David Braben Powerplay AMA General Discussion - Qs & As in one place

Greetings! Below you can find all of the Questions and answers combined into one post. Please use this thread to discuss the AMA.
 
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David Braben

CEO & Founder
Frontier
From CdrTwisted:

Does this mean the existing missions are staying but there will be more, or are the existing missions getting a good scrub?

It’s a mixture of both. The core mission system has been completely overhauled to allow better support and extensibility – which means we can do more with it as we move forwards both now and beyond the Powerplay update. Two main examples for the Powerplay update is the ability to find mission ships in supercruise and ambient traffic - so not just in USSs. There’s also better integration of mission branching in the inbox.

Powerplay group functions.

with powerplay bringing players together under one flag I would imagine that new groups will want to form up to protect their faction, with this in mind will powerplay or future updates for powerplay add a group management function like member search or the DDF discussed feature to automatically kick players from a group who attack another player that belongs to their group?

Hi Mobius - this is something we will look at in the future, but is not part of Powerplay.

Hi David,

Will we be seeing Harry Duval as one of the faction leaders?

He is involved in one of the Powers...

If you can't reveal the release date of Powerplay, can you confirm if there will be a beta test period for Alpha/Beta backers before the release goes live?

Yes, there will be a beta test. We're planning to announce the dates, as Michael would say, "soon" ;-)

Can you be aligned with more than one Power? Also will certain Powers be at conflict with another? ie you cant join both Power A & B because they are enemies?

I think it said this in the newsletter. You can be aligned with multiple Powers, but only one at the same time. Defections should be fun... and will have consequences.

From AnnuverScotinExile:

So, on the subject of a real power play, when do we get our God-like powers David?

There has been a considerable discussion on the practicalities of what those God-like powers mean in the game. We see a path where the DDF (and perhaps other invited members of the community) have direct input into the Powers.

We are looking into ways we can make this work, but it will not be in Powerplay at day #1. Maybe even one of the powers could be driven directly by the DDF?

Greetings CMDR Braben

How do YOU pronounce Patreus?

Sorry - just told Ed off for this on the great interview he gave on Twitch... It should be P-at-ree-us. ;-)

Will we be able to name a power is we get our ranks to the top?

No - the Power's names need to remain consistent; we can't have them changing all the time.

For ones that have risen from a minor local faction by player action, we might be able to do something there.

Hi David, cockpit access to Galnet is a good new feature. Will this have a range? I.e will explorers on the other side of the Galaxy still have access?

Thanks

Yes, they can access "global" news, but for system-local news, you need to be in the system in question.

Surely a "right on commander" is long past due? If not will there be some other kind of recognition for ranking up in the game?

I quite agree. :)

What's the rank requirement for the new Imperial ship in 1.3. Also is frontier alright with people modifying the HUD color in ED? I'v'e seen a lot of screenshots with the diffrent colors but never saw an offical stance on that matter.

"Master" I think.

Yes, we're OK with it.

From Jorlin:
How will supporting a "Power" influence my standings with the "Major Factions"?

The same actions that support a Power can have a knock on effect for your wider reputation with a major faction in the same way as working with a minor faction does currently.

Hi David,

First, thanks for the effort from you and your team for providing a such good game!

Secondly the question:
I'm still wondering about the increasing complexity around factions. Can you clarify the linkage between Factions and Powers?
From what I understand now we have: A minor Faction is dependent (or not) to a major faction. A Power has influences on several minor factions and/or major factions. A minor faction can evolved (or split?) to a Power. Finally, is Power a "meta faction"?

Thanks!

You're very welcome. It is the great team here that do all the work, though!

Minor Factions are small, relating to local governance (like running stations), Powers are much wider entities, with Major Factions above them. Effectively it is a new, intervening layer.

Question is in the title.

Is PowerPlay system control built on top the minor faction system control mechanism?

Yes. There is quite a bit of interrelation between the two.

Will be be able to express our allegiance to a power (and also, support the ongoing development ;) ) by purchasing power-specific paint jobs for ships?

