Ok, Frontier. It's time to talk.

Greetings,

Last night, my friends and I had 4 encounters with Thargoids. We killed 3, and let the fourth one go (more on that later). Before saying what I want to say, please allow me to preface it by saying that at this point that I've been playing the game since Beta 2 and I have over 3,000 hours logged.

Last night, I saw something that I had never seen before in Elite: The true potential for real PVE combat - and what I have to say about it can be summed up with this: it was damn awesome.

I've been reading forum posts of people questioning what exactly the 2.4 content was. I, like most people, went straight into a non-human USS as soon as my download was finished. I suffered the trek out there in my combat Corvette which is engineered to the teeth and I can honestly say I expected more than what I got on day 1. I was able to "survive" the Thargoid encounter for over 15 minutes with relative ease without being able to do any significant damage to it, and I felt that there must be more to it. When people started questioning the quality and the difficulty of 2.4, and others were telling these people to wait and see, I found myself torn.

On the one hand, Frontier has been teasing this story line for 2.5 years. Shouldn't the Thargoids show up in more of a spectacular flash? There was talk of a full scale invasion and how these were the deadliest things in the galaxy to date. I'm having to travel 400+ LY to go to a USS that will spawn these freshly skinned NPCs that I can't hurt and can easily escape?

On the other hand, for anyone paying attention to what FDEVs were saying for practically eons now, they are doing exactly what they said they would be doing. They want the aliens to feel alien. They said time and time again that you only get one chance to introduce such a thing into a game, so they will be taking their time with it and making it flow more organically than simply saying "Hey. 2.4 is live, guys. Go pew pew them 'goids!" and having them be marginally more difficult than Elite variants of NPCs we already have in game. Both arguments have validity. Both arguments have points. Today, after I calmed down from the encounters of last night, I finally feel ready to comment on where I really do find myself standing with regards to this content.

Frontier, you guys have out done yourselves.

This.
Is.
How.
You.
Do.
It.

Absolutely epic - Everyone who has experienced the encounters has said that Frontier nailed the atmosphere and captured the creepy factor of the aliens pretty much flawlessly. From sound design to visuals, everyone and their brother is singing praise to Frontier from what I've seen even from critics. I'm here to toot a different horn, though. You guys also really nailed the game play, guys.

The Thargoids are radically different from any NPC we've encountered before. A lot of us expected this to be the case, but when I heard that "it has four hearts" from a friend of mine literally the only thing going through my head was "What The ". That's the point that it hit me like a truck, it is essentially a...creature, not a ship. It's alive, and that's so bada**. (Sorry for the excessive swearing, mods. You should have heard me talking last night..)

The encounters are a very very good balance of challenging both mechanically and tactically.

- The concept of having to "exert" a heart to expose it before damaging it is brilliant. I feel like I'm killing some Wolverine-type thing and regular tactics just won't cut it.
- The various attacks of the Thargoid ship, especially that force-lightning crap, are just beautiful. I've never felt so good about taking damage in a game before. Just watching it rock my world was spectacular.
- The notion of having to essentially off-tank the Thargon swarm with a SLF is brilliant.
- The fact that the fight essentially has multiple "phases" that incorporate new mechanics in the form of new weapons and attacks that we need to look out for kept us engaged the entire time. We could really feel the Thargoid got more and more agitated with us.
- The damage model with the breaking off of the pedals hearkens back to the crash sites we saw last year on planetary surfaces and they look sick.
- The caustic cloud that spawns after they die as a final "screw you" really caught us off guard, too. We thought 'Yeah, yellow/green mist. Seen that before. Let's go grab that heart". Boy were we in for a surprise :D

This encounter a legitimate threat that even my super-vette needed help with to even stand a chance, and I just can't describe how happy that makes me feel. We won these encounters by the skin of our teeth, scramming back to station and barely making it. Listening to the Thargoid's dying wails is heart breaking and satisfying at the same time. I can't wait to put the materials and loot to good use.

Add to all that the fact that these are confirmed scout variants of the alien ships...you've got me sold, Frontier. I can't wait to see where you guys take this game. I am along for the ride, through and through. You guys did a phenomenal job with this and I can't wait for what you have planned next. My imagination has been sparked and all I can think of is how cool other variants of ships will behave mechanically.

Speaking of variants, I mentioned that we let one of them go and the reason is because we noticed 4 different symbols next to the words "Cyclopes Variant" on the bottom left panel after scanning for each of our encounters. We've considered that these symbols are something akin to tribal banners and that appear similar, but have subtle differences for sure. One such variant never even shot back at us, despite us bringing its first heart to 50%. We thought it might be a glitch, but the thing was screaming and flashing and the Thargon swarm stayed close to it, it was literally just trying to dodge us with no intention to do combat. I could swear that the regular "screams" of this particular Thargoid sounded...for lack of a better word...sad. We all just felt bad for it, man.

Eventually we decided we didn't want to hurt this one and found one that was more willing to engage us. We spoke about this afterwards and we all came to the same conclusion relatively quickly: that this was an awesome way to design your game.

Aside from all of that you also consider the fact that you don't even need to shoot them as the only means of interacting with them and you've got so much depth that it's almost ridiculous. You can offer them specific items, or you can use your research limpets to grab a sample. What a cool way to introduce them.

