Incrementally Improving PowerPlay - Make PowerPlay Open-Only

Just throwing my hat in the ring: Going Open-Only is pretty much the only thing that will save Power Play as a competitive game mode, and make it less of an open joke among other gaming communities (and, if we're being honest, even among Elite: Dangerous players). If Frontier wants to attract a variety of people to Elite and keep them here, they should be looking for ways to make engaging, diverse end-game content. This is seriously low-hanging fruit. There's a huge demand for a true competitive PvP game-mode, not just among current Elite: Dangerous players, but among potential players who are avoiding this game literally for lack of a game mode that caters to their interests. The fact that Elite: Dangerous is widely known due specifically to Power Play as "that game where super salty people swap to Solo or Private mode to try to win by cheating" (no, that is not hyperbole) is a hilariously bad look to everyone but the few players (some of them in this thread) who have decided that getting to "compete" in all modes in Solo and PG is the hill they'll die on.

The proposal by the OP here is a realistic compromise position. Players in solo should be able to earn merits toward getting a salary, and toward getting power-specific weapons and components in their current state. This provides these things, full stop. Having Solo and Private Group merits still earn the same salary and the same ability to buy power-specific items leaves nothing behind the PvP wall but the PvP game-mode itself. Even better, this proposal does not financially punish a player in any way for belatedly swapping modes (no lost salary, no lost rewards)!

Regardless of people posting with their "insights" about how much they enjoy Power Play being competitive solo hauling, I truly hope Frontier notes they represent a minority of posters in these topics historically, a minority of the active Power Play community, an even smaller minority of the Elite: Dangerous community as a whole, and a shockingly tiny portion of the people who play space games. Give Power Play a proper Open-Only facelift, and let it attract the attention it richly deserves from players seeking out an end-game PvP space game experience, both in Elite and from other gaming communities!

(Edited to get rid of auto-emojis.)
 
I'll agree with you here. All features should be open to revision over time, whether it be open only or the Cobra Mk4 exclusivity.

What FD need to do is balance the loss of trust that would happen over breaking what was taken to be promises over what might be something that improves the game (or not). Its a gamble of course.

FD already got plenty of stick over their decision not to provide offline mode.

Would FD be willing to take stick over going back on their all modes are equal policy on what would be a gamble that might improve the game? Especially with a feature that currently isn't that popular?

And this should be a concern whether you are an open only proponent or not. Because if they are willing to do this, what else might they then be willing to do? What other things that were taken as promises might they then be willing to change? The next thing might be something you don't support, but if you got open only because they were willing to break promises, you can't complain when they break other promises. That would be hypocritical.

Lootboxes anyone?
Its pretty simple:

FD either pony up the time and redo the lot, take the minimal approach and use whats available or do nothing. The former I can't see them do (the scant traces in dev diary 2 support that) do its either 2 or 3.
 
No thanks.

Powerplay already exists. I appreciate that in some fantasy realm there are folks that believe that this is a PvP heavy, combat heavy affair that is designed to be participated in a certain way, but that's simply not true and "forcing" people to pretend it is isn't the answer. If it were to be re-imagined as something to actually make it the reason for PvP that was originally advertised, it'd need fundamental changes in how it works.

You don't need to force players to do anything. In fact, attempting such is just dumb and unproductive. Strong incentives, on the other hand, can create a situation that you're really looking for.

Let's use the real world reality of what we've got right now as an example. We've got a boring background simulation that most of us give exactly zero craps about, and once every four weeks we can acquire a new gizmo. We can do this, incidentally, by loading up a T9 and making one run to wherever is currently accepting the garbage we just threw in our cargo hold. We don't care if it actually fortifies or undermines anything. Don't get me wrong, the powerplay interface has colors on it and a spreadsheet and everything, but so does my 401k balance webpage and frankly it's more exciting than the BGS because it relates to an actual reward and ultimately even uses more exciting colors and more exclamation points. Yeah, I'm saying that Powerplay is boring, and the problem isn't that we're hiding in solo to do it, the problem is that we aren't actually doing it at all.

Imagine if taking on a faction let us make a million credits per kill of opposing factions. Imagine if our employer covered our rebuys, or substantially discounted them, for powerplay warfare so that the risk was on them, not us. Imagine if a single PvP kill, which is infinitely harder than one run with a T9, paid the same in merits, and had the same effect in terms of fortification or undermining, etc.

