ANNOUNCEMENT Game Balancing

I saw another comment on this earlier in the thread. I'd be concerned about continual bounties placed on players maliciously for reasons outside of the game. What do you think?
There is no fire without smoke, the risk may be worth it.

But I am sure that there are plenty of ways to reduce malicious intentions as much as possible while ensuring a bounty system specific to interesting players, based on the notoriety system or the accumulation of bounties on the same person, etc. ...

In any case, I can assure you that a bounty application between players will be welcome for a good number of people, with the exception of some gankers I guess.
 

Bruce Garrido

Community Manager
Frontier
So here comes another nurf to mining, rather than a buff to all the other play styles.
This is normal FD tactics and nothing will ever become of it other than the nurf to mining, like always.
In the rest of the post we talk about the other parts of the game we'll be adjusting and details the specific parts of combat we'll look at next.
 
Anything about making MultiCrew pay better?

I would love to get people on my ship to Mine with me, but it just isn't worth it right now. I would be glad to split the profits evenly, which could still be tied to Trade Rank like Combat rank is. If everyone is Elite Trade (or otherwise the same rank), there can be an option for 50-50 or 34-33-33 split, with the Helm getting a larger portion depending on the rank differential.

It would be nice if Helm can pick the money split, up to a certain degree.
 
Nice sentiment, over a year too late, and especially in terms of mining misses the point?

The communicated goal of that whole deep-core mining thing and the surrounding "rare" commodities was to have a gold rush feeling (Frontier's term…), so the basic concept of that stuff having high prices is good. The problem is that the game went into full Santa Claus mode and made that stuff ubiquitous and trivially obtainable in huge quantities with zero risk or effort. Chopping prices does nothing towards the original or any other goal. The correct way would be to dial the chances of running across those commodities way down so people are actually glad of finding some, paranoid about telling others, and rewarded when selling a tonne or five; not as it is now, with players bursting into tears when they can't fill a Cutter in two hours.

Of course, any "fix" will now necessarily mean that anyone who got bored of the game and kicked it back into the "maybe later if anything else fails" pile gets punished for not sitting through a year of eye-wateringly boring grind.

But in the end, since all other concepts that originally made the game interesting to me still seem to be dead or dying, it's no skin off my back.

I saw another comment on this earlier in the thread. I'd be concerned about continual bounties placed on players maliciously for reasons outside of the game. What do you think?
Players must not be able to influence in-game rules enforcement.
 
Thanks for the suggestion! For PvP payouts specifically, how would you account for players gaming the system with friends and alt accounts?
create a cost from the pilot federation upon ship rebuy. add in a extra fine that is on top %age of the bounty. or remove the insurance for notorious cmdrs.
 
While I applaud the effort to finally look into balancing credit earning, have you also considered looking into credit spending? Currently the only real recurring spending you can do with credits is FC upkeep, which is IMO a big contributor to the credit inflation problem we've seen over the years. There's just not enough to spend credits on! This got worse with the introduction of materials, which are in practice the real valuable currency since credits lost their meaning for most long-time commanders.
I want to push back slightly against the common complaint that "credits have lost their meaning". I have been playing since before launch, and have a net worth of about 2.5bn - and I certainly don't feel like credits have 'lost their meaning'. The main areas of the game I engage with these days are AX and canyon racing, and therefore I make very little money and need to pay for a lot of rebuys.

I think credits 'lose their meaning' only if your playstyle is to accumulate credits. That may sound fatuous (and you're absolutely right that even for acquisitive players there should be a sense of worth and value to credit rewards) but I just want to make sure folks are aware that not everyone feels like this.
 
Greetings Commanders!

Game balance has been at the heart of many discussions around Elite Dangerous, for a long time, and rightly so. At its core, Elite Dangerous is about blazing your own trail and we want all Commanders to feel fairly rewarded for whichever path they choose.

To this end, we have taken a close look at the current state of the game and where we would like it to be. Using our data combined with your feedback, we have created a plan of incremental changes we hope will bring the key gameplay mechanics more in line with each other.

What's Changing?

