[Suggestion] CQC : Duel mode

So CQC has been struggling to attract players for some time now right.. why is this? Here's what I think the problems are:

1. It detracts from in-game progress

Because of the huge grind walls in Elite, many players feel as though if they are not working towards their goals, they are wasting time. If they were to spend time playing CQC instead of say, unlocking that Imperial Cutter, gathering materials so they can engineer their FDL or earning credits for that next purchase - they probably would feel like they have missed an opportunity to progress.

2. You cannot use the ships you have spent so much time working on

If you have spent countless hours engineering that perfect FAS, you're probably not going to want to log into CQC and fly a generic fighter about, as fun as they are to fly. A PvP orientated player will want to be using his/her engineered ship - for practice as well as the fun of it. You don't learn about mods & loadouts flying in CQC where the weapons and rules are different to the main game.

3. The community perception of a dead mode

Talk about CQC on the forum, Reddit or Discord and most players will tell you that it is dead. A few enthusiasts will tell you about the amazing game they had the other night, but generally most players will complain of not being able to match-make with any other players after waiting for ages in the lobby.

4. No spectator mode

CQC is supposed to be the Elite universes e-sport right? You'd expect there to be an ability to watch other matches.

5. No league tables

Arena modes should always have league table(s) of some kind to show how you compare to other players. Due to the nature of Elite: Dangerous, player notoriety has always been a key part of the community - not having league tables is another open goal missed.

6. Lack of bots (not sure about this one)

Many players think that adding NPC's to CQC will help make it popular again. I do not actually agree with this, because with the first 2 issues I mentioned above would still work against it. NPC's are probably not suitable for an arena mode anyway - previous AI upgrades have proven they're either too easy to beat or impossibly difficult. Also remember that FDev tends to give the AI the ability to cheat to make it harder. Would we really want that in CQC?


Solution : CQC Duel mode

The creation of the PvP hub has shown us that there is a real demand for an organised duel system within the game. CQC could be a great way to enhance this side of the game, if the following mode was implemented:

1. Duel challenge option

When in the game, a player could send a duel request to any player they encounter or ones that are on their friends list. It would work like a multicrew request, with both players being taken to the CQC duel lobby on acceptance. The same request could also be issued to other wings (wing vs wing duel).

2. Duelers would use their own ships

Instead of using throwaway fighters, players would use their actual in-game ships to duel with. This means all mods, special effects etc (exactly how they are in the main game). The only difference would be that FSD drives would be disabled for obvious reasons (meaning all duels would be to the death!). Rebuys would not apply to a death so it would be an excellent way for players to compare builds, mods, skill and practice without credit loss.

3. PvP league

There could be a player league table based upon wins/losses that is specific only to duel (not including standard CQC). This would be the best index of PvP skill the game could have. A separate table for general CQC could also be made.

4. Squadron matches

Once squadrons arrive, they could be connected to CQC duels with squadron matches and league tables. Squadrons could challenge other groups for the PvP bragging rights. The league table would show who the best PvP squadrons are week to week.

5. No CQC specific features

Features unique to CQC would not be used, such as: Power-ups, line-of-sight sensors, reduced gimball arcs, respawns & time-limits. Other than the four maps, no FSD or rebuy cost - the fights would be like they are in the main game. Synthing would be limited to level 1, and player material stock would be what they have in the main-game, pre-fight.

6. Duel Rewards

Winning ranked duels would provide players with random high-grade (grades 4 and 5) materials and a variable amount of credits (depending on league rank of your beaten opponents).

Every kill you get would also provide you with an 'Ace' pin which varies in design/status depending on the combat/CQC rank of the opponent killed. Ace pins would be viewable in the main game on the ship scan screen. Losing ranked matches would reduce your CQC rank and league table position (there has to be a negative side to counter potential friend-kill material farming).

7. Spectator mode

Other players would be able to spectate matches using a viewable match list and the camera suite + a spectator overlay that shows the status of all players in the fight. Caveat being that when a player goes cool or silent, their overlay would say 'tracking lost' and camera tracking would stop working until they are warm enough again. This would be to stop spectators helping competitors too much via out of game comms.

8. CQC Duel options

There could be the following options for duel mode:

  • Ranked & unranked matches (for league table rank/rewards or not..)
  • 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 or variable wings
  • Small ships max, Medium ships max, Medium ships only, Medium ships min, Large ships min, Specific ship(s) or Any ship
  • Spectated or non-spectated
  • Specific CQC map
  • Engineering enabled/disabled
  • Synthesis enabled/disabled
I think these suggestions would help get CQC going again rather than simply adding bots to the current implementation.

Note to mods: Could I request this not be moved out of the suggestions subforum please, thanks!
 
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There could be the following options for duel mode:

  • Ranked & unranked matches (for league table rank/rewards or not..)
  • 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 or variable wings
  • Small ships max, Medium ships max, Medium ships min, Large ships min, Specific ship or Any ship
  • Spectated or non-spectated
  • Specific CQC map
  • Engineering enabled/disabled
i would add medium ships only, and a synth on/off toggle to this, but i do like the idea.
and/orr be able to pick and chose which o all ships are on/off
 
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i would add medium ships only, and a synth on/off toggle to this, but i do like the idea.
and/orr be able to pick and chose which o all ships are on/off
Ah yes, sorry I meant to put a medium ships only mode in there. Synth on/off would also be a good idea.

I guess the specific ship types could fall under 'specific ship'.. I'll edit that.

