Community Event / Creation The Buckyball Racing Club presents: Signs of Life (9th May to 17th May 3306)

The Buckyball Racing Club Presents: Signs Of Life
The Buckyball Racing Club website:
The Buckyball Racing Club Discord server:

The Signs Of Life race involves visiting as many different locations where life of one sort or another can be found, scanning the different types of life form present and returning to the starting system within a fixed time limit. The time limit is 30 minutes for Regulation DBX and 1 hour for Unlimited. At each life-bearing location, it is required to scan a life form with the Composition Scanner, which grants the CMDR a Codex voucher upon completion, if it is the first time that type of life form has been scanned in that particular visit to that star system (i.e. if you scan two types of brain trees in one system, only the first will give you the voucher). The winner will be the CMDR who has scanned the most in the time available and returned to the start point intact. Scans after the time limit will not count. Excess time will be used to determine placings in the event of a tie.
You can run the race as many times as you like and try to improve over the duration of the event. If you choose to submit a run for consideration, please do so with 48 hours of that attempt, if possible (see Submitting a Race Entry).

There are two separate race classes: Regulation DBX and Unlimited. The Regulation DBX has a fixed loadout and may not be engineered but the build has a jump range of over 37 LY and costs about 7.7 MCr: it is intended to both allow a level playing field and to encourage relatively new players to race. In Unlimited, any ship with any fittings and engineering can take part, including the use of Guardian FSD boosters, except for Supercruise Assist and Docking Computer systems. The use of Synthesis for FSD boosting is not allowed in either category but getting a boost from the jet cones of white dwarfs and neutron stars is permissible in both.
Note that it is necessary to have Elite: Dangerous: Horizons to participate. The race requires visiting locations on planetary surfaces. The race has a fixed time limit of 30 minutes for Regulation DBX and 1 hour for Unlimited. Participants may take part in any play mode they wish but Open play is encouraged in order to meet other racers on the course.

Regulation Diamondback Explorer build:
The DBX and its components should all be available at Scully-Power Station in Ix. This also benefits from the 15% discount due to being in Li-Yong Rui territory. The total cost, including discount, is about 7.7 MCr. The jump range when fully fueled will show as 37.06 LY in the right hand panel. Background Simulation changes may mean that some modules become unavailable in certain circumstances in Ix. If this happens, Ray Gateway, Diaguandri is reasonably well-stocked. Look for high-tech or large population industrial systems and hopefully you will soon find what you are looking for.

