Incrementally Improving PowerPlay - Make PowerPlay Open-Only

This is part of a series of proposals to improve PowerPlay in various ways. The goal is to make PowerPlay a more interesting, dynamic, and rewarding experience, without needing to scrap the whole thing and rebuild from the ground up - evolution rather than revolution. Each proposal is intended to be relatively straightforward to implement (though of course we have no special insight into the specifics of the Elite codebase), and most of them (except where mentioned) stand alone and do not need a lot of other changes to make them work.

Please limit discussions to the specific topic at hand - pros, cons, tweaks, etc. If you have alternative proposals, by all means make a separate topic! The parent thread for this series is here: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/pull-your-fingers-out-incrementally-improving-powerplay.551571/ Although the authors are Winters/FLC commanders, these proposals have been made and discussed by pilots from many Powers.


And now, the one we've all been waiting for...

Make PowerPlay Open-Only

Any merits or PowerPlay cargo in a ship that is not in Open (i.e. when the Commander logs in to Solo or a Private Group) will be either discarded, or converted to a form that earns the player merits if delivered or turned in, but those merits will not affect the Power.

Discussion:

Too much of PowerPlay happens in Solo or Private Groups, removing the ability for powers to fight effectively against enemies and bad actors such as 5th Columnists. PowerPlay is a fundamentally social and heavily combat-focused activity, and all PowerPlay activities should be conducted in Open, allowing Commanders to interdict each other. If Commanders wish to remain in Solo, then PowerPlay is not for them, and there are many other activities in Elite they can participate in.

Forcing people to play PowerPlay in Open will promote larger ship battles and allow the focus to shift from pure strategy towards lower-level tactics. PowerPlay has already produced some of these exciting and immersive battles, but despite many Powers pledging to play only in Open, they remain rare occurrences rather than happening every week at contested points in the galaxy.

This proposal still allows Commanders to earn personal merits and rating while in Solo or PG, but those merits will ONLY count towards the commander’s personal progression in rating, not towards the Power's status. Thus while this route can be used to earn the Rating 5 bonuses and salary, and to shop for the Power-specific modules, they will not count towards the Power in any way - they will not affect fortification, undermining, preparation or expansion.

Open question: should merits and PowerPlay cargo simply vanish if the commander enters Solo or a Private Group? This is a simpler implementation, and would achieve the same goals in its effect on PowerPlay. However it would annoy those who are "module shopping” and simply earning merits to buy the Power-specific modules, or collect the salary, rather than wishing to take part in the wider PowerPlay.

Open question: throw up a warning if a commander tries to log into Solo or a Private Group while carrying merit-bearing cargo or bounties? Maybe change the text on the login screen, e.g. “Solo - WARNING PowerPlay merits or cargo currently held.”

Open question: require BGS to also be in Open? This is likely to be unpopular, and probably unnecessary. In addition, BGS is usually so distributed around the galaxy that even if it were forced into Open, interdictions would be rare and small-scale.

Open question: pad blocking by enemy commanders is a significant problem and a barrier to Open Only gameplay. At the moment the solution is to switch to Solo to dock, but in this proposal that makes the merits vanish. A better solution is to remove the concept of pad blocking altogether - once docked, a ship cannot remain on the surface, it automatically enters the hanger, and is then removed from the instance, freeing the pad. See the separate proposal here: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/incrementally-improving-powerplay-remove-commander-from-instance-as-soon-as-landed.555316/

Open question: how does blocking a Commander interact with this? This is handled in this separate proposal: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/incrementally-improving-powerplay-blocking-pp-players-only-blocks-communications-not-instancing.556823/
 
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Yes. Sort of.

BGS stays multi mode because its set for that.

Merits vanish on mode switch, or that the UI does not exist in that mode.

My preferred option would be Powerplay split into open only tasks, and solo / PG tasks- the former is powerplay as it is now and the latter as lore flavoured missions and both help each other- but more importantly are not mixed.

Blocking is removed if you pledge (except for chat) and that any non pledge winged with you inherits those rules temporarily.

