Kerenn's Ketchup - A Shared Personal Narrative

Kerenn's Ketchup - A Shared Personal Narrative for New and Returning People

Hello everyone and welcome,

I am Kerenn Vatueil, and I recently came back to Elite after a long hiatus of maybe a couple years.
Maybe you are like me and decided to return because of a new Chapter opening up, right ? My first question upon logging in was "What did I miss ?" and by sheer coincidence, my good pal Alec Turner was online at that very moment. He proposed (I blushed) to have me join his wing and get to the (at the time) newly discovered abandoned bases of the Far God Cult. Not knowing what that was about I immediately said yes and started jumping. The tale of that encounter you can find down below.
Afterwards, I wanted to know what more things were in the game that I had not yet discovered, so I dived into the forums and other ressources to have a look around, checked left and right panels to get myself re-acquainted with my cockpit and tools of the trade. As I went I figured that with the news of updates to come I might as well write some sort of a mix between a personal travel log and a guide for returning or new players looking at what to do ; that I could share with you. So read along, maybe you'll find something to spark your interest down here !
Here's my Journey to Ketching up !

Disclaimer :
There's a few tools that make life on the Frontier (pun intended) easier. Here are those I use :
  • EDDiscovery : at first an Explorer's tool, it was vastly improved by the Commander Journal of 2.2 and can sync with EDDB.io, EDSM.net, and Inara.cz, which in turn makes those function better for you. I'm thinking materials gathering lists)
  • EDSM : Upload your travel data and help map the Elite Galaxy. What more could I say ? GET THIS NOW. Help your peers. Be kind. USE THIS. Also has an engineer dashboard of some kind, and Badges (Made by Qohen Leth) for some reason. Yay, Badges !
  • EDDB : Looking for something ? Go there. Be it a planet, a station, a commodity, a material, a pristine metallic ring or whateva. Need something ? Find it here.
  • Inara : This has a lot of things going on. I mainly use it for engineers shopping list, but you can plan how to build a fleet, manage engineers, plan outfitting, write personal logs, share pictures and discuss with other commanders, use the market ; and so on and so forth.
  • Coriolis.io : Have a dream ship ? want to know how much it'll cost ? What if you used gimballed burst lasers instead of fixed pulse ? Would you need to replace you distributor or powerplant ? You can find out here and customize pretty much anything about your ship, then click on the "stations that sell this build" and profit like never before. Simply love it. Quick nod to E : D Shipyard (EDSY) which does a similar job with (I hear) more accurate stats ; but the sleeker look of coriolis made this a winner in my eyes. Both are very good, though.
  • E.D.I.S.O.N. : You put the planet and coordinates you want to go to, click on "start navigation" and there you have it ! a clean and easy to follow visual indication of where to point your nose. Less Guesswork during Surface Navigation.
I know there's quite a few other options (like Captain's Log), which I might have tried or not, but these are the ones I stick with.

I intend to have as polite discussions as you can find in the Exploration subforum about my endeavours and share my "on and off" love for this game ; using the O.P. to link interesting bits here an there as I go.



What have I done ?
(Some Write Ups Incoming)


  • General :
    • A disclaimer : Why I quit smoking drinking Elite.


  • Crime & Punishment
  • AX Combat Zones
  • crashed anaconda bug killer
  • dav’s hope
  • Megaships
  • Engineering
  • Collecting Raw/Manufactured Materials & Data
  • Material Traders
  • Passengers Missions
  • Tourist Beacons
  • USSes
  • Jameson’s Cobra

To Do list :
(If you have pointers, tips, tricks or ideas to help with these or add to the list you are more than welcome to contribute, and I'll certainly credit you if you do so !)
See you in the Void ! o7
 
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A visit to the Santum and the Prophet.



Hey Kids, remember Uncle Alec ? Let me tell you a story about how he ridiculed himself with how Krait he was in front of a Far God. Pun intended.
I swear on my momma's spit I'm telling all of the truth, only the truth and that in no way I am making fun of him for the mistakes I may have allegedly made. It was all him and nothing of me. *Cough*
Here's how it happened :

