Is mining the only ace card up the ELITE's sleeve? What can we do? New player view

<For Steam Statistics Click HERE>
Player count is plummeting.
No mining = nothing to do here?
Does this data serve an illustration how mining is basically the only activity that attracts people into the game?

I'm going to assume that the answer is positive. Let me address this as a 90% mining junkie and a new player. Being said, I LOVE mining. It's been my favorite past-time for these 500+ hours.
<no sarcasm>

Let's take a look:

The amount of players skyrocketed June 14 and been on decline since, making a noticeable nosedive every week. Less and less people peaking on weekends.


And here's a full year statistics. We see a surge of people rushing into the game, success and hype escalating.
Only to dive pretty sharply back again


It's on a pretty steep decline already and time will tell how low it's going to fall, if it will.
It might stabilize around 10K, but looks like a really sharp deceleration.
What is definitely the case, we see the biggest surge of players yet, since ever. And it's just Steam.

This is a view of a pretty green and freshly-new player over here. I've joined the ELITE about 3 months ago. The last space game I played was Mass Effect and a Freelancer which rubbed me in a good way. So, you might be interested in hearing what a fluff-beak might say. So, it's going to be feedback from now on, if you are interested.
I apologize if I pick some bones that were chewed upon years ago, never seen it, never happened.

Even though I managed to haphazardly jump on a diamond rush bandwagon, I've arrived late to the party. And even when I did, I was late to sell, when the prices dropped from 1.7M to 800K-900K. So I felt the nerf and kinda bummed out by that just like the next guy, but ... It doesn't move me to abandon the game.
I guess it helps that I particularly enjoy roleplaying and keeping a hand on a pulse of some dedicated community groups, because I'm planning for some exploration and guardian/thargoid action in the future. For Science!

But this is kind of niche, isn't it? What about the majority of players?
If this dynamics is characteristic at all of what's going on ... I find it pretty sad, that ELITE:Mining is basically the only activity that dictates player's interest.

I'm a pretty dedicated miner - I've been mining since day one. And, for one, I really enjoy the process. It's the most captivating mining process I've ever seen in the game. Preparation, careful analysis, approach, drift, choosing your tools, minigames, compensation for rotation, scan hunting, e.t.c. - I love it all. If you ask me, I'd say: ramp up the mining in terms of extraction complexity. Make it almost expert-level prerequisite to dig out those diamonds, opals or what have you. Make this lucrative past time a real challenge to do, don't just nerf the asteroid content to oblivion. Use more natural methods, create additional steps on the way. Make it a community effort, or at least the NPC community effort. Like, for example, removing on-board refineries and making them require huge station-size (or fleet-carrier size) complexes to fully process all that ore. Make it specialized in terms of equipment because not all ore is born equal - require specialized modules that need quite an investment.
Make a carrier or a refinery station an NPC pirate magnet. The refinery is getting jabbed by other faction? You feel the consequences.

In short, add to the gameplay instead of taking away, tweaking the game of chance and drop, MMO style. It's just dumb. Like increasing the boss difficulty by increasing his health bar, instead of adding tactics and complex behavior.

All that being said, making mining more complex (while keeping it highly lucrative), you are going to bum out a lot of people that would rather do something else instead of hitting the charts and equipment builds. Leave it to us miner-junkies. You made mining a big money endeavor? Make these big money spin! Just like In Real Life, you can engage in highly profitable enterprises, but you gotta make those plates spin first. And not everyone is willing to do this kind of thing, because you ... kind of have to enjoy it and prioritize it.

Sure, you are most likely to pick up more enthusiasts along the way this way. People will become engaged with mining, actually. Because it requires politicking now, communication and team efforts and a lot of thought to get those big bucks.

But when your game is ELITE:Mining, then you make everyone else hate your guts
Before any of this mining galore happens, systems are needed in place. Just like everyone was saying, seemingly for years.
It's really underwhelming to see that mining - of all things - is a driving force for the majority of game's population.
Gold rushes are awesome, community efforts are awesome. I've seen some best gameplay in Borann with chivalrous pirating and dastardly ganking, deals being struck and people generally clustering together. I could feel it in the air, when asteroids whispered the word: "GAMEPLAY"

I'm excited for Odyssey. When they do make space legs a fleshed out VR experience, then it's really going to boost up further on-station interactions. I'm not very hopeful about open, because it's basically guaranteed to be filled with dum-dums shoving their crotch in your face, because their brains tickle funny when they do it. But I'm really hopeful of group gameplays.
I'm excited for when FDEV finally addresses the lifeblood first, instead of trying to polish fingernails and fix teeth of the patient with severe gastritis, who cannot even eat well.
Economy, beefing up exploration much further, and empowering anti-thargoid effort.

I've arrived at the game after Community Goals and Galnet became a thing of the past. Which really does sound like a unique driving force of the game.
Is the ELITE development team doing that bad that they cannot afford an active-duty writer and a good community manager?
Basically, Dungeon Masters to our D&D. But how viable is it? In terms of organizing such events?
I read up some battle-reports. It looked like devs were in some deep-core development when someone pulled, say, Harry from his cubicle and went: "Hey, those players conjured up some noise in a sector, I really think we should play along!". "Cool" - says Harry - "but I've got a full deck of stuff to do". "Ah, don't worry, just spawn some thargoids and give 'em a sticker". And then some deadline hits and Harry barely has any time left to do anything.

I mean, why won't they actively invest into a team specifically dedicated to these kind of things? Develop some tools.
I thought the game sells pretty well, considering ARX.
Speaking of ARX, stepping up the modular customization options sounds like a sure way of funding through cosmetics. I'm looking at Path Of Exile that seemingly generates a ton of cash without adding any gameplay-changing elements. Blows and whistles only. Just don't do those horrendous battle-chests.

