A simple fix to (maybe) save Galnet

It’s easy. Galnet just needs to draw a clear distinction between in game events and pure flavor material.

This is how you do it:

FDev makes two categories of articles.

  • TOP STORIES
  • OTHER NEWS
TOP STORIES would be reserved only for events with in-game ramifications. Top stories would always sit at the top of the queue, no matter what. OTHER NEWS would sit at the bottom. It’s that simple.

So a typical playlist might look like this...

Welcome to Galnet. Here are today’s TOP STORIES:

- War has broken out in the Blah Blah system. Something something independent pilots needed.

- Professor Palin’s student, Chloe Whatever, has made her own engineering shop.

- Federal Congress is entering elections (even if there is no immediate impact for players, putting the election in Top News tells us to pay attention... there may be an election Interstellar Initiative coming.)

In OTHER NEWS...

- The immortal cyborg Kanye West has been convicted of something bonkers. (No game tie-in here and none expected)


And that’s it, really.

Minor stories should be reduced in number significantly and should be worded carefully so that there’s no ill feelings from players. That recent hostage situation on a space station was a good example of the wrong way to do things. The articles made it sound like there should be in-game evidence of the event, and there was nothing.

I’m one of those people who liked reading Galnet. I liked the lore and it helped break monotony on long flights and such. But there was just too much of it and I totally understand why others were put off, especially for stories like the hostage one.

I think if Galnet made it clear what was in-game and what wasn’t, and there was less of it, we’d have a happy medium.

*Edited for clarity
 
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Over on a Discord someone pointed out that the ratio of actual news stuff versus fluff had decreased substantially recently.

(There was even a physical count to prove it! We are nothing if not dedicated Nerds after all 😀)

They made a good point that as long as the ratio of Stuff was larger than fluff then Galnet remained relevent and engaged with the game. When the balance retreated the other way people (like me) began to complain heavily on the forums that Galnet had became a parody of what it should be.

Also, it's been quite clear recently that Sagittarius Eye is more engaged with the Community than Galnet ever was.

Rest in Piece Galnet.

You ded.
 
I suppose it's a manpower decision. They didn't have enough to make Galnet what players always wanted it to be and the few stories they could provide gave people the chance to complain since it's not in-game. So they decided to cut their losses and put an end to it.

That they can now say they stopped releasing those because they listened to feedback is a convenient bonus.
 
Of all the directly injected content Galnet is the simplest and probably cheapest to implement.
Surely it's not too much to ask for it to be kept relevant.
 
Of all the directly injected content Galnet is the simplest and probably cheapest to implement.
Surely it's not too much to ask for it to be kept relevant.
Well that's what they're doing - they're only putting in stuff that's relevant.

All the fluff they currently add just has players reading too much into it and getting over-excited. Remember the 'wearable computer' stuff that had everybody screaming "Oh my god, a Pip-boy! That means spacelegs are coming!"?
 
This is a great idea, but I think FD just don't have a coherent 'B' story to sustain it- there is barely any main story, let alone material for anything else really which is a sad state of affairs, as well as being a massive dissapointing waste of time.
 
This is a great idea, but I think FD just don't have a coherent 'B' story to sustain it- there is barely any main story, let alone material for anything else really which is a sad state of affairs, as well as being a massive dissapointing waste of time.
That’s fair. I don’t think it needs a “B story,” really, just a little bit of flavor here and there doesn’t hurt. Keep it simple and easy. Single stories or short chapters, that’s all.

What it definitely didn’t need were those huge branching story archs that lasted for weeks or longer and didn’t lead anywhere.

  • Aisling Duval’s engagement
  • The hijacked Diamondback
  • The hostage situation on that one station
  • The Alliance presidential election and Kincaid’s rogue armada
Those were terrible and I’m glad to see them gone. Stuff like the Alliance culture fest seems harmless though. Just gotta make it clear that it’s not something for pilots to get their hopes up for.
 
