Jubs' Eilte Suggestions, Part 1: Arena

This is going to be part of a series of suggestions that I'm going to post. They are meant to be a realistic look at what can be done within the current engine with viewed existing resources. If there is something that is not currently known to be possible in the game, I will state it as such. Also, I'm not a programmer so I reiterate the word "viewed", and I accept that I can be wrong.

Many of the ideas come from the good people of the Elite:Lore discord. Meaning that these posts will be a culmination of the ideas that we all brainstormed on the discord. I will not and do not claim that these ideas are all mine. If you wish to join, please ask. I may post the link or RM it to you.

I fully encourage everyone to chime in on these posts to add ideas, or to add to the conversation! Thanks! - Jubei Himura (Jubs)

EDIT: Yeah, I fully realize that I fudged the title... next post will be "Elite:Lore Improvement Suggestions, Part 2: HoloMe"

PART 1: Arena


Arena was, and can still be, a very fun aspect of ED. The fast paced fighter combat was something similar to what you would find in a Star Wars battle at the end of Return of the Jedi. Players loved the competitive aspect that many thought ED was lacking. However, it became apparent that there were issues with the execution of such a feature.

1.1 The issues

First, was how to access the Arena: through the game menu only. There was no way to log on to the Arena gameplay without exiting the main game. It sucked having to exit to main menu, and for some it broke immersion.

Second, was the lack of in game rewards. Sure, there was rank, and yeah… there was a payout. However, rank meant almost nothing in the main game and the payout was pitiful at best.

Third, is the mass wait time to find a lobby. However, we do know that this is an issue that resulted from the lack of players.

So what can be done? Should we simply drop it and count it as a failed experiment? Hell no.

1.2 The fixes

Let’s start with the access. No one wants to go back to the main menu to do anything. So, allow stations to have an option to connect to the Arena Network. Have it be its own advert, an actual clickable picture advertisement. The process could work like this:

click on advertisement
-> Station Services exit
-> visual animation (VR headset comes down onto player face, or helmet visually deploys)
-> fade to black
-> loading screen animates on (much like a Stations Services screen) with Arena loading screen that mocks connecting to the Arena Network.
-> main Arena screen comes on.

Do the reverse for going back to the main ED game, but with a “Disconnecting from Arena Network” screen.

Now let’s talk about the rewards. Sure, keep the ranking, it’s good for progress and intimidation. Heck, even keep the system unlock for getting prestige. But let's get serious. We want good cash rewards.

Upping the cash prize would not only satisfy the players who are all about making those sweet sweet credits, but also make it a thing new players can sink their teeth into to upgrade the starting sidey.

I'm not saying make it a flat reward for everyone. Make the rewards reflect the highest rank they have in the Pilot's Federation, regardless of role. That way new players don't get fast tracked, but veterans get a satisfying reward.

Additionally you can get special rewards for high score, no deaths, and such in the form of materials or data. Again, scaled, but still a g2 or higher. Hell, have unlockable paintjobs for the fighters as a reward!

Finally… for the the mass wait times. Put NPC (bots) into the game so that people can play while waiting for a lobby. Heck, this can even amount into improving a player’s skill-set for Arena. Don’t have enough players logged in/ready? Bots. Look at what Rocket League does. Drive around the stadium while waiting for a lobby, adds bots in a game when there isn’t a full set of players. It’s not perfect, but it works and keeps the action going.

1.3 Opportunities and benefits

As soon as traffic is increased in Arena, start community events in the form of tournaments. With the winner rewarded well with credits, mats, and even a special paint job.

Speaking of which, make specialized paint jobs for players to buy. Ones that look awesome and fierce, but have a variable in the main portion that can change for the colour of the team. These paintjobs should sell for $1.50-$2.50 US (£1.00-£2.00). Later on, if Arena catches on, you can even release premium paintjobs for $4.00 (£3.00) Like gold, chrome, and coloured metals. People love customizations.
 
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I was never a fan of basic features of flight (silent running) and ship loadouts that were locked behind rank progression. I can understand locking Eagles and Sidewinders behind rank progression, but different loadouts locked away made the system feel pointlessly limiting for new users.

Everything you suggest sounds great.
 
Let’s start with the access. No one wants to go back to the main menu to do anything. So, allow stations to have an option to connect to the Arena Network. Have it be its own advert, an actual clickable picture advertisement. The process could work like this:
I'd suggest the multicrew menu as well: set it queuing and like multicrew it lets you know when a match is available while you carry on with the main game - I played a lot of CQC when out exploring for a bit of variety, and having to dock (and therefore stop doing other things) doesn't help much over going via the main menu.

