Powerplay Frontier, it's time to fix Powerplay.

Will, after we brought this up on Lave Radio last night (25:40) you and Sally told me that you always appreciate feedback and report it to the dev team frequently. Here is some.


Powerplay needs some urgent attention.


What’s wrong?


The problem is not that Powerplay is boring, ill-conceived or too simple. It’s a cleverly complex grand strategy game played out amongst the stars, ruined by perverse incentives. At present, and since inception, the most effective way to support your chosen Power is to pledge to that of your enemy, and work against their interests from within. The consolidation vote did not solve this problem.


Moreover, this isn’t something that roleplay enemies like the Empire and Federation do occasionally to get the edge on each other - it’s something that routinely happens to every Power, suggesting that roving trolls armed with bot accounts are causing at least some of the damage.


What to do?


In May 2018, Sandro made this Forum post suggesting some thoughtful changes. They sparked debate but were broadly welcomed. It generated 105 pages of comments. He held long discussions with the Powerplay groups on Discord, discussing how to address this. Before anything got done, however, he abruptly moved to another game - leaving nothing changed at all. It’s now nearly a year later.


The fixes needed are not huge. Powerplay does not need a large, feature-rich overhaul the likes of exploration or mining have just had. It needs some tweaks to its rules - primarily to disincentivise sabotaging a Power you wish to destabilise. The changes floated in Sandro’s thread back in May would do the trick.


Please make time in the development schedule to fix this. It’s causing many people to not engage with Powerplay who would otherwise do so, and players who formerly engaged with it to drop out of the game.


They’re not huge changes and they’re well overdue.
 
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Will, after we brought this up on Lave Radio last night (25:40) you and Sally told me that you always appreciate feedback and report it to the dev team frequently. Here is some.


Powerplay needs some urgent attention.


What’s wrong?


The problem is not that Powerplay is boring, ill-conceived or too simple. It’s a cleverly complex grand strategy game played out amongst the stars, ruined by perverse incentives. At present, and since inception, the most effective way to support your chosen Power is to pledge to that of your enemy, and work against their interests from within. The consolidation vote did not solve this problem.


Moreover, this isn’t something that roleplay enemies like the Empire and Federation do occasionally to get the edge on each other - it’s something that routinely happens to every Power, suggesting that roving trolls armed with bot accounts are causing at least some of the damage.


What to do?


In May 2018, Sandro made this Forum post suggesting some thoughtful changes. They sparked debate but were broadly welcomed. It generated 105 pages of comments. He held long discussions with the Powerplay groups on Discord, discussing how to address this. Before anything got done, however, he abruptly moved to another game - leaving nothing changed at all. It’s now nearly a year later.


The fixes needed are not huge. Powerplay does not need a large, feature-rich overhaul the likes of exploration or mining have just had. It needs some tweaks to its rules - primarily to disincentivise sabotaging a Power you wish to destabilise. The changes floated in Sandro’s thread back in May would do the trick.


Please make time in the development schedule to fix this. It’s causing many people to not engage with Powerplay who would otherwise do so, and players who formerly engaged with it to drop out of the game.


They’re not huge changes and they’re well overdue.
"the most effective way to support your chosen Power is to pledge to that of your enemy, and work against their interests from within."
This mechanic was a huge mistake that Frontier is not willing to own up to. Until they do, nothing will change.

But +1 for doing a great write up, it's really well presented.
 
I know WIll talked about it in that interview (and Sally I believe?) but the most frustrating thing has been as you mentioned that we've barely heard a peep since Sandro's thread asking about proposed PP changes. It gives the perception Frontier wants to ignore us when we give feedback and nothing is said. I know I've bugged Will on Discord occasionally too about what's currently going on and even an acknowledgement would be nice.

That's why many of us have asked Frontier to state either they do intend changes at some point.. or if they don't. whether they intend to remove PP as a feature.
 
Fdev really need to wake up to the fact PP is a massive part of the seasoned players game. There are several glaring issues which need to be addressed now I dont know of anyone who works in PP that does not want changes so please help FDev look at this as a matter of urgency.
 
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Thanks for this thread, and for asking that question. It's a shame that we saw some real signs of interest from Frontier only to have them go quiet. I think Sandro's proposal was popular, and it is worth revisiting. He described it to us as less complex changes than a complete rework, so hopefully at least some of it would fit the scope of the smaller patches we'll be seeing in the next year and a half. Even the chance to undermining mechanics would have a significant and positive impact on powerplay. As it stands, we have 11 communities doing their best to support Elite. But we need it to be reciprocated, as we're all so tired1
 
It's a shame that we saw some real signs of interest from Frontier only to have them go quiet.
I'm not surprised, every time players or Frontier try to suggest decent updates and changes to PP we get a contingent of trolls spamming "it's the mode system" repeatedly.

