I want to start by saying elite dangerous changed my expectations for the better!
(Skip to the end for questions)
I joined Elite dangerous since its beginning, and bought the season pass it used to have for its very first dlc.
At that time, it was (and may will only be) the only space game that was stable and had coop. At that time, we were a group of friends jumping from one game to another, we wanted an immersive game that we can delve our time in it. Something like an MMO but in a relative casual way.
When I joined, my goal wasn't realistic or within the scope of the game. I was aiming to just farm, enjoy the mechanics and prosper on what future holds for this game so that I saved enough to enjoy later.
2014/2015 was a big year for elite dangerous, for us, it was what we wanted, a star wars-esque game.
that was an open galaxy with endless possibility where we roleplay into many themes. We always expected more, like since the beginning, we wanted landing on atmospheric planets, moving around the ship, inviting friends over to our own "little home in space" ship. The immersion feeling of decorating your ship's room, lounge, dining table etc.. and just walking around with your accomplished ship.
We had those expectations raised so high, we expected so much more from a game that was built from ground on a roughly $2 million. We knew it was very early, but I kept comparing it to star citizen (that has a budget of more than $350 mill as of now). And that wasn't fair of us. This game deserved so much more from us.
Start of my experience:
Starting my very first gameplay
I got into my sidewinder, played tutorial, enjoyed the mechanics, and went out and bought saitek x52 pro to get the immersion using the same joysticks of the ingame pilot.
I later got VR headset and kept looking at my ingame hands of throttling up and down, seeing the movement compared to real time. It was fun!
Now my expectation was wrong, I didn't know what to do, I didn't have a realistic goal, and at that time, the game didn't give me a specific goal to aim for. It was there, but no easy instructions.
With that in mind, I did what I knew back then, upgrade ships and kill better ships until I increase in ranks and hope for the best. Got my very first ship upgrade, Cobra! At that time, it was either the "Cobra" path, or the "Viper" path. One path for multipurpose smuggling, another dedicated fighter path.
I kept farming kills, thinking that's the most fun of the game and make money. As for any game, we always aim for what's the end, what is the endgame, is my time invested worth it? Is the grind justified for the ending? I personally hate the the way I think, the way games made us feel and taught us to grind so we enjoy the riches at the end. That's all I knew, narrow tunneled into the end game.
Anaconda was my endgame, or so I thought. I thought if getting that, I achieved the end of the game.
Now as I tried to progress, combat was not making enough money to reach my goal. It was so slow that I lowered my goal expectation to something that felt "achievable" and a merit of accomplishment.
That was the faction ranking. I joined imperial to rank up because, who doesn't want khaleesi? Who didn't aim for star wars empire. And so I ranked up for imperial clipper, I achieved my somewhat goal.
But I've exhausted myself (doing combat mainly).
Coming back to the game.
Now 2 weeks ago, I got into microsoft flight simulator, loved the feeling of exploration, and realized I needed games like this, to explore and immerse myself.
I went back to looking at elite dangerous and its update, I saw they progressed into landing on 0.1 atmospheric planets, but I knew not to get my hopes up. It's been so long since I've played. I wanted to give it a second chance, as I did not have any game to immerse myself with.
So I went and dusted/cleaned my old saitek x52 pro, hooked it up, and logged into the game. This time I had only the clipper and around 22mill credit. I tried out combat to orient myself with the mechanics again, but died a horrible death. All NPC's were upgraded since last I played. Then I learned about engineering.
I wasn't going to give up this time, now I was determined for an exact goal that I needed to reach, a since of self-accomplishment, buying the Anaconda. It's one of those stubbornness feeling I get that no matter what, I'm going to get it once and for all, even if it means boring myself and quitting the game later. Anaconda felt like the goal I may not able to reach, the untouchable unicorn, that I may exhaust myself before reaching it. All the more reason for me to want it more.
Accomplishing my planned Goal.
Read some guides to help me achieve this. I sold my clipper, bought an asp explorer, went out for what felt like a long journey outside the bubble, I was scared (was only 10 jumps away on a 10ly FSD jump) did a passenger runs, upgraded to DBX, did more, upgraded to python after 3-4 days. I continued doing python passenger runs like stamping my card in and out of a job in a clockwork time. Wake up, made coffee, joined elite with semi-afk running while googling about elite dangerous.
Now I knew I had to reach 800mill to get into the comfortable zone of owning the ship and kitting it out.
once I reached 250mill (after so much runs, mind you with no engineering whatsoever, little passenger runs with only 12ly of FSD jumps), I ranked a little to get better mission rewards. Now the closer I felt I reached my goal, the harder it was. I kept reading posts after posts of how anaconda is not what was expected, its ugliness, its maneuverability, slowness etc.. the more I read, the more I felt I was going to buy a an expensive lesser-python like ship. This brought my expectation of the anaconda so low, that I just continued to farm and stopped thinking of the end of the goal.
