Enclave - feedback thread

rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
Disclaimer - below is just my opinion. It's perfectly fine for you to have a different one :)

The first Interstellar Initiative, Bridging the Gap, resulted in a massive criticism from the community. I have also posted quote an exhaustive feedback and there really weren't many things that I praised. BTG was hands down one of the worst experiences I've had in Elite since the release date.Frontier then responded to our feedback saying that they take it on board and will try to make the next II better. I will admit that after what's happened with BTG I was very sceptical towards Enclave. I set my expectations bar very low and kind of waited for a disaster to happen.

Disaster didn't happen however. The tables were turned and what we got was one of the BEST experiences I've had in Elite in a very long time! I can honestly say that FDEV indeed took the feedback on board and acted on it BIG TIME!

Don't get me wrong - it wasn't 100% perfect, there were little bugs and annoyances, but because Enclave as a whole was such a great experience and so much fun to me personally, the bugs didn't really bother me. Quite the opposite to BTG, where on top of how bad it was, there were some bugs that deteriorate the experience even further. This is a living proof that you can get away with some stuff being broken if the overall experience is fun enough.

Alas, let's get into details :)

NARRATIVE - THE GOOD
  • The main story line progressed. This is something I was waiting for for YEARS!
  • The story was interesting and engaging:
    • It changed dynamically and had a couple of surprising plot twists.
    • It involved entities that are foundations of Elite lore (3 superpowers + Thargoids), rather than bland, generic and out of the blue corporations like BTG.
    • It was about something important from game world point of view. It was make or break for humanity presence in Witch Head. We've established a foothold near the alleged Thargoid core systems (Col 70)!
    • Plot twists were unexpected. Almost bold. The attack on Palin and his laboratory being shut down with real-time Thargoids attack resulted in one of the best narratives with actual in-game representation of events EVER in this game. Absolutely LOVED IT!
    • Then the attack in Witch Head - another twist, maybe not as unexpected as Palin, but still good!
  • The Galnet articles combined with forum posts by CM team were higher quality than the ones for BTG and provided a good insight into what's going on without spoiling too much either. Well balanced!
NARRATIVE - THE BAD
  • I can't think of anything. Honestly, from narrative point of view - everything was great to me! If anything - please be even MORE bold in the future. Let Thargoids attack some Engineers in the Bubble. Or disable Shinrarta. Don't be afraid to go bold, Frontier. Players love it!
GAMEPLAY - THE GOOD
  • Real time Thargoid attacks - that was amazing piece of gameplay!
  • Throughout the whole Initiative we were able to try a few different gameplay styles - exploration, AX fighting, material gathering, long-haul transports... It was good to see varied gameplay styles being included in the story.
  • Player actions had a real and everlasting effect on the galaxy. It was balanced and reasonably made. Everything was lore friendly.
  • The effect of our actions MATTERED for the main storyline. It was IMPORTANT, therefore it was ENGAGING. I personally CARED about the outcome of Enclave. (In fact, I'm still in Witch Head, having just unlocked the bobblehead on a live stream yesterday :) ).
  • The bugs were fixed very promptly once they've been reported.
GAMEPLAY - THE BAD
  • First of all - yes, there were a few issues, but they were fairly minor and as I've said before - because the overall experience was so good, those little bugs didn't really bother me that much.
  • For the exploration CG - Alliance CG starport was A LOT farther away than Fed and Imp ones. This created an unbalanced situation. While I appreciate the realism (in-game context) of that situation - because it involved somewhat of a competition it wasn't fair for everybody.
  • No Fire Zone issue - Palin's Research Centre issued fines to players defending it from Thargoids.
REWARDS - THE GOOD
  • New Engineer, free decal, free bobblehead... I mean - what's not to love?!
  • I find the new Engineer's level raising with players using her services (akin to Colonia Engineers) a good thing. It requires an effort on our side. It's not just "here you go".
  • Free decal required only docking at one of a few stations. No effort whatsoever. I'm sure this was welcomed by many players that complain about grind in Elite (I'm not one of them for the record).
  • Expanded colonisation of WH - nice gesture!
  • Introducing a shipyard in WH as a reward for great efforts in fighting Thargoids - again really good.
  • Finishing off with an unexpected bonus - the Thargoid Interceptor Bobblehead AND it being available at Tech Broker rather than at store to buy for RL money - amazing! The fact that it's not exactly "free" (requires materials and some effort) is also great.
REWARDS - THE BAD
  • It wasn't very clear when the free decal would be available until. I am still not sure of that. Can people still get it? No info.
GENERAL FEEDBACK - THE GOOD
  • As mention - this was one of the best experiences I've had in Elite for a loooong time!
  • It made me play more and it made me interested in the Thargoids story again.
  • IMPORTANT! Pigeon's John Nest (I see you what did there @Adam Woods !) is one of the BEST locations in game. Do you know why? Because it's a landable outpost located next to an installation and it's all treated as a single location. I've starports and installations about 50km apart from each other, but these are right next to each other, like they're part of the same location. It looks great! PLEASE MORE OF SUCH LOCATIONS IN GAME FDEV!
  • Real time attacks by Thargoids are amazing.
  • Main story line progression is VERY welcomed.
GENERAL FEEDBACK - THE BAD
  • According to Engineers screen, I've found out about Chloe from... Marco Qwent. Considering she was Palin's apprentice, shouldn't Palin be the one telling us about her? How the hell Qwent is involved in all this? Just a little discrepancy there.
  • I wold prefer a Commander Chronicles type of intro movie instead of out-of-character intro by Will. Sorry Will, nothing personal there, I just prefer to keep thing in-lore and in-character.
  • Please pay just a little bit more attention to small details when planning these things. They complete the experience and if not for those little things, Enclave would have been PERFECT:
    • Alliance starport distance
    • Engineer info discrepancy
    • No Fire Zone issue
Thank you for the Enclave, Frontier. It was almost perfect. You have shown that you can take player feedback on board and turn the tables around. Enclave's quality was at the level that I expected from you, based on some of the past projects. It was well thought out, interesting, engaging and also well rewarding. I have absolutely LOVED IT.

