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Thread: [Multiple Suggestions] Powerplay: Rebooting it

  1. #1

    [Multiple Suggestions] Powerplay: Rebooting it

    Powerplay: Rebooting It

    The 1.3 Powerplay update was probably the most disliked patch for Elite: Dangerous so far.

    When it is ever mentioned on the forum or Reddit, most players say they have either never gotten involved, they played it for a while and got bored, or that they only used it as a method to get access to the unique modules then quit (the latter being the most common). I very much doubt this is what Frontier had in mind when they came up with the idea.

    So why is Powerplay so unpopular within the community, a few reasons could be:
    • It is extremely grind/treadmill based
    • It's a very gamey system (like Risk) this can be immersion-breaking for some players
    • PP gameplay is repetitve (kill enemy couriers or agents, deliver stuff)
    • The rank decay is punishing and wipes out most player progress weekly, turning away casual players
    • The rules are overly complicated and hard to understand for most (mainly because the ruleset doesn't relate to the BGS)
    • Powers are galactic level entities that are hard to influence personally (player actions are a drop in the ocean)
    • There is no in-game way of communicating or organising with fellow pledgers, so the sense of belonging to the faction is virtualy non-existant
    • There are no powerplay missions, so no way to break the grind
    • Powerplay is not linked to the background sim and operates as a separate layer (understanding one BSG is difficult enough, let alone two)
    • Powers lack narrative background or lore, therefore they are hard to identify with
    • Pledging to a power makes the player a target - if the player adopts a non-combat playstyle, this can be a problem
    • Most of the unique weapons/modules are ineffective whereas a couple are OP (mining lance vs Imperial Hammer anyone?) where is the balance?
    • The unique modules do little to enhance the power's favoured career path
    • Rewarding players with one unrestricted unique module per power encourages players to keep joining different powers to get all the different modules/weapons and not care about the power itself
    • There are not enough unique features per power (rank 4 hardly unlocks anything..every rank should unlock something cool)
    • Power territory often spreads into areas that makes no sense (Edmund Mahon - Alliance PM controlling core Fed space? wha..?) this has made the galaxy map a bit of a mess since PP launch
    • Power collapse was billed as a feature but has not been implemented yet, this makes the struggle between powers an infinite and pointless territory feud (who cares if their power is bottom of the table, they won't die so does it matter?)
    • NPC Power agents are found everywhere, rather than in logical places (why are enemy NPCs flying unchecked around enemy-power capital systems?)
    • It's a year after PP released and there are no power-specific skins or decals available


    My take on it is this; FDev, you already built a working background sim, why did you spend lots of time and effort building a second one that was totally disconnected from the first? IMO it was a poor design choice that has lead to lots of problems and player dissatisfaction.

    So with all that in mind, here are some ideas for improving & reworking Powerplay:

    1. Pledge most of the minor factions to powers

    I think the first thing that has to be fixed is the disconnect between Powerplay and the background sim. If each system has 3 or 4 factions that are pledged to the nearest powers, this would provide a mechanism for joining the BGS and powerplay. If this were to be implemented, there would a method of providing Powerplay focused missions that could reward the player with a combination of credits, power rank and special materials/commodities for upgrading unique power modules (more on that further down).

    This would change the way in which power influence and control is spread across the galaxy, proposed changes are:
    • Powers would automaitically 'exploit' a system that one of their factions control through the BSG - power exploitation bonuses would remain as they are now
    • Control systems would still exist, but instead of the current system, they would provide an influence/expansion bonus of 50% to the faction which controls it (basically it would be easier for the controlling faction to spread to neighboring systems)




    2. Players pledge to powers via pledged-factions



    The current system requires players pledge directly to powers in the powers menu. It is a little hard to believe that someone can just pledge to a political entity without any history or checks and be welcomed into the faction with no questions asked. A better way would be if players were required to build up reputation with one of the pledged factions (mentioned previously) first.

    My proposal is that once the players rep with a pledged faction is in the 'allied' zone, they would be able to pledge to that faction, and by extension pledge to the power. The advantages to this are:
    • Powers will link to the background sim
    • Factions are much smaller than a power, therefore a player is more likely to feel they are achieving something when they perform missions for them
    • Player factions are minor factions, therefore players will finally be able to pledge to their own faction (knowing who's who playerwise in the game would be very advantageous)
    • Powerplay influence struggles would take place inside systems between specific player groups, rather than thinly spread across the galaxy, which is extremely hard to keep up with
    • Currently players tend to care more about their own faction than their pledged power, having their faction linked to a power will cause an upsurge in Powerplay activities
    • Power combat zones would potentially be generated between player factions, allowing for a more realistic and meaningful rivalry between different player groups. Right now rivalry seems to be based on 'who said what about who on reddit... :-/'
    • Player groups tend to be quite organised, they would bring that organisation into the rather disorganised and chaotic Powerplay
    • Player info pane would display their pledged faction name, with the power denoted underneath



