Why is the Explorer path so unbalanced?

So, I have a question, why is the explorer career so unbalanced? This applies to all modes, but this is mostly about Open. The context here is when your ship is destroyed as opposed to your time investment.

Let me explain.... (hint, there is a TL;DR to this.)

The Combat Role:

If you are a career combat pilot, well, this is the game for you! PvE, PvP, you know your risks, you can manage your losses. You lose only your rebuy if you fail at combat. The rule: "don't fly it if you can't rebuy it" applies even to solo to some limited extent. This is all well known. Many enjoy the thrill of combat, risks and all. It can be quite enjoyable for those who love this work! If you die, you lose maybe an hours worth of work, 2 or 3 if you have a really expensive ship.

The Trader:

You also know your risks, If you get attacked, you loose only that haul, it might be a little expensive, but nothing a few extra jumps and a new load of cargo can't fix. Some like the thrill of the hunt, to be the sneaky prey who enjoys out foxing the hunters and pirates. Some might even role play the drama if caught by a pirate. For the good trader, a risk of loosing your cargo is the cost of doing business on occasion. But much of the time, it's your docking simulator day job. Time wise, You can manage your risk as a trader pilot. an hour or two worth of work, the rebuy of the ship, which won't be as expensive as a combat ship because of less armor, but that's made up for the cost of cargo.

The Explorer:

Ah, to uncover the mysteries of the galaxy, to explore the depths of the unknown and to be the first to place your name on that long distant star. Combat is not the life of the explorer, but the lonely vast void is your constant companion and your worst enemy. The combat pilot makes his money with his guns, The Trader makes his money with his cargo holds, but the explorer's best friends are his scanners and engines. To spend, in some cases, literally weeks or even months in the depth of the black..... only to have the entire journey erased by a ganker on the return to civilization.

You can not manage your risk as a explorer pilot. The rebuy, plus the entire week or even month(s) of a journey, in a ship that has been stripped down for exploration, and even weakened because the hull integrity will likely be at 0. (not the hull repair, but that second one next to the paint job on the advanced maintenance screen.) Also, the hull and other modules won't likely be at 100%.

A role not intended for combat has the least ability to manage risk in relationship to the activity of combat.

This is not about anything but balance. Let's sum up what you loose and don't loose on ship destruction:
  1. Your Ship: You loose your rebuy. As said above, "don't fly it if you can't rebuy it." simple.
  2. Your Cargo: You loose your cargo. You can have several million credits worth of cargo, but that's not unrecoverable.
  3. Your Missions: Not lost, but some will fail. The Trader role is the most sensitive to this, as lost cargo or passengers is a thing, but again, manageable.
  4. Your Data: I am referring to the recon type data, Shield scan emissions and such, you never lose this
    stuff.
  5. Your Materials: Same as data, you don't loose this.
  6. Your Stellar Scan Data: You lose all off it.
Why does materials/resources stay but scan data not?

When you get back from the black, even a freewinder looks a little too dangerous! And not just an hour or two of work at risk but all of it.

The balance issue here is you face losing all of your work, not a portion, if you get destroyed when no other role faces that, with game mechanics that favor the two roles and punish the explorer for failure? When obviously your ship has some kind of backup mechanic. You somehow keep a box of physical materials and data, yet somehow, scan data, with can be 1000%++ more valuable, inexplicably gets lost?

Again, this is in relationship to the time investment to getting that data. Combat Bond Data is lost, but you don't spend weeks getting that.

One sec, gotta deal with some folks:

I know how we can balance this:

When you die you:
1. Fail every mission.
2. All of your materials/data can be lost.
3. You have to fully restock every weapon and fuel. (why does an insurance company pay for ordinance and fuel anyway?)
4. All of your engineering has to be redone. How is it they can resupply your ship, but also the exact specs of it's construction plus refitting? Why can't we just buy these engineered then? Once the first ship is kitted out, just buy it wholesale supped up?

