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Thread: A Message To Elite Dangerous Developers

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    A Message To Elite Dangerous Developers

    Table Of Contents:

    (This thread is essentially 2 dozen topics that could have been threads in their own right. This TOC is here to help you navigate to the individual topics that interest you)


    Disclaimer (Please read this, if nothing else)

    Introductory Note

    Core Critique

    1.) Mission Design

    a.) Risk/Reward Scaling
    b.) The Reputation System
    c.) IRL Mission Timers
    d.) Mission Variety and Structure
    e.) Difficulty Scaling

    2.) The Grind

    a.) Progression Rate
    b.) Autopilot
    c.) Interactive Interstellar Travel
    d.) Entertainment
    e.) VR

    3.) Ships

    a.) Specialization
    b.) Ship Recoverability

    4.) Multiplayer

    a.) Servers



    First and foremost, a disclaimer:

    1.) Please read fully, or at least the part that concerns you most, before writing a reply. I'm about to say some things that may come off as requiring a "No duh that happened noob" to more experienced players. These are points that I already understand, and will address separately in this post.

    2.) I will be heavily criticizing this game. If you like the game, then fine. However, please do not take it personally that I criticize it. I don't do it out of malice. I do it because I DESPERATELY want to like the game too... But just can't in its current state, and am writing this post specifically to address why I don't like it as much as I really want to.

    3.) Yes I am wordy… If you’re here to just say “wow, that’s a book, quit writing so much you dweeb”, then your comment adds little to the conversation, and is unnecessary. Just move on. And yes, I do write a lot, this is 23 pages in google docs. I apologize for that in advance. Even for me, that’s a lot for just a stupid forum post. But I like to be specific and detailed in how I critique a game, and what solutions I think could fix problems.

    4.) Yes, I am new to this game (109 hours played), and do have a few misconceptions about this game, that are apparent to the more experienced players in the replies. However, bare in mind that this post is effectively a snapshot of one noob's first 100 hours in this game, one who HAS tried to do some in depth research into its mechanics. I usually have a dozen tabs related to what I'm doing open in chrome that I alt-tab to pretty often while playing, and even try to strategize while at work for when I'm next online... Yet I am still running into these issues. Even if my perception of this game currently isn't entirely accurate, this is how it APPEARS to at least one player on their first 100 hours... Which should at least provide some context as to why it's an off-putting game to some... And this is coming from an avid Kerbal Space Program player, so I'm no stranger to games that require research and have steep learning curves.

    5.) A select few out-of-place sentences have been made in a larger font, to emphasize points people often seem to miss.

    Introductory Note:

    The introduction to this post originally contained a descriptive story about how I lost my Beluga out of my own impatience. It only added context to my frustrations, but otherwise added nothing to the critique of this game. It was a mistake to make that the first thing people read. As such, it has been deleted. This was never intended to be a typical "rebuy rant", just a silly story to explain why I may sound very exasperated in my critique. Unfortunately, many seem to think that this alone, and my own mistakes, are the whole POINT of this thread... This is not the case, as I had already thought about these criticisms in depth long before I ever screwed up my progress in ED. It was only the final push that made me finally wish to voice these criticisms.


    Core Critique:

    I’ll spend the rest of this post, focussing on SPECIFIC criticisms I have of this game, and specific ideas for solutions. I know some of you share these criticisms and agree with similar solutions, and others of you think this game is fine just the way it is. I’d like to have a debate about these concepts, and whether or not the additions to the game would improve it, or fix problems in it.

    When you read and consider my criticisms and possible solutions, just bare in mind that I am not trying to speak for everybody. I am only trying to speak for myself, and perhaps, a portion of this game's community that take issue with these same things... And I know for a fact, that there are plenty out there who take issue with at least a few of the problems I list. Just because something isn't an issue for you doesn't mean it's an issue for nobody. Furthermore, when I make suggestions for changes, I only wish to suggest changes that do not make the game worse for those who already enjoy it. Most of my suggestions are simply OPTIONAL game mechanics which if you do not like, then you do not have to avail yourself of them. My goal is not to recommend changes that would detract from currently already satisfied players. Perhaps the biggest exception to this is my opinion on the progression rate, but honestly, I can see that debate easily going either way as it comes down to personal taste, so anybody who feels the game is fine where it is, or would rather have slower progression is just as valid on that issue.

    Personally, I’d like to ask that people refrain from using the replies of “git gud” or “if you don’t like it, don’t play it”. For the first, what’s it better to be “gud” at, a well polished game with real difficulty and challenge, or a game that's repetitive and shallow? This game has very real problems, and when a significant portion of the player base points them out, or just straight up quits because they can't be bothered anymore, then they should be addressed… Not dismissed as just being bad at the game. For example, I get it, I WILLINGLY made mistakes, knowing it could turn out badly. I made high risk decisions, and am now paying the price because of it. But if the gameplay mechanics themselves are annoying and actively frustrate players to the point where bad decisions seem worth the risk, then the game is not actively encouraging “gud” gameplay… THAT should be addressed, not dismissed as simply a bad player’s decisions. A game should encourage people to play in a way that seems smart. If it doesn't, then it's counter intuitive, and it'll cause a split in the community. For the second… No… I’m mad because LIKE this game. I don’t WANT to quit playing it. I don’t get mad, I just QUIT games I don’t like. You only ever get mad at the things you love. The things that you’re indifferent about don’t really bother you. I see faults in this game that are preventing it from being as good as it could be… I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pointing out those things...

    1: Mission Design

    A: Risk/Reward Scaling

    This game doesn’t seem to have any logical risk/reward system. The rewards for missions don’t seem to scale properly with your ranks. Because clients offer missions than span reputation and rank requirements, often times, despite having a dozen clients at a single station, there’ll only be one mission worth taking on (if that). That’s another thing, WHY IS THIS? Why can’t missions be player specific? It’d be nice if I could show up a station for once, and be shown a few dozen missions spanning several types that are all available for my rank and reputation… Not be shown 1 that’s actually worth taking, 5 that are data deliveries and other small fry, and 10 that I can’t do because I’m not a high enough rep yet, even though few of them actually seem to give better rewards or are actually interesting. Sometimes the missions that I can’t do yet look almost identical to the ones that I can do, which begs the question, what the hell is the point of unlocking them? You’d think building a rapport with a client would unlock special, higher difficulty missions… No… Not really.

    Some look more fun or more challenging, but have lower rewards. Others are boring as hell, but more profitable, and no matter how much progress you make, it always seems like the rewards all around aren’t very good, or are just plain random.

    I KNOW there’s an RNG element to rewards. Take the exploit I mentioned earlier… 20 missions… 20 missions per flight, all of which are IDENTICAL. Same mission, same target, etc. Identical in EVERY WAY except for one… Reward. The rewards varied from 50,000 credits to 800,000 credits… WHY? It’s the same mission, it’s the same difficulty no matter what you’re doing, why does one reward 16x more money?

    I think perhaps it’s because the devs want to provide the option for people to make good money at anything… But the way they’ve done it is by RNGing the crap out of the reward system… Which effectively means that these missions no longer have a logical value to them. Why should I take on a more challenging mission for less money? Why is a milk run worth more money than an assassination against a tough target?

    The game really needs to take into account the difficulty levels of a missions and give a proper reward for them. Furthermore, there OUGHT to be extremely tough but extremely rewarding missions. Very few missions offered seem TRULY challenging. I probably took a good 50 assasination missions before I finally found one that managed to kill me instead. Furthermore, I think the scaling of reward should have a somewhat bigger multiplier than the scaling of difficulty. This would actively encourage players to challenge themselves, to take on tough missions. If a tough target were offered, I could weigh my options: Take it and risk getting my handed to me, but for millions of credits instead of thousands, or do another easy milk run. As it stands currently, there is little differentiation in rate of progression between types of missions, meaning you’re almost encouraged to do milk runs over challenging ones, just because it’s easier to do, and you get the same amount of money either way.

    While I certainly enjoy doing milk runs and making a steady and safe income, if I ever get bored of it and want to do something hard for a change, it’d be nice if I were rewarded earnestly for a challenging mission… And right now, there doesn’t seem to be any outside of just doing something different for once. There is SO MUCH RNG in how you get rewarded, that it’s hard to find a mission that actually gives you a reasonably high or low reward for the amount of risk you take for it.

    B: The Reputation System

    This game simulates the Milky Way, which has an estimated 400 BILLION stars. This is, in my opinion, the single biggest selling point of the game, the single most interesting and alluring thing about it, and the single most fun thing to do in it. I see all these videos of people travelling to the core, or to these odd planets, and I think… Why haven’t I found anything like that? Why can’t I do that?… Yet due to multiple game functions, this game appears to actively discourage players from exploring in this way. One of these game functions is the reputation system.

    Specifically, the client specific reputation system. You have to build a rapport with individual clients in order to unlock (in theory) more rewarding missions from them… This means, if a client offers missions you want that are locked behind a reputation wall, you have to effectively set up shop in one system for quite a long time. During my grind from the ASP to the Beluga, I did the vast majority of my missions in no more than 5 or 6 systems, so as to build reputation there.

    And whenever you get tired of the scenery, and decide to pack up and go find something new to do elsewhere… You have to start all over again, from scratch. Sure, missions are also tied to your 4 reputations, exploration, combat, etc… But if a mission someplace new ALSO has a requirement for the client’s reputation… You might as well be a noob to them.

