Elite Dangerous Catch-All

zeroKFE wrote:

So, here's an example; it's meant to be a jack of all trades combat ship that can do combat zones as well as bounty hunting without refitting. If you specialize even a bit further you can make things a bit less fiddly, though.

Actively Power Managed Vulture

Basically, you have to have your shield cell bank off outside of combat. When you are in combat, as I described in my previous post, you only want to power it on when your shields are below the level where your boosters are working -- 50% is a decent rule of thumb. If you've left your cursor in the modules panel over the shield cell bank, you should only have to look right and click once to do the toggle (one more example of how having head tracking improves the game).

Now, you'll also notice that when the KWS is on, power group 4 (the second, smaller shield booster) is off. So, if you are in a combat zone, you just leave the KWS off and always have better shields. When hunting, if you are about to attack a target you expect trouble with, you toggle the KWS off after you scan but before you start attacking, and otherwise you leave it off.

A few other notes: I have a scoop, an interdictor, and a cargo rack equipped in the smaller compartments. If you drop the scoop, you have a bit more wiggle room for other things. For example, you can buy a backup size 2 shield cell bank that you leave powered off until you've burned through your main bank. Or, you can make your interdictor size 2, and have a bit more luck pulling bigger targets out of supercruise. Or you can dump all these extras and fill the space with hull reinforcements. So even in one of the most notoriously power starved ships in the game, you still have a lot of options here -- and we haven't even talked about potentially changing around the weapon loadout either. On the Vulture I generally like the paired large pulse lasers since you can literally just stay out fighting as long as you want as long as you take care of your shields, but tons of other possibilities open up if you swap one out for a cannon, or are confident enough to run without gimbals.

OK, here is the build that I've been using for my Vulture.

The big difference is that I have a Point Defense replacing one of your Shield Boosters, and my single Shield Booster is only a D (you have an A and a C). Maybe that was all that was available when I built it, I don't remember exactly.

I have one of my two Pulse Laser set at priority 3, rather than the Shield Booster. I can see why your way is better, though, as it lets you stay in the fight even after powering up your SCB. I think I'll give that a try. I usually disengage whenever I want to fire off a SCB.

The big difference is that I have a Point Defense replacing one of your Shield Boosters, and my single Shield Booster is only a D (you have an A and a C). Maybe that was all that was available when I built it, I don't remember exactly.
I have one of my two Pulse Laser set at priority 3, rather than the Shield Booster. I can see why your way is better, though, as it lets you stay in the fight even after powering up your SCB. I think I'll give that a try. I usually disengage whenever I want to fire off a SCB.

Yeah, the thing about my build is that if power your cells on and off at the right point, you'll suffer no degradation of ship functions (since the shields provided by the boosters are already drained at that point), so you can continue to fight however seems most appropriate. Of course, it might be most appropriate to disengage anyway, but at least you have the option of continuing to fire if you'd like.

As for point defense units: I'm a bit out of touch with the current meta, but at least for PvE I think it's still the case that shield boosters are generally a better defensive choice, at least for a combat focused ship. Sure, a point defense will provide 100% damage mitigation from missiles (well, assuming it has a firing arc on the missile) -- but missiles are rare in PvE, and particularly on a combat focused ship (i.e., one with big base shields) like the Vulture, the extra shielding from an additional booster just might absorb the full quantity of the damage from the missile anyway, while also providing defenses against all other types of damage as well. (Which aside from being FAR more common are also far harder to just dodge. Really, in a ship as nimble as a Vulture, you should rarely take a missile hit anyway.)

But, of course, you should tailor your choices for your play style. If you have frequent trouble with missiles, a point defense might be the way to go. And for that matter, if you have a control scheme that makes toggling the power state of modules challenging, reducing power draw in other ways (such as using lower grade thrusters, as babakotia suggested) might keep you alive better than trying to do the dance of active power management.

misplacedbravado wrote:

Say, zeroKFE, could you re-link to your collection of ship builds?

I can't find them from the first time around, and they're a great resource.

