Website news and rank grind update

I’ve updated the underlying OS on the website to latest Ubuntu Server LTS, so WordPress is now running on PHP 7.0 (and may indeed be a little bit faster than it was before). Otherwise, same nginx and mysql, so we’ll see.

And the rank grind goes very well, I’m sitting at 89% and don’t intend to go any further tonight. The remaining 11% and a rank mission should be easy to achieve tomorrow, and I should still have time to sell the Asp Explorer and get an Imperial Clipper (and probably an Imperial Courier as well, but that’ll just sit in the station I buy it until the 2.2 update goes live)

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Imperial rank grind update

Quick update: Long day at work reduced me to a single 2-hour play session, at the end of which I was basically falling asleep in my headset 🙂

Long story short; 25% Lord (mostly thanks to a metric tonne of data transport missions, and a 200 ly smuggling mission I didn’t realise I had picked up; that netted me 2 million credits though)

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Fed up with trade grind? Try rank grind…

Having (finally) made it to step 7 of Masark’s Guide, and run a good few hours of loops, the trade grind was getting to me. I decided to switch over to Imperial Rank grind instead: what’s the point in having enough cash to buy all the Imperial ships if you can’t because you don’t have enough rank to buy/fly them?

Purchased the required Asp Explorer, and have been plugging away at the missions enough to have risen from Serf to (currently) Squire. My intention is to stop when I get to Baron (enough to purchase/pilot the Imperial Clipper), then I’ll look to return to the Trade grind in a Clipper at step 7 (faster, far more maneuverable ship with better cargo capacity. What’s not to like?)

Imperial Clipper
Mmmm… Imperial Clipper

FYI/BTW if you are a novice pilot in open play, for goodness’ sake don’t loiter on the pads in the Imperial rank grind systems. It becomes impossible to hand in missions sometimes due to pilots lingering in port, to the extent that I’m running to Baron in solo play… It may be a very solitary galaxy in solo, but you waste far less time waiting for the one medium pad in van Royen Vision to become available.

Update: Just emerged from a hellish long session but I’m Lord 7%! Only 93% (and a rank mission) to Baron and the Clipper… Doubt I’ll be able to do that in the two sessions I get of an evening after work (certainly not tomorrow), but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

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The (trade) grind is real

Ugh… So, my goals for E:D H were (I thought) quite simple: get all the Imperial ships. There were (I thought) only three (turns out there are four, the Eagle has an Imperial variant, which I do now own), and while I knew full well that you needed particular Imperial ranks to get them, I didn’t really think beyond that point.


Problem #1 really is that they need Imperial ranks. Grinding rank is easy enough, as long as you have a suitable ship to grind ranks in, which I didn’t. Well, OK, that brings us to Problem #2; getting ships means cash, and when it gets down to the core, Problem #3 is that getting cash means trading and running missions.

And the trade grind is real… I’m following Masark’s Trading Guide from Reddit (first one I found), and I’m in the mid-tier hell that is step 6 – shuttling Imperial Slaves about in a Type-6 Transporter for just enough profit to make doing it worthwhile. The real killer here is the jump in costs. Getting to the Type-6 was somewhat logical and easy. Given my existing fleet/cash reserves, I just traded in a Viper Mk IV for a Cobra Mk III, then ran the rares circuit until I could trade in the Cobra for the Type-6 – only took me an evening or two of a few hours; easy, I thought.

Ha! “Grind a million credits” to grind 25+ million is worlds apart (pun intended). The rares circuit had “multiple worlds” going for it (even if you were visiting the same ports over and over). Looping slaves is the most deathly dull thing I’ve had to do in a game (and I made it to Elite in the original game on the Spectrum)…



I’m currently sitting on a pot of just over 15 million after looping mostly the whole weekend (eye strain while in the Rift is what stops me from doing it longer than I currently can), so it’s 3/5 down, 2/5 to go… I will get out of the Type-6 as soon as I possibly can (and jump in a Type-7 for double the profits per trip). And I do get missions occasionally, which helps break the monotony (and means I’m a Serf with the Empire, so yay! Go me!).