    This makes no sense in its own right. Most of these clients work for an entity, such as the Federation… If I go from one federation client to another… Shouldn’t my federation rank matter more than this puke’s neutral opinion of me? Shouldn’t my reputation precede me a little bit? I get that reputation on a personal level matters, but… If they have my “Federation employment files” as it were, then wouldn’t I be almost as trustworthy in that system as the previous one? Shouldn’t the client rank just have a penalty on it for not working with them before or something of that nature? Or better yet, why not limit the client rank to just their personal errand type missions, and not missions related to factions?

    I think the devs should take a look at what the current reputation system rewards and discourages, and think about what THEY want to reward and discourage. Currently, this system practically punishes people for exploring away from their originating system.

    I also think that missions should be generated for the player. They should be player specific. Why are you showing me missions I cannot even accept? Why are you showing me small fry missions I don’t want to bother with, because they’re the sort you get at the beginning of the game? Why are you populating the mission board with this? Why can’t the clients just populate it with missions I CAN accept and are reasonable for my levels? If there were a greater difference in the rewards and depth of missions depending on my rank with a client, that alone should motivate me to level up with them, not seeing missions that I can’t accept wasting space on the mission boards. It makes it far harder to find missions I actually want to take on. Often times there’s only a single mission in an entire station I want/can take on.

    C: IRL Mission Timers

    This is one of my BIGGEST complaints about the game. As someone else put it, “This game isn’t respectful of your real life”.

    I realize that there are a lot of people who think the time limits are fine on this missions. There are people who are more than willing to spend the time to get a mission done in the allotted time. If you can do that, then great for you. If you can do that, than this problem doesn’t affect you… There are people out there, however, who this DOES affect. Just because it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it’s not a problem for others.

    And it is a problem for me. I work in the military, I have a 10+ hour a day work schedule, plus work and home related chores, plus occasionally working 12 hour shifts and weekends, plus living on a tropical island where I don’t want to get fat from having to grind so much WITHIN AN ALLOTTED TIME FRAME. I don’t want to be at work worrying about finishing a mission with a REAL WORLD TIMER on it.

    This is the type of cardinal sin that makes me quit mobile MMO strategy games. You know the kind, the one that keeps farming credits even when you’re offline, the one that keeps getting attacked while you’re too busy trying to do your real world job. This game is one that actively INTERFERES with your real world schedule.

    This, honestly, pushes away many players. It excludes an entire player demographic. It effectively caters to people who have no life.

    … I realize how that sounds, I’m not trying to offend people who genuinely have an unbusy life, and wish to fill their free time with this game. I used to be in the same boat, and did fill my time with games, so I’m not trying to say that like it’s an insult. What you do in your free time is up to you. My point is only that not everybody has tons of it, and for those kinds of people, these time limits are way more constricting than the devs seem to realize.

    This, too, also actively discourages exploration. I’ll give you an example. Some of the worst missions for this problem are extremely long range passenger missions. If I remember correctly, I’ve seen some missions that offered 25,000 light year trips that had to be done in 30 days.

    … I would LOVE to do one of these missions. I can go explore the galaxy, get the hell away from fines and interdictions, and actually discover something nobody’s ever seen before. This is, once again, this game’s biggest selling point…

    But I can’t… I can’t because of that stupid mission timer… Let’s break it down.

    Once, in my Asp Explorer, which at the time, had a max jump range of something like 18 light years, I figured out that I could travel about 400 light years in 1 hour…

    Since these trips are round trip, that’d be a 50,000 light year trip… If I spent 5 hours each day (2,000 light years) playing this game, I could get this mission done in 25 days… Do I sound like the type of person who has 5 hours a day for a MONTH to devout to one game? That’s like a g part time job.

    Hmm, maybe I could do 2.5 hours a day during the week, and get the other… 17.5 HOURS done on the weekends? Holy crap, you know, I do occasionally have long gaming sessions on weekends, but this is getting ridiculous.

    And none of this even includes getting sidetracked to go look at something interesting, like a nebula.

    This is what I’m saying when I say this game doesn’t respect your life. There are options for missions in this game that I simply cannot accept, since it’ll only end in failure of the mission. It’s a hindrance to both progression AND exploration. This means that a busy person’s rate of progression is not only slower by mere virtue of playing the game less, but also slower because the game keeps failing their missions with arbitrary time limits. I have failed a staggering number of missions in this game thanks to these stupid limits, and it has contributed to slowing my progress to a crawl.

    Now, I can understand why these limits are there. It’s for the persistent universe, right? It makes no sense, in a persistent multiplayer universe, for an NPC to want to go on a cruise for an entire year, for example. Furthermore, your actions in this game can have an effect on the NPC factions, and as such, your actions need to occur in a timely manner…

    But then why does this have to be the case for Solo… I almost exclusively play solo, why can’t I play the game at my own pace? I know people are, and have, called me impatient in this game because of my previously described player, but it’s kind of hard not to be, WHEN THE GAME IS ACTIVELY RUSHING YOU. I’d honestly play this game at a snail's pace, and even enjoy it at that pace, if all it did was not have these stupid time limits.

    Of course, the answer is because the solo universe is tied to the persistent universe. It’s why you don’t lose progress going from one to the other.

    Frankly, what I’d like to see is just for them to get rid of the time limits altogether, just for the sake of making gameplay a little easier on players. It won’t have any effect on players who already have enough free time to accomplish missions, but it will remove the adverse effect the limits have on people who have a busy life.

    This would of course have consequences for the factions. If a player accepts a mission that was triggered by an in-game event… And that event ends before the player finishes the mission… Then does the player deserve rewards for completing a mission that is no longer needed?

    Frankly, I think yes, the results of the mission’s success would simply no longer have an effect on the factions, or at least have a much smaller effect than it would’ve had before.

    If this game wants to be an RPG, then they should treat it as most RPGs do: It’s not a mission, it’s a “quest”, and you finish it on your own time. None of this arbitrary time limit BS. It might make the game a little less realistic… But it’s a GAME. It’s not REAL. REAL LIFE interferes with this game. As such, the game needs a compromise so that it doesn’t interfere with people’s real lives.

    Some might argue this would remove the ability to fail a mission. I disagree. If your mission is to transport cargo, and you lose it through destruction or loss, that’s a failure. There are other failure criteria the game could use. Time limits shouldn’t be one of them. Or at least, not real life time limits. Furthermore, difficulty should RELY on these other criteria, not on IRL time limits. In exchange for the removal of time limits, other types of difficulty could be increased, such as the strength of pirates that chase you.

    I’d probably be less mad about this one if the time limits were only active while you were in game. That way you still have a sense of urgency, but you can still pick it up and put it down whenever.

    D: Mission Variety and Design

    The missions in this game don’t have as much variety as they could. Although the target changes, the journey is effectively the same: Go from point A to point B, accomplish task C, and return.

    Assasination: Go to this system, kill this guy, return
    Cargo: Go to this system, and drop this off
    Passenger: I want to see these 3 beacons, and return.
    Surface Base: Go to this colony, blow up their generator, and return

    … This is what I mean by a lack of variety. You accept a mission from a client, do their dirty work, and return. There’s very limited depth to flesh out the role playing of this RPG… You know what, why not have a pirate kingpin spawn or something, one that you’re tasked with taking down, or grouping up with others to take down… But doing so turns into a drawn out campaign with story arcs and such… Why not stuff like that? ED devs have already thrown in some scripted stuff for the aliens, they NEED MORE OF THAT… LOT’S MORE.

    The regular missions themselves could have more variety as well… They ought to be more logical at least.

    I think passenger missions are the worst offenders. They promised to add a whole new facet to the game, but the devs made them structurally little different from a cargo mission… In fact, in some ways, they’re worse than cargo missions.

    Consider this, if you take on some cargo, say, beer, and then another cargo, say, vodka, do those 2 commodities have to be stored in 2 separate holds?

    … NO. Cargo space is cargo space. You stick it anywhere till it fills up. Buying 4 units of beer and storing it in a cargo hold with, say, 12 spaces, doesn’t preclude you from putting anything else in it.

    … So WHY ON EARTH does it make sense for 3 idiots to buy 12 cabins? You know what I’m talking about, a single passenger mission will buy out an entire passenger module, regardless of whether or not it leaves that module 90% empty. Any other passenger missions makes you stick them in another passenger cabin… What? No, if cabins are available, you should be allowed to stick people there.

    I’m trying not to be rude in my criticisms, but this right here, is such a head scratcher, that it honestly makes me wonder how this was allowed into the game as if it were intended to work this way. There are no logical reasons why you can’t put 2 missions worth of passengers into a single module. That’s not even a limit of cargo missions, so there’s apparently no precedent for this game mechanic working this way. It makes no logical sense in reality either. Why would one person pay for more cabins than they need?

    And these missions… They don’t really change anything structurally. They are still client based, basically, and still demand that you go to your specific 3 points, scan, maybe look at something pretty, and go back. They’re very similar to cargo missions. I realize the game devs tried to spice things up a bit by giving us multiple destinations and little characters to the clients, such as “this guy is being hunted” or something, but it’s not really enough IMO. And the multiple destination thing actually makes things rather difficult. If I took on multiple passengers, I try to pick clients with destinations that are near each other… But since almost all of them have 2 or 3 destinations that are all over the place, there’s no real way to do that.

