Notes from a noob explorer

5. I am in nothing. There is nothing around me for miles and miles and ages and ages. Even in real time, I am now an hour or so away, at least, from star ports and bounty hunting and any action. I feel oddly nervous, but this is dissolving slowly into the first whiffs of a zen like comfort.


This.. That point when you slow down and stop thinking "jump, scoop, scan, jump, scoop, scan, jump........."

and start going "ooh, whats that"


good thread, kudos OP
 
I did Sag A run with Anaconda having about 28 ly max jump range. THAT was long and tedious trek. 5000 ly is just nice afternoon trip.
Hmmm, luxury.

Currently on my way there with a 20ly Challenger, no AFMU and a fuel tank that gives me 3 jumps max. Not even sure its possible, but giving it a go anyway. Already out of Inner Orion Spur and halfway through Norma's expanse. Almost self destructed at one stage so I could start again in a more suitable ship. Instead I moved the PS4 off the main lounge TV to a sideboard near the sofa and plugged it into a 32" tv so I can grind out a few hundred light years while wifey watches Eastend Emmerdale Street.

Loads and loads of WW, ELW and AWs scanned altready. I was on 53% Pioneer before so I could probably turn back now and blow the doors of Explore Elite, but I want to get Sag A under my belt before returning to complete Trade Elite (Tycoon atm) and then I can concentrate on AX duties.

Has anybody ever done Sag A in a Challenger, I wonder?
 
Good story telling OP.

Sounds like you've caught the 'call of the black' ... it never leaves you, it's always calling you further and further out of the bubble ... embrace it!
 
I understand how you feel.
I bought a second licence of the game for the very same reason.
One CMDR (this guy on the left with sun glasses) stays in the Bubble doing business and stuff.
The second one is an explorer. He left the bubble with Distant Worlds 2 Expedition and reached Beagle Point with no plan to ever come back to the bubble.
I have 3. The 3rd one is for my GF that acts as a designated multicrew screenshotter photographer while I'm piloting, both in VR. Went yesterday to SagA* and then all the way down to Schao Pri WP-X E1-8 to stare at the abyss.

Still undecided if I should head to Colonia or back to the bubble, I have a tourist onboard that loves traveling incognito.
 
Remember that you don't have to go with whatever is the best ship for the task. it's quite easy to get most ships to a reasonable jump range with engineering and fsd booster. So find a ship that you like to fly. I tried an asp explorer for the Palin trip and hated it and turned around before halfway there. but I've traveled to sag A* three times in my type 9 and have enjoyed every trip out of the bubble. You just need the right ship
 

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Formerly 'J.States'
Remember that you don't have to go with whatever is the best ship for the task. it's quite easy to get most ships to a reasonable jump range with engineering and fsd booster. So find a ship that you like to fly. I tried an asp explorer for the Palin trip and hated it and turned around before halfway there. but I've traveled to sag A* three times in my type 9 and have enjoyed every trip out of the bubble. You just need the right ship
Yep, so true! I really like the AspX for... combat actually. You wouldn't think it would work (and admittedly the canopy is terrible) but it does.

Nice avatar pic, BTW. :)
 
Good read Cmdr, a feeling many of us have come to know. So much so that I’m another like SenseiMatty, below, who bought a second account purely for exploring - no sense of panic, no need to rush. Just load up one for Combat/Bubble fun and the other for serene deep space joy.

I understand how you feel.
I bought a second licence of the game for the very same reason.
One CMDR (this guy on the left with sun glasses) stays in the Bubble doing business and stuff.
The second one is an explorer. He left the bubble with Distant Worlds 2 Expedition and reached Beagle Point with no plan to ever come back to the bubble.
I’m currently making my way slowly back to Explorer’s Anchorage from Beagle Point keen to see what my, and many others, mining efforts have helped to create. I’m in two minds what to do once I arrive, head over to Colonia and unlock some engineers or just head out again and be content with the remarkable Shiranaihito that has navigated its way to BP with me twice now; has taken Neutron Stars head on, wended it’s across many hundreds of thousands of light seconds of super cruise just to see what things looked like close up and sat patiently as I lobbed probes at Gas Giants and tiny Ice Bodies alike. She’s the Toyota Hilux of the stars.
 