    3. Powerplay ranks would be an extension of the faction influence bar



    Currently a pledgers rank is determined by how many 'merits' they gain week to week, but as I've already discussed, this system is very grind-dependent and the decay every week is so punishing it puts most players off getting involved. A player's standing within their pledged power should be controlled via the influence bar of their pledged faction. How I see it working is as follows:
    • Faction rank levels beyond 'Allied' (pledger only) would be:
      • Initiate (rank 1)
      • Asset (rank 2)
      • Operative (rank 3)
      • Agent (rank 4)
      • Specialist (rank 5)

    • Influence/rank with all allied power-pledged minor factions around the galaxy would automatically adjust to the players rank level, allowing the player to complete power missions in any system where the power is present (the best missions would still only be available from the players pledged faction however).
    • Rank would still decay back, but much slower than it currently does (it wouldn't need to decay at the current rate because salary would no longer be a factor to consider)
    • Rank of player within their faction would be displayed in their commander info pane via an icon.
    • Merit rewards for killing enemies would vary depending on their power-rank:
      • Rank 1 Kill = 50 Merits
      • Rank 2 Kill = 100 Merits
      • Rank 3 Kill = 250 Merits
      • Rank 4 Kill = 500 Merits
      • Rank 5 Kill = 1000 Merits



    4. Introduce Powerplay exclusive faction missions






    In pledging factions to a power, we would now have a mechanism of linking standard faction missions to PP, giving us Powerplay missions. These missions would only be available to players who are either pledged to the faction in question, or are pledged to a faction under the same power. Powerplay missions would have the following characteristics:
    • Provide higher credit values than normal missions (scaling with PP rank)
    • Would generate missions providing materials and commodities for pinned engineer schematics (not random like normal missions)
    • Theme of these missions would be hostile or provocative actions against rival power assets in the region
    • Would at times would require PvP (especially at higher Power ranks)



    5. Scrap CC, merits and salary, as they would no longer be needed

    Once powerplay is linked directly to the BGS through factions, the contriversal PP features of 'Command Capital' (CC), 'Merits' & 'Salaries' become redundant, this is because:
    • CC would be redundant as power-influence would be spread via power-factions system control instead. This would give players another reason to get involved in manipulation of the BGS through actions like trade, smuggling, combat, bounty hunting, piracy etc.
    • Merits would no longer be necessary because faction mission completion would be the new way of gaining rank within the power.
    • Update: Changed my mind on this, merits could stay, but could be used as currency instead of credits to purchase power/faction exclusive ships/weapons & modules.
    • The salary concept is dependent on a weekly grind/treadmill model, so must be binned. Instead, power-based missions would provide larger credit rewards, unique marterials and unique commodity returns based on rank (as well as rank progression itself).
    • Update: Changed my mind on this too - Instead of a set salary, merits attained could be converted directly into credits at the players discretion, with the rate you get depending on your power-rank. This is better than a set salary because you can earn merits/credits at your leisure, rather than have to run on the weekly treadmill.


    Frontier probably won't like this suggestion as I know developers are never keen on the idea of abandoning finished work, but I think these features are poorly realised and are the primary reason powerplay is so unpopular, so removing them would go a long way to making PP more appealing. Edit: I now prefer the rework idea rather than the scrapping approach.

    Powerplay through the BGS is the way it should have always been, because bolting a separate layer of functionality (PP model) onto the game when there was already a functioning BGS available seems like reinventing the wheel to me.

    Removal A rework of these three features would also remove the 'gamey' risk feel from Powerplay, along with most of the grind factor (missions are more engaging and fun than killing endless enemy logistics couriers for no obvious reason...).


    6. Every rank within a power must give access to a unique weapon, utility or module

    Another of the main problems of Powerplay, is that it offers access to one unique item per power that can be used rebought whether you are pledged or not. This results in most players doing a round-robin of the powers, collecting all the unique modules and weapons they can. Once they have everything they want, they unpledge and go back to being factionless. To discourage this playstyle, I think each power needs to offer more to their pledgers,
    giving them access to one new unique module for each rank in their power (the higher the rank, the more powerful the module).

    These unique modules would be designed with the powers ethos in mind - for example Li-Yong Rui is exploration focused, so his unique items should give exploration-focused players an edge in this career path (unique explorer ship, better FSDs etc).

    The trade-off would be these unique modules cannot be used when unpledged Updated: Rebuy on all items lost is null & void if not pledged to the owning power. This would alleviate the problem of players changing powers all the time to gain modules - it would be highly risky using them when not pledged to the owner-power.

    Another trade-off would be that unique modules (excluding ships) could only be stored in pledged-power control systems (no transfer available). This would mean a risky trip to retrieve them if the player ever defected.