Elite Dangerous has seen a lot of changes since its release in 2014. Among many other aspects of the game, these changes have affected the core gameplay elements and how players earn credits. Over that time, while we have made some balancing adjustments, these elements have inevitably grown out of sync.

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.

Crucially, this re-balancing will be an ongoing process where we spend time observing how the changes affect the game and how you, the community, respond both in-game and with your feedback. This may mean several adjustments are needed for each type of gameplay before settling on final values. Giving each method attention in isolation will allow us to more accurately see the results and tweak accordingly, hence the step by step approach, but ultimately they all need to work in the context of each other.

Mining and combat stand out from your feedback as needing the most attention with regards to balancing. As such, we will begin with mining, bring the top range down to a point we see as fair and look at which aspects of mining should offer the greatest rewards based on the skill required.

After this, we intend to look at increasing bounties and solo combat missions in the weeks that follow to meet expected levels. From there we can turn to the still important but less pressing elements such as other mission types and exploration.

These changes will be woven into Elite Dangerous lore and introduced through the narrative. The first can be expected early next week in the form of a GalNet article.

Mining and Trade

Mining has been the most lucrative role within Elite Dangerous for a long time. While this makes perfect sense as pilots find, extract, and transport huge quantities of precious minerals, the gap has become disproportional. 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.

The following changes will be implemented early next week as a starting point:

These approximate maximum prices offered by markets for the following commodities will be introduced:
  • Painite - 600,000
  • Low Temperature Diamonds - 700,000
  • Void Opals - 1,300,000

To recognise and reward the extra effort and skill needed for core mining, the majority of minerals extracted this way will see an increase in price, barring Void Opals mentioned above. Several mining commodities which can be bought will have the range of their prices increased, resulting in a higher number of goods with strong profit margins (25,000+) when commodity markets are in suitable states.

To benefit trade, we'll also bring the following changes:
  • Commodity markets will offer the average price rather than minimum price when selling in bulk. This will affect all commodities.
  • The base prices of a number of general salvage items will be increased.

What's Next?

As above, these first changes will happen early next week. We'll spend time observing their effects and listening to your feedback before deciding whether further adjustments are needed.

Next, we intend to adjust combat rewards in the form of bounties and mission payouts. You can expect to hear the planned changes before the date is announced in a post similar to this one.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding that this isn't a fast process and it will take time for the effects to become clear.

We would also most importantly like to thank you for your continued constructive feedback on this topic, which will be invaluable during this process!

Thanks for your support,

o7
I think the price adjustment for Painite is going to make little, if any difference at all. The balance problem with Painite is that it's available in both Core and Laser Mining. Laser mining Painite is far too easy to acquire significant amounts of compared to Core. I guess even at 300,000 a unit, a new player could easily amount Billions of credits within' a week. Every now and then I laser mine a Cutter full of Painite at 512 tonnes in as little 4-5 hours of casual play and sell at around and upwards of 750,000,000 credits.

If it was me, I would take out Painite from laser mining to balance things up a bit and leave the price alone. But that's just my opinion.
 
Thanks Bruce for listening to the community and acting.

I simple suggestion I have, is look at a tweak to the mission board and remove the 50 mil cap. Change it to either 75, or 100 mil, depending on how much of a change you want to implement. This won't have a huge impact in the game, but should impact source and return missions and passenger exploration, which are both routinely hit by the cap.

There are times when S&R missions are drawn which beyond a certain volume, the 50 mil is hit and even with an increase in volume, the value remains the same. This happens a lot with Tritium, where 800 and 1,000+ pays the same. Upping the cap here will mean traders will occasionally draw a big payer with factions they are allied with. Perhaps edit the potential quantities that can be required for these too.

This also means some long range passenger missions, which can result in missions lasting a week (especially if you're gamer with restricted free time) when travelling so far, should receive a buff. Given the time spent doing these missions, and I appreciate the explorer does get carto data and the experience, the earnings will still be lower than most other activities but at least now a passenger is supplying a big buff to payouts for sacrificing that internal slot to bring them.