We are looking in to this, but probably wont be in Powerplay.

Will the current ranks and reputations be adjusted? What about the people who are allied to all three powers, and hold top rank for both the Federal and Imperial navy? That seems like an impossible or at least undesirable situation.

That's not a problem. The Powers are separate from this, and not all Powers are linked to a Major Faction.

From Rall:
Will there be independant powers to back, and can player backed minor factions become powers if deemed important enough. E.g. The Crimson state

Yes and yes. Powers can be independently aligned and minor factions can become Powers if they are successful enough (although this is no easy task!). There’ll be a chance at this for an Old World resurgence around the time of the Powerplay launch – if the players should choose to back them.

Hi David,

A philosophical question:

Do you think Powerplay reflects wider society today, in the same way that the original Elite reflected a Thatcher inspired cultural focus on money and the individual way back in the 1980s?

Nice!

It's funny that many people have connected the original Elite and the Thatcherite world view from the time - but that is not why we made 'score' into money. Both Ian and I were not quite so politically savvy I think it would be fair to say, but were just frustrated about the rut games were in. I was annoyed that almost all games got a smart bomb (or equivalent) at 5000, and an extra life at 10,000. I wanted to be able to choose!

As for Powerplay, it is more of a way of broadening involvement in the story. It has been in the works long before the election fever in the UK started, and is more inspired by TV shows like the excellent "House of Cards" and "Game of Thrones" than current political battles.

Hi David,

A philosophical question:

Do you think Powerplay reflects wider society today, in the same way that the original Elite reflected a Thatcher inspired cultural focus on money and the individual way back in the 1980s?

Nice!

It's funny that many people have connected the original Elite and the Thatcherite world view from the time - but that is not why we made 'score' into money. Both Ian and I were not quite so politically savvy I think it would be fair to say, but were just frustrated about the rut games were in. I was annoyed that almost all games got a smart bomb (or equivalent) at 5000, and an extra life at 10,000. I wanted to be able to choose!

As for Powerplay, it is more of a way of broadening involvement in the story. It has been in the works long before the election fever in the UK started, and is more inspired by TV shows like the excellent "House of Cards" and "Game of Thrones" than current political battles.

What's stopping say a group of factions from forming a large alliance and dominating us all? SOMEONE GET MY TIN FOIL HAT.

There are escalating costs and supply line issues (based on the distance from the "capital"). Multiple Powers working together is possible, but it depends on the ethos of the Powers. I'm sure people will try this, and I'm sure others will attempt to sabotage it!

From Sigon:
How do you plan to balance the player influence over different factions? Would it be acceptable for Frontier if by player choice one of the major factions (Alliance/Empire/Federation) is wiped out?

We will look at balance continuously, both during the beta and afterwards, but we want players to be changing the Galaxy.

It's possible a Major Faction gets brought down, but is very unlikely.

There’s already a player group trying to destroy the Alliance, for example.

How much time do you get to play the game yourself? And have you ever done anything naughty like piracy?? ;)

Nowhere near as much as I'd like to... ;-)

Hi David, thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions!

Will the 1.3 update include more appropriate consequences ( currently a bounty that can be paid off within a few minutes ) for killing clean ( no bounty ) players?

Michael will be doing a 'crime special' in his next dev update... so I won't steal his thunder!

Hi David,
Will there be an Exploration focused Faction in Powerplay?

There is no exploration oriented Power, but there is a Power with exploration-specific perks...

Greetings CMDR Braben!

Thanks to all the hard work your team has done!

I have only one question.

Will President Vidar Vondell from the corporate faction in Eta Draconis "Gold Vision Co." be part of the original 20 factions first included?

We flipped the system, they expanded to eradicate pirates from BD+57 1692 and had a galnet article posted with him commenting on the capture of Eta Draconis. Just curious =)

Thanks again, wonderful game.

-LW

For a minor faction to become a Power will be a major achievement, involving many systems.

Hello David!

Will some of the issues with Wings be addressed in 1.3? I love Wings, but it has some minor instancing issues from time to time. A lot of people have been reporting not seeing any other players except for their Wing members in Wings, but as soon as they drop out of the Wing they see lots of players.