Wait? Too much? really? Oh, Come on, that's how much it costs an explorer to loose his ship from a 2 month journey, why can't we make this more fair? I mean, after all, the explorer is only carrying 100 to 200 million credits worth of scan data in a ship that's no more sturdy then an egg after all that took a month to collect. Surely we can put that much at risk for everyone else upon a single death!! Come on people, where's your sense of danger!! It's Elite DANGEROUS after all, lets give everyone else the same risk a lowly explorer enjoys! What's with you all!!??


Now that that crowd has left...

One might reasonably argue that "well, they can go to the far side of the galaxy, then blow them selves up, and be back and sell their data." The risk of death is the key point.

No, the risk of death is NOT the key point. Exploration IS the key point, why? Because the time investment nullifies it - Period.

I can understand how the 'risk of losing it all' out in the black keeps the explorer on his toes, and I think that might have been the intent behind this, however, that crashes headlong into the combat role, on return. But again, the time investment nullifies this. You spend 2 days getting combat bonds, and if your concerned about it, you can turn them in when your ready, and if you don't get them all turned in and die, the loss isn't so bad, you had a way to mitigate that risk. A deep range explorer has no way to do that.

Combat or Trading doesn't carry their entire 100-200 million of risk on their back upon a single death for the amount of time they invested into that single activity. Imagine you couldn't cash in bounties except for the first of the month, and you had 5 billion worth of bounties and bonds sitting on your ship, and you hunted for over 3 weeks, and at a single death, you'd loose it all, what would you honestly do? But remember, an explorer doesn't even have the luxury of a Space Station defying shields armored warship to hide in. They get to ride in a flying egg.

Oh, yea, I'd love you to take that warship out on an exploration. You'd smash it into the nearest star in frustration after the second lap the little explorer ship passed you by on. Guns don't help you out there, assuming you don't succumb to space madness first.

TL;DR --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Honestly, I think most explorers have no need to blow them selves up to sell their data. Given the time invested, that's not the mindset of the typical deep range explorer. The distance alone is enough of a risk and the time to get there, rather then the loss of scan data on death. Therefore, allow scan data to be retained on ship destruction like the other data on the ship. Not playing Open shouldn't be my only recourse to mitigating combat risk to my weeks or months worth of stellar scan data in a weakened ship.
 
If I could retain exploration data, I absolutely would have a need to take the short trip home. Why?

Because I have to go further and further out to gather a lot of high exploration value quickly.

And it's extremely valuable among factions back in inhabited space.

Coming back to that with an exploration data bomb, at a moments notice (no travel delay) to protect/attack is incredibly dangerous with current BGS mechanics.
 
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You still had to spend the time gathering it. The 'short trip home' is equal to a trip half the length. [alien]

Besides, there's lists of short range planets worth a lot not far from the bubble, you don't even need a long trip if your goal is to mess with the BGS with exploration data. See: "Roads to Riches."
 
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You still had to spend the time gathering it. The 'short trip home' is equal to a trip half the length.
Exaclty. I am not only able to bring value back at any time - I'm also potentially twice as fast.
Besides, there's lists of short range planets worth a lot not far from the bubble, you don't even need a long trip if your goal is to mess with the BGS with exploration data. See: "Roads to Riches."
They are one use only. BGS is continuous.
I have to go further and further out to gather a lot of high exploration value quickly.
 
I remember when Elite Dangerous exploration was Dangerous. Only the cluster of the system was around Sol. To repair you had to go to that cluster of stars. We did not have AFM or hull repair or even Fuel rats.

Today. It seems every Nebula has a station. Why do we need another hold my hand feature? As long as you fly smart you will not die. You know don't fly drunk or dumb you should be ok.
 
Maybe after reading this post FD now understands the explorer's career gap and will plan to do changes in Q4.

You can now move to suggest and discuss the krait (that known ship) later to see if they put in game also.
 
