Saturday, 14 February 2015

Elite Dangerous Outfitters - Freight Asp


Hi Space Cadets!
I'm Cmdr TwingTwang and welcome to the outfitters.

In this article I'll be reviewing the Asp, stripped down for carrying freight on local runs.  This ship isn't elegant, its not loaded and its not packing.  But its got the highest cargo capacity you can manage and its going to earn the highest return you can in the shipping lanes.


The focus of the build - without doubt - is maximising the cargo space. The full 128T cargo capacity has been utilised and even shields are sacrificed to trade every tonne it can.

The Internal compartments read:
E6: Cargo Rack (64T)
E5: Cargo Rack (32T)
E3: Cargo Rack (8T)
E3: Cargo Rack (8T)
E3: Cargo Rack (8T)
E2: Cargo Rack (4T)
E2: Cargo Rack (4T)

This 128T Capacity is the best you can get. The lack of size four compartments means that adding a shield is going to cut 32T into you capacity and leave you at the 96T mark - and you could fit this in a Sixer for under two million credits, like this:
The sixer will fit 96T with a shield generator for a fraction of the cost of the Asp.

To make the Asp freighter work for you, you have to load the full 128T otherwise you might as well be using a Sixer for the credits-per-hour you'll manage. There are other reasons to run a 96T Asp - it might earn the same as a Sixer but you get enough hardpoints to see off trouble. However, in this build I'm running every tonne I can to maximise earnings.

Bouncing an unshielded Asp around a station, or the occasional ding against a smaller ship while launching will cost you thousands of credits for even what feels like a tiny scratch. For this reason, you'll be flying very carefully indeed.

To minimise my launch and dock times I've fitted Class-A power couplings to my freight Asp, which gives me the highest boost rate you can get. Boosting will get you out of the mass-locked area around the station will get you jumping system as fast as possible, and the rapid boosts will get you out of trouble should you get interdicted.

Secondly, I've switched to an A2 power plant. The Class-A power plant has the best heat management and still supplies enough for the ultra-efficient ship.  Without big beams, or having to supply power to shields, the A2 reactor gives everything I need.  I could get the same power from a 3D or 4E plant, but the A2 is lighter by a fraction and a lot more heat-efficient that the others.

Every other internal component has been fitted with a slimline Class-D upgrade to keep the mass down and conserve every credit on fuel.  I'll be earning nearly 20M credits in this ship before I can trade it in for a big T7, and lightening the load means I'll be able to keep my long range and/or think about fitting more hardpoints.

The Freighter Asp comes in at just under eight million credits. I can make a trading run in twelve to fifteen minutes and I'm expecting about 300K per trip so the freighter Asp should be fetching 1.2M to 1.5M per hour.

The only upgrade I really want right now is the extra thrusters, which will increase the top speed and make the launch and dock manoeuvres a little less of a pain.  With its high tonnage and cheap thrusters, the freighter Asp does not handle well. This earner is making over four hundred credits a second, and the reduced flight time the bigger thrusters would get would get me closer to the 25M target needed for a T7. Bigger thrusters would also make me feel a little safer in the spaceways too.

Another option is fitting military alloys, again to keep that precious cargo safe whether you are running unshielded or staying around to fight. Hull repairs are expensive enough, and having to pay top-dollar to repair military alloys is going to sting the wallet - maybe not as much as paying insurance though.

Overall I like the freighter Asp, although every trip in it is a wing-and-a-prayer adventure that throws the safety regulations to the void. Its not the right way to fly an Asp - seriously, take optional extra safety features and use it as a Sixer with epic guns and shields.   I've flown quite a few runs in a freighter Asp, but it's not super comfortable and I'm going to reconfigure it with shields, guns and thrusters so that I feel a bit more control over my destiny.

Have you had experience in an Asp? Got some hints and tips or a Ship or Pilot Skills article you'd like to see? Get in touch.
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I'm Cmdr TwingTwang and this was the outfitters.
As always, Fly Casual.