Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

LaveCon 2017

LaveCon 2017

I couldn’t stay at the Sedgebrook Hotel for this year’s LaveCon, as my budget was rather limited, so instead my sons and I jumped into the car early Saturday morning and made the long drive from Maidstone in Kent, up around the southside of the M25, up the M1 to Northampton. We arrived a little after 9.20am. The hotel is on Country lane the “other side” of Northampton town from the M1, so it is quite rural.

Checking in

We walked into the main hotel lounge/bar where for the past few years, the convention reception desk (manned by volunteers) was located. Neither of my boys (Alistair 17 and William 15) had been to a convention before, so they were rather excited to get their badges and lanyards.

After looking at the event schedule for day, we decided to sit in on the welcome introduction in the main hall. The Lave Radio presenters welcomed everyone and ran through the list of activities and events, with the associated banter and heckling “MUG!”.

In 2015, the LaveCon event featured a live Episode of “Dockers” in which a David Braben-like character would smash a 1Direction mug every time the audience shouted “mug”. As a result, “for the mug” became a trademark phrase of the Hutton Truckers player group. There’s a lot more to the story and the Hutton Orbital guys can tell it better, but no LaveCon is now complete without some yelling of “MUG!”.

When the presentation was complete, the first thing we did was go out to the convention desk and sign up for a 12pm game of Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator. More on that later…

The LAN Room

As we had a little time to kill, we wanted to explore, so I took the boys to the far end of the hotel block where the Local Area Network gaming area was set up; the LAN Room.

Last year, I ran a virtual reality shipyard in the LAN room, so this year it was a bit strange being spectator!

My older son soon found the multiplayer projection screen which was running Gang Beasts! and Speed Runners. Alistair is seriously competitive, so he jumped straight in.

William was enticed to have a go at being a fuel rat. What's a fuel rat? The fuel rats are an in-game group within the Elite universe who will fly to anywhere in the galaxy to rescue ships that have run out of fuel. Their motto is "We have fuel, you don't". Playing on an X52 setup much like my own, William performed a real-life in-game rescue of a stranded commander. Flying six jumps out to a stranded Cobra, he manoeuvred around the star to leave super-cruise in the same location and deliver enough fuel-limpets to get the other ship safely back to a station. If you want to know about joining the fuel rats (or getting rescued by them) their website is here.

Before very long, I had to cut them short, as it was already 5 minutes to 12pm and our Artemis game was due to start. We made our way to the “top” end of the hotel in the older part of the building and sat down in the Artemis room.


Imagine the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Now imagine it manned by uncoordinated buffoons, with no clue what they are doing. Then you’ll have the general idea of Artemis.

There are six or more ship positions. The Captain, who can see everything, but can do nothing. Then the Helm, Weapons, Engineering, Science and Communications who can carry out their own isolated tasks, but cannot see the whole picture and rely on the Captain to command and co-ordinate.

"Captain Will" took his position with brother Alistair on weapons and myself on Helm, with other attendees on the remaining stations. This year, there was a lighting rig connected to the game, so raising shields turned the room blue. Red alert caused flashing red lights and so on. Very atmospheric!

We were fairly disastrous in our mission, having survived, but running out of fuel and leaving our starship helpless and adrift after all our space stations were blown to dust by space pirates and only managing to kill our pursuers by circling a minefield. It was a lot of fun though.

Bar snacks!

By the time the Artemis game was done, it was gone 1pm so we headed to the bar area and ordered food. The boys had a game of pool while we waited for lunch to arrive and then tucked into some very nice fresh-made pizzas and an angus steak burger, both with chunky chips.

William took a few slices of his pizza home and had them hot for breakfast on Sunday!

The lounge area had leather sofas and coffee tables all over, with a huge selection of board games for anyone to play. The room also had tea and coffee machines with a fridge full of soft drinks underneath. We didn’t go thirsty! The lounge was full of people at all times, chatting, gaming and socialising as well as propping up the bar.

We finished lunch just before 2pm, so we headed into the main hall for the Frontier Q&A presentation.

Frontier Reveals more about 2.4

The boys and I got a seat near the front and we waited for the fun to start. Which it did almost straight away.

