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Thread: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

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    Red face Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Just wanted to share a great online gaming experience - since so many online gaming communities are horribly toxic environments.

    This weekend I decided to give Elite: Dangerous a try for the first time. I wasn't expecting much since I had played the Frontier - Elite 2 on the Amiga 500 back in the 90's and it was fun but overall my memories of it weren't spectacular. If anything, I thought maybe my son might enjoy the new version. So I installed it and gave it a look.

    I won't review the game here since it's a massive game and I've only played it a few hours over the weekend; although I will say that I enjoyed it far more than I expected to!

    What I want to share here is the experience I had with part of the online community within the game. I was genuinely surprised and impressed and it deserves some recognition.

    Here's what happened:

    I had made a long run on a courier mission which required multiple system jumps requiring me to top up my fuel at multiple points. It had gone fine and after it was all done I started to head back. I was system hopping along and because over confident, not checking the star types in the systems I was moving to. Without realising it, I hopped myself one step too far into a system with brown dwarf - a star that you can't take fuel from with a fuel scoop. I had enough fuel only for one more small jump and all the nearby systems were also brown dwarf systems and uninhabited. In short, I was up an interstellar stream without a paddle!

    I checked everything I could, looked at it from all angles, but no matter how I approached it the reality soon dawned that I was really stranded with no options.

    Now, Elite is a huge game with lots of details and so I decided to browse the internet in case there was some sort of system I didn't know about, or at least to find out whether I had to sit around and wait for my life support to run out, or else, end it early - and what then - would I respawn somewhere, and with what?

    It wasn't long before I came across a faction name I'd seen on some of the in-game missions boards - Fuel Rats. That seemed odd, but I found a web-page stating that if anyone in the game finds themselves stranded with no fuel, they could contact the Fuel Rats - a group of players - who would send someone out to refuel the stranded ship.

    That seemed surprising, or far-fetched, and I was only on my starter ship (not some hugely expensive mega-ship I'd invested time in), but I thought I'd test this out.

    I found a link to their Twitter account which there directed me to a web page providing a way to reach out for help - https://fuelrats.com/i-need-fuel
    It's an online chat-style interface with a bot that gets you to enter some basic info about your player handle, gaming platform and the in-game star system where you're stranded, and then guides you through some basic steps to shut things down. All the guides were very clear and well put together so that even someone brand new to the game could get it all done. It was all really clear, clean and snappy. It might be the best online support and response system I've ever used. No joke.

    Before I knew it they had identified two commanders/players in-game who could attend to me once I connected with them in game. I can honestly say that once I had linked with them online in-game it was less than a minute before one of them jumped in and started the re-fuelling process.

    The kindness and humility of the service was almost embarrassing.

    The guy who helped was super-friendly providing whatever help might be needed to ensure I was fine to carry on and also to help me with anything I might need to learn about the game to avoid getting stuck. Ridiculously friendly guy. I thought that being a beginner with a starter ship and not much to lose might not be worthy of the help to get going again, but there wasn't a hint of that, at all.

    Anyway, I stopped to chat with him for about five or ten minutes before there wasn't much left to be said and we parted ways. I was able to plot the course again, jump out, and get to my destination.

    Apparently the Fuel Rats were started by a single player six years ago and there are now tons of them who love to hang out online and help anyone who needs it. Without a doubt it was the single best online gaming community experience I have ever had. Incredible service offered for free by players for players that puts other professional, paid support services to shame.

    I've never had an online gaming experience like it and it honestly put a whole different tint on the game, knowing that there are players and communities like that making it what it is.

    Brilliant stuff, and what online gaming really should be.

    G.
    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were displaced and terribly inconvenienced.

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    It has always been a game of extremes. There are amazingly helpful people like that, and then there are the ones that will just plain shoot you because they can. There used to be a few star systems that you just didn't dare stray into playing on open. But then the game isn't called "Elite Mildly Risky", and the positive side more than balances it out.

    For me it was the player lead Battle of Lugh many years ago that got me. I don't usually do PvP anything, but that was special and the outcome did influence the game. Perhaps it helped to be on the winning side

    Hope you are playing with a HOTAS joystick and a VR headset for the full immersion.

    I just wish I had taken the plunge with combat earlier than I did. That's a pretty easy way to make money as well as fun.

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Fuel Rats!

    Yay...

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    ...Hope you are playing with a HOTAS joystick and a VR headset for the full immersion.
    Not even close! Keyboard and mouse baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I just wish I had taken the plunge with combat earlier than I did. That's a pretty easy way to make money as well as fun.
    I might try. I generally avoid PVP too. I've been running around the start ship so far but have enough to pick up either a Cobra MKIII or a Diamond Scout. Everyone and their grandma seem to recommending the Cobra...
    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were displaced and terribly inconvenienced.

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by Galant View Post
    Not even close! Keyboard and mouse baby!


