Elite: Dangerous – First Few Hours

Yea, I did it. I got involved with the Elite: Dangerous Beta. I couldn’t resist, exploring space just looked like so much fun. Now that I’ve spent a few hours with the game, I thought I would let you know how I’ve been getting on.

First off, there are some tutorials to help ease you in to the game. I use the term tutorials very loosely though, as they don’t really teach you anything, they just give you some scenarios to work through, how you complete them though, well you have to figure that all out yourself. First up was picking up some cargo that is floating around in space. Easy enough right? Well first you have to get your head around the multitude of controls, seriously, there are loads.

Once I was done sucking up space debris, I was ready for some proper action. Give me some combat!

Ok, combat is a whole new learning curve. Yea, you might know some of the controls but remembering them whilst trying to find, track and destroy another ship is a whole new thing. Needless to say it took me a while before I was even able to land some shots. But once I finally got the kill, it was pretty satisfying.

ED Dog_fight

Dog fighting

I didn’t bother with the rest of the scenarios on offer. I was ready for the big time…. Alright, maybe I wasn’t but I just wanted to fly around space and stuff.

I went in to the online mode and started my life in space. First things first, this game looks amazing! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen space look so nice. Flying around taking in the views, is pretty good on its own, but if that was all there was, it would be pretty boring right! Obviously, this isn’t all there is. After getting used to a few more controls, mainly searching for, and locking on to destinations, I started to make my way towards the nearest space station.

I wasn’t too far away from a station, so didn’t need to engage any kind of hyper drives, or super cruise or anything like that. Just a gentle – and I mean gentle, trundle towards the station so I didn’t smash my ship in to the side of it.

As I approached the station, I remembered I needed to request docking permission, panic set in a little because I didn’t know how, and I was creeping ever closer. If in doubt though, just stop and sit there until you know how. That’s what I did. Once I’d figured it out, I started my approach to enter the station through the post box style opening whilst navigating passed other ships and trying to match the rotation of the station so I could slip in like a nice little letter. I was pretty impressed that I managed to it first time without hitting anything.

But getting in to the station is just the beginning, now I needed to proceed to my designated landing pad, and actually land it my tiny little sidewinder. Coming in at an incredibly slow speed, but pretty much vertical – nose down, ass up to the landing pad, things weren’t looking good. However, I manged to sort myself out, and make my first successful landing. I was docked!

Now what? Ferry some goods I guess.

As you only start with 1000 credits, and a small cargo bay, there weren’t many options for what I could buy. I settled on some Mineral Oil, and set back off on my space adventure.

After safely navigating my way out of the station – I’m getting pretty good now! I was free to go pretty much where ever I wanted too. But I needed to find a station to sell my goods for a profit.

ED Dock

Un-docking like a pro.

Now, I’m aware there are ways to find out what stations sell/buy what, and at what prices. However, I didn’t know how…. So I picked random star system and engaged my hyperdrive.

Flying in Elite: Dangerous is very manual, you have to control pretty much every aspect, this in turn leaves a fair amount of leeway for errors as I soon found out.

I reached my destination star, and once there searched around for the station, it was still a long way off so I engaged my hyperdrive again. It was at this point that I realised you really need to time your jumps out of hyper speed to perfection, as I managed to shoot about 20,000 Km over my destination if not more – I can’t quite remember the exact number.

After spending about 20 minutes trying to get the hang of jumping in and out of super speeds, I finally managed to get about 5km away from the station, and slowly made my way towards it. Now to try my hand at landing again.

As I was now basically a pro, landing went off without a hitch, apart from a slight collision with a piece of station just in front of my landing pad, but whatever… I live life on the edge, or something to that effect. I went to the market place to sell on my goods in the hopes that I could turn over a little profit….Hang on, where is the Mineral Oil, awww crap, they don’t buy it. See, this is why you should try to find out who sells what…. FYI, I still don’t know, so if someone could tell me that would be great.

My choices from here were pretty limited, basically all I could do was refuel and head off to a different station.

I took off again – with another little bump which caused some cracks to appear in my windows, and started to plot my next route.

As I exited the station I had a little brain fart, and forgot the controls. I think I had been focusing so much on cruising that my limited knowledge of basic controls were pushed out of my ear. This caused me to unceremoniously dump my cargo right in front of the station. Which resulted in me getting fined… “Come on space police, it was an accident” They were having none of it. The fine stood, not that you can dispute them anyway.

ED Cargo

Yea, well, I didn’t want it anyway…

At this point I got a little frustrated at my stupidity which resulted in me whipping my guns out with a simple ‘Left Click’ on the mouse…. “What, oops, didn’t mean that. How do I put them away again?” Another ‘Left Click’ *pew*, “Argh, why did I do that!” Another fine was plopped on my head, ‘firing my weapons in a safe zone’ or something like that. “pfft, it’s not like anyone got hurt.” My frustration grew, and I found myself slowly turning towards that station, weapons still primed. It was like the whole devil and angel on your shoulder thing. One part of me going “What are you doing? You don’t want to be doing that.” And the other “Yea, shoot them, blow them up, f**k the system.” I was now looking straight at the station, mild rage bubbling away (that’s a thing right? ‘mild rage’) *pew* “Muuahhhahahah, eat that I Bootis, or where ever the hell I am!” *BOOM* seconds later I was dead, the space police don’t take too kindly to attacks….

So that was it, my first few hours in Elite: Dangerous. It was fun, and now that I’ve learnt a little about the game, I will start a new life, and a new adventure, who knows where it will take me. Maybe I will become a legendary space pirate, maybe I will become a ‘space trucker’ – probably more likely judging by my dog fighting skills… Whatever life I choose I will live it to the fullest, or until I accidentally shoot someone I’m not meant too…

I will definitely continue to document my adventures on here, so I hope you will join me on my little adventure. Until next time!

– Will

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