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Thread: Some official words regarding naval progression (an excerpt from my support tickets)

  1. #1

    Some official words regarding naval progression (an excerpt from my support tickets)

    First a little background to give you some idea about the current (post 1.3.01) scale of naval progression which was also why I decided to open a ticket in the first place. I started playing in April when the Steam version was launched and got to Earl and Post Commander in version 1.2 by stacking charity missions. I didn’t count when ranking up in Empire, but I did 10 missions to make Lieutenant from Ensign, 20 missions for Lt. Commander, and a few over 20 for Post Commander. After 1.3.0 hit, with the “overhauled” mission system, I switched to stacking combat and assassination missions because they are classified as high impact on reputation the same way as charity missions. Of course I also took charity missions when they pop up. I got to Duke with just a few missions during the launch weekend of 1.3 and the progress suddenly halted after 1.3.01 dropped. For a month since then, I was grinding combat missions the same way in a cluster shared by Federation and Empire, thinking I can do missions for both at the same time to counter the reputation decay. I didn’t track the mission count but it’s safe to estimate 10~20 combat missions every day for a month. After some 450 high rep missions I still haven’t seen an offer for Post Captain, let alone Prince, so I tried to ask the support department to take a look at my account data.

    It turned out that there is a hidden parameter called “faction experience” which determines when a naval progression mission will pop up. In my case, I had 73.9479 Empire experience which lies perfectly between Duke (66) and Prince (81.5), but my Federation Experience was only 45.1528, a little over Post Commander (41) but still far from Post Captain (52.5). So far these are the only ranks I know with confirmed requirement, but faluc worked out a nice model with exponential progression. It makes a lot of sense and I’m almost sure that Knight would require 8 Exp, because another support staff later mentioned to me that the amount of work I still need for Prince is the same as the first 5 ranks combined “so don’t expect it to be fast”. There is another term “skill points” that was frequently brought up in the response and I assume it’s the same thing as faction experience but the support staff never directly confirmed this.

    -So the most important question, how can I increase my faction experience/skill points?
    “The mentioned "skill points" are not visible to the player, but they do work a bit like a combat rank. You gain them from the same actions that give you reputation, but unlike reputation will never decrease. If the ruling minor faction of a station is affiliated with a major faction, you do get points from everything you do for them: missions, trading, selling exploration data and even cashing in bounty vouchers.”
    “Farming in RES zones will not help you increase your rank and I believe there is an issue with trade contributions to gaining rank currently.” (contracting the first staff, guess there are some bugs with BH and trading so stay away at the moment)

    -I assume every type of action doesn’t give the same amount of experience. Which one gives the most?
    “Different missions can vary in how much skill you acquire in the Empire or Federation whether it be combat bonds or exploration data. We do not unfortunately have a comprehensive list of actions.”
    “In regards, to Ranks it does not matter which missions you do or what type of activity they are all added up together towards your total progress.” (a little confusing but I think he’s not meaning all the missions give the same amount of Exp, just that they all count)
    “The altruistic missions you mention are aimed for reputation gains, so they are very effective for increasing your rank too.”
    “Missions that cost you money help rank you you up faster”

    -Do I get “punished” by only doing one type of activity to accumulate experience?
    “There are no diminishing returns for missions, in fact the higher rank you are the more better paid missions you can do which will accelerate your progress (more credits moved means more reputation points, means more skill points).”

    -Does naval progression has anything to do with major faction reputation?
    “The more credits you make at an Empire/Federation affiliated station, the more reputation you gain and the more "skill points" you get. Your reputation with the major faction is somewhat connected with the rank promotion, as you need a positive reputation to get issued a promotion. But it is not a multiplier of the skill points gained and it doesn't matter if your Empire reputation is allied, friendly or just indifferent but not unfriendly.”

    -Why didn’t we know this earlier?
    “The information is not visible to the player by design, so we answer questions but would not put it in a FAQ unless the developers change their mind and decide to make it more transparent. Exploring and discovering things on your own is a big part of the game after all. But feel free to share the information if you want.”

    Take home message:

    1. Naval progression is not proportional to your reputation, as long as you stay higher than Neutral.
    2. To gain higher ranks you need to do “work” for the minor factions affiliated with Federation or Empire to accumulate “faction experience/skill points”. Theoretically any activity that makes money will also increase your experience, but currently there might be bugs affecting BH and trading, so missions are still the way to go, charity missions being better.


    Suggestion to FDevs:
    Given the progression between ranks is stretched longer, sometimes we couldn't help but wonder if something is bugged. Ideally a progress bar like what has been introduced for the Elite ranks would be the most clear, but it may "break immersion" for some players.

    Stern Winter suggested a very good idea that I feel strikes a perfect balance here. When we achieve certain "milestone" in our contribution to a certain major faction (maybe for every skill point earned), we receive a message in the Comms panel saying something like, "Your Federal leaning hasn't gone unnoticed. We appreciate your contribution to the Federation. Keep up the good work and you will be promoted soon". In this way, even without a visual progress bar, players can still get a feedback that they are on track towards their goal, or even count their milestones, if they wish, to get an idea about how far they are away from the next rank.