So, I have a question, why is the explorer career so unbalanced? This applies to all modes, but this is mostly about Open. The context here is when your ship is destroyed as opposed to your time investment.

Let me explain.... (hint, there is a TL;DR to this.)

The Combat Role:

If you are a career combat pilot, well, this is the game for you! PvE, PvP, you know your risks, you can manage your losses. You lose only your rebuy if you fail at combat. The rule: "don't fly it if you can't rebuy it" applies even to solo to some limited extent. This is all well known. Many enjoy the thrill of combat, risks and all. It can be quite enjoyable for those who love this work! If you die, you lose maybe an hours worth of work, 2 or 3 if you have a really expensive ship.

The Trader:

You also know your risks, If you get attacked, you loose only that haul, it might be a little expensive, but nothing a few extra jumps and a new load of cargo can't fix. Some like the thrill of the hunt, to be the sneaky prey who enjoys out foxing the hunters and pirates. Some might even role play the drama if caught by a pirate. For the good trader, a risk of loosing your cargo is the cost of doing business on occasion. But much of the time, it's your docking simulator day job. Time wise, You can manage your risk as a trader pilot. an hour or two worth of work, the rebuy of the ship, which won't be as expensive as a combat ship because of less armor, but that's made up for the cost of cargo.

The Explorer:

Ah, to uncover the mysteries of the galaxy, to explore the depths of the unknown and to be the first to place your name on that long distant star. Combat is not the life of the explorer, but the lonely vast void is your constant companion and your worst enemy. The combat pilot makes his money with his guns, The Trader makes his money with his cargo holds, but the explorer's best friends are his scanners and engines. To spend, in some cases, literally weeks or even months in the depth of the black..... only to have the entire journey erased by a ganker on the return to civilization.

You can not manage your risk as a explorer pilot. The rebuy, plus the entire week or even month(s) of a journey, in a ship that has been stripped down for exploration, and even weakened because the hull integrity will likely be at 0. (not the hull repair, but that second one next to the paint job on the advanced maintenance screen.) Also, the hull and other modules won't likely be at 100%.

A role not intended for combat has the least ability to manage risk in relationship to the activity of combat.

This is not about anything but balance. Let's sum up what you loose and don't loose on ship destruction:
  1. Your Ship: You loose your rebuy. As said above, "don't fly it if you can't rebuy it." simple.
  2. Your Cargo: You loose your cargo. You can have several million credits worth of cargo, but that's not unrecoverable.
  3. Your Missions: Not lost, but some will fail. The Trader role is the most sensitive to this, as lost cargo or passengers is a thing, but again, manageable.
  4. Your Data: I am referring to the recon type data, Shield scan emissions and such, you never lose this
    stuff.
  5. Your Materials: Same as data, you don't loose this.
  6. Your Stellar Scan Data: You lose all off it.
Why does materials/resources stay but scan data not?

When you get back from the black, even a freewinder looks a little too dangerous! And not just an hour or two of work at risk but all of it.

The balance issue here is you face losing all of your work, not a portion, if you get destroyed when no other role faces that, with game mechanics that favor the two roles and punish the explorer for failure? When obviously your ship has some kind of backup mechanic. You somehow keep a box of physical materials and data, yet somehow, scan data, with can be 1000%++ more valuable, inexplicably gets lost?

Again, this is in relationship to the time investment to getting that data. Combat Bond Data is lost, but you don't spend weeks getting that.

One sec, gotta deal with some folks:

I know how we can balance this:

When you die you:
1. Fail every mission.
2. All of your materials/data can be lost.
3. You have to fully restock every weapon and fuel. (why does an insurance company pay for ordinance and fuel anyway?)
4. All of your engineering has to be redone. How is it they can resupply your ship, but also the exact specs of it's construction plus refitting? Why can't we just buy these engineered then? Once the first ship is kitted out, just buy it wholesale supped up?

