I’d like to start this post with a non-apology. I don’t apologize for not having written more posts. Writing is a funny thing. At times it seems there’s not enough time, or electrons in the universe, to say what you want to say. At other times, it’s like a cosmic void – not one helium atom (a good idea 😉 ) in parsecs upon parsecs. Thus it has been lately. And I’d rather not waste your time with filler material. I know you have other things you could do with your time than just read filler.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve not been busy playing games. I’ve spent most of my gaming time playing Elite: Dangerous. According to Raptr I have 61 hours invested in the game. Mostly I’ve been trading, upgrading my ship and trading some more. Here’s what that looks like. Try not to get too excited…
Back and forth, back and forth, with a docking required at both ends. This is not exciting work. However, it provides a steady income one can parlay into a better ship and even more income. Through the course of my 61 hours of game play I have amassed a respectable net worth.
I am currently on my third ship. I purchased a Hauler as soon as I had the funds, which I subsequently traded in for a Cobra Mark III. I have upgraded the cargo capacity of my Cobra to 36 tons, as well as upgraded my power plant and my weapons. As you can see by the rankings I’m still rated as harmless and aimless. However, I have advanced to Dealer in the trade ranks – my third promotion; equal to competent in combat ratings. I’ve spent almost my entire career in Evarate trading between stations and picking up trade or reputation missions on the bulletin boards whenever I can. I’ve only been successfully interdicted twice. Once when I was in the Hauler so I ran away. You can see the results of the second interdiction in the lower right corner of the statistics display. His biggest mistake was interdicting a Cobra armed with pulse lasers and multi-cannons with a Hauler. Whatever he was thinking, he didn’t think it for long.
I currently make about 30,000 credits a round trip hauling Tea and Marine Equipment. At first I thought that was a lot. Then I looked at the requirement for my next promotion. I have to earn 3,800,000 credits to get it. A quick back of the envelope calculation tells me I have to rinse, lather and repeat my run nearly 125 times to get there. Ugh. That is not at all appealing. But I could mix it up. I’ve not tried mining yet. And I’ve only collected the one bounty. Or I can find a new system with a better trade route, one that has a special rare item or some such. Or I could become a salvager. I did that once. Forgot to check the tobacco I picked up in deep space and ended up paying a 20k fine for bringing stolen goods into Ackerman Market. Oops. There are many other things I could do. Elite: Dangerous is, after all, a sand box. I can go anywhere.
And by anywhere I mean most of the 400 billion stars available in the galaxy. There are a few areas held in reserve for future alien expansions, but by and large I can travel anywhere. And many have been doing just that. But what exactly does that mean? What’s the scope of “anywhere” and “400 billion?” In this week’s news letter, #59, Frontier Development gave out some exploration statistics for the first month since Elite: Dangerous went live. Here’s the report, emphasis mine,
It’s a big galaxy out there. Players have been out exploring Elite: Dangerous’ full-scale recreation of the Milky Way since launch, and together you’ve discovered 615,475 previously uncharted systems of the 400 billion in our galaxy.
On a simple average, that’s 17,585 systems per day, 732 per hour or 12 per minute. Good going, everyone.
But let’s put that in context, because with 400 billion star systems to explore the community have charted just 0.00015 percent of our galaxy. Let’s put it another way: if everyone keeps going at the current rate, it will take 150,895 years to map the entire Milky Way.
But with new players joining every day, we might just get the galaxy mapped before the turn of the hundred and seventieth century.
My mind would be blown except there seems to be a math error in this statement. If we continue to map 17,585 systems per day, that’s 6,418,525 systems per year. Excluding leap years, which would see an additional 17,585 systems mapped, it would take 400,000,000,000 systems divided by 6,418,525 systems per year to map the entire galaxy. That’s only 62, 320 years to map the entire galaxy, providing there is no interruption in server availability. That’s still an impressive number, but is less than half the time Frontier states. What gives?
So, now you know what I’ve been up to. Now I think it’s time to play some more Elite: Dangerous. See you around the galaxy.