Good read Cmdr, a feeling many of us have come to know. So much so that I’m another like SenseiMatty, below, who bought a second account purely for exploring - no sense of panic, no need to rush. Just load up one for Combat/Bubble fun and the other for serene deep space joy.



I’m currently making my way slowly back to Explorer’s Anchorage from Beagle Point keen to see what my, and many others, mining efforts have helped to create. I’m in two minds what to do once I arrive, head over to Colonia and unlock some engineers or just head out again and be content with the remarkable Shiranaihito that has navigated its way to BP with me twice now; has taken Neutron Stars head on, wended it’s across many hundreds of thousands of light seconds of super cruise just to see what things looked like close up and sat patiently as I lobbed probes at Gas Giants and tiny Ice Bodies alike. She’s the Toyota Hilux of the stars.
I'm also thinking about my next trip. Now I'm refreshing my mind and I'm playing with my other commander. I had two sessions with thargoids and today I went bounty hunting. Tomorrow I guess I'll do some passenger runs to gain some rep with the dark wheel. Probably next week I'll switch back to my explorer who is now relaxing at Explorers Anchorage.
 
It works well doesn’t it. This morning before work I took out five Pirate Lords in systems around Muang in the hope Broo will give me a free upgrade sometime but this evening I’m ambling around F class systems hoping to find that elusive ringed ELW....someone will no doubt point out I’m looking in the wrong places 😁
 
Guys, thanks for all the responses, they’re great! Feels like I’ve been initiated into a club..... Particularly liking the comments on the ‘original’ explorers who made it to far flung places with pre-engineering ships.... simply awesome stuff, must have been an amazing accomplishment for the first few. (I somehow imagine them in black and white with Victorian moustaches and pipes, but in spaceships...)

Also the comments around the peaceful experiences and moments of video game solitude, and the ‘I do this because I want to’ moments. Yes, I certainly have a calling back to the black...

I have been trying to compare this experience to other ‘transcendental’ moments I’ve experienced in games (if I can call it that without coming over all pretentious) where you simply say ‘wow’, and I am struggling to find many examples. There are a few, but none quite have the convergence of experiences as Elite has provided for me... particularly in senses of scale and literal exploration. You’re really ‘out there’ ...with no safety net. It’s like an uber survival sim disguised as a space adventure.

When I said ‘it’s mad’ it’s partly because at one scale the game mechanic is quite basic, yet on another it is extremely complex, emotive and involving. It shouldn’t work, but it so does.

Staring into the heavens knowing I was so extremely far out, in game terms and in ‘real life’ terms of personal investment, was a not a little awe inspiring.

I am definitely eager to try this again.... hopefully soon.

I read somewhere that next time I should ‘just go up’.... a reference to the galactic plane... I think I will do just that.

Aspy the Asp has done me proud on this voyage, but the next one may well be in a bigger brother, perhaps beginning with K....
 
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I've done trips but as of yet haven't felt like I was exploring anything. I get the feeling everything I encounter has already been encountered by someone else, even a few years ago, even if it's not true. So I have been to Colonia and back, and the 5K Ly thing wasn't hard for me, but I just suicided to get back. I go out thousands of LY and once there I don't feel it's any different than the bubble, other than you're stuck unable to do anything other than look around for stuff and update the codex.

Just different strokes, but it's cool to see another explorer being born. Pretty sure these grindy requirements are designed to force you out of your comfort zone to explore elements of the game you wouldn't otherwise, and many folks seem to like it once they get involved.
 
Great read Cmdr @Xavoras , awesome seeing your transition from "grinding" out an engineer unlock to just enjoying the experience for what it was.

