few hundred meters from the docking slot due to a bug 🤬😂

(I’ve had this bug a few times now, only with the cylinder type stations and only when doing a manual dock. It’s like there’s some invisible geometry that the ship crashes into)
 
I think if I want to continue in my Cobra Mk3 (and I do) then I’ll have to be stacking a few more shield generators!

I’m fairly alright-ish at dodging laser fire now, generally taking shield hits only when there’s multiple attackers - the problem is Naval Missiles. My ECM doesn’t touch them and if I fail to evade it takes down my shields and a good chunk of hull, plus whatever equipment damage the game seems fit to dole out. Weaving about laser fire while trying to miss the missiles? Not happening 😕

On the plus side, I’m getting plenty of the emergent gameplay I enjoyed in the last game 😅 Today I limped into port on 17.5% hull, no autopilot (got shot out 4.5AUs away) and without starboard thrusters. I was also greeted with a sight I’ve not seen before in FFE - I didn’t know the hills and craters from FE2 made a reappearance:
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Back in the days of FE2, you needed to do a lot of Military delivery missions before getting to anything a bit more interesting (like killing folk) - and reach Major/Colonel (or Imp equivalent) before getting to the really interesting missions (taking pictures of folk or bombing them). I was fairly surprised today when I saw this on the Fed mission board:
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I’m only a Corporal - but my Above Average rating must now count for something. Looks like a change in military doctrine - if you can fly & shoot, you’re probably made of the good-enough stuff 😁

Checking out the details, they want me to go to a nearby system and photograph a secret planetary installation. There’s also a satellite that might cause problems, so they’ll give me a jamming system and a frikken’ nuclear missile 😱

Sign me up, fellas! 😂

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Got the gear fitted, remembered I needed to repair a substantial amount of hull damage from the last run, and fitted two extra shield generators (turned out to be a good idea - they’d allow me to take a Naval missile hit without shields dropping).

On jumping into the system I was given the stark warning, “Commander Arioch, you have entered a military restricted zone” - which roughly translated into about 18 interceptions from ships trying to kill me. I must be improving because I only died three times 😅 Once I finally reached the vicinity of the target planet I looked for the satellite - it turns out it’s visible in the system map:
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Nice model - think I’ll go and blow it up.
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Look at the size of that thing! It’s still 15km away - no wonder they gave me a nuke 😂

Next up, nukin’ and photoin’
 
I think someone didn’t want the recon photos getting back to the Feds - on jumping back to Tiliala, I was attacked almost immediately and for several AUs thereafter. My new stack of Shield Generators helped, but Wings of attackers soon began to take their toll - crossfire and missile spam being the choice tactic of the day.

Still, I eventually managed to reach port:
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...with me in the 1% Club! 😅

Brilliantly, the first FMV when I clicked the BBS telephone icon was a guy right up to the camera, saying “you look terrible!”
When I then selected the shipyard, I was greeted by an engineer in a fez who exclaimed “What have you done to that lovely ship?!!” 😂
Another one then had a go on the repair screen - “Where have you been with that ship, Commander? It’s a mess!” Alright guys, I get the message 😁

I think that’s actually a very cool feature, and I wouldn’t have ever known about it if I hadn’t decided to “endure” the infamous CD-ROM videos. I’ve warmed to them now - there are a few of the actors who are obviously having a laugh and they do make me chuckle a fair bit.

The Feds were very impressed with my photos - “The film is excellent, better than we expected” - and I’ve now got a Vermillion Crest medal stuck to my spacesuit!
 
I’ve taken on an interesting sounding mission from the BBS - take to hitchhikers who are totally not Federal spies, drop them off at an Imperial world, and then come back for them two months later after their “sight-seeing” and take them back into Fed space.
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Sounds completely legit, and I’m sure it’ll all go swimmingly well 😁

On my way to the destination system I had to make a few fuelling stops - and saw a surface port the likes of which I’ve never seen before. I really must’ve not played too much of this game back when it came out.
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Pyramids and a docking platform whose blast-doors form a pyramid after you land (unfortunately at that point the view reverts back to the standard FE2 airless world dock, but still pretty cool while it lasts 😅).

One thing that’s getting right on my wick now are the cylinder stations - invisible geometry causes virtually instant death just before you get to the slot. This bug seems to be still in the modded versions of FFE:
Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5gKbMCkDhdQ


I’ve tested DOS, John Jordan’s mod, and @AndyJ ’s mod - perhaps I’m just a weirdo for doing manual docking at normal speed? 😂
 
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One thing that’s getting right on my wick now are the cylinder stations - invisible geometry causes virtually instant death just before you get to the slot. This bug seems to be still in the modded versions of FFE:

I’ve tested DOS, John Jordan’s mod, and @AndyJ ’s mod - perhaps I’m just a weirdo for doing manual docking at normal speed? 😂
I don't think I've ever docked at less than 2x speed on the Stardreamer. You must have a lot more patience than me! 😄
 
I don't think I've ever docked at less than 2x speed on the Stardreamer. You must have a lot more patience than me! 😄
😁 I’ve got the timings down after my playthrough of FE2 - all but four of those dockings were Manual; three because I couldn’t “instance” change to the Station (which gave some weird movement stutter to the Station) and one due to a sudden attack of CBA). I’d say it’s quicker docking in FFE for me than it is in ED.

