Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Parking issues

in-my-space_thumbYou sir, are in my space!

I popped into Ballandin Gateway yesterday evening and took my Fer-de-lance into the outfitting to swap some internals around.

When I surfaced, I came face to face with an Adder, in my spot. And I quite literally mean “in” it – his ship was embedded in the nose of my FDL!

I have no idea what happened, but I guess he was inbound to my pad when I returned to the surface. Is this an example of failed A.I. or a warts-and-all simulation of real like parking issues?


We exchanged insurance details and my paint work has been subsequently repaired. Although I’m sure that someone has “keyed” the side of my Anaconda…

No good crying over spilt insurance

fdl_moneyAfter Sunday's Anaconda crash, I didn't have any chance to play, having been away on business - ironically I drove through Cambridge, probably only a few miles from Frontier on Monday and Wednesday. Didn’t see their offices on the route I took though!

My funds were just under 11 million, having been depleted by 6M after crashing the Anaconda, so the objective was to revitalise the bank account.

Last night was my first day back in the game since Sunday and first play with my new GTX 970 graphics card. I got the Oculus wired into the new card and ran up Elite with the graphics options on Ultra and the resolution set to 2560x1440 down-sampled. I cannot describe how sharp it looked and how fast it ran! The best I can say, is it’s like the super-realistic video you see shot with 48fps. Anyway, enough about how shiny my rig looks; back to the game!

I took out my Anaconda and started doing a Palladium run from Gliese 868 to LHS 3802 which netted around 1M CR per return trip. On my first leg, CMDR SneakTiger logged on and came on dMw’s teamspeak, so I suggest he join me as he was trading. We joined a Wing in Gliese and started doing the run together. At the end of each leg, as soon as both of us were in the station vicinity, I could sell my cargo and Sneaky got a dividend of 20K and I got a dividend of 6K (his 100T Type 6 doesn’t carry as much as my 420T Anaconda). The dividend payments are a bonus, like an extra few tons of cargo every trip. We did three runs, then Sneaky had log off, so I flew back to Zeta Trianguli Australis to pick up my Fer-de-lance. By this point I was up to 14M CR.

I went over to Lugh and found when docked at Ballandin Gateway, that the Trade Community Goal had completed while I was away, so I cashed it in collected 2M CR. Now I had 16M CR. Kerrching!
Also, while I was out of commission, the Spear of Lugh had continued without me and I had dropped out of the top 40% into the top 70%. That wouldn’t do at all! I launched my FDL out to the high intensity combat zone and started picking fights with Anacondas and Pythons. After around twenty minutes in “the zone” I had racked up 200K CR combat bounty, so I returned to Ballandin to reload and cash in.
Three days of missed TV was calling, so I logged off and called it a night. After the evening’s trading and combat I was 5.3M CR up on the night.

I see this morning that the Spear of Lugh mission is now over, so when I log on tonight, (if I’m still in the top 40%) I might be 12.5M CR better off, so despite my setback of last weekend, I’m still quids in.

That A rated thruster for my Python will cost 14M CR at Jameson Memorial, so the money won’t sit in the bank for long…

The Six Million Credit Man

sleepingOr… How I crashed my Anaconda.

Over the weekend I had been doing a mix of Wing trading with other members of dMw getting lots of trade dividends and spending some time shooting ships at Lugh, racking up credits with the “The Spear of Lugh” community goal.


I had bought an upgrade to my Python (Class 5B thrusters) which hit my bank account by 5 million credits, so with the bank balance at 8 million, I needed to do some trading to bring my account back to the 12 million mark, so I would have twice my Anaconda re-buy value.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday I went from 8M CR to about 16.5M CR, which was great, because with the mixture of combat and trading I was doing, nothing was too repetitive and it only took a few hours on the day.

Sunday evening, everyone else had logged off and I was a bit tired, but I had a 600CR fine at a station around 50Lyr away, so I set sail for “one last trip” to go and pay the fine.

Leaving the station at Gliese 868 I was on too high a throttle setting and realised it too late I also had upward momentum!  Frantic use of thrusters failed to arrest my collision with the edge of the station exit and boom! No more Anaconda and six million credits then left my account to re-buy the ship (thankfully with no cargo on board).


So, the moral of the story is always have your insurance, but if you don’t want to NEED it, don’t fly tired; you make mistakes. Really costly ones.

Yes Dave, everybody is dead

holly_thumbFor those of you who loved Red Dwarf, there’s some good news.

http://www.elitedangerousvoicepack.com/ have made a VoiceAttack voice pack for Elite: Dangerous called “Leo” voiced by Red Dwarf’s very own Norman Lovett, the voice of the ships computer “Holly”.

