Increase supercruise drop-out distance from stations and outposts

As for the other change mentioned, having some outposts and starports deep within gravity wells made approach vector much more important and was another small layer of depth to an activity that needs all the depth it can get.
This, definitely. Many of the ones in Colonia orbit pretty close to the planet, just above the orbital cruise line, and it's really not a problem.

For that matter, all the surface bases are really close to the planet, and they're a lot more interesting that the high-orbit ones.
 
However, the guide I have, in the form of the vision Frontier was trying to sell us on before release, does paint a picture of what the game strives to be. I really don't think that risk-free instant gratification was what they had in mind.
The interesting thing for me is to compare it to the previous three games in the series (yes, yes, I know, the "Elite" in the game's name refers to the trade rank, and doesn't imply any resemblance to other games with similar names)

Flying around with a Panther Clipper + plasma accelerator in FE2/FFE was pretty risk-free instant gratification. Even a cheap Osprey X was fairly straightforward once you'd figured out how to sit on the six of the incompetent NPCs there (and far more fun to fly, too).

In the original Elite, a fully-equipped Cobra III could cut through waves of enemies in much the same way an engineered FDL or Corvette can do so in a CZ or RES today ... and you also had the energy bomb for a one-use escape route. Took a bit of practice and build-up to get there, but far quicker than unlocking all the engineers needed to get that FDL now.

Elite Dangerous has far more dangerous NPCs than the previous games. A single high-end NPC can be a decent threat to even engineered multiroles, unless the pilot has practised combat a lot ... but in exchange, the game makes it trivial to avoid ever fighting any of them. The Elite/FE2/FFE NPCs were cannon fodder for the most part, but you couldn't get away with not fighting them at all.

It completely changes the feel of the game ... in a way that, yes, probably is good for getting beginners started (learn by dying not being as popular now as it was in the 80s) ... but makes it feel very disjointed later on. "Blaze your own trail" seems to have had "without consequences" appended to it somewhere along the line.
 
I don't want to see drop distances simply changed, that sounds like a simplistic band-aid solution, and I don't relish the prospect of having to boost repeatedly just to create a false sense of danger while it's rreally just going to slow down the last leg of travel and up the salt content on the forums.

I'd rather a rethink of station types & placement and a complete review of security zones. If it means Thargoids burning down the bubble to allow for a lore-sensitive soft reset re stations, fine. Let's have massive debris fields around damaged/destroyed/partially rebuilt stations which require slightly further safe dropouts, but balanced with profit multipliers to encourage willing profiteers; anarchy stations deep within asteroid belts with smaller NFZs, again with black market profit multipliers and BHs lieing in wait; and keep High Sec stations as they are - a safe easy option, but with less profit potential (maybe introduce a standard 'security tax' on all transactions and keep some ATR on constant patrol).
 
I remember on old elite games the race to the close to a station to enter the safe zone, elite dangerous doesn't have this dangerous element.
yes there is a safe (no fire zone), but nothing is ever out of this zone for long.

when you approach a station from a distance, its great to see the station getting larger. the station comms traffic control kicks in when you are 19 - 20 km out.

when you drop out of supercruise you are about 8km out, a single boost and 3 seconds later you are in the safe zone, not one little bit of danger. when you drop out at a planetary base you can be 5 - 6km out at times meaning you are already in the 7.5km zone to request docking.

the area around a station or outpost should be dangerous like it once was. if we change the distance to be 22km out when you drop out you experience a more realistic experience. you would have no comms until you get a little closer, then you have 12km of dangerous space before you enter the safe zone of the station.

this will open up some exciting game play, while enabling bounty hunters spaces to monitor inbound traffic.
if will also make smuggling more dangerous as you will have more chance of being scanned
Go away... go away... come back with a better idea... another day... lol... I get what you mean but you are just adding to my day dude

o7
 
I remember on old elite games the race to the close to a station to enter the safe zone, elite dangerous doesn't have this dangerous element.
yes there is a safe (no fire zone), but nothing is ever out of this zone for long.
Very much depends on how old the version is you are referring to. The 8-bit versions still had a relative long and dangerous travel time after dropping out and sometimes (extremely rare though) you even could meet a murder ship lurking behind a station. This part of gameplay was shamelessly removed with the 16-bit version on Atari, where you simply could skip the whole docking process by a simple keystroke. So there's a history to cave in to casual players, a tendency I also see with Elite "Dangerous". But then I also do appreciate their difficult task to please all sorts of extremely different player types - and that in a game that's already pretty much a niche game. I'm still undecided though about how they approach this task might be a good thing or something that's killing the game in the long run.
 
