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Thread: Exploration : A Special Case

  1. #1

    Exploration : A Special Case

    Having turned the focus of my attention to exploration over the last few months, and having made pilgrimages to Colonia and Sag A*, it really has brought home the fact that exploration is in many ways a unique lifestyle in ED.

    And because of this, it is a very special case when people debate the well trodden subject of Open/Group/Solo play.

    I'm sure it must have been discussed more than once before, but I see there are two huge reasons explorers would not want to venture into Open. Random, malicious attack by someone with no other purpose than ruining another player's game time could be tolerated to some degree in some scenarios, but when an explorer has travelled vast distances, collecting vast amounts of exploration data and materials, and investing vast amounts of time in the process it would be soul destroying to lose all that to someone with no more than mischief on their mind, and finding it funny to kill another player.

    So perhaps the issues of distances travelled and data collected need to be looked at.

    My initial thoughts would be that there could be some sort of exploration module fitted that saved exploration data so that it is not lost when the ship is destroyed...perhaps a module that integrates with the escape pod and is not lost on ship destruction.

    As for distances travelled, it must be equally soul destroying to be 'sent back' to the last base you docked at, which could be many thousands of LY back, if the ship is destroyed. I'm thinking of ways around this and would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Maybe after being destroyed you could re-appear as a crashed ship on a planet/system near to where it happened, then have some sort of repair bill to pay...like you'd called for an interstellar RAC or AA! Or maybe some enhanced module for exploration ships that could repair the ship after being destroyed; a kind of super duper Auto Field Maintenance Unit. Or maybe a beacon that is deployed that calls for repair help...with money and time being the downside.

    As things stand at the moment I explore in my AspX with no weapons at all. It seems more than harsh to be destroyed by some psycho player who's just out to dish out some grief to a player in a ship that can't defend itself. Yes, I know I could try to evade interdiction, but I'd be more inclined to give Open a go if I wouldn't lose everything that I'd achieved over months out in the black should I fail to evade. I'm ok with being destroyed and paying out credits to recover from the assault, but I will not risk losing my exploration data, nor being returned to home after travelling huge distances.

    So I'm not talking about exploration ships being flagged as invulnerable, but just thinking of ways around the big issues that make me play in solo or private groups.

    Any thoughts are welcome

  2. #2
    Yeah, I've thought about ideas for transmitting data instead of holding it for months, etc, but then people point out the problems with letting people do that-- Namely, it might encourage people to suicide their way back home, instead of traveling the distance.

    I think it would kill multiple birds with one stone, to simply add some more deep space outposts around the galaxy, since there would always be opportunities to sell your data, and death wouldn't send you half-way across the galaxy (saving you from having to fly all the way back out, but also negating the ability to suicide back to civilization). But that might break the "wilderness" immersion.

  3. #3
    Random encounters between explorers in deep space are extremely rare but it has happened and it's usually a rewarding and friendly encounter.

    Griefers have been known to hang out around popular destinations such as Sag A* but for the most part it would be nearly impossible for a griefer to run into other players randomly outside of popular destinations.
    That said, you can be targeted individually if you use a service like EDSM which can tell others exactly where you are in real-time. (IF you choose to share that information publicly)

    This is why most explorers I know use the FleetComm private group. It's safe from griefers and there are a lot of other like minded explorers you can meet up with randomly at popular destinations or in expeditions that travel together.

  4. #4
    Going with the data module idea, but instead of acting as a passive failsafe how about it allowed a player to "stash" data? Imagine a module somewhat like a limpet controller but it deployed data archives for later recovery? To add risk/reward the archive could be discoverable by other players, maybe as a USS in space and some kind of special POI on the surface? Maybe it activates a beacon if left unattended for too long? I feel like allowing for the possibility of discovery by other players would prevent it from being simply a band-aid for explorers and instead be something that also enabled other styles of gameplay. I dunno--i'm just kind of thinking aloud here...

    ... but I like the idea of stashing my data if things look dicey, then coming back for it when the coast is clear--maybe in a combat ship

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Shayde View Post (Source)
    Having turned the focus of my attention to exploration over the last few months, and having made pilgrimages to Colonia and Sag A*, it really has brought home the fact that exploration is in many ways a unique lifestyle in ED.

    And because of this, it is a very special case when people debate the well trodden subject of Open/Group/Solo play.

    I'm sure it must have been discussed more than once before, but I see there are two huge reasons explorers would not want to venture into Open. Random, malicious attack by someone with no other purpose than ruining another player's game time could be tolerated to some degree in some scenarios, but when an explorer has travelled vast distances, collecting vast amounts of exploration data and materials, and investing vast amounts of time in the process it would be soul destroying to lose all that to someone with no more than mischief on their mind, and finding it funny to kill another player.