    This is effectively a charter based passenger economy… Which is fine… For small ships… For single passenger cabins… It seems like the addition of the Beluga when passenger missions were added was a major misstep, as it is better used in a bulk passenger economy (not catering to the whims of individual nutjobs). But rather than implement a bulk passenger economy that ships like the Beluga can work with, they’ve instead effectively abandoned that ship, and added a new one; the Dolphin, which is admittedly, far better suited to this charter based economy. The Dolphin is the small yacht an individual client would want to charter for their little demands. But… This seems like a cop out. It’s easier to make a new ship that better fits this game’s meta than it is to change the meta itself… But honestly, the meta seems a bit broken, and I wish they WOULD change it. There needs to be more to do in this game, and with how similar passenger missions are to all the others… They aren’t it.

    I think the single biggest and BEST thing ED Devs can do for this game is to add a new way of doing business… The mission planner.

    Here’s how it works, I have my Beluga outfitted with 4 luxury cabins. I plan my own route from here to, say, the core, with stops for sightseeing along the way. The stops and destinations have a certain “tourist value” to them that affects ticket price and passenger satisfaction. These stops could have added value for actually landing and exploring planets in person. Things like black holes, pulsars, nebula, earth like worlds, etc would have a higher value. This encourages exploration along the trip. Passengers could also earn you more money by renting out extra SRVs or fighter crafts while stopped at a tourist destination.

    The game then spits out an estimated “reasonable” ticket price. I can then decide to highball the price to get higher paying customers, but potentially vacant cabins, or low ball it to ensure I get all the cabins filled. This adds a new and interesting gameplay mechanic for players to play with, the idea of starting, owning, and running their own business, complete with supply/demand concepts.

    I then put this route up on the mission board… Effectively, this works OPPOSITE to the way it works currently. People show interest and buy tickets. People buy tickets. Individuals, couples, and families pay for cabins… Not entire modules… Cabins… However many would make sense. 1 cabin for 1 or 2 people. Then you set sail. THIS is what a luxury cruise liner does in real life. It sure as hell doesn’t get chartered out to one nutjob.

    There’s other gameplay that could be added here. For example, a large cruise liner doesn’t ONLY contain cabins. That would be a very boring cruise. Thus, there should be other gameplay here for providing on-board entertainment. Real life cruise ships are micro economies unto themselves. They have shops, malls, restaurants, water parks, etc… All of these things could be made into optional internal modules. If you aren’t interested in taking 4 luxury passenger cabins, you could trade one or two of those for one of these modules. You could take a restaurant, for example. E class would be like a cafeteria, while an A class would be like a 5 star restaurant. Similarly, you could also have a mini-mall module with a few shops in it, or a gym, or a water park, or a movie theater, etc.

    These other modules could provide small, but continual income throughout the trip. It would also increase the attractiveness of your cruise, which would in-turn, buff the ticket prices and customer satisfaction. So there would be benefits. In exchange, you lose passenger capacity, and perhaps have to hire crew to man the modules. If you hire a good crew member, they provide good customer service, increasing customer satisfaction. Conversely, going cheap will adversely affect satisfaction. If you consistently maintain good customer satisfaction while doing these routes, your next cruise will be more popular… If you annoy your customers however, you’ll only end up driving future customers away.

    There’s other factors at play here as well. For example, you need to find the right balance of entertainment to cabins. If you have a level 3 economy cabin, and a level 6 5 star restaurant that nobody can afford… Then your restaurant is useless. Conversely, if you have 3 big luxury cabins, and a tiny restaurant, than that restaurant will be packed… reducing customer satisfaction. You need to pick the right balance, and match the quality of each module together so as to maximize the efficiency of your cruise line.

    All of this can also apply to previously existing missions. Take, for example, regular old economy transport. Not a cruise line, just somebody trying to get to point B. You could instead run an economy cabin and a cafeteria, and plan a transportation route. This kind of route is a little bit different. You could set it to, say, “I’m willing to deviate from this route by X number of systems” (let’s say 2, in this example). Then anybody on the station who needs transport to anywhere within 2 jumps deviation of that route can purchase a ticket. Once cabins are full, set sail. Furthermore, when you stop at a system to drop someone off, you can pick up new customers on the same route. The longer someone stays on that route, the higher the percentage they pay on the ticket price you set… So for example, if someone’s only going halfway down the route, they pay 50% of the ticket price. You can set up routes along commonly trafficked parts of the galaxy. Customer satisfaction still matters, so depending on the type of system you’re in, you’ll need appropriate class cabins and modules.

    This game mechanic could also just as easily apply to cargo runs. You plan a cargo route, and people offer you contracts to take cargo along that route. You can accept the contracts at will, and even charge different prices, for different kinds of cargo. After all, contraband deserves a higher price.

    … Do you see?... Do you see the depth that this ADDS to the game? The current charter and client system would still be there for players who prefer it, or for players who are just starting out, but for those who don’t like the current system, THIS adds a whole new facet to gameplay. It gives players greater control over when and how they progress through the game. It gives them greater, and far more creative/thoughtful methods of earning an income. This would add the shorter term goals necessary to keep players interested over long hauls. It gives players options in this universe, and that, right now, is what it so desperately needs.

    If nothing else, as I mention elsewhere in this thread... There are elements of game-play that actively discourage "fun" play. For example, most people love this game for exploration, yet don't get their PROGRESS rewarded by doing that. Some of you have given me very helpful tips about how to make money exploring, without accepting timed passenger missions... But even these methods seem to be less lucrative than other options. Part of it may be that this is one of the few systems in the game that doesn't have BOTH a mission method, and a "commodity" method, as some of you have referred to. For example, you can both accept a cargo mission, AND fill in the rest of your cargo space with regular trade goods. You can both earn bounties AND accept missions to take out specific targets. Exploration suffers the same problem as passenger missions, in that it is only one kind of market. Basically, cartographics is a commodity only. There are no missions that DIRECTLY tell you to go explore... Why can't we have a mission board for cartographics that gives you missions, on top of the scan data. Here, I'll give you an example of what a mission could look like:

    "Find and scan a planet that is earthlike (so we can colonize it), AND has a moon or a ring, so that we can set up a space industry to help with the colonization effort. Reward is X amount of credits... Oh, and there is no time limits, because especially in this kind of mission, a time limit would be stupid."

    This kind of mission would be a little difficult and lengthy to do (I would think at least), but would encourage you to do what is arguably, the best thing to do in this game: FIND COOL CRAP TO LOOK AT.

    Ultimately, players in games shouldn't be made to choose between what is fun but not very lucrative, and what is mind numbing, but catapults their progress into the stratosphere. If that choice is given to them, then you'll get a divide. Two camps. One that is frustrated by a lack of decent gameplay, and another that is having a blast, but gets little reward for it... these 2 things should be one in the same. If game designers want to avoid a frustrated fan-base, then they should actively reward them enjoying the best parts of the game... The economy in this game is lackluster... The view however is brilliant...

    Given what I’ve seen in my last thread, even people who really disagree with me on most points, at least seem interested in this idea right here. This would vastly increase the versatility and playability of this game. And while it would take some fundamental changes, or additions, of game mechanics, it would likely end up pleasing a majority of the fan base.

    E: Difficulty

    Difficulty should be ratcheted up in this game in some areas. I'll give you an example. When I was grinding on my Asp Explorer before discovering exploits, one thing I was grinding was assassination missions... They were a piece of cake.

    Out of probably over a hundred targets I've taken out, almost every single one went the same way. Interdict them or catch them in a target location... 2 minutes later, they're dead, and my shields are still holding. Sometimes it was shockingly quick, as in, the opening shots finished them off. And it makes no sense either, because my Asp was not top notch. It had all its slots filled up with pulse laser turrets, and it didn't have the best power distributor.

    ... This seems to be a big part of the game that contributes to that FEELING of "grindiness" and "repeatative menial tasks"... This is a combat mission... give me a real target. One that won't spank me, but is at least an even fight, or even an uphill battle.

    The single most enjoyable experience I've yet had in this game was ONE of those hundred or more targets... I can name ONE that seriously scared the pants off me, and pushed me to my limits. I interdicted a Diamondback Scout that was armed to the teeth, and had a very difficult shield to penetrate. His primary armament were missiles that tore me to shreds. I had point defense to help, but it didn't stop them all... The battle went on for half an hour. At the end, I had him down to 9% health, and the moment I got through his shields one last time and was preparing to finish him, he fired one last volley, that took my last 20-something % of health off, and finished me... So close... So close...

    When I re-spawned I didn't even care about the rebuy cost or the failed mission. I was still hopped up on adrenaline, and ready to pick another fight... But moments like that don't happen often... Because the game just doesn't know how to challenge you in some respects.

    And it can be a detriment to the player as well. I probably could've won that fight if I had more opportunities to sharpen my claws on foes prior to that one. I still don't know the full inner workings of combat in this game. Take the whole "reboot" thing... I straight up don't know how to use it, because I'm so rarely given the opportunity to need it... Which leads to situations where I do need it, and start panicking.

    The game should throw much tougher opponents at you, and you should be given a higher reward for it. This goes back into the risk/reward scaling problem. If I accept a 600,000 credit assassination mission, I expect it to make me work for it a lot more than a 60,000 credit assassination mission. This basic balancing would give some players a far more rewarding experience in this game.

    2: The Grind

    A: Progression Rate

    Firstly, when I speak about progression, I am referring to normal and natural progression... None of this "Quince" nonsense. Exploits should not be the selling point of a game.

    First and foremost, a note to clarify exactly why some people feel the game is too slow paced, and others too fast. Take my 109 hours of game time. In this time, using a mixture of an exploit (apparently inefficiently as some have stated), one community goal, and traditional mission board grinding, I managed to get a Beluga... For some, this almost too short a time required to get a Beluga. Here's the reasoning why: 109 hours, on its own, isn't that long. One could knock that out in 2 or 3 weeks if they REALLY wanted to. For people who have that much time to devout to this game, this is completely reasonable for them to think this amount of progression is too fast. I would normally be inclined to agree, that 3 weeks is too short for getting such a nice ship.

