Oh No, What Have I Done?
Woe is me. What have I done? Time as I know it will never be used productively again now that I have the game Elite Dangerous. The silver lining will come in the form of my alabaster, hasn’t-seen-the-sun-in-ages skin that I will be cultivating while playing Elite Dangerous.
Seriously though, wow! Once I figured out the basics of flight the game just sucked me in.
I’ve really enjoyed KSP because of the open world and the relatively real physics. And the flight sim and exploration aspects of the game are why I’ve spent so many hours playing it.
In comparison, Elite Dangerous is quite a different game, except it still has the elements that sucked me into KSP. It wouldn’t be too outlandish to say that Elite Dangerous is some genetic combination of Zorg Empire, Kerbal Space Program and Mass Effect.
You start the game with a loaned ship and a small balance of credits. Your goal, survive, make a name for yourself, and earn a fortune. I started earning some credits by scanning systems I visit during my travels and selling the data, as well as trading. There is an extensive economy system with supply and demand that is affected by trading and such details. So if you can figure out which systems have a demand for something and which systems have a supply of that something you can start to make some credits.
The galaxy is impressive. It is set in a 1-1 accurate Milky Way Galaxy. Including our Sol system and all the stars you grew up learning and looking up at. The distances are also all accurate which means travel is one of the least realistic parts of the game. However, it’s one of the more important game mechanisms.
Ships have thrusters for sublightspeed manouvering around stations and asteroids and such. For longer distances they have Frame Shift Engines. These offer two modes of travel. The first, medium speed mode, is called Supercruise. It’s for travelling between planets in a system. In Supercruise other ships can scan you and "interdict" - which brings you back to sublightspeed. This facilitates both bounty hunting and pirating.
The other mode is to jump to another star. The jumps always target a star and bring you close to the target star. So a trade run consists of jumping between stars until you reach the target system and then supercruising to the station that you want to sell your cargo at.
I’ll talk more about the gameplay later, after I’ve had more time and have experienced more than just a few trade runs.
I’ve been looking around for a game like this for a long long time. For a time I thought KSP filled my desire perfectly, but now I see that I have a lot more wasted time to give, and Elite Dangerous might just be good enough to take it from me.