Ways in which a Thargoid War could provide content for ALL players, not just combat pilots

So we now know with certainty that 2.4 is Thargoids, and from what Ed said in the livestream they will be hostile, and we will be fighting them:

Ed Lewis said:
You are going to be fighting Thargoids, now if you don't think that's exciting then....I'm not sure, what is.
This statement by Ed in Tuesday’s stream (35 minutes in) bothered me, as he makes it sound like we all should be looking forward to shooting at Thargoids. But not everyone plays Elite to shoot at things! There are three main ranks in the game: Combat, Trading, and Exploring. Elite Dangerous has a wide variety of players, and while some do indeed love combat, a great many of the players want nothing or very little to do with it. I’m sure that a lot of them, judging by the tone of discussions since yesterday, are less than excited at the prospects of yet another combat focused headline feature update.

So I have been wondering today how a Thargoid war could provide more than just combat content to the game? Is there a way to give traders and explorers and miners something to do too? Then I read this post from CMDR Kmwmtd in another thread:

I'm hoping that the BGS will be reworked/extended into a war-based model, so that instead of systems being contested by factions, they will be contested by humans and Thargoids. The extent to which either side influences a system determines how likely you are to encounter Thargoid threats there. This influence would be military - blowing up enemy ships or bases - or logistic - completing missions for the various navies or supplying goods which are in short supply. The more of those things we do, the stronger our influence. This influence would be shown on the galaxy map (shades of green for us, red for them, for example) so we can easily see the battle-lines, and where our help - military or logistic - is needed. Those who want pew pew pew can patrol the front line; those who want some risk can do supply runs to the front line; those wanting a quiet life can operate further back. Certain commodities needed for the war effort can be manufactured (read: appear from thin air), mined or collected from planet surfaces deep in safe territory, and need to be traded from safe to relatively safe to dangerous systems, forming supply lines.

Not quite sure how exploration would fit, but then exploration has always been its own thing really as you tend to be too far away for much interaction. However, maybe spying on enemy movements, mapping the extent of their influence, or searching for rarer but more useful (read: influential) materials and bringing them to deep space supply hubs where they can be taken back to the bubble and eventually the front line.

Something like that would hopefully have some appeal for everyone.
This is a fantastic idea! Upgrade the BGS to something like a military focused Power Play type of engine, where systems can have new status to them like different levels of “Thargoid invasion”, destabilizing system economies and such. Each week the galaxy map would be updated by the BGS 2.4 to show systems under attack, much like a Galactic Risk game, similar to the Power Play map but with aliens vs humans this time.

Being in this state would drain resources from the system for constantly fending off the Thargoids, resulting in compromised system defenses, economic crashes, famine, etc. This would then generate resupply missions where traders could run supplies to the Thargoid afflicted systems, hauling things like food and weapons and such. Ores and minerals would also be in huge demand to rebuild in the compromised systems, so very lucrative mining missions would fill the mission boards to give miners exceptional places to sell their cargo. Completing these missions would help bolster the system status, even possibly pushing the Thargoids out in the following week. This gives Traders and Miners an important role in the Thargoid war: Resupply.

Passenger ships could pick up missions to run troops to the invaded systems to help the cause, earning very high military payouts. So Passenger ships now have a role too: Troop transport.

Explorers could be tasked with Recon missions out in space, looking for Thargoid hives and rally points, even searching for many dozens of new barnacle sites which the Thargoids would be using to refuel and such. These hives and rally points could be procedurally generated each week by the BGS 2.4, and successful recon missions would result in military strike missions the following week where combat pilots could fly out to assault Thargoid bases and forces. So Explorers have an important role now for the war effort: Recon.

And of course the combat pilots have their role in the war: blasting Thargoids. Taking military missions to kill aliens in compromised systems, assault hives previously reconned by explorers, attacking barnacle sites on planet surfaces, etc.

A 2.4 update like this, where all Elite players, even the non-combat players, have a stake in the game and a role to play to help the war effort, well damn I would love to see something as all encompassing like that. Who knows, maybe this is exactly what we ARE getting with 2.4?
I like the sound of this.
I wonder what happens to a system that loses to the thargoids?
Could we side with them?
This could really liven up gameplay.
The one thing that did concern me from the E3 reveals is that it seems battling Thargoids requires winging up or at least be a group effort. How about solo players then? Or will we be able to get bot wingmen in a future patch?