    I might try. I generally avoid PVP too. I've been running around the start ship so far but have enough to pick up either a Cobra MKIII or a Diamond Scout. Everyone and their grandma seem to recommending the Cobra...
    Wow, hardcore controls! And that's from someone who hit Elite on the BBC Micro back in the day using keyboard

    I would start off combat in something really cheap like an Eagle as a second ship. There are some asteroid belts that are fairly well policed but have some baddies in them. If you follow the police ships about being *really* careful not to shoot the police then as part of a mob taking down the pirates is pretty easy and you still get payouts. Don't get greedy, it's annoying to see millions in bounties go up in smoke because you went for one more kill...

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    I too was rescued by the fuel rats, who then kindly explained fuel scoops and how to use them.

    Had the game for years and not tried PVP yet, I really should...

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Wow, hardcore controls! And that's from someone who hit Elite on the BBC Micro back in the day using keyboard

    I would start off combat in something really cheap like an Eagle as a second ship. There are some asteroid belts that are fairly well policed but have some baddies in them. If you follow the police ships about being *really* careful not to shoot the police then as part of a mob taking down the pirates is pretty easy and you still get payouts. Don't get greedy, it's annoying to see millions in bounties go up in smoke because you went for one more kill...
    Oh, now that's taking me back to the C64 days. Did the version on the BBC have the loading screen that showed while the tape was doing its thing? Definitely remember whanging the starter ship (cobra III?) by not matching rotation with the station.
    Last edited by DJNW; 18-06-2021 at 01:47 PM.

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by Galant View Post
    I might try. I generally avoid PVP too. I've been running around the start ship so far but have enough to pick up either a Cobra MKIII or a Diamond Scout. Everyone and their grandma seem to recommending the Cobra...
    Depends on your playstyle. As a ship, I love the Diamondbacks, along with the Viper (MkIV) and Vulture.
    The Asp is a good upgrade, as is the Fer-de-Lance. The Python was awesome until they nerfed it.
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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Depends on your playstyle. As a ship, I love the Diamondbacks, along with the Viper (MkIV) and Vulture.
    The Asp is a good upgrade, as is the Fer-de-Lance. The Python was awesome until they nerfed it.
    Was the Python nerfed? Not played for ages now, but even with plenty of ships to choose from I had a Python for doing missions as it doesn't need a large landing pad so could go to the small stations, but still had a decent jump range etc.

    But as for which ship... is your current ship nicely fitted out? I think last time I played from scratch I was going around in an A rated Adder for some time doing missions, before upgrading to an Asp Explorer. Which ship you go for is very much down to what play style you are adopting.

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Was the Python nerfed?
    A while ago, yes. Before there was nothing that could really beat it in terms of balancing firepower with manoeuvrability, armour/shielding, cargo and jump range. It was the ultimate all-rounder, and very good at most things. Then they nerfed it and the FdL became the better option.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    But as for which ship... is your current ship nicely fitted out? I think last time I played from scratch I was going around in an A rated Adder for some time doing missions, before upgrading to an Asp Explorer. Which ship you go for is very much down to what play style you are adopting.
    I think I use the FdL the most, but I probably have about 15 or 20 different ships all dotted around. I did start down the Engineers path, but it's such a faff and a grind getting things all specced up and sorted that I just don't bother. It's annoying that you have to go that far just to get something decent for playing the game.
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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    I think I use the FdL the most, but I probably have about 15 or 20 different ships all dotted around. I did start down the Engineers path, but it's such a faff and a grind getting things all specced up and sorted that I just don't bother. It's annoying that you have to go that far just to get something decent for playing the game.
    I did the engineering to get the Elite in exploration, the extra jump range makes a huge difference.

    The mats gathering was a faff.

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    I've not played in aaages, I think I still have it installed, it worth firing up and having a look at the new ships and features?

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    I've not played in aaages, I think I still have it installed, it worth firing up and having a look at the new ships and features?
    I do that occasionally. I always have to buy a Sidewinder or Eagle or something to get the hang of the controls again. Not so bad now they have docking computers that can exit a space station for you, but I used to worry about getting an Anaconda or Corvette out of the slot when I hadn't played for ages

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    I've not played in aaages, I think I still have it installed, it worth firing up and having a look at the new ships and features?
    I did that recently - I enjoyed the general improvements and shiny stuff.. then ran out of materials and realised I had a long grind for the next thing so gave up again.

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Yeah that's part of the problem, there's a lot of grind, but how else would they do it, if you just paid for stuff with real money or in-game money then loads would have it, but those that don't then have a disadvantage, it sucks either way...

    I might give it a shot when I get home again, now that I have the 3060Ti rather than the RX580 and the better monitor I might see how much nicer it looks with all the shineys on..

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    Re: Great Online Community Experience - Shoutout to Elite: Dangerous Fuel Rats!

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    Yeah that's part of the problem, there's a lot of grind, but how else would they do it, if you just paid for stuff with real money or in-game money then loads would have it, but those that don't then have a disadvantage, it sucks either way...

    I might give it a shot when I get home again, now that I have the 3060Ti rather than the RX580 and the better monitor I might see how much nicer it looks with all the shineys on..
    If everyone has it and there's no advantage player skill decides the winner. A much better method.

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