Over the past few weeks I had been participating in my first Community Goal in Elite: Dangerous. It was to survey systems and planets, and to turn in the cartographic data to the mission hub. The good news was that no matter how much you contribute to the CG in the end, you got fair market price of the carto-data you sold. The bad news is that this was a CG with no interim yardstick. Exploration is one of those mechanics that doesn’t pay out until you’re done. You can only sell data 20ly from the system you’ve scanned, which isn’t a lot, but it does mean that if you want to collect a lot of carto-data, you need to travel pretty far afield.
I had maintained a steady presence in the 70% contribution bracket throughout the month-long campaign, turning in data every once in a while. The payout for the 70%ers was about 2m credits; at the time, I had about 400k credits, so a “free” 2m — plus whatever I could sell the cartodata for — was a pretty OK deal.
As I surmised, however, other people who were participating in this CG were probably way the hell out there for the majority of the four weeks, having traveled outbound for two weeks, and then inbound via a different route for the other two. When I logged in at the end of the event to see how I did, I found that I had received the consolation prize for “just participating” — a measly 175k credits.
My friend CMDR Benjeth had been rolling in the credits, however, mining lucrative trade routes while I was out staring at lifeless planets. I need to get in on some of that action, because my current scheme isn’t getting me anywhere.
So this past weekend I decided to suck it up and get into the Powerplay system. I had been holding off during the CG because pledging to a power can make your life difficult in space controlled by other powers, and I needed to travel through a lot of different systems. But with a need to find “gainful employment”, I wanted to join up with a power that fit my play-style, but wasn’t (already) a lost cause.
Arissa Lavigny-Duval was (at the time) currently in first place, but she was running a CC debt; she had more command capitol going out than she did coming in. Her goals are very combat-based, and while I like combat OK, I don’t really have a combat-capable ship right now. She’s also Empire, and I have no real reputation with Empire. I had originally be focusing on Federation, because that’s where I had started, but I didn’t want to sign up with President Hudson-Not-Really-Robert-Patrick-We-Swear. He’s kind of an a-hole, and his goals are also all combat oriented.
I opted to go with Alicia Winters. She’s in second place (last time I checked), and her goals are all courier-based. That means a lot of picking things up and transporting them to different locations, like propaganda from a control system to a system in preparation. Not glamorous, but also not all that difficult; but very time consuming, as some of the control worlds are >100ly away from some of the systems that were under construction.