Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Elite Community Meet 2018 (Wokingham)

This year, in lieu of any kind of holiday, I spent my week off attending a couple of gaming events. On Friday I went to EGX Rezzed which was pretty good, but on Saturday I spent the day at ECM 2018 in the St. Anne’s Hotel in Wokingham.

The event started at 10am and the school holidays plus pleasant weather conspired to make the drive up from Kent fairly easy going, which meant I managed to arrive fifteen minutes before the doors officially opened with no stress at all.

The Elite Community Meet had a large conference room just off the main reception with an anteroom between, where the check-in desk and the all-important coffee & tea supplies were provided. Also, in the anteroom was docking darts (large, medium and small dart with pads as targets arranged like a dart board). I failed to beat my LaveCon 2017 score!

ECM 2018

Table-top RPG games were being played and demonstrated on various tables, with CMDRs playing Zombicide and EDRPG as well as sitting and chatting.

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Six degrees of motion sickness

Down in the back corner of the room there was CMDR Blastard, who had brought an extraordinary contraption; a full motion simulator chair of his own construction (complete with working scale prototype model) which allowed him to play Elite and other games in VR with the extra element of motion.

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Pirates; is that spelt with one ARRR or two?

You always meet colourful characters at these events. Saturday was no exception. I met CMDRs Squid and Defoe Smith (who were having a coffee at the time) and were most noticeable for their Pirate Cosplay. They have been playing Elite: Dangerous since last year and I asked them if they played the game as pirates, but it turns out they are traders and explorers only, preferring the piracy to remain in costume only! Thanks to https://www.hcsvoicepacks.com/ for the photo.

ECM 2018

Artemis

I managed to jump in a game of Artemis set up in a small conference room further back in the hotel. The principle of the game is that you have five players who get a screen each; Science, Helm, Tactical, Communications, Engineering and a sixth player, the Captain, who has a viewscreen but no control. This means the captain has to yell orders and rely on the other five players to (a) communicate and (b) do as they are told, not just what they want. The end result is either amazing teamwork or farcical comedy!

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Our first obstacle was our captain (who had signed up to play) didn’t show. However, Ben Moss-Woodward of LaveRadio fame, who had been manning the event check-in, took the big chair.

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In the game, the space map shows a sector divided up by asteroid belts and mine-fields with a handful of star-bases we should protect and roaming groups of hostile ships to fight.

ECM 2018

Whilst we got to grips with playing the game, the roaming bad-guys blew up the star-bases while we watched, helpless, from the wrong side of the sector to do anything about it. Having engaged some ships in battle, successfully I might add, we had run out of missiles etc. and with no star-bases left to restock, we resorted to what is known as “the Drew Wagar manoeuvre” and flew circles around a black hole, causing the hapless bad-guys to fly into it and die. The final score was we lasted the full 40 minutes without getting killed, but the star-bases were a total loss.

Virtual playground

The end of the room furthest from the “stage” had a couple of virtual reality rigs set up for CMDRs to have a try. The Vive rig being used belonged to Lave Radio’s Grant “PsychoKow” Wilcott and had one of the TP Cast wireless sets fitted. I was interested to see that while it means you are no longer tethered to the PC, it isn’t really wireless, since in addition to the transmitter that sits on the top of your head, there is a chunky cable to the fairly sizeable battery pack. Still, not having a long and trip-worthy cable attached to you must be an advantage.

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Going Retro

I sat down at the back of the room and managed to have a game of Space Invaders on one of the original 1980s Atari TV game consoles. Where you’d find a CRT television that still works these days boggles the mind, but it definitely took me back to my misspent youth!

ECM 2018

CMDR Bulletford, Stephen Usher (above) had his BBC Micro on display and was busy playing Arcadians – a game dear to my heart – while the Commodore next to him was running another game from my youth; also a game from David Braben, “Zarch” on the Acorn Archimedes which was known as “Virus” on other platforms. A 3D lander combat game.

ECM 2018

There was a projector set up with “Gang Beasts” a physics-based wrestling game for 2-4 players with what I can only describe as jelly babies in fancy dress as combatants. It’s as funny as hell to play. I bought it myself after playing it at LaveCon in 2016.

Seeing your work out there

One thing I found really strange was seeing another PC with one of my ship blueprints in as the desktop background. It is one thing to know people download your work, but to see your creations set in pride of place on somebody else’s computer is an odd experience.

ECM 2018

After a lunch of sandwiches and chips (yeah, I know, right?) which I assume the hotel thought was nerd-fuel, the event continued with a quiz. Two teams, Frontier Vs the Hammers of Slough played “Universally Challenged” in several rounds of questions about the game, the galaxy and general knowledge (with more than a couple of Hitch Hiker’s Guide questions).

ECM 2018

These guys were good. I have no idea off the top of my head what the distance from Colonia to Beagle Point might be! But the teams did.

Tagged ya!

Down by the corner next to the simulator chair, was CMDR Evenstar who was engraving Elite: Dangerous dog tags for CMDRs who had made donations to the www.specialeffect.org.uk and www.hearingdogs.org.uk charities that the event was supporting. I got myself a Coriolis tag and an Alliance Chieftain tag for my son who plays Elite.

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Special Effect

The guys from Special Effect were there to show off the great work they do and I watched a young CMDR playing Rocket League using a chin controller. Raising money for the charity enables people with physical impairements to play PC and console games the same as everyone else.

ECM 2018

Frontier were there

Ed, Paige and Will from Frontier had come along to the event and were mixing with all the CMDRs. I managed to collar poor Ed and confront him with my “Who makes the Nav Beacon” question. Ed also acted as compare for some of the “Universally Challenged” quiz rounds.

Prizes for all, but mostly for CMDR Jester!

The finale of the event was a prize raffle, with nearly 250 prizes (see amazing swag below).

 ECM 2018

The raffle sold over 3,000 tickets at a pound a ticket, some serious money was raised for charity. One CMDR had purchased (it is rumoured) 500 tickets. As a result, a great number of the prizes were drawn for CMDR Jester but being a fairly typical member of the Elite community, more than a few of the prizes drawn for him were returned to the raffle to be re-drawn for another winner. He wasn’t the only CMDR who won a great prize, then passed it back to be redrawn, either. The Elite community are a generous lot.