Cheers
 
Will there also be any patch notes or fixes along with these tweaks to mining, because the Pulse Wave Analyser has been broken for a VERY long time and mining is really weird to do at the moment anyways. It's been one of the highest voted things on the issue tracker and nobody seems to be addressing it.

Edit: It's been broken since the small update in September and 166 people have mentioned that it's broke, hell, I was having the issue all day yesterday: https://issues.frontierstore.net/issue-detail/19374
I find it interesting this is asked on the first page and has yet to be addressed. This has been broken for a long time and needs to be fixed. As it is, it makes the desire to mine deep core much less desirable. It is doable, but takes 3 times as long to locate any decent prospects. I would like to see the developers take our voices serious and at least fix the pulse wave scanner so we can at least enjoy doing the mining we all love to do.
 
PvP has always been very unprofitable in this game. Not only is it impossible to earn money on the pvp normally, it only brings losses. And it doesn't fit with the fact that it's the most difficult part of the game.
 
There is a lot of talk about prices. But no mention of the supply/demand mechanic. It seems that maybe this will be at last applied uniformly. If this is the case do you have any details as to exactly how this will work?
 
Thanks for the suggestion! For PvP payouts specifically, how would you account for players gaming the system with friends and alt accounts?
That's a tough one as alt accounts might never be "friends" in game so you could rack up a large bounty on one, then have someone claim it, then reciprocate with their alt account. I presume you have no way to tie accounts with all their alts, a unique machine ID generated from the hardware or similar probably violates some rule somewhere. Plus, this doesn't happen if they have multiple physical, or perhaps virtual machines to use.

The easy stuff (to implement)..
  1. Rule out bounty payments to people who are, or have been friends within some time frame.
  2. Rule out bounty payments for people who have claimed a bounty from that same bounty target within some time frame.
  3. Rule out bounty payments for people who have had their own bounty claimed by the bounty target within some time frame.
These will make the process of gaming the system slower and more involved and that might be enough to reduce the occurrence to a low enough number to be satisfactory.

Unfortunately some of those impact legitimate scenarios, particularly #3, as you might be claiming a bounty in vengeance/retribution and this would prevent that, but perhaps revenge is enough?

Even #1 impacts the scenario where people have a falling out, or someone is discovered to be 5th column, etc.
 
@Bruce Garrido I am happy if mining goes back (if it is really going back) to core mining being the mining of choice, with laser "getting me by" but with lower prices. That said, without the pulse analyzer working, you're going to really upset people if you just change a bunch of figures and the game can't support them. I mine to fuel my carrier, so it NEEDS to function. I mean this simply as there is no other viable method of earnings day-to-day (IMO).

When you get to AX, I agree with a better scaling of Thargoid return. But, my squadron definitely finds Cyclops to be end-game when solo - so dropping the bond there will literally kill the game for them. Please do not do that. I can do it, but they struggle and I've yet to solo a Basilisk so the risk there is still extremely high. Six of one, half a dozen of another I realise, but a lot of us are more casual than the hardcore out there :)
 
I saw another comment on this earlier in the thread. I'd be concerned about continual bounties placed on players maliciously for reasons outside of the game. What do you think?
Idea: Players can only get a bounty set on them while their notoriety is higher than 0, and the cap on how high the bounty can be made rises with increasing notoriety. That way no "innocent" players can get a bounty at "random".
 
Hmmmm... Personally I am against doing nerfs, but it also seems that there's a mix of buffs in as well. Anyway I hope to see things shake out well on this.


That said, jumping ahead to when you work on combat, I was actually discussing that in wing last night. General concencus, combat payouts need a buff and what I came up with on the fly is the following.

Baseline npc bounty vouchers and combat bonds with the target ship's insurance premium, and then stack a multiplier based off the combat rank of said ship, eg 1x as harmless, 1.1x as mostly harmless etc etc. (With a few outliers of trespass fines and stray laser fire being the low bounty payouts that they currently are)

Additionally I think c&p is in a sweet spot right now and doesn't really need any changes.

But that's just my take on revamping combat to turn it into a high risk/high reward kind of situation. Seriously without half decent paying wing missions last night's pirate hunt between me and my wing wouldn't even cover our rebuys.
 
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