Unexpected, but enjoyable, aspect of a game

A screenshot of when you start up the game
A screenshot of when you start up the game

I recently bought and started playing Elite:Dangerous.  I saw ads for this game everywhere, and I just had to check it out.  I went to the Elite:Dangerous wikia website to get an idea of what I can do in the game, and quickly chose my role; I was going to be a bounty hunter.  I went into this game with some preconceptions and was pretty much slapped in the face by what I got.  However, what I got is far more enjoyable than what I thought I was going to get.

After buying, downloading, and installing the game, but before I actually started playing, I tried out some of the tutorials.  They cover some simple things like flying around, landing, and even some combat.  I found the combat to be the most enlightening as that’s exactly what I got the game for.  However, when you get your first ship, the Sidewinder, which is free, I quickly found that combat in the actual game was very different than in the tutorial.

My "space-trucking" ship, the Type-6
My “space-trucking” ship, the Type-6

Your free Sidewinder has been outfitted with, pretty much, the worst of everything.  There’s a reason it was free.  So, when I eventually encountered another ship that was trying to destroy me, I figured, “Hey, I easily took these things out in the tutorial.”  Several deaths later and after talking to some co-workers about it, my eyes were finally open to the reality of the game; all ships, by default, have terrible equipment and you need to work your butt off to earn some space bucks so you can buy better gear.  Basically, I had to resort to “space-trucking,” as my one co-worker put it, in order to start generating money.  I was, initially, very disappointed; I didn’t get this game to buy and sell commodities.  But, if I have to do it so I can bounty hunt later, then I’ll suck it up and do it.

What I didn’t expect, however, was that I found “space-trucking” to be incredibly fun.  Sure it is tedious, but, for some reason, I didn’t mind it and actually enjoyed it.  Even though you are hauling goods from one space station to another, you get to see amazing sights as every system is different.  This gets turned up a notch when you get into rare trading which requires you to travel to far away systems which, at a minimum, much be over 120 light years away.  Depending on how far you can jump at once, you may end up visiting 10 different systems along your route.  If you don’t have a fuel scoop, you will get to explore those systems more as you will need to find a space station to dock at so you can refuel.

A picture of my Eagle, with a custom paint job, which I use for combat
A picture of my Eagle, with a custom paint job, which I use for combat

What all this “space-trucking” leads to is the ability to either improve your own ship or to buy another ship.  Each ship can only be upgraded so much, so there definitely will be a time when you will need to buy a different ship.  This allows you try out new things.  If you want to get into bounty hunting, you can buy a fighter ship.  If you want to explore the galaxy, there are ships better equipped for that.  Of, if you really like “space-trucking,” you can buy a larger cargo ship and continue delivering goods.  Currently, there is no limit on the number of ships that you can have, so you can have a ship for everything.  I do have plans to buy several more ships, but right now I am switching between rare trading on my Type-6 and bounty hunting with my Eagle.

Have you tried Elite:Dangerous?  If not, you should definitely check it out and let me know what you think by leaving a comment and/or sharing on Twitter.


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