    The minimum pledge time to access uniques should also be lowered to 1 week per rank, as we would now have one unique item per power rank.

    Here are some unique ship, weapon, utility and module ideas (power ethos may be slightly adjusted for variation):


    All Rebuy's Void Unless Pledged to Owning Power (to discourage power switching for modules)

    • Arissa Lavigny-Duval (Bounty Hunting)
      • Rank 1 - Fast KW Scanner (U) - 3x as fast as regular KW scanner
      • Rank 2 - High bandwidth sensors (M) - All contacts in range are immediately identified (no getting wanted for shooting quickly)
      • Rank 3 - Imperial Hammer (W) (size 1) - Double shot (green) & Imperial Hammer (W) (size 2) - Triple shot (green) - Current Version
      • Rank 4 - Imperial mass driver (W) (size 3) - Single shot large railgun (purple)
      • Rank 5 - Gutayama 'Imperial Hunter' Medium Interceptor

    • Aisling Duval (High-Value & Rare Trade)
      • Rank 1 - Shielded Cargo Rack (M) (capacity up to 16) - invisible to cargo scan, lower chance of ejection through cargo hatch
      • Rank 2 - Prismatic Shield Booster (U) - Shield booster that increases shield strength by a factor of 1.4
      • Rank 3 - Prismatic Shields (M) (All sizes) - Current Version
      • Rank 4 - Prismatic Cell Bank (M) (All sizes) - Regenerates 50% more shield strength than standard shield cells
      • Rank 5 - Gutayama 'Imperial Trader' Long-Range Trade Ship

    • Archon Delaine (Piracy)
      • Rank 1 - Fast Manifest Scanner - 3x speed of standard manifest scanner
      • Rank 2 - Advanced collector & hatch-breaker controllers (M) - Controls 2x the amount of limpets than the regular version, 2x the yield for HB's, available in all size slots, not just 1,3,5,7 etc
      • Rank 3 - FSD inhibitor (M) (sizes 1-7, increasing in range) - When activated, no ships within range can activate FSD for 1 minute
      • Rank 4 - Cytoscrambler (W) (sizes 1,2, 3 & 4) - Longer range anti-shield beam weapon, devastating to shields, very high capacitor draw and power requirement (modified to beam weapon from current ineffective, short-range version)
      • Rank 5 - Manticore 'Constrictor' Medium Pirate Ship

    • Denton Patreaus (Combat - Empire)
      • Rank 1 - Advanced Chaff (U) - Chaff that lasts 2x the duration of regular chaff
      • Rank 2 - Advanced Accelerator (W) (size 2)
      • Rank 3 - Imperial Hull Plating (M) - Lightweight armor that has the resilience of Military grade armor
      • Rank 4 - Advanced Accelerator (W) (sizes 3 & 4) - Current Version + size 4
      • Rank 5 - Gutayama 'Imperial Sentinel' Heavy Fighter

    • Edmund Mahon (Bulk Trade)
      • Rank 1 - Compact Cargo Racks (M) (sizes 1-6) - Cargo rack that fits 50% more cargo than regular cargo racks
      • Rank 2 - Retributor Beam Laser (W) (sizes 1 & 2) - Current version + available in gimballed & turreted
      • Rank 3 - Fighter Hull Composite (M) - Fighters produced by this module have extra strong armor
      • Rank 4 - Advanced Point Defence (U/W) - Point defence turret that also acts as a weapon against hostile ships
      • Rank 5 - Lakon 'Type 8 Clipper' Fast Trade Ship

    • Felicia Winters (Passengers)
      • Rank 1 - Space efficient passenger cabins (M)(All ratings) - Advanced space-saving techniques allow 50% more passengers to occupy these cabins
      • Rank 2 - High-security diplomatic cabin (M)(sizes 5,6,7 & 8) - A special cabin type exclusive to FW that allows non-luxury Federal faction ships to carry VIP passengers
      • Rank 3 - Pulse Disruptor (W) (sizes 1, 2, 3 & 4) - Turreted and gimablled unlocked for all sizes
      • Rank 4 - Advanced Federal Reactive Surface Composite (M) - Special Federal armor that gets the benefits of normal reactive armor, but its weaknesses are at the level of military grade armour
      • Rank 5 - Core Dynamics 'Falcon MkII Federal Bomber' Long-Range Medium Fighter

    • Li-Yong Rui (Exploration)
      • Rank 1 - Fast & Longer-range scanner (M) (basic, intermediate & advanced) - Twice the speed of the regular discovery scanner, surface scanner can be used 3x distance away
      • Rank 2 - Sirius Advanced Heat Sink (U) - Special heat sink that provides cooler temperatures for 2x the duration of regular heat sinks, also contains 5 shots instead of 3
      • Rank 3 - Pack Hound Missile (W) (sizes 1 & 2) - Current version + size 1
      • Rank 4 - Sirius Experimental Frame Shift Drive (M) (All sizes) - FSD range 25% higher than regular FSD range.
      • Rank 5 - Sirius & Lakon 'Copperhead' Advanced Exploration Ship

