ANNOUNCEMENT Game Balancing Pt.2

I really like the bump in payout, and it feels right.
BUT it would be way more fun if the difficulty of the NPCs in Haz res would match that of the engineered ship a cmdr is flying.
Make people think twice before attacking a Elite rank NPC.

Make Elite dangerous again

The state of the game now is:

Traders run shieldless, if interdicted, they drop and boost away and low-wake like nothing has happened <-- no danger
Bounty hunting in Haz res biggest threat is accidently shooting security or clean ship making you wanted and security will shoot you.
 
I really like the bump in payout, and it feel right.
BUT it would be way more fun if the difficulty of the NPCs in Haz res would match that of the engineered ship a cmdr is flying.
Make people think twice before attacking a Elite rank NPC.

Make Elite dangerous again

The state of the game now is:

Traders run shieldless, if interdicted, they drop and boost away and low-wake like nothing has happened <-- no danger
Bounty hunting in Haz res biggest threat is accidently shooting security or clean ship making you wanted and security will shoot you.

exactly, my glasscannon Krait mk2 rips apart Elite NPC condas. (its like that on purpose though that may make it more dificult)
 
Here are my first impressions:

I went bounty hunting today to a Haz RES and played for about an hour. I returned with ~13.5 million CR of bounties. This is not bad, much better than before, but still not good enough in my opinion. I wouldn't mind another 2x multiplier on the payouts per ship on average. Playing for an hour and fighting endlessly should net more profit in my opinion. It definitely feels more rewarding now than before but this is not the buff the game needs yet. If you could earn ~25 million / hour that would be great.

For reference, I'm fighting with a fully engineered Corvette so I can destroy any ship without problems. Either the payouts should be higher still or the game should generate more high-level ships for Elite rank players.
For me it is too soon to tell whether it is too much or not enough of a boost, but it looks promising.

I am currently in a fully engineered Corvette and would not claim that, I would certainly hope to beat any one ship without loss but it is very rare that I don't meet up with some sort of NPC wing and a 2 or three ships wing plus a fighter can soon start to make me worry. Of course it is anon political Corvette so no special weapons or prismatics.
 
Grind != challenge. Challenge shouldn't come from the amount of credits earned but rather the difficulty of the task used to achieve those credits. Thankfully I can give myself all the challenge I could want by flying non-meta ships like my shieldless combat Cobra or even my Eagle.

We can do that, okay. But the fact that to enjoy the game we have to create artificial voluntary challenges is a terrible game design in my opinion. Under such conditions, how can a development team even have the audacity to seriously rave about balancing? I could also wipe my commander every 2 or 3 months or play in voluntary Ironman mode. But - does that make sense? I expect from a well-designed game to challenge me with sense and consequences and not this completely disorientated hodgepodge. If all this is to be justified with the magic word "sandbox", then I can only say that I firmly reject sandbox games.
 
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That is completely the wrong way. The main trouble with solo Massacre missions is not the payout. It's the fact that they require more kills than Wing massacres.
Agree 100%! Some of the solo missions require 50+ or 70+ kills, I would ask that this visited to reduce the cap on the solo kill missions. They should not be higher than wing missions, if a player has time to kill 70+ they can grab more than one mission.
 
I'd disagree with your assertion re: rare's trading. The situation is far worse, since at least rares actually turn a profit.
Smuggling high priced cargo like slaves, narcotics, weapons etc. does turn a profit on a BM or it would be totally useless. It's just much less profit then you earn in markets where you can legally sale those cargos. This should be the other way around.

Still beats selling rares where you only can buy a small amount and have to fly 100+ lys to make any profit.
 
Bounties
Bounties from NPCs will see significant increases from approximately four times as much for the highest paying ones to ten times as much for the lower paying ones. Please note that the number of credits shown immediately in your HUD when you destroy a criminal ship won't display the newly increased amounts. This will need to wait until we're certain of the final numbers. Accurate bounty figures can be found in the Transactions tab in your left panel.
Just want to hone in on this again and verify that this change has not taken into account the difficulty of opponents, and it really, really should.

As a contrast, using the same ship in both instances I did the following three fights:
  • Vanilla, unengineered Elite-rank Anaconda for an Assassination mission. It barely got me below half shields, =~ 1m credit payout + 4m mission reward.
  • Fully engineered Deadly rank Vulture at a Threat 5 Pirate Activity site. Knocked 30% of my hull, =~ 260k payout.
  • Fully engineered FDL, rank Deadly at a Threat 5 Pirate Activity site. Would have been a 1m credit bounty, but I had to flee.
In the first balance thread, it was said:

In response to your feedback, will bring a series of balancing adjustments to the rate at which credits are earned in each core gameplay mechanic: mining, trade, combat and exploration. Our goal is to have rewards better match the level of skill, effort, and risk each method requires. This means we'll see increased credit rates in some activities and reductions in others.
... if the aim here is to balance for skill, effort and risk, then the bounty payout on these Threat 5 & 6 targets is way out of whack. I can live with the lack of mission reward in the equation, but that vulture was a way tougher fight than the anaconda, and yet it pays out a quarter of that vanilla conda's bounty.