All this for some pretty ship models…


FYI, I’ve noticed that while I’m playing in VR, the image in the “desktop monitor” is atrociously small and I’d not inflict it on a Twitch audience. It’s been said before by others able to express it far better than me, but you really can’t explain what VR is like, you need to experience it for yourself.

(All images were taken from a Google Images search and I suspect/hope they are “official” FD images. If not, I thank the “photographers” but cannot easily name you. Copyrights will be respected throughout though, so a “please don’t use my image” with suitable provenance will result in the image being removed)

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State of the Union address (or “where the bloody hell are you?”)

Been ages since my last post, so I figured I might as well post a “State of the Union address”. YouTube has become a dry husk for me, I just haven’t been feeling it for a year or more. Yes, I’m still playing Minecraft, and still enjoying it, but recording was ripping the soul out of the game for me, so I stopped. Will I return? TBH, I really don’t know (and if I do, it won’t be in any sort of a “live” way).

Twitch on the other hand appeals to me (again…), I can just jump on and do whatever it is I want to do, and if folks want to watch/hang out, they can. I can dig that. If real life/work will let me start down that path, I think that’s what I’ll do.

If you follow me on Twitter (what do you mean you don’t follow me on Twitter?), you’ll already know from my stream of consciousness on there that I have an Oculus Rift. I’ve played and 100% P.O.L.L.E.N. using the Rift – a thoroughly enjoyable experience that only made me feel a little bit motion sick once (I really don’t get motion sick… I’ve been in force 9+ gales in the English Channel in an inside cabin on ferries and the like and it hasn’t bothered me in the least, so that was something new), and I will recommend it until I’m blue in the face. Mindgames – do more in this “space” and I’ll love you guys forever.

I’ve now moved on to playing Elite:Dangerous Horizons (I backed their Kickstarter), and have to say that if David Braben didn’t design this game to be played with the Rift, it would surprise me. The single most comfortable Rift experience I’ve had – the in-game character model genuinely “feels” like an extension of your own body. If anything will convince me to restart streaming, it’s this… I started a new save recently and I’m currently in my Sidewinder making my way to Imperial space – 20 jumps to go. I really like the looks of the Imperial ships and will get myself one just as soon as my in-game wallet and rankings will permit it.


Made it to Imperial space! Sold all the exploration data I collected en route and ran a few data deliveries to get my initial standing with the Empire, then had another 20 jump journey to get to a known Imperial shipyard so I could purchase an Imperial Eagle. Happy as a pig in muck doesn’t really come close. Now I’ll just buzz around Imperial space until I have enough money (and rank) for the Imperial Courier.

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Ingress and TeamViewer – grey hatting (again)

TeamViewer 11 is bloody marvelous. There, I said it, and I won’t take it back! And one of its truly great features is it has Android host support; you can connect to an Android device and use it as if you had it in your hand(s). It’s beautifully responsive over all but the slowest of connections (and even then, I suspect if you were using a second Android device over say 3G to make the connection, they [TeamViewer] will have thought of that and will scale back the quality to keep up the responsiveness), and interestingly (for the Ingress player) Ingress works over this remote connection. Just think about that for a moment: Ingress and TeamViewer.

It makes for an interesting “experiment”: take a spare Android phone, have Ingress and TeamViewer 11 Host installed on it, and leave it charging somewhere like on your office desk where you just happen to be able to “hit” your desk portal 100% of the time, and where with a little bit of drift you can hit other portals. You can now hack your desk portal at any time you wish, no matter where you are in the world, using the TeamViewer Support client, and as long as your office building has reasonable security, you do not have to worry about your device being stolen.

When I figured this out, I asked my local team if they considered this “spoofing”? To a man/woman, they did. The view can best be summed up as “if the agent, device, and portal aren’t congruent, it’s spoofing”. I should hasten to add, I am in complete agreement on this, but I also think that this is going to be nigh on impossible for NIA to detect automagically, and that means you could abuse the suspicion to get players soft banned. That can be enough to screw up your Sojourner badge progress (as I know only too well).

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