This game's most foundational systems are absolutely astounding. The flight models feel more real than anything else I've ever flown with a joystick, and the immersive factor is incredible. The scale is amazing, and flying to and fro really puts space travel into perspective. Watching the video explaining how Thargons move and attack, and seeing them move how they do, and the mathematics behind it - it's just awesome. But the actual game part? It needs TLC.

Elite: Dangerous has had lots of updates, adding lots of content to the game, but so much less work could be done to add lots of hours of enjoyment for everyone - flesh out the basics. What are the basics? First -


Activities

Trading

Increase the rewards of trading goods to low security systems. Then, a trader could choose one of two paths - to work on getting larger hulls with more bulk carrying space to trade within safe locations, or to arm and armor a multipurpose vessel to trade goods to these more dangerous systems. This can be built upon further, if desired, to include bringing back rare items from these low-security systems to make the trip back worthwhile. Do note that low security systems tend to be low-population, and thus most commodities are low-demand - so this play-style would also force a player to continually migrate across inhabited space.

Bounty Hunting


The current meta is to head to a Resource Extraction Site, farm kills, and head back to station. It gets dull after a short while. Instead, each lawful station could have an extra contact under security services who offers you all the missions that fall under the 'bounty hunting' spectrum. Kill pirate lord, root out pirates in X system, stop drug smugglers, etc. In low and anarchy stations there could also be shadier versions of this contact, who would offer the less black-and-white versions of these missions - assassinate politicians, kill rival trader, disrupt mining operation - etc. Also, targets that are scripted to jump after taking X damage or even encountering you could be a thing - pirates that you catch just after they steal from someone, and they jump into a system where they're friendly with the police - so now your mission isn't so black-and-white, good-guy stuff... and you must consider the job - is it worth the money, now?

The original RES hunting doesn't have to go away, but perhaps Conflict Zones could spawn in asteroid belts and planetary rings, and bounty hunting missions could lead you to a planetary ring - perhaps even to a pirate lair, where you'd find a large wing of the scum.

Side-note: A few pre-recorded text lines would go a long way, I feel. You find a pirate mid-ambush, he jumps away and curses you. You follow him to an anarchy system where he awaits with a wing - and he mocks you for your incompetence. Just an example.

Mining

Mining is easy and tedious, but also has the highest entry cost and the lowest returns (except in very small ships). It's also too safe - fly into a quiet ring system, putter around for a while collecting ore and metals, maybe diamonds (mmmhmm), and head back. A lot of players enjoy this, and this should still be possible, but it can be expanded upon. Right now, you point at a rock, and hold a button to fire a laser until an asteroid has given you all of its' yield, and your collectors can pick up the pieces. This is tedious because there is not enough to do, but you can't tab out or walk away, either. Also, collectors can be buggy sometimes and suicide into spinning asteroids. What could be done is change how pieces of ore are broken off from the asteroid - instead of many small chunks, you could cut out a few large chunks, which would then be towed underneath your ship, cut up and loaded on board by your limpets. This would allow for fewer limpets, fewer objects for the game to track, and quicker mining, meaning more money, and faster. I can also imagine a few surprises that could be thrown in there, if the developers feel. Imagine you hack off a big chunk of asteroid, but out comes a Thargon instead?

Also, a change to add depth before a miner even gets to where he's going - safety. Create a range of star systems, between X and Y light years from sol (from the edge of inhabited space, perhaps 40-50 light years deep) where pirates and pirate bands would spawn, looking specifically for returning miners. Now, miners have to make a choice - do I load up a big, fat, unarmed Lakon and bulk mine the safer systems in human space, or do I go mine in that area, where the rings and belts are pristine but there's danger? Perhaps, even, do you go farther than that range, and mine in peace, but still you must be wary of interdiction en route home? Do you even have the fuel to get out there and back? The range of dangerous systems should somehow be marked on the galaxy map.

Piracy

Piracy is my favorite, so I have the most to write for this. I love it, but there are just a few problems that completely destroy it - at least for me. Before patch 2.2, NPC did not know how to reboot and repair their ships, so you could disable their power plants and starts looting their ships - if no police were around, you could have your wicked way with them, and it was great. Patch 2.2 taught them how to repair themselves, so now they're suicidal - any NPC, no matter how outmatched, will attempt to flee rather than submit to a greater force. I ask for some way to communicate with them - perhaps in a similar manner to requesting docking permissions (same part of the UI panel), asking them to either remain still, drop their cargo, or leave the area. The AI would weigh it's own ability against your own - comparing your ship class and combat rating to it's own, as well as predicting whether it could survive an attack from you long enough for police to arrive.

