Into the Black

Last week, I started my first long trip out of the Bubble to the Eagle Nebula which is about 6,000 light years outside of civilized space. It’s a trip I had planned to take back in 2018 and made it about halfway before turning around to rush back to the Bubble when some friends wanted to try out Elite. I used to work at a museum with beautiful murals if he “Pillars of Creation” which inspired the trip in the first place.With the current jump range on my Diamondback Explorer the trip is just over 200 jumps. While plotting my route I was surprised to see there was a system with an economy right in the middle of the nebula which means there’s stations with people. Even more of a reason to see what’s going on over there.

In preparation for the journey I took a couple shorter trips about 1000 light years out to figure out the Exobiology activity added with the Odyssey expansion. I needed an Artemis Suite first which was easy to find at a nearby stations. Then it was off to find some planets with biological signals.

Scanning some space grass.

There’s currently a bit of a gold rush going on for Exobiology. In a recent update, all of the prices for each complete scan were increased ranging from 1 million to 19 million credits depending on the type and species. There also a five times multiplier if your the first person to turn in the data from a specific planet. Since the updated prices are pretty recent there are a ton of systems close to the Bubble that no one has landed at and scanned the biological yet. Which leads to some impressively quick cash. With only a few samples in hand after my little trip I boosted my credit balance from 30 million to 300 million. More than enough to get my DBX outfitted for the longer trip. Modules installed, I set off for the Eagle Nebula and settled in for the long journey.

I took my time scanning each system I visited, looking for biologics to collect samples from, and taking screenshots. Lots and lots of screenshots. It turns out, life is pretty common in the Elite Dangerous galaxy. Some systems had upwards of 10 or more biological signals. But not so common there is life to find in every system. Sometimes I would go a dozen or more jumps without finding any signals.

Only a few jumps away from the Eagle Nebula

In all, it took me about a week to arrive at my destination. It was cool to see the nebula gradually getting bigger and closer ever jump. At the center, there was a whole system with an asteroid station and multiple on planet settlements. There were only three factions present: The Colonia Council, the loose government organization of the second Bubble, the Eagle Guards, and the Eagle Inmates. Apparently the Eagle Nebula holds some sort of prison complex for Colonia. I was surprised to find missions there too. That would be quite a distance to run missions to and from.

The asteroid base had a Vista Genomics office to sell my exobiology data. With the fist discovery bonus, I handed in 2.5 billion credits worth of data. I shouldn’t have to worry about credits for a while!

Take Me to Space

This weekend, I found myself with an intense desire to play a space game. Maybe it’s because I just finished Ghost Song and wanted to continue with the scif-fi theme. Or maybe it’s because I’ve finished two very long games over the past couple months and wanted to play something different. Maybe it’s just a whim of interest that my brain has latched on to. Either way, I wanted to play something in space! I have a fair few games in my library that fit that bill and so I set out trying out different ones to see what peaked my interest the most.

First up was Empyrion – Galactic Survival, a game I got from last year’s Yogcast Jingle Jam bundle and have been meaning to try out. Prior to the bundle, I had been eying the game for a number of years but never pulled the trigger as it seemed to be in a state of perpetual early access. Since I’ve been into 7 Days to Die lately, a sci-fi survival game sounded right up my ally.

I appreciate a game that let’s me shoot dinosaurs with laser guns

I had some difficulty getting it to run and actually load in to a game but eventually I was able to go through the tutorial. Unfortunately, Empyrion seems to be more of a sci-fi building game with some survival elements instead of a survival game with some building elements. It was also giving me some Entropia Universe vibes. I don’t know if it’s the look of the game world or the UI but I couldn’t help thinking about my time in EU while I was going through the tutorial. This wasn’t scratching the itch so I loaded up the next game.

No Man’s Sky is always good for some interesting screenshots.

No Man’s Sky is one of those games I’ve always wanted to get in to but after 10 hours or so I’m over it. It could be because I always start over when I come back to it. There’s usually months in between play sessions and I don’t remember all of the controls so a restart always seems best. This means doing the tutorial and retreading the same ground again and again.

I thought this time for sure I was in a place where I would stick with it. I jet packed around hoovering up all the materials to fix my equipment, started building a base, gathered all the materials to launch the ship, and took off for the nearest space port. As I was flying, I knew this was not the time I was going to get hooked on No Man’s Sky.I knew exactly what I wanted to play and this wasn’t it.

Elite: Dangerous was calling my name. The rest of the weekend was spent installing and updating the game, rebinding keys on my HOTAS, setting up VoiceAttack, and figuring out if the other third party tools I used to use were still relevant. I’ll admit, I did very little playing but now that everything is set up, I’m excited to get back in to it.