Wait? Too much? really? Oh, Come on, that's how much it costs an explorer to loose his ship from a 2 month journey, why can't we make this more fair? I mean, after all, the explorer is only carrying 100 to 200 million credits worth of scan data in a ship that's no more sturdy then an egg after all that took a month to collect. Surely we can put that much at risk for everyone else upon a single death!! Come on people, where's your sense of danger!! It's Elite DANGEROUS after all, lets give everyone else the same risk a lowly explorer enjoys! What's with you all!!??


Now that that crowd has left...

One might reasonably argue that "well, they can go to the far side of the galaxy, then blow them selves up, and be back and sell their data." The risk of death is the key point.

No, the risk of death is NOT the key point. Exploration IS the key point, why? Because the time investment nullifies it - Period.

I can understand how the 'risk of losing it all' out in the black keeps the explorer on his toes, and I think that might have been the intent behind this, however, that crashes headlong into the combat role, on return. But again, the time investment nullifies this. You spend 2 days getting combat bonds, and if your concerned about it, you can turn them in when your ready, and if you don't get them all turned in and die, the loss isn't so bad, you had a way to mitigate that risk. A deep range explorer has no way to do that.

Combat or Trading doesn't carry their entire 100-200 million of risk on their back upon a single death for the amount of time they invested into that single activity. Imagine you couldn't cash in bounties except for the first of the month, and you had 5 billion worth of bounties and bonds sitting on your ship, and you hunted for over 3 weeks, and at a single death, you'd loose it all, what would you honestly do? But remember, an explorer doesn't even have the luxury of a Space Station defying shields armored warship to hide in. They get to ride in a flying egg.

Oh, yea, I'd love you to take that warship out on an exploration. You'd smash it into the nearest star in frustration after the second lap the little explorer ship passed you by on. Guns don't help you out there, assuming you don't succumb to space madness first.

TL;DR --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Honestly, I think most explorers have no need to blow them selves up to sell their data. Given the time invested, that's not the mindset of the typical deep range explorer. The distance alone is enough of a risk and the time to get there, rather then the loss of scan data on death. Therefore, allow scan data to be retained on ship destruction like the other data on the ship. Not playing Open shouldn't be my only recourse to mitigating combat risk to my weeks or months worth of stellar scan data in a weakened ship.

once near the bubble, go into solo, land at nearest starport
 
As combat, or trade, you can mitigate your risk, (i.e. turn your combat bonds in when you feel you have more risk then what you want to take for the time you invested.) What is the method of risk mitigation on the return trip for an explorer in relationship to the possibly weeks worth or months worth of deep exploration? How do you mitigate that risk then? (other then hope no one notices you are flying an egg)

Why should a deep space explorer have to risk 100% of weeks/months worth of travel with no way to mitigate that risk like combat or trade?
 
Module to launch findings data to last visited location with cartographics service? But it's rudimentary and flimsy way of getting things done. I go solo nearing inhabited space.
 
The "protection" should perhaps be the ability to recover a black box as many have suggested in the past. A personal salvage mission if you will, but if you lose your ship on the way to recover it you also lose the co ordinates of the black box. Maybe the box is "damaged" and not all 100% of the data is recoverable.
 
I remember when Elite Dangerous exploration was Dangerous. Only the cluster of the system was around Sol. To repair you had to go to that cluster of stars. We did not have AFM or hull repair or even Fuel rats.

Today. It seems every Nebula has a station. Why do we need another hold my hand feature? As long as you fly smart you will not die. You know don't fly drunk or dumb you should be ok.

I am not talking about "hold my hand features", In fact, what about this is hand-holding? If you do combat, at what value do you decide to cash in your bonds in case you get popped? You control that don't you? 1 million? 1 billion? up to you, right? Does a deep range explorer do that? Where does he turn in those scans on the far side of nowhere? he's exposed to 100% risk, be it 1 million, or 1 billion. And, unlike a combat ship who can protect them selves in case something goes sideways, that 100% risk is in a flying egg. Please explain how these two things are equal?
 