:D S
It would be ideal, even critical IMO, to have a variety of non-combat missions and gameplay supporting various efforts against, and losses due to, the Thargoids.
Very much in support of much more than just pew pew content, however it is very early days. For all we know in three months time there might not be a bubble left (or at least, in might be a blasted no-mans land of ruined ports and stations, which would be epic).
All that would be what is needed to make the Thargoids a real element to the game, I hope FD are reading these ideas and making notes. I expect that for such things we'll have to wait for 3.0's reworking of the mechanisms to be put in place.
I can think of a number of non-combat operations off the top of my head:

Evacuation (Passenger CG) - Pick up loads of Refugees in and around infested systems and haul them to Refugee Centers.
Supply Lines (Cargo CG) - Haul combat-related cargo to the front lines to support the combat efforts.
Relief Efforts (Cargo CG) - Haul Food and Medicine to systems suffering from severe shortages of both due to the war.

Intelligence (Scanning CG) - Scan alien craft for data, or scan human ship wreckage to discover new ways of dealing with the threat.
Reconnoiter (Exploration CG) - Scout and find Alien rally points and installations and report on their locations to know where they're lurking.
Search and Rescue (Lifepod CG) - Retrieve survivors and return them.

Just a half dozen ideas with minimal effort.

It's true - not everyone is a combat pilot. I know quite a few who've never fired a single shot.
Resposting my thoughts on this from another thread:

Taking into account Ed's comments and past game mechanics, I think we may see the following:

  • Initially Thargoids will be unstoppable - after all they just destroyed a convoy with 2 battlecruisers and multiple corvettes etc without losing a single ship. They have an EMP ability which shuts down ships & srv's. They also have some sort of corrosive weapon that destroys ships. The few people who managed to attack Thargoid ships at the Barnacle sites did zero damage to them.
  • We know there are 10 Engineers who have yet to be brought into the game.
So...my feeling is initially the Thargoids will be unbeatable. The only tactic that might work is using long range weapons outside their EMP field.

I imagine that over the course of 2.4 there will be a variety of quests and Community Goals to unlock the outstanding Engineers, and get them the material & data required to develop technologies to fight the Thargoids - namely:

  • shields/modules that defeat EMP,
  • armour that resists the corrosive weapon, and
  • weapons that can hurt Thargoid ships.
This will be achieved with either missions, or Community Goals, or a mixture of both.

Once we can defend against the Thargoids, there will be the opportunity to take the fight to them. This will be done via an Exploration CG as commanders try to locate Thargoids forward bases, resupply points and finally home planets. Maybe we will be blockading/destroying Barnacle sites.

So the return of the Thargoids will give players multiple options on how they can participate and will allow them to play the way they want to:

  • Traders can participate via trading CGs or by supplying Engineers or the Military effort with raw materials
  • Miners will participate by providing raw materials for the war effort, specific missions and CGs
  • Combat orientated players will be able to participate via CGs & missions (initially against human factions/pirates that are hindering the war effort, and eventually against the Thargoids directly)
  • Explorers will participate via Passenger Missions (taking scientists to deep space locations), Scouting (trying to locate Barnacles, Thargoid installations, Thargoid planets etc) and exploration CGs
There may end up being a defined Thargoid area of space, so players who do not want to participate can avoid the Thargoid threat entirely.

It's also possible that the entire Bubble will be under threat, in which case there may be a mass immigration to Colonia.

I'm sure that I've only scratched the surface of what 2.4 will entail. These are exciting times!
With 2.4 releasing near October, a whole year (plus the next wait until 3.0) will be complete without Jack S. other than pew-pew-pew pew-pew-pew.

- 2.2 released last october.
- Last year ended with combat rebalance patch #3245, which resulted in nothing (again) which means that sooner or later there will be combat rebalance patch #3246.
- This year we got 2.3 which added decorative decorative elements and the only playable addon was multi-pew.
- 2.4 Green-themed pew-pew-pew pew-pew-pew.

Sorry Mengy, but this will never become the game you (or I) hoped it would be. If any, it's going full throttle in the opposite direction.
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Absolutely. It would be a terrible shame if the only sign of humanity mobilising for total war was the combat ships all flying to one side of the bubble.
This is Elite.

We have Thargoids.

Deal with it. It doesn't matter if you are solo, private of open. They are coming: trade / explore / mine / fight with heightened fear or hide in a corner and pray. If E84 is anything to go by, speed was the only real defence. BTW we are seeing large scouts or baby motherships only so far. Its the Tharglet spawn fleet you need to worry about. Its going to be fun :)
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