    So perhaps the issues of distances travelled and data collected need to be looked at.

    My initial thoughts would be that there could be some sort of exploration module fitted that saved exploration data so that it is not lost when the ship is destroyed...perhaps a module that integrates with the escape pod and is not lost on ship destruction.

    As for distances travelled, it must be equally soul destroying to be 'sent back' to the last base you docked at, which could be many thousands of LY back, if the ship is destroyed. I'm thinking of ways around this and would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Maybe after being destroyed you could re-appear as a crashed ship on a planet/system near to where it happened, then have some sort of repair bill to pay...like you'd called for an interstellar RAC or AA! Or maybe some enhanced module for exploration ships that could repair the ship after being destroyed; a kind of super duper Auto Field Maintenance Unit. Or maybe a beacon that is deployed that calls for repair help...with money and time being the downside.

    As things stand at the moment I explore in my AspX with no weapons at all. It seems more than harsh to be destroyed by some psycho player who's just out to dish out some grief to a player in a ship that can't defend itself. Yes, I know I could try to evade interdiction, but I'd be more inclined to give Open a go if I wouldn't lose everything that I'd achieved over months out in the black should I fail to evade. I'm ok with being destroyed and paying out credits to recover from the assault, but I will not risk losing my exploration data, nor being returned to home after travelling huge distances.

    So I'm not talking about exploration ships being flagged as invulnerable, but just thinking of ways around the big issues that make me play in solo or private groups.

    Any thoughts are welcome
    Without reading any further than this post, I think the ideal solution is to leave it just as it is with the option for Solo and PG. For myself, and for many others I suspect, the loss of exploration data and credits while being moved back to the last base is huge, but not the sole reasons not to play in Open. A major part of my enjoyment of exploration is the solitude. I prefer to play alone most of the time.

    As far as new mechanics and stuff, I am all for looking into things like that, but not necessarily to coax people into modes of play that they currently have but chose not to play in.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Major Klutz View Post (Source)
    Random encounters between explorers in deep space are extremely rare but it has happened and it's usually a rewarding and friendly encounter.

    Griefers have been known to hang out around popular destinations such as Sag A* but for the most part it would be nearly impossible for a griefer to run into other players randomly outside of popular destinations.
    That said, you can be targeted individually if you use a service like EDSM which can tell others exactly where you are in real-time. (IF you choose to share that information publicly)

    This is why most explorers I know use the FleetComm private group. It's safe from griefers and there are a lot of other like minded explorers you can meet up with randomly at popular destinations or in expeditions that travel together.
    Yes, I'm already a member of both Mobius and Fleetcomm...I was just thinking about what seems to be FD's desire for more people, if not all, to use Open. And what might encourage me to try open. I realised it was those two factors that would worry me most about doing that, so was thinking out loud as to what might be workable solutions. But I'll probably stay in solo or private groups

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by straha20 View Post (Source)
    Without reading any further than this post, I think the ideal solution is to leave it just as it is with the option for Solo and PG. For myself, and for many others I suspect, the loss of exploration data and credits while being moved back to the last base is huge, but not the sole reasons not to play in Open. A major part of my enjoyment of exploration is the solitude. I prefer to play alone most of the time.

    As far as new mechanics and stuff, I am all for looking into things like that, but not necessarily to coax people into modes of play that they currently have but chose not to play in.
    Agreed, there are other factors. I was just thinking about the factors that were my biggest issue about what may happen in open that would put me off it completely LOL

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Major Klutz View Post (Source)
    Random encounters between explorers in deep space are extremely rare but it has happened and it's usually a rewarding and friendly encounter.

    Griefers have been known to hang out around popular destinations such as Sag A* but for the most part it would be nearly impossible for a griefer to run into other players randomly outside of popular destinations.
    That said, you can be targeted individually if you use a service like EDSM which can tell others exactly where you are in real-time. (IF you choose to share that information publicly)

    This is why most explorers I know use the FleetComm private group. It's safe from griefers and there are a lot of other like minded explorers you can meet up with randomly at popular destinations or in expeditions that travel together.
    Yeah, I was thinking more about having been out in the black for months, then I come back to Shinrarta and get blown to bits I guess, and get magically transported back to Colonia with no data

  9. #9
    Coming back to the bubble in open is not dangerous, you have to be extremely unlucky running into griefers outside hotspots, like CG systems. It is so even while constantly playing in the bubble, 2-3 hops around the bubble and landing at a station means that you are far likely to be destructed by your own fault, like drunk-landing at the station shieldless.

