Tarragon's Elite: Dangerous Adventures


#1

As you probably know, I spend a lot of time in Elite: Dangerous, and as I’ve just started to head off to join The Galactic Nebula Expedition, I figured I should start keeping a bit of a record of my travels and the sights I see along the way.

What follows will be sporadic updates as I find interesting things, hopefully with screenshots.

Enjoy!


#2

So I haven’t even made it to the very first meeting point (Waypoint 0, BD+22 3878, near the Dumbbell Nebula) and I’ve already found a completely undiscovered sector!

VULPECULA DARK REGION ZZ-Y B1

Quite a few high metal content or otherwise interesting planets; a nice find! Plants :flag_black:

View from Vulpecula Dark Region ZZ-Y B1 A 3:

And a last shot before I move on: a view of the galactic centre through the rings of the purple gas giant Vulpecula Dark Region ZZ-Y B1 B 1:


#3

Found a band of undiscovered planets and moons in the outskirts of sector COL 359 SECTOR GR-V D2-49, including a gas giant with water-based life:

Nice view of one of the gas giants and its ice rings over one of it’s moons:


#4

Just finished Rebel Galaxy, working on Starpoint Gemini 2. Elite just seems far too big and consuming for me at the moment but sooo very tempting (especially after I popped an achievement during the trial…). Thank for the exploration, will be using this as a wallpaper for now!


#5

Arrived at waypoint 0, which is in sector BD+22 3878. Didn’t come across much of interest along the way here since my last post, except for this nice shot of DUMBBELL SECTOR JC-U B3-2 C 1, which is actually lit from behind by a Red Giant:

The meeting point is on BD+22 3878 2 A, and I’ve landed on the planet and settled in for the night. This planet has arsenic, so I shall do a little prospecting tomorrow to find this resource to help with extended jumps later.


#6

Just took the plunge as @zzUrbanSpaceman already knows, and so looking forward till I can join the Expedition,


#7

Currently at “Explorer’s Landing”, the name for the base camp at waypoint 0 of the expedition, (BD+22 3878 2 A, -59.12, -107.36).

It’s at the third of the three scheduled meetup times, at a time specifically set to be friendly to Australian timezones. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many of us - and even less of us on Xbox One - and Xbox instancing means that I’m probably not going to see someone even if they do end up in the same place at the same time (although more likely if they are also in AU/NZ).

So, unsurprisingly, I am all alone at base camp. I’ll wait until the scheduled period finishes and sign out (need some points for GTASC), but here’s a nice picture of my isolation:


#8

Had a little time for some space hopping last night, continuing my trip to Waypoint 1 of the Galactic Nebula Expedition.

The relative distance to WP1 is actually fairly short, so I have a fair bit of time to explore along the way. Here’s a little pro-tip for other explorers out there that want to maximise their hits along the way: when plotting your route, you can select “Fastest” or “Economical”. Fastest will generally take the longest hops and the least amount of jumps, but if you’re exploring this isn’t desirable as you miss a lot of systems in between. I set mine to Economical when I’m not in a hurry, which ups the number of hops a lot and I get to cover a lot more systems.

It only took about 3 hops before I hit something interesting: DUMBBELL SECTOR DL-Y D16

At first glance this just looks like a fairly regular system with three gas giants; a bit more exciting that the more common “just a bunch of rocks”, but still nothing to get too excited about.

Then I looked closer at one of the gas giants. Wait a second - that’s no gas giant, that’s a star.

Turns out the second “planet” in this system is actually a brown dwarf star, with it’s own ring system. That’s far more interesting!

This shot actually highlights some remaining issues with the way lighting works in Elite: Dangerous. The brown dwarf should be emitting light of it’s own (I believe), so I think the shadow being cast on the ring system by the star is probably wrong. Pretty though!

I decided to go scan the remaining gas giant in this system before coming back to the brown dwarf for some more pictures. Along the way I get a notification: Unknown signal discovered. What? Out here?

I dropped in to check it out and found the wreckage of another ship, with some leftover survey data.

Well, I wasn’t nervous before, but I am now. I returned to the brown dwarf and started to close in on the rings to get a shot of the star among the asteroids, when ping another signal source. Dropped in on this one, another wrecked ship. What is going on in this system?

I was soon to find out a potential reason when I mucked up my entry into the asteroid belt and took some ship damage! D’oh! I recovered though and grabbed a shot amongst the rocks:

I’d noticed some nebula were very visible through the rings of the dwarf, so I started manoeuvring around to get some shots of them. Here’s the results:

The milky way through behind the rings:

A nebula through the rings:

Two blue nebulae through the rings:

After that I called it a night. More later.


#9

Realised last night that I’m actually way behind the rest of the expedition now, so I need to ramp up my speed, which means less time to check out systems along the way.

Stopped at SWOIWNS XX-U C5-4 as it had some valuable metal rich planets to scan, and decided to land on SWOIWNS XX-U C5-4 5 to search for the ever elusive arsenic.

I wasn’t successful, but I did find this crashed ship:

Judging by the contents of their cargo bay that was scattered around, they were smuggling narcotics, but to where? We are over 1200ly away from Sol now. There are two escape pods here, but unfortunately I can’t do anything for them - my ship is stripped down for exploration, and I have no cargo bays. Hopefully someone will see this transmission and send a rescue party.


