First Combat – Elite: Dangerous

In my previous post I told you about Elite in its original form and the new multiplayer version that was released back in December. I said that I’d “decided that I would wait out the initial launch period and allow time for the glut of ‘I have a space ship with guns’ syndrome to quieten down.” I also, referring to the computer animated and the human driven ships out there, suggested that “each will have their own agenda that may involve attacking you!”

I picked up a cargo from Kudyenko Station in the Kini system with 2,200 credits to be made at the destination of Potriti – that delivery went well. No issues and money made. Checking the bulletin board after arrival I found a job for Universal Cartographers to fly some mapping documents from the Potriti system to the Eravate system just a few light years distant. Looks a simple, if not very well paid, job. I took it.

Hyperspace to the Eravate system was quick and untroubled. I turned away from the star and punched in the destination for the station in the system I was due to deliver the documents to and activated the Supercruise. Halfway there I was Interdicted… Didn’t really have time to realise what was happening before I was out of cruise and some one was pinging laser strikes off my shields. That got my attention!!!

In the new Elite you can choose where to apply your power resources – I initially chose engines and sought to round on my assailant quickly closing into a turning battle. Having found him (I know it was a him by the name of the commander) I was able to chase him effectively. Even so, he broke through my initial attempts to gain an advantage by taking down my shields but by matching his speed and turn I was able to buy time for my shields to regenerate. He was flying a Core Dynamics Eagle – a proven fighter; My ship is a Faulcon DeLacy Sidewinder – not quite as manoeuverable but perhaps a bit more robust.

I placed more of my power reserves to my shields – accepting a reduction in engine power. He could now choose to run away and I’d struggle to catch him in the configuration I’d selected. He would have been worth catching if he’d run – a wanted man with a bounty against his name – though I’d probably have happily forgotten the attack and gone back to delivering my cargo. I guess he’s been attacking other innocent traders as he enjoys having a spaceship with guns. The only thing is… Not everyone who is ‘Harmless’ in Elite is actually Harmless – they may be very competent but trying to have a nice peaceful life. A lesson that my attacker learned in the few minutes that we circled around each other seeking an advantage. I manouvered my craft well to keep him in the front, took his shields down twice during the 5 min’s or so of the battle and finally destroyed his ship.

How do I feel about that? Well, I wasn’t looking for a fight and finding that the pilot was a wanted man made me a bit happier. What I have an issue with is the reason why he chose to attack. If I’d been carrying narcotics, gold, or other high value items I could perhaps expect some piracy. All I had on board was some mapping documents – where’s the profit in downing a ship with those? The only possible gain for my assailant was a few points towards the next pilot status level 😦

In the aftermath I landed at my destination, gave in the documents for 728 credits and then handed in my bounty credit slip – 4,695 credits are mine for downing a wanted man who perhaps should have spent his money on a cargo scanner! But I also had a few repairs to make with my hull down to 78% integrity – those early strikes did quite a bit of damage as did the sudden deceleration from supercruise 😦 But the overall was a big profit – Pleased with that 🙂

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