I awoke from a deep slumber in a spaceport far far away. My hands and joints felt stiff so I took my ship out for a spin to try a few fly arounds of the station so that my space legs would come back to me. Then I notice in the contact panel that your uncle Alec has come online, so of course I hailed him ; because he did not give any news since Lavecon two years prior. I did not ask for news either, but that's beside the point, right ?
So then he tells me he's off to see "new abandoned bases" or something with a friend, and asks if I want to tag along. Not knowing what he's talking about I feign disinterest but I start jumping towards his destination ; "just in case you need back-up" I tell him.
Arriving in system I immediately spot the bases on Navigation. Weird. No need to play with coordinates anymore ? Well that's a plus. We make our way there without incident, land, get our rovers out. His pal is on our tail, flying towards us, when we notice a Huge Flower levitating above the buildings. The air tenses up. We slowly make our way to the shadow of the buildings, to break line of sight if these things have it. Alec's Pal (the name eludes me, sorry old friend. You'll be Paul until I remember) stays in his ship, cautiously flying around the thing but ready to high-tail it out of there.
Once in the safety of the darkness, I reach for the flashlight button, but it's not working. I use it a few times when suddenly I hear blaring sirens and "Ship Under Attack". Paul goes "Oh my God ! The madman !".
He must have been talking about the Tourist-full Orca that came in right at this moment, I ponder, as I see all screens going red, sparks flying everywhere. I dash in front of me, Lights finally on full blaze (which I now want off, for some reason) and out of that blasted settlement. I figure, with the Rover being small I have a chance of escaping through the net of Thargon Swarm or whatever they call it. Alec tries to get back to his Krait MkII and lift off, but he's soon sent ricochetting against Paul and they both got the pleasure of buying a brand new ship that day. Clearly I had the right intuition here.
But soon after, I hear "Ship Destroyed". What, me ? Stranded in a cheaply rented SRV ? Can't be ! I ask Alec what to do, he tells me I should "forcefully sever telepresence" to see if I can get something back in orbit. But nothing awaits me in orbit except an annoying ad about a new ship.
After spending a few credits I make my way back to the settlement that we did not fully scan that first time. While waiting for the both of them to come back and show off their polished hulls, I drive around and find this tiny little shiny blue bauble, looks like a sphere with exhaust ports, exhalating blue vapor and light. I pick it up and turn around to get back to the meeting point. All is quiet, the Fart God is gone but other ships are incoming. Two tourists charters and one or two commanders I don't know anything about.
Then another Flower shows up, but this time it's coming straight after me ! I figure it may want to play ball so I jettison my cargo and tell it to go fetch. I also warn Uncle Alec and his pal Paul, because I'm a good Samaritan, you already know that.
Once the coast is clear, we silently scan all data points, read up the morning journal (or is it evening ? sometimes I can't tell when surrounded by green mist and purple haze) and make our way to the second site to do basically the same.

I then break the silence :
"- Sooo... Are we going to talk about what happened back there ?"
Paul : "I saw it happen. The madman, he dismissed his Ship right as the Thargoid was hovering above him !"
Oops. So much for the light button not working properly...

And that, kids, is how I met your mother came back to Elite.
 
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Oh this is gonna be good ... I look forward to reading more about your adventures back in the pilots chair. Welcome back to Elite Kerenn "two jumps", it's been too long!
 
Mining 500 tons for Selene Jean.

I guess this one will be pretty short because mining's supposed to change come the 3.3 update, but for now here's the gist of it :
Back before I quit Elite for a while (I'll have to write the reasons down too, one day), I scouted the last leg of the Shepard Expedition (because I wanted to be a Shepard Commander) and ended up in Colonia, a little burnt out on all that jumping and I wanted a change of pace. So I thought to myself, why not try mining something while I'm here, see how it goes. I don't remember the build I used, I just remember burning out after 100 tons.
During last weekend, I thought I might as well try again, but with proper preparation now. So I went to Alec's Best of the Forum's Guides and read through the mining section, which gave me "the popular guide to mining". Learning from there, here's the Build I used. It's under 30M so it's not an entry level thing or anything, but I wanted a mining T-7 so I could call it "Canterbury" and reminisce about how great a serie of books "The Expanse" is. Sue me.
Disclaimer : it took me 4H or so to get the 400Tons I needed, but this build isn't optimized in the slightest. Your mileage may vary.

A few things that bear repeating :
  • Full speed towards the planet at first, down to 75% when you see the ETA get to 0:06.
  • The Dark Side, avoid you will.
  • Avoid RES. Find a nice, quiet, secluded spot away from everything and everyone.
  • Choose a direction for harvest. I go in from the outermost ring, nose pointing planet-ward. I use "left" and "right" side of the planet as triangulation beacons. (This ensures you don't prospect the same asteroid twice)
  • Approach Rings at 25% speed, down to zero once you see details start popping out. This ensures a smooth drop in.
  • Once dropped in, boost away from your drop point and put 10km or so distance behind you. I do that spinward or counterspinward, because superstitions (that way I don't close in on the planet, nor do I risk to backtrack into my dropping point and get a spawn of pirates when my cargo's full).
  • Avoid big and fast spinning asteroids. They'll kill your limpets.
  • If you're looking for something specific, fire lasers until the first chunk comes out, THEN use a prospector to double the amount of minerals you get. (If you're mass mining, prospect away).
  • With my build, 4 pips to weapons ensures I never run out of juice. Three means juices go down slowly. That's why you use a maxed out distributor.
  • LAST BUT NOT LEAST : You can bind collectors limpets to the same firegroup than lasers, this'll ensure that you automatically deploy things, but only when you're actively mining. (A tad problematic to pull out if you're firing then prospecting, see bullet point above). I had lasers as primary in three firegroups, one had prospectors as secondar, one had collecotrs, the third had discovery scanner so I could honk while mining, because reasons.
With all of the above said, Mass mining got boring. Find a rock, send a prospector, deploy collectors, fire away until depleted, find another rock, repeat. What got interesting instead is when I reached 350 tons mined and still didn't get the Painite I was looking for (Well, except for maybe 1 ton and a 94% Bin). I then switched from mass mining to Fire-Prospect-Profit ; and that marked a shifting point.
Instead of being bored holding the fire button, I was actively monitoring asteroids. Which one looked safe to harvest, which one looks big enough, how did they orbit each other and form clusters I could navigate ("If I harvest this one while turning my belly to that other one I can then pitch down and roll 90° left to orientate another pitching down to the third, and then it's a straight line to the planet so I'll have visibility into the next cluster").
Plus, it FELT faster to go from one asteroid to the next because I wasn't a creepy aunt hugging them for too long ; just a crazy psychopath peeling a bit, examining it and moving on while mumbling about not enough pain. A 13% Painite vein was a very nice surprise, while a 40% painite vein became a fargodsend !

