Interdiction and Balance

In a game where mid-level ships can universally or nearly universally out-perform small ships, it's honestly bad that they can Interdict them so easily.

In the almost 700 hours I have played Elite: Dangerous, I can't recall ever losing a single npc Interdiction. This includes all the times I've been interdicted in a Type 9 Heavy minus two times I submitted early on because I had heard the tell that it can't win them.

But yet any advice on how to win Interdictions against players always starts with the word "submit". This skew is almost completely busted.

If a small ship gets Interdicted by a large, or worse, mid-level one, it's likely dead. If it's not specced and grinded for combat, it's almost definitely dead.

So I propose that the system needs changes to promote good balance, and preserve the good function of the wider game.

Large ships should have a much harder time Interdicting smaller ships. They should also take much more damage when an Interdiction fails. The idea is to make it hazardous and less appealing for ships to pursue something of a different class, specifically with de-$%#ing small ships in mind. Similarly, small ships should be much less effective at Interdicting large ships, needing much more time-on-target and being penalized more for mistakes. Also again taking more damage if they fail to Interdict. I think this makes perfect sense from a in-universe in-lore standpoint as well.

As the capability level of ships can vary wildly within the same size class, I think that furthermore in addition to the size-class difference penalty, every ship in the game should have an "Interdiction Weighting" number similar to how you do Mass Lock, which can affect the system in either direction. A Vulture is not an Adder; an Imperial Courier not a Sidewinder Mk1.

So to sum up

  • Ships of a different size class to what they're Interdicting should be less effective at Interdicting those ships outside their size class
  • Damage for failure on an outside-class Interdiction should be severe
  • As ships vary wildly within class, each ship should have a specific number to further balance against in-class capability deviation
The goals are

1. to better protect newbies and those not specced for combat
2. relax some of the pressure pushing players away from small ships and return more viability to them to help expand a somewhat limited ship pool
3. guide players towards pvp of similar capability ships
4. reduce the ability of the trash to undermine the game

Especially since you are working on Elite again for something to release next year, I think it would be good if you took a look at doing something about what is clearly an uneven part of this game. Particularly because it essentially can help as a workaround for some of the balance issues the game has.
 
I support your proposals with the caveat that there's probably somethings about it that we're not thinking of which the devs will need to also consider.

Regardless, some changes in this should be made, I agree with that. Evading all NPC's is too easy, evading all players is (allegedly) too hard. I've limited personal experience on that latter point hence why I said allegedly.
 
Given the far superior supercruise agility of most small ships compared to large ones, small ships already have a huge advantage at evading interdictions it you know what you're doing. I've trucked out to a hotspot in my sidey more than once and found a corvette or similar waiting in supercruise, and just led them on a merry chase flying around them in circles while they try to get behind me.

If only small ships were actually faster in supercruise too (ie. less affected by gravity wells) they'd have a great place as interceptors.
 
I support your proposals with the caveat that there's probably somethings about it that we're not thinking of which the devs will need to also consider.

Regardless, some changes in this should be made, I agree with that. Evading all NPC's is too easy, evading all players is (allegedly) too hard. I've limited personal experience on that latter point hence why I said allegedly.
There is something wrong when a 1A Interdictor works well in all situations.

OP, I'm not sure I completely agree with all of your ideas (I think it makes good sense for larger stuff to more easily interdict smaller stuff) but I agree things are broken with interdiction. Making smaller ships much faster in super cruise would be a good start to balancing this out. I do like the idea of higher failure damage too.
 
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I support your proposals with the caveat that there's probably somethings about it that we're not thinking of which the devs will need to also consider.

Regardless, some changes in this should be made, I agree with that. Evading all NPC's is too easy, evading all players is (allegedly) too hard. I've limited personal experience on that latter point hence why I said allegedly.
I wouldn't say that player ships are too hard to defeat in the interdiction game. They are (can be) more difficult than NPC'S but as with everything, practice makes perfect. Evading NPC's is definitely too easy at the moment, I literally haven't lost against an NPC in about a year. Evading players, it's the same concept (follow the reticule) just takes a little longer, but is ultimately more satisfying because you just know the other guy is seething having lost...
 
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