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The first prize drawn, was a Hutton Orbital Mug won by John, the CMDR I was sitting with. He then won a second prize a few minutes later, you guessed it – a second mug!

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Our announcer for the raffle, Steph, did an amazing job, despite her voice going toward the end – it took over an hour to announce all the prizes drawn!

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It was a great day and it went so fast. Thanks to CMDR Zulu Romeo, Dan from Fantastic Books publishing, Kate Russell for being her amazing self, Paige Harvey from Frontier with whom I had a lovely chat, Baz from Special Effect, Amy and Kerrash (much love to you two), Jon Lunn of EDRPG, Stephen Usher, the pirates Squid and Defoe, John & Mia, Dave Pearson and Mike Snoswell for organising the blueprints raffle prize booklet, turning my lunchtime hobby into a collectable - I apologise to anyone I didn’t mention, I met so many lovely people on Saturday and I probably should have photographed name badges.

I would say if you can make it to an Elite Meet event, it is well worth making it a date in your calendar.

No posts and its Frontier's fault

In short, I've been too busy playing the game in my free time to write any articles and too busy at work to get anything done in my usual lunchtime spot. Taking a week off to recharge the batteries, then back to the codex for me!

Ship Personalisation

It’s been a while since I wrote my article on outfitting your ship. While the majority of the detail holds true, it is missing anything about ships skins or decals and a lot of recently added personalisation features.

There are now a number of things you can do to customise your ship to change its weapon and engine colours, exterior appearance, interior decor and even the ships Cockpit Voice Activated System (COVAS).

Another element that can be personalised for players with Horizons is the Holo-Me. This sets your in-cockpit player model and avatar that's visible to other players.

Note: Most of the cosmetic items in Elite: Dangerous are purchased DLC. In order to keep the game a level playing field and avoid any chance of “pay to win” Frontier chose to make all their DLC cosmetic and therefore have zero effect on the game-play.

It neither makes you better or tougher, it’s just darn sexy to look at.

But, unless you’ve bought one of the Editions of Elite that included decals and paint packs, then most of the items in this article would need to be purchased in the Frontier Store or whatever purchase vehicle is used for your platform, before you can use them.

You can live a happy life in the Elite: Dangerous universe without ever buying a single cosmetic. But if you have some pennies spare and want to pimp your ride, then read on...

Livery

Ship customisation is done through the Livery option on either the Station Services menu or the Livery option in the Ship Outfitting screen. Both choices take you to a “select vehicle menu” this will be for your main ship and up to two ship launched fighters and two Surface Recon Vehicles (as both can have a double bay).

Picking the primary ship will take you to a menu which allows you to view and choose a number of items, the first being the ships’ voice.

Vessel Voice (two free)

There are three ships voices which are available currently in Elite, “Verity” (the original female ship voice) and “Victor” both of which are free. The third is a female voice called “Celeste” which must be purchased. These can be selected for ships, fighters and SRVs. It’s quite nice to jump between a ship and the fighter with a difference computer voice.

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

Paint Job

When you buy your ship, even the free Sidewinder, it is possible to change it’s appearance to use a new ship exterior paint, so all those “ship in front of..” screenshots look all the more special.

All the paints available can be previewed, but only those you own can be selected. Your currently selected paint job is indicated with a tick.

A word of caution - only buy paint jobs for ships you plan to use a lot or hold on to for a while.

 These can only be applied to one ship.

Ship Name (free)

Ship name can be set and will be visible to other players that scan you as well as being shown in the Ship panel. The first three letters or numbers can be used as your callsign.

Each time you choose to set the name, a dialogue box opens blank, so you have to re-enter the name; it can’t be edited.

Ship ID (free)

The ship ID is a six-character alpha-numeric tag for your ship. It can be displayed on the hull with a purchased decal or used as your callsign by traffic control.

To set your name, ship name or ship ID as call sign, go to Options for Audio settings and choose which to use.

Name Plate 1 & 2

The name plates are decals which can be purchased that will display your chosen ship name on the outer hull. This is visible to you in the external camera and to other players that see your ship. These decals (unlike paint jobs) are usable on ALL your ships, so any nameplate purchased can be used for all of your fleet.

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

Ship ID 1 & 2

You can choose to have your ship ID displayed on the hull using a purchased ID plate.

Currently there's only one ID plate in the Frontier store, so choice is limited.

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

Front, Right & Left Decal

These allow decals to be applied over your paint job on the front, left & right of the ships hull. There are a number of community decals that are given away free and you unlock rank decals for combat, exploration and trade as you progress, which are also free. Any other decals must be purchased from the store, on their own or as part of a ship paint job (for example "Onionhead" which comes with skins & decals).

Currently the "Powerplay" decal pack (seen below) is free in the store.

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

Spoiler, Wings, Tail & Bumper – The Ship Kit

Ship kits are a purchased cosmetic and come in the form of four elements that can be added to the ship. Each kit contains four variants of each element, so you can have 16 different applications of each kit. Not all ships have ship kits available. So far there are two types. The wings & bumpers kits which allow you to give that "boy racer" look to your ship. The second kind is the "Raider" kits, which also have four elements, but these consist of spikes and wire and are accompanied by four rusty and corroded paint jobs, the applied effect of which is a "Max Max" look to your ship (or "Reaver" if you're a FireFly fan). Still no skeletons on the spikes though...
Once purchased the elements of the kit can be applied to the Spoiler, Wings, Tail and Bumper sections (where the kit contains these).

It tends to change the profile of your ship making it less "factory bought" in appearance. The bolt-on wings and spoilers do not change your "hit box" (the area where weaponry hits are detected on your ship) so these additions do not make you a bigger target.

These can only be applied to one ship.

Weapon Detailing

Whether you're Mace Windu, Darth Vader or Yoda, everyone knows the colour of your light sabre and with weapon detailing you can pick your colour (for a price).

There is a downside to this. While your lasers and bullets will now all flash green (or whatever colour you chose) they can only be set to one colour across the board. No red lasers with green rails and blue plasma! Also, where beforehand your Engineering special effects changed some weapon colours green or red and your point defence ammo was white, now everything will be green. Mono-colour once chosen.

