A quick update on my ED account and what I’ve been up to in our future universe.

It has been quite a while since my last update about Elite Dangerous (ED). That’s because I actually stopped playing for a little while. When it first came out it was a good game but subsequent changes to some of the inner systems seemed to make the game turn against me in an instant. Where in the earliest phases it was fine to smuggle illegal goods as long as you paid your fines and did a reasonable - like 3-6 - missions for that faction then all would be forgiven. After an update, however, it changed. In a single stop I became a hunted fugitive within the Federation. Rank in their army did not matter my relationship with the Federation had become a shoot on site sort of deal. I managed to escape the Federation with only the ship I was using. I had to resort to trying to do missionsn for factions that were friendly with the Federation but independent of the Federation. This, I was told, would eventually let my get out of the "shoot on sight" order and let me land in Federation stations. You can only take missions for a certain faction if they let you land. Well after 30 missions or so that each had medium to high influence on my reputation and nothing had changed.

Reading around the forums had a number of posts of similar things happening to other people. Eventually other games took my attention back because I was done dealing with the B.S. of monotonous no progress and I had a few ships still docked in Federation territory that I wanted access to.

Well after a month or two of offline time the authorities had tempered their opinion of me and that’s all it took to get me off of the "shoot on sight" order. It seems the devs have tempered some of the algorithms that govern the reputation stuff because missions are now showing an appreciable, albiet small, affect on my reputation with various factions. My rank is also slowly increasing in the Federation too which is a bonus.

I haven’t yet really delved far enough into the game’s mythos to opt into the powerplay stuff (I think that’s what it’s called). I am thinking I might start to read into the backstories and decide where to throw my political vote. There are bonuses to opting in and the mission depth is supposed to increase. I’m not sure if I’ll need to play online or if I can take part in some of the trading missions and stuff in solo mode. I hope solo mode will still work for that because I’m not a fan of all the douches intercepting me when I play open. It’s at a fun enough level in the solo play but there are some really annoying people in the open game.

Fairly quickly I decided I needed to step up my game and get a better ship. At the time I was flying a Type 7 transport and trying to do long rare trading routes of 30 stops or more just to fill up the cargo hold. In storage I had a sidewinder and a cobra both all decked out in the gear that I used before upgrang to a newer ship. I decided to sell those along with my Type 7 and use the proceeds to completely kit out a brand new Asp. This was a month or two before the newer ships like the Asp Explorer/Scout versions and the alliance locked ships came out in an update so my Asp was grandfathered in as the larger version, Explorer. I bought all A rank modules of the largest class for everything, as well as the most advanced surface and system scanners for exploration. The weapons were a combo of energy and projectile gimballed weapons. In the utility mounts were a kill warrant scanner and 3 class A shield boosters for extra durability. It is able to do everything. I did some bounty hunting for a while but it wasn’t very profitable. After kitting out the ship I was fairly low on funds and after some bounty hunting I was at risk of not being able to afford the now 1.9M credit insurance policy. So I turned back to my old default trade. 80Tons of cargo space is not enough to be profitable in trading normal goods but with the long jump range of the Asp it is more than enough to be profitable in rare goods trading. So I went to the rare goods tool (see the links at the bottom of this post) and tried my best to put together a route for rare goods trading suitable for an Asp.

The rare goods route that I came up with was not very large, had to ignore any rare goods that would be illegal at any of the other stops and had to fill enough of the cargo hold to make a 150-200Ly journey worth the 10 minutes. Here is what I came up with.

Asp Rare Trade Route:
  1. Fujin - Futen Spaceport
  2. 39 Tauri - Porta
  3. George Pantazis - Zamka Platform
  4. Altair - Solo Orbiter
  5. Zeessze - Nicollier Hanger
  6. Rajukru - Snyder Terminal (Sell)
  7. Alacarakmo - Weyl Gateway
  8. HIP 80364 - Stasheff Colony
  9. Heike - Brunel City
  10. Ethgreze - Bloche Station
  11. Helvetitj - Friend Orbital
  12. Witchhaul - Hornby Terminal (Sell)

Just buy the rare good from the market at the named port at each step and the G.T.F.O. The name of the game here is speed. With the jump range of a kitted out Asp many of these stops are just one jump apart so the time between stops is compressed as much as I can make it. Collect the rare goods from each stop until you reach either Rajukru or Witchhaul. At those two stations sell everything in your hold and then start over again. Don’t forget to purchase the rare good at the stations you sold everything at before taking off; there is a reason you stopped there too.

It still takes about 1.5 hours to go through the whole route if you do it all in one dedicated sitting. The profit is variable since the supply of goods is variable but I expect to get anywhere from 500K to 1.5M credits in profit from each half of the route (considering the sell stations as the partitions delineating the halves of the route). One of the halves does a better job of filling the hold, leading to better profits than the other side, but they are both profitable and link together well.

After a few trips around that I was again flush with cash and ready to get back into ship purchasing. Unfortunately, the next ship I need to buy - in order to further my goal to be ridiculously flushed with cash so that I can afford to throw it away bounty hunting and getting blown up because of my low combat skill - is a Type 9 transport ship. The purchase price, before any insurace or outfitting is considered is ~160M creditsn. Ouch.

It looks like my best bet for raising those funds will be to get back into a Type 7 first, kitted out for long jump transport and find a short loop that can get me 2K or better profit per ton. At my last outtfitting the Type 7 could carry 208 Tons or so. At a high enough profit rate that could mean 500K profit per round trip. If the loop is only 5 jumps max between 2 endpoints then that’s like 10-11 minutes per half million credits. Compared to an hour and a half for 2 million credits I think it could just edge out Rare trading in an Asp. Rare trading in the transport ship took way longer so I already know that it won’t work as well.

I’m not willing to give up my great Asp though so I did some more rare trading until I had the 20M needed to kit out a Type 7. I’ve purchased the Type 7 and spent all me extra funds now but I still need to find a couple of important module updates like the frame shift drive… and I need more funds before I can do that. So back to the Asp for now until I have more money.

I’ve made my headquarters in Federation territory at Solo Station in Altair. It has a bunch of good ships in the shipyard and I’m slowly fixing my reputation with the Federation. I think at some point I might end up throwing my powerplay vote into one of the other factions but I think Altair is a good location for me to be headquartered for now.

I think that’s enough blathering for now. Here are some links for trading tools that I’ve found and have enjoyed using.

  • https://eddb.io/
    A great database and search tool for finding goods both rare and normal, finding info about stations and systems and trying to find trade routes that are profitable. It doesn’t do a lot for rare goods other than list locations though.
  • http://eliteraretrader.co.uk/
    This one is perfect for rare goods in combination with a good list from somewhere else (see eddb.io above). It lets you map out a route for rare goods and tells you which goods have traveled far enough to be sold for profit at each point in your route. Playing around with the order of the stops is a great way to get a compact and efficient rare goods route that doesn’t waste much time. It’s how I did the route I posted above.
  • http://coriolis.io/
    This one isn’t about trading, it’s about ships. It lets you plan out your ship and how it is outfitted. It can also track pricing information. I’m not sure how accurate the prices are but at least it should be a good estimate. It is helping me plan out my financial progress.
" "