    • Pranav Antal (Bounty Hunting)
      • Rank 1 - Fast wake scanner (U) - Wake scanner that is 3x faster than regular WS
      • Rank 2 - Tracking limpet (M) - tracks target on galaxy map for one hour
      • Rank 3 - Extended Shield Cell Bank (M)(All sizes) - Shield cell banks that contain 2x the ammo of regular SCBs
      • Rank 4 - Enforcer Cannon (W) (sizes 1,2, 3 & 4) - + gimballed version for all sizes unlocked
      • Rank 5 - Manticore 'Wolf MkIII' Long-range Interceptor

    • Zachery Hudson (Combat - Federation)
      • Rank 1 - Advanced ECM (U) - ECM that is capable of operating at a range of 2x that of the standard ECM
      • Rank 2 - Heavy duty hull reinforcement package (M) - HRP that gives 50% more protection than the standard HRP
      • Rank 3 - Pacifier Frag-Cannon (W) (sizes 1, 2 & 3) - Current version + size 2
      • Rank 4 - Advanced Federal Mirror Surface armor (M) - Special Federal armor that totally nullifies heat-based attacks
      • Rank 5 - Core Dynamics 'Saker MkIII Federal Interceptor' Fast Medium Fighter

    • Zermina Torval (Mining)
      • Rank 1 - Asteroid tagger (U) - fire at asteroids to change their colour on the scanner
      • Rank 2 - Fixed, Gimballed & Turreted Mining Lance (W) (sizes 1, 2 and 3)
      • Rank 3 - Advanced refinery (M) (All sizes) - refinery that lets you set specific ores to bins, unwanted ore is automatically ejected
      • Rank 4 - Advanced prospector limpets (M) - doubles asteroid yield of normal prospector
      • Rank 5 - Gutayama 'Imperial Prospector' Advanced Mining Ship


    * EDITS:

    • Order of Li-Yong's modules changed
    • Advanced Hatch-Breaker added to Archon Delaine, Cytoscrambler confined to rank 4 (all sizes)
    • Ships added to rank 5





    7. Each power should have a pledge-locked engineer that upgrades their unique modules

    Now we have engineers, players expect to be able to upgrade all of their ship components. It would make sense that there would be engineers out there who serve specific powers and are only accessible to pledged commanders. Unlocking ratings in power-engineers would be tied to the players power-rating, rather than the 'level-up' mechanism of standard engineers. The unique modules should require special materials that are only available as a reward for completing power-locked missions (giving players even more motivation to partake in powerplay).


    8. Use 'Private group' functionality to manage player factions

    As minor factions would now be pledgable, player factions would need to work slightly different from normal NPC factions. This is because player groups don't want just anybody joining their ranks - their leaders will want some degree of control of who joins.

    I suggest the use of ED's private group system to control membership of player factions. Every player faction would have a private group associated with it by default (even if they only play in open) with certain players set up as admins that can view and administer members through the private group menu. If an unaligned player wishes to pledge to a player faction, they will have to 'apply to pledge' (instead of simply the 'pledge' option that you would get with NPC factions). From there a player faction admin will be able to either 'accept' or 'refuse' the players pledge request. Un-actioned requests would show up on the list as 'pending'.

    Another enhancement with the player faction group feature could be a 'faction' comms channel for text chat, alongside direct, and wing.


    9. Where are the Power skins & decals?

    To most, this seems like quite a straight-forward feature to implement and you would have thought they would have been included in the original Powerplay release, yet Fdev have not provided power-unique livery for ship models.

    Although maybe not as important as the previous points above, many players have been asking for these to be implemented ever since PP released a year ago. It's quite puzzling how they are still not in the game (as well as the basic superpower logo decals for that matter).

    Perhaps Fdev should prioritise these decals over event decals (which the game seems to get loads of) which while fun for those who manage to get them, are less important than in-game faction decals.

    These liveries should be pledge-locked like the unique modules.


    Additional: 10. Incognito Powerplay & Sleeper Agents

    A while back, during a forum discussion with Sandro Sammarco regarding the future of Powerplay, SS mentioned that Fdev were considering an 'Incognito' option for Powerplay, so players could take a break from PP without unpledging from their power. This was due to the increased risk of being pledged to a power, which can make operating non-combat ships extremely difficult (especially now we have improved AI).

    There is a way this concept could fit quite nicely into my idea above, at the same time providing a way of allowing players who are members of neutral player factions a route into Powerplay.