I've seen some great ideas fall by the wayside for that very reason.

So between Frontiers mess up with meta and their inability to deal with the spam, no good idea will last long or get implemented.
 
The outcome of the current PP cycle speaks for itself. ZYADA is doing its disgusting perfidious (or whatever you'd like to call it) 5C work more than ever, and of course predominantly in Solo or PG. I bet that the Imperial slave drivers and the Tovarish are proud of it.

FD, the OP is 1000% right, something has to happen here.
 
ZYADA - congratulations.... you have proved what we all knew. 5th Column Forting of an opposition power's bad systems is game-breaking when combined with a huge amount of undermining. Within a month, you can take a power from no.1 spot to last spot. Well done... You have proven how broken PowerPlay is. As now any power can be ruined in a month, the whole playerbase in PowerPlay has to question whats the point if CMDRs are willing to go to these tactics to gain advantage.

PowerPlay has excellent communities in each Power's discord. Despite PP's many flaws, they have been consistent and devoted comminuties for nearly 4 years. Your willingness to exploit this broken mechanic means the whole point of powerplay, the building of an empire and defending your systems, doing BGS to reduce fort triggers, working together in weekly player-lead community goals to fortify to defend, and expand to attack other powers or increase your influence to new systems is pointless.... as at any time, a large group of organised CMDRs exploting this mechanic will just pull that away, by 5C actions.

it is unlikely that FDEV will do anything to PowerPlay in the forseeable future - and indeed ever. As Misa said - they had a huge amount of feedback a year ago, with a wide variety of suggestions. But nothing has been done.

BUT if PowerPlay is to continue, ALL Powers have to agree to not use 5C tactics. Its as simple as that. There is no game if this is not agreed (well, PowerPlay anyway). There will always be a few lone CMDRs, or even small groups of players that will do 5C - and all powers have had this trouble since PowerPlay began... It is the organised 5C from groups with many CMDRs that can be stopped by Leadership of ALL powers agreeing this has gone far enough, and to NOT engage in such tactics, and expel any members that are found to be engaged in such tactics....

This is not salt. This is a plea to stop now for the sake of a game many of us have found compelling and rewarding for years.
 
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Nicely said Tiddymun - we can't wait for FD to fix anything. They have been quite clear in their investment presentations that they apply large resources to new games - as they can pull in 2-3m unit sales in short order - but existing games can only exist as long as they are cash positive for paint-packs, some new sales etc. Clearly elite isn't pulling in the big bucks anymore, so they need to be quite careful where they apply their developers. The sad truth is that a group of suits have said - powerplay doesn't pull in enough dollars - no more changes there - but don't tell anyone.
To ZYADA - if you like Powerplay then stop 5C now - if you keep going you'll drive everyone else out of the powerplay game - what will you do then? Stay at home and pat yourself on the back at how clever you are?
 
Sorry Tiddymun, the chance of everyone stopping 5c and play nice is about as high as FD fixing PP. It just won't happen.
 
Well said Tiddymun, but my hopes are pretty low, because as long as you can do 5C anonymously in PG/solo you can always "say" that it's not you who does it, no matter how blatant it seems (see AD since when Torval got euthanized or EG basically since they exist). These "undercover agents" have such a low bar that they'd probably deny doing 5C even if you were just interdicting them while hauling forts to one of your worst lossmakers... but we can't even do that, because they can haul or undermine from the safety of PG/solo, which is just wrong no matter how you turn and bend it.

There are a few tweaks that need to be done that would have a huge positive impact on PP, mainly the ones from Sandro's feedback thread. This tells me that Frontier knows what has to be done because they suggested it! Clearly there must have been a "No!" from any side that the people working on Elite are depending on. Otherwise I can not explain the sudden and long lasting silence on this topic.

If it's just lazyness, which I don't believe it is, there would be a very small tweak that would solve most of the problems of PP once and for all:
• Powerplay contacts are only available to players in open
• Powerplay vouchers and commodities are destroyed if a player enters solo or private groups

If this status of the game keeps going on the mass exodus from PP will become even bigger as it already is. At this point you better just delete PP from the game.

Thank you for your time, and to the devs: You're welcome for mine...
 