Sure, but a few caveats:

- These are really old; some are from as far back as 1.2, and the rest from around the 1.3 beta when I was evaluating the new Diamondbacks and the Imperial Courier. So there might be small tweaks that I would make now, and the various new ships coming in 1.4 aren't represented at all.

- Some other ships aren't there either, for various reasons. For example, I don't have anything for starter ships (i.e., cheaper than Viper), because early on it's not worth getting this geeky, and if you're flying them later it's probably for a pretty specific purpose anyway. Also, no Dropship, since before the price drop you would have been crazy to bother with one. No Orca, because that's a ship for rich trolls, and no Type 9 because, well, if you can afford a Type 9 I'm pretty sure you know the best way to spec out a trade ship.

- Also, I made most of these before the web app allowed you to specify power priorities, so particularly with the combat ships there might be some amount of power management that's required to make them work.

- In some cases I might have included (or excluded) certain special equipment that in reality I would (or would not) use, perhaps because I was trying to set up some specific comparison. So, while generally these are good baseline builds, they may not really be exactly the ship build I would suggest, depending on the context of usage.

- This is all meant for PvE play -- for PvP, you probably want to do a lot differently.

So, all that said, here are some of more general comparison lists I have saved on coriolis.io

The full list of builds I currently have saved

Bigger Ships

Traders

Bigger Fighters

Smaller Fighters

Asp Builds

Hopefully that helps -- and, of course, I'm always happy to answer questions or make more specific suggestions.

zeroKFE wrote:

As for point defense units: I'm a bit out of touch with the current meta, but at least for PvE I think it's still the case that shield boosters are generally a better defensive choice, at least for a combat focused ship. Sure, a point defense will provide 100% damage mitigation from missiles (well, assuming it has a firing arc on the missile) -- but missiles are rare in PvE, and particularly on a combat focused ship (i.e., one with big base shields) like the Vulture, the extra shielding from an additional booster just might absorb the full quantity of the damage from the missile anyway, while also providing defenses against all other types of damage as well. (Which aside from being FAR more common are also far harder to just dodge. Really, in a ship as nimble as a Vulture, you should rarely take a missile hit anyway.)

But, of course, you should tailor your choices for your play style. If you have frequent trouble with missiles, a point defense might be the way to go. And for that matter, if you have a control scheme that makes toggling the power state of modules challenging, reducing power draw in other ways (such as using lower grade thrusters, as babakotia suggested) might keep you alive better than trying to do the dance of active power management.

I did actually fly without Point Defense for a while. When I did, it seemed like every time I tried to engage a higher-level pirate, he shot missiles at me. I've had more lucking using PD and the occasional SCB than with double boosters.

Of course, I am almost exclusively a bounty hunter, and rarely go into CZs. Also (as you correctly assumed) I am strictly PvE and have never been in Open.

I am using a HOTAS and TrackIR, so I would much rather keep my higher-rated thrusters and perform power management.

I'm not the type of person that ever wants to be fiddling with my module power in combat. While I'm outfitting sure but otherwise I don't have the patience and it stresses me out. lol

Edit: Here's the loadout I was using when I had my Vulture. Worked great for me for bounty hunting (PVE) in resource extractions and doing Conflict Zones. I'm sure there's plenty of flaws for the min/max crowd to spot but I like it.

http://coriolis.io/outfit/vulture/24...

So at this point I am a little unclear as to what my next steps should be. I spent some time bouncing around a little corner of space trading and doing missions for whichever group would pay me to go to one of the bases that was next in the food chain. If my hold wasn't full of precious metals I would linger near a nav point to pick up some extra credits here or there and generally having a good time. A 20 ton cargo hold does put a natural limit on trading potential, but the larger ships seem laughably out of reach.
Is there some kind of financial breakthrough I am missing? Or is this part of the game really all about grinding out the next few million?
Edit: and an I just say that so far docking is my favorite part of the game. I mapped my thruster directions to the top-hat, so I zoom in at full power, cut engines just before impact and try to coast as close as possible before using the thrusters to ease in the last few meters. Glorious when it works out perfect.