Yes, if you analyse the game mechanics for what they are, they are extremely basic, but if you can step away from that knowledge, the actual execution of those mechanics offers a richness of experience that is unparalleled in any other game I've played.

Modern exploration is certainly a far-cry from the first explorers; not only pre-engineered jump-range ships, but also no route plotter. Yes, you read that correctly, one jump plotted at a time! I wasn't part of that first wave of Explorers, by the time I got started we could already plot 100, or perhaps it was 1000, light years at a time. Still, I made my way to Beagle Point during Distant Worlds 1 in an Asp Explorer which managed just shy of 34LY per jump - the minimum required for the final jump.

My very first trip was to the Pleiades. And no, not to visit Thargoid Barnacles or research stations, but Just Because. None of that other stuff was out there when I went, I purely went because I loved looking at the Pleiades as a kid while camping. That was in a Cobra MkIII which managed ~15LY at the time and took me a week or two. These days I go there in half an hour...


But reading about your experience reminds me of my first voyages. Fantastic times indeed!
 
Hmmm, luxury.

Currently on my way there with a 20ly Challenger, no AFMU and a fuel tank that gives me 3 jumps max. Not even sure its possible, but giving it a go anyway. Already out of Inner Orion Spur and halfway through Norma's expanse. Almost self destructed at one stage so I could start again in a more suitable ship. Instead I moved the PS4 off the main lounge TV to a sideboard near the sofa and plugged it into a 32" tv so I can grind out a few hundred light years while wifey watches Eastend Emmerdale Street.

Loads and loads of WW, ELW and AWs scanned altready. I was on 53% Pioneer before so I could probably turn back now and blow the doors of Explore Elite, but I want to get Sag A under my belt before returning to complete Trade Elite (Tycoon atm) and then I can concentrate on AX duties.

Has anybody ever done Sag A in a Challenger, I wonder?
WOW :) That takes patience. I took everything and kitchen sink with Conda reason why it jumped so poorly +plus everything was a-rated, and well that was very very tedious. Though running to Sag A itself is pretty easy, but you may need to steer clear of certain areas with your small fuel tank, lots of unscoopable stars near gaps between spiral arms. Nearer you go to center easier it gets. No AFMU means that you should avoid Neutron highway too. Though from Sag A trip to Colonia and buying that will certainly help on return leg.
 
Good advice, and I will follow it for the return to the bubble. Thanks.
13,000 ly and 697 jumps to go. Almost out of Norma's Expanse. Kinda halfway, I guess. Determined to finish it. I'd feel a bit of a fraud getting ExplorElite without ticking the Sag A box off.
 
But my mind has been wondering to fitting out an engineered Krait Phantom and to far off places.....
The black does that. It gets into you and won't let go. It seeps into your bloodstream.

And sooner or later, you're going to go to one of the fringes of the galaxy, where the sky is truly black and empty and void, and you'll see all of the galaxy spread before you, all life and warmth and hope and despair in that one bright smear, and you'll look out into the infinite nothing, and then you'll know you can never go home again, not really, you might stop off in the bubble from time to time but it won't be home.
 
Beautiful description. You've expressed many of the emotions I felt on my first trip out. A loop to Colonia and back that kind of got lost and ended up spending most of a month around the top of the Galaxy. LOL
The
I'm back in the bubble now, doing mining and engineering and guardian stuff, mainly so I can make a ship that will get me out even farther and faster.

It's funny. Most of the sights out there other than the sky box aren't really much different from what you can see in and around the bubble. Yet the fact that you're the first to see them, and possibly even the only one who will ever see them, makes for a special feeling. Reminds me of:

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. " - Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in Blade Runner.
 
I didn’t bring an SLF.... that’s on the menu for the next trip potentially..... have been scoping out Phantom long distance exploration builds. Also intrigued by the Guardian FSD booster tech. Another grind-quest....!
 
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