Maybe at some point in the future Frontier will allow per hard-point colours, but for now it's "one shade fits all".

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

Engine Detailing

Engine colour is another purchased cosmetic that will change the colour of your thrusters and engines. It also colours your engine vapour trail - which is far more noticeable than normal.

Obviously all the cool kids co-ordinate their paint jobs with lasers and engines to create a distinct look!

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

Dashboard 1-10

Your ships dashboard can be covered in bobble-heads. These can be purchased and added to the ten available "dashboard" slots. I purchased the alphabet bobble-head kit back before ship name plates were in the game and put my ship names on the dash. This is something I still do now.

What do they do? They wobble about on your cockpit dashboard and nod along while you talk to them in the grip of space-madness! Also, they react to g-forces when your ship accelerates, pitches, rolls and jumps to super-cruise.

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

String Lights

A recent addition at Christmas 2017, the string lights are a set of fairy lights draped on the cockpit of your ship. The coloured "Christmas" version was a seasonal item, but the plain white string lights are still available.

These can be bought once and applied to all your ships.

Surface Recon Vehicles and Ship Launcher Fighters

The other vehicles from the livery menu offer a smaller subset of customisation options, so you can bling your SRV or colour co-ordinate your ship launched fighter with your main ship.

Holo Me

The Holo-Me is accessed from the Ship Panel and allows you to design your commander's appearance. I'm not going to do a full-blown Holo-Me tutorial here as I'm not very good at it. Mine looks like "Mr Potato Head", so as you can see you can achieve a pretty lifelike facsimile.

The Holo-Me is accessed from the ship panel.

It takes you into the Holo-Me editor. There are seven sections for the customisation of your avatar. Body, Complexion, Hair, Face, Head, Accessories & Cosmetics. The Body suits & outfits are DLC and the Accessories and Cosmetics are also DLC, but the other options are native with Horizons and free.

Since it's release in version 2.3 the editor has been updated and now allows you to save multiple avatars and clone existing avatars, so you can experiment with your current Holo-Me without losing the original.

When you've made your Holo-Me the game takes a "passport photo" of it, which is used as an avatar when other commanders scan your ship. The Holo-Me is also used when you join another commander in multi-crew, so your commander appears on their ship as your avatar design.

Tips for Beginners: Engineering 3.0

Engineering has changed. Quite a bit. For players who’ve done ship engineering it’s a matter of personal opinion if the new process is better or worse. We’ve swapped random results, where getting the best outcome (a god roll) was in the hands of R.N.Gesus unless you were prepared to take 1,000 stabs at it; now instead the results are consistent, but every module must be engineered from Grade 1 to Grade 5 and as a result more materials are required.

For players who’ve not engineered their ships, this is all new. Assuming you’re the latter or a former who’d like an explanation, this is how it works.

Who are the Engineers?

They are a collection of Non Player Characters (NPCs) with their own planetary bases at remote locations. I've included a full list at the bottom of this article.

Elira Martuuk, Felicity Farseer, Liz Ryder, The Dweller & Todd "The Blaster" McQuinn are all visible to start with but the rest require a referral – usually from another Engineer - and will ask for some kind of “sweetener” in the form of goods or information before they will start working for you.

To see the engineers and find out if you've unlocked any already, go to the Ship Panel and on the Status TAB select the hexagon Engineer icon.

This will open the list of known Engineers. This list can be sorted by distance or engineer access - the level of upgrade you've reached with that engineer. Selecting an engineer will display information about them including their biography, location and how to gain their services.

What do they do?

They modify ships modules to make a variety of improvements. Each Engineer has a specialty and whether that is Frame Shift Drives or Multi-cannons, they will apply changes to modules ranging from Grade 1 improvements up to Grade 5. They will also (for a price) apply a selection of “special effects” to these modifications.

In the old engineering, these effects were rare AND random, but now can be selected by the player in exchange for raw materials and data.

Which takes us to the new “currency” in Elite…

Materials

These are packets of data, manufactured items and raw elements that can be obtained by mining, surface prospecting in an SRV, collecting debris from combat or Unknown Signal Sources and by scanning ships and ships’ wakes.
Some of these activities such as mining or wake scanning require special equipment, or the SRV, the rest can be done in any ship, at any time.

To see what materials you have, view the Ship Panel on the right-hand side and on the Inventory TAB select the Materials and Data sections. You will see the name and quantity of each item and on the far right, an icon indicates the material grade.


Materials Data Filter materials view Material information

Click on the slides above to expand them.

The materials lists can be filtered to only show particular grades, or items required for pinned blueprints (more on that later) and selecting an item will display an information panel that tells you what the material is used for and more importantly, where to find it!

The excellent Inara website has a full list of materials here. https://inara.cz/galaxy-components/

Material grades are 1 being the most common to 5 being rare. The higher grade of engineer modifications generally requires higher quantities as well as higher grade materials – the better the modification, the more costly they are in materials.

Why would you want to get your ship engineered?

It’s a lot of effort to chase down the specific materials for a desired module upgrade. Forcing you to grind away at repetitive tasks if you are time-poor, assuming you don’t want to just wait until you acquire the necessary materials over time. So why do it?

The engineers can (to paraphrase the Lave Radio advert) make your frame shift go further, your lasers more powerful and your gas tank really big.

You can with engineering, make your ship more specialised to the task you want and do it better than you ever could with off-the-shelf parts.

For example, my exploration Anaconda has a modified FSD drive that jumps further, a lower class (size) of Power plant and Distributor than the Anaconda should use, both modified to have better output, so they are usable but of much lower mass. My ship’s armour is lightweight, as is the life support, and the shields are reinforced to make up for being undersized (and again lower mass). This means my Anaconda jumps 56Ly with an SRV and Fighter Bay fitted.

My Corvette on the other hand has upgraded armour, shields and hull all with increased resistances. The weapons all fire more efficiently, longer or faster (respectively) and have special effects that make the bullets aid target-lock, pass through shields or recharge my wing-mates shields. These are all engineered modifications.