Cheers
 
Just to chime in about point 6 - bots. Bots would help with the most painful thing in CQC – empty lobbies. Many times players miss timeslots where there are several people available for match. Bots would keep players occupied for a bit of time, and that time would be spend actually playing the game, not just waiting and waiting. CQC bots would also help noobs [like me] to train a bit of combat manoeuvres without worrying about the losses. But the most important thing bots would bring is definitely helping with the wait time.
 
I made a post recently about wing missions which sort of could apply to this too. What I find is there's no way to know, while docked at a station or seeing CMDR's fly by, if they're up for wing missions. And this would be similar about CQC. How do I know, without typing in local chat asking if someone wants to wing up, or CQC. It'd be great if we could set an icon, or icons, indicating if we're interested in CQC...at least that gets the ball rolling.

NPC's would help CQC, Wing missions, Multi-crew. When I do combat, isn't that against NPC's? Now that I think of it, NPC's have always helped generate interest in combat missions and combat missions have always received the most attention from FDev. Hmmmm.
 
+1
No one would come to ED for pure competitiveness. And in WoW with same reasoning.
Competitive /= hardcore.
And Blizz trying to make arenas competitive by tearing them away from gearing variety, brought them to all-time record decline.

2. Duelers would use their own ships
Do just that, and I'll be spamming "find match" button most of weekday evenings. Rest are details.
 
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Just to chime in about point 6 - bots. Bots would help with the most painful thing in CQC – empty lobbies. Many times players miss timeslots where there are several people available for match. Bots would keep players occupied for a bit of time, and that time would be spend actually playing the game, not just waiting and waiting. CQC bots would also help noobs [like me] to train a bit of combat manoeuvres without worrying about the losses. But the most important thing bots would bring is definitely helping with the wait time.
The thing is the lobbies wouldn't be empty if people could duel in their own ships (and you'd also be able to match-make in the main game).. the demand would go up, and therefore bots would be redundant.

Personally I'm not interested in fighting more NPC's.. you can do that pretty much everywhere in the main game.
 
In addition there should be certain rewards in CQC that pertain to the main game. Winning materials or credits could prove well.

Group queue and solo queue competitive leaderboards should be a must, to show the best groups and best solo pilots.

FD endorsed competition for skins / decals / stuff every end of a competitive cycle.

A big problem though is that in reality it's an arena shooter and some weapons are just behind a level wall that give you a huge boost, these should be compressed collectively into a smaller level spread and then let players queue for a competitive mode once they have all the unlocks so that everyone's at an equal playfield. Also arena shooters are kinda dying lol.
 
A big problem though is that in reality it's an arena shooter and some weapons are just behind a level wall that give you a huge boost, these should be compressed collectively into a smaller level spread
Most of the decent weapons are already available at very low levels - a skilled player can go from L1 to L20 in a few hours if they can find the matches, and that gets you access to basically everything you need. Is there anything in particular you have in mind as overpowered?

The gap between an L1 Condor and the 'meta' loadouts is pretty small. I can't think of any alternative item which counts as a "huge boost" - most beginners just think there is one because they're not using pips to strengthen their shields so assume the reason they're dying faster is because the high level players have access to really good stuff.

Pretty much everything is either a sidegrade or a downgrade. Giving L1 players access to everything would stop a lot of complaints ... and make stomping them easier because they'd be more likely to have picked an utterly unsuitable loadout while the experts can fly their personal favourite every time.
 
Wow, Lateralus, I think you've nailed it! Great OP, man.

One wrinkle - though not necessarily all bad:

There could be a player league table based upon wins/losses that is specific only to duel (not including standard CQC). This would be the best index of PvP skill the game could have.
Actually, as of now, it would be a pretty terrible index of player skill but potentially a very good index of which is the best build. Currently the optimal builds in a medium ship 1v1 (which is pretty much all I do) are very low skill (and I should know, as I abuse all hell out of them).

But your idea could help: if the game displayed accurate 'build tables' I think many unfamiliar with duelling (and perhaps some who are) would be shocked at how dumbed-down things have got, about what really works and what doesn't, and reform, i.e. progress towards a better balanced game, that is more encouraging of using more demanding builds, could be accelerated.

Here's hoping.

Anyways, +1
 
Wow, Lateralus, I think you've nailed it! Great OP, man.

One wrinkle - though not necessarily all bad:



Actually, as of now, it would be a pretty terrible index of player skill but potentially a very good index of which is the best build. Currently the optimal builds in a medium ship 1v1 (which is pretty much all I do) are very low skill (and I should know, as I abuse all hell out of them).

But your idea could help: if the game displayed accurate 'build tables' I think many unfamiliar with duelling (and perhaps some who are) would be shocked at how dumbed-down things have got, about what really works and what doesn't, and reform, i.e. progress towards a better balanced game, that is more encouraging of using more demanding builds, could be accelerated.

Here's hoping.

Anyways, +1
Thanks!

That's a fair point re the low-skill builds, but I agree - using a system like this would make it easier for Frontier to see/test what the most OP builds are. It would also be great for people who wish to get into quick PvP 1v1's without having to curb-crawl at CGs (or worry about gank wings showing up mid-fight)..
 
The OP's ideas really need to be put to the forefront.
If you are a poverty stricken combat mad pilot, CQC is a godsend.
However, there are improvements that could make it so much better and Lateralus has great suggestions. Being able to duel formally in your ship of choice under specified conditions would really help evolve piloting skills as well as ship building/theory crafting.

CQC and PvP both suffer because they seem to be so mutually exclusive.


I do have one suggestion. Practice bots available; ideally whose capabilities we would be able to tweak. Once again, for practice only.
 
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