Request for a SINGLE Solar System with sophisticated AI NPC flight model

To the Dear DEVS and to whomever it may concern,

I would like to put in a request for a single solar system in the bubble that would be home to NPCs that fly skillfully with well thought-out loadouts. If this has been requested before, please forgive the redundancy.

Currently all the NPCs seem to have a very similar, if not identical flight style, regardless of the build. The builds also seem to be, to me, often as if the code filled out, for example, utility slots by random sampling drawing from the bag of possible utilities, without regards to the type of ship / build.

I would like to have one system where the NPCs are very tough, have PVP loadouts and sophisticated flight models that take advantage of the particular build (tailoring the flight model to the build may be a tall order, but it would make this game even more sublime imho).

I would be more than happy to die in my pvp outfitted mamba/krait/fdl at the hands of a similarly fitted NPC and learn from the experience to advance my FAOFF skills at the same time.

I would love to have to use all my skills to follow the wakes and pirate an NPC trader who is well protected (prismatic shields, SCBs, ...).

In the flying tank that is my trader cutter I would love to get ganked by advanced NPC pirates (PAs / feedback rails / grom bombs), ... , possibly to have to drop enough cargo to keep them busy to let me escape, or to face their wrath. And if(!) I reach the destination station, I would have a sense of accomplishment.

And while some of the PVPers, gankers, do pick up the slack for this, instancing, lag, differing schedules often hamper the experience.

I am not asking you, FDEV, to change the game for all the PVE players.

I am asking for one(!) system to live up to 'dangerous' in 'Elite: Dangerous'. Just one (although I think multiple anarchy systems like this would add liveliness to the galaxy).

(Please, no posts such as 'this game is too hard already' or 'fly a vanilla build to make your own challenge', I heard them all, considered your input, and again, asking for just one system to provide a challenge).
 
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Imagine NPCs scaling to the security level of the system and / or government type.

Imagine supercruise being tough to navigate because you're pledged to another faction/power and you're seen as hostile in system.

Imagine the Empire being after you, cos you sold a load of weapons to secessionists.

Oh, you can't because NPC threat levels are a joke.
 
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Imagine NPCs scaling to the security level of the system and / or government type.

Imagine supercruise being tough to navigate because you're pledged to another faction/power and you're seen as hostile in system.

Imagine the Empire being after you, cos you sold a load of weapons to secessionists.

Oh, you can't because NPC threat levels are a joke.
And they are deliberately so. Back in patch 2.1 (?) the AI was really really good. Sadly, a lot of people didn't agree so they rolled it back.
They are capable of programming skillful npc's, a large part of the playerbase just doesn't seem to want that 🤷‍♂️
 
Imagine NPCs scaling to the security level of the system and / or government type.
Given how much I love ED flight model, I would pay for this 'extension' even though I have the lifetime extension pass lol (and would not expect anyone else to follow and do not advocate for, or wish to derail the conversation towards this direction)
 
Well If lookin for challenge in the meanwhile time, could pull a move from that home alone movie. (* go to a community goal system and type "over here 07" ) Might get few helpful volunteers. Maybe
:) Agreed. I've been engaging in some pvp (organic, occasional) for 2 years, pretty much getting my behind handed to me every time. But in the first year, I learned some boost flip FAOFF and started using PAs, now I can now land and fly FAOFF exclusively, rugged, ugly but the experience is liberating. Initially I would fly ships that were able to escape from FDLs / Chieftains / whatever and would wake when things got hot. That was part of the challenge. Then started to stay in fight longer and longer to allow for more and more spectacular 'me-boom', and with certain pvpers I have no issue getting blown up anytime. Frankly, I feel like a just retired veteran who cashed out and needs help how best to spend all the hard earned cash. Soon I may never wake out lol.
 
There's already a system that should fit the bill, but isn't mechanically much different to a normal one - Shinrata Dezhra. The dominant faction there is the Pilot's Federation, but only those that are Elite ranked are permitted to enter, so surely the average NPC in that system should be equivalent to the top-end players?

In general though, I feel that the galaxy should account for a much wider range of encounter difficulties depending on player behaviour and location.
 
Currently all the NPCs seem to have a very similar, if not identical flight style, regardless of the build. The builds also seem to be, to me, often as if the code filled out, for example, utility slots by random sampling drawing from the bag of possible utilities, without regards to the type of ship / build.

I would like to have one system where the NPCs are very tough, have PVP loadouts and sophisticated flight models that take advantage of the particular build (tailoring the flight model to the build may be a tall order, but it would make this game even more sublime imho).
Why not just PvP?
 
Imagine NPCs scaling to the security level of the system and / or government type.

Imagine supercruise being tough to navigate because you're pledged to another faction/power and you're seen as hostile in system.

Imagine the Empire being after you, cos you sold a load of weapons to secessionists.

Oh, you can't because NPC threat levels are a joke.
Consequences and danger in Elite Dangerous? Madness!
 
It's not a bad suggestion but I think you might be waiting until such time as Navies are fully fleshed out, or some kind of reason why the NPC's in one system should be buffed .. as in that case the rest of the galaxy is relatively nerfed .. emerges.

You'd be better off in the meanwhile flying an eagle, giving cover to traders, getting into scrapes that find you up against high end wings or extend your interest into anti-xeno or something.

