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Tell Us Your Best Stories Of When Somebody Rescued You In A Video Game

Illustration for article titled Tell Us Your Best Stories Of When Somebody Rescued You In A Video Gameem/em

Nothing ever goes according to plan. Maybe you die in a desert full of horrifying fuck demons, and you think your loot is gone for good. Maybe you find yourself lost in space. Maybe you accidentally punch the wrong person. Regardless, you need help. When have other players come to your rescue in a video game?

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For me, the original EverQuest may as well have been called, “Nathan Bungles Everything, And Well-Meaning Strangers Save Him While Politely Resisting The Urge To Call Him A Stupid Child.” The first time I ever logged in, I unintentionally, uh, assaulted another player in a city area, prompting guards to swarm on me. Recognizing that I was an idiot baby, that very player found me at my spawn point, led me to my corpse, and cooly gave me instructions on how to enable/disable auto-attack so I wouldn’t do that again.

There was also the time I got lost in a desert full of sand giants and other nastiness long before I was the proper level for it, and a group took time out of their rigid “killing shit as tall as the Statue Of Liberty” schedule to guide me back to a safe trade tunnel. Speaking of situations where I’d have been lost forever if not for the kindness of strangers, Star Wars Galaxies. Just, like, that entire game.

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My favorite video game rescue story, though, is one Eurogamer wrote about a while back. The game was Elite Dangerous, and one player had traveled out to what was basically the brink of the universe. Then they realized, oh crap, they’d used up a crucial resource for boosting, and they were stranded. They posted about their plight online, but they didn’t have much real hope of rescue. Enter another player who, over the course of 48 real hours, flew all the way to that person’s position and helped them obtain resources to make the jump back home.

Have you been rescued by kind strangers (or friends), maybe from a rival group of players in a game like Ark: Survival Evolved or Rust? Or perhaps from your own poor life choices in EVE Online? Share your stories below. They might even end up in a post on the site!

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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Well, since the header image is from Elite Dangerous, I’ll tell the story of when I was stranded in that game.

So it was about a year ago, before any of the DLC for the game came out. I was hauling contraband in a long range build ASP Explorer doing what lots of people said was the most profitable thing at the time, smuggling from Robigo Mines. This solar system is a decent distance away from, “the bubble” of occupied solar systems. To help manage this lengthy journey which had few chances for fuel stops (it’s not a good idea to stop for fuel when smuggling anyways, more chances for the authorities to catch on to what you’re doing), my spacecraft had extra fuel tanks, a powerful Frameshift Drive for high distance lightspeed jumps, and a fuel scoop which can scoop fuel from certain stars.

I had made this journey a few times before, but this time I really wanted to optimize and cut down on my travel time, to see how fast I could do the run. I ended up having almost no fuel with almost half of my journey left to go. I had enough fuel for about 2 jumps and I needed to scoop fuel from one of those stars. Thing was, this was before I knew that some stars could not be fuel scooped. The star I jumped to couldn’t be fuel scooped, so I jumped to the next one which had the same result. I no longer had fuel for another jump, and I was still a decent length outside the “bubble” of occupied space.

Thankfully I had read something useful in the steam guides I had read (guides in general are useful in Elite Dangerous, as the game itself explains very little about how things work in game). There was an organization of players called The Fuel Rats who specifically assisted stranded pilots who were out of fuel. Somewhat upset that I had to rely on someone else to dig me out of my own mistake, I went to their site and followed the instructions they had listed for pilots who needed help.

I had confirmation that someone was coming to re-supply me with fuel. But the instructions for stranded pilots was pretty thorough, and I had to power down my ASP Explorer and wait. Without power to the engines, the ship got cold quickly, and the cockpit glass frosted up. An indicator on my cockpit flicked on, which was the only light source now that my dashboard lights were shut off. It showed that I had 15 minutes of life support oxygen before it was gone. I was suddenly thankful that I had invested in a decent life support module, even though I have never had to use it before.

It was very....strange waiting to be rescued like that. Up until then I had played Elite Dangerous without any thoughts as to what I was actually doing. To me it had been a casual trading game, but finally I realized that I was in a powered metal box, hundreds of light years away from anyone who could help and drifting in the unforgiving environment of space. Suddenly things were very peaceful and quiet. Since I had done most of the requesting fuel process while in supercruise, I was far enough away from the star I had warped onto so I couldn’t see it anymore. It was just me in my now freezing spaceship cockpit, looking out at the thousands of stars in virtual space.

I had to wait about 5 minutes until the bright headlights of a ship much bigger than mine warped into the instance I was in. By then I was starting to think of normal questions, like what would happen if I ran out of oxygen? And deep ones like how the concept of religion was flawed if intelligent life could originate from more than one solar system.

The pilot from The Fuel Rats was friendly enough, he started to deploy limpet drones (short range utility drones) to haul fuel to my ship. I couldn’t help but notice how little fuel the drones supplied me with. Each drone filled about 1/30th of my total fuel supply. After a few of these had come and gone, I had about 1/8th of my total fuel capacity. The pilot asked if that was enough, and I wasn’t sure what to tell him. I could use more i suppose, I replied through text chat. A few more drones later, and I have about 1/4 of my fuel tank now full. That would have to do.

The pilot said he noticed I had a fuel scoop, and he taught me the process to identify stars that could be fuel scooped while plotting a trip through the universe map. Making a mental note to check a fuel scooping guide later, I thanked the pilot, and he departed. I slowly re-activated all my ASP Explorer’s systems, watching in satisfaction as my life support timer disappeared and the frost on my cockpit glass began to vanish as well. I began the process to jump to the next star, and finished my trip without a hitch.