David Braben (who did not attend) had a personal message for the LaveCon attendees, but no amount of sweat from the back room. Could get it to play! We either got picture or fluctuating audio, but not both at the same time. After five or six attempts and a long delay, Ed and Zac decided to skip it and start the proceedings. We never did hear what Mr. Braben’s message was… ...the men behind the curtain looked stressed!

Edward Lewis announced that those attending would receive three new ship skins exclusive to LaveCon. These were for the Python, Type-9 Heavy and Imperial Cutter.

After some clapping and cheering, the Frontier panel were introduced by Ed and the presentation began. The video is available here.

Sandro Samarco kicked off with a talk about the coming Thargoid menace in 2.4.

We will be getting new weapons and modules to combat the Thargoids. But it won’t just be about pew-pew! Sandro Samarco said (from my notes) that we would need to study and explore their ecology, science and technology. That they would be truly ALIEN in their responses to us.

He then flashed us some concept art and renders of new devices and weapons. I can only theorise, but the first item looks like a defensive utility module item, so maybe a Thargoid EMP shield? The other weapons looked like rocket or missile launchers; high velocity projectiles that would not be defeated by EMP, I would hazard to guess.

Thagoid EMP defence?

Hull repair limpet?

Anti-Thargoid missile or rocket launcher?

Sandro confirmed that we would be getting hull repair limpets in 2.4 and a new sythesis for making them while out in deep space.

Adam Woods announced a of quality-of-life feature for the menus in 2.4 - filters for the inbox. Another screenshot appeared to show a four-part chained mission.

Steve Kirby announced that there would be a new search & rescue menu in stations, where salvage and recovered cryo pods can be handed in for reward. This means they are no longer black market items.

Finally Sandro announced some changes to crime and punishment for 2.4, first the Sidewinder exploit will be removed. Now when you die with a bounty on your head, the rebuy will always be the cost of your most expensive ship. So if you've been naughty in your Corvette, dying in a Sidewiner will now cost 30M CR, not 300!
If you kill a human player, in addition to the normal bounty you'd get for an NPC, you will also have a Pilot's Federation bounty added to the tally.
And a little good news; if you have been destroyed and lack the cash for rebuy, you can now sell your other ships remotely to make up the rebuy cost.

After Frontier's presentation, there was then the annual Q&A session.

Because of D-d-d-d-david Braben's message overrun and the general enthusiasm in the hall, the Q&A had barely started at 3pm when our second game of Artemis was booked! So the boys and I sneaked out of the hall early. I knew from the past two LaveCon's, no amount of squeezing would get any more info out of Frontier's panel, so I wasn't too worried I'd miss anything. I had this confirmed later by another CMDR.

Second Game of Artemis

When we arrived at the Artemis room, it was of course deserted! Another person joined us, an author who was doing a reading for one of the writers panels. Her name was Anna Smith Spark.
After a few minutes, the Artemis game organisor managed to tear himself away from the Frontier Q&A and get our game started. Anna told us that she had no experience of computer games, but we did no better or worse than we had done in the earlier game. We ended up adrift and out of fuel....

Where's my Krait?

The CMDR who managed the Artemis sessions was busy building a paper spaceship during our game and I recognised it as a Krait. He made a small one first with A4, then proceeded to use copious amounts of whiteboard paper to construct a 18" version (seen part completed below).

I asked him what it was for and he explained that he presented a Krait model (in one form on another) to Frontier every year to remind them that his favourite ship from the original game was still missing from Elite: Dangerous.

This year it turned out to be Ed Lewis's turn to get ambushed which was why he didn't look happy to have been gifted with the model!

Game Cab

Back down in the LAN room, while Alistair was busy slaying everyone at Gang Beasts (did I mention he was competitve?) Will was trying out the GameCab Elite setup. GameCab are a UK company that makes custom desks for gaming. Their website is here. The desk was really cool, with side-pods, a pull-out keyboard rack and built-in chair vibration and Will claims "very comfy", so this is on my "man-cave" list for when I am not broke!
They were at LaveCon last year, so I'd seen the setup before, but I thought it would cost £1,000s but actually the basic setup was £400, which did surprise me. That's less than a mid-range video card! Anyway, this year they had a new USB keypad with custom Elite keys. Drop landing gear? There's a button for that!