The pack costs £5.99 and is available to pre-order now and should be on sale shortly.

See the video of Norman’s recording session here

Shield recharge times in Elite: Dangerous

shields_thumbAfter a bit more research I have found some of the theory behind shield recharging.

The value of 0.9 MJ/s on a 3E Power Distributor on a Cobra is the rate at which systems recharge shields. The default shield generator is a 4E with 93.58 MJ total strength. In theory therefore, a 4E shield should take 104 seconds (93.58 / 0.9) to recharge.
A class 3A Power Distributor pumps out 1.3 MJ/s, so the same shield with an A rated distributor should take 72 seconds.

Until I’ve tested this theory, I cannot be certain, but it follows that the increase in shield from the boosters would make the recharge time increase based on your power distributor’s ability to fill it back up.

Shield recharge times
Boosted shield recharge times

As you can see, if this is correct, the Cobra with 4A Shields and a 3A Power Distributor should recharge in 97 seconds. With a 0A Shield Booster, the shields are raised to 150.6MJ so will then take 116 seconds to recharge on the same ship (19% longer).

My Fer-De-Lance with 5A Shield Generator, 6A Power Distributor and four 0B Shield Boosters will therefore take four minutes and three seconds to restore shields!

My next quiz question is are shield cells based on a percentage or a fixed number of MJ? If the latter is true, then the more Boosters you use, the less effective even the best Shield Cells will become.

How do shield boosters work?

shield_booster_thumbNew in 1.2 Shield Boosters are a bit of a mystery to me at least, or were until today anyway.

They increase your shields (says so on the tin) but what does that actually mean?

Well, your shield strength is rated in Mega Jules (MJ) so, for instance if you are in a Cobra with a class 3E Shield Generator the shield is rated 61.6MJ and the best shields are a 4A, rated 125.5MJ.










Cobra Mk. III














You can see a full table of shield ratings here on Reddit.

shield_boostersWhat the shield booster does is multiply that figure by its “multiplier” value. If you bought a 0E Shield Booster which has a multiplier of 1.04, then your shields maximum strength would go from 125.5MJ to 130.52MJ.

What's more is they stack; if you buy more than one (two are possible in a Cobra) the multiplier values are all added. The way it does this is to calculate the increase percentage and adds that – an A rated shield booster is plus 20% (1.2) so two is plus 40%. The Cobra’s shields with two 0A Shield Boosters got from 125.5MJ to 175.7MJ!

What’s the catch? The first is power consumption. The Shield Boosters suck power like Frankenstein’s monster! The 0A Shield Booster draws 1.2MW. The second catch is recharge time. If you lose shields, the time they need to recover is much longer. How long? I haven’t been able to get a solid number yet.

Another factor for considering shield booster is cost and weight. Top end shields are expensive and heavy.

CMDR jgm on the Frontier forums has noted


I could take a 5D shield and add two 0C boosters and end up with a better shield than a straight 5A at a fraction of the cost, with lower mass and power usage.


Shield Generator


Power usage

Shield strength







5D + 2 x 0C Shield Boosters





This gets you better shields at 4% of the cost and a little over half the weight!

My 5A Fer-De-Lance shield generator has four 0B Shield Boosters, taking the shields from 478.8MJ to an eye-watering 779.16MJ!

Who wants to be a millionaire

wings_logoI was watching MaxUrsa's twitch stream last night in combat with his wing and I thought to myself "that looks like fun". So I took my Fer-de-lance into the same system, and found my way to a resource extraction site. When I exited super cruise I found there were a lot more NPCs than there used to be in 1.1; there were dozens more than I could count, so I had no trouble finding wanted ones to shoot.

Before long I was engaged in combat with an Anaconda, but luckily it was already busy shooting somebody else, so I had no trouble taking down his shields, and with my B4 Canon destroying its hull.


Soon a group of federal ships and joined me and were attacking the wanted ships around me, even a federal Anaconda had joined the fight!


Small ships like sidewinders and cobras are fairly easy to take down in the Fer-de-Lance, so I concentrated on Pythons, Asps and Anacondas. After around 20 minutes I realised my bounty amounted to in excess of a million credits. Time flies when you're having fun!


Ship prices drop on Federal Dropship, Vulture and Fer-de-lance

sm_costsYep, there’s a sale on!

As of 4.45pm this afternoon, the major combat role ships of the game just got more affordable.

