Why do people ‘explore’?

I’ve never done any exploration, so curious as to what the appeal is. I commonly read posts from people who travel 1,000s ly from the bubble etc. But what do you find? Is it still just the odd geographical site/geysers etc or are there genuinely unique things to discover? I see lots of ‘pretty picture’ screenshots but I’ve really never got why someone would play a game just to look at a pretty image (I can use a telescope to view things in space that are actually real). It seems to be the main appeal of this game (or what it does best) and I’ve never engaged in it, so looking for a reason to do it, or not.
 
I'm no expert as I've only really begun exploration (141kly, max 38kly from start), but here's what I've learned through the community and from my own personal experience...

I’ve never done any exploration, so curious as to what the appeal is.
Ask 10 different CMDRs and you'll get 10 different answers.

... what do you find? Is it still just the odd geographical site/geysers etc or are there genuinely unique things to discover?
It depends on your perspective. Are you going to find new life forms, totally new planet types, a new alien race, etc.? Not unless FDev decides to create some more. I think the odds they have created some and we haven't found them yet are extremely slim.

However, what about finding a binary system with three black holes, six ELWs each with an ELM? The uniqueness of discoveries have more to do with system composition rather than anything else.

I see lots of ‘pretty picture’ screenshots but I’ve really never got why someone would play a game just to look at a pretty image (I can use a telescope to view things in space that are actually real). It seems to be the main appeal of this game (or what it does best) and I’ve never engaged in it, so looking for a reason to do it, or not.
Well, some people do enjoy that. Also, you might be able to see something through a telescope if it's extremely close (relatively speaking), but you can't orbit it. And you can't go see what's in a nebula. You can't see Sgr A*. You can 't go drive on it in a dune buggy.

It seems to be the main appeal of this game (or what it does best) and I’ve never engaged in it, so looking for a reason to do it, or not.
I couldn't disagree more. The game excels in many areas.

Here are some other reasons:

Credits
You can make some money at this, although the credits per hour is going to be extremely small in most cases. Heading to Sgr A* and back, for example, would probably bring in about 100M credits assuming one scanned everything along the way.

Achievements
Some people are into getting badges (at sites like EDSM or INARA) and will do it for this reason. Others want the 'Elite' status. Still more just want to gain the sense of accomplishment.

Bragging Rights
"Oh, you went to Colonia? Well, I went there and then to XA, Beagle Point, Oevasy SG-Y d0, swung through the Andromeda galaxy, shook hands with God and then walked back to Sol."

That "Itch"
Once someone begins exploration, they feel drawn back into the black.

Community
Whilst exploration tends to be a solo gig, there is camaraderie between explorers. Also, participating in an expedition allows one to meet other CMDRs and socialize; even if the CMDR himself is alone in the void.

Relaxation
Flying through the void, scanning planets, driving around in the dune buggy... this is all pretty casual, relaxing stuff. Of course, that typically leads to complacency, which then leads to a rebuy and loss of all exploration data.

Chemical and Other Abuse
Explorers are a weird bunch and probably suffered childhood trauma and now drown their feelings with booze while they scream drunkenly at the screen "You're not even my real father!". Or, maybe that's just me.

Anyway, give it a shot. You might enjoy it. Then again, maybe you won't. I wondered the exact same thing you did, and now I'm kinda hooked. Having said that, once I start heading back to civilization, I do get antsy and want to get back. Then, I pretty much want to leave again.

Fly safe! o7
 
Try looking in the Codex under biological and anomaly tabs to see the kind's of things people have found already. There no way to know if there's still anything not found. You could try visiting things already found nearby to see if finding them is fun. You could also set up for an exploration passenger mission of a few kly. You'd get the mission payout and a lot of exploration data along the way. Carry a detail surface scanner and try it out.
 
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Try looking in the Codex under biological and anomaly tabs to see the king's of things people have found already. There no way to know if there's still anything not found. You could try visiting things already found nearby to see if finding them is fun. You could also set up for an exploration passenger mission of a few kly. You'd get the mission payout and a lot of exploration data along the way. Carry a detail surface scanner and try it out.
I'm signed up for the Perseus Reach Expedition which is using small ships (only) to go to Oevasy SG Y d0. You're more than welcome to join us!
 