I reached 501 tons refined and called it a day. Went to deliver the Painite and parked the Type-7 to continue down my bucket list. Then I heard of an engineer asking for 50 Tons of Bromellite. Doh !
 
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The INRA.

Using The Wiki and Canonn's lore section (and with a heavy dose of E.D.I.S.O.N.), I visited the ten bases of the "Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm" or INRA for short. So what is the INRA and why should you visit ?

Without going into too much details, the INRA is kind of a Special Task Force assembled by both Federal and Imperial Navies to repel the Thargoid Threat ; it operated from 3125 to 3253, give or take a chitinous petal.

Why should you visit those bases ?
  • Each Base has one or more Data Point(s) you can scan for a reasonable sum (1M or so) and some Engineer Data sets ; plus an "Intel Package" unlocking / revealing the base's waypoint on the navigation panel if you want to come back at a later date.
  • Some of those bases have Manufactured Materials for the Engineers.
  • THE LOGS. OH GOD, THE LOGS !
Each Base has 3 to 6 "Settlement Comms Log Uplink" you can scan to download audio/written logs to listen/read. And that is where these settlements shine brightly (because clearly after half a century without being used they're not bright or shiny anymore...). Although somewhat cryptic and puzzling, these logs will give you an idea of the events that transpired behind these crumbled, abandoned walls. They paint quite a peculiar picture and give the place a more than eery feeling and a tense atmosphere.
A few of them are tucked away in curious nooks and crannies, others hidden in obvious plain sight but the pleasure of finding one always remain the same. And then you see how tiny they are when landing but how big the become once you're out in an SRV...
I went around them in Alphabetical Order (because I'm weird like that), but for all intent and purposes I would recommend you take the following tour :
  • Hollis Gateway
  • Klatt Enterprises
  • Mayes Chemical Plant
  • Hogan Depot
  • Velasquez Medical Research Centre
  • Stack
  • Almeida Landing
  • Carmichael Point
  • Taylor Keep [Quick Spoiler : There's 4 Data Points on a timer so make sure you know where they all are to scan them efficiently]
  • Stuart Retreat
  • BONUS : Find Jameson's Cobra.
 
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The INRA.

Using The Wiki and Canonn's lore section (and with a heavy dose of E.D.I.S.O.N.), I visited the ten bases of the "Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm" or INRA for short. So what is the INRA and why should you visit ?

Without going into too much details, the INRA is kind of a Special Task Force assembled by both Federal and Imperial Navies to repel the Thargoid Threat ; it operated from 3125 to 3253, give or take a chitinous petal.

Why should you visit those bases ?
  • Each Base has one or more Data Point(s) you can scan for a reasonable sum (1M or so) and some Engineer Data sets ; plus an "Intel Package" unlocking / revealing the base's waypoint on the navigation panel if you want to come back at a later date.
  • Some of those bases have Manufactured Materials for the Engineers.
  • THE LOGS. OH GOD, THE LOGS !
Each Base has 3 to 6 "Settlement Comms Log Uplink" you can scan to download audio/written logs to listen/read. And that is where these settlements shine brightly (because clearly after half a century without being used they're not bright or shiny anymore...). Although somewhat cryptic and puzzling, these logs will give you an idea of the events that transpired behind these crumbled, abandoned walls. They paint quite a peculiar picture and give the place a more than eery feeling and a tense atmosphere.
A few of them are tucked away in curious nooks and crannies, others hidden in obvious plain sight but the pleasure of finding one always remain the same. And then you see how tiny they are when landing but how big the become once you're out in an SRV...
I went around them in Alphabetical Order (because I'm weird like that), but for all intent and purposes I would recommend you take the following tour :
  • Hollis Gateway
  • Klatt Enterprises
  • Mayes Chemical Plant
  • Hogan Depot
  • Velasquez Medical Research Centre
  • Stack
  • Almeida Landing
  • Carmichael Point
  • Taylor Keep
  • Stuart Retreat
  • BONUS : Find Jameson's Cobra.
Oh I'm so glad you went to these - the INRA bases are fantastic.

Spoiler for those that haven't been ...

No - really!
At the one where they experimented on Thargoids did you drive the SRV into the "torture pit" and notice bits of Thargoid carapice and whatnot scattered around the place? Really quite horrific!
 
An Outing with Friends.

Deer Lord, it came this close to the Stellar Forge creating a Brown Dwarf in my suit's Abyssal Plains. Now I need me some Liquid Fuel, of the Ceremonial Heike kind.
Let's take a walk.

