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I’ve finished completely overhauling the main gallery and transferred it from hosting on Google Photos to Flickr. This gives me a little more control over the image distribution and makes it easier to make large scale changes. You’ll also find all 150+ of my Elder Scrolls Online images and a host of new content from my growing library.

Visit the new gallery at www.wesleysurber.com/gallery or skip directly to Flickr.

Enjoy!

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Expedition Unknown is in full swing as the Nightwish traveled to the top of the galactic plane where we’re setting our sights on several waypoints designed to take us around the galactic edge and back to The Bubble later this year. This resumption takes place on the heels of major damage to the ship caused by a close encounter with a white dwarf star recently. The engineering and repair teams at Explorer’s Anchorage were phenomenal and had the ship up and running within 48 hours!

Already Finding Stuff

It didn’t take long on our journey to find a series of interesting locations to add to our codex. Among those were a rocky ice world with canyons that average 10 km in depth and a water world orbiting extremely close to a binary star system!

A water world orbiting a binary star system.

Without a doubt, this location has been my favorite location on this trip so far. For obvious reasons I can’t release the system ID at this time, but like the other locations on this trip, all will be included in a location dump here on this blog and on my social media accounts when the journey is over.

What Comes Next

I don’t anticipate any significant problems in the coming days, but IRL stuff has taken some time away from Elite Dangerous and my community brethren. That stuff should clear up soon and I’ll be able to make regular detailed reports on the mission as we go along.

Fly safe out there, CMDRs. o7

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As with most things, it’s easy to get complacent when traveling the galaxy in Elite Dangerous. I mean, I’ve been doing this religiously for two years now so you’d think that I would know better, right? Well, it’s not that simple. As my friend CMDR Nickweb85 recently reminded us, the galaxy is full of traps that can catch us at any moment.


The damaged Nightwish limping to Explorer’s Anchorage.

This was the unfortunate fate of the Nightwish earlier this week…

Playing With Fire

The Nightwish has been en route to Explorer’s Anchorage in Stuemeae FG-Y D7561. Of course, the ship could get there in just a few hours with its jump range, but there’s endless unexplored regions between Colonia and the Galactic Center. So, we explored a variety of locations before we began a survey of a dense white dwarf cluster. It’s no secret that white dwarf stars are among the most dangerous stellar phenomenon in Elite Dangerous.

Ultimately, my goal is to locate a world similar to the World of Death in Spoihaae XE-X D2-9. So, we jumped to approximately 25 white dwarf stars and located several worlds orbiting less than 5 ls from their host star including a water world orbiting 4 ls from a white dwarf in Scheau Flyi OH-M D7-2138, but none of them were landable worlds. Without success, the search continued.

Until we arrived in Scheau Flyi QS-K D8-2384…


White Dwarf orbited by two M-Class stars.

This system took my breath away. Two M-class stars orbiting a central white dwarf were quite a sight to behold. Of course, it lacked the landable world we originally sought but it definitely would make for some fantastic photos and video. So, we moved the ship to fuel scooping range of one of the M-class stars and began filming and photographing the location.

During one of the filming sequences, I caught a glimpse of a flash coming off the surface of the ship. When I returned to cockpit view, I was horrified to see that the ship’s temperature had jumped from a cool 40 to a devastating 400! Modules were burning and the ship was disintegrating around me! I punched the frameshift drive and desperately tried to escape the star’s heat. More warnings flashed on the screen…

Thruster malfunction…

Frameshift drive malfunction…

Cargo hatch inoperable…

The ship was slow moving and the temperature continued to rise as flames burst out of the primary hull. As the stars moved away, the temperature climbed to 485 before finally dropping back to safe levels. Final damage was devastating. We were left with 30% hull integrity, no supercruise assist, no cargo hatch, and only 50% operational frameshift drive. With little choice, we set an immediate course for Explorer’s Anchorage, which was still 9,000 light years away.

Safe at Last

It took two days to make the journey, but we eventually arrived at Explorer’s Anchorage and the amazing engineering crews were able to save the ship despite its extensive damage. To ensure that these repairs hold, we’re going to spend a few days in the Sagittarius A area and conduct trial runs before proceeding to the expedition’s next waypoint.


Repaired and refit at Explorer’s Anchorage

We’re extremely grateful for the team at Explorer’s Anchorage and to the many Commanders who reached out to offer assistance in getting us home. It will be a few days before we’re back to 100% operational status, but the journey will continue!

See you out there, Commanders! o7

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In the early days of Elite Dangerous Horizons, it was necessary for a Commander to circle a planet and use the ship’s long range scanners to locate points of interest such as geysers and brain trees on the surface. This could take many hours or even days to complete. Therefore, locations were often logged using the planetary coordinates and published in blogs, wikis, or on video descriptions. In my case, I published a YouTube video for many of my discoveries and listed the exactly location using lat/long identifiers. These days, the detailed surface scanner takes care of that work and assigns a unique ID number to each geologic location. Since the first part of Expedition Unknown travels through the center of the galaxy, I decided to visit locations I had previously mapped on the Strange Worlds Tour in 3304 to see what effects the December 2018 update had on the game.

