Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Federation GalNet news and analysis (at 31-Dec-3300)

Story Arc:

The high burden of welfare and the increasing costs of the military have led Federation President Halsey to announce an increase in taxation for the new year. Long held to be a problem due to the imbalance between frontier worlds and the core systems, this has plunged the President's popularity to a new low.

The frontier system of Sanna has already called for secession from the Federation in a powerful speech made by Congressman Marcus Albertson. Retaining the taxes and forfeiting the vote in Federal Congress has attracted a firm response and a Federation battle cruiser will shortly be deployed to help retain Sanna's membership of the Federation. Shadow President Hudson sympathised with Sanna, and pointedly called for lower taxes, welfare and bureaucracy.


The tensions within the centralised government of the Federation have stepped to the fore again. Individual systems that do not feel connected to the core worlds will watch Sanna with interest, wondering if they dare pursue the same desire to secede from the Federation.

They should look first to the independent worlds or the loose collective known as the Alliance to see what there costs would be. The local taxes no longer paid to the Federation would have to go towards local defence forces, local bureaucracy, and local business investment, otherwise the system would fall into decline as feudal or anarchy states.

Sanna has already attracted the attention of a Federation battleship, certainly not the return of taxpayer credits that they were looking for.

The Shadow President has given, if not tacit for support and encouragement for Sanna, then at least a used the events to advance his own agenda. One that would still be in place, no doubt, regardless of where the issues played out at Sanna fall. The call for conscription for the young to address the welfare and Onionhead issues of the day still remains un-costed, and does not take into account the young and strong members of the Federation that contribute and do not place a burden.

If the platform set out by the Shadow President advances further then he might well find the conscripted are sent to frontier worlds to hold the Federation together.

Link: GalNet news archive

Independent Leesti for Equality - system dominance

The cluster of rare trading up around the Old Worlds of Lave, Zaonce and Leesti are having a rather tricksy side effect on some of the fun that can be had in those areas. If you want to go bounty hunting then you've got an interesting challenge on your hands.

Take Leesti as an example: the dominant faction has just hit 99% control of the system and is about to enter into a boom/expansion phase. That's great until you want to do some bounty hunting, as I was trying to last night. Just about every ship belongs to the dominant faction, and they don't like it when you go after their own.

After a couple of attempts where every ship in sight turned on me, and the penny finally dropped, I decided it wasn't worth the time, effort, and repair bills. Many of those at wanted had 200 or 400 Credit bounties and showing these were first timers as a result of my actions.

An interesting side effect of the dominance and economy reaching critical mass for other Commanders to take into account.

Yes I could have tried to be more subtle, but I was in a "make it go boom" kinda mood. The Old Worlds are moving into off limits for the light entertainment variety of bounty hunting.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Diary #1: 37 tonnes of gold

"So let me get this straight." The steel glint in Stannel's eye showed he hadn't yet made his mind up. This was going to be a test.

"You took a mission to deliver 37 tonnes of gold." I nodded, wondering where he'd found out about that escapade. I thought I'd buried it.

"Ran out of time making the run to an isolated station in the arse end of nowhere. Pissed off those so called 'legit' business partners by stealing their goods, and then got caught not once but TWICE trying to fence it." I nodded again more slowly, unsure where this was going.

"And by those thrice damned zealots as well." A flush of embarrassment tried to rise onto my cheeks.

"Well for a slaver you sure know how to build a reputation." That struck deep, following on so quickly. I struggled inwardly to keep control while he remained motionless, watching, waiting.

I took a deep breath: "Former... slaver." Then a pause to let the implication of those words sink in. "And I may have taken some bounty from those zealots that... stray from the light."

A tight smile broke slowly across Stannel's face. "I have some need of that kind of attitude. Lets talk."

Monday, 29 December 2014

A polite letter from docking operations

A fresh pilot complained bitterly of the need to land at a station dock and point in the correct direction. This is the response from the support team:

From: docking.operations@services.gilmourorbital.tauceti
Having trouble lining up on the landing pad there Commander?
Just so you know all of the ships have standardised service points that allow the support crews to turn around your ship maintenance requirements. 
Refuel quickly? Cargo loaded in a flash? Repairs done in a jiffy?
All possible because you, the pilot, take the small time and effort to line up on the landing pad, and pointed in the right direction.
Thank you for your skill and assistance in helping us help you.
At your service.
The station support and operations teams.