The games room

Between the main lounge and the VR room, was the games room. Every RPG and board game you've ever heard of was laid out in there and quite a few I've never heard of! Another thing they had was glitter tattoos. Yep, LaveCon has everything! William and Alistair both got them, while I demostrated my poor eyesight with Elite Darts. Two "nil point" and a "100" scored! Terrible.

Virtual Reality Room

William wanted to try out some VR games with motion controllers, as we have a rift but no motion controllers. Alistair had a crack at Elite on one PC while Will gave Job Simulator a go.

Alistair had a successful mission, but found watching William playing job simulator more entertaining!

Saying goodbye

We had been sat behind Kate Russel at the Frontier presentation and Will wanted to catch up with her to get a selfie. He'd met her at the 2014 Elite: Dangerous premiere event, where she'd been great and in 2015 I'd managed to have her sign a copy of her book, "Mostly Harmless" for him, which he loved. We managed to catch up with her and Will got his selfie.
This time Kate wasn't armed and Will was a bit taller! Liek I said at the start, the Elite community is great.

2.4 "The Return"

The Thargoids are coming!

Frontier have announced that the next update to Elite: Dangerous will be released in Q3 of 2017 and will be titled "The Return".

This new update will be bringing the Thargoid race back to the Elite universe with a vengeance! They will require new weapons and new tactics to survive and exploration to discover their origins as well as research to discover their weaknesses and study their technology. The human race is not prepared…

The teaser trailer Ed Lewis showed us on the E3 LiveStream this evening showed an Elite: Dangerous logo being overflown by a number of octahedral alien craft and then being slowly corroded by a green glowing crystalline fungus. All very atmospheric and creepy!

It's wabbit human season

Ed topped off his stream by globally broadcasting to all players of the game that the Thargoids are back!

"This is an urgent message from Commander Edward Lewis. There are forces out there who do not want you to know the truth, but I have to make this public. I found a ship in HIP 17044. A Federal Capital ship, shot to pieces. They were carrying the data the Feds stole from Professor Palin. The crew is dead, but they discovered something important about the Unknown Ships. There is a beacon in the wreckage broadcasting a message, over and over. It proves what we suspected. They are back. And the whole galaxy needs to know. The Thargoids have returned."

To find the wreck site and beacon...

Travel to HIP 17044 and fly to the second planet (around 1,800 ls) then set a heading for the Asterope system, some 52Ly away but continue in super-cruise for a further 10,700ls until you see the unregistered comms beacon and distress call.

When you drop into normal space, you will see the wreck site. There are a destroyed fleet of Federal ships, some on fire and a green mist in the space around them. Spooky..

"Why the damage doesn't look too bad from out here!"

Mega Ship Locations

UPDATE: 28th June - twenty seven mega-ships now discovered

I have now visited twenty of the documented mega-ships. I will continue to visit the remaining ships as game-time allows. If you hear of any I've missed, please post the details in the comments.

Also, CMD Sektion has created a list of transcripts for all the discovered Generation Ships datalink logs, so if you don't want to fly there but still want to hear the generation ship's stories, view the uplink logs here. I'd recommend visiting the ships though, as seeing the huge derelict ships with the voices of long dead ghosts coming from the audio logs are something no transcript or screenshot can convey.

What are Mega Ships?

The mega-ships are huge, station-size ships that float or fly in deep space. While they have existed in Elite lore for some time they were only added into the Elite:Dangerous game at the 2.3 "Guardians" update.
They come in nine types; Tanker, Cargo, Asteroid Miner, Flight Operations, Prison Ship, Science Vessel, Passenger, Dredger and Generation Ship and those that have been found (so far) are all over populated space and out into deep space. So far nobody has seen a Dredger....
The flight operations type are dock-able (you can land a ship on them) and generally have small and medium pads. As my exploration ship is an Anaconda, I haven't landed on any as yet.
The generation ships were colony ships, launched from the centre of the bubble centuries ago before the FrameShift drive was invented, the crew intended for their children or grandchildren to be the colonists on distant worlds. There were thousands launched, but only a handful have so far been discovered. Those found all appear to be the ones that the colonists died and the mission failed. Those that succeeded may well have founded human colonies we have yet to discover.

