[Lore] General Questions

So I've been writing a short story during my free time about elite dangerous and I have many questions regarding the universe.
Is it normal to run into a natural earth born person? How do commanders get their first Ship? What is life on a ship Like? Do they have food and water and latrines onboard? Are normal everyday pilots aware of things like neutron star jumps? Is there widespread use of personal weapons? What common knowledge do citizens have about the Thargoids? What source of power do stations typically use? Solar, Nuclear, ect... what does the average person know about "ancient earth" history? Are there any media such as music or tv that pilots watch or listen to on the Ship? What is the general culture of the federation Like? Is it normal for people not to have a ship?
 
I'll attempt to answer two:

Regarding food and latrines on board, most likely on medium ships and larger.

And is it normal for people not to have a ship? Most definitely, only a small percentage would have a ship of their own.
 
Food costs from 100 to 800 cr per tonne, or 0.1 to 0.8 cr per kilo.
So Sidey costs about same as a car. Cannot tell for sure though.
 
Is it normal to run into a natural earth born person?

If this is in the context of "Born in Sol on Earth itself" the answer is no. The Bubble is vast compared to the small scale astronomy we practice now. The superpowers encompass well over a thousand systems each and there are dozens of hundreds more that are fully independent and not under the 'territory' of the Powers. There's too many system with too many people that Terran born humans account for a small drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the human population.

If this is in the context of "Earth Like Worlds" then the answer goes from "Extremely Rare" to "Uncommon". There are hundreds of ELW's and are usually found in Agricultural systems. There are still hundreds more being formed through Terraforming.

If this is in the context of "Humans born without alien attributes" then pretty much every human you meet is such. There haven't been any humans born with weird alien attributes at all. The closest one might get is the Empire where eugenics programs are in effect and their armies may be DNA spliced for specific purposes. Genetic enhancements aren't uncommon much like in Mass Effect where 'packages' can be applied to anyone to cure many of the genetic defects we have now and improve already existing attributes. Only the Empire however has delved deep into DNA tampering. The Federation much prefers technological advancements such as robotics, cybernetic limbs, to possibly fully cybernetic bodies. (See: Ghost in the Shell) The Alliance favors nether.


How do commanders get their first Ship?

Realistically? Much like someone gets a car. They can take out a loan that they then use said ship to earn back the loan and then earn toward a bigger ship. Gamewise this starter set is given freely since I doubt very much any player would like being hit with a loan on their first steps. Perhaps they come from a wealthy family that bought them a ship. Or maybe they stole one. Perhaps they were even crew aboard the ship and wound up as the captain/owner when the previous one died or was killed. Or the company that owned the ship went under and with lack of a papertrail defaulted to the captain. There is all sorts of way it could happen.

What is life on a ship Like?

Probably the same as aboard a sea vessel. Wake up. Check the systems to make sure your ship is in one piece and not going to fall apart in the next few minutes. Check your heading. Eat. More diagnostics. Manual piloting if you feel like it. Interact with the crew if you have any. Eat. Shift cargo and clean the ship. Manual inspection of the ship systems such as actually going down to deck 6, ripping up the deckplates and inspecting the wiring, replacing the plates, moving on. Take reports from the crew about how the ship is running, look into any problems, give orders. Check heading again. Give orders to the nightwatch. Sleep.

Essentially your job is to maintain the ship while it's in motion and keep it from doing anything weird or strange. You watch for the ship to start acting up and try to head off any problems before the ship starts tearing itself apart overheating or grinding it's moving mechanisms apart. You also watch your surroundings as pirate attacks could come at any time or some developing space phenomina happens. It could be that very moment you enter a system that a Red Giant could pick that exact time to go Supernova. Plasma jets lash out at your ship frying internal systems, radiation levels reach lethal peaks disrupting computer systems and killing people onboard. You must navigate to clear space so the computers can actually get a reading on their surroundings to plot a course safely to safety. All while your ship is coming apart at the seams.


Do they have food and water and latrines onboard?

If they stocked up properly before leaving port yes.

Are normal everyday pilots aware of things like neutron star jumps?

Given that not everyone is a pilot in Elite Dangerous much like not everyone is an aircraft pilot, I'd say that most pilot are aware when companies like Sirus introduce such sweeping changes and announce their product is able to do such, they'd take advantage.

