FSS vs. ADS – and Alternative or Additional Options for Compelling Gameplay

The interesting thing is what you describe above is essentially how I explore: I use the FSS to get a relative bearing on interesting worlds and fly out there, guiding myself there visually to my destination, while keeping an eye out for other bodies along the way. No navigation data, no computer generated targeting reticles, no countdowns to my braking maneuver. Just me, my ship, and my experience about when to start stopping at my destination, based on audio and visual cues.
FA-Off Exploration :D
 
The interesting thing is what you describe above is essentially how I explore: I use the FSS to get a relative bearing on interesting worlds and fly out there, guiding myself there visually to my destination, while keeping an eye out for other bodies along the way. No navigation data, no computer generated targeting reticles, no countdowns to my braking maneuver. Just me, my ship, and my experience about when to start stopping at my destination, based on audio and visual cues.
Similarly, I often use parallax instead of the FSS. That's kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum as it were though. I wouldn't mind something a bit more in the middle. As you mention, targeting information after the honk for heading toward something unknown to explore and discover without having to park and tinker around in the FSS view.

In effect it'd be similar to using the FSS view from the cockpit for me, only the pulsating blue signal blobs seem weird and gamey to me (i.e., better left on the FSS view, in my opinion). No reason those signals couldn't be extrapolated from our sensors for bearing information on our HUD instead.

Cheers.
 
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Being someone who doesn't play the game and isn't all that familiar with it, my wife made a kind of funny observation that the FSS view is like the lock picking mini-games in some other games to open chests or whatever, but of course instead of opening a chest you get to see what's in a system.

This seems fairly apt, only with the FSS there isn't really any skill involved, just panning, dialing, and zooming at our leisure, and no lock picks to break – not saying a more skill based mini-game would necessarily make it any better, mind you. It's even on an alternate camera view overlay and everything.
 
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What exactly is the fantasy behind the fss? In honestly the closest personal connection i have to the fss interface is the old windows blue screen of death. That was immediately the first thought when i turned it on in game.

Im old, but not that old, so i don't get any world war references, and the pictures of star trek that people post are retro.. i don't necessarily do retro because i find myself playing a futuristic space ship game.

Am i missing anything else, or the joke about the Bank of Zaoence logo it would have had plastered in the corner before a developer get serious moment and took it off?

Just in case, it definitely wasnt mentioned in any livestream from frontier. Their fantasy was 'upgrades to exploration' and removing the need for flight as part of exploration.
 
I just want an FSS that doesn't make me move my ship cause it can't "see" through a star. That turns from immersion to annoyance pretty quick out in the black.
 
I move out at full throttle until I get to about 10c. That usually works for a pretty good POV on the FSS. I generally jump and scoop at full throttle anyway though, so I'm already on the move.
 
Being someone who doesn't play the game and isn't all that familiar with it, my wife made a kind of funny observation that the FSS view is like the lock picking mini-games in some other games to open chests or whatever, but of course instead of opening a chest you get to see what's in a system.

This seems fairly apt, only with the FSS there isn't really any skill involved, just panning, dialing, and zooming at our leisure, and no lock picks to break – not saying a more skill based mini-game would necessarily make it any better, mind you. It's even on an alternate camera view overlay and everything.
The lock pick mini-game analogy was used by myself and many others in the early days of the FSS, pretty much exactly as you describe above. Here's my summary using as an example Skyrim vs ED:

Skyrim lock-picking:
Skill based: Yes
Risk: Yes (loss of lockpick on failure)
Verisimilitude: High (mimics lock picking in medieval/fantasy/rpg)
Blocks core gameplay: No
Repetition: Low (lock picking mini-game played only a few dozen times)

ED lock-picking (aka FSS):
Skill based: No
Risk: None (no failure mode)
Verisimilitude: Low*
Blocks core gameplay: Yes, for explorers
Repetition: Very High (explorers must play the mini-game thousands of times, with few exceptions eg. parallax explorers)

* The FSS is no more than a teaching toy. It would never be implemented as FDev have done, in any sane (real) Universe. A believable device would instead include automation and professional reporting, using only basic 20th century technology.
 
