Wednesday, August 06, 2014

How to dock in Elite Classic without killing yourself to death - A guide for the roving space git

Kids! Stop shooting space stations! They hate it.
With Guardians of the Galaxy currently in cinemas presenting the job of roving space git as a valid career choice, it pains me to say that we seasoned commanders are going to have to take a few of you back to basics when it comes to piloting your craft.

After all these years, it has been brought to my attention that some of you dweebs still can't dock your space craft. And if you can't dock, you're essentially screwed. God help you lot when Elite Dangerous comes along. You'll starve to death in the cold vacuum of space, most likely.

I didn't become --- E L I T E --- and a noted roving space git without knowing how to dock, and thirty years after I first eased myself behind the controls of my Cobra Mk III, the ESS Douglas Adams, I've continued to ignore the so-called "convenience" of the docking computer. Slow, clunky and an excuse for poor piloting, the docking computer should only be used if – for example – you have limbs hanging off as the result of a particularly nasty space battle, or if you are drunk. Pulling hyperdrive when drunk is A Bad Thing, m'kay?

So, let's assume nothing here. You're either a harmless n00b, or a Commander that has somehow mucked by through trial and error (and most of it error). Believe it or not, despite some people saying docking is difficult. They are idiots. You're just doing it wrong.

It's very simple. When you reach planetary orbit and the space station appears on your radar, aim your ship for a point directly between the station and the planet's equator. The space station ALWAYS appears in a geo-stationary orbit with the access door facing the equator. Get onto this line and the battle's won.

As you draw level with the space station (it should be showing as zero elevation on the tactical radar), switch to right screen view and activate missile targeting computer. As soon as the station hits the cross-hairs, you get the "beep" that you've acquired a target, come to an immediate dead stop. Reset the targeting computer, because nobody likes firing missiles at the space station at which they're about to dock. It just makes the police angry.

Switch back to front view, and turn on a sixpence to face the space station using your tactical radar as a guide. Your targeting system should beep again, and the choice is yours.
Almost on target, but why aren't you giving it full speed? Chicken.
Either let loose all your missiles and die horribly. MWA HA HA HA HA HAAAAARGH DIE DIE DIE POLICE SCUM!!!!!

Or (and I prefer this) dive full speed toward the door. Match station rotation if you like, but that's for losers. Wait until the doorway completely fills your front view and THEN hit your docking computer. Brown trousers time for the occupants of the space station, easy life for you in your craft.

Congratulations, you have docked. Time to get blarted and look out for a zero-gee rub'n'tug shop that can help you out with that gammy shoulder of yours. Or just make friends with a talking racoon. Your choice.


TRT said...

How many hours have you wasted in the Beta so far?

Anonymous said...

Rrrrriiiiight, SD.

Here goes . . .



Bugger !

Anonymous said...

Oh yes. Acquire military lasers and an energy bomb, line up with the docking bay, give it a tickle to launch the Viper welcome party, then obliterate! obliterate! obliterate! And hyperspace the hell out of there just before your last shields disappear.

Zimmer said...

No no No.... load Oolite (Open Source, with nicer graphics), and get a Quirium cascade mine for your Cobra MkIII..

(currently 'Dangerous')

Zimmer said...

Dioclese said...

Used to really like that. Played it a lot. I believe it failed the Millennium Bug due to being written in basic?

Can you get a Mac version?