    Players would have two pledge slots; one for a power-aligned faction, and one for a non-power aligned faction. Only one could be a player's 'active faction' at any one time, and only one of the two can be a player faction. Whenever the player wishes to temporarily opt-out of Powerplay, they simply switch their active faction (this would have a cool-down period of a certain time to stop exploits) and they become a 'sleeper agent' of the non-active faction. Advantages of this concept are:
    • Players can take a break from Powerplay so they are not hassled by Power NPCs and rival players (but would keep their bonuses, unlocks and rank)
    • Players who are members of neutral player-factions would not be locked out of Powerplay, as they would still have a Power-pledge slot available



    Additional: 11. Power & Superpower Rebuys

    A potential advantage to pledging to a Power could be a reduction in rebuy costs when operating within friendly & superpower power territory as well as enemy control systems to encourage PvP. I propose:
    • Rebuy's within friendly capital systems are reduced by:
      • 30% (ranks 1 & 2)
      • 60% (ranks 3 & 4)
      • 90% (rank 5)
    • Rebuy's within friendly control systems are reduced by:
      • 25% (ranks 1 & 2)
      • 50% (ranks 3 & 4)
      • 75% (rank 5)
    • Rebuy's within friendly exploited systems are reduced by:
      • 20% (ranks 1 & 2)
      • 40% (ranks 3 & 4)
      • 60% (rank 5)
    • Rebuy's within superpower control & exploited systems are reduced by:
      • 10% (ranks 1 & 2)
      • 20% (ranks 3 & 4)
      • 30% (rank 5)
    • Rebuy's within enemy control systems are reduced by:
      • 15% (ranks 1 & 2)
      • 30% (ranks 3 & 4)
      • 45% (rank 5)



    Additional: 12. Use Merits as a Currency Instead of a Grind Bar

    This is quite a simple concept, instead of trying to get as many merits in one week before they are all lost (which is rubbish) - merits should be used as a secondary currency within the players Power & Superpower.

    All unique power ships, weapons or modules would be 100% payed for with merits. Superpower unique ships could also be 50% funded by merits if the player is pledged to a qualifying power.

    For example; an Imperial Cutter costs about 200 million credits - instead, a player who is pledged to Aisling Duval for example, could choose to pay 50% of the cost with merits (at a better rate than converting those merits to credits). So in the end, the Cutter would cost the player 100 million credits, plus 25,000 merits (or something like that).


    Additional: 13. Introduce 'Defector' & 'Deserter' Player Status

    As mentioned before, one of the main issues with Powerplay is players simply using it to get access to unique modules & weapons, then unpledging. As it stands, leaving a Power to join another triggers the 'Defection' event, where the player is chased by NPC agents of the power they have left. After a certain amount of time (can't remember the exact duration) these NPC's stop chasing the player and all returns to normal - the player gets to keep the unique modules and moves on to the next power.
    I suggest that while a player is in the 'Defection' cool-down, it is shown as a 'Defector' status like 'Enemy' or 'Hostile' to pledged commanders (former power only) like this;



    This status would also be displayed outside of the defection cool-down period if they equip unique weapons or modules that belong to powers they are no longer pledged to. This status would provide a 500 merit bonus to any commander pledged to the defectors former power who manages to kill a commander with this status.

    If a player leaves a power, but still uses unique modules that they no longer have access to, they are designated with a 'Deserter' status, that like the Defector status, entitles any pledged commander to 500 merits if they kill them;



    As stated before, unique modules would not be available to rebuy at this point.



    Last Edit 16-11-2016 : Added sections 10,11,12 & 13 and made various tweaks to unique module suggestions

  2. #2
    Very interesting, and in many ways close to my own suggestion about how Powerplay should work.

    Some side comments:

    1) 1.3 was an amazing patch, if only for limpets. A totally game changing addition. Powerplay... erm.... yeah.

    2) Powerplay the idea is awesome, and i guess FD still haven't implemented everything they want to do with it, same as with Engineers. Of course, this leads to worries that the Engineer mission system may take years to be implemeted as well. Unfortunately, with the current implementation, i think FD have painted themsevles into a corner with regards to the implementation.

    3) A revamp like you suggest will take months of work. I think at this point all they can really do is make improvements/tweaks/additions to PP, not a complete overhaul. At least not for a few years yet before they might be able to consider something like this.

    4) Always worth keeping in mind that some people actually enjoy powerplay in its current form (not that those people wouldn't welcome further improvements).

    5) One thing i really dislike about PP (among many things) is all powers are so similar. Ok, their lore is different, but when it comes down to how you interact with them, its all the same. Make deliveries or kill/steal from ships. No matter your power, you're doing the same activities, and ultimately, why i don't care for powerplay at all. Torval is a mining power... and yet, can you help her by mining? Can you hell. Li Yong apparently loves explorers, but you can travel the galaxy and it won't help him one bit. And this ties in with merit decay... go off on an exploration mission as rank 5, come back in a few months, loaded down with data and, its useless to your power, and of course, by this point you are back at rank 1. Grrrr....