Is there widespread use of personal weapons?

Yes. The powers still maintain ground forces as well as police and they are maintained with such. There is also smuggling so it's safe to say that criminals are similarly outfitted. There are even four types of commodities in game that reflect this. Battle Weapons (military grade weapons like machine guns and rocket launchers), Personal Weapons (think handguns and hunting rifles) Non-lethal weapons (tasers and the like) and Reactive Personal Armor (name is on the tin).

What common knowledge do citizens have about the Thargoids?

None. As far as Thargoids are concerned, the last conflict was over 200 years or such ago. Information was suppressed so the Thargoids descended into mystery and myth. Before the most recent incursion, many didn't even believe them to be real. They were more like the monsters under the bed used to scare children into behaving. Even with them confirming to be real, the average person would only know what's reported on Gal-net. Otherwise they see the Thargoids as these mysterious things capable of unimaginable power.

They are unaware of the neutralizer fields and caustic missiles. They would see them as terrifying monsters who can rip through even the mightiest battleships with ease and destroy the previously thought to be unassailable stations as a god would smite a town with a casual flick of the wrist. Though with players proving that smaller ships are able to counter these monsters might give them a bit of hope that these 'gods' are not such and can bleed.


What source of power do stations typically use? Solar, Nuclear, ect...

There's plenty of Solar panels and given the ship reactor cores it's safe to assume any power source you can think of in use now been refined to actually be viable in the year 3304.

I wouldn't be surprised if wind turbines were in use that made use of the 'Solar Winds' so to speak.


what does the average person know about "ancient earth" history?

Very little if nothing. The Federation of Sol was born out of the ashes of Nuclear WW3. Much like Star Trek, Humanity nearly destroyed itself to the point that it traumatized the remaining human population to focusing their efforts to the stars out of survival. The Empire and the Alliance were born out of conflicting ideals as humanity spread. Almost no information predating the birth of the Federation is thought to exist.

Are there any media such as music or tv that pilots watch or listen to on the Ship?

I'd say yes but given no concepts have been put forward by FDev, that's up to the players to create.

What is the general culture of the federation Like?

It's a technocratic corporate conglomerate governed much like how the US government is structured now. Each system that is part of the Federation has a certain number of seats based off certain statistics in the Federal Congress. Congress votes to pass laws which become Federal law and observed by all systems part of the Federation. Generally the more seats you have, the more power over the laws you have. The Federation citizenry votes to determine the President who is considered the face of and leader of the Federation. The losing party generally becomes Shadow President or "Speaker of the Opposition". Generally the Shadow President is the Congressional Chair who oversees Congress and keeps them focused on pressing issues.

The average Federation Citizen works for a living and it catered to by huge megacorperations and the market is considered a Free Market where they compete for the attention of the Federation Citizen. Taxes are paid and for those who face difficulty you have two options. Military Service or Welfare.

Military Service is voluntary in the Federation and Federal Troops are augmented by technological means such as cybernetics and robotic drones. One could take the technological advances from the likes of Star Wars, Mass Effect, HALO, COD: IW, or any other tech based science fiction work and it would not be out of place in the Federation. Of the three superpowers, the Federation is considered the most technologically advanced and their armies reflect such.

While the Federation values Democracy, Freedom, Personal Liberty, and Corporate Marketing, it is not without it's flaws. It is highly interventionist seeing a need to get involved in issues outside it's borders where there is nothing at stake, and feels as if everything needs to be regulated which causes the Federation to be mired in bureaucracy.


Is it normal for people not to have a ship?

Yes. Ships are very expensive and very few people are willing to brave the danger of space travel. This is what gave rise to the Pilots Federation. A union to ensure that no one power, Super or otherwise, would gain a monopoly on free pilots through any means. It was also seen as a means to centralize and standardize all training required to become a Pilot as one can receive such training simply by applying and receiving membership with the PF. Otherwise the training is considered extremely expensive and quite dangerous. A combination no one is willing to take on as a financial burden.
Good luck CMDR.
 
Excellent answer. To add a little to that: Earth and Sol aren't a big deal anymore, there's really no nostalgia, other than the vague notion of "Oh yeah, our ancestors once came from there".
Good luck on the story. Be sure to post it here once it's done.
 
