Please define "content" and "gameplay"

So, yesterday we had a very exhaustive preview of some of the upcoming new features of ED. For a single day I was happy to see a relaxed atmosphere here on the dangerous forums. Many happy threads raising everywhere gave me a feeling of peace. Today I fired my browser just to find (again) many new threads about lack of content and bad gameplay despite FD is giving us, step by step, tons over tons of new things to do every time that we log in, plus a continuous work on fixing and tweaking.

So, what am I missing here? is there something as a veteran gamer I'm struggling to catch? why people keep whining about half finished things, no content, shallow gameplay and so on?
Probably power play, exploration, a gazillion of solar systems, piracy, bounty hunting, PVP, stock trading, mission running, player driven content, roleplaying, character creator, multicrew, wings, BGS, ship outfitting, aliens, planetary landing, communication, first person flight model, external and internal cameras, rare goods trading, mining, puzzles, native virtual reality, smuggling, storyline, news & journalism.... are not game content and gameplay, but a mirage. Something that only lives in our bugged heads.

I play and played a hundreds of games in my life (I started in late 1980's) and except for rare masterworks like the ultima series, the elder scrolls and eve online I never (never!) found something like elite dangerous. It has the potential to become an infinite ever growing experience.

At this point I surrender and I kindly ask you modern gamers what's your definition of "content" and "gameplay". Please define those terms and help me to understand the true meaning of your posts. Maybe all this daily threads will start to make sense to me and maybe someone from Frontier will suddenly understand that they are on the wrong road to happiness and success and avoid to waste their energy, while trying to make us happy for 100-500-1000 hours of our miserably short lives.

An old forum dad.
JJ
 
I think it is a question of priorities. Personally I don't give a hoot about the commander creator but it doesn't offend me. I would prefer they put their development effort elsewhere but that's just me.
 
I think you're bringing up a common misconception. I'm struggling to understand complaints in the right context too.
I'll take a guess.
- Some people will refer to "content" as "things for me to find ingame, things I can do". While we're technically getting new 'content' aka shiptypes, holo-me personas, socialising through crew.
I'm not familiar with the proper English definition for content, but it may have different meaning to people in these two contexts.

Tuesday we saw a TECH-Demo.
Thursday we'll see another tech-demonstration.

The point is, we'll have to wait for 2.3 Beta / release to discover the 'content'.
FD wont list all the missions they add. That's for us, the player, to discover.
As for new 'alient content & gameplay'; It's a close guarded secret until releas.

So personally I do not quite understand complaints regarding 'missing content' unless people are a bit more specific.

Anyone having something more specific perhaps?
 
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So, yesterday we had a very exhaustive preview of some of the upcoming new features of ED. For a single day I was happy to see a relaxed atmosphere here on the dangerous forums. Many happy threads raising everywhere gave me a feeling of peace. Today I fired my browser just to find (again) many new threads about lack of content and bad gameplay despite FD is giving us, step by step, tons over tons of new things to do every time that we log in, plus a continuous work on fixing and tweaking.

So, what am I missing here? is there something as a veteran gamer I'm struggling to catch? why people keep whining about half finished things, no content, shallow gameplay and so on?
Probably power play, exploration, a gazillion of solar systems, piracy, bounty hunting, PVP, stock trading, mission running, player driven content, roleplaying, character creator, multicrew, wings, BGS, ship outfitting, aliens, planetary landing, communication, first person flight model, external and internal cameras, rare goods trading, mining, puzzles, native virtual reality, smuggling, storyline, news & journalism.... are not game content and gameplay, but a mirage. Something that only lives in our bugged heads.

I play and played a hundreds of games in my life (I started in late 1980's) and except for rare masterworks like the ultima series, the elder scrolls and eve online I never (never!) found something like elite dangerous. It has the potential to become an infinite ever growing experience.

At this point I surrender and I kindly ask you modern gamers what's your definition of "content" and "gameplay". Please define those terms and help me to understand the true meaning of your posts. Maybe all this daily threads will start to make sense to me and maybe someone from Frontier will suddenly understand that they are on the wrong road to happiness and success and avoid to waste their energy, while trying to make us happy for 100-500-1000 hours of our miserably short lives.

An old forum dad.
JJ
you can have tons and tons and TONS of things to do but if all those things aren't involving, interactive, dynamic, complex (Im not saying difficult), with different ways to do the same thing, don't have substance and are "short" and Im not talking about time but the things to do to achieve something, then the game has no gameplay and/or content.

Thats what Elite lacks and what a part of the community ask for a change. The graphics are nice as the sound, the commander creator is nice but the core of the game, trading, combat, mining, exploration are lacking in depth, complexity and for me thats REALLY boring.
For me the mechanics are 80% of a game. The mechanics are a huge part of the gameplay and we don't have almost mechanics here, I mean mechanics with complexity.