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Why not keep the FSS but change it’s function. Use it to scan distant systems,I can imagine it would be a useful edition allowing the cmdr to track down interesting systems in their immediate location. The time sink would make sense as you’re bypassing the random jump and scan.
This would give us the ability to target stars from the map or directly from the cockpit and determine waypoints for our session.
 
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Being someone who doesn't play the game and isn't all that familiar with it, my wife made a kind of funny observation that the FSS view is like the lock picking mini-games in some other games to open chests or whatever, but of course instead of opening a chest you get to see what's in a system.

This seems fairly apt, only with the FSS there isn't really any skill involved, just panning, dialing, and zooming at our leisure, and no lock picks to break – not saying a more skill based mini-game would necessarily make it any better, mind you. It's even on an alternate camera view overlay and everything.
The mini-game statement is around since the FSS was introduced and is present through all FSS threads. I am surprised you only mention it now.

On no skill involved: matter of taste. You can do it the way you describe. Moving around at random, see what you find. That's the "new to it, uses it the first time" method. Unlike some other things in ED, this one can be done without ever watching a tutorial video, reading the manual or anything like that. So in terms of game design, it actually beats many other parts of the game here.

But this is not the end. You can learn and improve. For example there's a somewhat lengthy manual from Darkfyre99 on the beginners section, explaining a number of things of the FSS. Would it be as simple as you say, the help article would be much shorter.

So, is it utterly complex? No. Look at what Darkfyre99 wrote, go over it, apply it a few times. You learn it, then you hit the skill ceiling and you just use it any more. You can't endlessly get better. It's not deep enough to qualify for a university degree. But I actually expected a completely mindless minigame when they announced it. Thus i was positively surprised. It is a minigame, the learning curve is limited, but it actually exists. Somebody who took the time and learned to read the information in the FSS can go ahead much faster and more efficiently than somebody who did not.

Of course, you hit a skill cap. Of course it could be better in many aspects. But claiming that there's no skill involved at all is wrong. Just watch some "let's play" from people new to the game, how long they need to map a system. Then watch some expert explorer doing the same. There's worlds in between.
 
I've referred to it as a mini-game before. My wife made the remark comparing it to a lock picking mini-game just yesterday around when I posted that after watching me use the FSS to fill in a couple system maps.

But anyway, fair enough, and flipping burgers is as skill too. I do love to grill on occasion. Difference being that burgers can burn and dry out, but can also taste delicious.

I have to admit though that getting quick with the shank on the FSS seems rather dreadful to me, sorry to say. It's not something I particularly enjoy doing either way.

Beyond it seeming excessively gamey to me, it's the frequency of use when out exploring. I often take extended breaks from it, even finding just jump honking along to be more compelling gameplay, seeing what I can spot in new systems instead.

Naturally, YMMV.

Cheers.
 
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You learn [the FSS], then you hit the skill ceiling and you just use it any more.
I think you misunderstood skill ceiling, and skill in gaming in general. Skill ceiling would be the maximum impact you can get out of a gameplay mechanic, despite you improving your mechanical skills further, and also where there are alternatives - usually brought up in relation to competitive games. Skill floor would be the minimum amount of skill required to make some impact. Below which skill a player would fail to contribute anything meaningful. (Alternatively, it's often used to mean the amount of minimal contribution a player with next to no skill can still do.)

So it should be easy to see how none of these apply to the FSS. There is no possibility of failure, it's not a competitive activity, and your reward is of course always the same. If you improve your familiarity with the interface, then the only thing that will improve will be the time required to get through a system.
If you take that as a skill, then there are lots of other skills too: Firefox skill, Chrome skill, Frontier forums skill, and so on. Mind you, that's still a valid opinion.
 