Earth and Sol aren't a big deal anymore, there's really no nostalgia, other than the vague notion of "Oh yeah, our ancestors once came from there
Ehhhhhhhh.... not really.

The Federation, or "The United Federation of Sol" formally, was birthed there. To this day Sol itself is the Federation Capital and the Federation's Government complex to include Congress and the Office of the President is located there. To that end, Sol is considered prime real-estate and generally the only ones left are Political Elites. To members of the Federation, a visiting dignitary from Sol is actually a huge deal since if one can impress them, the near limitless resources of the Federation can make all the difference to a system should one's ear be bent.

Sol is heavily defended given it's importance for this reason. Not everyone has access to Sol and the average human may only visit it briefly through a tourist service.
 
Is it normal to run into a natural earth born person?
Sol system has a population of 22.78 billion - one of the highest in the game. Sol also has other planets in it besides Earth; those 22 billion people are spread across the whole system. Unfortunately, while planets do apparently have a locally specified population statistic, we can't see it, so we have to assume and guess. Let's assume that one-third of that total population live on Earth, one-third on Mars, and one-third in the rest of the system. That still puts 7.59 billion people on Earth - roughly the population of 21st century Earth, prior to WWIII.

According to the EDSM summary page, there are 6.64 trillion humans in the known galaxy. So, one out of every 875 people in the entire galaxy, live on Earth. On that basis, Earthpeople aren't very scarce.

However, even in a pan-galactic civilization where space travel is cheap and easy, very few people ever actually move from planet to planet. Most of those people on Earth, were probably born there, and very few of them ever leave, except perhaps for holidays and even then it's usually just a quick trip out to Mars or Jupiter for most of them. Mars, being the Federation capital, probably has a higher turnover of people as diplomats and bureaucrats come and go, but Earth is a museum planet, a place of pilgrimage. Earth is by far the most popular tourist destination in the galaxy; every human (even Imperials and other anti-Federation types) wants to visit it at least once in their life.

So, no, it's not common to meet an Earth-born, especially one who is a genuine spacer rather than a tourist. While plenty of people want to visit Earth, there's very little reason for most Earthers to visit other planets. The Imperial Tourist Agency tries really hard to encourage Earthlings to go on a package tour of Capitol, as part of Imperial indoctrination policy, and it's probably the most popular tourist destination outside of Federation space.

How do commanders get their first Ship? ... Is it normal for people not to have a ship?
This question is more difficult than it sounds, as it does feed back into the whole debate on "how much is a credit worth". If the 32,000 credits you need to buy a starter Sidewinder is something equivalent to 21st century $32,000, then access to your first ship is as simple as walking into your local shipyard and saying "I'll take one of those, thanks". But if, as I surmised in the linked thread, 1 credit equals about US$270, then 32,000 credits equals $8.64 million, outside the price range of most Earthlings (and most other humans, for that matter), and buying one would be a much bigger deal than buying a car.

Before they let you fly a ship, you first need a pilot's license from the Pilots Federation. I don't know how much it costs to become a Pilots Federation member, but given that they throw in free insurance for billion-credit starships that have a tendency to explode every few weeks, I suspect the price is rather high.

What is life on a ship Like? Do they have food and water and latrines onboard?
Life on board a ship is actually quite comfortable, by 21st-century-space-shuttle standards. Plenty of room, with all the mod-cons. There's water (recycled of course) for drinking, showering and the toilet. Food is whatever the CMDR chooses to bring aboard; the ship comes with a fully stocked autochef, capable of printing (from food cartridges) anything you'd care to name. Though of course if they're going out into the black for months or years, you aren't going to be able to bring along enough supplies for the whole trip. That's why the food can be "recycled", too: according to lore, every ship comes with a Tiolce waste-2-paste unit installed, which converts solid wastes back into an edible paste. If you don't believe me, go to Tiolce and read the description for the Rare Good sold there. This makes a 34th century spaceship a rather efficient "closed system" from a food, air and water point of view.

Are normal everyday pilots aware of things like neutron star jumps?
Normal pilots, as in regular in-Bubble A-B-A traders, don't need to know such things. The fact that the error message pops up when neutron jumping, about "operating beyond safety parameters", implies that the manufacturers don't encourage it happening, though I'd be surprised if they were unaware that people were doing it anyway. Explorers, on the other hand, will probably go bar-hopping before they go, trying to pick the brains of any old, grizzled, burnt-out explorer they can find. Those guys know all about neutron jumps, so they'd tell you.

