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

Slipping into orbit of Polaris 4a revealed the mysterious “????” signal to be something called a Thargoid-Transporter:
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When I attempted communications I was given the option to dock - at which point the vessel/artefact “closed up”
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...looking a bit more Thargoid-y, and after a bit of manoeuvring I was able to see what appeared to be a docking port:
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Nothing much seemed to happen after I was grabbed by the device, so after a brief time staring at the alien bulkhead in front of me the Inter-Species Translator was used again - all I was given was the option to undock.
After reversing out of the Transporter I was surrounded by multiple “????” contacts - a quick scan showed several small “traditional” Thargoid ships as per original Elite, as well as one of the larger vessels briefly seen in the FFE intro:
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...and it appeared I was no longer in Kansas Polaris, Toto 😁 A quick look at the GalMap showed Polaris to be 625ly away 😱

Soon after the following message came up on my screen:
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I’m not going to make the same mistake Humanity made last time during First Contact with the Thargoids - I’ll stay my trigger finger and go for a chat...and hope the Thargoids don’t remember Great-Grandpa Arioch quite happily blasted dozens of Thargoid ships back in the day 😅

Greetings Human...an unusual name for one of your kind, it sounds...familiar
(awkward silence from the Argent’s Quest)
 
Save often, this part used to be tricky regarding bugs and needed periods of stardreamer.
And if you decide to accept their suggestion, the late parts when you come back were the notoriously bugged ones.
 
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I wasn’t quite sure what the Leader Ship was that I was supposed to dock at, but targeting the slower moving “????” contacts got me one over 1000km away. I set off with a Thargoid escort of perhaps six ships - finally seeing an oddly shaped object in the far distance. Once I got closer I initiated contact and was granted docking permission:
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Thankfully the Thargoids use rotating docking slots just like us humans 😁
The aliens didn’t beat around the bush:
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Hey, I’m here to explore strange new worlds and meet new civilisations etc etc, enough with the mercenary accusation, already 😅
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Well INRA were/are a bit of a shadowy bunch and genocide is just not cricket, so I’ll help you out!
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Cool, I’ll just jump back into your Transporter and it’ll send me right back to Polaris, right? Just dock - wait a bit - undock, and...
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...ah. That’s not Polaris 4a 😅 It was only a one-way ticket then?

My epic trek back towards human space began - and ended in Sol with 19t of fuel left 😁 Good job I offloaded the Auto Repair system back before setting off - without those extra 40t of cargo space I’d have been a bit stuffed!
 
The jump to Hotice from Sol was but a short skip for the Quest, so I set my Autopilot for the target world of Hotice 1 and engaged the StarDreamer. I was almost immediately intercepted by a pair of airfighters who almost immediately changed into rapidly expanding hot clouds of dust thanks to my cyan beam o’death.

Kicking the StarDreamer in once more, I was again kicked out - this time due to an empty internal fuel tank. Odd, I could’ve sworn that was topped up before I jumped in 🤔 I’d removed the auto-refueller in Sol, so I was about to find out what the internal consumption was like - turns out the Quest is an extremely thirsty beast 😅 She drinks more Military Fuel in a 9AU system transit than she does in a 90-odd light year jump!

I was soon near the secret INRA base:
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...and even though I did a cautious low-level approach (like my Rockforth Academy bombing run) there were no signs of any defence craft. A high-speed pass gave me a look at the facility:
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The green bunker was the only targetable structure, so it was time to put the Thargoid missiles to the test.

Which they failed. Miserably 😅

The only damage inflicted was against the Quest, when one of the missiles impacted on her hull after launch - it was at this point I noticed that the 20 Shield Generators that used to be fitted, didn’t appear to be so anymore. I know the Thargoids said they were going to disarm my ship after docking with their Station, but like, what the hell, alien-dudes? 😂

Seeing as unleashing Macross-missile spam didn’t work, I went in for a brrrrrrrrtt strafing run with the Beam - and the bunker instantly blew apart:
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Circling back around for a closer look, what looked like crates could be seen in the wreckage:
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...so in I went for a landing, directly in the ruins of the bunker. The sound of shield/hull damage started as I was about 100m above my landing point, though no hull % loss was evident - it must’ve been the paint getting scraped off the Quest as I set her down 😁 The MB4 Mining Machine deployed directly in front of my ship:
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...so I kicked in the StarDreamer for a few hours, recovered it, and checked my inventory screen:
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Yay! I’ve got some Hypermycoid Vac5tie 😂
 
Travelling back to the Thargoid system with my precious vac5tie - I set course for Polaris to see if I could make use of the Transporter once again:

Spoiler Alert: nope 😅

The Quest guzzled down fuel like it was Last Orders At The Bar (enough to jump several hundred light years - Polaris is a big system) but when I eventually docked at the Transporter it was for naught; undocking just plonked me outside instead of magically alien-whisking me away across the Galaxy.