Modding the module and engineering the engines

Having learned about an engineer, met their entry requirements and handed over the sweetener of the initial contract, you can now go to their base and turn phosphorous into FrameShift Drive upgrades!

At the engineers base, you select "Engineers Workshop" from the station services menu. You will then see a list of "blueprints" for modifications you can make to the ship you currently have docked. If you select "browse all" you can look at everything the engineer can do and potentially pin one of those blueprints for later.

Assuming you want to go ahead and engineer the ship you have, pick a module type. You are then asked to select which module on your ship to apply the engineered modification. Obviously if it is a power plant, there's only one, but if you're upgrading weapons there could be up to eight multi-cannons to choose from.

 

Once you've picked the module (in my case sensors) and picked the type of modification to make (long range), you can generate the modification.

Each time you press the generate button, the modification improves and materials are consumed. At certain points, the current Grade is completed and you move up to the next one. You'll either max out the module to Grade 5 or more likely, run out of materials. The details of the pros and cons of the blueprint are displayed. In this case, I have sacrificed 30% scanning angle and a few tons of mass in order to get my sensors to a range of 12km (13km being the maximum achievable).

Each engineer modification is different, but the actions and the principles are the same.

Blueprints, pins and the Remote Workshop

Each engineer will carry out a number of their specialty modifications and each type of modification is referred to as a "blueprint". You can choose to "pin" one of these blueprints per engineer. You can only pin engineering blueprints when at the respective engineers planet base.

This is a very useful feature in Engineering 3.0 for two reasons. Firstly the new materials panel will now filter to just items needed for pinned blueprints. This helps you separate the items you do and don't have from those you really need. Sadly this filter doesn't seem to apply to encoded data materials.
Secondly and a huge bonus for 3.0 is that once a blueprint has been pinned, you can engineer ships modules using the pinned blueprint at any station! This is done from the "Remote Workshop" menu on the Station Services page.

There are two three limitations to this new feature;

  1. You cannot get any special effects applied to modules at the Remote Workshop - these can only be obtained at the original engineer base.
  2. The second limitation (which will be short lived) is that existing (pre 3.0) modifications made to modules cannot be altered using the remote workshop. You have to take these "grandfathered" modules to an engineer to be changes to 3.0 blueprints. This will drop them down a grade (5 becomes a new 4).
  3. Any upgrades you carry out in the Remote Workshop do not count towards your reputation with the engineer - their access level. Thanks to CMDRs icarusbird & lyonhaert on Reddit for pointing this out.

The major advantage of this new feature is convenience. You can (after a tour of your unlocked engineers) pin a wide selection of the most commonly used engineering modifications, then take a new vanilla ship and engineer the heck out of it from the comfort of your "home" station without the ship ever leaving it's berth once. Very handy getting engineering done to those combat ships with low jump ranges, which would be a pain to get around all the highly remote engineer planet bases.

Time and Materials

Collecting materials for engineering is time-intensive and has always been an in-game activity that divides opinion; on whether it is fun, or drudgery.

With the new version 3.0 Engineers we’ve got an alternative to slaving away on a planet looking for that elusive rock with polonium or arsenic - the materials traders.

They can be located on the Galaxy Map Services filter, by selecting the star-filter TAB, choosing the map option and selecting the "services" filter. You can then chose the type of service you want to see - in this case, Materials Traders.

Once at the station select Contacts from Station Services and then pick Material Trader.

The materials trader will swap one type of material for another, at a premium. Higher grade materials swap for multiples of lower grades materials and vice versa. You can only swap the same types of material. You cannot swap data for elements or manufactured materials for data.

 

Also, each type of material is in a category (such as Crystals, Alloys, Composite etc.) and swapping between categories comes at a greater premium. So you would need to swap 6 Grade 1 materials for 1 Grade 2 item, but 1 Grade 5 item would get you 81 Grade 1 items of the same category. Below are some example material "exchange rates".

For materials in the same category
For materials in a different category

Target the grade 5 materials

With the Materials Traders it is possible to get all the lower grade materials you need, with a few of the Grade 5 items you’ve collected, by trading down. Collecting Grade 5 materials should, where possible, be your priority.

Another new feature of Engineering 3.0 is the new quantity limits on each material. Where before we could only store 1,000 materials in total, now we can collect 300 of each Grade 1 material, 250 of Grade 2, 200 of Grade 3, 150 of Grade 4 and 100 of Grade 5. This means you no longer have to pick and choose what to keep hold of, but can horde materials across the board. Gone are the days where you suddenly find you need four of the material you just jettisoned.

Unlocking the Engineers 3.0

Here's a full list of the Engineers, with their locations and what modules they modify. With tips on how to gain access and their initial contract requirements.

CMDR lyonhaert on Reddithas pointed out that for the engineers that require exploration data, you could accumulate this data first, before making the visit to those engineers, thereby raising your access to grade 5 much faster on arrival. Don't overdue it though; they don't need that much to get you to grade 5 and the data can be used for other engineers to unlock them. And don't sell them the data until you've completed the initial contract! Spoon feed them the exporlation data, then check what your access level is. 100K CR of data will get you from grade 1 to grade 2. Sometimes the change only shows after logging out and in again.

Bill Turner

Alioth   Alioth 4 A   Turner Metallics Inc
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Selene Jean.
Gain access: Become Friendly with Alliance and Allied with Allioth.
Initial contract: 50T of Bromellite.
Modules max. grade + type: Plasma Accelerator , Sensors , Detailed Surface Scanner , Life Support , Refinery , Auto Field-Maintenance Unit , Fuel Scoop , Frame Shift Wake Scanner , Kill Warrant Scanner , Manifest Scanner
Short-cut to reputation: None.

Note: The Alioth system needs a system permit. If you trade with 78 Ursae Majoris (2Lyr away from Alioth) you can work to become allied with Alioth Independents, who will then offer you the system permit.

Broo Tarquin

Muang  Muang 5A Broo's legacy
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Hera Tani.
Gain access: when you reach Competent or higher combat rank.
Initial contract: 50T of Fujin Tea - obtain this from Futen Spaceport at Fujin.
Modules max. grade + type: Burst Laser , Pulse Laser , Beam Laser
Short-cut to reputation: none.

