My third expedition was a rather roundabout trip that started off as an investigation of the NGC 7822 nebula (an interesting line of stars that are visible from the vicinity of the North American Nebula). I ended up seeing a little more than that though…! (January 3303) Continue reading →
My second expedition was to the supergiant star Antares. I’d been there before in my Cobra Mk III when ED was first released, but I didn’t have an Advanced Discovery Scanner then and it was harder to plot a route to because the plotting distance limit was about 100 ly. This time around I was better prepared, heading out in a new Keelback with an ADS and fighter bay! Continue reading →
I’ll be posting my Elite Dangerous Exploration Galleries here so I can have them somewhere safely archived (and more accessible than Facebook or G+). So here’s my first proper exploration trip to Deneb and the Sadr Nebula in my Asp Explorer! (December 3302). Continue reading →
And now for something completely different – I have started streaming! I now have my very own Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/evildrganymede and I’ll be streaming Elite Dangerous there on a semi-regular basis (check the twitch page or my twitter for updates)!
I’ve already finished my first stream this evening, and you can now see the whole thing on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i94h6R1x8wk . Highlights include a few neutron star boosts, finding a moon that orbited very close to the edge of its gas giant primary’s ring system, and a big landable icy planet. Plus an explanation about how planetary rings work, and a few rants about the inaccuracies of Elite Dangerous :).
So if you’d like to join me as I explore the galaxy in Elite Dangerous, please check out the twitch page and videos and Follow me there to be notified about when I’ll be streaming again!
While I was looking at the side branches of the French Arm (I’m still working on it!), I found a group of systems that were 7.769ly from the nearest star on one of the side branches. Which got me to wonder – what happens if a system in the 2300AD setting is slightly over 7.7 ly away – between 7.7 to 7.8ly? Can people still reach it without tugs or multiple drives/tuning? Do they have to “push the drive” even for such a small increment?
Let’s have a look at how “pushing the drive” really works (using the MGT rules). The rules say: “Pushing a stutterwarp drive past its discharge limit: 1–6 hours, Very Difficult, range increased by Effect x10%.” So when do you start “pushing the drive”? I’d guess no later than 6 hours before it gets to 7.7 ly (otherwise you wouldn’t be able to finish before hitting the limit).
Getting into the nitty-gritty of the game engine, I guess theoretically an engineer could spend a lot of time on it (reduce by two timesteps to 10-60 hours – so break out the coffee and stims!) to knock the DM penalty from DM-4 to DM-2. I’d imagine most engineers would have skill level 2-3 (DM +2 or +3), and Int or Edu of at least 9-11 (DM+1) – let’s just say that a competent engineer should be able to get a DM+4 between their skill and characteristic. So if they spend 10-60 hrs on it they’d be rolling 2d6 against difficulty 8 with a net DM of +2, which would give them a 72% chance of success. Though granted, it’s unlikely they’d be able to do the task for 10-60 hours (on their own at least) – at worst I think they’d just do it at Very Difficult with 1-6 hours and have all the DMs cancel out for a 42% chance of success. It seems to me that a competent engineer could reasonably be willing to spend at least 6-24 hours to push the drive to get a 58% chance of success with no possibility of destroying the ship (though there’s still a 42% chance that he’ll destroy the drive, so it’s probably not something that would be tried regularly).
Exceptional Failure only occurs if the Effect is -6 or less (I think that’s what the rules mean – not less than -6, since -6 isn’t on the table otherwise), so they’d only have a 2.8% chance of exploding the ship if they didn’t take more time to do it (Very difficult, no DMs, 8+ required) – otherwise Exceptional Failures can’t happen if there are net positive DMs. Though Average or Marginal Failures still at least disable the drive (I’d imagine the drive would just explode but not necessarily destroy the ship with it, and the the ship would suddenly drop out of stutterwarp).
If the roll succeeds, then there’s a decent chance that the range is increased by 10-30% (the chance is lower for the 40-60% increase, since that would require bigger effect – though spending longer on the roll would make those more likely) – so theoretically a drive has a reasonable chance of being pushed to 10.01 lightyears (maybe up to 12.32 ly if the engineer is very good and very lucky)!
So the question really is whether all this is even necessary to go slightly over 7.700 ly. If it is, then I guess it’s not going to be very likely that anyone would want to be regularly heading out to systems that are even 7.71 – 7.80 lightyears away since there’s a significant chance the drive would be destroyed/rendered inoperative (even though it’s at most about 1-2% further in range). Maybe risk-taking explorers would do it, but it wouldn’t be a regular route. Or maybe a 1-2% range increase is OK, but the drive MUST be checked over/recalibrated/retuned at the destination (after discharging) before it can be reused? I’d be more inclined to go with the latter option – it adds possibilities and doesn’t seem unreasonable.
Extending the drive range
There are at least three options (possibly more) to increase the range of the drive: Continue reading →
Now that my website is settled in its new home, I can finally start a new 2300AD project here. This time I’ll be moving on from the 2300AD Realistic Star Maps and going back to the original Near Star List!
The first thing to do is to make the data available. I’ve transferred the original NSL (oNSL) table from 2300AD into digital form and incorporated the extra data for Kafer Space from the GDW Kafer Sourcebook – and as an added bonus I’ve also thrown in the Backdoor system from Operation Backdoor that allowed the humans to contact the Ylii (Operation Backdoor may or may not be official canon, but I’m throwing it in anyway) :). This represents all the xyz data for the stars that was originally provided by GDW.
The xyz data is presented here as they were in the Near Star Lists – I haven’t rotated or recalculated anything, I’ve just transcribed them (though I have reordered some of the stars in the list to be consecutive to their companions for clarity). The list itself is in a CSV format that can be imported into Astrosynthesis, and the canonical arms are also provided in that format – the Backdoor route is also there. Keep in mind that this is not consistent with the Realistic Near Star Map that I’ve produced on this website (IIRC the coordinates may be flipped on the realistic map too) – but it’s all internally consistent at least.
The oNSL stars are listed with a Catalogue Number (Cat_no) between #230001 and #230749, the Kafer Sourcebook stars are #230750 to #230787, and the Backdoor brown dwarf system is #230788. So if you only want to use the oNSL stars you can ignore or remove the stars from 230750 and up (or just use the 2300AD_original_oNSL.csv in the zipfile below).
While there are some real stars in Kafer space in the oNSL (e.g. Gamma and Lambda Serpentis), the Kafer stars and the Backdoor system listed between #230750-#230788 are entirely fictional. Almost all of these fictional stars are within 7.7 ly of other stars (as shown in the screencap above), which means that there are no “dead ends” in Kafer Space – this is quite unlike the distribution of real stars in the oNSL (I would imagine that this was a design oversight when the new stars were being added – realistically I think the stars should be more spread out, with more being inaccessible).
You can download the CSV data from the link below. As usual, please don’t redistribute these files yourself – just link back to this page if you want to spread the word! The zipfile contains the following:
– 2300AD_original_Kafer+oNSL.csv (the full oNSL+Kafer Sourcebook xyz, cat_no, name and startype data table),
– 2300AD_original_oNSL.csv (just the oNSL data),
– The French, American, and Chinese Arms in a csv format that can be imported into Astrosynthesis,
– the original_2300AD_NSL+Kafer.AstroDB file that can be opened in Astrosynthesis.
Next time, we’ll start exploring some of the lesser known side branches of the original 2300AD near star map!
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