Well that was mightily polite of them.

I do hope they get the air and waste connectors round the right way the next time that particular pilot docks.

Federation - story arc catchup

Story Arc

A narcotic plant discovered in the independent system of Kappa Fornacis has led to the blockade of the system by Federation forces, with President Jasmina Halsey citing concern over the effects of this new drug called "Onionhead" on the young and impressionable.

The fleet action led by Federal Admiral Vincent is engaged in the prevention of ships entering and leaving the system, while the farmer's leader Georgio Algeria has called on support from the free thinking against the oppressors "If the Federation doesn't like it then it MUST be cool".

The Federal bombing of the drug crops has had a sharp negative impact on the social media, directly affecting the President's perceived popularity. The act of distancing herself from the actions of Admiral Vincent, and denying that the bombing was a presidential order, has drawn sharp criticism from Shadow President Zachary Hudson who has pointedly separated the execution of law enforcement from the drafting of laws and policy making.

Going even further the Shadow President has used his congressional speech to call for the return of conscription, with his own military career as an example of how it would benefit the lazy youth of today.


It must be the doldrums between election years.

The Federation President has triggered the blockade of an independent system in order to tackle the problems of the youth of today, and no doubt to show action is being taken to the concerned middle class. In doing so she has tripped over the oldest degree of separation: politicians set the objectives and exit criteria, while the military plan and execute the operations needed to achieve those objectives.

The intervention by a politician in the operational decisions of the military, and then withdrawing that support in what, on the face of it, appears to be based on falling popularity, will be seen as faltering and indecisive leadership in some quarters.

It doesn't help that the Onionhead farmer's leader sounds like he is sampling his own wares, though the drugs themselves must be making quite the profit for someone. The battles raging about Kappa Fornacis are being led by top of the line Anaconda and Python warships, and CMDRs of the Federation of Pilots drawn to the fight are finding this unexpected resistance disquieting.

The recent incursions by the Empire into independent systems must have struck a nerve among the hawks in the Federation, with the Shadow President openly calling for a return to conscription. Expect voices to be raised more shrill over what is happening just across the border, and calls for an increased militarisation of the Federation.

So far the battles between the Federation and Empire are in proximity only, but could escalate into "by faction proxy", before falling into open warfare. Has the touchpaper been lit?

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Rebel secrets - Day 10 Slave uprising at Sorbago

In pursuing more intel about the uprising I have taken my eye off the ball. After failing to find a strategist who is prepared to talk, then intercepting rebel transmissions became the next logical step.

Reaching out to one of my contacts gained during my times as a slaver, to decrypt the transmissions, will hopefully reveal more. The slave trade was a dark time for me and I do not look back on it proudly.

External events move too quickly though for me to stay involved however.

Video link (YouTube)
Duration: 12:59

A conversation with General Evans - Day 6 Slave uprising at Sorbago

Day 6 of the slave rebellion at Sorbago. An unexpected connection with Mastopolos Mining.

The slaves have taken over most of the mines on the surface of Sorbago A1, while the combat in orbit is deadlocked into the 6th day. The swarm of vessels compete for control and any advantage, no matter how large or small, is fleeting and soon slips away. If combat does not contain answers then it is time to look elsewhere.

To the commanders. The leaders. The strategists. We need to meet.

We need to talk.

Video link (YouTube)
Duration: 12:43

The routing of Boudica - Day 4 Slave uprising at Sorbago

Day 4 of the slave rebellion at Sorbago. Senator Torval's capital ship Boudica has engaged in the pacification of the slaves.

A more personal report. I find myself drawn to the battle.

The combat in Sorbago continues unabated. Despite the weight bought to bear by the Imperial Senator Torval's forces, the independents continue their uprising.

Torval does not define the Empire and I will not blindly follow a conflict driven by the selfish business interests of a slaver.

As a commander of the Federation of Pilots it is time to make a difference.