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Why add fluff at all. There's plenty of real gameplay news that is left out for the imaginary rubbish?
I’m assuming that you’re referring to player-led stuff? Like wars between player factions or buckyball racing?

That would be really awesome but it might require more work than FDev is willing to commit to be consistent in publishing. I got the impression Galnet lore was sort of a side-job for an FDev employee with other duties.

Keeping track of it all would likely require a lot of sifting through the Events forum and discords, maybe player submissions, and it might get complicated if you have events with opposing groups (ie: the recent war in Carcosa.)

If FDev found a way to streamline that process and make a good chunk of fresh news per week that would be pretty neat.

Hey Paige and Will... maybe this is something to expand your duties with!

...I still like reading about Easter eggs and fluff like the Alliance culture fest sometimes though :/
 
I don't see why the GalNet couldn't have two sections. One for the actual in-game happenings and the other for the "fluff."

Personally, I like the fluff. They bring life to the game world. Like in Witcher you could read people's diaries or the notice board, in Splinter Cell and Deus Ex you could hack into people's computers and read their e-mails and what not. Sure, those were written just once but if it's a matter of time/effort I'd rather they stopped doing the silly Let's Play-videos and used the resources and man hours to write good GalNet articles instead. Even in just couple of days time you could probably churn out hundreds of little news articles that could be injected to the game at later times.
 
It is hard not to see this as a diminution. Players may have objected to the inconsequentiality of the flavour pieces, but nobody wanted less Galnet.

I'm part of Sagittarius Eye. This is our Breaking News page: https://www.sagittarius-eye.com/#breaking-news

Our aim with Breaking News is to be the 'player-driven' alternative to Galnet. We only do this because Galnet doesn't do player-driven stories, and ultimately players want to read about what they and players like them have been doing.

The way it works is that our team propose stories based on what they've seen happening in-game, on Reddit, on these forums, on Twitter and on Discord; we assign a writer to the story, to turn the bullet points of 'who what when where why' into 300 words of prose; it's edited and proofread, then we publish it to our blog-style webpage. It has proven quite popular.

Frontier, why don't you do something similar with Galnet?

"We don't have time," perhaps.

It doesn't actually take much time. Our Breaking News team is a couple of regular writers, editors and proof readers - fitting it in around jobs, families, and other interests. These aren't full-time jobs - this is four or five people fitting a few minutes in on their lunch break every week. It really doesn't take very long. Cumulatively, we probably spend a few hours per week on publishing the stories.

And you're already doing this, to some extent. When you feature events in the Newsletter, you're already doing it. When you feature player content on Twitter, you're already doing it. Your community managers already know what's going on in the community. Putting this coverage into Galnet would not take hours and hours - the stories just need to be clear and impartial. One story per day would be the right amount.

If you want Galnet to be really popular, the way to do it would be to use it to reflect what players are actually doing in the game, as well as the Frontier-driven news, like Interstellar Initiatives, new ships and modules etc. Yes, we want to know about that - but we also want to know about Alec Turner's next planetary circumnavigation expedition, which Power has been tipped into turmoil this week, which superpower has just hit a new BGS milestone, and the latest AXI bug hunt event.

Knowing what goes into doing this, I can tell you that it really doesn't take much time. It's easily achievable. Your team already know what's going on in the community, and you have the platform. It would be an investment of a few minutes per day and players would be thrilled.

That would be the right way to make Galnet better - not just 'less Galnet'.
 
I don't see why the GalNet couldn't have two sections. One for the actual in-game happenings and the other for the "fluff."
I made a suggestion to keep both (if they'd prefer that), while drawing a very easy and notable distinction between them.
(Button "Show in Galaxy Map" below real stories/content and the lack of that very button for pure narration/fluff in the GALnet articles; very simple solution)
 
I made a suggestion to keep both, while drawing a very easy and notable distinction between them.
(Button "Show in Galaxy Map" below real stories/content and the lack of that very button for pure narration/fluff in the GALnet articles; very simple solution)
I was just reading it when I got this notification :D But yeah, that would work as well.
 
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