Second session: A reminder message tells me that the crew of the ship that’s busy mining away for me expect to get paid on a regular basis. But that’s OK. I can go to the local Resource station and sell some of my constantly increasing stash of iron, and there’s money in the bank to pay the minions.
Time to build a new ship. This one is going to be made out of Titanium (ooh!), thanks to my minions in the mining ship. It’s still a blocky industrial-looking piece of shit, but I’ve learnt some lessons and made some improvements. Being made of Titanium it’s lighter and less prone to fly like a brick or steer like a cow, and I’ve internalised the need for more power generation so the juice doesn’t run out while boosting across the sector. Plus I’ve added more amour and bought an extra gun turret from the equipment station (I got two for free as part of my startup package) and suddenly the big red warning icon at the top of my screen - telling me I’m helpless and pathetic and weaker than anything else in the region - has gone away!
Time to go exploring, right? I’m big and rough and tough now, and I know how to hyperspace in a hurry. Now, my local sector has three hyperspace gates going somewhere, but for now I decide to jump around the local area on the galactic map. At first I jump randomly into a couple of empty sectors and discover that they are in fact empty, and boring. Then I slow down enough to pay attention to the symbols on the galactic map. There are loads of gently flashing green dots indicating the presence of… something. But I also see a bunch of exclamation mark symbols, and when I click on one, it turns out to relate to some distress messages I’ve been receiving and ignoring. Hey, this sounds like a nice introductory mission, right? A chance to learn the combat mechanics.
So I jump into the sector with the exclamation mark. “Haha” say the pirates, “we fooled you with our fake distress message!” So I’m clicking on a target, working out the range, wondering what tactics I should know. As a result of these distractions it takes me a while to notice that I’m being mobbed by an overkill of pirates, there’s fire coming in from all directions, and I’m failing to actually hit anything. Run away! And I do manage to open the range on them, but they’re still hitting me with these torpedoey things that seem to have multiples of the range of my pathetic turrets. Kaboom, no more ship, and I’m back in a drone in my home system.
Now the game started me with a “Reconstruction token” which I’m able to turn in at a Repair Yard in return for a complete rebuild of the ship that just exploded. So that’s nice. And new Reconstruction Tokens are on sale for very reasonable prices, which is just as well considering how hostile the galaxy seems to be. I do some more exploring in my new ship and discover various asteroid belts (very handy, as my mining ship seems to have run out of asteroids in the home sector), trading posts and other ships going about their business. Then, I tentatively decide to look in on another one of those distress messages. Some of them are bound to be genuine, you’d expect a variety of missions right?
Nope. Overkill of pirates. But this time I’m much quicker to run for it, and immediately hit the galactic map and choose some random jump co-ordinates. It takes some time for my jump drive thingy to charge up, and I’m taking torpedo hits all the time, but I manage to jump out with an unexploded ship and congratulate myself. Then I jump back to my home system, fly straight over to the repair yard to get patched up, and discover how bad the damage is when I’m heading into the docking port and the BRAKES DON’T WORK. Still, HMS Deadmeat survives the little bump and I go to bed thinking that overall it’s an evening well spent.