Chapeau bas and please more of such an amazing content in Elite!
 
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Again, just my point of view, but this was a night and day difference to the first one. Comparing the end results we had an arguably pointless multicannon as the end result of a months gameplay. I'll stick with the the ax multis I already have, thanks.

This time we have colonised a new area of space as well as other permanent gameplay changes. I'm also inclined to think that this new engineer fits into the game nicely should something happen to Palin later on (the door is left open for more trouble later given that one could replace the other).

There's also the Pleiades. With Palin gone and meta-alloys now being sourced elsewhere, could the story now be open for a full thargoid invasion with complete destruction of stations over there? There's a lot of things that seem to have been left open here and I'm looking forward to what comes next.

I think this II was an example of what I was hoping for when the old CGs got pulled.
 
I really only have one issue with this Interstellar Initiative that was about getting access to meta-alloys. Where are all the meta-alloys? There none in the commodity markets, no meta-alloy trading missions to the bubble or Palin's base.
 
I really only have one issue with this Interstellar Initiative that was about getting access to meta-alloys. Where are all the meta-alloys? There none in the commodity markets, no meta-alloy trading missions to the bubble or Palin's base.
I despair - one of the few failing of the II was that MA were still so available...
 
It was my first Interstellar Initiative and it was great fun!

I provided data from exploration, carried goods, escaped attacks, fought thargoids, repaired megaship, saved people from burning stations, met new friends, and brought more goods. And today I plan to get this bobblehead :)
 
The only issue I have with this interstellar initiative is that one can only get the Thargoid bobblehead by killing a Thargoid. Yes, one can get a friend to kill a Thargoid for you but nevertheless a Thargoid has to die.

There are people who are deliberately not killing Thargoids to see if an alternative story narrative can take place and they are therefore locked out of the Thargoid bobblehead.