At the very least when you die while exploring your ship could drop a data core, something akin to a black box.. Automatically bookmarked so you can return in your new ship for recovery. If you really want the lost exploration data you can go and pick up your data core.

Flimley
 
I am not going to say it's a good idea or bad idea, I am going to say it's the kind of discussion I think is valuable for FDev to consider rather then what we have. So, thank you. That being said, it would make for an interesting idea. Something in relationship to the new Codex thingy they have talked about. All good stuff! :D
 
Surely if you don't want to sell your data at some station right on the edge of the bubble, but use it to influence things in other places, you just leave a hardened ship at said outpost station and swap to it?

I've been out past 65k ly from Sol 4 times now and always come home in open with no problems.. other than forgetting where my landing gear switch is.

Exploring is safe already and carries next to zero risk right now and you basically want to be able to kill yourself on the far side of the Galaxy and insta-teleport back home with all your data intact?

Not for me,thanks.


At the very least when you die while exploring your ship could drop a data core, something akin to a black box.. Automatically bookmarked so you can return in your new ship for recovery. If you really want the lost exploration data you can go and pick up your data core.

Flimley

A much more reasonable idea which has been brought up a few times and would make a lot more sense.. But I would like to see it with some sort of degradation over time factored in? That way, a self destruct insta-teleport on the far side of the galaxy would lose you everything as it should because you'll never get back there before your data degrades, but a combat kill coming into the bubble would mean you can get back and retrieve at least some portion of your data.
 
As combat, or trade, you can mitigate your risk, (i.e. turn your combat bonds in when you feel you have more risk then what you want to take for the time you invested.) What is the method of risk mitigation on the return trip for an explorer in relationship to the possibly weeks worth or months worth of deep exploration? How do you mitigate that risk then? (other then hope no one notices you are flying an egg)
So you ignoring Risk vs reward. Longer travel euals higher risk. Just like a player staying in a area just doing combat for hours or days. Or a trader who use all his credit to fill his cargo or trade in location that in cival war

Why should a deep space explorer have to risk 100% of weeks/months worth of travel with no way to mitigate that risk like combat or trade?
There many ways to avoid risking your data but your not asking for that. What you are asking for is a easy mode.

If you are going to turn your data. Go on Exploration form and ask for a escort or go into solo mode. There also Nebulas that have asteroid base you can turn in your data in.

Surely if you don't want to sell your data at some station right on the edge of the bubble, but use it to influence things in other places, you just leave a hardened ship at said outpost station and swap to it?

I've been out past 65k ly from Sol 4 times now and always come home in open with no problems.. other than forgetting where my landing gear switch is.

Exploring is safe already and carries next to zero risk right now and you basically want to be able to kill yourself on the far side of the Galaxy and insta-teleport back home with all your data intact?

Not for me,thanks.
My guess the op did something that made him lose his data.
 
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Surely if you don't want to sell your data at some station right on the edge of the bubble, but use it to influence things in other places, you just leave a hardened ship at said outpost station and swap to it?

I've been out past 65k ly from Sol 4 times now and always come home in open with no problems.. other than forgetting where my landing gear switch is.

Exploring is safe already and carries next to zero risk right now and you basically want to be able to kill yourself on the far side of the Galaxy and insta-teleport back home with all your data intact?

Not for me,thanks.




A much more reasonable idea which has been brought up a few times and would make a lot more sense.. But I would like to see it with some sort of degradation over time factored in? That way, a self destruct insta-teleport on the far side of the galaxy would lose you everything as it should because you'll never get back there before your data degrades, but a combat kill coming into the bubble would mean you can get back and retrieve at least some portion of your data.

Ok, so, an explorer needs to build both a hardened ship and an explorer ship, yet another raised bar for exploration? An explorer also needs to play a combat role along side an explorer role were a combat pilot can ignore exploration? Do I understand that correctly?
 
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