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Another thing that would be cool to see would be more megastructures and interaction with them.

For example, there could be a large network of mystery structures scattered across an entire system, encompassing several landables, satellite facilities, etc. If the inquisitive CMDR could unlock the functionality of these structures, cool stuff could happen.

I'd love to stumble across, say, a star harvester (giant satellite net or ring around a star) in a remote system, and after figuring out how to activate it, watch it suck material from the star and beam energy down to a previously undiscovered collection station on one of the local planets. Upon investigating the collection station, the entrance to a vast underground city might open up, which must be explored via SRV or very small ship (or space legs, if we get that).
 
It need not be so grandiose. I don't think OP wants to be Luke Skywalker blowing up the original Death Star. We don't need to save THE princess, but in a galaxy with over 22,000 inhabited solar systems, surely we could each save A "princess", metaphorically-speaking. I often enjoy side-quests as much or more than main quests in Open-world games, as long as the story behind those quests are good.

FWIW, when I first started playing Elite, missions were these "quests", and I enjoyed them because they were fresh and new. However, it didn't take long before I realized there is just a handful of mission types that are reused over and over again, with no actual story or narrative behind them. This is different than a game like Skyrim, where I felt a personal attachment to different NPCs after helping them, and I also felt closer to the game world in general as I progressed through the numerous story lines, adventures, quests, etc.

Oh, and those adventures and quests were almost always fun. The only grinding I did was to level up certain skills, and that was my fault.
Yes, having a 'reason' for doing things in the game is IMO important. Early on, it's to gain credits, ranks, reputation and so on, as well obviously as experiencing 'new things', but once you know how to do something in the game, at the moment that's it.

People have long called for more story driven missions, and chained missions are an attempt at that. Unfortunately, it would seem that the mission system templates simply aren't up to (or the technology behind them doesn't allow) it.

It would seem to be a really obvious thing to do, to have a starting mission as a black box (or occupied escape pod) recovery, which leads to an assassination mission to destroy the pirate that blew up the ship you just recovered something from, which in turn could lead to a surface salvage mission to recover something the pirate stole, which could lead to a delivery mission to return the goods to the rightful owner. All these mission types already exist, so it doesn't seem like it should be that hard to link them into a story... And that's just four basic mission types, I'm sure people could come up with many stories based just on what we already have in the game.

The problem is, when FD did have these 'linked' mission types, they hid the story (if there was one) behind RNG and 'surprise' - the player had no idea what they were going to be asked to do, often came to a point where the ship they were in was not suitable for the next step and so the missions were not taken up and so dropped.

It would also surely be good if engineers could give out missions that rewarded the player with materials that they might need to do upgrades as an alternative to RNG gathering.

This game does benefit from some kind of RP involvement, but the lack of that story driven content is ultimately replaced by credits as a reason for doing something, at which point the game can start to feel like a job. Credits should be way down the list of things a player cares about, certainly a long way behind having fun playing the game. :)
 
Yes, having a 'reason' for doing things in the game is IMO important. Early on, it's to gain credits, ranks, reputation and so on, as well obviously as experiencing 'new things', but once you know how to do something in the game, at the moment that's it.

People have long called for more story driven missions, and chained missions are an attempt at that. Unfortunately, it would seem that the mission system templates simply aren't up to (or the technology behind them doesn't allow) it.

It would seem to be a really obvious thing to do, to have a starting mission as a black box (or occupied escape pod) recovery, which leads to an assassination mission to destroy the pirate that blew up the ship you just recovered something from, which in turn could lead to a surface salvage mission to recover something the pirate stole, which could lead to a delivery mission to return the goods to the rightful owner. All these mission types already exist, so it doesn't seem like it should be that hard to link them into a story... And that's just four basic mission types, I'm sure people could come up with many stories based just on what we already have in the game.

The problem is, when FD did have these 'linked' mission types, they hid the story (if there was one) behind RNG and 'surprise' - the player had no idea what they were going to be asked to do, often came to a point where the ship they were in was not suitable for the next step and so the missions were not taken up and so dropped.

It would also surely be good if engineers could give out missions that rewarded the player with materials that they might need to do upgrades as an alternative to RNG gathering.

This game does benefit from some kind of RP involvement, but the lack of that story driven content is ultimately replaced by credits as a reason for doing something, at which point the game can start to feel like a job. Credits should be way down the list of things a player cares about, certainly a long way behind having fun playing the game. :)
This is something I have been asking for, for a long time.

Not enough compelling reasons to do what we do.

I also don't like the mission structure. Getting more cash for missions because you have a higher standing and rank doesn't make sense, especially when it comes to trade missions. I have seen missions when it would have been cheaper for the faction to buy a ship, buy the commodities and transport it themselves.

Current Missions should pay a set price and you get a bonus depending on how fast you deliver. Make all missions shareable, and the rewards should be divided, not duplicated. A wing will get a job done quicker, so will get a higher reward. It makes more sense that way.

Higher standing in a faction should get you benefits, such as cheaper prices for everything. They could have really added to this if they decided to add costs for ship storage. There are plenty of things that should be chargeable, but if you have a high standing with that faction you get it for much cheaper. The same could have been used for ships bought, modules, fuel prices (these should be higher naturally). Basically anything you can buy from a station apart from commodities. You should not get higher rewards for missions. You get set rewards (depending on type of commodity and the danger involved).

I can't stand the fact that credits are so easy to get that ship destruction has very little consequence and is rendered virtually meaningless.

I would also like to see better follow on missions, maybe with branches. We should be able to get a set of three to four follow on missions to create a mini quest.

Maybe have a different type of reward at the end of those, like some premium ammo or some rare materials. Just something to make it feel different, but in actuality is using the same mechanics. All these new mechanics, including the FSS and the DSS probes should be part of the mission system.

The RamTah missions should have been a set of follow on missions, not just two single missions.

There is so much they could do with the current gameplay mechanics to make them feel different, I don't understand why they don't do it.

Trade, Exploration, Mining, Bounty hunting, pirating should be your main bread winners. Missions should just be supplementing that, not replacing it.
 
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LOL I think someone is missing the point that the "Game" is a business and if it has an "End" so does the business.
If you can't "win" you keep playing...
 
If there is one thing Elite could copy from Star Citizen, it's the idea of "squadron 42" - basically making a seperate singelplayer action game in the universe of Elite but focusing on space-flight instead of first person shooting. It would be a dream come true for me.
 
"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think whether or not they could make a game out of it."
 
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