I was never a fan of basic features of flight (silent running) and ship loadouts that were locked behind rank progression. I can understand locking Eagles and Sidewinders behind rank progression, but different loadouts locked away made the system feel pointlessly limiting for new users.
It's a tricky balance. The basic Condor loadout is solid, simple, and hard to improve significantly on ... whereas most of the rank unlocks are just plain bad, tricky to use well, or only situationally useful. So if you gave beginners everything straightaway, they'd spend most of the time trying to find a good loadout while also trying to learn the game, and probably die rather more than they already do. The unlock process encourages trying new things, while also giving people some decent baselines to return to, and combines with the prestige cycle to encourage veterans to try new loadouts out too.

On the other hand, if beginners had access to everything, they'd realise quicker that there were other reasons the more experienced players were killing them so easily.
 
I'd suggest the multicrew menu as well: set it queuing and like multicrew it lets you know when a match is available while you carry on with the main game - I played a lot of CQC when out exploring for a bit of variety, and having to dock (and therefore stop doing other things) doesn't help much over going via the main menu.
Not a bad idea. However, Arena is supposed to be a virtual simulation or a telepresence that needs massive bandwidth (see Drew Wagar's ​Premonition). So being available only in a starport is relevant. I like the idea you have, and I can see it working. I'm just sharing why I put it the way I did. I guess that's for FDev to decide, in the end.
 
Great suggestions. It does suck having to exit, then re-enter Arena knowing you then have to wait for the next round/level to load, where you'd think having to wait for the next round/level to load is all you need.

I recommend anyone who doesn't care much for CQC to try it in VR. Not only has it upped my stats (that's not saying much), but being able to look around and be more immersed really brings it alive.

One thing other arena type games have is a view only or spectator mode. So while not being in a match, you could watch the action and using the camera suite would be great for this.
 
People that plays both, CQC and ED have a few suggestion and some of them are similar to these.. some of them are realistic.

The fact that you didn't include the suggestion to allow changing the controls and bindings inside CQC without having to go to the menu says that you haven't really played much CQC.
 
People that plays both, CQC and ED have a few suggestion and some of them are similar to these.. some of them are realistic.

The fact that you didn't include the suggestion to allow changing the controls and bindings inside CQC without having to go to the menu says that you haven't really played much CQC.
You are correct that I haven't played in a while. However, you are incorrect about the how you would know that as I have never needed to change my controls. Thus I wouldn't know about that, even if I played regularly today. My HOTAS is set perfectly for me.

However, you do raise a good point. If there is a need to change the controls on the fly... perhaps that is something to look at.
 
You are correct that I haven't played in a while. However, you are incorrect about the how you would know that as I have never needed to change my controls. Thus I wouldn't know about that, even if I played regularly today. My HOTAS is set perfectly for me.
This is where most of the PVPers fail to understand. CQC, despite being a competitive type of gameplay, creates a very good cooperative/community/group around it, where everyone cares more about the others than himself (so we all can have more play time). Almost everyone playing CQC knows and acknowledges every problem affecting the rest of players, and made them its own, the controls is just one example, even if this problem doesn't affect you directly. CQC players suggestions are more oriented to have fun in general and resolve all people's problems than to give each own liking to the game.

However, you do raise a good point. If there is a need to change the controls on the fly... perhaps that is something to look at.
Despite my tone I'm not against you, neither against your post. You have some good valid points. Just saying, it would have been much more profitable to contact someone from the CQC gang and ask, discuss and talk about your idea and incorporate it to the already existing ones (or add the existing ones to yours) so CQC can act as a group instead as individuals OR/AND make a solid request to FD instead of random single person posts.

Having random people that don't play a mode (or the game at all) keeping with suggestions on how this modes could be improved etc feels unorganised.

You have my support tho ;)
 
Wouldn't having CQC in the main game fix the problem with not being able t change controls within CQC? I haven't played CQC so i'm asking out curiosity.

Not being able to change bindings within CQC is an extremely stupid limitation though.
 
Wouldn't having CQC in the main game fix the problem with not being able t change controls within CQC? I haven't played CQC so i'm asking out curiosity.

Not being able to change bindings within CQC is an extremely stupid limitation though.
You still can launch CQC from the main game too, play > arena (instead of open/solo/etc..)..
 
Yeah I agree it could use some changes but i would much rather see it bought into the main game in a truly interactive sense. Give us some systems where CqC leagues take place and let us spectate with small camera drones, Add all the CqC assets into the main servers for event, make billboards an advertise it ingame, scoreboards and ranking, all that stuff. As long as it's shut behind a log out it's gonna be ignored. Players need a reason to interact with it initially and being able to veiw championship scoreboards/matches will be the best way to give people enthesuasim about it. As it stands people get in games typically with far more experienced players, get thier asses beat, and thats that. Give people a reason to care, and they will.
 