I really don't think that risk-free instant gratification was what they had in mind.
I can't agree more there, all these demands for mechanics that essentially remove any risk from exploration annoy me, auto-throttle down on exit hyperspace, move further away from binary stars so we don't heat up, neutron star escape module etc, it's like exploration has become a stroll through a risk proof childrens playground. However there are a few players around who essentially want it to be impossible to escape from attack. Now if I fly around in the bubble I have no aversion to being attacked, but my exploration ships are essentially unarmed, so making it impossible to escape attack means either everyone flies around in a short range ship armed to the teeth, or all explorers either swap to solo or combat log on attack, and that's not good for the game.
 
I often drop out near a station, an NPC which is chasing you drops in..... and disappears due to being close to station. at times I get a fine if I shoot first. this would give you a choice of killing it, or go running to the station.... while making it dangerous
Exactly. It's boring how little stuff happens around stations. They're basically a static backdrop (and a deus ex machina, if you rub them the wrong way).

I think correctly balanced, increasing the drop-out range would definitely contribute to the gameplay. By balancing I mean, overall travel time could be largely unchanged if SC was a tiny bit faster; increased risk could be balanced by increased opportunities/rewards and lessened risks in high- and med-sec systems. Etc.

Definitely an idea worth serious consideration.
 
I remember on old elite games the race to the close to a station to enter the safe zone, elite dangerous doesn't have this dangerous element.
yes there is a safe (no fire zone), but nothing is ever out of this zone for long.

when you approach a station from a distance, its great to see the station getting larger. the station comms traffic control kicks in when you are 19 - 20 km out.

when you drop out of supercruise you are about 8km out, a single boost and 3 seconds later you are in the safe zone, not one little bit of danger. when you drop out at a planetary base you can be 5 - 6km out at times meaning you are already in the 7.5km zone to request docking.

the area around a station or outpost should be dangerous like it once was. if we change the distance to be 22km out when you drop out you experience a more realistic experience. you would have no comms until you get a little closer, then you have 12km of dangerous space before you enter the safe zone of the station.

this will open up some exciting game play, while enabling bounty hunters spaces to monitor inbound traffic.
if will also make smuggling more dangerous as you will have more chance of being scanned
That's what we had back during the Alpha...

I would love that, less so the "respect muh time" crowd.
... but sadly, the "respect muh time" crowd has already gotten their way with this issue.
 
Station station approach and patrol used to be much more viable. I remember actually having to sneak into stations to avoid security scans or CMDR blockades; it was a lot of fun. There was a lot less docking tube and letter box combat because there was a 20km sphere around the stations that were relevant.

As for the other change mentioned, having some outposts and starports deep within gravity wells made approach vector much more important and was another small layer of depth to an activity that needs all the depth it can get.
On of my favorite activities back when the drop off distance was 20km, and the slowest Supercruise speed was (iirc) 10km/s, was timing my exit from Supercruise so that I'd appear within 3km or so from the station.

😭 I miss the Alpha Supercruise!!! 😭
 
I would like to see the glide mechanic added to drop outs everywhere. At that speed you would see the stations or asteroid fields rushing up towards you and finishes at around 10-15 km out.
You just gave me a pretty serious idea @Max Factor.

Consider this.

If glide was applied as a universal mechanics on every station approach, then it would be within that glide-flight that pirating attempts could occur.

This has a chance of solving the biggest issue and point of contention of those discussions:
the issue of absolute lack of danger and gameplay on approach in current mechanics vs the issue of covering a lot of empty space tediously on every approach to station even when no attackers are present, as seen in the original mechanics where dropout occured much further from the station.

With the below, this issue would simply cease to exist.



Here's how it'd work in principle, it's pretty simple:

1. An automatic beacon dropout point is 200km in front of the station, that's where the glide towards the station begins.

2. Glide-mode towards station is like an FSD exit 'tunnel' - it's like a box trajectory that a gliding ship need to stick to in in order not to cancel the glide.

3. If uninterrupted, the glide continues smoothly and quickly all the way into the actual no fire zone, few kms in front of the station. No long boring boosts ever needed.

4. If interrupted - by a player or npc pirate that interdicted your glide approach - an interdiction attempt occurs.

5. A gliding pirate attempts to shoot a gliding trader down, while the gliding trader attempts to dodge shots. Both need to stay within the FSD exit tunnel boundaries.

7. There's a threshold (let's call it 'glide stability threshold' here). If pursuer lands enough shots, it's reached and the escaping ship falls out of glide.

8. No special new tools are needed. Weapons only work in fixed mode to make it fair, but not all weapons will work at those speeds. Evader could try to drop mines if in possession (activation timer on mines would have to be adjusted accordingly while in glide).