    Proposed model:
    Samosa has suggested a great strategy to fast-track naval progression by stacking charity missions. You can follow his guidelines if you are prepared with enough cash and determination. The mission counts reported for certain ranks seem to be proportional to the hypothesized experience numbers. I did a simple linear regression and you can see even with only three data points the trend is already quite clear, roughly 30 charity missions (~300k CR) for 1 Exp.

    Faction experience Empire Federation Additional Exp needed Charity mission count Charity mission (modeled)
    0.5 Outsider Recruit 0.5 21 16
    1.5 Serf Cadet 1.0 32 32
    3.0 Master Midshipman 1.5 49
    5.0 Squire Petty Officer 2.0 50, 57, 65, 92 65
    8.0 Knight Chief Petty Officer 3.0 64, 92, 96, 100, 100, 106 97
    12.0 Lord Warrant Officer 4.0 85, 115, 136, 150, 179 129
    17.0 Baron Ensign 5.0 121, 138, 152, 192, 195, 210 162
    23.5 Viscount Lieutenant 6.5 144, 223 210
    31.5 Count Lieutenant Commander 8.0 250 259
    41 Earl Post Commander 9.5 261, 311 307
    52.5 Marquis Post Captain 11.5 344, 350 372
    66 Duke Rear Admiral 13.5 383, 415, 434, 450 437
    81.5 Prince Vice Admiral 15.5 500, 502, 510, 511, 523, 587 501
    100.0 King Admiral 18.5 534, 552, 717 598

    Attachment 50937

    I’d like to thank CMDR Titan, CMDR Taurus, CMDR Saturn, and CMDR Ares from Frontier Squad, Support Wing for the information and thank faluc and Samosa for the discussion and advice. And thank all the CMDRs contributing these data points. I think we have got the general picture here.

    Edit: More data points are added but the general trend doesn't change. One caveat is that not all the data points are purely charity missions so monetary mission reward may skew the number a little. And the numbers of Exp needed other than those marked in green are hytothesized and subject to adjustment. Some reported numbers deviate quite a bit from the regression line, but the general trend still holds true.

  2. #2
    Good work here, thank you and well done!

  3. #3
    Thx for the info...and that ought to turn a few people off from trying to gain rank.

    edit* If I interpret that right, you would have to do ~ 2300 charity missions to go from Lt To Admiral.

  4. #4
    Oh, one more quote from Support department, "also, see the military rank more as a bonus than your life achievement, at your high rank it will take alot to get to the next rank." For those who are still not getting their Clipper or Dropship, make some good use of the above information and good luck. For those already at high ranks, it's really up to yourself whether it's worth the effort to reach the highest rank in the shortest amount of time I believe I will eventually get to Admiral and King before I reach triple Elite, but as for now there is no material reward as a strong enough incentive.

  5. #5
    I guess I'll go back and try missions again. I haven't had a rank up mission for any faction since February, though, despite tens of millions in trading and exploration done since then and being allied with all three major factions, so my hopes aren't high.

  6. #6
    This is pretty much what I've observed post-1.3 with trying to gain Empire rank and not far off pre-1.3 when I worked up to Fed Ensign.
    Thanks for the clear and well written info!

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Abil Midena View Post (Source)
    Thx for the info...and that ought to turn a few people off from trying to gain rank.

    edit* If I interpret that right, you would have to do ~ 2300 charity missions to go from Lt To Admiral.
    That figure looks about right and it IS a tough goal, so I suggest that we keep doing the type of missions matching our playstyle and enjoy the game for now. The ascension mission will come some day and we can make a fortune in the mean time.

  8. #8
    This new level of rank supergrind has literally killed my interest of playing self-enforced Ironman mode. (ie. I would delete my character on death, because I knew I could previously get my Clipper back relatively fast)

  9. #9
    Good work!
    So one can do missions for both factions without decreasing reputation/skill poins? Or is it better to rank up in one faction, then the other?
    Does it matter if one does missions for few sub-factions or is it better to "move on" and do missions for other sub-factions?

  10. #10
    Really good work. The numbers for the high ranks are quite in the region that I have done for them.

  11. #11
    Great work. Repped.

    At least now I don't have to feel depressed every time I log on and see all the red reputation arrows, wondering why I'm being punished for having to sleep and work.

  12. #12
    Thank you a lot!!! This is bugging me for some time but I did not rais a ticket yet.

    have some rep!

  13. #13
    Perhaps they should have called the game "Elite: Spreadsheet"?

    :-)

  14. #14
    Thank you for this. I've been kind of baffled at the mission system and just trying to do missions for minor factions to try and increase my chances at a navel mission. Earlier I'd made the mistake of taking on 3 navel rank missions in an anaconda. BIG mistake! All the missions required landing at outposts. Now I only do mission in medium or small ships but the navel missions dried up after I abandoned the 3. I am going to try these strategy tips to increase my ranks. I just want a drop ship.

    It's frustrating that so much game data is kept so vague. I know it must be nice for the devs as they can tweak things behind the scenes for balance.

  15. #15
    So to get to the top rank is 3727 missions.

    If each mission takes 5 minutes (a huge under estimation). This would take 13 days of playing 24 hours per day....

    Also to clarify this is using charity missions, which give much more rep than delivery or smuggling missions. So with out cheating the game and logging in and out to get those missions we can at least double this time, to 624 hours.

    Looks like military ranking is another part of the game to not bother with.

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