Race Outline
The race begins at the megaship ferry in Synuefe EN-H d11-96 (either Sadler's Song or The Conduit) or the outpost The Prospect in the same system. Be aware that the ferry megaships make their jumps to and from Zende in server downtime on Thursdays. This makes the system easier to reach but you might also find yourself with a trip back to undertake if you are docked on a ship heading back to the Bubble.
There is no set course but rather a list of locations where life can be found. It is necessary to map the bodies using the Detailed Surface Scanner to find the locations on planetary surfaces. It is not required to land at a particular signal source location on a life-bearing world. Note that some worlds may have multiple types of life that could count!
Once a suitable location has been identified, approach and, if desired, deploy the SRV to scan a life form with the Composition Scanner. Sometimes it can be faster to scan from the ship, sometimes a landing is faster. Be aware of the surface gravity. The Regulation DBX can handle any of the locations provided care is taken on approach and take-off.
For Unlimited, pilots may choose any locations anywhere they desire! Anything that generates a Codex voucher in the Organic Structures section of the Codex is valid, as are Guardian Sentinels (from Guardian Objects), Thargoid Scavengers, Thargoid Pods, Thargoid Scouts and Thargoid Interceptors (from Thargoid Objects). Note that the short range of the Composition Scanner will result in Thargoid Interceptors turning hostile when scanned. A Shutdown Field Neutraliser will be helpful in dealing with Thargoid Interceptors.
To facilitate easier racing for pilots unfamiliar with the region, there is a fixed list of locations for use in the Regulation DBX category, given below - these can be visited in any order.
  • Synuefe EN-H d11-96 2 (brain trees) and 7a (brain trees and Guardian Structure). The starting system has at least three types of brain tree and Guardian Sentinels are present at the Guardian Structure.
  • HIP 38974 1 (bioluminescent anemones)
  • Synuefe GI-H d11-52 1a (brain trees)
  • Synuefe KZ-F b44-6 1a (brain trees). Roseum and Lividum types found.
  • Synuefe NK-E b45-8 C 1 (brain trees)
  • Synuefe GI-H d11-5 3 (brain trees)
  • Synuefe EN-H d11-27 3 (brain trees)
  • Synuefe KV-O c22-20 A 1 (brain trees)
  • Synuefe KV-O c22-3 4 (brain trees)
  • Synuefe EN-H d11-6 1 (brain trees)
  • Synuefe EN-H d11-18 A 3ba (brain trees)
  • Synuefe JA-P c22-10 B 1a (brain trees)
  • HIP 35524 A 3 (brain trees)
  • Synuefe IL-C b46-3 1 Lagrange Cloud (Metallic Crystals and Gourd Molluscs)
  • Synuefe MJ-H b43-4 B 1 Lagrange Cloud (Metallic Crystals and Gourd Molluscs)
  • HIP 36678 B 1 (bioluminescent anemones)
  • HIP 36234 ABC 1 (bioluminescent anemones)
  • HIP 35648 1 (bioluminescent anemones)
  • Synuefe HE-G b44-5 B 2 (Guardian Structure)
  • Synuefe NU-F b44-5 B 1 (Guardian Structure)
  • Synuefe EU-Q c21-10 A 3 (Guardian Structure)
Note that other locations in these systems may harbour life and some worlds may be host to multiple types of life. If you find them, great! (Some long supercruise distances though, which is why only one world per system is given, except for the starting system. Scans from other bodies in these systems are also valid for the Regulation DBX but the time taken to leave the gravity well can be more than leaving the system and going to another location). Remember that the objective is to find at least one unique type of life per world/location, so if you find more at one location, that's good, but you won't get any benefit from, e.g. scanning brain trees of the same type on the same world. If you scan Roseum Brain Trees on one world and then also from another world in the same system, that is OK for the race (although you won't get a Codex voucher for it). Your screenshot/video must make it clear what the life form type is, so use of the ship/SRV lights will be needed in some environments - the night vision view does not provide this information.
The race ends on return to the megaship ferry or The Prospect. You can choose to land at a different location than your starting location, as this allows you to avoid an unwanted trip back to the Bubble on the megaship ferry, or to take advantage of it. Note that only the megaships have large landing pads.
The number of scans of life forms within the time limit is your 'score'. If you have scanned all these types before, you should get a 2,500 Cr Codex voucher for each scan, so a quick glance at your left hand panel will tell you how many you have completed. If you have scanned multiple objects of the same class in one system, you will not get the voucher for the later scans (e.g. scanning multiple types of brain tree on one planet) so be sure to have screenshots for each scan that show 'scan completed'. Ideally, these should also show in the top-right info panel what the life form type was or that a voucher was awarded but the info panel does not always wrap in a friendly manner. The view of the life form out the cockpit or canopy view can also help, if lighting conditions are suitable. The lower-left panel showing the planetary body and the location number on that body is also essential as this will be unique for each site and the HUD clock must also be visible.

You travel to the Lagrange Cloud in Synuefe IL-C b46-3 and scan two types of Metallic Crystals and one Albulum Gourd Mollusc. From this location you have three scans that count.
Next you travel to Synuefe KZ-F b44-6 1a and make landings at two different sites, scanning Roseum and Lividum Brain Trees. From this location you have two scans that count. If you had visited a third site with Roseum Brain Trees on this world, it would not have counted. A life form counts only one type per location, so you cannot repeatedly scan Brain Trees of the same type at one location.
Finally you travel to Synuefe EN-H d11-6 1 and scan Ostrinum Brain Trees. You have one scan from this location.
You notice that Synuefe EN-H d11-6 2 also has Biological Signals and land in time to get one scan, also of Ostrinum Brain Trees, in the time limit. This might be the same type as from planet 1 but it is a different world, so this scan would also count for the race.
In total, this run would net you seven scans, so that would be your score. Your race time would then be used to place you against other racers with the same score.

The megaships The Conduit and Sadler's Song jump between the Zende system and Synuefe EN-H d11-96 each week during Thursday server downtime. There is always one megaship in each system. The time remaining to jump is visible when on board and when entering the megaship instance. Note that they do not arrive at the same point in the system!
The Prospect is an outpost about 2300 ls from entry into the star system. The moon it orbits has an interesting feature for this race, albeit a risky one...
Brain trees come in different varieties but only colour differentiates their appearance. Some types prefer certain locations, e.g. flat, cratered, mountainous, and some can survive in a different range of temperatures.

