Originally posted on the FD Forums, 2nd June 3301, the day Surly Badger announced the Fuel Rats and a few days before fuel transfer was a thing.
You think you have exploring nailed – several months of bouncing from star to star, perfecting your fuel scooping, learning the heat behaviours of your ship and generally feeling comfortable with your routines. You start to feel that the most dangerous part of exploring is actually the external distractions, things that make you ALT-TAB during those eternal 20 seconds it takes your FSD to charge – shiny things on the interwebs, chat windows, forum threads…
I was that CMDR. Almost all the damage to Euphemia on her recent trip was due to external distractions. The rest was taken whilst learning a new routine with Neutron Stars. I even avoided flying with a Kongga Ale in hand as I know how that can, ahem, improve my piloting skills. I knew that if I didn’t make it back, it would be due to one too many bumps on the canopy or I forgot to point away from the star when going AFK for a ‘couple of minutes’.
Sooo, 27 days into my last trip and a week or so into the Neutron Fields, I discover that I have a low tolerance to star farming and decide to point Euphemia homewards and simply transit through the fields to still earn credits but do 25+ LY jumps instead of the tiny, farming jumps.
Jump, honk, target star, SysMap, GalMap, select next star, close Map, charge FSD, avoid Neutron Star (using orbit lines), point at target, repeat. Simples.
A couple of weeks of farming meant I got used to the tiny sips of fuel you use when making tiny jumps…and there are thousands and thousands and thousands of scoopables. Normally there is one within 5 LY of your current position, so fuel management is easy.
Of course, now I am jumping nearer maximum range, can only get 6 jumps before needing fuel and every jump is to a Neutron Star or Black Hole. Still, no problem. When the GalMap says you can’t reach your next target, simply pick a scoopable 5 LY away and go top up the tank.
I flew for 6 hours like this on Sunday. I should have noticed my card was marked…
First warning – I encountered a system where I exited Witchspace so close to a Black Hole’s B class binary partner that the moment I turned the nose I started scooping. And suddenly I was at 70% heat. No problem, I was hands on stick at the time and simply piloted away.
Second warning – GalMap said no to my next destination, so I jumped to a scoopable and noticed that I had arrived with a completely empty main fuel tank.
Third time is a charm…
Jump, honk, target star, SysMap, GalMap, select next star, ah…not enough fuel. Select closer scoopable, still not enough fuel. Select even closer scoopable…ah. Better go check the tank.
OK, don’t panic. SysMap – hmmm, there are a binary pair of scoopables. How far? The closest is 826 LS.
So, do I wait for 1.3 and then see if someone will bring me fuel (I am 19 kylies from SOL) or do I see if that thimble of fuel will get me the 824 LS I need to start scooping…
I can now confirm that the above amount of fuel will carry a Lakon Type 6, set up for exploration, exactly 805 LS…
This is exactly why I love this game. Just when you think you have it all sorted, it turns around and bites you for being complacent.
Note: first posted here