See, if we offer actual PvP incentives, now a player can still choose to not participate in PvP and do their mundane T9 run, or they can strike out there and PvP in a venue that has less risk of loss for themselves and more gain than PvP in other areas of the game. In addition to that, even small PvP skirmishes would have a much larger effect on the BGS than huge amounts of perfectly safe cargo running, which would mean systems are won/lost much more often and much more readily to the PvP aspect of the gameplay.

Ultimately, I think this would allow PvP to continue to be consensual, nobody would be forced to to anything they didn't want to do, gear would still be available to everyone, and the gameplay effects behind the whole thing would incentivise the type of activity that the system was originally intended to incentivise.
I hate to break it to you, but Powerplay has significant PvP like features:

Explicit pledges
Explicit territory
Simple (as in 1 of 4 tasks)- fortify, prep, UM or expand
Competitive scoreboard in the Galactic Standing

Unlike an aggregate system like the BGS, you can map 1:1 any action a player does, it registers instantly, you can tell exactly what a person is doing based on pledge, location and cargo.

I'm not belitting your ideas, but FD have shown us wholesale redesign is not on the cards. We have hardly anything new to add to Powerplay and what is added has to be 'as is'.
 
Its pretty simple:

FD either pony up the time and redo the lot, take the minimal approach and use whats available or do nothing. The former I can't see them do (the scant traces in dev diary 2 support that) do its either 2 or 3.
I agree, i don't see them doing the needful. However, i don't see option 2 doing much to get more people playing PP. The proposals (if implemented) would make PP better for some, while making it worse for others.*

* - of course, this is still unclear how many, because on the one hand we have statements that a vast majority want open only, and therefore presumably are already in open, and theferore the impact will be minimal, or there are lots of people in PG/solo who won't want open only.
 
I agree, i don't see them doing the needful. However, i don't see option 2 doing much to get more people playing PP. The proposals (if implemented) would make PP better for some, while making it worse for others.*

* - of course, this is still unclear how many, because on the one hand we have statements that a vast majority want open only, and therefore presumably are already in open, and theferore the impact will be minimal, or there are lots of people in PG/solo who won't want open only.
If FD do nothing, then PP will just zombify even more to the point structured play almost ceases. Option 3 also includes FD including 5C measures but nothing else- which would be a kick in the teeth for many who have waited 5 years for something new (everything thats been added to Powerplay had solely been about 5C. No new gameplay has ever been added to it).

Current estimations are about 1000 players- thats why it was interesting to see polls gather 7.7K replies and at least 1/10 to 1/8 that number in replies in these forums. If 25% of that number leave and 50% (+ some from the weighted camp) thats a win in my book- Powerplay above all needs numbers to work as intended.

Even if Powerplay in an Open guise becomes niche its still providing something that nothing else in the game does, acts as a mirror to the BGS, is game side version of CQC and does not replicate anything else.
 
Powerplay already exists. I appreciate that in some fantasy realm there are folks that believe that this is a PvP heavy, combat heavy affair that is designed to be participated in a certain way, but that's simply not true and "forcing" people to pretend it is isn't the answer. If it were to be re-imagined as something to actually make it the reason for PvP that was originally advertised, it'd need fundamental changes in how it works.
"forcing people into pvp" is rather encouraging organized player bases that are behind powers is to encourage player vs palyer interaction on all level of gameplay, without this abuses like making 2mln, YES 2 mln merits in solo/pg when challanged in open never happen again (It really happened!). I agree power play should give more benefits to participants, but it's unrelated to OP.
 

Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
Well it is- hindsight and experience (especially in complex systems like Powerplay) is an invaluable tool in learning and improving something.
I agree - however the latter explanation of what Powerplay "is" was a retcon of the original, as the original implementation doesn't require PvP.
Well, I can walk you through the effects of all of them if you like, with and without open applies to them.
Opinions as to outcomes are forecasts - that may or may not reflect the true outcome. The same goes for expectations of how many players would engage in the feature if the changes were made.
 