Things started a couple days prior, when I met with R, a colleague of mine. It was a mixer, to say goodbye to those who retired from active duty. Naturally we ended up sitting side by side, and coincidentally started casually chatting about the rumours surrounding the Duradrive, what it could be, the bits about new mining equipment being developed and others things. I tell him of my bucket list and that one time I found a "Non-Human Signal Source [Threat 2]" and barely escaped with 28% Hull, when he drops... THE Bomb :
"R- I've never really left the Bubble, you know. And I would be too scared to even drop in one of these.
K- Whaaat ? No way, dude, bro, you gotta ! Tell you what, let's say saturday come morning, we'll link up in a Multi-Crew session. That way, with the telepresence I can take you to places and you won't risk anything ! Plus I got this sweet little Imperial Fighter I haven't tried yet, you could stretch those space legs anywhere in it ! Deal ? Deal !"

As soon as I came back to my bunk I grabbed my Grounded Grasshopper's key and promptly undocked to reach Asterope, where the station is under repair. I called in a transport so my Krait would follow me there, left the keys on the ignition and went to sleep. Here's what I had planned :
So we quickly set up a running Telepresence Link and get on our merry way. Once we arrived at the Pleiades Sector AB-W B2-4 (did I not visit this place once already ?) I see we've got a Science Vessel in the navigation panel, so we do a quick detour there. Lots of materials to gather and contacts to scan, so R takes my Imperial Fighter (a sparkling new GU-97 Gellig G) on her maiden voyage while I scoop materials and scan arrays.
Back in Supercruise, I spot a USS and decide to target it. [Threat 4].
"K- Hey, I heard those Threat 4 only contain Thargoid Sensors, wanna see one real quick ?
R- Ummm, I'm not real...
K- Dropping !"
Uh Oh. What awaits us is seven full triangles on the radar, three yellow and four reds. I say we've overstayed our welcome and hit the boost button. Thankfully the reds soon turn into rectangles and my shields haven't lost their first ring. I can hear R grumbling about "setting up cameras angles" and whatnot. We hightail out of it without knowing what happened and not wanting to go back.

We finally reach our first destination and that's when the limitations of multi-crew kick in :
"R- So, where are we headed ? And aren't you pitching down a little bit too much ? The ground's coming to us real fast you know ?
K- Wait, you can't see the bearings nor the altimeter ? That sucks. EDISON I'd understand because I jury-rigged it to my own HUD, but... Anyway ! -66° is nothing when diving, we'll be juuust fine.
Aaand here we are, see that scar in the ground ? There should have been an Imperial Majestic Class Interdictor hovering above but if memory serves we just have to go over that ledge and we'll be able to see... Voila !
R- What... What is thaaat ? Are these bones ?
K- This, my friend, is a crashed Thargoid Ship. see the round thing I'm pointing at ?
R- Pointing ?
K- Oh, so you can't see my reticle either ? Dammit. Here, let me nose up to it.
S- Ship Scan Detected.
R- What was thaaat ?
K- Um, I actually don't know, there's nothing on the contacts list... Bah, if it starts shooting we're out of here. As I was saying, this round part is the center, and the bony prongs are actually the "Petals" of the "Flower" and...
R- Did you hear that scream ?
K- What ? No, what did you hea... Oh ! Oh boy was I stupid, the ship scan is from the Thargoid Sensors ! Let me hover around and see if I can spot one ! Here, three of them ! So, what do you think ?
R- Why is there some kind of distortion field around them ? Are they pulsing with light or something ? Wait, they're screaming again. This place gives me the creeps.
K- Okay, stay put in your bunk, I'll go down in the SRV and try to collect a few more materials... What do you mean, SRV Unavailable ? Eh, let's go to the next site."

The rest of our trip was uneventful, but for some reason the signal got jammed and our Telepresence Link was cut off... Just as I was arriving near the Abandoned Thargoid Structure. Coincidence ? I think not ! Having no self-restraint fear I ventured forth with my SRV and collected a few meta alloy samples, some materials, scanned some uplinks for the sake of it, angered the local drones and lifted off without a hitch.
Yet as I was jumping to Maia, the impossible happened :
"Warning ! Hyperspace Conduit Unstable."
Remember, I was carrying two meta alloys taken from an Abandoned Thargoid Structure... I was in deep. All power to engines, full forward, FSD charging... But the thing still got me, disabled everything. Scanned me. Deployed a Thargon Swarm. I was sure I would see the rebuy screen. But listening only to my Greed Valiant Heart, I boosted as soon as I could, darted out of reach and engaged another FSD spool up. I don't remember reaching Palin's place on my own but for some reason I ended up regaling him with my tales and I think the freshness of my story really warmed him up because he immediately (after a brief deposit of 25 Thargoid Sensor Fragments) offered to tool up my engines.
And that was it for my Saturday morning.



Additionally, there was another friend of mine (A) online at the time but I couldn't invite hime because of technical issues (I told him to shell out some money to broaden his, *Cough* Horizons *Cough*) but he wouldn't, so he couldn't. It's sad that I couldn't take him on as a passenger to show him how vast and awesome the world is when landing on planets because of a mere technical triffle, maybe that'd convince him to part with a few creds to get his Planetary Approach Suite in running order. Just sayin' ;)
 
Unlocking Engineers :

... And maxing them ! TL;DR :
  • Use Inara's Engineer Page,
  • For each engineer, pick a 5-ranks modification and add it to your Crafting List (I suggest setting 5 or more rolls for each grade)
  • go "shopping". (but be careful, for some reason Inara doesn't take into account other modifications in your list, so if you have two that ask for 5 tellurium each you have to remember to get 10 yourself)
  • Once you have everything needed, work on those "invitations" conditions if you haven't already.
  • When docking to bribe unlock them, you've got all you need to max them on the first go.
  • [EDIT] Want an easier time ? Make sure you buy from BOOM State systems. Thanks Alex Brentnall !