Bioluminescent Anemones are found in every region of the Milky Way. Like the brain trees, only colour differentiates one species from another visually. They make interesting, almost musical, sounds that are very apparent when close up. They can tolerate extreme temperatures and high gravity.
Bark Mounds are commonly found near nebulae on any world with a temperate climate and volcanism. (N.B. although some have been found within reach of the Regulation DBX build, a run out to their location would not have been competitive so no locations were given on the list).
Not all forms of life live on the surface. Notable Stellar Phenomena house other types. There is considerable variety amongst these but the most common are Metallic Crystals and Gourd Molluscs in the Inner Orion Spur region. There are behavioral differences for some life forms, so caution is advised on approach.

Guardian Structures are installations that remain active millions of years since the demise of their creators. Who knows what dangers lurk amidst the ruins, to be awakened from their slumber by a passing SRV...
Thargoid Structures are all active to some degree, although the central building is not always accessible. There are Thargoid Scavengers present and fragile Thargoid Pods may be found inside or close to the central structure. It is rumored that larger forms of life sometimes visit. (N.B. these are out of range of the Regulation DBX build).
Thargoid Barnacles are seeded in locations by the Thargoids prior to moving into new territory. They produce useful resources, including meta-alloys, but the barbs are fragile. They can occur singly or in pairs but forests of them have been found in rare cases. Thargoid Interceptors have also been observed visiting to harvest their materials. (N.B. these are out of range of the Regulation DBX build).

Submitting a Race Entry
The race begins at 00:00:00 on Saturday 9th May 3306 and ends at 23:59:59 on Sunday 17th May 3306 in-game time (UTC). To be valid, a run must start in between these times.
Please declare an intent to race in this thread, in order that other participants can look out for you on the course. It is not required if you prefer not to, however. Race entries are submitted by sending a PM to me on the Frontier Forums with the following information:
  • CMDR name
  • Race Mode (Regulation DBX, Unlimited
  • Game Platform: PC/PS4/Xbox/Other(please state)
  • Ship name
  • Ship type
  • Number of Life Form scans
  • Race time
  • Link to race evidence (video or screenshots, see below)
Note on Game Platform: Entries are welcome across all platforms. There will not be separate leaderboards for different platforms unless there are sufficient numbers (at least 5, in order to have a podium and more than one other player chasing a podium place) but the variability in the specifications of PC users is expected to be large enough that players on other platforms should not feel themselves to be competing at a significant disadvantage. For reference, I usually play with a 5-year-old laptop and any disadvantage from that is tiny compared the difference in flying skills between myself and the racers who tend to be vying for the podium places.
Race Evidence: the following information must be provided by screenshots (taken with the F10 key in-game on PC, console versions have alternative bindings) or be visible on a video. Screenshots can no longer be hosted on the forum and must be uploaded elsewhere (e.g. Imgur or equivalent) and a link provided. Video entries should be uploaded to a suitable video-hosting service (e.g. YouTube or equivalent) and the link provided. Please submit entries within 48 hours of the attempt, if possible. If this is not possible, let me know by forum PM that you are going to be late. There may also be alternative routes to providing the evidence.
  • Outfitting of the ship showing the Core and Optional Internal modules, with the jump range visible. This is only required for the Regulation DBX. (2 screenshots for Regulation DBX only)
  • The ship on the pad, docked, at either the megaship ferry or The Prospect showing the in-game clock: this will be your start time. (1 screenshot)
  • The form of life being scanned, with the Scan Completed message visible, along with the HUD clock and the body and location identity in the lower left panel. (1 screenshot per location) (N.B. it will be necessary to use ship/SRV lights to illuminate the life form if in darkness. It needs to be clear which type it is and the night vision view prevents that.). For NSPs, please try to ensure you can uniquely identify the site you took scans from, such as by selecting a celestial body in the system (e.g. the primary star) to compare distances. You do not need to have a life form selected to scan it.
  • The ship on the pad, having just docked, at the megaship ferry or The Prospect showing the in-game clock. This will be your finish time. (1 screenshot)
This requires a total of 2 screenshots, or 4 for the Regulation DBX category, plus one for each site visited, if video is not used. For examples of suitable screenshots when submitting race evidence, see also the Buckyball Racing Club's website.
If submitting video evidence, it would be helpful to include times or bookmarks of the pad touchdowns and scans. It is also acceptable to extract screenshots from video footage of your run.