Meanwhile, that FDL would've paid the same as the anaconda, yet I couldn't even take it down.

The payout on engineered targets like this needs to be at least doubled or quadrupled again... vanilla targets simply shouldn't be paying out equal to or more than these ones.
 
I was actually referring to the miners who've been doing nothing but whine this past week about how FDev does nothing but nerf mining and doesn't buff anything else. As this is direct evidence to the contrary, I was hoping it'd get them to shut up.
So rare to find an optimist on the forums.
 
This is great news!


But a suggestion, if I may, about combat missions.
Instead of increasing the mission reward, could you instead lower the kill count for said solo missions?
Killing 80+ targets in bounties or conflict zones takes an extremely long time, several hours sometimes.
I'd personally prefer a lower payout, in exchange for faster missions, so I don't feel trapped in to one activity for several hours.

Or a sliding scale really, so there's options for everyone.
I think if both happened it would be still be in a well balanced place
 
The issue with combat payouts is not the general payouts, but that the hard targets pay out insufficiently for the increase in difficulty. A vanilla Anaconda is substantially easier than a fully engineered Vulture NPC. Yet an Anaconda will reward anywhere up to 300-400k in bounty, where the Engineered NPC vulture will only earn roughly 50-100k. This is back-to-front.

I can only highly recommend that the overall bounty payout tables get revisited, and that the discrepancy between engineered and non-engineered targets be addressed. To spitball, I would suggest that an engineered variant pay 10 times what it's vanilla counterpart would, using pre-balance figures as a guide. (i.e 500k for an engineered vulture, up to 3-4m for a fully engineered conda/similar.
Yeah completely agree, this would be some insight for stepping into a more finessed rather than elementary solution.

I can't imagine this would be too hard Arthur. The benefit of this is at lest the outcomes make sense to the game universe.. not just as a community management reaction, which only achieves a knee jerk reaction to clickbait. The game universe should be the priority over those people needing clicks.

The other points jmanis mentioned also are excellent, but this is the only one i'm qualified to agree with.
 
I really like the bump in payout, and it feels right.
BUT it would be way more fun if the difficulty of the NPCs in Haz res would match that of the engineered ship a cmdr is flying.
Make people think twice before attacking a Elite rank NPC.

Make Elite dangerous again

The state of the game now is:

Traders run shieldless, if interdicted, they drop and boost away and low-wake like nothing has happened <-- no danger
Bounty hunting in Haz res biggest threat is accidently shooting security or clean ship making you wanted and security will shoot you.
Those are really long ranged weapons if you are hitting security from a Haz RES a location famous for having no security.
 
Just want to hone in on this again and verify that this change has not taken into account the difficulty of opponents, and it really, really should.

As a contrast, using the same ship in both instances I did the following three fights:
  • Vanilla, unengineered Elite-rank Anaconda for an Assassination mission. It barely got me below half shields, =~ 1m credit payout + 4m mission reward.
  • Fully engineered Deadly rank Vulture at a Threat 5 Pirate Activity site. Knocked 30% of my hull, =~ 260k payout.
  • Fully engineered FDL, rank Deadly at a Threat 5 Pirate Activity site. Would have been a 1m credit bounty, but I had to flee.
In the first balance thread, it was said:



... if the aim here is to balance for skill, effort and risk, then the bounty payout on these Threat 5 & 6 targets is way out of whack. I can live with the lack of mission reward in the equation, but that vulture was a way tougher fight than the anaconda, and yet it pays out a quarter of that vanilla conda's bounty.

Meanwhile, that FDL would've paid the same as the anaconda, yet I couldn't even take it down.

The payout on engineered targets like this needs to be at least doubled or quadrupled again... vanilla targets simply shouldn't be paying out equal to or more than these ones.
Bruce also said...

This has allowed even brand new Commanders to become wealthy enough to buy the highest performing ships very quickly. For the health and longevity of Elite Dangerous, we're going to considerably reduce the payout of this activity so that it remains lucrative but players won't feel compelled to head out to the latest triple hotspot whenever they need credits.
...in regards to pre nerf mining.

After casually raking in over 120m in bounties + god knows what on combat missions this evening I’m concerned that the health and longevity part of the mission statement has perhaps been thrown out the window...

I can’t help but think that the affordability of FC’s is perhaps hampering FD’s ability to balance out the rest of the game, at the cost of the other 30+ ships...
 