So in the end it all just boils down to doing errands for lazybodies. But the people I've met along the way... I think that was worth all the running around. Here, kids, let me tell you how it happened :

I remember hearing about a guy who would do weird things to your ship if you had dealt with black markets and thought it would be funny ; both the black marketing and the tweaking. So I did a quick search for black markets around my position, and for illegal commodities I could sell here and there. I remember hunting a few Unknown Signal Sources for illegal black boxes, or accepting a mission to ferry goods and immediately abandoning it, thus legally stealing its cargo. Maybe I did both. I had plotted a course through all of these systems and dropped one ton here one ton there (playing with station security was a blast : using supercruise to align with the station's entry instead of looping around like a poor sap, coming in silent running, boosting through the mailslot, slam-docking...), until I had dealth with enough black markets or sold everything, whatever came first. If my storytelling's a bit blurry it's because that was way back in the days, maybe even before the speed limit was a thing. I'll give you reckless flying, you little piece of...
When you think of it, it's weird that they ask you to do illegal stuff. I could ask you to kill a man for access to my workshop, and then simply ambush you with a team of local law enforcement. I wonder why I didn't think of it back then. Others did not have such... Exotic requests. Or did they ? I remember seeing a pattern of testing you twice : first for a chance at an invitation to their tea party, and then to actually be allowed to drink from it. Like, who do they think they are ? "Oh hey you're famous for having done this or that, come take a look at my place, I'll do a guided tour ! Here's the landing pad, here's the workshop, and voilà, we're done. Oh, you want to do business with me ? Get me some brandy or cigars first."
So the first thing I did was make sure I had everything neatly planned out so that I wouldn't have to backtrack and use their landing pads more than necessary. Self-important quirky people, I tell ya. If their service wasn't so efficient I doubt they'd ever get a visit (I wonder how Marco Qwent's doing these days, that modular ?).
I've covered Selene Jean's requirement already, and there are a lot of things that I had already done, but the gist of it comes down to playing the game, the full spectrum. Fight your way up the Pilots Federation asinine ranks, go deep into the black and rack up exploration data, trade your heart and soul for a chance at something better, sacrificing what you need to get what you want. They come in all shape and sizes ; asking you to be an explorer, a bounty hunter, a trader, an imperialist, a federalist, an ally, a friend ; hiding behind permit locks... I mean, one of them even asks that you get the fabled Elite status before she'll even talk to you ! I say, do a quick detour by Colonia to put some kylies under your belt, maybe wave a finger at the Engineers parked there (don't forget the Osmium !) and once you come back you should have done enough to have a few of them begging you to come take a look at their installation. Once you have them at your feet, though, they'll be stingy enough to request some rare commodities, be it artificially rares ones (Seriously, Qwent ?) or actual rares.

But that last point is the one I want to tackle today. Have you heard about Heike Ceremonial Tea ? Do you know what tea-bagging is of the Ceremonial Tea-Baggers ?
Here's the story inside the story.
I was leering at Hera Tani's hair and tattoos wondering where the tracheotomy was with all these Cigars she was asking for and then decided I didn't give a damn anymore. If she wanted those, I would give her those. Kamitra, here I come. Turns out the cheapskates had deep pockets and short arms, selling only 45 of the 50 tons I was looking for. Venting my anger through the heatsinks, a... Let's say an acquaintance of mine, introduced me to these lovely philantropic gentlepeoples. For the actual cost of NOTHING they flew to my position, bought the remaining cigars and gave them to me, without charging me a single thing. When I told them I would be on my way to acquire some more rare commodities they simply nodded and escorted me to the next, filling my holds with everything I could ask for and more. My little heart was flushed with gratitude as I could effortlessly bribe my way through all of those remaining lazy bums who ask you to open two doors before you can drink tea.
I wondered for a second if that was the aim of these apprently sadistic demands (Really, 50 tons of something that's only sold by 5 ? You want me to see you tens of time before actually showing the goods ? I don't think that's how you get a second date, pal.), encouraging cooperation, generosity and sharing...
Naaah, that can't be it ! That would be too easy !
 
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But that last point is the one I want to tackle today. Have you heard about Heike Ceremonial Tea ? Do you know what tea-bagging is of the Ceremonial Tea-Baggers ?
Here's the story inside the story.
I was leering at Hera Tani's hair and tattoos wondering where the tracheotomy was with all these Cigars she was asking for and then decided I didn't give a damn anymore. If she wanted those, I would give her those. Kamitra, here I come. Turns out the cheapskates had deep pockets and short arms, selling only 45 of the 50 tons I was looking for. Venting my anger through the heatsinks, a... Let's say an acquaintance of mine, introduced me to these lovely philantropic gentlepeoples. For the actual cost of NOTHING they flew to my position, bought the remaining cigars and gave them to me, without charging me a single thing. When I told them I would be on my way to acquire some more rare commodities they simply nodded and escorted me to the next, filling my holds with everything I could ask for and more. My little heart was flushed with gratitude as I could effortlessly bribe my way through all of those remaining lazy bums who ask you to open two doors before you can drink tea.
I wondered for a second if that was the aim of these apprently sadistic demands (Really, 50 tons of something that's only sold by 5 ? You want me to see you tens of time before actually showing the goods ? I don't think that's how you get a second date, pal.), encouraging cooperation, generosity and sharing...
Naaah, that can't be it ! That would be too easy !
For anyone else that chances across here - Hit the rare goods when the selling system is in "Boom" state. They sell a lot more at a time so it's much fewer trips. But yes, the tea-baggers are amazing! :)
 
Excellent story telling Kerenn, and a really good advert for the Engineering update (and I agree, the best thing about the engineers is they get you to do a little bit of everything in the game).