9. Beginning distance between the ships in glide pursuit is approx 5km, but continuous and rapid manoeuvring slows the glide down, so evader needs to be careful not to overdo it and only use in bursts, predicting incoming shots, else distance closes and pursuer has a bigger target to shoot.

10. If the pirate hits the threshold, he pulls the trader out of the glide and into normal flight before they reach the No Fire Zone, giving the pirate time and space to attack, at whatever distance from the station they were when dropped out.

11. Police response would be coming directly from the station and needing to cover the distance instead of just a random spawn, making it all real instead of rng make-believe.

12. Glide interdiction is initiated by a pirate following the wake of a ship dropping out for a station/planet, if done quickly enough: there should be a few second window in order to 'hook up' to the target's glide parameters.

13. This is why pirates trying to ambush traders would now be cruising in near proximity to a station, waiting to hit a traders wake at just the right time to initiate.

14. It should require some skill and the direction of flight when entering the wake needs to be matched.

17. For that reason, pilots may choose to closely observe the presence around the station, and may opt for a different trajectory, say from the other side of the station.

18. Some pirates would naturally expect that and position themselves accordingly.

19. The mechanics works everywhere - both for stations and planet-side.


If you consider the rationale, it solves the big issue - if there's no pirate going for you, you get to the station as quickly as with the current mechanics.
If on the other hand there is someone trying to get you, there's finally a risk, danger and tactics involved within the approach.

There is a 1001 ways of explaining this mechanic thought lore, so won't even bother going there, what matters is good gameplay, currently severely lacking.
It's not like the glide mechanics were an actual atmosphere glide - it's an analogy, so the mechanics could be applied anywhere.
 
If it means Thargoids burning down the bubble to allow for a lore-sensitive soft reset re stations, fine. Let's have massive debris fields around damaged/destroyed/partially rebuilt stations which require slightly further safe dropouts, but balanced with profit multipliers to encourage willing profiteers; anarchy stations deep within asteroid belts with smaller NFZs, again with black market profit multipliers and BHs lieing in wait
Well burning down the bubble clearly isn't going to happen, but I think you've stumbled onto a version of this idea that could work. What if, as a way of trialing the idea, drop-out distance was increased for damaged and repairing stations, perhaps also stations embedded in rings? That would have a totally sensible in-game explanation (avoiding debris and similar hazards) and give people the option to try the new approach at a subset of stations. I could imagine Frontier going for that.

If it proved popular, it's easy to think of reasons to throw the "far drop" switch for more types of stations. Systems at war as a security measure? Outbreak systems due to quarantine procedures? Anarchy stations because the ruling faction is just antisocial? Etc.
 
In the earlier days, the safe zone was smaller, I forget how big. I would like to see it reduced to, say, 3km but varying levels of protection from the security forces, for example escorted in from 10-12km on high tech systems esp. when there's trouble about and perhaps only minimal escort once inside the safe no-fire zone in the lower anarchy systems.
 
In the earlier days, the safe zone was smaller, I forget how big. I would like to see it reduced to, say, 3km but varying levels of protection from the security forces, for example escorted in from 10-12km on high tech systems esp. when there's trouble about and perhaps only minimal escort once inside the safe no-fire zone in the lower anarchy systems.
Do you remember why they extended it? It was to prevent Player from blocking the entrance of the station.
 
Do you remember why they extended it? It was to prevent Player from blocking the entrance of the station.
Oh is that why? I did not know. I assumed it was because there were some [too many?] players complaining about getting attacked between dropping from super-cruise and being safe.

But would it not be cool to be escorted in to the station by sec ships when in a high sec system but run with the 'danger' of being scanned [high for first time visitors, less so for regular visitors] of having to run for your life at a low-sec system [evil grin -> even possibly being attacked by a security ship whose pilot is crooked :D ]
 
I am torn here I like the idea but am also a bit of the respect muh time type of person. The concession I would ask for if were going to have long sublight flights would be to cut travel time from supercruise by allowing a player to target stars or gas giants above a certain size within the local system a make a short high wake jump prior to using super cruise to reach the final destination. long sublight runs means there can be no more wasting time with slow supercruise acceleration when flying to a target thats more than 100-200 ls away
 
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I'd like this too.

As well as security flying out to meet you for scans, making smuggling harder.

There should be some sort of mechanic where if NPC security notice you, and you don't comply, your docking privileges get suspended.
So to smuggle in, you need to remain unnoticed, so boosting like a mad man is no longer the way in. Or something like that.
As in, "Fly casual!"? ;)

I like that. :)
 
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