I remember sending a message to a friend of mine after we decided to call it for the night telling him that we had killed 3 Thargoids that I had a Thargoid Heart in my cargo hold. His response was "You're making my task of trying to make peace with them much more difficult...". I read the message a few times and thought "damn, he's actually right."

Today my group and I intend to sit down and discuss our official stance regarding the Thargoid threat. Peace, or war. What would you choose?

Hats off, Frontier. I absolutely love each and every one of you guys.
 
Now whilst i agree they look and sound amazing, i still think they are too easy to kill so quickly.

Im not saying they are not a challenge, just the fact that they ARE soloable, only a few days after release, would suggest this big bad technologically advanced alien should be a little tougher, to me at least.

Im going to attempt to solo one tonight in my Annie, quietly confident.

To FD: They look and sound great so well done, but im holding off my official "im impressed" salute until it no longer looks like this war will be over in the next few weeks because so far everything has moved so quickly; it needs to slow down at some point.
 
Now whilst i agree they look and sound amazing, i still think they are too easy to kill so quickly.

Im not saying they are not a challenge, just the fact that they ARE soloable, only a few days after release, would suggest this big bad technologically advanced alien should be a little tougher, to me at least.

Im going to attempt to solo one tonight in my Annie, quietly confident.
Please provide a video of your solo encounter!
 
Now whilst i agree they look and sound amazing, i still think they are too easy to kill so quickly.

Im not saying they are not a challenge, just the fact that they ARE soloable, only a few days after release, would suggest this big bad technologically advanced alien should be a little tougher, to me at least.

Im going to attempt to solo one tonight in my Annie, quietly confident.

To FD: They look and sound great so well done, but im holding off my official "im impressed" salute until it no longer looks like this war will be over in the next few weeks because so far everything has moved so quickly; it needs to slow down at some point.
I've been looking for an excuse for a Battle Python and, well, this is it :)
 
Please provide a video of your solo encounter!
He's right that it has been Solo'ed.

My counter argument is as follows:

For one thing, we found different tribes to have different fight styles/strengths/weaknesses. Some were definitely harder than others. Also, we engaged it each time as a wing. A simple "reverski missile spam" couldn't work with us, because the thing was flying from ship to ship and it can stop on a dime.

This seems like it's something maybe the AI can be written to counter, perhaps?
 
Now FD just need to make the contributions of Thargoid materials to the various CGs actually worthwhile, and there'll actually be reason to go out and do this more.
 
While I hesitantly believe that at the moment the Interceptors are too easy to destroy, I hope that the Cyclops Interceptor is the Thargoid version of a Sidewinder and that there are bigger badder ships coming.

But I agree with the premise of this post, Thargoids essentially, need to be end game content. With the greatest respect I don't care if you have only 30 hours into this game and want to solo these things in a Vulture.

No. These should pose a challenge for those of us with months worth of playtime in the biggest baddest rng'd ships we have.
 
He's right that it has been Solo'ed.

My counter argument is as follows:

For one thing, we found different tribes to have different fight styles/strengths/weaknesses. Some were definitely harder than others. Also, we engaged it each time as a wing. A simple "reverski missile spam" couldn't work with us, because the thing was flying from ship to ship and it can stop on a dime.

This seems like it's something maybe the AI can be written to counter, perhaps?
Best example i have will only make sense to old MMO players, say...WoW..

You know the trash in the raids, not the small AOE ones but the bigger one that needed SOME tactics to kill? I Think the current Goids are like that...And hopefully we'll see big bosses that require more time to defeat, more tactics and more failed attempts. Could be really cool.

I was unaware that the current goid we have has different types and fight slightly dif, if so thats pretty cool.
 
He's right that it has been Solo'ed.

My counter argument is as follows:

For one thing, we found different tribes to have different fight styles/strengths/weaknesses. Some were definitely harder than others. Also, we engaged it each time as a wing. A simple "reverski missile spam" couldn't work with us, because the thing was flying from ship to ship and it can stop on a dime.

This seems like it's something maybe the AI can be written to counter, perhaps?
Also, in the statistics tab this is noted as 'type 1 scout'. What is happening is that we mostly survived their scouts for two whole days, and even killed a few, so we declare Total Victory.

Typical humans.
 
I think i'll be satisfied for the rest of my Thargoid career when i undock from Obsidian Orbital one day and there are 50 Thargoids staring at the station once i get through the grill with a "Now its our turn" look on their face. I dream this day will happen :D.
 
Super post OP.

I had been listening to FD and great to know that they are delivering, let alone what else might be lurking out there.

Makes you wonder though about some people here who could not wait more than a few hours before expressing their disappointment in 2.4. FD may not have always met everyones expectations in the past, but it had been clearly flagged this will be a slow burn. Not the sharpest tools I suspect.

Aps.
 
heck I met three so far ALL not hostile the last one only attacked when I got too near the escape capsule.
 
Best example i have will only make sense to old MMO players, say...WoW..

You know the trash in the raids, not the small AOE ones but the bigger one that needed SOME tactics to kill? I Think the current Goids are like that...And hopefully we'll see big bosses that require more time to defeat, more tactics and more failed attempts. Could be really cool.

I was unaware that the current goid we have has different types and fight slightly dif, if so thats pretty cool.


I really like this.

I, too, come from a heavy WoW background. The fact that we now have NPCs that can compare within Elite brings warm feelings to my cardiovascular chamber.
 
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