For example, if a commander (Dave) in his new Cobra Mk III told a Hauler to hand over cargo in an anarchy system, and they're both competent, that Hauler is dropping his cargo.

If Dave tries to tell another Cobra commander to drop cargo in a medium security system, that cobra is probably going to put up a fight or warp out, depending on his combat rating.

If Dave decides to tell an Anaconda to hand over it's cargo in Sol, but Dave is Harmless and the Anaconda pilot is Elite, Dave is going to get his #@! whooped.

The next part is contingency and collection. First, contingency - what do you do if the target tells you off and never submits to you? We have hatch breaker limpets, but I don't think they take enough cargo for larger ships to even think about trying to be pirates. In addition to targets sometimes submitting mid-fight (after being intimidated enough), pirates should have some way of disabling their targets' drives. I'm thinking of a limpet type that hacks the ships computer to stop the ship by activating all inertia dampeners - but it only functions after the ships' drives are destroyed. It should not be affected by reboot/repair and should last for a long time - perhaps for as long as the pirate remains near his target.

Second - collection. Cargo containers are a little chaotic - they spew out of a ship and fly everywhere, and aren't very strong. They can break easily and degrade when left in open space, and can be so numerous that they become a pain to collect. Cargo hatches are small, and can't fit larger sizes of cargo containers, so cargo containers cant be packaged into larger sizes. What if hatch breaker limpets could eject cargo directly into your own cargo hold? That is to say, you line up with your targets cargo hold, and as his cargo is ejected, you catch it with your own. This is actually possible now, but each container has to be targeted by your ships' computer in order to be collected. This would need to be changed - any cargo that collides with your cargo hatch should be collected, and there should be some UI aid to help you line up with your target's cargo hatch (like there is to line up with a pad when docking).

Small Additions

- A heatmap mode of player activity on the galaxy map, to encourage players to find each other - playing with others is the best fun you can have in Elite! Or really, any game, to be honest.

- Bi-Weekly or less frequent events. Not storyline events, no, just headlines on Galnet which direct players to clusters of star systems. For example, when the game first Launched, the Lave Cluster was extremely popular for its' abundance of profitable rare goods, and rare-running routes were constructed by the community. These areas became a hotbed of criminal activity for players (like myself) to steal from the traders and turn in their goods for even higher gains. Then, in turn, the bounty hunters would kill us for our bounties. I was a terrible pirate, and I only broke even after weeks of operating near Lave, but it was some of the best fun I've had in Elite. Small, more-lucrative-than-average deals which would help disrupt any credit meta and draw players into a smaller area.

- More social interaction options. You need to know somebody already or go out-of-game to third parties like Reddit to find anyone to fly with, right now. A global chat in the main menu or when docked at stations would help, as well as the ability to friend and wind up with the people you meet there. Also, to add, I personally don't play PowerPlay, but power-wide chats might help to coordinate a Powers' efforts, and encourage more multiplayer. I really feel that Elite is a fantastic game for multiplayer, and while I'm no statistician, I'm willing to bet that you'll see a lot more activity once your players realize that the galaxy isn't nearly as empty as they'd been lead to believe by their experience.

Thank you, anybody that read this. I've been following this games' progress since the beginning of its' Alpha (When the Mighty Jingles first put up a video on it), and I just don't have it in me to break away. I $%#& love this game, it's the best, but I see so much unused potential, and it gnaws at me. I was a (not really) dreaded pirate in Lave, and then a fighter in the Lugh war in the first epic wing battles, I took down battlecruisers and made my millions. I've blazed my own path, but I could've done and could be doing so much more. Thanks, Frontier, for bringing us this game, and please, make it great.






 
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Ahoy mate!
Let me chime in and give ye feedback ye old seadog!

Trading:
- i am a 100% backing you up, i'd even suggest to have system states impact more of the economy

Bounty hunting:
- that change will create a different illusion then that at every nav-beacon Pirates are frequent and the game has a steady supply of those -> like it
- people will not like when the fishing grounds are stamped -> higher payout on contracts regarding your rating

Mining:
- that is something FD tries to incorporate into their Q4 update, by having some dangerous areas and refining the mini game
- what we need is rogue mining, we have installations and such, allow criminal mining activities
- allow players to buy claims, that is a chance of giving them pure mining gold and adding in a factor of scamming them, a realitstic take on how to buy claims

Piracy:
- 100% yes and also factor in the lost hull in combat to have second negotiations
- allow NPCs and players to submit after combat as they stand no chance
- limpets are broken when they transport cargo and cargo will sometimes explode on the hatch, when they transport engi-mats not... why?!

The additional stuff is a no brainer, we need it.
 
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