    ... However, not everybody has that much time to devout to one game. As I've stated above about IRL mission timers, I do NOT have a ton of free time. For some, 109 hours means about 3 weeks... For me however... That meant ONE YEAR. I have been playing this game since last September when I first built a PC capable of handling this game, and while I have not focused on this game as much as I could have even with my limited free time, the point still stands that game hours equates to free time, and some people don't have very much of it... And for those kinds of people, unfortunately, games like this have end game content that is boarderline out of reach... I hope this can put into context why the progression feels slow to some players, but fast to others.

    Perhaps if I had focused on this game to the point of detriment, derelicting my social and outdoor life, my responsibilities to work in my training, my physical fitness, and even ignoring other forms of media to the farthest point I would ever could without losing my mind, and playing this to the point of burnout (sans exploits), maybe I could've gotten that down to 2 or 3 months... And this is without rebuys, insurance, or literally any upgrades.

    ... This is why the progression feels slow to me. If you want to progress fast enough to ever actually SEE end game content, you have to give up a lot... I dunno... Maybe I really am becoming a casual... Now that I've moved out and have a life, I guess video games just aren't worth it... I guess that's not really elite dangerous' fault... But there are at least a few things they could do to make things a little bit easier on those with lives... Like those stupid IRL mission timers.

    The grind is unreal in this game. I know a lot of people think me impatient, and I rather have been with this game… Normally I’m not though. Does anybody here play World of Tanks?

    World of Tanks is one of the grindiest games out there. Yet I rarely find myself thinking it’s “too slow”. I’ve been playing for 5 years now, and still have yet to get a tier 10. This is because the game offers satisfying gameplay to hold your attention. You’re in a battle, you’re not concerned about the next tank. And if you ever find yourself pining for some rapid developments, simply find a tank line you haven’t started yet, and see how far you can get down the tech tree in a night.

    Similarly, in slow strategy games like Stellaris, I play it at the slowest pace possible. This is because it’s a complex games with dozens of little decisions you can make very turn. It may be a slow game, but you don’t notice because it keeps your brain occupied with evolving problems.

    … Elite dangerous doesn’t really do that... Or at least, not constantly… It DOES have some satisfying gameplay in it… But a lot of it is designed to be around other game-play that is repetitive that it actually becomes mind numbing after too much of it… Which is bad.

    THAT’S when a game’s slow progression suddenly comes to the forefront of your mind. When you’re not making continuous decisions, your mind is allowed to wander… Wander to what you’re working for. You become obsessed with getting to the ship you want… And suddenly the slow progression is overbearing.

    A game can have progression this slow… But it needs to occupy your mind with other things… One thing is the gameplay, which as I criticized earlier, is severely lacking in this game. So there are 2 solutions one could take. The first is to simply add better gameplay, or at least, other things to occupy your thoughts. I’d PREFER this. For those of you who keep replying to me, specifically about my thoughts on possibly making progression faster, NO, believe it or not, I would actually PREFER it to be slow... But only if the game can occupy your attention with interesting gameplay... Otherwise the progression IS the gameplay... And if the progression IS the gameplay, then it should be made more palatable.

    However, if the devs don’t add this, then the progression system itself BECOMES the core gameplay mechanic… I think they know that… I think they know this game lacks the content it desperately needs. I think they know the grind is the biggest reason anybody plays this game, and as such, they want to stretch that out as long as possible to keep players playing… And now it’s such a slow progression system, that it’s unrewarding. A good game needs short term, mid term, and long term goals to be interesting to people… And this game feels like it has very few short term goals, and MANY long term goals. This seems to be the crux of why so many get frustrated with the slow progression of this game.

    Given the time limits the game devs put on missions, I would be willing to bet the game devs perhaps designed this game’s progression rate to be “fair” for those who play it pretty much constantly.

    1 month to complete a trip to the core, for example, does actually seem like a reasonable goal for someone who CAN play this game for hours a day, every day… By that same metric, it’s also reasonable for that same player to say, get the endgame ship they want in about a year (no exploits).

    … But like I said, this metric is based on someone who can afford to play this game for several hours a day, days on end… That’s actually a pretty small part of a potential player base that can do that. For people like me… That same progression takes forever… And that’s really off putting… I have a lot of gamer friends who won’t even touch this game because they feel like, right off the bat, the ship they want is way too far out of reach to be worth playing for… This is because they have other games they play, a job, school, friends, a girlfriend, etc… This is MOST PEOPLE… They are who I think the game’s progression system should be calibrated for. And if that means someone who does play this game 5 hours a day, every day, gets their end game ships and upgrades in short order, say, 3 months instead of a year… Who cares? Good for them? Why does it need to be slower than that? I honestly don’t see what’s wrong with people getting to the end a little faster than they do now if they play it so much.

    “They’ll get bored and quit” I hear a lot of people say… Really? Even this game has enough content to keep people occupied. Frankly, I think the BEST thing about the endgame would be the ability to explore THE ENTIRE GALAXY looking at whatever weird and fanciful systems you want with zero concern for safety (thanks to you awesome tanky battleship that can handle anything smaller than a black hole’s gravity well). In fact, this was my ultimate goal in this game. I wanted to explore the crap out of it, without having to do so worrying about how I’ll ever make money… But the progression rate almost makes that feel out of reach.

    Furthermore, there are even grander endgame goals one could have. It’s not limited to just “getting the ship you want”. In fact that should be a mid term goal, not a long term one.

    The long term goals ought to be buying and using multiple ships… Even all of the ships. Or taking more interest in the game’s political factions, picking fights or entire wars just for fun… Right now those feel like… I dunno… Glacial goals...

    … Of course this is all unnecessary… So long as the game devs make gameplay more rewarding… if they don’t do that however, they really should at least consider increasing the rate of progression to a more reasonable rate instead.

    I have seen some of you make valid points about how it could just as easily be too fast. For example, up to about the first 1 million credits, and all the initial ships, I agree, it IS too fast. There are a ton of smaller ships that I simply haven't played because I went straight from a sidewinder to a viper. This is a valid point. Even with my overly busy lifestyle, I was still able to breeze through these, and skip a lot of them. THIS part of the progression definitely ought to be stretched out more. My points here are more aimed at progression above that point.

    ... Perhaps a solution that could make both camps happy would be economic multipliers. A player could tailor the economy to the way they like, by setting a personal multiplier of as high as 1.25, or as low as .75. In the .75 scenario, everything costs 25% more, and you earn 25% less. In the 1.25 scenario, you earn 25% more, and everything costs 25% less.

    I know many of you probably instantly hate this idea, because it could very quickly be abused in Open Play. Perhaps this could be limited to private play and solo play, with multipliers going away the second you enter open play, that way everyone is on an even playing board there? If it were at least done for solo, it would give players the opportunity to tailor their game's experience to the way they want it. I, as someone with a busy life, could play with a 1.25 multiplier, and feel happier about progressing at a decent rate, despite not playing as often. Meanwhile, people who think the game is too easy, and want a challenge, of which there seems to be many experienced players who feel that way, then they could tailor THEIR experience by setting their multiplier to .75. This could allow them to better enjoy, for example, the initial ships when they first start, or to slow their current pace so they can enjoy it more... This is very similar to old games, which used to give an option of 3 or 4 difficulty levels... I know that's hard to implement in this game... But perhaps that's what's needed to please the most players possible.

    B: Autopilot

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing this game’s progression rate and even its core gameplay remain where it is, if only they provided a more passive method of playing on long stretches... I know that immediately ticks some of you off, like, "why are you even playing to begin with", but please hear me out. Furthermore, if you already have some preplanned response to the "autopilot" idea because you've already heard it a million times before, and already have decided against it... Please read this first, don't just skip to your counterpoint.

    My suggestion includes making it optional (not forcing it on you if you don't want to use it), giving players who don't use it a very real advantage, and I have ideas on avoiding it becoming a crutch for noobs.

    Furthermore, included is ALREADY a counter argument to the typical response that "this is a simulator" as if lacking autopilot is "realistic".

    I’m willing to bet the vast majority of players, or at least a large minority, in this game do what I do… Multitask. When you’re travelling those 25,000 light years, I’d bet most of you have YouTube, or Netflix, or cable, or something of that nature on in the background. Personally, even in my short range gameplay, killing surface generators and assassinating people, I still play it in windowed mode so I can watch YouTube videos off to the side. Even as I write this, I am watching YouTube. My mind races often. I have insomnia because I struggle to turn my brain off. So if I am to do something slow paced and passive, I often feel the urge to do it alongside something else that is equally slow paced or passive, to maximize the use of my time.

    I am actually ATTRACTED to slow paced games as a result. One of the reasons why I like playing Kerbal Space Program, for example, is because I can watch my bucket list of YouTube/Netflix content WHILE I progress in a video game I thoroughly enjoy… So… No… I don’t necessarily think this game needs to change its pace.

    … The problem is I often find it frustrating to even so much as multitask in this game. Long flights are some of the most MENIAL things I’ve ever witnessed in a video game… And to be quite honest, the most menial aspects of a video game DESERVE to be automated.