Apart from that, it's been a great interstellar initiative.
 
I dunno, it kinda feels like Frontier did with the Thargoids what Star Trek did with the Borg. They went from being this scary, unbeatable foe to just another dime-a-dozen enemy. Personally I wish "The Enclave" went the other direction, where we established these stations, only to have them totally and utterly destroyed by a massive Thargoid incursion. I'd love to see a station turned into a debris field of many large chunks!

Witch Head nebula could have become the 'Enclave' of the Thargoids, earning it's scary namesake. Instead it turned the Thargoids into tame house pets and the typical "good guys always win no matter what" trope.
 
They are all over Witch Head at barnacle sites :)
Pilot: Can I buy some meta-alloy?
Station Officer: No, we are not interested in that product, but you can go to a barnacle site and pluck a few if you like.
Pilot: We just brought millions of tons of hardware here, what was the point?
Station Officer: Talk later, my coffee has arrived. Good day sir.
 

rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
Pilot: Can I buy some meta-alloy?
Station Officer: No, we are not interested in that product, but you can go to a barnacle site and pluck a few if you like.
Pilot: We just brought millions of tons of hardware here, what was the point?
Station Officer: Talk later, my coffee has arrived. Good day sir.
The stations are not fully repaired though, are they? They probably can't start the extraction of meta alloys until they have all the required facilities. I'm fine with that :)
 
tl;dr; I liked it a lot - well done fdev!

In detail:

Pros:
  • It was surprising - we didn't guess what was going to happen next, and your choice was often more interesting
  • New stuff happened! Palin moving, Thargoid ground attacks, new Engineer, cosmetics in the Brokers - all excellent
  • Varied mechanics - not just CGs
  • Varied gameplay - hauling, repair & rescue, AX combat
Cons:
  • MA were too easy to come by, undermining the Galnet posts - I believe they're still available from Thargoid Structures and Barnacle Forests in the Pleiades even now (this only was noticed by a few of us I guess, but we worried over it a lot ;) )
  • Ideally the new engineer would not have been such a clone of Palin, even better if she had some or all of the Colonia-unique blueprints
  • I never managed to get Thargoid spawns at Palin's old base (didn't try very hard though, and others certainly did)
  • Some stop / start sections - we finished one phase and had to wait for the next. Ideally let things overlap (like is happening now where we have outposts in Witch Head but are still hauling - there was no gap there, which was good)
  • Could have been more galnets - was a bit disheartening to repair the first Witch Head starport and not have it acknowledged, but hey, we'll live
  • The repair requirements for the Witch Head starports was too high for the distance, I think you'd have had a better take-up with lower requirements (we had fun, but lots decided against trying)
  • Edit: Forgot - items not counting for station repairs caused lots of angst and put people off contributing
Hmm, my 'cons' list is longer than the pros - but the pros far outweigh the cons - the cons are mostly trivial and nitpicking - the pros are huge leaps forward from the somewhat underwhelming previous II - congrats to the team who put it together!
 
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It was my first Interstellar Initiative and it was great fun!

I provided data from exploration, carried goods, escaped attacks, fought thargoids, repaired megaship, saved people from burning stations, met new friends, and brought more goods. And today I plan to get this bobblehead :)
Gameplay-wise, it was fun. It's the story that felt thin to me.
 
I was mostly off during this Initiative so I skipped it (hot weather before and holidays then). So this time I have to skip criticism :p
What was not really clear to me was the connection between the attack to Palin in the Pleiades when the main plot was in the WH nebula. Can someone explain?
Why Thargoids attacked Palin when players were farming meta alloys at barnacle sites in the WH nebula?
 
Just landet at Ratchet Hub. It's a full fledged planetary port. It's really big. Alliance really builds those structures fast.
 
Can someone explain?
Why Thargoids attacked Palin when players were farming meta alloys at barnacle sites in the WH nebula?
Years of co-ordinating theft of Thargoid stuff for advancement of human research and technology?

People being focused on WH probably left a defensive gap in Maia.
 
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