Elite Dangerous -3.3 First Impression and Current Fleet

So I finally managed to get the opportunity to jump into the beta and start testing some of the upcoming features. The snapshot they used to set up the testing instance was apparently from when I was in Coalsack. Good news is that it gave me a great opportunity to play around the new exploration features.

Which I’d say are generally positive. Much in the same vein as Sylow’s comments the other day, the hardest part was setting keybinds up in a workable manner. I got something usable in the first pass for the new scanning system, but it needed some adjustment. I bound look up/down to the forward/back axis of my stick and the look left/right to the side-to-side axis. I put zoom in on the hat up and zoom out on the hat down, and the tuning was originally on the twist/yaw axis. I had to change the tuning over to the throttle axis because I kept applying just enough force to change the tune a little while moving. I may rebind the look left/right to the twist instead because that’s the natural movement I make when flying the ship.

That worked out fairly well and it’s certainly an improvement speed-wise over flying to every single planet to scan it. However, the new planet mapping system still requires you to do this. It also doesn’t have independent keybinds like the signal scanner and I believe Sylow said it uses the multicrew keybinds. I just sort of tolerated the default setup, but this meant that I had to constantly jump in and out of the planetary scanner to adjust my position, fire a new probe, then repeat. It seems like it may be possible to get it done with less repositioning, but it has a much steeper learning curve than the discovery scanner. I did get a first mapped though, not that it transfers over to live, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the message.

I’m assuming they’ll sort the controls over the course of the beta, which leaves my current complaint that all these activities are done while in supercruise using a complete overlay of the UI. This means that if you’re playing in Open and/or in a populated system, you’re a sitting duck target for anything hostile. I’m assuming it does like major events and would immediately cancel out the overlay if you get interdicted, but since you’re pretty much at 0 throttle anyway you’d immediately submit and get dropped. The silver lining is that, for the most part, exploration doesn’t tend to take place in populated systems. Things like the Road to Riches exploration route may become much more dangerous though.

I took the time last night to watch the live stream regarding the mining changes, which I think get rolled to the beta next week, I’m guessing Tuesday? That looks like fun to play with too. Though I didn’t have a ship outfit for that in the snapshot, or now come to think of it.

Since that snapshot was taken I’ve been rebuilding my fleet, especially in light of my newly acquired money.

Imperial Courier

Okay, so this is my “why would anybody buy this” ship. It’s absurdly expensive for the functions it provides, but it’s sleek and I love the way it handles. My plan is to outfit it for very light passenger transport.

Krait Mk. II

This is my future combat ship. It hasn’t been outfitted properly yet, all I did was buy it, put a better FSD in it, and park it. I haven’t really chosen a dedicated loadout for it yet, but last time I tinkered with it it looks like it’ll take about 100m credits to get it where I want it, not including the time and resources to engineer it. I did snatch up one of the body kits on sale this morning, but this screenshot was taken last night. I’ll try to get a final picture for my next update.

Type 7 Transport

This has been my breadwinner. All the money I’ve made in the last week has been with this guy. I don’t love it, but it’s just so dang functional. It will probably be refitted as a mining ship in the future. Seems that it would be well suited to that task.

Type 9 Transport – The Great A’Tuin

This is my future state cargo ship. It’s slower than Christmas and has an abyssmal jump range. In fact, I can’t really use it yet because I’m still working on the outfitting. It’s only selling point is the ridiculous amount of cargo it can carry. The more profitable wing transports we’ve been doing can be done solo in one to two trips with this thing. Y’know, once it can leave the system. It’s possible that it’ll be replaced in the future with the much sleeker and much more expensive Imperial Cutter, but for right now it should be more than capable of doing what I want it to do, carry large quantities of stuff.

Stay safe commanders, may the fuel rats be ever in your favor.

8 thoughts on “Elite Dangerous -3.3 First Impression and Current Fleet

  1. Nice fleet and pictures.

    But some comments:

    > Imperial Courier
    > Okay, so this is my “why would anybody buy this” ship. It’s absurdly expensive for the functions
    > it provides, but it’s sleek and I love the way it handles. My plan is to outfit it for very light passenger
    > transport.

    You clearly underrate this ship. It’s a small ship which can carry enhanced performance engines, has three medium hardpoints, a very good shield modifier and four utility slots.

    The three medium hardpoints give it a little less theoretical DPS than some other small ships, but the higher armour penetration can make up for that in many configurations. The shield modifier plus four utilities allow you to combine a class two shield and two shield boosters. If you engineer that properly (thermal resist shield, resist enhanced shield boosters) you end up with rather strong shields while being close to the resist cap. I use class 2 bi-weaves and have over 330 MJ shield capacity on my courier.

