Full Disclosure: I have been playing Elite: Dangerous on and off for the past couple of beta patches, I knew how to land my ship and that was about it then Patch 2.04 arrived, so i decided to take a look at the new features and undertake my first contract. I also streamed the “research” over at http://twitch.tv/flobname
Elite Dangerous now has a full set of tutorials that include traveling and basic combat, going thru the on-screen prompts provides you the basic shortcuts for landing gear. Finally I could learn how to make the perfect jump (finally!).
Now that I knew how to Navigate around the star systems and make the perfect jump (remember to always ensure your speed is set within the blue zone of the speed meter on the HUD), I decided to load into the full game. Upon loading into the full game I came across two menus I had not touched previously. The system map (detailing the system level location.) and the Galaxy Map. I then exited this map to look at the contracts.
Getting my first contract
In the spaceport services I loaded up my first contract, a courier mission that would provide me 2,000CR (in-game currency). The trip would take me 8.2ly (around 8 years into the future) I then located the zone on my system and galaxy map, undocked and took off.
Making the first Jump
Upon getting outside of station I retracted the landing gear and began to move as quickly as possible away from the station’s orbital mass. This is a critical element as you can only jump into hyper space once you have gotten clear of gravity. I then started a long journey to the distant planet system, 32 minutes later my ship stuttered and went into an emergency shutdown, I waited patiently while the ship cooled down. It seems this courier job wasn’t for the sidewinder. With only 4 minutes left on the clock I attempted to rush to the planet, during transit i went into the mission menus starring at the mission log, There was no missions on display, it seems I had failed the mission. Looking at the cargo bay menu the item had a warning sign icon next to the item, placing my mouse over the warning sign it simply read “stolen property”, i decided to jettison the “stolen property” into space. I thought to myself “let the contact get there stuff back. I’m not going to bother with this anymore.” I then ventured into the self destruct module and killed my character. I was presented with two windows. One offered to provide me a loan to get a ship back with all the parts, the second offered me a free ship but with no preloaded modules. I decided to pick the latter and start afresh.
The New Contract
I decided to give the contract courier mission another go, this time i decided to pick a place nearby with no timelimit. The contract drop off zone was 0.20ly (around 1 year/s ahead) I then undocked as before and ventured to the new part of space. As I came out of hyperspace into the location I noticed a sidewinder flying around the station, I approached the docking bay requesting landing permission, I was about to land when all of a sudden I heard a loud BANG. I had come under attack by a possible ganker in a no fire zone, I took chase and started firing back at the target getting 2 fines (50cr each), the target ventured off into hyperspace and I safely landed with the items delivered. I had earned my first contract in an Elite game and felt like a bad-ass.
Once you master Elite, It’s something that will stay with you. You have to be thinking about so many different aspects and with a huge open space sandbox, the world is yours. I am certainly looking forward to future sessions of Elite Dangerous.