    Why? Why does making 100 jumps in a row require this much attention? It’s not entertaining, it’s just repetitive. I’m not saying it doesn’t use up brain power, it absolutely does… But it’s brain power that’s being wasted. It’s so menial that by the end of it, it’s given you a headache, you feel like you need to lie down for a while… And for what?... Jumps?... Really?... JUMPS? They AREN’T interesting to do. They’re interesting to look at, sure, pretty stars, etc, but they don’t deserve that much attention. You SHOULD be saving your energy and concentration for when hell breaks loose. The ship can fly itself for all I care, I don’t want to even touch the controls unless I absolutely have to… Such as when I get interdicted.

    In the meantime, I’d rather watch a YouTube Video. I have issues doing that even now, because you jump basically every 10-20 seconds. Unless you take the time to point your ship away from a primary, and leave the game to change what video you’re watching or something, you have a pretty small window to do that. You have to actively fly the ship for the most part. And don’t even get me started on trying to read something like an article or book on these long trips… And you land with your face in a star, and if you’re not paying attention, at full throttle. That’s another thing too, why can’t we come in tangential to the star? You can still drop just as close to the primary, there’s zero reason to have your ship land pointed right at it. Are you just trying to troll players who get distracted by something? What if the phone rings mid-jump or something, and they forget to throttle down before they leave the keyboard? Crap like that seems unnecessary, and only serves to annoy.

    Menial chores should have the ability of being automated out of games. Consider this, one of the failings of VR FPS simulators is how to handle reloads… It’s a simulator with motion controllers, so the immediate idea is to add in realistic reloading, involving grabbing a new magazine, shoving it into the slot, pulling the bolt back, and THEN shooting. This is fine and dandy and all, when it works, if you’re actually interested in full realism… However, if you’re just trying to have fun shooting in VR… This can actually detract from gameplay. It’s JARRING to be suddenly taken out of the action to handle some stupid menial task that has, for decades, been handled automatically in gaming by pressing a button.

    It gets even weirder when you think about that example outside of VR gaming… Imagine having to handle ammo use in a game like GTAV for example. Imagine having to press a button to drop a mag, another button to grab another one and put it in, another one to pull the bolt back, etc… Now imagine you don’t have infinite magazines. Imagine if you have more bullets than magazines to hold them. How about magazines you shoot half of, reload, and have to come back to later when you’re running out of ammo… Now you’re loading in half empty magazines… THAT would be realistic… It would also be menial and obnoxious. That’s the kind of crap that deserves to be automated, so the player can better focus on the more interesting parts of the game.

    Now here’s the kicker about all this. In this example, The one thing that can be said about having to reload manually, and manage ammo like that, is that it’s realistic. That’s its biggest defense, and it’s the only reason one might want to have it in a video game… Now... Is it realistic to fly a multi million dollar spaceship with ZERO automated flight methods?...

    … Hell NO. Seriously?

    If you are going to tout this game as a “simulator”, with all the “realism” that implies, then I’m sorry bud, but spaceships are some of the most automated things on (and off) the planet. I’m not sure Alan Shepard ever even touched the manual flight controls on his suborbital flight. Even simpler and more commercially available craft like, say, the Boeing 747 that you can fly in FSX or XPlane 11 have autopilots (because they’re simulating a real aircraft) that can quite easily handle maintaining altitude and heading for a 10 hour flight, and even basic maneuvers… And if you're going to tout this game as a "simulator" that includes REALISTIC distances and travel times, then they should be at least afforded the option of a REALISTIC way of handling it.

    Are you going to call any flight sim player that’s training to be an actual pilot that avails themselves of that autopilot function “a lazy boi who just wants the game to play itself?” No… Probably not… And if you are, then you’re an idiot. The autopilot’s job is to maintain the course, and handle simple maneuvers. This is GOOD for the pilot, as it means they can free themselves of that menial, MIND NUMBING task of flying in straight lines for 10 hours to focus on more important things… Such manually landing at the destination, or taking control and flying manually if an emergency occurs.

    Thus, I don’t think it’s any way, shape, or form, valid to state that anybody who wants an autopilot in this game is just someone who can’t handle the fact that it’s a “simulator” and “wants the game to play itself”... No… They just want to focus on the not-so-mind-numbing portions of the game. They want to save their attention for situations that actually deserve it. It’s not unreasonable to ask that such a feature be implemented. This way, a player can relax on long flights, and only play when their input is really needed, such as during combat and interdictions.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I want to talk about HOW such a feature should be implemented.

    First of all, it shouldn’t take over too much. Obviously, the player would be pointless if their entire craft were basically just an NPC, effectively farming missions for them. Thus, here is what I think, AT MOST, an autopilot should handle:

    1: Jumps
    2: Navigating around the primary
    3: Fuel scooping when fuel levels hit 25%
    4: Avoiding temperatures exceeding 80% of max (so your autopilot doesn’t fly you into a star… In other words, it has to be not stupid)
    5: Automatically scanning for objects upon entering a system, if a scanner is equipped
    6: If something interesting is noticed, notify the player… Notifications could be customized, if a player is looking for something specific, such as water worlds and earth-likes, or perhaps even notifications of points of interest left behind by previous explorers
    7: Notify the pilot if an emergency occurs, such as interdiction, so they immediately reclaim control to handle the situation.
    8: Though I don’t think it’s entirely necessary, it could also include automated flight between stations, planets, and ground bases while in supercruise.

    Second of all, I do think these autopilots need a catch.

    Namely, that catch should be that it’s a physical item in the game. There should be an optional module slot. Like the planetary approach suite, it should be it’s own slot. It should be size 1 for all, like scanners are. It should take up mass and power, should cost credits, and should be non-standard to spacecraft.

    This also adds in a new gameplay mechanic. If you just want basic jump navigation, then you could get a 1E autopilot. If you want it to auto fuel scoop, auto scan, navigate in-system at supercruise, and do your g laundry for you, then you can get a 1A. The downside of getting a better autopilot is that it costs a lot, and will eat up more mass and power… So you have to weigh your options on how much you really want automated flight, and to what degree.

    Furthermore, if you wanted to forgo the autopilot system, but still want that kind of functionality, then there could be even more options for multi crew ships. Instead of having an autopilot, you could instead hire a copilot, and order him to handle more menial flight for you… Some of this type of gameplay is already in the game, in the form of NPCs who will fight your mother ship for you while you hop in a fighter. This crew member could also have the added benefit of fighting interdictions. They would of course, cost money to hire, but the better the crew member you get, the better they are at fighting interdictions.

    My point is, there’s a lot of options for new gameplay here. Personally, I’d be happy if all they did was add in autopilot for jumps, and that’s it. The advantage of forgoing ANY of this is that you don’t have to pay some sleezy NPC your hard earned credits, and you don’t have to eat into your mass and power consumption. There’s a very real benefit to manual flight, and the game can reward players for that. Personally, I’d probably only ever use auto piloting on just any trip over 100 light years.

    Some of you have pointed out a concern that the autopilot would become a crutch for noob players, and prevent them from ever learning how to play properly. I agree with this concern, and it's one I MEANT to address in the original edit of this post.

    While it is a concern, it shouldn't preclude the mere existence of autopilot, as there are easy solutions to this problem. If we operate under the assumption that this is an in-game item that can be bought or sold, then the solution is simple: make it prohibitively expensive for new players. Like I said before, this should be a non-standard feature. That slot on ships should remain empty when a player first buys it. The cost for a 1E autopilot could be, say, 1 million credits... And a 1A, and everything in-between, obviously, scale in price. Thus, a player doesn't earn the right to delegate the task of flight until AFTER they have become proficient at it. At that point, it's their choice, not their crutch to rely on. And the crew choice wouldn't even be available until a player purchases a multi-crew ship.

    this is very similar to the docking computer. IT can be used as a crutch by some players... But in my personal experience, by the time I even learned that it exists, let alone what it does or how to use it... I was already proficient at docking, and still never use it.

    A lot of people seem to think I recommend autopilot as if it's a feature that would be forced on them... It's like a word they immediately have a "NO" response lined up for. Here's a thought, if you don't want to use an autopilot on your 25,000 light year mission because you think the "don't crash, scan, jump again" mini game is so fascinating, then hey, DON'T USE IT. All I'm advocating for here is an option for people who don't find that particularly interesting.

    C: More Interactive Interstellar Travel

    The main reason why I think an autopilot could be beneficial to some players is because of this games lack of content where interstellar travel is concerned. Many have stated that there simply wouldn't be a need for autopilot if interstellar flight were more engaging.

    I agree completely. However, up till now, I thought that was an impossible thing to add, make it logical, and still have it come out best for the most players possible. I think I've since found a few solutions.

    For one thing, let's take a look at super-cruise... Personally, I love flying between planets and starts in super-cruise because it has the best of both worlds. Consider this:

    Passive Play: Point the ship at the destination, set to 75% throttle, and watch some YouTube

    Pros: If you're just chilling, and not going hardcore, it's a great for multitasking, and finding other things to pass the time if you're bored.
    Cons: It's slower, less efficient, and makes you more susceptible to interdictions.

    Active Play: Avoid gravity wells and use full throttle to shorten flight times, and only use 75% throttle when on final approach

    Pros: Reduces risk of interdiction, makes you faster to react to interdictions, is an efficient method of traversing the system, and can significantly reduce time spent not doing the mission type things.
    Cons: ... Well... None... As it should be. I don't think the game should entirely remove the option of passive play, to help alleviate strain on long trips, but it absolutely should reward you and encourage you to play actively instead.