There are some bug fixes to Wings in Powerplay coming, and we are continuing to look at all issues.

From bobiroka:
Will Powerplay effectively replace the current Community Goals system?

Certainly not!

Community goals will still be used in game, and can connect with Powerplay – for example: a campaign of goals to elevate a minor faction to a Power.

Is powerplay a way to determ who be next Federal President or Emperor in a roundabout way by players?
Its been long time since we heard any News about how the Emperors Health is currently. Or is this just a emperor plot to deside who he can trust or not? Paranoia seem to be a common trait in Emperors.

Yes, this could happen.

Medicine in 3301 is pretty good, so the Emperor may be in a coma for a while yet...

Also, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you!

How should we start for trying to get our independant faction in to the top 20 list of factions we can pledge with? Should be start now rapidly expanding them or will we be able to choose our faction out of the 20 you pick?

Firstly there won't be twenty to start with. It is likely to be ten when Powerplay first goes out. This gives room for more to come in later.

Currently there are no minor factions anywhere near being promoted to being a Power.

When will there be non-celestial things to discover in deep space?

There already are... ;-)

Are there plans to give people reasons to venture into dangerous anarchies and enemy held space in trade ships? My friends would love to do the whole "trade ship and escorts" convoy, but there aren't really many reasons for us to do that at the moment.

Yes. Powerplay should do this.

Can i go pledge for the independant faction in Jotunheim and expand them with a group to become a major power? Can we start planning and working towards this before 1.3 or not?

You could start doing this now. We are not resetting the Galaxy or anything, and the current minor factions will carry over.

There is a slight wrinkle in that we are renaming some minor factions to ensure they have unique names. For the most part this is just adding the system name to make it unambiguous.

From Mephane:
What is in it for pilot's who would prefer not to pledge allegiance to any of these galactic powers? Both in terms of gameplay opportunities, and in terms of perks and rewards, because the newsletter makes it seem like you miss out on everything if you remain neutral.

Joining powers is optional and you can continue to play the game as you do now if you don’t want to get involved. You do need to join a power to gain the perks, but changes to systems from being controlled by a power apply to anyone in that system.

In other words the markets and laws can change when the system Power changes.

I did say "deep" space... Those probes are still in the sol system so I'm hoping he meant other things to find!

Yes. Other things... ;-)

In the newsletter, it was mentioned that an intersection between a trading power and a military power will result in piracy missions.

Will this make NPC piracy more profitable or will we continue to need to focus on players?

It can be more profitable, and it will apply to both players and NPCs.

Have they always been out there, or are they new additions??? This is important Mr Braben. Very important.

What I had in mind has been there since Wings...

From _Dastardly_:
Will players be able to change factions? If they can will there be some kind of cooldown or will they be able to switch constantly?

Players can defect from a power to join another at any time, but if they're highly ranked within the power then there could be repercussions. So if you chop and change a good deal you will end up with a lot of repercussions!

For fun :)

That said, it could be worth thinking about reducing the impact that solo & group players have on the political simulation.

Unlike community goals, Powerplay is a swinging balance - ie solo players are also balancing solo players.

Are there any Douglas Adams references to be found in the game? (Besides mostly harmless-- edit)

I went to Betelgeuse, as a first stop, to check.

Quite a few real-life ones, like Barnard's Star.

Mr Braben,

Are there any plans for 1.3 to have any new/improved/balanced weapon modules? Many of us are curious at to the future of weaponry in Elite: Dangerous

For some of the Powers we are looking at Power-specific modules and weapons. More info to come. <<< Announcement. ;-)

Evening David

Me and my father have been wondering if you guys at FD where going to add in a system orrery for in game orbits and such?
The dance of planets and seeing the revolutions of a double binary system in motion or whatever the system contains would be an amazing thing to add depth to the game and to exploring for each individual system.

Anyway thankyou for your time
Off to the black i go
I would hope most of the data is there from generating the great old milky, so implementing it hopefully would be easier....

