I want to preface this post by saying that I am not looking for help with getting better at combat. I am not looking for your meta builds. I am not looking for your advice, or to be told to get a flight stick, or use a gamepad. I don’t want you to say “why are you using that ship/build? Of course you’re getting blown up.” All of this is for me to say that I suck at combat in Elite Dangerous, and that’s okay.
I’m not good at Elite Dangerous in general, but I am having fun with it. I’m an Elite I explorer, and a Broker trader, and I’m… Mostly Harmless in combat. And that’s okay with me. I don’t need combat to have fun in this game, which is absolutely fantastic, and something that I haven't encountered for a while, especially in a major MMO.
A while ago, I went out into the black to do some exploring. I just decided to go out with no goal in mind. I spent a lot of time in the black actually learning about this game. Mostly from this subreddit. I found that my “exploration ship” is actually straight up ass for exploration. I found out that engineers are a thing. I started drooling over ships. I started thinking of what I wanted to do when I got back. I also learned that there are remote stations out there, and decided to turn around when I finally got to one.
Well, I got to Rohini, and turned around for last week’s event, because it looked fun. I got back, did quite a few rescue missions, and decided to chill in the bubble for a bit. I decided to look into engineers, and make a much better exploration ship than what I had before. After all, a 20ly max jump Python (yes, that's what I was exploring with) is doable for exploration, but I would go nuts getting to Sag A, and Beagle Point would be an impossibility.
I had made approx. 500m credits from the exploring, so I decided to buy a bunch of ships, and outfit a few of them. I outfitted a Type 9 for trading (maybe I’ll do a Type 10 after my next trip to the black). I went back to my old DBX, and have upgraded it for future exploration quite a bit (only 45 ly right now, but we’re getting there). Although I did buy an Anaconda, just to say that I did, I didn’t have the money to outfit it for combat. So I outfitted a Fer-De-Lance for combat instead.
And I can’t do it. I keep getting blown the fuck up. I was able to take down a single Federal Gunship after almost five minutes. My foray into “low intensity” combat zones has me take down maybe one ship before I have to retreat to the nearest starport with my tail between my legs. Due to how slow and how bad I am at combat, I have decided to just say “wow, I suck at this, and there’s no profit in it for me.”
This is not a complaint. This is actually a really big plus for this game. For me to be able to say that I suck at one of the three main aspects of it. Actually, to look at the titular aspect of this game, and say “I am bad at this.” But to then be able to just stop doing that aspect of the game, and continue on playing anyway? That’s absolutely wonderful. That’s like playing Minecraft without mining, or playing WoW without War… craft. Think about any other MMO that you’ve played. It’s hard to get around the combat aspect of it. In some games, it’s practically impossible to get around the combat aspect of it. Sure, it’s possible. But those people are usually seen as really weird, or going for an achievement, or generally “not playing it right.” Or you have to enable a specific mode of gameplay to do so. Sure, I’m playing in solo mode, but I’ve always played in solo mode. But all that it removes is the PvP aspect of it.
In fact, the ability to do most of this game "wrong", but still be successful at it is a phenomenal aspect of it. Sure, there are meta builds for everything, but my 20 ly max jump Python got me my Elite I explorer. That's sure as shit not meta. I'm sure that I could get to Elite trader with my old Type 6, but the Type 9 is going to be a lot faster, and it's not even engineered (yet). I know that there are people out there using Anacondas for trading, and I'm sure that there's at least one guy out there using a DBX for their main combat ship. Not a single one of those is meta, but they're all what works for that player, and that's fabulous. Again, look at any MMO, and tell me if a player playing off meta will be welcomed with open arms. Look at even single player RPGs, and see how well a player playing off meta is going to do.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here. I think that I just started ranting, and got lost along the way. Either way. Elite Dangerous is fantastic for not needing to perform any combat at all in an MMO, and still have it be viable.
My current plans are to get to Elite Trader in my T9. Get a bunch of engineering/tech stuff unlocked. Get as many ships as possible unlocked. Get my DBX up to at least 60 ly, maybe even 70, and then try for Sag A. Maybe even Beagle Point.
And… uhh… I don’t know what else to say other than o7 cmdrs!