Is there widespread use of personal weapons?
Here, the Old Lore and New ED Lore are inconsistent. Old Lore said that, while personal weapons were outlawed in the Federation, they were legal in the Empire. Not just legal, but mandatory, as part of the ubiquitous and deadly duelling culture. But under New Lore, lethal weapons are banned in the Empire, too. This inconsistency has never been satisfactorily explained, so one can probably assume the Old Lore has been retconned away, sadly.

While lethal weaponry is outlawed in most places, non-lethal weaponry has largely taken its place. Weapons that stun, shock, immobilize and otherwise not-kill your opponent are ubiquitous, and legal everywhere. Given that they've had 1300 years to improve their effectiveness, I'd reckon they'd be 99.9% reliable in stopping a mugger, robber, home-invader etc without the need for use of deadly force. So, except for the military where deadly force would still be necessary, non-lethal weapons would have largely replaced lethal weapons in most of the civilized galaxy.

What common knowledge do citizens have about the Thargoids?
They're on Galnet; everybody can read Galnet. While the First Thargoid War seems to have been covered up, to the extent that many people believed it was either a hoax or fake history, the current one seems to be fully in the public eye.

What source of power do stations typically use? Solar, Nuclear, ect...
I believe everything in ED runs on hydrogen-powered fusion reactors, from our tiny SRVs to the giant space stations and cities. That's why they all need hydrogen fuel. Space stations also often have solar arrays, which are presumably there for an alternative energy source.

what does the average person know about "ancient earth" history?
Since "everyone wants to go to Earth", it seems that everyone has a basic knowledge of their origins: that Earth is our homeworld, and their ancestors came from Earth to found their colony world. For specifics about Earth history, like who won the 2036 World Series, or where Gibraltar was, or who started the Franco-Prussian War, it's impossible to tell. Earth did suffer a catastrophic war in the 2050s, and some information may have been lost, but enough survived that I don't think it qualified as a "dark age" in which large chunks of knowledge were lost forever.

Are there any media such as music or tv that pilots watch or listen to on the Ship?
We seem to have instant comms, so sure, radio/tv/internet analogues would exist. Emergent-content movements like Lave Radio and Radio Sidewinder have made it into the game, so I'd assume this could be taken as canon.

What is the general culture of the federation Like?
Life seems to be quite good for most of the population, though not as rosy as, say, the Star-Trek-Federation. Everyone has work, practically no-one is starving, poor or homeless (which isn't too bad, given the above-stated population of Earth being the same as ours, but with most people on Earth living in abominable conditions), but on the other hand, it's very difficult to actually make gains and rise through the bureaucracy. Federation culture is highly bureaucratic: everyone is a cog-in-the-machine, you are just a number. This is evidenced in-game by the nomenclature of Federation space stations. Everyone else puts the station name in big, bold letters that can be read from over a kilometer away; the Federation on the other hand puts the Starbase Number (eg. "FSP#8072") in huge lettering, with the actual station name in tiny print near the door.

The Federation is also highly plutocratic; perhaps an inevitable consequence of the permeation of Corporate culture into Federation democracy. The strong emphasis on money - where getting more money is seen as "progressing" through life - is also evident in the station voice-over announcers, which tend to emphasize how much money you'll lose if you break the law: "Crashes cost; kill your speed, not your credit balance". Compare this to the Empire, where the emphasis is placed more on "public decorum" and how improper breaking the law is, while in the Indies, it's simply "obey station law, or we will kill you".

I hope this helps with your questions. :)
 
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And is it normal for people not to have a ship? Most definitely, only a small percentage would have a ship of their own.
I would say that it is very, very rare for someone to be a Space Pilot. Going by holo-me it appears that in order to qualify as a member of the the Pilots Federation you have to meet some pretty exact height, weight and body proportion measurements. That would explain why we all look exactly the same from the neck down. :D
 
So I've been writing a short story during my free time about elite dangerous and I have many questions regarding the universe.
Is it normal to run into a natural earth born person? How do commanders get their first Ship? What is life on a ship Like? Do they have food and water and latrines onboard? Are normal everyday pilots aware of things like neutron star jumps? Is there widespread use of personal weapons? What common knowledge do citizens have about the Thargoids? What source of power do stations typically use? Solar, Nuclear, ect... what does the average person know about "ancient earth" history? Are there any media such as music or tv that pilots watch or listen to on the Ship? What is the general culture of the federation Like? Is it normal for people not to have a ship?
All my own personal opinions based off what I've heard is true with no source.