I love the fact that ELITE: Dangerous is not EVE:Online. It's not X4.
It's one of the kind and, say what you will, but this is some top-notch design and programming work right here.
ELITE is not dumb, a true gentleman and a scholar. But FDEV needs to step up the game. It's hard hitting the balance between what a fun rewarding gameplay is and simulation.
And even though staffing up with more people is not the guaranteed success (looking at you, Blizzard), it looks like they need a better work cadence.

But I do strongly believe that, as always, the true power lies with the community. I've seen some people laugh at the prospect that "ha! they need players to fix their game!" which I always find a strange thing to say. Especially in sandbox games. I guess it could be a symptom of modern "service" thinking - paying money and expecting to be wined and dined, it makes sense. I prefer to look at it differently - you invest into an idea you like and judge whether you want to continue doing so. ELITE is a sandbox, so as much as anything, you are empowered to make your own decisions instead of expecting a theme-park ride. And FDEV have been relying on it's player base initiatives and encouraging it. I see no point in stopping now, you are the investor - you are shaping the game, don't let go of this power.

On this note, if you haven't heard already, there's this awesome ION initiative that serves kind of like a player-driven radiostation - a Galnet substitution.
Link's right here: Check it out!

I'm thankful for what ELITE already is and I want to see it succeed. It seems to me that the ELITE creators always had a specific vision in mind, but somehow they stumbled and were unable to reach it when they wanted, striking compromise and prodding in the dark. Still, it's an awesome game, I think there's much to be expected in the future

It's been my ten cents anyway, thank you for getting this far through this conjecture. Hopefully, something was spot on, or at least sparked some thoughts

See you among the stars, Commanders!
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This doesn't show those that play out of Steam, so not very accurate, but only FD truely knows how many are playing their game.;)
Something, something mining, something something, Elite good.

Not Eve Online......not X4.

Ten cents? You invested a countries gold reserve into that....
Looks like I need to double down on my communication skills.
Because looks like most people are missing my point.

Sorry about that, Commanders

TL,DR is that I think mining trends drive the ELITE audience, which is a bad thing.
I think mining can be as lucrative, but more complex, instead of getting nerfed.
While buffing up all other aspects of the game.
And finally, the community gets a big stake at that, organizing own events, which is a welcome sight.
I've also offered a thought on why FDEV won't invest into a couple of writers and community managers who are effectively game masters. Making the Community Goal driven gameplay like in old-school pen'n'paper games like D&D. It really sets ELITE apart from other games.
But I'm questioning whether it's viable.
I don't think that player count is plummeting because of mining. It looks more to me like it's returning to normal after patch, if you look at how it has developed since mid-june the general trend has been something like linear or even inverse-polynomial. Note that the development of the average playercount is not linked to the mining nerf and exploit fix patches. It can be explained entirely as a result of patch and sale bounceback.

Reasonable explanation to me: Playercount is plummeting because of FC patch bounceback (old people returning, looking around, finding nothing of interesting, and going back to cryosleep) and new player bounceback (lots of people buy E: D during sale, a lot of people don't stick and stop playing after a week or so, resulting in a noticeable playercount drop).

Yes, you are right about lack of CG and GalNet being problematic. I care a lot about the game world, both background lore and current events that we players can partake in directly. I find it extremely odd that it is so undervalued by FD.
This doesn't show those that play out of Steam, so not very accurate, but only FD truely knows how many are playing their game.;)
First of all I'm not defending the OP and his silly post. Go do something else OP, mining sucks anyways.

Steam charts may not show the total numbers if all players across all platforms but it is a great indicator of trends. If the player base starts trending downwards on steam, it's trending downwards on all platforms. This is actually not surprising to see it trend downwards right now because the excitement of the carriers is starting to wear off. Theres just not enough content in the game currently to sustain a large playerbase. Even if mining wasn't nerfed it would still decline eventually. I think the carriers are great but once you have one, the game just returns to the same grindy slog it was before with uninteresting missions, boring combat, almost pointless PvP, ect.
Either DeJa Vu or I've seen this thread title before. No joke. I was frozen for a minute reading this over and over trying to remember or not. Sorry...trippy
It's really simple. Look at the stats for 3 years. Every time there's a release, the numbers spike AND fall back.

It's normal.

What isn't normal is MINING FRENZY AAARRRGGHHH!!!!

The game is far far far better than that. And you know what? Some of the "miner junkies" as you put it? They will absolutely leave, because it's not the game, and it's not sustainable, and it's actually bad for the game. So it's fine.
Ah, wall of text doom thread, and a graph showing the normal progression of almost any game ever made and sold on steam.

Unusual, read very little of it.

As for "ace up their sleeve", there is always another money spinner for you to moan about when it's gone.
It's really simple. Look at the stats for 3 years. Every time there's a release, the numbers spike AND fall back.

It's normal.

What isn't normal is MINING FRENZY AAARRRGGHHH!!!!

The game is far far far better than that. And you know what? Some of the "miner junkies" as you put it? They will absolutely leave, because it's not the game, and it's not sustainable, and it's actually bad for the game. So it's fine.

For the first time ever a while ago, I took one of those Covert Operation missions. Having never done one before I didn’t know what to expect. When I arrive in the target system I’m informed I have destroy 15 passenger ships. I felt awful but then I noticed it was to do with miners protesting about their rights. Bad feelings melted away. The open channel was picking their slogans up, “Miners Unite!”

I savoured every beautiful explosion. I highly recommend it.
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