Elite Dangerous – The Quest for Space Cows?

My brother managed to get his flight stick back up and running and joined Mobius, so we got back to doing stuff in Elite.

We started off trying to recoup losses from the last time we played and lost an entire load of goods each, more expensive for him because he’s using a Type 7. My hauler was just a Keelback gutted and filled with cargo racks.

We started doing the current community event in Niflhel delivering water purifiers from Cubeo. He asked what I was bringing back cargo-wise. I wasn’t, just flying empty. So I started doing source and return style missions for the trip back and was making a pretty decent profit. Think that session was around 10m or so profit.

Enough that I bought and outfitted a Type 7 of my own so we could do some of the larger wing transport missions. We can run just under 600 tons of cargo per trip, combined. We put this to work yesterday and I made some serious cash. Like 22m in four hours cash.

It’s worth pointing out that was part luck and part mission snob. A lot of these wing missions will be something like “Industry needs 1024 units of gold” and it’ll have like a 5m payout. The problem is, and it shows this in the description if you look for it, the actual cost of 1024 units of gold is around 9.6m. Yeah, I get it, these are wing missions, you’re supposed to split that cost across several people. There’s only two of us, 4.7m cost each for a 5m payout is only 300k profit, not really worth the time or the effort.

If you look carefully though, you can find stuff like 900 units of palladium for 13m. Now that has a material cost of 11.9m, so I could make a profit doing that solo. Split the cost so we’re only 6m each and now we’re both making 7m profit, it only takes two trips, and we can still take a load of cargo on the way there and get additional trade profits in the process. We had a couple of missions like that yesterday, which is how we made so much money. In between I just run more water purifiers and small trade missions which provide a steady bonus.

It’s proven profitable enough that I think we’re both saving up for the infamous Type “Space Cow” 9. Yeah, I know, the jump range is low, the speed is low, and I’m sure it steers like a solid core rocket strapped to mount Everest. There are only six ships in the game with more cargo capacity than our Type 7s. The Type 9 is the second highest capacity in the game, with the Cutter having 8t more, but is the least expensive of all six ships. A really quick and dirty loadout on each one(Cutter, Type 9) shows that where cargo space goes the T9 is a much better value. There are, of course, other considerations, but I’m not going to wait until I have 250m, much less the amount of faction grind between me and Duke. I’m at Master, which is Rank 3 to Duke’s 12.

I do believe that the Cutter is a good option, for the people it’s available to. The ability to defend itself would be a nice perk. Let’s face it, if there’s one thing the Type 7/9 aren’t suited to, it’s self defense.

There’s also some barely contained excitement regarding the impending beta for the update. I don’t think it will have a huge impact on the trading activity we’ve been engaging in, but I’d like to take a look anyway. Especially curious to see the mining changes and squadron feature this Thursday.

That’s enough for now though. Fly safe commanders, and may your source station always export to your destination.

2 thoughts on “Elite Dangerous – The Quest for Space Cows?

  1. Working towards a T7, now towards a T9? Impressive. I mean, at some time i used a T6 to make money. Unlike the other T-series ships, it has reasonably good speed and agility values. But the T7, i got into it once for a CG. I sold it right afterwards and decided never to fly that ship again and to never even touch the T9.

    What i do have is a T10. But that’s because at some time it was the cheapest ship with SLF capacity and three seats. But it has glacial speed and turns like a cathedral. While it packs good firepower and can take a beating, i still is a bit exhausting to fly. Anyway, by now the much more nimble Krait MK II can do the same job for me. My T10 by now is outfitted for anti-Thargoid duty. It did the job fine when i tried it, but i don’t do it too often.

    That all being said, i see why you’d want more cargo hold. You make good money with those missions. So i wish you good success. 🙂

    On the beta, i patched up yesterday and spend about two hours there. My first impressions are mixed.

    First I had no control bindings for the new features. That was to be expected based on the patch notes. A bit more annoying, the planetary surface scanner had no bindable controls. I had to visit the forums to be told that currently the multicrew controls would have to be bound accordingly. Knowing that, figuring out the controls and creating a useable setup took me about 20 minutes. That’s one of the prices of a beta, i expect things there to be noticeably improved till launch.

    As soon as i had my controls set up, i started playing around with the new features. The current switch between “combat mode” and “analysis mode” is a bit clumsy and inconvenient. Also, some of the key bindings block each other for no actual reason, making the current binding a bit more cumbersome than it would have to be. Some part of the new controls are too responsive on my controller and thus very fiddly to use.

    But in an actual beta, such things just are to be expected. It’s not a “free trial for a week before launch” beta, which actually is to hook people to the game, but is there for testing.

    Outside of basic problems, the new planet surface probing is nice and intuitively to use. It’s easy enough to completely scan a planet, but doing it fast and with a low number of probes will require a bit of training. I think it works well.

    The other scaner mode (FSS) takes a little longer to use. I still see how it could be quick and efficient to use, would i not have above mentioned problems with the controls. So i guess once the control issues are ironed out, it can be a nice tool, too.

    One thing i dislike about both scanners: they take you to a completely new screen, with no radar, no shield and hull statos or anything like that. Somebody easily has all the time to move behind you and interdict you. Maybe even to destroy you and the first thing you know about it is when you see the rebuy screen.
    (Have to test that, but that’s the current impression. )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not gonna lie, I bought a Krait last night myself. Can’t afford to outfit it quite yet, but I have it.

      The thing is, I look at these 10-20m trade missions and think that would just be a single trip for each of us with a T9 instead of the two to three trips each they take now.

      I did start the beta download before I went to bed. I was going to try and sneak in there tonight and poke around but I kinda forgot it’s Halloween so I have a few other things that have to get done first.

      I wondered about that with the scanners. I told my brother that sounds like an awful thing to do in open because you’ll just be parked near the sun, wide open. I figure it would probably do like the other menus for interdiction and autoclose them, but if you’re already at zero throttle you’re likely to submit before you process what’s happening.

      I realize that exploration out in the wild probably won’t be an issue, not many ships wandering around out there, but the inhabited systems seem like a recipe for insurance claims. It’s a conspiracy by Lakon to sell more ships! At least the beta takes place in a separate sandbox so you don’t get completely hosed trying to test it.

      We’ll see. Certainly sounds like a pain to set up. If I get home late enough I may not bother. Nice to get an early report though, I glanced at the subreddit and it wasn’t covered in hate yet, but there really wasn’t much at all. Did see an alleged screenshot of one of the new ships though, the Mamba: https://i.imgur.com/gbuGCe9.png


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