Ok, disclaimer done, lets go.

Earth had WW3 and destroyed most of the planet and population, but that space station population didn't come from nowhere, I'd expect a few billion pioneers and a few billion more are out there. However, the longer down the timeline the fewer Sol-Earth citizens there will be and the more births on other planets/stations will be the norm.
Mars is actually the Federation capital now and I'd imagine has more population, iirc Earth is still healing from the nuclear war so it's pockets of green-zones usually filled with really rich people but few of them.

First ship personally I believe it's a company that loans you one and trains you. Like airline pilots or truck drivers. Some save cash and become independent. Elite the game kinda skips this and just places you in a free loaned sidewinder. Not exactly sure how that works in my head but thats there for gameplay.

Life on the ship, no idea but they definitely all have latrines and food on-board except ship launched fighters. I imagine the small ships are literally port-a-pottys and ration pack food and the bigger ships probably have much better facilities.

No, most pilots do trade routes or mining runs and know the local area really well and never deviate from route. With neutrons rare in the human bubble i'd say most are not familiar.

For personal weapons consider buying the ED RPG, they go into that in detail and have some great concept art. Not sure how serious the short story is but it's a good read anyway.

Thargoids and the average person, probably the stories, rumours and galnet news broadcasts.

Stations have reactors as the thargoids damaged one, I'm guessing fusion.

Earth History and knowledge - No idea. I personally like to imagine that its taught at school but most people won't get too deep beyond their schooling. Like us with Ancient Rome/Greece and all the other history. We get a small curriculum of the past but it's very limited unless you take it further as a special subject. Possibly bedtime stories are now historical stories for the kids, who knows :)

Galnet is audio now although I personally choose to believe they have hologram, video and whatever takes their fancy. It is 1000 years in the future and advertisers have to be able to warp our minds still right? :)

Federation culture - Unsure, don't really have much of a opinion on this if i'm honest. Most people probably just work, eat, sleep like todays world.

Yes, most people probably won't ever go on a ship let alone own one. Passenger rides are still super expensive.


Again I'll say this is all personal thoughts having just been around the game a long time. Lots of it is unsubstantiated but I have at least a logical thought process to back it up.

Footnote - really interesting questions and thread. Thank you for this one, it's threads like this that remind me of how the forum was a few years ago. We had hundreds of threads just like this and discussed the finer points that didn't matter but made us think about things.
 
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A lot of the questions in this thread can be answered in the various novels and short stories that are part of the Elite: Dangerous universe.

I definitely recommend that you read The Dark Wheel by Robert Holdstock which was included with the original Elite when it was released in 1984. While it is no longer considered official canon it is an invaluable resource and easy to find on the internet. Won't cost you a penny.

Frontier: Elite 2 came with a collection of short stories called "Stories of Life on the Frontier". You'll find information about Jaques (think Colonia) and other great tidbits about life aboard a spacecraft. Capt. Jupiter for instance has his ship's computer prepare him a reconstituted sandwich which answers some questions about food while flying across the stars. Again, these stories are all available online. Additionally you'll want to check out The Gazetteer which also came with Frontier: Elite 2. Has a lot of information on the culture of some of the planets you'll recognize while flying around the Bubble.

If you visit Frontier's online store you'll find a number of books that were published to coincide with Elite: Dangerous.

All of these resources come together to help fill in the gaps of knowledge regarding what typical life in 3304 is like ... some of which are actually very good.
 
According to the official ED RPG, 1 credit is worth $50 in 21st century currency (page 98). Micro credits (1 credit = 100 mcr) are worth $.50 and are used for personal day to day purchases.

Also, all us Pilot Federation players - we're middle class. Yes, even if you own an A-rated Anaconda (Corvette) that costs 500 million credits (equivalent to $25 billion today), your still middle-class. The people paying for these trips often have billions, if not trillions of credits.
- Daniel Cloudstiftler said this
 
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