Rezzy wrote:

So at this point I am a little unclear as to what my next steps should be. I spent some time bouncing around a little corner of space trading and doing missions for whichever group would pay me to go to one of the bases that was next in the food chain. If my hold wasn't full of precious metals I would linger near a nav point to pick up some extra credits here or there and generally having a good time. A 20 ton cargo hold does put a natural limit on trading potential, but the larger ships seem laughably out of reach.
Is there some kind of financial breakthrough I am missing? Or is this part of the game really all about grinding out the next few million?
Edit: and an I just say that so far docking is my favorite part of the game. I mapped my thruster directions to the top-hat, so I zoom in at full power, cut engines just before impact and try to coast as close as possible before using the thrusters to ease in the last few meters. Glorious when it works out perfect.

What ship are you currently in? It also depends on what you actually want to be doing. There are plenty of ways to make money early on doing almost anything.

Bounty Hunting - Nav points are mostly for beginners to get a hang of things. I'd suggest finding a resource extraction site, picking off the small fry alone, and going after the bigger wanted ships by following around the system security and letting them do the bulk of the work. Kill Warrant Scanner is a necessity.

Exploring: Early on you can make decent money just scanning systems but nowhere near bounty hunting. Things pick up for this a lot when you can afford the Advanced Discovery Scanner and the Detailed Scanner but these cost nearly 2 million credits between them if I'm remembering right.

Trading: This is the way I made my money early on. I went with the Adder until I could afford the Cobra. Thrudd's is a great resource site for finding trade routes. Imperial Slave trading is lucrative.

Mining: Never done it so *shrug*

Cobra Mk III. Stats say I've got around 1.5 Million in assets.

What's troubling me is the current rate of return. Bounty-hunting seems to be the only venture where I can break 100K per trip, and there are many bigger fish than my Cobra to make that iffy. Trading seems to be capped by my cargo hold and even if I net 1k per unit that means a max return of 20k. I tend to role-play a bit in these games so smuggling/piracy is a no-go. Mining... ugh... more than two hours of chasing floating bits using thrusters and hearing the Proximity/Impact alarm blaring the whole time netted me 64k. The equipment that enabled me to do this cost over 120k. Not worth it.

Edit: that said. If Smuggling/Piracy breaks that profit barrier... the lines can be... flexible.

I'd suggest a T6 if you want to get into trading that will give you decent cargo space for your money. I have one trade run that is one jump between systems that nets me about 3k for every imperial slave. I was making 380k in my Asp per trip and my friend was making slightly less in the T6. I won't even mention what my friends in the T9 were making. :hmm:

Add that to the nice little 5% bonus you each get for being in a wing when each of us sold the slaves it was easy money.

If the T6 is still out of your price range I'd recommend focusing on getting your cobra up to around 44 cargo. It can at 60 but you'd have to get rid of a fuel scoop and shields. Yeah, though half the challenge is finding a good trade route. I believe the Cobra is pretty great for doing that Lave rare trade route. Never did it myself but I heard great things. Probably worth looking up.

Interestingly enough. I'm currently parked in Lave, having stumbled across a system selling rare goods and Lave happened to be 160.7 lightyears away. Also Hostile, as it turns out, but they let me land so whatever. 10 leather purchased for pennies sold for something like 16k each. So there's rares here as well? The 33 jumps were still more fun than mining was! (great for catching up on the Conference Call!)

Rezzy wrote:

Cobra Mk III. Stats say I've got around 1.5 Million in assets.

What's troubling me is the current rate of return. Bounty-hunting seems to be the only venture where I can break 100K per trip, and there are many bigger fish than my Cobra to make that iffy. Trading seems to be capped by my cargo hold and even if I net 1k per unit that means a max return of 20k. I tend to role-play a bit in these games so smuggling/piracy is a no-go. Mining... ugh... more than two hours of chasing floating bits using thrusters and hearing the Proximity/Impact alarm blaring the whole time netted me 64k. The equipment that enabled me to do this cost over 120k. Not worth it.

So, first let me temper this by saying that it is always easy to fall into a bit of a grind in this game -- it's one of several valid criticisms, and one of the things I try to warn people about when recommending the game.