After listening to the community about the difficulty of raising the funds needed to purchase the upper end of the combat ships, Frontier have dropped the prices of the Federall Dropship and the new Fer-de-lance and the Vulture.
If you had one of these ships already, you will have been refunded the difference.

Federal Dropship 47% OFF!


Was 36,969,990 CR
Now 19,814,205 CR

Fer-de-lance 50% OFF!


Was 102,232,230 CR
Now 51,567,040 CR

Vulture 76% OFF!


Was  21,689,629 CR
Now  4,925,615 CR

Strong Signal Source - It's a Trap!

sm_seven_vulturesHad some fun with Wings tonight. And when I say "fun", I mean I got my behind kicked.

I was hailed by one of the commanders on my friends list, Ed, who asked “want to meet up to try out the Wings features?” (I had to think very carefully how I phrased that..) and I thought, well why not?

He had already added two others to the group, so the four of us made our way to the point roughly in the middle of where we all started in the galaxy, which turned out to be “Zeta Trianguli Australis” or “zeta T” as we call it.

There just was just Ed and myself initially as one of the group had 160+ Lyr to travel and the other commander was in station outfitting. I had switched to my Anaconda and we started shooting Wanted ships at the Nav Beacon as we found them. All went well for five minutes then an Anaconda turned up Wanted. We started shooting him and I had his shields down and Ed was risking life and ship for some close combat, when I realised my shields were dropping fast. There was a second Anaconda on my tail! Eeek! Shields were down and I had no choice but to flee. The AI has been beefed up and while my Anaconda is armed, it was set for defence rather that major offence, so I only had Class 5 shields and no major guns or shield cells. The good thing about an Anaconda, is it can jump away from trouble fast. So a quick trip to Guest City for repairs. Now anyone who has had a big ship in Elite (Clipper, Python, Anaconda) knows that a scratch in the paint costs 100s of thousands of credits and having your hull reduced to 63% is really going to cost. Millions. So when I fired up station services in Guest City and my repair bill was 38,000CR I was laughing. I’d already made that in bounty! That’s one “nerf” I defy anyone to complain about!

Anyway, Ed and Co. (Aleksej and Reighdar had come to Ed’s rescue while I fled) were still at the Nav Beacon having finished off the Anaconda and were making debris of all the Zeta system’s Wanted ships.
I decided to “suit up” properly, so switched into my Fer-de-Lance and re-joined them at the Nav Beacon. Obviously word of the Wing’s killing efficiency had spread, because the Wanted ships dried up. We then decided to go looking for trouble and try and find a Strong Signal Source.

Nav-locked to my FSD, the Wing jumped into super-cruise and travelled back towards Guest City, when a Strong Signal Source appeared on Contacts. We dropped out and found… cargo! Gold canisters floating, alone in space. My gut reaction was “this is too easy, it’s a trap!” and I said so. I started filming at that point (see video below – NSFW some swearing) and I wasn’t wrong. About a Wing of seven Vultures jumped in together and mobbed us. Aleksej hadn’t arrived at this point. Ed was under fire, I was shooting a target, but under fire from all directions. Within seconds, poor Reighdar was toast! Blow to space-dust! Aaaaah! My target's shields were still on one ring, but mine were nearly down. Time to run away! Thankfully the FDL is damn fast, so I beat a hasty retreat, as did Ed in his Cobra.

So if you go into a Strong Signal Source, consider taking more than one Wing. Seven Vultures are a handful.

I’m hoping to try out “trade dividends” later this week to see what kind of money a merchant’s escort can make by acting as a caravan guard.

Combat ships to fall in price soon

elite-repairsThere has been a lot of rumblings from the non-trading section of the Elite community on Frontier’s forums about the high purchase cost of the ships above the Cobra.

The main complaint being that these ships are far above the income of a bounty hunter that doesn’t do any trading. While I think the costs are not insurmountable, they are without doubt at lot harder to achieve in anything like the same timescale, putting ships like the Clipper and Vulture out of most combat pilot’s price range.

It seems Frontier have been listening (or reading the forums at least), since in this week’s development update, Michael Brookes has said:-

In a minor update released before the end of the week we’ll reduce the price of non-trade ships and abolish the way fuel costs are scaled by ship type.

Which will get a “woohoo!” from some. What happens about those of us (me included) who have already bought one of these ships? Do we get any credits back? It’s a lot of monies…
Michael Brookes replied to this question:-

For players who currently own those ships we will provide a credits rebate for the difference - however this will happen after the price change.