Colonel Bris Dekker

Sol Iaptus Dekker's yard
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Juri Ishmaak.
Gain access: reach Friendly status with the Federation.
Initial contract: 10,000,000CR of Combat Bonds (double-ouch!).
Modules max. grade + type: Frame Shift Drive Interdictor , Frame Shift Drive
Short-cut to reputation: none.

NOTE: Sol is a permit-only system so you will also need to earn a Sol permit by doing missions for the Federation and attaining the rank of Petty Officer (rank 4) in the Federal Navy.

Didi Vatermann

Leesti Leesti 3A Vatermann LLC
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Selene Jean.
Gain access: reach the rank of Merchant or higher.
Initial contract: 50T of Lavian Brandy - this is a rare commodity purchased at Lave Station in Lave, but can only be bought in volumes of 3-6T, so you'll have to make multiple trips.
Modules max. grade + type: Shield Booster , Shield Generator
Short-cut to reputation: Sell goods at Vatermann LLC station.

Elvria Martuuk

Khun Khun 5 Long sight base
Learn about: revealed by default.
Gain access: travel at least 300lyr away from your start system.
Initial contract: 3T of Sooltil relics - obtain from Soontil at Cheranovsky City station in Ngurii.
Modules max. grade + type: Frame Shift Drive , Shield Generator , Thrusters , Shield Cell Bank
Short-cut to reputation: Sell her exploration data.

Felicity Farseer

Deciat Deciat 6A Farsee Inc
Learn about: revealed by default.
Gain access: reach the rank of Scout in Exploration.
Initial contract: 1T of Meta-Alloys - obtain from Darnielle's Progress planetary base in Maia.
Modules max. grade + type: Frame Shift Drive , Thrusters , Sensors , Detailed Surface Scanner , Shield Booster , Frame Shift Drive Interdictor , Power Plant
Short-cut to reputation: Sell her exploration data.

NOTE: Farseer Inc also sells Enhanced Performance Thrusters at the station outfitting. These can be bought regardless of the Engineer unlock state. EPT's come in Class 2A and Class 3A only.

Hera Tani

Kuwemaki  Kuwemaki A 3A The jet's hole
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Liz Ryder.
Gain access: reach an Imperial Navy rank of Outsider or higher.
Initial contract: 50T of Kamitra Cigars - obtain these at Hammel Terminal in Kamitra.
Modules max. grade + type: Power Plant , Detailed Surface Scanner , Sensors , Power Distributor
Short-cut to reputation: Sell goods at The Jet's Hole station.

Juri Ishmaak

Giryak Giryak 2A Pater's memorial
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Felicity Farseer.
Gain access: when you have earned more than fifty combat bonds.
Initial contract: 1,000,000CR of combat bonds (ouch!).
Modules max. grade + type: Mine Launcher , Sensors , Detailed Surface Scanner , Torpedo Pylon , Missile Rack , Frame Shift Wake Scanner , Kill Warrant Scanner , Manifest Scanner
Short-cut to reputation: Handing in combat bonds at Pater's Memorial station.

Lei Cheung

Laksak Laksak A1 Trader's rest
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with The Dweller.
Gain access: when you have bought or sold goods at fifty different stations.
Initial contract: 200T of gold, which can be bought in system from Laumer City or West City stations.
Modules max. grade + type: Shield Generator , Sensors , Detailed Surface Scanner , Shield Booster
Short-cut to reputation: Sell goods at Trader's Rest station.

Liz Ryder

Eurybia  Makalu Demolition unlimited
Learn about: revealed by default.
Gain access:
take missions for or trade with Eurybia Blue Mafia in the Eurybia system until you reach a Cordial state with the faction.
Initial contract: 200T of Landmines, which can only be bought at planet bases (such as Leonov Depot in Alpha Caeli, Eckford Survey in LHS 1651 or Dedekind Bastion in Njojujil).
Modules max. grade + type: Missile Rack , Torpedo Pylon , Mine Launcher , Hull Reinforcement Package , Armour
Short-cut to reputation: Sell goods at Demolition Unlimited base.

Lori Jameson

Shinrarta Dezhra   Shinrarta Dezhra A 1   Jameson Base
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Marco Qwent.
Gain access: Gain combat rank Dangerous or higher.
Initial contract: 25 units of Kongga Ale.
Modules max. grade + type: Sensors , Detailed Surface Scanner , Refinery , Fuel Scoop , Auto Field-Maintenance Unit , Life Support , Frame Shift Wake Scanner , Kill Warrant Scanner , Manifest Scanner , Shield Cell Bank
Short-cut to reputation: Sell exploration data at Jameson Base.

NOTE: Shinrarta Dezhra requires a founders world as it is a permit-only star system so you will only be able to obtain this by reaching at least one Elite rank.

Marco Qwent

Sirius Lucifer Qwent research base
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% with Elvira Martuuk.
Gain access: by invitation from Sirius Corporation - this is obtained by taking mission for the faction at Sirius until you reach Allied status with Sirius Corporation.
Initial contract: 25T of Modular Terminals - obtain these from missions for Sirius Corporation at Efremov Plant planetary base, close to Qwent Research base.
Modules max. grade + type: Power Plant , Power Distributor
Short-cut to reputation: Sell goods at Qwent Research Base.

NOTE: The Sirius system is a permit-only system and can only be accessed by completing missions for Sirius Corporation until you reach Allied status with the faction. Procyon is a system where your can find Sirius Corporation missions.

Professor Palin

Maia  Maia A 3A Palin research centre
Learn about: reach level 3 at 33% reputation with Marco Qwent.
Gain access: when you have visited a system at least 5,000Lyr from your original start system.
Initial contract: 25T of Unknown Fragments - these are found by visiting HIP 14479 and looking for Signal Sources called "Anomaly Detected [Threat 4]". In these you will find an Unknown Artifact floating in space. You need to carefully shoot this object so it shatters and collect the fragments. Each bit you collect contains 3 Unknown Fragments.
Modules max. grade + type: Thrusters , Frame Shift Drive
Short-cut to reputation: Sell him exploration data.