It is still on the list...

Hello David,
Will new characters come into the game (i.e. new senators and politicians) and to what scale?

Yes. Powers, and their associated characters will come and go. The 'go' will often be due to them dying...

From Demonmaker:
With the new powerplay features, can you divulge who your going to stand with in the faction/powerplay fights?

They haven't been revealed yet...


Hello M. Braben.
Thanks for the awesome game. I'm realy exited to Powerplay, and the global future of Elite.

Can you give us precision on the incoming Imperial Courier, will it be a pure Fighter ? Or Multi-role like the Cobra ?

And more personal question,

What are your opinion on Imperial Slavery ? Can a power decide to make it Illegal and have others deep changing decisions like that ?

Thanks!

The Imperial Courier is a shiny fast multi-role ship. Of course you can use it as a fighter, but it is not a specialist.

Imperial slavery is not unlike signing up to the army. You do what they say for a fixed period of time - and how acceptable this is, is very much the equivalent of the particular army you sign up to.

And yes, Powers can change what is illegal. I think Aisling Duval is trying to do this right now.

Hi David,

Bloomin marvlous game, and i can see it just improving more and more infuture! Great stuff..!

Question: If we can declare allegiance to a Faction, and system.. Then Might we have the opportunity to Register Our 'Ships' name within that system, much liek Boats are registered to a port.

CMDR Zaphonicus Taurog in the 'Highway Star' Homeworld: Blah Blah...

<...>

Keep it going... Elite Dangerous just keeps gettign bettter!.

Thanks!

If you scan another ship, it will show the Power you are aligned to. This isn't quite the same as player bases as the Powers are regional - but it is close.

From Philip Coutts:
Do you envisage Powerplay as a tool to raise the amount of PvP currently happening? It seems that you are giving carte blanche to attack anyone from a different faction to you, regardless if they are wanted or not. Is there not a danger that the inhabited parts of the galaxy end up as one big warzone?


The carte blanche only exists within systems controlled by your Power and only apply against ships that are aligned with a Power of a different major faction to your Power. Powers interact with each other in different ways and combat is but one of those methods. How the Power is structured geographically will also guide which areas are potential hotspots. In some case Powers could provide a safety zone within their borders by their actions.

I'm very much a fan of how Frontier has handled gender balance in its NPC characters, but as an Imperial citizen I'm quite disappointed to be hailed as a "Lord" and then "Baron" and so on. Is there a reason why the Empire has no Lady/Baroness/Viscountess/Countess ranks, or is this fixable? (FYI, there has never been a female equivalent of an Earl, perhaps Marquis/Marquess or Duke/Duchess could be substituted?) Also, will ranks within powers avoid this issue?

You're right. This has come up before too. There is some context here, but I think it is something we want to look at down the line.

Margaret Thatcher insisted on being "Prime Minister" when she took power (ie not "Prime Mistress") and many female actors are not known as actresses at their own request. Similarly women chairmen. So there is an argument that gender-specific roles will lose their specificity over time.

ROFL!!!

Brian :)

Can't imagine what you're referring to ;-)

From Matlok:
The Empire have a couple of great ships that adds to the empirical identity. The mighty federation also have ships to call their own. I really love the Alliance, yet I feel they have been very neglected by the defs. Currently, there is no real reason to rank up in their systems, for there is no real reward. With Powerplay, will there be some content for the Alliance faction?

The Alliance is a relative newcomer on the galactic stage, but we know the Alliance is a favourite with many players.

The Federation and Empire have both had hundreds of years to evolve their traditions and identity. For the Alliance this is little different from the Independent ships already available in game. That’s not to say that an Alliance ship building project might happen in the future, along with recruitment for the Alliance Navy. The trouble is Prime Minister Mahon finds it hard to get his members to agree...
 
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Greetings! Below you can find all of the Questions and answers combined into one post. Please use this thread to discuss the AMA.

Thank you for this post of all the answers combined. This is clearly something I will look at in the future. It is still on the list.
 
Pity there was no answer to the 'Can player groups ever get promoted to Powers" questions.