Here is my complete view on this:

 
I am 100% for Open Only PP, and this implementation would be good to counter the module shopping problem or feeling of personal progression for those that want to play in Solo or Private Group.


Very insightful response
It's been done to death by a million previous threads in which I have responded volubly, if the OP can't be bothered to read them and/or add his argument to those threads I am not going to reproduce everything I have already said once again to the thousandth player who has suggested it! I don't need to add insight, it's already there, go and read my previous discussion on the topic.
 
It's been done to death by a million previous threads in which I have responded volubly, if the OP can't be bothered to read them and/or add his argument to those threads I am not going to reproduce everything I have already said once again to the thousandth player who has suggested it! I don't need to add insight, it's already there, go and read my previous discussion on the topic.
We are before release of major DLC, open power play may bring new players to the game, this one reason is just enaugh for 1 more thread like this.
 
It's been done to death by a million previous threads in which I have responded volubly, if the OP can't be bothered to read them and/or add his argument to those threads I am not going to reproduce everything I have already said once again to the thousandth player who has suggested it! I don't need to add insight, it's already there, go and read my previous discussion on the topic.
Yeah it has been done in previous posts in the past. Lets look back at the Focused Feedback for PP. A vast majority of posters there agreed that PP should be updated to make it Open Only. Yet here we are, 2.5 years after it was posted and we have nothing on that list at all. So yeah, PP players are going to post this suggestion to death cause it seems like FDev doesn't want to listen to a vast majority of the PP community.
 
My preferred option would be Powerplay split into open only tasks, and solo / PG tasks- the former is powerplay as it is now and the latter as lore flavoured missions and both help each other- but more importantly are not mixed.
Neat idea. Having PP activities specifically designed for Solo would help bring in players who want to help but are really scared of being shot at. But in this series I'm trying to stick to the smallest changes possible, in the hopes they might actually be implemented - we all know how limited the dev budget is for PP.
 
Neat idea. Having PP activities specifically designed for Solo would help bring in players who want to help but are really scared of being shot at. But in this series I'm trying to stick to the smallest changes possible, in the hopes they might actually be implemented - we all know how limited the dev budget is for PP.
True- the depressing part is that all of Sandros first proposal is (in amount) 1/4 of the smallest prior update. There are no new assets and its all formula tweaks, more voting and the only new gameplay being open only.
 
My thoughts can be summed up as:

1. Solo mode and PG should have full personal progress for personal activities. For their effect on the galaxy (BGS, power play), activities engaged in with less risk (or to subvert risk entirely) should not have equal reward.

2. A very significant (if hidden) activity on how powerplay affects the main player base (beyond module tourism and LYR discounts) is the requirement for exploited systems to have a certain government type for fortification triggers. This means that power play factions are incentivised to face roll the BGS of small, player curated minor factions to get the right government in place for their exploited systems.

Depending on the ethos of the faction, this may be done entirely from PG/solo without any interaction to know who is doing it, why, nor room for diplomacy. Dealing with power play separately from BGS is inaccurate to the actual activity of power play - they have to be dealt with together.

3. Currently, all player activity in some way contributes to the general BGS and movement/shift of power in the galaxy. This is a good thing. I see no issue with someone picking a backwater region and deciding to do whatever they want to do and for that to contribute whatever mode they're in. But player interaction where opposition exists should be incentivised. This creates more opportunity for engagement, diplomacy, different playstyles and strategies to be implemented. It also means that there's less incentive to avoid and subvert player engagement by grinding singular activities in PG and solo which, currently, will always trump open by efficiency of reward for activity.

The merit reward and inf reward weighting should carry an open flag - if the player goes into PG or solo whilst carrying merits, power play cargo, data, bonds, bounties, missions, etc - that open flag would be lost. If an open flag is still active the power play/BGS specific elements of the reward should be significantly greater. Something like 4-10 times. This would mean people can do whatever they want for personal gain or where they're unopposed by players and carry on as normal. But if their activity is in conflict with other players - even if mediated rather than direct PvP - then they're incentivised to do it in open, where greater risk leads to greater reward but also creates greater possibility of interaction.