I reached 500mill, things started to become easier, I know have a routine, a clear path and the mission payments are getting better, as the first 100mill was so hard and exhausting that I felt I might stop there and settle on a different cheaper ship. I experienced exploration for the first time with FSS and DSS.
I reached 800mill, but I felt I wasn't ready to buy the anaconda, getting second thoughts, doubts of my hard earnings might be lost on it. I started looking for a different large ship, if I'm going large, I might as well aim for the biggest 3, and so I looked at corvette, I always loved the design. People kept comparing it to anaconda. My exploration immersion started to hit in while doing runs, did sight-seeing etc.
I reached 1bn Credit, I felt I was in the "zone" for so long that I forgot what I wanted. But I enjoyed the exploration side of it, scanning planets, routing a different path, and learning about planet types.
I had time to read the pilot handbook guide the devs put in (and a very WELL DONE!) it was clear and concise! very well written and exactly what I needed.
So I felt comfortable now to go back into the bubble. Landed at where they sold Anaconda, I searched for a discount as well, and using eddb, I search for Li Yong-Rui controlled system, which was Hennepin Barracks at Betel for 15% discount. I went and parked my Python, which was the perfect place for it to semi-retire after a long and hard journey for me, and the sun was setting at that time, it was gorgeous view, my very first feeling of atmospheric landing with a bright sky.
I did contemplate on whether to get anaconda and second guessing myself. I was so let down with comments about it, such as its interior wirings, its nose cockpit view, and the way it handles turning so badly.
But in the end, I decided to go for it as that was my goal and did not want to change a thing. I bought Anaconda with my expectations being so low.
The Experience of my Accomplishment.
I bought the Anaconda. Then, that feeling hit me, I actually reached my goal! That feeling when I first viewed it after the purchase, that long "nose" deck of the ship, huge cockpit with the wirings, the enormous feeling of its size, it was.. Majestic!
I did not expect this feeling! Not even close. People said it was ugly, but it felt like a battleship for me! People hated the cockpit wiring, but I love these details of the cockpit! People complained about the turning, I felt like riding the Star destroyer and commanding my own battle troopers!
I wanted to say, what people hated about it, was what I love about it! The turning was not even slow, it was similar to my python, and with FA off and boosting, wow!
People hated the viewing of it, but it was the biggest strength of the ship, making you feel its "big" and powerful! It made me feel I'm in my own fleet carrier! Sure we can't walk around the ship, but it enforces you how big and majestiv it feels!
I felt I did not achieve my goal, I felt I supercruised it so fast I reached new heights of unknown goals!
Enjoying the Journey, with no Destination.
It made me want to experience more of this game, my new aim is now more clearer than before, I want exploration! I wanted to enjoy the ride of this ship! It is so majestic and that metallic finishing, I want to explore the galaxy. Now I want to enjoy the journey with no destination.
I want to engineer the ship, explore the galaxy, farm the mats and just land on those beautiful planets I used to pass by when farming on python.
Everytime I log back into the game, into anaconda, I just stare silently, and keybind the hell out of the new camera suite and just admire its beauty. With all honesty, its the most beautiful ship I ever laid my eyes on.
Driving it felt so satisfying, and the details, oh.. my.. god! The details on this ship I never experienced before. It's the only ship that has so much details that you actually see the damage of the hulls in combat, you actually experience the ship's damage, those details makes it feel like its been through a lot, it "talks" of its experience in combat and exploration. its my home in the sky.
I can't believe I missed out on exploration. The details the dev put into this game.
I just wanted to say that we put expectations so differently, that we bypass the game's initial aim, I should've started with what the game has to offer, not what it would be in future.
I landed on so many planets, the details of the surface, just exploring on srv, and calling my "guardian in the sky" anaconda back to surface when I need to leave.
Thank you for sticking to the end of my experience CMDRs o7
My Anaconda riding through the sunset
Need help on some questions
Now I need some help from fellow CMDRs to help me on my journey here.
I stumbled upon third party apps (such as EDEngineer for mats) that helps with the game. I will want to start out engineering my ship first, but then go for exploration to experience different planets, with maybe after a month or so I want to visit Sag A* (But first I want to visit Sol, as I never did before since the start of the game).
- What other apps/programs should I look for to enhance and ease my gaming experience? I heard so many, and don't want to overwhelm myself (such as EDEngineer, EDDiscovery, EDM etc..). Things that track your progress or tells you infos.
- Similar to above question, between EDSM and EDDiscovery, which one should I use for exploration later on? That helps me to DSS specific planets and such.
- How do you stand the HUD from pilot's seat? When entering a the dark side of a planet, my cockpit just slaps me with all the christmas lights there is, and having "Glide" and Orbital entrance OSD, I think my monitor is shouting for extra space, I can't see. I can dim the lights of HUD on right panel, but it doesn't actually dim the lights of the cockpit.
Edit: fixed some mistakes.