After a lot of trepidation playing Elite Dangerous I’ve finally decided it’s time to take on a big challenge and I’m on my way to to the center of the galaxy! It’s not going to be an easy trip; it’s over 20,000 light years taking hundreds of system jumps and a great many hours of travel. Because of the distance and time required for the trip I’m planning on a small detour to Colonia which is a region establish in the game a couple of years ago. It’s also close to Sagittarius A* (the galactic center) so makes it very helpful on that final leg of the journey.
To get there I’m taking advantage of the Colonia Connection Highway to find safe ports along the way that I can refuel and repair. It’s also a good way to cash in any exploration data accumulated so far and avoid losing a pile of cash if I lose the ship. Due to me using one of the larger ships (Anaconda) I’m limited to where my ship can land so outposts are off the cards however stations and asteroid bases are a safe bet.
My first stop on the trip is the Mammon Monitoring Facility which is an asteroid based in the Mammon system. It’s also one of the first systems I’ve visited that’s located in a nebula so there was hope of seeing some new sights on arriving. Being over 1000 light years away meant it was also a good test of my ship in seeing if it could make the distance.
It was probably a good thing I looked at this part as a test too because I roundly failed by almost running out of fuel a quarter of the way there. I hadn’t factored in that there might be some considerable distance between stars my ship could refuel at so my relatively tiny fuel tank wasn’t up to the task, or the distance. So tail between my legs I returned to my home base at Lowry Ring and replaced a cargo hold and passenger cabins with two massive fuel tanks that more than quadrupled the amount of fuel I could carry. I also downsized my fighter and vehicle bays to help make room and reduce weight while also making space for an AFMU (Auto Field-Maintenance Unit). Thought I’ve rarely carried one in the past I thought there was value in having one for the trip to help perform emergency repairs on systems damaged over time. I’d later find it handy after a few mishaps when using the fuel scoop but there’s never enough to repair everything and I lacked the materials to synthesise more. Lesson learned!
Once my modifications were complete I set off for Mammon again. 31 jumps in total which had taken about 2-3 hours of play as I was scanning every system I arrived in chasing that precious data. The extra fuel tanks did the trick too and there was nothing I couldn’t reach when taking the fastest route. Reaching my destination I was rewarded with a blue-white star that bathed the system and all its planets in a pastel blue light. The asteroid base was a cool stop too as it is situated inside a planet’s ring meaning there’s a few rocks to avoid on your way to docking. Makes for some really impressive screenshots!
After refueling, restocking and repairs it was onto my next destination which is another asteroid base in the Lagoon Nebula. It’s 107 jumps total to get there but it’s easy to judge my progress as the nebula itself is clearly visible against the stars. The closer I get the bigger it is and the more incentive I have to keep going. I’ve still had my share of screw ups misjudging my fuel scoop runs mostly because I try to cut too many corners but progress has been steady and I’m already halfway there. With luck I’ll reach my next stop during the weekend and be around 1/6 of the way to completing the long haul. 🙂