    Overall though, i guess its unlikely to change. FD have lots of other things still in the pipeline that need adding, and new features bring in sales. A powerplay revamp would mean delaying other things. I suppose the only hope is they have a lone dev, hacking away on the sidelines, making changes slowly in preparation for a major revamp of the system that might come in the next year or so.

    Fingers crossed. Really would like PP to be something worth getting involved in.

  3. #3
    I don't agree 100% with your suggestions, but at least 85% of what you suggest tallies with what I have been suggesting for the last 4 months (though without all of your fantastic pictures ). I have it on fairly good authority that Sandro and Michael are *definitely* looking at allying local factions with various powers, & tying the fortunes of the powers into the fortunes of said factions-as well as more directly into the overall state of the system (government type, economy, security, population, state).

    This is based on a direct reply, from Sandro, to a Powerplay question I asked.

    Done right, Powerplay could actually become the very *best* part of Elite: Dangerous......rather than the grind-fest it sadly is at present.

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Agony_Aunt View Post (Source)
    Very interesting, and in many ways close to my own suggestion about how Powerplay should work.

    Some side comments:

    1) 1.3 was an amazing patch, if only for limpets. A totally game changing addition. Powerplay... erm.... yeah.

    2) Powerplay the idea is awesome, and i guess FD still haven't implemented everything they want to do with it, same as with Engineers. Of course, this leads to worries that the Engineer mission system may take years to be implemeted as well. Unfortunately, with the current implementation, i think FD have painted themsevles into a corner with regards to the implementation.

    3) A revamp like you suggest will take months of work. I think at this point all they can really do is make improvements/tweaks/additions to PP, not a complete overhaul. At least not for a few years yet before they might be able to consider something like this.

    4) Always worth keeping in mind that some people actually enjoy powerplay in its current form (not that those people wouldn't welcome further improvements).

    5) One thing i really dislike about PP (among many things) is all powers are so similar. Ok, their lore is different, but when it comes down to how you interact with them, its all the same. Make deliveries or kill/steal from ships. No matter your power, you're doing the same activities, and ultimately, why i don't care for powerplay at all. Torval is a mining power... and yet, can you help her by mining? Can you hell. Li Yong apparently loves explorers, but you can travel the galaxy and it won't help him one bit. And this ties in with merit decay... go off on an exploration mission as rank 5, come back in a few months, loaded down with data and, its useless to your power, and of course, by this point you are back at rank 1. Grrrr....

    Overall though, i guess its unlikely to change. FD have lots of other things still in the pipeline that need adding, and new features bring in sales. A powerplay revamp would mean delaying other things. I suppose the only hope is they have a lone dev, hacking away on the sidelines, making changes slowly in preparation for a major revamp of the system that might come in the next year or so.

    Fingers crossed. Really would like PP to be something worth getting involved in.
    At this point in time, merely making the Powers more explicitly dependant on Faction and System state would be a major improvement to Powerplay, & would definitely lure me back in. Powerplay specific missions, via the affiliated factions, would also be relatively easy to implement.

    Of course that could then serve as a template for affiliating factions with engineers (as they had originally intended to do for 2.1) thus making faction rep another means for ranking up with the Engineers, & allowing engineer specific missions via their affiliated faction.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Agony_Aunt View Post (Source)
    Overall though, i guess its unlikely to change. FD have lots of other things still in the pipeline that need adding, and new features bring in sales. A powerplay revamp would mean delaying other things. I suppose the only hope is they have a lone dev, hacking away on the sidelines, making changes slowly in preparation for a major revamp of the system that might come in the next year or so.
    Originally Posted by Marc_Hicks View Post (Source)
    I don't agree 100% with your suggestions, but at least 85% of what you suggest tallies with what I have been suggesting for the last 4 months (though without all of your fantastic pictures ). I have it on fairly good authority that Sandro and Michael are *definitely* looking at allying local factions with various powers, & tying the fortunes of the powers into the fortunes of said factions-as well as more directly into the overall state of the system (government type, economy, security, population, state).

    This is based on a direct reply, from Sandro, to a Powerplay question I asked.
    Thanks for the feedback. I've probably posted the most extreme version of a Powerplay reboot I could think of, and as Agony_Aunt says, this is very unlikely to happen (to that extent). However, there are variations of my idea(s) that could be implemented in a less development-heavy way, i.e; keep merits & cc etc but still pledge factions to powers, thereby allowing power missions.

    I would love them to expand the unique module selection to something close to what I suggested though - they should reflect the ethos of the power more. If done right, explorers would all gravitate towards Li Yong Rui, pirates to Delaine, miners to Torval etc... Players would actually care about the powers then, because players usually identify themselves with their favored career path, and would more likely fight to protect their bonuses.

