We break the game ourselves!

Why not just explore in the mining ship? It's not like you need jump range, a fuel scoop, AFMUs or hull repair limpets any more, since a carrier replaces all of those things. The best exploration ship is now a mining-rigged Cutter.

Welcome to the era of minesploration.
Am currently finding the best exploration ship is the Sidewinder. I go back and switch ships if I need to do some work with a more capable ship.
Money from exploration is a cruel joke, but I would rather roam the endless space and collect change then mine another stupid LTD asteroid.
Am currently finding the best exploration ship is the Sidewinder. I go back and switch ships if I need to do some work with a more capable ship.
Which says it all about how FCs have changed the game - not saying it's broken, it's just very different when you have a Fleet Carrier (or even just access to one in the right place).

It's going to be interesting seeing how the game evolves, and whether non-carrier owners get left behind.
OP calls it well.

I took advantage of Mining of course, to boost my creds for what I wanted to do but now I'm pretty much financially independant (for my personal playing style). Half a billion was enough for me and I have little motivation to cred up more. I now want to invest and build something! (base building is not really it either by the way)

Yes, I'm having fun and I get the message that it feels, for some, that ED might be approaching it's natural limit.
Fleet Carries provide a boost for some and open up new gameplay for others though it's not a one size fits all. SRVs were similar also.

ED:O may likely be the same but we'll wait to see. I'm not expecting it to be revolutionary though!

I think it comes back to discussing what is true multiplayer in ED.( much more than just PvP gameplay by the way )
This is a huge nut to crack. It's not helped with the fragmented modes of play I guess. I am solo player almost exclusively.

So what will it take to encourage folks like me to choose Open over to Solo?

I don't know the answer in truth but I'm guessing it's not an easy one!

A war! We need a big fat long lasting empire destroying war!!
Drums are beating!!
Hearts racing. Choose your side empire alliance federation or independents. Carnage.. and when we're at our lowest ebb.
Thargoid invasion!!
That'll spice things up a bit.
Especially if it's only accessible via OPEN
So then you're playing for credits & credits alone.......the reward, whatever it is, whatever for, is only one small part of a whole activity. If you're not enjoying that activity then the end point (reward as credits) is irrelevent. Enjoy the activity & you're not bothered what the reward is....
Not exclusively, a combination of both would be the optimal way. Besides that, Fren covered it already:
It was clear from the beginning that a simple lonesome commander is the most unimportant thing in this game. You have no significant influence on anything. When you are in Open and block a station, someone would simply open a new instance and ignores you.

THAT is the problem. Nothing else.

On the other hand - when you force an open play with more than a couple of players you will have the gankers and griefers in Shinrata 24/7 and the fun will be over very soon.

We all know that the current game design is and will stay a compromise. And thats what´s preventing this game from having the success it originally deserved. Now it´s too late.
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