    Not to mention the entire interdiction system itself is pretty awesome. I actually enjoy that the most about super cruise. I know some players would rather punch it to avoid it, but frankly, I don't mind flying at 75% just to increase my risk of it. For one thing, it is a dynamic problem that engages your brain, and rewards you for solving it by not going into deadly combat.

    Heck, sometimes I'll even just forgo that, and submit to it just because, hey, fights are fun, why say no to one? Probably get a bounty out of it if I succeed too.

    Basically, everything about super cruise is extremely dynamic, has risk/rewards, tradeoffs, a multitude of ways to go about it, and all while not EXCLUDING playing a bit more passively entirely.

    ... So why isn't Interstellar travel like that?...

    They seem to have TRIED to make it that way, by dumping you out at the system primary, making you fly around the star most of the time, maybe fuel scoop a little, etc... But this isn't a problem that's satisfying to solve... It's mind numbing because you're effectively solving the same problem over and over and over again with effectively the same result, every time. It's not hard either, if you know how to fly in super-cruise, then doing this isn't very taxing to your thought... Well... It IS taxing, but not in the right way. It's taxing in that it takes its toll after a while, because it's just enough of a problem to require attention, but not enough of a problem to require your fullest attention. Putting this problem in terms of a physical opponent, It's more like a mosquito that you can never seem to hit, rather than the challenging sparing mate you'd prefer.

    So how can we fix this? How can we make it more dynamic? And preferably, how can we do so without fully eliminating a more passive method?... I think that last bit is a necessity, because regardless of what solution you come up with, there will always be players that find it too repetitive. For example, I mentioned loving interdictions, but I know some people hate them because it interrupts them or something. Here is my proposal:

    1.) I think that, when you jump, I think there should be a somewhat random chance of failure. By making these things occur on occasion, rather than all the time, their randomness can prevent them from becoming a "repetitive" problem. Interdictions for example, are fun on occasion, but I wouldn't want to fly EVERYWHERE like that. These "failures" could be explained away as the jump basically destabilizing at higher power settings. Jumps kind of look like wormholes to me. Perhaps if you went too fast through one, it would make sense, in the games logic, that the wormhole would destabilize.

    2.) I think this failure should result in a very similar problem to the escape vector problem that interdictions give you. Basically, if a "failure" occurs, then you have to navigate your way back out. Perhaps the escape vector doesn't have to be entirely obvious like it is in interdictions, perhaps it could just be a winding tunnel you have to fly through.

    3.) The consequences for failing this puzzle should be that you drop out of the jump... In the middle of cold... dead... empty... interstellar space... It should be a harder drop than dropping out of super-cruise as well, resulting in more damage to your ship. Perhaps it should require you to reboot, or at least have a countdown timer before you can jump again... And if you REALLY want to make it spooky and interesting... Have it be not so empty as it would seem... There are dead planets out there, balls floating around in darkness with no primary... Perhaps on the rarest of occasions, you'll drop near one... and find some thargoid structures or other oddities down there... The chances of this would be really small of course, but if it did happen... That would be one hell of a scan.

    4.) I think that the chances of this happening should be related to the throttle level you are at both during, and at the beginning of the jump. The chance should be effectively zero (call it 0.01% chance) if you go into the jump and fly through the jump at minimum throttle... This is risk free, and lets the player relax and multitask mid flight... However, one drawback of this should be that it takes an inordinate amount of time to make the jump. I could see the devs setting this amount of time anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes, depending on how the implement it. That's prohibitively long, and would only ever be done by players who are in the middle of doing something else, like reading, watching videos, or using 3rd party apps or looking at news about the game. However, let's say you are a kick-A gungho pilot who knows his stuff... You could go full throttle into a jump, effectively GUARANTEEING that your jump destabilizes, and forces you to either solve this intricate navigation problem, or severely harm your spacecraft. And should you succeed in navigating this puzzle, you would be rewarded... With a jump that in total, only takes 5-15 seconds. And of course, there would be throttle levels everywhere in between as well. So if you set your throttle to say, 30%, that gives you a 30% chance of destabilization, but also gets you through the jump in a reasonable amount of time (such as, say, 30-45 seconds). Furthermore, difficulty should scale here too. If you fly at a low throttle setting, then a failure should result in a less intense problem to solve. Basically, if you are willing to take on more risk here, then you will be challenging yourself, and given more to do, but at the same time, you'll be rewarded with a faster travel time.

    5.) One of the consequences of destabilization should be a randomized drop point anywhere in the destination system, should you solve the problem... That could result in adrenaline pumping situations as well. You could simply drop out in empty interplanetary space, maybe out at the edge... Or you could drop out with your face RIGHT IN THE PRIMARY... Perhaps if the destination were somehow affected by gravity wells, then there would be a higher chance of dropping NEAR something, like a planet or a star, either at a safe distance... or not. And like the last point, the degree to which your drop point is randomized away from the usual drop point should be determined by how far you push it.

    6.) The previous 5 points should be more than enough to make interstellar jumping more interesting... As such, for normal drops, as in, no destabilization occurred, please, for the love of god, get rid of pointing the ship at the primary. Just drop it tangential to it, even if at the same distance from it. That is NOT that interesting, and would appear even less so compared to a better system like this.

    I don't think any of this should preclude the idea of an autopilot, but one certainly wouldn't be NEARLY as necessary as it is now, if this kind of game play existed. This would probably hold my attention, and interest me. This proposal would allow players to not only determine whether or not they want to play actively, but HOW actively. HOW much do they want to challenge themselves. If a player puts in the effort to master this feature, they could greatly improve their travel time, and their adrenaline levels... But if a noob doesn't think they're quite there yet, they can dial it back a bit to practice.

    D: Entertainment

    SPEAKING of multitasking, like I said previously, I know a lot of people are like me, and watch YouTube or Netflix while they’re playing this game… I’m sure many also listen to audio books, music, or podcasts… And for good reason, this game is basically a space trucking simulator. It’s one of the reasons people like it… It’s one of the reasons I like it…

    … That’s why I think Elite Dangerous devs should USE THAT to their advantage. They should make it easier for people to enjoy other forms of media while they are playing.

    There’s a spot of unused UI space to the upper right in the cockpit… I think a multimedia player should go there. I think it should have the ability to detect MP3s and MP4s stored on the player’s hard drive, and play them. I think it should also have the ability to connect to the player’s internet connection, so the player can search google, play youtube videos, and watch netflix, or use spotify, all INSIDE the game. No need for windowed mode, or multiple monitors, etc. It could actually be really immersive, it could be done up like you’re using GalNet while you’re surfing the web or something. When combined with the autopilot system, people who go on really long trips in this game could treat it like a proper road trip or airline flight. Just relax and enjoy the movie, while the stars of every shape and size go by… Personally, I think that sounds really relaxing, and would make super long trips less off-putting.

    Also, this could actually be an insanely useful tool to more hardcore players. This game does require a lot of on the web research, and if you want the most bang for your buck, a lot of third party websites too... Now imagine how much more streamline things would be if you could just access rougey's or alien ruin maps, RIGHT THERE ON YOUR UI, without EVER having to use your phone, or play in windowed mode, or on two monitors, or by alt-tabbing. Imagine being able to access the game's wiki IN THE GAME. This game has a real problem with new players struggling to learn about features because the information isn't always there in the game, but rather on websites. This could immediately solve that.

    Again, I see people replying "well I like being on the edge of my seat, not distracted by YouTube, I don't know how anybody could ever play like that"... To which I say, AGAIN, then DON'T USE IT. Again, it's just an option for those who want something else to listen to or watch on long trips, or even to do game related research.... Personally however, I wouldn't be surprised if you started using it to jam out and check rougey's literally the day it would be added.

    E: VR:

    This media system would be even more ideally suited for VR. I have an oculus rift… But I don’t use it for this game. I don’t even play this game in full screen anymore. It’s all because I enjoy playing this game to the tune of other media.

    I recently tried to get that experience of watching a youtube video IN elite dangerous, while in VR… It would’ve been immersive if it hadn’t been so obnoxious.

    The problem is, if you want to do this, you have to use a 3rd party overlay to make it work. There are desktop overlays that exist for this purpose… But the ones I found don’t really work with Oculus because of the way ED draws directly to the VR goggles, rather than through steam, even when in steam VR mode… Vive works with it though… Guess that’s what I get for going for a VR system that costs half as much.

    I did however find an application called “Hello V” that is practically made for VR games like Elite Dangerous. It’s adds a little widget in game that you can open up, and has media apps on it.

    … It sucks. It’s a fantastic idea, but there’s no settings for it that I’ve found to change key bindings, so Elite Dangerous and Hello V both constantly get confused about which one you’re trying to control. I’ll be spinning out of control when I’m trying to change videos, and minimize the video when I’m just trying to change power settings on the ship. And the app insists on using either an XBox controller or touch controllers to fully control where the panels go, and which ones are up… And at that point, with a joystick, keyboard and mouse, touch controllers, game pad, NONE of which you can see btw… It turns into a management nightmare that finally made me just give up on the idea, and go back to playing windowed non-VR.

    … All of which wouldn’t be a problem if Elite Dangerous had their own method of playing media while in-game.

    These last 2 ideas aren’t entirely necessary, but they’d be really nice touches that would make Elite Dangerous a more enjoyable experience for many players. I know I’m not the only one who’d like this for VR, in my research for something like this, I found tons of people trying to get these overlays and apps to work specifically for Elite Dangerous.

    Adding in ways to play other media in game during the dullest moments would alleviate a lot of frustrations people have about progression. How can you get mad about how slow the progression is when it’s so comforting to watch Laser Cops and Space Taxi with stars going by in the background? You’ll get there when you get there, and for now, it’s a relaxing experience.