P.S. sorry a bit uncommunicative today, mountain climbing takes a lot of concentration!
 
Under the Solar Flare
A short tale of the Harvesting season on Ho Hsi 1

It's funny how so many things revolve around a handful of persons nowadays. I don't think it used to be this way. One of the things I love about being a commander in this cold and uncaring Galaxy is the Paradox at the root of everyone's branching path...
"Blaze your own Trail" said the advert. "Become one of the Elite" they said. Be someone ! Make it Matter ! Unlimited Knowledge, unending riches, Power... Overwhelming ! What a biowaste-filled canister that was. The Pilots' Federation was selling dreams we bought like drugs. We wanted to see Distant Stars, reach for them, touch the sun. Many of us forgot the old tales about Icarus, flew too close, for too long. I think I did too, burn out, I mean. But we'll get to that.
I remember my mentor saying "Furniture with more than one use has no use" meaning if it can be anything and everything then by definition it can be nothing. He liked his paradox, too. But what does that mean to the bright-eyed ones, the hopeful, the stargazers, the day dreamers ? Here's the kicker : Too much choice is the death of choice. If you can be anything, how are you going to choose the one thing you want to be ? People try and grab everything because they fear missing out ; they want to feel as if they've seen it all, done it all, tasted it all ! I was no different. We were no different back then. Yes, such is the bittersweet aftertaste of freedom. Imagine being in a desert, alone, with no sense of direction. Sand stretching everywhere you look, civilization maybe there or maybe that way. How do you choose where to go ? Oh sure, there's a cloud over here and what looks like an oasis this way. Illusions ! Illusions all of them !
"Set your own goals" sold with the hypocritical appearance of benevolent neutrality. Oh we wouldn't want to influence you, what if our advice makes you feel awkward because you don't like what we've told you to do ? Yeah, we believe in you being mature and responsible enough to own it to yourself. Made a wrong call ? Oh that was all on your shoulders, you can't blame anyone but yourself. But men are such creatures that they want to be guided, told what to think, what to do, and then blame others when it all falls apart. Such is our frail ego, so are our flaws laid bare. As my friend said : Oh, Deer Lord, the Hue-Manatee !

Wait, I think I lost myself in rambling yet again. Lost my focus. Veered off-course for a moment. Where was I before this angry outburst ?
Oh right. Innocence. Losing it. Burning out. Learning to walk again. Reclaiming Innocence. That's what I did.
I knew I should be wary not to try and soar right away, so I took baby steps. Hesitant ones. I asked for Help at first. Visited known places, familiar faces. But the thirst for more was still there, unquenched. So I dared venture out of mycomfort zone, seeking thrills and moving boldly. Which, surprisingly enough, led me to Ho Hsi.
You see, I had no prior experience with the Eccentrics we call Engineers, and once acquainted all they wanted were "Materials". What's that ? I asked. Bemusement filled the room. "Wait, you don't know about Vanadium ? Niobium ? Clearly you haven't lived under a rock or you would have found some already !". Man, this was the Three Shells all over again ! I decided I wouldn't be caught red-handed again and went on a shopping spree of sorts. I wanted to find some Tellurium, some Arsenic (to get back at those snide little...), some Molybdenum because the name was lyrical and some Zinc to help with a roofing issue I don't need to go over too much here.

Ho Hsi 1 was a perfect candidate.
I was there in two jumps and quickly landed on the scorched, tidally locked, sun-lit face. Got the SRV out, started searching for signals. Pretty quickly I found what I was looking for and my holds started filling up. Things were looking nice, pace was good. Suddenly I hear some sort of rumbling noise and feel the earth shaking.
I think that was my imagination playing tricks on me with what I saw in the corner of my eyes because when I looked up for a split second I saw it !
The hand of an Ifrit, descending rapidly from the heavens to caress the ground I was on. An outstrechted stellar arm like you could see in that one painting from way back then, what was the name again ? Ah, right ! Creazione di Adamo by Michelangelo ! And here I was, reflexively stretching my own arm trying to reach for the star. I FELT that moment like no other. For a split second, there was no vehicule, no ship, no suit. For a moment there I was basking naked in the full glory of the Universe's Physical Manifestation.
Talk about a Sun Bath ! Soon the Solar Flare faded away as if the star had belched from its latest meal and I was left alone, suited up, in a vehicule not too far from my ship, on a desolated landscape that maybe had been sculpted by such fiery outbursts lashing onto the surface every now and then.
But still, the feeling lingered for a bit. Had I not enrolled into the Pilots Federation, had I not experienced the shame of knowing so little ; I wouldn't have been standing there on that exact spot at that exact time when the cosmic Orrery aligned. I would not have experienced the peace and quiet of that little corner of the Galaxy, I would not have reminisced about what it meant -not to them, but to me- to be a commander. Oh, to be a commander. Behind the treacherous liberty offered, it was also a gamble. A gamble about what you would find, discover, stumble upon... A gamble I was now glad I took.
 