Elite is supposed to be about flying a spaceship but I feel like a stupid flying in this game, throttle and point straight. The scanning mechanic is a joke, just point and wait, the landing is super easy. The mechanics of the game are a joke and very stupid and simplistic.

I don't understand how poeple can't see this. Do people go to explore or mine? How people don't realise how stupid the mechanics are? The game could be so much more complex and deep.

Gameplay is the interaction with the game.
Content is the thing you interact with, is more general and could involve gameplay for some people.
 
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I'll agree with you on potential but creating a toon isn't what I would call gameplay or content, it just gives more potential. Multiplayer pew pew gives some gameplay to those that want it but nothing else.

I've spent days eyeballing a planet for a base and while it's nice alien ruins are easily found, I would have preferred breadcrumbs to all persistent POIs rather than insta-find for 1 and don't consider either good gameplay.

Content is slowly growing but finding it or it not being bugged are both issues.

And that's from somebody who has been gaming since the early 80s when the vic20 came out.

I accept that it's a game in development but they need to think about all professions equally, fix what is there before moving on to the next thing that they think will attract new players, and remember that what will keep the game going for 10 years plus is a loyal player base that enjoy playing all the time rather than those just after a quick fix before something else grabs their attention
 
At this point I surrender and I kindly ask you modern gamers what's your definition of "content" and "gameplay". Please define those terms and help me to understand the true meaning of your posts.
re: Content

The problem with Elite is that it's a mile (lightyear?) wide and an inch deep. This boils down to procedural generation of everything. Missions, planets, NPCs (within reason) are all based on a random number somewhere. What this means is that everything starts to look the same after a while.

Lemme explain. Have you ever played the game Borderlands? It's a first person shooter that has, among other things, a lot of different guns. They're generated randomly. In Borderlands, you have the general type (pistol/smg/etc), its stats (randomized with respect to its level), and then a set of attributes are applied such as explosive ammo, elemental effects, bullets per shot, and so on. This means that one gun might be an electric shotgun with a wide spread, another might be a corrosive SMG that shoots two shots per trigger pull, and so on.

Yes, strictly speaking, this means Borderlands has millions of different unique guns.

Borderlands has a lot of different guns in the same way that Elite has a lot of unique things to do.

After a while though, you start seeing the patterns. And once you see the patterns, the "zillions of combinations" magic wears off quickly.

Let's talk about missions They all break down to a small handful of archetypes. Variations on killing something, variations on hauling something. While the details might differ, the overall archetypes are very limited.

Here's what the gameplay loop looks like for a "kill stuff" mission

(In base) → Accept mission → Go to location → Deal with any "wrinkles" that were injected like hostile NPCs → Wait until timer expires → Drive around until NPC spawns → Shoot NPC until it dies → Pick up any cargo it dropped if necessary → Return to base

That pipeline looks the same no matter what the target of the assassination is. Killing a pirate lord for the local authorities plays the same way as killing the authorities for the pirate lord. for the In fact, you can almost get away with not reading the mission details, because they are almost irrelevant save for the target and location. You are still doing the above.

What this means is that a person with a small amount of effort could construct a flowchart describing every available mission in the game to a high degree of accuracy. The details are for the most part, fluff. They don't actually affect how you play the game.

What this boils down to is a lack of content. The content consists of a small handful of mission archetypes that play out the same way every time. Having a lot of content would mean the pipeline looks different, not that the fluff text for the same actions changes.
 