#10

I’m basically hustling to Waypoint 2 of the expedition now, so I’m not stopping to take in the sights as much, but here’s a few quickies I took:


#11

I wasn’t the first to find it, but it’s the first one I found: an Earthlike planet!

And for any budding explorers out there, this chart is very handy:


#12

Hey Tarragon.
Enjoying the read of your trip. Shame I couldn’t make the voyage with you! Hope to see you out in space some day.
Grug.


#13

Just touched down at waypoint 3 of the Galactic Nebula Expedition, finally meaning I’ve caught up after falling behind from waypoint 2. Not that I expect to see anyone here given my location on the planet (ironic huh), but it’s still good to feel part of the group, even from a distance.

Here’s some pictures I grabbed quickly while I was rushing between stars.

And touchdown at the exact coordinates of waypoint 3, facing due North:


#14

Not much more to report other than hopping my way to Waypoint 3. Before I left the last stop though I grabbed this picture, with part of the nebula visible on the right:


#15

Neutron stars and white dwarfs will have jets in the 2.2 update. Very pretty. They can also be used to give a boost to your FSD … but wow, dangerous:


#16

I’ve basically been grounded this last week and haven’t booted up Elite at all, so nothing much to report. This surfaced recently though showing the scale of vessels in Elite:

And here’s the backlog of pictures I took last week. Enjoy.

Fear of a black planet?

I found a completely undiscovered Earth-like planet. I shall name it Eric.


#17

Wow, popular video heh


#18

Yeah, these pics are on point man good job. Kudos.


#19

I finally made it to Colonia yesterday after a couple of hiccups on the way from Polo Harbour (a colony about 20,000ly from Sol I stopped in at on the way).

What hiccups you ask? Well, let me tell you a story.

I’d fallen behind the Galactic Nebula Expedition, so I opted to bypass a few hops and cut across the galaxy in the hope of catching them up. While this wasn’t to be (and I consider myself officially off that expedition now), I was making a bee-line for Colonia and Jacques Station when Frontier (the developers of the game) dropped the 2.2 patch. This patch introduced a few things, but the most interesting for me was the changes to neutron stars.

Now, a neutron star is an extremely small star with high mass, and some eject a lot of electromagnetic radiation (called a “pulsar”). In game they look a bit like this:

The blue jets are actually rotating out from the core in that shot. Very pretty and cool looking.

Now, the actual gameplay change they introduced was that you can fly into the jetstream of these stars and, while taking some damage, can supercharge your frame shift drive (this is basically your faster than light engine in the game). Supercharging it in this way increases the jump range by 300%, meaning you can travel 4 times as far as you normally could on your next jump. This reduces overall time to get from place to place significantly, and as a result people have been busily mapping out “Neutron Star Highways” between key areas of the galaxy.

I decided to aim for one of these highways, starting from a new colony called Polo Harbour and going all the way to Colonia and Jacques Station.

Got to Polo Harbour fine and even nabbed my very first discovery:

I then started off down the highway.

Then disaster. I misjudged how close I was to one of the neutron stars, and did an emergency stop. Normally this just results in a few points of hull and module damage, except this time I was caught in the jetstream of the star and it proceeded to absolutely hammer my ship. The ship’s modules were going on and off uncontrollably, and it took me at least 5-10 minutes of trying before the frame shift drive stayed active long enough for me to get into supercruise. By then, I was down to single digit hull, and worse, my canopy had blown and I was on my last few minutes of reserve oxygen. Sure enough, a few minutes later, my ship self-destructed.

I woke up back at Polo Harbour. It was fortunate that I had landed there otherwise I’d have woken up 20,000 light years from where I exploded, back near Sol.

I had to take a bit of a break from Elite after this. Another commander by the name of RedDragonSwords (previously GoingXwell) suggested I lodge a support ticket, because there was a bug in the game that implied that neutron stars were a bit too deadly, and my situation was caused by this - in other words, I should have been able to escape the jetstream without dying, but the stars were programmed to be too deadly and I suffered as a consequence. I did end up lodging a ticket, and Frontier were kind enough to credit me for loss of ship and exploration data value (although I lost the actual exploration data against my Elite rank and all my first discoveries).

I did manage to take a couple of interesting pictures along the way:

I finally came back to the game, and took off down the highway once again. There are 43 odd hops between Polo Harbour and Colonia, and I jumped about 13 of these before deciding to call it a night. I found a nice planet in the system I was in and decided to land there and park for the night… bad move! I had forgotten that planets, as opposed to the moons I’d been landing on most of the time, have actual gravity, and misjudged the landing while looking to enable my shields, hit the ground too hard … :boom:.

Back at Polo Harbour again. sigh

This time there was no messing around. I did the entire highway between Polo Harbour and Colonia in about 2-3 hours. Arriving at the system Colonia was a relief, to say the least:

And landed - and that’s the first other ship I’ve seen in months:

Colonia is a very pretty area of space:

And then I headed off to Jacques Station to check out the outfitting. Haven’t seen a station in a long time either:

Apparently back on Sol it was some kind of appreciation holiday for one of the old nation-states, and they were selling some special paint jobs for ships … I don’t know, I don’t keep up with these ancient traditions, but I do like the black paint jobs.

Next stop is Sagittarius A*.