Hey, since you asked for it on discord, here are some things I still want to do/visit in the game that are not on your list:

- SRV Orbit Jumping
- Star One
- The "Four Corners of the Galaxy"
- Going into war in a combat ship in a wing with other commanders
- Killing all the thargoid interceptor variants in a wing
- Leading an expedition
- Finding a ringed ELW, Green Giant, binary/trinary Black Holes/Neutrons
- Building a T10, Clipper, FDL, various other ships
 
Oh man, I was so caugh up in putting out content that I did not take the time to answer you all, until I realized this went to page 2 !
Let's do this.

Oh this is gonna be good ... I look forward to reading more about your adventures back in the pilots chair. Welcome back to Elite Kerenn "two jumps", it's been too long!
It has indeed, old friend !

I expect you've seen it already, but just in case... I was discussing with the forum just these days what I have left to do and others added their own 'to-do' lists and it turned into quite an informative thread concerning personal goals and ideas for such. Hope you enjoy, and a hearty Welcome Back!! . :) o7
https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/450659-Too-MUCH-to-do-Problem-is-it-isn-t-all-going-to-be-fun
Oh yeah, I've taken a good look at your post and intend to go back to it if inspiration ever dries out. There's lots of good ideas in it, I like it !

Welcome back!
I can probably help out getting you acquainted with neutron stars. That'd require me going into game again (also on a bit of a break) but I'm up for that :)
Also top tip - Distant Worlds 2 coming after the Q4 updates.... Also check out the Q4 3.3 update pics and stuff from Lavecon if you haven't already, (Obvious spoilers):
https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/397639-Elite-Dangerous-2018-Roadmap-Regularly-Updated
I always figured I'd have an On and Off relationship with Elite, are you in the same boat ? :D

Welcome back out amongst the Stars.
Thanks !

Oh I'm so glad you went to these - the INRA bases are fantastic.
Spoiler for those that haven't been ...
No - really!
At the one where they experimented on Thargoids did you drive the SRV into the "torture pit" and notice bits of Thargoid carapice and whatnot scattered around the place? Really quite horrific!
Oh yeah, I've seen that. Eerie !

Outstanding, more pls.
Will do !

For anyone else that chances across here - Hit the rare goods when the selling system is in "Boom" state. They sell a lot more at a time so it's much fewer trips. But yes, the tea-baggers are amazing! :)
Oh right, I should update my post with that info. Also the magnificent Zoy's Rare List.

Excellent story telling Kerenn, and a really good advert for the Engineering update (and I agree, the best thing about the engineers is they get you to do a little bit of everything in the game).
P.S. sorry a bit uncommunicative today, mountain climbing takes a lot of concentration!
Well I'll believe it was good story telling, but just because you're the one saying it ;)

Hey, since you asked for it on discord, here are some things I still want to do/visit in the game that are not on your list:
- SRV Orbit Jumping
- Star One
- The "Four Corners of the Galaxy"
- Going into war in a combat ship in a wing with other commanders
- Killing all the thargoid interceptor variants in a wing
- Leading an expedition
- Finding a ringed ELW, Green Giant, binary/trinary Black Holes/Neutrons
- Building a T10, Clipper, FDL, various other ships
Oooh, I can see myself adding these to my list, thanks !
 
Under the Solar Flare
A short tale of the Harvesting season on Ho Hsi 1

It's funny how so many things revolve around a handful of persons nowadays. I don't think it used to be this way. One of the things I love about being a commander in this cold and uncaring Galaxy is the Paradox at the root of everyone's branching path...
"Blaze your own Trail" said the advert. "Become one of the Elite" they said. Be someone ! Make it Matter ! Unlimited Knowledge, unending riches, Power... Overwhelming ! What a biowaste-filled canister that was. The Pilots' Federation was selling dreams we bought like drugs. We wanted to see Distant Stars, reach for them, touch the sun. Many of us forgot the old tales about Icarus, flew too close, for too long. I think I did too, burn out, I mean. But we'll get to that.
I remember my mentor saying "Furniture with more than one use has no use" meaning if it can be anything and everything then by definition it can be nothing. He liked his paradox, too. But what does that mean to the bright-eyed ones, the hopeful, the stargazers, the day dreamers ? Here's the kicker : Too much choice is the death of choice. If you can be anything, how are you going to choose the one thing you want to be ? People try and grab everything because they fear missing out ; they want to feel as if they've seen it all, done it all, tasted it all ! I was no different. We were no different back then. Yes, such is the bittersweet aftertaste of freedom. Imagine being in a desert, alone, with no sense of direction. Sand stretching everywhere you look, civilization maybe there or maybe that way. How do you choose where to go ? Oh sure, there's a cloud over here and what looks like an oasis this way. Illusions ! Illusions all of them !
"Set your own goals" sold with the hypocritical appearance of benevolent neutrality. Oh we wouldn't want to influence you, what if our advice makes you feel awkward because you don't like what we've told you to do ? Yeah, we believe in you being mature and responsible enough to own it to yourself. Made a wrong call ? Oh that was all on your shoulders, you can't blame anyone but yourself. But men are such creatures that they want to be guided, told what to think, what to do, and then blame others when it all falls apart. Such is our frail ego, so are our flaws laid bare. As my friend said : Oh, Deer Lord, the Hue-Manatee !