How are these changes being squared off with the effect of bounties on BGS? Specifically:
1. Has the influence effect of bounties on influence been proportionally scaled? Otherwise, suddenly people will be handing in 4-10x more in influence effect from bounties, for the same amount of effort.
2. Same question with regards to effect on security status and distance to lockdown. Would someone attacking security now have to do 4-10x as much work to overcome the positive effect of bounties - making the lockdown status effectively an empty gimmick in terms of BGS states as a strategic goal. No point in pretending it's viable if it's basically impossible to achieve with the slightest resistance.
3. Has the biased effect this may have against anarchy factions been considered? Specifically - even if 1. is scaled proportionally, suddenly player traffic has more incentive to engage in ambient bounty hunting. Whilst per kill the effect may remain the same, suddenly a lot more people are doing a lot more killing to get those bounties. Whereas anarchy factions do not get a counterbalanced buff in activity and reward to either:
a) Drive ambient traffic equally their way.
b) Give anarchy supporters an appropriate response to maintain them.

Whilst better rewards for combat is ostensibly a positive step, I'm concerned that this could result in a further biasing against anarchy factions and eliminate strategic options. In turn this would erode the tapestry of gameplay available to BGS players and further homogenise the types of systems that exist to meaningless differences in name only.
 
How are these changes being squared off with the effect of bounties on BGS? Specifically:
1. Has the influence effect of bounties on influence been proportionally scaled? Otherwise, suddenly people will be handing in 4-10x more in influence effect from bounties, for the same amount of effort.
2. Same question with regards to effect on security status and distance to lockdown. Would someone attacking security now have to do 4-10x as much work to overcome the positive effect of bounties - making the lockdown status effectively an empty gimmick in terms of BGS states as a strategic goal. No point in pretending it's viable if it's basically impossible to achieve with the slightest resistance.
3. Has the biased effect this may have against anarchy factions been considered? Specifically - even if 1. is scaled proportionally, suddenly player traffic has more incentive to engage in ambient bounty hunting. Whilst per kill the effect may remain the same, suddenly a lot more people are doing a lot more killing to get those bounties. Whereas anarchy factions do not get a counterbalanced buff in activity and reward to either:
a) Drive ambient traffic equally their way.
b) Give anarchy supporters an appropriate response to maintain them.

Whilst better rewards for combat is ostensibly a positive step, I'm concerned that this could result in a further biasing against anarchy factions and eliminate strategic options. In turn this would erode the tapestry of gameplay available to BGS players and further homogenise the types of systems that exist to meaningless differences in name only.
I think the inf effect of bounties is probably unchanged, making bounties an even more powerful way to move factions around & increasing the effect of unfocused (not Faction supporting) player traffic in any system with RESs and/or CNBs in particular.

I'm not concerned about how much any player earns or how quickly, but unlike much of the mining payouts over the past couple of years bounties are a core influencer of factions along with exploration data, trade & missions. This buff seems excessive if it is applied to inf as well as rep & credits.
 
How are these changes being squared off with the effect of bounties on BGS? Specifically:
1. Has the influence effect of bounties on influence been proportionally scaled? Otherwise, suddenly people will be handing in 4-10x more in influence effect from bounties, for the same amount of effort.
2. Same question with regards to effect on security status and distance to lockdown. Would someone attacking security now have to do 4-10x as much work to overcome the positive effect of bounties - making the lockdown status effectively an empty gimmick in terms of BGS states as a strategic goal. No point in pretending it's viable if it's basically impossible to achieve with the slightest resistance.
3. Has the biased effect this may have against anarchy factions been considered? Specifically - even if 1. is scaled proportionally, suddenly player traffic has more incentive to engage in ambient bounty hunting. Whilst per kill the effect may remain the same, suddenly a lot more people are doing a lot more killing to get those bounties. Whereas anarchy factions do not get a counterbalanced buff in activity and reward to either:
a) Drive ambient traffic equally their way.
b) Give anarchy supporters an appropriate response to maintain them.

Whilst better rewards for combat is ostensibly a positive step, I'm concerned that this could result in a further biasing against anarchy factions and eliminate strategic options. In turn this would erode the tapestry of gameplay available to BGS players and further homogenise the types of systems that exist to meaningless differences in name only.
RE: 1, Bounties are still mostly transactional afaik... it's still the case that 10 x 100k bounties would have more effect than a single 1m bounty... so scaling the pay isn't going to be a dealbreaker... again AFAIK

RE: 2., negative states are still in a godawful state, with no real means to directly cause them besides murderhobo.... in my region of space i count 23 civil liberty states vs a total of 3 lockdown or civil unrst states. I think the lack of ability to directly cause these states is still the main concern, rather than any effect this change might have (again, this is probably mitigated by 1.

RE: 3. I did observe several flavours of Anarchy assassination mission which haven't had their reward bumped. Likewise again, I still think the major issue here is a lack of ability to directly cause negative effects. There needs to be criminal mission boards which offer missions grouped by faction like the normal mission board, but offered by anonymous contacts to target those factions rather than support them.
 
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