Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Elite Dangerous Pilot Academy : Coming in Hot


This article we'll be talking about another pilot trick to maximise that profit bottom line and measuring our success in Credits/Hour.  With limited playing time afforded by modern life, sometimes it really matters how much you can get out of your game time.

I decided to game the game and see how far I could push the limits using a Lakon-6 as a freighter for local cargo runs.  In this article I'm going to talk about landing hard and fast.

Using back-of-envelope calculations, I was earning 800Cr/T in both directions. I wanted to maximise returns and during any optimisation process its important that you instrument and profile. My trip was 30Ly but I had to do it in four jumps, so the first step was to pay for a slimline refit and upgrade the FSD to maximise range.  Some notes on the slimline refit can be found here: http://spaceplaneblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/space-planes-blog.html

Now my cargo run was a double jump taking about sixteen or seventeen minutes, so 800Cr/T at 104T comes out as 83,200 Credits per trip and twice that 166,400 credits for the entire round trip.
I'm going to ballpark my profits at 10000 Credits per minute or a hundred and sixty-six credits per second.

At 166 Credits per second ... I suddenly wanted to save a couple of minutes off that travel time, as the extra flying around is costing me 20,000 Credits so I started coming in hot.  

I started coming in really hot. Landing so hard and fast that my shields took a bump every time. As your pilot skill improves, you'll get better at those fast landings. And sure enough I shaved a few minutes off my round trip - at four round trips an hour and found myself nearly 100,000 credits an hour richer.

So then a thought hit me.  I'm wasting 8T on shields, that could be cargo. Ok my hot landings are going to cause a few minor repairs to the old undercarriage but I'm making four round trips and hour - eight trades at 800Cr for 8T... Having shields is COSTING me 51K Credits and hour in lost profits from cargo trades.

Now I'm spending ~10K on repairs an hour but earning an extra 51K so its a net profit. I can even ease off the gas to reduce that repair bill.  Slowing downs costs me 180Cr/second but the repairs are a little more than that so its more efficient without shields if you slow down a little.
I'm still coming in as hard and fast as I dare and occasionally the knocks and bumps cost me, but with practice you can really leverage those profit margins through smart piloting.

With shields, you *do* make more money by slamming your ship around. Although its not without some serious risks.  Mind your speed in a station or built up area!

As always, fly safe.