Autopilot until I get dropped “in the vicinity” of my destination planet usually somewhere around 100km/s, set the speed to 30km/s and head towards the Station at x3 StarDreamer. Drop to 50,000 km/h at about 25k from the Station, and down to 25,000km/h once under 10k. Drop to x2 StarDreamer at 2k from the target, dropping to “Glide” speed of 9000km/h. Knock off StarDreamer at about 70km from the Station, set throttle to docking speed at 45km. You come to a stop just outside the Station.

I’m curious as to which is quicker now, I think I’ll run a race tomorrow morning 😅
 
One thing that’s getting right on my wick now are the cylinder stations - invisible geometry causes virtually instant death just before you get to the slot. This bug seems to be still in the modded versions of FFE:

I’ve tested DOS, John Jordan’s mod, and @AndyJ ’s mod - perhaps I’m just a weirdo for doing manual docking at normal speed? 😂
Hi Arioch - I don't suppose that you could you pop a save game of this somewhere and I'll have a look to see if I can spot what it thinks it's crashing into.
Just manually docked at Dublin Citadel (Gateway) in a Cobra MkIII without an issue. 🤷‍♂️
If it's anything straight-forward though, I'm sure that JJ would have fixed it. Is this happening in a binary-star system by any chance?

(btw. your video's aren't displaying a preview image for me, just a tiny link. If this isn't intended then instead of adding it via the Media button, you can just paste the raw youtube url as text into your post without the "app=desktop&" part, and it should then embed it with a preview.)
 
Hi Arioch - I don't suppose that you could you pop a save game of this somewhere and I'll have a look to see if I can spot what it thinks it's crashing into.
Just manually docked at Dublin Citadel (Gateway) in a Cobra MkIII without an issue. 🤷‍♂️
If it's anything straight-forward though, I'm sure that JJ would have fixed it. Is this happening in a binary-star system by any chance?

(btw. your video's aren't displaying a preview image for me, just a tiny link. If this isn't intended then instead of adding it via the Media button, you can just paste the raw youtube url as text into your post without the "app=desktop&" part, and it should then embed it with a preview.)
Hi Andy, this has been happening in single-star systems, and I've had it occur at Dublin Citadel as well (I've just started a fresh game and flew up there - entrance boom 😅 I've included that savefile as well). Hopefully I've set DropBox up correctly:


Not sure what's going on with the videos at the moment - I've had issues posting images as well.
 
Hi Andy, this has been happening in single-star systems, and I've had it occur at Dublin Citadel as well (I've just started a fresh game and flew up there - entrance boom 😅 I've included that savefile as well). Hopefully I've set DropBox up correctly:


Not sure what's going on with the videos at the moment - I've had issues posting images as well.
Grabbed them, thanks!
(small tip: you can edit the "?dl=0" to "?dl=1" of a dropbox link if you want it to auto-download the file and not display the preview page)

I see the videos & embeds fine, just for the record. :)
May be cookie deficiency on AndyJ's part
AFAIK I have all cookies enabled for this site... I see the previews for other directly linked videos, so dunno... 🤷‍♂️
 
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I’ve dropped off the totally-not-spies at Solo’s Rock, and took on the mission to kill the assassin of Dentara Rast (a key political figure in the recent Tiliala civil war) which turned out to be fairly tricky - the target launches from a Station in a Viper and you have to take them out before they jump into WitchSpace.

That’s scant few seconds to get the job done - so I swapped out my 1MW beam for a 4MW beam after my first failed attempt 😅 Interestingly, if you launch a missile at the Viper it does a sort of weird teleport to many kilometres away before disappearing.

Anyway, I got the 50k payday (not bad considering I only had about 102k at the time) and a mention in the newsfeeds - sorta. The Feds say they took out the assassin, the Imps say they did it, the Alliance says their guys were the ones...but R.I.G. hinted it might have been an independent pilot. That’s me, that is! 😁

I’m now doing short trading runs with the occasional bit of combat while waiting for my “tourists” - trying to avoid Tube Stations (“Mind The Gap (it’s got invisible bits)”) and enjoying the pun-tastic writing in the news. Bring back R.I.G. for Elite Dangerous!
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😂
 
The next issue of The Imperial Times reported 2 spies had been captured on Solo’s Rock - but those two were either patsies for my “tourists” or my guys staged a daring escape from Imperial custody; come the 20th May when I landed, they were straight aboard with:

Great, glad to see you. Better hurry before the Imperials get us

I thought that was worthy of a screenshot, so I got my phone, focused the image and brought the last message back up:
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Ha ha! That’s cool, it’s like there’s someone after them or something...

Five seconds after I took this picture...BOOM! My ship was destroyed while in dock! I guess the Imperial Stormtroopers managed to actually hit their target this time 😅

After a swift reload, this time I didn’t hang around for a photo op and immediately launched. It was only a single jump to the target Federal system and a fairly uneventful trip from the jump-in point - eventually arriving at the atmospheric ice moon of Finn, in orbit around a gas giant:
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After my totes-not-dodge passengers had paid up and disembarked it was time to peruse the BBS once more - a mission to bomb a legal academy? And a single passenger travelling to the same planet to (presumably) stage the “diversion” mentioned in the bombing mission? I’ll have me some of that!
 
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