    My Courier currently is a bit “fat”, it’s at the moment set up as mission runner with a vehicle hangar on board, which is very heavy. So it’s currently at 85 tons, while I’d advise to get below 80 tons if you want a combat setup with enhanced performance engines. Anyway, even at 85 tons, it is at almost 500 m/s unboosted. (Something like 496 I think it does. )

    So, fast and agile, with strong shields along and still two utility slots available for chaff and further defensive equipment. It’s not without reason, that this ship for quite a long time was one of the premium PvP and PvE combat ships, at a very low price tag. It’s much cheaper than even the Vulture and costs barely more than a Viper, after all. Only note that while the ship has good shields, the hull below is very vulnerable. If your shields take a beating, retreat. But at least you have the speed for that.

    By now, thanks to the Federal Assault ship and the Alliance Chieftain and his family, it’s a bit eclipsed on the agility front. The Courier still is much faster and more agile, but the mentioned ships offer much more durability and firepower, while still being fast and agile enough. In PvE it also currently suffers a bit since NPCs currently are immune to reactor attacks, but that’s a bug which should be eliminated in the beta build.

    All of that said, as class 2 shields give good protection and class 3 shields add very little additional shield capacity, while making the ship much heavier, the class 3 slots often are used for a fuel scoop and cargo hold. An empty cargo hold weights nothing, but gives you a bit of storage in case of need. And fuel scoops have no mass at all and the class 3 refuels you quickly.

    So, refueling quickly, at a jump range of about 30 LY (engineered) and rather agile also in supercruise, the ship also travels well. [I checked, my Courier has 30.6 LY jump range theoretical, but fully fueled it’s at 29.5 LY.]

    So it’s fast, agile, has durable shields, good utility slots, some cargo space. And great sound and plenty of style. It’s a great mission runner and light fighter. Don’t underestimate it.

    And yes, I admit, I like this ship a lot. It’s quite certainly the ship I spent the most time in. For a long time it was an absolute unique combination of speed, agility and shields, while also carrying good firepower, as long as you managed to handle the heat generation. Some combat ships, e.g. the Chieftain, by now are probably a more optimal choice, but it’s still incredible fun to fly.

    > Type 7 Transport

    > This has been my breadwinner. All the money I’ve made in the last week has been with this guy.
    > I don’t love it, but it’s just so dang functional. It will probably be refitted as a mining ship in the
    > future. Seems that it would be well suited to that task.

    Here I fear you are in bad luck. When just reading about the new mining stuff (will really spend time to test on the weekend, job and wife will keep me busy before that) the new mining system really wants more hardpoints. Mind you, the traditional method with mining lasers will still be available, so that’s something the T7 will still be a reasonably good choice for. But if you want to use all the flashy new equipment, cracking open asteroids and all of that, you’ll need something with more hardpoints.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, fair enough on the courier. I looked at it again after that and realized it was a bit better than I implied. Too much time on reddit and not enough time actually looking at it I think. It’s an absolute blast to fly. Reminds me of the fighter crafts but bigger and beefier.

      Also on the Type 7, I’m with you. I hadn’t spent a lot of time reviewing the mining livestream at the time I wrote that, but once I watched the actual stream itself with audio instead of a text-based reddit live feed I realized it might have an issue with carrying all the required equipment. I haven’t really seriously considered it though, it was just a “what on earth am I gonna do with this Type 7” thought.


      1. Hehe. I know. My Clipper also currently lives in fear. It’s my mining ship. Before the patch, it was perfect for that. Two medium hardpoints for the mining lasers, two large for actual weapons, some large internals for the cargo bay and several smaller ones for shield, refinery and collector limpets. And all of that while the ship is still more maneuverable than most other alternatives with similar internals and faster than any of them.

        The new system really requires you to have at least five hardpoints, though. And there are not many ships which have five or more hardpoints and good internals. I don’t want to use the Cutter or T10 as mining ship. Refitting my Cutter to that actually wouldn’t be that hard, as it’s already outfitted as armed trader. But the mere thought of having to maneuver that sluggish ship around an asteroid belt immediately kills this idea. There are things where i like to use this ship, but mining sure is not one of them. My T10 is set up as anti-Thargoid ship, switching it to a miner would require a lot of rework. And then i am in the same situation: going mining in a ship which is about as agile as a cathedral. But now also slow.

