Add a career planning system: Pilots Federation Advisers

Recently, I heard someone (probably ObsidianAnt, who are we kidding) mention how the Pilots Federation could be a much larger part of the game than it currently is. That got me thinking. I quickly remembered the career chart put together by CMDR Qohen Leth, and how I had thought it would be helpful if there were some sort of in-game career planner. So, I came up with an idea:
Pilots Federation Advisers.

First, I want to describe the issues I think this would address before delving into specifically how it might work. Between ranking up with the Pilots Federation, superpowers, and system factions, participating in powerplay, meeting engineers, and outfitting ships, I think that there are many disjointed systems that can be hard to manage, especially if the player does not take an interest in a particular opportunity, say powerplay. Also, I think it can be difficult for new players to figure out what exactly they are “supposed to do”, especially given Elite: Dangerous’s open-ended nature. I know that I would certainly find it helpful if there were a system in the game where I could pick something I want to prioritize, like mining, combat, or exploration, and then receive specific instructions on how to progress in that direction. In the case of exploration, that might involve first earning the money to afford a more capable ship, maybe even having a specific ship recommended based on the player’s specific career interest, then meeting the engineers and completing their missions, and finally learning to tweak ship load-outs and use engineering to optimize a ship for a particular type of exploration. This could be thargoid investigations, long distance travel, tourist missions, or simply scanning as many systems as possible. The point is, the player would choose an activity that they want to focus on, and then receive directions and suggestions on how to best do that activity, all within the game. This way, players would have a sense of progress towards a specific role.

As to how players would interact with the adviser, I think players should have the option to pick a career path when they start the game, and the adviser process would start from there. The adviser would be available as a menu option, like the engineers are right now. From there, players would be able to see their progress and also any tasks or suggestions their adviser has given them as well as options to change career paths or make other adjustments. Players could be as specialized or as generalist as they want. They could simply want explore what combat-centric careers would be like, or they could decide right off the bat that they want to be an assassin. Based on the career the player chooses, the interfaces for the mission board, markets, outfitting, powerplay, &c. would be able to display messages or indicators based on the directions and suggestions the adviser might give, e.g. missions might be highlighted as being helpful for a particular goal.

I also think this is a two-fold opportunity to connect other players as well. One way would be to assign multiple players to the same adviser character as some sort of pilot’s course, wherein new players would be able to easily find other new players and communicate as they figure out the game. With this in mind, it might make more sense for the player to fill out a survey at the beginning of the game so that they get placed with other players seeking the same type of “career”. Additionally, new players could learn the ropes by spending time in multicrew, assigned to players who are already far progressed (i.e. Elite-ranked or among the highest in mining statistics).

Furthermore, I think it’s important that the Pilots Federation Adviser feature be optional. If players want to wing it, they shouldn’t have a glorified tutorial assistant getting in their way. I see this feature as a way to give structure to the game for players who need it. I’d love to hear what others think of this idea, and I would especially enjoy to see something like it make it into the game.


CMDR Zeklandia
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