Elite Dangerous: Review and Gameplay: Page 6 of 10

Elite Dangerous: Review and Gameplay
Blasting Enemies in Space


Docked at a space station

Watching the sun rise.

As the captain of your own private starship (a “privateer”, if you will) you have a number of spacefaring careers open to you. For those who prefer less violent pursuits, there’s mining, trading and exploring. For those who like littering the cosmos with the debris of enemy ships there’s piracy, bounty hunting, and assassination.

When it comes to the first three, trading is probably the most interesting right now. Mining in its present form involves little more than approaching asteroids and drilling away at them with your mining laser until you gather enough ore and minerals to fill your hold before bustling off to the highest-bidding starport. Exploring, on the other hand, is all about trying to range as far as you can into the un-known universe, and scanning every gaseous cloud and planetoid you find there. The data from those scans can be sold for a pretty penny; providing you find a space station at a good distance from where the data was collected.

Trading it not so simple, though, and that’s what makes it more interesting. It requires mapping demand curves between systems, sourcing resources at the best price, and quickly adapting to market fluctuations. Outbreak of Venusius Tuberculosis on Delta IV? Guess those plague victims are going to be willing to cough up (pun intended) the big bucks for that vaccine you bought for a steal in the Chaeron System then, aren’t they?

Cockpit view

Sometimes you just get lost in the beauty of it all.

Traders who are willing to delve into the black market by selling illegally scavenged or prohibited goods expose themselves to potentially greater profits, but also much greater risks. If the authorities get wise to your smuggling in a couple of tonnes of Arkanian Reefer you will be flagged as an outlaw, and quite possibly shot to pieces. If they catch you doing this in a space station… Well, let’s just say that you’ll need more than the force to make that run.

In fact, breaking the law is not generally a good idea in Elite Dangerous. Aside from generating a criminal bounty that will have every hot-shot bounty hunter eyeing you as their next big “meal ticket”, you’ll also be poorly regarded by most of the factions in whatever system you happen to be running your criminal enterprise in. Factions that hate you will be very reluctant to send any decent contracts your way, and will instead take contracts out on you. If you ever do decide to fly the straight-and-narrow path again, you may well find that redemption does not come easily.

Bounty hunting represents a much safer outlet for your murderous impulses, because it is usually sanctioned by one or more of the controlling factions of a given system. Simply hang around an area that sees a lot of space traffic — e.g. the navigation beacons you will find orbiting most stars — scan any ships that you find there, and shoot them dead if they have a criminal record. Cleaning up criminal scum in this fashion is one of the quickest ways to amass credits in the game; the more egregious the crimes of the pilots you kill, the more you get paid — and sometimes you get paid a whole lot for a single target.

Raconteur of the RPG scene.
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: The Witcher III
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout: New Vegas, Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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