    Originally Posted by Marc_Hicks View Post (Source)
    Done right, Powerplay could actually become the very *best* part of Elite: Dangerous......rather than the grind-fest it sadly is at present.
    At least Fdev have acknowledged PP's shortcomings and are committed to fixing it.

  6. #6
    Any changes made would have to come with a corresponding large improvement in terms of design/development team response to issues found. Leaving bugs in for 1+ months before a patch can fix it is terrible for something which ticks over in real time, and can cause repeated damage to factions while it exists.

  7. #7
    Excellent stuff.

    This inspired me to spend WAY too much time with the forum "advanced search", digging up my own PowerPlay minor faction integration post, from way back (July 2015).

    De-spoiler at your own risk. It was quite big.


    Here are my suggestions...


    Integrate "Power" Stuff With Minor Faction Allegiances

    Like this...



    That alone opens up a LOAD of "integration-friendly" possibilities...


    BBS Missions

    Once some Minor Factions are given Power-based allegiance (as an extension of Major Faction allegiance), the impact of some Bulletin Board missions will be implicitly Power-related. Powers will benefit/suffer from mission activity if the "sponsoring" and/or "target" Minor Factions are allied to a Power figure.

    We already have missions that are unavailable because "this faction does not trust you enough". Extend that to include the Minor Faction's Allegiance, compared against the pilot's pledged status...
    • Use the interplay between Minor Faction Reputation and pilots' Power "Pledged" Allegiance to determine which missions are available.
    • Power "sensitive" missions (ie. ones that could impact system control on the Power landscape) would only be available to appropriately pledged pilots.
    • Use pledged pilot Levels in their Power progress to unlock the more interesting missions.


    So, for high-level pledged pilots in relevant locations (ie. where their Power is active), all available mission types become "Power" missions. This means greater variety. And going forward, every single mission "variety" enhancement will be leveraged straight into PowerPlay.


    For pilots, Minor Faction Reputation gains/losses could be aligned with Power Stuff in interesting ways. Currently, the Major Faction reputation rises and falls in line with Minor Faction reputation. Consider the possibilities of extending this to something like the "Favour" concept (or even just calling in "Power Reputation", and keeping all those ducks in a row).


    It also has the neat benefit for selling exploration data. When sold to UC at stations owned by "Power-allied" Minor Factions, Power-related benefits could flow.


    Given all the above, pilots could then play as they wish, while still being engaged with Power Stuff. 100% of existing in-game mechanics would have Power carry-over.



    Impact of Minor Faction Rework on Global Power Mechanics

    The above Minor Faction integration invites a re-imagining of the weirder Power concepts like Exploitation, Command Capital, etc.

    If a system's Controlling Minor Faction is allied with the nearby Power (ie. controlling system close by), some concept other than "exploited" can be used. Perhaps such systems are more like "coalitions", or "bloc systems", or "aligned". If the Controlling Minor faction is not allied with the nearby Power, stick with "exploited".

    Command Capital value could change based on the Controlling Minor Faction's level of influence (and its alliance). Systems could then gain and lose profitability based on their Minor Faction situation - famine, war, boom, flipping, etc.

    Pilots would collectively have a vested interest in "building up" individual system health and well-being, to keep the Command Capital flowing. Keeping the population on-side with the favoured Controlling Minor Faction would be key to a stable power structure and support base.



    Leverage Existing Game Mechanics for Additional Power Benefits

    Look to use what you already have, to give PowerPlay some actual sparkle, and some point. For example,


    Rapid Response Squadrons

    The higher your "level" as a pledged pilot, the more likely it is that a Power Rapid Response Wing will be deployed to assist you if you are attacked. Just use the same sort of spawn mechanic as the "system authority" response, but with Power-aligned NPC ships. Have them turn up faster if you are close to your HQ or Control systems. That way, if you are attacked by those silly "rival Power hit squads" in your own HQ, a squadron of angry Eagles appears to shoot them up.

    Suddenly, there is a real-world benefit to being a pledged Pilot - your own wing of defenders, appearing on demand.


    Redeem Bounty Vouchers and Combat Bonds Anywhere in Power Space

    In the same way that you can currently land on any station to cash in a Bounty Voucher or Combat Bond for an in-system Minor Faction, make it possible to cash them in for any Minor Faction in Power-controlled space, if you dock at a station in that Power region.

    Another instant benefit to being a pledged pilot - no need to travel to every darn system controlled by your Power. Convenient cashing in of a broad range of vouchers, facilitated by your friendly neighbourhood Power.




    Make Sure Stuff Actually Works Properly and Consistently


    Please consider ensuring Rule Of Law is restored across Elite space. If there is jurisdictional authority, there is NO justification for allowing a ship to attack a CLEAN ship without itself becoming WANTED. It shouldn't matter who is "pulling the strings"; An unlawful attack is an unlawful attack. If a manipulative Power wants to press buttons and have someone killed, get them to issue a bounty on a pilot that has done them wrong. Work WITH the legal system... don't compromise/discard it for the sake of Power Pew-Pew.