I think you misunderstood skill ceiling, and skill in gaming in general. Skill ceiling would be the maximum impact you can get out of a gameplay mechanic, despite you improving your mechanical skills further, and also where there are alternatives - usually brought up in relation to competitive games. Skill floor would be the minimum amount of skill required to make some impact. Below which skill a player would fail to contribute anything meaningful. (Alternatively, it's often used to mean the amount of minimal contribution a player with next to no skill can still do.)

So it should be easy to see how none of these apply to the FSS. There is no possibility of failure, it's not a competitive activity, and your reward is of course always the same. If you improve your familiarity with the interface, then the only thing that will improve will be the time required to get through a system.
If you take that as a skill, then there are lots of other skills too: Firefox skill, Chrome skill, Frontier forums skill, and so on. Mind you, that's still a valid opinion.
The meaning of the word skill is: an ability to do an activity or job well, especially because you have practised it (cambridge dictionary)

Normally the better you are at doing something the faster you get or the more efficient you are. My typing for instance, while it isn't difficult to type, it takes skill and practice to be fast at it, especially touch typing. Most people don't compete at touch typing, but it is most certainly a skill.

The same applied to the FSS. You get better at using it over time, so yes it is a skill.

As to not being able to fail in the FSS, so what. It was impossible to fail with the old style ADS too. I don't see why there has to be a failure. The only failure there can be is a mistake in judgement in whether you should scan a system or not and that applies to both old and new. I am sure I have failed at that a number of times myself.
 
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I have to admit though that getting quick with the shank on the FSS seems rather dreadful to me, sorry to say. It's not something I particularly enjoy doing either way.

Beyond it seeming excessively gamey to me, it's the frequency of use when out exploring. I often take extended breaks from it, even finding just jump honking along to be more compelling gameplay, seeing what I can spot in new systems instead.
If getting good or not is desireable or fun for you was not what i refered to. Your statement was that it doesn't require any skill, which i wanted to correct.

On it being interesting and fun: it's better than what i dreaded it to be, but i also see that using it too much means it's quite repetitive. Just like the "honk and jump" was very repetitive for me. I see little difference there. The problem you describe doesn't root in the new mechanic, but in the intention to cover many systems. So if anything, we have to blame it on the size of the game world.

And on it being gamey: yes, it is. A lot. It might be connected to being a game mechanic and this requiring a certain level of accessibility. But didn't the honk even more feel like a game mechanic and nothing else? Of course FD could have made it more complex and thus more interesting in the long run. But it also would've meant that a number of people would've been left behind.

Mind you, we already now also have people here who go like "i won't ever touch the FSS, it's too much work". Despite it being as simply as it is. What would've happened if the new method would've had more complexity? I am rather sure that if it was more complex and thus harder to use, the forum would've been up in arms yet once again, as it already was so often. FD would've given in and overnerfed the thing, to a point where really any possible skill would be eliminated.

So really, i find that once, just once in a long time, FD managed to get to a good spot. It neither iscompletely braindead, nor does it overstretch the capability of too many gamers.

But again: yes, i understand that you consider it repetitive when doing it too much and it cuts into your fun. I also think that some more info (see other postings) displayed would make things easier and more interesting. And yes, i am aware that a lot of good suggestions were already made during the beta. (Although burried below several layers of hate-postings. ) But i also understand that a beta is only about finding bugs and completely broken mechanics in something you want to roll out. You don't have the time to completely rework and add big new features into it any more.

I still hope that somebody at FD takes the time and add some of the things we collected in the other FSS related thread around. There'd be many good things in there, which i'd love to have and i think would improve the experience we have.

What we players can't tell is if they consider it or not, if they have the time and manpower to do it or not. We can only give feedback and hope for the best.


I think you misunderstood skill ceiling, and skill in gaming in general. Skill ceiling would be the maximum impact you can get out of a gameplay mechanic, despite you improving your mechanical skills further, and also where there are alternatives - usually brought up in relation to competitive games. Skill floor would be the minimum amount of skill required to make some impact. Below which skill a player would fail to contribute anything meaningful. (Alternatively, it's often used to mean the amount of minimal contribution a player with next to no skill can still do.)