That said, things do accelerate quite a bit as your ships improve. They accelerate the most (and the most consistently) if you are looking at trade, since a bigger, more expensive ship directly translates into bigger profits. For example, in my trade Anaconda I haul 436 tons of cargo. So, on a fairly average trade route -- let's say, 2k profit per 10 minute round trip -- I can make 5.2 million in an hour, and on a really spectacular route that can push up towards 10 million (or even more).

But things do accelerate a good deal for other professions too, although some might plateau a lot sooner than trade. Exploration probably plateaus in an Asp, since only an Anaconda has better jump distance and fuel recharge time, but not by enough to really matter. Bounty hunting probably plateaus in a Python (although a Vulture or a Clipper is nearly as effective) since even though an Anaconda might be able to take down targets a tad faster, your real limiting factor is finding targets at that point. Mining, well, I have no idea since the new mining drones change a lot, and mining in a bigger ship is DEFINITELY more profitable now that they exist.

Anyway, more to the point of what you care about: what you'd be looking at while currently flying in a Cobra.

In your current ship, if you are looking to maximize profits, I think you can get close to 1 million an hour if you get geared up for rare trading. Lots of links to info on that in the original post. If you go that route, your next step is to buy a Type 6 trader, which is also probably best used for rare trading (although if you get good at finding good common trade routes, it might be a push even at the cargo levels you'd have there). After that, you'd want to get yourself into an Asp as fast as possible, because it's a better trader than the Type 6 while also being able to do other things as well. As I mentioned earlier, it's the best exploration ship, and it can be a pretty capable bounty hunter too. At that point more options open up for you too, but the trader progression goes to the Type 7, then the Clipper, then the Python.

(Incidentally, if you do decide to focus on trade, I highly recommend continuing to own a second, combat focused ship to allow yourself to switch off between types of gameplay easier. If you don't, it will be much easier to fall into the trap of simply grinding credits, which most people want to avoid.)

If you want to make your money in more combat oriented gameplay, though, you probably can be making a lot more than 100k per trip right now if you start looking for active resource extraction sites. If you find a good RES, you'll be drowning in pirates with big bounties on them, and you can easily take in 500k or more before it's time to reload or repair. It's worth noting, though, that while the Cobra is a lovely multipurpose ship (and the best trader you'll find in the sub 1 million price range), it's not the best combat ship you can run right now. The old standby of the Viper is a bit better — it has better shielding and maneuverability, and the same weapon loadout, while being significantly cheaper to own. And then there is the newer Diamondback Scout, which is a tad more expensive to buy initially than a Cobra, but is MUCH better suited to combat, and is cheaper to outfit well due to its smaller sized internals.

Also, this is the point where you should start looking for community goals. At any given time, there are usually a few special initiatives happening somewhere in inhabited space where you can participate in special events that have big payouts, scaled by how much participation there is in the event. Anyone who participates gets at least some bonus when the event ends, and the people who contribute the most get much bigger rewards. Trade focused goals probably aren't worth your time until you get a bigger ship — the cargo delivery numbers for a big reward get pretty astronomical unless you are hauling hundreds of tons at a time, and the commodities in question get scarce nearby really fast. However, combat focused goals — particularly bounty hunting ones — are almost always worth participating in, since you get paid the same way you would for normal bounty hunting or combat zone fighting, but you get a bonus at the end. Of course, in a smaller ship you still will have to fight to get into the big reward tiers, but whatever bonus you get will always just be extra on top of what you'd earn doing the same sort of thing elsewhere in the galaxy.

(Combat focused community goals are a HUGE part of how I built the money for my current fleet: an Anaconda, a Python, a Vulture, an Asp, and a number of smaller ships that I mostly keep around for either fun or to serve as bookmarks on the galaxy map. That might sound like a lot, but when you are earning bonuses in the 10 to 20 million credit range fairly regularly, the money comes in faster than you'd expect.)

So, take a look into that. The in game news feeds will often have stories pointing you towards current goals, but this thread on the official forums always has a relatively up to date list of what's currently going on:

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showth...

EDITED to update the link above to the most current thread.

Fantastic info. Thanks zeroKFE!

zeroKFE wrote:

As for point defense units: I'm a bit out of touch with the current meta, but at least for PvE I think it's still the case that shield boosters are generally a better defensive choice, at least for a combat focused ship.