  8. #8
    Opening Pandora's box in 3...2...1

    open vs solo & PowerPlay npc farming efficiency

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by CaptainKremmen View Post (Source)
    Excellent stuff.

    This inspired me to spend WAY too much time with the forum "advanced search", digging up my own PowerPlay minor faction integration post, from way back (July 2015).

    De-spoiler at your own risk. It was quite big.

    etc...
    Thanks for taking the time to find your old thread...We are in agreement

    It's clear connecting powers to factions in some capacity is the way forward (if just for power-faction missions).

    I like your ideas, they would slot alongside mine very well.

  10. #10
    If just half your ideas were in the game I would be pledging instantly to a power and play merrily.

    As it stands I was pledged for six powers for 1 month each just for their modules and never touched PP since. (who needs more interdictions, srsly).

  11. #11
    I am in awe after reading that. It's an amazing suggestions list. I definitely hope FDev can read this and put some of it into the game.

    If this were to be a patch, it'd probably be larger than 1.3 was. I don't think we're ever getting a patch with all of this at once, but perhaps it can be slowly put together over the course of seasons 3 and 4?

    Faluc, I completely agree. I would absolutely join Archon and help him take over the galaxy.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post (Source)
    Thanks for taking the time to find your old thread...We are in agreement

    It's clear connecting powers to factions in some capacity is the way forward (if just for power-faction missions).

    I like your ideas, they would slot alongside mine very well.
    Imagine having a changeable Minor Faction "level of commitment" to their Power.

    Sort of a morale thing, showing how much each Power-affiliated Minor Faction has bought in to their Power's Vision.


    A well-supported Minor Faction, one that gets clear and valuable economic/security benefits from their Power allegiance, would punch above their weight compared to an attention-starved Minor Faction; demoralised, distrustful and weak.

    Perhaps that could translate directly into a more organic style of "fortification/undermining". Where the Minor Factions themselves are fortified (ie. increase commitment and cooperation) or are undermined (lose faith, pull support, disengage).

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by faluc View Post (Source)
    If just half your ideas were in the game I would be pledging instantly to a power and play merrily.

    As it stands I was pledged for six powers for 1 month each just for their modules and never touched PP since. (who needs more interdictions, srsly).
    Originally Posted by CMDR Hagglebeard View Post (Source)
    I am in awe after reading that. It's an amazing suggestions list. I definitely hope FDev can read this and put some of it into the game.

    If this were to be a patch, it'd probably be larger than 1.3 was. I don't think we're ever getting a patch with all of this at once, but perhaps it can be slowly put together over the course of seasons 3 and 4?

    Faluc, I completely agree. I would absolutely join Archon and help him take over the galaxy.
    This is thing isn't it, we don't join the power that would compliment our playstyle, we just join the ones who have the best unique modules or do the rounds hoovering-up all the best ones through defections.

    Like Hagglebeard says, I want to join Delaine to get piracy perks, but at the moment have little reason to do so.

    Originally Posted by CaptainKremmen View Post (Source)
    Imagine having a changeable Minor Faction "level of commitment" to their Power.

    Sort of a morale thing, showing how much each Power-affiliated Minor Faction has bought in to their Power's Vision.

    A well-supported Minor Faction, one that gets clear and valuable economic/security benefits from their Power allegiance, would punch above their weight compared to an attention-starved Minor Faction; demoralised, distrustful and weak.

    Perhaps that could translate directly into a more organic style of "fortification/undermining". Where the Minor Factions themselves are fortified (ie. increase commitment and cooperation) or are undermined (lose faith, pull support, disengage).
    Yes that would be an interesting enhancement, definitely something for Fdev to consider. There should be some side-effects from the current state the faction is in.

  14. #14
    The devs are conspicuous by their absence when suggestions threads like this arise. I guess they like keeping any feature changes or additions for games conventions, media articles, and newsletters in the few weeks before a new update is released. If they blabbed on the forums, their PR people would probably be unhappy.

  15. #15
    Possible extra - Add material/engineering commodity rewards to the list per week instead of just credits.

    Random selection from different pools (common/moderate/rare) based on your rank.

    For example:
    Rank 1 = 1 common commodity per cycle
    Rank 2 = 2 common + 1 moderate per cycle
    Rank 3 = 3 common + 2 moderate + 1 rare per cycle
    Rank 4 = 4 common + 3 moderate + 2 rare per cycle
    Rank 5 = 5 common + 4 moderate + 3 rare per cycle

    Thats just an example of how the scaling could work, obviously numbers of commodities and materials need to be tweaked and balanced but it'd get more people interested. Combined with the changes to make powerplay "work" better it could also provided the incentive to get involved.

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