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Powerplay: An utterly incomprehensible mess. The only reason to do it is the modules.
Exploration: As barebones as they come and not in any way lucrative compared to other playstyles.
Gazillion systems: Nice, (i absolutely love Elite's sense of scale) but not gameplay. Gameplay is the thing in the box, the galaxy IS the box.
Piracy: PVP only. Nuff said.
Bounty hunting: It's combat, which is probably the one thing Elite does very, very well.
PVP: Ditto, but useless to PVE and Solo players.
Stock Trading: Errr...there's a stock market? Or do you just mean trading? It's...ok, if a bit barebones. You want to know what kind of depth traders want? Look at the DDF.
Mission running: Good to begin with, when you're going for your first Cobra. After that it's same old same old, except now you have to stack and relog just to make payouts worth your while when you're aiming for that 150 mil Conda PP.
Roleplaying: Not gameplay. You can Roleplay Tetris if you want. What you do with your imagination is your business.
Character creator: Not gameplay, just a bit of extra customization. Are ship kits and paintjobs gameplay?
Multicrew: Massively downgraded from what it was originally intended to be. Only new feature is manning turrets. Useless to Solo players.
Wings: No co op missions or guild support. Unreliable instancing. Useless to Solo players.
BGS: An utterly incomprehensible mess with no real benefits other than getting your chosen faction in control, which amounts to diddly squat.
Outfitting: Ok, i guess. Think you're reaching here, but ok.
Aliens: So far amounts to a bunch of copy paste ruins, a few crash sites, and a fancy (if awesome) cutscene. Come back when we can actually interact with them. This is 2 years after release, btw.
Planetary landings: Barebones. Nothing to do apart from finding POI's for a piddly bit of cash and taking screenshots.
Communication: The chat window is not gameplay.
Flight model: Ok. It's literally the most basic thing the game needs to do, but ok.
Cameras: Not gameplay.
Rare goods trading: See trading above.
Smuggling: Same, except you run the risk of a fine. Oh, and it's pathetically easy.
Mining: Ok, but i'm not a miner. Perhaps someone who is can tell you what's wrong with it.
Puzzles: Fine for the ultra dedicated Canonn lot with their spectrometers and PKE meters and other out of game tools. Not so much for the rest of us.
VR: Nice for those who have the equipment for it. Useless to Xbox players. Not gameplay.
Storyline: Glacial doesn't even begin to describe it.
News: I assume you mean Galnet? It's a nice bit of dressing, but one they kinda need to have since it's the game's only way of telling you the storyline. Also only updated a couple times a week with actual news. Terrible layout. Too much garbage update posts clogging it up.
 
content, are the things I can do in a game

gamepaly is how much I can do mechanic wise with the content in a game, so what I can play in the game, thats why the term gameplay exists. And that's why visual customisation is content, but not gameplay. But for example, Pong has a rather simple gameplay, you just move bars up and down.

ED has alot content, but a not so well done implementation which leads to a rather shallow and repetitive gameplay. especially the core components like trading, economy and Powerplay. Battlestuff and ship equipment customisation is aside form balance actually quite decent
 
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I think of game play being diverse mechanics providing different ways to do a similar task. The Depth. The things a player can be absorbed in, enguaged with, interesting game elements to captivate a player.

Content is the art on the walls. The appearance of objects. The presence of objects. Mostly the things that are not game play.


I'm sure there are many ways to look at these aspects.

Good Question. I hope others chime in. It may help all understand what others try to convey.
 
This is a discussion forum about a computer game - commenters are required by internet-gaming law to make negative postings about the game. Imagine how boring it would be if there was no discussion and discussions simply require different positions in discussions otherwise it wouldn't be a discussion, it would be a nice conversation with tea and biscuits (in that case non British humanoids would probably start a discussion about how to have a nice conversation as tea and biscuits aren't part of any civilization capable of a civilized and nice conversation).

Now, for those who managed to read up to this point without commenting very angrily and very un-politely about tea and biscuits and their important role in civilization (come on, fermented - rotted - tea?), I will offer definitions for "content" and "gameplay".

"Content": everybody else in the game. You might ask why not just call everybody else "everybody else", but that would require to accept that there are other humans playing this game and many humans have problems with making other humans unhappy. That's why humans are very creative to come up with euphemisms like "soft target" or "content".
Boring humans will probably argue that "content" are the parts of the game that the player can interact with.

"gameplay": short form for "legit gameplay". It's doing things to the "content" while knowing that the "content" won't be happy about it. That makes the player unhappy and therefore a new word is created: "legit gameplay".
Some boring and very undiscussionist participants will probably call some activity loops "gameplay". Small game atoms that, put on the string of game related actions from a necklace of "gameplay"-atoms that makes up a game session.

[hehe]
 
Content I would describe as events like the Formidine Rift and the ancient ruins, but without all of the bugs and padding using brute-force gameplay (manually searching planet surfaces inch by inch, anyone?)

Also the poor Formidine Rift guys... Some of them have been out there since early 2015 searching before FDev finally decided to throw them a bone.... That's just sick....

Gameplay is simple. Put something interactive where we currently don't interact with the game.

Exploration? Jump, Honk, Scoop. This is not interactive. It's not gameplay. There is no Exploration gameplay.

Give us probes that we manually control to scan planets. Actively controlling probes is gameplay, flying from planet to planet and waiting for a timer to count down is not.

Give us permanent procedurally generated landmarks that we are rewarded for finding. Make searching planets rewarding, not merely an exercise for taking in the scenery and shooting rocks to feed to the Engineers/our ship.

Give star systems unique characteristics that make them special and reward us for finding them. A binary Neutron Star/black hole pair orbiting a Class O should not be worth the same as a Neutron Star, a Class O star, and a Black Hole each found individually. Rare finds like this should be treated differently and given unique characteristics to make them stand out from the crowd of hundreds of billions of other stars.