Wait, I think I lost myself in rambling yet again. Lost my focus. Veered off-course for a moment. Where was I before this angry outburst ?
Oh right. Innocence. Losing it. Burning out. Learning to walk again. Reclaiming Innocence. That's what I did.
I knew I should be wary not to try and soar right away, so I took baby steps. Hesitant ones. I asked for Help at first. Visited known places, familiar faces. But the thirst for more was still there, unquenched. So I dared venture out of mycomfort zone, seeking thrills and moving boldly. Which, surprisingly enough, led me to Ho Hsi.
You see, I had no prior experience with the Eccentrics we call Engineers, and once acquainted all they wanted were "Materials". What's that ? I asked. Bemusement filled the room. "Wait, you don't know about Vanadium ? Niobium ? Clearly you haven't lived under a rock or you would have found some already !". Man, this was the Three Shells all over again ! I decided I wouldn't be caught red-handed again and went on a shopping spree of sorts. I wanted to find some Tellurium, some Arsenic (to get back at those snide little...), some Molybdenum because the name was lyrical and some Zinc to help with a roofing issue I don't need to go over too much here.

Ho Hsi 1 was a perfect candidate.
I was there in two jumps and quickly landed on the scorched, tidally locked, sun-lit face. Got the SRV out, started searching for signals. Pretty quickly I found what I was looking for and my holds started filling up. Things were looking nice, pace was good. Suddenly I hear some sort of rumbling noise and feel the earth shaking.
I think that was my imagination playing tricks on me with what I saw in the corner of my eyes because when I looked up for a split second I saw it !
The hand of an Ifrit, descending rapidly from the heavens to caress the ground I was on. An outstrechted stellar arm like you could see in that one painting from way back then, what was the name again ? Ah, right ! Creazione di Adamo by Michelangelo ! And here I was, reflexively stretching my own arm trying to reach for the star. I FELT that moment like no other. For a split second, there was no vehicule, no ship, no suit. For a moment there I was basking naked in the full glory of the Universe's Physical Manifestation.
Talk about a Sun Bath ! Soon the Solar Flare faded away as if the star had belched from its latest meal and I was left alone, suited up, in a vehicule not too far from my ship, on a desolated landscape that maybe had been sculpted by such fiery outbursts lashing onto the surface every now and then.
But still, the feeling lingered for a bit. Had I not enrolled into the Pilots Federation, had I not experienced the shame of knowing so little ; I wouldn't have been standing there on that exact spot at that exact time when the cosmic Orrery aligned. I would not have experienced the peace and quiet of that little corner of the Galaxy, I would not have reminisced about what it meant -not to them, but to me- to be a commander. Oh, to be a commander. Behind the treacherous liberty offered, it was also a gamble. A gamble about what you would find, discover, stumble upon... A gamble I was now glad I took.
I can't rep the same post twice - that seems a shame. Your stream of conciousness writing is excellent!
 
Very nicely written and informative, Kerenn [up]

This should be sorted under Guides & Tutorials really.
 
The Road to Riches :
I'm writing this one before it gets obsolete.

It's an easy way to make credits and some say it's fast.
  • Go here. Fill in the system you want to use as start/finish.
  • Start Jumping & Scanning what you're told to scan.
  • It doesn't get any simpler than that.
From what I've gathered here and there, Road to Riches (R2R) uses EDDB/EDSM to know which systems have high-value planets, and draws a circle on the galmap linking your starting position with all of these, trying to make a path where each system scanned yields approximately 1M Credits.

Now what did I think of that ? At first I thought "hey, I can hear the credits rolling !" but then you get to a place where the scan is, I don't know, 0.22LY away or something and you then have to wait. It soon became tedious to me, targetting, supercruising, alt-tabbing to get info on the next destination, copy pasting into galmap, plotting a route, selecting my target back, waiting for scan to finish (Quick glance at the Engineers, I can't find the thread but there was someone who tested long range VS fast scan and Fast Scan wins out 95% of the time, so maybe I should have started there...), etc...
I think I remember two hours of tedium brought me 60M so it kinda was worth it, but man was it boring.

Which brings me to my next point. I tried Robigo Passenger Missions. (Here's the build I used)
Here's how to do it :
  • Get a Ship full of Passenger Cabins to Robigo, Hauser's Reach.
  • Take the highest paying missions with "Sirius Atmospherics" as destination and fill your cabins.
  • Jump to Sothis - Planet A 5 and you'll find a Tourist Beacon with the name Sirius Atmospherics.
  • Drop down, scan the beacon, get back to Hauser's Reach.
It's as fun (or boring) as doing A-B-A trading, but it also slowly fills your Exploration rank. I Spent today's afternoon on it and right now, I thirst for something a little more engaging so even if the money's good, I'll be going to visit some other places, maybe unlock tech brokers or something ? And wait for the 3.3 Update to finish my Exploration Elite rank, I think. There's also Meene's Community Goal going on right now, maybe I'll check that out !
Kerenn Out.
 
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