Generation Ship Atlas

System: Charick Drift
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: 3.4Ls from main star. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "no brakes" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 28.6 ly

Naphtha Class Tanker

System: Okinura
Ship type: Tanker
Dockable: Yes
Location: 318Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 32.5 ly

Hercules Class Bulk Cargo

System: Oduduro
Ship type: Cargo
Dockable: Yes
Location: 854Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 40.11 ly

Alcatraz Class Prison

System: Milscothach
Ship type: Prison
Dockable: No
Location: 1,385Ls from main star in orbit around Milscothach 1A
Distance from Sol: 42.68 ly

Generation Ship Lycaon

System: Alaunus
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star to Alaunus 10, then set destination to the Horae system, but stay in supercruise in Alaunus and fly a further 22,000Ls away from Alaunus 10 until you see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "contagion" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 52.62 ly

Generation Ship Thetis

System: Nefertem
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: fly 1,934Ls from main star to Nefertem 6A. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "madness and ghosts" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 53.46 ly

Lowell Class Science Vessel

System: Wolf 485A
Ship type: Science vessel
Dockable: No
Location: 9.67Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 58.75 ly

The Midas

System: Zeus
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: 7.89Ls from main star in orbit around Zeus 1.
Distance from Sol: 62.53 ly

Generation Ship Venusian

System: Kitae
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star with destination to the Zephyrus system, staying in supercruise in the Kitae system and fly a further 2,500Ls until you see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are four ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "boarding party" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 63.12 ly

Fisher's Rest

System: Aldebaran
Ship type: Flight operations 
Dockable: Yes
Location: 2,513Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 66.65 ly

Aquarius Class Tanker

System: Maya
Ship type: Tanker
Dockable: No
Location: the tanker is in orbit around Maya 5 an earth-like world with an ice ring, 530Ls from the main star.
Distance from Sol: 72.57 ly

Collinson Class Asteroid Ship

System: Gateway
Ship type: Asteroid miner
Dockable: No
Location: 299Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 78.62 ly

Bowman Class Science Vessel

System: Asgaa
Ship type: Bulk Cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: 11.9Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 90.05 ly

Bellmarsh Class Prison

System: Pohnpet
Ship type: Prison
Dockable: No
Location: 242Ls from main star orbiting Pohnpet 2A
Distance from Sol: 92.04 ly

Riker Class Prison Ship

System: Imiutli
Ship type: Prison
Dockable: No
Location: 1.72Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 95.71 ly

The Harmony

System: Yum Kamcabi
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: 1,235Ls from main star
Distance from Sol: 104.99 ly

Generation Ship Hyperion

System: Lalande 2966
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: fly 2,300Ls from main star to Lalande 2966 4, then set course toward the Yemaki system and fly a further 7,300Ls until you see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "the promised land" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 121.53 ly

Generation Ship Odysseus

System: Ross 859
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star to the secondary star which is 52,000Ls away, when you reach the secondary star target Ross 859 B 1, you should then see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are five ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "our new eden" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 165.98 ly

Generation Ship Pleione

System: Hez Ur
Ship type: Bulk cruiser
Dockable: No
Location: Fly from main star to the fifth planet in the system, when you reach Hez Ur 5 target the Teuten star system for a heading and fly a further 8,403Ls in super-cruise and you should then see the generation ship POI on your contacts. There are four ship log uplink nodes, which you can scan with a datalink scanner from 200m away. These reveal audio logs titled "the chromosome incident" which tell of the crew's fate.
Distance from Sol: 174.01 ly

The Gnosis (pronounced "no sis")

System: Varati
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: 822Ls from main star.
Distance from Sol: 213.21 ly

Survey Vessel Pandora

System: HIP 21478
Ship type: Unknown
Dockable: Unknown
Location: orbiting 1st planet
Distance from Sol: 289.44 ly


Survey Vessel Victoria's Song

System: HIP 17125
Ship type: Unknown
Dockable: Unknown
Location: orbiting 5th planet with purple rings
Distance from Sol: 354.94 ly



