A Commander’s Year

With the start of a new year, i thought it was time to take a look back at the old one. It seems like such a long time ago since i started with a Sidewinder and 1000cr. In fact i can’t actually remember very much about where i started and what i did. Trade like mad most probably.

To be honest this isn't just about the last 12 months but the last 13. By the time Elite Dangerous 1.0 had arrived, i had already got the Cobra and was working towards an Asp which i managed to get near Christmas. From there is was a matter of working up gradually from Python to Anaconda. It sounds so easy now but it was a long climb. I certainly don’t envy any of the Sidewinder pilots flying to and fro around Cleve Hub.

After some time without a real home system i eventually settled in a system slightly of the beaten track called Lwen after being told about a decent trade route by a Cmdr friend. Little did i know that Lwen would become my home for the next six months or more. Sadly the commander who told me no longer appears to log in. I’d met him while delivering cargo to an outpost and the new Cmdr had taken a shine to the Asp i was flying. I gave him some cargo to boost his credits. I still do help new Cmdrs if i can… and they want help.

Over the months i managed to move from an Asp to a Python and then onto an Anaconda. I must admit that i don’t miss those days. It was a total grind not helped by the fact that i tend to go after things 100%. If i want an Anaconda i work until i GET an Anaconda. Somehow you forget the monotonous slog of trading when you get the shiny new ship. Then the grind starts again to upgrade the ship! For all the talk of the powers within Elite Dangerous, the real power remains the credit. It’s the main driving force in the galaxy regardless of the politics you follow. We are all slaves to it.

The Anaconda opened up the way for better money and trading. By the summer i had started to go after the Elite trade rank, which took an immense effort, and then after that the combat rank too. Looking back it was tough and i probably should have had more of a break… but i didn't! Currently the only Elite rank left to get is the explorer which i intend to take my time getting and ENJOY the journey.

One thing the Elite rank certainly changed was where i called home. Lwen had been a great base during the early months but it seemed logical to move to Shinrarta Dezhra after getting the Elite rank. The system’s location in the galaxy along with the discount and excellent facilities made it an obvious choice as a new base system. It was sad leaving this first home but as with life, Elite Dangerous seems to have its chapters. We end one chapter and move onto another.

Exploration was one area that i came to late. My first big trip was in April and only went out for a few days. Another trip in May was a bit longer and then in September/October i had a big expedition for several weeks out that was cut short by scan data problems. A voyage out again is long overdue and this time i’ll take the Anaconda and a few buggies… i mean SRVs.

One thing that has not changed over the last year is my independent attitude. I don’t support any faction/power and i doubt i ever will. My main reason is to retain freedom of movement. I do have my sympathies but these remain cloaked. I did align with a power briefly but found it far too disruptive and left quickly. I may take a look at powerplay at a later date but at the moment it doesn't offer anything to entice me. Likewise with the PvP world of Close Quarter Combat. I’d rather work with another Cmdr than try and kill them.

Speaking of Cmdrs, i have to say that i have been very lucky over the past year in that the vast majority have been great. Only on a couple of occasions have a encountered any idiots and this was usually during a community goal when they seem to come out to play. Both times i’ve managed to escape unharmed — either by force or flight.

Regardless of roleplaying excuses, i still maintain that a bad cmdr = bad person. I’m not talking about pirates per se but the extreme cmdr who kills regardless. They enjoy causing suffering. They get off on it. A ship takes credits AND time to get — often time that the cmdr has short supply of — so getting kicks from killing just seems pathetic. I have killed Cmdrs when forced to defend myself but i have never enjoyed it. Quite the opposite in fact. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often.

What should not be forgotten however is that most Cmdrs are a pleasure to meet. The Elite Dangerous community is just fantastic.

So 3301 has been and gone. What do i see for 3302?

The end of the year saw me working the trade route again to afford a Cutter — a ship that i’ve be looking forward to owning for some time. I managed to get the money and i fortunately had the Duke rank. Now i’m in the final stages of trading to boost the bank account. A few days and i’ll be heading onto the next adventure. Next is probably the Fed rank progression missions, some exploration later in January and then… well who knows?

The season two of updates look great with a commander creation being one I’m really looking forward too. Customisation is something i’d like to see more of covering the ships and modules, to the pilots themselves. More decals too so that cmdrs can really create their own look.

We all have our own path to follow and story to tell — it’s one of the strengths of Elite Dangerous — but i believe my 3302 won’t be as hectic as last year. Not as much grind. As for other cmdrs, I’m certainly going to enjoy reading / watching / hearing about the adventures via Twitter, Youtube, etc. If you see me out there in the galaxy… say hello!

Hopefully there will be more adventures over the coming year that i can write about here too.

Fly safe Cmdrs :)

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