    Once away from the bubble, PG or solo is preferred for the sole reason that you can take high-res screenshots.

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by optimal_909 View Post (Source)
    Coming back to the bubble in open is not dangerous, you have to be extremely unlucky running into griefers outside hotspots, like CG systems. It is so even while constantly playing in the bubble, 2-3 hops around the bubble and landing at a station means that you are far likely to be destructed by your own fault, like drunk-landing at the station shieldless.

    Once away from the bubble, PG or solo is preferred for the sole reason that you can take high-res screenshots.
    Or coming back, retiring old exploration ship, building a new one, and deciding to check out the Thargoids on the way to see Palin for some clean drives....before turning in the nearly quarter billion in exploration data. Oh, and Thargoids try and kill you if you get too close to them. In my case, they succeeded.

  11. #11
    Fly open

    Don't transmit data or be immune

    Some of us want more danger - a little, not a lot...

    The whole point of exploration is shoving off into the black and seeing what you find AND THEN thinking about how you are going to tell everyone..

    Shackleton - would his daring do's have been so very daring if he was sat nav tracked, sent food and shelter and been ring fenced from all harm?

    No no no no no no Noooooooo *stamps foot*

    CUT.....

    Did the doc film crew get that rant I did for the camera? Or should I hop back a system and redo it?

  12. #12
    Open always, but why don't we have black boxes? We can find small and large survey data caches, black boxes, and escape pods in the black. But none of those are ours?

    If we had a black box dropped where we died, we would have the opportunity to "corpse run" back to where it was dropped and pick it up. The owner of the data should have a bookmark made automatically to go to, everyone else would have to stumble upon it.

    The black box should contain any data collected. Exploration data at least, but if you wanted to put a bit of teeth back into dying, add materials data, bounties and combat bonds gathered as well.

    The black box could be frameshift capable, at least far enough to move to a relatively safe spot in-system. It should be too small to detect right away (some sort of short-duration cloaking tech), so if the CMDR was killed by another CMDR, the latter wouldn't be able to just scoop up the data cache.

    If the data cache was found by someone else, they could get a finders reward (10%, perhaps) by turning it in. The owner would then get the data back, less the 10% finders reward.

    Finally, this type of black box should not be standard equipment, but could be one module to install in one of those special exploration vessel slots (or utility slots) that we don't yet have.

    S

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Ripster View Post (Source)
    Shackleton - would his daring do's have been so very daring if he was sat nav tracked, sent food and shelter and been ring fenced from all harm?
    If I recall, Shackleton was sent food and supplies... The supply drops were sent out ahead of him. But part of the problem was getting icebound before reaching the supplies.

  14. #14
    Exploration is a trade-off.

    It's one of the "safest" professions, especially since NPCs no longer murder you for failing to hand over nonexistent cargo. There is very little risk of dying while you're actually out exploring, meaning that you can go out there for months or years.

    To "balance" this, it is an eggs-in-one-basket profession, so that, if you are careless or unlucky enough to get yourself killed, you do indeed lose a lot.

    Further, it is FD's consistent approach that "if you can make money from it, you don;t get to keep it if you die". Combat bonds, bounty vouchers and cargo are all worht money, so you lose them on death. Mats and engineering data can't be sold, so you get to keep those.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Shayde View Post (Source)

    **Snip**

    Any thoughts are welcome

    i have played since day one in open and explored for most of that time.

    i have met 6 players in the "void" of space, 5 were friendly the 6th was at Sag A with weapons outfitted so i just jumped to the next system and went back later, to this day i have no idea if he/she was hostile but thats the point it takes 3 seconds to scan and find out.

    my rule is
    - weapons fitted and i wont hang about
    - No Hardpoints then ill interact.

    All combat is avoidable.

    even in the bubble where i've seen 000's of players none have successfully caused mischief with 0 re-buys on my acct (and i even go into HAZ res with a Dolphin!), its all being aware of your situation

    and i have also returned to Colonia with 856m credits worth of data, and shinrata dez with roughly 900m both in open and no issues



    I even flew a shield-less exploration DBx for over a year in open, i personally don't think its a big issue, there is risk but that's what makes it fun to fly in open looking at that radar, the random encounters out in the black are the best time i have ever spent in Elite, i remember them all fondly jumping up in my chair thinking "there is some other nut case out here with me".

    Come join us.

    if you don't want "the risk" stay in solo, the choice is yours.

    Fly Safe

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