System: HIP 22460
Ship type: Unknown
Dockable: Unknown
Location: [Permit locked system]
Distance from Sol: 362.01 ly


The Cete

System: Col 173 Sector LJ-F C12-0
Ship type: Unknown - Professor Melville's mega ship
Dockable: No
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 1,232.09 ly


Sagan Class Tourist Ship

System: IC 1805 Sector AV-O C6-6
Ship type: Passenger
Dockable: No
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 6,194.64 ly



System: Syreadiae JX-F C0
Ship type: Cargo
Dockable: No
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 12,082.88 ly


Foster Terminal

System: Coeus
Ship type: Flight operations
Dockable: Yes
Location: find out when I get there...
Distance from Sol: 22,027.98 ly


Rusty boat

Rusty boat

After nearly five months of not being able to play the game, I managed to dust off my exploration ship, The Ozymandias, and headed out into the black to see the Mega-Ships that were added to the game since I last played.

Jumping onto the Oculus rift with my newly returned-under-warranty GTX 1080 after so long was a "holy crap" moment.

My exploration vessel has a a ship launched fighter and that is the best way by far to get "up close and personal" with the mega-ships!

I am planning to visit these ships and document their location here. If you know of any I haven't visited, please post their locations so I can update the list! Because the mega ships are located up to 12,000 light years away from the heart of the bubble, some will take a while to get to, so the article will expand over the coming week or so. I'm hoping to get a Dolphin Blueprint underway too if I get time.

I would like to say thanks to the guys of Dead Men Walking who have been very supportive in the last few months offering hardware support as well as moral support. Thanks.

Community Elite Dangerous Trailer

This amazing new trailer for Elite shows off both the game (post 2.3) and the amazing new camera.

The trailer was created by the (clearly talented) CMDR Siledas using entirely in-game footage from his own game.

Hats off to you commander! Job well done.

What's in a name (plate) ?

UPDATED 11:36am

There is another BETA related controversy brewing. In the March 21st LiveStream, Frontier mentioned that the nameplates for ship hulls would be a purchased item.

What’s it all about?

In the next major release of Elite: Dangerous, a new feature will be ship naming. You will be able (in station outfitting) be able to set a name for each of your ships, which will appear on your HUD. You can also set a ship registry ID, which is your station traffic control call-sign. This name will also appear on other CMDRs HUDs when they scan your ship. This name will only appear on other players HUDs if you pay for a nameplate! The controversy is that most players assumed (right or wrong) that the ship name would appear on the outer hull of the ship by default, at no charge.

On yesterday’s LiveStream, Frontier instead said that the exterior nameplate would cost extra!

Now does that mean space credits or real-world wonga? It would appear to be the latter and that has got more than a few commanders hot under the visor!

CMDR Zeeman: I'm normally happy to support the FD store, but I'll be boycotting this, sadly.


CMDR BongoBaggins: Other CMDRs cannot see the name of your ship on their scanner unless you've bought a nameplate. That's not cosmetic DLC, its locking game features behind a paywall. It's opportunistic, mean-spirited and churlish, and I won't be naming my ships.

Back in the Design Discussion Forum (where ideas were spit-balled during the design phase of Elite) the agreed details on ship names were:

Ship Naming

  • A ship can be given a name by a commander
  • A ship name can only be registered at a reputable space dock
  • There is a fee to register the name
  • Names are not unique
  • Although ships have unique registration numbers that can be shown
  • Ship names can be changed using the same procedure
  • By default a profanity filter is applied to all ship names (separate from chat filters) “starring” swear words out

The impression at that time was that the naming would cost credits in-game, but now Frontier have said it will be a cosmetic DLC purchase from the Frontier Store.

The most common reaction is disbelief:

CMDR Oryana: I wouldn't mind just a free basic name plate with generic font and no bells and whistles. I'd then probably pay for cooler fonts, or other colors or symbols next to it. The fact that I have to pay to essentially stencil on some letters on my ship is a joke.

Well respected streamer and member of the Elite community Obsidian Ant had this question:

If I buy a paint job for my Asp, I can use it on all my Asps. If I buy a name plate for my Asp, can I use it on all my Asp's? And if not, what happens to the nameplate when I sell that specific Asp?