4. This would also encourage greater accountability between players, including but not limited to reducing the effectiveness of botting from PG and solo, as well as making it harder for players to hide in PG using some of the more commonly known exploits such as farming bounties on each other, or using SLF to tank CZs.
 
Yes. Make everything affecting all directly opposable by all. Obviously not feasible thanks to our dear plebs, but at least do so by platform.

But won't happen anyway, any improvements to PP. We'll rather go hiking holding hands... Elite: Harmony
 
My preference- the only way I think it can be done- is if you get a warning that your merits will be removed when you go into solo/PG. I think converting it into another form that doesn't affect powers would be good, but probably too much work for FDev.
Pad blocking would need to be resolved. People often do this by accident, so I'm not sure any player-based solution will be effective. My preferred solution would just be to make sure that if all pads are full, people won't join the instance.
BGS is unnecessary, like you say.
As for blocking, I'm in favour of blocking being replaced with muting so people can't FR you and you can't see them in chat. I've never understood the point of blocking.

Overall I support the idea. I doubt it'll happen, but it would make PP a much better place for everyone. There's risk, but also a lot of potential reward.
 
Solo/PG makes Powerplay a matter of which power has more pilots willing to spend their time grinding merits, and there's already a lot of grinding in Elite. Open Only would make things more interesting and could be the best (and only) source of meaningful pvp in the game.
 
Too much of PowerPlay happens in Solo or Private Groups, removing the ability for powers to fight effectively against enemies and bad actors such as 5th Columnists. PowerPlay is a fundamentally social and heavily combat-focused activity, and all PowerPlay activities should be conducted in Open, allowing Commanders to interdict each other. If Commanders wish to remain in Solo, then PowerPlay is not for them, and there are many other activities in Elite they can participate in.
Not everyone wishes to stay in Solo, but as 2 out of 3 platforms you can play Elite in requires extra payment to play in PG or Open, saying that Powerplay is not for them is kinda unfair. People on consoles not paying for extra are already locked out from CQC.

Forcing people to play PowerPlay in Open will promote larger ship battles and allow the focus to shift from pure strategy towards lower-level tactics. PowerPlay has already produced some of these exciting and immersive battles, but despite many Powers pledging to play only in Open, they remain rare occurrences rather than happening every week at contested points in the galaxy.
Well, to be fair, sometimes even seeing another commander in Open is quite rare. The whole P2P connection thing does not support any sort of massive multiplayer experience. You can be in same system with ten different CMDRs in open at same time and never see one of them.

This proposal still allows Commanders to earn personal merits and rating while in Solo or PG, but those merits will ONLY count towards the commander’s personal progression in rating, not towards the Power's status. Thus while this route can be used to earn the Rating 5 bonuses and salary, and to shop for the Power-specific modules, they will not count towards the Power in any way - they will not affect fortification, undermining, preparation or expansion.
This is probably the most rational recommendation towards open only I've seen on these forums. :) I would totally agree with this if the game was running on server side instead of P2P and locked multiplayer on consoles while sharing the same galaxy.

Anything in Open only with current system is just bad. When we have 3 platforms who can't see each other, very limited amount of players that can get into same space at same time and others having to pay more than some, locking content away is unfair and unnecessary.
 
Not everyone wishes to stay in Solo, but as 2 out of 3 platforms you can play Elite in requires extra payment to play in PG or Open, saying that Powerplay is not for them is kinda unfair. People on consoles not paying for extra are already locked out from CQC.
They have knowingly bought into a locked platform that requires service costs for access to full features. You wouldn't buy COD on Xbox and say "it's unfair that I can't play against other players without a live subscription".
 
As I recall, back when this was hot news, a popular proposal was that merits taken into Solo/PG would count for less (though we didn't get to an actual percentage reduction).

That seems to be the best solution.

Merits should still count as full value for personal benefits (modules and special benefits of PP rank for the player). But their effect on fortification etc would be reduced (maybe halved?). Those who can't play in Open for technical reasons could still make a contribution, explorers carrying carto data can avoid getting ganked by players while hauling for LYR, and so on.

This should NOT apply to the BGS. PowerPlay only.
 
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