Before you give yourself heartburn; I'm only talking about those groups who have added substantially to the colour and excitement of the game and FD would always remain the arbiter of which group has 'qualified' and by which standards. Nor am I asking for those 'promoted' groups be given extra powers or benefits from that promotion - other than for their name to be among the Powers. Day to day running, rewards and what have you would be done by the game.

For me this would be something that would get groups involved in the game more intensely, knowing that if they keep up the work and create and add to the exciting backstory of Elite: Dangerous, they will be rewarded.
 
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What about the questions from yesterdays thread? We were led to think that David has been answering those in a separate thread, but i dont see anything like that.
 
It would still be nice if they would just post what is necessary for ranks. As of right now, I have to consider all existing data invalid.
 
It would still be nice if they would just post what is necessary for ranks. As of right now, I have to consider all existing data invalid.

It's dubious on purpose. You're meant to work toward it and be surprised by it when it happens. The Pilots Federation is monitoring your progress and promote you when they feel you've earned it. The actual game programming is intentionally secret - there's seemingly multiple contributors to it as well as a somewhat random +/- factor.
 
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What is AMA vs. Q&A? Ask Maybe Answer?

Sorry, just never seen the acronym- should spell these things out first.

Q&A on Power Play was appreciated, but I think an under-utilization of Mr. Braben. Hundreds of questions came before the live session, he could just as well have posted an answer sheet to them like the first post in this thread. No way he could keep up with slew of posts coming at him. This type of thing would be better as a surprise where DB just shows up in an active thread and starts posting. He will get questions he doesn't want to answer either way.

I miss his visionary development videos and peeks at clouds and PG discussion about where he wants to take Elite development. The vision stuff is where he shines and what he should still be doing to stoke the flames. I know FD has to be careful not to make a "promise" to deliver X until it is coded, but now that sales are past the bull scenario and Xbox sales haven't even started it would be good to get some vision of expansion plans more than 4 weeks out. I'm stoked to use my expansion passes, maybe there will be a DDF resurgence for future design decisions at least for major expansions? I am curious about many uncoded DDF items.

Anyway, all at FD you are doing great work, so keep it up, have a restful spring weekend and hits the ground running again Monday.

Cheers!
 

Jellybear

Banned
Very interesting, just wish someone had asked him about more info regarding the new ships and especially the larger ships that are planned...I want to know more about the mini capital ships we're going to get :D
 
while i am very greatfull for the answers currantly on this list i feel like alot of them seemed like the same kinda questions and alot of the more popular questions that were asked on the thread from yesterday were missed out, this just seems to be answers to powerplay related questions only pretty much i was under the impression it was "ask anything" or was i greatly mistaken?
 
QUOTED FROM OP QA -
From Matlok:
The Empire have a couple of great ships that adds to the empirical identity. The mighty federation also have ships to call their own. I really love the Alliance, yet I feel they have been very neglected by the defs. Currently, there is no real reason to rank up in their systems, for there is no real reward. With Powerplay, will there be some content for the Alliance faction?

Braben's Post:
"The Alliance is a relative newcomer on the galactic stage, but we know the Alliance is a favourite with many players.

The Federation and Empire have both had hundreds of years to evolve their traditions and identity. For the Alliance this is little different from the Independent ships already available in game. That’s not to say that an Alliance ship building project might happen in the future, along with recruitment for the Alliance Navy. The trouble is Prime Minister Mahon finds it hard to get his members to agree..."




Hey, that last statement he made....You guys do realize that he just gave away a MASSIVE hint right? - Any alliance players that want to see a navy, or a ship, or whatever it is, find these "members" that dont agree, and through powerplay, Take...them...out...lol - This is what I took from that statement. Find the factions that are aligned, or controlled or whatever by these council members and crush them, or improve other minor factions to the point where their leader gets put on the council so Mr. Prime Minister can get a group to agree on something
 
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Great Q&A
Delighted with the response to so many good questions. He glossed over a few but I'm sure he had his reasons.
Can't wait for 1.3.
 
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