There’s light at the end of the tunnel for me now in Elite Dangerous as I’m only a few jumps away from Sagittarius A*… or should that be dark at the end of the tunnel since technically light can’t escape from a black hole? Either way I’m close!
Being right in the Galactic Centre means there’s a whole lot of stars surrounding EVERYTHING so the lighting of your surroundings is lot more constant now. And having the band of the Milky Way around you completely really does feel like a whole new place to explore simply because there’s just so many stars around you. For players choosing the exploration and mining vocations this area between Colonia and Sagittarius A* does seem like good pickings as there’s plenty of star systems to scan and mine. Refueling your ship is never going to be a problem either with the only real issue being the time it takes to move your goods back to a station to cash in.
Approaching the system where the station Explorer’s Anchorage is based I’ve found it’s been handy to have the extra fuel onboard my ship because during the final stretch there’s been a patch of brown stars. It was a surprise considering I’ve had it good for such a long time now but I’m thankful that I was well prepared and kept topping up the tanks as I travelled so was in a good position to deal with it. I might be learning something after all! When I finally find myself at the station it becomes pretty clear it’s just a test stop for the real part of the trip as there’s not much else to do here except prepare for the final stop. Travelling to Sagittarius A* is less than four light years away so it’s not a taxing trip for any vessel.
Arriving at Sagittarius A* and you can’t help but notice the supermassive black hole sitting there in front of you. It’s not really “black” as gravity is warping light around it to produce something akin to reflections; it’s a really cool effect. For comparison Sag A* seems like a combination of Gargantua: the black hole from Interstellar and the wormhole from the same movie. At first it seems much tamer until I skirted a little too close to it and my ship massively overheated causing more damage than the last three weeks of my travels. Safest way to escape when your ship is overheating? Make sure your exit vector is as close to perpendicular to the object you are leaving. It can be really hard at times figuring that out in 3D space but if you target and align it correctly in your radar (or use the external camera) it’ll help get to safety faster. After that screw up I had to jump back to the Anchorage for repairs and reassess my approach to visiting it again for my screenshot “proof”… it looks like it’s a bit of a tradition in the Frontier Forums to get a selfie to prove you made it here so I had to do it! Regardless of all that I was rapt that I finally reached my destination and scored a couple of rare Xbox Achievements in the process too.
In terms of hitting my Elite ranking I’ve still got a little further to go and hopefully the return trip will fix that up for me. I almost screwed myself again up after visiting the installation Event Horizon which is located in the same system as Explorer’s Anchorage; there was a random engagement and I accidentally shot at a friendly ship. A brief stay at the megaship detention facility Grim Pioneer and I was back on my way home. Before turning back to Colonia I’m going to take another detour again and check out the Great Annihilator and it’s twin black holes which is a relatively tiny 2700 light years away. It doesn’t add too many more jumps to my route but does ensure I get to spend a little more time in the Galactic Centre scanning my heart away.
Hopefully with all the extra scan data I can accumulate it’ll get me to that Elite ranking and I might also spend a few credits to buy and specialise some faster ships to let me make these trips again in the future. Or maybe I should change vocations for a while and see if I can work towards that covered Triple Elite ranking… that’s a grind and a half there for sure! 😉