Ram Tah

Meene  Meene AB 5 D  Phoenix Base
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Lei Cheung.
Gain access: Gain exploration rank Surveyor or higher.
Initial contract: 50 units of Classified Scan Databanks.
Modules max. grade + type: Electronic Countermeasure , Point Defence , Heat Sink Launcher , Chaff Launcher , Collector Limpet Controller , Fuel Transfer Limpet Controller , Prospector Limpet Controller , Hatch Breaker Limpet Controller
Short-cut to reputation: Sell exploration data at Phoenix Base.

Selene Jean

Kuk Kuk 3B Prospector's rest
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% with Tod McQuinn.
Gain access: when you have mined 500T or more.
Initial contract: 10T of Painite - this can only be obtain from mining.
Modules max. grade + type: Hull Reinforcement Package , Armour
Short-cut to reputation: Sell her exploration data and sell goods at Prospector's Rest station.

The Dweller

Wyrd  Wyrd A2 Black hide
Learn about: revealed by default.
Gain access: You must do business at at least five black markets before he will see you.
Initial contract: 500,000 CR donation.
Modules max. grade + type: Power Distributor , Pulse Laser , Burst Laser , Beam Laser
Short-cut to reputation: Sell goods at Black hide base.

The Sarge

Beta-3 Tucani   Beta-3 Tucani   The Beach
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Juri Ishmaak.
Gain access: Gain rank Midshipman or higher with the Federal Navy.
Initial contract: 50 units of Aberrant Shield Pattern Analysis.
Modules max. grade + type: Collector Limpet Controller , Fuel Transfer Limpet Controller , Hatch Breaker Limpet Controller , Prospector Limpet Controller , Cannon , Rail Gun
Short-cut to reputation: Sell exploration data and hand in bounty vouchers to The Beach.

Tiana Fortune

Achenar   Achenar 4A   Fortune's Loss
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Hera Tani.
Gain access: Become Friendly with the Empire.
Initial contract: 50 units of Decoded Emission Data. 
Modules max. grade + type: Frame Shift Wake Scanner , Kill Warrant Scanner , Manifest Scanner , Collector Limpet Controller , Fuel Transfer Limpet Controller , Hatch Breaker Limpet Controller , Prospector Limpet Controller , Sensors , Frame Shift Drive Interdictor , Detailed Surface Scanner
Short-cut to reputation: Sell commodities to Fortune's Loss.

Note: Achenar is another permit-locked system. To gain the access, you must reach the rank of Squire in the Imperial Navy, which comes with the Achenar permit.

Tod "The Blaster" McQuinn

Wolf 397 Trus Madi Trophy camp
Learn about: revealed by default.
Gain access: hand in fifteen or more bounties.
Initial contract: Bring him 100,000CR worth of bounty.
Modules max. grade + type: Multi-cannon , Rail Gun , Fragment Cannon , Cannon
Short-cut to reputation: Hand in bounty for Alliance systems at Trophy Camp station.

Zachariah Nemo

Yoru  Yoru 4 Nemo cyber party base
Learn about: reach level 3 and 33% reputation with Elivira Martuuk.
Gain access: You must then do missions for Party of Yoru in the Yoru system. Once allied with the faction, you will receive an invitation to the Engineer.
Initial contract: Zachariah requires a donation of 25T of Xihe Biomorphic Companions - get these from Xihe at Zhen Dock.
Modules max. grade + type: Fragment Cannon , Multi-cannon , Plasma Accelerator
Short-cut to reputation: Sell goods at Nemo Cyber Party base.

Glyph remarks

CMDR ISOKIX kindly presented pointed out a list of translations [created by CMDR Zebarmy of Canonn Research] for the imagery displayed on the Guardian's Obelisks. The glyphs displayed on the lighted areas of the stone show what items are needed in order to unlock the information they contain.

This diagram will act as your "magic decoder ring".

This stone requires a Thargoid Sensor and a Thargoid Link to unlock it.

So good luck in the void and I hope this information pays off. You'll be uncovering the hidden history of The Guardians in no time.

Canonn have a detailed description of what you need to do here along with maps and other advice on everything needed for Ram Tah missions.

Tips for Beginners: CMDR Ranualf’s Guardian Guide

CMDR Ranualf is a respected member of the Mobius PvE group and a long-time player of Elite: Dangerous. He has kindly authored this guide to unlocking the secrets of The Guardians. You can download a PDF version of the guide here. Ranualf's Guardian guide.pdf (1.00 mb)

 

Greeting commanders.

By now you will have noticed that the tech brokers have some new guardian items to unlock, but just how do you unlock them? Well I have the answer.

It is not just as simple as flying to the tech broker and saying, “bro, gimmie dat!” No, FD wants us to work for it and this is going to involve quite a bit of time in the SRV because it is mostly planeside gathering of items, materials & minerals, and yes it will take several hours of material gathering, shooting rocks and guardian blasting for their bits.

The basics of the journey is that you will need two items that match an obelisk in order to unlock it, as without the correct combination of items, it will remain locked. The picture below is the one I used, there are many other sites, but I used this one, as it is pretty central to the new Ram Tah guardian structures in the Col sector.

So, let’s get rolling shall we, start by looking at the picture below and thinking of which obelisk you would pick to scan, take your time, drink your tea and build your planet explorer.
Ship wise, a small or medium ship with good jump range is recommended because the new sites are 800+ LY out of the bubble and in rough terrain. I recommend at least 2+ SRV’s and a minimum of two tons of cargo. So, a DBS, DBX or an Asp will do perfectly. This is a basic rundown of the Asp I used, and I am glad I took extra SRV’s because you can easily get stuck and then killed by the
guardian sentinels.

Additional notes

Having several refuel, rearm and repair materials for your SRV is highly recommended, because once you are out there, it’s a long way back for a rearm at a station.

A simple Asp Explorer build for you here.

Guide to unlock the new Guardian items

If you have seen or even heard the new Galnet news, Ram Tah has been asking for “stuff” and he even made it into a FD video. Here are the new sites in the news, and yes there are many more sites, and thanks to FD, if you get within 1000LS of a site, it will pop up in your navigation panel now, nice of them to make it easier to find them.

