Elite -- barrier to entry?

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Elite -- barrier to entry?

Postby M-Saunders » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:29 pm

Lo,

I was playing Elite (ZX Spectrum version) at the weekend. Having spent ages on Frontier, I kind of knew what to expect, albeit in a more basic form.

But I just don't get the difficulty level. On almost every single journey to a space station, I get repeatedly assaulted by pirates. With such a poorly equipped ship, it's not much fun fighting them either. It turns into a real drag.

I've tried loads of trade routes, but I just can't get going. Maybe I'm really bad at combat, but I've killed a few pirates and can sometimes scrape by. I was just hoping to do some trading on safe routes, building up some proper kit to partake in battles (like in Frontier).

Can any Elite fans help? I'll post this on the official forum too.

M
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Postby heiowge » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:52 pm

They do call it ELITE, you know. If you're not, you're fried!

Back when it was on the BBC, I used Elite Cheat. I started off with elite shields, elite lasers on all directions, lots of torpedoes and cargo plus the fun stuff like an escape pod and docking computer (because I couldn't dock for toffee). :lol:
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Postby M-Saunders » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:11 pm

Yeah, I put some pokes in to get better gear, which made the game more exciting, but I lost the long-term buildup that apparently makes Elite so awesome.

Maybe the Speccy version is just particularly nasty -- perhaps I should try another and see if I can trade peacefully without being smashed to bits every 2 minutes.

That said, I can see why people went crazy about Elite when it arrived in the mid '80s. I still find Frontier the most fascinating game on the planet even today.

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Postby Rhakios » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:36 pm

M-Saunders wrote:I still find Frontier the most fascinating game on the planet even today.

M


I didn't know there was a version with pink ponies.


:D
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Postby Ram » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:40 pm

Rhakios wrote:
M-Saunders wrote:I still find Frontier the most fascinating game on the planet even today.

M


I didn't know there was a version with pink ponies.


:D


There wasn't, well until Mike poked them there...

Try the Atari version Mike.

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Postby AndyBaxman » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:24 am

From what I remember about Elite, the trick was to start by trading around safe systems until you have earned enough cash to buy some useful upgrades, then slowly ramp-up to more dangerous systems and/or trading in more dodgy goods (slaves/narcotics). An escape pod is a must before venturing anywhere nasty.

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Postby M-Saunders » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:48 am

AndyBaxman wrote:From what I remember about Elite, the trick was to start by trading around safe systems until you have earned enough cash to buy some useful upgrades


But that's the thing -- I can't find these safe systems. Every system I've been to, I've been attacked. Occasionally I'll find some "rich industrial corporate system" where I get to the space station without incident, and decide to use that for trading. The next time I come back, I get my rear end kicked by three pirates at once.

Maybe it's just the Speccy version, but I can't find any "safe" systems. Strangely enough, I find manual docking dead easy, even though most people say that's the hardest part!

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Postby Ram » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:39 am

M-Saunders wrote:
AndyBaxman wrote:From what I remember about Elite, the trick was to start by trading around safe systems until you have earned enough cash to buy some useful upgrades


But that's the thing -- I can't find these safe systems. Every system I've been to, I've been attacked. Occasionally I'll find some "rich industrial corporate system" where I get to the space station without incident, and decide to use that for trading. The next time I come back, I get my rear end kicked by three pirates at once.

Maybe it's just the Speccy version, but I can't find any "safe" systems. Strangely enough, I find manual docking dead easy, even though most people say that's the hardest part!

M


So the speccy got easy docking and hard trading.... lol

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Postby AndyBaxman » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:34 am

M-Saunders wrote: Every system I've been to, I've been attacked. Occasionally I'll find some "rich industrial corporate system" where I get to the space station without incident, and decide to use that for trading. The next time I come back, I get my rear end kicked by three pirates at once.


I usually found an agricultural democracy near to an industrial democracy and hopped between them. You shouldn't be jumped by pirates (much), doing that, and those that do jump you are usually easy to kill, even with pulse lasers.
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Postby guy » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:44 pm

The Speccy version was said not to be as good as the BBC original - cutting it down to fit in 48k apparently took too much away and upset the balance of the game. I remember the BBC version coming with a bunch of "starter" characters with varying levels of kit. Being too old to hone my reflexes at the tender age of 30, auto docking was essential (I only ever succeeded once in docking manually) and I was always getting blasted to bits by pirates. My teenage neighbours laughed like drains and told me I needed to learn how to suss out the safer places to be, but I never could. So there, not a very helpful post really.
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Postby heiowge » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:46 pm

I remember getting p***ed off with docking. I tended to just jump into a system, blast the hell out of whatever I was near, then eject when it got too hot. Once in the station, I'd just buy everything again.

Oooo... I loved cheating. :lol:
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Postby AndyBaxman » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:04 pm

guy wrote:The Speccy version was said not to be as good as the BBC original - cutting it down to fit in 48k apparently took too much away and upset the balance of the game.


That'd be cutting it down to 48k from, errrrm, 32k?
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Postby guy » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:51 pm

AndyBaxman wrote:
guy wrote:The Speccy version was said not to be as good as the BBC original - cutting it down to fit in 48k apparently took too much away and upset the balance of the game.


That'd be cutting it down to 48k from, errrrm, 32k?


Well the graphics were certainly cut down to work with the Speccy's more limited capabilities. My Model B+ had 64K, forgot the earlier ones had less. But I do also recall whinges about the gameplay. Perhaps that was down to something else in the conversion - lack of decent MOUS hardware perhaps?
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Postby Brian Hunter » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:03 am

Problem with spectrum? Sorry, i'd like to help, but I can't hear you over all these amazing sounds my C64 is making.
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Postby M-Saunders » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:08 am

Brian Hunter wrote:Problem with spectrum? Sorry, i'd like to help, but I can't hear you over all these amazing sounds my C64 is making.


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