Especially because missiles don't do much against shields.

That said, I keep using point defense on the not-quite-rational basis that if the sh*t has hit the fan and there's a missile approaching my unshielded ship, I'd feel foolish not having it.

(Or incoming hatch breaker limpets, for that matter -- I had a fun run-in once with an NPC who used those.)

zeroKFE wrote:
misplacedbravado wrote:

Say, zeroKFE, could you re-link to your collection of ship builds?

Sure, but a few caveats:

Yay, thank you!

Whelp, it's happened.

I am now the proud owner of a Python.

Congratulations.

Even owning an Anaconda and preferring the aesthetics of the Imperial ships, I still consider my Python to be my flagship. It just has the best balance of combat prowess and all around utility of any ship in the game -- the only thing I don't feel like I can reasonably do in it is super long range exploration, which is not really a pick up and play activity anyway.

zeroKFE wrote:

Congratulations.

Even owning an Anaconda and preferring the aesthetics of the Imperial ships, I still consider my Python to be my flagship. It just has the best balance of combat prowess and all around utility of any ship in the game -- the only thing I don't feel like I can reasonably do in it is super long range exploration, which is not really a pick up and play activity anyway.

So basically have a Python and a DB explorer on the side and you're all set.

JeremyK wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

Congratulations.

Even owning an Anaconda and preferring the aesthetics of the Imperial ships, I still consider my Python to be my flagship. It just has the best balance of combat prowess and all around utility of any ship in the game -- the only thing I don't feel like I can reasonably do in it is super long range exploration, which is not really a pick up and play activity anyway.

So basically have a Python and a DB explorer on the side and you're all set. :)

Unless they addressed the fuel scooping situation on the DBE, you probably want an Asp, but yeah.

Of course, having an Anaconda around for when you want drown in credits from trade or having an impenetrable space fortress sure doesn't hurt either.

zeroKFE wrote:
JeremyK wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

Congratulations.

Even owning an Anaconda and preferring the aesthetics of the Imperial ships, I still consider my Python to be my flagship. It just has the best balance of combat prowess and all around utility of any ship in the game -- the only thing I don't feel like I can reasonably do in it is super long range exploration, which is not really a pick up and play activity anyway.

So basically have a Python and a DB explorer on the side and you're all set. :)

Unless they addressed the fuel scooping situation on the DBE, you probably want an Asp, but yeah.

Of course, having an Anaconda around for when you want drown in credits from trade or having an impenetrable space fortress sure doesn't hurt either. :P

Maybe, but at half the price I loved my little DB Explorer when I was out in deep space for a few weeks. I think people over rate the differences in fuel scoops.

Oh, it's a fine ship, for sure, and a very close second when talking about affordably priced exploration ships. Both it and the DBS were desperately needed to make it so that exploration was truly open to newer players.

But if you own a Python, you can easily earn the extra 8 million or so that makes up the difference between an exploration specced DBE and an exploration specced Asp, and cut every refueling time to nearly a third of the DBE's max (while also buying the option for much greater outfitting flexibility). On my excursion towards the center of the galaxy, I spent the entire time cursing myself for not taking another few days to earn enough cash to fit a bigger fuel scoop. It doesn't seem like a big sacrifice at first, but holy hell does it add up after many thousands of lightyears.

I badly want to get myself to a tradeaconda but man it seems like its so far away. I'm at that spot where I have 100MM credits in the bank, but the difference between that and the 175MM- 200MM i need for a tradaconda (including capital and insurance) seems like forever. My time available generallly gets me somewhere between 5MM- 10MM a week as I can't get enough hours to grind any more in my python.

I suppose I just need to put my head down and push forward.

That Anaconda will be nice for when multi-crews come out, as it can store two fighters that your friends and fly. Of course, it's probably better to get a bunch of turrets and let them man those, as fighters don't seem to hold up in actual combat very well.

EDIT: 1.4 comes out tomorrow. Make sure you're prepared.