Good job I’d stocked up before leaving - I still had plenty of fuel in hand. I did the rest of the jumps from the Galaxy map, noticing the occasional newsfeed new issue announcement pop up. I’d only managed to grab a subscription to Universal Scientist and the Imperial Herald before setting off, so when I finally reached my destination system I thought I’d have a brew and catch up on the last few month’s worth of news.

Oh dear.

Emperor Duval has private viewing of the Quest”

“Quest stolen by wanted criminal - Meredith Argent collaborated”

“Imperial destroy on sight orders on the Quest. Wanted Dead or Alive warrant issued on the CMDR”

“Meredith Argent allegedly destroys evidence at New Rossyth in missile attack (Imp Herald) - actually an INRA assault to try and kill her (Universal Scientist)


Seems like I’m a bit Wanted back in the Bubble and things are kicking off 😅

Back on the main viewer a curt message from the Thargoids appeared:
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No probs. Chucking Military Fuel down the yawning gob of the Quest like a mad thing, I soon was able to dock once more at the strange alien structure with the precious vac5tie:
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They must’ve liked what they got because soon after:
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Custom ship? Especially made just for little old fugitive me? Go on then!
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Yay! Peace between our two species (Spoiler Alert: didn’t work out in the long run 😅) and a sweet new ride for me:
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HOW MUCH STUFF??? 😂 Not only will I be a gazillionaire, I’ve got a cabin that looks like a “Yes” album cover by Roger Dean 😁
Check out the jump range 😱:
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Time to head back to the Bubble and see what happens!
 
Remember to sell/dump cargo so that the number turns positive, lest you find (upon loading a save) the Tardis cargo space reduced to MUCH smaller mundane hold (IIRC it was 182 or 184 tons).
 
Remember to sell/dump cargo so that the number turns positive, lest you find (upon loading a save) the Tardis cargo space reduced to MUCH smaller mundane hold (IIRC it was 182 or 184 tons).
Overnight I’d decided I was going to dump & destroy the majority of my Alien Artefacts - the amount I’d been given was obviously a bug and I didn’t fancy bankrupting the Galactic economy on my return to the Bubble 😁 The game, however, had solved the issue for me when I loaded up:
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Much more appropriate, I think 👍
———
Heading back towards human space, I decided Polaris would be a good intermediary jump - just about at the limit of the new engines - so I selected my destination and engaged the drives:
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Great first impression there, Thargoid Engineers! 😂 Mis-Jump on my very first jump! Never mind, Thargoid-ship, it happens to all of us now and again, we’ll try again in a few minutes 😁
Next target: Alioth, and this time I got there first time. A few confused attempts at setting a course for Argent’s Claim in orbit around Alioth 4 made me realise no Autopilot 😕 - or any other non-combat equipment for that matter. A manual approach over 40AU ensued - an Adder made the mistake of intercepting me and evaporated under my new Thargoid lasers in an instant - and I was soon docked at the orbital:
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Aye, just let me get some Atmospheric Shielding fitted, I’m not sure how the alien hull will handle planet-fall without it!
Just to make sure I got the message, the BBS also had this:
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With some new essential equipment fitted, I dropped down the gravity well onto the world below:
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...and got what I’m assuming is the last curated mission text of the game:
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So that’s that then! (Glad they didn’t ask where their shiny new Quest had got to!)

On reflection, it’s slightly odd that the Thargoid mission sequence, featuring the two most powerful ships in the game, has virtually no combat whatsoever - I think I’ve destroyed less than 5 ships since getting the Quest. I suppose it’s appropriate that the missions are focused towards Exploration game-play, but I think a bit of pew-pew wouldn’t have gone amiss 😁

Right then, I’m off to Riedquat to pick a fight 👍
 
Aye, you got the ship eventually how it probably was intended by the devs.
On the other hand, having 1020 shield generators had its own allure for a while. ;)
 
Now the bonus is that you can do a lot of exploration thanks to your ship.

Having a couple of thousand shield generators would've allowed you to do what my Panther used to do in FE2 - and that's scrape pirates off the windscreen every time I docked in Reidequat. Seriously, the amount of them that just ram you instead of shooting you... (There's even plenty that don't even have lasers on their ships)
 
Now the bonus is that you can do a lot of exploration thanks to your ship.
I’ve seen the Pleiades, Polaris and Betelgeuse (in FE2) but there are a few other destinations on the GalMap that I think I’ll check out in a while 👍
———
I was a bit worried that the Thargoid ship would be a bit too cheat mode in combat - after a quick mooch around The Old Worlds I’d say that the alien laser is massively over-powered (just sweep it over enemies to vaporise them instantly) but due to the hull being, essentially, a great big fat flying target (😅) it seems fairly easy for pirates to hit. My first two sorties into Riedquat ended in destruction, much to my surprise - though that might be partly down to my rusty combat skills.