Additional Notes
It is permitted to use Guardian technology, such as the FSD booster, in Unlimited only.
FSD synthesis is not permitted in any mode.
Supercruise Assist and Docking Computers of any type are not permitted in any mode.
Supercharging the FSD in the jet cones of white dwarfs and neutron stars is allowed in either mode.
Ships may repair, refuel and restock at any outpost with those facilities.
Ship-to-ship repair and refuel is permitted.
Use of Multicrew is permitted. Buckyball racing should be considered illegal activity as we don't care about speed limits, reckless flying or the fines involved.
Please submit race evidence within 48 hours of making the run if you intend to submit, or else contact me to let me know when you will be able to. Entries submitted more than 24 hours after the deadline for racing will not be considered. Please don't hang on too long, if possible: submit and let people know what you're doing and try to improve later.
It is helpful to visit each system first and bookmark the start/finish and waypoints.
The time remaining for the megaship ferry to jump between Zende and Synuefe EN-H d11-96 is given when docked or upon entering the megaship instance.
It is not required to start with a full fuel tank.
The two megaship ferries arrive at different locations in the system, so one may be more advantageous for a particular week.
It is not necessary to use the SRV to obtain scans. These can be done from the ship but landing can sometimes be faster.
If you want to sell exploration data concerning the 20LY near the starting system, the closest base is just under 200 LY away in the Pencil Nebula (the New Growth asteroid base).
The nearest shipyard is also at the New Growth asteroid base.
At the time of writing, there is a bug in that some Notable Stellar Phenomena do not always appear. A relog can fix this.
Certain objects generate additional vouchers when scanned (these show as, e.g., Thargoid Barnacle Scan Data). These only generate a voucher once a week.
Codex vouchers are turned in via the Authority Contact.
For the Regulation DBX class, you can use any sites in the systems listed (the planets given are convenient suggestions, not directives) but not other systems - that's for the Unlimited class.
The small fungal growths (e.g. Phloem Extraction) attached to some life forms do not count for scans (but they can be harvested for materials).
Each numbered biological signal source always contains the same type of life form.
I did not visit more than three locations on any one world when doing my survey for the race, so I might have missed something!
Have fun!


Regulation DBX
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Prep' for this race has ben an absolute hoot so far. Currently I'm focusing on the regulation DBX class. I built the reg' DBX at Shinrarta, then flew out to New Growth (the nearest station with a shipyard) in the Bananery Fandango (which might end up being my Unlimited ship) and had the "Less Fig Info" shipped out there.

Next job was to head out with an FSS and DSS and thoroughly scan all the regulation systems. Flying around using these tools with an actual end purpose in mind (rather than just scanning for exploration credits and/or first discoveries) is utterly transformative and turned the task into what felt like a real act of exploration which I looked forward to every day. The data I've gathered will now help determine the exact route I'll be taking during the race. And even that, as it now turns out as I start to trial and optimise the route, is a very precise balancing act. Higher gravity planets come with the penalty of slower descent times, multiple signs of life on lower gravity planets offer the tantalising possibility of arcing like an ICBM from one surface site to the next vs. hopping back and forth between such systems ... but which is quicker (especially if the former offers the possibility of shaving a jump off the route).

This is terrific and the race hasn't even started yet.

Bravo @Edelgard von Rhein ... this is gonna be a good one (and I haven't even started to think about the posibilities offered by the unlimited class race which stellar phenomena can also be considered).
Some nice publicity for the race courtesy of both Obsidian Ant ..

(At 5 min 22 sec)

.. and Pete Wotherspoon's Galnet News Digest ..

("Warning as Eco-Tourism Hits the Zende Megabus" at 2 min 10 sec)
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Volunteer Moderator
That's OK I got distracted with other... issues...

Stating my official intent to race: (I guess I should as I've just done a run :) )
Cmdr name: Elastul Ma'fer
Race class: Regulation DBX
Ship Name: A Momentary Lapse

I have no idea what a good run is yet :) So I'm not sure how to feel about my first attempt, but like Alec I got a few obscured jumps so I might try things in reverse...
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