    3: Ships

    A: Specialization:

    This is one of the more common complaints for this game that I see, and one I’m inclined to agree with. There’s a few ships in this game that are great at everything, such as the anaconda and python, while more specialized ships are… Kind of useless.

    ... Beluga, I'm looking at you...

    There’s nothing wrong with jack of all trades ships… However, they really need to be mediocre at everything they do. Specialty ships really need to EXCEL at what they do.

    Put simply, the Beluga ought to be a better passenger ship than the python, or even the super endgame ship Anaconda. Maybe not by too much, but still better… And it isn’t. This goes back to some of the issues I mentioned before about passenger missions. It makes more sense currently to have only one passenger module on board (and to not even bother with Luxury modules because of how low their drop rates are). As such, a ship that can better protect that passenger module, and also remove it occasionally in exchange for better shields for going bounty hunting when passenger missions start boring you, is honestly the better passenger ship.

    Similar concepts apply to the haulers. The slightly smaller cargo load a ship like the python or Anaconda can take on compared to the haulers of similar size and cost is well worth a ship that can also obliterate anything just by looking at it.

    Ships that specialize really need to excel at what they do to a pretty extreme degree, to counter the versatility that an “everything” ship has… I’m not entirely sure how to go about this, but I know this ought to be changed. Perhaps ships could have core modules related to their specialty, such as a core passenger module for the Beluga/Dolphin/Orca that has extra capacity compared to normal ones, or a core cargo module for a hauler with extra capacity, or a core weapon module for a combat ship… While an everything ship gets nothing of that nature, and has to rely on optional internal modules and regular weapon mounts for that.

    B: Ship Recoverability

    Most of my complaint here is sparked by that loss of my Beluga I spoke of at the beginning of this post… There are very few games I’ve experienced this much loss of progress in… And not only as a result of changing platforms, but because it’s a straight up game mechanic.

    … I get that there needs to be consequences for poor decisions in games… But this is pretty extreme… I lost 109 hours of progress… As it sits now, I expect to play for at least 200 hours to get back to the beluga, if not MORE, because this time around, I won’t have any exploits like I did last time (I'm not sure I even want to bother with Quince while it lasts)…

    I get that there’s a lot of safety nets in place for players already, like loans and insurance… But I DON’T like the idea of any chance to lose all progress… It just doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn't sit well with other people I play games with either, some of them won't even touch this game because they lose their head over losing their ship. I think if a player has busted their balls for a ship, they deserve it, even if they screw up. That doesn’t mean a player shouldn’t be punished, but… To totally lose everything like that? That’s pretty extreme, and it’s one of the quickest ways to make a player quit the game FOREVER.

    Frankly…Why not just give players the option to rebuy a ship at a later time? You know, after they’ve grinded the rebuy money in their sidewinder? Why not give them the option to liquidate stored assets, like modules, at the rebuy screen?

    If a player only had to grind for the rebuy cost, that’d put them back in the seat of a sidewinder, and maybe a few other ships depending on what you lost, for a decent chunk of time… That’s a pretty fitting punishment, that doesn’t preclude them from ever seeing their ship, and all they worked for, again. Progress and punishment should mean taking 2 steps forward, 1 back… Not 1 step forward, 2 back.

    There’s no logical reason why a player shouldn’t be able to pay for the rebuy cost at a later time. The ship could simply show up as “destroyed” in the stored tab of the shipyard menu, with a button on it to pay the rebuy fee.

    I dunno… this is just a personal quip I guess… I care more about the other stuff I talked about, as I never would’ve made the dumb decisions that I made if the core game mechanics had not frustrated me so much. I would’ve happily taken my time getting there, and do it right, if the beautiful Beluga weren’t the only thing in this game I was playing for. If I was playing for other, more satisfying reasons, then it wouldn’t have been such a focus. Part of that is on me... But given that I usually don't make mistakes that egregious in other games with economic systems, given that I'm normally patient with most slow paced games... What does that say about how this game conducts everything not progression related... In fact, I'm scratching my head at what there IS that isn't progression related. Exploration, sure, as people have said in the replies... But shouldn't there be better ways to make progress while doing just that?

    For anybody who disagrees with this entire point, I get it. I understand fully. I disagree, but I understand the merits of having an ultimate "you lost the game, go back to square 1 and try again".

    4: Multiplayer

    A: Servers:

    I haven’t had much experience in multiplayer. I like the idea of it, and the fact that my solo experience carries over however. I’d be willing to bet this game suddenly becomes much more dynamic when you go up against, and work with real players. However, I’ve been avoiding this mainly because I can’t stand griefing. Not for Elite Dangerous, but in any MP game. It’s unavoidable.

    That’s not to say this game seems to have a serious problem with griefing. Quite the opposite in fact, I’ve seen very few games with this helpful and friendly a community. The one time I went into open play was for the alien decryption event, to get decryptions that were only available there. It was stunning to see so many ships in one place, all united in a common goal. A few of the bigger ships even provided overwatch against would-be griefers that fortunately, never came. So props to the player base, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.

    However, I do find myself running into server disconnection issues. It may have been the amount of traffic at the ruins when I went into open play, but I found myself disconnecting about once every hour or two.

    In private play however… It’s a major problem. I like to play this game with a friend back home. We live on opposite sides of the planet, which may be part of the problem. I live in Japan, and he in Colorado. I really wanted to do co-op stuff in private play, but then it starts disconnecting us VERY often. It happened as much as once every 5 minutes when we went to try out the multi crew stuff… Which was a major bummer. I wanted to help him get started, as I introduced him to the game. And the devs went through the trouble of adding multi crew, an amazing feature… and I unfortunately can’t even use it. We’ve since given up on it.

    And I know it’s not my end, or his. Personally, I pay for 1 gb/s, and have at times, reached as high as 600 mb/s upload and download. And we play games often. This is one of only 2 or 3 that I can think of that has any real disconnection issues, and I think this one may be the worst of them all. I’m not sure how server stability works, but whatever’s going on, I’d really like a fix. I’d like to play multiplayer a bit more.

    A lot of you have kindly offered to assist me in multiplayer, teach me a thing or two about the game. To those kinds of replies, I say thank you, and that I'll give it a shot. But fair warning, I haven't had much luck with staying on private play or open play servers for very long.



    Sorry… I know I write a lot. Point is, I think Elite Dangerous devs really need to take a step back and think about what they think this game should be, what they want players to do, and focus on that… I’ve heard it often, this game is a mile wide and an inch deep… It feels like an unfocused mess…

    Do you want me to explore these 400 billion stars, or do you want me to sit in the same system for a month building a rapport with a client I can’t accept missions from anywhere else in the galaxy? Do you want me to be an economic tycoon, or do you want me to be at the whim of the silly tasks these NPC clients give you? Do you want me to play at my own pace because “it’s a slow paced game, it’s not for everybody”, or do you want me to rush because I’m worried about mission timers interfering with real life? Do you want me to relax and enjoy myself during long trips, or do you want me to pay the utmost attention to simple repetitive tasks like, you know, the "fun mini-game" of NOT CRASHING INTO THE SYSTEM PRIMARY for hours and hours on end. Do you want to be an arcade video-game that encourages active participation, or do you want to be a realistic simulator that includes realistic distances and travel times (and all the creature comforts like autopilot and entertainment for long trips that ought to entail)? Notice how this game tries to be all these things at once, but doesn’t do great at any of them because of the conflict.

    That doesn’t mean it can’t HAVE all these things. In fact, it could quite easily include almost all these things, but not simultaneously. Nobody’s going to use the media app, or the autopilot function while they’re busy fighting tooth and nail with the strongest pirate they ever faced… At the same time however, travelling thousands of light years shouldn’t require sitting on the edge of your seat sweating bullets. If this game were properly balanced, in this way, then it would be satisfying to play regardless of which school of thought you hail from, AND the game could cater to the most players possible... And it should.

    If you look at everything I recommended for this game… Most of it is just OPTIONS. Giving a player options lets them customize their experience the way THEY like it. This is why games with lots of well focussed and well fleshed out freedom aspire to large groups of gamers (such as GTA V. It has a little bit of everything, but few would accuse it of lacking depth).

    Meanwhile, games that pretend to have a lot of freedom, but in reality, take many options away, don’t do well. This is a big problem of, for example, No Man’s Sky. It’s a… “simulator”... yeah… suuuuurrrree. You know you can’t really crash in that game? The AI takes control to keep you from crashing into the ground… I know that sounds weird coming from someone who just advocated putting an autopilot in this game, but this is my point… I’m not saying EVERYBODY should have a feature like this imposed on them… But just that the option be available. I wouldn’t CARE if No Man’s Sky had a no-crash AI in it… So long as I had the OPTION to turn it off. Elite Dangerous has done this in the past before, such as with the docking computer. I don’t use it personally, but it’s nice that the option is there (and it’s nice that it IS an option. I probably wouldn’t like it if it were forced upon me).

    In an open world game, options make it or break it… And this game just needs more… That’s all… Frankly, I wouldn’t care if the devs didn’t take any of my suggestions… So long as they did SOMETHING with this game, to make it more satisfying to play. I don’t care what, just SOMETHING. Give players the most options possible, so that they can tailor their experience to their liking. The option of an autopilot would give the players who care about alleviating long trip boredom an out, but for a fair and balanced cost. The option of in game media would give those who play this game specifically as something to do while watching their favorite show, an easier and more immersive way of doing just that. The option of both a charter system AND a mission planner would give players a TON of ways to go about progressing through the game, and would give them greater control over their economic destiny.