Was I in for quite a surprise…


The geologic site at Scheau Flyi PY-I D9-4038 AB 1 B as it appeared in 3304.

The image above was taken on Scheau Flyi PY-I D9-4038 AB 1 B on 06 July 3304. This little moon is part of a twin __meatball__-like system and is covered in active volcanic sites. The fumaroles pictured above took about four hours to locate by surface navigation and were located in a series of winding canyons. It was quite an amazing place to visit and was featured in one of my YouTube Discovery Videos.


The geologic site at Scheau Flyi PY-I D9-4038 AB 1 B about 70 km from the original location.

Fast forward approximately two years to today. The Nightwish is on its way to Explorer’s Anchorage at the center of the galaxy and so I decided to make a pit stop at Scheau Flyi PY-I D9-4038 AB 1 B to see how the updated lighting system had affected the fumarole fields. I was shocked to learn from an immediate surface scan that there were no fumaroles located at the previous lat/long location. There was, however, a geologic field located approximately 70 km away from the original coordinates. They were the same color and configuration, but these fumaroles were located on a hilly area inside a fractured crater.


The geologic site at Scheau Flyi PY-I D9-4038 AB 1 B as it appears today.

After snapping some photos of this region, I set the Nightwish on course for the original landing site and set down for some brief SRV exploration. Not only had the fumaroles been removed, but the entire region was changed! The winding canyons were gone and replaced by rolling hills. This is the second location I have re-visited in the past year that are completely changed. This one was shocking, but the first one was heartbreaking. Blu Thua II-K D8-47 1 D was the first planet where I ever discovered a geologic site and it was special. The December 2018 update wiped that location off the map entirely and realigned the landscaping just like this world.

I realize that things change with time, but it really messes with the meta of Elite Dangerous in my opinion to have things change so much like that. In a way, it makes me fearful of the future for what updates could do to points of interest discovered in the current year. So basically, don’t rely on locations shown on social media or YouTube from the past. Visit the locations on your own to see what’s out there.

o7, Commanders.

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Greetings, Commanders! I am pleased to announce that the SPVFA Nightwish departed the Colonia region on January 10 and has been traveling in the desolate region between Eol Prou and Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The official name for this expedition is Expedition Unknown 3306 and it will end sometime later this year inside the bubble.

For its first destination, the Nightwish is en route to Explorer’s Anchorage in Stuemeae FG-Y d7561 where we will take on additional provisions and conduct last minute systems checks before heading out into deep space.


In space, things are not always as they seem.

Regular updates will be posted on my social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram. These updates will document the ship’s journey and various discoveries. Unfortunately, some of the more notable discovery locations will be withheld until the expedition is over to ensure the location integrity. Additionally, these journeys will include video documentary in the form of Out There episodes published on my YouTube Channel.

Join me as my crew and I take to the stars and explore uncharted regions in Elite Dangerous throughout the year!

See you out there, Commanders!

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As is the case with any gamer, my interests in certain titles ebb and flow with the passage of time. That is not to say that my passion for these titles has changed, but the amount of time that I feel compelled to invest in them has. This is the case with several high profile titles over the past few months, most notably my departure from The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). That was due largely to what I view as deceptive practices by Zenimax Online with the Elsweyr chapter, as I detailed in a post last year. They recently announced that the 2020 chapter update to ESO is going back to Skyrim, which I believe is a sign of desperation, but I digress.

Additionally, I decided to take a sabbatical from Elite Dangerous over the holidays to recharge my batteries from an extended period of exploration, photography, and video production. During that time, I found myself indulged in a different franchise; one that has only recently released its major expansion on PC: Monster Hunter.


The Ancient Forest from Monster Hunter World

I have been playing Monster Hunter World since shorlty after it was released. Since it was the first game in the series that I had ever played, it truly changed the way that I approach tough fights and challenges in games. My love for World led me to take on the rest of the series including: 3 Ultimate, 4 Ultimate, and Generations Ultimate. It is on the field of battle that I spent my holiday: carving up dangerous creatures and fighting ancient dragons in hellish environments.

Yet, just like my love of creating game photographs in Elite Dangerous and Elder Scrolls Online, I was pleased to see that Capcom included a view mode in the game to hide the user interface and allow me to take photos. Since hten, I have used that function to capture most of the locations for battling these incredible beasts in Monster Hunter World. These images are now available in their own gallery located here on my site along with the other games that I have captured.


SPVFA Nightwish departing Jaques Station in Colonia

In other news, I am close to launching the the second season of Elite Dangerous: Out There. The trailer premiered earlier this month and I am excited to see what wonders the Nightwish discovers on this journey. See you all Out There.

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