Video link (YouTube)
Duration: 4:38

Combat report - Day 3 Slave uprising at Sorbago

The slave uprising in Sorbago has attracted Imperial interest. The forces of Senator Torval have been sent to assist in control of the slave uprising, however questions are being asked as to whether this is a business interest or the honour of the Empire at stake.

Visiting the system shows that there is open conflict, contradicting the news stories widely reported in the news media. Both Mastopolis Mining Corporation for the Empire, and the Liberals of Sorbago continue the civil war as proxy.

The Commanders of the Elite Federation of Pilots have shown an active interest in both understanding why the slaves have chosen to revolt, as well as support for the Empire in the form of the Senator Torval's suppression of the rebellion.

The battle continues. Sides have been taken, The reason for the conflict and open hostility is not yet clear...

Video Link (YouTube)
Duration: 5:42

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Empire - story arc catchup

Story arc

The Emperor Hengist Duval has fallen gravely ill and the line of succession is unclear.

Having shunned the life extending drugs available to the nobility, and disinherited his son Harold for participating in drug excesses that have taken their toll, this has left the Emperor's grand daughter Aisling Duval without a clear line to the throne. While she does openly talk about her reformist views towards slavery, this is not welcome in many quarters.

In an attempt to provide a legitimate heir to the throne the Emperor is to marry his sweetheart and recognise their illegitimate daughter Arissa Lavigny. This is allowed by Imperial law, though the 30 day period before the wedding may be a challenge to the Emperor's ailing health.

The outspoken Senator Torval, whose riches are based on her slaver business interests, has openly criticised the attempts to ensure the throne remains within the Duval family. She has also supplied ships of the line to ensure the continued peace at the Sorbago system during a slave uprising.

Senator Patreus has embarked on his interests in the independent systems: supporting a rebellion that did not gain traction in Jera, and also calling in on the debts of Durius for arms provided by Patreus. That Patreus is popular is clear, and he has spoken out to say that succession should be determined by power and not family.

With the Sorbago slave uprising crushed, Torval has voiced support for the idea that power should be the basis for succession.


The Empire is faced with a choice of a drug addled son who has been declared "unsound of mind" along with his grand-daughter who openly talks of dismantling the practise of slavery within the Empire. Or the late attempts to shore up the claims of the daughter of a noble lady tumbled in the Emperor's youth.

The Emperor's failings in ensuring the continuity and strength of the Empire are there for all to see.

That the Senator's Patreus and Torval are openly critical shows the contempt that they hold for the Duval line, though their own power struggles driven by their business practices, as arms dealer and slaver, are also in plain sight.

Senator Patreus has stepped out as an early candidate to start a new dynasty within the Empire, as a popular choice, though whether he is able to step up and take the best interests of the Empire at heart (rather than his own business interests) has still to be seen.

It has been commented that a populist choice has more in common with the way that the Federation elects its leaders, falling far from the Empire's traditions.

Make no mistake, although the political manoeuvring in public appears to be gentle words, there is a sharp knife here ready to gut its victim after one wrong move. Who holds the knife, where it points, and who will push it bloody deep is still to be seen.

The fate of the Empire is at hand, and something as simple as naively believing in the Empire may still mean supporting the losing side.

Greetings Commanders!

I've always had a passion about space and what the future holds. This blog is about Elite:Dangerous, a game recently made as a modern day sandbox exploring this galaxy and its 400 billion stars. Now it has been officially released with a long running story arc that will be revealed on a daily basis.

Recently I've been involved in the Beta development of the game, and from its early beginnings on Kickstarter. The game has already moved me to put together some videos about how I've engaged my imagination in playing this beautiful game.

Over the coming months I'm looking at putting together some more videos. I'd also like to expand on the GalNet news feeds that delivers the story arc to the players - with analysis, asking questions, and linking the larger story back to my activities and play within the game.

You might not always agree with my choices, or like the things that I'm saying, particularly if they are about a game faction that you've chosen to support. Like all good science fiction there is a chance to reflect on modern day actions through the lens of good writing, and highlight the moral choices that we all make on a daily basis. Please keep the comments constructive and engaging though, this isn't a place for trash talk!

Posts that are about the game or this blog will be highlighted with a "meta" tag, otherwise I'll try to mark posts with terms relevant to the game.

Think big, play in the detail!