Will Flanagan

Community Manager
Staff member
Will, after we brought this up on Lave Radio last night (25:40) you and Sally told me that you always appreciate feedback and report it to the dev team frequently. Here is some.


Powerplay needs some urgent attention.


What’s wrong?


The problem is not that Powerplay is boring, ill-conceived or too simple. It’s a cleverly complex grand strategy game played out amongst the stars, ruined by perverse incentives. At present, and since inception, the most effective way to support your chosen Power is to pledge to that of your enemy, and work against their interests from within. The consolidation vote did not solve this problem.


Moreover, this isn’t something that roleplay enemies like the Empire and Federation do occasionally to get the edge on each other - it’s something that routinely happens to every Power, suggesting that roving trolls armed with bot accounts are causing at least some of the damage.


What to do?


In May 2018, Sandro made this Forum post suggesting some thoughtful changes. They sparked debate but were broadly welcomed. It generated 105 pages of comments. He held long discussions with the Powerplay groups on Discord, discussing how to address this. Before anything got done, however, he abruptly moved to another game - leaving nothing changed at all. It’s now nearly a year later.


The fixes needed are not huge. Powerplay does not need a large, feature-rich overhaul the likes of exploration or mining have just had. It needs some tweaks to its rules - primarily to disincentivise sabotaging a Power you wish to destabilise. The changes floated in Sandro’s thread back in May would do the trick.


Please make time in the development schedule to fix this. It’s causing many people to not engage with Powerplay who would otherwise do so, and players who formerly engaged with it to drop out of the game.


They’re not huge changes and they’re well overdue.
Hello Souvarine,

Thank you for the concise summary and feedback.

I've just made a post concerning this here. Quoted below for ease!

We hear your concerns and feedback on Powerplay in and outside of this thread. We'll be evaluating and looking into some of the proposed solutions Sandro detailed in his post here. This is an on-going investigation and nothing is confirmed at the moment, but rest assured that we will let you know when we have updates regarding this.
 
Hello Souvarine,

Thank you for the concise summary and feedback.

I've just made a post concerning this here. Quoted below for ease!
Will, even if you do the proposal in stages it would be great- for example the proposal can be split into three, modules to brokers, general anti 5C / tweaks and Open Only. Plus when you put these in (not if!) please run them past the Powerplay community because there will be a lot of simple tweaks that can be added that will make life better (like some powers modules- Mahons laser, Torvals mining laser etc).
 
Honestly, this is an exploit no different than when certain groups were using grade one mats to get grade 5 roles. While I believe that espionage is a valid part of PP, and should exist, espionage in RL comes with risk. Solo, PG, Bots... all these things remove risk to the spy, and remove the powers ability to defend. I would love a gameplay scenario where our group would need to station combat vessels in systems we wanted to ensure weren't forted, and I'm sure we would enthusiastically do this. As it stands now, what would be exciting and meaning full gameplay is pointless. I'm generally supportive of the changes proposed last may, but we need to start with open only.

While I support and agree with Tiddymun, my confidence in the integrity of certain slyer groups is negligible.
 
Powerplay Ideas/Improvements

Personally I've always thought that a reset the board was required, you know something like having multiple PP seasons or something to that effect. Whichever political faction holding the largest amount of (sustained/sustainable) territory at the end wins that season.

Have cosmetic prizes (or something like that) as a reward at the end with a loyalty bonus in place (eg: of you were to defect to another power during that season you would be exempt from winning the prize at the end even if your chosen faction were to place). Award the top 3 powers on a sliding scale of rewards (maybe not even cosmetics but something else like a BGS buff for a month to the winners).

Unhinge the Imperial powers and the Fed powers so that all powers act as an independent making actual treaties and cooperation/alliances worth something.

Remove Powerplay modules from the Superpowers and send spread them across the Engineers or send them to the Tech Brokers.

Make Powerplay OPEN only and change how blocking other players works. Blocking should not infuence matchmaking, rather just player communication.


As dumb as it sounds (maybe not) they should also add a random verification process to eliminate the use of bot accounts. Fdev would be able to detect accounts that aren't able to react to it properly or within a reasonable amount of time to soft ban them from the BGS and Powerplay. The process could be triggered at Starports when either picking up or dropping off merits that way you aren't penalized for being AFK.
 
Good to see you acknowledge you're at least hearing us.

1) should we be commenting on PP and suggestions for fixes in that thread or here?

2) as has been already pointed out on FUC's Discord, "when" is the key word in that statement.


Hello Souvarine,

Thank you for the concise summary and feedback.

I've just made a post concerning this here. Quoted below for ease!
 
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