Yeah, I think as soon as I wrap up MGS5 I'm going to dive back in and start earning cash again. I have no idea how much the Imperial Cutter is going to cost, but I know it's going to be a lot, and I know I'm going to want one. And that's not even to mention stocking up for whatever goodies I'll want for Horizon content. Oh man, I'm getting more and more certain that I'm going to dump at least another half a year into this game.

I deleted my Elite install and launcher so I could do a clean install through Steam instead. Can someone check the game folder size? Steam says 5.8 gigs but sometimes it uses less or even uncompresses to more than it indicates.

I'm seeing 8.93 GB, but that includes the CQC beta.

Tamren wrote:

I deleted my Elite install and launcher so I could do a clean install through Steam instead. Can someone check the game folder size? Steam says 5.8 gigs but sometimes it uses less or even uncompresses to more than it indicates.

I'm seeing 5.7 gigs in my Elite Dangerous folder, installed through Steam.

Seriously freaky luck. Lave did indeed have rares for sale, so I spent 15 minutes trying to remember how the systems I had been trading in were spelled... and failing. Eventually I had to backtrack using the Galactic powers mode, and even that took a lot longer than it should. Is there a graceful way to keep oriented in the map? I noticed coordinates in the grid, but I really wish it would let me flag or favorite some systems. Maybe I can but missed it.

Anyway... 30 jumps later, including a stint where I was trapped by a sun until I worked out that if I switched my destination to a spot in-system I wouldn't overheat almost immediately. It took me longer to realize that than I'd care to admit.

My Cobra now has a 36 ton cargo hold. I totally didn't realize that the main two cargo slots were one class lower than the hull would allow. I was trying to figure out what stuff I would have to do without to get to 40. Thanks for making me take a closer look!

Rezzy wrote:

Seriously freaky luck. Lave did indeed have rares for sale, so I spent 15 minutes trying to remember how the systems I had been trading in were spelled... and failing. Eventually I had to backtrack using the Galactic powers mode, and even that took a lot longer than it should. Is there a graceful way to keep oriented in the map? I noticed coordinates in the grid, but I really wish it would let me flag or favorite some systems. Maybe I can but missed it.

Anyway... 30 jumps later, including a stint where I was trapped by a sun until I worked out that if I switched my destination to a spot in-system I wouldn't overheat almost immediately. It took me longer to realize that than I'd care to admit.

My Cobra now has a 36 ton cargo hold. I totally didn't realize that the main two cargo slots were one class lower than the hull would allow. I was trying to figure out what stuff I would have to do without to get to 40. Thanks for making me take a closer look!

*cough*

(It's massively out of date -- it still references the days when you couldn't plot routes much longer than 70 or 80 ly -- but it should still be helpful.)

It's gonna be a good day! Read that rares trading plan. Kinda excited to find out if any of those systems are near my current location... cup of coffee in front of me. Puppy napping on the couch behind me. Plug in my joystick (Windows 10 doesn't sleep while it is plugged in for some reason). Fire up the game.

Server Maintenance.

Rezzy wrote:

:) It's gonna be a good day! Read that rares trading plan. Kinda excited to find out if any of those systems are near my current location... cup of coffee in front of me. Puppy napping on the couch behind me. Plug in my joystick (Windows 10 doesn't sleep while it is plugged in for some reason). Fire up the game.

Server Maintenance.

uhhhhhhhhhhh..... Version 1.4 is shipping today. Servers are going to be down from about 8 am BST (GMT +1 ?) for about 6 hours.

Hrdina wrote:

uhhhhhhhhhhh.....

I don't see why my precious pre-work gaming time should be affected by this. /entitled gamer-rage

Edit: And just because it's the Internet and I can never be sure: ---> <----

Rezzy wrote:
Hrdina wrote:

uhhhhhhhhhhh.....

I don't see why my precious pre-work gaming time should be affected by this. /entitled gamer-rage

Edit: And just because it's the Internet and I can never be sure: ---> <----

I just felt so bad being the bearer of bad news for you.

As for me, I just got home from work, patched my install, and was informed by my wife that we are all going out for dinner.

I was a little surprised that this thread was not busier tonight, but I guess that's a good sign. Hopefully everyone is off enjoying v1.4