So it should be easy to see how none of these apply to the FSS. There is no possibility of failure, it's not a competitive activity, and your reward is of course always the same. If you improve your familiarity with the interface, then the only thing that will improve will be the time required to get through a system.
If you take that as a skill, then there are lots of other skills too: Firefox skill, Chrome skill, Frontier forums skill, and so on. Mind you, that's still a valid opinion.
Skill ceiling for you is only if you get mechanically better and the reward is not improving? Interesting definition. Considering that google can only provide me with discussions about this term, without any dictionary being able to provide a proper definition... fine, thank you for correcting me here.

On the possibility for failure: i dare to say there is. I've seen a let's play where somebody needed several minutes to map a rather small system. Wasting that much time by moving the camera around without succeeding very much is failing.
 
I have to admit though that getting quick with the shank on the FSS seems rather dreadful to me, sorry to say. It's not something I particularly enjoy doing either way.
Yes, if I understand you correctly, ironically the speed with which you can scan and tag systems is actually something that I found sapped my enthusiasm. Poor FD, can't seem to win, can they. :(

Ages ago I pointed out that I simply didn't feel any sense of achievement after scanning a system, which ironically I did previously when I completed scanning a large system that I had chosen to scan because it had something interesting in it. Not saying the gameplay was stellar, it wasn't, but you knew you'd put some effort in even if that was only measured by time spent. :)

Now, to be fair, I applaud FD for giving players some active gameplay, and also addressing other aspects of exploration that were clearly putting many players off. I just think they missed a huge opportunity at making pretty much everybody happy by removing the old method of system discovery and simply letting players choose the method they wanted to actually scan bodies, be that using the FSS, flying to bodies or any combination.

As to the nuances available in the FSS, be that reading the chevrons or listening to the sound signatures, again, it's great that they are available to players who enjoy the FSS gameplay, but essentially they are really entirely optional, as scanning systems is fast enough there's really no need to spend time analyzing the data other than for roleplay purposes.

I liken it to destroying skimmers. You can absolutely spend time trying to hide yourself from them and snipe them in a calculated and tactical way, but you can also just sit there in your SRV and blast them all very quickly before they get a chance to get your shields down.
 
@ Max Factor: I talked about skill ceiling and skill floor, not skill in general, and how those terms don't really apply to the FSS.

@ Sylow: Yet in the end, you say they managed to scan the system. In other words, it took them a lot of time, but eventually they succeeded in scanning it. How would you fail to scan a system with the FSS, short of giving up?
In Skyrim, you could fail the lockpicking minigame by breaking all your lockpicks. (Highly unlikely, but the possibility is there.) In Elite, the only way you could fail would be if you arbitrarily set a limit for yourself: "I have five minutes to scan this system". But the game doesn't set any such conditions for you.
 
I move out at full throttle until I get to about 10c. That usually works for a pretty good POV on the FSS. I generally jump and scoop at full throttle anyway though, so I'm already on the move.
This should be pinned at the start menu as a golden rule after each jump. Orbit around the star for scoop at full throttle, then spiral out of the well untill you get 10c a bit off the orbital planes.
 
@ Max Factor: I talked about skill ceiling and skill floor, not skill in general, and how those terms don't really apply to the FSS.

@ Sylow: Yet in the end, you say they managed to scan the system. In other words, it took them a lot of time, but eventually they succeeded in scanning it. How would you fail to scan a system with the FSS, short of giving up?
In Skyrim, you could fail the lockpicking minigame by breaking all your lockpicks. (Highly unlikely, but the possibility is there.) In Elite, the only way you could fail would be if you arbitrarily set a limit for yourself: "I have five minutes to scan this system". But the game doesn't set any such conditions for you.
When I was young, those phrases had nothing to do with competition. Maybe they have changed over the years to mean something else and I haven't noticed.
 
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