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Would we all rather FD spend resources on the game and just ditch Arena? I mean FD already said they basically orphaned it.

Dumb reason on FD part- they spend too little time developing the mode/game and then complain about uptake. Too little early backer feedback and playtesting meant the obvious lack of a lobby and bots made it . Feel sorry for this game mode as it was fun and had potential.

Still, want FD to focus on adding that fun element to the main game and not divert funds from fulfilling the DDF and other more important developments.

BTW, this mode received a ton of feedback already. No desire for FD to spend money on 1.2 suggestions for sure. Time and money are limited.

Good ideas, but highly unlikely CQC gets any more love, and probably rightly so, given the way FD are developing ED.
 
Adding a racing aspect to Arena would be a nice addition - not everyone likes to compete by blowing stuff up. :)
Sweet baby Space-Christ! That's brilliant! That would be great fun. Now, closed in circuits (like giant glass tubes - great for bumps and crashes), or open space with only lights to indicate a track?

Would we all rather FD spend resources on the game and just ditch Arena? I mean FD already said they basically orphaned it.

Dumb reason on FD part- they spend too little time developing the mode/game and then complain about uptake. Too little early backer feedback and playtesting meant the obvious lack of a lobby and bots made it . Feel sorry for this game mode as it was fun and had potential.

Still, want FD to focus on adding that fun element to the main game and not divert funds from fulfilling the DDF and other more important developments.

BTW, this mode received a ton of feedback already. No desire for FD to spend money on 1.2 suggestions for sure. Time and money are limited.

Good ideas, but highly unlikely CQC gets any more love, and probably rightly so, given the way FD are developing ED.
All fair points. However, all of my research indicated that many of my suggestions would require minimal time (comparatively) and most resources can be used with stuff that's in the game already.

I know it's super low on the priority list. But, even if they add bots, that would improve a ton.
 
Just saying, it would have been much more profitable to contact someone from the CQC gang and ask, discuss and talk about your idea and incorporate it to the already existing ones (or add the existing ones to yours) so CQC can act as a group instead as individuals OR/AND make a solid request to FD instead of random single person posts.

Having random people that don't play a mode (or the game at all) keeping with suggestions on how this modes could be improved etc feels unorganised.

You have my support tho ;)
You are 100% correct! I should have gone to the CQC (Arena) groups and asked around. I didn't, mostly because I didn't think of that (stupid, I know, especially given my usual ability to tap groups for advice), and partially because I wasn't aware that any still existed.

Since you know these guys and gals, would you please forward the thread for people to post? The more traction that a thread gets, the more likely FDev will pay attention. I'd appreciate it if you did.

You still can launch CQC from the main game too, play > arena (instead of open/solo/etc..)..
I think what people are saying is to put a link to CQC into open/priva- oh... I see what ya did there...
 
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Interesting post.

Ive often wondered why the Spaceship manufacturers or Powerplayers don't sponsor teams in CqC that you could join.

I used to play CqC on a Friday night for an hour or two some time ago and I enjoyed it. Like most things elite Frontier do quite a poor job of promoting their hard work. Please listen and take note FD.
 
Give up with CQC, and do what should have been done in the first place, bring fighter based gameplay into the core game.


Right now, why can't I undertake a mission to defend a location from attack? When I undertake it I holo-me into the location (capitalship/platform etc) in a fighter and get a wing of NPC fighters (which I can give attack this/defend commands to)...

Why can't I use that same mechanic to undertake convoy attack/defend missions with a convoy of ships going from A to B through an asteroid field?

Why can't I use that same mechanic in a CG?

Why can't I use that same mechanic to escort a convoy/defend a platform/defend a ship being repaired against Thargoid scouts?

Why can't I use that same mechanic in Powerplay or an OPEN only CG for a specific task with/against other CMDRs?

Why can't these same mechanics be utilised for Squadron based missions from their Fleet Carriers?
 
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Give up with CQC, and do what should have been done in the first place, bring fighter based gameplay into the core game.


Right now, why can't I undertake a mission to defend a location from attack? When I undertake it I holo-me into the location (capitalship/platform etc) in a fighter and get a wing of NPC fighters (which I can give attack this/defend commands to)...

Why can't I use that same mechanic to undertake convoy attack/defend missions with a convoy of ships going from A to B through an asteroid field?

Why can't I use that same mechanic in a CG?

Why can't I use that same mechanic to escort a convoy/defend a platform/defend a ship being repaired against Thargoid scouts?

Why can't I use that same mechanic in Powerplay or an OPEN only CG for a specific task with/against other CMDRs?

Why can't these same mechanics be utilised for Squadron based missions from their Fleet Carriers?
why can't you just play CQC?
 
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