I'm dealing in rare artworks at the moment, not for the money but for the craic (they have to be laundered). ED isn't an out and out shooter though so once you've maxed one skill, for a happier life you're best off learning to be expert in something else. In your case that could be something that brings you into conflict with NPC's but needs you to carry cargo and point defence to protect it, so your ship is not able to be maxed out.

Something else you can do is name yourself a base station (or faction) and call that the only place you're allowed repairs, a series of small dogfights and things start to get tense. Sure that 'artificial' but it's also making your skills useful to a faction or to the galaxy in some way.
 
Sometimes I do, I have been. I do not see any reason why one should exclude the other and versatility cannot hurt this game.
I don't see this as a purposeful exclusion but rather a limitation of technology - it's difficult to make an NPC AI that mimics a human pilot. Now I don't think it's impossible, and I definitely think AI in ED needs a rework. Right now NPC AI feels like it's simulating an autopilot rather than human beings with different personalities and professions and tactics. I'm not sure who is in charge of AI these days, but I think there is merit (especially as NPCs get their own "space legs") in building artificial people who fly ships rather than building NPC ships that fly themselves.

This should be game-wide, not just one system. Now if you're looking for those extra hard NPCs based on their G5 meta engineering builds, well you can find those in CZs and level 6 and greater pirate USS. I will argue that for every Elite G5 ganker NPC there should be a few noob "just getting started in the world" NPCs for the rest of us.
 
To the Dear DEVS and to whomever it may concern,

I would like to put in a request for a single solar system in the bubble that would be home to NPCs that fly skillfully with well thought-out loadouts. If this has been requested before, please forgive the redundancy.

Currently all the NPCs seem to have a very similar, if not identical flight style, regardless of the build. The builds also seem to be, to me, often as if the code filled out, for example, utility slots by random sampling drawing from the bag of possible utilities, without regards to the type of ship / build.

I would like to have one system where the NPCs are very tough, have PVP loadouts and sophisticated flight models that take advantage of the particular build (tailoring the flight model to the build may be a tall order, but it would make this game even more sublime imho).

I would be more than happy to die in my pvp outfitted mamba/krait/fdl at the hands of a similarly fitted NPC and learn from the experience to advance my FAOFF skills at the same time.

I would love to have to use all my skills to follow the wakes and pirate an NPC trader who is well protected (prismatic shields, SCBs, ...).

In the flying tank that is my trader cutter I would love to get ganked by advanced NPC pirates (PAs / feedback rails / grom bombs), ... , possibly to have to drop enough cargo to keep them busy to let me escape, or to face their wrath. And if(!) I reach the destination station, I would have a sense of accomplishment.

And while some of the PVPers, gankers, do pick up the slack for this, instancing, lag, differing schedules often hamper the experience.

I am not asking you, FDEV, to change the game for all the PVE players.

I am asking for one(!) system to live up to 'dangerous' in 'Elite: Dangerous'. Just one (although I think multiple anarchy systems like this would add liveliness to the galaxy).

(Please, no posts such as 'this game is too hard already' or 'fly a vanilla build to make your own challenge', I heard them all, considered your input, and again, asking for just one system to provide a challenge).
The problem for me with your suggestion is why are these NPCs only in one system when interstellar travel is easy?
 
And they are deliberately so. Back in patch 2.1 (?) the AI was really really good. Sadly, a lot of people didn't agree so they rolled it back.
They are capable of programming skillful npc's, a large part of the playerbase just doesn't seem to want that 🤷‍♂️

No, it was not. What we had in 2.1 actually were two different things:

1. A small upgrade to NPCs, which made them different, but not really better. They indeed retreated out of range when their shields went down, stayed out of range till the shield recharged, then attacked again. Not that it was any realistic, even if their hull was down to 3% and most of their modules heavily damaged, they returned to attack.

The only actual effect of this behaviour was that combat very tedious when the NPCs ship was faster than the players ship. People started to write forum postings while in combat in the game. (So yes, as i was still a dedicated Imperial Courier pilot at that time, this change did not really affect me, but anybody in a medium ship reported plenty of "very realistic" phases of waiting for an almost destroyed target to return to be shot down. )

2. A bug, where NPC weapons got some really strange combinations at some time. E.g. the Multi-Cannon where every single shot was a railgun shot, which indeed resulted in very fast kills. This still today fuels the myth of the oh-so-powerful NPC AI of that time.

Merely a few days after the patch went life, both the "retreat, recharge, attack again" cycle and the weapon bug were both fixed in the same patch. And as both things were introduced in the same big patch and were eliminated a few days later, there's plenty of people around who up to this day seem to be unable to distinguish between the two effects and still think it was the time where the AI was so good that NPCs were dangerous...
 
Now I don't think it's impossible, and I definitely think AI in ED needs a rework.

In contrast, i think that within the scope of a computer game, it basically is impossible. As long as the enemies behaviour is "scipted" in any way, we human pilots will simply learn on what the NPC does and adopt. Some might be faster, some like me might take a bit longer, but we all do so in the run of time.

We could of course put some deep blue level system behind it, storing all moves it ever made and evaluating it against the success rate at the end. Given enough processing power, it might indeed be possible to create an undefeatable AI, or at least one which the player it trained again could not defeat any more. But setting up something like that costs serious money. And if i had the choice, i rather have affordable programed AI and more content.
 
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