Etc... Just to use Exploration as an example. Gameplay means adding elements to the game that demand the players' attention and skill, basically.
 
you can have tons and tons and TONS of things to do but if all those things aren't involving, interactive, dynamic, complex (Im not saying difficult), with different ways to do the same thing, don't have substance and are "short" and Im not talking about time but the things to do to achieve something, then the game has no gameplay and/or content.

Thats what Elite lacks and what a part of the community ask for a change. The graphics are nice as the sound, the commander creator is nice but the core of the game, trading, combat, mining, exploration are lacking in depth, complexity and for me thats REALLY boring.
For me the mechanics are 80% of a game. The mechanics are a huge part of the gameplay and we don't have almost mechanics here, I mean mechanics with complexity.

Elite is supposed to be about flying a spaceship but I feel like a stupid flying in this game, throttle and point straight. The scanning mechanic is a joke, just point and wait, the landing is super easy. The mechanics of the game are a joke and very stupid and simplistic.

I don't understand how poeple can't see this. Do people go to explore or mine? How people don't realise how stupid the mechanics are? The game could be so much more complex and deep.

Gameplay is the interaction with the game.
Content is the thing you interact with, is more general and could involve gameplay for some people.
The outfitting and BGS are among the most complex of any game, especially in the genre. You clearly just are not able to comprehend the complexity and to not feel bad about yourself deny its existence. I could right a book on just the Stellar Forge alone. An explanation of the outfitting stats and various loadouts could be the size of any other games entire strategy book, and that's not including engineering. Just because you refuse to acknowledge something doesn't mean its not there. Your denial for example.
 
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Gameplay is the interaction with the game.
Content is the thing you interact with, is more general and could involve gameplay for some people.
^^This coincides with my view^^
The content of ED is the galaxy, the ships, the structures where ships can dock,different types of commodities and weapons.
The gameplay is provided by the mechanics that enable the player to interact with the content.

There is almost infinite content in the game, but the gameplay options are not very diverse.
 
Just like griefers in ED there are griefers on the Forum. I look for the positive threads but being human am often attracted to the negative ones. Some have very good ideas from their limited perspective of how they play the game but many do not. Many who complain will post. Many who don't will not. Don't let the very small percentage of people who actually post negatives on the Forum suggest that they are dominant. It just looks that way. Given 1.7 million in sales the last time I looked and another million+ with the soon to be released PS4 version I don't see them complaining a lot.

With 2.3 there is a hair debate thread with 700+ posts still going up arguing pro and con not being long enough. Is this really a game breaker for some? It is a game not reality. My sister in real life tried long and short hair. It always worked for her given her mood. Get a life or perhaps a new avatar hairdo! It costs nothing in the game versus real life with expensive stylists and maybe one will grow to like it. :)

Debate is healthy and FD does listen. But they are not going to improve the jump range of an FDL just because someone demands it! What works is helping players, positive posts, new ideas, thinking out of the box etc that makes this Forum great. Need some info on outfitting your ship? They will get lots of replies even though a good Forum search using Google will give them tons of info already discussed. I've never seen anything like it.

Asking for content versus gameplay will get a hundred different answers that many won't agree on. Seeing what does and does not work on the Forum is a better solution for me anyway.

Regards
 
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Nobody seems able to understand the question: What is content for YOU? Moaning about what is in the game that you don't like is whining, and not answering the question at all.

Having buildable bases is content, but then 'what do you do with a base'? A waste of development resources without some point to it. Land your ships next to it and then what? And that is a response to this question?

But at least someone tried to provide an answer.

If you don't know what you want ("..They should just make it more interesting to me..") but complain about what is there, you provide absolutely no helpful information about what why and how specific elements of the game should change to increase your enjoyment.
 
Alright, I'm going to do an analysis of one of my favorite parts of this game: Supercruise. What parts do I consider game mechanics, and what parts do I consider content?

Game Mechanics: The relationship between top speed in supercruise, proximity to mass, and your throttle position.

Content: The sound your FSD and ship makes in supercruise. Sources of mass in the game: stars, planets, and moons.

A fun game experience: Successfully threading the needle during a planetary braking maneuver, your FSD screaming in protest from trying to maintain its field, as your ship creaks and moans from the stress of decelerating at your destination in one second, rather than the three minutes most Commanders take.
 
It's simple:

Content = a finite resource, stuff to find/acquire

Examples:

  • alien ruins
  • geysers
  • fumaroles
  • engineer mats
  • planets/surface textures
  • stations
  • all human and alien ships
  • money
  • ranks

Gameplay = an infinite resource, doing stuff with the stuff you find

Examples:

  • jumping geysers
  • expanded repertoire thanks to engineers
  • landing on planets
  • interacting with stations
  • combat and flight mechanics
  • driving
  • racing
  • mining
  • trading
  • exploring
  • BGS
  • gaining skill at all of the above
 
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