        The high number of hardpoints “required”, while at the same time still needing plenty of internals, really cuts down the possible ship selection. And the ones now remaining are usually those which already are seeing plenty of use. I might have to fall back to the Asp or Python as mining ship, although i consider that somewhat boring picks. On the other hand, from what i gathered, the community already is campaigning to get some of the new mining weapons to actually be consolidated to one tool with different functions. If that happens and three or four hardpoints would be enough to carry the complete toolset, many more ships remain to be good picks for mining. Unfortunately the T6/T7 would still not be one of them.
        (Given the choice between T6 and T7, I’d always pick the T6, for about any task. It might have a bit less internal space, but it handles much better. )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I want a clipper and a cutter so bad, I just don’t have Imperial Rank high enough yet. I’m about a rank and some change from the clipper though.

        Am I overlooking something around five hardpoints? It might just be self-defense that I’m missing, but it looked like hardpoint wise you can get away with three? I’ve never ran a mining ship that could do much self defense wise, I just played it safe and booked it when trouble showed up.

        I actually tried to check it out yesterday, but I kinda forgot a prospector limpet controller, which is kinda important. Number of internals needed is pretty intense though. I was trying to cram everything on a courier just to see if I could. I think I could, but I wouldn’t be able to carry much cargo-wise, like 16t or so, and that’s without a detailed surface scanner and an extra slot from the now-internal Discovery Scanner.

        I’m not sure about the consolidated mining tool. I could see combining the sub-surface and fracturing charges, as they’re kinda the same thing. The abrasion, um, cannon, feels like it should be a different module.

        What might actually be more interesting would be if they reworked or had mining variants of the transports more suited to the task, unpopular though they may be.

        We’ll see. I unfortunately earned all my money and my fleet *after* the snapshot for beta, so I’m a lot more limited in what I can tinker with at the moment.


      3. New tools:
        – Abrasion Blaster
        – Sub-surface Displacement Missile
        – Seismic Charge Launcher

        Old tools:
        – Mining laser

        So when just counting, you end up with four. But a single mining laser is tedious, you generally want to run them in pairs. Also, at least in the current state (subject to rebalancing still, I hope), the new tools have rather low yield.

        At any rate, mining lasers and the new tools can be combined to increase your yield. Keep the lasers burning while you locate the special spots on the asteroid which you hit with the new tools.

        And on combining these things: as you said, seismic and sub-surface displacement are both about launching explosives and then blowing things up. They could be two functions of the same tool.

        The new abrasion blaster is all about cutting special spots from the asteroids surface. The old mining laser is all about cutting along the asteroids surface, just no special spots implemented. So that’s the other candidate for consolidation: just let the mining laser work like normal when “randomly” moving over the asteroid, but do the extra cutting when touching the specific spots. The second function could even be on a second trigger. It’d again just be different settings on the same tool, after all.

        Time will tell if that is being made. There are some ships which can bring all the tools necessary. Some even can still bring weapons, if the owner is so inclined. But many of the ships which traditionally were used and associated with asteroid mining will not be a good choice any more. And I think that adding more hardpoints to those ships (and thus giving them the option to also field significant firepower if the owner wants to) is not the way to go. It might be me, but i think that combat fitted T6/T7 for example would kill the theme of those ships.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Right, mining laser. For some reason I had the delusion that I wouldn’t need them. I don’t know why. Back to the drawing board then.

        Have there been any official comments other than “We’ve heard your feedback?” Between Elite and Warframe going through major updates and the LOTRO progression server launch I’m having a hard time keeping track now.

        There are plenty of solutions I suppose, including them changing nothing and us dealing with it. If combat freighters were a concern they could always create “Mining Module Only” hardpoints or something, like the Military Compartment and now-defunct passenger/cargo only. Don’t think that would go over well though.

        Time will tell. I really need to get back in the beta at some point and at least try the new mining stuff. Properly this time.


      5. As far as I know, FD said nothing yet on the topic of hardpoint inflation and if they intend to cut it down. So it’s rather likely that we’ll need that many hardpoints for mining in the future.

        So I guess Asp, Python and Federal Dropship will be the mining ships of the future. But nothing is final yet, there’s still hope. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yeah, I was eyeballing the Asp and Python after your other comment. I considered the Chieftain too but the longer I looked at it the less I liked it. Only five universal internals won’t cut it. I’m really leaning towards Python at the moment. Those extra size 6 internals are nice.

        Unfortunately coriolis beta hasn’t implemented the new mining tools yet.


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