11 December, 2014

ELITE Dangerous: Home Sweet Home (Earth)

Hard to believe mankind has actually already landed the Huygens probe here on Titan.  In ELITE, this station orbits lazily between Saturn and Titan.
Here is another installment picture dump from ELITE: Dangerous.    Prior installments here: 1 and 2
Gamma is now live, and while there is still testing, the whole Galaxy is open, and there are to be no further wipes.   So this is effectively a 'head start' for backers, but I am using it to make a few quick visits, and of course, the first place to go on my list was 'home':  Our Solar System. 
I had arrived after 82 LYs in my trusty Hauler ship (think white U Haul van, no frills, carries stuff, has a long range gas tank when stripped out) and parked at the station near the moon, Titan (above) to refuel.  Unlike EVE, in this game there is fuel, and you use it up even just in-system!  I didn't want to run out between Mars and Jupiter for example!    Now that I was gassed up, I went on a tour:  (recommend clicking the pics for the best views)

Lets start from the outside - in.  View from Charon and Pluto.   The sun is indistinguishable from brighter stars in the night sky without the HUD.   This what the New Horizons probe would see right now, as it was awakened after its 3 billion mile journey this week in real life.  I like that the sunlight off Pluto is very dim too.
Never knew Neptune was blue, or had rings.  Lined up to have the Milky Way as the backdrop.

Uranus spins on its edge, and has that one thin ring (seen top down here)  Yes I realize now that this is almost the same shot as Neptune, but was taken a day apart, I swear!
Moon of Rhea, Saturn and ring edge-on in the backdrop.

Enceladus, another very small moon, and I almost crashed my ship as these ice rocks were invisible until the last second.  It was a very dark ring of Saturn, and this moon was IN the rings.  I thought it was a bug.  Turns out, there are several moons that are in rings (and are the cause of).  Advantages of having an astrophysics brother!  You've seen close-ups of rings and rocks in the mining installment, so lets move on to Jupiter (below)
Jupiter has ice in its rings apparently.. lets get closer..

I went further in to the visible Jupiter rings, and the close-ups show they are made of semi-see-through ice.   The ice chunk in the foreground was spinning towards me and hit my ship.  Some folks strip the Hauler of shields for more cargo, I am glad I didn't here!  (Pleiades in the background??)

Another moon, Europa, which they say is covered in ice that is over liquid water.   I realize in this pic that I recognize the Big Dipper, because only here do all the familiar constellations 'line-up'

No AT-AT's or Tauntauns on Europa.. though when 'Planetary Landing' is implemented, I'd love to get close to some of those craters and mountains..

Mars.  In the lore, Mars was terraformed by Arnold in 'Total Recall' some corporation in the 2270s.   You can see a really thin blue atmosphere at the horizon.  This is the polar ice caps.  In previous ELITE games, there was lots of bases on the surface and cities in glass domes and so on.  Will come back in the expansion for sure!  "Kohagen, Give these people Air!"

Because of where the orbits lay, Mercury was on the same side as Mars, with Venus and Earth on the other side of the sun.   This close to the sun, the glare from my dash is very bright.  Are those air vents from a 1982 Toyota?? :)

Venus.  100% chance of clouds.
'Dark' side of the moon.

Rounding the moon to see the earth and Lincoln Station.  The bright horizontal lens flares you see around earth are NPC ships in Supercruise.   Very busy.  Glad I am here in PVE-mode, because rumour has it that in PVP mode its Gank-fest 2014 on all the tourists coming to see the solar system.  It sure is nice to be able to toggle it on and off at whim (really it just puts you in your own phase)

Norway, Sweden, Finland Denmark.   Cassiopea and Andromeda maybe in the background?  Not sure.

Nice view from Abraham Lincoln station.  Hurricane in South Africa??

As can be expected, LOTS of NPC traffic inside.. here is a sexy-looking faction ship coming in, using all thrusters to avoid me.  Its mostly mirrored glass and is HUGE.   You can fly these, just never seen them for sale here in Federation space..

I could have taken a lot of pics of Earth, but honestly, it was disappointing up close, and the Dev's have said this is a placeholder for now, as obviously a lot of work is going to go into Earth, Mars, etc.  Since I know I am coming back for the Planetary Landing expansion, I will save it for then.  
So what now, given that there is no wipe? 
Heading to the Empire faction space.. their ships are amazing looking (see above) .. and here is a teaser of the kinds of stuff they paint on the sides of their stations:

'Hail the Emperor, Bask in His Greatness' embossed in gold, awesome! <preps mining lasers>

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