Personally, I feel that a basic nameplate should be free and that more elaborate stencils should come with a charge, much as each ship has a free basic paint-job and further cosmetic customisation is paid DLC. As for not showing your ship name on other players HUDs unless you've bought a name-plate, well if that is correct, then it's an exceedingly poor and short-sighted decision.

Frontier have not responded on the thread. Frontier responded today at 11:03 (around an hour after I published this article!)

Edward Lewis posted this statement
Hi everyone,

There’s been a number of questions from Commanders regarding ship naming and how ship name plates will work so we wanted to give you a little more information about how these features will work when they’re released.

In-game ship naming

When you have named your ship in-game, your ship name will appear in multicrew grouping and in your HUD. In addition to this, in beta 5, when other people scan you, or target you in space they will be able to see your ship name in their UI. This feature will be available for all players of Elite Dangerous (both base game and Horizons players) including Xbox One, upcoming PS4 release and PC Commanders.

Cosmetic Ship Name Plates

The ship name plates will offer an added layer of cosmetic personalisation for Commanders wanting to wear their name with pride, much like paint jobs and other cosmetics currently available in the store.

Name plates will be made available in themed packs. These packs will contain three designs, each of which will be available in three colours: black, white, and grey. This makes a total of 9 nameplates per pack. After purchase, each pack will be available for use across all of your ships (Ship launched fighters and SRVs don’t have name plates) and each pack of 9 variant plates will be coming into store at just £2/€2.5/$3. This means that purchasing one pack of name plates will allow you to use that style across all of your current and future ships, at the same time and rename each individual ship as many times as you like. We believe this flexibility offers Commanders great value and is a great way to help support the continued development of Elite Dangerous.


So what do you think? Is this a micro-transaction too far? Or have Frontier made the right call?

EDIT: In light of the updated information provided by Ed, I would say that while the lack of a free basic name-plate is a shame, the low cost point for having name-plates across all ships answers most of the complaints. That and the clarification that the ships names WILL be visible to other players on their HUDs.

I just played 2.3 BETA and my head is spinning

No really.

Holo-me seems like one of the most comprehensive avatar creators I've ever seen on a PC game.

I also appreciated the fact while designing my new "look" I was sat in a new chair on the Anaconda bridge, giving me totally new perspectives on the cabin layout.

I will have to try out a few different ships!

The Oculus makes the experience, shall we say somewhat novel, as I can look around my "head".

I haven't quite captured my pure "Mr Potato Head" look, but it's pretty good for a first try.

Sorry for the lack of posts

I know there hasn't been much activity on my blog of late. This is due to some personal issues.

The site isn't dead. It's just resting. It'll be fine in a moment.

I hope to be posting again by the time the 2.3 BETA ships.

Thanks to all.

Ship Backbone - Jump range

Looking at the ship backbone by jump range, it becomes obvious which ships are the "explorers".

In the chart I am comparing stock maximum jump range (without any engineering).

Comparing jump range

The thing that stands out here is that there are three gaps of almost three light years in range between the top-end ships; a gap between the herd and the basic explorers, then a gap between the basic and top-end explorers and then another huge gap to the king of jump range, the Anaconda!

Personally I think those gaps need filling, probably with Passenger ships and medium traders..

The Ship Backbone

Frontier have often referenced something they call the "Ship Backbone" a mythical construct where the ships from the game are placed. This backbone is supposed to have a complete and reasonably well distributed range of ships from least to best in all the various categories. But what does this backbone look like? Are there gaps? Does the game have a slight hunch?

I thought I would lay out the backbone to see. By rating the ships on various scales (max speed, best FSD range, max armour, max cargo) I would see the backbone visualised.

So here is the backbone of ships (2.2) by maximum speed (not boost and without any engineering).

Comparing max speed

What we see with max speed is a number of gaps and clusters. The max boost speed chart changes the layout a lot, with the Cobra Mk 3 jumping to top place. Interesting that the Clipper and Orca are the fastest of the large vessels.

Comparing max speed

In my next post, I'll look at jump range and cargo capacity.