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Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
The fact that Elite: Dangerous is widely known due specifically to Power Play as "that game where super salty people swap to Solo or Private mode to try to win by cheating" (no, that is not hyperbole) is a hilariously bad look to everyone but the few players (some of them in this thread) who have decided that getting to "compete" in all modes in Solo and PG is the hill they'll die on.
That those communities can't accept that engaging in Powerplay in Solo and Private Groups is not, in fact, cheating rather reflects on their attitudes - as the Developer of this game consciously implemented Powerplay in all three game modes.

Those seeking features that can only be affected by players in Open have been requesting / demanding / complaining for well over seven years - as soon as some early backers realised that players would be able to play and affect the game without them. That hasn't changed Frontier's stance.

It was Frontier who decided that players would get 'to "compete" in all modes in Solo and PG' in all game features (as well as those in Open, of course) - a decision that has been clear for as long as the game design has been published. Just as it was Frontier who decided that each player's decision at the start of each play session, with regard to who to play with, takes precedence and may over-ride other players' desire to play with them.

The phrase "the freedom of the individual" has been used to describe Elite Dangerous - so it's unsurprising that those who wish to force their preferred (but optional) play-style on other players can't do so in this game.
The proposal by the OP here is a realistic compromise position. Players in solo should be able to earn merits toward getting a salary, and toward getting power-specific weapons and components in their current state. This provides these things, full stop. Having Solo and Private Group merits still earn the same salary and the same ability to buy power-specific items leaves nothing behind the PvP wall but the PvP game-mode itself. Even better, this proposal does not financially punish a player in any way for belatedly swapping modes (no lost salary, no lost rewards)!
The proposal in the OP is not a compromise - nothing is being offered to those who would lose the ability to affect Powerplay. It's maybe a compromise compared to the full change scope desired by those seeking change, however that does not make it a compromise to those who stand to lose out.
 
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Power Play in open only with no string attached. But it needs more variety.. I would like the programmers of the game to inrtroduce MISSIONS for POWER PLAY, for single CMDS or in a wing . When the new ODESSEY UPGRADE starts and CMDS can get out of their ship, they may be able to get a passage to the target of the mission and do the business of the mission , being "stealing" maps or strategy documents or "terminate" a personality of the power game ( military or politician) or even a pledged CMDS if the cloud detects that he /she is playing in open at the very time of the taken mission, with obvious merits gained and power play points gained for one's power. Well this will spice up the scenario of power play and I look foward to it.
 
I agree - however the latter explanation of what Powerplay "is" was a retcon of the original, as the original implementation doesn't require PvP.
Sandro looked at Powerplay and commented on how they thought it should really be- it does not matter how it started because FDs view changed.

Opinions as to outcomes are forecasts - that may or may not reflect the true outcome. The same goes for expectations of how many players would engage in the feature if the changes were made.
Mechanics are mechanics- its easy to predict how they will affect things based on the last 5 years- plus, each rule change is not exactly complex in themselves.
 
That those communities can't accept that engaging in Powerplay in Solo and Private Groups is not, in fact, cheating rather reflects on their attitudes - as the Developer of this game consciously implemented Powerplay in all three game modes.

Those seeking features that can only be affected by players in Open have been requesting / demanding / complaining for well over seven years - as soon as some early backers realised that players would be able to play and affect the game without them. That hasn't changed Frontier's stance.

It was Frontier who decided that players would get 'to "compete" in all modes in Solo and PG' in all game features (as well as those in Open, of course) - a decision that has been clear for as long as the game design has been published. Just as it was Frontier who decided that each player's decision at the start of each play session, with regard to who to play with, takes precedence and may over-ride other players' desire to play with them.

The phrase "the freedom of the individual" has been used to describe Elite Dangerous - so it's unsurprising that those who wish to force their preferred (but optional) play-style on other players can't do so in this game.

The proposal in the OP is not a compromise - nothing is being offered to those who would lose the ability to affect Powerplay. It's maybe a compromise compared to the full change scope desired by those seeking change, however that does not make it a compromise to those who stand to lose out.
And, as you have been told NPCs in solo and PG don't do anything to threaten players who are in that mode, unlike the lethal potential of players. In short its a way to guarantee hauling is 100% efficient and successful, allowing bigger powers that are harder to turmoil and shed new systems to fight over.

Its dysfunctional, and needs proper balancing.
 

Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
Sandro looked at Powerplay and commented on how they thought it should really be- it does not matter how it started because FDs view changed.
I expect that it does matter how it started - as that is how they have sold it to each and every one of the c.3.5m buyers of the game, including those on consoles who don't enjoy premium platform access - the prospect of retrospectively PvP-gating it now, effectively removing it from those players who don't enjoy PvP and actually removing it from the aforementioned console players may be giving Frontier pause.
Mechanics are mechanics- its easy to predict how they will affect things based on the last 5 years- plus, each rule change is not exactly complex in themselves.
Ah - you're talking about the "other" changes - fair enough.
 
Sandro looked at Powerplay and commented on how they thought it should really be- it does not matter how it started because FDs view changed.
I think you’re conflating Sandro’s opinion with Frontier’s. Given the fact that Sandro was soon removed from this project after tossing in his “hand grenade,” and his rapid backpedaling on the subject beforehand, it isn’t likely that Frontier has changed its view one bit.
 

Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
And, as you have been told NPCs in solo and PG don't do anything to threaten players who are in that mode, unlike the lethal potential of players. In short its a way to guarantee hauling is 100% efficient and successful, allowing bigger powers that are harder to turmoil and shed new systems to fight over.

Its dysfunctional, and needs proper balancing.
I doubt that anything in this game would be set at a level equating to a top skill player in a fully optimised and engineered murder-boat.

However, noting the fact that Horizons will become available as a free update to all players who haven't already purchased it, adding some engineering to Powerplay NPC loadouts now seems to be a reasonable way forward in terms of increasing the NPC challenge in Powerplay.
 
I expect that it does matter how it started - as that is how they have sold it to each and every one of the c.3.5m buyers of the game, including those on consoles who don't enjoy premium platform access - the prospect of retrospectively PvP-gating it now, effectively removing it from those players who don't enjoy PvP and actually removing it from the aforementioned console players may be giving Frontier pause.
Which is hyperbolic nonsense when Powerplay currently is played by 0.03% of its total player base- i.e. the people you assign outrage to don't care enough to play it in its current state.

Ah - you're talking about the "other" changes - fair enough.
Open is the hardest to predict because you have to do it for a period of time to see if it is worthwhile.
 
I think you’re conflating Sandro’s opinion with Frontier’s. Given the fact that Sandro was soon removed from this project after tossing in his “hand grenade,” and his rapid backpedaling on the subject beforehand, it isn’t likely that Frontier has changed its view one bit.
Well Sandro was FDs opinion on the matter when he posted- and nothing else has been said since- at all. No mention of Powerplay.
 
I doubt that anything in this game would be set at a level equating to a top skill player in a fully optimised and engineered murder-boat.
And unless an NPC can seriously challenge a player and alter how they play, its not working.

However, noting the fact that Horizons will become available as a free update to all players who haven't already purchased it, adding some engineering to Powerplay NPC loadouts now seems to be a reasonable way forward in terms of increasing the NPC challenge in Powerplay.
Indeed. Powerplay NPCs outside of CZs need seriously beefing up so people have to view them as a danger.
 

Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
Which is hyperbolic nonsense when Powerplay currently is played by 0.03% of its total player base- i.e. the people you assign outrage to don't care enough to play it in its current state.
Is it?

.... or does it mean that as so few players engage in it there's no sense in retrospectively changing the access criteria to the feature at all?

If Powerplay was reworked for the benefit of all players, i.e. not just those who prefer PvP, then I expect it would attract many more players (as Frontier have indicated that they are "well aware" that the majority of players don't get involved in PvP).
 
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Is it?

.... or does it mean that as so few players engage in it there's no sense in retrospectively changing the access criteria to the feature at all?
It means as a design right now, no-one wants to engage with it. Now, you can either ignore the feature or remake it into something that attracts players.

Will that be done by copying the BGS? Why would someone play both when one is based on 5yr old mechanics?

If Powerplay was reworked for the benefit of all[/] players, i.e. not just those who prefer PvP, then I expect it would attract many more players (as Frontier have indicated that they are "well aware" that the majority of players don't get involved in PvP).
Powerplay is made right now for the benefit of all players, and look how its done. Its failed to achieve any critical mass of players as it stands. If anything it needs a razor sharp focus to provide it with a reason to still exist and make it easy for players to know what its about.
 
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