New Ram Tah Guardian Ruins Locations

  • Col 173 Sector QU-O d6-25 5 B
  • HD 63154 B 3 A
  • Synuefe EU-Q c21-10

I assume you have built your planeside explorer and are ready to go, just head off to Synuefe TP-f B44-0 CD 1 or one of the guardian’s other structures and you will need collect the two items that are required to open the obelisk for the scan. Note that I say guardian structure, not ancient ruins, as new structures offer easy access to the items that you will need. Yes, the ruins have some of the items, but they are very large and the items are scattered all over. The guardian structures are much quicker and are a lot smaller.

Once you are at a guardian structure site, hop into the SRV and drive about for a while until you one of the items needed, it will be on the ground pick it up, and stick it in the ship. Now log out and repeat it, because you need two items, and having them on the ship is easier than losing them by getting killed…

These are the items you choose to pick up from the ground & what they look like

Remember that RNG is a factor here, because the items on the ground are random, so you may need to change your initial plan, depending on what you find first. The items that you can find on the ground are Casket, Orb, Urn, Totem, Tablet and these items match the picture and have been shortened to Ca, Or, Ur, To, Ta.

Note, the new sites have guardian sentinels, and they are aggressive! Kill them and loot their bodies, I would recommend that you stay and harvest all the available materials from the destructible panels and guardian sentinels or grab the two items and leave for the data scan site. Note you will need a lot of materials, so you may need to come back to farm materials.

Your new best friend

Once you have the two items such as totem & totem, Orb + totem, etc head to the ancient ruin site @ coordinates 31.96, -99.97 in the picture, be aware there are 3 ancient ruin sites on the planet, so pay attention to your heading once you get into sub orbital. Once you have arrived at the one in the picture, you will be able to unlock the Obelisk with the two items you have picked up, in order to scan it and get the data; this is the most important step.

Without the correct combination of items, the scan WILL NOT WORK. I personally used the 9 toto point (far left in the picture) to do all my scans as this just needed 2 totems, which you can easily pick up off the nearby guardian structure on the other side of the planet.

Now go find the Obelisk that matches the combination of items that YOU picked up and then simply scan the obelisk, and this will give you some data. You will need to conduct many scans in order to get the data required for the weapons and power plant. This means that you have to logout to the main menu, log back in and do another scan, log out, and back in…keep doing this and you should get most of the data needed in about 45 mins to an hour. Keep at it, as this is the fast method!

You will now need material components in order to fulfil the requirements for the tech broker.

Use INARA to make your shopping list of the items you need. Now head off to any guardian structure (where you first collected the 2 items) and kill anything that moves or glows blue. Hoover up all the materials (you made the shopping list, right?), shoot the destructible panels on the spires and tops of the arches and walls, kill them all! Remember to grab a few extra for there are plans ahead….  

Next you will need the raw material components, which means more time in the SRV and you will need to locate Manganese (30) & Chromium (28) use EDDB to find them or if you have several highgrade materials you can head off to the material broker and trade down for the items. Note that they are grade 2, so it is not going to be cheap.

Once again INARA has a perfect solution to our closest material trader needs!

Lastly you are going to need 10 magnetic emitter coils (buy from here ) and 12 micro weave cooling hoses, and these are mission rewards only.  

I found one of the best places to find a mission for the hoses is Shinrarta Dezhra, as it is a Hi-tech system and with a decent population. Make sure you check both the mission board & the passenger lounge to locate a mission. Remember if it is a passenger mission, you will need a passenger module on your ship.

Additional note, if you do not see a mission you can to flip the board (log out and back in) and you can filter the reward on the right side of the mission, under the text description of the mission now, to help speed up the search. After completing all the above steps, you can now go and see the tech broker and say “Yo, bro, gimmie dat ting!”

 

Additionally, I have been to the two new Ram Tah guardian structure sites and have solved new puzzle locations there. Here are the tower location & pictures that have been highlighted to show where the towers are. All the of the new guardian structure sites that I have been to so far (8) are located on top of a hill, or stuck in very rough high ground. Which makes landing in a large ship virtually impossible, I suspect that FD are working with the guardians to troll us, as the missiles from the guardian sentinels can easily launch you up into the air and get you rolling down the hill, that coupled with the fact the AI hides up and down the hill… Sneaky bastards.

The puzzle solve is quite easy, all you have to do is to find the control pillars and activate them and then activate the “control box”.

The best way is to drive up to the control box and the two towers will push out of the ground, this will let you activate the rest. If you do not go to the box first, the rest of the pillars will not push up and thus you will just be driving about. You can then drive about and push the rest of the pillars up, and then start to activate them. To do this, you need to shoot the “light” until you get the message that the pillar is charged. This will start the timer countdown, so you don’t have all day cupcake.  The sequence I used started with the bottom left, then middle, far left, far right and then the 2 at the console. Note, several sentinels will activate once you start this process.

After you have done all six pillars, you will need an ancient relic (the blue thing from the top of a pillar), simply shoot it down and then pick it up. Head back to the console and there will be a blue mark on the floor (go external camera and you will see it better) X marks the spot. Drive onto it, and eject it out of the SRV, this will activate the console, and the orb will pop up.

Go into turret more and scan the orb, with will give either a weapon blueprint or a module blueprint, depending upon which location you are at.

See Obsidian Ant’s video for a full drive through.

System HD 63554 planet B 3 A

This puzzle hands out Weapon blueprints. Just land at the right side of the pic (loads of room) and drive up the hill. 

 

System SYNEFE EU-Q C21-10 planet A 3

This site hands out module blueprints 

It is a real pain to land here, even in a small or medium ship as it is on the top of a very large hill. I managed to landed my DBX as the bottom of the picture, just south of the arch.  Please note that Large ships are very hard to land, due to the terrain and will end up parked over 10k+ away!

Fly safe and get the new guardian stuff

CMDR Ranualf.
OH WAIT

I have some news

Sneak peek – SPOILER ALERT!