I’m not sure whether I’ll keep the ship after I’ve been exploring - the Cobra Mk3 is what I originally wanted to achieve Elite status in - plus, the in-game clock isn’t ticking over fast enough for the newsfeeds to pump out new stuff. Seriously, jump time between Riedquat and Orerve is 2.5 hours 😂

The news continues to be great to read - the ongoing saga of landmark theft (like, actual landmarks being stolen using terraforming equipment, tops of famous mountains going missing and the Emperor’s Road getting pinched etc), a lethal graphical fractal program that kills you if you look at it (released by a disgruntled Universal Scientist writer), and the reappearance of colony mega-ships - just like in Elite Dangerous. However, GalNet has never reported anything like this:
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One other thing I’ve noticed - the two lines along the bottom of my Thargoid ship? The ones seen on the original game’s wireframe model? Landing gear:
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You can’t see it very well in the image, but the lines extend downward (like on the Viper or Anaconda) when deploying landing gear. Nice little touch, I thought.
 
Commander @Arioch

Do 1000 kills at Riedquat (by head count) with your thargoid. Please, as EP Archangel I can only imagine such tool.

You can. Archangel.
Although I’m probably going to jump back into a Cobra, I thought I’d try to get a few kills in at the classic anarchy System - but the pirates had other ideas 😅 My first run in the Thargoid ship: zero interceptions!

I don’t know if it’s a genuine thing or confirmation bias on my part - but in FE2 it always seemed I’d get interception-free runs into Riedquat around late July / early August. I used to joke to myself that it was Pirate’s Summer Holiday Week 😁

Probably just RNG coincidence, but that first run in FFE - I looked at the in-game date and thought, “oh yeah, first week of August, they’re all off on their hols” 😂

Edit: I’ve just evaporated an Imperial Courier instantly with the Thargoid lasers - yeah, I’m going to head off and slip into something a little more comfortable and a bit less OP 😄
 
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A short hop (for the Thargoid ship) back to Sol and a quick mooch around the System’s dockyards to find a Cobra Mk3 that meets my exacting standards:
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Got to have the Shark’s Teeth 😁

I’ll have to search elsewhere for a Class 3 Military Drive, but it’s time to get Old Skool on this Galaxy’s posterior once again 😄

Also, there’s an interesting ship now available at Li Qing Jao shipyard - one careful owner, fairly high mileage, but sure to turn heads wherever you go:
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No doubt INRA will have been watching you dock at Sol and will have hoovered up the Thargoid ship to strip it down for its secrets.

Of course, the Thargoids probably anticipated this and only let you see (and access) their outdated technology to see what humans would do with it - they were probably already well on the way to making their more flower-like ships in Elite Dangerous.
 
No doubt INRA will have been watching you dock at Sol and will have hoovered up the Thargoid ship to strip it down for its secrets.

Of course, the Thargoids probably anticipated this and only let you see (and access) their outdated technology to see what humans would do with it - they were probably already well on the way to making their more flower-like ships in Elite Dangerous.
Well the Frame Shift Drive didn’t invent itself!

The first hyperdictions in ED were probably the Thargoids checking out our Drives and going, “sounds like a vintage engine you’ve got there mate, how you finding it?” 😁
 
"We all us" want to see how you handle a combat. Please, release a reel. :eek:


Its free, its easy, it is foolproven by drunken EP Argh-angel. Just toggle a mic OFF. :D
 
"We all us" want to see how you handle a combat. Please, release a reel. :eek:


Its free, its easy, it is foolproven by drunken EP Argh-angel. Just toggle a mic OFF. :D
I’ve got the game installed on my Android tablet - so to get some footage I’ll have to transfer the save to my laptop and get set up there. It’ll probably take a few days, but I’ll try to get a recorded Riedquat run onto YouTube this week 👍
 
I might have to do an edited highlights - I’ve just done my first Riedquat run in the new Cobra; all 4 missiles expended, 2x death+reloads, and after about 50 minutes playtime I limped into dock like this:
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😅 The last encounter against an Imp Courier and an Eagle - without a Scanner and only a few shreds of Hull left - bit of a knicker-gripper!

I’ve found a new use for my missiles though - when my ECM doesn’t touch an incoming Naval missile, if I’m quick & lucky enough I can target the missile and take it down with one of my own.
 
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