It's a quiet and relaxing way to play the game (ok, there also are people who make speed runs to Beagle Point, or travel to Colonia witout a scoop...). Especially in VR.
I have two CMDRs - one is out there, slowly edging his way towards BP (recently reset my EDSM account and re-uploaded the logs; looks like I started that trip some time in Spring 2017), the other is now in Colonia, taking care of things if it gets too repetitive on the exploration front (until it gets too repetitive in the settled systems...).
 
I suppose the 'why' is a tough question to ask the forum, we all do our own thing :)
Me, I just like seeking Bio Life outside of the bubble environs, the area around the bubble is rich in Notable Stellar Phenomena, the 'right' system types - the further away one travels it feels these systems become less common.
One other thing, for me at least, is why settle for looking at another persons screenshot when I could have gone out and 'discovered' the same for myself.

Exploration is strange, if you have been out the 5Kly and back to unlock Palin, and had fun doing it, the chances are it wouldn't be long before the 'itch' to go 'just a little further' comes back and you find yourself at Sag A* or Colonia, then look at the stars so tightly packed and go off once again to distant parts.
 

Ozric

Volunteer Moderator
Because every star I can see in the night sky I can visit in the game. Because you can find interesting systems, with amazing views. Because it's relaxing. Because the view changes as you move around the galaxy going above/below the galactic plane and close/far from the center. Not every aspect of a game has to be for you. I've been playing since release and I'm only Novice in Combat rank.

Sure you can view things in space, with a telescope, that are real, but that relies on you having a telescope, access to dark skies ideally, a clear night...

Besides, you never truly know what you might find.
 
I travel for the loneliness and silence. It's hard to feel completely detached from humanity and the world around us but exploration does it for me.
Yes, and also for the sights. The pretty images are what you as an outside observer see. They are snapshots of something larger and beautiful and act as a memory trigger of how I fully remember the places which prompted me to take those screenshots.
They in themselves can only convey so much.
 
Raxxla. This is the only reason. ;)
I'm no expert as I've only really begun exploration (141kly, max 38kly from start), but here's what I've learned through the community and from my own personal experience...



Ask 10 different CMDRs and you'll get 10 different answers.



It depends on your perspective. Are you going to find new life forms, totally new planet types, a new alien race, etc.? Not unless FDev decides to create some more. I think the odds they have created some and we haven't found them yet are extremely slim.

However, what about finding a binary system with three black holes, six ELWs each with an ELM? The uniqueness of discoveries have more to do with system composition rather than anything else.



Well, some people do enjoy that. Also, you might be able to see something through a telescope if it's extremely close (relatively speaking), but you can't orbit it. And you can't go see what's in a nebula. You can't see Sgr A*. You can 't go drive on it in a dune buggy.



I couldn't disagree more. The game excels in many areas.

Here are some other reasons:

Credits
You can make some money at this, although the credits per hour is going to be extremely small in most cases. Heading to Sgr A* and back, for example, would probably bring in about 100M credits assuming one scanned everything along the way.

Achievements
Some people are into getting badges (at sites like EDSM or INARA) and will do it for this reason. Others want the 'Elite' status. Still more just want to gain the sense of accomplishment.

Bragging Rights
"Oh, you went to Colonia? Well, I went there and then to XA, Beagle Point, Oevasy SG-Y d0, swung through the Andromeda galaxy, shook hands with God and then walked back to Sol."

That "Itch"
Once someone begins exploration, they feel drawn back into the black.

Community
Whilst exploration tends to be a solo gig, there is camaraderie between explorers. Also, participating in an expedition allows one to meet other CMDRs and socialize; even if the CMDR himself is alone in the void.

Relaxation
Flying through the void, scanning planets, driving around in the dune buggy... this is all pretty casual, relaxing stuff. Of course, that typically leads to complacency, which then leads to a rebuy and loss of all exploration data.

Chemical and Other Abuse
Explorers are a weird bunch and probably suffered childhood trauma and now drown their feelings with booze while they scream drunkenly at the screen "You're not even my real father!". Or, maybe that's just me.

Anyway, give it a shot. You might enjoy it. Then again, maybe you won't. I wondered the exact same thing you did, and now I'm kinda hooked. Having said that, once I start heading back to civilization, I do get antsy and want to get back. Then, I pretty much want to leave again.

Fly safe! o7
Best description of Elite explo. FD, copy this in some tutorial.
 
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