Ed [Edward Lewis at Frontier] let something drop as the Frontier Expo last year and several commanders have confirmed that he said this, and was hushed up quietly. It has now resurfaced… We are going to get more guardian modules for our ships, these include:

  • Guardian power plants
  • Guardian power distributors
  • Guardian hull reinforcement packages
  • Guardian module reinforcement packages
  • Guardian shield reinforcement packages
  • Guardian Frameshift Drive boosters

For more information on this click here
o7 CMDRs
 
For a more detailed Ancient ruins guide (old Ram Tah guide) go to CMDR Nicou's remlok-inustries.fr site here.

Work in progress

I've not posted much lately. Why? I've been busy working on materials for the Vehicle Codex and the Codex itself.

Currently I'm drawing vectors of outfitting icons to use on my new Codex data sheets. You can see the difference between the ones I've drawn as vectors (top) and the bitmaps taken from screenshots - which I do not want to use in the final document.

Below is a work in progress of the Lakon Type-10 Defender - obviously there are still icons to finish AND the internals are changing with version 3. I thought I'd give my readers a peek into what's coming next.

Lakon Spaceways: Type-10 DEfender

Elite Dangerous Ship Blueprints 3.0 Update

Update 13th February 2018: I've added the Alliance Chieftain, Type-10 Defender, Stinger-2, S4 Sentry, S9 Goliath, Thargoid Cyclops, Marauder and Sensor - every blueprint has been refreshed and military internals have been added where they were missing.

With the addition of the Dolphin, I have republished the full set with a few additions. There are size corrections on the Viper Mk III and I've added ZIP copies of all the JPEG version of each language. Additionally, the remaining translations have been applied, so this is the most complete set to date.

Thanks to CMDR Noxa on reddit for finding out who manufactures the Corilios station.

Thanks also to all the others on Twitter, Reddit and the Frontier forums who have been spotting errors and mistakes and letting me know. It's been very helpful to have so many people proofreading this lot! As you can imagine, while most of this work has been done in my lunch hour, there have been a few nights where I burnt the midnight oil and almost certainly copied numbers from the wrong spreadsheet column!

Thanks to CMDR Aidan Abacus & the CMDRs of www.elitedangerous.de for German translations. Thanks to CMDR Nicou, CMDR Aymerix & CMDR Duita Rider of www.elite-dangerous.fr for French translations. Thanks to CMDR Nyra, with the help of CMDR Kimanuel and CMDR XPi2, from Corsarios de Heimdal for Spanish translations.

  Craft Manufacturer 1920x1080 4096x2305
Stinger-2 Attack Skimmer Achilles Corporation
S4 Sentry Skimmer Core Dynamics
S9 Goliath Skimmer Core Dynamics
Scarab SRV Vodel
F63 Condor Federal Fighter Core Dynamics
GU-97 Imperial fighter Gutamaya
Taipan Independent Fighter Lakon Spaceways
Sidewinder Faulcon DeLacy
Eagle Mk II Core Dynamics
Hauler Zorgon Peterson
Adder Zorgon Peterson
Dolphin Saud Kruger
Imperial Eagle Gutamaya
Viper MK III Faulcon DeLacy
Cobra Mk III Faulcon DeLacy
Viper Mk IV Faulcon DeLacy
Diamondback Scout Lakon Spaceways
Cobra Mk IV Faulcon DeLacy
Type 6 Transporter Lakon Spaceways
Diamondback Explorer Lakon Spaceways
Imperial Courier Gutamaya
Keelback Lakon Spaceways
Asp Scout Lakon Spaceways
Vulture Core Dynamics
Asp Explorer Lakon Spaceways
Federal Dropship Core Dynamics
Type 7 Transporter Lakon Spaceways
Alliance Chieftain Lakon Spaceways
Federal Assault Ship Core Dynamics
Imperial Clipper Gutamaya
Federal Gunship Core Dynamics
Orca Saud Kruger
Fer De Lance Zorgon Peterson
Python Faulcon DeLacy
Type 9 Heavy Lakon Spaceways
Beluga Liner Saud Kruger
Type-10 Defender Lakon Spaceways
Anaconda Faulcon DeLacy
Federal Corvette Core Dynamics
Imperial Cutter Gutamaya
Majestic Class Interdictor Gutamaya
Farragut Battle Cruiser Core Dynamics
Coriolis Station Brewer Corp
Thargoid Sensor Thargoids
Thargoid Marauder Thargoids
Thargoid Cyclops Thargoids

 

Tips for Beginners: How to scan a Thargoid (and survive)

beginners

Doing the strangest thing, loving the alien

Want to scan a Thargoid, but don't want to end up dead? Here's how...

This only applies to players with Horizons.

Lock and load...

First you need to purchase a Xeno scanner from station outfitting and ESSENTIALLY purchase a heat-sink launcher and fit them to your ship. If you cannot find these in the station you are at, use the EDDB.io website to locate a station near you that has them in stock (put "xeno scanner" in the "Station sells" box and then put your current location in the "Reference system" box). You are then set for a close encounter of the non-fatal kind. You'll be making a long trip, so consider fitting a fuel scoop if you don't already have one.

Remember to assign the Heat Sink launcher and Xeno Scanner to a fire group.

Finding Thargoids

Currently in the game the best place to find Thargoids is in the Pleiades sector, which means a trip of 150-200ly from the main bubble (depending where you start). Look on the Galaxy Map for the damaged stations and stations under repair. These systems have the Thargoids in their vicinity. Plot a route to one of these systems and get jumping.

I've arrived! What now?

Fly around the system in super-cruise and look for Unknown Signal Sources. You want to find a Non-Human Signal Source - Threat level 5 is a Cyclops, 6 is a Basilisk and 7 is the Medusa. If a Thargoid is there when you drop into the USS, it will approach to scan you.
At that point as soon as the Thargoid is within 500m, fire the heat-sink to make your ship go cold - this will stop the Thargoid from detecting your heat signature and it will not then consider you a threat.

Waste no time using the Xeno Scanner to get that scan! The scan only works within 500m.

If you don't go cold, the Thargoid will attack you and almost certainly kill you.

Once the scan is complete, back off and retreat to at least 1km away. As long as you don't get close or fire weapons, you can remain and observe the Thargoid. Usually they will wander around scanning wreckage and picking up components before warping away.

Live to scan another day

Once you've scanned or once the ship has left, jump out and head to the nearest station. You did it!