    Personally, I don’t think any of the recommendations that I’ve made would DETRACT from the experiences of those who are already satisfied with the game in its current state. I don’t want to do that. I simply want to improve the experiences of those who are running into the same problems I am, players who are possibly no longer playing because of said problems. If anybody can think of a valid reason why these additions would detract from their experience, then please tell me, I would like to know, and then we can talk about ways around that. Also, if anybody can think of different or better solutions, or even different problems I haven’t even thought of, then please let me know. I want to start a conversation about what can be done to make this game satisfactory to the most people possible.

    And I would really like to include Elite Dangerous devs on this conversation since, ultimately, no change would come of merely talking about it. I know they work hard on this game, I know they want what’s best for it, I can see it in what they do for the game and its community. Horizons, for example, was an amazing update, and was actually the one to make me finally decide to buy it. I think most of the players in this community wouldn’t mind if the developers took a break for a little while to really think over what would be the best approach to solving some of this game’s problems. No game is or ever will be perfect, but a dev team that is willing to strive inexorably towards that impossible goal is one worth their weight in gold.

    Thank you for your time, I know that was a long read. I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

  2. #2
    Im sorry but.... TL : DR.

    Make a youtube video.
    "I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas and land on barbarous coasts". ....

  3. #3
    The game is about flying your spaceship. Everything else comes second to that... And it also means that things like autopilot aren't going to happen. Personally, I'd quite like an autopilot. But I don't believe FD will ever consider it (it's been raised hundreds of times).

    Progression is meant to take a long time. It took me two years to get my Cutter (I needed the Empire rank and the money). But this wasn't two years of grind - it was two years of flying my spaceship and doing stuff (missions, exploring, mining, combat). There's no need to hurry. If you are after a game that you want to complete, say I've done it, and move on... Well, that isn't really what E: D is about.

    I think pretty much all the players are looking forward to more involved missions and existing mechanics polished a bit, but that is next on the development agenda. There are a lot of QoL improvements already in 2.4, I'm very much looking forward to seeing how those pan out and what FD has planned in the future.

    Originally Posted by Vasco Sapien View Post (Source)
    Im sorry but.... TL : DR.
    This too. I actually read most of the OP though as I saw the previous thread. If I hadn't, my eyes would have glazed over and I'd just have moved on.
    Duchess Commander Crank Larson

    Twitch | YouTube

  4. #4
    Make a youtube video.
    I might actually. Been a while since I made one. In fact I'd love to. Those take quite a lot of time and effort to make, so it's not something I can really take on for at least the coming months.

    But you're right, that format is significantly more palatable.

  5. #5
    As this is addressed to Fdev I didn't read it. But I +rep you just for the work you have done in the good intention to improve the game (i assume)

  6. #6
    I have only read the part about losing your ship. Sorry but the post is too long. But to me it looks like you have fixated on your goal without enjoying the journey. So have done loads of grind to get your goal and without insurance.

    One of my goals was to get a python. It has taken me nearly 3 years to get it. But I have made sure I enjoyed the journey. So no grinding, just doing stuff I enjoy etc. I have done other goals along the way and so on.

    The main issue with ships is that they don't add anything. I can do the same gameplay loops in a Cobra that you can do in your Beluga. The same gameplay loops I can do in my python.

    To me where you went wrong was fixating on your goal when you should have been enjoying the journey. The goal becomes a lesser importance and it should be.

    Basically don't grind as that is a quick way to burn out. The to

    The main reason to grind in my eyes is if you are only interested in PvP, there is literally no reason to grind apart from that except if you choose to.

    Maybe a different approach is what is needed, but at the end of the day it is up to you how you want to play the game. The game does not force you to play in any way, it is entirely up to you. I may have a look at the rest when I have time.

  7. #7
    I know that people say that they aren't grinding and just doing what they want but it still comes down to the same very few things; shoot/scan/deliver.

    It's all grind because there aren't enough different things to do. To do.

    Engineers? Get better ship stats to do the same things? I mean really? That's not content.

    Please give us more things to do.

  8. #8
    Repped for the conclusion, though I don't see what that debacle NMS has to do with anything, I agree with very many of your points, particularly the entire first paragraph (of the conclusion), quoted for truth below. I couldn't read the rest of your post, my life is too valuable to me, but good effort.

    Fdev, if you don't read any of the rest, read this...

    Do you want me to explore these 400 billion stars, or do you want me to sit in the same system for a month building a rapport with a client I can’t accept missions from anywhere else in the galaxy? Do you want me to be an economic tycoon, or do you want me to be at the whim of the silly tasks these NPC clients give you? Do you want me to play at my own pace because “it’s a slow paced game, it’s not for everybody”, or do you want me to rush because I’m worried about mission timers interfering with real life? Do you want me to relax and enjoy myself during long trips, or do you want me to pay the utmost attention to simple repetitive tasks like, you know, NOT CRASHING INTO THE SYSTEM PRIMARY for hours and hours on end. Do you want to be a game that encourages active participation, or do you want to be a realistic simulator that includes realistic distances and creature comforts like autopilot and entertainment for long trips? Notice how this game tries to be all these things at once, but doesn’t do great at any of them because of the conflict.
    all of this could be made better. Easily. Without hurting balance. I love Elite, I won't stop playing any time soon, but that is a point well made.
    Who the hell are you? I called for the lord of flatulence, not one of his discharges. - John Constantine

  9. #9
    Get yourself to Quince dude, you could have made enough credits to buy a new Beluga in the time it took you to write this post...

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by Max Factor View Post (Source)
    I have only read the part about losing your ship. Sorry but the post is too long. But to me it looks like you have fixated on your goal without enjoying the journey. So have done loads of grind to get your goal and without insurance.

    One of my goals was to get a python. It has taken me nearly 3 years to get it. But I have made sure I enjoyed the journey. So no grinding, just doing stuff I enjoy etc. I have done other goals along the way and so on.

    The main issue with ships is that they don't add anything. I can do the same gameplay loops in a Cobra that you can do in your Beluga. The same gameplay loops I can do in my python.

    To me where you went wrong was fixating on your goal when you should have been enjoying the journey. The goal becomes a lesser importance and it should be.

    Basically don't grind as that is a quick way to burn out. The to

    The main reason to grind in my eyes is if you are only interested in PvP, there is literally no reason to grind apart from that except if you choose to.

    Maybe a different approach is what is needed, but at the end of the day it is up to you how you want to play the game. The game does not force you to play in any way, it is entirely up to you. I may have a look at the rest when I have time.
    I agree fully, and this is how I plan to approach this game from now on.

    However, in the OP, I went in depth after this story to explain why I focused on grinding, and why the gameplay is unsatisfying.

    To sum it up for that point in particular, ultimately, for me, I wish to explore the ED universe... But it makes no monetary sense for me to do so, as any tourist missions, for example, that go out that far, I cannot complete before the timers on them end. In fact, there are many missions I often fail because of the timers interfering with my day to day life, which limits me to just a few kinds I can reliably complete. A lot of the boredom stems from those kinds of gameplay limitation. There are other aspects of this game that seem to actively discourage exploration, despite that being one of this game's biggest selling points.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by TomS View Post (Source)
    Get yourself to Quince dude, you could have made enough credits to buy a new Beluga in the time it took you to write this post...
    I've heard this before.

    Given that the last exploit grind practically bored me to death... I don't know if they're even worth it.

  12. #12
    OP, you're entitled to your opinion and no harm in expressing it. Lord knows I've expressed a few opinions here myself over time.

    But do you really expect anyone to read all that?

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Aashenfox View Post (Source)
    Repped for the conclusion, though I don't see what that debacle NMS has to do with anything, I agree with very many of your points, particularly the entire first paragraph (of the conclusion), quoted for truth below. I couldn't read the rest of your post, my life is too valuable to me, but good effort.

    Fdev, if you don't read any of the rest, read this...

    all of this could be made better. Easily. Without hurting balance. I love Elite, I won't stop playing any time soon, but that is a point well made.
    Lol, yeah, I can see how that would seem out of place.

    I like to make comparisons to other games as examples of certain gameplay elements.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Hat Man View Post (Source)
    I've heard this before.

    Given that the last exploit grind practically bored me to death... I don't know if they're even worth it.
    They're not. Also, Quince is no more lucrative than any other system, these days. The most important thing in getting higher paying missions is to be allied with the local factions. You can do that anywhere. I did most of my ranking up by running missions around Wuthielo Ku. I ran a lot of passenger missions from Cubeo (including one that earned me 9m just for taking a CEO three hops - which took around five minutes). It's far more interesting flying between a few different systems than it is just staying in one (e.g. Quince).
    Duchess Commander Crank Larson

    Twitch | YouTube

  15. #15
    I read the first bit and skimmed the rest. I get the impression there were some bad decisions (flew without insurance), decided to to the ruins quest (20 hours for 10M, calls it a grind). Well yeah! This isn't some run and gun "I'll just respawn if I die" 60 hour shooter game, this is an "eating the elephant one bite at a time over 10 years" game. If you don't have the patience, I'm afraid you bought the wrong game.
    I have a measly 1500 hours into ED (I checked last night....). When I'm feeling the grind of a certain element of gameplay, I simply switch to something else. I'm going to do a bit of BH tonight and cash in on the CG, then maybe find a few upgraded modules for my new corvette, then maybe hop in an SRV and scrounge some mats......never a dull moment

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